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CNN IN THE MONEY
Children Increasingly Being Targeted by Advertising; Candidates Focus on Ohio and Other Swing States as Election Nears
Aired October 16, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here's a look at the stories now in the news. The candidates made a beeline to battleground states this weekend. President Bush live this hour in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has three rallies planned today in a state crucial to his reelection. As for Democratic challenger, Senator Kerry, he's focusing on had Ohio today. Our CNN electoral analysis concludes Ohio has shifted into the Kerry column this week. Live reports from both campaigns at the top of the next hour.
In Iraq, an American soldier assigned to task force Olympia died from wounds in a car bomb attack in Mosul. And in Qaim, a town near the Syrian border, three American troops were killed in a suicide car bombing Friday night.
Explosions rock five churches in Baghdad today. The homemade bombs caused damage but no casualties are reported. The sectarian violence came at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Around 3/4 of a million Iraqis are Christian.
In Afghanistan, a roadside bomb kills two American soldiers. Three wounded men were evacuated to Germany for treatment. One of them is in critical condition.
And finally, residents of northern Gaza came out today to survey the damage, comparing a 17-day crackdown by the Israeli military to an earthquake. Israel pulled its troops yesterday saying the Gaza offensive put a stop to rocket fire into southern Israel. More than 100 Palestinians were killed in the operation.
I'm Kelly Wallace in Washington. More news at the bottom of the hour. IN THE MONEY begins right now.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City America's financial capital. This is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY, Buckeyes in the bull's eye. Ohio a prime target for the campaign. Election Day moves ever closer, see where the crucial swing state is leaning now.
Plus, defending the pump. We'll talk with a professor who says the U.S. military is playing a new big role in bringing us cheap oil. Plus, small fry with big demands. Advertisers can play a kid like a cheap violin. And you know who picks up the tab, mom and dad, don't you? Find out if the consumer culture is killing off childhood.
Joining me today, a couple of the IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer. Far and away the greatest number of e-mails we ever received on American morning was last Friday yesterday, when we posed the question, was it right for Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards to discuss the sexual orientation of Vice President Cheney's daughter, 2,100 people felt strongly enough to sit down and send us a note.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: And I got egg on my face, because I said in the beginning of the program, no one cared about this issue. I guess, and if I may flip-flop here for a minute, that people do care. But what I guess I mean to say here is, I don't know if it's going to change anyone's vote. People love to get on their soapbox and yell about this stuff, but what's it going to lead to in the end.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think these are very emotional issues. That's why you got so many responses. It's so complicated to talk about job creation, to talk about the war in Iraq, establishing peace. Those kind of things, you can't get an easy answer on. I do think that Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards were very deliberate in bringing up Mary Cheney because of the schism that exists between the vice president and president. Having said that, the vice president himself first raised the issue publicly in August. There will be a lot of people who say, she's fair game. She's one of his closest advisers.
SERWER: But it's crazy. It's like I'm going to talk about your gay daughter. Don't you talk about my gay daughter. What's happened to this campaign? I mean what are we talking about here?
LISOVICZ: It's a diversion from other more important issues, I think.
CAFFERTY: Obviously you can see there are absolutely no opinions on this subject. Thank you, Susan and Andy. All the experts agree that Ohio is a key swing state, if not the key swing state in this upcoming election. We noticed this several months ago and instead of talking to the pollsters, we went to a man who talks to Ohioans every single day. Bill Wills of the Wills and Coleman show in Cleveland, Ohio, gave us a pretty good feel for what was happening then. We said at the time we wanted to have him back and he was kind enough to join us today for an update. Bill, it's nice to have you on the program. Thanks.
BILL WILLS, RADIO HOST, OHIO: Jack, thank you. Good to be here.
CAFFERTY: The last time we talked, you said it wasn't clear if the citizens of Ohio were ready to fire the nation's chief executive. Has that sentiment changed since we talked last?
Not really Jack. I mean two weeks out, to mention the polls at first, Bush has had a pretty good lead outside the margin of error in Ohio most weeks, even through the debates. Turnout will be a key on Election Day and the Kerry campaign, as much as they're here, I don't think they've painted a picture for the future that Ohio voters are willing to go with yet.
LISOVICZ: One of the things that you've been intrigued by is some of the trends that have occurred in Toledo. Why is that significant?
