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Interviews With Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Mitch McConnell; Media Providing Accurate Picture of Iraq?

Aired September 30, 2003 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: "In Focus" tonight: ratcheting up the pressure on the White House, calls for a special counsel investigation into who blew the cover of a CIA operative.
Do infertile couples who turn to science for the chance at parenthood put the health of their babies at risk?

And eavesdropping on the rich and powerful, telling tales on the nation's movers and shakers.

Good evening and welcome. Glad to you have you with us tonight.

Also ahead: our debate. Is the media dwelling on the negative and distorting the reality of what's going on in Iraq?

Also, some important rulings are due this week in think Kobe Bryant case, including whether his accuser will have to testify at his preliminary hearing.

And we're going to look at a provocative diagnosis for America's youth: Permissive parenting leads to emotionally stunted children prone to addiction and violence.

First, here are some of the headline you need to know right now.

One day after his arrest, a civilian translator who worked at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has appeared in a Boston courtroom. Ahmed Mehalba was picked up yesterday at Boston's Logan Airport, allegedly in possession of classified materials. This arrest is the third to come out of the military's probe of potential espionage at Gitmo.

Arianna Huffington says she will announce tonight whether she will drop out of the race for governor of California. The latest polls show Huffington's support at only 2 percent. She will make that announcement right here on CNN on "LARRY KING LIVE." You can watch that immediately following our program.

And a new study at Texas A&M finds, the average rush-hour driver wasted more than two hours -- or about 51 hours sitting in traffic in 2001. The congestion was the worst in Los Angeles. Drivers there spend about 90 hours waiting in traffic.

The Justice Department says it has launched a full-scale investigation into the leak that blew the cover of a CIA operative. But Democratic leaders say they want a special counsel. They question whether Attorney General Ashcroft can be impartial. For his part, the president addressed the controversy for the very first time today.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it and we'll take the appropriate action.


ZAHN: "In Focus" tonight: the leak. We will hear from both sides of the aisle, beginning with the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle.

And earlier tonight, I asked him if he believes that top White House officials were involved in leaking information about the CIA operative.


SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: We don't know. And that's exactly the reason why a special counsel is so important. We need to find out what happened. There are a lot of unanswered questions right now. And the fastest way to get the answers is with an independent counsel, which is what we're calling for now.

ZAHN: Congressman Tom DeLay said that that is not necessary. Here is what he said about the track you're going down -- quote -- "You have special counsels if you think the administration is trying to cover up or obstruct justice or is not interested in this issue. No one is covering up anything. No one is obstructing anything."

DASCHLE: Well, John Ashcroft created this position, Paula, in part because he was worried about the perception that the administration couldn't investigate itself.

I think that is understandable. I think there are times when the laws were broken. And in those cases, when laws, we know in this case, were broken, that we've got to avoid the perception. Making sure there's an independent counsel gives us an opportunity to ensure it's going to be, one, independent, and, two, objective. That's all we're looking for.

ZAHN: What is it that you will be up against?

DASCHLE: Well, I think we're up against an administration that is very reluctant to do this. They could have done it themselves months ago.

This has been a story that's been around for a long time. It took a formal request by the director of the CIA for this to be triggered. Now the question is, can we do it objectively and how should it be done?

ZAHN: Much of the evidence in your letters to President Bush and the attorney general rely on either press reports or you describe them simply as reports. How comfortable are you with those reports as evidence to call for a special counsel?

DASCHLE: Well, Paula, we know two things.

We know that a CIA employee was outed. And we know that, when you do that, you violate a federal law, with very harsh penalties. We know that. We just don't know who did it and what the reasons, what the motivation may have been. We have our own suspicions about the motivation. Some have suggested that it might be retribution, but we don't know that. And that's exactly why we need a special counsel.

ZAHN: You just talked about the retribution theory. How seriously do you take that possibility?

DASCHLE: We think it's very serious.

In fact, that was exactly the reason why some of those who have reported on this have suggested it was done in the first place. We don't know. And I'm not making that assertion. But if that is at all one of the motivations, we need to find out.

ZAHN: Let's talk about this Justice Department investigation that has been triggered. Do you have any faith that, if it's proven in fact some of this information was leaked and a motivation was established, that someone will lose their job as a result of it?

DASCHLE: Well, if we can ascertain the facts and if we can ensure that those who are responsible are held accountable, then there is no doubt that we will see justice as it should be served.

We're concerned, of course, that this is late. There could have been actions taken to subvert an investigation. We hope that's not the case. We hope that there will not be any cover-up. We hope that people will be willing to cooperate and that we can bring this to a speedy close. This shouldn't be something that should last more than a few days. The facts are pretty simple. Those people responsible ought to come forward and accept responsibility.

