tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 5, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
. . ♪ >> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin with a story from today's news -- two gunmen opened fire at the site of a muhammad cartoon drawing contest on sunday night in garland texas. the
event was organized by the american freedom defense initiative, a new york-based group that uses the name “stop islamization of america.” the assailants, elton simpson, and nadir soofi, wounded an unarmed security guard before being killed by a traffic officer. the incident has stirred comparisons to the deadly charlie hebdo attack earlier this year. two armed brothers forced their way in to the satirical
magazine's office and opened fire in response to muhummad cartoons. 12 people were killed, including the editor and several cartoonists. the pen america center will honor charlie hebdo with its freedom of expression courage award as part of its annual celebration of authors from around the world. this has ignited a controversy and several high-profile writers have withdrawn in
protest. two charlie hebdo staffers join us, editor-in-chief gerard biard and film critic jean-baptiste thoret. i'm pleased to have them at the table. welcome. tell me about your reaction to what happened in texas. jean-baptiste thoret: to be honest, i cannot imagine the kind of comparison you can make between the charlie hebdo attack on january 7 and this event. there is nothing to do, no comparison. absolutely no comparison possible. you have an anti-islamic movement, very harsh movement, against the islamization of the
u.s. charlie hebdo is absolutely not the same. it is just the question of criticizing religion -- not muslim people, catholic people it has nothing to do with that. gerard biard: we do not organize contests. we just do our work. we comment on the news. when muhummad was on the news, we drew him out. but if he didn't, we don't. this event, the host of this event, was a famous very right politician from holland.
a well-known racist. we are not racist. historically, we are antiracist. from the 1960's to now, it is one of our main issues. we fight racism and we have nothing to do with these people. charlie: we will talk about many things this evening, but where and how is charlie hebdo today? jean-baptiste thoret: how is it? charlie: yes. jean-baptiste thoret: it is, in a strange way, in good shape. we sold a lot of copies after the event. charlie: how many millions? jean-baptiste thoret: 8 million copies. it was what a lot of people called “the survivor issue.”
january 15, we sold 8 million copies. of course, it is huge. today, it is ok. but we have to rebuild. cartoonists are dead, writers, too. you have to find other ways, find new writers, new cartoonists. it is a very special moment. charlie: what has been the consequences of the event beyond the human toll for france and paris? gerard biard: we felt that people understood what we were doing each week in charlie hebdo.
what values we stand for. charlie: define those values. what are those values? gerard biard: freedom of expression. freedom of conscience. and what we call in france maybe it can be translated secularism. sorry for my accent. [laughter] charlie: i thank you for coming. we can understand. gerard biard: we became sort of a symbol. not only in france. all over the world. i think that is the reason why we are here. charlie: we will talk about the award and the reaction. to see those people in the
streets of paris on that day with political leaders up front was a remarkable show. jean-baptiste thoret: i think there are two ways to see the event, january 11, this huge weekend march. 11 million people in the streets. of course, it is wonderful, as you are saying, to see this stand. this kind of communion. the way that people suddenly understood and react. they felt something important for them had been attacked a few days before. but it is important to say that not all french people were in the streets. it is important to celebrate -- charlie: they were in the streets or they were not? jean-baptiste thoret: they were not in the streets.
at that moment, you had two frances. the france walking in the street on the 11th. and the france that was not in the streets. charlie: what is the importance of the french not in the streets? jean-baptiste thoret: that means for some people, and we have this debate since january 7, for some of the people, we should not draw muhammad. maybe we go a little too far. it is interesting because that is the reality in france and elsewhere. people say it is ok, but you know, it is terrible. charlie: is any of this because of the values you are expressing -- because there is more
vigorous debate of this kind in france than most places? the vigor of back and forth, pushing the envelope, if you know the expression, of freedom of expression? jean-baptiste thoret: it is hard to say. we have this tradition in france. in some of the cartoons and covers of charlie hebdo, we offend or shock people. elsewhere, in the u.s., for example. we have a tradition of criticizing, attacking the ideals. that is very important. never a particular person. that is very important. ideas, institution, left wing, right wing, sports and religion. we have to say that on 500 covers between 2005 and 2015
just seven of 500 were about the prophet. charlie: where were you on that morning? gerard biard: on vacation, fortunately. i was in london. a member of the staff who was not in the office called me. i was just doing my shopping with my wife. and he phoned me and told me you know, i know you are not at work, but i must tell you there has been an attack, a deadly attack at charlie hebdo.