WILLS: Susan, the state breaks down this way. Northern Ohio where we are in Cleveland, heavily Democratic, the valley through Youngstown and Akron. Southern Ohio heavy Republican. The president held a rally near Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago, 50,000 people were there. Towards the western part of the state, the northwestern part, Toledo near Detroit, that's an area, as well as Columbus, that could be pivotal. Our station conducted some polling in the last week or two after the first debate. Both Columbus and Toledo were leaning towards the president. That's good news for the Bush campaign.
SERWER: Toledo in the cross hairs, Bill. What's going to make undecided voters in Ohio make up their mind? First of all, are there still undecided voters in the Buckeye state and what's going to make them go one way or the other?
WILLS: Andy, I think there are two or three left. And the campaigns would love to know where they live. I think they would track them down. You know, I think what you're starting to see a lot from the national pundits is that this race historically, if you look at past races, will probably start to open up a little. And my sense would be those undecideds may want to eventually vote for the winner. Although other surveys also will tell you that undecideds normally go with the challenger, so that's still an open question, I think.
CAFFERTY: How did your listeners respond to the debates?
WILLS: Interestingly, if you were a Kerry supporter going in, you're still a Kerry supporter. If you're a Bush supporter, the same thing. Even the way the state broke down, there was one poll where we were asking about the debate, people in the southern part of the state thought Bush did a great job all three times, where in the northern part of the state, (UNINTILLIGBLE) it was Kerry.
SERWER: You could make the argument that he did pretty well the second debate. There was pretty much of a consensus that it was not his finest hour during that first debate. But I guess if you're a Bush guy, you're a Bush guy, right?
WILLS: I think you're right.
LISOVICZ: Bill, what is it like living in Ohio right now? I mean, tell us about the bombardment that residents are just subjected to, whether it's the radio airwaves or television, the placards, the billboards?
WILLS: Susan, I spoke to a television exec this week. I asked him the question I thought you may ask me about media dollars. Although they wouldn't be specific, I heard the phrase, record level. And they're expecting even more buys in the next couple of weeks. You watch the news here, or watch any television show, every break you're seeing two or three ads.
LISOVICZ: That's good for the economy though, right and in a perverse way, it's helping out Ohio.
WILLS: Exactly. We're in the spotlight. Even this week, just to give you an example on my little old radio show, I was able to interview the Treasury Secretary Snow, happened to be in Cleveland, would love to be on, the majority leader Frist happened to be in Cleveland and gave me a call. And even the national security advisor Condoleezza Rice was in Friday and she spent 20 minutes with us.
SERWER: All right. Hey, Bill, you ready to go on the record? What do you think?
WILLS: I think -- right now, the Buckeye state, I think, is going to be a Bush state.
SERWER: That's good news for the president, of course, because traditionally the Republicans have to win that state to win, of course.
WILLS: You are correct. No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio.
SERWER: Right. All right. My thanks to Bill Wills, WTM (ph) morning talk show host, joining us from the state of Ohio. And Bill, we might check with you after the election and see if it came out the way you thought it was going to.
WILLS: I'll be here, Jack. Enjoy Chicago, by the way.
SERWER: We're looking forward to it. Thanks very much.
Coming up on IN THE MONEY, fighting for your right to burn rubber. America's getting more for its oil from risky places. We'll look at what that means for the U.S. military as the price of a barrel of crude continues to rise out of sight.
Plus how Halloween can scare your wallet. It used to be about cutting holes in a sheet and carving a pumpkin. See why the holiday has gone big budget.
And monkey see, monkey don't. We'll show you what one car dealer is hiding in his trunk.
CAFFERTY: Oil prices continue ever upward. At one point this past week, they jumped past $54 a barrel for crude. That spike had some economists wondering if oil is on its way to eventually triggering a recession. Our next guest says we're growing more dependent on this stuff and getting more of it from risky places around the world. The result is a bigger military role in protecting America's oil. For more about all of this now, we're joined by Michael Klare from Baltimore. He's a professor of program peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of "Blood and Oil." Michael, welcome to the program.
MICHAEL KLARE, AUTHOR, "BLOOD AND OIL": Pleasure to be with you.
CAFFERTY: Give me a thumbnail on this sudden perceived and at least in your mind change of assignment for the U.S. military, and how suddenly they're going to be more involved in protecting our oil supplies around the world. It seems like a bit of a reach to me, but maybe not.
