tv Charlie Rose PBS February 28, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with "al hunt on the story." his guest senator lindsey graham, republican of south carolina. >> every time a bully or an autocratic dictator gobbles up a neighbor by the force of arms all of us eventually regret it. i do believe putin could be put back in a box. >> hunt: that he will respond ultimately? >> that he will respond because benefit analysis will make him respond. he's playing poker with a pair of 2s. we have a full house. the iranians are a weak economy and weak military, they're on the wrong side of history, putin's on the wrong side of history and they're eating our lunch. >> rose: we continue with john chambers, c.e.o. of cisco systems.
>> cisco systems, from when we were almost 20 years ago, we were the plumbers the people who made the internet work, and people came to cisco to say how do you use the internet to close your books, outsource manufacturing et cetera. what's exciting today is you're about to see the second generation of the internet. >> rose: we conclude with the great writer richard price, new book called "the whites." >> what i intended to do was write an utterly stripped-down totally orthodox genre urban thriller and it was such a different identity for me even though i was dipping into the same pool that i always do but the style is going to be so different. it was just going to be about what happens next, what happens next. but once i started writing, you know i just realized after 41 years of writing, i only know one way to write, and the book kept expanding. >> rose: a program notes sunday night on "60 minutes," a piece with larry david, a piece
with seinfeld curb your enthusiasm. here's an outtake a. why did you want to do a play? >> i thought it would be different, fun something i never experienced before. i would stand in the back, watch, go to rehearsals, consult with the director, see the thing unfold, then all of a sudden it was presented to me to be in it and, yes i did have that moment of oh, well, this is going to be really challenging. yeah, i made the decision to do it. >> rose: and you're glad you did? you are. >> yeah but... okay. okay. i'm glad. somewhat. i'm glad with reservation. >> rose: the director says you are an actor. you may say you're not, but you are. but you don't think you're an
actor? >> look, i'm doing this, so i suppose. >> rose: you are an actor. okay i'm an actor. >> rose: why do you go around saying you're not? >> because i don't feel like one. when i sit in the audience, i don't look at the people performing and go, oh, i wish i was up there doing that. when i go to a movie, i don't go oh, i wish i was in that movie. actors do that. i don't do that. ergo, no actor. >> rose: on friday night on this program an hour with larry david. but next "al hunt on the story." >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider
of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. > hunt: senator lindsey gram in his third term as a united states senator from south carolina sfnlgt appropriations, armed services and budget and judiciary committees. 59-year-old air force veteran, a colonel in the reserves, explore ago run for the republican nomination next year. welcome to the program, senator. >> influential. that's a good word. >> rose: i'll call you colonel. the senate passed a clean department of homeland security bill funding through the end of the fiscal year. house will not go along saying the best we can do is short term. how does this movie end? >> i think they'll send over a
d.h.s. funding bill with a 2014 order repeal. there's two executive orders issued by the president. one covered dream act children, young kids brought here as babies who lived here all their lives in. 2012 he gave them legal status. in 2014 the president expanded it to 5 million additional people. that was breath taking. i think the house will say we'll fund d.h.s. but you have to repeal the 2014 order and see what the democrats do. seven democrats in the campaign and last election cycle said they disagreed with the 2014 order. >> hunt: but that won't be done in this context. basically won't you pass a funding bill and come back to that issue later? >> i think the house will give the senate a chance to say no. seven democrats are on record saying the 2014 order went too far so they will have a chance to base cli defund the executive
order. if they refuse, most likely what we'll do is do a clean bill. >> rose: and the house will have to go along? >> eventually i think so because we're in charge now and if you believe the threat level is what i think it is and the number of organizations trying to attack this country are as large as i think they are, you wouldn't shut down d.h.s. for 30 seconds. >> hunt: senator, has it been more difficult environment because the conservative political action committee is meeting in washington now. >> well, i don't think it's made it more difficult but it's a lot of enthusiasm in that room. here's the only thing i would say, put it in perspective. rand paul or ron paula won the straw poll the last four of five years. they're nice folks, but if rand and ron paul are winning the straw poll it's not a test of conservatism. >> hunt: you don't think the c-pac is where the republican
party is. >> i don't think there is many places in the traditional republican party where they would do that well. it's an enthusiastic group of people but anytime rand or ron paul win the day it's not reflective of the republican party. >> hunt: you say you're looking at orders for a possible presidential run. what kind of reaction have you gotten? what are the odds you will actually go in a month? >> the reaction has been good. people have wanted to invest in my campaign. some people want to come to work if i want to do it. i'll probably know in the next 30 to 45 days. i'm going to make a good business decision. it won't be an emotional decision, and i don't mind taking the risk. i understand that a candidacy is a long shot no matter who you, and at the end of the day, i feel like i've got something to offer my party and my country and if i can see a palletway forward, national security centric but a problem-solving conservative i think would play well in 2016. >> hunt: more likely than not
