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Cargo Planes New Target For Terrorists? Battle of TV Movies

Aired November 7, 2003 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: "In Focus" tonight: Pentagon workers spending more than $80 million on unauthorized airline upgrades. Why wasn't that money spent on protecting troops in the field?
Two American girls, two incredible stories, all on one night. Jessica Lynch and Elizabeth Smart go head to head in their made-for-TV debuts. Are their movies worth watching?

And did rock n' roll help end the Cold War?

Good evening. Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us tonight -- all of that ahead.

First, though, we have breaking news. U.S. officials say there is new intelligence suggesting, terrorists may want to use cargo planes to attack in the United States.

CNN national correspondent David Ensor has the very latest from Washington for us tonight.

What have you learned, David?


And we don't have a lot of details, that U.S. officials say they do have some recent intelligence suggesting that terrorists might be plotting to try to use cargo planes as weapons, in effect, for terrorism in the United States. Now, of course, since 9/11, since the attacks against the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, security, as most Americans know, has been greatly tightened in the area of passenger aircraft.

There have been improvements in the security in the cargo jet area, but it's not the same thing. So there is some concern about this. There's been some concern about this issue for some time now. But now there's new evidence, these officials are saying, that some terrorists, people that the U.S. is concerned about, have been talking about using this tactic -- Paula.

ZAHN: So is it clear, David, tonight what extra precautions might be taken in light of this new intelligence?

ENSOR: No, I'm afraid we just do not know what steps may be taken. Clearly, this will be a matter that the Department of Homeland Security, the new department that has control of transportation security and a lot of other issues, will be looking closely at this intelligence and trying to figure out what changes they may need to make. But we don't know this evening what those will be.

ZAHN: David Ensor, thanks so much for the update.

For more now on this, we're joined on the phone by former terrorist task force investigator Mike Brooks.

Good evening, Mike.

First of all, how vulnerable do you think the cargo system is?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Paula, it has been vulnerable in the past.

And, as David said, things are getting better. Talking to people in the industry that deal specifically with cargo security, they feel it's getting better every day. Are there some gaps? Yes, there are, just as there are in the passenger aircraft. But it is getting better every day. The TSA is increasing their number of cargo-certified inspectors very shortly to basically focus directly on cargo security.

Now, we know that passenger planes also carry cargo. Whether they're talking about these kinds of things right now, we don't know. But we've heard this information. This is not new information. But this new threat, this new specific threat, that, we haven't heard before -- Paula.

ZAHN: Mike, given the security gaps, though, you're addressing tonight, how much easier would it be to breach a cargo plane than a passenger plane?

BROOKS: Well, if you're talking about someone getting on board and hijacking a cargo plane, like they did to passenger planes on 9/11, it's still very, very difficult, because the cargo planes, most of them do not carry passengers. There are some cargo companies that do carry passengers. And they're screened just like any other passenger would be on board a passenger aircraft.

But if they're going to use cargo aircraft to put a bomb on board, something of that nature, it probably would be a little easier, but, again, still fairly difficult. But there again, Paula, there are gaps in both passenger, as well as cargo


ZAHN: And, Mike, quickly, in closing tonight, what is the scenario, then, that the government most fears?

BROOKS: Well, I would say right now -- and from David's reporting and from what I've been reading -- they fear a bomb getting on board a cargo plane with the cargo. They also fear maybe a cargo plane being hijacked by hijackers, which would be much more different -- Paula.

ZAHN: Mike Brooks, former terrorism task force investigator, thanks so much for your insights tonight. In other news, fears of a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia have prompted the State Department to temporarily close its embassy and consulates there. U.S. officials say the decision is based on credible information suggesting al Qaeda may be planning to launch an attack soon.

I'm joining now by Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Welcome back, sir.



How serious does a threat have to be to close an embassy or a consulate office?

JORDAN: Well, first of all, let's remember here that this is not a complete closing of the embassy. The embassy is closed to the public, but the dedicated men and women of the Foreign Service and other agencies will continue their work in the embassy during this period.

Having said that, it is serious. This is not something that you do routinely. And so we did it a number of times during my tenure. But I will say that it requires a significant threat, one that you're very concerned about, even though you don't know all the parameters of it. Out of an abundance of caution, I think it was the right thing to do under these circumstances.

ZAHN: What does this action say about the progress on the war on terror?

JORDAN: I don't think you can evaluate progress on the war on terror based upon the closing of an embassy to the public.

