tv Charlie Rose PBS July 14, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
>> rose: welcome do our program, tonight, david sanger of the "new york times" helps us understand the confusing case of the iranian scientist who came to the united states and may or may not be returning to iran. >> charlie, in the bizarre collection of spy stories, particularly after last week's strange story of the russian sleepers, this is sort of the modern update. >> rose: we continue this evening with haiti on the six-month anniversary of the earthquake with deborah sontag of the "new york times" and dr. irwin redlener of columbia university. >> there's hundreds of fapl laez living on the median trip of a very busy highway. they walk out they get hit by cars. the world should move them immediately to some place safer. >> this is not a typical for horrible disasters that happen
in very, very disadvantaged nations because they're very vulnerable before fe vent has happened and that means that the risk to situation deteriorating beyond the imagination is always present and that's certainly been the case in haiti. >> rose: we conclude with a look back at the life of george steinbrenner, the iconic owner of the new york yankees who died today at the age of 80. we remember him with david anderson of the "new york times" and bill madden of the new york city daily news. >> people say should he be in the hall of fame? of course, it should be the first ballot to the hall of fame. a lot of those hall of famers have flaws, too, in their lives. george had a few flaws but overall george is a hall of fame guy. >> george's genius, though, was early on when he was there for... when he signed catfish hunter and reggie jackson and the cornerstone players of those '70s championship teams. he got that from jimmy need
lander, the theater magnate who was his friend from cleveland. and when they bought the yankees needlelander said to him "new york is a city of stars you've got to stars." the caseover an iranian scientist, haiti at six months and appreciating george steinbrenner when we c continue. captioning sponsored by rose communications
from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin with the confusing case of an iranian scientist. he disappeared during a pilgrimage to saudi arabia last year. iran claimed he was kidnapped by the c.i.a. last month he showed up in a series of videos with conflicting messages it appears he has turned up in the pakistani embassy in washington where iran has an intersection. today a u.s. official told the "new york times" that amiri was "one of the sources providing information about iran's nuclear program as united sta of sancti. speaking about the matter for the first time, secretary of state hillary clinton said today that amiri was in the united states of his own free will. many questions remain about the
case and its implications. joining me from washington, david sanger of the "new york times," he's been following the story for the paper for a year and a half. i'm pleased to have him back on this program. so, david (laughs) what's going on and what are the americans saying and what are the pakistanis saying and what are the iranians saying? >> charlie, in the bizarre collection of spy stories, particularly after last week's strange story of the russian sleepers this is sort of the modern update. mr. amiri was a junior-level scientist working at a university which is directly across the street from the offices in tehran that are believed to house the sort of leadership of the scientific program to work on iranian nuclear weapons. he is a specialist in radiation detection. so he doesn't work in the core
weaponization areas that are of most interest to the united states, but he visited a lot of iranian facilities, presumably including some of the covert facilities. and at some point he was recruited and took a hajj, a religious pilgrimage to saudi arabia in june of last year and disappeared from his hotel room. that's when the iranians claim that he was kidnapped, when the americans claim he defected of his own free will. >> rose: who recruited him? >> it appears that he was at least removed from saudi arabia by the united states. but it's not clear if a cooperative intelligence agency actually recruited him. there have been some reports-- which i haven't been able to confirm-- that he was initially recruited in vienna. but he may well have been recruited elsewhere. >> rose: recruited by the c.i.a.? >> well, ultimately turned over
to the c.i.a. it's not clear to me whether he... the initial contact was in... was from the c.i.a. there are a lot of different intelligence agencies that have contact with iranian scientists and most of them are european. there was a very famous case involving a laptop computer that was slipped out of iran five or six years ago and in that case it was the germans who did the recruiting. >> rose: so you've known about this for how long? >> after the reports of his dis appearance happened and after the iranians claim he had been kidnapped, everybody suspected that he was probably in american hands. and he was not able to get anybody to talk to me about any specificity until last december and we've written about him periodically but we don't know how central a player he was to the intelligence that's been collected in recent times about the iranian program. it was unclear whether he was a
small player, a big player, or something in between. what several officials have told she that he was a confirming source on the existence of a number of facilities, perhaps including the one at gupl, the one that was hidden underneath a mountain outside a holy city in iran that the iranians concreted was an enrichment plant under construction. it was not yet put into service. it appears likely that he at least had knowledge of the plant if he didn't visit it. >> rose: so he went tod is, he was picked up, he ended up where in the united states? >> well, we're not entirely certain. but by the time he made his first youtube video last april, he said he was in tucson. now, by that time we believe he had been probably entered into what's called the national resettlement program which is a c.i.a. equivalent of sort of the witness protection program where you can be give an new identity, settled someplace in the united states, given enough money to
