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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Debating a Kerry Economy; Time to Referee Sports Fans?
Aired March 26, 2004 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I'm Paula Zahn.
It is Friday, March 26, 2004.
ZAHN (voice-over): The challenger lays out his economic plan, a pledge to create millions more jobs and a crackdown on sending them overseas. In a Kerry economy, who would lose, who would win? A debate.
Rage, obscenity and foul language at sporting events. What you see in the bleachers is enough to make you blanch. Is it time to referee the fans?
And the great Houdini's most amazing illusion, it's been a secret for nearly 100 years. Now a museum wants to destroy the magic by revealing the trick.
ZAHN: All that ahead, but first, here's what you need to know right now.
A Roman Catholic bishop convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident was sentenced today to four years probation. The judge ordered Bishop Thomas O'Brien to also perform 1,000 hours of community service.
National correspondent Frank Buckley joins us live from Phoenix with more.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Paula.
Bishop Thomas O'Brien faced up to 45 months in prison for the hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of 43-year-old Jim Reed. But, as you said, he was sentenced to probation instead, the four years of probation the maximum allowable period of probation for a class-four felony, and, as you said, 1,000 hours of community service.
Judge Stephen Gerst took great pains to explain his decision on his sentencing. He said he reviewed every single one of the 99 cases of a similar nature that came up here in the Phoenix area between 1996 and present. He said one thing that Bishop O'Brien experienced that the other defendants did not experience was the public scrutiny that attached to his case.
I'm sorry. We don't have the sound there. But he essentially said that Bishop O'Brien would have to experience the glances and stares and the whispers of the people of this community for the rest of his life. Judge Gerst said that he considered that in his sentencing.
We should also say that Bishop O'Brien does face a six-month deferred jail sentence, but that the deferred jail sentence is likely to be deferred indefinitely -- Paula.
ZAHN: Frank Buckley, thanks so much for that live update.
Moving on now, "In Focus" tonight, John Kerry lays his economic cards on the table with a pledge to create $10 million jobs. He wants to punish companies that send jobs overseas and lower taxes for those that don't.
National Correspondent Kelly Wallace is standing by in Washington to bring us up to date on the plan.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, this plan, the release of this plan, comes as Republicans for weeks have been painting John Kerry as someone who would raise taxes and do damage to the economy.
So, Kerry's advisers hope the release of this plan shows that he is a pro-business Democrat who will do something to keep jobs in the United States. Now, his goal somewhat ambitious, especially as we're now in a jobless recovery. He hopes to create 10 million new jobs in four years. He says he can do that by providing tax breaks to companies hiring new workers in the United States, cutting the corporate tax rate by 5 percent, and eliminating tax breaks for companies shipping jobs abroad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If a company is torn between creating jobs here or overseas, we now have a tax code that tells you, go overseas. And that makes no sense. And if I am president, it will end as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And it is no coincidence that Senator Kerry unveiled this plan in the battleground state of Michigan, which Al Gore narrowly won in 2000.
It is a state that has lost 130,000 manufacturing jobs since the Bush administration took office, according to Michigan's governor. And, Paula, Democrats believe this whole issue of job losses will be the greatest vulnerability for President Bush this year -- Paula.
ZAHN: Kelly Wallace, thanks so much. Time to debate the Kerry proposals now. Roger Altman was deputy treasury secretary under President Clinton. He's now a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign. And Congressman David Dreier is Republican chairman of the House Rules Committee, which helps shape tax policy. He joins us from Washington.
Good to see both of you.
REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CALIFORNIA: Nice to be with you, Paula.
Good to be with you.
ZAHN: Congressman Dreier, the senator pretty much promising to American voters, if he's elected, he'll create 10 million jobs. Your reaction?
DREIER: Well, you know, Paula, to me, it sounds as if he could be running for prime minister of France, where France has a GDP growth rate which is half ours and an unemployment rate which is nearly twice as high as ours.
Every economic indicator that we have, things that have come out today, positive. Oil prices are dropping. We've seen solid, 4.1 percent GDP growth. And that's being projected to be higher as we move into this year. And, so as we look, we have positive news, and yet we're getting this gloom-and-doom scenario, proposing ideas, Paula, which, unfortunately, really have been challenged and tried in the past; 20 years ago, Walter Mondale said basically the same thing.
ZAHN: But, as you know, Congressman, a lot of people are saying, in spite of these economic indicators perhaps showing that we're out into a recovery, this is so far a jobless recovery.
DREIER: No, it is not.
ZAHN: Defend your numbers here, Mr. Altman.
ZAHN: Where do the 10 million jobs come from?
ROGER ALTMAN, FORMER DEPUTY TREASURY SECRETARY: First and foremost, it's a function of restoring confidence.
We created a lot more jobs than that very recently. President Clinton came to office. He said, he'll create eight million jobs over four years. he created 11.5. We've done it recently. We can do it again. It's a function of getting back to the same policies that created that Clinton job record. We've shown we can do it.
