The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Religion and Politics; Steroid Suspicions Haunt American Athletes, Philippine Government Backs Down to Save Hostage; Steroid Scandal Hits Olympic Athletes; Company Offers Napping Pods

Aired July 13, 2004 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Religion and politics.




MOORE: Is there any way you can get them to enlist?


ZAHN: At a theater near you. Two blockbuster hits help highlight our nation's great divide, two ideas, two extremes, two Americas.

And steroids, sports, and controversy one month before the Olympic Games.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's cut and dried. They are cheating on their fellow competitors. They are cheating the American public.

ZAHN: Suspicion haunts our American athletes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never, ever failed a drug test.


ZAHN: Good evening. Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

Tonight, two countries under one name. Americans share the same land, use the same currency, and pledge allegiance to the same flag. And while that pledge says we are indivisible, we are very much divided. You only have to look as far as the polls to see that there are two Americas, urban vs. rural, Democrats vs. Republicans, liberal vs. conservative, blue states vs. red states.

Perhaps another subtle example of division, the success of two different yet similarly polarizing movies.

Tom Foreman explains. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The blockbuster movie "Passion of the Christ," supported strongly by conservative religious audiences, has pulled in more than $600 million this year. At the same time, "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the most successful documentary movie ever, heavily touted by urban liberal fans.

The twin accomplishments of these films offer a movie-going parallel to a theme of Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards. There are two Americas.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's one for all those families who have whatever they want whenever they need it, and then there's one for everybody else.

FOREMAN: Edwards is talking specifically about the economy, attacking a 20-year trend in which income for the wealthy 1 percent of Americans has nearly tripled, while income for the poorest fifth has risen only 6 percent.

Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute does not believe this constitutes two Americas, but he says, because some Americans are faring much better than others, many social divides have widened between races, genders, geographic regions, as everyone competes.

JARED BERNSTEIN, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: I think the distribution of economic resources is a key factor, explaining the kinds of divisions that we experience in this country. In times when we're growing together, I think there's a sense of shared purpose that eludes us when inequality is soaring.

FOREMAN: And then there is the big divide, values.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We stand for institutions like marriage and family, which are the foundations of our society.

FOREMAN: The ascendance of religious values as a decisive and divisive factor in politics is overwhelming, so much so that political analysts now say, if a person regularly goes to a church, a synagogue, or a mosque, that person will probably vote Republican.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: The Republicans have assumed the mantle of speaking for what they call Americans of faith, all faiths, whereas Democrats have come to be the party that speaks for Americans for whom, well, religion is certainly important, but not necessarily the central feature of their lives or politics.

FOREMAN: Does all this make two Americas?

BERNSTEIN: I think there may be hundreds of Americas.

FOREMAN (on camera): What it certainly makes is a very hard time for moderate voters. Indeed, many moderates complain that extremists, liberal and conservative and Democrat and Republican, have hijacked the political process.

(voice-over): And those groups, moderates fear, will undermine whoever wins the election by defining him purely as one of us, or one of them.


ZAHN: Our Tom Foreman in Washington.

Joining us now to discuss the issues dividing Americans, in Seattle, film critic, author and national syndicated talk show host Michael Medved, in Washington for us tonight, "Washington Post" columnist and author of "Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge," E.J. Dionne, and in Washington as well, CNN political analyst and "Los Angeles Times' reporter Ron Brownstein.

Good to see you all three of you. Welcome.


ZAHN: Ron, I want to start with you this evening.

We know how much controversy these films have inspired. What does their heat reveal about the core of our nation?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it tells us that, when you look especially, as "The New York Times" did today, at the differential of where they're playing well, it tells you that the biggest divides in American politics now are more along cultural than economic lines.

It's kind of ironic John Edwards talks about the two Americas, because the Democratic Party over the last generation has grown increasingly dependent on the votes of people from the sunny side of his two Americas. In essence, income is no longer the best predictor of how someone votes. Much better predictors are where they fall out on a series of cultural indicators, ranging from frequency of church attendance, married or single, urban, rural lifestyles. Those are the things that have been dividing the electorate increasingly over the last generation and will probably be a profound influence again in 2004.

ZAHN: E.J., let's talk a little more about that influence right now, and, in particular, born out of a quote from columnist Andrew Sullivan, who wrote -- quote -- "If you are a fundamentalist red stater, Mel Gibson is a hero. If you're a leftist blue stater, Michael Moore is, in the words of 'The New York Times,' a credit to the republic. The truth is that both movies are different but equally potent forms of cultural toxin, poisonous to debate, to reason, and to civility."

