tv 60 Minutes CBS October 24, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> ...families with small children. >> pelley: never have we had a recession this deep with a recovery this flat. these are the faces of unemployment in america: people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who thought they'd done everything right-- earned a degree, stayed with their company, saved for retirement. i'm curious-- how many ph.d.s in this room? and how many of you went to college? how many of you have cashed out your 401(k)s? i.r.a.s?
savings accounts? how many of you are beginning to feel a little bit desperate? >> logan: what do you love about them? >> just everything. >> logan: we share more than 98% of our d.n.a. with chimpanzees, and jane goodall was the first to understand that we share much more than that with them. >> it was obvious watching them that they could be happy and sad. and then, the communication signals-- kissing, embracing, holding hands, shaking the fist, swaggering. they're just like us. >> kroft: there's nothing on television quite like "top gear." it's one of the most popular shows on the planet. each week, 350 million viewers in 170 countries tune in to watch extravagantly filmed segments, usually involving some
kind of motorized vehicle-- part reality show, part buddy movie, part monty python. >> i am an alien! >> it's a journey into the male mind, which i believe is a really, potentially, very funny place. because, let's face it, nothing happens there. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." how smart is the new ford edge? well, it can show you the most fuel-efficient route to where you're going.
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>> pelley: the economic jam we're in has topped even the great depression in one respect: never have we had a recession this deep with a recovery this flat. unemployment has been at 9.5% or above for 14 months. congress did something that it's never done before: it extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. that cost more than $100 billion, a huge expense for a government in debt. but now, for many americans, 99 weeks have passed and there is still no job in sight. some have taken to calling themselves the 99'ers. we went to several communities in search of the 99'ers. but we didn't expect to find such a crisis in silicon valley, the high-tech capital that many people hoped would be creating jobs. if you want to understand why the economy is stalled, come to san jose, california, and talk
with 99'ers like marianne rose. >> marianne rose: i remember it coming close to, like, six months. i was saying, "i can't believe i'm out of work this long." then, the year mark hit, and i just started just panicking seriously. now that it's over two years, i can't believe it. i just... i can't believe it. >> pelley: marianne rose was a financial analyst at a real estate firm. age 54, she's single with a grown daughter. after being laid off with about 100 co-workers, she spent her savings, lost her home, and finally found herself sitting in a truck with her dog and all of her possessions. she made a desperate call to a friend, and found refuge upstairs in the home of strangers, her friend's brother and sister-in-law. how long did you think you would be in here? >> rose: two weeks, really. that's all i thought. >> pelley: how long has it been? >> rose: it's been six months.
it's been six months and not really an end in sight, yet. >> pelley: what sort of things would you be willing to do at this point? >> rose: well, i can say that the... probably the lowest level position for me has been now to apply for a clerk, a county clerk, and i just realized the competition is pretty stiff out there. there's actually four positions that were open. i found out there were over 2,000 people that applied for those four positions. >> pelley: marianne rose is one of at least a million and a half americans who've exhausted their unemployment checks. >> 15 people-- no more, no more than 15-- come up here and line up across. if you're number 16, you're too late. >> pelley: now, silicon valley, the capital of american innovation, has a new creation, revival meetings for the unemployed. >> i had been running very frightened for the last two years. and i finally realized, you know what?
i will find a job. i will find something that will fit me. >> pelley: on weekends, they come by the hundreds. we joined a gathering in a church called "job connections." it's part how-to-find-a-job workshop, part networking opportunity, with the feel of a 12-step program. >> so i applied and i got a rejection letter, and i was actually happy, because most of the time, i don't even get a rejection letter. ( laughter ) >> you had your hand up. >> i've been having a lot of success with non-profits. >> pelley: these are the faces of the unemployed in silicon valley. people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who thought they'd done everything right-- earned a degree, stayed with their company, saved for retirement. i'm curious. how many ph.d.s in this room? one, two, three, four... several. now leave your hands up. how many masters degrees? oh, boy. and how many of you went to college?
everybody keep your hands up if you have a college degree, a master's degree, or a ph.d. how many of you expected to retire from the company where you were working? more than half the room. how many of you have cashed out your 401(k)s? i.r.a.s? savings accounts? how many of you are beginning to feel a little bit desperate? it's on the edge? how do you mean? >> what's next? >> pelley: what is next? >> i don't know. the abyss. >> pelley: a lot of them are too young to retire and, maybe, too old to rehire. the longer they're out, the tougher it gets. judy thompson was marking the time before she loses her home. >> judy thompson: three months maybe, and i've been in that house since 1982. i don't want to move.
