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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  May 5, 2011 2:00pm-2:30pm PDT

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tavis: good evening from loss angeles, the death of osama bin laden has opened up a conversation about how america deals with the middle east. first up, a conversation with the best-selling author that starts tonight on the big news of today, the decision not to release photos of osama bin laden. the former star can be seen in the new film, "jumping the broom of the " we're glad you have joined us. richard clark coming out right now. >> all i know is his name is james, and he needs extra help with his reading. >> i am james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> you help us all live better.
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>> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment, one conversation at a time. >> nationwide is on your side >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] captioned by the national captioning institute tavis: richard clark is the former adviser for counter- terrorism under bill clinton and george w. bush. he is also the best-selling author of books like "against all enemies." he joins us from arlington, virginia. good to have you back on this program. we knew it would come to this.
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i am surprised it took a few days to get to it. to release or not to release. president obama said we are not going to release. what he will stay on 60 minutes is that we do not need to spike the football. there is nothing to be gained by spiking the football. is the president right? >> it is a skeptical middle east that was the concern. if you think there are conspiracy theories in the bed states, you have seen nothing until you go to the middle east. there is a conspiracy theory for everything. senior people believe these conspiracy theories. it is part of the culture. in releasing the pictures would not have helped. people want to believe he is alive and the people want to believe elvis is alive and they will want to believe that. the pictures will not have persuaded them. it would have just added fuel to
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a controversy that they would have started analyzing the pictures and finding things wrong with the pictures and more importantly, it would have discussed and perhaps seven -- how disgusted and enraged of a lot of people. they must be pretty grisly pictures. that is not going to be a pretty picture. >> let me just play devil's advocate. whitneys' planes hit the towers in new york, we see that picture over and over and over and over. the photo or picture is etched in our heads. the news media showed us those over and over again. it is literally at in our brains. how is it we should be able to see that repeatedly and the person who caused that, we can't see photos of him in his demise?
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>> there are pictures from 9/11 that have not been widely disseminated, but they are out there. the bodies falling to the air of people that decided to fall out of the window. i'm glad that they haven't been widely disseminated. i don't think the united states should ravel and murder. or death. i don't think we should get down in the gutter with of the terrorists to do this. terrorists do video tapes like this all the time. the beheading some. i don't want to be like them. i want us to show that there is a difference in sensitivity and sensibility in culture between us and them. in terms of just persuading people, those that need to be persuaded are already persuaded. and he knows -- and they know he is dead. the people we will never persuader not going to be affected by the pictures.
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we could run the risk of stimulating a response from people. this motivates them just that little extra bit more. in terms of americans finding some closure, i think americans have found the clothes that they need. surprisingly, for some of us, it did not really feel like that much closer. >> to your point about how long it took to get there, he said a few minutes ago that you don't want to be like the terrorists. another devil's advocate question. one could argue that we did is due to their level by taking 10 years to hunt him down, tracking down and should like a dog. that is what he did to those in the twin towers. for those that argued we have already sued to their level, and then taking to the streets waving flags and cheering, as if
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that is the right image we want to send to the world, the fed to the point that we have not already sued to that level. >> on going to the streets and waving flags, that was regrettable. i saw the people that are doing it in washington. i know some of them, they are 19 and 20 years old. they were in grammar school and elementary school when 9/11 happen. i think we can excuse that kind of response and understand that kind of response. in terms of hunting him down and shooting him in the head instead of arresting him, it was a very dangerous mission for those guys that went in there to get him. did not know if there were other guards coming to defend him. they did not know if he had the place ready to explode. the notion of actually going in and arresting him, bringing him back to new york for a trial, i
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think that would have raised more security problems both for the arrest team and for wherever we put him on trial. he was a military commander, and under international law, if you are at war, you can take of the military commander. i think we did the right thing. >> you keep saying things to me that keeps raising these devil's advocate questions. when you so gently and cuddly and smoothly suggested that just because they are 19 and 20, we can excuse them and forgive them for their behavior, jumping on top of cars, which in flags and cheering, how do we feel when we see them dancing in the streets and burning the u.s. flag and cheering the death of u.s. soldiers? is there hypocrisy there? >> when we see young people in the middle east, dancing in the
