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CNN CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT

Legal Marijuana Grower Convicted by Overiding Federal Law; Why is Bad Image a Problem With Ludacris Not Osbournes as Pespi's Spokesperson?

Aired February 6, 2003 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CONNIE CHUNG, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Connie Chung.
Tonight, NASA says nothing is ruled out in the Columbia shuttle investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN O'KEEFE, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: To honor the legacy of the Columbia astronauts, we have made a solid commitment to their families to find the cause of the accident, correct whatever problems we may find and safely move forward with our work.

ANNOUNCER: The head man at NASA makes his pledge to find the answers. This as investigators comb the nation, hoping the debris will yield new clues.

And the Columbia seven are honored.

PATTI LABELLE, SINGER: (SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you! We support you! Yes!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you! We support you! Yes!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you! We support you! Yes!

ANNOUNCER: Jurors issue an apology to a man they convicted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the most horrible mistake I've ever made in my entire life.

ANNOUNCER: He was growing marijuana legally. Then why did the jury send him to jail?

OZZY OSBOURNE, SINGER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

ANNOUNCER: Funny pitchman, Ozzy Osbourne.

OSBOURNE: You're a bunch of bloody musicians.

ANNOUNCER: But not every one is laughing.

RUSSELL SIMMONS, MUSIC MOGUL: If language was an issue with Ludacris, why is the not an issue with the Osbournes?

ANNOUNCER: Hip hop producer Russell Simmons says there's a double standard and calls for a Pepsi boycott.

And, our "Person of the Day." A presidential milestone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT. From the CNN Broadcast Center in New York: Connie Chung.

CHUNG: Good evening.

NASA officials now say they are back to square one in the investigation of the Columbia disaster. And they specifically said they have not ruled out the possibilities that a break-away piece of foam damaged vital heat tiles on the shuttle. They continue to examine every theory.

CNN's space correspondent Miles O'Brien has the latest on the investigation.

Miles, we hear, Well, this may be the problem. Then, no, it might not be the root cause, and maybe it will again. But I suspect the reason why we're hearing this back and forth and all the bumps in the road is that we are in on the investigation. There are no secrets. They're not holding back.

Is that correct?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: It's almost as if they're thinking out loud before the nation, Connie. Yes, you do get that sense. And as the theories come in and go out, they are sharing some of them with us.

But I can tell you perhaps it was our fault to some degree, by emphasizing the foam and then perhaps de-emphasizing it too much. I get the sense that investigators on this team are sort of taking Ronald Reagan's philosophy -- trust but verify. They're trusting their hunches, which tells them that that foam probably isn't the root cause, but they're going to keep going and verifying.

Let's listen to Ron Dittemore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON DITTEMORE, SHUTTLE PROGRAM MANAGER: It's hard for us to understand why a piece of foam that has fallen off the tank could have been the root cause. But that is not stopping us from continuing to investigate that particular event as being a potential root cause. We are planning testing of foam impact on tiles. We are performing analysis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: You almost get the sense that our hopes have been dashed for the possibility that there would be a quick and easy answer here. I guess we're in a bit of denial, Connie. It's an incredibly complex vehicle traveling so fast and so high. It's dynamic, as the term is used here. And as one of the people close to this investigation told me today, we need a little bit of luck.

CHUNG: Miles, did Ron Dittemore give any hints as to whether or not they will be able to reassemble the shuttle somewhere?

O'BRIEN: That is the plan. What they're going to do -- now they only have 1,000 confirmed pieces. There have been many other pieces found as you know. But they have 1,000 confirmed pieces which are making their way toward Barksdale Air Force Base. They'll be kept there for a time for investigators to have some access to them in the short term.

Ultimately, the plan, though, is to put them in airplanes and send them to the Kennedy Space Center where they have a place where they will try to piece together Columbia, a la TWA 800 and all the other big airline crashes which you're familiar with, to get a better sense of what might have happened. That's going to take a little while, though.

CHUNG: Mile, have the investigators been able to determine if the astronauts themselves were aware that something was wrong as they were re-entering?

O'BRIEN: Well, there's no indication they were and surely if they were aware, they would have radioed down some indication to them.

What you have to understand is there's a lot more information that ground controllers know than the people in the cockpit. Basically, what the NASA philosophy is is you don't give the flight crew a lot of information they can't act upon.

And so all those temperature readings were a bunch of information that was useless to them. However, that tire pressure indication, which is the first indication of any trouble that the crew had, we're told, that tire pressure indication is very important to a pilot to know if he's got a bad tire before he lands.

And so just as that information was coming in, just as they were having a discussion about it, that's when everything went silent.