>> pelley: where you going to go? >> thompson: i don't know. i'm trying not to think that far ahead. but anyway, didn't mean to get emotional. sorry. >> pelley: that's... that's all right, judy. thank you very much. thank you. sara huber may lose her family business of 23 years. >> sara huber: everything's gone, and we can't survive because these people can't survive. >> pelley: because these people don't have jobs, they're not coming to your business? >> huber: the equity lines are frozen, right. people don't... they don't have credit. there's nothing there. >> pelley: how long can your business go on? >> huber: we're going month to month, literally. i'm praying for more work. >> pelley: jim wild has been applying for jobs two years. >> jim wild: i've gone though the tier one companies. i've gone though the tier two companies, and now i'm down to target. i just got a job offer from target to work a part-time job at $9.50 or $9.25 an hour. >> pelley: what's that job? >> wild: it's just floor sales. >> pelley: what was your job before? >> wild: i was a fiber optics engineering manager.
>> pelley: he's taking the job at target, and he's glad to get it. these folks aren't that unusual. today, nearly 20% of the unemployed in america have college degrees. silicon valley lost its jobs in construction, manufacturing, and in high-tech engineering that went overseas. san jose looks the same, but it shrank by 75,000 jobs. this building is empty. so is this one, and this one, too. the national unemployment rate of about 9.5% sounds incredibly high, and of course it is. but it doesn't nearly capture the depth of the trouble. it doesn't count the people who've seen their hours cut to part-time. it doesn't count the people who have quit looking for work. if you add all of that together-- the unemployed and the underemployed-- it's not 9.5%; it's 17%, and here in california, it's 22%. >> ...families with small children.
>> pelley: and what makes it so much worse is that, nationwide, one-third of the unemployed have been out of work more than a year. that hasn't happened since the depression. >> welcome back, my friend. there you are. >> pelley: this is the soup kitchen in san jose. many of the folks here used to think that they could see all the way to retirement. but now, long-term unemployment is wrecking years of saving and planning by people like lisa and doug francone. doug was a $200,000-a-year personnel executive. you must have thought that you'd get another job pretty quickly. >> doug francone: yeah. it really didn't cross my mind that i wouldn't find something. the question was trying to take the time to find the right job. >> pelley: you'd have a job in six months, a job that you liked in six months. and how long has it been? >> lisa francone: two years and three months. >> pelley: they'd saved for retirement, and college for their son and daughter. but most of that is gone.