keep you out of trouble. the difficulty in mr. amiri's case is that he left a wife and small child back in tehran. and the intelligence communities belief at this point is that at some point he was contacted by iranians who may well have threatened the wife or child if he didn't make up a story about being kidnapped or didn't go along with the iranian story about being kidnapped and return. and that's when the youtube videos started. >> rose: and how many videos are there and what's on them? >> i've only seen three videos. i'm told there may be some more. the first one-- which he said was made on april 5-- looks like it was made from the camera that you would have on the lid of a laptop computer. it's not... [no audio] but in
the second video is... well, he looks like he's on charlie rose, charlie. he's in a very nice studio... >> rose: i wish. >> there's a globe, there's a chess set. and he makes the case in that one that the first video was entirely phony and that he was just a ph.d. student studying in the united states and looking forward to returning home to his wife and child when his studies were completed. and then about two weeks ago, the iranians released a third video that was much more like the first one, had the story of kidnapping and being held
against his will and being led to... he alleges in this that there were efforts to make him try to betray his country. >> rose: and so what do the pakistanis say at the pakistani embassy in washington where he supposedly went? >> he's in an intrasection, the iranian intrasection which is actually separate from the pakistani embassy that's run by the pakistani embassy. it's staffed by iranian nationals. the pakistanis seem to want to get rid of him as fast as they possibly can. remember, all of this would bring up memories of pakistan's role in iran's nuclear weapons program. some of their early centrifuges and designs were all from a.q. khan what took what he learned in pakistan and sold it around the world. so the pakistanis are not particularly eager to be dealing with an iranian nuclear scientist in their mid-nova
scotia the united states. >> rose: okay. but is there any communication from the pakistanis? >> the pakistanis have told us that mr. amiri is trying to make arrangements to return home. secretary clinton said today that she had thought that he was leaving yesterday, that would be before he showed up at the pakistani embassy. but that there were troubles getting permission for him to change planes in different countries. now, that raises t question, had the c.i.a. already agreed to just let him go before he showed up at the iranian intrasection? a senior u.s. official told me there was no effort to try to persuade him to stay and, in fact, the central arguments that the intelligence community makes and the administration makes is that if they had kidnapped him, if they had tortured him, if they were holding him against his will, why was he able to go off and make youtube videos in? and they say the fact that he's allowed to leave the country
freely is evidence he's making these decisions to come and go by his own free will. clearly, there's a deeper and more complex story here. >> rose: does what he said have any impact in terms of the sanctions vote at the united nations? >> i think peripheral to zero, frankly. it's not clear that he provided any specific evidence of iranian weaponization plans. some evidence of the weaponization was shown to members of the u.n. security council before the vote. but most of that evidence, at least as it was described to me, appears to be evidence that has been circulating for some time, at least since 2008 when the chief inspector of the "eyeopener" made a fairly detailed... i.a.e.a. made a fairly detailed presentation to the members of the i.a.e.a.. it appeared to be recycled versions of that evidence which goes back before mr. amiri entered the united states.
>> rose: update us on the sanctions and what they expect to happen from the sanctions. >> well, there are two sets of sanctions, charlie, there's the u.n. sanctions and then the united states and the europeans each adopted individual sanctions of their own which goes significantly beyond what e u.n. sanctions have a list of institutions that are sanctioned behind them and one of them is the university that mr. amiri worked at. it's the only university on the list. it's... american officials say it's a cover for iranian nuclear work being done by the revolutionary guard corps. we've seen two pieces of evidence in the past week that additional sanctions against iran might significantly hurt the country. one is that lloyds of london, the insurers, said it was going
to be very cautious about insuring. refined gasoline products shipping in and out of iran. the second is that some iranian air flights-- not all-- appear to have been trouble refueling in europe. the iranian officials said over the weekend that they thought that the sanctions might slow but not stop their enrichment work on uranium. and most american officials i've spoken to-- and some have spoken publicly, admiral mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff,he the c.i.a.-- they have all said they don't believe the sanctions by themselves will bring about a halt in thee iranian nuclear program. it would take additional steps. >> rose: and what might that be? >> well, it might be the additional pressure that comes from individual countries around the region siding with the united states, with the europeans.