Do you view these movies as cultural toxin?

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think these movies do speak to two constituencies. That was a very powerful piece Andrew Sullivan wrote.

I think one of the problems with this conversation is that we act as if we're a 50/50 nation, half on the side of the Mel Gibson movie, half on the other side, when the truth is that the vast majority of Americans still are in the middle. There are a lot of religious Americans, for example, who share Mel Gibson's value of Jesus as savior who vote Democratic. A lot of those voters are African- Americans.

They're totally left out of when we have this discussion. They're deeply religious people, quite traditionalist in their views, and they vote Democratic. The other problem with the discussion is that believing, having a clear and strong set of religious beliefs is not automatically associated with political beliefs, whereas the Michael Moore movie is clearly a political statement against George Bush.

So I think the two things we're comparing here are not exactly apples and oranges, but almost there.

ZAHN: So, Michael, why do you think both of these movies are doing so well?

MICHAEL MEDVED, FILM CRITIC: Well, first of all, they're not doing comparably well. And I think that's very, very important to keep in mind.

The Michael Moore movie is a genuinely polarizing film. People either hate it or they love it in about equal measure. But if you listen to the audiences who actually went to see "The Passion of the Christ," which were audiences about five times as large as the Michael Moore movie, the audiences overwhelmingly loved it. They responded to it not as a political statement, but as a statement of faith.

And I think that the whole idea that these two movies are compared to one another indicates how out of touch some people in the elites really are. Most Americans are deeply religious


ZAHN: A documentary has never done as well as this. We're comparing a documentary to a movie, after all.

MEDVED: You're right. But it's been many years before since an R rated, extremely bloody religious movie did this well either. "The Passion of the Christ" demonstrates, it seems to me, something that people in the political realm need to remember, which is that this nation remains overwhelmingly Christian, overwhelmingly religious, and people went to see "The Passion of the Christ" not because of hatred of anyone, whether it was George Bush or the Jewish temple authorities 2,000 years ago.

They went to it out of a love for their Christian faith in an attempt to uplift it.

ZAHN: Gentlemen, we're going to leave it there for round one. Michael Medved, E.J. Dionne, Ron Brownstein, I want you to all hang around with us.

We're going to continue our look at the two Americas straight out of this break. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Joining me again to discuss America's divide as seen through "The Passion of the Christ" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," Seattle film critic and national syndicated talk show host Michael Medved, in Washington, "Washington Post" columnist and author E.J. Dionne, with a new book out, and along with CNN political analyst and "Los Angeles Times" reporter Ron Brownstein.

Welcome back.


ZAHN: Ron, you touched on this a little bit earlier on in our discussion about this vast group of Americans in the middle, many absolutely violently opposed to extremes on both sides. What is it that the presidential candidates should be paying attention to if they want to win this race in November?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, ultimately, I do believe that, even though the number of swing voters is probably smaller than it used to be, in part because culturally defined politics I think leaves less room to move people from one side to the other, even though it's smaller, it's still going to be decisive.

We do still have a middle in America. We still have independent voters who aren't locked in to one side or the other. And I think both have the same challenge, which is figuring out a way to speak to those voters at a time when their bases are so polarized. And there's always this pressure, when you have right now a 90 percent approval rating for Bush among Republicans, about 15 among Democrats, the widest gap we've had in the history of the modern polling, there's a tendency to try to speak to that passion.

And the challenge for both is to find ways to moderate that and remember that, even though it is smaller, that sliver in the middle does get to decide this race, especially in some of those Midwestern battleground states.


ZAHN: Historically, E.J., why have they been ignored?

DIONNE: Why have...

ZAHN: The middle?

DIONNE: The middle is never ignored. And they get more and more attention as the election gets closer.

If we thought politics were only about culture, then we wouldn't get on shows like this all the time and say, what are the two decisive elements in this election? It's, well, what's going to happen in Iraq and what's going to happen in the economy. So I think we can exaggerate the power of cultural issues. We also don't look at the fact that a lot of people are divided within themselves.

An NRA member may be a member of a labor movement. Or a Christian conservative may be a member of a labor union. A labor leader in Pennsylvania once tried to get at this. He spoke to a largely NRA audience of union members and said, at least when our party is in power, you can afford the ammunition. And so I think we are sort of divided that way.


BROWNSTEIN: E.J., I basically agree with you.

I think that no single issue is ever decisive; 2000 was a peak in the extent to which the country divided along cultural and economic lines. You could see it roll back a little this year, because you do have other issues, the economy and Iraq, that are pressing on voters more than anything was particularly in 2000.

