tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 8, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
charlie: he is one of television's best broadcasters. he hosted the today show for 15 years. he joined cbs in 1997 on both his own primetime program and the early show. since 1995, he hosted hbo's real sports with bryant gumbel. the monthly magazine program has won numerous awards including 28 sports emmys and a peabody in 2011.
-- 2012. i am pleased to have bryant gumbel at this table. bryant: the last time we did this was 1999. it was right after my bar mitzvah. [laughter] it's a wonderful broadcast. i have really good people. it is a great place to work. it has been really a lot of fun. charlie: what is your frame of mind today? you won the peabody, for god's sake. is that it for you? bryant: i love your work and you know i watch constantly.
i think i've had my time. my way of doing things does not fit. i'm not the same guy i was. i'm really not. i'm much more easy-going now. you remember, back in the day, if somebody said something that set me off i was eager to fight and more than willing to mix it up. i'm more inclined now to say, you're an idiot, i will let you be an idiot. charlie: you have a great marriage. i have a wonderful marriage. bryant: my friends always told me i picked my coverage. hillary has been wonderful for me. she has been terrific. charlie: there is no ambition left in you? bryant: i have a lot of ambition. i still like being engaged with
smart people. i still like discussions and conversations. i just don't feel the need to do them in public. i don't have that overriding ambition for everybody to know what i am thinking. it is not that important to me. it really isn't. i'm happy to have discussions with friends and acquaintances, people at dinner. the idea of getting in front of a camera and engaging people on any and everything and fighting them tooth and nail, i don't have that anymore. charlie: you do have that about sports. bryant: sports is about real sports like rocky was about
boxing. boxing was the vehicle to tell them about hopes and dreams in class and ambition and disappointment. and real sports uses sports as a vehicle to talk about race and gender and class and education and societal norms and politics and finance and everything else. that often gets overlooked. charlie: let's talk sports. tom brady. bryant: i think the most amusing thing for me is that people are so concerned about deflated footballs and you cannot get their attention on serious stuff. charlie: don't you think the nfl is trying now on concussions?
bryant: i think they are eager to get past the problem. i'm not going to say they don't care. i don't get the feeling it is their priority. charlie: if they don't do something about it -- bryant: in that respect they care. which is why they are delighted right now. everybody is preoccupied with deflategate because they are not talking about the other stuff that we generally do. charlie: like what? like domestic violence? bryant: domestic violence, concussions. charlie: how many shows have you done on concussions? bryant: many. too many.
is what they would say. i'm happy we have brought it to the floor as often as we have and i think we have done a responsible job. charlie: has it made a difference? have they changed in response to the kinds of things you have pointed out. bryant: problem is at a certain extension you feel like you're spitting water at the ocean. i don't know. i'm not necessarily sure you can have the game without it. charlie: without hard knocks? bryant: i would take the facemasks off. i think it is going to be the rare individual who leads with his head who doesn't have a facemask. you will wind up with a lot of busted noses and broken teeth, but i suspect you will have fewer people leading with their head. i guess.
charlie: the interesting thing to me, the most important thing for them is the reputation of the nfl. bryant: they are very protective of the shield. they care a lot about public opinion. charlie: did they change because of all the trouble they got into? egarding ray rice? bryant: i'm not necessarily sure there is an easy way out on this. you can't deny somebody due process. as a result, if they have a charge against them the public , may want roger to jump in and suspend the guy immediately. guilty, whatound are you supposed to do? you can't deprive somebody their
living. so i'm not sure there is an easy way out for them on that. to what extent the problem is inherent and the people who play it, sometimes it is overstated. we did a piece on the level of domestic violence in the guys involved in mma. charlie: high? bryant: compared to the societal norm, yes. also compared to the societal norm the nfl is actually less, though it gets a lot of attention. in terms of incidents per 1000 males it is less. i guess the problem is it is less a college problem and more a pro problem.
