tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 26, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: o.j. simpson is one of the most captivating and controversial figures of the modern era. he first became known as a star football player for the university of southern california, and then in the nfl he transcended his athletic career to become a beloved figure in popular culture. in 1994, he was charged with the murders of his ex-wife nicole brown simpson and ronald l goldman. the subsequent trial transfixed the nation. "o. j.: made in america," is a new documentary that chronicles
simpson's rise and fall. the los angeles times calls the document "a masterwork of scholarship, journalism, and cinematic art." here is the trailer for "o. j.: made in america." ♪ >> i told oj, you are breaking the laws of god. >> if you are a black man in america, you are fighting our war. ♪ >> the reality of black america and white america, two totally separate worlds. >> for us, oj was colorless. none of the people that we associated with looked at him as
>> you know, you have to have tragedy in your life to write an interesting autobiography. charlie: part one of the five-part documentary series premieres on saturday june 11 on abc, and the remaining parts will air on espn. joining us is the director of the documentary, ezra edelman, a former prosecutor. as well as marcia clark and carl douglas. i am pleased to have them all at this table. welcome, welcome, and welcome. why does this, this man, this case, resonate? is it because it is a story of -- what? ezra: it is a story of everything. it is a story of race, of masculinity, of class, of gender, of celebrity.
a story about the criminal justice system. it is a story about america. charlie: and how did you decide to do this? ezra: it's a little bit unsatisfying. i was approached by espn, by espn films. they had this idea of doing some thing bigger, more ambitious, starting out as a five-hour film, and it just grew over the course of a couple years of doing it. charlie: and now that you have completed it, what do you want us to take away? ezra: that everything is not so simple. charlie: and you will learn new things? ezra: you will learn about a history that you may have never known, or that you have forgotten. carl: you will learn a lot about the reason why the verdict was the verdict. this film is a fascinating exploration of the history of los angeles, the city i love, and the troubling relationship
between the african-american community and the lapd. only through understanding that story can anyone seek to begin to appreciate how and why this verdict was reached. charlie: it's amazing, because that's what introduces you to think about it. you go from people coming to los angeles because they think it's a great place for black people, and then there is watts, in los angeles, and they are burning done everything in sight. many of the injustices with the society people were leaving from the jim crow south, regrettably, they encountered the same kind of abject racism when it came to l.a. that was enlightening for me as well. karl: i lived in l.a. my entire life, and i learned a great deal. it really reinforced, to me, why i chose to become a civil rights lawyer. i remember texting ezra after watching the film, to thank him for reminding me of those issues
i fight for every day of my life as a civil rights lawyer. charlie: this make you famous, this case. it made you almost a household word. you lived it. and then you see this larger picture. tell me how you felt, watching this film. what did you think? how did it resonate within you? marcia: what i learned that i didn't know is a different story than the way it resonated. let's do that first. i felt, people will finally see the reality that we knew, working downtown in the criminal courts building for many, many years, trying cases downtown for 10 years. whenever there was an african-american defendant, race was going to be an issue. and the question of the mistrust of law enforcement, and the mistrust of the criminal justice
system was always an issue. so to me, it was a wonderful thing to show everybody, the realities, as carl said, of life in los angeles, and what the real relationship was between minorities and lapd, and the real sense of mistrust, and bad feelings between them. that has existed for so many years. our office was fighting those cases, and we were prosecuting those cops. we prosecuted the rodney king cops. but, you know, did not succeed. but we were well aware of it. carl certainly was. all of us trying cases down there were aware of it. i didn't realize, how much, how little others were aware of it, outside of that microcosm, i guess you would call it. charlie: and what did you learn? marcia: i learned what a great actor simpson was. i never appreciated how charismatic, how affable,
self-effacing, generous he could appear on the air, because i had never seen him on camera, as a sportscaster ordering his football career. i had only seen him, i remembered naked gun, the commercials, these are limited snapshots. but to see what he could pull off on camera in more lengthy interviews was very impressive. i saw it in a smaller version in the courtroom. he always knew where the camera was. he knew when it was on him, and he played to it every time. that was not the same picture i got when the camera was not on him. carl: i learned from this documentary some of the reasons why o.j. was the man he was. i didn't learn or know as much about his interactions with his colleagues and old friends, which helped to shape the man that i came to learn, and came to know. that was fascinating for me, to
learn that information. ezra: you can't possibly tell the story and understand what happened unless you go back to 1991, 1992. this is a history, a situation people have been living with in los angeles for decades, and unless you emotionally respond to that as a viewer, you will fail to understand why that trial -- charlie: it does make you want to understand every historical event, every event of great focus within a context. ezra: it does. marcia: it is so important. one of the most important themes in the series, i think, is that very message of what you just said, charlie. that everything is, you have to consider it in context. nothing happens in a vacuum. neither did the rodney king verdict. neither did the simpson verdict.
