tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg November 3, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charley: we begin talking about journalism and politics and filmmaking. one of the biggest scandals in the history of the catholic church. the boston globe exposed coverups in 2002. the series won the pulitzer prize and led to the disclosure of similar scandals worldwide. it was the work of the investigative unit. here is the trailer for the film. ♪
>> i know there is things you cannot tell me. i also know there is a story here and everyone wants to hear about it. >> you think your paper has the resources to take that on? >> i do. do you? >> a boston priest molested kids in six different parishes. the church did nothing. we haven't committed any long-term investigative resources. >> the kind of thing your team would do. >> spotlight. >> everybody is going to be interested. >> obviously, the church will fight us very hard. >> i'm trying to get some background information. >> i don't want you recording this in any way. >> there aren't any records of any of these settlements. >> when you are a poor kid from a poor family and a priest pays attention to you, it's a big deal. how do you say no to god?
>> this is a tip line. >> you think you have something? >> need to focus on the institution. >> it came from the top down. >> you leave me alone. >> 6%. 90 priests. >> if there were 90, people would know. >> maybe they do. >> you're going to give me the names and the names of their victims. >> are you threatening me? >> i was doing my job. >> i am here because i care. we're going to tell this story and tell it right. >> i am hoping we can keep this between us until we all get on the same page. >> is that why we are here, to get on the same page? we have two stories, the story about the clergy and the story about a bunch of lawyers turning it into an industry. which story do you want us to
write? we are writing one of them. >> i'm not crazy. this is not just boston, if the whole country, the whole world. >> they have let it happen. it could have been you, me, any of us. charlie: joining me now director and co-screenwriter of the film tom mccarthy, journalists walter robinson, sacha pfeiffer,michael rezendez, and actors michael keaton and mark ruffalo. did they do the right job? did they capture what happened? walter: it's scary. they got us. they nailed us. the story is what appears on film. the reporting, all of the stumbling in the dark, the wandering, the arguments come and eventually, the story we got to because it was so important.
they got it. charlie: they got it. what does it say about journalism, this story of "spotlight"? walter: it's a reminder the press is so important in our society that for reporters, there are lots of the victimized populations around who have no voice. that price is slowly disappearing right in front of all of us. there hasn't been a great public cry of alarm about it. charlie: your reaction to the film? and you? michael: i thought it was a stunning the way they capture the substance of the film. it's surprising it actually got made and that it's really good. charlie: it captures the drama of the moment. michael: it really does. it captures the importance of
what we did, the way we lived our lives. sascha: the public mostly sees the glamorous side of being actors. we saw how much homework they do to be as good as they are. they could have played as any way they wanted but they studied us so well, they do mannerisms we didn't know we had. [laughter] charlie: so he is copying you now. tell me about why you thought you could make this into the movie you made it into. tom: i knew i was immediately compelled when i was approached by the producers. the story was so compelling. the story of marty taking over the first outside editor.
we all know boston is a very unique city and incomes this outsider and sets his sights on the catholic church, the most irish catholic city in the country. there is something about that hook that truly took me and i dug into the material with my co-rider and we realized how rich the story was. we were especially connected to the investigation. and the tireless, at times tedious, dramatic comment ultimately thrilling work. charlie: did you watch watergate or all the presidents men or any of those films -- tom: you cannot ignore all the presidents men. it's a great movie. preparing for this, the last thing i wantec to do was watch any other movie about journalism. our plan was to commit to the story we had in front of us. charlie: restore you had in front of you was? tom: you have marty determining
-- he read an article in the globe the first week he arrived. it was basically saying a local attorney alleged that cardinal law had knowledge that these abuses crimes of a father. his question was what we do about that? sascha: he really kept us focused on not just writing the story about the priest -- he said what we are trying to do is show whether church officials cover up for priests. larry: they were placed under a confidentiality order. the line the columnist used was "the truth may never be known." that really got to marty. he said a journalist should never settle for a statement
like that. it's our job to find the truth. charlie: what comes through is how hard it is to find the truth and how many obstacles were put in your way to find the truth. no one walks in your door and says here is the story. mark: i think that's what we committed to early on, authenticity. the material and the stakes were so high. the welfare of children. we just committed to the details. the great luxury of their complete collaboration who were along with us every step of the way. mark: it was, to be honest, a luxury. tom set this framing of the search for the truth and i have the truth is sitting there with me. [laughter] mark: i had to go and dig it up.
