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Interview With Robert Redford; Secret World of Teens; Ted Turner Profile

Aired June 2, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.
The big secret is out. Mark Felt was Deep Throat. And, tonight, you'll learn the surprising details.


ZAHN: Deep Throat, the amazing story of the friendship between a young reporter and a top FBI man that brought down a president, shedding new light on Mark Felt, the man in the shadows.

ROBERT REDFORD, ACTOR: The man at war with himself about what he had to do and how tortured he was at doing it.

ZAHN: My conversation with Robert Redford. What did he know?

REDFORD: I asked Bob, just as a matter of course, I said, well, you know, who is Deep Throat?

ZAHN: And when did he know it?


ZAHN: So, the secret has been out for two days now. But we still don't really know why Mark Felt did what he did, why the number two man at the FBI would leak information that helped destroy a presidency. It is the kind of script even Hollywood might have trouble writing.

Of course, Hollywood did make the movie. Robert Redford produced "All the President's Men" and starred in it. And you'll hear what he has to say about Deep Throat in just a moment.

But let's begin with some of the new details we have learned today about Mark Felt himself. In "The Washington Post," Bob Woodward revealed how he first met Felt, a random meeting in 1970, when Woodward was in the Navy delivering some documents to the White House. He struck up a conversation with Felt as the two sat in a waiting room. Felt became Woodward's mentor and, even before Watergate, a news source.

Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has more on what we know now about Mark Felt and in tonight's "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" profile.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Buck Revell joined the FBI in 1964, sworn in by the man who decades later work step out as the most famous anonymous source in history.

OLIVER "BUCK" REVELL, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Mark Felt delivered an address to the new agents class. And in it, he said that any violation of leaking information to not only the media, but to anyone that was not entitled to it would be the subject of immediate removal and possibly prosecution.

CROWLEY: It is the first of many anecdotes in the life of Mark Felt, the ultimate G-man-turned-informant, a man of contradiction.

JOAN FELT, DAUGHTER OF MARK FELT: My dad, I know him. I know him so well. And he's a great man. He is so kind. He's so attentive to other people and loving.

CROWLEY: This is not the man a young agent named Skip Brandon met the day he went to present a case to headquarters.

HARRY "SKIP" BRANDON, FORMER FBI AGENT: As a young agent, I wasn't really making the presentation. I think I was here to drive the car. But it still almost put fear in your mind. You know, you're going to go up and see him. And he was very -- he is a tough guy.

CROWLEY: Felt had risen to number two at the agency by then. He hoped one day to get the top job. But now he was running day-to-day operations, seeing to it that procedure was followed. He was Hoover's henchman.

REVELL: He was a very stern, a very disciplined, a very precise type individual, very little tolerance for any deviation. He was essentially the enforcer for J. Edgar Hoover on rules and regulations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we desperately need today is patriotism, founded on a real understanding of the American ideal.

CROWLEY: Hoover ran the FBI for almost five decades. He was controversial, revered, feared.

BRANDON: You just were very careful about things. You didn't want to make mistakes. The joke at the time was, when you made a mistake, the FBI just bayonetted their own wounded.

CROWLEY: Among the excesses of the Hoover era, COINTELPRO, a series of counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents with illegal break-inside and wiretaps. Greg Mitchell was friends with several dissidents who were monitored under COINTELPRO, which was overseen by Mark Felt.

GREG MITCHELL, EDITOR, "EDITOR & PUBLISHER": Although I applaud his work as Deep Throat, some people are saying that his motivation in talking to Bob Woodward was because he stood by constitutional principles and he was outraged by the assault on the Constitution represented by the Nixon White House. And here is a man who had been authorizing things that were very unconstitutional with the FBI.

CROWLEY: Felt was eventually convicted for authorizing illegal break-ins which took place at about the same time he was leaking information about the Watergate break-in, two contrasting segments of a single career that have split the intelligence community.

REVELL: He could have stepped forward, called a press conference, made his allegations and resigned.

BRANDON: His loyalty was to the Constitution above all. And he had to get this out. This is the way he chose to do that.