ZAHN: Senator Daschle, just one last question, because I want to make sure I'm understanding what you're saying here. You're saying you do have some faith that the Justice Department could investigate this in an impartial way?

DASCHLE: Well, I think we always have to assume the best, Paula. I think that it's important for the Justice Department to take all actions that can be taken, given their authority.

But I will say that there is this concern about an investigation within the administration investigating itself. And I think that perception brings great doubt about whether it can be done without the added benefit of an independent counsel.

ZAHN: Senator Daschle, thanks for your time this evening. We appreciate it.

DASCHLE: Thank you, Paula.


ZAHN: Now the view from the other side of the aisle.

Joining us from Washington tonight is Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

Welcome to you as well, Senator McConnell.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Good evening, Paula.

ZAHN: First of all, Senator, do you think CIA operative Valerie Plame was outed on purpose?

MCCONNELL: That's why we're having an investigation.

I did listen with interest to Tom Daschle's call for an independent counsel. I do remember that he, along with all the rest of us, let the independent statue statute expire back in 1999, because we thought it had not worked properly. And they now seem to be reversing themselves, since there's a Republican in the White House instead of a Democrat.

The important thing to remember here is that career Justice Department employees, not political appointees, are carrying out this investigation. I think you can make a very strong argument, Paula, that you're most likely to get an unbiased investigation by career public integrity people than you are by some special counsel appointed. So let's let the process go forward.

These career employees are going to pursue this investigation. The president has said, the leaders -- the president's press secretary has said, everybody has said, have the investigation, cooperate with the investigation. The White House counsel said to everyone at the White House, cooperate with the investigation. Nobody's trying to cover up anything. And I think this is the best way to pursue the investigation in a fair and unbiased way.

ZAHN: Senator McConnell, I know you say you don't know whether Ms. Plame was outed on purpose, but do you think it is a coincidence that, according to "The Washington Post," at least six journalists were leaked the same information, not only about her identity, but about what she did at the CIA?

MCCONNELL: That's exactly the kind of evidence these career professionals ought to look at in pursuing their investigation.

Obviously, there are enough allegations here to warrant the investigation. That's why the investigation is going forward. And it's going forward with incorruptible career professionals at the Justice Department, who are not going to be influenced by Tom Daschle or John Ashcroft. And I think we can have great confidence that they'll do this job in exactly the right way.

ZAHN: Do you think the CIA has been compromised by the release of this information?

MCCONNELL: I think we need to have the investigation.

I think it's noteworthy that the Democrats today, Paula, were offering an amendment calling for a special counsel on a bill pending on the floor about the District of Columbia. The timing ought to raise some suspicion that this is all about presidential politics. It's a lot better for this investigation to be handled by the career professionals. They're not in it for any political gain.

The investigation is under way. The president has said to everyone in the White House, you must cooperate. I think it's being handled in exactly the right way and we ought to let the investigation go forward.

ZAHN: But in all due respect to what you're saying, sir, you still didn't answer the question. Are you at all troubled by the fact that this operative's name is now public? Does it compromise national security in any way, now that the CIA has been penetrated in some way?

MCCONNELL: Well, everyone is troubled. That's why there's an investigation under way.

Clearly, the allegations raise enough suspicion that it warrants an investigation. But the reason we have investigations is to find out what happened. And I think we ought to take a deep breath and let the professional career people pursue this investigation, because they're incorruptible. They are not going to be influenced by either side. And they'll get to the bottom of it, if it's possible to get to the bottom of it.

ZAHN: Well, let me ask you this. Senator -- excuse -- the first President Bush, President Bush Sr., at a time when a building was named in his honor at Langley basically said, if the methods and practices of the CIA are compromised in any way, that would almost amount to a traitorous act. Do you see it that way?

MCCONNELL: Well, we certainly don't want any CIA agents compromised. And if the law does apply to this particular individual, and if they can find who did it, the full extent of the law ought to be brought down upon them. No one is suggesting here that this is not a potentially serious offense.

And if you can catch those who did it, they ought to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

ZAHN: What are the chances of that happening, based on what you know tonight, Senator McConnell?

MCCONNELL: I have a lot of confidence in the career professionals down at the Justice Department. I know that they are not involved in politics. And you can count on them to do the right thing for the country.

ZAHN: Senator McConnell, thank you for your perspective this evening. We appreciate it so much.

MCCONNELL: Thank you. ZAHN: And I'm joined now by regular contributor and "TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein.

Good evening, Joe.


ZAHN: I want you to analyze not what you heard, not only from Senator Daschle, but Senator McConnell.

