METROFOCUS: FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Julie Menin, the former head of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is the city’s new census director. Making reforms to a census that she believes is hostile to immigrants and minorities, is first on her agenda. She joins us to discuss. Former CNN reporter Josh Levs is fighting for fair parental leave for fathers to care for their families. He joins us to explain. PBS’ Nature takes us back to a time when Vikings ruled the northern seas, exploring the unique relationship between the warriors, animals and pristine environment they encountered.

Aired February 13, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON METRO FOCUS, A NEW MISSION.

THE FORMER HEAD OF THE MAYOR'S OFFICE OF MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT IS NOW THE CITY'S NEW CENSUS DIRECTOR.

FIRST ON HER AGENDA TO REFORM A CENSUS THAT SHE BELIEVES IS HOSTILE TO IMMIGRANTS AND MINORITIES.

SHE WILL TELL US HOW.

> APARENTAL LEAVE FOR BOTH PARENTS.

> AND THE NATURAL WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF THE VIKINGS.

PBS' NATURE TAKES US BACK TO THE TIME WHEN THE VIKINGS RULED THE NORTHERN SEAS AND EXPLORES THE UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP THAT THESE WATER WARRIORS HAD.

> THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

Announcer: THIS IS 'METROFOCUS.'

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'M 'M 'M 'METROFOCUS.'

JULIE IS TACKLING TWO NEW JOBS AT ONCE.

BOTH ARE VITAL TO THE CITY'S WELL BEING AND FUTURE.

HERE WITH SOME DETAILS ON JUST WHAT SHE'S UP TO AND ITS DIRE IMPORTANCE TO CITY.

NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

WE OFTEN TALK ABOUT PEOPLE WEARING DIFFERENT HATS.

YOU MUST HAVE A SHELF FULL.

THE TWO NEW TITLES, NEW YORK CITY CENSUS DIRECTOR AND THE EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT CORPORATION COUNSEL FOR STRATEGIC ADVOCACY.

LET'S BREAK THEM DOWN AND LET'S TALK FIRST ABOUT CENSUS.

THERE HAS BEEN AN ESTIMATE THAT THE CITY HAS PUT OUT THAT MAYBE A QUARTER OF A MILLION PEOPLE DIDN'T GET COUNTED.

RIGHT.

LAST TIME IN THE CENSUS.

MY FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU IS WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT?

WHY IS THE NUMBER IMPORTANT?

WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE

IT'S SO IMPORTANT.

WE GOT TO REMEMBER THERE'S ABOUT $700 BILLION OF FEDERAL FUNDS AT STAKE FOR CITIES AND STATES.

WE GET ABOUT $53 BILLION EACH YEAR GOES TO THE STATE FOR FEDERALLY FUNDED PROGRAM THAT RELATE TO CENSUS AND THE CITY TAKES THE LION'S SHARE OF THAT.

EVERYTHING FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION, TITLE I FUNDS, PUBLIC HOUSING, SENIOR CENTERS, MEDICAID, HIV FUNDING.

THIS IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

NO MATTER WHAT SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAM YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THERE GENERALLY IS A CORRELATION WITH CENSUS.

THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT.

PUTTING THE IMPORTANT FUNDING ISSUES ASIDE IT'S ABOUT CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATION.

IT'S ESTIMATED IN NEW YORK STATE IF WE HAVE A REAL UNDERCOUNT WE MAY LOSE TWO CONGRESSIONAL SEATS.

WE'RE NOT ONLY TALKING ABOUT THE FUNDAMENTAL REPRESENTATION WE'RE ENTITLED TO BUT ABOUT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND WHAT'S AT STAKE THERE.

DO WE KNOW WHY, WE SUSPECT WHAT THE NUMBER IS OR A GOOD ESTIMATE APPARENTLY ABOUT THE NUMBER, ABOUT 250,000 PEOPLE.

DO WE KNOW WHY THAT UNDERCUT HAPPENED

YES, WE DO KNOW WHY IT HAPPENED IN 2010.

IN 2010 THE FEDERAL CENSUS BUREAU SENDS OUT DOOR KNOCKERS IF YOU DON'T RESPOND TO CENSUS AND THEY ESTIMATED THESE CERTAIN RESIDENCES WERE VACANT WHEN THE CITY KNEW THEY WEREN'T VACANT.

THE CITY CONTESTED THAT BUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DID NOT AGREE WITH THE CITY'S ESTIMATION ON THAT.

BUT WE'RE BASICALLY, THIS TIME, GOING TO DO THINGS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY.

THE MAYOR HAS ANNOUNCED BY APPOINTMENT.