CROWLEY: In the end, what emerges out of the cloak of anonymity seems neither hero, nor villain, but human, full of contradictions, an FBI agent who faithfully served many presidents and helped bring one down, a source who did what he did for reasons he may take with him to the grave.


ZAHN: That was our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, reporting for us.

Now, if anything helped make the mystery of Deep Throat a lasting national fascination, it was the Oscar-winning movie "All the President's Men." And Robert Redford, who played Bob Woodward, was more than just the film's star.

As the movie's producer, it was his commitment to the story that got the film made, even before the book was written. And I talked with Redford earlier today about the man so many of us remember as that shadowy figure in a dark parking garage.





ZAHN (voice-over): What was your gut reaction when you heard it confirmed that Mark Felt was in fact Deep Throat?

REDFORD: Well, I had a slight conflict. And part of me, by that time, kind of enjoyed the mystery, and sad from a nostalgic standpoint. And the other part felt that that was a service that should be given.

ZAHN: So do you think, in the end, the mythology of who Deep Throat was is more interesting than the real story?

REDFORD: I think so. It wouldn't have had the -- it wouldn't have had the rollout, wouldn't have had the power all these years if the mystery wasn't outweighing the information, because people just didn't know. So they loved to speculate. ZAHN (voice-over): In the summer of 1972, Robert Redford was captivated by the story behind the Watergate break-in. Struck by the story and the mystery of its characters, Redford bought the rights to make the film version of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's book "All the President's Men." Redford went on to produce and star in the Academy Award-winning film.

REDFORD: I got involved way early. And it led me to Bob and Carl in the spring -- or -- I'm sorry -- the fall of '72. And they ignored me in the beginning, because the heat was still on. And what I saw was just very simple, that there was a kernel there of I thought a great story.

And that is, what were these guys doing that nobody else was doing in the summer of '72, when everybody was focused on whether Hank Aaron was going to break Babe Ruth's record or not? What got me was the very small little black-and-white movie story about two characters that were on the lowest end of the social, economic, professional ladder grinding away under the radar. So, that's how I got involved with them.

And then, over the next three years, I spent a lot of time through their generosity. They were very generous about bringing me into their process, which was still going on at the time.


HOLBROOK: You let Haldeman slip away.


ZAHN: In the film, the character of Deep Throat was played by Hal Holbrook.


HOLBROOK: In a conspiracy like this, you build from the outer edges and you go step by step.


ZAHN: It became Redford's challenge to convey this mysterious character of Deep Throat with intelligence and accuracy, based only on the selective information of Bob Woodward.

REDFORD: What I was focused on was how to present that character in a way that didn't look cheesy, didn't look phony, didn't look overtheatrical or melodramatic.

And I decided that the way to do that would be to present this man as a man of dignity, whether he was or he wasn't -- I didn't know -- but to present him that way, who was tortured by revealing what he was revealing, so, that you would sense in him a conflict about a man at war with himself about what he had to do and how tortured he was at doing it.

And that would be in Hal's performance, which I -- I think he did beautifully. You had to convey a tortured willingness to reveal.

MARK FELT, FORMER FBI OFFICER: We appreciate you coming out like this.

ZAHN: But now we're learning who that man, W. Mark Felt, really is.

(on camera): Mark Felt's family would love for the public to look at him as a great patriot, as a great hero, a man who took down a corrupt government. But his critics have come out swinging. They have called him a snake. They have called him being small-minded, that he did all of this because he was passed over at the FBI. How you to view him?

REDFORD: Well, I think it is a complicated situation.

First of all, if he's happy with his own soul that he's done this, that's the first thing. The second thing is that, whatever the circumstances, what he did turned out to be an incredible public service and that he and Bob worked that out and that "The Post" at that time had the courage to stand behind their reporters.

ZAHN: But you do understand why to this day Mark Felt is deeply conflicted about his actions.

REDFORD: How could you not be? I -- I certainly respect the conflict.

But I'm looking at it probably a little bit more objectively. It is hard for me to look subjectively at that. I mean, at the time when it was all being speculated on, the reason I -- I had thought of Patrick Gray, simply because I thought the FBI had a reason to do something, because the word came out in the research that I was doing that Nixon was not happy with the FBI and their investigation and wanted to kind of jump over them in his quest for power and control. He wanted to focus on the CIA and move them aside.