It starts with restoring confidence. Right now, there's a great absence of confidence on the part of consumers, investors and businesses. Why? Because Bush has unleashed these gigantic deficits. We have great international instability. And so we have to get back to sound policy that involves fiscal discipline, that involves a series of incentives for job creation that Mr. Kerry laid out today, this past -- in the form of an international
ALTMAN: ... which is very sweetening and very innovative.
And if Mr. Dreier says it's gloom and doom, I'd like him to tell the American people that 10 million jobs is gloom and doom.
ZAHN: Well, Congress Dreier, come back to the point you were making. You were making the point that you think we are in the middle of a recovery. The Democrats are, you say, basically ignoring that. If that's the case, why have some 2.5 million jobs been lost during this Bush administration?
DREIER: Well, let me give you an example, Paula, in this 21st century economy jobs that are not reflected in the establishment payroll survey.
There are 430,000 Americans who make their full-time living selling on eBay. That's not in any way reflected in the numbers. The household survey I believe is a more accurate determinant of where we are in this new economy, which is much different than where we were.
DREIER: We continue to have -- we continue to have all of these arguments of gloom and doom and negativity. And the fact of the matter is, we are creating jobs. We're getting positive indicators. And I'm convinced we're going to be doing even better.
ZAHN: All right, but are you satisfied with the job growth over the last four years?
DREIER: Of course not. No, listen, every single American who wants a job should be able to have a job.
And I believe that the tax policies that we've put into place encouraging small businesses are doing just that. And we have evidence that it's happening.
ZAHN: All right, Roger, just a quick final thought. You say the deficits kill that. A quick answer to what David Dreier said, that you guys are smoking something if you think you can create some 10 million jobs.
ALTMAN: Very simple. We did it before. We did it four years ago. We had a set of policies...
DREIER: Those policies are different than the policies that are being proposed here. Economic isolationism is what John Kerry (CROSSTALK)
DREIER: We worked together on free trade policies under Bill Clinton.
ZAHN: Roger, you get the last word.
ALTMAN: We had a set of very good policies for eight years that created 21 million jobs, which is a faster rate than Senator Kerry proposed today. We need to return to those policies. It's not very difficult. President Bush unleashed these giant deficits, unleashed this economic lack of confidence.
We're just going to restore that, restore to a set of very sound policies which did it before and can do it again and which will turn around this dismal Bush record.
ZAHN: And the two of you have given us plenty of fodder to continue to debate in the weeks to come in this campaign.
DREIER: Thanks, Paula.
Nice to be with you, Mr. Secretary.
ALTMAN: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Congressman David Dreier, Roger Altman, thank you both.
Well, once again, Condoleezza Rice may go face-to-face with 9/11 investigators, but not under oath. Will that take the heat off of the White House under fire?
And Congress passes a new law that considers a fetus to be a person. But supporters say it's not about abortion. We'll debate that.
And could a film move a man to confess to a brutal crime and a TV show provide the plan for a cover-up? The murder suspect who may have been influenced by what he saw on the screen.
ZAHN: The notable missing person this week at the televised 9/11 hearings was National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. The White House is on damage control over that and asked that Rice be granted a second private meeting with the commission, not under oath. But has the political damage already been done?
Joining us from Washington to wrap up the week here and to talk more about all of that, CROSSFIRE co-hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala.
Good to see both of you.
PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Hi, Paula.
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Hey, Paula.
ZAHN: So, Tucker, what is the White House trying to hide here?
CARLSON: I'm not sure they're trying to hide anything. That's the tragedy of this. There actually in real life is a principle here, and that's that White House officials in her position in these circumstances can't be or shouldn't be compelled to testify.
And they, the White House, says, with some justification, that it's essential to the way the White House works that they not be compelled to testify.
ZAHN: But, Tucker, she's been on every morning show. She wrote a "Washington Post" piece which rebutted most of what Richard Clarke had to say.
CARLSON: Exactly. Right.
ZAHN: What's the difference between this public venue with that kind of writing and appearing before the commission in public?
CARLSON: Again, it's not a practical difference. It's a difference over principle. And they, the White House, believes it's significant and worth preserving.
On the other hand, politically, it makes no sense, because, A, she can -- as you just pointed out, she can handle herself well in a hearing. She's not going to buckle under the pressure. B, I don't think she has anything to hide. And, C, I think most people see this as an issue so important that you can bend the rule or even ignore it. It's that important. So I think the White House is making a mistake. But it should be said, just because they're doing this doesn't mean they're hiding anything.
ZAHN: Paul, do you see a scenario where she finally will go public before the commission just to end this controversy once and for all?
BEGALA: No. No.
My suspicion is she's not testifying under oath because she can't. She doesn't want to lie and commit perjury. She doesn't want to tell the truth. And so she goes on TV and spreads whatever spin she wants. But the nation -- I worked in the White House.
ZAHN: Well, hang on a minute. What do you think she's lying about? That's a pretty powerful charge.
ZAHN: What do you have her on?
