thumbnail of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Hide -
JIM LEHRER: Good evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. On the NewsHour tonight, Kwame Holman updates the senate impeachment trial; Margaret Warner talks to Senators Chafee, Hutchison, Dodd and Wellstone; Lee Hochberg in Oregon updates a story about abortion protesters and the law; Elizabeth Farnsworth talks about the British novelist Iris Murdoch, who died yesterday; and Susan Dentzer reports on how to handle the common cold. It all follows our summary of the news this Tuesday.
JIM LEHRER: The senate impeachment trial went behind closed doors today as the senators began their deliberations on a verdict. A final vote on the articles of impeachment is expected by Friday. The vote itself will be in public. We'll have more on this story right after the news summary. American Airlines said it expected to cancel more than 700 flights today, almost a third of its daily flight schedule. Hubs in Dallas, Miami, and New York were most affected. The airline opened talks with its pilots, who began a slowdown over the weekend. They are protesting lower pay for pilots of an airline recently acquired by American. The Labor Department today reported U.S. productivity was up 2.2 percent last year. And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 158 points at 9133. The NASDAQ Index lost 94 points, or 3.9 percent, to close at 2311. Another cable television- Internet merger was announced today. The deal involves USA Networks and Lycos, a web search provider. It must be approved now by government regulators. Salt Lake City today blamed two officials of its Olympic bid committee for misusing funds. They were accused of making unauthorized payments to members of the International Olympic Committee, who chose Salt Lake for the 2002 winter games. They were also accused of trying to conceal their actions. Robert Garff is chairman of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.
ROBERT GARIFF, Chairman, Salt Lake Organization Committee: Some of the most disturbing findings in the board of ethics report provide examples of disgusting and disguised transactions and phony contracts. A review of the expenditures of the bid committee reveals that direct payments were made to IOC members without sufficient backup documentation to indicate their purpose or ultimate use.
JIM LEHRER: Flood watches were issued in Northern California today, and another soaking, windy storm hit the area. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains, up to two feet of snow was expected. Eight feet fell over the weekend. An avalanche closed a highway southwest of Reno, Nevada, and snow forced schools in southern Oregon to close. On the Kosovo story today, the American mediator at peace talks in France said progress was being made, but he warned the Serbs and the Albanians were still at odds over terms offered by western diplomats. In Washington, State Department Spokesman James Rubin spoke of conditions for ground troops or air strikes.
JAMES RUBIN: NATO has also decided that if the Serbs fail to agree to the contact group plan and the Kosovar Albanians do, and a prime example of failing to agree would be to refuse to allow the peace implementation force, the Serbs will be subject to air strikes. And so they would be making a big mistake to hold up this agreement over the question of allowing forces in if the Kosovar Albanians are prepared to do so.
JIM LEHRER: And that's it for the news summary tonight. Now it's on to today's senate impeachment trial session; four U.S. Senators; abortion and free speech; remembering Iris Murdoch; and the common cold.
JIM LEHRER: Deliberations begin in the senate impeachment trial. Kwame Holman reports.
KWAME HOLMAN: With the evidence presented and the closing arguments completed, the senate today prepared for final deliberations in the impeachment trial.
SEN. TRENT LOTT, Majority Leader: I would note that if each senator uses his or her entire debate time, the proceedings would take 25 hours, not including breaks and recesses. And, therefore, I remind all senators that Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address in less than three minutes, and Kennedy's first inaugural was slightly over seven minutes. But certainly, every senator will have his or her opportunity to speak for up to 15 minutes if that is their desire.
KWAME HOLMAN: But before that happened, senators were asked to decide whether they would suspend their rules and let visitors to the gallery and a national television audience watch them deliberate.
SEN. TRENT LOTT: I move to suspend the rules on behalf of Senators Hutchinson, Harkin, and others in order to conduct open deliberations.
WILLIAM REHNQUIST: The yeas and nays are automatic. The clerk will call the roll.
CLERK: Mr. Abrahams.
KWAME HOLMAN: The motion to open the senate's deliberations to public view was supported by all 45 Democrats and 14 Republicans, but suspending the rules requires two-thirds of the senate or 67 votes, and the motion was defeated.
WILLIAM REHNQUIST: On this vote, the yeas are 59, the nays are 41. Two-thirds of those senators voting, a quorum being present, not having voted in the affirmative, it is not agreed to.
KWAME HOLMAN: But Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, one of the main sponsors of the open deliberations effort, didn't concede immediately.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, [R] Texas: Mr. Chief Justice, Rule 20 says that while the senate is in session, the doors shall remain open unless the senate directs that the doors be closed. My inquiry is this: If the senate, by a majority, voted not to direct the doors to be closed, would it be an order to proceed to deliberations with the doors open?
KWAME HOLMAN: Chief Justice William Rehnquist said it would not. He ruled the precedent established during the 1868 impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson argued that the doors be closed.
WILLIAM REHNQUIST: Senator Howard reported the rules for the committee and clearly understated his intention. And Chief Justice Chase in the Andrew Johnson trial stated in response to an inquiry, "there can be no deliberation unless the doors are closed. There can be no debate under the rules unless the doors be closed." And I understand, from the parliamentarian, it's been the consistent practice of the senate for the last 130 years in impeachment trials to require deliberations, and debate by the senate to be held in closed session. And, though there may be ambiguity between rules, my ruling is based partly on deference to the senate's long-standing practice. In the opinion of the chair there can be no deliberation on any question before the senate in open session unless the senate suspends its rules or consent is granted.
SPOKESPERSON: Mr. Chief justice -
SEN. TRENT LOTT: That record having been made, I now move the doors for final deliberations be closed.
