The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
LEHRER: Good evening. In the headlines this Monday, the two surviving Americans in the Iran skyjacking are due to leave for home tomorrow. Union Carbide will give another million dollars to victims of the India gas tragedy. And Bishop Desmond Tutu overcame a bomb threat to receive his Nobel Peace Prize. Robin?
ROBERT MacNEIL: Tonight's NewsHour will contain these elements: our summary of the day's news; a focus section on the aftermath of the Teheran hijacking -- the Iranian ambassador answers questions about his country's role. Artificial heart patient William Schroeder talked to the press last night, and we have an extended excerpt. We also have a report on the development of an artificial heart with a difference. Next, a newsmaker interview with Lawton Chiles, the man who wants to be Senate Democratic leader. And we profile the Heritage Foundation, the thinktank President Reagan really listens to.News Summary
MacNEIL: Hostages released from the hijacked airliner in Teheran began telling their stories today. Two Americans among them said that they were repeatedly kicked, beaten with gun butts and tortured with burning cigarettes. The seven hostages were freed when Iranian security men stormed the Kuwaiti airliner and arrested four Arab hijackers. The Americans were Charles Kapar, 57-year-old auditor for the Agency for International Development, and John Costa, a 52-year-old private businessman from New York. Speaking at a Teheran hospital, they said they were tied to their seats and frequently abused. Kapar said the hijackers kept using lighted cigarettes to try to make him say he worked for the CIA.
A British pilot, John Henry Clark, said the ordeal was "sheer hell. It was terror for six solid days. I think everybody had resigned themselves to the fact that they were going to die." Two other Americans, both AID officials, were shot dead by the hijackers. Here's a report by Keith Graves of the BBC.
KEITH GRAVES, BBC [voice-over]: Just before midnight a doctor was sent for by the hijackers. Instead, a security man went out, and as he was entering the aircraft, the men hiding in the truck rushed the door, firing their weapons and hurling smoke grenades. Until now, the hijackers had shown considerable efficiency and ruthlessness, but the security men had no problems overcoming them. None of the hijackers was wounded, and the hostages said it was all over so swiftly they didn't even realize their ordeal was at an end. As far as the Kuwaitis are concerned, that points to complicity between the hijackers, who are Shiite Muslims and supporters of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Iranian authorities. The Iranians say it was a display of efficiency on their part.
MacNEIL: White House spokesman Larry Speakes said the United States expects that Iran will release the two Americans tomorrow.State Department spokesman John Hughes said the department agreed the two men should be kept in Teheran under medical supervision for 24 hours before being allowed to travel. President Reagan today praised the firm stand of Kuwaiti leaders who refused to bow to the demands of the hijackers, but he had no comment on Iran's role in freeing the hostages. In our first focus section after tonight's news summary, we look further at the emerging hijack story. Jim?
LEHRER: The head of Union Carbide said his company will contribute $1 million to assist the victims of the Bhopal, India, gas tragedy. Chairman Warren Anderson spoke at a news conference today at company headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut. Anderson has just returned from India, where he was arrested and then ordered out of the country. Indian officials said they could not guarantee his safety.
WARREN ANDERSON, chairman, Union Carbide: While I was in India, I didn't see a placard, I didn't see an angry citizen, I was treated with great respect and courtesy by all the officials, I was not concerned at all. When something like this occurs, to find out why it occurred, what in fact did happen, not an easy thing to do. We have our people over there who we didn't get into the plant. We've had some problems trying to get logs and trying to get records, because they're not available to us.We can't interview some people. This is going to take some time to unravel, so don't expect a quick answer to what happened, why, et cetera, et cetera. I can tell you as far as the people involved, the safety considerations and standards, the quality of the equipment, et cetera, I don't feel that there was anything that was left to desired.
LEHRER: Meanwhile, in Bhopal today, new victims of the accident were still entering the hospital by the hundreds. Doctors said they were people who had not shown any symptoms immediately after the leak occurred, but were now beginning to suffer delayed effects. And today at least 11 more patients were reported to have died.
MacNEIL: In Oslo, Norway, Bishop Desmond Tutu of Johannesburg received the Nobel Prize for Peace today, $187,000. But first the hall had to be cleared for 90 minutes, because a man phoned a warning that there was a bomb inside. Police searched the place and found nothing, and at last the ceremony took place.
SPEAKER: I call upon you, Desmond Tutu, to come to the rostrum and receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 1984.
Bishop DESMOND TUTU: I accept this prestigious award on behalf of my family, on behalf of the South African Council of Churches, on behalf of all in my motherland, on behalf of those committed to the cause of justice, of peace and reconciliation everywhere. If God be for us, who can be against us? Thank you.
MacNEIL: In Washington, President Reagan denounced racial discrimination in South Africa as an affront to the human conscience. He spoke at a ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Pres. RONALD REAGAN: The United States has said on many occasions that we view racism with repugnance. We feel a moral responsibility to speak out on this matter, to emphasize our concerns and our grief over the human and spiritual costs of apartheid in South Africa, to call upon the government of South Africa to reach out to its black majority by ending the forced removal of blacks from their communities and the detention without trial and lengthy imprisonment of black leaders. Such action can comfort only those whose vision of South Africa's future is one of polarization, violence and the final extinction of any hope for peaceful, democratic government.