you heard the americans... i'm sorry. you heard the ambassador of the united arab emirates at the aspen ideas festival suggest for the first time that his country would not be at all adverse to seeing the israelis take military action against iranian nuclear sites. that was a public version of something some arab leaders say privately. almost as soon as the words were out of his out in u.a.e. government tried to stuff those words back into his mouth. but it seems that he had said something that is widely heard within the middle east. >> what he said was it might not be the aftermath or the consequences of someone bombing the iranian site may be no worse than the consequences of iran having nuclear weapons. >> that's right. he... but he went a little further than that. he said that it's a balancing test and the way he seemed to phrase it, that the balance might have been in favor... that
there would be less disruption from an attack. now, that's a balancing test american officials talk about often as well but they've always said that they believe the reaction as iran took retaliatory action might be worse than delaying the program by six months or a year or two years. that's the difference between two approaches. >> rose: so when is mr. amiri getting on a plane to go back to tehran? >> it wasn't clear to us, but he seemed to be in some hurry to go get this arranged and somewhat distraught. now, interesting question has been raised with me, charlie, about what happens when he arrives back in iran. now, you'll... 25 years ago there was a very famous russian defector to the united states who bolted from a restaurant in georgetown and returned to moscow. the restaurant was just a few blocks from where mr. amiri
holed up in the iranian intersection. this is a rough neighborhood for the c.i.a. and defectors, it seems. but initially it could be that the... that mr. amiri is treated the way the russian defector was. given all sorts of rewards and honors, put on t.v. shows to spin out his story of being captured, drugged, tortured and so forth. the interesting question, though, is the russians then spent several years treating their own defector as if he might be a double agent and you might wonder whether or not the iranians would think the same of mr. amiri. they also wonder what could happen to mr. amiri's health once the iranians got whatever propaganda purposes out of him that they would. he might just be returned to his family. he might not. it's very hard to tell. >> rose: there's also the story of saddam hussein's son-in-law who defected and then went back and was immediately shot. >> that's right. that's right. so as one intelligence official
said to me today, he said i hope mr. amiri knows what he's doing. >> rose: david sanger of the "new york times," thank you very much. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: we look at haiti this evening, six months ago a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the country. an estimated 300,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were injured. the majority of the 1.5 million homeless are still living in squalid camps and makeshift shelters. in march, international donors pledged more than $10 billion to rebuild haiti but the money has been slow in arriving with only 10% getting into the country. many now say the reconstruction effort is stalled and that the haitian government lacks a rebuilding strategy. joining me is dr. irwin redlener director of columbia university's national center for preparedness, also deborah song tag of the "new york times." her detailed coverage of haitian
life after the earthquake has been some of the paper's most memorable and vivid reporting. i am pleased to have you both here. what's needed? what's happened? where's the future? >> well, where it is is in pretty bad shape at this moment. i think the optimism is that things haven't deteriorated further since the earthquake there hasn't been a major outbreak of disease or security. life in that country has not risen up in criticism of the country. but the ball hadn't rolled further much down the road. people have some shelter over their heads. people have food, supreme access to water. have some access to medical care. but the situation is very, very fragile. their living situations are very fragile. hurricane could come, election season could bring trouble. so a shaky moment.