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street about americans dying in a burning the flag is, we have not seen that happen very much since barack obama became president. we have to get behind it. ask ourselves why is it happening. they have a reason for doing it. we have to understand what those reasons are. they may be misguided, but they have a reason. what i have been trying to say is that it is not over and it is not going to be over. you can't shoot all of these people. you have to understand what the motivation is behind this rage. it has nothing fully been redirected in a lot of countries at their own government. which is where it should be directed. until we solve these problems of the unemployment out there, the
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lack of participation in the government out there, there is going to be this rage and it will sometimes be directed at us, which is the wrong place to direct it. >> part of what you were suggesting to us was that just because he is dead, 10 years later, we can agree that the world has one less fug of, one less road actor. that doesn't necessarily mean we are safer. the mystery your piece? >> in the near term, we are a little bit less safe. it was pretty much just hung up there getting reports, but he was not running terrorist operations. there is the possibility of a spasm response of lone wolves doing something, going into a shopping mall and shooting
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people up. for a little bit of time, we might be a little bit less safe. overall, the terrorist organizations that he spawned in somalia, elsewhere, they're still there. and they reflect a problem in the islamic world. there are a lot of people out there that are in these groups. the small minority of the islamic world, but they are there. they want to create these religious governments and they want to kick westerners out. they want to create the kind of government that they created briefly in afghanistan. they are going to still use violence. they are still going to use terrorism as part of their goal to set up these crazy governments. tavis: speaking of crazy
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governments, what is this going to do for our relationship with pakistan? >> is going to depend on a lot on what evidence comes out as to who knew what in pakistan. as the head of the cia has said, it is hard to believe that no one in pakistan knew that this guy was sitting in this village. the city is a military city. it is right down the street from their version of west point. it is very hard to believe that somebody did not know. the relations with pakistan could be minimal, depending on the evidence, relations are pretty bad. the damage could be pretty extreme, too. if we found out that all along, their intelligence at the highest levels has been lying to
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us about him, that is a big breach between us. pakistan has 100 nuclear weapons. they are building more at a rapid rate. some people think it will have 200 nuclear weapons in a couple of years. having a country that is dealing with al qaeda is a real problem. we have to get to the bottom of this and figure out who knew what and when about his residency in pakistan. tavis: i wonder whether or not this is going to change our policy in afghanistan. >> it won't. president obama will announce the first withdrawals from afghanistan. we have agreed that they are going to leave by 2014. we will draw down on the scale
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to 2014 as well. this doesn't change the story in afghanistan. tavis: richard clark, i appreciate your insights. up next, actress loretta devine. please welcome our friend to this program. the talented actress has enjoyed success on broadway and television, including her role on great's anatomy. catch her in the ensembles cast. here is a preview. >> hello. the is nice to finally meet you. >> i am sorry, i did not think a handshake expressed of the moment. i like to hug.
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>> he certainly raise her whole wonderful daughter. >> i wish i could say the same about you and your daughter. i said that the wrong way. i wish i had met her earlier, before now. tavis: ouch. i guess that gives us some insight as to who your character is. tell me more. >> i am the mother of the broom and i am not pleased with the bride bb. she has not come across well to me. they are talking about going to china, and that may have to break this wedding up for real. >> there is a class issue at play here. >> it turns out that the family is a very wealthy family with a
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french background. i think they feel that they are better than i am, so when i take my family, it is just a great concept. they taken to a whole other level. in the conflict comes in of if this really will work. >> uc the reuniting of view and angela on screen together. i thought about "waiting to exhale." it is on tv every night he seems. what is it like being reunited with angela? >> i think we both worked very hard and i was excited that we would be matching each other and really incredible. she has written some incredible scenes together. it was exciting to do that.
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we're hoping to do "waiting to exhale 2." tavis: let me ask this the right way. how much of your delivery, vocally, has to do with the timber of your voice. the way you say things, you know what i'm talking about. it works with your character. you ever think a bout -- i am not sure that we would appreciate it in the way that we do. is the voice warned of the way it is. >> it is really my mother's voice. her you leaving? i know a lot of people, that is really your voice. i go, this is its.