all of these things are part of the fabric, woven together. there is cause and effect that links them all, and i think that this series brilliantly shows that. charlie: at the same time, within the context, the imperative of getting the social context, it is also imperative to remember that murder is murder, and loss is loss. ezra: i think the film does a great job of reflecting on the humanity of that as well. carl: i learned that the more things change, the more they remain the same. one reason why this whole documentary and the o.j. simpson story is resonating now with millennials is that the issues that were then, regrettably, are still at the forefront of the conversation today. the black lives matter movement. ferguson. trayvon martin. those kinds of issues. i have a 24-year-old son who was too young then to understand all
the issues going on then. i have the same story that lots of parents of young african males in los angeles have, about how to respond to police, to say, yes, sir, no, sir, to keep your hands visible, that was part of the history, the context this film shows really well. charlie: what did you and the defense team have to do? what was the mandate? carl: it's important to remember, the burden is not on the defense. the defendant does not have to prove anything. but we have to do is, believing in the constitution, holding the prosecution to their burden, of proving the accused guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. and that is just not some slick phrase, or a cliche. that is real, and in this case
there was a tremendous mountain of evidence, so our challenge was very strong. that's why some of the things that came out, the glove demonstration, the tape, really resonated with this jury. because ultimately, we were trying to make the prosecution prove their burden of proving him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. charlie: how important was the glove? carl: i think the glove was the most dramatic day of my life inside a courtroom, and i have been a lawyer for 36 years. we always learn in law school, don't ask a question, a demonstration, if it is going to be shown before 95 million people on television. charlie: so you took a chance? carl: the prosecution took a huge chance. perhaps not the wisest chance
chance. charlie: what do you think happened with the glove? marcia: it was a terrible idea, i thought. the judge said, he should try on the glove. i rejected immediately. they had been frozen and unfrozen. you not do but get the condition. terrible idea. it was the biggest fight we had. charlie: chris wanted to allow it? marcia: he said, if they don't do it, the defense will. i said, let them. carl: i love to hear the postmortem examinations of this debacle, and how it came to be. i was unaware of the internal tensions going on on the prosecution team, so to hear it then, to hear it now, is really illuminating to me. charlie: just for a moment -- ezra, excuse me.
[laughter] ezra: they are much more interesting. charlie: did you have any doubt he could make it look like a glove did not fit? carl: there were weeks and weeks of dna testimony and evidence, weeks and weeks of domestic violence testimony, but this was the murder glove, and it did not fit the accused murderer, and we were confident after that event, that the images would resonate. i did not understand of the dna stuff. barry would ask me. i didn't know what was going on. but the murder glove not fitting was resonant, and it was something we were confident the jury would take with them to the very last day of the trial. charlie: if it does not fit, you must acquit.