LEHRER: The American Red Cross announced today a campaign today to help the famine-hit countries of Africa. Red Cross president Richard Schubert said relief supplies are getting through to the victims. He said his organization will raise funds in the United States to get more on the way. Schubert and actor Charlton Heston spoke at a Washington news conference about what they saw in a recent fact-finding trip to the stricken area.
CHARLTON HESTON: I saw and remember with vivid clarity, the dead bodies lying -- having been washed, having been sewn by their fellows, their families, into white cotton sacks -- obviously sacks that had been used to deliver relief supplies, because the red cross was still on the sacks. For the between 15 and 20,000 -- sometimes it rises to 30,000 -- people that are there, they have at this point three doctors, six nurses and 32 grave-diggers. It's fragments of reality and numbers like that that you somehow try to cling to, to encompass the raw need and the despair of the people you're trying to help.
RICHARD SCHUBERT, president, American Red Cross: There is no question that if we could transport the American public to walk those dusty aisles between tents, or in the fields where people live and have their being, that the most generous people in the history of mankind would respond with an outpouring that we perhaps have never seen.
LEHRER: Heston, Schubert and other Red Cross officials went on to the White House later in the day, where they were received and encouraged personally by President Reagan.
MacNEIL: It was back to the budget for President Reagan today; he had lunch with Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who was abroad last week when the President told the Cabinet he wanted budget cuts to reduce the deficit. The White House said Weinberger presented figures, but the President made no decision. Republican congressional leaders have told the President his budget-cutting package will fail unless it includes cuts in defense.
LEHRER: The closing item in our news summary is about airplanes. Late today the head of the Federal Aviation Administration declared the commuter airline system in this country safe. Donald Engen said his agency has been diligent in its inspections of commuter aircraft and will continue to be so. He said the FAA-ordered inspection of 130 Brazilian-made airplanes over the weekend was strictly precautionary; the 19-passenger plane is used by 20 American commuter airlines. One of them, flown by Boston-Provincetown Airlines, crashed Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida, killing all 13 persons aboard. The plane went down after its tail section mysteriously fell apart. Hijacking: Nightmare Ends
MacNEIL: The aftermath of the Kuwaiti jet hijacking tops our core segments tonight. As we reported, Iranian authorities ended the six-day seige last night, when security guards subdued the hijackers after a brief battle. Today the government of Kuwait formally thanked Iran for its intervention. Kuwaiti newspapers, however, echoed a sentiment heard in Washington and elsewhere that Iran delayed moving against the hijackers.For more on why Iran acted when it did, we go to Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Said Rajaie Khorassani.
Mr. Ambassador, why did your authorities in your country wait six days to try and rescue the hostages?
SAID RAJAIE KHORASSANI: I think if you will consider the situation as it started, then you realize that to take very quick military action, to storm the plane immediately or in a very hasty manner, would have been extremely dangerous. We know that when the plane landed in Teheran the airports, all the airports, had closed, and the pilot was begging the authorities for permission to land, because, according to his understanding, an emergency landing was absolutely necessary. And upon landing, two of the passengers were killed. Now, if you were in our position, what would you do, when you have the evidence in front of you that these people are prepared to kill many more, or as many more as necessary? Then what you have to do according to my assessment of -- not the situation, of the information I have of the situation -- that is that you try to normalize and to reduce the tension inside the plane as much as possible. You have learn what's going on inside the plane, what made the pilot to beg for an emergency landing, therefore you need information, and you have no source of information other than the passengers who might come out gradually and to give you as objectively as possible, you know, a fair picture of the internal situation of the plane. And we have another restriction, limitation, which some people may not have: I don't think that we can shoot from the religious point of view at even a hijacker. We must be absolutely convinced that there is no other possibility whatsoever, and then resort to shooting and firing at the plane or at the hijackers. So the easiest, the most reasonable way was to release the passengers gradually. Our officials thought that the passengers -- the hijackers would not resist against requests, for instance, for releasing the children and the women. And this guess happened to be a correct one when the children and women were released. Then they could negotiate, you know, on simple things and release as many of the passengers as possible. And from the passengers, I was told, that they learned that they had enough explosives and, you know, means of destroying the plane. So the situation must have been extremely crucial and they thought that it was very wise and prudent to minimize the number of the passengers to a minimum possible, and that's what they did. Now, I just don't know if they started this storming of the plane two days earlier or three days earlier what would have happened. I just cannot guess, but I think what we wanted was the safety of the passengers, really not want a sort of adventurous, quick achievement, heroic something that we -- or a seeking of another miracle. We wanted, you know, the safety of the passengers.
MacNEIL: Given the desperation of the hijackers, the ease of the rescue has raised a suspicion -- you heard it in that report by that BBC correspondent -- the suspicion -- and he said that that's the way some Kuwaitis felt, that your government was in collusion with the hijackers, because it was all so easy at the end.
Amb. KHORASSANI: I don't know whether that reporter has been in the airport. I have not been in the airport. I have rung up Teheran very frequently and constantly, because people are producing the same sort of questions to ask, and from the officials of the Foreign Office last night, I learned that -- learned information which indicates that the report is not correct. For instance, I am told that some of our security men were injured. I am told that they stormed into the plane when -- I understand that inside the plane must have been a mess. And since they had established a kind of normal relations with these people -- they brought food to them, you know, and take the waste materials, orange peels and the rest of it -- they coordinated several needs so that a good number of qualified people could move into the plane. And when they went in, they continued with their operations very quickly, but according to what I am told, a couple of the security people -- and the number is not quite clear, I don't know, three or four -- have been injured. One or two, again I am not quite clear of the number, of the hijackers also were injured, and fortunately the passengers were released. I think it is very easy to pass judgment on the basis of conjecture at this stage, and it is very difficult to make a very dangerous decision when one is in a position to act. They are two different things.