CHUNG: Is there any one dominant theory at this point, Miles?

O'BRIEN: No, I wouldn't say there's one dominant theory, except I will tell you this -- one way or another, these tiles somehow failed beneath here. The question really is Connie, is it a cause or is it an effect?

Is it possible -- first of all, in the cause, that some of these tiles fell off, or they were so rough that when they came in contact with the air that they started flying off, and once they flew off, that 2,000 to 3 000 degree heat is exposed to aluminum, which melts at about 700 degrees. If it's an effect, is there something that made Columbia fly outside of its profile, and fly wildly. And if that were the case, would that have knocked some tiles off and would have cause that wing to fail? That's the key issue.

We do know that that thermal system failed. We just don't know if it's the root cause or perhaps an effect.

CHUNG: All right. Miles O'Brien at the Johnson Space Center, thank you.

The investigation into the cause of the Columbia disaster overshadowed even today's memorial service in Washington, D.C. today. Vice President Dick Cheney and NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe were among those honoring the astronauts in an interfaith service at the national cathedral.

Cheney vowed that the exploration of space will go on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every great act of exploration involves great risk. The crew of the Columbia accepted that risk in service to all mankind.

The Columbia is lost. But the dreams that inspired its crew remain with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: Several more memorials are planned for the space shuttle astronauts.

Within days of the Columbia tragedy, the families of the crew issued a joint statement strongly endorsing the continuation of the space program. But the brother of Krista McCauliffe, the New England schoolteacher who was to be the first civilian in space, and who died in the Challenger explosion 17 years ago, said the space program should be suspended.

Christopher Corrigan joins us now. That is what you said back then, 17 years ago. What do you think now? Do you think the space program should continue?

CHRISTOPHER CORRIGAN, BROTHER OF CHRISTA MCCAULIFE: No, it should continue. I think sometimes we -- it tries to go too fast to catch up to where we should be. Space is a very complex thing and going up in space is very complex.

CHUNG: Back then, 17 years ago, you did want a halt to the space program. But obviously it was because, you know, you had someone so close to you who was lost.

CORRIGAN: Yes, that's true. It was very hard having a sister killed like that and so instantly and so fast.

CHUNG: As this tragedy unfolded, did that bring back memories of your sister?

CORRIGAN: Oh, it surely did. I was watching it with my girlfriend, Aurora. And I said, "They said that it was lost, the spaceship." And I said, "How could it be lost?" All of a sudden, 10 minutes later, they said it exploded and I really was so much in shock. I couldn't believe that it happened again.

CHUNG: Could you even look at the television? I would imagine you might have turned away.

CORRIGAN: It's easier because after all those years, I was so used to it, with it being -- we have 17 years of Challenger -- you know, every year, we had another ceremony about my sister. So it became easier as the years went by. It was still hard.

CHUNG: You know, Mr. Corrigan, I was looking back at the ages of her children. They must be fully grown now.

CORRIGAN: Yes, they are. Scott is getting his masters in oceanography and he's doing very well. He's in Oregon and Caroline is going to Leslie College in Boston. And she's, I think, a junior this year.

CHUNG: Do you think that private citizens, such as your sister, should go up in space now, despite this tragedy?

CORRIGAN: Well, I think in a way, it's up to them. I mean, in a way, it's up to maybe the country and the citizens, whether they want them to go up and think it's a good thing.

I mean, if you're an astronaut, of course you should go up because you're trained to go up.

CHUNG: Do you think Christa would have wanted the space program to continue after this tragedy?

CORRIGAN: Yes, I think she does. I think she knew how dangerous going up was, and things can happen.

CHUNG: But you think she would have supported the space program?

CORRIGAN: Yes.

CHUNG: As you look at this continuing investigation, it's very open, unlike the Challenger explosion investigation which was kept a bit secret. Does this do your heart good, that this investigation is out there in the open and they're trying very hard to find out what went wrong?

CORRIGAN: Yes, I think it should be. They're putting people's money -- we're paying money for it, and it's in everybody's heart for it to have it go right and to do. And I think it's very important for the whole world, especially our country, to -- space exploration. I think we should learn about space, because it's part of us.

CHUNG: As a member of a family of someone who was lost in space, do you think this program should continue?

CORRIGAN: Yes, I do.

CHUNG: Well, Christopher Corrigan, I thank you so much for being with us.

CORRIGAN: OK, you're welcome, Connie.

CHUNG: The State Department today warned U.S. citizens abroad of what it calls the, quote, "heightened threat of terrorist attacks against Americans." These include suicide bombings, assassinations and the possible use of chemical or biological agents.

