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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  May 15, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> morely safer: here we are, on board the good ship dandahayloo, bound from mali to furudu. >> steve kroft: tonight-- >> safer: how did we get to this? >> kroft: morley safer. >> safer: they really go after you. admit it, you got a temper. >> how rude to bring this up, morley. >> kroft: a reporter's life. >> safer: morey safer, cbs news. >> morey safer? >> safer: yes? >> how are you? >> hi, morley. >> kroft: in front of the camera. >> i really don't like being on television. >> kroft: and back stage. >> i was jealous of you. >> safer: jealous of me? >> yes. >> safer: goddamn it, we're in the middle of these guys. we seem to be pinned down by snipers. >> kroft: he's tough. >> hey, hey. >> kroft: tireless. >> i trusted him. >> terrified. >> kroft: celebrating a life on television.
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>> i'm morley safer. i'm morley safer. i'm morley safer. >> kroft: "morley safer, a reporter's life" on this special edition of "60 minutes." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ life is a sport. we are the utility. the new ford escape. be unstoppable. i to the acidity in any foods.ht never thought about the coffee i was drinking having acids. it never dawned on me that it could hurt your teeth. he told me to use pronamel. it's going to help protect
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these are not all the possible side effects of opdivo. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including immune system problems, or if you've had an organ transplant, or lung, breathing, or liver problems. a chance to live longer. ask your doctor if opdivo is right for you. bristol-myers squibb thanks the patients and physicians who participated in the opdivo clinical trial. >> steve kroft: morley safer has worked in television news for 61 years. he's spent 46 of those years on this broadcast, longer than anyone else. as a traveler, he holds some sort of record, taking planes, trains, boats, even bicycles to the ends of the earth, often visiting more than once. by the time he was 35, he'd covered news in europe, the
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middle east, africa and southeast asia. it's fair to say that nobody alive today has seen as much and reported on it as brilliantly as morley. he's retiring now. and no one here is happy about it. simply by example, he's made the rest of us better journalists. his writing is the best in the business. his toughness and kindness and sense of humor are legendary. you'll see why in this hour. >> morley safer: this is morley safer reporting. this is morley safer. >> kroft: when he first spoke those words on television, dwight eisenhower was president. >> safer: it all began when an officer-- >> kroft: morley and television news grew up together. >> safer: the question remains: are the american people prepared to lose more and more young men in vietnam? the revolution, the original chinese revolution. >> kroft: across the continents and across the years, he covered a huge range of stories. >> safer: last night-- >> kroft: for some, his slightly old-fashioned name took some getting used to. >> walter cronkite: ok. what's his name? morley safer.
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right. got it. >> safer: my name is morley safer. >> kroft: but eventually-- >> safer: i'm morley safer. >> kroft: -- it became a household name. >> safer: i'm morley safer. i'm morley safer. i'm morley safer. >> morley safer? >> safer: yes, himself. >> how are you? >> safer: very well. >> hi, morley. >> ms. piggy: hi, morley. how are you? >> kroft: everybody wanted to meet morley. well-- almost everybody. >> safer: in a sense, what you're saying is that-- >> kroft: in a business that's fast-moving and sometimes cutthroat, he survived and prospered. either outworking, outfoxing, or outliving everyone else. and always... >> safer: did you murder those patients? >> no! >> kroft: trying to get to the bottom of things. >> safer: what goes through your mind? are these companies ashamed? what do they do down there? they really go after you. admit it. you've got a temper. how did we get in this fix? all right. >> kroft: like all of us, he's got his contradictions. he swears in all seriousness
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that looking into the camera lens, as he's done for six decades, is not his thing. >> safer: i really don't like being on television. i find it intimidating, discomforting. it makes me uneasy. it is not natural to be talking to a piece of machinery. but the money is very good. >> kroft: contradiction number two. though morley is impeccable in dress, manner and thought, his office has always been a shambles. visitors are shocked to see it. an avalanche of books, on art, on history. old newspapers. old scripts. remembrances of stories past. the cleaning crews were often horrified. >> jeff fager: they found a piece of cake behind his desk from like 20 years ago, and a couple of dead mice. ( laughs ) >> kroft: jeff fager is the boss at "60 minutes." he and the rest of us spent many hours in that splendid mess, listening to morley hold court. >> fager: he loves being a reporter. he has always loved being a reporter. you get that when you're around him. it rubs off on you.