MacNEIL: On this collusion charge, which as you know, being here, has come up repeatedly or been hinted at repeatedly over the last six days, is it just a coincidence that Iran had made the same demand of Kuwait -- that 17 people imprisoned for a bomb attack on American and French installations in Kuwait be released -- the same demand that the hijackers were making?
Amb. KHORASSANI: I think all those conversations which were exchanged between the Kuwaiti authorities and our authorities have been extremely helpful, because without -- I am not sure of the exact wording of the demands. It's again an allegation here. You say that the Iranians have made the same demand. The telexes that I received, and the information that was passed to me on the phone, do not confirm this exact, very clear assessment of the situation that you are trying to give me. But I think they did say something very interesting. They said that we have conveyed your message to the Kuwaiti authorities and we are trying to convince them that they should give in to the demands. And after sometime when the deadline of those hijackers came, they just informed them that good news is coming from Kuwait and wait and so on, and the whole scenario was prepared in such a way as to be able to move in and finish it quickly.
MacNEIL: I just have --
Amb. KHORASSANI: Now, you have to just pay attention to one point, and that is that our officials were fully convinced that the plane had enough explosives.
MacNEIL: To be blown up.
Amb. KHORASSANI: To be blown up. And I think they should have used all sorts of tricks, and negotiations --
MacNEIL: I just have a couple of quick questions.Are the two Americans going to leave Teheran tomorrow?I mean, are they free to go as far as the Iranian authorities --
Amb. KHORASSANI: I guess that they must be free, like other passengers, because, you remember that in the Saudi Arabian airliner, which was hijacked, there were a good number of Americans that were not detained, I mean, why should there be any difference between Americans and non-Americans?
MacNEIL: I see. And the other question, finally, is what is going to happen to the hijackers? Are they going to be extradited to Kuwait, or put on trial, or what?
Amb. KHORASSANI: I think they will not be extradited to Kuwait, because we do not have -- the Kuwaitis have never extradited hijackers who hijacked Iranian planes. They have been always less cooperative than we have been. They sent one or two of our planes directly to Iraq. I think we --
MacNEIL: So what would happen to them in Iran?
Amb. KHORASSANI: Well, they are ordinary criminals we have captured. We will treat them according to the law.
MacNEIL: Mr. Ambassador, thank you.
Amb. KHORASSANI: You're most welcome.
LEHRER: An American view of it now from Stansfield Turner, retired Navy admiral and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Carter administration. Admiral, what is your assessment of how Iran handled this thing?
Adm. STANSFIELD TURNER: I think it's very difficult to say that they could have done it faster or better. One can see how it could have been done better and faster, but we just don't know enough of the facts at this point. I think we have to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they moved as expeditiously as they thought they could. Now, if Iran was not supporting terrorism around the world, and was not a pariah in that regard, they could have called on us or the Germans or the Israelis or other people to come in and -- real experts, to help them, and it could have been solved quicker. But on their own resources, perhaps they did as well as they could.
LEHRER: Is the problem here, the reason that people are so suspicious of the Iranians is because they're so tied to terrorism?
Adm. TURNER: Well, we can't pin on Iran at this point that they collaborated with the hijackers, but we have a lot of cause to be suspicious. The point you've just made that they've been supporting terrorists, anti-American terrorists particularly, in Beirut, at least there seem to be a lot of good intelligence reports. The point that Robin just made that they have demanded the release of the same people that the hijackers wanted, but I can't see how they could storm that airplane, and very few people get injured if any, and certainly none of the hijackers, from what we know; but again, we haven't got all the facts, but it certainly is a suspicious element. At the same time, the real test is going to come when the Iranians do what the ambassador says that they're going to do: take them before the law in his country. There seems to be little doubt that those hijackers committed some very heinous crimes -- torture, and of course two killings of Americans -- if they don't receive some real meaningful punishment, then I think our suspicions should be heightened even more. In the meantime, we've got to give them the benefit of the doubt, but let's be duly skeptical until we see if they take some meaningful action against these hijackers.
LEHRER: There was, as I'm sure you know, Admiral, a lot of people who were very careful with their words today, until those two Americans are even out of Teheran. The ambassador just said, though, that they will be free to leave. Any reason to question that?
Adm. TURNER: Well, he's here in the United States and not in Iran. But I think we ought to, again give them the benefit of the doubt, not cast too many aspersions on them until they don't perform. In this case, either not let our people out tomorrow as we expect, and over time, not bring these people to trial or not give them a meaningful sentence. You know, they can bring them to trial and slap their wrists, and that won't be very satisfying.
LEHRER: Did the scenario that the ambassador just laid out make logical sense to you?
Adm. TURNER: Yes, it made sense in the degree of get the women and children and other people -- as many out before you have to storm the plane. The real issue is, did it take that many days to go through all that process? And again, until those Americans come back and we really can get a debriefing from them, it's a little early to tell whether they moved as rapidly as they could have.
LEHRER: What kind of assistance were the West Germans or who else -- what kind of assistance could they have given the Iranians in setting this earlier?