carl: and that was jerry allman's line, on a saturday, after the demonstration, when we all were high-fiving. charlie: you knew you had a tough challenge after that. marcia: i did not think -- it was a moment certainly the media enjoyed, carl enjoyed. [laughter] what carl does not know, i objected to it, it's on the record, my objection is on the record, and i pulled chris aside and we stepped away from sidebar and argued. i called upstairs to the rest of the team and said, is there any reason you guys would think to do this? everyone said, we can't do this. i could not stop it. that was his witness, and his choice to make. i know they dubbed me as lead president appeared i was not chris's boss. i know what happened behind the scenes. charlie: would chris say the
same thing? marcia: i think he would have to. if the case was lost before we got into court, that's the truth. charlie: the case was lost before you walked into the court? marcia: we were downtown. we were going to have a jury that was, the jury veneer always had a significant amount -- charlie: it was already decided? carl: i spent 10 hours a day for 60 months doing nothing apparently, if it was a walkover. marcia: i'm not saying that. it was a huge obstacle. charlie: i can't believe you thought you could not succeed. marcia: without the best we could do was hang it. that's what we thought, knowing that we had a significant african-american contingent on the jury, without the best we
could do was hang it, and even that became impossible, but that was right from the start, and to save the glove demonstration was the turning point, or that made the difference, we also addressed all those issues with the glove expert, who explained everything i said to you, and we put the same gloves on his hands and they fit beautifully, gloves he did not have to wear latex with, gloves that were not frozen and unfrozen. we put pristine identical gloves on his hands and they fit. charlie: what was he like after the trial? carl: i didn't get the benefit of knowing him much after the trial. i last saw o.j. that johnny cochran's funeral in march of 2005. at that setting, he was received well. al sharpton was one of the people giving the eulogy, and he first asked all the lawyers who had worked with johnny to stand up. he and asked anyone who johnny cochran represented to stand up. and o.j. and michael jackson were just a few chairs away, and
they both stood up. in my community, after the trial, o.j. was always achieved well. ezra: al sharpton gave one of the eulogies, in this huge church, and o.j. is in the audience. he looks down at o.j. and says, brother simpson, with all due respect, when that verdict came in and we all cheered, we were not cheering for you, we were cheering for johnny, and the entire church exploded. carl: that's really what many don't understand. charlie: a lot of people exploded, but hardly knew who johnny cochran was. carl: what they saw were african-american lawyers, and they learned that competence comes in all colors. i remember attending a a convention of african american
lawyers at the national bar association after this particular trial, and we were received there like rock stars. in little small towns across the nation, because the trial was on cnn every day, people came to respect the intelligence of an african-american professional. and that, as much as anything, was one reason why folks were cheering. not for o.j., per se. charlie: this remarkable achievement in terms of, how many hours? ezra: almost eight. charlie: it is about america. i thank you. ♪
charlie: steven avery was wrongly convicted of sexual assault and murder in 1985, and served 18 years in wisconsin state prison for he was exonerated in 2003. in 2005, shortly after filing a lawsuit against the county that wrongfully convicted him, he became a suspect in a new murder. the netflix documentary about his prosecution and conviction is called "making a murderer." here is the trailer for "making a murderer."
♪ ♪ >> the people that were close to steve knew he was always happy. always wants to make other people laugh. >> they didn't have education like other people. the avery family did not fit in the community. >> stevie did do a lot of stupid things, but he always owned up to everything he did wrong. >> all the trouble started. >> eddie bernstein was everything stevie was not. >> there was no real investigation done by the sheriff's department. >> the sheriff told the da not to screw the case up. he wanted avery convicted. >> there isn't one iota of physical evidence in this case connecting steven avery to it. in fact, the sheriff was told by
the police, you have the wrong guy. >> steven avery spent 18 years in prison for something he didn't do. >> 18 years. >> 18 years. >> dna came through, indicating he had not committed the crime. >> law enforcement officers realized they had screwed up, big time. >> we were getting ready to bring a lawsuit. >> $36 million. >> the county and the sheriff and the da would be on the hook for those damages. >> they are not handing that over to steve avery. i told him, be careful, they are not even close to being finished with you. >> do we have a body or anything yet? >> i don't believe so. >> do we have stephen avery in custody, though? >> are you kidding me? >> the disappearance of teresa halbach remains a mystery. >> mr. avery's blood was found inside teresa halbach's vehicle. >> everybody's listening.
>> i am innocent. >> if convicted, stephen avery will spend the rest of his life in prison. >> his dna was placed on the key. >> what is going on here? >> halbach's last stop monday was at stephen avery's home. >> if he did this, maybe it's good he was in prison all that time. >> it was extraordinarily disturbing. >> we went through this 20 years ago, and we are going through it now again. >> in this criminal justice system, good luck. >> you are probably the most dangerous individual to ever set foot in this courtroom. >> the truth always comes out. charlie: joining me, the directors of "making a murderer" laura ricciardi and moira demos. i am pleased to have them at the table. how did this start for both of you?