i had to make sure that i could be honest and get as much information about what was happening inside. charlie: did you have to make any mid-corrections? tom: the trust factor here was very big and mark came to my home and he opened up a notebook and he turned on his iphone and started asking me questions not just about how i did my job and why -- charlie: what the motivation was. michael: exactly. i was a little taken back. [laughter] sascha: we experience what it's like to be grilled and asked intensive questions like why did this -- how does this affect your marriage? walter: it was a good experience for this. i thought, how many times have i done this to other people? they worked really hard and we respect that. they went and interviewed everyone we have been involved with in the story. charlie: michael, you once thought about being a journalist.
michael: i have always liked it. when i was a little kid, i liked it. some of it was reading the sports section. [laughter] michael: i took one course and i really enjoyed it. i've always been interested. mark i think was much more thorough than i was. the beauty was it a lot of times when you create something.
we had it. i mean, i had it. charlie: here is a clip in which he is speaking to the paper's legal counsel. >> i like to challenge the protective order indicated in case. >> you want to sue the catholic church. >> we are just filing a motion, but yes. >> you think it's that important. >> yes, i do. >> because the church will fight us very hard on this, which will not go unnoticed by our subscriber base. 53% of them are catholic. >> i think they will be interested. charlie: the battle is on with the catholic church. michael: one great institution in boston, the globe, pitted against the all minute
institution of the catholic church. charlie: what do we know about cardinal law during this? michael: he seldom granted interviews. the globe used to get one interview a year with him. like at christmas but it was much anticipated and i don't recall very much was ever said that we published it nonetheless. in many ways, the most powerful political figure in massachusetts. if the church wanted something asked into law, it happened. if they wanted to block something, it didn't happen. charlie: where is the spotlight today? michael: the spotlight is still going strong. i'm still on the spotlight team. we have more on the team than we did in 2001. there is a hunger and a
commitment to doing it. after this story, we should know better than anyone how important it is. that commitment has remained even as the paper's fortunes have suffered. the commitment is still there. sascha: the team is not only larger, but it is basically a companion swat team where they do quicker turnaround stories. it's really no bull and i think we all hope that this movie will make people realize when you give reporters resources, this is what they can accomplish. i hope it makes people who consume news realize to buy your newspaper, get delivery, this is how you support what we do. michael: without good reporting, democracy will not work. people have to have information to make decisions. it's really critically important. charlie: i think you said you
consider yourself a player coach of the team. michael: that's right. i couldn't stand to be just the coach. i love to get down in the trenches and do what i love to do, which is to find stuff out. that's why we get out of the bed in the morning and we know what's happening. to be on a team like this where you can have months to take on a really important subject and come up with something that really makes a difference in people's lives in a positive way. charlie: take a look at this. this is where marty tells spotlight how to pursue the story again. >> that is why he had that reaction. he knew there were others. >> i think that's the bigger story. >> the numbers clearly indicate --
>> if we want to start with 50 pedophile priests in boston -- >> to get into this in catfight you got into, which made a lot of noise but changed things not one thing. focus on the institution, not the individual priests. practice and policy. show me the church manipulated. show me this was systemic, that it came from the top down. >> sounds like we are going after law. sascha: we are going after the system. the church said for years and years about priests who abused children. we wanted to figure out how many there were and who knew. michael: we knew it was at the center. they were public statement saying that all of the