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>> kroft: from the beginning, morley went to great lengths, literally, to find an offbeat story. >> safer: here we are on board the good ship dandahayloo, bound from mali to furudu. >> kroft: there he is, 37 years ago, sailing the indian ocean to a tiny island called furudu, having the time of his life. >> safer: it is on rare days like this that you must ask do they really pay me to do this. yes. >> kroft: it turned out there wasn't much happening in furudu. but it really didn't matter. the story was just getting there. ♪ >> kroft: and there he is three years ago, out in the middle of nowhere again: a tiny town called marfa, in west texas: cattle country. a place where cowboys live in peace and harmony with artists and hipsters. >> buck johnston: i mean, it's nutty. it's just this cultural little hub in the middle of nowhere.
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we think it's the best small town in america. >> fager: morley's stories were always an adventure. and sometimes into places that people couldn't imagine going. >> kroft: in 1977, viewers traveled with him on the fabled orient express. paris to istanbul. he found out that somewhere along the way, the train's romantic reputation had gone off the tracks. >> safer: the train that once carried only first class passengers now is made up almost entirely of second class carriages, carrying turkish migrant workers home. >> tom brokaw: he's such a natural. he's so good at it. when you watch him, you're just pulled in. >> kroft: morley's friend, tom brokaw of nbc, thinks there's a key element to his success. >> brokaw: you have to be who you are. he did not take himself so seriously that he seemed like some kind of a phony. when he was on television, he was morley safer.
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and his interests and his intellect and his humor all came through. and people saw that. >> kroft: especially the humor. morley likes to laugh. and america laughed with him. >> heel. >> kroft: he profiled barbara woodhouse, the famous and slightly dotty british dog trainer. >> barbara woodhouse: left hand in front, mrs. field. >> safer: she had the voice of an angry regimental sergeant major. >> halt! >> mary: she would say "it's time for walkies! " >> woodhouse: walkies! walkies! >> safer: the dogs would just snap to attention. >> woodhouse: that was excellent. >> ms. piggy: is your wife here? >> safer: no, she's not. >> ms. piggy: great. >> kroft: interviewing the muppets, he was hit on by that femme fatale, miss piggy. >> ms. piggy: morley, could i see you later? thank you.
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>> safer: i must say, she's a fascinating woman. she can be very, very aggressive but very sexy at the same time. >> ms. piggy: i thought "60 minutes" was a high class show. >> kroft: morley was at his best working with producer john tiffin. two politically incorrect guys who loved doing wild and crazy stories. in 1993, they went to a tango club in finland, of all places. wondering: how did such a hot blooded dance wind up in such a cold-blooded place? >> safer: the finnish tango is not to be confused with the groin-grinding, passionate latin american version. the finns have managed to neutralize all that. it's a sad shuffle in a minor key, with lyrics to reaffirm a couple's instinctive sense of hopelessness. >> fager: humor's one of the hardest things to do on television. but in a subtle way, morley accomplished it on a regular basis. >> safer: could it be that the true secret of happiness is a
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swift kick in the pants? and not only that... >> kroft: he's always had humor. authenticity. and a sharp eye for the absurd. >> safer: to an outsider, these shows are another planet part dazzling part rocky horror show. models who seem as angry as they are emaciated, wearing clothes fit for a cadaver. >> kroft: but morley insists there's one element above all that's crucial for great television. >> safer: what you're aiming at are people's ears more than their eyes. the impact is what you're saying, not so much what they're seeing. >> kroft: in other words, the writing. up until fairly recently he did it the old-fashioned way, on a royal instead of an apple. turning out scripts that were rich in elegance and insight. >> safer: he stares down from the podium like some benevolent bird of prey. eyes staring past that great beak. >> kroft: his writing is very much like music. whether he's profiling a man of music, conductor michael tilson thomas...
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or a man of the cloth. >> safer: timothy dolan is hard to miss. this burly, overweight, cherubic irish-american charges through life like a holy bulldozer. >> timothy dolan: where you been? >> safer: and always ready to refuel. >> dolan: stick around. give me a cold beer. ( laughs ) >> kroft: or writing about a great name from history. >> safer: in the french countryside he loved, on the very edge of the wheat fields he painted so vividly, here lies vincent van gogh. >> david mccullough: he knows how to make every sentence count without being pretentious. or showing off. >> kroft: historian david mccullough is another typewriter man who knows a thing or two about writing. and he's a big fan of morley's. >> safer: this is where she grew up-- southwest d.c., guns made the music of the street, drugs were the currency, and the violence was not operatic.