I think we're making good progress in the war on terror in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are sitting shoulder to shoulder with our officials, evaluating intelligence, capturing and killing more al Qaeda than, I think, any other country. They've lost more officers than any other country. And so I think they are significant allies in this war.

The problem is, we don't know how deep the iceberg is. Are we at the tip of the iceberg? Are we halfway down? I don't think we even know that yet.

ZAHN: In spite of what you say is some progress the Saudis have made, this clearly has got to be an affront to them, hasn't it, to say their country is not safe enough for the U.S. Embassy or U.S. consulate offices?

JORDAN: Well, we all know that a large and significant population of al Qaeda and other terrorist operatives exist in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis know this. They have made no secret of it.

And, thankfully, since May 12, they have been very open in acknowledging this. I don't think it's an affront at all to say that we have got to take extra precautions. And this is an appropriate thing to do. I'm sure it's done with consultation with the Saudis. And we will have to continue to work harder to capture and kill the bad guys over there. But, in the meantime, we have got to take these appropriate precautions.

ZAHN: And many are hoping that this means that the Saudis indeed are getting better intelligence than they have in the past.

JORDAN: Right.

ZAHN: Robert Jordan, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

Now on to that story on Pentagon spending. We're just learning this week that, over two years, Pentagon workers have spent up to $80 million for unauthorized first- and business-class plane tickets. That's according to a Government According Office report. And we are putting that into focus tonight.

Joining me from Chicago is Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. She's one of the lawmakers who requested the report. We are also joined from Madison, Wisconsin, by Chellie Pingree, president of the public advocacy group Common Cause.

Welcome. Glad to have both of you with us this evening.

Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Representative, let's talk about this figure, more than $80 million in unauthorized premium travel, first-class travel, business-class travel. How can that be? And why wasn't this caught earlier?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, this is just one example of gross financial mismanagement at the Department of Defense, at the Pentagon, who can't account for $1.2 trillion -- that's with a T -- trillion dollars worth of transactions, cannot pass an audit, cannot balance its books.

Every time we shine a light -- this is the sixth investigation that we have done. Every time the GAO shines a light on it, we find this kind of abuse, waste, and fraud, violation of rules.

ZAHN: Why?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, there is very little internal controls, poor mismanagement, poor management operations, no accountability, no systems. They didn't even know how many people had been flying first- class or business-class. The GAO had to discover the numbers.

If any business operated in this way, they'd either be bankrupt or they would have to fire the management. This is a systemic culture that is going on. We found that -- in other credit card abuses, that people were buying Louis Vuitton bags and spending money at strip clubs, and all kinds of things that are going on. So this use by senior officers and Pentagon officials and presidential appointees of first-class travel has now amounted, we think, maybe more, even, $80 million.

ZAHN: Wow.

Chellie, you're in contact with lots of military families. And as they hear about this egregious spending, and their loved ones are risking their lives, many of them in Iraq right now, what do they tell you?

CHELLIE PINGREE, PRESIDENT, COMMON CAUSE: Well, we've been asking them to send in their stories. And we get e-mails from the mothers, grandmothers, families of soldiers over there, who we know are risking their lives.

When they come back for their leave, they're dropped off in Baltimore and told, get your own plane ticket home. We had a letter from a mother of a son who had to pay $800 for his own ticket on military leave. One soldier -- there are 40,000 soldiers in Iraq who don't have proper military armor, protective armor to wear. We got an e-mail about a soldier who was shot. And they didn't have a replacement ceramic piece for him. He flips a coin every day to decide whether to put it on the front or on the back.

These are true stories. And the egregious violations going on here of thinking that people are living in first-class, when our soldiers don't have adequate equipment and have to buy their own plane tickets, it's just hard to put this in balance, especially in the debate that just went on around the $87 billion. Taxpayers want to think that their money is being spent wisely and that our soldiers are really being taken care of. And it's really just the opposite.

ZAHN: Congresswoman, let's put up on the screen some of what the Pentagon is now saying -- quote -- "The Department of Defense takes very seriously any questionable spending. Any unjustified expenditure diverts funding vitally needed to sustain U.S. military operations and other pressing priorities."

I guess you thought, 20 years ago, the era of $600 toilet seats and $500 hammers was over. Is it?

SCHAKOWSKY: I can't begin to tell you how often we've revisited these issues. And while, each time, the Pentagon says they're going to solve the problem, it doesn't get solved.