KLARE: You have to understand that more and more of our oil is being imported. It's now about 55 percent import. Soon it will be 60, 70 percent. And more and more of that imported oil is coming from very risky and unstable areas, in Africa and Latin America, in the Middle East and in central Asia. These are countries that have lots of ethnic wars, a lot of anti-Americanism, terrorism and as a result, the American military is finding itself more and more being assigned to protect refineries, to protect pipelines, to protect sea routes that tankers use and they've come under attack and Iraq, most of all, but in other areas as well.
LISOVICZ: OK, so, Michael, why don't you just quickly tick off where our American soldiers are defending U.S. oil interests.
KLARE: Well, of course, in Iraq, we have a lot of troops that spend their days protecting the pipelines and the refineries that have come under attack. They're also in the Persian Gulf protecting the sea routes, the tanker routes that carry all of that oil to the rest of the world. But we also have American military instructors in Columbia helping to protect the pipeline in guerrilla territories of Colombia and other troops in the former Soviet republic of Georgia helping to train the troops that will protect the new pipelines from the Caspian Sea. I think we're going to see more of this in the future.
SERWER: Michael, first of all, how is everything at Hampshire College? My wife went there.
KLARE: It's a great place. Thank you.
SERWER: OK, good. Why isn't this a bigger deal in the election? I thought that with the price of gas and heating oil being such as they are that more and more people would be upset about this and talking about it. They're not.
KLARE: My suspicion is, it's such a scary topic for people. We all understand, I think in this country, that the day will come when petroleum will be scarce, and that we're going to need to change our habits, our driving habits and a lot else. But nobody wants to face that day of reckoning. So we put it out of mind and out of sight and I think that's what's happened in the election.
CAFFERTY: So, it almost sounds a like the real third rail issue of Social Security. Everybody knows the system's going to go bankrupt. Nobody's got the political guts to do anything about it.
KLARE: Something like that. I think we all understand that Americans will have to trade in their SUVs some day for hybrid vehicles or very fuel efficient smaller cars or other modes of transportation. We know this day is coming. But we're reluctant to face it right up front.
LISOVICZ: Professor, there are signs of hope though. The world's second biggest economy, Japan is a real innovator in terms of alternate sources of energy and you can see it, for instance in the Prius, which has a backlog of people trying to get into this hybrid car.
KLARE: Yes. And, you know, what worries me is that Detroit isn't moving that quickly and that reflects this reluctance I see to move into the new technologies. Meanwhile, the Japanese are jumping ahead. That means 10, 15 years from now when we have to convert to those kind of cars, Detroit will be behind. I argue we have to move much more swiftly to adopt the new technologies.
SERWER: Michael, how much could we save in terms of our reliance on, dependence oil, just by painlessly cutting back on consumption?
KLARE: Well, bear in mind, under what's called the CAFE standards, these were adopted after the last big oil crunch in the 1970s, Congress adopted the corporate average fuel efficiency standards, which have raised the fuel efficiency of American cars. We're now saving about 2.5 million barrels a day as a result. And it wouldn't be that much harder to double that amount by raising the CAFE standards further. That's what Congress really has to do in the next period.
CAFFERTY: Let me get your thoughts on whether or not you think there might be a linkage between the fact that if all the cars in America suddenly got 50 miles to the gallon, the profits of the oil companies would probably go down, wouldn't they?
KLARE: Well, they would certainly go down in the short term. But if they in the meantime, invested in new technology, like hydrogen and solar and wind power and the new forms of energy that are sure to come along in the future, eventually they'll be able to jump right ahead.
LISOVICZ: You know, professor, one of the big concerns is not only with the U.S., the biggest consumer of energy in the world, it's with the developing nations like China because the United States shifted from a manufacturing base to service. So we use less oil. Our economy uses less oil. But China is a huge manufacturing center. There's a big problem there, isn't it?
KLARE: You're absolutely right. Of course, the United States uses less oil per dollar of manufactured goods. But we're using more oil every year because Americans are driving more miles every year. So we need more oil. And as you say, China now is buying cars right and left and so their demand for oil is skyrocketing. And that's really why we see this increase in price at the pump. That, and what we were saying earlier about the instability in Nigeria, in Venezuela, in Iraq and Iran. Combine all of that and you have very high prices. And I think they're going to last.
SERWER: Michael, when you're talking about conflict around the world, protecting our energy interests, I mean, this is part of a historical continuum, isn't it? You go back to the war of 1812, it was about protecting shipping and so on and so on. Are you suggesting our conflict in Iraq is about oil?