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>> mccullough: his narration, his story gave to whatever the camera was showing a depth and a human value that it wouldn't have had if anybody else had been doing it. >> safer: in your most idle moment are you hearing music? >> it's a 24-hour radio. >> this ought to be some fun to drive. >> kroft: when he was off the clock, morley liked the feel of fast cars, especially his ferrari, and was still leaning on the pedal well into middle age. and he was game for other manly pursuits. ♪ >> kroft: one of his most famous profiles was with television legend jackie gleason. >> jackie gleason: and away we go! >> safer: the producer of that piece, alan weisman, did something absolutely brilliant. we did it in a bar. >> gleason: now rack them up.
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>> kroft: gleason had played the legendary pool shark minnesota fats in the movie "the hustler." and he knew his way around the table. morley figured he would get creamed. but... >> safer: i suddenly was hitting these brilliant shots. >> fager: he was on fire during that shoot. he almost ran the table. >> gleason: hey, hey! >> kroft: but gleason rallied and won. >> gleason: you like that one pal? >> safer: please. >> kroft: though so-so at pool, he's really good at cards. profiling sam simon, one of the creators of "the simpsons" t.v. show, morley made a little money in a hollywood poker game. little did the others know that when he worked for cbs in london, he bought himself a bentley with his poker winnings. >> tom brokaw: poker players are tough. and there's no sentimentality about it. and when i heard that morley was a very good poker player, that said to me, "this guy's a tough guy." >> kroft: and when it was called for, he could do a tough interview. asking alec baldwin, the actor,
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about the infamous voicemail message he left for his young daughter. >> baldwin phone call: i don't give a damn that you're 12 years old or 11 years old or that you're a child or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass. >> safer: how could you do that? >> alec baldwin: you get so frustrated. and you realize, number one-- and it's wrong, it's totally wrong- that i was really speaking to somebody else when i left that message. >> safer: but you weren't talking to another person. you were talking to your daughter, to a kid, and you said "you thoughtless little pig." i mean, i find it hard to utter the words. >> baldwin: did you ever lose your temper with your kids? >> safer: yeah. but nothing like that. >> baldwin: if you're asking me do i feel bad about leaving that message, i think that goes without saying. at the same time, i'm pretty overwhelmed by the sanctimoniousness of people who seem as learned and sober and together as you are who all said to me, "man, i'm glad they didn't tape some of the things i said to my kids."
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>> safer: you feel the shame? >> ruth madoff: of course i feel the shame. >> kroft: ruth madoff. the wife of wall street scam artist bernie madoff, who cheated his clients out of billions of dollars. >> safer: it's a tough name to live with. >> madoff: it sure is. >> fager: and he was very respectful, but he was tough. it was morley's human side. he's asking a question on behalf of all of us. >> safer: it's really hard for people to believe that you didn't know, that you must have known. >> madoff: i can't explain it. i mean, i trusted him. why would i ever think that there was something sinister going on? >> kroft: it's worth noting how many of morley's best interviews were with women. >> meryl streep: oh, this is my high school yearbook picture. oh god. >> kroft: he simply found them more open in conversation than men. meryl streep. >> safer: she was fascinated by the classics. >> streep: and i loved carole lombard and i loved kate hepburn and bette davis.
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and barbara stanwyck. i like girls with attitude. you know? moxie. there's an old word. >> safer: do you feel like a legend? >> katherine hepburn: i don't think you feel like anything you feel like a bore. >> kroft: he had interviewed katharine hepburn 32 years earlier. talk about moxie. >> safer: if you hadn't been an actress what would you have been? >> hepburn: i've never thought. i would have tormented some man i suppose and had about eight children and tormented them. >> safer: hepburn scared the hell out of me. >> hepburn: what the hell is it? >> safer: a granite woman-- >> hepburn: bunk! >> safer: in her opinions and her character. >> kroft: there was anna wintour, editor of vogue magazine. the fashion arbiter with a reputation as fearsome as hepburn's. >> safer: the blurb on your unauthorized biography reads "she's a perfectionist. an inside look at the competitive bitch-eat-bitch world of fashion." >> anna wintour: a bitch?