Meantime, President Bush today warned Iraq that the game is over after sending a top member of his administration to build up domestic support for military action against Iraq as we see in tonight's look at "The World in 60."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG (voice-over): Secretary of State Colin Powell took the case against Iraq to Congress, trying to line up crucial support for a possible war with Saddam Hussein. Powell warned of a critical period ahead, staying the standoff with Iraq will be, quote, "reaching an endgame in a matter of weeks."

Turkey has moved a step closer to allowing U.S. combat troops to set up bases for a possible war with Iraq. The parliament voted to allow the U.S. to start renovating military bases there.

White House officials say the administration has contingency plans to deal with North Korea. This in response to North Korea's latest warning that a U.S. attack on its nuclear facilities would mean, quote, "total war."

A German terror investigation into potential ties to al Qaeda has yielded three suspects. Prosecutors say they've linked at least one suspect to the September 11 suicide hijackers. Two other suspects are also being questioned.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Next, he was growing pot to ease the pain -- legally. Now he's going to jail on drug charges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED ROSENTHAL, MEDICAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE: For the first time in my life I find myself questioning the court system and how the letter of the law can circumvent the intent of the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: The jury that convicted him says they were duped, when CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: There are no do-overs in legal cases. But some jurors who served on one California case are now wishing there were.

Here's what happened. Ed Rosenthal was convicted by a federal jury in California of growing marijuana. Now some of the very jurors who found him guilty are now hoping his case is overturned on appeal. They were never told that Rosenthal was working on a state-sponsored program.

While the program is legal in California, it is illegal under federal law. But Rosenthal, who will be sentenced in June, has plenty of supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG (voice-over): For a man facing 85 years in prison, Ed Rosenthal isn't ashamed what was he did.

(CHANTING)

ROSENTHAL: When I was convicted, I had no regrets. I take responsibility for my actions.

CHUNG: A jury found Rosenthal guilty of three federal counts of conspiracy and cultivation of marijuana. But the jury never knew that Rosenthal was growing grass for medical use. He was officially part of a perfectly legal program in Oakland, California.

Why didn't the jury know? The judge would not allow his defense lawyers to tell the jurors that what he was doing was legal under state law, even though it was illegal under federal law. Minutes after the verdict was announced, jurors were shocked to discover they were not told the full story.

PAMELA KLARKOWSKI, JUROR: I think had we been notified or given that information, that Ed had been deputized by the city of Oakland to grow marijuana specific for medical needs, there's no way we could have convicted him.

ROBERT EYE, ED ROSENTHAL'S ATTORNEY: We're going to work extremely hard to keep Mr. Rosenthal from going to jail...

CHUNG: Rosenthal's attorney accuses the feds of trying to make an example of his client, hoping to shut down California's medicinal marijuana program.

EYE: I really do believe that this case will probably profoundly affect how these kinds of cases are going to be litigated in the future, particularly in the context of a federal court.

CHUNG: And how does Rosenthal feel about the jurors who found him guilty?

ROSENTHAL: I knew that moments after the jury came back with the decision or within days, that they would have regrets once they got the full information. They're not to be blamed. The blame goes to the government.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG: And joining us now, two of the jurors who convicted Ed Rosenthal, Marny Craig and Charles Sackett. Thank you both for being with us.

CHARLES SACKETT, JURY FOREMAN: You're welcome.

MARNY CRAIG, JUROR: Thank you, Connie.

CHUNG: Marny, I know that the prosecution presented its case five days, and then the defense presented its case for only two hours. You went into deliberations. And was there any doubt in your mind that Rosenthal was guilty?

CRAIG: I had serious doubts. But to tell you the truth, I didn't know what I was really doubting because we had gotten so little information from the defense because of the way the trial was run.

We went into the deliberations with only half of the evidence. So while many of us on the jury were sitting there with serious doubts, we never voiced them to any extent.

CHUNG: I understand. And just a few minutes later, you came out of that courthouse, and what did you discover?

CRAIG: We discovered that we had convicted a man who was not a criminal. We discovered that we had convicted someone who was just trying to help sick people get through their day. And we discovered who Ed Rosenthal was, and what he was really doing.

All of that information was kept from us in that courtroom. The defense was never allowed to get in anything about medical marijuana, about the books that Ed Rosenthal had written, about Proposition 215, although obviously we live in California, we supported Proposition 215, and we supported medical marijuana...

CHUNG: The proposition that allows marijuana to be used for medical reasons for cancer patients and the like?

CRAIG: Yes.

CHUNG: Charles, when you found out that Ed Rosenthal in fact was legally growing marijuana, as far as state law was concerned, what did you think?

SACKETT: I wonder how in the heck does a government think any of that information is irrelevant?