They're -- while our soldiers are lacking this Kevlar body armor, there's $30 billion in excess inventory at the Department of Defense. There are billions of dollars worth of equipment, including weapons systems, they don't even know where they are. And so this is a problem that needs a dramatic solution. In fact, I'm going to introduce a piece of legislation that says the Department of Defense cannot get any increase in its budget until it balances its books, tells us where the money that they're spending is going.

ZAHN: Well, these figures shocked a number of us who saw them for the first time.


ZAHN: We appreciate both your, Chellie, joining us, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky as well.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

PINGREE: Thank you.

ZAHN: Now on to the 2004 presidential race.

Judging by the media attention he is getting, the money he is raising, and the attacks coming from his fellow Democrats, it has been quite a week for Howard Dean. What about next week?

"TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein is here to look ahead.

How are you, Joe?


ZAHN: So you want to do your end-of-the-week report card for us this evening?

KLEIN: Yes, we're going to try doing a weekly report on these candidates who are in the midst of a fierce battle.

And I guess we got to start with Howard Dean. He gets a plus for the week, because he got these two huge union endorsements today. And the other reason why he got the plus is that everybody else is attacking him. So he must be doing really well.

ZAHN: Front-runner status.

KLEIN: Absolutely.

ZAHN: Dick Gephardt, minus?

KLEIN: Dick Gephardt gets a minus because he didn't get those union endorsements. And that is going to matter on the ground in Iowa. And he also gets a minus because he didn't show up for the MTV Rock the Vote debate. Does he think that young people's votes don't matter?

ZAHN: Well, you're the one who also told us people are just beginning to put their heads into the race. Do you really think that was a big deal that he missed it?

KLEIN: Well, I think, down the road, Howard Dean is going to be able to say, I care about all voters, including young people. Why didn't you show up for the young people's debate?

ZAHN: He might say, because they don't vote as often as they should.

KLEIN: Well, absolutely.

ZAHN: John Kerry for the week?

KLEIN: Oh, terrible. He thought he was going to get one of these two big union endorsements, the public employee unions. And he is also making a classic political mistake. He spends all of his time attacking Howard Dean, without having established who he is and what his message is.

ZAHN: Why didn't he get those endorsements?

KLEIN: Because his campaign has been rudderless for months and because he doesn't have a message. And he hasn't been as strong a candidate as people expected he would be.

ZAHN: So are you saying it's over for him?

KLEIN: It's never over until it's over.


ZAHN: Oh, you're so profound this evening, Joe. Thanks. That really helps.

KLEIN: No, but especially in this.

I've seen New Hampshire primaries, I've seen Iowa caucuses turn around in the last three days of a campaign. So you can't rule out John Kerry, especially since, in New Hampshire, he's running a kind of moderate-weak second to Howard Dean. And everybody else is totally out of the picture in New Hampshire. So you can't rule him out.

ZAHN: On to Joe Lieberman, who you gave a minus on your end-of- the-week look.

KLEIN: You can pretty much rule him out, and that's a very sad thing, because Joe Lieberman is running the most honorable campaign of any of these guys. He continually tells audiences things they don't want to hear, which is one of my bright-line litmus tests for political honesty.

ZAHN: A big question mark you have next to Wesley Clark's name. Why?

KLEIN: Well, he gave a pretty good speech about Iraq yesterday.

But in the debate this week, he didn't leave any footprints at all. It was if he weren't there. And what was up with that silly black turtleneck he was wearing? Please.

ZAHN: Well, they all shed -- a couple of them shed their ties and their jackets. And they had the sort of L.A. black-on-black look going. No?

KLEIN: OK, question. Who were the three who wore ties? Interesting. ZAHN: Al Sharpton. Didn't Al have a tie?

KLEIN: Al Sharpton, Joe Lieberman and Howard Dean.

ZAHN: All right, case made.

Al Gore expected to make a speech on Sunday. Do you have any idea what's he going to say.

KLEIN: Wait a second. We forgot Edwards.

ZAHN: Edwards, yes, yes, yes.

KLEIN: Oh, John Edwards gets a little, little, tiny, tiny plus this week, because, if Howard Dean just rumbles through New Hampshire and Iowa, then the rest of the party is going to be looking for someone who might be able to stop him, and that stop might happen in South Carolina. John Edwards, you may have heard, is the son of a textile worker from South Carolina.

ZAHN: You know, I might have heard that about 3,000 times before, Joe.


KLEIN: And, also, he had a great moment in the debate when he lashed out at Howard Dean. It was his first effective moment in this campaign.

ZAHN: A quick final thought on Al Gore and what he might say this weekend?

