tv Charlie Rose The Week PBS September 4, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. i'm charlie rose. this is a special edition of "charlie rose: the week." just ahead, books and their authors, including david brooks, toni morrison and tom brokaw. >> cancer doesn't care if you're a mother, father, have children, it only cares about waging war on your body. it will figure out a way to get around everything you throw at it. >> rose: those stories and much more on what happened and what might happen. captioning sponsored by rose communications
>> rose: and, so, you began how? luck at all or something? >> it's the little thing. >> rose: what's the object lesson here? >> keep asking the question -- >> rose: tell me what the significance of the moment is. >> rose: we begin tonight with a look at the news of the week. here are the sights and sounds of the past seven days. >> wes craven the classic horror film director of '76. >> rose: did he make it too scary. >> i don't think you can make it too scary. >> rose: police in hungary allowed thousands of migrants to enter the budapest train station. many hope to reset toll germany. >> the problem is not the european problem, it's the german problem. >> rose: president obama won enough support to secure the iran nuclear deal. >> every death iran causes now on barack obama's head. >> all eyes on joe biden as he looks like he will run for president.
>> kim davis will be in federal court this morning. she has been defying federal court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses to couples. >> the love of my life. every night he came home to me. >> the dow plunging after signs of weaknesses in china's economy. >> the worst performance in six years. >> oh, oh, oh! what is that? because it's hot outside. stuff like that happens. was that live? are we live? oh, brother. >> tom brady overturned roger goodell's decision in the n.f.l.'s deflategate case. >> the president will start a three-day tour of alaska by officially changing the name of mt. mckinley to denali. >> no shortage of outrageous antics at the mtv video music
awards. >> i have decided in 2020 to run for president. (cheers and applause) (rap music) >> rose: tom brokaw entered the nbc nightly news for more than 20 years. he has a second career as a best-selling author. but there has also been pain. his recent book details his fight with cancer. it is called a lucky life interrupted, a memoir of hope. >> i was covering the closing days of nelson mandela, going with other friends into the bush, came back, fishing in montana and the back ache would not go away. i had had them before, and they could be relieved. a very well known orthopedist in new york and another at the mayo clinic said it was your lifestyle, tom, and did a conventional x-ray. >> rose: did they say slow down? >> i had a smart internest at the mayo clinic and he said, i think it's something else. they drew blood, ran the tests
and he called me over. >> rose: in minnesota in. minnesota. i thought maybe i had a parasite from the african trip. they brought in a very well known hemtologyist and he reads off the screen these numbers, sounds like an sat test to me, speak in the proteins, cells, so on, and he said, you have a malignancy, called multiple myeloma. you know people who have died from this. i've always wondered how you would react to that kind of news. then he said, it's incurable but it's treatable. so in a very calm voice. i was kind of taking my temperature at the time and i said, how long. he said, statistically, now, five years, but i think you can beat that because of the progress that is being made and you're in good shape. so i was kind of at sea about
how it would affect my life in rochester. flew back to montana,roke the news to meredith and thought i would resume my life. i went into central montana to go fishing. >> rose: 150 miles away. paralyzed with pain. i could barely move. i got back to the ranch, and i couldn't move out of my bed. meredith is calling the mayo clinic. they were throwing everything they had at me with painkillers, nothing worked. so they had to medivac me out of there and got me back to the mayo clinic. that's when we went to war, frankly. >> rose: therefore, you put together the team. the imperfections in the system were what? >> the imperfections in the system, cancer is not math. you know, 2 plus 2 doesn't equal 4 when you've got cancer. the best line about cancer by paul marx. >> rose: sloa sloan kettering. yes, he said it's the greatest enemy we have.