CHUNG: Charles, did this make you angry?

SACKETT: This made me angry beyond belief. I'm not sure I've ever been so angry in my life. To the point that by the time I got out into the public, I didn't care if I got into trouble or not. I really do not know about contempt of court. And at first, I just wanted so raise a few eyebrows. When I was asked, what is your opinion about this case, and I said, "I hope he appeals and wins." I figured that would open up a few eyebrows, raise a few.

CHUNG: Marny, who is the culprit here?

CRAIG: I think the culprit is the system. I think the culprit is the federal government. And the whole court system, the prosecution, the DEA, they're all the culprits. It was a huge well- planned scheme to get Ed Rosenthal because of who he is and what he represents. And I think that the federal government is going to realize that this is not the way to handle this situation. The federal government is going to have to acknowledge the medical marijuana issue and do something about it.

CHUNG: Marny, what should happen to Ed Rosenthal? He's facing 85 years in prison.

CRAIG: Ed Rosenthal should have a new trial, a fair trial in which all of the evidence is presented a trial in which the jurors are informed of their rights. One of the real problems here was that we didn't know we had any options. We thought our only choice was to follow the judge's instructions and not consider anything that was not presented as evidence in the courtroom. And follow his instructions with regard to the federal law. And we didn't know that we had the right to do otherwise. And so we didn't.

SACKETT: Connie, I'd love that image of lady justice, the one who's blindfolded and carrying the scale on one side. The prosecution was able to put all of its evidence. On the other side, the defense was able to put absolutely none. Or virtually none. And we were asked to then judge that. And I feel embarrassed, humiliated, and can you imagine being able to sleep at night knowing that your name was at the bottom of that document?

CHUNG: Marny Craig and Charles Sackett, thank you so much for being with us.

Joining us now, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, I don't get it. I really don't.

Why did the federal government prosecute?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is a big difference between the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. The Clinton administration really let a lot of these medical experiments, medical marijuana experiments, proceed. Attorney General Ashcroft has said from the very beginning in Oregon, in California, this is against federal law, you proceed at your own risk, and now he's starting to prosecute.

CHUNG: So a person such as Ed Rosenthal should have known and should have -- as soon as the John Ashcroft took over as attorney general, he should have backed out of his job?

TOOBIN: Well, he should have known. It is against federal law to possess marijuana. And there's an important issue here. Judge Briar, the judge in the trial here, the reason he didn't allow this in evidence was that this is not an intent crime. It doesn't matter what your intent is under the law, to possess marijuana. If you possess it, you're guilty. It's like speeding. If you speed, you're guilty. If you possess marijuana, you're guilty. It doesn't matter if you have good intentions. That's his ruling. And I think under the law, that's true.

CHUNG: That's correct? I mean did the judge did the right thing?

TOOBIN: As far as I understand it, I think the judge did the right thing. The issue here is not so much the judge, it's the prosecutors. It's bringing a case like this is an invitation to sort of tell the state of California to go to hell. And your laws don't matter, federal government matters. But under the law, they have the right to do it.

CHUNG: There are other states that make the use of marijuana for medical reasons legal.

TOOBIN: And one of the reasons they bring cases like this, the Justice Department does, is to tell everyone in those states, you want to go ahead with those marijuana experiments? You're looking at going to jail too. I mean, it's a specific philosophy of this Justice Department. And we're seeing the effects of it now.

CHUNG: And in the last 15 seconds.

Does this happen often in which the state is in conflict with the federal government when it comes to law?

TOOBIN: Sometimes it does. Often in environmental areas, in regulatory areas. In criminal law, it's very unusual. But it does happen. When it does, the federal government's rules control. No legal doubt about that.

CHUNG: So, bottom line, this man could go to prison for 85 years?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. As far as I can tell, based on this case. It's a sad case, but under the law, I don't think Judge Briar had much of a choice.

CHUNG: All right. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you.

Still ahead, we know someone who is thankful she didn't hang up on a telemarketer. Making the connection when we return.

ANNOUNCER: Next, Clara Harris, about to tell her side of the story of what happened the night she ran over her husband.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHUNG: Tomorrow could be the turning point in the Clara Harris murder trial. She's expected to return to the witness stand and tell her version of what happened the night she ran over her husband with her Mercedes. Prosecutors say she deliberately killed him. She says it was an accident. The trial has not been short on drama. Jurors have already heard from Lindsay Harris, Clara's stepdaughter, who was in the Mercedes when her father was killed. Earlier this week, the so-called other woman, Gail Bridget (ph), testified. And yesterday, the trial was postponed for one day after Harris' lawyer collapsed during the lunch break.