So, it made sense that somebody that would do this, the stake that they would have would be having to do with saving their own lives. I just didn't think deep enough about Mark Felt. I assumed it might be Patrick Gray. I was wrong.

ZAHN: Hal Holbrook, the actor who played Mark Felt in your movie "All the President's Men" says all of this criticism we've seen of Mark Felt over the last couple of days misses the point. Let's share with our audience now what he had to say.

HAL HOLBROOK, ACTOR: The important thing here is not who it was, but why he did it. It is called morality. That's something that is not very popular today.

ZAHN: Was what Mark Felt did a moral thing?

REDFORD: I would say it is that he did it. I mean, I agree with Hal. Why he did it is certainly an interesting notion. But, for me, just the fundamental fact that he did it is what changed everything. What his motives were, what the morality was behind it, those are all key issues. And I think Hal is right. Morality, like integrity, seems to be sort of off the table these days, which is sad. But, on the other hand, that he did it is really what led to the fact this happened.

ZAHN: We're going to take a look now at a clip from "All the President's Men" where we see Deep Throat and the enormous pressure that he's under as the story is starting to unravel.


HOLBROOK: It involves the entire U.S. intelligence community, FBI, CIA, Justice. It is incredible. The cover-up had little to do with Watergate. It was mainly to protect the covert operations. It leads everywhere.


ZAHN: How accurate do you think the movie was in the end?

REDFORD: Well, it turns out to be pretty accurate.

I felt a personal challenge to be as accurate as possible, because of the material we were dealing with was so volatile and important. So, for that reason, I felt that that how the film should be made. And Alan Pakula, who directed the film, and I spent a lot of time on this. There should be a lot of integrity, even with the villains. There should be integrity to support the fact that this was a very, very big, major situation that was connected to a lot of the things people in this country look to for leadership and faith.

So, putting Deep Throat in the garage in the dark, having Hal play it, who is a man of obvious integrity, was part of the deal. What we put on the screen, which was what happened prior to when the rest of the world learned about it, was accurate.

ZAHN (voice-over): What Redford produced 30 years ago was considered groundbreaking for a movie about politics. But with the revelation that W. Mark Felt is Deep Throat, Robert Redford still has many questions.

(on camera): Bob, you talked a little bit about the paradox of Mark Felt. If you were able to sit across from him and ask him anything, what would you want to know?

REDFORD: First of all, I would probably want to look him in the eye and say, is this really your doing? You're 91 years old. Is this something you had to do? Were you coaxed to do it? If you wanted to do it, I want to know how you feel now vs. how you remember feeling at that time, when you were carrying that secret around.


ZAHN: Some interesting questions from Robert Redford. Not sure we'll ever get the answers to them, however.

As for Woodward and Bernstein themselves, they'll both be joining Larry King at the top of the hour for the first part of a special two- hour "LARRY KING LIVE." Then, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Larry will be talking with Dan Rather.

Moving on now to another subject, if your kids are out this evening, you will want to stay with us for what I promise will be a revealing look inside the world of our teenagers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're having a barbecue at Lake Alan (ph). I'll call you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we're not. It is not going to work.


ZAHN: Always moving, always chewing, always in touch. Come along as some teens wing it.


ZAHN: Still ahead tonight, how much do you know about what your teenagers do on a typical Friday night? Probably a lot less than you think, a lot less than you're being told.

And, a little bit later on, he was called the mouth of the South. But his vision changed the world. We'll profile CNN's founder, Ted Turner.

First, though, just about 18 minutes past the hour, time to update the top stories with Erica Hill of HEADLINE NEWS.

Hi, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. Good to see you.

ZAHN: Thank you.

HILL: After crossing their fingers and holding their breath, homeowners in Laguna Beach, California, are now getting permission to gingerly begin retrieving valuables from some of the 34 homes damaged in a landslide. But they are being urged to wait one more day, if they can, electricity slowly being turned on. Residents, though, probably won't have gas service until Friday; 350 homes in the area were evacuated, the average price of those homes, $1.5 million.

