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CNN Anniversary: Christiane Amanpour; 'Paging Dr. Gupta'

Aired June 1, 2005 - 08:30   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: 8:30 in New York. Good morning, everybody. Big day for us at CNN.

HEMMER: Yes. June 1st on the calendar, 25 years exactly that we've been on the air here at the Cable News Network.

O'BRIEN: And in fact, we're taking a look at back at some of the stories in that time. None more important of course of course to the network I think, it's fair to say, than the 1991 Gulf War. We're going to talk about that, and talk to Christian Amanpour about her memories of the last two and a half decades.

HEMMER: And there are many, too.

First the headlines. Back to Carol for those now. Good morning.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Good morning to you.

Now in the news, at least 20 people are dead after a suicide bombing in southern Afghanistan. Police say an attacker came into a mosque during a funeral and set off the explosives. Dozens of people are wounded. The U.S. military has condemned the attack. Authorities in Ohio now say Cleveland's deadliest house fire was deliberately set. Most of the nine victims in the fire were children. At first investigators believed it was an accident, but it's now being ruled an arson. We're expecting to hear more from authorities at a news conference less than three hours from now.

Closing arguments in the Michael Jackson trial are expected to begin tomorrow. Today the judge is finalizing instructions for the jury. The judge will also tell the panel it can consider a lesser charge against Jackson on some counts.

And authorities near Seattle, Washington are looking into claims a fan was severely beaten during a hip-hop concert. Home video shows the man. You see him running on stage during a performance by Snoop Dogg. He then appears to be tackled by security. You'll see it again here in slow motion. The man claims he was invited on the stage, but then he was not only beaten, but he was also robbed. A publicist for Snoop Dogg says whenever someone jumps on stage, it's seen as a security threat. I'm sure there will be much more to come on this video in the days to come.

Snoop Dogg had a beer in his hand on stage. That's one talented man. They call that a dogfight. COSTELLO: Or something.

HEMMER: I'm stretching here so I can get a camera over here.

COSTELLO: Oh, I understand, I should be helping you, but I'm not. I apologize.

HEMMER: Throw me a line, woman.

COSTELLO: I didn't want to comment about the beer and Snoop Dogg scandal.

HEMMER: No problem. Back where you were.

COSTELLO: No problem.

HEMMER: Well, the mystery of Deep Throat has been solved, but many questions remain. Mark Felt was the deputy director of the FBI at the time of the Watergate break-in back in 1972. Felt was in a position know the facts of the investigation, and a number of people involved at that time have strong reaction to this announcement from yesterday.


JOHN DEAN, FMR. NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: What I have problems with is how Felt could have conceivably had access to all the information that he had and gave to Woodward, as well as all the misinformation he provided to Woodward, when he had to know better.

RICHARD BEN-VENISTE, WATERGATE TASK FORCE: He was one more person who helped to save us from an administration that was determined to corrupt the Constitution of the United States.

G. GORDON LIDDY, FMR. NIXON ASST.: I view him as someone who violated the ethics of the law-enforcement profession, in that if he possessed evidence of wrongdoing, he was honor bound to take that to a grand jury and secure an indictment, not to selectively leak it to a single news source.


HEMMER: Over the years Felt consistently denied he was Deep Throat, even denied it in a book he wrote as well -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Well, three years after CNN began, Christiane Amanpour joined the network, born in Iran, educated in England and America, she grew up hoping to become an international correspondent. Since then, she's covered just about every war and crisis around the globe.



Kayave (ph), Rwanda. Saudi Arabia.



In Naples.


On the Kosovo-Albanian border.


O'BRIEN: Our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour is at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Christiane, good morning. Nice to see you.

You know, when you're asked to do a retrospective of Christiane Amanpour's time at CNN, it is very difficult, because of course you have covered literally every single big story there is.

Why did you join CNN some 23 years ago?

AMANPOUR: Well, because I needed a job. You know, I had just come out of college, and I really wanted to be a foreign correspondent, and being an English person with an English accent, it wasn't obvious how I was going to make it in America. And Ted Turner had this new network, and somebody said to me, you know, we've heard different accents on that network, maybe you'll get a chance. So I came right out of college, and I started way at the bottom, at the very bottom, and worked my way up.

But it's been an incredible for me 23 years, and for CNN 25 years of glory, I think, because this has been a revolution that we've all been part of and revolutionized communications. It democratized information. It did the unthinkable, bring 24 hours news to the world, and so many people are doing it now.

O'BRIEN: And covered some of the biggest, and I think it's fair to say, most important stories globally. Let's talk about some of them. For example, the Bosnian conflict. I've got a clip of a story that you did out of Srebrenica. Let's listen.


AMANPOUR: Here on these faces, these broken bodies, hard evidence of the previous day's Serb onslaught on Srebrenica. The U.N. says nearly 60 people were killed, nearly 100 were injured.

"Come here, come here," this little boy is pleading for his mother.

As bad as this is, those even worse off had to stay behind, too weak to make the long journey out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Some of those stories, I mean, they're just absolutely heart breaking, but at the same time, you focused a lot of world's attention, I mean CNN, and you personally also, focused a lot of the world's attention on what was happening in countries that I think otherwise people would have ignored.

AMANPOUR: You know, I think when I think back, I do believe that that's true, and I think just by doing our job, journalists, CNN and the collective journalists, really made a difference in Bosnia. You know it's 1995, 10 years ago, that -- now that end of the Bosnian War and Srebrenica is what launched the end of the Bosnian war, when the U.S. and its allies came in to stop the genocide there.