HE'S ALSO ANNOUNCED WE'RE CREATING A COMMUNITY OUTREACH THAT THE CITY HAS NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING OUTREACH INTO FAITH-BASED COMMUNITIES, INTO CIVIC ORGANIZES, IMMIGRANT GROUPS BECAUSE WE GOT TO BE WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE IS UNPRECEDENTED.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 70 YEARS A CENSUS IS ASKING THE QUESTION ARE YOU A U.S. CITIZEN?

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT.

THAT'S BEING CONTESTED.

IT IS.

THE CITY IS ONE OF THE PLAINTIFFS.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEBODY WHO SAYS YOU UNDERSTAND MY CONCERN I'M GLAD YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE THIS OVER AND GET THE APPROPRIATE NUMBERS SO WE GET THE FUNDING WE NEED, THE REPRESENTATION WE NEED.

BUT WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL WITH HAVING SOMEBODY CHECK A BOX ON A CENSUS SAYING HERE'S MY NAME, AGE AND YES, I'MCITIZENSHIP QUESTION --

THE FEAR IS WHAT, THEY WILL SAY --

I DON'T WANT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.

I'M NOT GOING TO BE A NUMBER ANY MORE.

I'M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.

NOW THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT WHEN PEOPLE ANSWER CENSUS, THEIR INFORMATION IS 100% PROTECTED.

TITLE 13 OF THE U.S. CODE PROTECTS THE CONFIDENTIALITY.

TITLE 13 ALSO IMPOSES ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY SEVERE PENALTIES, $250,000 PENALTIES, IMPRISONMENT UP TO FIVE YEARS FOR SHARING INFORMATION WITH ANOTHER FEDERAL AGENCY OR WITH ANYONE ELSE.

WE WANT TO ASSURE NEW YORKERS THEIR INFORMATION IS 100% PROTECTED.

DOES THIS COME BACK TO -- I DIDN'T KNOW ALL OF THAT DETAIL.

IT DOES COME BACK TO THE OUTREACH EFFORTS.

I'LL SAY ON THE LITIGATION AND WE GOT A FAVORITE RULING AT THE DISTRICT COURT LEVEL, THIS CASE IS GOING UP TO THE SUPREME COURT.

THE CITY IS A PLAINTIFF IN THIS LITIGATION AS WELL AS MANY OTHER STATES AND CITIES.

WE'LL FIGHT THIS TO THE MAX.

WE BELIEVE THE QUESTION IS ENTIRELY UNLAWFUL AND IT WILL ATTEMPT TO SILENCE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES.

LET ME TALK ABOUT THE OTHER FUNCTION YOU'RE INVOLVED.

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, CORPORATION COUNSEL FOR STRATEGIC ADVOCACY.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

IT'S BASICALLY LOOKING AT WAYS THAT WE CAN EITHER SUE BAD CORPORATE ACTORS WHO ARE PREYING ON NEW YORKERS.

THAT'S THE WORK I DID BEFORE AS COMMISSIONER ARE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS.

IT'S LOOKING AT WAYS WE CAN SUE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION THAT ARE TAKING ACTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO NEW YORKERS.

SO I'VE BEEN TEACHING A CLASS ON THIS VERY SUBJECT CALLED WHEN CITIES TAKE THE LEAD.

WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DEREGULATING WHETHER INSUME PROTECTION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OR A WHOLE HOST OF AREAS AND WHERE THE MAIN LEGAL AVENUES ARE FOR THE CITY TO BE ABLE TO LITIGATE.

SO I'M REAL EXCITED ABOUT THESE TWO NEW ROLES THAT BRING ME BACK TO THE CORE WORK I'VE DONE AS A LAWYER.

IN THAT POSITION, SUE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ICE NOT AS IF OTHER ADMINISTRATIONS HAVE NOT BEEN SUED.

THIS IS NOT AN OFFICE SET UP JUST TO GO AFTER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

THE FUNCTION IS AND YOU TALK ABOUT ANY ADMINISTRATION.

WHENEVER ANY ADMINISTRATION.

DEREGULATION IS SOMETHING THAT'S HAPPENED IN NUMEROUS ADMINISTRATIONS AND THE EFFECTS IT CAN HAVE ON CITIES IN PARTICULAR IS SIGNIFICANT.

IT'S LOOKING AT THE WAY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS TAKING ACTIONS, OR FAILING TO TAKE ACTIONS AND HOW THAT'S AFFECTING NEW YORKERS.

ALSO LOOKING AT BAD CORPORATE ACT WRORS WHO ARE PREYING ON NEW YORKERS.

TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT MORE.

WHO WOULD YOU BE LOOKING AT AND WHAT KIND OF SCENARIOS.

WHEN I WAS COMMISSIONER OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, DEBT COLLECTORS.