then it all began. my phone rang all the time. rang all the time. i had to know who was injured, who had been shot, who was dead. i did not manage to do it. my phone exploded. finally, i got to the french embassy. they bring us back in paris. only the evening we came back, finally in paris, i knew who was injured, who was still alive and who was dead. charlie: where were you? jean-baptiste thoret: i was in paris.
i was about to take the subway to go to the office. i was leaving the station, maybe 15 minutes. just before entering the subway station, i received the same thing. a lot of texts and messages. my phone rang. at the beginning, i thought it was something personal. when something bad is happening to you, you do not think right away. you do not think your job. you think something happened to your wife, your children. i understood very quickly that something happened to charlie hebdo. people asked me if i was ok, if i was there. charlie: there had been threats and an attack before. in some cases, there was police protection. jean-baptiste thoret: first of all, the former attacks were material. the office and so on.
never the people had been attacked. just material. maybe it is very hard to understand. all the people at charlie hebdo, especially the cartoonists, they are the main targets. because they do not really read the articles. they are upset with the images. you do not have to speak the french language to interpret the cartoon. we were all conscious of the question of security. when we are drawing, very light cartoons with little guys, you are not really prepared for that. a lot of people tell you there are security issues, it can be dangerous, but the other half of
your brain, you do not believe it could happen in this way. you say, we have security guards. we know people all over the world are excited by the cartoons, burning some flag. the cartoon seems such a little thing. charlie: was there much internal discussion about "crossing the line," when you might go too far? gerard biard: there is always a discussion when we choose the cover. we never choose the cover just like that. it is well discussed, debated. generally a collective decision. i do not decide this cartoon
will be on the cover. charlie: a collective decision. a vote? gerard biard: we do not have to vote. charlie: when you look back, would you have done anything different? jean-baptiste thoret: of course not. this question of crossing the line or not is interesting because i think the line is inside you. did i write the right article? you can make a bad cartoon. it happens all the time. but is it a reason to kill people? no. charlie: no one made that argument. jean-baptiste thoret: of course.
charlie: gary trudeau, there have been criticisms of your pen award and support of it. gary trudeau said by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech. this is gary trudeau. gerard biard: so what? the thing you have to have in mind is that we are not attacking weak people. we attack states, powerful
we are not attacking citizens. a political party, not citizens. we are not attacking people. we are attacking ideas and institutions. charlie: this is from the pen executive director, suzanne nossell. from our perspective, the courage is central. the terrain of free speech cannot happen through the barrel of a gun. jean-baptiste thoret: it seems perfectly clear. maybe there is a misunderstanding, confusion. this award is given for courage and principle of freedom of speech. but we embody that, this idea, since january 7. this award is not for the content of charlie hebdo. you can disagree with the content of articles.
we often times, among ourselves, will not agree with one of our colleagues. you have a lot of debate around cartoonists. it is not an award which says all the content of charlie hebdo, all 16 pages of the magazine, we are supporting that. charlie: francine prose said, i was horrified by the tragic murders at the charlie hebdo office. i have nothing but sympathy for the victims and survivors. i despise censorship of any kind and the use of violence as a means of enforcing silence. charlie hebdo has every right to publish what they wish. but that is not the same as the feeling that charlie hebdo deserves an award. the first amendment right guarantees the rights of
neo-nazis to march in illinois but we do not give them an award or admiration for the work that has been done. though i admire the courage with which charlie hebdo has insisted on its right to provoke, i do not think their work has the importance or necessity that would deserve such an honor. this is getting to the award which is different. giving the award is not about you and the issues of going too far. how would you define any limits with respect to islam and muhammad? was there a place where you discussed a cartoon or idea and said, that is not who we are what we want to do? gerard biard: of course. there was a huge discussion when we published for the first time
muhammad cartoons, the danish cartoons, in 2006. we published because one french newspaper called “françois” decided to publish them. the day after the cartoons were published, the editor in chief of this newspaper was fired. so we decided to publish this cartoon with an explanation. we did not publish this like that. ok, anyone sees what they want to see. we explained.