But this basic line of division, even if it erodes somewhat, rather than the economic division we saw in the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s, I think that is here to stay.

MEDVED: I think it is very much.

And I happen to disagree with both of you gentlemen, because I think this will be a turnout election. I mean, people say statistically -- and I think it's reliable -- that last time out, there were four million white evangelicals, Bush's core constituency, who did not vote, who were turned off by the drunk driving conviction that came up in the last stages of the election or whatever.

Basically, if you talk about the available voters in the middle, that number is much smaller than the number of available voters who either will vote or won't vote. And that goes to the African-American community and to the minority community...


MEDVED: ... on the Democratic side and religious believers on the Republican side. It's getting those people to the polls.


BROWNSTEIN: Michael, that's been the problem, though, with one side or the other trying to win it by turnout. There are so many people who don't vote in America that it's relatively easy for either side to match an expanded turnout by the other.

In the end, I still think that both sides in this election, if you look at those approval ratings, if you look at the fund-raising numbers on both sides, it says there's a lot of intensity out there. I doubt either side is going to have much of an advantage on motivating their base. In the end, the task is still going to be tilting those last few percent.

MEDVED: And I think those last few percent are more likely than anything else not to vote.


To all three of you -- and, E.J., you get to answer this first -- when you look at the increasing disenchantment some voters have with voices giving to extremes on both sides of the political spectrum, what role do you think the media plays in that? Have we fueled that?

DIONNE: Well, I think it's -- I think the media often like to have a guest on the left and a guest on the right who will scream at each other. Now, sometimes that screaming can be informative. There are some of the screamers I like and some of the screamers I don't like.

But I think, in this time, there's a lot of passion, genuine passion on both sides and in the middle. President Bush is a polarizing figure. Bill Clinton to a significant degree was a polarizing figure. And so I think there's a lot of honest passion out there about this election, which is why by the way I agree with both of the other guys. There will be very high turnout on both sides. I think that cancels -- they'll cancel each other out in terms of turnout.

And that's why, in the end, despite the fact we're saying the middle isn't important, those voters will decide the election.


ZAHN: I think you have just sold your new book to two of your colleagues there on the air.

DIONNE: It was Clintonian on my part.


ZAHN: Michael, a quick closing thought from you.

And, Ron, you get the last word.

Michael, go ahead.


MEDVED: I think there are some issues, particularly cultural issues, that are just so explosive that they're almost difficult to deploy politically.

I was very struck by the fact that the other night, John Kerry was asked if he'd seen "Fahrenheit 9/11." And he said, no, and he wasn't going to. And he said the same thing about "The Passion of the Christ." The fact that Kerry won't take a position on two movies that do appeal so powerfully to different bases I think says that all of these cultural issues need to be handled by care by any aspiring president.

ZAHN: Playing it safe there, huh, Ron?

BROWNSTEIN: I was going to say, going back to your question, Paula, I think the media does play a role. Clinton was polarizing figure personally, but by and large, his agenda tried to find ideas that could bridge both sides, fiscal responsibility and government activism, opportunity and responsibility.

I think the media had a very hard time trying to understand what was a genuine effort to move beyond what E.J. once called the debate of false choices. And it does contribute to the polarization, not only by who we put on TV, but who we don't put on TV. We don't really look for centrist solutions. We tend to frame debates by the absolutes that are against each other.


ZAHN: Good point. Good thing for us all to keep in mind here as we're booking these shows.

Ron, E.J., Michael, thank you for all of your perspectives. Interesting discussion.


ZAHN: Coming up, if it's true that Americans vote with their pocketbooks, you're going to want to stick around.

We'll be right back.


ZAHN: For many Americans, Iraq, same-sex marriage, and national health care don't matter as much as having a job. So, when they go to the polls this November, they'll be voting on the economy. But is the economy improving or is it stuck in a rut? Well, it depends on who you listen to.

President Bush says things are looking up.


BUSH: This economy of ours is strong and it's growing stronger. Since last summer, our economy has been growing at its fastest rate in nearly 20 years. In less than a year's time, we've added 1.5 million new jobs.


ZAHN: But presidential hopeful John Kerry sees room for improvement.


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to restore fairness to America, fundamental fairness. We're going to restore an economy where the average American isn't just slaving away at two jobs or three jobs, working and working for the economy. We're going to provide an economy that's working for Americans. That's what this is about.