Joining us, two reporters who have been following the trial. Skip Hollingsworth the executive editor of "Texas Monthly" and KKRH News Radio reporter Gail Delaughter.

Thank you both for being with us.

Skip, it was you who brought the Clara Harris story to national attention when you wrote the story in "Texas Monthly." So, I know you were there for Clara Harris' testimony.

Was it just incredible and compelling to see this story come to life?

SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH, EDITOR, "TEXAS MONTHLY": Yes, what's amazed me is the national attention brought to this story. And I'm overwhelmed at how many people still follow this soap opera. And it's really this kind of defining time when Clara finally spoke. And none of us had ever heard her say anything, other than a quick "I'm innocent, it was an accident" as she's rushed in and out of jail.

CHUNG: How would you characterize what you heard coming out of her mouth?

HOLLANDSWORTH: She's enormously compelling. I thought that she was a very compassionate women. And until she got to the part of reading -- telling the story about how she and her husband, when she found out about the affair, sat down at a bar. And her husband wrote out on a napkin the pros and cons of Clara and the pros and cons of the mistress.

And this is the duality of Clara that makes her such a fascinating character, because, on one hand, so many women in America sympathize with her for running over her husband, understanding that sense of betrayal. She put into reality this image that everybody else had about what they would do if they were in the same situation.

But, on the other hand, when she finds out what her husband has done to her, she decides to do anything she can to stay in the marriage, including a breast implant, including working out, getting a personal trainer and lightening her hair, doing all these things to stay in, which seemed pathetic.

CHUNG: Gail, the last time we tuned in to this soap opera, Clara Harris was on the stand, but then it ended abruptly, because her lawyer collapsed. Now, when she comes back on, that was such a cliffhanger, because she did not start talking about the whole incident, the incident in the hotel, running over her husband, etcetera. How is she going to explain it? Because I don't think she's going to say, from what I understand, that she'll deny that it happened or anything like that. She acknowledges, no doubt, that indeed it happened.

GAIL DELAUGHTER, ABC REPORTER: Oh, yes.

CHUNG: So, how is she going to explain it?

DELAUGHTER: Well, it's hard to say at this point, because she's sort of recapping the chronology of the events. And we've gotten up to a few days before this happened.

She left us off at the incident in the bar when they made the notes on the napkin. And it's hard to say how she's going to recount this. Gail Bridges, for instance, said she couldn't remember anything about the accident. It could be a situation where Clara doesn't remember anything. So, we just really don't know what her rendition of the events is going to be.

CHUNG: And do you expect her to be on the stand all day and even into the next week?

DELAUGHTER: I think the prosecution is going to mount a vigorous cross-examination here. I think Mia Magness, she has been extremely aggressive in this case. So, I think she's going to take her time and go through everything when she has a chance to talk to Clara Harris.

CHUNG: Skip, aren't they taking a big chance, or isn't Clara Harris taking a big chance by getting on the stand and allowing herself to be cross-examined by the prosecutor?

HOLLANDSWORTH: Yes, because she's got to explain that she was not intending to run over her husband as she hit him. And how do you explain that away?

But Parnham didn't have any choice, because of the stepdaughter's testimony, the daughter from David's first marriage. That testimony she made, Lindsey, is sticking, I think, in the jury's mind, that Clara came out of that hotel lobby saying: I could kill David and no one would blame me.

CHUNG: Gail, do you think the jury was sympathetic to her?

DELAUGHTER: It's hard to say what they're thinking at this point. There's nine women on the jury. And the legal experts that we've talked to say it could go either way.

They could sympathize with her. They could say, yes, maybe I've been through the same situation. I know how you feel. Or maybe they could turn against her. Maybe they had a cheating spouse as well. And they could say to themselves, well, I didn't run him over with my car. Why should she get an easy deal out of this? Why should she get an easy punishment? I didn't do this sort of activity, and she shouldn't have done it either.

CHUNG: All right, finally, Skip, what do you think is going to happen to Clara Harris?

HOLLANDSWORTH: Well, I think she's going to become a star, in some fashion or another. She's entered the national consciousness.

CHUNG: Gail Delaughter, Skip Hollandsworth, I thank you both for being with us.

HOLLANDSWORTH: Thank you.

DELAUGHTER: Thank you.

CHUNG: Still ahead: how a call from a telemarketer led a son to the father he never knew.

Stay with us.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, PEPSI AD)

OZZY OSBOURNE, MUSICIAN: Bloody bag, now I got the bloody...

