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COUSTEAU SIT-IN SINKS HALF OF INTERVIEW ON `TODAY’

SHARE COUSTEAU SIT-IN SINKS HALF OF INTERVIEW ON `TODAY’

French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau sank half of a "Today" discussion on Antarctic issues Monday by refusing to yield his seat to an American guest awaiting his turn on the show.

The incident occurred at NBC's facilities in Paris. Delegates of 39 nations are meeting in that city to discuss an Antarctic treaty. Cousteau is part of the French delegation, which wants the Antarctic made into a world park.Before his appearance, Cousteau, who opposes any Antarctic development, refused to discuss the Antarctic issue on "Today" with R. Tucker Scully, head of the U.S. delegation to the conference, NBC spokeswoman Peggy Hubble said. The U.S. delegation favors regulated development of the region.

However, she said, Cousteau had told NBC officials that he would leave after his interview so that Scully, awaiting his turn in the Paris studio, could be interviewed about the U.S. position on the Antarctic.

But after "Today" news anchor Deborah Norville concluded her interview of more than two minutes with Cousteau, "he wouldn't leave," thus blocking Scully's scheduled appearance, Hubble said.

Viewers didn't see Cousteau staying put. Nor did they see Scully awaiting his turn.