KLARE: I argue, and I truly believe that the war in Iraq is a continuation of the first Persian Gulf war in 1990-'91 when the current president's father was in the White House. He said very clearly at the time that this was a war to protect oil. And he put it this way -- oil is vital to our national security, therefore, protecting Saudi Arabia is in the national interest. If you put it that way, that's not too different from what the current president Bush is saying that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the Persian Gulf area, to our allies in the Gulf, like Saudi Arabia, and he had to be taken down. But ultimately it's for the same reason, to stabilize the Gulf area and try to protect the flow of oil.
SERWER: Obviously this is an issue that is not going to go away anytime soon. Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, also the author of "Blood and Oil." Thanks for coming on the program.
KLARE: I've enjoyed it.
SERWER: Thanks. Up ahead after the break, remote control, Sinclair Broadcasting told its TV stations to run an anti-Kerry documentary or else. See what happens when business gets political.
Plus, branded. Find out why advertisers are so good at turning kids into consumers.
And, the battle of the bulge. We'll look at the speculation about that thing under President Bush's jacket.
LISOVICZ: Now, let's take a look at the week's top stories in our money minutes. Strong auto sales helped boost retail sales by a lot more than expected last month. That's after they fell slightly in August. Experts say buyers responded to strong incentives from the automakers. There was also a spike in sales at supply stores thanks to those hurricanes in the south.
But those strong auto sales did not come soon enough for lots of GM investors. General Motors says intense competition, price cutting and the higher cost of employee health care led to much lower than expected profits from July to September. Investors punished the stock and sent shares down nearly 5 percent the day the news came out.
And here's some news about outsourcing that you might actually like. Guess who's getting hit with job exportation now? It's the lawyers. A number of U.S. companies are now outsourcing routine legal work to India, South Korea and Australia. GE is leading the way with a subsidiary in India that employs about 30 lawyers.
SERWER: Another big story this week was the Sinclair Broadcasting group's decision to air an anti-Kerry documentary film on all of its 62 TV stations just a week before Election Day. Many Sinclair executives are outspoken Bush supporters, so the decision is being seen in some corners as a violation of Federal election laws. Sinclair shares have been on a mostly steady decline this year. But the question is, will the company's controversial decision play a role in the stock's performance? That makes Sinclair Broadcasting our stock of the week.
First of all you guys, this is a pretty small company that is not really on the radar screen. I mean it's a market value, it's worth $600 million, which is teensy-weensy in the greater scheme of things. Bottom line is, I don't think if you own television networks, like this, that you have any business telling people how to vote or how to think. It would be like a cable company putting political ads on. I think it's wrong.
CAFFERTY: That's fair enough. But let me ask you this. Was it considered a violation of election laws when movie theaters showed Michael Moore's 9/11 film all during the campaign season for the last six months?
SERWER: No, they had a right to show it. But they don't have the same licenses with the government.
CAFFERTY: So does Sinclair Broadcasting.
SERWER: They don't have the same licenses with the government Jack.
CAFFERTY: I'm not sure that showing the anti-Kerry documentary's a violation --
SERWER: We haven't seen this film by the way. No one's seen it, so no one really knows anything about it anyway.
LISOVICZ: I have to side with Andy on this one.
CAFFERTY: Not a surprise.
SERWER: That's always tough.
LISOVICZ: We talk about, you know, it's something that people pay money for. They have a choice. When you turn on the television, free over the air, television, it's put in front of you. I think that is the difference --
CAFFERTY: You have the same choice there, you can turn it off.
SERWER: Not this show.
CAFFERTY: Not IN THE MONEY. No, we're talking about Sinclair Broadcasting. LISOVICZ: They're granted licenses to serve in the public interest. This is clearly someone with a very sharp point of view and the other thing tied to the stock, this is a person who has a controversial viewpoint and we've seen how that can affect the stock in other instances, like Martha Stewart.
SERWER: The stock's been doing terribly, but basically the company's not doing well. I mean just last month, they announced their third quarter earnings were going to be lousy. The company is not doing very well. I don't think it has anything to do with their political views. The other thing is, this is going to be very interesting. They're announcing their earnings on November 4th. So we shall see what we shall see. The other little thing I think it's kind of fun is what happens if Kerry wins and then they go to the government and they ask for certain legislative things to happen.
CAFFERTY: Could be a problem.
SERWER: Yeah. Might not be so good. I think it's an interesting - it's a little debate though.
CAFFERTY: But it's a good story.