KELLY OSBOURNE, DAUGHTER OF OZZY: Hey, dad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Is one foul-mouthed entertainer more acceptable than another? It is if you ask this man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSSELL SIMMONS, FOUNDER OF DEF JAM RECORDS: When they put the Osbournes back on the table, it showed they had no respect for the hip-hop community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Why hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons wants to put a twist in Pepsi's sales -- when CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: Suppose a call from a telemarketer totally changed your life. Yes, right, you say.

But incredible as it may seem, it really happened. Telemarketer Al Kinkade called the home of Daniel and Kellie Kinkade in December. He mentioned to Kellie Kinkade that they share the same last name. And she asked him, well, how do you spell it? And it was the same way she spells it. After several more questions, it just hit her. The man on the other end of the line was her husband's father -- now, stick with me -- the father Daniel Kinkade had never met, because his mother died when he was 9, before she had the chance to tell Daniel about the man who was his father.

That one call from a telemarketer led to Daniel Kinkade meeting the father he had been searching for and a father meeting a son he never knew he had. And it also led to Daniel Kinkade meeting other family members. It's just an unbelievable story.

And Daniel and his wife and his father and grandmother join us now.

Thank you so much for being with us, everybody.

(CROSSTALK)

CHUNG: Kellie, why don't we start with you?

When you got this call and you started talking to this man named Al Kinkade, what happened?

KELLIE KINKADE, WIFE OF DANIEL: Well, when I first answered the phone, he introduced himself as Al Kinkade. And I knew that that was my husband's father's name from the birth certificate, Alfred Robert Kinkade. And I just looked and I said: Oh my God, it's your father.

CHUNG: Oh, my gosh.

K. KINKADE: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

K. KINKADE: Yes. I couldn't believe it.

CHUNG: Al, did you even know that had a son?

AL KINKADE, FATHER OF DANIEL: Not a clue.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: Well, how did you figure out that he was your son?

A. KINKADE: Well, after introducing myself for the funds that I was searching for, Kellie says: Well, my husband's father's name is Al Kinkade as well. And, as a matter of fact, he's sitting here. Talk to him.

So, Daniel gets on the phone. And the first question out of his mouth is: Well, Al Kinkade, what's your middle name? And I said Robert. I said: My full name is Alfred Robert Kinkade.

CHUNG: Did that sound familiar, Daniel?

DANIEL KINKADE, SON OF AL: Most definitely.

(LAUGHTER)

A. KINKADE: Daniel says: No way. And I said: Way. So Daniel says: Well, that's my father's name on my birth certificate. I've been searching for him for seven years, and to no avail. I've never found him, never met my father. So the next question posed to me was: Do you remember Shirley Jean Weaver? And I said: No, the name really doesn't ring a bell with me.

CHUNG: That's Daniel's mom?

A. KINKADE: Yes. That was Daniel's mom.

And he asked me if I knew her, and I said no. And he says -- well, the next question Daniel posed to me was: Were you ever a security guard in the city of Santa Monica when you were 22 years old? And I said: Eh? Wait a minute. It struck me right then.

CHUNG: There you go.

So, Daniel, when you finally met Al and talked to him on the phone, and you were comparing notes and everything, you must have just cried.

D. KINKADE: I did.

K. KINKADE: Yes, he did.

D. KINKADE: Yes, I did, big time.

(CROSSTALK)

D. KINKADE: It was totally amazing. And it filled my heart with joy. And it filled a big void in my life.

But it's just totally amazing to have him here next to me, that I get to talk to him every day, that I have somebody to call dad. That was my biggest part, was, I didn't have anybody to call dad.

CHUNG: And now you've got somebody to call grandma.

Marianne, is this the best?

MARIANNE JONES, GRANDMOTHER OF DANIEL: This is absolutely awesome.

CHUNG: Did you even know you had a grandson?

JONES: No, I didn't. When my son called me about this whole issue, I said, that can't be. And he says: It can be and I think it is really my son.

CHUNG: Well, I congratulate all of you.

Isn't it great? Daniel, you met your grandma for the first time yesterday, right?

D. KINKADE: Yes, ma'am.

CHUNG: So, that was quite a moment, wasn't it?

D. KINKADE: Yes, it was.

JONES: Yes, it was.

D. KINKADE: Yes, it was, big time. We spent the whole day together. It was cool. I loved it.

CHUNG: Well, I thank you all for being with us. It's just great. What a wonderful story, Daniel, Kellie and Al and Marianne.

Tell me, will any of you ever hang occupy a telemarketer?

A. KINKADE: No.

JONES: I don't think so.

(LAUGHTER)

K. KINKADE: We're going to ask his name first.

JONES: We'll give him a chance to talk.

CHUNG: All right. Me neither.

(CROSSTALK)

A. KINKADE: ... before you hang up.

CHUNG: Right. Exactly.