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perfectionist? perfectionist. well let's try bitch first. >> dolly parton: you want me to ask me to sing it or you want me to just wup it out for you? >> safer: just wup it out for me. >> kroft: dolly parton. she and morley got along famously, to say the least. she wrote a song called "dumb blonde," which people in the music world found she definitely was not. >> parton: you know i look like a woman but i think like a man. and in this world of business, that has helped me a lot. because by the time they think that i don't know what's going on, i done got the money and gone. >> betty ford: i don't feel unliberated when i'm sitting here talking to you. >> kroft: he interviewed first lady betty ford. >> ford: didn't the fact that i had the cancer operation and the publicity of that save a lot of people's lives? >> brokaw: when he talked to accomplished women, he wasn't patronizing in any way. here was a gentleman who appreciated their gifts and put them at ease. >> helen mirren: morley, could you? >> safer: of course. >> fager: helen mirren fell in love with him. and i think he might have fallen in love with her. ( laughs )
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>> kroft: a veteran of movie nude scenes, mirren suggested to morley: let's get naked. >> mirren: you should try it. >> safer: well, no. >> mirren: yes, i think we should do this interview both of us in the nude. you would love it. go on. >> safer: well, what the hell. >> kroft: their encounter had a hollywood ending. >> safer: we both looked over and saw this ridiculously beautiful sunset. and just instinctively held hands and walked into the sunset. >> kroft: morley's curiosity, a key element in journalism, included a fascination with how things work. >> safer: we're looking at the future. >> colin guinn: and then i can spin around us. >> safer: and whether we like it or not, the future is looking back at us. >> kroft: he's always been up for a story about a new gadget or a backstage look at how familiar things are produced. he went to the philadelphia mint to see, literally, how money is made.
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>> edmund moy: we're making a couple million pennies a day. >> kroft: he went to hollywood to watch director james cameron put the finishing touches on his blockbuster "avatar." >> james cameron: we're going to have to push that smoke element back. >> flavorist: this is a home run. >> kroft: and he spent time with the flavorists. >> flavorist: strawberry creations. >> this is a chicken flavor. >> kroft: people who put together chemicals that taste like real food. >> this is the chicken in the hose. >> safer: chicken in the hose? >> and it comes out in a dry cake form. >> safer: chicken just like grandma used to make. what is growing here? >> kroft: he kept up with new discoveries in science. >> this is actually an ear mold. >> kroft: marveling at one of its latest miracles: an artificial heart valve, grown in the lab from human cells. >> safer: it's beating! >> kroft: marveling as well at a young scientific genius. >> safer: this is jack andraka, age 15, as he beats out 1,500 contestants and wins a $100,000
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prize with his invention. a test for pancreatic cancer that could save lives. >> kroft: another life saver: forrest bird, inventor of the modern medical respirator. in the tradition of great american tinkerers, he made his prototypes from scratch. >> forrest bird: i went to the hardware store and got a doorknob. you can see this doorknob right here at the top. >> kroft: morley found bird so fascinating he started talking-- only half jokingly-- about doing a series of reports titled "geezers you should know." >> marty cooper: i said, "joel, this is marty cooper." >> kroft: for geezer number two he chose marty cooper, the man widely considered the father of the cell phone, here recreating the first call he made years ago on his little phone, as he put it. >> safer: little phone? what are you talking about? little phone. >> cooper: well, relatively small. i mean, after all, it only weighed 2.5 pounds. >> colin guinn: let it just, let it keeping going. >> kroft: and he made an historic find of his own.
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>> safer: on our sunday in the park with drones, we discovered that man never needs to exercise the dog again. just sic the drones on him. it ends here. >> kroft: 61 years on the air. covering everything from the cold war to cyberspace. >> safer: come on! >> kroft: with great perception and wisdom. >> safer: ah ha! >> kroft: and humor. >> fager: it's the range, i think, that is most impressive about morley. i mean, i don't think anybody in the history of broadcast journalism has a body of work as significant, as varied, as large and as impressive as morley safer. with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® works differently than pills. and comes in a pen. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c.
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it's taken once a day, any time. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® works with your body to lower blood sugar in 3 ways: in the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas. vo: victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza® has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza® is not insulin. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include itching, rash, or difficulty breathing. tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck. serious side effects may happen in people who take victoza®, including inflammation
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of the pancreas (pancreatitis). stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back, with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are headache, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans. and with touch id it does way more than unlock your phone. it logs you into things, like your bank account. see what i mean? it checks you into your flight. ooop, your phone! it pays for stuff like... (mouth full) doughnuts. how about chew then talk. it unlocks things for you. it signs documents for you. hey, you bought a boat!