you will go? >> right now probably more likely than not. >> hunt: more likely not or more likely yes. >> more likely that i will go if we can have a financial path forward. i don't have to raise the most money but enough money. again the message would be i think i know why we're in such a mess internationally. i understand what it's going to take to get washington working again and as the president, i can do what ronald reagan was able to do, sit down with tip o'neal and save social security from bankruptcy. there will be a lot of talk in the primary about conservatism and about the party and the country. there's two things we've got to get right -- stopping radical islam from getting a weapon of mass destruction is the challenge of my generation national security-wise. if they get a weapon of mass destruction, any of these islamic groups, they will use it. the second is the retirement to have the baby boomers, 80 million of us will swamp
medicare and social security and take the entire economy down crying out for entitlement and tax reform. so somebody has to have the skill set and disposition to get both parties in a room to do something. >> hunt: stick with foreign policy. the last several presidential elections, foreign policy has been a secondary issue. do you think that will be different in 2016? >> absolutely. i think the rise of radical islam and the threats from nation states like russia, but the number one national security threat is the iranian regime with nuclear capability. i.s.i.l is one of the most lethal, destructive hateful terrorist organizations ever known to the terrorism world. it is lethal, it is destructive and they want to come here. but the iranian regime with a nuclear capability is the ultimate game change. sunni arabs won't allow shia
persias in iran to have a nuclear economy. eliminating nuclear iran is a blessing to the world. >> hunt: if sanctions don't work does that mean force is next? >> if you attack iran you opened pandora's box, if they get a nuclear weapon, you emptied the box. the economic pain has to be sufficient burks if they don't believe we'll attack them as last resort they will press forward. here's what i worry about the most, look what they're doing without a nuclear. the iranians have destabilized four arab capitals. took the pro american government back in the how houthis. 220 people have been killed in
syria. shia militia running wildl in baghdad, in iraq and lebanon is controlled by hezbollah. if you believe in sanctions and gave them more money, i would argue they would not build school houses and hospitals, they would invest in the havoc they're wreaking and build more nuclear weapons. >> hunt: i.s.i.l you mentioned in the beginning what differentiates you from the other possible republican candidates is you want to put boots on the ground. you say we have to. you think till we defeat i.s.i.l or a permanent force to take on the next i.s.i.l type threat. >> first thing does i.s.i.l represent a threat to our homeland? what would you say? >> hunt: i would say whatever lindsey graham says now. >> i think the general believe is i.s.i.l is a threat to
america. there are over 400,000 fighters that could penetrate the united states and now bag yady the leader of i.s.i.l was in an american prison camp four or five years and when we turned him over to the iraq as he cold the colonel, i'll see you in new york. if you believe it's a threat to the homeland why would you not include an american component to defeat them. it's a generational struggle. >> hunt: troops could be there for years. >> if i run for president, i want to keep the war over there so it doesn't come here and i don't know how to do that without a forward deployed presence. summiting resources to give them capacity they don't have having intelligence that can pick up chatter before the attack comes here. a forward deployed military intel presence and more than that a presence in the region to build up those who would live in peace with us so they could have the capacity to say no to this
ideology, and the good news for us, most people in the region want to say no. >> hunt: senator graham, does it worry you that putting american forces there is exactly what the radicals want, that they can rally the faithful and recruit against the crusaders themselves? >> not really. how do you defeat them without going in on the ground? do you agree somebody has to dig them out of the cities. if the iraqi security forces are seen as a shia rather than iraqi army goes into mosul without an american component, i'm afraid the sunnis in mosul will start fighting them. the kurds are suspicious of the iraqi army as it is formed today. an american support component, not the main body of soldiers, gives everybody confidence and separates the forces so they can effectively fight. we're the glue that holds that part of the world together, and i am sad to say that we were right about leaving iraq without
any troops. everything john mccain and lindsey graham said s has come true and the military the ones who said it would come crew. >> hunt: the other trouble spot you mentioned, of course, was russia. >> yeah. >> hunt: if we were to give defensive arms to the ukrainians and ratchet up sanctions even more, putin's behavior suggests he himself would step it up more. it's what they call escalation dominance. he doesn't respond the way you think he should. however do we go? what's the ultimate we can do? >> cost benefit analysis is not working. the benefit to putin to destabilize in the ukraine is apparently greater than the cost. defensive weapons is not only a cost benefit change, it's the right thing to do. we signed a budapest memorandum in 1994, guaranteed yiewrnlg sovereignty if they would give up their nuclear arsenal over 2,000 nuclear weapons. >> hunt: which they did.