Coming up: Ozzy the pitchman and claims of a double standard. We'll meet the man making those allegations.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: A giant of hip-hop is issuing his version of the Pepsi challenge. Russell Simmons is threatening a boycott of the soft drink giant, accusing Pepsi of applying a double standard to the performers it uses in its commercials.

Simmons says Pepsi is guilty of cultural disrespect of the hip- hop community. It all started six months ago with a Pepsi commercial featuring rapper Ludacris.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG (voice-over): Critics quickly seized upon Ludacris' X- rated and violent rap lyrics.

The most vocal opponent, Fox's Bill O'Reilly: "I'm calling for all responsible Americans to fight back and punish Pepsi for using a man who degrades women, who encourages substance abuse, and does all the things that hurt particularly the poor in our society." Pepsi was flooded with irate calls. The company pulled the ad and ended its working relationship with Ludacris. Then came the fallout in the hip- hop community.

FRANK SKI, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We cannot allow conservative white America to dictate or regulate policy within the urban community.

CHUNG: But it wasn't until Super Bowl Sunday when things really heated up. This commercial aired, featuring the famously foul-mouthed family the Osbournes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, PEPSI AD)

JACK OSBOURNE, SON OF OZZY: They're Pepsi Twists.

O. OSBOURNE: You're a bunch of bloody magicians.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: Enter hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons. Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network declared war on Pepsi. The Osbournes, they say, have the same so-called image problem as Ludacris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE OSBOURNES")

O. OSBOURNE: For 40 (EXPLETIVE DELETED) years on the show (EXPLETIVE DELETED) anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: Simmons is calling for all artists and supporters of the hip-hop culture to boycott Pepsi and all its products.

SIMMONS: And so that's what we're looking forward to, some kind of resolution. But if not, one week from today, when we start the boycott -- and it's not a black issue. It's all young of America who buys into hip-hop and has respect for this culture, will refrain from using Pepsi products.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG: And Russell Simmons joins us now.

Thank you so much for being with us.

SIMMONS: Thank you for having me.

CHUNG: Ultimately, is this a race issue?

SIMMONS: I don't believe so. I believe it's cultural insensitivity on the parts of some of the executives at Pepsi. I really expect that we will resolve this problem.

CHUNG: Do you? You're negotiating now?

SIMMONS: Yes, we are in negotiation.

CHUNG: Well, you know what? I have to tell you, the company strikes me as being led by a bunch of chickens. You say boo and they're scared.

SIMMONS: Well, I think that they made a mistake. They've already acknowledged that it wasn't a good choice to boot Ludacris.

But I want to repeat this, because it's very important. It's their right to choose any images that they feel is good to represent their company. I mean, Pepsi, they say young America is who they want to engage and they want to encourage those people to drink their product. And hip-hop was a great image for them. And, of course, the greatest brand-building community in America is the hip-hop community.

And so, they had a good run with hip-hop. And I expect that they will recognize how powerful and how good hip-hop has been for them.

CHUNG: But you know what? If you're talking about foul-mouthed celebrities, I'm sure you'd agree that Ludacris and Ozzy Osbourne, they both fit in that category. Is it better...

(CROSSTALK)

SIMMONS: Well, I think there's a difference, because I don't agree with Bill O'Reilly's assessment.

CHUNG: No, but let me ask you this.

(CROSSTALK)

SIMMONS: Curse words are a lot different from cursed ideas.

Ludacris, for the most part, has the same attitude as many college kids. He could have been in the "Porky's" movie or "American Graffiti" or any of those movies, because that's what he represents. He always talks about higher aspirations for himself than living in the ghetto. He's always talks about escape.

CHUNG: But "American Graffiti" didn't have these lyrics that are violent.

(CROSSTALK)

SIMMONS: I think, again, the language is a greater concern to some people than the actual content.

CHUNG: Don't you think, though, that it's better to have celebrities who are role models, instead of people who are throwing around language?

SIMMONS: Again, I certainly respect Pepsi's ability to make choices for themselves. The problem is that they dealt with a double standard when they put the Osbournes on. And so, that insensitivity is what amounts to a smack in the face to the hip-hop community.

CHUNG: Why not say the heck with all of them?

SIMMONS: Well, that's up to them. You know what my first response was? I went out and bought a beverage company.

CHUNG: Yes, I know you did.

SIMMONS: That's my first response.

(CROSSTALK)

CHUNG: Yes, but you're the only one who is in a position to do something like that.

SIMMONS: No, but that was my response, because I wanted hip-hop to see that. And I was going to use Ludacris as the image. But now I expect to settle with Pepsi. And probably -- the three things we're asking for is a large -- a significant investment in the Ludacris Foundation.