Adm. TURNER: Well, we've trained army special forces teams to storm an airliner like that, to take it quickly and decisively, probably with considerable loss of life on the part of the hijackers. I would suspect the Germans, the Israelis and others have teams that are also well-prepared for that. The Iranians had some choices if they wanted to go round the world and ask for very skilled assistance in this.
LEHRER: There were reports today as well that these terrorists may have even been trained in Iran, or not, maybe not directly, but indirectly somewhere else. Is that also what troubles you the most about this whole thing?
Adm. TURNER: Yes, It really does, and any country that supports terrorists for whatever purpose, can find that they'll come back to bite. And that may be what happened here. They may not be in collaboration, but they may have trained these people and it's caused them a problem, as well as us.
LEHRER: There's also been much talk of course about how the United States should have played this the last six days. What's your assessment of how we handled it?
Adm. TURNER: I think we did about all that we could under the circumtances, since there was no way we could actually go in and advise, or provide military support for it. We'd have to have been asked by the Iranians to do that, and their animosity to us at this time I think certainly precludes that.
LEHRER: But of course everyone keeps saying we must do something about terrorism. The administration has spoken out dramatically about it, and yet these incidents keep happening.Are they just always going to continue to happen, Admiral?
Adm. TURNER: The West Germans have got the Bader Meinhoff under control, the Italians have got the Red Brigades under control, we've got hijacking under control in our own country. Why? Because all three of those countries have taken strong measures to curb either terrorism or hijacking. We've got to be the leader of the world, now, in galvanizing the responsible countries of the world to take action against terrorism worldwide. In this case, for instance, we ought to investigate where those hijackers got on board, and were the inspections at that airport meaningful? And if they're not, the international aviation authorities ought to ban those airports until they get meaningful checks of people carrying weapons or explosives on airplanes. In this case, if the Iranians don't come through and really punish these people, I think we ought to head up a move to just ban all international air traffic from going into Teheran. We ought to ostracize people like this. In a place like Beirut, we should now be demanding that the Lebanese establish a network of intelligence agents to really comb the back streets and find out where suspicious actions are going on. We can't do that for them, but they can provide us much better support. And it's so in many other countries. I think there's a lot can be done without rushing off and saying, well, let's bomb a whole lot of people and kill a lot of innocent bystanders in order to get five or six terrorists.
LEHRER: Admiral, thank you.
Adm. TURNER: Surely.
MacNEIL: Still to come on tonight's NewsHour, we have an extended excerpt from the news conference by artifical heart recipient William Schroeder. That's followed by a documentary report on a very different approach to artificial hearts. We have a newsmaker interview with a Democrat who wants to become his party's leader in the Senate. And finally we profile the Heritage Foundation, the think tank the Reagan administration really listens to. William Schroeder: Thankful
LEHRER: Next we focus on William Schroeder, the man with the artificial heart. Last night he gave his first interview. Reporters from the New York Times and ABC News conducted it. Schroeder's wife and grandchildren were with him in the Louisville, Kentucky, hospital room. What he had to say was worth hearing at soom length, so here is healthy portion of it. In the background you will hear the portable pump driving Schroeder's artificial heart.
REPORTER: Have you seen many of the news accounts of your recovery, and if you have -- or even read about them -- have they been important to you in the recovery process?
WILLIAM SCHROEDER: Yeah, I've seen a lot of them, and I hope that this is just the beginning and that Dr. DeVries can continue on and go on further, and get some more. And I know that as we go on, things will develop, things will be a lot better, things are going to be -- oh, just super.
REPORTER: The head of the American Medical Association has not been, well, has been kind of critical of this whole experiment. And he said that releasing detailed information about your case -- I mean, every day, Dr. Lance would come down and tell us how you're doing in a very detailed way. And the AMA said that releasing that kind of detailed information may not be in the best interests of the patient, that is, it may not be in your best interests, and that it should be withheld and not told to the American public until it's published in a scientific journal. What do you think about that?
Mr. SCHROEDER: No, I don't think so. I think the quicker you can get it out to the public, and get it in a form of a historic -- or document it and everything, and I think that, you know, my case is not like Barney Clarke's case. Barney Clarke had other complications, I didn't.
REPORTER: Do you think release of all this information hurt you?
Mr. SCHROEDER: No. I don't care if they release every bit of the information they got on me. I don't care if they come out and tell me -- tell the public that, you know, I had this, I had that, and what have you. That doesn't bother me. All I wanted to do was, number one, get myself healthy; number two, I wanted to be able to help other people. And if I can succeed in any of those two, I'll feel like my mission's been accomplished.
REPORTER: Are you at all bothered about being tethered for the rest of your life to a machine?
Mr. SCHROEDER: No, no, I'm not. I think there's a time's going to come when you won't be tethered to a machine. I can remember my dad, he had sugar diabetes and lost both legs. He's confined a wheelchair. And I helped him, you know. But you'll get around, not maybe like you want to, but just like other handicapped people. Because there are a lot of other handicapped people worse off than I am.
REPORTER: This whole experiment has raised a number of very interesting issues. One that keeps popping up is informed consent. You took a big consent form home and you signed it, and you thought a lot about it. I'm wondering if it is really possible for you to objectively sign a piece of paper like that when you only, when you note to yourself that you've only got 40 days to live? Is it possible really to have informed consent when you're under the gun like that?