In Iraq, talks began today to bring more Sunni Arabs into the government. But it is proving to be a tough challenge in the midst of continuing insurgent attacks. Today, suicide car bombs in three cities north of Baghdad killed at least 18 people and left 53 injured.

Well, no blanket over her head this time. So-called runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks appeared in a suburban Atlanta court. And she apologized for her disappearing act back in April. Wilbanks pleaded no contest to a charge of making false statements. She was sentenced to probation and community service and ordered to continue psychiatric counseling. She has also -- will also pay the sheriff's office $2,500 in restitution.

And the corporation that assigns Web site addresses says adult- oriented sites can soon apply for domain names ending in XXX. The thought here, it could create kind of a red light district on the Web, also make it a little easier for parents to filter out porn sites. There are more than a million of them on the Internet.

One thing, though, Paula, we should point out, it is not mandatory for Web sites to switch to a triple XXX domain. So, it will be interesting to see how many do.

ZAHN: Yet another thing for those of us who are parents to worry about.

HILL: Exactly.

ZAHN: Thanks, Erica. See you in about a half-hour from now.

And time for you all to vote for our person of the day. Your choices, Judge Rodney Melville for keeping the Michael Jackson trial from turning into a complete circus it could have become, and the kids in the National Spelling Bee for spelling words most adults can't spell, can't pronounce, probably never even heard of, or Bob Woodward for finally revealing the details of his relationship with Deep Throat.

Vote at The winner a little bit later on in the hour.

Coming up next, though, get out the cell phones, fasten your seat belts. We're going to ride along on a night out with some of today's teenagers.



GOLDIE HAWN, ACTRESS: Happy anniversary, CNN, and many more.


ZAHN: If you're like most of us parents, I'm sure you have wondered what exactly goes on when your teenage son or daughter goes out with friends for the night, probably a lot more than they're telling you. And, believe me, it is not like it was when you were that age. In fact, it is very different than it was just a few years ago.

Now the teenage night out revolves around the Internet, text- messaging, cell phones and constant motion.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim found out firsthand by tagging along with some teens on a typical Friday night.


KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Glenbard West High School in Chicago's western suburbs, I came here looking for two young people who I hoped would show me how technology has shaped and changed their social world.

I started with six kids in the high school library talking about being a teen in a high-tech time, how the latest gadgets give them one of the things they crave most, spontaneity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom is always like, how do you not know at 7:30 at night what you're doing? And it is like, because we're teenagers. We all kind of decide whenever. It's like...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is like the beauty of having your own car.

OPPENHEIM: From this group, I picked two seniors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to find something to do tonight.

OPPENHEIM: Nate Larkin (ph), a track star who runs hurdles the same way he runs his personal life, fast. He is tied to his cell phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All my friends have Nextels. I mean, you can get on the walkie-talkie and get 30 of us in one spot in the span of two minutes.

OPPENHEIM: I also chose Laura Vassell (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to go to sociology.

OPPENHEIM: A leader in student organizations who manages much of her interpersonal world in cyberspace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to like deal with my problems on the Internet, talking my -- like, get it done with. It is over in my mind.

OPPENHEIM: Laura and Nate, by the way, are school acquaintances, not boyfriend and girlfriend. With the permission of their parents and school officials:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dad, how do I look?

OPPENHEIM: Nate and Laura agree to take me and our news crews on a journey that would start at school on a Friday afternoon and go late into the night. At Glenbard West, the rules are clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know it is not allowed out in school. OPPENHEIM: No cell phone use during school hours. But the policing doesn't stop kids from text-messaging, a modern-day form of passing notes. In study hall, Nate and his friend Jesse (ph) make social plans by texting, that is, until Nate tires of shorthand and makes a call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris (ph), Chris, hey. Let's go up tonight and camping. If your parents will let us, we should go totally go, just to sober, chill.

OPPENHEIM: They get busted, of course. But it is Jesse who has to give up her phone, at least temporarily.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Way to take one for the team.


OPPENHEIM: Make no mistake. The loss of a cell phone is no minor thing. When school gets out, cell phones come out in force.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trading phone numbers.


OPPENHEIM: And it seems, just about every kid uses one as a social lifeline. But it is not the only tool of the trade. When Laura Vassell gets home, she goes online. As soon as she does, three friends are sending instant messages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're actually all guys, a guy in Arizona, a guy in Iowa, and then a guy from Illinois that I go to school with.