BEGALA: Well, for example, Deputy Secretary of State Armitage -- that's not me -- he's a Republican appointee of our president. He was under oath and he was asked about Dr. Rice's op-ed where she says one of our first options was a military option against al Qaeda. In the first plan that we drew up, even before 9/11, we were going to put forces in the theater to go after al Qaeda.
They asked Secretary Armitage about that. He said, no, that's not true. Now, what else is she telling us that's not true? She wants to now retract her statement that we had no idea that al Qaeda would ever use planes as missiles. Well, she wants to retract that now, probably because it's not true, that the administration did, in fact, have intel on that.
And we can go on and on. She ought to testify. She ought to testify under oath. If Clinton administration officials can be forced to testify under oath about the president's sex life, then Bush administration officials should be compelled to testify about the death of 3,000 Americans.
ZAHN: And, Tucker, you maintain absolutely not. There is a different principle here.
CARLSON: Well, look, without even arguing principle, well, I guess the principle I'd be arguing in favor of is one of restraint and decency. And to suggest, as some Democrats are suggesting -- John Kerry is not, notably, because he's, after all, trying to be president and has to kind of pretend to be responsible.
What many are suggesting, that the White House had credible information that the 9/11 attacks were going to take place and simply didn't do anything about it, that's an incredibly heavy charge. It's a big deal to throw something like that out.
ZAHN: Well, do you think there's any truth to that at all, Tucker, based on all the testimony you have heard this week?
CARLSON: At this point, there appears to be no truth to it at all. Now, if tomorrow morning on page one of "The New York Times" it's proved, to the extent it can be proved, that the White House knew that there was a likelihood this was going to happen and did nothing about it, I'm happy to come back on your show and tell you that I'm voting for Dennis Kucinich.
But, at this point, there is no evidence of that. And to suggest otherwise is a complete outrage, just because it's too important.
ZAHN: Paul, how much longer does this drag on?
BEGALA: Until the election and we get a new president. Richard Clarke testified under oath for hours this week. And as John Kerry said today, if he was lying, they should prosecute him for perjury. But if he's telling the truth, they should fess up to it and own up to it. I want to see Dr. Rice face the same test, that is, testify under oath, as Richard Clarke did, and then maybe she'll have credibility to match his.
ZAHN: In the meantime, Paul, you've got to succeed, an awful lot of Richard Clarke's books continue to be sold at this hour.
BEGALA: Absolutely. And good for him. If he's, in fact, telling the truth -- and I believe he is -- people ought to read it for themselves.
ZAHN: Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson, have a great weekend.
BEGALA: Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: Thanks, gentlemen, for your time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From about 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Three Mile Island discharged into the air steam that contained detectable amounts of radiation
ZAHN: Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the near meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mild Island nuclear power plant. At the time, news anchor Walter Cronkite called it -- quote -- "the first step in a nuclear nightmare."
Well, today, nuclear concerns continue, but many people fear attacks from the outside more than a disaster from inside a plant. Nuclear security gets the "High Five' treatment tonight, five quick questions, five direct answers, straight and to the point.
Joining us now from Boston is Harvard University's Jim Walsh. He is the executive director of the Managing the Atom Project at the Belfer Center For Science and International Affairs.
Always good to see you. Welcome.
JIM WALSH, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Good to see you, Paula.
ZAHN: All right, Jim, question No. 1. In this post-9/11 environment, how secure are nuclear power plants in this country?
WALSH: Well, they're more secure than they were before 9/11. And they're more secure than other parts of the energy infrastructure, like oil pipelines or something like that. But they're probably not as secure as we'd like them to be or as they should be.
Remember, these are utilities that are regulated by a big government bureaucracy and neither a utility nor a bureaucracy are known for quick action and quick adjustments and change. So I'm sure there's a lot more that we could be doing.
ZAHN: Which leads me to question No. 2. How vulnerable would these plants be if planes are once again used as missiles?
WALSH: Well, that's a matter of some dispute. The quick answer is, we don't know. And, luckily, we don't have any experience in this regard. People have been studying it.
But the simple facts are, these plants were not designed to be hit by large passenger aircraft filled with fuel. Several of these, about 20 percent of the 100-plus reactors, are within relative close proximity to a U.S. airport. So it's a concern. Some studies say it would penetrate the outer shell of a power plant and cause real problems. Others say it may withstand that impact. We don't know, but the best thing we can do is keep those terrorists out of the cockpit door, so they never get close to one to begin with.
ZAHN: S besides the argument about how much damage would be done to the plant itself, how wide an area could potentially be affected if there was a massive terror attack on a nuclear power plant?
WALSH: Well, if there was a big attack, the impact would be global, particularly local, but also global.
You'll remember that when Chernobyl had its meltdown, not only was the area around Chernobyl affected, the workers who were injured and who were killed, the citizens who lived nearby, but you had fallout that got caught up in the upper atmosphere and was spread across the globe into Europe, affecting livestock in other places.