reassignments of this particular serial child abuser have been approved medically. that told us law would be a central part of the story. charlie: where is he today? michael: in the vatican. he got a very nice job. many people regarded it as a promotion. he held very influential and even powerful positions in the college of cardinals. charlie: today? michael: i think he's officially retired but he did play a role in the vatican's conduct of foreign affairs. charlie: has his personal mission affected behavior within
the church? not just the act of the priest but the act of the governing? walter: the church was very much a clerical society under him. that tended to protect the priest, all about the priest. by getting the bishops out of their limousines -- pope francis started to change that. charlie: what is the hardest thing about making this movie? you have good actors, good coaches. [laughter] charlie: i mean, come on. tom: one, transporting people back to a time where they knew nothing about this. these reporters had no sense into what they were walking
into. they were excited about the idea -- charlie: creating the sense of blindness they had. tom: how could this ever be a part of something like this, this iconic institution? they had no idea. there were so many moments with characters involved all around the investigation so we had to limit it to two hours and the amount of flow, information, the spirit of investigation. one part was incredibly tedious and then ultimately thrilling. we were trying to combine those things to tell an interesting story. ♪
charlie: was it hard to do that? >> what really works about the movie is how it walks. this story was kept in the dispassionate, constant unraveling of the facts. that gives us a real way to have such moral authority. we had gone through, as an audience, this investigation. we are pulled out of the emotionally wrenching aspects of seeing children raped and were listed into the dialogue between
the mind and the heart. that's impossible to do almost and that's what you guys did so beautifully. charlie: i agree totally. the other thing is that of all of the people i've interviewed in 40 years and all of those i've seen portrayed on screen, you understand here and in other places the impact it has on those people. sascha: you don't see that this movie. it's an investigation and he still conveys the horror and impact without putting the viewers through that. michael: i think, why didn't i see some of these things?
it's constantly informative to me. the other thing is you can just imagine how small the target was. that target is tiny to do what we are all talking about and it's really hard. they didn't have the burden of the task of just children being abused and then faith. that's the other thing that's deep. no matter what kind of faith. somewhere down inside people, i think that's in their gut and it resonates and -- i don't know
how long the movie is but you don't lose interest. you care. it's a hard thing with the law. it's extraordinary. i feel fortunate i get to do something like this and when you get to see is actually good, it's extraordinarily rewarding. charlie: do you think the pope will see the film? tom: that's a great question. i haven't anticipated a reaction from the church. the vatican radio had some nice
things to say about it. i am not an expert on this but speaking to several of the organizations like snap, very thing is they are just looking for more transparency. they really get into changing practice and policy. michael: it keeps the focus on clergy sex abuse because the church leave to do more -- needs to do more. we're hoping this movie will further spur the church. charlie: the journalistic action first of winning the pulitzer prize created waves around the world. mark: we believe in the power of the printed word.
that's what we do but all of a sudden now, we have this film that has the potential to, in a much deeper way, affect public consciousness about this. that's an extraordinary thing, that film can do something as good as this. charlie: and at the same time to be entertaining, give you insight. mark: what you have captured so beautifully is these two institutions and in some way their part of the same problem. within the globe, there was a looking away. that's not active but it happens. what is beautiful is it never
has an institution right itself on film. if there's a possibility, it opens up the possibility for the catholic church to do the same thing. these guys are not asking the catholic church to do anything more than what they do themselves, which is look at the truth, expose it, and righting the wrongs. that's one of the beauties of the film but is not spoken about very much, how many institutions that have to be a part of it. it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse it and that's a powerful message. the legislative branch, the police, the patriarchy of boston.
