CNN LARRY KING LIVE Interview With Ed Bradley Aired February 4, 2004 – 21:00 ET THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a prime time exclusive with Ed Bradley of “60 Minutes.” The inside scoop on his controversial Michael Jackson, his take on the Janet Jackson Super Bowl shocker, that’s got his network in a federal case. We’ll about the Democratic primaries too, and more, with Ed Bradley of “60 Minutes.” We’ll have your phone calls, next on LARRY KING LIVE. Lots of things to talk about with Ed Bradley. The co-editor of “60 Minutes.” He joined that program in 1981. ED BRADLEY, “60 MINUTES”: Long time. KING: CBS News correspondent. His first prime time interview since that high-profile with Michael Jackson. We’ll get to a lot of discussion of that, but first, what’s your take on the primary so far? BRADLEY: I think John Kerry is, obviously in a very good, strong position. He’s gone from being the front front-runner to the also ran to now again the front-runner. He’s shown that he can win in different states, in different parts of the country and no one else is. He’s everybody — he has to be able to take incoming now, because everyone is going to point to him. KING: Shoot for the head. BRADLEY: Everyone whose left goes after him. KING: What happened to Howard Dean? BRADLEY: You know, I think Howard Dean peaked too early. They think they didn’t manage their money well. I don’t think that they managed their time well. And I think by being the front-runner and being an outsider, he opened himself up to attacks from the other candidates and a blistering attack from the media. And I think eventually it has its — it takes a toll. KING: John Edwards is going to make a play? BRADLEY: John Edwards will make a play if he shows he can win somewhere outside the south. If all he can do is win southern states, then he’s not going to be the democratic nominee. KING: And General Clark? BRADLEY: General Clark is the same thing. He won marginally out in Oklahoma. He’s got to win somewhere other than Tennessee and Virginia. He’s got to win and, I mean, you have Michigan on Saturday. You’ve got Washington state. You’ve got other states coming up the following Tuesday, he will have to show he will win out of his own backyard. KING: November going to be close? BRADLEY: It’s too far out to say. It really is too far out to say. You have a president whose numbers are declining. He’s not as popular as he once was, but he is still a sitting president and he has more than $100 million to spend at this point. KING: He didn’t spent any yet. BRADLEY: And hasn’t spent it. And they’re going to raise more. So, that has an impact on the race. I think that there are two major factors, and they are the economy and the war in Iraq. And most people who’ve gone to the polls, be it these are Democratic voters have said that the economy is more important to them than what’s happening in Iraq. Excuse me. So, if the economy doesn’t take off, and you have a continuing recovery, but it’s a jobless recovery, then President Bush has some weaknesses on the economy, particularly with all the attention on the budget. KING: Before we get to the discussion about Michael, what did you make of your network, Super Bowl and I saw Mr. Commers on tonight, we didn’t discuss it much. BRADLEY: Well, I think everyone at CBS from Mel Carmison (ph) on down, was one, shocked, two, embarrassed, by what happened. Here you have — I mean I talked to people who were there for the Super Bowl at CBS, who went to all the rehearsals, and there was no indication that anything like this was going to happen. It hadn’t been rehearsed, it hadn’t been planned as far as they could see. KING: The lyrics to the song were approved. BRADLEY: Yes. But the lyrics to the song and ripping off Janet Jackson’s, whatever you call it, on that outfit she had on, are two different things. You can have suggestive lyrics, but if you’re going to bare breasts, that’s another thing. And no one saw it coming. Here’s what you had, you have a game that was, I think, most people said this is going to be a boring, defensive battle. That’s certainly what I felt. KING: And it was for a long time. BRADLEY: For a while, and then the game got exciting. So you have what turned out to be a great game between two very good teams and CBS sports, Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms in the booth, did a great job broadcasting this game. The camerawork, the direction was great. And are people talking about that? No, they’re talking Janet Jackson and the nipple ring. KING: Does CBS bear some of the blame? For, maybe not scrutinizing it more, maybe for allowing MTV to do the halftime show? BRADLEY: Well, MTV is part of CBS. MTV is part of Viacom. But, again, the who are people responsible for it did not see it coming. I mean, they’ve gone back and looked at the tapes of the rehearsals to see if there was something that they missed and it just wasn’t there. KING: What do you make now delaying the Grammys? BRADLEY: Well… KING: They’re going to have a delay. BRADLEY: Yes, I think we’ve lived with an audio delete, like a seven-second delay and now they’re going to have a video delete. I don’t know how you do that. But they’ll figure out a way by Grammy time and I think it is something they have to do. I mean, you’ve