But the impact would not only be physical. It would also be emotional. People are going to worry about whether they're getting sick for the rest of their days. It would be financial. The local economy, a tourist economy or an agricultural economy, would be affected. And it would also hurt I think the nuclear power industry. That would be the biggest financial impact would be on the industry itself.
ZAHN: Question No. 4, are there better safeguards than today against a Three Mile Island type of meltdown?
WALSH: The short answer is yes. There are both better operational procedures and some better technologies.
But relative to our last question, we're really talking about a global issue, not just a local issue. And there are plants today in other parts of the world, in the former Soviet Union, that are those old-style Chernobyl plants that have no containment. They have vessel no emergency cooling.
And so there are many plants around the world that are not nearly as secure or as safe as we would like.
ZAHN: Jim, you talked about some of the progress being made in trying to secure these plants. Bottom line, question No. 5, do you think enough is being done to make the plants safer? WALSH: No, I think more needs to be done.
I think the Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- that's the agency that regulates U.S. plant security -- was slow to react to 9/11. It was months before they had mandatory changes in security. I understand that they had problems to deal with, but security has never been a high priority for the United States until 9/11. I think there's a lot of learning to be done. And, frankly, prior to 9/11, we used to have these mock drills where people would attack a power plant and the results with from those attacks, from those tests, was poor.
So my guess is there's still plenty of work to be done. Some plants are probably great. Others need more work.
ZAHN: Jim Walsh, thanks for educating us tonight. Appreciate it.
WALSH: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Coming up, the incredible cruelty of Saddam Hussein, how some Iraqis paid a price for following their conscience.
And when fans get rowdy and raunchy, would telling them to tone it down trample on their rights?
ZAHN: At the height of his power, Saddam Hussein had one of the world's largest armies, yet there were Iraqi men who resisted military service, and at a brutal cost.
Jim Clancy reports on how some are just beginning to recover.
JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Qadam (ph) pores over the statistics of how many young men suffer the same stigma. Saad (ph) watches television with his two sons and looks back on his ordeal as a living hell; 29-year-old Hussein (ph) hopes to God the bandages he wears today will help him become a normal person.
What all of these men have in common is that they have been the victims of a kind of torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein.
(on camera): All were taken to hospitals like this one, where a part or all of their right ears were surgically removed for refusing to serve in the military. Today, they're returning to these very same hospitals, hoping to undo the physical and psychological damage.
DR. KHUDAIR ABBAS, IRAQI MINISTER OF HEALTH: Because, even if we correct that with the aid of plastic surgery, you can't correct the deep feeling of shame.
CLANCY (voice-over): Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq's military was one of the largest standing armies in the world. Refusal to face sometimes certain death in his wars against his neighbors resulted in a fate worse than death, to be marked a coward.
"I couldn't get work. I couldn't even walk the streets," said Saad. "Some prisoners even killed themselves," said Hussein, "rather than live with the consequences.'
Iraq's health minister says the practice of cutting the ears off war resisters was coldly calculated.
ABBAS: Because by not cutting, for example, these patients, but by disfiguring them, he would like the people to die every day a few times.
CLANCY: Iraq's Health Ministry is offering victims free surgical treatment to restore their appearance. Hussein Hadi (ph) underwent the first round of surgery that used cartilage from his ribcage, then sculpted like an ear and implanted under his skin.
The process can take a month or as much as a year to complete, depending on the extent of mutilation. Saad Khadim (ph) started the War Rejectors Association in Baghdad for an estimated 3,000 victims.
"We can say it was a victory for us," he says, "that for each who lost his ear can it reconstructed with the same instruments that were used to cut it under Saddam Hussein's regime."
Just a month after his surgery, Saad Hasham (ph) says his life has been returned. And he has dreams of opening his own auto repair shop. Hussein works in the family satellite television business. He's looking forward to having the surgery in just a few days. Saddam Hussein is gone. For many Iraqis, it means they can hope again.
Jim Clancy, CNN, Baghdad.
ZAHN: Coming up, the Laci Peterson murder case may have helped push through the Fetus Protection Act. We're going to debate whether it actually protects pregnant women or erodes abortion rights.
And was the cover-up of a woman's murder inspired by a TV show and did Mel Gibson's film bring the suspect to his knees?
And Monday, checking out your neighbors's politics with just a click of a mouse. We're going to look at what's happening to privacy in politics.
ZAHN: Here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.
In North Carolina, a Navy F-18 crashed during a takeoff at Raleigh-Durham. That would be in North Carolina at their international airport there. The fighter jet burned on the runway for about 45 minutes. Miraculously, the pilot who ejected is in the hospital and he is said to be relatively unharmed. It's going to be a rough ride for commuters between New York and Boston. A stretch of Interstate 95 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, will remain shut down because of what you're seeing on the screen for probably about two weeks because a tanker explosion heavily damaged an overpass. There were only minor injuries in that accident.