Mr. SCHROEDER: We went down in the hospital and the conference room, the doctor's office, and laid it on the line. And I told them then, I says, "If there's any thing in this world that you people have -- are holding back, I want to know it. I want everything up front, laid out, right to the T, and right now." And they did. I says, "How many days do I have?" and they told me, so I says, "Okay." And all my children were there, my wife was there, and I said, "Have you kids got any problems?" They said no. So I said to them, I said, breaks down so we did, and 'cause no matter what happened, if I didn't come out, they'd have learned something, if I did, just 40 days.I've taken chances all my life. I believe in 'em, and I was gung ho for this thing.
MacNEIL: William Schroeder, last night. Ever since he received his artificial heart two weeks ago, he's drawn worldwide attention to Louisville's Humana Hospital and the team of doctors who performed the implant there. But as correspondent Kwame Holman reports, that's not the only place for scientists are designing machines that may someday replace the human heart. The Other Artificial Heart
KWAME HOLMAN [voice-over]: Here in rural central Pennsylvania, doctors and researchers at Penn State University's Hershey Medical Center have developed their own version of the artificial heart, a version they hope to place in a human patient early next year. The person who heads the Penn State artificial heart program is Dr. William Pierce.
Dr. WILLIAM PIERCE, Hershey Medical Center [to researcher]: Has it been run submerged with saline in there, to try to simulate a body condition?
MAN: Yeah, we've checked the temperature, checking to see what is --
Dr. PIERCE: Okay.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Dr. Pierce began his pioneering work on the artificial heart almost 25 years ago, and many experts, including artificial heart surgeon Dr. William DeVries, consider him the leading authority in the field. Another Pierce supporter is artificial heart designer Dr. Robert Jarvik.
Dr. ROBERT JARVIK, artificial heart designer: Dr. Pierce is extremely capable researcher in this field. He has been one of the most effective leaders in the use of left-heart assist devices to save the lives of patients.He has gotten among the best results in the world. Dr. Pierce has also been working with totally artificial hearts, and very successfully.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: The Pierce heart is similar in some respects to the artificial heart designed by Dr. Robert Jarvik, a heart that now beats in the chest of William Schroeder. Both hearts are powered by an external air compressor that runs two pumping chambers in the heart. The two doctors also have differences, both in terms of the design of the artificial heart, and how it should be used.
Dr. PIERCE: Bob Jarvik and I have a lot of disagreements about different areas, and I think this is a fairly common occurrence among scientists. If we all saw things the exact same way, perhaps there'd only be one automobile on the road, instead of all the different designs and types. So some of these probably turn out to be very important, and others don't.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Some of the important Pierce design differences include using different valves to control the blood flow, and a new seam-free blood sac that Dr. Pierce says moves blood more evenly and reduces the risk of blood clotting. Dr. Pierce's heart also uses a different external air pump. For the extensive animal testing Dr. Pierce has performed, he uses an air-powered drive unit that adjusts automatically to the animal's need for more or less blood. When the animal is at rest, the unit pumps fewer times per minute. When the animal exercises, the rate increases. The Jarvik unit, called the Utah Driver, does not have that advancedfeature.
[interviewing] Allowing the animal to regulate its own blood flow, what advantages does that give you?
Dr. PIERCE: Well, it behaves much more similar fashion to the normal heart. That's exactly what our heart does. We're not trying to improve on nature, but we would like to duplicate the natural heart behavior as closely as possible.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Dr. Pierce's innovations have worked so well that his group holds the record for sustaining a calf with an artificial heart: 270 days. But despite this success, Dr. Pierce views both his and Dr. Jarvik's air-driven artificial hearts as imperfect devices.
Dr. PIERCE: This artificial heart that is presently available is going to be an albatross in a few years.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: What makes the air-driven heart an albatross are these -- the air hoses that must travel through the skin to power the heart.
Dr. PIERCE: I do not believe that leaving these percutaneous tubes that are required for the pneumatic heart in a patient are good things. I think that there will be an incidence of infection around those tubes, and once there is infection, then that's going to be a very serious problem.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Dr. Jarvik also admits infection could be a problem.
Dr. JARVIK: We don't know what the real infection risk is going to be in humans. We do believe we'll be able to handle it better than in animals, because of much better hygiene, and really just a greater level of knowledge of how to treat a human being than how to treat a baby cow. There's a lot more known, so we think that these things will be controlled, but will be real continuing risks of the procedure and in some cases will probably be failure.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Concern about infection has caused Dr. Pierce to differ with Dr. Jarvik on how the artificial heart should be used in patients. Dr. Jarvik is promoting his device as a permanent replacement.
Dr. PIERCE: Do you know anybody that's had a bypass graft?
PATIENT: Yes, I know quite a few.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Dr. Pierce plans to use his air-driven heart only on a temporary basis, to keep heart transplant candidates alive while waiting for a human heart to become available.
Dr. PIERCE: Our plans are to use the artificial heart as a -- what we refer to as a bridge device, when the patient had circulatory instability or shock; the patient would be taken to the operating room, the artificial heart would be put in, the patient would then be returned to the intensive care unit and would remain there for the days to weeks that would be required to identify a suitable donor heart.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: Once a human heart becomes available, the air-driven heart would be removed and replaced with the donor heart, thereby minimizing the chance of infection. In terms of a permanent artificial heart, Dr. Pierce is placing his faith in an electric heart his group is now developing.