SERWER: It is interesting. All right. Coming up on IN THE MONEY, the walking wallet. For a kid who's crazy about a product, a parent is just a bank on legs. Find out how marketing is changing childhood.
Also ahead, scare and scare alike. We'll look at how Halloween went from small time to big ticket.
And forget the tiger in your tank. See what happens with a monkey in your trunks. Unbelievable. Stick around for the fun site of the week.
WALLACE: Hello. I'm Kelly Wallace in Washington. IN THE MONEY continues in a moment. Now, stories in the news.
As violence continues in Iraq, four more American troops have lost their lives. One soldier wounded yesterday in Mosul died earlier today. Two other U.S. soldiers and a Marine were killed last night in a suicide bombing in Qaim in western Iraq.
As Muslims in Iraq celebrate the start of the holy month of Ramadan, some Christian churches are under attack in Baghdad. Explosions rocked five churches in the Iraqi capital earlier today.
Explosions rocked five churches in the Iraqi capital earlier today. No casualties are reported. Police say they're not sure yet whether the blasts were connected.
The U.S. military says it is investigating reports several Army reservists allegedly refused to carry out an order to conduct a dangerous refueling mission in Iraq. We will speak live with an officer about the unit in question on "CNN LIVE" Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
Campaigning in Florida, President Bush is again questioning Senator John Kerry's record and ability to serve as president. You are looking at live pictures of President Bush. He is speaking at a sports arena which we are told is only about half full. The president's three stops today are in counties that Democrat Al Gore won four years ago.
As for the challenger, Senator John Kerry, he is campaigning in Ohio and criticizing the president in the Democratic radio address. Senator Kerry praised the late Christopher Reeve for his efforts to promote stem cell research and says the president's restrictions on Federal funding amount to a research ban.
And finally at the Vatican, John Paul II is accepting good wishes on the 26th anniversary of his election as pope. His spokesman says thousands of messages have arrived, many praising the pope's views on peace, family and human dignity.
I'm Kelly Wallace in Washington. I'll have all the day's news at the top of the hour. Now, back to IN THE MONEY.
LISOVICZ: The whining, the nagging, the temper tantrums. It won't be easy, but next time you go shopping with your little darlings, try not to lose your patience. It's not their fault they want everything in sight or so says Juliet Schor. She's author of "Born to Buy," the commercialized child and the new consumer culture and she joins us now with a look at what makes your kids want. Welcome.
JULIET SCHOR, AUTHOR, "BORN TO BUY": Thank you.
LISOVICZ: You know, children have always been targeted by whether it's cereal companies or toy companies. Focus groups, they've been around forever. What's different now?
SCHOR: Well, you have to compare that old environment, which was a couple of hours of Saturday morning TV, maybe a little bit of afternoon TV, a small number of commercials and just a few products, to what's going on today, which is a total barrage. The average kid is seeing 40,000 television commercials a year. He or she is being advertised to in the schools, on the Internet, even in playgrounds. I took a look in my book at how marketers are infiltrating virtually every nook and cranny of kids' lives and pitching to them one thing after another. So it's like comparing the BB gun to the neutron bomb.
SERWER: One of the first companies in charge of the BB gun, I guess Juliet, was McDonald's. They figured out early on by having a clown out there, they could get kids to tug on mommy and daddy's sleeve and say, can we go there and visit Ronald McDonald which is very smart. But I think you're right. I mean there's a proliferation. What interests me is how marketers are linking toys and junk food into all sorts of different sectors. Take health care, for instance. Can you talk about that, how it's sort of more of a toy mentality? When kids look at band-aids which have cartoons on them, things like that, right? SCHOR: Right. I spent time with the company that developed these tattoo band-aids. So it's not just a utilitarian product anymore, it's a toy. They call it trans-toying. It's turning all kinds of things into toys. Food is a prime example of this. Instead of being food that you eat because it tastes good, because it's good for you, they're turning food products into toys, things that kids play with. And of course, the whole concept behind the happy meal, one of the people I met in my research was the inventor of the happy meal. And they started that because kids were bored at McDonald's. And they needed something to keep them occupied while the parents ate and talked. They started with sort of toys they could play with during the meal. And of course, now, it's the lure of the toy that often gets the kid asking for it. And the result is that we have a generation of kids hooked on junk food. Fifth percent of children's calories now are coming from added sugar and fat.
CAFFERTY: How concerned are you about the mental health of these kids who are bombarded with all this stuff? Are they at risk in any way?