that agreement has been trampled upon been the russians and the iranians are watching. i'm trying to tell people, you have a global economy but also a global national security network. weakness in one area creates problems in another area so if the french and the germans are being soft on putin, do you think the iranians believe that the p5 would actually use military force if they broke the nuclear agreement? so what i want the iranians to see is that putin paid a price and 81% to have the russian people feel like he's doing the right thing. i think he's doing the wrong thing. i think he's dismembered a neighboring medication who had one aspiration, to be a democracy. >> hunt: could you envision putting western troops there? >> trainers but not a combat force. >> hunt: trainers. ere's what i would do i would provide lethal, defensive armament to the ukrainian
military so they would have a chance to fight for freedom. will they win or lose, i don't know. if putin escalates, if i were president, i would grind his economy into the ground. moldova is next. georgia is being interfered with by the russians. n.a.t.o.'s reputation is on the line. every time this happens in histrirks we regret it. every time a bully or autocratic dictator gobbles up a neighbor by the force of arms, all of us eventually regret it. i do believe putin could be put back in a box. >> hunt: that he will respond ultimately. >> that he will respond because the cost benefit analysis will make him he spond. he's playing a peeker game with a pair of 2s. we have a full house. the riernians are a -- iranians are a weak economy and a weak military and they're on the wrong side of history. putin's on the wrong side of history and are eating our lunch. >> hunt: back to the middle east and interjennings you and
john mccain said it was wrong to withdraw forces in 2010. was the original decision to go to war in 2003, knowing what we know now that there were not weapons of malsz mass destruction was that a proper decision? >> yes, because the intelligence we had at the time suggested saddam hussein was trying to acquire the weapons. >> hunt: but it was wrong. but he was shooting at our airplanes, killing the kurds. >> hunt: knowing what we know now, would it have been better had we not gone in. >> is the world better off without saddam hussein muammar gadhafi and osama bin laden? i think so. are we better off leaving autocratic dictators in place who rape women and kill indiscriminately because it creates stability, the day we get to that point that we long for the days of gadhafi and is a
damandsaddam is a bad day. >> hunt: will libya be better off? >> the libyans rose up against gadhafi, syrians rose up against assad and the arab spring is real. the vacuum is filled by terrorist organizations. first election in libya after the fall of gadhafi, islamists got 10% of the vote. here's what i think makes is better off, never to expect somebody to live in a dictatorship for your convenience. i'm not going to tell the young people of the arab world could you just suffer along because it's better for me? two things are going on at the same time in the mideast, a fight for the heart and soul of islam between radical islam and the vast majority, and a realignment of social justice and how you govern.