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i bought a boat! i just said that. and it does this. yeah, it starts your car. so now we're just starting cars with our fingerprints. just. whoa. julie chen: the first asian-american to win an olympic gold medal for the united states. celebrate sammy lee. >> steve kroft: at the outset of world war two, as canada joined
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britain and france in declaring war on nazi germany, morley was a seven year old kid in toronto. the safer family had struggled through the great depression: reading was about their only affordable pleasure. morley followed the war news in the papers, and also discovered the writings of ernest hemingway, the novelist, adventurer, and war correspondent. hemingway became morley's hero. and by war's end, an idea took hold that he couldn't shake: living the life of a foreign correspondent. >> surrender. the great news of the century. and in canada, as across the world, both wild elation and sober thankfulness. >> kroft: after the war, morley took up sports in high school and read more hemingway. he went to college, but only for a few weeks. he dropped out. he had other things on his mind. >> morely safer: i wanted to be a reporter. i was young and i was restless and i wanted to get out and do it. >> kroft: he got a job on a
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small town newspaper, and bounced around the business for a few years, sharpening his skills, and learning the essentials of newswriting. >> safer: certainly respect for the language. keeping the mush out of the story. and getting to the heart of it very quickly. >> kroft: when he was 24, a door opened that would change his life. he was hired as a television news writer at the cbc, canada's premier broadcasting network. >> safer: they had trouble getting good people. because no one in newspaper journalism considered television real journalism. and that was my view of it too, by the way. but i must tell you. within about two weeks, i... "god, this is really fun." the predominant feeling among the europeans in central africa is that time is running out. >> kroft: and soon enough, he was a foreign correspondent, the job he had dreamed of. >> safer: at this moment i'm standing in east germany. >> kroft: his passport filled up quickly. from his base in london, he
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covered shooting wars in algeria and cyprus. he reported from budapest, tel aviv, amman, damascus, rome. for morley, the college dropout, the world was his university. in late 1963, he took part in a cbc discussion of the year's events. one of the other reporters on the panel was angling for a job at cbs news. and sent this tape, as an audition. >> safer: i would like to speak for a moment about the possibility of a brushfire war. >> kroft: but instead, it was morley who caught the eye of the american network's executives, who hired him to join the prestigious cbs bureau in london. >> safer: so i really felt that i had joined the yankees. >> edward r. murrow: hello, america. this is ed murrow, speaking from london. >> kroft: morley would be following in the footsteps of edward r. murrow. >> murrow: just telling you what i'm seeing. >> kroft: the cbs man in london during the war years. a hero to countless listeners for his vivid accounts of the
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nazi bombing of the city. >> murrow: there are no words to describe the thing that is happening. the courage of the people, the flash and roar of the guns rolling down the streets, the stench of the air raid shelters. >> kroft: by the time morley got to cbs, murrow had moved on. but his mystique remained. >> safer: my desk was murrow's desk. murrow's old world war two cbs desk. so there was a lot of baggage. i mean, wonderful, positive baggage. somebody once called this... >> kroft: but he had barely settled in london when a war 6,000 miles away drew him in. a cbs executive in new york called to say "you're going to vietnam." >> safer: and he said "it'll just be for a couple of months. i'm going to leave it open-ended but we'll call it three months because this thing's not gonna last. >> kroft: he soon learned otherwise, arriving in saigon in early 1965.
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as more american troops came in, and more coffins went out. >> safer: there was clearly an enormous buildup going on in terms of a ground base for a major american commitment to this war. i mean, it was in the air. it was, you could taste it. goddamn it, we're in the middle of these guys. we seem to be pinned down by snipers. >> kroft: he did three tours in vietnam, reporting in language as spare and direct as hemingway's. >> safer: it was almost like looking at old newsreels of korea and the pacific war. the same young-old faces, the same shattered landscape, the same agony. >> david mccullough: there was a compassion to what he was saying. but there was a melancholy. there was a sadness to it. >> safer: behind me, over here-- >> kroft: he barely survived a helicopter crash on the edge of enemy territory. and had plenty of reminders of the random nature of death on the battlefield. interviewing a young man whose
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tank was about to take a direct hit. >> safer: take care. seconds later, the boy is dead. blown to bits when the tank exploded. >> joe stringham: tomorrow, we are going on operation matchstick. >> kroft: 51 years ago, joe stringham was an army captain commanding a green beret special forces unit when he and morley first met. >> stringham: he was all business and he reported what he saw. nothing staged, nothing phony. >> kroft: he went out with stringham's unit of american and south vietnamese soldiers, searching for the vietcong. >> safer: there's no such thing as a safe patrol. no such thing as a routine day. >> stringham: beastly hot. it's dusty, it's hard work. and there's one other thing, they were carrying a ton of equipment. got a lot more stuff than we were carrying. >> safer: operation matchstick slogged through the streams infested with leeches. >> stringham: morley was right in back of me, every step of the way. i had to do it. he didn't.