SCHOR: Well, we see steady increases in a whole range of emotional disorders, whether we're talking about depression and anxiety. The average American kid now has an anxiety level which is the same as what kids who were admitted into psychiatric hospitals had in the '50s. So it's a huge increase in their stress and anxiety. Marketers are very aware of this. And they figure out how to market to stressed-out kids. But the research I did for my book asks the question, are -- is this rising depression and anxiety, this rise of psychosomatic complaints like headaches and stomach aches, is it due to kids' growing involvement in consumer culture? And I found very strong evidence that the answer to that question is yes.
LISOVICZ: OK, then, how so because that's a big reach. We know, we can see for ourselves, kids are bombarded by marketers. But to say that they're stressed out, they're anxious, they're depressed is another region entirely. How can you defend that?
SCHOR: Absolutely. I developed a measure of consumer involvement. It measures how psychically keyed into consumer culture kids are, how much they care about stuff and labels and being cool and having a lot of money and the kind of car their parents drive and so forth. And what I find is that the kids who score higher on that measure are more likely to score higher on depression measures, on measures of anxiety, on measures of psychosomatic complaints like headaches and stomach aches. And I also tested to see, well, is it just a problem that these kids who are already depressed and anxious tend to have higher consumer involvement. And the answer to that question is, no, it's the consumer involvement that's driving the depression, anxiety and psychosomatic complaints.
SERWER: Juliet, do you think it's safe to say that the level of sophistication in marketing to kids has increased faster than the level of sophistication to grownups over the past 25 years?
SCHOR: No question about it. I mean, this is a huge growth area in marketing and advertising. It's a cutting edge place. It used to be a backwater with very little money, low creativity, not the cutting edge, really talented people and that's all changed. It's a really hot place. They've got incredible intensive new research they're doing. And I looked at that. Their messages have gotten so more sophisticated from what they were in the past. That's another big difference between the marketing that we remember from our childhoods and what's going on today. They really tapped into kids' psychic vulnerabilities, their emotional vulnerabilities.
SERWER: To the degree that you're able to, let's offer a little hope to parents who might be watching this program. The marketing machine in this country isn't going to go away. What can parents do in terms of, you know, addressing this concern, if they have it, about their own children?
SCHOR: Two things. Number one, my results -- my research shows that the more exposure kids have to marketing messages and commercials, the more consumer involved they're going to be and more likely to suffer these problems. So reduce the amount of television and screen time more generally.
CAFFERTY: What about a show like IN THE MONEY? Is it OK for them to watch that?
SCHOR: Absolutely. That was a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on television.
LISOVICZ: Doctor approved. That's for sure.
SCHOR: The other thing is, look at what's happening in your child's school. There's a huge amount of marketing in schools. They're going around parents. That's one of the reasons they're there. Find out if your child's being marketed to in schools. Call your senators and congressmen. We're trying to get some junk food marketing legislation in schools through Congress now.
LISOVICZ: Be involved, in other words. Juliet Schor, the author of "Born to Buy," the commercialized child and the new consumer culture. Thanks for joining us.
SCHOR: My pleasure.
LISOVICZ: There's much more ahead here on IN THE MONEY. Up next, more treats than trick. Halloween's become as much about shelling out cash as it is about handing out candy. We'll find out how that happened.
And later, pop the trunk and brace yourself. A trunk monkey is the star of our fun site of the week.
SERWER: The numbers are spooky, scary, outright shocking, $1 billion on costumes, another $1 billion on candy, $780 million on decorations. Americans are crazy about Halloween and spend big bucks to celebrate it each year. Of course, it hasn't always been that way. Here to tell us how this ancient observance hit holiday mainstream is Nick Rogers, author of "Halloween, From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Nick is also a professor of history at York College. Welcome, Nick.
NICK ROGERS, AUTHOR: Good afternoon.
SERWER: What's interesting to me are my kids who insist now, insist on buying Halloween costumes out of catalogs. I try to tell them, throw a sheet over your head and cut out the little eyes and be a ghost. No, no, no. This thing has really elevated to a major commercial holiday, hasn't it?
ROGERS: It has. It has indeed. And there are a number of reasons why that's the case. I think it's being very consciously promoted as a commercial opportunity. But I also think that when you have double-income families, and when you have parents who don't have time to make costumes as they did in the past, that also is an inducement to go out and buy some.