>> well, in 2005 we were graduate film students at columbia university school of the arts, and steven avery appeared on the front page of the new york times,, and the headline said "freed by dna, now charged in new crime." we recognized stephen as this potentially unique window into the system, as someone who had been failed by the system in 1985 nfl himself back in it 20 years later. charlie: when you look at the conviction the second time? >> at that point he had really just been charged in the murder of teresa halbach. so as laura said, the idea that this man who had been so failed by the system, failed for 18 years, and they were opportunities for the system to correct itself and it had not, and he was stepping back in, 20 years later.
in that 20 years, there had been advances in dna, legislative reforms. there was a lot of talk, wrongful convictions don't happen anymore. that was in the past. and we didn't have dna back then. it was an opportunity to sort of test the theory, so at that point we decided to go into production. we went to wisconsin, we moved there, and we documented this new case, this teresa halbach murder case as it unfolded. so it is the opportunity to use 2020 hindsight. charlie: a couple things. it is so intriguing, everyone talks about it. when you went to the film, did you have a deal with netflix to do that? moira: absolutely not. it was the two of us corralling
some family and friends. charlie: you wanted to go do this. moira: it was also funded. charlie: why is anybody talking about this? what is it about this that we have not said already that makes it so compelling? moira: for the most part, people understand that the criminal justice system is not perfect. but i think that what this series really demonstrates is, what happens when it goes wrong? laura: the cases in this series are really a stark illustration of that. one of the major characters in the series was pulled into the system, and became a codefendant with stephen in the halbach case. he was 16 years old at the time, and incredibly limited. his iq was somewhere in the range of 73, 67 to 73. and this was an individual who was interrogated alone by the investigators, and just really out of his depth, and had no prior experience with law
enforcement. so i think that's one of the most troubling aspects of the story. and we hear quite a bit about that, from people who have watched. charlie: do you two differ over any aspect of this, in terms of how you read it? laura: after a decade of working hand-in-hand, we recognize different things as we were experiencing it. but going to that experience, going through the footage, doing additional research, digging through primary source materials, i think we end up in the same place. charlie: so do you think steven avery killed theresa? moira: i don't really have a way of answering that, because i have so many unanswered questions. the issue is, despite this being the largest criminal investigation in wisconsin's history, apparently, i am still left with so many unanswered questions. charlie: things you don't know. moira: exactly.
charlie: you just don't know. there are too many unanswered questions, and how will you answer those questions? moira: also, i don't think the system is designed to deliver certainty. one of the major takeaways for me, with respect to our process, was, you know, part of our inquiry was, to what extent can the system deliver on its promises of truth and justice? and i really came away from this process thinking, the system can do and better job of delivering truth -- sorry, justice, which is a process. charlie: than truth? laura: that's right. we can't always count on the system to reveal truth. there is so much and beauty in these matters. they are extremely complex. there are so many ingredients that go into the investigation and prosecution of a case. you know, one of the things we really wanted to do for our
viewers was to document the pretrial proceedings. what came before the trial stage. so that viewers could understand, and appreciate, you know, what basic rights defense attorneys are fighting for at that point. the decisions they are making that decide what types of evidence the jury even gets to hear. we have been criticized recently for not including all evidence in the series. and what i would say to that is, this is a documentary. it's not playing out in real time, and of course we have to make editorial choices about the types of evidence that gets in. but even a jury in a criminal case doesn't hear all the evidence that either side would like to offer, because the judge is making decisions at the pretrial stage about what types of evidence is reliable, what might tend to prejudice the jury. charlie: is it one of the questions that's unanswered for you, somebody - was somebody so upset at steven avery because he filed a lawsuit that they set out to ruin his life?
moira: i think the conflict of interest in this case, that stephen had a lawsuit against the county and two of its former officers, the fact the county said they would have nothing to do with the investigation, and as you learn in the series, and as witnesses come to trial, you find out they were very much involved in the investigation, and in fact, they were the ones finding some of the key evidence. so when i am asked to have trust in that evidence, when there is such a clear conflict of interest, where individuals have a vested interest in the outcome of the trial, i think that raises serious questions. charlie: take a look at this. >> they were not just going to let stevie out. they weren't going to hand that man $36 million. they weren't going to be made a laughingstock. that's for sure.