KLEIN: Well, Al Gore is giving a series of speeches to this activist group And it may be another big speech about foreign policy.


ZAHN: What does it mean? Is he setting the stage for something?

KLEIN: It means that he's giving another big speech on foreign policy. There's always this hope that, if none of these guys breaks out, if we get a brokered convention, everybody will turn to Al Gore in the end. This is a quadrennial fantasy.

ZAHN: Joe Klein, thanks. Have a great weekend. See you next week.

Rosie O'Donnell spent another day on the stand today. Jeffrey Toobin will be along to run down the highlights for us.

And we're going to take a chilling look at how American soldiers face death up close in Iraq.

And the weekend of the dueling TV movies, the Jessica Lynch story vs. Elizabeth Smart. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The courtroom battle between the so-called queen of nice and her former publishing partners has adjourned for the weekend.

Here with the legal roundup, including the latest on Rosie O'Donnell's second day on the stand, legal analysis Jeffrey Toobin, who's back in town with us.

Welcome back, Jeffrey.


ZAHN: Let's listen to a little bit of what Rosie had to say on the stand today.


ROSIE O'DONNELL, COMEDIAN: I simply said, this is my name. This is the deal they made. And this is how they broke their promise. And then they threatened me. As, a result, I said, well, then let's go to court. And I believe this judge is a wise man. And I will do whatever he decides, and I will not appeal the verdict, no matter what it is.


ZAHN: All right, Jeffrey, what is she telegraphing here? She's getting ready to lose this thing?

TOOBIN: I have no idea what -- I'll bet her lawyers


ZAHN: You know what I just heard. That didn't sound like she's hoping this thing will end up the way she wants it to.

TOOBIN: But her lawyers probably swallowed their tongues when they heard that. You don't want to promise no appeal at this stage.

But she is a star. And there was a moment in the courtroom today where only a star could pull this off. There was an issue -- at one point, she wrote an e-mail where she said, so-and-so is not the boss of me.

ZAHN: Oh, I love this part.

TOOBIN: And they asked her, where did that phrase come from?

And she said, well, when I was a kid, my brothers used -- we used to use that phrase, and we'd say, you're not the boss of me. And she turns to the judge and says, but you are the boss of me. And not only did the courtroom laugh, but people started applauding in the courtroom, which is something I've never even heard before. So, I mean, she does capture the attention of the courtroom. Whether that means she wins the case or not is a separate issue. ZAHN: So what is it that her attorneys have to accomplish by Monday?

TOOBIN: I think this case is so bizarre. I don't really understand how either side can win, because this is an issue about breach of contract over sort of lost -- the lost value of Rosie's magazine.

But Rosie's magazine was a failure. Now, Rosie says it failed because they didn't use her vision. They tried to make an ordinary sort of woman's magazine. Gruner & Jahr, the magazine company, says, no, it failed because Rosie wouldn't be cooperative, she was difficult, she was rude to people.

But the fact is, it didn't work. So I don't understand why either side deserves any money in this case.

ZAHN: Finally, let's talk a little bit more about that Los Angeles detective who testified in the Scott Peterson case yesterday, sort of filling us in on what Scott Peterson's ex-girlfriend, Amber Frey, might say in the courtroom. What did we learn?

TOOBIN: Well, we learned that Scott was lying to her throughout and, in fact, said this very weird, sinister thing, that his wife was dead and this was going to be the first Christmas that he celebrated without her.

The interesting strategic question in the Peterson case is, will Amber Frey herself testify? Because, if this were an ordinary preliminary hearing, there's no way the prosecution, I think, would put her on the stand, expose her to cross-examination. But this has become such an elaborate, long proceeding. And both sides are trying their case in the press. They might actually use this as a chance to get her out and maybe have a test run of her testimony.

ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, thanks so much. See you next week.

TOOBIN: See you next week.

ZAHN: You deserve a little rest after all the traveling you've been doing.

TOOBIN: Indeed.

ZAHN: We're going to take a short break here. We will see American soldiers face the reality, the stark reality, of war in a gripping report on how they deal with killing up close.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I can't believe you're going in the Army.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Just remember where you same from, Jessie.



ZAHN: The TV movie version of "Saving Private Lynch" runs this weekend, and it has some pretty tough competition. We'll explain.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Someone took Elizabeth.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Someone took Elizabeth.


ZAHN: A TV movie showdown this weekend. Later on in the hour, we're going to see how "The Elizabeth Smart Story" stacks up against "Saving Private Lynch."