Dr. PIERCE: In this space right here, we have the electric motor --
HOLMAN [voice-over]: As opposed to the air-driven heart, the electric heart has its motor built in with power for the heart coming from a battery belt that transmits energy through the skin via an electric coil, so there are no tubes to cause infection.
Dr. PIERCE: With the electric heart, there is no break in the skin at all, and that is what we consider to be an ideal and a really permanent solution to the problem. And it's something that's technically feasible today. It's been known for a number of years.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: In fact, a calf implanted with a Pierce electric artificial heart lived for seven months -- six months longer than any other research group has accomplished. But in its current stage of development, the electric heart is too large to be implanted in humans.
[interviewing] How long before the electric heart is ready for a human test?
Dr. PIERCE: With the rate of progress today and the amount of money that is available, I think it will be some time in the next decade. There's no question about that, unless significant amounts of money would become available for this type of research.
HOLMAN [voice-over]: For now, Dr. Pierce is keeping his fingers crossed that all will continue to go well for William Schroeder in Louisville, believing that if Shroeder's artificial heart proves successful, interest and funding in all heart research will increase, and speed the day when the electric artificial heart is a reality. Talking Politics
LEHRER: Now we move into the world of Washington politics. First with a newsmaker interview with Senator Lawton Chiles, Democrat of Florida. Senator Chiles made his news last week by saying he was going to do what few do in the United States Senate, and that's challenge their own leader. He announced his candidacy for Senate minority leader against Senator Robert Byrd. The vote will be held Wednesday. Senator Chiles is serving his third term in the Senate and is now the ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, among other things. Senator, welcome.
Sen. LAWTON CHILES: Thank you.
LEHRER: In your announcement you said a new face was needed in this minority leader's job. What did you mean by that?
Sen. CHILES: Well, when you examine sort of what's happened to us as Democrats, we lost an election in which our presidential candidate lost 49 states; the highest electoral vote went for President Reagan, higher than President Roosevelt got in his strongest bid for election; we now have seen a change in the majority leadership, with Robert Dole who, all of us know, is very good, a very, very able, articulate leader; and we've reached a point, I think, in the Democratic Party where we've got to convince the people that we can be a majority party. I think we've got to convince the people that we can represent middle America. And if you look and see what we've done to do that so far, we've reelected Tip O'Neill as the leader of the Democrats in the House, and we were on the path of reelecting the present leadership in the Senate. It seemed to me that if we're serious about telling the American people that we plan to show that we have new faces and we have new ideas, that we're ready to be a majority party and to take the reins of leadership, we need to demonstrate that.
LEHRER: In a general way, what new ideas would you bring to the job that Senator Byrd doesn't bring to it?
Sen. CHILES: Well, I don't think it's a question as much of bringing ideas, because I think that we have better leadership among our Senate Democrats than the majority party has at this time. The question is putting those ideas together and forming a consensus so that we can have the support of all of the Democrats. One of our problems has been, it's taken us a long time to realize that we're not the majority party any longer, because we were for a long time. It's question of how do we put together the 47 Democrats that we have, reach out and pick a few Republicans, and come up with alternatives, come up with ideas that we think are good, and not just have to vote no on President Reagan's program.
LEHRER: And your position is that Senator Byrd does not do that job well?
Sen. CHILES: Well, I am not running against Senator Byrd. I'm running on the basis that I think a majority of the Democrats in the Senate realize that this is a crucial time for us, because the next two years is the opportunity that we have to regain control of the Senate. The Republicans have 22 candidates up and we have about 12. If we miss that opportunity, we're doomed to be a minority party for many, many years to come.
LEHRER: How could you run against Senator Byrd without running against Senator Byrd?
Sen. CHILES: Well, I went to see him and told him that I wanted to run for the job that he held.
LEHRER: I bet that was good news for him, right?
Sen. CHILES: Well, he was very gracious about that.
LEHRER: Meaning -- what did he say?
Sen. CHILES: Well, Senator Byrd has been a good leader, no one works harder in the Senate than he does. It would be nice if Senator Byrd was here tonight, he could explain all of those reasons for himself. But I think what we're really talking about is whether we are going to make a strong symbolic statement to the American people that we're ready to change in this party.
LEHRER: The word that you used before, I believe, in your announcement comments was centrist, that you wanted to show the American people that the Democratic Party is more in the central --.
Sen. CHILES: Well, I think I used a different word than that. I said we've got to convince the American people that we represent middle America.
LEHRER: Middle America, okay. Is it your position that the Democrats in the Senate do represent middle America?
Sen. CHILES: Absolutely. I think that --
LEHRER: There's not a liberal taint to the majority of the Democrats in --
Sen. CHILES: No, I don't think so.
LEHRER: I don't mean to use the word taint, you know what I mean.
Sen. CHILES: No, there, what we have again in the -- in our leadership, or in our senators, we have people that have been elected in their states, they have to be representing the middle portion of their state or they wouldn't get elected. And so each one of those is an elected official. Part of our problem is that we're a minority party and we don't seem to have a spokesman, we don't seem to be able to show the American people what we do, and again, I think we have to do that, not only by our words, but I think more by our deeds, and that's taking this talent that's out there, and it's not my talent, you know, it's the other members' talent, and try to determine how do we come together with that to present plans which are alternatives? The worst thing in the world is to have to vote no on just President Reagan's program.