>> this is not atypical for horrible disasters that happen in very, very disadvantaged nations. because they're very vulnerable before the event has happened and that means that the risk to situation deteriorating beyond imagination is always present and that's certainly been the case in haiti. one of these is the organization of the response, although there was a lot of enthusiasm and obviously a lot of coverage and attention by the media. it started off not well because the opportunity to save a lot of people who were under rubble in the first 72 hours was essentially missed. it took too long to get things organized in the beginning and i think the recovery process is going to be as deborah was saying a very, very difficult ongoing situation. at the end of the day, i think the possibility remains-- and this is why there's reason for hopefulness, that haiti could be rebuilt better as they say.
that proper reconstruction strategy with proper leadership which is key, they could up in some amount of years-- probably than longer than we can think about-- a haiti that's viable and productive and has recovered from this. the meantime we're going to see extraordinary suffering from people waiting for things that won't happen quickly. >> rose: is it a failure of what that there's so much suffering? >> it's a failure that pre-existed the situation itself. this goes without saying. >> rose: the infrastructure... >> the infrastructure... >> rose: made the death and devastation so more severe. >> people were hungry and poorly sheltered to begin with and then you put this size earthquake in the middle of their capital city you get what you got which is a... basically a falling down of
all the buildings and shelters killing off the people. the question to your point, charlie, is could we be in a better someplace that's difficult to say. we could have been in a much worse situation and that country very, very fortunate that somebody of bill clinton's stature and capabilitys is in charge of the recovery efforts. without his leadership there i can't imagine what would be going on. people in these camps covered by tarps and plastic, this 1.5 or 1.6 million displaced, only 28 people have been put back in anything resembling a permanent home. and less that 6,000 improved shelter have been built. there's also some bright lights. for example, people are getting
water. they are getting food. they are getting the tarp type shelter but it's also rainy season now. so it's... i guess you could call it a mixed bag but the mix is toxic still at this point. >> rose: speak to the medical issues. people got good medical care in the aftermath of the earthquake. lives were lost that shouldn't have been lost after the earthquake but tons of doctors poured in from all over the world and strengthened the facilities that are there. and there are a lot of clinics and camps run by international organizations. there are psychiatrists and optometrists and dentists and acupunctureists and people doing many, many different things down there. and there hasn't been... there has not been a major outbreak of disease. so the health issues facing the population were severe before the storm. before the quake.
>> rose: has haiti suffers-- as often happens thereafter's a tragedy, when the media lis there's often less sense of urgency. >> rose: well, i think there's urgency on the ground. and i think there are many, many people there, many organizations from all over the world it's almost overwhelming when you're there. it's as if they're running just to stay in place. and really a lot is going on the government and the international organizations are working really really hard. i would say a large number of people are falling through the gigantic cracks between the humanitarian organizations and the government. there is a feeling that things will static and fragile and on the point of getting worse.
>> rose: do you agree with that? >> i do. we have tremendous media attention. thousands and thousands of doctors are pouring into the country. some can't even get into the country. i knew many american and surgical teams waiting at airports in the u.s. and never could get in to do... to work. the general hospital in port-au-prince is abandoned because there's not enough doctors or medical supplies. there's not enough antibiotics. even the most important the most important medical n.g.o.s like medishare and others are waiting for the ax to fall because they're running out of money and need more support as the attention of the media and the public moves away to oil spills and everything else we get the pendulum going in the other direction.
tlchsz a disproportionately high number of children in haiti so compared to most of the countrys that we're familiar with, the number of people under the age of 18 is significantly higher than many other places. the medical personnel that go in there are often the wrong types of medical personnel. only the first few days or week do we need expert trauma surgeons who do life saving. then we need orthopedists and neurosurgeons. then in a few weeks the orthopedists are wandering around going "what. asupposed to do here?" >> rose: what can you say about the haitian government? >> okay. the haitian government was never... was not very strong before the earth xwak the earthquake knocked out all but one ministry. killed almost a fifth of the civil servants. the government is lame. the president is a lame duck.