KWAME HOLMAN: But those who supported keeping the doors open, and there were 59 of them, still could have defeated the upcoming motion to close the doors with a simple majority. That, more than likely, would have forced senators to reconsider the issue. That's what Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin said he was hoping for.
SEN. TOM HARKIN, [D] Iowa: If we could have gotten 51 votes - Senator Specter is right -- we would have had a little bit of a stalemate, and I believe it would have been resolved differently. I checked with the parliamentarian. At that point, someone could have sent another motion to the desk to suspend the rules. I believe, and I'm only speaking for myself, I believe that faced with the prospect of either having absolutely no final deliberation or having it in open session, we might have picked up those other eight votes that we needed if we'd have just had a little bit more time, as Senator Specter said, to be able to have this kind of a stalemate for just a little while and talk about it.
KWAME HOLMAN: However, on the second vote, Harkin's side actually lost support. Faced with the possibility of no deliberations at all, 12 of the 14 Republicans supporting open debate, nevertheless, voted to close the doors. Maine Republican Olympia Snowe explained why she switched her vote.
SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE, [R] Maine: I did not support it in the procedural motions because I do think it was important to maintain the judicial character and the judicial temperament of these proceedings. But I do think in the final deliberations that we will have reached our conclusions, and, therefore, I think they should be open so that everybody deserves to hear our final positions.
KWAME HOLMAN: In an effort to compromise, Majority Leader Trent Lott suggested senators be allowed to put statements they make during deliberations into the Congressional Record.
SEN. TRENT LOTT: Senator Daschle, and I think this is the fair way to make that record, and we would urge that it be adopted.
KWAME HOLMAN: But that proposal prompted some confusion.
SENATOR: What you're saying is any senator who so wishes can do so. Might that not apply to all of the closed sessions we've had?
SENATOR: I would assume that in your concurrence that that could go into the congressional record, it would require all the participants of the colloquy.
SENATOR: I think under the rules, we're limited to one intervention of a specific time period. Does the majority leader contemplate approaching that differently?
SENATOR: Could a senator give his or her statement in public and then give the same statement in closed session and still not violate the ethics rules?
WILLIAM REHNQUIST: The parliamentarian tells me this is all out of order. [Laughter]
SEN. TRENT LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, if I may, I will -- in a moment I will make a motion to close the doors for the deliberations. However, I believe we have to dispose of this pending motion.
WILLIAM REHNQUIST: The question is on the motion, however, amorphous it may be.
KWAME HOLMAN: The senate eventually agreed members who wished could have their statements published, and after a day of open parliamentary give and take, the senate shut its doors and began the trial deliberations, which are expected to continue through tomorrow.
JIM LEHRER: Margaret Warner takes it from there.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, with the impeachment trial in its final phase, we get the perspectives of four senators: Republicans Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and John Chafee of Rhode Island, and Democrats Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.
MARGARET WARNER: Welcome senators. Senator Hutchison, give us a flavor of what the deliberations have been like now that the doors are closed.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, [R] Texas: I think the American people would be very proud to hear the debate. I think that it is important, I was very disappointed that we were not able to do it. I think that history requires it and I certainly think the American people today deserve it.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Chafee, you were one of those who voted to have the doors closed. Has there been the kind of give and take that proponents of keeping the doors closed thought would occur?
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE, [R] Rhode Island: What I was seeking was to move the process along so that we'd be able to have enough time at the end for a censure resolution. It was absolutely certain that if we went to open session, everybody would take close to their 15 minute. That's 1,500 minutes, that's 25 hours and we wouldn't -- we could not have gotten to the censure resolution, which I feel so strongly about. I think the tenor in the chamber is with the doors closed is excellent, you can hear a pin drop in there, everybody is listening carefully. It's quite different from our open sessions but the real reason I wanted it closed was so we could move along and have time for the censure.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Wellstone, can you give as you little more of what it's like in there? For instance, are you getting the feeling most senators have definitely made up their mine minds and are giving serial speeches, or is there back and forth?
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE, [D] Minnesota: Well, there isn't really back and forth. I think senators now have really reached their own conclusions and people are speaking. But - you know what, Margaret - I have to smile and say to John people are taking their 15-minute limit. Chris reminded me when Senator Lott talked about the Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln, it was three minutes. But he gave it in public. I think we'd be far better off having our final deliberations and debate in public. For gosh sake, we're voting on the question of whether or not we're to remove a president from office and in a representative democracy, we shouldn't be doing this behind closed doors. This should be an open, accountable process.
MARGARET WARNER: All right. Senator Dodd, let's move on to the articles themselves. What sense do you get of how the final vote is going to break out break down?
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD, [D] Connecticut: I don't know that. I must say I think during all of this an awful lot of people have kept their own counsel. I know that Tom Daschle, our leader, and I suspect the same is true with Trent Lott, my Republican colleagues can comment on this, have never once asked members how they would vote or urge that there be some sort of a caucus position. And so I wouldn't want to predict for you this evening, we've had some sense already, we've heard about 12 or 14 speeches and so there's some sense among certainly those members who have declared how they're going to vote but obviously that's in private session, so I know what they're going to do but, unfortunately, their constituents don't at this point, nor do you or the American public. They'll have to wait until the final deliberations, the vote is called, and then at some point later read their remarks in the Congressional Record. I wouldn't want to predict for you what the outcome would be - the exact votes. I don't think there are enough votes to convict. It doesn't seem to be even close to that number. But beyond that I wouldn't want to speculate.
MARGARET WARNER: But I mean, do you think you're going to have any Democratic defections?