LEHRER: Sure. Is it mostly a public relations job, the Senate minority leader's?
Sen. CHILES: No, sir, I don't think so, I think that's --
LEHRER: Speaking for the party and so on?
Sen. CHILES: I think that's part of it, but I think a greater part of it is trying to determine, you know, what are the needs of the members as you're putting together a package. We had a vote on the MX missiles, it was something that I worked on last year, this particular year.
LEHRER: And you took it down to one or two votes, did you not?
Sen. CHILES: We took it down to a tie vote, and the Vice President had to come from the jogging path to break that tie vote. One of the ways we did that is we had to recognize that there were a number of our members that couldn't vote for the -- for our plan, to start with. They had to vote for something stronger. Once they had that vote, which was destined to fail, then they could vote for our plan. So it's kind of a recogni -- and then is when we got all of our members sort of to vote.
LEHRER: And that's the kind of thing you would continue doing if you were elected?
Sen. CHILES: That's right. That, and then the other is starting to work for that reelection two years from now, to see that you get the Senate majority.
LEHRER: Well, what does it look like, now? Are you going to win?
Sen. CHILES: Well, I think it's like you're baking a loaf of bread, and you've got the leavening in there, the yeast, and it's working right now. They tell me that the Capitol switchboard went down for a few minutes this morning, because there were so many calls. So what's happening is, everybody's calling everybody and saying, "What do you think, you know, about this? My gosh, does Chiles have a chance? What about Robert Byrd?" All of these things are sort of going back and forth. I can't tell you tonight that I'm going to win; I can tell you that I feel better tonight about what I'm doing than the day that I started it. And I can tell you that I'm convinced that a majority of our Senate Democrats understand the plight that we have, the need that we have to do something about it, and I think it's going to be a very, very interesting Wednesday morning at 11:00. I can't wait to see the result.
LEHRER: All right, that makes two of us. Senator, thank you very much. Robin? Influential
MacNEIL: We close tonight with a profile of a think tank -- Washington's hottest think tank, the Heritage Foundation. Today the foundation's thinkers finished briefings for Reagan administration officials and others about its new book on how to continue the conservative revolution. The book is as not a commodity as its authors. Cokie Roberts of National Public Radio reports.
COKIE ROBERTS, NPR [voice-over]: It won't make the best-seller list, but it will be must reading for politicians, pundits and professors in Washington and anywhere else affected by the federal government. It's Mandate for Leadership II, the 564-page policy option guidebook for the second Reagan term, prepared by the Heritage Foundation, the D.C. conservative think tank where New Right government philosophy is matched by high-powered salesmanship. Heritage hopes this latest game plan will fare as well as its predecessor, published in January 1981 and enthusiastically endorsed by the then-new President and his aides. Burton Pines, a former associate editor at Time magazine, is Heritage's vice president for research.
BURTON PINES, vice president research, Heritage Foundation: In the first administration, we figured we were batting about .600, about 60% of our proposals were either acted on or were actually effected by the administration.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: Heritage is widely credited with influencing the Reagan administration's thinking and action about Star Wars, the high-tech antimissile initiative; decontrol of oil prices; the decision to quit UNESCO; and most important, the 1981 Economic Recovery Act. The man who outlined the massive tax and spending cuts in Heritage's 1981 plan, Norman Ture, later helped implement them when he became undersecretary of the Treasury for tax policy.Ture was one of a dozen Heritage researchers who joined the Reagan team. Hoping to bat .600 again, Heritage's new agenda emphasizes, as expected, free enterprise and national security. Topping Burt Pines' list are defense.
Mr. PINES: We believe there is a continuing threat from theSoviet Union, so we have to continue rebuilding our arsenal to protect us from Soviet attack. But more important than that, we have to move ahead with what is called strategic defense, a system which will enable us by the end of the century to destroy incoming Soviet missiles.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: Deficit reduction.
Mr. PINES: The most important means of reducing the deficit is by having government policies which encourage economic growth, and therefore we call for further tax cuts. Secondly there should be spending cuts, and thirdly, we should get the states, which are now running a $60 billion surplus, to do more that the federal government has been doing.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: Quotas.
Mr. PINES: The federal government has a legitimate role in fighting discrimination and should insure against it. Quotas, however, don't work. They put a stigma on those who allegedly benefit from quotas, and it creates reverse discrimination on those who are penalized by quotas.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: The United Nations.
Mr. PINES: The United Nations fails at peacekeeping, and worse, fails to help the people in the world who most need the United Nations, the poor of the world. The famine we see in Africa right now is a testimony to a quarter-century of failure of United Nations programs in Africa.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: Heritage is a relative newcomer to the Washington think tank community. Eleven years ago, conservative businessman Joseph Coors, the Colorado brewer, donated a quarter of a million dollars to launch an institute for conservative ideas to serve as an answer to the many liberal public policy groups in Washington. The foundation now spends $10 million a year, raised mostly from other foundations, corporations and individuals. No money comes from Uncle Sam. Though a handful of prominent senior fellows are associated with Heritage, the bulk of the policy papers are written by young Ph.Ds. Joseph Coors sits on the board of trustees, chaired by RKO General chief Frank Shakespeare.
FRANK SHAKESPEARE, chairman board of trustees, Heritage Foundation: Is there anything else that's important about the budget, that is unusual, that you want to focus the attention of the board on?