elections are being held at the end of november. so it doesn't start from a real position of strength going into this. they mean well and they want to do the right thing but the problem is overwhelming. even to begin working now they have to pull the government out of hock. the government owes money and other countries have been helping the government get its budget on an even keel to go forward. they have had trouble making certain key decisions they need to make to move things forward. because the international community respects the sovereignty of haiti and doesn't want to take over and do things for them but help them along and build their capacity to go forth you hear a lot of complaining from international organizations that are there that we want to help, we have the money to help, we have the people who-to-help, we have the goods to help. but they have to make certain decisions for us to be able to
move forward. they need to identify patches of land that are safe to move people to. people that are in precarious situations right now. there's a scarcity of public land but they have the power to exercise eminent domain and they have been slow to do so. >> there's another problem with government which we see over and over again. we saw post-katrina, for instance, which is that it's their region that has been destroyed many government workers that survived lost family members, their houses, they are working 24/7 and they get post-traumatic stress disorder and they get it fast and hard. the actual functionality of individuals still working in the government as the situation continues to look very, very grim you actually become less functional. so the situation looks almost
hopeless. you're trying to grieve, you're only losses. it puts people in an extraordinarily difficult situation to put one foot in front of the other. >> and they're homeless, too. >> exactly. >> rose: what's the most important thing to be done in the next two weeks, three weeks or snont >> i think to make sure they're prepared for a hurricane. so they need to take a heart look really fast. they have 25 of people living in camps managed by the outside world and 75% who are not. they need to immediately take a look at that 75% and say who would be at immediate risk of flooding or landslides? who is in a situation now that's untenable, unacceptable too the rest of the world. there's hundreds of families living on the median strip of a busy highway.
they walk out of their homes and get hit by cars, the world should move them immediately to someplace safer. >> rose: sean penn is doing what? >> there that's a big story. sean penn has basically moved to haiti with an organization that is very powerful and is taking care of a significant number of people although still a small fraction of the total needs. but he is fully committed to the safety, security, and well-being of a group of people and by his work there, he's been able to observe and have insights that i think have been very germane and helpful. he personally drove a young child around who had diphtheria just trying to find antibiotics for this kid. he drove him around and they ended up never finding antibiotics. >> i have to say everyone down there is doing that regardless of their role.
you are faced on a daily base f.i.s. you're interacting in whatever professional capacity down there with incredible individual circumstances that you need to address, you need to deal with. >> rose: and people are doing that. >> people are doing it left and right. and the frustrating something that a band-aid hire and a band-aid there. and it doesn't chip away at the large... the rubble-filled homeless situation. >> rose: but what does it take to chip away at the rubble-filled homeless situation? >> first they have to get the rubble out. and i actually do not understand why that has been as complex as it is. i understand that there's an overwhelming quantity of rubble that it would take a thousand trucks, a thousand days to haul all of the rubble out if they worked at peak capacity, that there are less than 2 3-00 trucks in the company. i don't understand why they cannot attack that one problem more quickly. i think's this exercise in
democracy that goes on that perhaps slows the process down a little bit. there are decisions that need to be taken that haven't been taken by the government. >> rose: >> and in addition to the government and u.n., there's 10,000 or 15,000 n.g.o.s-- non-governmental organizations-- that have been in the country since the disaster organizing them into some cohesive common mission. very difficult. although it's been pointed out by deborah and others that it's much better than in previous disasters. the point you're making that you're talking about, you're talking about how is the government... why isn't there a solution to something as basic as getting rubble out of the way, which reminds me a lot of why can't we stop an oil gusher in the deep water horizon situation. and i think sometimes what happens is we stumble over our own technology and bureaucracy which ends up being barriers to getting a problem solved so when
we're looking at it from disvance we say or just cap that oil gusher. and it turns out there's barriers that we can't seem to overcome and that's a problem which again brings me back to why leadership there is critical and president clinton's presence there and hopefully others will bring some insight that will say men with wheelbarrows and buckets are stillly not the answer through moving millions of tons of rubble from a city like port-au-prince. >> reporter: president clinton said about the rubble "i've got them working on a thing where they go into a two square block area and there are 20 lots that are devastated, they collect the rubble deshgs industry to it right there on two or three lots whatever you have to do, you clear the others out and let people rebuild by lottery. but if people can see the homes
coming back and we can put many, many more people to work i think this would make a huge difference. >> it might but it's a question of scale involved. it's like when there are 250,000 that were destroyed from katrina. so habitat for humanity, a wonderful organization builds $9 or $10,000. that's good for those $9,000 or $10,000 people that that need to be rebuilt. there are certain times when it takes government in a large way international and national governments to go in in a meg response and fix things. and i think it's also important daisuke that doesn't preclude the notion of having peoplele from the community work bug we have to do both. >> rose: but is it going to happen? are international governments going to see what you just outlined and do it. >> well, the experience again
from many disasters, especially international ones is that the donor community makes the pledges in the bright spotlight of television cameras and when it comes time to pay up, where are they? now we have the specter of a former president of the united states having to run after and organizations that have committed money and we haven't seen it yet. which is why we're having 5% or 10% only available yet of the money that's been pledged. that's the big problem. >> rose: how much lawlessness and violence against women? >> there's unfortunately always... there's violence against women everywhere and there's a history of violence against women in haiti and i would say the issue is under a special microscope right now because the world is there and if an international organization runs a camp they feel more responsible than when they're somewhere else and women are
getting raped in haiti. there's been a lot of attention to the problem and the numbers are fairly difficult to determine but there's no question the general insecurity... there's there is violence against women. >> rose: speak to this notion of the idea that perhaps, perhaps out of this tragedy will rise a bigger and better haiti. >> i hope that would be the case. that starting over means you can build things better. certainly one thing the government has done a very good job with is dreaming a future haiti. its best planners sat down and created a plan for the future that really wipes away everything that was and starts over again and it sounds fantastic. it's hard to imagine them leaping over a mountain of rubble to get there but i hope they do.