And folks in Brazil are bracing for a rare hurricane, which could make landfall sometime tomorrow. It is the first time one has been recorded in the South Atlantic since tracking began in 1966. It is a weak hurricane, but meteorologists say it is a big deal for those who have never seen one.
On to a debate now. A bill that would make it illegal to hurt a fetus during commission of a federal crime is on the way to the president's desk. He is expected to sing it. The Laci Peterson murder helped give this bill a push, but opponents say it's really an attack on abortion rights.
We're going to debate that now, pitting the head of Americans for Separation of Church and State versus the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition. Joining us from Washington, the Reverend Barry Lynn, who says the law chips away at abortion rights, and William Murray, who says that bill is actually a victory for women.
BARRY LYNN, AMERICANS FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: Thank you.
WILLIAM MURRAY, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COALITION: Good to be with you.
ZAHN: So Mr. Murray, why is this not a bill that really is nothing more than an anti-abortion bill in disguise?
MURRAY: Well, first of all, this was supported by a large coalition of organizations, and while some of those were pro-life, others of them were victims' organizations. And the primary intent was to make sure that if a pregnant woman is attacked and the baby that she is carrying is killed, that the perpetrator doesn't get six months or nine months in jail for simple assault and walk away...
ZAHN: All right, but does it make any difference...
MURRAY: ... that a major crime...
ZAHN: ... in your mind...
MURRAY: ... has been committed.
ZAHN: Does it make any difference in your mind whether the woman carrying that child was one month pregnant, two weeks pregnant, or eight months pregnant? Is there any delineation in your mind?
MURRAY: Well, that -- that is up to -- I think we're getting into the realm of sentencing when we get into that. But this had absolutely nothing to do with abortion. As an example, if the woman were on her way to an abortion clinic and her car was carjacked and the individual harmed her, and as a result of that, that child was lost, that individual would, indeed, be -- be -- be liable. Now, not under this, but in a state where -- where it was a crime.
ZAHN: Reverend Lynn, is this law clear to you right now, the way it's written?
ZAHN: And how would it impact women and at what stage of the pregnancy?
LYNN: Sure. Actually, if you wanted to enhance the rights of victims, all you need to do is add on penalties to any acts of violence against women that result in a still birth or a miscarriage or other damage to the fetus. But that idea was rejected yesterday, and in fact, this is an effort to move us toward this proposition, that fetuses have the same rights as the three of us having this conversation, even if the stage of fetal development is one day after conception.
The reason that's important to people like Mr. Murray and his supporters are because this is a way to chip away the basic premise of Roe versus Wade, which is that fetuses are not persons for matters of constitutional analysis. So this is an idea putting Mr. Murray's religious view that, in fact, personhood begins at the moment of conception into the law of the land, first in this law and eventually to change the Constitution, which I'm sure he would concede is his ultimate goal.
ZAHN: Mr. Murray, why not take the step that Barry Lynn was just talking about, I mean, imposing an additional penalty, if a woman dies in the commission of a crime, along with her unborn child, and not necessarily extend legal rights to that child?
MURRAY: Well, first of all, I will not put any words in Reverend Lynn's mouth. However, that -- it is clear that that is not what the people of the United States view that as. All the polls show that, at the very least, 79 percent, and on the average, 84 percent of the population believe that two crimes are committed when you assault a pregnant woman and injure her unborn child.
ZAHN: OK, but address the narrow issue that Barry said. Why not just pose an additional penalty when that crime is committed, if the woman is pregnant?
MURRAY: You know, we tried this with hate crimes. It just does not -- it does not work. What do you do when the situation -- when the woman is unharmed and the child -- the child dies? You can't enhance a -- a -- a crime unless you're going to know to exactly what extent the primary victim was injured...
LYNN: You know, Paula...
MURRAY: ... and sometimes -- please don't interrupt me! There's another -- there's another situation here. Some of the victims were -- were -- had their babies taken away from them within five days of delivery. The photographs are -- are -- with -- with the woman holding her child, where the -- the man did not want her to deliver because he did not want to pay child support, and he beat that baby out of her!
LYNN: But Paula...
MURRAY: And that -- that is -- that is the question.
MURRAY: How should this man have been punished by saying...
LYNN: Well, there are two ways...
ZAHN: All right...
MURRAY: ... you're going to spend another 18 months in jail...
LYNN: OK, Bill -- Bill, let's not...
MURRAY: ... for this murder?
ZAHN: What about that, Reverend Lynn --
ZAHN: ... as you know, there's a lot of emotionalism surrounding this issue...
ZAHN: ... Barry Lynn, and think of the Laci Peterson case, a woman who was murdered when she's eight months pregnant. You understand the sensitivity people have, don't you?
ZAHN: And they consider this the snuffing out of two live.
LYNN: No, absolutely. And of course, another approach to this is to simply have a crime, a special crime for the assault on any woman that ends up with a child...
MURRAY: You just can't...
LYNN: Excuse me.
MURRAY: You cannot recognize...
LYNN: Let me at least finish.
MURRAY: You cannot recognize...