michael: i think it is more far-reaching than the catholic church. charlie: it will make the institutions re-examine themselves. michael: can't simply look at how child abuse and any kind of abuse has gone on in that only the catholic church but other cultures. that's a cultural thing. and i think it will spread wider. charlie: anything you didn't have -- there is a time limit on how long films can be. did you have the opportunity to write the narrative, tell the story? tom: i think we told the story we wanted to tell. there were some care is and
storylines we wanted to include. this story was in 2001 when the boston globe was at the height of its power. i'm now convinced there is maybe a lack of public knowledge in terms of where they think the industry of journalism is now and how dire that situation is not just for that industry but for our country and our reliance on investigative journalism. josh and i struggled to include this idea. like we're missing out on that. we just thought it would hopefully come up once we made the film. charlie: role of tape. >> this is it. >> though this is them covering for one priest. there's another 90 out there. >> we will print. story when it gets here but we need to run this now. >> no. >> we don't have a choice. someone else is going to find
these letters and butcher the story. why are we hesitating? >> he told us to get the system. we need the full scope. that's the only thing that will put an end to this. >> let's take it to him and let him decide. >> we will do that when i say it's time. >> this time, robbie, it's time. they knew and they let it happened to kids, ok? it could have been you, me, any of us. we have to nail these scumbags, show people that no one can get away with this, not a priest or a cardinal or a freaking pope! charlie: just tell me, was that dramatic license or was that the way that meeting came down or some variation of that meeting? walter: as a supervisor, i would have to say where there were occasions to have passionate reporters working for you but
you need restraints. you need to say let's turn that energy outwards and get more information. michael: most editors really don't like it when you yell a lot them. mostly, it's a tactic that doesn't work. [laughter] charlie: you know that. thank you. "spotlight" opens in limited release november 6. go see it and you will understand more about the collision between institutions and the press and some lessons about the both. back in a moment after this. ♪ we live in a pick and choose world.
don't miss the semiannual sale going on now! sleepiq technology tells you how you slept and what adjustments you can make. she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! gift the best sleep of your life to your whole family. only at a sleep number store. right now save $500 on the veteran's day special edition mattress with sleepiq technology. know better sleep with sleep number. charlie: larry wilmore is here. he has been host of "the nightly show" on comedy central. in his words, is meant to give a platform to voices who always got out always heard. jon stewart calls him a grown up in the room. here is a look at "the nightly show." >> guys, stop it. no, how are you shooting machine
guns in front of a government building without getting arrested? >> we are white? [laughter] >> the kid made a clock and he got arrested? look at him and his handcuffs and nasa t-shirt. the brother cop can't even believe it. he's like, the last little piece of my soul just died. >> i get pulled over and the police are just checking on me. they're like, you feel ok? i'm like yeah, i'm good. [laughter] >> you feel safe? i'm like yeah, i feel pretty good. i'm like, you need a license? they're like, you don't need a license. >> the sad thing is, he probably can shoot you due to your party's position on not limiting
high-capacity magazines. donald trump's tax plan would mostly benefit donald trump. we know what it's about. >> there's a big part of the story they missed. he met with her because she asked to confess. >> really? i think you just made that up. >> i just made that up. [laughter] charlie: he previously appeared as the senior black correspondent on "the daily show." he has been a show runner since 2001. i am pleased to have him at this table for the first time larry wilmore.
welcome. larry: thank you. charlie: who would have imagined that we would see ben carson overtaking donald trump and the two of them would be the leaders in the republican party? larry: a lot of people called me crazy. those were my early picks. i said there are going to be the front runners. you might pick your jeb bush, but those are mine. it's like picking horses, you know. a lot of people pick them by their records but i pick them by their names. [laughter] larry: you have to go superficial or don't go at all. charlie: you are off this week. larry: it's an evolution of the show we started out to create. you want to start with a strong idea of something. for us, jon stewart pitched the
show and he wanted to give a platform to people who don't necessarily get a chance to be heard and from the point of view of the other dog. he said, every important story in america has a race, class, gender. we took that and thought, ok, that's a good point of view so let's make that a show. it has evolved into what it is now. we started out pretty strong and we are just working out the kinks. race, gender, class is under the major -- we feel most of the major issues have a patina of that in there somewhere. it's interesting how much those issues keep coming up again and again.
charlie: whether it's a shooting or -- larry: it's amazing how much class has so much to do with these things. even the pope spoke about that with capitalism and being the dung of the devil, he's speaking about class and income inequality. gender is probably the issue of our country now. there are likely hundred gender for classifications on facebook. your head swims with how fast the world is changing. five years ago, marriage equality would have been unheard of as the popular opinion in america and now it's the popular opinion. and i thought all the good race stuff happened before the show. it's like wait, did we overcome what happened? no, wait, we didn't.