>> the world does not do recovery very well, charlie. you look in manhattan we're just beginning to fill that hole in the world trade center site. earthquakes in southern iran, china, mudslides in honduras and to our own country with katrina and the gulf, we still haven't rebuilt the health care system in new orleans it's still a mess and still needs to be rebuilt. and they have just come up with some plan to rebuild that system i think it's going to be a slogging type of work and issues of money and leadership and keeping the world's focus on this. i want to talk about something that is not talked about very often and that's the capacity of reporters, journalists of them to keep the focus on for
newspapers and broadcast outlets. >> rose: it's harder for them to do that? >> it's hard for them to do that when the situation starts looking intractable and the story becomes repetitive. i was there six months ago and now it's the same. or six months later it's still the same... >> rose: the rubble, the rubble, the rubble. >> yes. so the collage is how do we keep the focus going. how do we keep reporters from getting depressed themselves that they don't want to go back there. i think this is an issue we have to face which is about keeping the focus on one of the world's great tragedies. >> rose: deborah song tag from the sontag from the "new york times." irwin redlener from columbia university. thank you for joining us. >> rose: george steinbrenner died after a heart attack in tampa, florida. he was 80 years old. to many he was known as the boss. a larger-than-life figure who turned a team in decline to world famous champions and a global brand.
under his command, the yankees won seven world series titles and 11 pennants when he purchased the franchise in 1973 the original investment was $8.7 million. the team today is worth an estimated $1.6 billion stripe brenner once said "winning the most important thing in my life after breathing. he was a pioneer in the business of modern baseball ownership. when free agency began in the mid-70s he embraced it and used to it lure top players with huge contracts to the bronx. he turned the yankees multiple championships into lucrative deals such as those with cable television and adidas but his rein was neither calm nor his touch light. he clashed often with his players and managers. he fired 17 managers in his first 17 years he was twice suspended from baseball and never pretended to be a good loser. here's an exert from a conversation i did with him on june 2, 1999, for cbs' "60 minutes" 2. >> there were those who said
during the '80s that you drove this organization that george steinbrenner was responsible for the deterioration of a world championship. >> people said that. what do you say? >> well, i say they may be right in some ways. >> rose: so when someone looks back at that time and says george was meddling too much. >> possible. >> rose: possible. he was not listening to other people. he did not... >> possible. >> rose: (laughs) he didn't respect the farm system that had been built up. >> possible. >> rose: he simply didn't know as much baseball as he thought he did. >> totally accurate! >> rose: and steinbrenner admit he is didn't behave well under the circumstances. >> i'm not an easy man. i've never been a good... show me a good loser, i'll show you a loser. that was a very famous statement. one i carry with me all the time. i've never been a good loser and i don't suppose i ever will be. >> rose: joining me now, bill
madden of the "new york daily news." he just published a biography called "steinbrenner, the last lion of baseball." and dave anderson is a sports columnist in for the "new york times." he has covered steinbrenner in the yankees for decades, i am pleased to have this them both at this table at this time. legacy. steinbrenner. >> well, i guess his legacy is he'll go down as probably the owner who had more impact on the game of baseball and in sports than any other owner in history. just by taking a $168,000 out-of-pocket investment in 1973 when he bought the yankees from cbs and turning it into an entity now that is worth $1.5 billion as you said at the top of the broadcast, charlie. there will never be anybody like this guy. he was the owner who roar it had loudest and we'll never see his