LYNN: Excuse me. Let me just have a... MURRAY: ... a child a minute away from birth as a human being!
LYNN: Let's not argue. Let's not have...
ZAHN: All right...
LYNN: Let's not interrupt here. The point is, there are other ways that the criminal justice system can deal with this without abridging the fundamental constitutional right of a woman to make what is essentially a religious and moral choice which Mr. Murray disagrees with. I understand his position. This is his life's ambition, to erode Roe versus Wade, and this is a very significant -- in fact, one of his colleagues called it a giant step forward on doing away with Roe versus Wade.
Now, this is an important decision. Row versus Wade did not require anyone to obtain an abortion but allowed women to make an important moral judgment.
ZAHN: All right...
LYNN: Will they, on the basis of their religious beliefs, not Mr. Murray's, be able to make judgments?
LYNN: And I hope on April 25, Paula, when hundreds of thousands of women and men come to Washington on the March for Women's Lives, they'll send a strong message to Mr. Murray and to politicians...
LYNN: ... that we're not going to go back...
ZAHN: Gentlemen, we got to move on from here.
MURRAY: ... words into my mouth! That is unfair...
ZAHN: We've got to leave the debate. And I'm sure we'll hearing plenty more about this...
MURRAY: ... for you to put words into my mouth!
ZAHN: ... between now and the end of April. Sorry to have to end it on that note, folks. Got to move on. Thanks so much for both of your perspectives.
LYNN: Thank you.
ZAHN: And as we continue here, did a popular TV show help a killer cover his tracks?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN WILSON, VICTIM'S FATHER: This 21-year-old person planned out, basically, a perfect murder. So where he got all his information from, I don't know. If he got it off the TV, then, you know, so be it. But he had authorities fooled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: And when fans get out of hand, is their cursing and crude language simply a form of free speech, or should the government crack down?
ZAHN: Welcome back. Police say the TV show "CSI" may have taught a Texas man how to get away with murder, and the film "The Passion of the Christ" apparently convinced him to confess. Twenty- one-year-old Dan Leach (ph) is in jail, accused of killing his pregnant 19-year-old girlfriend, Ashley (ph) Wilson, back in January and making it look like a suicide. Well, in fact, investigators say they quickly ruled out murder and were convinced the victim had taken her own life.
Well, I talked with Ashley Wilson's father, Dan Wilson, and asked him how he felt, now that he knows his daughter did not kill herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN WILSON, VICTIM'S FATHER: We, as a family, never thought that Ashley had committed suicide. We were pretty convinced that something else had happened, although we weren't sure what it was. What this has done, when he came forward and confessed to killing Ashley, it, you know, kind of vindicates her in everybody's eyes, that now everybody knows what we felt all along, was that she had not committed suicide.
ZAHN: Why do you think Mr. Leach killed your daughter?
WILSON: I think he killed her because she was somehow interfering in his life. She was pregnant and he was the father. I felt that -- I think that that's, you know, one of the primary reasons. I think he just -- because she was pregnant, he interfered with her life and he wanted to eliminate her.
ZAHN: And help us understand tonight what role this television program might have played in the execution of your daughter's murder.
WILSON: Well, I can't -- I don't have, like, all the details of what's on the investigations and what's gone on, but it's my understanding that this 21-year-old person planned out, basically, a perfect murder. So where he got all his information from, I don't know. If he got it off the TV, then, you know, so be it. But he had authorities fooled, and basically, the case was closed and he had gotten away with it.
ZAHN: And then, according to his preacher, Mr. Leach then saw, months later, the film "The Passion of the Christ," recognized, we are told, that he had sinned and then came forward and admitted that he had killed your daughter. Has he shown any remorse for this crime?
WILSON: No. No. It is my -- you know, my understanding, that he -- he has no remorse whatsoever for having killed my daughter. He did not view her as anything other than an object that got in his way. And he eliminated that object. I think him coming forward and confessing to the crime, you know, was for himself, for his own redemption or for -- you know, to make it right for God, you know, for him. But as far as being remorseful about my daughter, no. I don't see that at all.
ZAHN: And I know you say you don't have all details because the investigation still continues, but how troubling is it for you to try to get your arms around the concept of this man potentially being inspired by a television program to commit the murder and then watching a movie and then coming forward and telling police he did it because of the impact of the film?
WILSON: The whole situation is mind-boggling to me. You know, these are things that we see on television and these are things we see in the movies that happen to people, but they don't happen to people that we know. And then all of a sudden, here it is and it's happening to you. And it's -- just to hear about how somebody wanted to plan out and cold-bloodedly kill your child is most troubling.
ZAHN: Mr. Wilson, you've believed from day one your daughter was murdered. When it was finally confirmed, in fact, that she had not committed suicide and was, indeed, murdered, was there any sense of comfort? That might not be the right word, but...
ZAHN: ... any sense of relief?