OPPENHEIM: Laura insists she talks to girls just as much and only communicates with people she knows.

(on camera): Do your folks know the people who you're talking to online?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out of the three that I'm talking to right now, they know one of them pretty well. They know the names, perhaps. But they don't really know the people very well.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Laura says the Internet is a way for her to resolve conflicts with friends and most certainly to make plans for an evening.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is way easier. It is way more, like, efficient, because I can -- like, I'm talking to three people right now, as opposed to, like, calling each person and talking individually with them on the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Tom, what's up?

OPPENHEIM: In contrast, Nate takes and makes calls constantly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you possibly want to go to, like, the softball game with me?

OPPENHEIM: And what he's setting up is by no means a traditional date, more like a spontaneous group roam with pals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When my parents were younger, they had -- they had one meeting spot. And when they went from there, they had to talk. If I want to talk to my friends, I can call them, have them come over. If we want to do something else, then we'll call somebody else, go somewhere else. You don't -- like, you have unlimited options.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody knows -- my sense is, everybody knows where everybody is, you know, every waking hour of the day.

OPPENHEIM: But if kids are so hooked into each other's whereabouts, what about parents?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just give me a phone that I can dial. Where do I put the quarter in?

OPPENHEIM: Laura's folk and Nate's are not always comfortable with the pace of technology and how it connects or perhaps disconnects them from where their kids go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to trust that he's told me -- he's being truthful about where he is.

OPPENHEIM: Next, Nate goes one way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jen (ph), what's up?

OPPENHEIM: Laura goes another.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to let you know I'm leaving my house right now, OK?

OPPENHEIM: And our cameras follow to see what teens communicate and what they don't and where it takes them on a Friday night.


ZAHN: I just wish they wouldn't dial them when they were driving.

Trust, truth and cell phones, our trip into the secret world of teens continues in just a minute.


ZAHN: And we're back with more on the secret lives of today's teenagers. You think that cell phones would make it a whole lot easier for parents to keep track of their kids. No, instead they've made it much more complicated. Here again is Keith Oppenheim who spent a day and a night with some suburban Chicago teenagers.


OPPENHEIM: Friday night and Nate Larkin is on the move...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just going see if you're going there.

OPPENHEIM: ...using the same device as a two-way radio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I'll be there in, like, seriously, two seconds.

OPPENHEIM: Nate and his friends are orchestrating their evening electronically, talking on two-ways even when they don't need to. This nonstop social improvisation takes a gathering crowd to a softball game, to a track meet, to a friend's house to watch a Chicago Bulls' game, to a pizza joint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're always looking for, like, the best place to go...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Constant communication, like, there'll just be whole bunch of car loads of people and constantly calling everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got somewhere better to go, everybody loads there, goes there.

OPPENHEIM: In one night they'll make, get this, 15 stops. During it all, Nate clutches his cell phone, continually making plans.

Not far away, Laura Vassell and three girlfriends are just getting started, dinner at the restaurant Laura's family owns.

As a group, do you have an idea where you're going tonight?



OPPENHEIM: Is it always like that?


OPPENHEIM: Laura's pace is considerably slower than Nate's. From playing mini golf...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could do McDonald's for McFlurries.




OPPENHEIM: going out for coffee, she makes about four stops in a night. But like Nate, she is winging it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think you'll be there for a while?

OPPENHEIM: Her mom Joyce explained how things have changed since Laura's sister Kelly was in high school, just three years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I remember, with Kelly, very oftentimes, plans would be set ahead of time, and they didn't change on the run, where now, you know, they may start off doing something and then end up changing plans midstream and they can all do that because they can communicate that on the run.

OPPENHEIM: Communication on the run gives teenagers a lot of leeway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd say it's definitely, like, easy for you to say you're somewhere else if you're just using your cell phone.

OPPENHEIM: Listen to how the boys put it. They claim they pretty much tell their folks where they're going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if you're doing something crazy or like sporadic, you just kind of like -- oh, we're just driving around and -- a big thing is that they're like -- they call you and they're like, what are you doing, and you'll just be like, oh, we're just getting food. Like, that's like...