like again. >> rose: good for baseball? >> i think he was, yeah. he was good for baseball. he was bad for baseball at a lot of times but overall, yes, he was good for baseball because look what he did for the value of from t franchises in baseball today. i think every other owner in baseball would give a note of thanks to george for what he did in that regard and he was a vision for free agency when it came into effect through collective bargaining a lot of people thought free agency was going to be the rue nation of the game. george steinbrenner saw that it was a way to get the yankees back into the world series in the latest possible way. in the later years he was a visionary when it came to television. he had the foresight to get a record setting deal from the
fledgling m.s.g. network and when that contract ran out he formed his own network and that has been the prototype for every team in baseball. >> the legacy as well, was the yankee empire, the network and very importantly yankee stadium itself good god bless george steinbrenner for keeping the name yankee stadium. it's not kleenex stadium or... well, you know, it's yankee stadium. nobody else... every other owner is trying to sell the naming rights to the stadium... to their stadiums. yankee stadium is still and hopefully always will be yankee stadium. >> rose: what made him george steinbrenner?
>> ego. his ego needed to be fulfilled by winning. finishing second didn't do it. he had to have the best team, he had to be the owner of the best team. the best players, the best manager. whatever. what. >> rose: what didn't he do that might have made the yankees better? >> he would have been better as a person if he'd treated his employees more pleasantly. if he hadn't fired these managers but again that's what... in a way that helped to make him because by changing managers so often you knew the team was sometimes progressing but also sometimes regressing because players didn't know who was in charge half the time but they knew george was in charge. >> rose: they was boss. >> and there were times when that was a negative. but overall when you look back almost 40 years, it's a positive
>> rose: how was he with reporters. >> oh, he loved us. >> rose: (laughs) >> sure. and looking back i guess we can say we loved him. it was a love/love relationship because without george we would have been very bored. >> george was always worth... >> rose: he was the story. >> he was the headline. >> rose: yeah. >> you would say something and he'd call us in the middle of the night to "i'm thinking about firing billy martin." i got that phone call one time. and then he wanted my opinion on whether he thought yogi berra would be a good choice to succeed him. these the kind of things that would happen with george if you were a reporter covering the beat. he would call you all the time and run ideas past you. i guess we were in good company with the cab drivers and truck drivers. so al rosen, george's second general motors-- and detested billy martin-- he said to me
once "the greatest psychiatrist in the world could never figure out this relationship." it was unexplainable other than the fact that it was a love/hate relationship. they were like a wife and husband who couldn't live with each other and without each other. every time he fired byly he felt bad about it and the next day he was thinking about how to bring him back. >> rose: and often he did. >> rose: lou piniella. he was... as you told me before he started he was like a son. >> yeah, i mean lou piniella was the guy that was close... the player closest to george and his biggest regret was firing lou piniella as manager, he told me. lou, of course, went on to make him look bad by winning a world championship the first time out in cincinnati in 1990.