He had a fund-raiser last night. And he does a lot for his community. We want to reinstate the commercial. And we want a public apology. I'm sure we'll get it, and then I may lose Ludacris as my spokesperson. But the fact is, this is what they should have done in the first place, that they should have respected the culture enough and its buying power and its ability to build brands and protect brands' integrity.

And, again, you made a very strong statement. You said maybe they moved too quickly, and, when someone said boo, they jumped off the dime. But I think they recognized their failure to stand firm. And I think that they'll come back and be a partner to hip-hop.

CHUNG: This is a statement from Pepsi: "The Ludacris situation was unfortunate for all concerned. We learned from it and we moved on. We completely understand and respect Russell Simmons' passion for promoting hip-hop music. And we are working with him and others to do just that."

SIMMONS: Well, I just think it's to be fair, to be consistent. And I hope that they will do it soon, because we only have a few days left. And I don't want to spend the energy. Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has their eye on fighting the war against poverty and ignorance, not against Pepsi. We have much bigger fish to fry.

CHUNG: Yes, I'm sure.

There are two people who are on Pepsi's advisory board, Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer, and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Do they support you?

SIMMONS: Well, I've spoken to Reverend Al Sharpton and other members on their board.

CHUNG: Why couldn't they do something about this?

SIMMONS: Well, I expect that it will get resolved. And the Reverend Al Sharpton has always been a supporter of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. So, I expect he's working behind the scenes now and other members of the Pepsi board who are friends.

CHUNG: Don't you think, Russell Simmons, that Pepsi would have pulled the Osbournes ad if they had public outrage, too? So, do you honestly believe that Pepsi was trying to treat them unevenly?

(CROSSTALK)

SIMMONS: No, no, I don't think it was intentional. They made a mistake. It also amounted to -- it affected other deals who artists -- other artists whose deals were on tables at different companies.

And I'm aware of three deals that did not happen and went away right after Pepsi made the decision to go back on their Ludacris commitment. And so the hip-hop community has been damaged.

CHUNG: But why do you say it was unintentional?

(CROSSTALK)

SIMMONS: Well, I don't know that it was intentional. I think it was...

CHUNG: Well, they either did it or they didn't. And they did.

SIMMONS: Well, they did it. And I'm hopeful that they will correct it.

We're representing the hip-hop community, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. And we have a very strong board and a very strong support system. So, it's not -- again, it's not about me. It's about my team.

CHUNG: All right. Thank you.

SIMMONS: Thank you so much.

CHUNG: Thank you for being with us, Russell Simmons.

Still ahead: Bill Clinton in concert? We'll explain when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: He's tall, good-looking, and he's available again. He tops tonight's "Snapshot."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG (voice-over): The reality TV romance has soured for "The Bachelor"'s Aaron Buerge. Last season's hunk, who chose a bride from among 25 hopefuls and proposed while 29 million viewers watched, says the engagement is off.

The king of pop says he's been betrayed. Michael Jackson blasts a new documentary in which he reveals that he shared his bed with children as a gross distortion of the truth.

Another voice in Hollywood speaks out against war with Iraq. Dustin Hoffman says the Bush administration is only after power and oil.

An Ohio judge has ruled that high school basketball star LeBron James can play again. He had been sidelined for accepting free jerseys from a local supporting goods store. James is expected to turn pro as soon as he finishes high school.

Former President Bill Clinton and the Rolling Stones found harmony at a free Los Angeles concert dedicated to raising awareness about global warming. The Stones provided the music. Clinton addressed the crowd.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead: our "Person of the Day," a presidential milestone.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: Tonight: a quiet birthday celebration for the former U.S. president who is our "Person of the Day."

Ronald Reagan turns 92 today. And as he has for the past several years, he's spending his birthday quietly at home with his wife, Nancy. Since 1994, when he revealed he has Alzheimer's disease, he's been out of the public eye, his voice stilled by an illness that has also robbed him of his memories.

Recently, his son Michael spoke about how the family is coping with the disease.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL REAGAN, SON OF RONALD REAGAN: So, you go up there. You hold his hand. You tell him you love him. And that's about all we can all do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: On this, his 92nd birthday, Ronald Reagan is our "Person of the Day."

And tomorrow, Clara Harris takes the stand. What happened that night in Texas when her husband died? Plus, two close friends of pop star Michael Jackson join me to speak up for him.

And coming up next on "LARRY KING LIVE": an exclusive interview with former President Bill Clinton.

Thank you so much for joining us. And for all of us at CNN, good night and we'll see you tomorrow. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



Why is Bad Image a Problem With Ludacris Not Osbournes as Pespi's Spokesperson?>


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