we had to do that. we made the cover. it took hours to draw this cartoon. charlie: it took hours to draw? the idea of the cartoon? gerard biard: yes. so we went with this cartoon to make a difference between islam and islamism. between people, between believers and political views of belief. charlie: do you believe that believers, not islamists, were
offended? jean-baptiste thoret: all kinds of critics produce people who are offended. do you know a safe critic of politics, sports, religion? you always find someone who says, i am offended by what you say or what you wrote. if you are starting to think about the people which feel offended, you will stop writing, stop cartooning. this very famous cartoon now there was a caption in french -- it is hard to be loved by free
people. that means we are not attacking muhammad, not attacking islam. we are attacking a single use of that. charlie: for you, attacking islamists, your words, is no different than attacking le pen. gerard biard: it is the same. it is about politics, that is all. not about religion. we do not care about religion, to tell the truth. we care about political views of religion. because we think it is dangerous to use religion with political aims. but that is it.
charlie: that is not an opinion unique to you. a friend of mine named adam gopnik wrote in the new yorker their work was not for those who like subtlety in satire. it was not entirely to my taste, but they were radically democratic and egalitarian in their views, with their one dislike being the hypocrisies of organized religion. few groups in recent french history have been more passionately marginalized with the political establishment, more vitriolic in their mockery of power. more courageous in ridiculing people of greater influence and power. they were always punching up at idols and authorities. no one in france has been more relentlessly, courageously contemptuous of the right-wing
le pens. jean-baptiste thoret: he is right, of course. the problem, you are attacking institutions, people who have power. maybe we are attacking people making discrimination. and we have a certain obsession about religion, sports. attacking soccer for example. charlie: you mean violence at soccer stadiums? jean-baptiste thoret: the principle of the sport we do not like at charlie hebdo. that is something that we share. charlie: what don't you like about it? gerard biard: in france, it is iconic.
jean-baptiste thoret: it is almost a religion. charlie: a religion? gerard biard: yes, religion. charlie: even the pope has spoken out against you. gerard biard: he is playing his role. charlie: an attack on one religion is an attack on another religion? you are saying it is not an attack on religion. an attack on people who want to hijack a religion? gerard biard: in a way. charlie: what does that have to do with muhammad? can you attack them without attacking muhammad? gerard biard: muhammad is a symbol, that is all.
we also attacked jesus. we make more cartoons about jesus than we did about muhammad. charlie: what do you say about jesus? gerard biard: you do not want to know. charlie: hollande is easy. jean-baptiste thoret: what does that mean, easy to attack? charlie: political figures, le pen. all politicians have, in one way or another, an element of hypocrisy, of ego. jean-baptiste thoret: you have to consider for a satirist magazine, there is nothing sacred. nothing is sacred.
charlie: has this made you bolder? gerard biard: no. charlie: you were already bold? [laughter] gerard biard: what i am about to say is my own opinion. i do not think it is normal to be afraid of violence, of threatening. but it is natural. i do not think, in this case, it is the good answer because if you say, ok, i am afraid, i stop or i go lower, you send the
wrong response to people who did that. you say to them, you are right to use violence. it works. you see? and so, they will use more violence. charlie: because violence has been used, it is no time to pull back. and you say, we will not be silenced by violence. gerard biard: it is my opinion. charlie: the pope said one cannot provoke, insult other people's faith, cannot make fun of faith. there is a limit. every religion has its dignity. freedom of expression has its limits. you responded by saying every time we draw cartoons of muhammad, every time we draw a cartoon of god, we defend the freedom of religion.
god must not be a political or public figure. he must be a private figure. religion should not be a political argument. in the political arena, it becomes a totalitarian argument. democracy ensures peace. secularism allows all believers to live in peace. that is what we defend. gerard biard: if you see where religion and religious people are discriminated, are in jail are killed, generally, it is in religious states. the only way to prevent this is secularism. secularism is the freedom of conscience. anyone can believe or not.
charlie: are you surprised you are getting the pen award? a prestigious association of writers and publishers? are you surprised that 145 writers of the pen american center wrote this letter objecting -- it is clear that a murder of a dozen people is sickening and tragic. what is neither clear or inarguable is a decision for an award for freedom of expression. by honoring charlie hebdo, pen is validating offensive material that intensifies anti-muslim and anti-arab sentiments already present in the western world. that is in the letter. do you have anything to say about this controversy, about giving the award to you, other
than “thank you”? jean-baptiste thoret: we are always turning around the same issues and subjects. first of all, who decides the limit of freedom of speech? it is a very important question. and i think there is no answer or maybe just one. it is a question of intelligence. for me, the real issue is, are you intelligent enough, decent to know what you are going to do? the limit is right here. maybe we could open a school where you can learn to interplay images. so many people see images and do not understand the context.