cancer doesn't care if you're a mother, father, if you have children, it only cares about waging war on your body and everything you throw at it, it will figure out a way to get around that in some fashion. so part of what i've learned quickly is that you have to keep asking the questions and saying, well, wait a minute, they're trying something else over here. i talked to a doctor at the mayo clinic. he says you've got to do stem cells. ken anderson said we can beat it with drugs. >> rose: we both know people who had it work and not work. they thought it did, came out of it and a wake later they were dead. >> yes, so that was something i learned. i tell folks, you know, there was a time when you would go online and get a tsunami of information and you didn't know what to trust. now all these major healthcare systems have terrific web sites, mayo clinic, johns hopkins, cleveland clinic, m.d. anderson, and you can go on and they say here's what's going on with multiple myeloma so you can
inform yourself. >> rose: what's your journalism future? >> my journalism future -- i think at nbc this is what they're having me doing is perspective. i'll do "meet the press" with chuck from time to time to offer perspective, but i'm not going to go out there and have sharp elbows and be on the line. i'll do it when they want to. i'll pay attention. i'm still invigorated by what's going on. >> rose: ta-nehisi coates writes frequently about african-american issues for "the atlantic" magazine. now he's exploring connection between violence and racism. the latest book "between the world and me" is written in the form of a letter to his teenage son. >> i lived in a household where i had a mother and a father. this was not the typical profile for most of my friends. i had a mother and father who
both worked who, by that point, were very, very educated. i had the basics covered in terms of my food, clothing, et cetera, and, yet, despite all that, when i went out into the world and left for school every day, i confronted all the sort of things that all the other boys and girls in my neighborhood confronted. >> rose: which was the risk of violence? >> all the time. all the time. constant. you know, it's the little things, the very, very little things which, as a child -- and i have to tell you, i took it as normal, but, you know, now i look back andeth insane. for instance, how many people am i walking with when i go to school? >> rose: growing up, did you think, i'm going to do what with my life? >> i had no idea what was going to become of me and that, too, added to the kind of fear i remembered because, for young black boys growing up in west baltimore in that period and i suspect growing up in our cities
today, school is not just, you know, will i get into harvard or not. it's not uh, you know, how far up the ladder. it's will i go to jail or be shot or not. it's a matter of life and death and that's the way parents talked to kids when i was a child and the message we took in. >> rose: is it true today in baltimore? >> i don't know. i don't know. i suspect it is. you know, i have been asked about baltimore quite a bit, but i want to be clear, i haven't lived in baltimore in 20 years. but from what i can tell and from what i've seen when i go back to visit family. >> rose: the same. yeah, i strongly suspect so, yes. for instance, i want to high light this. the video of the woman beating on her son, the young man who she -- >> rose: she's installing discipline and we need more parents like that, everyone said. >> yes, but that's fear. she said i don't want him to end up like another freddie gray. that's fear. >> rose: fear her son might be next. >> yes, very much so. and she wants him to go home
where she feels he's safe and can be protected. african-american parents understand that. >> rose: the talk. yes. the fact is you have to educate your children on how to basically deal with violence. over the past year, we've seen the violence focused on the police and the things police do. that's part of it. when i was a child, and i suspect it's the same for other folks, i know it's same with my child, it doesn't just concern the violence of the police, it concerns the violence of the neighborhood. african-american neighborhoods are on balance much more violent than other neighborhoods. >> rose: why is that? african-americans, after that period, did not walk out of the chains and labor in the cotton fields and become part of america, they suffered 100 years of discrimination and all the other discrimination they