And rock n' roll as a Cold War weapon. Did music bring down the Iron Curtain?

And Monday, President Bush professes his faith openly, but it wasn't always that way. We'll see how religion influences policy.

Turning, though, now to Iraq, yesterday, we told you about the American soldier who was so shaken by the sight of a dead Iraqi killed in front of him, he had to seek counseling and briefly faced cowardice charges. But it's a sight the U.S. troops have seen thousands of times over.

Killing is just part of their job description, as Candy Crowley tells us in a report that contains some graphic images.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): General George Patton said, the object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.

ANTHONY RIDDLE, U.S. MARINE, IRAQ: Before war, you're thinking, oh, I can deal with that. That's nothing. I'm a Marine. I can handle it.

CROWLEY: Now, Sergeant Anthony Riddle is starting to live with having to kill.

RIDDLE: When their eyes are open, staring right at you, half the faces are missing ... CROWLEY: He had killed in battle before, but not like this. Not so close.

RIDDLE: Looking at the body just sitting there. And then we were told, hey. We've got to pull the bodies out.

And that's when it really hit me. When we pulled them out and their heads hit the ground and just total lifeless. Nothing going on with that body.

And I had to walk away. I mean, I was like, I can't handle this no more.

CROWLEY: To kill in war is to run the gamut of emotions.

U.S. Marines, Sergeant Riddle's team, searching an industrial area near Baghdad. Along the road, they encounter Iraqis who point their AK-47s at the Marines.

RIDDLE: One of my guys got up on his hood and took the first guy out, shot him right in the heart. And he dropped instantly.

CROWLEY: Wounded, another Iraqi writhes on the ground next to his gun. The Marines kill him -- then cheer.

RIDDLE: Like, man, you guys are dead now, you know. But it was a good feeling.



CROWLEY: When the battle is over and you are still standing, the adrenalin rush is huge.

RIDDLE: I mean, afterwards you're like, hell, yeah, that was awesome. Let's do it again.

CROWLEY: Inexplicable to some, but not to generations of veterans.


ZAHN: And the Pentagon says it is taking unprecedented steps to identify service members struggling to cope with what they have seen in Iraq or done. That includes screening them for possible mental health problems.

We'll be right back.


ZAHN: And welcome back.

First, we start off with some of the stories you need to know right now. U.S. Officials say there is new intelligence tonight suggesting -- excuse me -- terrorists may want to use cargo planes to attack inside the United States. They concede there are gaps in the security for cargo planes.

A two-star army general was in a helicopter near the one that went down in Iraq today, killing six U.S. soldiers. Officials say the chopper was probably brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade. Hours after the attack, U.S. forces bombed the areas.

And President Bush is applauding the latest figures on unemployment. The nation's jobless rate dropped to just about 6 percent last month. The president says his tax cuts and business incentives are helping to fuel the economy, but he vows not to rest until everybody who wants work can actually find a job.

Some interesting viewing is coming to a TV near you this weekend. Made-for-TV movies about the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch are sure to be ratings-grabbers. But are they any good?

I'm joined by "TIME" magazine media critic James Poniewozik and by Ben Pappas, a senior writer for "US Weekly."



ZAHN: All right. Want to give the audience a chance to see what both of these -- both of these movies might look at. Let's -- look like. Let's watch together.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Muhammad Arif (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing out here? What do you want?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to help you. I know where an American soldier is being held, a girl.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't let this consume my life anymore. I have five other children who need me. They have to start school. They have to start living a normal life, and I'm never here, because I'm in press conferences from 4:00 a.m. to midnight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to have a memorial for her? Is that what you're saying?


ZAHN: All right. So viewers are going to have to make a choice, unless they get that TiVo machine, you know, pretty active that night.

Would you watch either one of these, James?

JAMES PONIEWOZIK, "TIME" MEDIA CRITIC: Probably a good time to sit around and make taffy with the kids, you know, I'd say...

ZAHN: Or watch CNN, right?

PONIEWOZIK: Yes, because I'm sure CNN has something great on at the time.

ZAHN: Are they just terrible?

PONIEWOZIK: They're pretty much what you would expect. The thing is, it would actually be better if they were terrible in some sort of very interesting or campy way. But what they tend to be is just kind of boring. They're ripped from the headline stories that don't really have headlines of their owns.

They're the sort of weird thing where they're neither movies in the sense that they have, you know, interesting scripts with interesting ideas in them or characters that they try to get inside their heads, nor do they tell you anything new about Elizabeth Smart or Jessica Lynch, if you've followed the stories. They're really just sort of, you know, appealing to the idea that you want to learn something about these girls and they don't answer any of the mysteries.