The upshot of what Senator Daschle basically said, yes, I have some trust that the Justice Department can do this job, but he essentially said that you need the insurance policy, perhaps, if things don't work out. And I'm really paraphrasing what he said here. Is that the way you interpreted it?


Paula, there are some nights when it's just wonderful to be in New York. I'm going to be in Washington tomorrow. But this is one of those nights when it's great to be in New York, because Washington is going completely berserk over this story.

ZAHN: What are you hearing?

KLEIN: The senators were very measured. And I was really struck by Mitch McConnell talking about the career public integrity people, the career professionals, the incorruptible career professionals. I think he said that at least six times.

These are people that Republicans normally call Washington bureaucrats. So it's interesting to see the kind of formulations that politicians come up with when they're up against the wall. And, clearly, the White House is up against the wall in this case.

ZAHN: Do you trust the process? You've heard the Democrats highly critical of this Justice Department investigation that's just been started. They say it can't do the job; that's why you need a special counsel. What's the truth here?

KLEIN: Well, I'm not friends with any incorruptible career professionals.

ZAHN: Only friends with corruptible ones?


KLEIN: I think that there are career professionals at the Justice Department. But you're dealing with a political context here.

And the political context here is that, 10 years ago, 10 years ago, the incorruptible career professionals weren't good enough to investigate a failed real estate deal in Arkansas that was 15 years old. And, after an enormous amount of pressure, Bill Clinton conceded that he had to have a special prosecutor in that case. It was his decision to do that. Now we're going to see a test of George W. Bush here. He's facing the same circumstance. This is not going to go away. As long as it's being done by the Justice Department, the Democrats are going to be going berserk calling for a special prosecutor, which means that the president has two choices. Either he can go with a -- actually, he has three choices. He can go with a special prosecutor. He could stay with the Justice Department. Or he can take out a hammer and bang people over the head in the White House and say, whoever did this, you better come out now and save us this agony and save us this peril, because, right now, Paula, this is a Washington story.

It's a small-town story. But if it keeps on going like this, it runs the danger of becoming a national story.

ZAHN: I know you're not a reporter that deals in rumor, but you have been on the phone all day today talking to Washington insiders, who have a very distinct feeling that a head might potentially roll. What are they telling you? Some of this is speculation, but speculation with some knowledge, no?

KLEIN: Yes. But it's public knowledge at this point, because, last night on this program, Joseph Wilson said the name. It's Karl Rove.

Now, I don't know if Karl Rove was involved in this or not, but that is certainly the name that is circulating all through Washington, which means that, as likely as not, it's not true.


ZAHN: Well, to be perfectly fair to Karl Rove, Joe Wilson backed off that a little last night and said, well, if he didn't direct it himself, he condoned it.

KLEIN: He was the one who raised it in the first place. That's the only name that's really been out there so far.

And I think that we're going to have to see about that, because in these kind of things, the rumors, as often as not, prove to be unreliable.

ZAHN: You got 10 seconds left. Are the Democrats spinning their wheels, when in fact it is up to John Ashcroft to appoint a special counsel? Is the noise going to make any difference?

KLEIN: The noise makes some difference, if the polls begin to reflect it in the country, if it goes on for week after week. It took Clinton about two or three months to go for a special prosecutor in the Whitewater case.

And I don't think -- the Republicans are different. They are kind of anal-compulsives. They want to get messes cleaned up immediately. And so I would be surprised if this thing went on for more than a week. It would be a sign of some kind of incompetence, actually, in the White House. I think they'll take care of this.

ZAHN: Your 10 seconds are up. You're going to have to give me back 15 tomorrow, Joe Klein.


ZAHN: Good luck in Washington tomorrow. Thanks.

Kobe Bryant's accuser could find out this week whether she will have to testify at his preliminary hearing.

We're going to show you mounting evidence that test-tube babies may be at risk for some birth defects.

And we laughed at "The Osbournes," but could permissive parenting lead to a nation of violent and addicted children?


ZAHN: Several crucial rulings are expected this week in the sexual assault case against Kobe Bryant, including whether his accuser will take the stand and whether her medical records will be admissible in court.

Joining us now is our legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Always good to see you, Jeffrey.


ZAHN: Let's talk medical records for a moment.


ZAHN: What are the chances that they will be admissible in court?

TOOBIN: Well, the first stage is, the judge has to look at them. And, remember, the whole defense here -- the whole defense in the Kobe Bryant case is, this woman is a liar. She made it up. And the medical records are an attempt to prove that she's insane, she is imagining this, she has a history of mental illness.

These medical records may support that or they may completely reject -- they may not support that theory. So the judge has to look at them first. Then he has to decide whether they're worth it to turn it over to the defense. And then, if the defense tries to get them into evidence, the judge has to decide whether it's relevant.

ZAHN: All right.