OPPENHEIM: You keep it generic?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Simple. You don't have to tell them everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we just don't want them to make something out of nothing.

OPPENHEIM: Right, so the general principle is, give them general information...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As much as they need to know.

OPPENHEIM: As much as they need.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Nate. What's up?

OPPENHEIM: At the same time, what parents need, a cell phone often provides: instant access. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you're going to hang there for a while? Are you going to be there all night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be here for a little while -- I don't know -- until we find something else to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the plan then from there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Um, we're not really sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Talk to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, bye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, thanks.


OPPENHEIM: The contact is both immediate and vague. Nate's father John guesses during these cell phone-driven outings, he knows about 75 percent of what his son is up to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that 25 percent, I think is -- knowledge by both, perhaps, me and Nate is, I don't want to know most of that, at this point anyway, in his evolution and our relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm bound to keep on moving.

OPPENHEIM: In case you're wondering, this night was not without the lure of house parties. Laura turns down an offer to go to one where we were told no parents were at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's drinking and stuff and I'm not really a big drinker or anything like that, so...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Let's rock 'n' roll.

OPPENHEIM: Nate made a quick stop at a different party but within minutes, opted for discretion and chose to leave. Near midnight, he and Laura both ended up at the same bowling alley...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding me?

OPPENHEIM: me a chance to talk to both of them about teens, technology, and trust.

It's my impression -- and go ahead argue with me all you want -- that you guys aren't always trustworthy and more likely that your situations are not always trustworthy. But...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're teenagers. I mean, it's our nature. It's our time to play within the lines, you know, bounce back and forth. We just -- I mean, we don't have to be completely honest all the time. We should be, but it is our time to kind of push the limits and figure out what we need to do and, you know, where our life should be, I think.

OPPENHEIM: As much as they talk about pushing limits, I saw them observing them too. Both Laura and Nate talked to their parents several times during the night. They stuck to agreements of when they'd get home and were mindful of expectations their parents had spent years developing with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, mom. I was just letting you know...

OPPENHEIM: To these 18-year-olds, technology has changed how they communicate, but it doesn't seem to be changing a core idea expressed by teens for generations. They want to be trusted to make their own calls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a really good relationship with my mom, and she trusts me, and I trust her to, like, let me make my decisions, and I feel like if I have that trust, like, with my kids and have that, like, open communication, I'm going to worry a little bit, but I'll be like my mom. I'll be OK with, like, letting go, even, like, a little bit at a time.


ZAHN: We'll see. Keith Oppenheim with a glimpse inside the changing world of teens and you can only imagine who's paying for all those phone bills.

Still to come, the man who invented cable news, the always opinionated, always controversial founder of CNN, Ted Turner, just ahead.


ZAHN: Still ahead, how Ted Turner turned a family billboard business into a super station, and then invented CNN 25 years ago. And please don't forget, LARRY Kind -- that would be LARRY KING LIVE is at the top of the hour. This is what happens when you try to talk too fast. His special guests tonight, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, on their relationship with Deep Throat.

First, though, time for another look at the latest headlines at 20 minutes before the hour with Erica Hill of HEADLINE NEWS -- Erica.

HILL: Thanks, Paula. Closing arguments in the Michael Jackson trial today. Jurors have heard the prosecution describe the pop star as a predator with a drinking problem. But the defense says he's the target of a family out for a big payday. The defense is expected to finish tomorrow. A quick rebuttal by prosecutors could soon put Jackson's fate in the jury's hands. The trial has gone on now for 13 weeks.

The president is still stumping for changes in the Social Security system. Today in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, he told an invitation-only audience that it would take political courage to change the system. Remember that Centers for Disease Control study last April that said being a bit overweight might actually be good for you? Fat chance, my friends, because today the CDC said that same study was flawed and confusing, and that a healthy diet, exercise, and staying trim still the best way to go.

And in Maryland, state troopers are experimenting with nightscopes to catch drivers who aren't buckled up. In fact, they've nabbed more than 100 drivers on this night, drivers who didn't have their seatbelts fastened, even though they drove past a sign warning them to "click it or ticket." A pretty easy way to get a $25 ticket.