ZAHN: Well, in spite what was he said, a new Gallup poll shows Americans are becoming more optimistic about the economy. More than half of those polled say they believe the economy is getting better. That is up eight points since May.

Joining me now to discuss these findings, in Washington, regular contributor and "TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein.



ZAHN: Hi. How you doing?

And here in New York with me, James Surowiecki, financial columnist for "The New Yorker" magazine. He's also the author of "The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations."

I don't know how the heck you fit that on the cover of the book, but you did.


JAMES SUROWIECKI, AUTHOR, "THE WISDOM OF CROWDS": But thank you for having me on.

ZAHN: It's good to see you as well.

So, Jim, do you really believe the economy is getting better?

SUROWIECKI: Well, I think the economy is certainly getting better than it was a year ago. I think there's no doubt that -- the payroll numbers in particular, that employment is up and rising every month. The payroll numbers in the last month were a little weak.

But I think in terms of just simply employment, the economy is getting better.

ZAHN: Let's take a look at two other results in the poll right now. Nearly twice as many people believe it's a good time to find a quality job as one year ago. We'll pause on this for a second for people to digest it. And then there is also a jump in the number of people who believe their income is going to rise. That is up six points since June. What is fueling the optimism?

SUROWIECKI: Well, I think the more important number is probably the first one. And that really reflects the fact that, a year ago, CEOs were really very cautious, were not doing much hiring at all, were really content to go with the work force they had and try to work them as hard as possible.

And that's really changed I think in the last year. So that I think is driving some of the optimism. The second number about personal income is interesting, but, frankly, six points over a month, although it seems large, could be, relatively speaking, within the margin of error.

ZAHN: So how does the Kerry camp field these numbers, Joe Klein. Are they worried about them?

KLEIN: Well, I think that the Kerry camp has begun to concentrate on something else.

One of the truths about economics and economic numbers is that a recovery takes a really long time to sink in. With the first President Bush, the economy was in a recovery then, but nobody quite believed it. It took two or three years of a Clinton recovery for people to believe it in 1996. And so the question is whether this recovery has started too late to help the current President Bush and whether there are other factors involved, like for example, the big question out there that Kerry keeps on emphasizing is the notion of a middle-class squeeze, of the fact that health care premiums are going up, college tuition is going up, the price of gas is going up.

And so even though more people are employed, people are bringing home less. I don't know what John Kerry or any other politician can do about that, but that's what they're talking about.

ZAHN: Well, let's talk about the wild card in all of this. What could it be, Jim?

SUROWIECKI: Well, I think that actually one of the things that's interesting about this poll is, on one hand, it seems to be better for Bush in terms of the economy being stronger.

But we know I think in the same poll or maybe the poll was taken a few days ago, it doesn't seem to be translating into improved presidential ratings. And so I think one of the questions now is, even if the economy is getting better, does it then become less important to voters as they have shifted their attention to Iraq or perhaps back to al Qaeda, which had been strengths for Bush, but now may not be seen as that at all?

ZAHN: So do you, Joe, have insights tonight on what John Kerry has to do to perhaps recalibrate his economic strategy here to confront these new numbers?

KLEIN: Well, I think the -- I don't think he's going to recalibrate at all. I don't think that these new numbers are significant. They're just part of a trend that's been going on for three or four or five months.

Everybody knows that the economy has been improving over the past year. And the question is whether it manifests itself in people's paychecks and their pocketbooks on a week-to-week basis. Kerry and Edwards are betting that they're not. One thing you don't see them talking about as much as they did during the primary campaign is the loss of jobs overseas and the need to create new jobs. I think that that always was a stretch.

And it's one of the places where Democratic politicians traditionally overreach. They overreach by saying they can do something to create a better jobs market. Republicans overreach by overplaying the impact of tax cuts on average families.

ZAHN: So how do you think the voters should be reading the minds of these two candidates in the next several months?

SUROWIECKI: Well, I think Joe's point is a good one, which is to say that we tend to put an enormous amount of emphasis as voters on what presidents can do.

And the practical reality is that there generally is not all that much they can do. They can make very bad decisions for the economy. But in general they're not going to be making the key decisions about, say, increasing personal income. But I do think that some of the things people are going to be looking to and should be are things like health care and whether or not there is -- which presidential candidate is offering a reasonable health care plan, because one of the things that's curious about the last two years is that although personal income has been flat, total compensation has been actually up pretty significantly.

The problem is most of that is being eaten up by health care premiums that companies are paying.

ZAHN: And let's talk about John Kerry's health care plan in closing, Joe, tonight. At a time when he talks about wanting to cut budget deficits, we also know the plan he's talking about is a, what, $600 billion plan.

