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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 9, 2010 11:35pm-12:05am PST

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atherings. martinelli's is non-alcoholic, festive like champagne, and tastes great! martinelli's: since 1868. tonight on "nightline," oprah on oprah. with her talk show about to wind down, oprah sits down with barbara walters for a soul-searching interview, addressing those lesbian rumors, her relationship with gayle king >> shoot, i wasn't going to cry here. >> and the man in her life. plus, don't try this at home. >> there it goes. >> as authorities destroy the home of a suspected bank robber, the "nightline" guide on how to blow things up without this happening. and, royal mistreatment. a shocking scene in the streets
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of london. protesters attack a car carrying prince charles and his wife, leaving it badly damaged and the royal couple horrified. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," december 9th, 2010. >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. we begin tonight with a fascinating conversation between two of the most famous women in the world. oprah winfrey and barbara walters. the occasion? oprah's decision to leave her daily television program after 25 years to start her own network. but while part of her legacy is her candor, there are still corners of her own life that have remained a mystery. you may have seen barbara's hour with oprah earlier this evening. now, some of what you didn't see. >> reporter: oprah winfrey.
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her name, iconic. her show, a phenomenon. over the years, she has laughed with us and she has cried with us. 25 years of talk. 28,000 guests. almost 5,000 shows. millions of viewers. a net worth of almost $2.7 billion. and now, she's saying good-bye. after may, she will end her daily television show. >> these years with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond all measure. one of the reasons why i knew it was time to end the show is because the show became my life. and every time i've seen you, you say, you know, you need to give more time to yourself. >> yes, i do. >> the reason why i didn't have children and don't regret having children is because the show
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became my life. i'm so exhausted from that first show we did. we just did a show this morning with -- >> reporter: the viewers, the guests, the idea of expressing what we felt was important information, stories, triumphs, tragedies. it became my life. hi, everybody. good morning. this is our daily morning run. i can't tell you how many times i've done this drive. i think about one day, this will be the last ride that i take. >> reporter: i first interviewed oprah 22 years ago. we talked about her difficult childhood and even then, she knew she had a special purpose in life. >> somewhere i have always known that i was born for greatness in my life, somewhere, i've always felt it. oh, boy, didn't i get beat up for that. >> reporter: yeah, but i knew what you meant, but do you think you accomplished that?
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>> i feel that i'm still in process. i really have to tell you this. that, as great as the past 25 years have been, just astounding, i mean, really, the word awesome does apply. i think it was just the beginning. >> reporter: we've known each other too long. but the accomplishments of your life, from this little girl who had nothing -- oprah -- >> well, i must say, barbara, i do marvel at that. i marvel at how -- i marvel at the grace that god has shown me. i marvel at that. >> reporter: it is hard to imagine television without the daily confessional that the oprah show has been for all
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these years. what is it that oprah has that made it so? maybe the way she has insisted that each person who walks out on the stage look at himself or herself with utter honesty. >> okay, it's hard for me to look at those pictures because i feel like i died as a child. >> reporter: blunt -- >> as i'm reading this, i think, okay, the first time you were essentially raped, on page 108. >> reporter: passionate. >> you are our warrior of the year. >> reporter: intensely empathetic. >> to make herself feel better, she would stand in my shoes and now she doesn't need to do that because she's standing on her own. >> reporter: she's lived the kind of raw truths that she coaxes out of her guests. you are constantly trying to improve other people's lives and to improve your own life. is there anything about yourself that you really want to change? >> i'm too judgmental. i really am. i'm too judgmental.