And that is the latest from HEADLINE NEWS, Paula. Back to you.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Erica.

Journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will be Larry King's special guests at the top of the hour, and Larry is in town to interview them. They should have some interesting things to say in the wake of this week's developments.

LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: I guess it will not be dull. It has been an extraordinary week, with the Cheneys on Monday, our 20th anniversary week, and then the Bushes on Tuesday night, Clinton last night. And then tonight, Dan Rather was scheduled to be the regular guest. He will be on with us at 10:00 Eastern. We've given Aaron Brown a night off. I'm going to do two hours.

And Woodward and Bernstein in the 9:00 hour. We'll be taking calls for Woodward, Bernstein and Rather.

And tomorrow night, we wind up with a week with Barbara Walters interviewing me. It has been an incredible time.

ZAHN: She better be nice you to, Larry. Happy anniversary.

KING: Thank you, Paula. Thank you so much. Just being next to you, Paula, is -- is birthday enough.

ZAHN: Well, that's like a bit of an exaggeration, because you're like 300 yards away at this hour.

KING: Yeah, but look how close we look.

ZAHN: Take care, have a good show tonight.

KING: Thanks, doll.

ZAHN: Look forward to it.

Coming up, the man who started it all, CNN founder Ted Turner.


TED TURNER, CNN FOUNDER: I'm just -- people laughing -- people laughing at me just makes me just dig in and work a little harder. It's a good incentive.


ZAHN: We should all learn from being tweaked. Coming up next, Ted Turner looks back on how he did it 25 years ago.


ZAHN: If it weren't for one person, you wouldn't be watching this now. A quarter of a century ago, an all-news cable channel was Ted Turner's vision. A lot of people thought he was dreaming. But he succeeded, proving doubters wrong, but also creating a lot of controversy along the way.

All this week, we're looking at this network's defining moments. Tonight, the man who made it all happen, as we celebrate CNN's 25th anniversary.


ZAHN (voice-over): He's been called the Mouth of the South, a brash billionaire with crazy ideas. A media mogul with 34 honorary degrees. And a World Series ring.

KEN AULETTA, TURNER BIOGRAPHER: Ted Turner is a giant figure in the 20th century, and will go down in history as a giant.

ZAHN: When Ted Turner first burst onto the public stage some 30 years ago, he ran a small family billboard business and a couple of TV stations. But it was his high profile purchases in the '70s that created all the buzz, and the foundation of the Turner empire.

Ken Auletta wrote a biography of Ted Turner.

AULETTA: He then in 1976 took this TV station and he said, what if -- cable is starting now and they need programming. I just read the satellite up in the sky, and couldn't I take what I program on my local station and couldn't I put it all across the country and create a superstation?

ZAHN: That same year, Turner bought the struggling Atlanta Braves.

TURNER: Come see the big league team (INAUDIBLE), and hey, we're in Atlanta!

ZAHN: In 1977, the Atlanta Hawks, both for programming his superstation. Atlanta Superstation 17 was a first, showcasing Turner sports teams, as well as "Andy Griffith" reruns. It was one of the few cable stations available across the country.

TURNER: You can make millions. All you got to do is think, you know, just tie the information together. You know, you don't have to be a genius.

ZAHN: Then in 1980, Ted Turner's media empire officially started.

DAVID WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm David Walker.

LOIS HART, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Lois Hart. Now, here's the news.

ZAHN: But the critics were skeptical.

AULETTA: Some still think he's crazy. But he was a guy who people were constantly telling him CNN won't work and don't do it. Why is no one else doing it?

ZAHN: And there were some rocky times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The latest news from our nation's capital. Bernie?

ZAHN: On-screen goofs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Flip, you're on.

ZAHN: And technical glitches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks as -- now, this is my first day.

ZAHN: That caused some to call it the Chicken Noodle Network. But Turner knew he had something.

TURNER: When you start something, you're going to have little technical problems. But the concept was good. And it was great. And I knew it was going to succeed.

ZAHN: Almost everyone agrees that what also makes Ted Turner successful is his passion. He's often described as frenetic, motivated by the memory of his tough father who committed suicide and by a desire to be larger than life.