to america, this is not hard. i'm a practical guy, but they're forcing me. the young people of the region are forcing me to take a stand. we should have done more when the iranians went into the streets in 2009. i will never give an inch on the idea that the best thing for america is for other people to live free. >> hunt: let me come back home. sequester, you say it's a terrible idea. the president's is a terrible idea ash carter's is a terrible idea. you're in charge of the congress, when are you going to change sequestering. >> the low point in my time being a republican is when my party agreed to sequestration to begin with. the idea of cutting 1.2 trillion over a decade is a good idea. the only way it will be changed is to do nondefense as well as defense and have democrats not
just republicans. i'm going to challenge my party to replace sequestration with some entitlement reform and some revenue and the fight in the party will be over the second part. i am willing to close a deduction in the tax code -- >> hunt: you're willing to raise taxes to get a deal. >> i'm willing to eliminate deduction, take tax credits off the table some of your viewers may enjoy to replace sequestration that's going to make it impossible -- >> hunt: this is what you're going to campaign on? >> i am going to put the national security interest of the country ahead of the tax code. >> hunt: immigration, you were a key supporter. >> i would support comprehensive reform as president, secure our borders first, have more legal immigration to take the incentive of cheating off the table, i would try to verify employment because if you can always get a job here illegally they will keep coming no matter
what you do with the border. as to the 11 million, i would say the following -- criminals and gang members you're not welcome, but as to the rest, you can stay here legally. you have to learn the language pay a fine, get in the back to have the line and have a ten-year before before you can apply for a green card but i would never adopt the european model. if we allow you to stay after you've made the cut of not being a criminal or disruptive force, you will get to be a part of the american dream if you want to. a pathway to citizenship to me is the essential ingredient to immigration reform. i hate the european model where you have millions of people who are the hired help. >> hunt: there has been some chatter about scott walker's candidacy that he would be the first president since harry truman not to have a college degree. you would be the same unmarried since buchanan. do you think americans handle
that? >> americans can handle it both. married people have screwed it up see how well the college graduates have done. i think america will judge me based on what i can do for their family. i hope they respect my choice in terms of how i lived my life. it is about our nation. i hope there is a role for single people. >> hunt: colonel lindsey graham, thanks for being with us. we'll be back in just a minute. >> rose: john chambers is here, has been chairman and ceo of cisco systems since 1995. the company i merged as one of the most important players in the internet economy even eclipsed microsoft in 345e6r7 2000 and faced increasing pressure as technological shifts challenge its core business. most recent quarterly earnings however reveal the company's best revenue growth for three years. pleased to have john chambers back at the table. welcome. >> charlie arc pleasure to be
back with you especially after our team at duke won. >> hunt: a tough game against carolina. >> it was. >> hunt: cisco used to be considered the plumbers of the internet because routers were your big business. >> yes. >> rose: how would you define cisco today? >> cisco has moved from what i think, charlie, when you and i first started interviewing almost 20 years ago, we were the plumbers, we were the company that made the internet work, and people came to cisco to say how to use the internet to change business process to close your books, outsource manufacturing, et cetera. what's exciting today is you're about to see the second generation of the internet and bigger than the first by five to ten fold. >> rose: second generation of the internet. >> think of the first one as what president clinton called the information era. he powered the u.s. economy because of that in part. 22 million jobs, 16% growth in gdp, 16% increase in real income
per america. we're now seeing everything is going to become digital. by that, means everything will be connected. >> rose: what does that mean to be digitized? >> exactly witness we do with the internet except everything will be connected. for country, means you will grow gdp 1 to 3% more than otherwise you'll bring broadband to every person in your country. if you do your honor job right means you will be able to be inclusive of minorities, et cetera, in this. as job vacation, you will change healthcare, education traffic and it will, as i alluded to, probably be $19 trillion in profit or cost savings in the next decade. that's the u.s. economy. >> rose: right. so it will be dramatically bigger. >> rose: attributed to the 1% increase in the gdp because it enables you to be more productive and cut cost or contribute to growth? >> all of the above. it will contribute to growth.
with that, there will be disruption. anytime there is an industry disruption, you have certain jobs not as redocument and other jobs that will increase. what we will do is do education that will help people get a job in the new economy and that's what we also announced in france. if you use france as an example or you could use israel as an example and i think germany will follow suit and so will india they think about the gdp growth, the increase in jobs, the new generation of innovation, how do they extend this to every citizen in their country, how do they do security and the neat thing is cisco is in the middle. we're back in vogue, back speaking to the board of directors they're coming to us again. i had to buy them drinks to get them to talk to me. (laughter) now it's reversed. >> rose: you can feel the fact you were no longer as relevant to them as you had been early on in cisco's career. >> you saw that they hadn't bought in yet to the second generation of the internet, everything goes digital every
country. they've now bought into it and we're actually much more relevant because i could not have had this level of discussion with chancellor merkel with president alan and prime minister val ease in franz and india and other players in the world. we're more relevant across all industry bases. >> rose: why are you more relevant. >> we take cloud, mobility collaboration, and we get business outcomes. that can be gdp growth new industry creation, innovation. so if you talk about a wal-mart or a g.e. or deutsche telecom we partner with them in ways we've never done before and instead of selling routers and switches, we changed organization structure and turned our company on its head which others will have to do. this will be a period of rapid disruption. every company will become a technology company. wal-mart will be a technology
company especially in retail. a bank of america will be a technology company specialized in banking. when you talk to a g.e. or a phillips where john rice you know is from g.e. co-chair, and the head from phillips in terms of i.t. they both said we're becoming a technology company and also said strategic partnerships are more relevant in a different way than before, and i knew g.e. would say cisco is their partner and philips would and said the same things. so we're not only back in vogue we're in an area that goes from data centers to routers to security to collaboration. >> rose: there's also cybersecurity. where are we in cybersecurity? we see hackings every day. thousands of attacks every day are thwarted. the government will tell you that and that's probably a low number. we've seen hackers of major companies. sony got a lot of attention but there have been others.