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: I really don't know. I can't tell you that. It would be highly inappropriate for me to even speculate how my colleagues might vote. They can speak for themselves.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Hutchison, Senator Shelby of Alabama said this weekend that he did think that article one, the perjury count, was in trouble, even among some Republicans, and that he thought it would fail to even get 50 votes. I'm not asking to you predict and I'm not asking you to reveal what your colleagues are saying, but do you agree with that general sentiment? And, if so, why? Why is the perjury article in some trouble?
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: I think perjury is a very difficult burden of proof. First of all, the president certainly was careful in his grand jury testimony. And I think he tried to skirt around a potential perjury charge. But it is a tougher burden, and I think it is going to get fewer votes than the obstruction of justice article.
MARGARET WARNER: Would you agree with that, Senator Chafee?
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: Yes, the perjury thing, particularly with the four counts, one of which is intent, is a tough one to prove. It's a tough one to -- to hang one's hat on. And as Senator Hutchison said, the president was very, very careful the way he phrased things. And so it's hard to get intent to deceive out of it.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Dodd, what's curious is that in the House it was the perjury count that actually -- the perjury article that did better. Do you think the managers made just a more effective case on obstruction of justice, an unusually effective case?
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: Well, I wouldn't use the House vote as a barometer. That was a highly partisan event. And I've already declared publicly how I feel about all of this. I think, you know, bad cases make bad law. And, obviously, we have to deal with this because the House did impeach, and so it's in the senate, we've spent the last four weeks doing so. But I would make a strong case to you that this matter never should have come to the senate. There should have been - in my view -- a joint resolution on censure, which was denied to the House members to offer that as an alternative. And so any proceeding in the House which was -- I think the American public have pretty much concluded that that process, and I agree with them, was highly partisan event and really should have been enough to cause some people to pause about sending this matter to the senate for a trial as we've gone through.
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: I must say Chris Dodd's definition of highly partisan is if all the Republicans are on one side, it's highly partisan. If all the Democrats are on the other side, there's no partisanship at all. They're just going down God's path.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: No, No, John, not at all. No, John, we've done it other ways in the past here and I think it's destructive. They did not go through that. And that was a good instruction.
MARGARET WARNER: Let's get back, if we can, to what's going on in the senate. I'm sorry I ever mentioned the House. Senator Wellstone, do you think -- given that everyone seems to agree there are not 67 votes to convict on either article, does the margin matter, does the margin matter at all? For instance,can the president claim vindication if let's say neither article gets 51 votes?
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE: Well, I don't think the president can claim vindication when it comes to the question of personal behavior, personal conduct, values and I think -- and morality. And I don't for a moment want to act as if that is not important. I think it's extremely important. And I don't think it's a question of vindication at all. I just have to say it's been a long, sad year for our country. The president has much to be accountable for, but this was -- I'll go to what Chris said, even though John is in sharp opposition. I think the lesson of this story is you don't go forward with impeachment unless you have the clear burden of proof and you certainly run into trouble if you don't have bipartisan support and that's what's happened here. You don't have bipartisan support for this. There's no sense of proportionality to what the House brought before the senate and the senate is not going to vote to remove the president from office and people until the country agree. You don't overturn an election unless there are very compelling reasons. They have not made their case.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Chafee, do you think that the vote margin matters, for -- either politically or for history?
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: No, I don't think so - I just don't believe it does. You recounted how some of the votes were in the House. And I don't think anybody else except for some early aficionado of this business -
MARGARET WARNER: Please, don't accuse me of that.
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: So the answer is no. But I do feel very, very strongly that the president just shouldn't get off scot-free with an acquittal vote as apparently is going to occur. They say - I often wonder who that fellow "they" is - but, nonetheless, "they" say he's going to be acquitted. And if so, I think we should follow up with a censure motion to just show that we don't condone this type of activity.
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE: I agree with you, John.
MARGARET WARNER: Who was that, Senator Dodd?
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: That was Paul.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Wellstone. Yes. Sen. Dodd, I know -
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: I think he agrees too.
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE: No, I don't agree. I disagree on a censure.
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: Oh, you do?
MARGARET WARNER: Go ahead, Sen. Dodd, because I should explain to our viewers, we have an unusual mix here. Actually, the only person really wholeheartedly opposed to censure here is a Democrat. But go ahead and tell us why.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: And I do so not because this president doesn't deserve condemnation - certainly impeachment by the House - however illegitimate I think it may be -- certainly deserves to be censured in a rhetorical sense, no question about it at all, but I am very uneasy, we're not thinking enough about the office of the presidency in future occupants. I think the Constitution warns us about separation of powers, co-equal branches. Censuring presidents has never occurred except once and it was expunged from the record in the case of President Jackson. And, despite other worthwhile cases, if you would, in the past, the senate and the House have been restrained from engaging in censuring presidents. We've done a lot of damage. The president has done damage to the office of the presidency. This is an office which has been battered over the last year. I understand the motivations behind it, I don't question the motivations behind it, but I offer and wish that my colleagues would think long and hard before we engage in a process here that could be repeated in the future and less meritorious cases and we would destabilize - these were Pat Moynihan's words -- the office the presidency. And we ought to think long and hard before we do that.
MARGARET WARNER: Senator Hutchison where do you come down on the prospect of a censure resolution?
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: I'm torn as many people are because I am very worried that we are sending a signal in this country by not getting a two-thirds vote for conviction that somehow the standards for perjury and obstruction of justice are less because the president has done these things and has not been convicted. I don't want that to be the message. And I think it is the foundation of our criminal justice system. So many people are looking for a way to show that this isn't correct behavior and with all due respect to my colleagues, we didn't cause the stain on the presidency. The president caused the stain on the presidency. He misbehaved, he drug this out month after money after month when he could have come to closure on it either by admitting that he lied and asking for forgiveness, or by resigning in an honorable resignation. He did neither of those. So I think we are now toward the end. I'm glad we are. But nobody is really happy with the final result of an acquittal.