>> doug francone: the unemployment checks were tiny. i can't remember what they were, but... >> pelley: it was about $470 a week, something like that. >> lisa francone: $475. >> pelley: $475-- she knows exactly what the number was. >> lisa francone: yes, i do. >> pelley: lisa, what were you doing with $475 a week? >> lisa francone: well, by the time we paid benefits, we had enough to pay a bill or two, but certainly not meet the mortgage or property taxes or groceries. >> pelley: now, their son is going into the military instead of college. selling the house will be next. >> mark, shut it down. bring me the vacuum. >> pelley: doug took matters into his own hands. he created jobs for him and his son, buying a franchise that cleans air ducts. he spent his 401(k) on this. but there hasn't been enough business to make money. >> doug francone: i don't want to come off like "oh, you know, woe is us." there's other people struggling
a lot worse than we are. but it's certainly very different for us. >> pelley: you're surprised to be in this place. >> doug francone: oh, absolutely. yeah. shocked, really. >> pelley: like the francones, four and a half million americans have taken hardship withdrawals from their 401(k)s. with savings gone and unemployment checks exhausted, many are coming to charities, including the c.a.l.l. primrose center, a pantry of free food. >> vera, tell me how many you'd like to have. they're organic... >> pelley: mary watts has run c.a.l.l. primrose for 11 years. before the great recession began, you were sending out how many bags of groceries in a year? >> mary watts: when i started in '99, it was 4,000 bags a year. >> pelley: and now, it's what? >> watts: its going to be 32,000 to 35,000 bags this year. >> pelley: you know, these people coming into the pantry now, they must look like professionals. >> watts: oh, absolutely. yes, absolutely, professionals. career professionals, people that never, ever would have thought they would be coming in
our door, other than perhaps as a donor. >> pelley: this is where we met claudia bruce. she was an office manager making $70,000 a year when she was laid off. now, her 99 weeks of unemployment checks are running out. she never imagined she'd need free food. but then, she never imagined she would be picking out trash to sell to the recycler. >> claudia bruce: you do what you have to do. i'm not delighted, but i'm happy to have the money that it provides. >> pelley: the day before you were laid off, what was your lifestyle? >> bruce: i was a shop-a-holic. ( laughs ) yeah. i was trying to reform myself, but there's nothing like losing your job for a long period of time to completely reform a shop-a-holic. >> pelley: your car has turned into a garbage truck. >> bruce: pretty much. petty much. >> pelley: how long did it take you to collect all this stuff?
>> bruce: over a couple of days. >> pelley: she's learned a lot doing this. glass pays more than cans. and she has to be quick to beat the neighborhood homeless guy to the good stuff. how much do you figure? >> bruce: $28. >> pelley: $28. >> bruce: maybe. >> pelley: what did it come to? >> bruce: $33.81 >> pelley: $33. >> bruce: personal record. ( laughs ) >> pelley: did you ever think that $33 would mean so much? >> bruce: no. but then, i never thought $5 would mean so much, either. >> pelley: claudia bruce has applied for hundreds of jobs, from office manager to clerical work. she's had four interviews in two years. she's managed to keep a small apartment, with help to pay the rent. >> bruce: i do get some help from my mom. >> pelley: how old's your mom? >> bruce: 83. >> pelley: and so, she's helping you out even now. >> bruce: yeah, she... i'm her baby still, you know. >> pelley: you didn't expect to be her baby at this point in your life. >> bruce: absolutely not. i thought i'd be helping her, now; that she wouldn't be helping me.
>> pelley: her benefits will end when she hits 99 weeks soon. no one is expecting congress to vote another extension of unemployment checks, given our historic budget deficits. as government benefits run out, a lot of people are depending on kindness to take their place. marianne rose lived with her friend's brother for seven months, insisting on cooking and cleaning to earn her keep. in recent days, she found a job in a public school. it'll pay about one third what she used to make. it's the best thing to happen in two years, but it's little and late. do you imagine getting your lifestyle back? >> rose: no, because now, i would have to worry about, you know, my old age, rebuild a nest egg, pay off my debts that i have. that has to happen, so no, my lifestyle will not be the same ever.
>> cbs money watch update. >> good evening. the government plans to announce the first ever fuel efficiency rules for trucks and buses tomorrow. gasoline rose another 5 cents over the last two weeks to an average 2.82 a gallon. and para normal activity 2 won the weekend box office. i'm randall kingston, cbs news.
>> logan: humans share more than 98% of the same dna with chimpanzees, which is probably why there's always been a fascination with them. what we know of them is mostly because of one woman whose name has become synonymous with chimps: jane goodall. she was launched to fame by "national geographic," whose
stories about her life in an african forest with chimpanzees made her an iconic figure. she was the first to discover that wild chimpanzees were capable of making and using tools, a revelation that turned the scientific world upside down, challenging the convention that tool-making was what made humans unique. 50 years later, jane goodall considers her role now to be more important than ever, which is why we wanted to go back with her to africa. there's only one way to get to the gombe forest-- by boat. >> jane goodall: the hills there, you know, which are like a desert now? when i arrived in 1960, in july, those hills were forest. >> logan: we traveled with her across lake tanganyika, the longest lake in the world, and then into the forest which jane goodall called home for decades. she first came to tanzania, to this stretch of tropical forest on the remote eastern shores of
the lake to study chimpanzees, when she was 26 years old, a young girl from england with no scientific training-- just a notebook and binoculars. how would you describe what it was like 50 years ago? >> goodall: it was a kind of magical place where i never knew each day what i might see or discover. >> logan: we followed the forest trails for hours through the towering trees and tangled vines, searching for jane goodall's chimpanzees. then, that unmistakable sound... ( chimp squealing ) that led us right to them. oh, look at that little baby. >> goodall: it's pretty amazing, the entire family. >> logan: jane instantly recognized her favorite family, three generations right there in front of us. she's followed this family for 50 years and gave them the names they're still known by today.