But you're a former prosecutor. And you are familiar with a fair amount of history released about this woman.

TOOBIN: Correct.

ZAHN: The prosecution does not want this stuff to be made public.

TOOBIN: They don't want it to be made public.

ZAHN: And explain to us how damaging they think the information might be to their client.

TOOBIN: Well, there is -- she did have an event, some sort of event that some people have described as a suicide attempt. That, in and of itself -- a couple of years ago -- that in and of itself is not necessarily related to whether she's telling the truth about this.

So I think the odds are against this being disclosed in open court. But the defense has won important victories by the fact that we're just talking about it here, because the jury pool is listening. The issue of her mental stability is in the air. And in a high- profile case, when something gets into the press, that is a victory for the defense in and of itself.

ZAHN: The judge also has to decide whether the alleged victim will be forced to testify at this hearing.

TOOBIN: That's a pretty easy question. The answer there is no.

If you look at Colorado law, the preliminary hearing is the prosecution's show. All they have to do is put on evidence to prove probable cause, a very low standard, that this crime has been committed by this defendant. The defense doesn't have a right to insist on individual witnesses. Very different at the trial. If and when the trial takes place, certainly, she will be a witness.

ZAHN: I don't want to ask you any more easy questions.

TOOBIN: OK. Now we get to the hard questions.

ZAHN: Let me ask you a tougher one --- the judge -- about whether this hearing should be open to the public or press?

TOOBIN: I think he has ruled out cameras in the courtroom. He said there will be no cameras in the courtroom. But in terms of excluding the press and excluding the public, I think that's remote. I think there will be the likes of me in that courtroom next Thursday.

ZAHN: The likes of you as a journalist or former prosecutor?

TOOBIN: No, journalist.

ZAHN: Take your pick.

TOOBIN: Journalist. No, I will be in there.

ZAHN: And the last time, I remember, you had some astonishing low seat number.

TOOBIN: I did. There are only, I think, 24 press seats. And I think I was under 10. But it's a small courtroom.


TOOBIN: It's a small courtroom, so there are no bad seats.

ZAHN: Represent us well. We're expecting single-digit numbers next week, Jeffrey Toobin, nothing more than No. 5 in the courtroom.


ZAHN: Thanks for dropping by.


ZAHN: In vitro fertilization, it has helped thousands of people who wouldn't have been able to have children otherwise, but what about the health risks? We're going to take a look.

Plus: A kiss is just a kiss, or is it? We're going to have the lowdown on first lady Laura Bush's visit with French President Jacques Chirac.


ZAHN: A European study indicates that more than one million babies have been conceived and born through stunning breakthroughs in modern science. But, in the past year, more than a dozen scientific papers have suggested a link between assisted reproductive technology and increased health risks.

With $2 billion spent every year on test-tube births and other fertility treatments, there's a lot at stake financially and a lot at stake for the hearts of people desperate to become parents.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The doctors told us pretty unequivocally that it wouldn't be happening for us the good old-fashioned way.

ZAHN (voice-over): In their late 30s, Juli and Jim Noll couldn't get pregnant. Doctors told them her egg and his sperm were going in opposite directions. Without hesitation, Juli underwent in vitro fertilization. Her eggs were harvested, mixed with Jim's sperm in a lab, so they would fertilize. And then the resulting embryo was implanted in Juli's uterus.

JULI NOLL, MOTHER: I never for a second doubted that it would work.

JIM NOLL, FATHER: 2:33, born at 12:58.

ZAHN: And it worked perfectly twice, first Taylor (ph).

JIM NOLL (singing): Hush little baby.

ZAHN: Then Parker (ph). But the third time was different.

JULI NOLL: She was suffering from severe hypoglycemia and she going into hypoglycemic seizures. And she was in intensive care. And that was the last I saw of a normal baby. ZAHN: Daughter Haley (ph) was born with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome , a rare disorder that causes overgrown limbs and organs and puts children at greater risk of developing cancer.

JULI NOLL: I started doing the blaming thing and, was it something that I did?

ZAHN: Dr. Andrew Feinberg of John Hopkins University School of Medicine and his colleagues might have the answer. Their study found children conceived through in vitro fertilization were four times more likely to have Haley's rare genetic disorder.

DR. ANDREW FEINBERG, JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: When we got our result, it was one of kind of a cautious let's take another look. Now, since we did our original study, there are two other groups who have found the same thing.

ZAHN: And there might be more. Last year, Australian researchers suggested that infants conceived through IVF have twice as high a risk of birth defects. And a Baltimore study found an increased incidence of rare urological defects in IVF children. So far, no one has pinpointed whether the potential increased risk is due to a couple's underlying infertility or the treatment itself. But Feinberg has a surprising theory.