And you know, yesterday I was on an interesting panel here at CNN about the power of the new media, and blogs and all the new that's competition coming up. And somebody on the panel, actually a blogger said, well, bloggers haven't fed the world, haven't ended poverty, and I thought to myself, but you know, pictures have had an impact. It was pictures in 1992 that caused the first President Bush to make a humanitarian intervention in Somalia and end the famine there. That was a really important day, and I do believe it was pictures, and our constant being there and showing the spotlight of what was going on in Bosnia that helped end that war. So the power of good journalism, of good pictures of really doing our job can be incredible.

O'BRIEN: The starvation in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda, do you think that people nowadays care more, or are people inured to these pictures of tragedy and crisis?

AMANPOUR: You know, I think people can tend to sit back and not care, but I think that when compelling stories are put on the air and when compelling human dramas are told in a way that's accessible to viewers, I do think people do care. I remember, you know, even back in 1984, again, it was pictures that brought relief to the terrible famine in Ethiopia. That was, yet again, another trial for pictures and proper journalism.

But in Rwanda, for instance, in 1994, we failed because we didn't do enough work there. We didn't show enough what was going on. And as a result, a genocide went on unchecked, and you know, that's a big blight on our conscience and on our responsibility.

O'BRIEN: When you started at CNN you were single and a globe- trotting reporter. Now you are married. You have a 4-year-old. Outside of just the sheer logistics, because I know the travel and all that with a child can be completely ridiculous, what about the issue of personal safety? You go into some of the world's most dangerous spots.

AMANPOUR: Yes. It would be dishonest of me to say that I'm not afraid now. I am much more than I used to be. I didn't used to care as much about my own personal safety. Of course you thought about it, but it was all about getting the story, being there, you know the sense of adventure, the sense of sort of doing something dramatic and being on the cutting edge.

Now I'm a lot more conscious is about my husband, about my child, about trying to be more careful about personal safety. At the same time, of course, things are gotten much more dangerous for journalists. I mean, just in the 15 years that I've been a foreign correspondent, really the level of danger specifically directed towards journalists has dramatically increased.

And if you look at the -- for instance, the committee to protect journalism says in the last few years the leading cause of death for journalists has been deliberate, has been murder, assassination. People want to shut us up. And so it's more difficult. But we're committed. We keep doing it. And here's to another 25 years of CNN.

O'BRIEN: I'll celebrate that. Christiane Amanpour, our chief international correspondent, a real honor and a pleasure to work with you.

Thanks for joining us -- Bill.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

HEMMER: The gold standard.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

In honor of CNN's 25th birthday, Andy Serwer is taking a look back at the state of business back in 1980.

Good morning.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Good morning, Soledad.

First of all, I want to travel back in a time machine and look at some prices that we paid for some ordinary items. Let's start off with homes, very much in the news today. Now what we've got here in the middle column in the prices, the actual prices in dollars in 1980, what you actually would have paid in 1980 for an average home, and then we adjusted it for inflation, so what it would be in today's dollars. What that means is the price of homes today much more expensive because the average price of a home is $220,000. So a home relatively speaking back then was a lot less expensive. Same thing with a car.

You can see $17,000 adjusted for inflation, average car $28,000. Now when you get to food, though, a different story completely. A gallon of milk only costs $2.50 today. So you can see prices have declined. Same thing with a gallon of gas. We've heard about this, $2.91 adjusted for inflation. Actual price of gas today $2.10.

O'BRIEN: Getting closer.

SERWER: Yes, we are moving up. We really are. And then for a dozen eggs about $1. U.S. stamp right about level. You can see here 37 cents. The government, obviously, pays close attention to inflation, so maybe that's not a surprise.

Things not on the list, college tuition and health care have gone way, way up since 1980. Let's talk about the stock market a little bit. You know, 1980 was the beginning of a great bull market, so not surprisingly stocks have moved up a lot since then. Dow Jones industrials in 1980, 847. Look at that. And today, of course, right around 10,500, up over 1,000 percent. Finally, we want to talk about some products that were introduced in 1980, some very familiar ones, starting off, of course, with the Sony Walkman. Soledad jogging around the block wearing that.

O'BRIEN: That's right, I did.

SERWER: They're still made. Pop a big cassette tape into that, as you can imagine.

O'BRIEN: That's right, I still have mine.

SERWER: You still got one.

O'BRIEN: Post-Its. Indispensable, from the 3M company, were invented back in 1980. The Big Gulp. Where would be without the Big Gulp?

SERWER: The beginning of the super size me.

O'BRIEN: Yes, exactly.

SERWER: And this is an interesting one, the first black and Hispanic Barbies. The black Barbie on the box. It said, she's black, she's beautiful, she's dynamite. And then...

O'BRIEN: No, dynomite!

SERWER: Dynomite, OK.

And then finally, this is really a real timepiece here. Brooke Shields, Calvin Klein commercial. And what gets between me and my Calvins? Nothing. And remember, yesterday Brooke Shields celebrated her 40th birthday, which means she was 15 years old when she made those ads.

O'BRIEN: And remember what an outcry when Brooke Shields said, what gets between me and my Calvins nothing? And everyone is like, oh my, God, what she's insinuating is -- of course, now you have Paris Hilton who...

SERWER: Yes, it looks very PG-13 today, doesn't it?

O'BRIEN: Doesn't it? Yes, sure does.

SERWER: That's very interesting. Andy, thanks.

O'BRIEN: You're welcome -- Bill.

HEMMER: All right, Woodward and Bernstein kept the secret for 30 years. What happens now at "The Washington Post," would another writer revealed his identity. We'll ask an insider about what went down over the past 48 hours inside the "Post" news room. Back in a moment here, after this.



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