KLEIN: Well, he says he's going to pay for that by raising taxes on the wealthy.

And if you look at the history of health care plans, what John Kerry is offering now is precisely what the Republicans were offering 10 years ago when Senator John Chaffee came up with a plan for them, and, before that, the Heritage Foundation. It's a pretty conservative plan. But let me emphasize, I think that this is going to be a secondary issue.

I think that the biggest issue in this campaign was, is, and remains national security and whether President Bush made the right decision to go into Iraq.

ZAHN: Gentlemen, we've got to leave it there. Joe Klein, James Surowiecki, thank you both for joining us tonight.

SUROWIECKI: Thank you.

ZAHN: Coming up next, from domestic politics to international terror, more hostages, more pressure on U.S. allies in Iraq.

We'll be right back.


PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Breaking news now. The Philippine government has begun pulling its forces out of Iraq a month early to help save the life of a hostage.

Angelo De la Cruz is a 46-year-old truck driver and father of eight. The danger he faces was driven home today with another beheading. Al Jazeera ran videotape showing one of two Bulgarian hostages being executed. The networks said the kidnappers threatened to kill the other hostage in 24 hours if female prisoners in Iraq are not released by then.

That following the beheadings by American Nick Berg and two others by terrorists in the last three months. Well now, the Bush administration worried a deal freeing the Filipino hostage will send the wrong message.

State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel joins us now.

So what is the reaction from the State Department tonight, Andrea? Welcome.


There actually is no new reaction. This only happened about 20 minutes ago. I put out some calls, but officials are no longer in the building and probably having dinner right now.

Earlier today, however, they did express disappointment in what they anticipated was going to be this move by the Philippines. They had said as recently as today that they would be withdrawing some of those 51 humanitarian forces there as soon as possible.

We now know that they began that today. It's actually Wednesday right now in Iraq.

ZAHN: Andrea, there's been a lot of discussion about the symbolism of this being far more than the numbers of humanitarian workers we're talking about here. The fear is what? The perception that a country is caving in to the demands of a terrorist?

KOPPEL: Exactly. And if a country like the Philippines with President Gloria Arroyo, who is this fireplug, tough woman, very anti- terrorism standing side by side with President Bush, caves to the demands of terrorists, as she apparently has today, then what about countries that are not quite as tough on terrorism, other members of the coalition of the willing in Iraq?

Will this give further fuel to those hostage takers saying, "Hey, we were able to pressure the Philippines let's go for the of soft underbelly of the coalition of the willing."

ZAHN: Which is a very important point you just raised. And clearly this does empower terrorists, doesn't it? KOPPEL: It certainly does. And that was what Richard Bouchard, State Department spokesman, was saying today. He was saying that's the policy of the United States, not to negotiate with terrorists.

Because the message, even though, as you pointed out, it is a symbolic one to have only 51 troops coming back after all a month earlier than they had anticipated, even though it's just a small handful, it does give the hostage takers more oomph and perhaps more -- more of a willingness to say, "Let's go after other countries, take them -- their people over there, take them hostage, and really force the United States and Great Britain, the real powers over there, to force them to withdraw earlier than they would like."

ZAHN: Sure. But realistically, Andrea, was there anything the United States could have done to put more pressure on the Philippines not to make this move?

KOPPEL: Well, they had been. And in fact, Secretary Powell spoke with President Arroyo on Sunday and had been given assurances by her directly that they were going to stay the course and only withdraw by August, next month, basically.

And that's why the State Department was so surprised when they heard the latest news from the State Department -- excuse me, from the Philippines, today saying that they were going to withdraw as soon as possible, essentially giving in to the demands of the hostage takers.

ZAHN: Andrea Koppel, thanks for updating us with this breaking news tonight. Appreciate it.

When we come back, steroids, sports, and suspicion, the devastating effect on America's athletes.


ZAHN: For decades the Olympics have used drug tests to guard against athletes who cheat by taking steroids to make themselves stronger. Well, this year is different.

Four American athletes who have never failed a drug test have now been accused of steroid use. And none of them will be at the games when they start one month from today.

Three of them failed to qualify at the track and field trials going on in Sacramento. One pulled out with an injury. All four were accused of doping as a result of an investigation into BALCO, the San Francisco lab that is at the center of an international steroid scandal.

Well, today, two reports say BALCO's founder and former medical director face a record $772,000 fine from the state of California. It is a scandal that has touched some of America's brightest hopes for the Athens games.