MAN: Yes, expenses are 5% within the '84 budget --
ROBERTS [voice-over]: Other conservative luminaries include author Midge Decter, former Treasury secretary William Simon, and defeated New York gubernatorial candidate Lew Lehrman. Edwin Feulner, a former aide to conservative Republican Congressman Phil Crane of Illinois, is Heritage's president.
EDWIN FEULNER, president, Heritage Foundation: Our role is to run the flag up the flagpole and see how many of the politicians salute. And right now we happen to have a lot of them here in town who are saluting fairly often.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: In September 1983, Heritage moved into its own eight-story renovated building two blocks from the Capitol. The richly decorated conference rooms, the valuable Oriental art, the carefully-chosen office photo displays are all designed to project success, stability, power and influence -- the aura of the executive suite, not the radical fringe. Independent national think tanks, also known as public policy research centers, are a uniquely American phenomenon. In Washington, the liberal-oriented Brookings Institution, dating back to 1927, is the oldest and serves as the prototype for the rest. Following World War II, the American Enterprise Institute was established to offer a conservative alternative to Brookings. Both in and out of Washington the growth of think tanks has matched the expanding role of government. As the new kid on the block, Heritage has come under intense scrutiny. Members of other think tanks now consider its work to be professional, not merely propaganda. But Robert Borosage, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, is sharply critical of the quality of Heritage's work. IPS is a progressive think tank whose political outlook is diametrically opposed to the foundation's.
ROBERT BOROSAGE, director, Institute for Policy Studies: What Heritage really does is cartoon analysis, where you take a caricature of reality and you fit it to an already existing reactionary policy prescription. They do a series of policy briefs which I've read on Central America, and if you look at how they describe what's going on there and then the policy analysis they draw from that, it is remarkably unaffected by the general sense of facts in the region.
Rep. NEWT GINGRICH, (R) Georgia: As a congressman I find Heritage helpful on specific issues. When the World Court issue came up they within 48 hours had a backgrounder out on the nature of current World Court jurisdiction, what was going on in that kind of a setting.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: On Capitol Hill, Republican Newt Gingrich, a leader of the young conservatives in Congress, says the Heritage Foundation has become a key player in shaping conservative policy.
Rep. GINGRICH: They get up in the morning, and they say, "What can we do today to affect public policy?" Whereas some other think tanks get up in the morning and say, "What can we do to talk about public policy?"
ROBERTS [voice-over]: The Capitol is the battleground for public policy decisions, and Burt Pines and Heritage manufacture and supply the ammunition for the conservative side.
Mr. PINES: Once the ideas are produced by our staff, we make sure they get into the hands of journalists, get into the hands of the White House, get into the hands of members of Congress, and maybe most importantly, get into the hands of staffers in Congress of enormous amount of influence. We write our papers to be very short, 10 or 11 pages, so that even a busy member of Congress has the time to understand them and digest them.
Rep. BOROSAGE: I don't imagine there are many people in the city who take their analysis seriously. What they take is their political power, the relationships to the White House, their relationships to corporations, in the sense that their perspective, that is the aggressive wing, the kind of aggressive reaction in the city, and so you'd better know where it is.
ROBERTS [voice-over]: Heritage president Ed Feulner claims his critics are out of touch with the real world of political decision making.
Mr. FEULNER: Some of my stodgy friends in other think tanks seem to take some exception to the fact that we go out and consciously market our product and try to get it in the hands of the policy makers. But in fact that's what this business is about. If it's just a nice book that looks good on somebody's book shelf, why did you ever bother?
ROBERTS [voice-over]: And beyond the Reagan second term, the Heritage Foundation is confident about its future and the conservative revolution it champions.
Mr. PINES: No matter what happens in the White House, there are going to be conservatives on Capitol Hill -- some years more, some years fewer -- who are going to want to have the kind of information and data and analyses which allow them to make a strong case for a conservative America.
MacNEIL: That report by Cokie Roberts of National Public Radio. Once again, the main stories of the day. The two Americans who survived the hijacking at Teheran airport are due to leave for home tomorrow.
Union Carbide will give a million dollars more to victims of the gas leak from its plant in Bhopal, India.
Bishop Desmond Tutu received his Nobel Prize for Peace, and President Reagan denounced apartheid in South Africa.
Good night, Jim.
LEHRER: Good night, Robin. We'll see you tomorrow night. I'm Jim Lehrer.Thank you and good night.
- The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
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- Episode Description
- This episode's headline: Hijacking: Nightmare Ends; Thankful; The Other Artificial Heart; Talking Politics; Influential. The guests include In New York: SAID RAJAIE KHORASSANI, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations; In Washington: Admiral STANSFIELD TURNER, Former CIA Director; Rep. LAWTON CHILES, Democrat, Florida; Reports from NewsHour Correspondents: KEITH GRAVES (BBC), in Teheran, Iran; KWAME HOLMAN, at Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania; COKIE ROBERTS (NPR), in Washington. Byline: In New York: ROBERT MacNEIL, Executive Editor; In Washington: JIM LEHRER, Associate Editor
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- Military Forces and Armaments
- Politics and Government
- Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode)
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Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
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Identifier: NH-0321 (NH Show Code)
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Identifier: NH-19841210 (NH Air Date)
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- Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” 1984-12-10, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 25, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-jw86h4dg5q.
- MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” 1984-12-10. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 25, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-jw86h4dg5q>.
- APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-jw86h4dg5q