WILSON: Only in that she -- you know, there was vindication for Ashley. As far as, you know, when this guy confesses, when this guy goes to jail, when this guy does whatever, it makes -- the only thing it does for us is ensures us that he's not on the street killing somebody else. It really doesn't help to take away the pain -- I'm sorry! -- of losing my daughter. So that will never change. But at least he won't kill anybody else. At least, I hope, you know, he's locked up long enough that he won't be able to.
ZAHN: Well, we do know your loss is very fresh and how difficult it is for you to talk about this to us tonight. But we do appreciate your joining us, and we wish your family luck as you all try to do some healing. Dan Wilson, thank you.
WILSON: Thank you.
ZAHN: And good luck to your family.
WILSON: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ZAHN: The University of Maryland has been working to clean up its sporting events after an incident a couple months ago in which rowdy fans used a vulgar chant to taunt an opposing team member. Well, now the university has obtained permission from the state's attorney general to restrict the use of vulgarities at its college sports games. So is the policy a violation of free speech?
Joining us now to debate that is 1st Amendment attorney Lawrence Walters and sports legal analyst Robert Becker. Good to see both of you.
All right, Rob, you're a smart attorney. You've heard of 1st Amendment rights before.
ROB BECKER, ATTORNEY, SPORTS ANALYST: I have.
ZAHN: How the heck would you enforce this?
BECKER: Well, you can enforce it by having a list of certain words that cannot be used in certain kinds of sentences. And if somebody uses them, you escort them from the building, or perhaps you just say, You know what? You can't come in the next time you want to come in.
ZAHN: So what, you have 10 language police per every 200 sports watchers?
BECKER: Well, look, there are certain words that are particularly offensive. There are certain words that you and I know that we can't say on this program. Well, whatever those words are, you could take those same words, put them in a list and say if someone says these loud at a sporting event, they're escorted out of the building.
ZAHN: Do you think this would really, Lawrence, do anything to reduce the kind of vulgar behavior we've seen in college campuses for years?
LAWRENCE WALTERS, 1ST AMENDMENT ATTORNEY: Not a chance, you know? I mean, how do you ever come up with an effective list? Either the list is going to be overbroad, in that it's going to censor too much speech and people are going to always come up with other words that can convey just as effectively, you know, whatever profanity they want to convey...
ZAHN: So do you think this is a joke?
WALTERS: ... or the list is too vague. I don't know if it's a joke. I mean, people feel strongly about it, but you know, the 1st Amendment rights involved are very serious. And if the government starts with censoring profanity at a football game, I'm very concerned about where that could lead and what kind of precedent that sets, frankly...
BECKER: Wait a minute! But this...
WALTERS: ... from a 1st Amendment standpoint.
ZAHN: OK, where do you draw the line here, Rob?
BECKER: OK, first of all, you point out that this is property owned by the government. It's -- you have a rule that specifically applies to using curse words loudly in the presence of women and children. There are exceptions, and you -- the exceptions are when you are trying to protect a certain group, you have a certain location. I mean, just as the FCC says, You know what? You can't use these words on television, this government here, Maryland, says, You can't use it in our arena. And that's totally consistent.
Remember, this is a school, where you have the sort of idea of protecting children...
ZAHN: I get that. I get that.
BECKER: ... and students.
ZAHN: But Lawrence raised the issue...
WALTERS: Big difference.
ZAHN: ... of what is offensive to one person is not offensive to the other. And how are you going to come up with lists where you're going to...
BECKER: Well, no, but this is...
ZAHN: ... satisfy half of these critics?
BECKER: But wait a minute. The words...
BECKER: ... are not offensive to everyone, but it's still perfectly acceptable for the FCC to say you canned use the "F" word and the "S" word. And you know, George Carlin's famous list of seven words, the FCC can ban that.
WALTERS: This is not the public airwaves, though. We're dealing with a government-owned piece of property, which is a traditional public forum. We're not talking about public airwaves, where there is a license to use them, that can be revoked. We're talking about people in public. And people swear in public, frankly.
BECKER: But there's a difference between the public and a property owned by the government. I don't see any reason why they can't put a license on that, a condition, and say, You want to come into our building on campus at the University of Maryland, you can't use these curse words. That doesn't raise the risk, sir, that the government will go out into Central Park and say you can't curse in Central Park. WALTERS: Well, if you want to use our sidewalk, then you're going to have to agree not to use these words. And if you want to walk into our city hall...
BECKER: The government...
WALTERS: ... you're going to have to agree to not say this. That's a very, very dangerous precedent, Rob.
BECKER: No, you can draw the line at publicly owned property, particularly if you make it clear in the rule that you're protecting certain people who can't get up and leave in time to get out of the way of your loud noise. And that is perfectly acceptable.
ZAHN: And Larry, do you think there's any compromise here that would curb the vulgarity and still allow people what they think is free expression at these games?
WALTERS: You know, I think the approach has to be one of incentive and voluntariness. You know, there should be certain incentives provided to students that comply and, you know, give the students a challenge. Why don't you let them come up with a way that they can be convinced and incentivized to do the right thing.