they just were not going to do all that. something's going to happen. they are not handing that kind of money over to steve avery. >> we told him, he could expect people to say this was just a get rich effort. that family, private matters would now be public. you know, don't be surprised if people say some things about you that you never even heard before, that are just plain false. the one thing they didn't tell him is, you have to be careful when you bring a lawsuit against a sheriff's department, in a community where you still live, because you could end up getting charged with murder. charlie: that raises the question, doesn't it? moira: stephen himself could not make sense of what happened to him. he proclaimed his innocence in the halbach case, and just could not understand how he found
himself back in this position. in an effort to try to make sense of what was happening, he looked to the lawsuit he had filed, which was pending, which was actually going very well for his side, and he thought, perhaps law enforcement has done something here, something improper, to try to derail the lawsuit. charlie: how long was the trial? laura: just over five weeks, stephen's trial. charlie: 200 hours. laura: something around that. i guess that's how the math works out. charlie: so you have to decide what to include, what to exclude. moira: his trial, i think in our series, takes just over three hours, which includes press conferences, out-of-court scenes, so not even three hours of courtroom footage. charlie: what is the biggest question you have no, having -- you have now, having gone through all this, seeing it become a sensation, much talked
about, in terms of media conversation? laura: the major question i come away with, to what extent are we as a society going to -- charlie: what will it take to change the system? laura: that's right. a big part of that is trying to recognize injustice as it's happening, and to try to interrupt that. because, you know, if we don't do that, and it leads to a wrongful conviction, that also necessarily leads to a wrongful acquittal, which means that an innocent person is being locked away, and he guilty person, you know, is left free. and we see that in the first episode with steven avery and gregory allen, who went on to attack women for 10 years while steven avery was in prison serving gregory allen's term. moira: my biggest question is, how can we come together on
this? because i see a lot of talk, in response to this series, people taking sides, debating guilt and innocence, when the facts and not what the series was about. it was about failures within our system, and why those are happening, and how can we do better. there is so much we could unite about, or unite over about this, is laura mentioned. a wrongful conviction is a wrongful acquittal. you don't have to care about the person going to prison wrongly. you should care about the ill-doer on your street. charlie: so what happens now? do most people just watch it all the way through? they cannot resist, once they start? moira: i have been hearing a lot of that. people in one day, or over the course of two days, which frankly surprises me a little. we are asking a lot of our viewers. it's a very dense series. charlie: but it drags you write in. and you want to know.
charlie: nora ephron was a beloved essayist, journalist, and novelist, and was more than that. she was also a dear friend to this program. she died at age 71 in 2012 after a very private battle with leukemia. her son jacob bernstein documents are like in the new documentary "nora ephron: scripted and unscripted," which premiered this past monday on hbo. here is the premier. >> writers are cannibals. [laughter] they really are. >> they eat their own. >> if you are friends with them and you say anything funny at dinner, if anything good happens to you, you are in big trouble. >> she was a very smart filmmaker, writer, reporter, really true comic writing is impossibly hard. and she had it. >> i wanted to make her laugh. it was just like winning an oscar.
>> i don't know that people think i'm an expert in relationships, but i definitely am. [laughter] sometimes i wish my husband were dead. [laughter] >> nora ephron's first novel. >> this is the craziest divorce ever. >> she cried for six months, and wrote it funny. in writing it funny, she was. >> you come home with something you thought was the tragedy of your life. my mother would say, everything is copy. >> did my mother really believe this mantra of hers? >> everyone uses his or her own life. >> did you have any idea? >> not at all. >> why, after being so open about everything, did she choose not to address the most significant crisis of her life? it's the most fascinating thing in the whole world to me. >> she achieved a private act.
>> the story of my life. everything is copy. charlie: "everything is copy" is now available on hbo now, hbo go, hbo on demand. and i'm pleased to have jacob back at the table. first of all, explain the title. jacob: my grandmother was a screenwriter, and the thing she always said to my mother growing up, whenever anything happened that wasn't so desirable, a boy didn't ask her to a dance, or a teacher didn't think she was as brilliant as she was, her mother would say, everything is copy. the meaning is, the thing that trips you up today, is a funny story tomorrow. and it was a kind of, it was a kind of way of saying get over it, figure out a way to use it. because your life has the ability to be a comedy rather
than a tragedy. charlie: why do i think somehow that this came to her in talking about her mother's death? jacob: i don't know. it was a thing or mom had said, but when her mom died, when she was on her deathbed, she said to her, take notes. she then wrote a piece called "the mink coat" that was in esquire. it's now in the anthology they put out a couple years ago. and that's what she, do know, what she -- you know, what she really came to believe, at least for a very long time. that if you found a way to tell your story, you could control the narrative. and she had a very good sense that, the experiences you have, you don't want to waste, if you are a writer. that wasn't always so easy for the people around her, though. charlie: this was a film you had to make? jacob: yes.