is there defense to cyberespionage and cyberattacks? >> the answer is yes. but the complexity the frequency and the fist case are going up dramatically. i made a statement about three months ago that unfortunately will be right that i said the number of cyberattacks and the damage they do to companies and brands will probably go up exponentially this year versus last year. so if you think -- >> rose: why is that? what's causing this dramatic rise this year? >> well i think it's everything from rogue nation states to organized crime to malicious hackers, disgruntled employees and other factors. so if you start with a high level, everything goes digital. every country, city, company, home, every car and wearable. you say this is how you do innovation. you have to have security across. this is with the bill we did within france and it is their
most ambitious partnership they've ever done with any company -- in fact, i think it might be by multiple factor on that -- security was a huge part of it. charlie, you have to think about security. every customer for us has 40 to 60 security vendors. you look at a c.e.o. and know where i'm going. the bad guys will find the weakest link. our goal is to become the number one security company, make it like the human body. each element to have the network talks to each other and we'll move rapidly so i think we'll be one step ahead of the bad guys and you have to understand the brand duplications if you're wrong on this. so we made a decision to become the number one security company. people smiled and said you're right we're close to that now. it is set up for somebody to own that set of the market. >> rose: you are poised to do that.
>> we are. >> rose: basil said he thinks amazon will be disrupted, he just hopes it won't happen in his life time. >> probably will and in the next two to three years. jeff is so supermarkets though that he will probably see it coming and he will probably adjust. charlie, my competitors from 15 to 20 years ago none of them exist today. 10 to 15 years ago, 5 to 10 years ago, companies many times our size we're now many times their size. if we don't change, we will get left behind. if anybody thinks they will not get disrupted in the next five or ten years, they're wrong. >> rose: everybody will come along. >> uber vs. taxies amazon vs. retail. >> rose: what is the sharing economy doing to our overall economy. >> by sharing?
>> rose: uber. it will be driving, new business models. uber will create different mentality toward an industry and uber is a technology company first, a transportation company second. fast forward ten years. we may not own cars. we may do that on a shared basis with shared drivers. >> rose: especially true with millennials. >> especially with all of us. we may find it's so much more convenient and less expensive we'll all change. >> rose: we'll not own cars, we'll simply share. >> this is where you talk ability industries in transition. if you're an automotive company you have to see it coming and build the flexibility to digitize this. you have to say how will i change my business models if this is 10% or 90% of my volume. cisco says we can help you not only transform your company but provide the technology to enable you to do it at lower cost. >> rose: software software,
software -- is it still? >> no, bill and i had interesting discussions. what bill did with software, what intel did was the packard and i.b.m. did was the p.c. >> rose: apple did it all. they did. we do it all within cisco systems either open or partnership both. that's why you see our margins holding up tbhel an environment that's very very competitive. >> rose: jack was with me. what do you think of him? >> i like him. he literally is kind of like the american dream. he learned to speak english outside an american embassy. he had the courage to start his own company, disrupted the stats quo, he's aggressive, fearless, has done a great job on it, and it's like many things, we'll see if he's as good as i think he
is, when he has his first major disruption. jack welch taught me in the late '90s, said john, you have a very good company. i said, what does that mean? he said you're not a great company yet. i said what does it take? he says it's when you have a near death experience and come back. he called me up at the end of 2001 and said you have a great company. i said doesn't feel like it. jeff basis will go through it well, too. most companies when they go through it 897% of companies will have a serious setback this next decade, only 11% come back from it. >> rose: what influences you the most? where do you depend for your information sources? and i mean by that in terms of what guides you as you make decisions? >> yes. >> rose: for your company. i think we do three things. we think about being
customer-driven. but they'll tell me who to acquire, when i'm doing things right or wrong. >> hunt: what your competition is doing too? >> yes, they will, if you listen. then we say how do we differentiate ourselves. so as an example this last week, i probably met with 50 individual meetings some with government leaders, technology customers, some top financial people in new york in terms of the economic trends they're seeing. when you listen the right way we call the term in europe 3/4 ago. our business went from 9% in europe to 7% this this quarter and russia was 9. we called the downturn in emerging markets a year ago before nobody else saw it. first they said, cisco missed executing but we were very accurate. we called the upturn.