ZAHN (voice-over): It was a story about muscle, might, and medals. But times have changed.

JOHN CAPEL, SPRINTER: Right now, anytime somebody runs a very, very fast time, they'll say, you know, "What, is he on performance enhancing drugs?"

ZAHN: Now it's about suspicion, finger pointing, and denials.

MARION JONES, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: Despite all of its leaks and rumormongering, USADA has yet to produce a single of shred of credible information against me.

ZAHN: Five-time Olympic medal winner Marion Jones is one of the stars at the center of the alleged doping scandal, although she has never been charged. She has repeatedly and firmly denied ever using performed enhancing drugs.

But all the attention may have cost her a medal already. She failed to qualify this week for the Olympic 100 meters, the race she won a gold for in the 2000 games.

Now her hopes for Olympic glory rest for the 200-meter race and the long jump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Jones is not running nearly as quickly she's capable.

ZAHN: Four American track and field athletes have been charged with doping by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, including Christi Gaines, Michelle Collins, and Alvin Harrison.

Also charged, world record holder Tim Montgomery, Marion Jones' boyfriend and father of her 1-year-old son. Montgomery also failed to qualify for Athens, finishing seventh in the 100-meter finals.

Afterward he told reporters, "This is the reason I didn't win; I've got you all on my back. I have to deal with you all every day."

All of the athletes charged have denied the allegations. But if found guilty, they face suspension or a lifetime ban from the sport.

And it is not just track and field athletes. Baseball players Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield. Football players Chris Cooper and Bill Romanowski are under suspicion. They, too, have denied using steroids.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The use of performance enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports, is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message.

ZAHN: President Bush, in his State of the Union address, demanded that sport clean up its act.

BUSH: So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough and to get rid of steroids now.

ZAHN: And today, a Senate committee took up the issue.

TERRY MADDEN, CEO, U.S. ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: We're going after them. We're going after the drug cheats. That's what they are. It's cut and dried. They are cheating on their fellow competitors. They are cheating the American public. And when they go overseas, they're cheating international athletes.

ZAHN: In the hearing, disturbing evidence of how the athletes abusing steroids are getting younger and younger. This college athlete didn't want to identify himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When first arriving at a program like this, the temptation to use steroids is great because of the surrounding players, who quite obviously have taken the chance to use these drugs to gain physical strength.

ZAHN: Others said the drugs are easy to get.

DON HOOTEN, SON TOOK STEROIDS: When I put three words into the Google search engine, "buy," "steroids," "online," over 300,000 sites popped up. Senators, all our kids need are a credit card number or a money order to have hardcore prescription anabolic steroids shipped right to their doorstep.

ZAHN: Don Hooten testified that his son Taylor, a high school baseball player, was depressed and committed suicide almost one year ago today. Hooten blames steroids.

HOOTEN: Because one of the things you do after a suicide is you ask yourself, thousand -- "Why didn't we notice this? Why didn't we connect it with something?" We've asked that question ourselves a thousand times.

ZAHN: For this father, there is no answer. But for this investigator, one thing is clear.

MADDEN: And it gets down to base situations of money, medals, fame. That's what our athletes want. The vast majority, the large majority of our athletes are clean. But there's a group of athletes that will do anything to be successful.

ZAHN: Despite the fact that lives, not just medals, world records and fame, are at stake.


ZAHN: And joining us now from Petaluma, California, Denise Garibaldi, who says her son killed himself after he took anabolic steroids for several years.

Thank you for joining us. I'll ask you to take a bit of a painful journey back to the time when your son was a star baseball player playing for the University of Southern California baseball team. When did you realize he had a problem?

DENISE GARIBALDI, SON COMMITTEED SUICIDE: It took us quite awhile to acknowledge that Rob had a problem and realize it.

He had a first rage episode in October, his second semester while at USC. And we thought it was depression. He underwent psychiatric care.

But it wasn't until two cycles later that we finally connected the dots about the steroid use and its being responsible for his depression and other psychological problems.

ZAHN: And you're convinced steroids did play a role here?

GARIBALDI: Absolutely. They are very much in our mind as killing our son.

ZAHN: Who, then, do you blame for your son's death?

GARIBALDI: Well, first and foremost, Rob made his own decision as a young man to follow in a career and pursue a career that had higher and higher expectations for success. So he ultimately made his decision.

However, that decision didn't come down any way lightly, because kids emulate their role models. And -- and the steroids were made available to him. Part of a course of a mindset he had started very young, in high school.