they socialized a lot, their families were very close and he often referred to lou as a... >> rose: he would say it. >> yeah. >> rose: roll tape, here's joe torre on george steinbrenner. >> i like working with george steinbrenner because he does have the passion and he continues to drive you and the players in the clubhouse, even those who may think that george gets on him a little bit too much still would rather play for an owner that will make sure they have the ingredients to win than someone who is going to go by this budget they have. george wants to win more than anything else. he was very supportive. i sat with george in my office in spring training and i said "george, i may have cancer." and he was sort of saying no, you'll probably be fine. always thinking positive in that regard. when i told him it was prostate
cancer he was so supportive. every time there was a doctor's decision that has been to be made or my decision that has been today made he was at an x-ray i had to take. i can't think him enough. >> i've always thought joe torre not only knew how to manage the game and manage the clubhouse and players, he knew how to manage george steinbrenner. >> rose: how did he do that? >> he never openly disagreed with him. it would be eye et privately. he never barked back at him. he just took it and went on from there as if it never happened. i remember one incident where steinbrenner had been screaming to joe and don zimmer and all the coaches for that matter and zimmer was all upset at that and
joe said to don zimmer "zim, if you take his money, you've got to take his nonsense." >> that wasn't the word he used. >> no, it wasn't the word. >> rose: (laughs) >> see, everybody needs an editor. but that was the feeling. that was... >> rose: this is where it began. >> rose: >> how did you know that one? >> rose: zimmer said he was a winner and made the yankees a winner and yankees fans had to love george steinbrenner because he put the best team on the field. >> that's right. >> rose: so he was a friend of the fans? >> absolutely. many of those years some of those players were not very good if they weren't got he got some more. >> rose: by bringing these good players to the yankees, did he maximize their potential? >> >> i would think so. >> rose: so most of them found what they came here for? >> there were a few, especially during the '80s when he was at
his man i can worst when he signed a lot of free agents who just didn't have the makeup to play in new york and that was because he was signing the players on his own and not listening to baseball people who knew the players better than he knew them. george's genius was early on when he signed catfish hunter and reggie jackson. the cornerstone players of those '70s championship teams. he got that from jimmy nederlander, the theater magnate who was his friend from cleveland and was of his original partners. when they bought the yankees nederlander said to him "george, remember one thing, new york is a city of stars, you've got to have stars." and george never forgot that he was always first on line when the big free agents came up, whether it was reggie, winfield down the road and then more recently the players that were the cornerstone players of this
team. >> that was always sunny's credo too, that's why he signed joe namath. >> rose: what about reggie? >> well, that was another interesting relationship, like george's relationship with billy martin. he was in the first free agent class and george had to have him in fact, in the meeting that george had with gape paul, the general motors at the time and billy they had this meeting going over the free agents, his first free agent class and billy was talking about wanting joe rudy and bobby and gabe was agreeing with billy and they finally... they keep talking and talking and finally george says "what about reggie jackson?" well, billy wanted no part of reggie jackson because... and gabe agreed with him that reggie was going to be too much of an "i" guy or a "me" guy and this was a team built around team and
they didn't think he would fit in the clubhouse which was thurman monson's clubhouse. george said "i don't care what you guys say, i want reggie jackson, we need a star. i want a guy that's going to put fannies in the seats. he took it upon himself to recruit jejry. everybody was aside, george went after reggie on his own. he went out there to chicago to meet with him and brought him to new york, wined him and dined him, took him all over the city. it was a whole george reggie circus. this was george p.t. barnum at his best. >> rose: what's the other side of the he ledger? he got banned from baseball because of the political stuff. >> rose: i remember red smith used to say he was a felon. well, he was a felon at one time. george hated that when people used that word. but he got a presidential pardon
so he got that wiped autohis record, but fay vincent suspended him. bill writes a great chapter on that in his book. but i remember fay vincent's edict or his decision and said that george steinbrenner never heeded any special warnings because me never heard them. >> rose: (laughs) >> meaning he had no sensor? no governor... >> exactly. and that was another one of the great descriptions of george steinbrenner. >> louie kuehne had another one. he said george was like the "titanic" in search of an iceberg. (laughter) >> rose: so are the yankees the athletic team of the world? >> i don't think there's any question about that. they have the greatest tradition of any team they had when george bought the team and it's even
greater now, far greater since he's... since he added another seven world championships to that. and we were talking about this this afternoon about how all the great yankees-- ruth, gehrig, dimaggio, mantle. and you have to put george right up there maybe above all. as the greatest yankee figure of all time. longevity alone. but also people say should he be in the hall of fame? of course, it should be a first ballot to the hall of fame. a lot of those hall of famers had flaws, too, in their lives. george had a few flaws but overall george is a hall of fame guy. >> rose: here is one more interpret from the conversation with george steinbrenner "60 minutes" 2 profile in 1999. >> this is my favorite view of the whole thing. >> rose: more most people baseball is about winning and losing and how you handle both.
but not for steinbrenner, he dreams of a game where losing isn't a part of it. are you the guy that says to joe torre "is it possible to win 162 games?" i >> i didn't say that. i said has any team in baseball ever gone undefeatd? he says that's pressure. that is pressure. >> rose: george steinbrenner dead at 80.