ZAHN: Is that really why viewers go to docudramas? You think they really want to learn something?

BEN PAPPAS, SENIOR WRITER, "US WEEKLY": Well, Paula, it would be nice to think so. Sure from an entertainment perspective, we're looking for a heartfelt reconciliation. I think anyone with a family knows what it means to miss someone in that family and to have them come back together. From that perspective, for the tearjerking ending, yes, we can, of course, expect that, and it does deliver.

It would take a very cold-hearted person, Paula, not to...

ZAHN: So, on that level it delivered. Did anything else work for you with either one of these made-for-TV movies?

PAPPAS: I would say, really -- and Jim did touch upon this -- what we want to know is what was the captivity like or what was it like for Amy Smart (sic) to be held away from her parents? And on those fronts, I don't think the shows deliver at all. It really is glossed over.

ZAHN: So given how these two shows are going up against each other -- and they could have put these on separate nights, but they chose to go head-to-head here....


ZAHN: And the fallout over CBS' decision not to run this Reagan docudrama, what does that tell us about the state of programming today?

PONIEWOZIK: I mean, the funny thing is -- it is very ironic that this comes just after the Reagans got criticized and pulled off the air for, you know, among other things, inventing quotes that apparently Ronald Reagan never said. But, you know, these movies kind of show you the value of making stuff up. If they had been a little more irresponsible and sensationalist and invented a few more things, they might have been more interesting.

ZAHN: So what is the key difference? That they can take liberties with these young women's stories you can't take with a living president's story?

PAPPAS: I think you're hitting upon something that's important, Paula. And it is hard to draw the line with infotainment, who can make the decisions in terms of -- sure, you can fib here, but can't really touch this. But I think, overall, we're seeing a trend toward the only types of made-for-TV movies that we're seeing are grabbed from the headlines. The publicity is built in there, people want to see it. We're really not seeing any more original TV movies.

ZAHN: James, can you explain to me from a programmer's point of view how both of these movies ended up in the same time slot? I don't get that. Did you?

PONIEWOZIK: It's like the, you know, Cold War days of mutually assured destruction. I mean, if they had aired on separate nights, probably each movie would have done better on its own. But you want to take viewers away from the other guy's as much as you want to attract viewers to yourself.

And, you know, I think it's just -- it's too tempting not to put your big gun against -- up against the other guy's big gun.

ZAHN: Based on what the critics have said so far going into these two movies, which I know viewers don't always pay attention to...

PAPPAS: That's right.

ZAHN: Do you have any predictions to make about the ratings battle?

PAPPAS: Well, we at "US" magazine probably think they'll tune into Fox comedies, the viewing audience. But I do think that the Smart story probably has a better ending, just in terms of it's a more compact story, beginning, middle and end story. In terms of Private Lynch's story, that conflict is going on. There are bigger headlines going on every week, and every day, sadly enough. So I think that may be overshadowed by the real news.

ZAHN: And based on the success of these two movies Sunday night, what -- what might it predict for viewing down the road?

PONIEWOZIK: Well, you know, I don't know who's been connected with this weekend, you know, -- I'm sure you're certainly going to see less originality and more, you know, scandal and/or tearjerker of the weeks.

ZAHN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) out of the headlines.

PAPPAS: And if there's big ratings, I wouldn't be surprised if the Reagans resurfaced come next sweeps.

ZAHN: Really?

PAPPAS: No, I wouldn't be surprised one bit.

ZAHN: The furor will die down in a year?

PAPPAS: Well, even if it builds up, that's going to be better ratings.

ZAHN: It has a way of making people come to the tube, doesn't it?

PAPPAS: Yes, it does.

ZAHN: James and Be, thank you...

PAPPAS: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: ...for dropping by. Happy television viewing.

Maybe there was something inevitable about this. We're going to show you a new reality stunt -- a family that's inviting people into their home simply to watch how they behave. Does the word voyeur come to mind? Oh, not when it comes to Richard Quest.

And did rock n' roll save the world? We're going to hear why some people credit music for bringing down the Iron Curtain.


ZAHN: Did rock 'n' roll help bring down the Iron Curtain? Well, that provocative notion takes center stage tomorrow at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. And Hungary's ambassador to the U.S. saw it all happen from the inside, and believes music was the carrier of the message of freedom. Andras Simonyi speaks at the Rock Hall tomorrow. He joins us now. Also with us from tonight from Los Angeles, Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers' guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. Nice to have both of you with us this evening. Welcome.