got people who will do anything to get attention and you have people — I’m not sure that they intended to bare her breast. My understanding of what it was is that he was supposed to take the outer thing off and there was something else underneath and she says it was a wardrobe malfunction, he grabbed too much. KING: What about those who say, Ed, what’s the big deal? BRADLEY: Well, look, a lot of kids who were watching. KING: Yes, but they’ve seen beer commercials and Viagra commercials. BRADLEY: But this is a little different. This is a live music show with someone they may look up to. Commercial, particularly kids looking at commercials like that, they tend to tune them out. A lot of people, when the commercials come on, that’s a time to get another soft drink or beer or go get some food. For me, the halftime show was — I watched the beginning and then went to get something to eat. I didn’t see it, but you have a TiVo so you go back. KING: Let’s go back. We never — there’s always controversy around CBS. BRADLEY: There’s been a lot more controversy than we would like. KING: The Jackson interview. How did it happen? BRADLEY: You know, the Michael Jackson interview is an interview that we have been working on for more than a year. Last February I was out at Neverland, we had been working on it for some months at that time. I went out with my crews, producer, associate producer, sat down with Michael, just the two of us in a room. Left everybody outside and talked for about half an hour. KING: Months ago? BRADLEY: This is last February, almost a year ago. And Michael said, fine. I’m going to trust you. And he told me how his trust had been betrayed by other journalists. And I just said, look, you know me, you know my work. If you want to do this, fine, if not, I understand. And he said, I’m going to trust you and go upstairs and get ready for the interview. His guys told me that could take an hour and a half to two hours because he’ll have to get made up, his clothes. When I talked to him he had on a pajama top, he had pants on, but he had a pajama top on. KING: This is the day of the interview or months before. BRADLEY: This is in February. We were going to do this interview that day. KING: I see. BRADLEY: I say to my guys, bring in the camera gear, set up and he’ll be down in an hour or so. And, as I was told later, when he was just about made up and dressed, someone came in with a phone and said, you’ve got a call from Marlin Brando. Brando told him that the deposition, which had been sealed in 1992 from the first case when he was accused of child molestation. KING: And settled. BRADLEY: Settled so that it would be kept secret. Brando told him that that deposition had been released. It was on the Internet and it would be all over the world by tomorrow and it would be in the tabloids in the United States the next day. Michael Jackson, we never saw him again. He didn’t say I’m not going to do the interview, he just disappeared. KING: Someone came and told you. BRADLEY: We sat there for hours waiting. It was his people. Mark Geragos just started at the head of his legal team at that time. KING: This was before the charges were brought, now, way before. BRADLEY: Oh, yes. In fact, the kid who is now charging him and his mother were there that day. KING: Really? BRADLEY: We sat in the kitchen having coffee and doughnuts and sodas and his mother and the kids said they were willing to go on television to say what a great person Michael Jackson was. KING: Wow. Hold it right there. And Brando was wrong, right? BRADLEY: Well no, because the deposition wasn’t… KING: Was it released? BRADLEY: It was released. And it was all over the tabloids the next day. KING: Oh, was it. We’ll be right back with more. This is a fascinating story with Ed Bradley. Don’t go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRADLEY: As we sit here today, do you still think that it’s acceptable to share your bed with children? MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Of course. Of course. Why Not? If you’re going to be a pedophile, if you’re going to be Jack the Ripper, if you’re going to be a murderer, it’s not a good idea. That I’m not. That’s how we were raised. And I didn’t sleep in the bed with the child, even if it I did, it’s OK. I slept on the floor. I gave the bed to the child. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JACKSON: They manhandled me very roughly. My shoulder is dislocated literally. It’s hurting me very badly. I’m in pain all the time. See this arm? This is as far as I can reach it. Same with this side over here. BRADLEY: Because of what happened at the police station? JACKSON: Yes. (END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We’re back with Ed Bradley. All right, and then what happened? BRADLEY: We sat there and he just never showed up. By that night I went back to Los Angeles. We went back out the next day and talked to them and it just never happened. So, it never went away completely. It was always there. And then when it surfaced again after these charges, he decided that he wanted to talk to me. KING: He contacted you? BRADLEY: We were in contact with Mark Geragos. And they said, OK. We didn’t talk to Michael directly. They said, fine, come out on Wednesday. This is a day before Christmas. So, I