we grew 1% outside of russia, brazil and china but the rest of the markets grew 8%. we called that unfortunately 2007 downturn in the middle of the summer said there's something wrong with the finance industry, nine months later the free fall. we called the upturn three years ago because we saw the enterprise and commercial business grow healthy again. it's a nice way of saying we're indicative of the economy because we're in almost all the markets. >> rose: just quickly around the globe. china will grow at about 7%. what are the implications of that? >> the issue is for china, for the american technology companies and european is how our governments get along and now china is only 3% of my business, should be 10 to 15. if our governments get along, we'll grow well. if our governments don't execute well, we will not. >> rose: india. after modi got elected
double down on india, it's on fire. he's the best example of a leader. he has his country's imagination. he will be a digital india, he's going to do smart cities. he knows how to partner with business. we've doubled down on india. if you watched their stock market especially the last 90 days, on fire. >> rose: russia. i think, again, it's important to separate the political issues from long-term issues. long-term issues you've got to have a stable russia, and this global economy given many of the powers they have. in the short term, it will be interesting to see how our governments work through these give and takes. >> rose: great to have you. fun as always. fun to be back in vogue. >> rose: congratulations. john chambers, c.e.o. of cisco. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: >> rose: richard price a novelist and screen writer known
detective books. he returns with a novel called "the whites," takes a look at new york city cops and the cases that got away from them. pleased to have richard price back at this table welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: stephen king in terms of a blurb on the back of the book, the "the whites" is grim and gutsy and impossible to put down. i began being fascinated and ended being deeply moved. call him price or brandt, he knows everything about police life and plenty about friendship. what your friends do for you and what they sometimes do to you. critics have also been equally full of praise for you. what is it about you and crime? >> i don't know. i'm of the feeling that my instinct has always been to go to an area like the lower east
side or harlem or jersey city and what i get interested in is the panorama of theiary and i take thousands and thousands of notes. how do i get all of this in a book without it being a travel log? what i've discovered if there's a crime in that area, that in some way essentializes the conflicts in that area. if you follow the orderly investigation of the crime, it will give you the spine of a story going through all that mess, and all the people that come to interact -- the witnesses, the victims, bystanders, the police, everyone's families -- you will get an orderly massive picture of a turf and it's the only way
i have been able to -- it's been a boon to me because the last thing in the world that comes to me is the story. >> rose: why do we need harry brandt here? >> it was a mistake. >> rose: you were serious about that? >> it was a mistake of judgment on my part. what i intended to do is write down an utterly stripped-down totally orthodox genre urban thriller, and it was such a different identity for me even though i was dipping into the same pool i always do but the style was going to be so different. it was just going to be about what happens next what happens next. but once i started writing, i realized after 41 years of writing i only know one way to write and the book kept expanding. it wasn't just about the crime and what happens next the
characters kept widening, and the family became alsubject -- family's never been a subject in my books -- >> rose: in the end, you being richard price novelist michael shaban said richard price isn't fooling anyone, it's harry brandt's business, only he could have written "the whites." >> it's like i put on a glass pair of pajamas thinking nobody would know i'm naked. >> rose: it didn't happen did it? >> hm-um. >> rose: when you circle around a murder enough you get to know a city? >> because it's an interaction between the victim and the perp, which represents a certain part of the culture they very often know each other. then the police come in and that's a different class. and if it's an area of middle class and working class and
welfare class they're witnesses. if you just expand -- once again, if you expand the investigation out, you're talking to the guy that owns the restaurant on the corner, you're talking to the chinese immigrant that was walking by. you're talking to people in the projects where the victim lived. you're talking to some kid from colorado that came in looking for a bank job and was bar hopping with his friends. i mean it just metastasizes in a creative way. >> rose: one of the things notable about this is the photographer. >> yeah, i give this guy a job. he's running night watch response to murders between 1:00 in the morning and 8:00 in the morning when there's no active detective squads in manhattan except this bunch of six to eight people you have to respond to. >> rose: photographed murders. yes, photographed disasters