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE: Margaret, could I chime in here? Paul.
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE: You know-- I think I disagree with Kay, though. We've certainly worked hard on opening up the process. You know, I don't think it's a question of a different standard. This case has been full of inferences but, you know, it's guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have to treat the president the same way do every other citizen. Frankly, I don't think the case has been made. It's important for me to say that. None of the charges are charges that we don't take seriously but I don't think -- the burden of proof has been on the House managers -- and I don't think they have met that standard. My other point is I think many constitutional scholars, Chris, believe that we certainly can go into legislative session-
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: Well, we can do -- I'm not arguing about the Constitution.
SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE: And, you know, Senator Moynihan, himself, favors this, though he worries about the presidency. And I do worry that we will conclude our proceeding and then not have a statement by the senate, which is very strong in its disapproval, condemnation of the president's personal conduct. I believe we should go on record with that.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: I don't argue about the constitutionality.
MARGARET WARNER: Okay. Let me get Senator Chafee in on this because you said you supported some kind of censure but one of your colleagues, Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, has suggested that he would filibuster any move to even consider it. Is that a strong feeling in the Republican caucus?
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: I don't think it's as strong as Senator Gramm from Texas has voiced it. But it's true the caucus is hardly unanimous on this subject. But it seems to me we come to the censure resolution after the other part's been completed. That doesn't mean we wait a week, but we take our votes on the impeachment matter, the trial, and if indeed it should turn out to be acquittal, well then we go to their censure resolution, which I think is terribly important. I hate to leave the thing up in the air, leave the president completely vindicated. And that's the way the situation will appear.
MARGARET WARNER: Do you think you can defeat, though, a filibuster?
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: I don't know. Obviously you need 60 votes to do that. And we'll have to see.
MARGARET WARNER: All right. And Senator Dodd, one last quick question. Even though you oppose censure, would you support your fellow Democrats in at least getting it considered?
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: Yes. I wouldn't deny my colleagues the opportunity to bring it up. And I don't think it's unconstitutional -- as Paul and John have pointed out -- this would be done in the legislative session. And certainly, we have the right to pass sense of the senate resolutions on whatever we want. But I think we ought to take note of the fact that every other preceding congress, over 105 of them, have accepted one occasion, which they have rescinded, have avoided the temptation of censuring from the congress on single House resolutions of the presidency. We don't censure the Supreme Court, the White House can't censure the congress. That separation of powers is very important. We have a strong presidency, even though weak people have occupied that office; we don't want to destabilize it, in my view.
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: But this is only the second time -
MARGARET WARNER: All right. Senators -
SEN. JOHN CHAFEE: -- this is only the second time we've had a president impeached.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: Well, I don't think it's -- it's dangerous to do it, in my view.
MARGARET WARNER: All right. Thank you all four very much. And good luck with your deliberations.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: There you have it, Margaret.
JIM LEHRER: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight, abortion and free speech; remembering Iris Murdoch; and the common cold.
JIM LEHRER: The abortion story centers on a federal court decision. Lee Hochberg of Oregon Public Television has our report.
DR. ELIZABETH NEWHALL, Obstetrician: A hundred and sixty-six; it must be a girl.
LEE HOCHBERG: It was a court victory of unforeseen proportions for Portland obstetrician Elizabeth Newhall. An outspoken abortion rights advocate, she says she's been terrorized several years by anti-abortion militants. They called her a baby killer and issued wanted-style posters for her.
DR. ELIZABETH NEWHALL: When the F.B.I. called me up and said, "we think that you should buy a bullet-proof vest, and we think that you should get bullet-proof glass, and we think that, you know, we offer you a federal marshal to, you know, watch over you," I mean, what would a rational person think at that point?
LEE HOCHBERG: Newhall sued the abortion opponents. She argued the wanted posters and an anti-abortion web site constituted an illegal threat of violence under federal laws that guarantee access to abortion clinics and prohibit racketeering. Last week, a Portland jury agreed. It ordered the militants to pay $109 million in damages to Newhall and other doctors targeted by the posters.
DR. ELIZABETH NEWHALL: The big message was sent that, you know, violence is not the way to go, violence won't be tolerated, and threats won't be tolerated.
LEE HOCHBERG: Elated at the verdict, Newhall nonetheless says she feels no safer in the days following it. Moments after it was announced, defendants streamed out of the Portland courthouse to declare their protests will go on.
CHARLES WYSOCK, Anti-Abortion Advocate: We're going to continue what we're doing before. There's nothing in those posters that's threatening, and they know it. And we'll continue to do what we've been doing. [Singing]
LEE HOCHBERG: The verdict is a new interpretation of what constitutes threatening speech under federal law.
PROTESTER: [singing] They lay their plans -- the butchers of mankind.
LEE HOCHBERG: Newhall and three other doctors allege they have been threatened by 12 anti-abortion activists who had picketed their homes as part of a national campaign to pressure abortion doctors. In the early 90's, the activists printed and distributed to other activists wanted posters reminiscent of the Wild West with doctors' names and addresses. After three doctors were murdered after appearing on such posters, the activists distributed this so-called Deadly Dozen List in 1995. It accuses 13 abortion doctors, including Newhall and her ex-husband, Dr. James Newhall, of crimes against humanity. The list carried no explicit threat, but James Newhall says he was terrified had he saw it.
DR. JAMES NEWHALL, Abortion Rights Advocate: They knew exactly what they were doing when they put "guilty" in big letters -- "Deadly Dozen." Why "deadly dozen" anyway? They had to put that word "dead" in there. It's a wanted poster, dead or alive -- a $5,000 award. I mean, it had all the elements of a classic wanted poster.