i felt after she died, but i want to write about her, in some way. i also was self-aware enough to know that i wasn't going to, i wasn't going to write a book about her that was better than any of the books she had written about herself. and i had seen the bill cunningham documentary. and i had -- charlie: for those of you who don't know, bill cunningham is a photographer for the "new york times," who takes wonderful pictures everywhere, and has a way of capturing stuff that appears every sunday. jacob: and there had been the joan rivers documentary, which was fantastic. so there was this spate of great cultural documentary is coming out, and it seems to me we could make one of those, and it would allow her to be the star of it. and i could kind of, help narrate her story. then, the summer after she died, i was in the hamptons at our country house, and i realized, the last two essay collection
she wrote, "i feel bad about my neck" and "i remember nothing," she did audiotapes of both. and i knew almost immediately, we could splice pieces of them throughout the film, that she would be able to narrate large portions of it herself. charlie: so was this an opportunity for you to share your mother with the larger world, or an opportunity for you, in a sense, to take all of us on a journey? jacob: i think both. and i had some questions about what it meant to be a writer. i was 33, and i had been doing magazine journalism and newspaper journalism for a while at that point. i was still freelancing for the "new york times," where i now work. and so, i was looking for something larger to do.
and, and i was interested in how the private and public had met up for her. and then diverged from one another. i also read, i had read "tender is the night," sort of about six months before she died. and of course, there was fitzgerald, writing about the breakup of his marriage. and zelda fitzgerald's descent into madness. it raised some questions, what is it like when you decide to do that, and what is the reality for the people around you? so it seemed like we could make the film both her life's story, but also annexed the nation of what it means to be a writer and to share stuff that other people don't always want shared. charlie: how do you explain your mother? jacob: witty. funny. loving.
really tough. charlie: on herself, and everybody else. jacob: i think that's right. she was fantastic at, i think, instilling in people both a little bit of fear in her, and a desire to please her. she knew how to parse out praise. charlie: this is a clip of tom hanks and others talking about nora as a filmmaker. >> the kid we spent all this time auditioning, getting ready, who he loved, who was so great. >> she didn't ask me, what would you think if we replaced so-and-so. she said, we are making a change. it's not working out. you are firing the kid? >> when you saw that look, your mother would look, if she got that look, it was like you had a laser from a gun on your forehead, and you were about to get whacked. people got caught all the time. they would not read a new draft,
and then you were done. if you talked about building a barn over here that was taken out two drafts ago. that's all i can tell you. morning or afternoon flight. can i have a word with you? charlie: there is a whole series of clips from the show, of your mother talking. what did that add to it? jacob: i don't think we knew much of anything when we started. i think it was a kind of, it was a somewhat haphazard process, in a way. i think documentary film making, you have an archivist who helps you. i'm reading things of hers. old clips from the "new york post," and the letterman clips that she did during the breakup of the marriage with my father, and right after she had written "heartburn."
they all kind of, wieters began to amass all this stuff, and figured out how it pieced together. it is also roughly a chronological film, so we had some basic understanding of how the narrative was going to work. and we also knew that, having written about the breakup of her marriage to my dad, and her parents' alcoholism, all these things, there was a question in the ether about why she had chosen to keep her illness as private as she did. and that would also be part of the framing device of the movie. charlie: in fact, that's what meryl streep spoke to as well. why did she keep it so confidential? jacob: there were considerations of pride. charlie: it was stunning. all of us could remember. you could not believe it. jacob: they were considerations both pragmatic and
philosophical. the pragmatic ones were that she was a filmmaker at that point, and if you are writing a book, i think you can have a fatal illness and you don't lose your book contract. but if you are trying to make a film, you can't get insured if you have something like that. so that was part of it. the other part of it, i think, was that to her everything is copy was a means out of victimhood. the quote that i see on social media of hers the most often is, "be the heroine of your life, not the victim." i think "everything is copy" is another version of that. it was a way of saying, she said, when you slip on the banana peel, people laugh at you. if you tell people you slip on the banana peel, you become the hero rather than the victim of the joke. the problem with a fatal illness is, how do you tell that story and not become a victim? how do not become the person that everyone says, how are you, are you doing ok? they want to be involved.