in every walk of life the pros play by the same rule, which is if you are talented enough than you can go to college. a writer, whatever you want. if a guy coming out of high school, is good enough to go into the pros, he should have that opportunity, which would get rid of or certainly minimize the impact of one-and-dones, which came about when the nba past its rule that you have to have at least one year of college. now you are giving me my meat and potatoes. i think it is the biggest injustice in all of sports. charlie: biggest injustice of all of sports is not paying
these kids to come out of high school. they come there to make money for the university because of the athletic program, generates huge endowments from the alumni. bryant: it is amateur only for the guys who are playing, it is not amateur for the coach, not amateur for the school, for the administrators, the university, the networks, the sponsors. it is only amateur for the guys taking the risk. we should find a way to make sure they are fairly compensated for what they are providing. it is providing a multibillion-dollar industry. they are supposedly getting an education for it. that is done with a wink and a nod. certainly there must be some way of setting up something.
charlie: it is about their conduct. them absolutely. bryant: i saw an interesting piece on that and they were talking about are they treated friendly than regular students who want to follow the law? the answer is yes. charlie: why are they treated differently? bryant: because they have access to a lawyer. that's what separates them. it is not preferential because of the name, it is because of the representation and the american legal system.
you have a better chance of being guilty with a great lawyer than being innocent without a good one. it was a dumb thing to do. charlie: i have a lot of opinion. you know how much i deprive you. i know how much you needed this. bryant: for 19 years i have buttoned every show with a brief commentary. i like some of them. charlie: no expect you to hit it out of the park. bryant: and i didn't feel i think the show need something in the backend the same way that there was something there that people expected. was it always great? no. but it was a good way to button the program. charlie: you used to have this natural scene at the end.
i think rand morrison -- i think he has done a great job. charlie: he has created a very good show. bryant: nobody in this business is irreplaceable, as we know. charlie: we are often close to. he's not the only guy. bryant: charlie does a wonderful job. charlie: he's pretty good on radio. the story is paul harvey tried to get the two of them together. because if we can get the two of us together we would own the radio. bryant: my dad was a lawyer first and then a judge. he died in his chambers, april
1972. charlie: the most admired man you have ever known? bryant: easily. it is not a fair world. my dad was brighter than i am, harder-working than i am. did more for society than i ever did. in his best year he didn't make what people in television make in a good month. society is not fair. times change. when i outlived my dad, my dad died at 51. i even count the days when i passed him. you always look at your parents
-- oh, they are so old. when i passed that time i was like -- he really was young. his 51 years were different in our 51 years. he died before i ever was on the air. charlie: my father died during night watch. he would watch it every night. he was on a bicycle, like a treadmill. he fell off and the doctor said he was dead by the time he hit the floor. he was 77. he probably was watching me on television.
charlie: morning shows, what is wrong with them? bryant: everyone who does one likes to believe theirs is the one -- theirs is better than the one that followed. times change. i agree with what you are saying. audiences change. it is a debate we can have forever. they are not as substantive as they once were. would an audience sit there for that now? i don't know. i can remember having a 20 minute conversation. with the reverend ralph abernathy on the today program. ran through a bunch of stops.
i'm not sure the public would sit for that kind of thing anymore. this was probably steve friedman. i just ran for the stop sign. one of the bigger mistakes they make as they will dump out of something really good for something that is not quite as good because it was programmed that way you when you weigh them -- bryant: they are not equal. i don't get everybody sitting there and weighing in. do we really need six people to say that was great fun? no. charlie: the big advantage is
doing a lot of one-on-one stuff. that is the way the program was designed. unless you are going off to do a piece outside the studio. outside the studio you can do 1000 one on ones. bryant: i did a five-part interview with david stockman when he was reagan's financial guru. i can't imagine a morning program doing a five-part series of interviews with president obama's chief advisor. charlie: we would do five different shows. five segments.