LEE HOCHBERG: Abortion opponent Paul deParrie says the poster never threatened violence.
PAUL DE PARRIE, Anti-Abortion Advocate: I am trying to put heat on them, and I am trying to get them to feel uncomfortable, and I am trying to get them to rethink whether it is worth it for them to spend their time killing babies instead of doing some real medicine.
JIM LEHRER: DeParrie edits a magazine for Advocates for Life Ministries, a militant anti-abortion group that was ordered to pay $16 million in damages in the verdict. He says by distributing posters, he just want to make doctors uncomfortable.
PAUL DE PARRIE: I'm going to do it by putting the bright light of truth upon them so that their neighbors and their friends and their colleagues and the people at their country club all know that they're baby killers, that they're a stinking, rotten baby killer for a living.
LEE HOCHBERG: But that's not a threat.
PAUL DE PARRIE: That's not a threat, no. [Sirens wailing]
LEE HOCHBERG: Lawyers for the physicians convinced the jury that even if the threats weren't explicit, the posters were threatening, given the context of clinic violence that includes more than 250 bombings and arsons and seven murders. Attorney Maria Vullo noted some defendants had hailed those killings as justifiable homicide, and had called the assassins "heroes."
MARIA VULLO, Physicians' Lawyer: It's the method that these terrorists used to intimidate these doctors, knowing full well that they were in fear because of what had happened to doctors who had been on similar posters. And they knew that doctors were afraid.
LEE HOCHBERG: The doctors also argued, and the jury agreed, that this web page abortion opponents placed on the Internet composed a threat. Called the Nuremberg Files, it lists more than 200 abortion doctors, called on the page "baby butchers." It names their spouses and relatives and solicits personal information about them. Doctors say it became threatening last October when New York obstetrician Bernette Slepian was gunned down in his home by a sniper. Only nine hours later, a line was drawn through his name on the web page. Lines also appeared through the names of other slain abortion doctors. Those who had been maimed had their names shaded in gray. Plaintiff's attorney Vullo says the threat was implicit and real.
MARIA VULLO: By crossing out the names of people who were dead is a clear hit list, and it's a clear message to those who are not crossed out that, "you will be next.And we're not going to stop until you're all crossed out."
LEE HOCHBERG: The web site's author was not named in the suit, but the idea and information for the site came from deParrie. He says the cross-outs were not a threat to abortion providers, but a message.
PAUL DE PARRIE: People that are abortionists should know that it's not a healthy occupation to be in. But that's still not a threat. That's reporting a fact. It's not a threat. It doesn't say that, "if you keep this up, this will happen to you." It just simply says, "this is what happened."
LEE HOCHBERG: Defendant's attorney Christopher Ferrara says the court's new standard on implicit threats is vague and threatens a protest group's right to free speech.
CHRISTOPHER FERRARA, Anti-Abortion Advocates' Lawyer: To strike out some names on a list of names does not constitute a threat to kill or injure anybody. And if we're going to go down that road, I can only begin to imagine what will be considered threatening tomorrow.
LEE HOCHBERG: Other free speech advocates, while acknowledging the defendants in the Oregon case may have known they were being threatening, say the court's new standard is a slippery slope. The ACLU's David Fidanque:
DAVID FIDANQUE, ACLU: People need to know what they can and what they can't say. And the standard that was applied in this case just isn't clear enough. If political activists don't know what they can and can't say before defending themselves against $200 million lawsuits, then free speech in big trouble in this country.
LEE HOCHBERG: Dr. Newhall says that concern is misplaced.
DR. ELIZABETH NEWHALL: Nobody has any interest whatsoever in squelching the first amendment. I mean, I -- I'm hurt that anybody would think that that's my goal, you know, or that I would -- or that that's the case. I mean, I don't think free speech is in jeopardy. I don't think people are worried about their free speech rights. I think people are worried about their access to health care.
LEE HOCHBERG: Since the verdict, plaintiffs have asked the court to ban publication of the posters and the Nuremberg Files, but Judge Robert Jones said the web page, created in Georgia, was outside his jurisdiction. The site's author then announced plans to display on the page live video of women entering abortion clinics. The site's Georgia-based service provider responded by removing the Nuremberg Files from the net. Squelching the files, though, will be impossible, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based group fighting restrictions on web-based communication.
ALEX FOWLER, Electronic Frontier Foundation: I think that it's very likely we'll see a proliferation of that same questionable content around the world on multiple sites in response to that one particular site being closed down.
LEE HOCHBERG: Attorneys for the abortion protesters say they'll appeal both the verdict and any injunction that's issued on the posters. The protesters say they disposed of their assets before the verdict, so they can't and won't pay the $100 million damages. As for the protests themselves, deParrie says doctors shouldn't expect them to stop.
PAUL DE PARRIE: My client is that little baby, and I'm going to keep talking about that baby. And I don't care if they put me in jail. I don't care if they sue me.
LEE HOCHBERG: DeParrie predicted that more violence will result now that one avenue of protest has been closed off.
PAUL DE PARRIE: If you make peaceful protest impossible, you make violent protest inevitable. And somebody, it won't be me, but somebody is going to respond.
LEE HOCHBERG: From the victors, came satisfaction, but resignation.
DR. JAMES NEWHALL: Certainly as long as I do abortions, I'm going to have to take extraordinary precautions. And even if someday I retire, I mean, they said that, you know, "it doesn't matter if you quit, we'll still come after you." So, no, I don't think this is going to go away. I don't think it's ever going to go away.