ZAHN: And Denise, when you said they were made available to him, do you believe he was under pressure ultimately to use them? We just heard that one athlete talking in silhouette behind a closed door, basically saying that he was out there competing, and everybody else around him was using.

And I know your son was underweight at one point, and the coaches actually told him to beef up his body, didn't they?

GARIBALDI: They absolutely did. From a very young age, he was told to get bigger, faster, stronger, that all aspects of his baseball game were excellent and that's all he needed to do.

He was not a large man. And he did and saw what steroids ultimately promised, a gain of 50 pounds over a period of three years. And that muscle mass.

ZAHN: At the point that your son was having these rage incidents -- I know a roommate reported to the authorities he was becoming increasingly erratic -- was there a point you confronted his coaches and said, "Come clean here. Can you tell me with 100 percent certainty that my son is using steroids?"

GARIBALDI: At the time, we needed to confront the steroids issues with his coaches. We were not aware that steroids were the problem. We thought Rob was suffering from bipolar disorder. That was increasingly becoming more severe.

It wasn't until Rob told us the following year that he, indeed, had taken steroids, and so there was no one to confront except him at that point in time.

ZAHN: And if I understood you correctly earlier, he conceded to you at one point that these were available to him even at the high school level? How shocking was that to you?

GARIBALDI: Extremely shocking. He was supplied performance enhancing supplements all through his high school and early college careers. We never even thought that that would entice him to use more dangerous supplements such as steroids later.

The fact that they are available to these children, and they are children, is -- is really shocking.

ZAHN: I think all of our hearts break when we hear your story and when you hear Mr. Hooten's story, talk so poignantly and pointedly about what happened to his son.

Just a final thought, to parents and their kids listening to this segment tonight, many of these kids who feel the same pressure your son felt to compete at a superstar level.

GARIBALDI: Do they have to compete at a superstar level? Yes, they do. But not at the risk of what's happening. They're risking their lives taking this. And it is -- there's a very deadly consequences. And even if it isn't deadly, there's little known about how much recovery they'll get over time.

We were hoping to have our son get through a year's withdrawal with treatment and move on with his life. But the withdrawal was so painful, he couldn't see that through.

ZAHN: And for people who don't understand that process, basically when you're on these drugs, they're giving you an unbelievable amount of energy, and you experience these great what seem an endorphin high, and then you come crashing down. Right, Denise?

GARIBALDI: Came crashing down very hard, without any warning. And then these episodes come and go without any warning, often with a lot of remorse afterwards. So there's a push and pull with family members and trying to understand.

We even had psychiatrists involved in his care, and until Rob started admitting what he was using, he was being treated for the wrong disorder.

ZAHN: Well, I know this pain is very fresh, and I know you haven't shared your story publicly before in this kind of a venue. We hope it will help save other families the pain that your family has endured. Denise Garibaldi, thank you for your time tonight.

GARIBALDI: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: Good luck to you.

And coming up, just how common is steroid use among America's track and field stars? We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Welcome back. We're talking about the steroid scandal among American Olympic athletes.

Joining us now from Sacramento, Craig Masback, chief executive officer of USA Track and Field, the governing body for the sport in the U.S.

Before we get to what your sport is doing to ensure that your athletes are clean when they're competing.

You just heard the story, the tragic story of Rob Garibaldi. Just a thought to his parents and a reflection of what other parents should be thinking about as they hear this story for the first time.

CRAIG MASBACK, CEO, USA TRACK AND FIELD: Well, it's an incredibly moving story. And as someone who has responsibility for the sport in this country of track and field cradle to grave.

Believe me, it's important to me. I also have a 6-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy at home. And this is what this issue is all about.

We can worry about Olympic athletes. We can worry about baseball players. But this is not a baseball or track or cycling problem; it's an American problem. Somehow we're sending the wrong signals to our kids that cheating is OK and that cheating is necessary to succeed in sports. And even if it's a small group of kids that get that message, that's too many.

ZAHN: I agree with you. Let's move on, though, to a more narrow range of this discussion. And that is, what assurances you can give the American public tonight that your sport is doing enough to stop the use of these drugs in your sport.

MASBACK: Well, you know, there can be no absolute assurance. And even though the American people want to know that the team that goes to Athens in all sports will be 100 percent clean, the thing that they can be proud of is that in Olympic sports in the United States, with the independent U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in charge, we have the most comprehensive anti-drug policy of any country in the world.

That means in the case of track and field, that our top athletes will be tested 2,000 times. And they can be tested any day of the year. Twenty-four hours a day, someone can come and knock on their door and say, "Give a sample."