they do not make an effort to say, what is the cartoon about? if you do this work, this effort, you can see all the debate we have are useless. it is a question of intelligence. it is very important. charlie: you did have a cartoonist that said he would stop drawing muhammad cartoons in response. he was known as luz. he arrived late to the office to see the bodies of his colleagues and later drew a scene that the magazine did not publish. gerard biard: it was not meant
to be published. charlie: an expression of his own? gerard biard: a catharsis. it was the first cartoon he drew after the slaughter. and he had to do it. he had to draw what he saw. charlie: thank you for coming here and sitting at this table. a pleasure to meet you. we will be right back. stay with us. ♪
its mission is to provide audiences with the widest angle view of what constitutes good music. this year, they celebrate keith lockhart 20th year at the podium. i am pleased to have him at this table for the first time. tell me what the boston pops is. keith lockhart: the boston pops is a 130-year-old american arts institution established to do something no other performing arts group did in america, to spread the gospel of symphonic music to the widest possible audience. it was invented from the beginning to play for a wider audience than what was thought of as the appropriate classical music audience. charlie: it has had legendary conductors. arthur fiedler. keith lockhart: there have been 20 conductors, but only three
since 1930. charlie: fiedler. who else? keith lockhart: john williams. charlie: the great john williams. keith lockhart: and me. charlie: why music for you? keith lockhart: i grew up with the kind of parents who wanted to make sure i had the opportunities they had been denied. it was not an option that i would at least not have to explore these things. for some reason, it took. by the time i left high school i was so involved in music it was pretty much everything i knew. i did not have any role models. i was not going into the family business. i thought i was going to be a lawyer. it turned out i could not do that. and i ended up in something i have been blessed to make a living in. charlie: and bringing you great joy. keith lockhart: what an amazing combination. charlie: you had to have talent
to be a good conductor. keith lockhart: every conductor starts life as a musician of some sort. instrumentalist, vocalist, i was a pianist. always enjoyed the process of assembly, putting things together. the coaching aspect. i use that analogy a lot. people do not know what a conductor does. that is the person who takes 80 talented individuals and make them work as a team. the same as a way the coach of a football team would. charlie: people use being a symphonic conductor as bringing all the best elements at the right time together for a sound you are looking for. a general has to do that with his army. a coach has to do that with his basketball team. and an orchestra conductor has to do that with his players.
keith lockhart: it is a wonderful job, the opportunity to add nuance to something already amazing while every player is busy with her specific role. saying, we need more of this less of this, slow it down here. it is creating something greater than the sum of its parts. charlie: how did you get to be the conductor you are? keith lockhart: i do not know. as an undergrad, i was counseled by a teacher who did not want a mediocre pianist. you enjoy the teaching aspects and the analytical part of the job. i explored it a little bit and headed in that direction. i have been going in that direction ever since. charlie: great conductors have a great relationship with their orchestra. they understand the talent, know how to meld the talent, give
direction. keith lockhart: you have to know the individuals involved and how to get the best out of them. charlie: what part do you enjoy the most? keith lockhart: since i was a kid, and was not able to give voice to it, i have always been amazed by the emotive, connective powers of music. they can bring people to tears without the benefit of language. the strong message that music provides. to be able to share that with people is really what performers do. there are two reasons to be a performer. one, what it gives to you, and the chance to share this amazing thing. this huge part of my life, check this out. charlie: this is you conducting the boston pops on july 4, 2014 at the firework spectacular.
met. charlie: you were doing this then. both hands like this. when is it with that and when is it with the baton? keith lockhart: i have not used the baton in a decade. it is a traditional symbol of the conductor's office, and most conductors use a baton, but not all. there are wonderful conductors who have not. i stopped using it because i was having shoulder problems. repetitive motion sort of thing. i did not miss it when it was gone. i used one for the first 20 years of my career. that clip we showed, i was so far away from the orchestra. i was trying to hold these massive forces together in a live performance situation where you go to the traffic cop part of the job. charlie: this is when i conducted the boston pops. i did not conduct.