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it sounds silly to me. tavis: it is so inextricable to the war. i love it. but is so important for you to deliver the way you do. i was in new york last week and i did this show from new york a few weeks ago. and some time on broadway, and i knew you were coming on the show. the feedback to the dream girl days. you were not the most celebrated person at the time and the dream girls cast. and yet you turned out to be a long-distance runner, doing all of this stuff and having all of this success. at that moment, you weren't the most celebrated. >> people don't realize that it was the beginning of my career in many ways. i had done other broadway shows. >> that was a huge fan.
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dream girls came out of a full workshop that lasted for over three years that were different. a lot of the women, and jennifer lewis. all of them went through this. and jennifer holliday. the creating of the show came out of improv. all of these other women, we worked together to create the show. >> i was the third girl. i was like the mary wilson character. it was always between and the other character. it was loosely based on the supremes. it was the real relationship that was supposed to have happened in real life between those characters. i was the third girl out. i had a master's in fine arts.
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what i went to new york and started. tavis: were you depressed about that? a despondent? how did you navigate your way through that? >> i think michael was more upset about it that i was. he got me an agent. i was the only one not nominated for a tony. that was a devastating time for me. i remember crying at not being able to deal with that very well. i was still working, i had worked for years before. i come from a family with a very strong work ethic. he let go of that and you keep going. i got a show at radio city music hall where i got to be the star of the thing for the whole summer. i realize how hard that was. i was glad to come back. i was glad to be just chill out
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and do my part. sometimes when you want to be the top dog, it is hardly what they say, to be jesus. tavis: i am a witness. [laughter] i saw you the other night, you were here. i tried he your attention but i could not get your attention. i haven't seen you in person to talk for a little bit. what did you make of the movie? >> there were things about it that i had a spare about. there were things that they added that were not necessary. the character did not have a drug problem. interracial tensions were not a part of that show. it was a show about three girls making it on their own. they had to ride out an extended
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period there was the anxiety of racism. i was so sad that they did not get the place -- the chance to sing "this is no party. i felt blessed and lucky to be ineffective because i thought the three women would be the three mothers of the three girls. it did not turn out that way. i got a chance to do a little bit of a song. i felt so blessed. >> are you enjoying de "gray of's anatomy" run? >> i like the comedy thing with a twist of humor, but it is straight drama and and get a chance to play an incredible character. tavis: you are good at this, but how does that stretch you to your earlier point?
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>> comedy is a little harder sometimes. with serious stuff, you just have to bring it. with comedy, you have to have timing and wait for the laugh. and then hit the beach. my career, i have been challenged by all kinds of things. hugo in and out, in and out. i am dealing with alzheimer's, which is a really important topic for a lot of people had people that are raising mothers in dealing with it. i was like, i am too young to be cast. [laughter] tavis: you are not turning down the work, though. >> i rarely turn down work. i learned early on that when you are working in you are able to make a living and pay your bills doing what you love, that always
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leads the nine-five. tavis: you rarely turn down work because you see it as work. when you decide to turn something down, there must be something about it that you say, i can't do this. when you turn stuff down, it is based on what? >> if there is no challenge at all. i do lots of stuff sometimes for friends that are trying to get their dreams completed. i did dirty laundry. haute there was a lot of and dependent stuff. -- or independent stuff. it will take you to where you have got to go. everybody is trying to get it done, you know?
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>> is this about how you thought your career would go? >> i am in all of my own career. i had no idea -- yet of the one show you will be able to work, as soon as one of his over -- the one job is over, i have that feeling. i had a pilot with david kelly, and they did not pick it up. i had no idea what was coming next. i am minding my own one-woman show. i got three movies. everything is coming now at the same time. it seems like i have done all of this work, but it was done last year. i am terrified that i will never work again. i know it sounds crazy, but it is true.
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tavis: i am glad you're working as often as you are. and the new one is called "jumping the broom." you're working that thing. >> next time, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show>> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at russia join me for>> all i know is his name is >> james, and he needs extra help with his reading. >> i am james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is
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proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic empowerment, one conversation at a time. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. >> be more. pbs. pbs.
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