So Mr. Ambassador, many people credit Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II with help bringing down communism. Rock 'n roll?

ANDRAS SIMONYI, HUNGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Yeah, well, all guys you mentioned, they did play their role, but I believe rock 'n roll had a very special role. It was something that penetrated Eastern European communist societies more than anything else. It carried the message of freedom. It carried a message from the free world.

When I was a kid, when I was a teenager, when I was listening to rock n' roll music, I was listening to the Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Traffic, and of course Steely Dan, too, I was part of the free world. And that's not only me, but millions and millions of Hungarians, Czechs, and even Russians.

ZAHN: Jeff, help us understand that experience. You played behind the Iron Curtain. Remind us how people reacted to the message of your music?

JEFF "SKUNK" BAXTER, EX-STEELY DAN GUITARIST: Well, it was pretty amazing. One of the things I noticed that even though our records were illegal, every single person in that audience knew every word they ever saw, and the reaction was tremendous. I even smuggled in some recording gear and got a little brush-up with the KGB.

There was a great fear, as Andras said, there was a fear of music, because music -- you can't really make good music unless you're free. And with freedom, in a country that's repressive, those two things are like oil and water.

ZAHN: You have a great story about one of your favorites, Jimi Hendrix' song, "The Wind Cries Mary." We're going to listen to that for a couple of seconds, and then I want you to help understand why that had such a big impact.


ZAHN: I'm sure most people didn't even understand the lyrics.

SIMONYI: That's true. The interesting part is in my part of the world, I spoke English from a very young age, so for me maybe the words mattered a little more. But for most of the Hungarians, and maybe the others in Eastern Europe, the real issue was the power of music, free young people getting together, musicians holding a Stratocaster and just playing off. That was the scary thing. And the funny thing about the communist system, they didn't understand that even without, even without understanding the words, this whole thing, the music itself, the groups, the bands, had a huge impact on the thinking, the way of living, the lifestyle of young people in my country.

ZAHN: And Jeff, could you sense immediately, when you went on the stage in Moscow back in 1987, that this was very different than any other venue that you would ever play?

BAXTER: That's true. I guess they had no real experience with concert security, so there were about 1,000 uniformed and armed troops with armored personnel carriers surrounding the stage, so I guess they were doing their best. And I do remember, however, the Hungarians did the sound and lights, and they brought a tremendous amount of incredible food with them backstage. And the soldiers were up against the chainlink fence. And myself and one of the drummers in the Doobies got a set of chain wire cutters and cut open a hole in the fence and let the soldiers in so they could have what seemed to me was one of the first big meals they had ever had in their lives.

ZAHN: Mr. Ambassador, if music helped bring down the Berlin Wall, what role should it be playing in today's very chaotic times?

BAXTER: I think just one word on the past. I do think that rock music in the '60s and the '70s played exactly the same role VHS and satellite dishes played in the '80s, and what Internet plays today, conveying the message of freedom. Rock music belongs to everyone in the world.

Mozart used to be Austrian, Mozart is everybody's now. Rock music used to be American and British, rock music today belongs to everybody -- Hungarians, Czechs, Poles. And let's go beyond the American and European continent. It belongs to the whole world. Through that, I do think we can convey the message of freedom big time.

ZAHN: Mr. Ambassador, thank you for your thoughts. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, always great to see you.

BAXTER: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks for joining us tonight as well.

What could be better than reality TV? How about real reality? You don't watch this family on TV; you actually go inside their house. And our Martin Savidge takes us where T.G.I.F. is a novelty and they're only just learning how to live for the weekend.


ZAHN: Londoners and just about anybody else are being treated to the ultimate reality experience. They are watching a regular family, mom, dad, kids going about their regular routine, and Richard Quest is staying up late to tell us what's so special about that. Top of the evening to you, Richard, or morning there. How are you?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Paula.

Now, we're all familiar with the village busybody, the person who is twitching the neck curtains to see what the neighbors are up to. Well, this takes it to a new level. A London family, Paula, that lets complete strangers come into their house, have a look around. It's all in the name of art, and the idea is to study the middle-class family.


QUEST (voice-over): Forget "Big Brother," this is the real reality TV. A chance to watch the Wade family at work, at play, and in the throes of family life. You can watch them cook and clean, get the kids ready for vacation, even watch the Wades in the bathroom.

And while you watch them, they watch you, and everyone pretends the other isn't there.