had my Christmas vacation plans and they just went out the window and I flew to Los Angeles and went to the hotel where we were supposed to interview him and they said this is going to happen at 3:00 and then they said 4:00 and then 5:00 and then 6:00 and at 7:00 they said, well it will happen tomorrow. KING: Here we go again. BRADLEY: It was Christmas day. So Christmas day we went out and set up again and then, again, it was a long wait through the day and late in the afternoon, early evening, Michael came into the room. He was made up and dressed for the interview and he was very, he is very soft spoken. He was on the surface very considerate of everyone else in the room. Makes eye contact, says hello to members of the crew, waves at everybody and sits down. KING: Personable. BRADLEY: Yes. But then he’s also checking to see how he looks in the monitor. He is a performer, has he has been all of his life. KING: Right there. The story that appears in the “New York Times” is he says, first we have to make this deal. We need the money more on a live television show. BRADLEY: Never happened. KING: Nothing like that ever — “New York Times” story was completely wrong. BRADLEY: Completely wrong. Completely wrong. The “New York Times” story which was based on something that happened a year ago in February when we were at Neverland that this person said, we have to have more money for Michael. KING: That was then. BRADLEY: The quote was put in my mouth in the “New York Times” story saying I said, don’t worry, we’ll take care of it. Who said I said that? The person they attributed that quote to was described as a disgruntled former Jackson associate, unnamed, who felt that he was owed money. Now, that’s not a very credible source. What bothered me was that they never contacted me directly to say, did you say that? KING: Never called you? BRADLEY: They called — by the time they were ready to write this story we had finished the interview and I had gone on vacation. They called the CBS PR people and said, can we talk to Bradley? Bradley’s on vacation. They never said, here’s a quote. This is what they’re saying that Ed Bradley said, how does he respond to that? KING: Back to a year ago, a year ago back in February, when they didn’t do it, did he say at that time, I want more money? BRADLEY: No. KING: Did he say, I’m doing the special, you must run it? BRADLEY: No, this was a year before the special. KING: The special hadn’t even been thought of? BRADLEY: No, the special hadn’t been thought of. Maybe it had been thought of, but I didn’t know about it. KING: Money was never mentioned? BRADLEY: Money was not a factor. What happened a year ago was that when Marlon Brando told him that the deposition was being made public he freaked out and he didn’t want to see anyone. KING: So when you read the story, what did you think? BRADLEY: I said, it’s a lie. I never said that. Who was the person who said I said that? Name him. KING: Were you shocked that the “New York Times” ran that? I mean, here’s a pillar of journalism. BRADLEY: You know, I expected more from them, frankly. I mean, if I had a quote from an anonymous source for a story I’m doing at “60 Minutes,” I couldn’t use that quote without contacting the person who’s quoted in that story in saying, this is what they say about you. We couldn’t do that. KING: To your knowledge, is there any content between CBS Entertainment and CBS News where Entertainment could say do us a quid pro quo? BRADLEY: No, there is no quid pro quo. There was no quid pro quo with Michael Jackson. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) CBS did not pay for the interview. CBS did not sweeten the pot. In other words, CBS did not say, OK, we paid you so much with a special, do the interview and we’ll pay you more for the special. KING: Never happened. BRADLEY: Never happened. Now, was there someone there from CBS Entertainment? Yes, because he knew Michael Jackson, having done the special with him and knew Michael Jackson’s people and he was a liaison with us, but he had nothing to do with the interview. KING: Were they not going to run this special unless he did the interview? BRADLEY: I don’t think they were going to run the special unless he answered the questions. Now it was his choice as to where he chooses, which forum he chooses to answer the questions. Now, would they prefer that he do it on “60 Minutes?” You bet. KING: Back to last February when you met the mother and the kid, what did you think when you heard it was that mother and that kid? BRADLEY: I was stunned because they were there to tell me that day what a great person he was. KING: Were you going to put them on camera? BRADLEY: We hadn’t gone that far. KING: Might you have? BRADLEY: I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I don’t know. The kid was in the documentary that the BBC — not BBC, but the English program did. I forget his name now. KING: But you were shocked that the kid — that was the kid? BRADLEY: I was shocked that that was the kid because both the child and his mother were praising Michael and were sitting there in his kitchen eating and saying what a great person he was. Source: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0402/04/lkl.01.html

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