TURNER: All my life people kidded about me. People laughed at me when my father died. And I took over the "Billboard." I'm just used to people laughing. People laughing at me just makes me just dig in and work a little harder. It is a good incentive.

ZAHN: That incentive led to 400 sailing trophies, including the most prestigious: an Americas Cup victory. Turner, liked to win.

At his peek, Turner's worth was in excess of $60 billion, due to the merger between Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner. Ted Turner is a man who is used to getting what he wants.

Jane Fonda was Ted Turner's third wife. His two previous marriages, both ending in divorce, led to five children. The unlikely pairing of the Hollywood legend and the southern billionaire caught many by surprise when they married in 1991.

(on camera): In many in many ways was most unlikely pairing of any of the adult relationships you had. Why did it work? JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: We have the same energy. We share many of the same values. He has a macrovision of how the world needs to be. And how to make it better. And I'm kind of hands on, grassroots microvision. And we were a perfect duo. Plus, you know, he's a great lover and he's divinely handsome and he's very funny and he's totally fascinating and endlessly teaching me.

TURNER: My last line is give my regards to Broadway.

ZAHN (voice-over): Despite the love, their ten year marriage ended in divorce.

Some say it was Turner's fast-paced life, others say it was Fonda's new found Christianity. In either case, the divorce came on the heels of the end of another turner relationship. In 2001, several months after Time Warner merged with America Online, Turner's authority was diminished. He left the company he had built decades earlier.

AULETTA: Turner's getting fired, losing control of his baby that he had created and nursed from infancy, I think that was a tremendous blow to his vanity and pride.

TURNER: It is an honor to be able to come to aid of my country and my United Nations.

ZAHN: No longer in charge of running a company, Ted Turner renewed his commitment to the charitable causes he's always pioneered. He pledged a billion dollars to the United Nations, awarded millions to environmental causes and established a Turner funded foundation to fight nuclear proliferation.

TURNER: The first thing we have to do is learn to live in peace and harmony and cooperation.


ZAHN: Turner has traveled a long ways from the days he was called the little guy who went up get the network big boys.

TURNER: The networks will say the people don't like the shows, they can just turn them off. What a joke.


ZAHN: Since then, he's been referred to by some as the prince of the global village, by others as Terrible Ted. But no matter what words you use, the impact of his words and his actions have forever altered the way we get our news and view the world.



ZAHN: And we've got more proof that Ted Turner's commitment to the environment. Except for the federal government, Turner is the biggest land owner in the United States with large holdings in Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska and South Carolina. And has promised never to develop those properties.

Coming up next, the person of the day. Will it be Rodney Melville, the judge in the Michael Jackson trial, the young contestants in the national spelling bee, or "Deep Throat's" friend, reporter Bob Woodward. Cast your vote at We'll have the results for you a little bit later on.


ZAHN: Now it is time for our person of the day. Who did you pick? Judge Rodney Melville for keeping the Michael Jackson under a -- the trial that is -- under a modicum of control. The kids in the National Spelling Bee, or Bob Woodward for finally revealing the details of his long time relationship with "Deep Throat?"

And the winner tonight, the spellers.


ZAHN (voice-over): Up there on stage it must feel like you have fallen into a vorago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The word is vorago. Vorago means an engulfing chasm, an abyss.

ZAHN: And there is only one way out, spell it right.


ZAHN: These elementary and middle school students were facing words you hardly ever see or say.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Persifleur or Persifleur.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pursafleur, Parsafleur? Say the word one more time, please.

ZAHN: It means someone given to frivolous banter usually serious matters. Like a number of other students, he first spelled it out invisibly with his fingers. It helps.


ZAHN: 273 boys and girls made the national finals, which began yesterday. By the time they started today, only 51 were left.

For the first time ever, three spellers, instead of two made it into the championship round. The winning word, appoggiatura, is a musical term for an embellishing note.


ZAHN: For those of us who spell so badly, even our computer spell checkers can't figure out what we're trying to type, these young people are amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. And the people of the day.


ZAHN: That's about the only one collectively, I think we all got right. Amazing. Those kids are great.

That's our show for tonight. Thanks so much for joining us. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. Thanks again for joining us. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.



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