LISOVICZ: Nick, I'm an adult. I'm a big kid. And I always make my costume. That's a big part of the sales. I don't want to tell you what --
SERWER: I see what you are.
LISOVICZ: I'm afraid to tell you, but I always go as a news story, a news person and I'll leave it at that. Halloween falls on a weekend this year, so that should be another terrific year. It's adults that are also fueling the sales numbers. A lot of adults like this, and they throw parties to celebrate it.
ROGERS: That's absolutely right. And 20-somethings actually spend more on Halloween probably than anybody else. That's been a feature of the period since the 1970s, when the gay community started promoting Halloween. I think other people cashed in and decided that it would be a great sort of bar scene, club scene, street scene, Wisconsin and M in Washington, for example and it's gone from there.
SERWER: It's interesting that you mentioned that. I hadn't made the connection, but now I do. Clearly, the gay community in Greenwich Village here in New York for years doing local news. We always used to send a camera crew down to cover the Halloween parade in the village. And 20 years ago, it was kind of this little thing where a few whack jobs would get together and dress up and so on. Now it is an international event and I'll bet you're right. Let me ask you this, though. What is it, do you attribute the sudden presence on lawns all over America of these absurd blow-up figures of Frankenstein and pumpkins and various dumb looking things that just litter up the landscape? Who in their right mind would put garbage like this in their yard?
ROGERS: I don't know. I think one of the reasons why they - I don't do it.
CAFFERTY: Andy, do you have any of those?
SERWER: I don't have a yard.
ROGERS: But I think one of the reasons is that, you know, in the '70s, when there was a bit of a panic about trick or treating, it wasn't safe, haunted houses made their appearance big time. And I think people picked up on that. Now the technology is such that you can create your own haunted house. And that's what we are seeing.
CAFFERTY: There you go.
SERWER: Nick, first of all, we're going to try to figure out what Susan is going to be this year. How about Martha Stewart?
LISOVICZ: Been there, done that.
SERWER: Oh, you've already done that. Well, I'm behind the times. Let me ask you, Nick, is it the case that some Christians in the country are not so keen on Halloween, that they do sort of link it to a pagan ritual? I know a couple who actually turn an eye away from it, and consider it maybe not such a great holiday?
ROGERS: I think that's right. Not all Christians think this. I think actually it's the conservative Christians of a Protestant persuasion who think this. They think Halloween encourages the occult. It encourages and peddles evil, basically. And they think and they associate that with its pagan origins.
CAFFERTY: Is it still OK to go through your kids' trick or treat candy under the guise of protecting them from razor blades and straight pins and steal all the good stuff out of there? Is that ethically still acceptable?
CAFFERTY: Because I used to do that all the time. Let me see that. I just want to make sure there's nothing dangerous in there and then I would find the Tootsie Rolls and their bubble gums and the little things that I wanted and squirrel them off into my own pocket.
LISOVICZ: Nick, since you're a scholar, and you probably don't steal your kids' candy --
LISOVICZ: Like how dependent is the holiday on like really outrageous character, like Martha Stewart, presidential election? Do they connect at all?
ROGERS: Yeah, they do, in a certain way. There's always been an element of parody, of transgression, about Halloween, and certainly I think that people that are in the news, or characters that are in films get presented.
LISOVICZ: What's the number one mask right now? Do you know?
ROGERS: Well, I think actually people are picking up on pirates again.
ROGERS: As a result of "Pirates of the Caribbean."
LISOVICZ: If Johnny Depp comes to my door, I will make sure to give him a lot of candy. Nick Rogers, professor of history at York College, thank so much.
CAFFERTY: ..give a whole new meaning to the phrase trick or treat, wouldn't it?
LISOVICZ: Jack? Don't go there, Jack.
SERWER: He already did.
LISOVICZ: Coming up, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Allen Wastler of money.com looks into the dispute over that mysterious bulge in the president's jacket.
And tell us what's on your mind. Please don't send any e-mail about Johnny Depp or trick or treat. The address is email@example.com. But first, this week's edition of money and family.
LISOVICZ: Are you overworked and underpaid? Do you deserve more money? Here's some good strategies on how to ask for a raise and get yes for an answer. Start by documenting your performances. You don't deserve a raise just because you haven't had one in a while. Make a list of successful projects, skills and responsibilities that go beyond your immediate job. Know what you're worth. Check out sites like salary.com for extensive reports, and industry surveys that tell you exactly what you can expect. Then use that knowledge in your negotiations, whether it's with your current employer or a new one. And don't take no for an answer. If your request for a raise is dismissed, ask why. You may already be at the top of the pay scale or there is no room for growth at that company, and that means it's time to move on.