LEE HOCHBERG: Because of its ramifications for free speech, the case itself is likely to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
JIM LEHRER: Remembering novelist Iris Murdoch, and to Elizabeth Farnsworth in San Francisco.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: British novelist Iris Murdoch, who died yesterday at age 79, had lectured at Oxford University in philosophy, and philosophical concerns permeated her novels. "The Sea, the Sea," which received Britain's prestigious Booker Prize in 1978, was, she wrote, "a fictional philosophical journal." "I can tell you, reader, about my past life and about my 'world view' also, as I ramble along," she wrote. "Why not?" In the "Black Prince," published in 1973, she created an unsuccessful novelist deeply concerned with questions like, what is truth? But the book is also about seduction, suicide, romance, and murder. Other works included "A Severed Head," "A Message to the Planet," and "The Green Knight." In all, she wrote 26 novels. She was fiercely private and only occasionally agreed to book signings and interviews. But in the past year, she was intimately revealed in her husband John Bayley's new book, "Elegy for Iris." It lovingly chronicles their life together as Murdoch succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease, which she called "a very, very bad, quiet place, a dark place." She lost her fight with Alzheimer's yesterday. Her husband, who cared for her throughout the disease, was by her side when she died.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: More on Iris Murdoch and her work now from British writer Martin Amis, author of 14 books, including "'Heavy Water' and Other Stories: A New Collection of Short Stories"; and James Atlas, who profiled Iris Murdoch for "Vanity Fair" Magazine in 1988. He's now a staff writer for the "New Yorker" Magazine and editor of a new series of biographies of historical figures. Mr. Amis, you knew Iris Murdoch for a long time. Tell us about her as a person.
MARTIN AMIS, Novelist: Well, she was a great friend of my father's and - Kings Amis -- and the only woman he ever allowed that might have been more intelligent than him. She -- I don't think there could be any equivalent in America to Iris and Iris and John. I mean, they were fabulous bo-ho slobs, basically, and both incredibly brilliant.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: How do you mean, "slobs"?
MARTIN AMIS: Oh, you know, John would come up to you and take an olive, fur-covered olive out of his jacket pocket and say, "Do you have one of these? They're frightfully good." It's a sort of oxonian -- there are many dongs and intellectuals in Oxford who for a while, you know, very much reveled in their eccentricities. And no one could have been more extreme than that couple. But I was always extremely fond of Iris. And I once won a rather meaningless sort of award, and there was a dinner for it, and Iris was there and kissed me on the mouth at the end of the evening, as she always does, and it was very pleasant. She was very -- she had a sexual aura, despite her kind of Bohemian, almost tramp-like appearance on some occasions. And I said to her, and I meant it, that that was the crowning moment of the evening, is being kissed on the mouth by Iris Murdoch. That meant something, the prize didn't.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: James Atlas, what do you remember about her from your interviewing her in 1988?
JAMES ATLAS, Writer: Well, I remember her being an incredibly gentle person. She had -- it sounds like a clich , but she really did have a saintly aura about her. She was someone who had a tremendous sense of humility and reticence. And I met her at a luncheon at a friend's house in Oxford when I was going to profile her. And I talked to her for an hour, and then she turned to me and said, "And what do you do?" She had no idea that I'd come to interview her, that I was writing for a magazine. She was really, in a sense, otherworldly in a way that, as Martin says, you just wouldn't find a person like that in America. She didn't read her reviews. She inhabited some other ethereal realm, and yet she also knew a great deal about the passions of people's lives. I mean, she was not inaccessible.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: What were her main themes, Mr. Amis? Go ahead.
MARTIN AMIS: Her single main theme was love. And I once -- I reviewed many of her novels, I was very addicted to her novels. I said it's as if, you know, in the world, she inhabits, the tap water contains love potions, or people creep around pouring love potions into each other's ears. People fall terribly and irreversibly in love. And it's almost like a courtly love. It has its physicality, but it's much more a form of worship. That is the single, you know, the single value that she explored and what meant most to her.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Mr. Atlas, she once said that "Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than one's self is real." She really didn't care much about people terribly obsessed with the self, did she?
JAMES ATLAS: No, she was an extremely selfless person and very aware of other people's suffering, which comes through very strongly in her books, the sense that as she once said to me, people really do go through tremendous private ordeals of the soul. And that's what her books were really about. She didn't have any concern for her reputation in that sense or where she stood. She was really much more concerned with trying to simply express these themes. As she said in one of her books, in the book "In the Brotherhood," the effort to try to be good and the difficulty of being good. And yet I think we should also make it clear that her books were not so innocent and Oxford and donnish and only charming. They were also full of violence and adultery and betrayal. I mean, she lived a life.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: How important was she, Mr. Atlas, as a novelist?
JAMES ATLAS: Well, I don't know if you want me to rank her. I mean, certainly Martin would have a better assessment of her career in England. She was certainly one of the two or three preeminent novelists of her generation. There's no question about that. And she was also very important as a philosopher. She had a very serious reputation as a metaphysician. In this country, she had her audience. It was a somewhat limited audience. Though when I interviewed her at the "Y" in 1990, we filled the hall in New York, and 1,200 people came to listen to her, were enthralled. So, she certainly had a following here.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And, Mr. Amis, did she have a huge following in England?
MARTIN AMIS: She was a very central figure. And I think she was the preeminent woman novelist in the second half of the 20th century in England. As Jim was saying, she had - you know -- what you get from her is a really luminous intelligence. She was a heavy-weight intellectual, as well as the most, Jim said, "ethereal" -- she was the most freakish kind of noticer of things, but underscored by -- underscored by a real brain.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And Mr. Amis, this book that her husband has written about their life together as she got Alzheimer's and then became very, very ill with Alzheimer's, it's almost another chapter in her literary life, isn't it, or in her life and what we know about her?