they want to tell you what doctors to call. they want to tell you to get acupuncture. they want to tell you to do all these things that she didn't want to be told to do. charlie: she wanted to manage it herself. when did she tell you? jacob: she told me about six years before she died. and you know, at the time, i went over for dinner, and we were sitting on, i believe she was sitting on the sofa, and i was sitting on a chair right by it in her living room, the place where she and my stepfather shared together. we were scared, but she said, you know, they have me on these things that are working. she was on these steroids for a while, that blew up her face a little bit, and because she had written so much about aging, people thought she had sort of had a bad trip to the cosmetic dermatologist.
that was not the case. she was quite good actually, at her cosmetic dermatology, figuring out how to get a little tweak here or there without looking. charlie: like you had a tweak here or there. jacob: that's right. charlie: i will show a couple clips from the show, some of which were in the documentary. the third is her talking about getting older. here it is,, the third clip, on one of the many appearances nora made on this program, at this table. charlie: anything else wrong with getting older? nora: anything else wrong? [laughter] is there anything right with getting older? charlie: wisdom? nora: wisdom when you can't remember anything is not quite fair. having more time to read, when you can't see? charlie: this is just more comic fodder for you. nora: i don't know, charlie. i don't know it's better to be older. charlie: i don't think so, either, but it doesn't have to be bad. nora: it doesn't have to be bad.
you have to know, you have to know that at some point it will be. charlie: sure. nora: and sooner rather than later. which is why it's very important to eat your last meal before it actually comes up. charlie: tell the story of how you came to that conclusion. i know what it was. your good friend. nora: who was dying. charlie: who no longer could eat hotdogs. nora: she said, i can't eat, i can't even have my last meal. to be serious for a moment, as they say in the jokes, when you are actually going to have your last meal, you either will be too sick to have it or you aren't going to know it will be your last meal, and you could squander it on something like a tuna melt, and that would be ironic. so it's important. we all play these games at dinner with friends, where we go around the table, we say, this is what i would have to my last
meal. and i feel it's important to have that last meal -- charlie: today. nora: today, tomorrow, soon. charlie: what would you have? nora: my last meal is a nathan's hot dog. [laughter] charlie: that's the magic. what was her impact on you, in having a mother who represented a lot of things you could only admire? jacob: i think she was, i think she was fantastic at getting me to aspire to do more with myself than i might have been inclined to. you know, people asked, was it scary? yes. it was why i knew the movie had better be good. [laughter] because you don't want to be the talentless child of so and so,
who does a kind of hagiography that deifies the parent without actually capturing the texture and the essence. charlie: "everything is copy" is now on hbo, hbo go. we leave you with this last clip, of nora on the program talking about her ability to quickly adapt to new situations. thank you for joining us. charlie: you seem to have this amazing ability to be able to adapt, to be able to find your way. to be able to, whatever the time is, nora finds out where she fits. nora: from your lips, but i do think, without being, i don't know, philosophical, but i do think one of the lucky things about my life, and by the way, a
lot of women i know, is that we have sort of been able to make changes. take another path. i always quote that great yogi berra line, if you see a fork in the road, take it. everyone thinks it's famous because it is so dumb, but the truth is it's very wise, especially when it comes to women, because you can kind of do that. you can sort of do two things at once, or one thing, then the next thing. women seem to have a slightly easier time doing that than men. i don't know why. charlie: you call it fluidity. nora: i don't know what i call it. but i do notice a lot of women who are older are not doing what they did 20 or 30 years ago, and the men don't have quite the ability, partly because they are slightly more successful earlier, and it is harder to get out of the success and the income or whatever. but women seem to have a way of, i think i will try this, i think i will try that.
>> i'm mark crumpton. you are watching bloomberg west. let's begin with a check of the headlines. sharp aftershocks have struck in the italian city of amatrice, and at least 278 people are confirmed dead. a state funeral will be held saturday and flags will be flying at half-staff on all public offices. in bolivia, striking miners reportedly kidnapped and beat to