i'm arguing for that. bryant: the other big changes -- is the morning show has been a progression thing. you get progressively lighter. for years there we were still talking about the mid east peace prospects in the third half hour. now a lot of shows i have watched go to the latest makeover to the first half hour. charlie: it is no secret you like the work we are doing because you like news. bryant: i send you notes all the
time. charlie: peter jennings used to watch the show all the time. it came with criticism, came with applause, came with judgment. peter called me up and said, how could you do that? the next night he would call up and say, you should be there the rest of your life. right thing when you like a broadcast you become proprietary about it. you are offended when it goes off the rails, which is something you don't want. put it back where i wanted. charlie: but you like having leisure time. bryant: i do. ?
charlie: beyond playing golf -- you want to take hillary out and do a lot of things together. bryant: i like to do a lot of things i didn't get to do for the first -- i'm fond of saying time is like closet space. i fill mine. i feel like i enjoy. charlie: here's my argument with you. here it comes. you have a lot of talent. you have strongly held views about this world that we live in. i think you have the ability to communicate that. you know how to grasp an issue and you know how to understand it and communicate it. i think you know it to us to do us.think you own it to
i would say the same thing about marlon brando about acting. bryant: first of all, i'm grateful. in fairness to all of the people on television, they are kind enough to come knocking and ask. they asked about various programs. charlie: getting ready to go on vacation -- bryant: i like doing one-on ones like this. my buddy says you could do a show called, "get off of my lawn." look, i still like being engaged. i just don't feel an overwhelming need to do it publicly.
? ... is anything ever enougha fiasco you are right, there are times when i see things happening in the public sector or in politics or on the racial front for i say do i wish i had a form because i would like to come swinging. charlie: we will give you one tomorrow if you want it. bryant: we got enough headaches about me. i'm sure come friday morning i will think -- letterman said the day after trump announced, he was sorry he was quitting.
that is the way i feel sometimes when i see what is passing for dialogue. charlie: what would you be doing if you had the floor? bryant: probably a broadcast like this. people are fond of asking who is a good review and who is a bad interviewer? a good interview is somebody who says it well. the idea of having people who have something to say and say it well, i think it is fun, it is engaging, it is interesting, it is substantive, it is socially helpful. it is what tv should be. not the freak show that is often out there. charlie: what about john stewart leaving this week? bryant: i am the odd man out, i'm not a watcher. i find myself turning off the tv. i'm an admirer.
i don't turn the television on a bunch. i'm not a tv watcher. charlie: are you doing anything new with your life? bryant: seems like everything i do is new in my life. i work out, play golf, read. i do stupid things like this summer hillary and i are doing the new york vacation. we are doing things we never did. oddly enough i have never been to the frick. it's wonderful. it's now my favorite museum. going to moma, going to the mat.
charlie: the great thing about the city is you can spend a different night in new york in a different country. if you want to be in the dominican republic, there are neighborhoods where all the people are dominican, all the food is dominican, and the whole culture. bryant: an op-ed in the times two weeks ago was talking about travel. my father-in-law and i got engaged in conversation about this. it is hard to jump up and go somewhere else. you can say i can do it here. there is nothing i'm going to buy in paris or london or anywhere that i can't buy in manhattan. the only thing i'm not going to get is the experience. it becomes difficult. manhattan offers so much.