I'm Susan Lisovicz for money and family.
CAFFERTY: Most Internet rumors are just that, they're rumors and they tend to die down after a short while. But the Internet fueled story about that mysterious bulge on George Bush's back during the debates is not going away. I think it was a satellite dish. And it's even forced legitimate media organizations to check it out. Our webmaster Allen Wastler is here with that story and the fun site of the week. What's up with the thing on the back?
SERWER: The battle of the bulge.
ALLEN WASTLER, CNNMONEY.COM: Just a casual observation by somebody can turn into this mad craze. Have you seen the bulge? Let's show the folks. There's the bulge. You see? CAFFERTY: What is that?
SERWER: The hunchback.
WASTLER: Right between his shoulders. That's not a great suit, but it's a nice suit. There's something back there. So, of course, the paranoid people on the Internet, and there's quite a few...
WASTLER: They immediately started blogging about it. What could it be? The leading contender is some sort of radio transceiver and that George Bush had a secret earpiece in there and Karl Rove, his political guru, sort of was feeding him answers and stuff like that. Now, of course...
LISOVICZ: Karl Rove should be fired (ph).
WASTLER: With the availability of information on the Internet, of course, everybody combs through the transcript trying to look for some verifying thing. Here's a clip from the debate, the first debate, where he could be speaking to voices. Let's check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And that's not how a commander in chief acts. I -- let me finish. The intelligence I looked at was the same intelligence my opponent looked at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WASTLER: Now, nobody interrupted him there. He was flat in the middle of his time. The lights weren't even blinking at him.
CAFFERTY: He was talking to the guy who was interrupting him in his ear.
WASTLER: That's what the -
CAFFERTY: Let me finish what I'm saying. Everybody's sending messages.
WASTLER: There's plenty of alternative possibilities. It could be just a wrinkle in his suit. It could be a back brace.
WASTLER: It could be body armor. It could be any sort of thing. But the White House said the whole spurious comments are what it could be are just ridiculous.
CAFFERTY: But they didn't say what it was, did they?
WASTLER: No, they didn't. LISOVICZ: This is a man who has custom-made suits. His tailor should be fired then.
WASTLER: And a few organizations hired some tailors and said, OK, OK, look at that suit. Tell us what you saw. And the tailor, oh, it looks like a fine suit, maybe off the rack, but still a pretty good suit, but that's not tailoring. No, no, no.
CAFFERTY: Let's move on to the fun site.
WASTLER: I brought you a classic. This is a classic on the Internet. Jack, I give you the trunk monkey.
CAFFERTY: Oh, yeah, you go.
SERWER: That's great. You know what that is? It gives new meaning to the phrase guerrilla marketing.
WASTLER: You've got to love it. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it.
CAFFERTY: I did very much. Thank you, sir.
Coming up next on IN THE MONEY as we continue, it's time to hear from you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. You can send us an e-mail right now if you're so inclined. We're at firstname.lastname@example.org. Back after this.
CAFFERTY: Time now to read your answers to our question of the week about whether presidential debates have helped you decide whom to vote for. Samantha wrote this. The debates have helped me see President Bush as too simplistic and as a person who looks like he's about to throw a temper tantrum. John Kerry appeared presidential.
Dennis in Florida writes, the debate showed me that John Kerry can't defend his record spanning 20 years in the Senate. In fact, he hardly mentions it at all. How come he never had a plan until now?
And Jeff in Massachusetts writes, the debates haven't influenced how I'll vote, but if I'll vote. They've convinced me that I must vote or forever stop complaining and I guess that applies to all of us.
For nor next week's e-mail question of the week. It's this. Do your religious beliefs affect your vote? Send your answers to email@example.com.
And you should also visit our show page at money.com/inthemoney which where you'll find address for our fun site of the week, the monkey in the trunk.
WASTLER: Trunk monkey.
CAFFERTY: Thanks for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer and money.com managing editor Allen Wastler. Join us tomorrow 3:00 Eastern time when we'll look at the Catholic vote, traditionally Democratic, it was once a sure thing for that party, but a lot of Republicans and some key church leaders are trying to change that this time around. A few are even going so far as to say that a vote for John Kerry would be a sin. That's tomorrow at 3:00. See you then.
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