what do you love about them? >> goodall: just everything. >> logan: this is little google. at nearly two years old, he's one of the youngest here. and his mother gaia, who jane's known for 17 years. his grandmother is gremlin. jane says she's one of the oldest and most gentle chimps in the forest. she's known her since she was born, in 1970. jane, jane. >> goodall: yeah. i can hear. >> logan: who's that? >> goodall: glitter. >> logan: 12 year old glitter is little google's aunt. today, the chimps are so used to humans, they don't mind getting close. but since it's now known that chimps can catch our infectious diseases, we had to keep a safe distance. when jane arrived here in 1960, she had the opposite problem. at first, the chimps didn't want to come near you. >> goodall: yes, first, they were afraid. then, they became belligerent. and then, when i wouldn't go away, well...
( laughs ) "i guess she's okay." they came to trust. >> logan: that trust allowed jane to enter the world of these wild animals, and the personal details she spent years documenting today constitute the largest scientific database in the world for this species. >> goodall: it was obvious watching them that they could be happy and sad. and then, the communication signals-- kissing, embracing, holding hands, patting on the back, shaking the fist, swaggering, throwing rocks. all of these things done in the same context we do them. >> logan: how did you see their sense of humor? >> goodall: i've seen a mother laugh when she hears her older child, who hasn't paid attention and he hasn't noticed which way she's gone. and the older child is going through the forest, whimpering, crying, you know... ( imitates call ) and the mother's up in the tree, quite quiet. and you hear her going...
( imitates chimp laugh ) just laughing. >> logan: can you make a greeting? >> goodall: let me get in the mood of doing the pant grunt greeting. yes. ( pants, grunts ) and the laughing, which is ( imitates chimp laugh ) and can get quite loud. >> logan: it does sound like laughing. >> goodall: yeah, it does sound like laughing. it is laughing. >> logan: we spent 12 hours in the forest with jane goodall, before we witnessed firsthand what made her so famous. chimpanzees use sticks as tools to fish for termites. her discovery was initially received with some skepticism. >> goodall: some of the scientists thought i had taught them. >> logan: that would have been quite an achievement.
>> goodall: especially as i couldn't get near them back then. it would have been very clever. >> logan: with the discovery came research funding from the national geographic society, and fame. >> in 1960, miss jane goodall arrives in tanzania. her discoveries here will startle the scientific world, and lead to the possible redefinition of the word "man." ♪ >> goodall: the films and the... and the magazines took this early footage all around the world, but particularly to the u.s. >> logan: it changed everything. >> goodall: it changed everything. yeah. >> logan: and made you world= famous. >> goodall: the chimps made me famous, yes. >> logan: we watched some of those old films... >> goodall: that is such a famous shot. it was so amazing. >> logan: ...images that captivated the world. >> goodall: there was definitely a bit of beauty and the beast. i mean, i know that.
this young girl... i see myself back then, when i look at myself. and i... yeah, no wonder the men fell in love. >> logan: look at you, you're barefoot here. >> goodall: yes, that's figan. >> logan: what's he doing? >> goodall: playing. we didn't know back then that chimps caught all our infectious diseases. there wasn't any feeling of doing anything wrong. it was amazing, incredible to be able to have that relationship with wild animals, wasn't it? >> logan: yes. >> goodall: yeah. >> logan: it was jane goodall's childhood fascination with animals that brought her to this remote corner of africa to study them. did you have a real sense of purpose when you landed on the shores? >> goodall: no, i think i had a real sense of adventure. >> logan: did you fall in love with africa? >> goodall: i fell in love with africa long before i ever went there. when i got there, it felt like coming home. >> logan: how would you describe the jane of those days? >> goodall: very naive, shy. very determined.