MARTIN AMIS: It is. And I think it's in many ways a beautiful memorial to her. I mean, let us not forget that John Bayley is a tremendous intellect, too, and a man who began as a poet, and a poet whom many people thought was going to be a great poet. It's -- you know, you could argue that that book takes you in further than you want to go, but, as you said, it's a loving book. And it's about -- he is in the end writing about a child. And Iris in the end became a child who had no real idea of her achievements and was happy watching "Teletubbies." And it's such a -- that's such a, you know, tragic paradox that a great brain was reduced to childishness, that I think, you know, John Bayley felt that he could say what was in his heart about her. And she doesn't lose dignity in that book, I don't think.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Do you agree with that, Mr. Atlas, that she doesn't lose dignity?
JAMES ATLAS: Well, I think it is a very loving portrait, and it certainly takes you very far into that marriage. I was very -- am very fond of John Bayley and his superior intelligence. I was a little uneasy about the way in which he seemed to possess her in her illness, as if someone who had been very elusive at moments in their marriage had now fallen into his domain. So, that's a hard theme. But, again, that seems to conform to the fact that these were not ethereal people, and that their marriage, like everything else about their lives, was rooted in reality and rooted in pain.
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Well, thank you both very much for being with us.
MARTIN AMIS: Pleasure.
JIM LEHRER: Finally tonight, common myths and common sense about the common cold from Susan Dentzer of our health unit, a partnership with the henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
[Sneezing and coughing]
SUSAN DENTZER: It's that time of the year again -- when you or people around you have a cold.
PHYSICIAN: Give me an, "ahh."
PHYSICIAN: Okay. Well, I think you have a cold.
CASEY BYRD: [in store] I feel like there's an elephant sitting on my face. There's a lot of pressure and stuffiness and feeling very boxed in and not very social. [laughing]
SUSAN DENTZER: And millions of Americans are likely to feel that way at least sometime this year. Collectively, we'll experience a projected one billion colds in 1999, yet for all the familiarity we have with colds, strangely enough we seem to know very little about them.
WOMAN: Thank you. Bye.
SUSAN DENTZER: For example, we spend more than $3 billion a year to relieve cold symptoms, despite scant evidence that many of these remedies actually work.
SAMUEL WILLIAMS: [in store] I always take garlic during the winter months, and it seems to keep me away from a cold.
CASEY BYRD: The zinc lozenges and stuff I've had very good luck with. Those seemed to help a lot. If I'm feeling a little bit poorly, sometimes I'll get some as a preventive thing.
SUSAN DENTZER: We gripe that scientists can send people to the Moon but can't seem to cure the common cold. Meanwhile, we often rely on non-scientific cold treatment, says family physician Kevin Ferentz of the University of Maryland Medical School.
SUSAN DENTZER: "Starve a cold, feed a fever"? Or is it the other way around - feed a fever, starve a cold?
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ, University of Maryland Medical School: It depends on who your mother was. It could be either way, but either way, scientifically it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
SUSAN DENTZER: Many of us even have our own elaborate mythology about what causes colds in the first place.
TROY NICHOLSON: [in store] If you have something wet on your head for a period of 30 to 45 minutes, your chances of getting sick increase maybe 100 percent.
SUSAN DENTZER: Figuring that we all might be in need of a refresher course on colds, we consulted with Dr. Ferentz and other leading experts. We asked about the causes, effective treatments, and even potential cures for colds. As for causes, they told us forget wet hair or going out in bad weather without your galoshes. Colds begin when we first come into contact with cold viruses, microscopic organisms that consist of genetic material wrapped up in a protein coat. Dr. Anthony Fauci heads the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious diseases, the federal institute responsible for common cold research.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, National Institutes of Health: You'll shake hands with someone who has blown their nose and has some of the virus that gets onto their hands. They don't know it. Their hands are not wet, they seem fine.
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: And then you happen to rub your eye or you rub your nose. That's how the cold virus actually gets into your system.
SUSAN DENTZER: And as for that cold virus, well, unfortunately, it turns out that there isn't just one virus or even one family of cold viruses. To date, scientists have identified more than 220 different cold viruses; they range from rhinoviruses, which cause colds in the fall and spring, to coronaviruses that cause the traditional winter cold. Worse, it appears that there may be hundreds more cold viruses lurking out there that have yet to be identified.
DR. ANTONY FAUCI: About 50 percent of all common colds that people have, you never find out-- even if you look-- what the virus is, so you're talking about a great mystery.
SUSAN DENTZER: But it isn't a mystery what happens when any of these viruses lands in your nose or eyes. They all follow a common line of attack, moving into your respiratory tract, then latching onto special receptors in the body's cells. Next, the virus elbows its way into the cells, commandeering their genetic material and churning out thousands of copies of itself. When the body's immune system detects the invaders, it launches a counterattack. That includes unleashing certain chemicals called mediators to vanquish the virus. Unfortunately, those mediators have a nasty side effect. It is they, rather than the cold viruses directly, that cause those familiar cold symptoms like runny noses and coughing.
DR. ANTONY FAUCI: The ultimate goal of the body's immune and inflammatory system is to get rid of the virus, completely out of the body, and in doing that it creates a lot of ruckus. And it's the ruckus that makes you feel badly.
SPOKESPERSON: So what brings you in today?
SUSAN DENTZER: To cope with that ruckus, tens of thousands of cold victims each year go to the doctor to seek treatment, but that's usually a mistake. Unless you're feverish or your symptoms include wheezing or pain around your nose, ears or chest, all of which could indicate a more severe infection, you should probably just stay home.
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: Of course, the old adage is that if you treat a cold, it lasts for about seven days, and if you don't treat it, it will last about a week.
SUSAN DENTZER: So you'd rather they took two aspirin and didn't call you in the morning.
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: That's right -- only if they didn't get better.