suffered from -- job discrimination, discrimination in terms of federal programs, discrimination in schools, discrimination in higher education -- all of that piled into one single geographic region and the inability toe scape that -- you know, it creates, you know, a sense of accepdeprivation and frustratio, people have economic needs and those neighborhoods tend to be nor violent than those with people with more opportunities. >> rose: david brooks is an op-ed columnist for the "new york times." he writes about everything from war and peace to politics and culture. now he has written about great leaders and how they overcame their own personality flaws. the book is called "the road to character." >> the book starts out with a basic distinction that there are two sets of virtues. there is the resume virtues and the eulogy virtues. the resume we bring to the
marketplace, are you a good teacher, journalist, lawyer, and the eulogy virtues they talk about when you're dead, were you passionate, honest, courageous, caring, capable of deep love? we all know the eulogy verses are more important. we all have them. but the way we raise our kids, the educational system, most culture is oriented to the resume and a lot of us are clearer on how to build a good career than character. so this is an attempt to figure out how to become worthy of the sort of eulogy we would like to have. >> rose: you came to this because it was about your life. >> yes. >> rose: tell me about that. well, a couple of things. first, i had achieved more career success than i ever imagined i would. i thought, if i could make my living writing, i would be so happy. things happened, i worked hard, got more career success and learned the elemental truth, it just doesn't make you happy. second, you have certain moments
where your heart just opens up. i remember a moment driving home and my kids were young, 12, 9 and 5, it's an afternoon, they're out in the backyard, kicking a ball up in the air and the sun is coming through the trees, grass is green and they're laughing and running after this ball and it's one of those moments when time just stands still and reality sort of overspills its barriers and you just feel a wave of gratitude and your heart is just open and you become a ware of a higher moral joy that is better than anything you get in career. >> rose: do you care less about the resume? >> no. you know -- and i don't think -- it's not about renouncing. >> rose: it's not a zero-sum game. >> it's a balance. early in the book i quote from a rabbi who has a concept of adam one, adam two, that inside there are two sides of our nature. adam one is externally ambitious
and wants to build and create, adam two is internal, wants to be obedient and good and true and wants to feel honor and goodness and righteousness. i say the two adams are in balance, sometimes in tension but they live by different logics. so this inverse logic of surrendering yourself to find yourself, that's the adam two object, and you've got to learn that. i don't think we come to that naturally. we're not naturally good in that way. you have to learn that about being around people who are that way and copying them. >> rose: toni morrison is one of america's most honored novelist. she won a nobel and pulitzer prize. in 2012, she was awarded the presidential medal of freedom. morrison's latest novel takes on issues of both race and color, called "god help the child."
>> the -- the contemporary world was hard for me to grasp up. i didn't have a hold. slippery. >> rose: always changing, don't know what it's going to be. >> yeah. so when i finally got a way to talk about it through the confusion of race and color and class, then i could do it, then i felt i could do it that way. >> rose: when you got through? when i began to think of what was significant now in this 2007, 2008, whatever, period, one of the enormous topics was race, color, shades of color, reaction. >> rose: what's the difference between race and color? >> well, color is a substitute for racism. >> rose: yes. ace is just human beings. there are privileges to certain kinds of color.
these are social constructs. these are not inventions that are scientific, it's things human beings think of, for good reasons -- some profitable, some just personal, you know, thinking of how can you feel really, really good about yourself if there is nothing -- if you can't separate yourself from something that you're convinced is lower than yourself. >> rose: tell me who lula ann bridewell is? >> she's a beaten-up little girl, you know, sort of personally threatened by her mother, who was very upset when she saw her child because of her color. she's very, very black, really black, and this is what we used
to call a high yellow woman, who she could be looking at a toad, as far as she is concerned. she tries to take care of her, but she needs, she believes, to protect her from people who will perhaps feel the same way she does and, in so doing, she disables her, until the girl can use that very thing, the blackness, to her advantage, she's sort of a pitiful person, i think, sad, aggressive, young, and it takes the book for her and her lover, who is also traumatized, to figure it out.