charlie: the whole weekend i was thinking about that. i just came from the south of france. this is as interesting and as good, except french villages which are different, unique, and the attitude. bryant: you have to go out the villages. you had to go out and stay with them. no radio, no tv, no phone. we lived there for a little while. it was fun and different. charlie: if i was an editor
today and you came to me with a television program, i would say to you helped me understand what it's like from a young black man's perspective, this clash with blue on black. help us understand that. there is no deeper issue. bryant: is one of those things you can't talk about it but until you have been there -- it is funny you should have said this because before i sat down here i reached to that paper on your left. and in the washington post there is a columnist, a young woman, in the c-section. i didn't mean it that way. she got stopped and she happens to be white. it escalated and got somewhat
out of control with the officers screaming at her to get back in the car. and she was left with an impression that i'm sure no amount of discussion could have ever revealed to her until she went through it, when you are a person of color and go through it, it is a frightening exercise. my son has been arrested for walking while black. i get it. you can't buy your way out of it. you can't educate your way out of it. charlie: is it happening too much or at least we know about it now? bryant: too often people are inclined to say if he had a different attitude, if he hadn't been driving, almost as if the victim is partially to blame. he shouldn't have resisted in the case of brown.
in the case of sondra bland, her attitude. stop. this has nothing to do with the victims. this has everything to do with the culture of demeaning a person of color. there is no justification for society where my son has a far greater chance of being stopped, held, killed then your son simply because he's black. there's no amount of discussion that is ever going to impress that on someone. charlie: i think you should give me 20% of your life and i will fill in for you. i have an assignment for you. thank you for coming. bryant: it's always a pleasure. charlie: back in a moment, stay
1923. all of us know something about its poetry and its inspiration. how did you discover it and say i have to make a movie? salma: i discovered it because my grandfather always had the book on his bedside table. the original copy had a drawing of a man and i was sort of haunted by this man. i associated it with my grandfather. he died when i was six. it was the first traumatizing experience with death. i always wished that i knew him better and he could be there to guide me through life. when i was 18 i found that book in someone's house. it was the first time i could read it and i knew it was the same book.
i borrowed it. to me, it was like my grandfather -- was telling me about life, love, and about everything. and a little about him and who he was. that does not mean it makes a good movie. this book doesn't have a story. it had other things. i thought it was important to highlight these things today and it would make a great movie. it is important to highlight that this arab writer wrote a book that had 120 million copies sold. different creeds, people from all over the world. charlie: you think it has a built-in international audience. salma: i think it has an audience. most importantly i want to
, remind the world that it was an arab man who wrote a book about philosophy. that united all of the religions around the world together. i think this is a nice thing to think about. also to be wanted able -- i think the poetry is simple. it talks to a part of you that when you hear it, it almost sounds familiar not because you heard it before but because it is a simple truth about the simple things in life, that brings us all together. my daughter has seen it. she is not eight yet. she was sad about the movie because it took the mother away for so long. when she came out of the movie she told me. she was proud of me and then she went on to write a poem about
how we are free and therefore we never die and are eternal. she made a drawing. to go with it. it is my grandmother who she never met and she says she is sad she did not get to meet her. she's coming out of the tomb and dancing among the rest of the family. charlie: everybody takes something different from it. salma: our children are growing up to be consumers. and everything we show them has everything digested for them. same for us. same for our teenagers. has a story everyone can follow but then it takes you into a journey eight times through the film. through art and music and poetry. it is always surprising when you are going to come and you don't know what they are going to look
like because we mix different kinds of techniques of the nations. this journeys inside yourself. everybody is going to find something different. charlie: was it hard to get this film made? salma: it is a movie made out of a philosophy book with no story and the author is arabic. you want unique and different styles. it was impossible and we had no script at the beginning. it was really difficult. i also had this crazy idea to make a philosophy of making the book -- the same philosophy of the principles the book holds.
i wanted money from all over the world. we have animators from all religions, different ages, all over the world, because the movie is also about freedom. i thought it was important that each one of them had absolute freedom to create what they want. charlie: your husband supported it at the end. salma: i had one week before i would give the investors a door out. there were people that one of the banks helped us from lebanon. charlie: they said i believe in you.
charlie: he also said, it is an interesting marriage, he really insisted that you work. he knew you would not be happy otherwise. otherwise he would not have been happy if you are not working. salma: i don't think so. one of the things he fell in love with me is my passion for what i do. he didn't want me turning into someone he didn't marry. we give a lot to each other. storiescited to hear my we are both independent. and i am excited to hear his. we are both independent. -- i payy independent a lot of my bills. hard to make a living to pay those bills.