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and i tend to go on and on about things. and if you've made a mistake, i can't just let that go. i have to, you know, i'm working on not having to say "i told you so." i'm working on that. it's a character flaw. i'm haven't succeeded, but working on that. and i'm quick to judge. i'm too quick to judge, so -- i'm working on those things. i don't know how to read a map, do you? >> reporter: perhaps no other television host has gotten so personal about herself. her relationship with best friend gayle king, a recurring theme through the years. >> just add to that lesbian rumor. >> lesbian rumors. >> reporter: the two have been friends since they met in baltimore, decades ago. when we look back over the 25 years, one of the things that's very brave about you is how much of your personal life you communicated. now -- to me, one of the most
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joyious things about your life is your friendship with gayle king. my favorite program, when you went cross-country and she sang the whole time in the car, you almost killed her. >> after an hour of gayle's concert, i pulled out my secret weapon. ear plugs and headphones, double the protection from all that music. >> reporter: a lot of women have close friends. very few have friends as close as yours. describe that friendship to me. she is the mother i never had. she is the sister everybody would want.
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she is the friend that everybody deserves. ow a better person. i don't know a better person. >> reporter: why is it making you cry? >> shoot. i wasn't going to cry here. it's making me cry because i'm thinking about how much i probably have never told her that. tissue, please. i need a tissue. i've never told her that. because we're not like, you know, you're the dearest friend. thanks. the therapy that i didn't have and the therapy that i don't need is because of my thousands and thousands of hours on the phone -- i realized this the other night. when i was so tired, i could
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not, you know, i'm like, lying in bed, trying to hold my head up, but i was also so exhausted that i realized i was on the phone, a conversation with gayle, and what i realized is, this is how i release the day. i get to release the day by sort of talking it through and talking through, you know, what happened in her day and what's going on and we're talking about politics and we're talking about everything, and i just realized that she is the friend that everybody should have. >> reporter: so, when those, to me, dumb rumors come up, that you -- >> are gay? >> reporter: are gay. what do you say? >> i am not gay. i am not lesbian. i'm not even kind of lesbian. i have many friends who are gay and are lesbian. i'm comfortable being around all kinds of people. and if i were, i would be the
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first person to tell you. with everything that i've shared with the world, and the reason why it irritates me is because it means that somebody must think i'm lying. that's number one. number two, why would you want to hide it? why is it -- is being gay or being lesbian such a bad thing that you would want to hide that? that i would want to hide that? that is -- that is not the way i run my life. >> oprah on her long-time relationship with gayle. when we come back, oprah on her real relationship with stedman graham. [ male announcer ] for frequent heartburn relief,
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just one before meals helps prevent gas before it starts. we return now to barbara walters candid interview with oprah winfrey. she cried while telling barbara about her friendship with gayle king, so, what about her relationship with stedman graham? are they or aren't they? >> reporter: she has been very private about her relationship with stedman graham. the man in her life for more than 20 years. but the two have never wed and have no children. >> i am so glad i didn't get married. >> reporter: really? >> yes. and i would have to say, and he would agree. i was just saying this one day over kitchen counter, well, you know, stedman and i got married, we probably would be divorced. he said, for sure. i went, what do you mean, for sure? for sure, we would have not been
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together. >> reporter: because? >> because with marriage, there are expectations. when you are, first of all, in the position that we are in, and i cannot say that i know of another man, really -- good lord, oprah, stop it. >> reporter: what a tribute to them. >> i do not know of another man on this planet who could have lived this life with such dignity, with such grace and such respect. and humility in it. and still hold his own and be his own. it all began here. own. the new oprah winfrey network. >> reporter: she is also working on what we have called oprah's
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next chapter. her very own network called own. set to debut on january 1st. >> so, i started this year, i said to my producers, this is the year i want to feel everything. i don't want to be the bride at the big wedding and at the end of the day say, what was that? you know? so, i have come through that aisle with the people on either side, i've done, you know, waving hands. i said, this year, i want to remember and feel everything. >> we' we're going to australia! we are going to australia! you and you and you. and i wanted to be able to say to the people who have been with me from the beginning, whose children were in school and came
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home and watched them watch "general hospital" followed by the oprah show, grew up watching them do that, and now those children have children. i want to be able to say to those people, "thank you. thank you. thank you." >> reporter: i've sat in these chairs many times and i can't believe that oprah, chicago, this set, the shows -- >> done. >> reporter: done. >> done. >> reporter: and you're smiling. >> done. and i think done as well as anybody could do it. done as well as anybody could do it. that's what i think. done. >> well, she may be done, but she's far from over. we'll be watching. up next, the art of the explosion. when it's time for a building to go, a lot can go wrong. we kick off a new series, "don't try this at home."