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>> kroft: morley would come under enemy fire several times in vietnam. the first time was with joe stringham's unit. >> stringham: morley, he was cool as a hog on ice. ( laughs ) >> safer: the end of the long road back to ben cat. >> kroft: back at base camp, after walking for ten miles a day, all morley wanted was some water for his feet. >> stringham: he was brand new at the thing, with soft feet. ( laughs ) >> kroft: a friendship had been born that's lasted a half a century. >> stringham: he is a very cool guy. >> kroft: in august of 1965 came morley's most controversial report. it started as a routine mission with a company of u.s. marines. >> safer: i was talking to a young captain, and i said, "where are we going, what are we doing?" and he said, "a place called cam ne. we are going to punish this village." i had never heard that word before, in that context. it first appeared that the
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marines had been sniped at and that a few houses were made to pay. as we came in, the guys started lighting up. with matches, with lighters, with flamethrowers. and they were clearing these people out. and torching their houses. this was not like any operation i had ever been on before with american troops. or with any troops anywhere, quite honestly. this is what the war in vietnam is all about. it smelled very wrong. the old and the very young, the women and the old men who remained will never forget that august afternoon. >> kroft: many americans were shocked at what they had seen. >> brokaw: he was tearing the cover off about the pacification of the citizens of vietnam. you know, we were always going to make them our friends. but then, we were burning down their huts at the same time. >> kroft: at the white house, president johnson and his advisors were enraged. morley found himself in the
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administration's crosshairs. >> fager: the president of the united states wants you fired for your reporting. that's tough. that's really tough. >> safer: there were allegations that i was a kgb agent. that i was a well-known communist. >> brokaw: he was not the morley safer of "60 minutes" at that point. he was a grunt correspondent for cbs. and i think that made him a larger target, if you will. >> kroft: but cbs stood behind him. his career flourished. and a few years later, he was checking in for a flight from london to new york, for a new assignment: becoming morley safer of "60 minutes." never one to waste time... >> one right over the middle. >> kroft: --he shot part of a story about airline security. >> safer: just how safe is it to disarm a gunman on a plane? i'll show you. a funny thing could have happened to me on my way to this broadcast, but it didn't. >> kroft: for morley, "60 minutes" was a gamble.
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the broadcast was finding its way, the ratings weren't great. >> mike wallace: i'm mike wallace. >> safer: i'm morley safer. >> kroft: 46 years later... >> safer: i'm morley safer, those stories tonight on "60 minutes." >> kroft: ...he holds the record for the longest run ever on primetime television. in a moment, lesley stahl with our favorite morley stories. ex. with cricket, you get an unlimited plan on a bigger network for $65 a month after $5 auto pay credit, and monthly taxes and fees are always included. looks like t-mobile's not all it's cracked up to be. and now for a limited time, switch to cricket and get a $50 bill credit. cricket wireless. something to smile about.
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>> leslie stahl: to mark morley's retirement, we added up all the stories he's done for "60 minutes": a grand total of 919. if you strung them all together and watched for eight hours a
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day, it would take nearly a month to see everything. so here's a shortcut. we're going to show you some of morley's favorites. and what some of his friends consider his greatest hits as well. starting with a remarkable trip back through time. this story was called "market street." about a film taken on san francisco's main thoroughfare over a century ago. >> david mccullough: that one film opens the door to us into that world of san francisco right on the eve of the earthquake. >> stahl: to historian david mccullough, there's something magical about seeing the people in an old film like this. >> mccullough: and they're moving those people they're not still in the photograph they're alive, they turn and look at you, they're real. >> stahl: for a century, no one knew exactly when the movie was made. but film historian david kiehn looked at license plates, weather forecasts, old newspaper clippings, and figured out it was taken five days before the 1906 earthquake that nearly
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leveled the city. >> safer: the odds are some of the people you see had just days to live. >> stahl: and because of one man's curiosity, a mystery was solved. >> mccullough: which is largely what history is about. it's a detective hunt. >> stahl: 24 years ago, billy bulger was the most powerful politician in massachusetts. a natural for a morley profile. >> jeff fager: incredibly colorful, articulate, smart character. >> stahl: back then, jeff fager was a young producer working with morley. the bulger story is one of his favorites. >> fager billy was president of the massachusetts state senate, and a real boss. brother was a mobster. he was the direct opposite. you know, fluent in greek and latin. a real scholar. >> stahl: bulger loved to bash the press. >> billy bulger: i mean, who the hell are they? >> stahl: and that included morley. >> bulger: morley's going to be good to me, aren't you morley? that's how they all start out,