always slightly startled that things were working out. and a terrible flirt. >> logan: you were a terrible flirt? >> goodall: oh, i was. ( laughter ) >> logan: was that well received? >> goodall: tell me you weren't. >> logan: this is not my story. while jane goodall's work had a huge impact, it was sometimes undermined by the fact that she had never studied science. was it hard to be taken seriously by the scientific community? >> goodall: oh, i was not taken very seriously by many of the scientists. i was known as a geographic cover girl. >> logan: what did you think of that? >> goodall: well, i didn't care. at least, i didn't think i did. because, you know, i was studying these chimpanzees, and if people thought i did it wrong, well, let them go and do it differently. but let me do it my way. >> logan: what did you find about them that you didn't like? >> goodall: i hated the fact that they could be very cruel and brutal, and that they have a dark side just like us.
>> logan: another of jane goodall's discoveries-- that chimpanzees kill their own species, one more way they resemble humans. these images from the forest show a group attacking another chimp that's wandered onto their territory. jane says they beat them brutally and leave them to die of their wounds. did it surprise you that they could be so cruel? >> goodall: it did. i thought they were like us, but nicer. >> logan: and they're not? >> goodall: no, they're just like us. >> logan: at times, it was very dangerous for jane. this chimp, frodo, was particularly violent and nearly killed her one day. >> goodall: he flipping well came up, and dragged me down, stamped on me. it hurt. he bashed my head onto a rock, and it was bleeding. and then, he... then, he went away, and i thought, "oh, well, i've survived." and then, he came back and did it again. and then, he pushed me over the edge. and if there hadn't been some little bushes growing there, i
wouldn't be here now, because it was a way big drop. >> logan: this is frodo's older brother, freud. although he looks menacing, bill wallauer, who filmed these pictures, says it's just a show meant to intimidate. >> bill wallauer: that's somebody. >> logan: it's a chimp? >> wallauer: yeah. >> logan: where? >> wallauer: just through the veg there, in the tree. >> logan: bill came here to work for the jane goodall institute, and lived in the forest for 15 years. >> wallauer: wow, look at those eyes. >> logan: the institute carries on jane's work here through bill, a team of researchers, and scientists who come from all over the world. >> wallauer: don't you get the feeling, when you're looking at him and he's looking at you, it's equal minds. >> logan: that's why you just want to talk to him. you just want to say hi. >> logan: jane goodall says she would still be living in the forest, but she had to leave to try to save the chimpanzees. their numbers have been falling ever since she arrived here--
from over a million then to less than 300,000 today. poaching and loss of habitat have made them an endangered species. at age 76, that keeps jane goodall on the road 300 days a year, from the halls of congress... to the stage of a packed rock concert... ( cheers and applause ) to a school in uganda, east africa. she's constantly raising money and raising awareness. >> goodall: you are so lucky to live near these amazing and wonderful creatures. tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle. you should laugh. yeah, that's better. >> logan: protecting chimpanzees is still at the core of jane goodall's mission today.