and things. it's a ouija job. you go into a smash and grab, into a strip joint where there is a brawl with visiting pro basketball players so it's that type of job from scene to scene. i wanted it to be ouija with words, not a camera. >> rose: you take a lot of notes before you write. >> yeah. >> rose: but you don't do research. is there a difference in that? >> no, no. for this book, i didn't do any research because i haduch a backlog of incidents and details from 25 years of, you know, basically working the streets, and i thought i'm just going to go to the warehouse and pull out my memories. normally, i'll go out and i'll take stenography notes and by the time i come home i've got a pile of notebooks as big as a
subzero fridge refrigerator. >> rose: when do you start writing? >> usually there's an intervention to get me to start. >> rose: from your editor? because i love being out on the streets so much more than writing. i love anything more than writing. i hate sitting there and getting ready for the levitation act, to leave my body and to go into the body in the land. i mean that's tough work and i try to avoid it as much as possible. >> rose: do you think that's true of most writers, they hate the doing of it? >> i can't speak for other writers. >> rose: you know other writers. >> david, whom i talked about you know the daily ordeal of getting yourself to the desk. i mean, because once you go there, you're not coming back for hours, you know. it's sort of like avatar when they put you in that tanning bed and you wake up and you're a giant blue guy with a tail. >> rose: tell me about some of the characters here. billy graves.
>> he's the head of night watch, sort of at the end of his career 42. 20 years earlier, when he was in anti-crime in the worst part of the east bronx, he was a member of a crew of sneaker commandos, guys that would just run the streets, and it was like the worcester ray. it was the highest homicide rate in new york city, 2200 bodies a year. and these guys, you know, it's frontier justice, and they're decent guys, but it was kind of like anything goes. and it was a horrible time. but it was their salad days and they remember them, if not fondly, they remember that time because it was so intense. then billy and all the others became detectives and life slowed down and a lot of them and billy too, you know went out after 20 years and became other things a funeral
director, a real estate mogul. one guy is a freelance building super. but they all went out, like billy, there was one guy they couldn't nail and this is the one that got away. they either couldn't prove it or in some way this guy skated justice and they took this guy, in that case, into retirement with them, and they all have a white, they all have that one guy. >> rose: what happened to cause him to renew contact? the murder of jeffery benton? >> yeah, well, he's always been in contact with these guys. they kept up contact. they would have monthly dinners. but one of the guys had a white jeffery bannian, and on the might watch they got a call to penn station on st. patrick's night and one of the revelers who was hammered going home was
slashed on his femoral artery, i guess -- i'm not a doctor -- and he died there and nobody saw the guy who did it because it was a big crowd and somebody just walked away afterwards. so when he comes to the scene and sees this guy he's going holy cow, that's jeffery banion, because he had been the white of one of the retired cops, now the white is dead, and he's reaching out to the cops and saying, guess what? you didn't get him but god got him. then he finds out one or two of the other whites left the earth. >> rose: did you find yourself embedded with some groups like the wild geese? >> not with like the wild geese. listen, i spent time with cops -- >> rose: on patrol and everything else? >> preferably not on foot. i'm kind of laysy. but i will be with cops and
spend an equal amount of time if not more with the police, you know, and the people in the communities where police presence is a constant, and whenever i'm with the team i'm with, i'm grateful that they welcomed me into the house of their life, and i'll write about them, if not with advocacy, but with empathy and sympathy, but equally the guy who just got colored and the guy who did the collaring. but it's not embedded. i'm not in love with cops. i'm not a cop groupy. i don't have a police ban radio. i didn't wish i was a cop when i was a kid. >> rose: you make this dedication, to my astonishing wife lorraine adams. on my block, we still play. on my block we still pray. >> well, that's a shadow to my wife because it's a to tupac lyric.