SUSAN DENTZER: Still seeking that magic bullet, many cold victims also press their doctors to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately. We caught up with Virginia resident Ed Talfair as he was picking up a prescription for his cold-stricken wife.
ED TALFAIR: First symptom of anything, she takes an antibiotic if she can get her hands on one, just to play it safe, which she's been told that's not the smartest thing to do, but she does it anyway. [Laughs]
SUSAN DENTZER: His wife isn't alone. Recent studies suggest that nearly seven out of ten patients with colds or other respiratory infections expect antibiotics. And according to a new article in the journal "Pediatrics," some of the chief culprits are parents of sick children who pressure doctors to prescribe them.
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: I don't think you have any kind of a secondary infection. I think you pretty much have a cold.
SUSAN DENTZER: But Ferentz and others say you should only be given an antibiotic if you have a so- called secondary infection, such as an ear infection or some forms of pneumonia; these are caused not by viruses but by bacteria that can take root and flourish when you have a cold.
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: Antibiotics do not kill viruses. An easy rule of thumb, a really good rule of thumb is if you don't have a fever, chances are you don't have a secondary bacterial infection that would warrant an antibiotic.
SUSAN DENTZER: Besides the confusion over antibiotics, there are plenty of misconceptions over which remedies are really effective at treating colds. Many people put stock in the curative powers of substances like Vitamin "C" or zinc lozenges. Casey Byrd is a true believer in the herbal remedy Echinacea, derived from the purple cone flower.
CASEY BYRD: You just have to put your faith in it. I just noticed that over several times of doing it, that when I'm starting to get sniffly or start to cough a bit and you start doing all of these things ahead of time, then it alleviates it sooner and makes it not last as long.
SUSAN DENTZER: In fact, studies of Echinacea have been inconclusive at best, and at worst have shown it to be ineffective in preventing colds. And Dr. Ferentz says that a small number of people have extreme allergic reactions to the herb that can prove fatal.
MAN: Orange juice.
WOMAN: What did you say?
MAN: Orange juice.
SUSAN DENTZER: On the other hand, there is some evidence that taking vitamin "C" may somewhat shorten the duration of a cold, perhaps by a day.
TROY NICHOLSON: Most of the time when I feel a cold coming on, I load up with vitamin "C." I take about 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of vitamin "C" every four hours.
SUSAN DENTZER: But Dr. Ferentz says that's more than four times the amount that has been shown to cut the duration of a cold. Taking so much vitamin "C" is simply unnecessary, and may even be harmful. For now, the best thing you can do is to take conventional aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen to fight fever or achiness. Ferentz also says that nasal sprays are okay for a few days, and a cough suppressant may also help. And believe it or not, in the long run, there actually is hope for a cold cure. In recent years, science has scored major breakthroughs in viral research that could pave the way for cold vaccines and other treatments. This good news has come from a surprising place: Research on AIDS, which is caused by the virus known as HIV.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: There have been so many spin-offs. I think the whole area of anti- viral drugs has had a major, major boost that totally transcends HIV by the enormous amount of resources that have been poured into developing drugs that are specific for HIV that now spills over into other areas.
SUSAN DENTZER: One approach now being studied is a class of anti-viral drugs; known as protease inhibitors, these are already being used for aids. The drugs block an enzyme that helps open the door to cold viruses. Researchers are also working on creating dummy receptors. These would trick viruses into binding with a decoy chemical instead of with the body's cells. The hope with these and other strategies is that when you feel a cold coming on --
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: You can go to a doctor's office, go to a nurse's station, quickly get it diagnosed, say, "ah, this is a rhinovirus," and then go in with the specific drugs against a rhinovirus. What you will probably do is instead of having a five-day illness or discomfort, it might be truncated down to one, one and a half days.
SUSAN DENTZER: Until such cures make it from the laboratory to the pharmacy shelf, the best thing to do is to avoid catching a cold in the first place. And prevention has nothing to do with taking garlic. If you think you've come in contact with somebody who has a cold -
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: Wash your hands. That's the best advice I can give anybody.
SUSAN DENTZER: Oh, and one other thing -
DR. KEVIN FERENTZ: Clearly high on my recommendation list is chicken soup, only because it tastes good and it will make you feel good.
SUSAN DENTZER: And after about a week, your cold will probably be gone.
JIM LEHRER: Again, the major stories of this Tuesday. The senate went behind closed doors to deliberate whether to convict President Clinton of two articles of impeachment. A vote is expected by Friday. American Airlines canceled flights and opened talks with pilots to end their work slowdown. And a Salt Lake City inquiry blamed two local officials for bribes paid to secure the 2002 winter Olympic games. We'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Producing Organization
NewsHour Productions
Contributing Organization
NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/507-tt4fn11n0n).
Episode Description
This episode's headline: The Impeachment Trial; Views from the Senate; Threatening Speech; Snuffing the Sniffles; In Memoriam. ANCHOR: JIM LEHRER; GUESTS: SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD, [D] Connecticut; SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, [R] Texas; SEN. JOHN CHAFEE, [R] Rhode Island; SEN. PAUL WELLSTONE, [D] Minnesota; MARTIN AMIS, Novelist; JAMES ATLAS, Writer; CORRESPONDENTS: TERENCE SMITH; LEE HOCHBERG; ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH; MARGARET WARNER; PHIL PONCE; KWAME HOLMAN; SUSAN DENTZER
Asset type
Global Affairs
Film and Television
War and Conflict
Politics and Government
Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
AAPB Contributor Holdings
NewsHour Productions
Identifier: NH-6360 (NH Show Code)
Format: Betacam
Generation: Preservation
Duration: 01:00:00;00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” 1999-02-09, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 14, 2024,
MLA: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” 1999-02-09. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 14, 2024. <>.
APA: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from