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i'm your pal. what is it? >> safer: just remember i'm editing it. >> bulger: grab your camera and get out of here. >> fager: we loved that. it was pure fun. >> stahl: there was a story called "the french paradox" in 1991 that got tom brokaw's attention. >> tom brokaw: in our household, our favorite story was about red wine and how it was good for your health. >> stahl: research suggested that despite all the high fat content in their cooking, the french had relatively low levels of heart disease, stemming perhaps from their fondness for red wine. >> safer: the explanation of the paradox may lie in this inviting glass. >> stahl: scientists have debated the issue ever since. but there's no denying that red wine consumption in america took off after morley's report. >> brokaw: i think he probably got more calls that sunday night than any other cbs correspondent
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had ever gotten about, "oh my god, thank god, ( laughs ) you know you did it all for us." >> stahl: one of morley's favorites was the story he uncorked about the antinori family of italy, winemakers since the year 1385. >> safer: people use these wonderful words to describe taste. there's personality. what else? >> the elegance. ( laughs ) the wine has to be elegant. >> safer: their domain stretches from the legendary vineyards of tuscany and umbria to their property in california's napa valley. antinori is perhaps the oldest family business on earth. >> brokaw: one of the things about morley that we were all conscious of was that a lot of his journalism was about vacation. ( laughs ) he would find an assignment that would take him to rome at the right time of the year or to paris at the right time of the year. >> stahl: and who could blame him? he had paid his dues. and as long as the story was a good one, why not? he loved the museums of paris. the beauty of the city, and the french landscape.
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♪ but he really loved italy. the history. the food. the operatic nature of the italians themselves. ♪ in 1987, he went to casa verdi, the home established by composer guiseppe verdi for old opera singers. >> safer: erma collasanti, mezzo soprano. age 70. giuseppe manacciti, baritone age 83. i have never been in a situation where there were so many egos bouncing off the walls. ♪ each person i spoke to here said they love this place, but each one wondered what all those untalented others were doing here.
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♪ >> stahl: the story is one of morley's all time favorites. >> safer: the years may have damaged the vocal cords. they have done nothing to diminish the spirit. >> stahl: he explored the colosseum in rome. reporting on the massive effort to clean up the landmark, scrubbing away centuries of dust and grime and auto exhaust. and he had a rare tour of the vatican library, an historical gold mine. books, maps, coins, priceless manuscripts going back a thousand years or more. >> safer: it's one of the really great experiences. the sense of touching history is overwhelming. >> stahl: but it almost never happened. the night before shooting was to begin, a cab backed into morley and knocked him flat on his face. he looked terrible.
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sunglasses didn't seem appropriate at the vatican. so a movie makeup artist was summoned, and worked on him for two hours every morning. and he looked fine, as long as the camera wasn't too close. >> safer: vincent was enormously proud. >> stahl: morley loves art. he knows art history backwards and forwards. and he's always been a weekend artist himself, doing paintings, drawings, etchings. even pictures of boring hotel rooms he's stayed in over the years. but he's always found some aspects of the modern art scene laughable, and said so in a 1993 report. >> safer: recently, a vacuum cleaner, just like this one and the one down in your basement, was sold for $100,000. also, a sink went for $121,000 and a pair of urinals for $140,000. >> i was giving a definition of life and death this is the eternal. >> stahl: his premise was that it's gotten to the point where
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just about anything can be palmed off as art and sold to people who have money to burn. >> safer: this one, a canvas of scrawls done with the wrong end of a paint brush, bears the imaginative title of "untitled". it's by cy twombly, and was sold for $2,145,000. and that's dollars, not twomblys. the response, the outrage here in new york was extraordinary. i couldn't believe it. it's a white rectangle. >> right, he's a minimal artist. >> safer: i would say so. >> fager: the art world went crazy. crazy. he still feels it. they don't like him for it. >> stahl: but he wears the criticism as a badge of honor. it's another of his favorite stories. >> safer: i stand by everything i said and will say it again at the drop of a brush. >> stahl: but the story he's most proud of was a 1983 report
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on a man named lenell geter, arrested in texas for a holdup at a kentucky fried chicken. >> lenell geter: one of the officers placed a gun in the back of my head and said "if you move i'll blow your head off." >> stahl: geter, an engineer by trade, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. >> geter: i consider myself a hostage in the house of injustice. >> safer: the more we started to check it out, the more this story and conviction just smelled to high heaven. >> stahl: even eyewitnesses to the holdup agreed. >> safer: is that the man that held up the kentucky fried chicken? >> no. >> safer: is that the man that held up the kentucky fried chicken? >> no sir. >> stahl: the questions raised by the report played a major role in getting geter's conviction thrown out. morley considers it his finest moment. >> geter: when "60 minutes" ran their segment, i was out within about seven days. and i was able to pick my life up, marry my college sweetheart.