charlie: you met him -- that was a determination on your part. you had to put that movie on the screen. salma: it was a way for me to show a part of mexico's history that people are not aware. it was a fertile time for art and ideology. people don't think of mexico as a sophisticated place. trotsky was living there. charlie: unfortunately for trotsky. salma: he would have been killed anywhere and he had a good time. he had a good time in mexico.
charlie: you found a very good director. salma: yes, everything that i do as a producer is very visual. freda was very important. one of the things i loved about the story that i wanted people to be inspired by was her courage to be unique. who better than julie taymor to be unique. this lion king connection -- the main story line
comes from the perspective of the little girl. roger does a great job. it is simple, it feels very earthy. because the one story brings you back to earth from the dream. he understands global audiences very well. i think it was the best choice he is a fantastic artist. i think it was the best choice for this part of the story. then we go to some crazy artists that are really extraordinary that tell the poems. it is great because the children understand the poetry through images. even if they don't understand all the words they understand all the conceptual images. charlie: this is an adaptation, and animation, of "on love." >> ♪
character and that would be me playing that character. charlie: did you go out and get the talent that was in the film? salma: yes. charlie: was it worth it? salma: yes. liam neeson says the poetry in a way that is like a conversation with a little child. he didn't even look at the script because he knew all the poems i heart. charlie: whenever you are sitting in the first certain rows you always raise your hand because you like to speak, you are passionate about public issues. one of the interesting things you have said at conferences in which i have participated is you strongly make the argument that to defeat isis what we have to do speak to the young people who are joining isis or other groups.
at the same time what we have to do is provide an alternative so they are not lured to find their own identity, yes? salma: if they are lured to find their own identity, it means they are not their own identity. they are not exposed to a simulation that will make them come up with their own sense of purpose. but they are easily brainwashed. i believe young people today don't have enough of this stimulation. they think smartly about their own purpose. our future is in their hands. one of the things people said about this movie, they say you are not people interested in philosophy. this is a big mistake. they are underestimated. it is not just about entertaining them. we have to find materials that
inspire them and inspire them to think outside the box. we cannot keep repeating the same patterns in history. charlie: are you took in about your film that will inspire them? salma: my film will inspire them, but we must find different ways. my film will inspire them to think on their own and to appreciate life. life has become not valued. we try to entertain ourselves from life, instead of really pondering upon life. there is a part of them that has not been fed. that creates a lot of anxiety. everything is on the surface. charlie: you're prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever role you need to accept to make something happen.
you're prepared to do what it is. where does that come from? salma: a sense of conviction. when someone else wants to say -- it is a good exercise for keeping in touch with your amp and learning to be many different characters. when i'm going to go through the troub of producing, which is a pain in the neck, because it is something i want to say that i have a conviction over and i believe in, every single time they told me it is not that it is impossible, this will never happen, and nobody will like it. charlie: what did you say? i said let's see. and i have been right every time. i hope i'm right with this one
. may i confess something? i have stage fright very badly. i go to psychoanalysis. i will make this confession. it is my shrink that tells me you must make a question in front of everyone. it terrifies me, but i have all these questions in my head. it is an exercise. i don't have a lot of questions and i want some answers. and usually they don't answer my questions. charlie: so you are in pursuit of the answer to the question you have. salma: it is an act of bravery to raise my hand. because i have a really big problem with stage fright. charlie: keep asking questions. it is great to have you at this table.
>> "brilliant ideas," powered by hyundai motors. narrator: the contemporary art world is vibrant and booming as never before. it's a 21st century phenomenon, a global industry in its own right. "brilliant ideas" looks at the artists at the heart of this, artists with a unique power to astonish, challenge, and surprise. in this program, u.k.-based artist danny lane.