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> well, it's a role hollywood knows and youtube proves. people love to watch explosions. and planned explosions of a condemned building or bridge perhaps tend to draw an audience. the problem with explosions, however, is that things can go explosively wrong. here's david wright with a few memorable examples for our new series, "don't try this at home." >> reporter: a very smart man first figured out that a small
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amount of matter can create a very big bang. so, today in california, you didn't have to be einstein to figure out why everyone was riveted. >> are you believe this story? they're going to blow up this house, folks! >> home packed with explosives is set on fire on purpose. >> reporter: inside this california bungalow, authorities say, was a bomb-making factory. the largest cache of home-made explosives every assembled in the u.s. a bomb factory so big, authorities decided to burn it down, rather than try and diffuse it. >> he had the makings of a bomb lab. he has the precursors to make them. he had detonators, he had these grenades. >> reporter: perhaps it's the legacy left to us by wily e. coyote. when explosives are involved, we
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can't help but perk up and pay attention. we know in our bones there's a chance of something explosive. >> there it goes. >> reporter: in the age of youtube, the pressure is even higher on the bomb disposal guys because so many people are watching. the most dangerous button in this situation isn't always the obvious one. the record button holds perils all its own. just ask the folks in oregon where they are still living down that whale that washed up on the beach 40 years ago. whoever came up with the good idea of adding dynamite to all that whale blubber -- >> oh! >> reporter: got a lot more than they really bargained for. local news loves a good scheduled explosion. during the recent coverage of a
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bridge demolition in illinois, the director of the wgn morning show cut to the weather guy for an update at the crucial moment. >> are you kidding me? >> they missed it. the anchors were not pleased. there's this one that made the rounds on youtube. the very definition of a crotch shot. >> oh! oh! >> reporter: there are lessons to be drawn from some of these videos. how not to light a jack-o-lantern. or inflate your air bag. oh, and when blowing up building? the idea is for the structure to actually fall down. >> oh, there it goes. >> reporter: that doesn't always happen. if it even happens at all. last week, one team managed to knock down a chimney and knock out the whole neighborhood's electrical grid. today's events in escondido obviously are no laughing matter. the suspect appears to have been not just a bombers but a would be domestic terrorist. the alleged builder of this kit, an unemployed soft wear engineer
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from serbia, who is also, allegedly, a bank robber. his estranged wife told reporters he's crazy. >> he's crazy. i think he lost his mind. >> reporter: the scene today sure was a spectacle. the cast of characters worthy of a building detonation reality tv show. authorities literally stumbled on the bomb factory three weeks ago after the gardner tripped on a home-made land mine. so, today, they evacuated the neighbors, closed off the interstate, erected 15-foot blast walls around the site and set about as carefully as possible burning it down. >> so far, we're hearing a lot of snap, crackle and pop but not the big bang many people feared. this procedure has been postponed several times now because authorities needed the weather conditions to be just right. they wanted that smoke to rise straight up in the air so as not to endanger the neighborhood. >> explosives were not the only danger.
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escondido is wildfire country. sure enough, the blaze hopscotched some big trees next door. but firemen were on hand to put it out. the good news? in a matter of hours, the house was no longer a threat to anyone, never mind the fire may well have consumed important clues about the bomber's intended targets. authorities aren't saying much on that score. as a news event, today's big bang was a bit of a bust. generating far more heat than light. i'm david wright for "nightline" in escondido, california. >> story of the best laid plans and human folly. when we come back, a capitol hill meltdown. that's the subject of tonight's closing argument, but first here's jimmy kimmel with what's coming up next. >> jimmy: tonight, john krasinski, rosemarie dewitt, music from crystal castles and "this week in unnecess
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time now for tonight's closing argument. capitol hill boiled with


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