we play where we live. we live in harlem and this is where we live, this is our home, this is our arena this is our passion. >> rose: what is the title -- where does the title "the whites" come from? it's moby dick? >> exactly. the ones who got away are like moby dick, and the guys chasing them, even though they're retired they're like ahabs. so made up a word who referred to each of their devils as the whites so shout out to the white wail. >> rose: the axiom those who go into darkness as a matter of course and duty bring a measure of darkness back into themselves. how to keep it from spreading like a cancer eating at your humanity is a police officer's eternal struggle. it's this struggle that brandt places at the heart of his storytelling another great so-called crime novelist geoff
wine baugh says the best crime novels aren't about how cops work cases but about how cases work cops. that's a good line. >> yes. >> rose: that holds true with fervor in "the whites" because that's about how the case works the cop. >> yeah that these people take this guy who committed some kind of atrocity, and you never know, one man's atrocity is another man's big deal, and rarely are the whites for these guys the persons that had the high -- the perps that had the highest victim count. it's something personal between -- something inside that cop and the scenarios and the story of the victims or something about the perp, they're responding to something. >> rose: what's interesting about this is billy graves. he is the moral conscience of
this. >> she's a regular schmo. he's more treasury in his wife and -- he's more interested in his wife and family than in being a cop. his wife has a very black secret he can never get to the bottom of which is revealed during the book, but the thing is they love each other and they have these, two you know wild indian kids as they used to say. but they love each other. and they were under stress. somebody's stalking them. so yeah, they're going to be hot as pistols and in crisis but never once does either one of them have an existential thought about their marriage or their place in life. all they want is what they have and i have never written about a character who could ever say that, all i want is what i have and that's what they have with each other. >> rose: you've said you're
not a cop groupy, but at the same time you seem to have a real intuitive understanding of cops and their life and what their life does to them. so when you look at ferguson and when you look at places where there have been, you know, a real conflict of between cops and community, what do you say? >> well, it's complicated. i mean for eric garner, there's a video. >> rose: right. there's no second guessing. there's no video of what happened in ferguson. i think it was a bad stop. it was just a bad situation. he says this happened, somebody else says that happened. we don't know. we do know that it's a predominantly non-white town that used to be white that suffered white flight yet kept control of power in that town. you had a police force that was
overwhelmingly white. when that happens, the cops feel like they're in a fort surrounded by indians and they behave that way. they have this thing, they feel like the people around them are the enemy and the people around them feel -- the cops are an occupying army, and when you realize, well, the power is concentrated into white people who barely live there anymore and you have a police force that has so few minority members, you know anything can make it explosive. when cops also take eric garner in staten island, i feel like when police kind of live in the microclimates of their precinct or town and they have a very closed thinking about how to conduct themselves out on the street and it's not challenged
until it is, until somebody has the cell phone. but this is the way their fathers were cops in this area you know it's just like an ethic of conduct in that area. >> rose: you have a lot of ideas, there is urgency in your life to do as much as you can? >> yeah. as you get older, the more urgent it is. on the other hand, on your tombstone, there's only room for one or two books. (laughter) i had a therapist once -- not that i'm not perfectly mentally healthy -- but i had a therapist once who went through a display of all the books sir walter raleigh wrote. nobody knows anything of what sir walter raleigh wrote. and he said, well i'm looking it must have been 100 books, and
i just said all the life wasted, you know. you could have been doing so much else. and sometimes that's the feeling about writing. i mean, somebody said to me nobody ever shot up on their death bed right before they were about to die and said oh my why didn't i spend more time at the office. >> rose: that's true. "the whites" written by harry brandt. anybody who reads the book knows who the writer is. thank you for coming. >> it was fun. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. fabulous february stocks finished the month with solid gains of 5% or more. will the bulls continue their march into march? downsizing dill lem ma. pending home sales may have risen this month but the numbers still relatively weak and baby boomers could be part of the reason why. ticktock. the house tries to avoid shutdown of the homeland security department but it is turning out to be no easy feat. all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for friday february 27th. >> good evening, everyone. the bulls came out of the cold in february and heated up the stock market. the dow jones industrial average and the s&p 500 had their best february