ZAHN: I hear free beer coming to mind!
BECKER: No, I don't have a problem...
BECKER: No, I would agree...
BECKER: ... with Lawrence that that's preferable. If we can get kids not to curse by incentivizing, I'm all for it. But the issue here in Maryland is, what if that doesn't work? And I think they do have a right...
WALTERS: It's not only...
ZAHN: All right, gentlemen, we will watch the debate and see how this impacts college campuses across the country. Rob Becker, Lawrence Walters, thank you for your time tonight.
BECKER: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Coming up: Some magicians take their secrets to the grave. Houdini's most baffling performance could soon be stripped of its mystery. Should it?
ZAHN: Everyone knows magicians never reveal their secrets. So that's why a small museum in Harry Houdini's home town of Appleton, Wisconsin, is causing quite a stir. It is revealing the secret of the legendary escape artist's signature trick, called "Metamorphosis."
And joining us now, two performers who don't quite see eye to eye on this. James Randi, known on stage as "The Amazing Randi," is president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. He joins us from Florida tonight. And in Los Angeles, Jonathan Pendragon, a magician who says he performs Houdini's Metamorphosis trick more than anyone else in the world.
Good to see both of you. Welcome.
JONATHAN PENDRAGON, MAGICIAN: Thank you, Paula.
JAMES RANDI, "THE AMAZING RANDI": It's good to be here.
ZAHN: So James, you believe that it's in very bad taste to reveal the secrets of one of these tricks, don't you. Why?
RANDI: I think it's very mean-spirited. Now, I will defer to Jonathan in all respects about the Metamorphosis itself because he still does it. The Pendragons are famous for doing this all over the world. But -- I haven't done it in 15 years. That is, I haven't done the escape act. But still, I think it's very much like seeing Itzhak Perlman play a beautiful concerto on the violin and saying, Let's take apart the violin to find out how he did that. That's ridiculous, I think, and it's very mean-spirited and not classy at all.
ZAHN: But Jonathan, you don't have a problem with this. Why?
PENDRAGON: Well, I think, first of all, that you're going to a museum, so you're making a journey to the museum. And the Metamorphosis trunk is actually partitioned off. And there's a sign that warns you, If you don't want to know how this is done, don't walk in here. So for kids that are interested in magic, this is an interesting way to really feel history, to go back there. And I've actually performed Metamorphosis in Houdini's trunk for a special.
ZAHN: And it's also -- you can go out and buy books that tell you how to do some of these tricks, so...
PENDRAGON: If you want to know...
ZAHN: Why don't you walk us through the trick, since you've done it so many times.
PENDRAGON: OH, sure.
ZAHN: We have actually video of you performing it. And you're going to see this right alongside with all of us in the audience tonight and tell us what's going on.
ZAHN: You can reveal any secrets along the way, if you'd like to. PENDRAGON: No.
ZAHN: Give us a jump start on all this.
PENDRAGON: No, this is my wife, Charlotte (ph), who is now tying me into the bag. And she's going to take a rope and she's going to secure the top of the bag and then lock me into the trunk. And...
ZAHN: Are you really still in the trunk, at this point?
PENDRAGON: I am still in the trunk. We actually -- the actual -- when we move, we move late and we move fast. And it's -- we move so fast that we don't even really think about what we're doing, and it's pure instinct, at that point. So now she puts a sword through the hafts, to give a secondary lock. She's now going to jump on the trunk. And now here's where the exchange is going to take place, where Char (ph) and I change places. Watch.
ZAHN: That's amazing! How do you do it? Now, look, you had the Clintons completely baffled.
PENDRAGON: Very baffled.
ZAHN: I don't think Bill Clinton looked up from that gaze for many minutes after the performance.
PENDRAGON: You know, it's funny, because I never actually get a chance to see it.
ZAHN: Of course you don't.
ZAHN: But you have no problem, then, with someone coming into the museum and knowing exactly how you've done this trick? It's certainly going to take the surprise out of it the next time you perform it.
PENDRAGON: I don't necessarily think so. First of all, Houdini's method isn't exactly the way I presented it. And I know the method and it's extremely difficult to present. The museum can't show, you know, exactly how we do it. They're going to show certain aspects of it. What I hope it does is it creates appreciation for the art.
ZAHN: All right...
PENDRAGON: We horde the secrets so much that people forget the presentation, and it's the presentation that makes it unique.
ZAHN: All right. And James, you say it's going to have the opposite effect. And I can only give you about 15 seconds for a final thought.
RANDI: Well, I must say, I always get a kick out of seeing it. Jonathan, thank you for that video clip there. It's always entertaining. But I must say, I have to defer to you, Jonathan. You're the performer. I haven't done it in a long time. So I'll go along with you.
ZAHN: We got you two to agree! James Randi, Jonathan Pendragon, thank you for both joining us tonight. Appreciate it. Enjoy the Metamorphosis. Thank you so much for being with us tonight. Have a great weekend. We'll be back Monday night.
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