>> rose: david mccullough has twice won the pulitzer prize for his narrative histories. he's just published another one. it is called "the wright brothers." >> orville was very bright and inventive,genous mechanically, but wilbur really was the genius and the big brother, he was the leader. it wouldn't with happened without both of them. two heads were better than one, as it turned out, and the old idea that very little of consequence is ever accomplished alone, they are a good example of that. >> rose: when did they have the idea? >> they had the idea that they could learn to glide, to build a glider -- >> rose: to use the wind. to use the wind, to ride the wind, and they studied birds and
soaring birds on the beaches of north carolina. >> rose: i love that, just the idea of them out there trying to flap their arms. >> and the local people all thought they were wacko, nut cakes from the middle west. >> rose: they were studying -- yes, they were studying the birds. orville said learning to fly by studying birds is like learning magic from a magician, and they figured it out. nobody ever had. then, they had to fly. there were theorists who had very exciting and often very ingenious ideas, but they wouldn't fly. wilbur once said that there are two ways to train a wild horse, one is to sit on the fence and study the horse and then go to your comfortable chair in your living room and write your theory about how to train up a horse. the other way is get on the horse and ride. exactly as you know, they were bicycle mechanics, so they not
only had the skill and the ingenuity and the genius to create a glider that would do more than any glider ever had, but they also had the courage to do it, and they were not defeated by failure. >> rose: this is the completion of a trilogy of high achievement. >> that's exactly right. the first book was "the great bridge" about the building of the brooklyn bridge and the second book ant the building of the panama canal and now this and all those extraordinary accomplishments took place in a handful of years in the late 19th century into the first ten years of the 20th century and each in its own way was a major breakthrough without any historic precedent, but this one more obviously changed the world in no time because man had never flown a motor-powered machine into the air before.
when that happened, it was clear to a few but not to all that this was one of the decisive turning points in history. >> rose: karl is a norwegian author. book four of six volume autobiographical series "my struggle" released in the united states this year, it has become a lit layer sensation. >> i was sitting in my room and writing a book about my life. i thought no one would be interested, not even in my friends. i was embarrassed when i gave it to my editor, why should he read it. even the publishing house didn't expect anything. it was a low print of the first edition, so nobody felt anything would happen, you know. >> rose: one out of every ten
people in norway has read it. >> yeah, it's crazy. >> rose: what is it? i have no idea. but it feels like when it takes off, there is a certain identification. there are things i've written in there that i haven't said to a living person, they have been my secrets, but it's in the book. so i thought this was too private and too personal and i thought there would be no recognition and no edification possible in this book, but it doesn't work like that. it's like i think we are much, much more like them than we think we are. >> rose: what is the consequence of doing this other than being able to publish, you know, compelling reading for people around the world? >> one major subject in these books are self-hatred,
self-clothing, and that's a big part of my life. >> rose: why? i think that's one of the things i'm looking for in my writing to figure out. >> rose: to answer why? yeah, that's one of the things. ii was 40 years old when i started to write. i had a beautiful wife, a house, but i wasn't happy, and that's one of the seven deadliest sins, you know, not appreciating life, and i didn't. it's like everything was grey. so why? why? how did i get there? >> rose: why this title? that was really by coincidence. i was talking to a friend of mine about miin kampf, and my
editor said, no, you can't do that. if you say "my struggle" in norway, you will think of this book. it is mein kampf. >> rose: here is a look at the week ahead. sunday race day for the formula 1 italian grand prix. monday is labor day. tuesday is the day stephen colbert takes over as host of the late show. wednesday is the day that queen elizabeth ii passes queen victoria to become the longest ruling monarch in british history. thursday is the day pittsburgh and new england meet in the opening gym of the n.f.l. season. friday is the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. saturday is the u.s. open tennis women's final. and here is what's new for your
weekend. robert redford and nick nolte are in theaters with "a walk in the woods." >> well, they say the appalachian trails are like life. >> you don't know what's going to happen next. you give it your best shot. >> rose: iron maiden's new album is "the book of souls." ♪ ♪ ♪ >> rose: and arianna grandi has shows in portland, oregon and sacramento, california. (singing) >> rose: that's "charlie rose: the week" for this week. on behalf of all of us here, thank you for watching. i'm charlie rose. we'll see you next time. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes,
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight, conversations about race in america. we talk with ta-nehisi coates and bryan stevenson. >> if you were, say, an african-american who was enslaved in this country and died during the period of slavery, that's the end of your arc, as an individual hume been, that's the end of your arc, you lived and died as an enslaved person. black folks who were lynched and killed in this country say during the red summer, that's the end of their arc. >> rose: what happens then. it doesn't -- there is no broader justice. >> it's our ability to apologize to, recognize when we go out of bounds that makes us humanned and also makes us redeemed. that's how we get to mercy, compassion and greatness. if we don't practice that as a nation, we will fail to be the great society we claim to be. so learning to