she's helped create four sanctuaries, like this one in uganda for orphaned chimpanzees, and she's inspired 15 more across africa. to get so close to them, we had to be vaccinated. what are the reasons their mothers are killed? >> goodall: well, sometimes, it's bush meat, and there's still some of the live animal trade going, which means you shoot the mother to take the baby. >> logan: how urgent is it to save these creatures? >> goodall: well, if they weren't here, they'd be dead. >> logan: as much as jane loves chimpanzees, there's something about her they seem to love. is that what a mother chimp would do? >> goodall: no. ( laughter ) >> logan: only mama jane. she liked it. >> goodall: yes, of course. so would a child. >> logan: they're so like children-- playful, curious... and very affectionate. for us, it was a final glimpse
into jane's world, the woman who bridged the divide between humans and animals, and changed the way we think about them. >> goodall: we're part of the animal kingdom, not separated from it. we could have a blood transfusion from a chimp, if you matched the blood group. you really could. and the other way around, too. people say to me, "thank you for giving them characters and personalities." i didn't give them anything; i merely translated them for people. >> welcome to sports cup date. i'm james brown in new york with the scores from around the in fl. the steelers and patriots immove to 5-and-1. tied with the jets for the best record in the league. drew breast throws four interceptions. the bears loss to the skins. the rangers come from behind keeping buffalo the only winless team as carolina wins its first. for more news and scores log
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>> kroft: no one ranks the most popular television programs on the planet, but if they did, one of them would have to be "top gear." the british automotive show is seen by 350 million viewers in 170 countries every week, and that includes a small cult-like following in the u.s. on the cable channel bbc america. the program is ostensibly about cars. but it's really about the adventures of three clever middle-age blokes who travel th, world, conducting all sorts of elaborate competitions, races and challenges that push the boundaries of television and automotive acceptability. it's part reality show, part buddy movie, part monty python. with spin-offs and merchandising, "top gear" is a billion-and-a-half dollar property and a global gold mine for the bbc, the same people who brought you "i, claudius." but you're not likely to confuse the two after you've seen this story.
there's nothing on television quite like "top gear." what began as a boring automotive program in the 1970s has morphed into this. >> jeremy clarkson: that's the most amazing road i've ever seen. >> kroft: in this recent episode, the hosts took three of the world's highest performing cars on an expedition to find the best driving road in europe, which they finally discovered in romania. viewers tune in to watch extravagantly filmed segments, usually involving some kind of motorized vehicle. it could be driving the smallest car ever made through the bbc's offices, or testing the toughness of long haul trucks by smashing one through a brick wall. there's a news section, car reviews, and a talk show segment with international celebrities, who must agree to turn some laps in an under-powered kia to demonstrate their driving prowess.
this summer, tom cruise nearly killed himself while clocking the season's fastest lap. ( applause ) we asked the executive producer, andy wilman, to try and define the show's appeal. >> andy wilman: it's a journey into the male mind, which, i believe, is a really, potentially, very funny place. because, let's face it, nothing happens there. >> kroft: the show's popularity has turned a trio of aging automotive journalists with schoolboy senses of humor into worldwide television stars. >> clarkson: i like the idea that us three are arbiters of taste. >> kroft: first among equals is jeremy clarkson, a big, bombastic, chain-smoking newspaper columnist who is one of the best-known commentators in the u.k. his subversive personality sets the tone and drives the action. i mean, you've said some pretty outrageous things.
"all bmws are driven by people who are psychologically unfit to drive anything more powerful than an electric razor." >> clarkson: yeah, that certain was the case. i would change that to audis now. but it was the case with bmw. you need to look at, "why did that person buy a bmw? what was it about the bmw?" there's something about the image of the car that appeals to them. they are, what my son calls, "winners." they love to win. "i want to win." and there's no sense, "well, it was good game." "i want to win, and i'm a winner. and i'm going to be cross if i've lost." there's always that bmw thing. >> kroft: what makes a good car for you? >> clarkson: soul. soul. definitely, soul. something that you just think, "wow. there's something about this thing. it's talking to me." >> kroft: clarkson's regular foil is james may, a connoisseur of cars and superior engineering. what's the fastest you've ever driven in a car? >> james may: 259.2 miles per hour. >> kroft: what kind of a car? >> may: bugatti veron super sports. that was only last week. ( laughs )
>> kroft: despite this achievement, his colleagues call him "captain slow" for his pedantic, professorial bearing and absent-minded behavior. a running joke has them running into the back of whatever car he's driving. richard hammond is the shortest and the youngest of the lot. he's called "the hamster." he is the only one who bothers to whiten his teeth, dress stylishly, or feign sincerity when trying to explain the show. >> richard hammond: it's effectively... it's three middle aged-ish men exploring their passion for cars and how cars matter to other people. >> kroft: this all-male line-up strikes some as subliminally sexist. yet somehow, "top gear" manages to attract a huge family audience that is 40% female. >> wilman: women can look at us, and they can look at their partner who's got the fritos and the drinks and the massive stomach, and they can go, "you're not so bad."