[applause] keith lockhart: bravo. charlie: so much fun. to be there and hear the music washing over you is really wonderful. keith lockhart: it is the best seat in the house. it is hard to stay on distracted by that amount of sound. just washing by you. eventually, you have to be the causatory force. charlie: you said, just go up, down. what does this season look like?
keith lockhart: this season at symphony hall, it is one of the great boston rites of spring. it is my 20th anniversary season. we are opening with bernadette. an iconic broadway figure. she is always amazing on stage. i had a crush on her in the 70's, now i get to work with her. audrey mcdonald, maybe one of the most talented people i have ever been on the same stage with. we are presenting the music of the beatles slightly after the 50th anniversary of the british invasion. doing “mad men” concerts in tribute to america's love affair with the 1960's as we wind down the adventures of don draper. we are doing concerts for the music of stephen sondheim. bringing sheryl crow for the first time, a lot of interesting
things. charlie: and the concert on boston's river esplanade will be again this year. keith lockhart: my 21st time on the podium for what we like to think of as america's birthday concert. we have 650,000 people showing up to join us. charlie: how many? keith lockhart: 650,000. charlie: for fireworks and music. this was the first orchestra to make tchaikovsky's "1812 overture" a july 4 occasion. keith lockhart: it is our fault. it dates back to the mid-1970's. arthur fiedler was talking to david, the producer of the event, and david asked, what is that piece with the cannons and the bells? fiedler said, that's the 1812 overture. he said, that should be a july 4 thing. now people who do not have a sense of humor go, it is a
russian piece written about a victory over the french. charlie: are there other orchestras like the boston pops in other countries? keith lockhart: elements of. and certainly, the boston pops like so many things in america are based on european models. on the summer concerts and biergartens of germany. and the prom in london. i think the mix of things we do is probably unique among orchestras in the world. charlie: you have said that part of your job is to protect the tradition of live music. keith lockhart: i think, these days, pretty much every performing artist, part of their job is to protect tradition and sell the concept. we live in an age where so many people get their entertainment and cultural information in increasingly insular pods. the performing arts are about
engaging the community and other people to experience art live. to be part of the performance. as you know, in the web-based culture we live in, that is more and more out of fashion but absolute necessary for societal reasons and the survival of the arts. charlie: where does the funding come from? keith lockhart: the symphony of the boston pops are unique among orchestras in that we managed to do close to half of our income through ticket sales, earned income. the rest of the funding is from passionate individuals and corporations to make the community a better place. federal funding has never been a huge part of the arts scene in the u.s. as it is in europe. charlie: since you have been there, how has it changed?
keith lockhart: the easiest story to tell how much the world has changed in that period of time, when i came to boston to take the podium in 1995, i did not have a cell phone or e-mail address. and i was not strained for not having those things. that tells something about how much our expectations have changed. another thing that has changed when i first came to boston, we were selling concerts on the model that arthur fiedler had. it was a tear off strip. we have much more discerning consumers these days. they want to know what they are getting for their money before they make a substantial investment. charlie: do you decide for the boston pops the entire program?
keith lockhart: generally, it is my responsibility for the programming. i have people that work with me to make the programs. the hyannis concert has gone on for years. it was founded by harry ellis dixon. interesting connections in massachusetts. so we work with them to determine something they think will play well for the audience. we had 15,000 people come together in this wonderful old-fashioned american scene with picnic blankets to hear some great music. charlie: you also conducted the bbc concert orchestra. keith lockhart: that is one of five orchestras that are employed by the bbc in the united kingdom. two in london.
this is one in london. the orchestra does many different things. i just finished a tour of the u.s. with them, 14 concerts in 21 days. classical symphonic repertoire. but this orchestra does much of the soundtracking for the bbc. frozen planet, blue planet, that is my orchestra. it meshed very well with the boston pops. and the commute between boston and london is not difficult. charlie: thank you for coming. much success this summer. it is great to be there. i would do anything to be back on stage. but it is really a lovely afternoon. keith lockhart: you should come up. seriously. the best thing about having you there was the only people who failed doing that are people that do not enjoy themselves.
cory: live from bloomberg world headquarters in new york city, welcome to "bloomberg west." i'm cory johnson. here's a check of your headlines. mike huckabee is the sixth republican to declare for the 2016 presidential race. he announced from his hometown of hope, arkansas. mike huckabee: the government is dysfunctional because it is becoming the roach hotel. people go in but they never come out. cory: he also ran for president in 2008 claiming