charlie: how do you -- you get up in the morning with your producers and what do you look for? larry: usually we speak about it the day before. we are trying to answer to the headlines. what is going on, what's breaking right now and do we have an answer, a comet? we are also looking for the underdog story of who is the underdog. what is the underrepresented voice? that sort of thing. charlie: you're looking for a story that involves an underdog as someone who normally doesn't have a voice? larry: top dog, underdog. there's a top dog, underdog in any situation. the underdog is more interesting for us for a point of view than the top dog. charlie: give us an example. larry: if you look at many of the -- i will give a very simple example.
there is a kid who wanted to give a valedictorian speech for his high school and he was going to come out of the closet and the principal told him he could not do it and he called his parents and outed him to his parents, which is horrible. this kid is clearly the underdog in this story. his story we felt needed to be told. charlie: how did you tell that story? that's not at first glance a funny story. larry: no, it's not. in that situation, we made that story available to the audience and brought him out to give his speech and i kind of gave him crack during it. and the emotion coming out was so interesting. that was just one small example. sometimes, we take on a tough story like the charleston shooting. we didn't know how to go at that. jon stewart didn't do comedy
that night. there's really nothing funny about it. he said it was a racist agenda. the only reason why they were killed was because they were black. to me, the church was a secondary part of the story, not the primary part. i immediately thought i wasn't old enough at the time but -- there was no confusion back in those days that it might have been a religious shooting or racial. everyone was clear it was racial but here fox news took the opportunity to make it seem like a religious incident. we felt like that was such a disservice to the story, but that was not the story. so you find the irony in that.
it's funny because some of the stories we do are inherently sad. part of what we're doing is finding the humanity in those stories and in that, we try to find the comedy. it's fun. it really is fun. it's everything you expected and everything no one ever tells you about. you have to work every day. what's up with that? [laughter] charlie: if you don't have a guest, you don't have a show. larry: or i have to talk to myself. for me, i'm hosting by myself. i don't get a cohost. larry don't show a, no show. charlie: if i don't show up, the ladies take over. larry: it's overwhelming at first but the more you do it,
it's fun. charlie: it's one of the great things you can do. you get up in the morning, you say, what's happening? that's what you say. larry: that's right. charlie: and you figure out how you can connect to it. you connect to it in a different way than i do. larry: i multitask in the morning. i watch about three shows that i watch all the time. i go back and fourth between them. i love your guys, your recap. charlie: the 90 seconds. larry: it's great. cnn usually has a guess that's kind of interesting and sunday morning joe has the politics. at the same time, i'm on my ipad and seeing things that are trending.
charlie: you are looking at tweeps? larry: not so much social media. i do go on facebook because i want to see what stories people are talking about. i just go through the newsfeed or see what's trending and then i checked the new york times. if uninterested in anything, i started reading not but i am doing that simultaneously. larry: your multitasking like crazy. i am scatterbrained. charlie: you just re-signed. larry: they just picked us up for a second season. so we get to cover the election next year. it's the most entertaining thing ever. charlie: i would love to have ben carson here tonight. larry: why is that not happening now? can i please be your cohost that night? charlie: i will bring you and that night. larry: i would love it. are you kidding me? i would drop everything to do that. charlie: you cannot make this up.
larry: it is interesting. -- b, i do nothing dating aiting is the right word -- charlie: the first time, it's amusing, the second time, less amusing. the calling card of "mine is bigger than yours." larry: absolutely. i'm not sure if that's a fact but anyone who wants to build a wall that big [laughter] charlie: where are you going to take it this year? larry: we are sharpening the show, trying to make it better. we have done some things with the presidential candidates, which is really a lot of fun. i have soul food with the candidates and i just ask them questions while we are eating
soul food. charlie: what do you eat? larry: greens, chicken. whatever they order. i had some big gay ice cream with nancy pelosi. in new york, there's a place called big gay ice cream. doing fun things like that. we had plans to get out and do more interviews. i don't get a chance to do as many one-on-one interviews and i love doing those so we are incorporating more of that. there's more of a laser listening and answering that is a lot of fun. it takes a lot of work to have a panel every night. charlie: that's harder than the one on one.