>> kroft: broadly speaking, the show uses cars and the people who drive them to comment on contemporary society. take those slow-moving, road- hogging campers, which the british call "caravans. over the years, they've turned the destruction of them into an art form. >> clarkson: i know, in america, it's a big deal, camping. but here, really, camping is just the end of the world. because it always rains. so, i can't see why that's a holiday. "come on, everybody. we're going to go away and defecate in a bucket and live in a field in a small box and get in everybody's way on the way there." >> kroft: many of their segments are vaguely disguised as pieces of consumer journalism. >> wilman: you put the news on, you always see news about third world wars. and there's an army inside a toyota pickup with kalashnikovs. and it always... you just always go, "it's always a bloody toyota pickup, isn't it?" you know. and you think, "they must be like the cockroaches in the nuclear explosion. they cannot stop." so then, you go, "hang on. there's a film in that."
>> kroft: several films, actually, where they set out to destroy it, only to drive it away after minimal repairs. after the toyota survived this building demolition, they retired it to a place of honor in the studio. they all agree that one secret to the show's success is their often toxic relationship, which was on full display during this road trip to bolivia. >> clarkson: the chemistry that exists between richard, james and i has rather taken over. now, you can't really engineer chemistry. that just happens. we really genuinely loathe each other. >> richard and james, everybody. >> kroft: top gear is taped inside a hangar at an old r.a.f. air field outside london. their offices are a maze of dilapidated trailers that abut a specially-built test track. this is the realm of "the stig,"
the show's fourth on-air personality, an anonymous professional race car driver who doesn't speak. >> wilman: the stig was a happy accident. we couldn't find a racing driver capable of an intelligent comment. that's a problem that you find around the world. and then, i think jeremy said, "why does this driver need to talk at all?" >> kroft: we tried to get him to utter a few syllables when he took us on a test drive in the new camaro. nice day for a drive. it didn't work. driving 130 miles an hour and screeching around the hairpin turns, we didn't even hear a grunt. what's his appeal? >> wilman: well, kids like him because he's kind of... they love a helmeted thing, you know, and all that kind of superhero. >> kroft: he is also the perfect marketing tool, and his image helps sell the brand across the
globe, subsidizing one of the biggest budgets on the bbc. >> clarkson: france. i can see france. >> kroft: some of their elaborate stunts belong in "the guinness book of world records." they successfully crossed the english channel in a nissan pickup they converted into an amphibious car. they raced across the spine of africa in junk heaps they bought on the local economy in botswana. but one adventure stands above the rest. >> may: absolute best thing we've done? mm. mm. north pole, probably. no one else is going to do it, that's why. >> kroft: in a race to the to the top of the world, hammond ran alongside a dog sled while clarkson, may and the camera crew made the trip in a specially-equipped two-ton truck. >> clarkson: we were just driving along. you start to hear that creak, as
the ice started to creak. if the car had gone through, we would have been finished. it's minus 60 degrees, minus 70 degrees. we'd have been dead within two or three minutes. that was a time where you think, "oh, god, what am i doing here?" >> kroft: they brought along gin and tonic to keep them warm, and ended up taking a lot of heat for drinking while driving. >> clarkson: well, you see, that's the thing-- you use the word "driving." but technically, it's actually a frozen ocean, so it's sailing. and you can sail if you've had a few drinks. this was our argument and they... again, the bbc just went, "yeah, great." >> kroft: the show manages to careen into controversy almost every week, usually for something clarkson's said. he's offended everyone from the prime minister to truck drivers, who took offense at this characterization of their profession. >> clarkson: it's a hard job: change gear, change gear, change gear, check your mirrors, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. that's a lot of effort in a day.