FEINBERG: We think it may have something to do with the chemicals and the nutrients, or just even the handling outside the body of the embryos.

DR. ZEV ROSENWAKS, FERTILITY SPECIALIST: Not all clinics have reported the abnormalities, so one has to be careful. We recognize that different laboratory environments, different techniques could cause a particular problem, perhaps.

ZAHN: Dr. Zev Rosenwaks of the Center For Reproductive Medicine and Infertility in New York City is considered one of the country's leading fertility doctors and, for 25 years, has studied the outcome of his patients.

ROSENWAKS: We have had almost 9,000 babies born from this clinic. And we ourselves have not seen an increased abnormality rate in the population of women that we have treated. Overall, one should remember, there are at least as many studies that suggest there is no increase in abnormality rate as there are that suggest that there may be.

ZAHN: What most agree upon is, there is a need for more research, not a need for panic.

ROSENWAKS: If you were to ask a couple, what would you do? Would you try to have a baby? Or even knowing there might be an increased abnormality rate, would you have a baby? And to me, that is the bottom line.

ZAHN: A decision Juli and Jim Noll made, but, they say, without knowing the risks, information they hope potential parents will now have.

JULI NOLL: The emotions are so great when you're going through in vitro that you have a tendency to not ask yourself, "What if?" And I hope they will take the time to just ask themselves, "What if?" and be prepared for the "What if?" because...


ZAHN: And, unfortunately, the last part of that piece dropped off. But what she went on to say is, for the time being, her daughter is perfectly healthy, though does have to subject her to routine testing to make sure that she has not contracted cancer.

Researchers including scientists at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are planning to study the subject further. They hope to come up with firmer answers for concerned would-be parents.

Our debate tonight -- bloodshed in Iraq grabs the headlines, but is the media overlooking good news in Iraq?

And there ought to be a law. What's with the Americans who spend some time in Britain and pick up a bad accent?


ZAHN: Time now to update you on some stories you need to know at this hour.

Late today, the White House took another step to show that it will cooperate with the investigation into whether someone in the White House leaked the name of a CIA operative. The White House's Counsel Office released a memo outlining what documents and materials need to be saved for that investigation.

9/11 victims's families have lost a round in court as they try to sue the administrator of a government compensation fund. A federal appeals panel today upheld the dismissal of their suit, saying funds are being distributed fairly.

President Bush's $87 billion funding request for Iraq is starting to work the way through Congress. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved it unanimously. Democrats didn't want to oppose money for U.S. troops and even Republicans signaled they may later convert some of the aid money to a loan, against White House wishes.

And now to another growing controversy involving Iraq, media coverage. Is the media dwelling on the negative and overlooking positive developments? That's our debate tonight.

I'm joined by John Leo, a columnist from "U.S. News and World Report," and Michael Wolff, media columnist for "New York" magazine.

God to see both of you gentlemen.

For starters, do you think the media coverage on the post-war phase of this war has been too negative?

JOHN LEO, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": I think it tends to reflect the political opinions of the press corps in general.

A couple of weeks ago, Tom Freidman went on the Charlie Rose show and said the situation in Iraq is not as good as it should be, but not as bad as it looks from afar. And here's a guy respected by both left and right, saying that the viewed from afar, I assume that means you can conclude that means the press, has not got it right.

And then John Burns came out in the book "Embedded" with corrosive criticism, using the word "corruption: about press coverage in the pre-invasion days.

So here you have two "Times" guys, two famous "Times" guys with five Pulitzers Prizes, pointing the arrow at the press. So what are they talking about? I think they're talking about the coverage is not correct.

ZAHN: You would say the root of corruption lies someplace else? You believe at points of this coverage, that the media bought the White House spin hook, line and sinker?

MICHAEL WOLFF, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: I think there's no question. I mean, that's -- that's -- and it's an interesting thing, where John is saying, because you can go to the exact other side, which is that, yes, the media that has bought this hook, line and sinker, the media has been the cheering section for the war in Iraq. The media certainly failed to ask the appropriate and proper questions about the weapons of mass destruction.

ZAHN: What questions did the media miss that weren't asked in the run-up to war?

WOLFF: Like, where are they? How could they be there? What are the assumptions? What are the assumptions -- the essential fundamental question about the assumptions of how Iraq, which was a destroyed society, could have these things?

I mean, from this point, I think it's very easy for us to step back and say -- and say, Whoa, this is really true, how could these people -- these people who have nothing, a devastated country, a devastated economy, have these sophisticated weapons?

ZAHN: Are you troubled by any of those questions that Michael just raised?

LEO: The Soviet Union was a devastated economy. It couldn't even make screwdrivers. But they did have nuclear weapons...