Now, what that means is that we're going to catch people, and we have caught people. First we've caught them with positive tests.

And now as you reported, we're catching them through so-called non-analytical positives, evidence that has been developed through the BALCO scandal. And that came through a whistle blowing track coach.

So we've got new weapons. We're getting as close as possible to closing that window on the cheaters.

ZAHN: You might say you're closing the window, but at the same time you have Terry Madden, who's the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, basically saying until you come up with uniform standards of testing for amateur and non-amateur athletes, it's a non-starter.

MASBACK: I'm 100 percent with Terry. I mean, think about this. The groups that have been fighting the hardest on this issue include track and field, where we've been testing for more than 15 years and other Olympic sports.

We're the least resourced of all sports in the United States. The sports that have the resources to do this, including baseball and hockey, have done nothing whatsoever.

I think what needs to happen, and I'm glad to see these Senate hearings, is the government to get involved and say, "Let's have one national system of testing."

We have a program in track and field that if you test positive for steroids, you're out for life. I'd favor that for all sports. Let's have on standard. Let's test everybody the same way. Let's put everybody under the same microscope. Then we'll send the right signal to kids.

ZAHN: Final thought tonight on just how widespread the use is of these drugs within your sport, track and field?

MASBACK: Well, what I've said, Paula, and I think you actually heard it in the Senate hearings from someone else, the vast majority of our athletes are doing it the right way. The testing that we currently have deters the vast majority of those that even think about cheating.

What's left is a small subculture of dedicated cheaters. And if we keep fighting, and if we get the federal government involved, we put the resources of America behind it, we'll even catch those people as we have in the BALCO scandal. And that's what will take care of this issue in America.

ZAHN: Craig Masback, thank you for joining us tonight. Good luck in Athens.

When we come back, our own Jeanne Moos hops aboard the Z train.


ZAHN: Well, if we're honest with each other, we all need a nap every now and then. The trouble is if you're at work or out shopping, it can be tough to find a place to do just that.

Well, now a New York business whiz has figured out a way to sell sleep in a perfect 20-minute chunk.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When your head starts to droop, when your mouth starts to gape, maybe it's time to slip into something a little more comfortable.

(on camera) I wonder if people snore.

(voice-over): High above New York City in the Empire State Building, people are napping like peas in eight pods.

That's white noise. The pleasantly restful atmosphere feels like a cross between a gym and a funeral home.

Welcome to Metronaps.

ARSHAD CHOWDHURY, CO-FOUNDER, METRONAPS: Well, Metronaps is a place to power nap. It's a place where people can recharge.

MOOS: Co-founder Arshad Chowdhury offers 20-minute naps for $14. Some who have napped don't lose sleep over the price.

ALLEN JENNE, NAPPER: Nice doze. Twenty minutes is a nice doze.

MOOS (on camera): That's OK with you? Fourteen bucks?

JENNE: It's less than $1 a minute. What are you going to get for $1 a minute these days?

MOOS (voice-over): Parking, perhaps?

At Metronaps, they hand you a blanket...

(on camera) No napster has used this previously?

CHOWDHURY: Everything is cleaned after every user.

MOOS (voice-over): And tuck you in.

CHOWDHURY: The pod itself is designed to wake you up in about 20 minutes.

MOOS: It gently vibrates and the lights come on.

Some are so out of practice they need napping instructions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just lay? I feel like I'm in a spaceship.

MOOS: The sleeping modules in "2001: A Space Odyssey" were more advanced, but at least at Metronaps they don't murder you in your sleep as Hal, the computer, did in the movie.

The first Metronaps pod was designed by a team that specialized in racecars. It's like being under a hair dryer in a doublewide dentist chair that's capable of dizzying positions.

Metronaps' founders dreams of one day seeing their pods sprout all over.

CHOWDHURY: Airports, highway rest stops, in corporate offices, bus stations and train stations. Anywhere.

MOOS: Post-nap, nappers proceed to the wake station for towelettes and mints.

Our favorite Metronapping rule: pods are for single occupancy only.

But getting 40 winks in 20 minutes can be a challenge.

(on camera) How am I supposed to sleep if you're looking at me?


ZAHN: No napping until tomorrow, because "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. That was our own Jeanne Moos. Thank you for being with us tonight.

Hope you'll be back at the same time, same place tomorrow night. And that's when we'll look at the NAACP. It is very unhappy with President Bush. Does the civil rights group speak for most African- American voters?

Thanks again for dropping by tonight. Good night.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.