it's a weekly occurrence that somebody will complain. "top gear" was on last night. and it's just, you sit back and wait for the complaints. but if you start to pay attention to everybody's concerns, you end up with something bland and boring. so, you sort of have to ignore everybody in order to do the show how we want to do it. >> kroft: the most consistent criticism from constables is that the show glorifies speed. it's so quick. it can destroy your entire face. >> clarkson: what did aldous huxley say about speed? i forget. it was, "speed truly is the only truly modern sensation." speed is great. speed works. where would we be as a species without speed? you know, we'd still be eating mud. >> kroft: one of their most hair-raising adventures was in the u.s. they were each given a thousand dollars to buy a car in miami and drive them to new orleans.
when they reached the gulf coast, the producers gave them a special challenge. >> clarkson: okay. says here we must not be shot or arrested as we drive across the proud state of alabama. but that we will get bonus points if we can get one of the others shot or arrested. >> kroft: clarkson came up with the idea of painting slogans on each others' cars that were designed to test the limits of southern hospitality. >> clarkson: so, i was saying, "well, what would really wind them up?" i mean, "i'm bi," and "man-love rules," okay? and "country and western music is rubbish," and all of the other things, "hillary for president" that we wrote. >> may: "here we are. sweet home alabama." >> hammond: we stopped at a gas station, and a woman came out walking towards me and jeremy. >> are y'all gay, looking to see how long it takes to get beat up in a hick town? >> clarkson: i'm not gay. i'm married. >> "nascar sucks?" "country and western is rubbish?" guess what. you're in a hick town, man. >> hammond: we're going to die now. >> clarkson: i recognized straightaway, coming from quite a rough northern town here, that it was ugly.
it was going to become ugly. >> hammond: she said she was going to get "the boys." by then, pickup trucks full of people with guns were turning up and sort of milling around. and a man, a massive guy, in the middle of the forecourt began a countdown from ten-- "ten, nine, eight..." god. didn't know what he was going to do when he got to one. he was operating at the very limit of his capacity counting backwards from ten. but whatever was going to but whatever was going to happen at one was going to be bad. so, we ran. we just ran away. >> kroft: people really threw rocks at you? >> may: people really threw rocks at us. they pursued us in pickups. you didn't see all of it, because the camera crew had to run away as well. and yeah, actually, that's the most frightening and dangerous thing we've ever done. i did fear for my life, slightly. >> kroft: but the episode that had the critics screaming for its cancellation put richard hammond behind the wheel of a vampire jet car going 300 miles
an hour. then, a tire blew. was touch and go. >> hammond: it was a bit touch and go. was in a big coma. it was horrible for my wife and my parents and my daughters. there was briefly a call for, you know, "'top gear' must end." but that quickly died down, because there was no appetite for it from the public. >> kroft: hammond eventually recovered, and returned to the show four months later to talk about the accident. >> hammond: i think it was very important that we said to the world, "if it can go that wrong even in our silly, glossy television world, then it can go wrong in the real world." >> kroft: but despite the obvious risks to life and limb, they've all elected to carry on. >> clarkson: so, we've had this arrangement so that, while you'd have to announce it the following week-- "this week, unfortunately, james may was killed making that item." and then, you'd have to pause momentarily. but the next word-- and we've all agreed on this-- should be "anyway."
so you go, "james may was killed by making that item. anyway, the new ford, which is..." and just move it along. it's basically, he came, he made some noise, and now he's been killed, a bit like a house fly or a rock drummer. they just come, they make noise, and they die. and we'll do the same thing. and then we'll find somebody else who's either slow and pedantic, short and irritating, or big and bombastic to come and fill our shoes. so benny, i'm proud of you. welcome to the 21st century. thank you very much. you're on e-trade. huntin' down stocks, bonds, etfs. oh i love etfs. look at you. why don't you show me your portfolio? i'd love to... i already logged out. oh no, it's easy, actually, to get back... see where it says history? there's a history? yeah, it'll take you right back to the site you were just on. well the last site... [ british vo ] and now, cycle complete. the male wildebeest returns to propagate the herd. [ animal grunts ] can you forward me this link? [ male announcer ] e-trade. investing unleashed.
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