WOLFF: Well, yes, except it hadn't been a country that had been at war -- at war twice. I mean, there's -- there's no -- I mean, to compare -- to compare Iraq to the Soviet Union is entirely specious.

ZAHN: John, what about some of the criticisms journalists received, and -- maybe it wasn't an overt reaction from the White House, but they felt that if they were critical of the administration, they might be at least perceived by their audience as being unpatriotic or un-American?

LEO: I think that was a concern. I think that we're in the post-embedded phase now. And the reporters were embedded in the troops, they tended to see things the way the troops did. It's very hard not to see it from the point of view of people under pressure.

But now that they're not embedded anymore, they're going back to their normal, caustic, contemptuous, disdained view of America.

WOLFF: But this doesn't make sense. I mean, they're -- they're OK here, but they're not OK there. You know, the war is good now, but the war is -- is bad at this point. I mean, there -- so you -- you can can interpret that a couple ways. OK, if they could -- if they could change their opinion like that, then they're doing the reporters' job. They're see seeing what is in front of their faces and making a different -- a different calculation.

ZAHN: When you talk about -- characterize the tenor of the reporting as being caustic, are you suggesting in any way that the reporting has actually aided and abetted the former Iraqi government?

LEO: No. I think the deeper criticism of the press is that their reportorial corps is gathered from the same group of people. They're left-leaning, tend to be Ivy League graduates. They go to the same schools, have the same opinions, and they all wind up in Iraq. And they tend to see things the same way. They're generally disdainful of government efforts...


WOLFF: I have got to interrupt here.

ZAHN: All right. Stop there. Answer that charge.

WOLFF: I mean -- I mean, I think -- I think John is a -- is a -- is a -- is a great columnist. But John is a conservative columnist, and what the conservatives do when they're in a disaster is blame the liberal media. They teach this in conservative school.

You have to look at this. Just -- just the most obvious evidence. The president has said it will cost us $87 billion to get out of this mess. $87 billion!

ZAHN: Quick yes or no. Do you think the reporting would be any different if there was a Democratic...


ZAHN: Democratic president in office? Are you suggesting it would be different?

LEO: I think that there's an instinct to resent American power.

WOLFF: And what about all those -- all those reporters that marched us into war? There was no -- did you hear the grumbling press in the -- in the months leading up to the war?

LEO: The press created two quagmires, one in Afghanistan and one when we slowed one week in Iraq. And this is the third quagmire. The third press-created quagmire.

WOLFF: This is you trying to blame someone for the quagmire.

LEO: I don't think so.

WOLFF: And there is blame going around in everywhere in Washington on this.

ZAHN: There certainly is.

Gentlemen, we're going to have to leave it there this evening. John Leo, Michael Wolff, thank you for both of your perspectives.

Too much television? Not enough family time? Is America raising a generation of brat? We're going to take a look at what one author calls an epidemic.

And tomorrow, the flyboys, the story of nine young airmen shot down during World War II. Eight would end up being POWs. The ninth would become president. And we're going to look at a new book detailing their harrowing story.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Are Americans raising a generation of amoral emotional stunted and violent children?

hat is the opinion of Psychiatrist Robert Shaw. And he says lacks parenting is to blame. His new book, The Epidemic; The Rot of American Culture Absentee and Permissive Parenting and the resultant plague of Joyless, Selfish Children. That's a mouth full. Dr. Shaw joins me now.

I'm also joined from Los Angeles tonight by a diction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky. He's the author of the book with a mercifully short title, "Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again"

Welcome to both of you.

Dr. Shaw, when you talk about the epidemic, you say it's not an epidemic of kids, it's an epidemic of parents. Let's put up on the screen some of the problems you suggest that you think are chronic among American parents.

"Failing to establish a strong emotional bond with your child by not spending the necessary time and attention."

"Accepting the idea that excessive non-parental care will be an adequate substitute for your relationship with your child."

"Allowing your child inappropriate control over his or her's life." "Over-identifying with your child."

Is this really anything new or is this -- are these issues that have confronted parents for many generations?

DR. ROBERT SHAW, AUTHOR, "THE EPIDEMIC": No, I think it's a very new. And I think there's never been a time before where we have so devalued the notion of what a mother accomplishes with her baby in that first year of life. We've lost sight of that, and that has never happened before. The second part, we have had every 30 or 40 years either a firmer or more lacks parenting, but the combination of not bonding and not training is very dangerous.

ZAHN: And Drew, as you might imagine, you talk to these women all the time, but on the other hand, as we know two thirds of women with children under the ages of five have to work. What's the answer here?

DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, "CRACKED": Well, I think it is really what Dr. Shaw is saying. I couldn't be happier with his observations, and that's where we've gone through a period where we've abdicated the role of parenting. We have just completely abdicated. And we just have to dig back in and do the job of parenting. It's not a happy job and it's not about keeping your child happy all the time. In fact, I see the job of parenting, which I end up having to do with these kids 18, 19, 20-year-olds and I see them in my diction unit. My job becomes optimally frustrating them and then allowing them to reconstitute by being a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) satellite central nervous system to help them reregulate. What I get with these kids is, by they time they reach late adolescents is that they can no longer regulate their emotion lives. The culture provides them solutions to that that trigger things like addiction.

ZAHN: Is there a way for women to compensate for that lack of physical time that they might be able to spend with a child?

I mean, look at all the children in daycare across the country. Look at all the women who do have protective leaves. Who really do have to get back to work to support their families.

Is there any reconciliation here?

SHAW: Well, I'm a child psychiatrist, and my concern is what babies need, so if you talk to me, then any discussion really stems from what is it that's the minimal that a child needs?

It can't come -- the other way is to what we adults need. If we're going to undertake to have a baby, then we have to undertake to give that baby what it needs. We would do that with vitamins. We would go get them no matter what once we understood. And we have lost sight of what children need.

ZAHN: Fast-forward to your thought about permissive parenting and what grows out of it.

Is it a lack of knowledge? Is it laziness?

Is it simply not caring enough about our children?

SHAW: No, I think our culture has really given a message to people that you must not squelch your child, you must allow them to develop at their own pace, they will naturally be what you want if you just let them be what they want to be, and this is simply not true.

ZAHN: Dr. Pinsky, do you really believe we have a nation of all of our kids are overindulged in this country?

PINSKY: Well, not all of them, but it is neglectful parenting that Dr. Shaw is talking about and that ends up being traumatizing. And kids don't -- we're talking about the development of the right side of their brain, the part of the brain that allows for flexibility and adaptability and emotionally respond to reality. And it takes long periods of time as Dr. Shaw was saying. We need to really focus on that and advocate on that behalf. And it might mean that each parent dedicates at least half of their day to the children.

ZAHN: Well, both of you raise some very interesting questions for us to address as parents and give us a whole new way of looking at the tantrum in the supermarket that occasionally happens.

Dr. Robert Shaw and Dr. Drew Pinsky, thanks for your insights tonight.

And just who is the man who is giving the White House such a headache over the CIA leak story?

We are going to talk about former Ambassador Joseph Wilson with someone who has a lowdown on a lot of big stories. Stay with us.


ZAHN: The big news this week so far is the leak, and whether it came from officials high in the Bush administration. Our next guest knows a thing or two about leaks, about the powerful, rich and famous. He is Lloyd Grove, formerly the man behind "The Washington Post's" "Reliable Sources" column, who's now taken over "Lowdown," the gossip column for the "New York Daily News," and he joins us tonight. Congratulations, Lloyd Grove.


ZAHN: Before we talk about your new job, help us better understand when a leak is not a leak. So much is being made of the fact that Robert Novak has said that he got this information about the CIA operative from a senior -- not a senior White House official, but an administration official.

GROVE: Well, sure, and often people, reporters have to go and actually get the stuff. And it's not like it's always handed to them on a silver platter. And Novak is a very good reporter. And for all I know, he worked assiduously to get this material. ZAHN: Do you think someone is going to lose a job, like Karl Rove?

GROVE: Well, I don't think Karl Rove may lose his job, because he's very important to the Bush White House, but I think the Democrats on the Hill are going to make just so much hay with this between now and the next presidential election, and there will be congressional hearings out the wazoo, and maybe blood will be spilled. We'll see.

ZAHN: Are you going to miss that part of your life?

GROVE: Well, I'm happy to be in the greatest city on Earth, Paula.

ZAHN: Oh, you're saying the right things this evening.

GROVE: ... writing a gossip column for "The New York Daily News."

ZAHN: Did you imagine when you came here that there would be a voodoo doll sort of bought in your honor with little pins being pricked in it daily to perhaps sabotage your good fortune here in New York?

GROVE: Well, I've been reading about these sorts of things in the other gossip columns in New York, and I'm just amazed at how much interest there is in my arrival. "The New York Times" did a big piece. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at "The New York Post," my colleagues there have been very interested, and I'm just trying to keep my head down and do my work and hope I don't end up as some kind of big pinata that people keep taking whacks at.

ZAHN: Let's put up on the screen what a former "New York Post" columnist had to say about your arrival. "We will not rest until we send you back to Washington on a stretcher." Here is another one from an anonymous "New York" writer. "Word here is that he will chewed up and spit out. Nobody here gives a crap about little goings-on in Tom Daschle's office." What do you say to those folks, who are essentially saying your skills aren't transferable?