larry: very difficult. it requires a lot of preparation. you are two minutes ahead sometimes or one person is taking too long. charlie: you don't want them to feel like they are not participating. larry: you are managing. charlie: it makes it interesting. and you also have a video to add. that will produce a kind of reaction from everybody. larry: i know i have a certain amount of time to get entertainment out, information, provocation maybe involving everyone, hopefully coming to some point that builds, me being able to synthesize something out of it. i don't want to try to have any prefab jokes. that has been the most fun,
really listening to what they are saying and what's behind that and -- charlie: i call that living in the moment. larry: that's really what it is. charlie: sometimes you see people not paying attention and they will repeat something. but the idea of living in the moment. so you really do hear what someone is saying. they will give you five questions automatically if you are tuned in. larry: that's right. we just had a big meeting about when we first started the show and there was a lot of preparation spent on the questions. i realized i don't need a lot of questions because then you are so interested in the questions. i want to put my interest in the
person, the questions. so i think at the direction of the conversation rather than the questions and how i will provoke that conversation and if it changes, that's fine because i need to stay in the moment so where it goes, i am prepared but i have to be honest about that and just let it happen. charlie: if you can create that spontaneity, it will go somewhere that will be much more pleasing. larry: it's so much fun. charlie: the worst thing in the world -- i have seen people anticipating where they want to go and you work it out in your mind that b follows a and somehow what that person says in a goes right to f. you end up losing the best part. larry: and sometimes b goes to 12, and you're like wait a second, how did we do that? we're not even in letters now. we were talking about women's issues and holly walker started speaking about how women have a period.
and she said i have one right now. and these three women started speaking about women on their periods. we were all like, so tell us. i had no idea this was going to happen. it just happened in the moment and the audience was so interested and it was much better than anything i had prepared. charlie: you have any time to do stand up, produce? larry: not as much time but i'm still involved. before i did this, i was involved in the launching "blackish." the hbo thing we just did the pilot for and i'm still involved with that.
i am always interested in mentoring writers. at some point, i will have a bigger production company. charlie: did john mentor you? he brought you in. he came to you and said i wanted you to do a show. larry: john is a mentor in this area, a master in this area. he is the yoda in this particular brand of comedy, an editorial style of comedy and you have passion and conviction and there is content and clarity about all of those things. and he is amazing about that. he is a complete mentor in that area. charlie: he also seems to have a really remarkable insight into
what the potential of someone is. larry: he has a great eye for talent and the way johnny carson did and a generosity. absolutely. charlie: i am constantly amazed at stories in which people say two things -- johnny had a great eye for talent and he wanted you to look for it. whatever he did was to make you look good. he wanted the laughs. larry: his eagle was attached to the integrity of the joke. charlie: how do you measure the success of a show? larry: that's a great question. it's tough. there's the empirical evidence of who is watching it and the quality that you think you are bringing to a show sometimes that measured with the acclaim
it gets, sometimes with word-of-mouth. you always try to measure it with how you feel as a group. i think it's probably a combination of those things. you have to feel satisfied with your project, know when you got the best out of it. charlie: and you know why. larry: exactly. and you always push yourself. i am always trying to push myself in my career to put myself in areas i don't know comfortable in. i mean, believe me, if it were up to me, i would be laying around watching golf all day. it's so funny. people say, but all you write? larry: i say, i need deadlines. i love being productive and pushing myself and those challenges. they are very scary and i never think i can do it until i pull it off. charlie: we often ask people what is their essential talent.
is yours comedy? or writing? larry: if i were to say i have a gift, i would say i love human behavior and i really like to examine what motivates us to do things and it comes out in the form of comedy. so that's the thing god gave me. i love doing comedy in many forms, performing, writing, producing, i love all the ways in which it makes it a little comedy thing. charlie: the best thing in your life? larry: yes. with the exception of my children. i get to speak to so many people, meets and many people. we get to tell these stories. i know how rare it is to have these opportunities. i have acquired the amount of humility needed to enjoy this. charlie: it's great to have you. larry: it's an honor. charlie: thank you for joining