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i wouldn't have a family had he not taken the time to come down there and take a snapshot of my experience, which was a travesty of justice. he saved my life. before i had the shooting, burning, pins-and-needles of diabetic nerve pain, these feet played shortstop in high school, learned the horn from my dad and played gigs from new york to miami. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is fda approved to treat this pain, from moderate to even severe diabetic nerve pain. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet.
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don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. and these feet would like to keep the beat going. ask your doctor about lyrica.
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>> kroft: back in the swinging '60s, when morley was a bachelor based in london, his pals doubted that he would ever marry. bulletproof, one of them said. he proved them wrong in 1968, marrying jane fearer. his best man was his best friend, john tiffin, who produced more than a hundred of morley's reports. as for jane, she's been his protector, intellectual sparring partner and biggest fan for going on 48 years now. their daughter, sarah, grew up to pursue freelance journalism and photography. there are three grandchildren. and they all went on safari in africa a few years ago. and morley, of course, knew as much or more about the place than the tour guides. now, it's time to retire. for those who truly love their
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work, the decision to hang it up is often difficult. and so it's been with morley. and so it was with his colleague and sometimes nemesis, the late mike wallace. morley once compared their troubled relationship to two scorpions fighting in a bottle. and when mike retired ten years ago, morley interviewed him. >> mike wallace: it's been a long time. >> safer: it has been a long time. >> kroft: it was a strange and salty encounter. hard to tell, at times, who was interviewing whom. >> safer: do you feel it's time to maybe pack it in and reflect or... >> wallace: reflect about what? >> safer: whatever. >> wallace: give me a break. reflect? what am i going to reflect about? >> safer: you know, you're right. >> wallace: about the fact that i'm not working? >> safer: ( laughs ) you're absolutely right. >> kroft: from the start, there was often bad blood between the two: fighting over stories, not speaking for months at a time. >> wallace: when i wanted to do a story, and you wanted to do a story, and it's the same story, and... >> safer: and i come into the office the next day, you're out of town doing the story.
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>> wallace: you mean to say something. >> safer: it happened more than once. >> wallace: what story? >> safer: i'm not going to go into details. >> wallace: oh, please, no, no, no. >> kroft: they were frienemies for years. great pals, except when they weren't. >> safer: how did you feel about me coming? uh, intruder? somebody you could push around? >> wallace: oh, no, no, no. on the contrary, i was so far ahead of you. i mean, everybody knew me. who the dickens was morley safer? >> kroft: morley finally got mike to fess up. >> wallace: i was jealous of you. i was jealous of you. >> safer: jealous of me? >> wallace: yes, i'll tell you why. because you had done so much in vietnam. i mean, superb reporting. and you wrote gorgeously. >> kroft: they talked about the pressures of travel, the weeks and months away from home and the family. >> safer: do you feel guilt about that? i know i certainly do, all the birthdays that i missed and all of those things. i still feel very guilty about that. >> wallace: you feel guilty about it? >> safer: yes. >> wallace: of course. >> kroft: it ended on a
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heartfelt note. >> wallace: and the fact of the matter is that i love you, respect you, admire you. >> safer: it's been a very bumpy and satisfying road, though. >> wallace: that's exactly right. >> kroft: in closing, we'll try to avoid sugary sentimentality, or as morley put it, the mawkish and the maudlin, two very morley-esque words. he chose them all very carefully. at "60 minutes," he developed a new way to tell stories for television, not just with language, but with a leisurely pace and a sense of style. he was an original voice. there has never been one quite like him. literate and urbane, he is a romantic at heart who believes in old fashioned things like honor, fair play, civility and courage. he once wrote a letter to then cbs chairman larry tisch telling him he was ruining the news division. morley never got a reply, but he didn't get fired either. you cannot overstate his importance to this broadcast over the past 40 odd years.
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