GROVE: Well, I guess we'll see. They may be right. I hope not, and I'm just going to do my best to prove them wrong.

ZAHN: So how do you ingratiate yourself in a brand new city quickly?

GROVE: Well, I'm not trying to ingratiate myself. I'm trying to write a decent column. And I'm going to make people mad, I think, at some of the things I write. And so you just got to do a lot of reporting, like Bob Novak, get some leaks sometimes and put something in the paper that the readers will want to read.

ZAHN: Have you ever put something in one of your column that was just so sleazy it made you uncomfortable when you saw it in print?

GROVE: No. ZAHN: And is that sort of...


GROVE: I stopped my hand-wringing -- I stopped wringing my hands years ago, Paula. I mean, it's a gossip column. I mean, you obviously have certain standards, and you don't go beyond that. You try to make sure what you write is true. You don't go invasively into people's private lives, unless you have to. So you try and keep a modicum of good sense and be entertaining and factual.

ZAHN: Our collective goal here at CNN is to work very hard so we never see any of our colleagues' names in your column.

GROVE: Oh, good luck. Good luck with that.

ZAHN: We'll see. Lloyd Grove, thank you for dropping by.

GROVE: Good to see you.

ZAHN: When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but when in England, should you speak like the English? Apparently many Americans try with laughable results. Stay with us.


ZAHN: Welcome back. No matter how hard you try to make the rain in Spain stay mainly on the plain, if you're an American, you probably never sound English, but as "The Wall Street Journal" tells us today, many Americans living in England make bloody fools of themselves trying. Joining us now, a witness to it all, Justin Webb, a distinguished correspondent for the BBC, who has anchored top news programs in Britain, and whose accent, we can tell you tonight, is authentic. He joins us from our Washington bureau.

JUSTIN WEBB, BBC: It's a BBC accent. Hello.

ZAHN: It's a lovely one. Let me ask you this, how embarrassing is it when you hear Americans who are calling Great Britain home for the first time try to speak like those of you who have cultivated an accent over many, many years?

WEBB: Well, I think that's the thing, you see. We haven't cultivated it. We're born with it, it comes to us almost, well, soon after birth, and if you try to imitate it, it's just terribly difficult to imitate, particularly if you try to imitate an accent like mine, which is what the British called received pronunciation. It's the kind of BBC accent and vaguely speaking the accent of the ruling classes, or what used to be the ruling classes in Britain.

It's a very difficult accent to pick up. And if you try to do it, you begin to sound a bit like this and people think you're completely barney (ph). And if you don't try hard enough, you'll begin to drop H's and drop vowels, and it won't go well. So the answer, of course, is for Americans to come over and just speak American. We all think it's charming, just as you tend to find it charming when we speak like this here. But the problem comes when people try to make the change late in life. You can't do it.

ZAHN: Let's listen to what an American might be thought of if they tried to duplicate the queen's English. Let's listen together.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II, BRITISH MONARCH: People of this country and the special place she occupied in the hearts of so many here in the commonwealth, and in other parts of the world.


ZAHN: That's hard to do, isn't it?

WEBB: I mean, can you really say here? You shouldn't say here, because the other trick, of course, is that we've played a trick on all of you Americans, because the queen is the only person who speaks like the queen. So if you come over and try to copy her, you would sound very odd indeed. And you will start saying "here I am at Heathrow Airport," "there is the cafeteria," and people will think you're barney (ph). So that's out. Don't try her. Only she can do it.

ZAHN: We'll move on to Michael Caine now, who is just a visitor here on set. Let's listen.


MICHAEL CAINE, ACTOR: If you don't go over the top, you look like (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


ZAHN: Now, is that a little easier to duplicate?

WEBB: Well, you see, you talk a bit like Michael Caine, it's all very well if people know you're Michael Caine, you got a lot of money and a lot of kudos, but if you talk like that when you get off the plane in Heathrow, they'll just think you're a bit of a loser, frankly, and that's no good at all for you. So equally, I would say if you are Michael Caine, that's great. If you're not, forget it.

ZAHN: Well, all of them worked for me this evening, Justin Webb, although the received pronunciation was my favorite. And I'm not just sucking up to you because you've worked at the BBC for so many years. Justin Webb, thanks for dropping by.

WEBB: My pleasure.

ZAHN: To better educate us about how to imitate you all. Have a good evening. Enjoy your trip here to America.

Again, thanks for your time, and thank you all for being with us tonight. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next with Arianna Huffington. She is expected to make an announcement whether she will hang in there, and stay in the race for California's governor until next Tuesday. We'll be watching that together. Have a good night.


McConnell; Media Providing Accurate Picture of Iraq?>

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