(on camera): Is this art? Or is it just pure voyeurism, or perhaps both? One interesting thing, the longer I've been here, the more I've wanted to interact with the Wades. That's something that's strictly against the rules.

(voice-over): There are no other rules in this game. Nothing seems to be off-limits. I can go anywhere I want, open any drawer, peek in any cupboard. Lifestyles of the rich and famous this is not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Folding the sock is the art here. Sitting on the bed is the art here.

QUEST: But is it (UNINTELLIGIBLE) gone mad? The Wades say they've had a strong reaction to this home life exhibit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of attention.

QUEST: Some visitors have even been moved to tears at the everyday mundane story of middle-class folk.


QUEST: What is fascinating about this, Paula, is that they claim they are getting as much out of watching me watching them watching me watching them, as I did actually being there. At the end of the day, ironically it was me that felt uncomfortable, I felt the intruder, Paula. I felt I was doing something I shouldn't. After all, it's not every day somebody else lets you rummage through your sock drawer.

ZAHN: You were so well-behaved, Richard, better than your normal routine.

QUEST: You see, that's the whole point, Paula. There's a natural social inhibition that affected me more than them. They were going about their everyday business, brushing their teeth and cooking. I was the one who felt the intruder, like I was doing something wrong. It was all too intimate. It was an interesting social experiment.

ZAHN: Well, let's move on to what could be a social experiment, another potential scandal rocking the royal family tonight. Word of a huge rumor that I guess the palace won't confirm, but they won't tell us what the rumor is?

QUEST: Paula, unusual for me, I'm going to choose my words with extreme care tonight, because this is a serious allegation of a serious incident. And what Prince Charles is basically saying is this incident never happened. And that really is about as far as we can go. Because we can't tell you what the incident is, we can't tell you when it was supposed to have happened, even though Italian newspapers are printing it, it is widely being exposed on the Internet. But the fact is the royal family in Britain has taken an extremely high-risk strategy in saying, whatever this allegation, Paula, it's not true. Now, you go and figure to how quickly it's going to be before everyone's talking about something that may or may not have happened that Charles says didn't. ZAHN: Yes, you've just given us reason to search for those Internet sites and try to figure it what the rumor really is.

Well, Richard Quest, I was really impressed by your adult behavior in those folks' homes. Good job, my man.

QUEST: Thank you.

ZAHN: As we head to the weekend we're going to take you to where they're learning what the word means, TGIF. It's something you hear in the hallways here at CNN before ever week...


ZAHN: TGIF is something you hear in the hallways here at CNN before every weekend, and odds are you here the same thing where you work too. But in South Korea the phrase is just catching on.

Martin Savidge explains.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On an old runway in a new park in Central Seoul, you are watching a revolution. Korean's learning to have fun. Rollerblading isn't controversial, but the fact that people have the time to do it is. South Korea has one of the most powerful economies in the world, for one simple reason, Koreans work a lot. Now they want to work less.

(on camera): Most Koreans work six days a week. They would like to work five, but that transition is easier said than done. There are huge economic and even cultural ramifications that could affect Korea to its core.

(voice-over): The economic problem is easy to understand. South Koreans want to cut their workweek, but not their salaries. You can see why the bosses aren't too keen on that, especially when the country is in the middle of a recession and facing stiff competition from China. Which may explain why less than 20 percent of the work force has switched to a five-day week. But even that small shift is having a noticeable social and economic impact. For the first time, Koreans are facing that age-old Western dilemma, what do you want to do this weekend?

Siyong Moo (ph), only started to have a weekend several weeks ago but he's better rested and a better father.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I can spend more time with my family, he says, I have more free time now.

MARTIN: Of course, westerners know free trim really isn't free. It's only when we are not working that we spend money, which is why recreation has become one of the Korea's fastest-growing industries. Just ask the manager of the nearby skate shop.

On weekends, customers have almost doubled, he tells me. If anything, simply demonstrates just how new this whole weekend thing is, it's this weekly magazine that only started publishing last fall. Its name says it all "Friday."

Experts say it could be 10 years before all Koreans get a weekend. But in addition to improving life, it will have another unexpected benefit, Koreans will finally understand how this American restaurant in Seoul got it's name.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Seoul, South Korea.


ZAHN: Well, we all know how that happened. We appreciate you being with us tonight as we wrap up the week here. Thanks for joining us. We hope you'll be back with us same time, same place on Monday night. In the meantime, "LARRY KING LIVE" is next, have a great weekend and again appreciate you dropping by.



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