WE BROUGHT A NUMBER OF LAWSUITS AGAINST FOR PROFIT COLLEGES THAT WERE REALLY SCAMMING NEW YORKERS WITH ALL SORTS OF TERRIBLE PRACTICES.

SO IT'S LOOKING AT THESE VARIOUS AVENUES WHERE WE REALLY FEEL NEW YORKERS ARE BEING HURT AND ARE BEING PREYED UPON.

SO WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS WORK AND I THINK IT CAN BE INCREDIBLY IMPACTFUL.

WE'RE ALSO GOING TO BE LOOKING AT ISSUES AROUND GERRRYMANDERIN AND VOTING REITS.

THAT'S ANOTHER AREA FOF CUSS.

SOME CASES ARE WORKING THEIR WAY UP TO THE SUPREME COURT.

I THINK THE ANSWER IS THE CITIZENS OF NEW YORK CITY ARE HAPPY THAT YOU GOT TWO MORE HATS TO PUT ON.

THANK YOU.

BECAUSE THOSE ARE AREAS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO CITIZENS AND CERTAINLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING IN TERMS OF OUTREACH AND GETTING PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON IS ESSENTIAL FOR ALL OF US.

SO PLEASURE TO TALK WITH YOU.

AS THIS CONTINUES TO ROLL ON MAYBE WE'LL GET YOU BACK.

WOULD LOVE TO BACK.

ABSOLUTELY.

YOU TAKE CARE.

> IN 2015 CNN REPORTED JOSH'S WIFE GAVE BIRTH TO A BABY GIRL.

WITH A JOY THE BABY WAS BORN PREMATURELY.

ASKING FOR TIME OFF TO HELP CARE FOR HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER HE WAS MET WITH' DENIAL FROM TIME WARNER.

HE FILED A GENDER DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AND SETTLED AND IN THE WAKE THE COMPANY CHANGED ITS POLICY TO EXTEND TO IT WORKING FATHERS.

CHANGE IS HAPPENING GRADUALLY AROUND THE COUNTRY AS CALIFORNIA SIGNED THE MOST FAMILY LIBERAL LEAVE LAW ON THE BOOKS AND JOSH HAS BECOME AN ADVOCATE FOR THE CAUSE.

HE'S ALSO AUTHORED THE BOOK ALL IN, HOW OUR WORK FIRST CULTURE FAILS DADS, FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES AND HOW WE CAN FIX IT TOGETHER.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE JOSH JOINING US NOW.

JOSH, GOOD TO SEE YOU.

TALKING ABOUT FAMILY, YOU'RE TALKING TO ME FROM HOME.

YOU GOT THE BEST DEAL GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

LET'S TALK ABOUT NEW YORK.

ON THE HEELS OF WHAT YOU WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH AND IN YOUR DEALINGS WITH TIME WARNER.

WHAT SORT OF CHANGE HAVE WE SEEN TAKEN PLACE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK

THE STATE OF NEW YORK JOINED A FEW OTHER STATES IN HAVING A PAID FAMILY LEAVE LAW.

WHICH IS GREAT.

WE EARLY ON HAD SOME PAID FAMILY LEAVE EXISTING IN CALIFORNIA AND NEW JERSEY AND RHODE ISLAND.

BUT THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS AFTER PUSHING AND WORK AT THE LEGISLATIVE LEVEL WE SAW NEW YORK TAKE ON A PAID FAMILY LEAVE POLICY THAT'S NOW GOING IN GRADUALLY.

LITTLE BY LITTLE PEOPLE ARE GETTING MORE PAID TIME OFF TO DO ANY KIND OF CAREGIVING.

YES FOR A CHILD BUT TO CARE FOR AN ELDERLY PARENT OR SICK SPOUSE.

WHEN YOU GO TO TALK TO LEGISLATORS ABOUT THE NOTION OF PROVIDING SOME SORT OF APPROACH TO THIS, WHAT'S THE PUSH BACK THAT YOU GET MOST REGULARLY FROM THEM?

THE PUSH BACK USUALLY BASED ON A MISUNDERSTANDING.

THE FIRST THING I TELL THEM, PAID FAMILY LEAVE AS IT EXISTS IN THESE STATES IS INSURANCE.

IT'S A TINY PAYROLL DEDUCTION.

THAT CREATES A FUND.

THAT'S HOW PEOPLE GET PAID LEAVE.

IT'S NOT A LAW IN WHICH WE COME ALONG AND TELL ALL BUSINESSES THAT YOU HAVE TO PAY SOMEONE THEIR ENTIRE SALARY WHILE THEY ARE OFF.

A LOT OF LAWMAKERS DON'T KNOW THAT.

WHAT WE FINE ONCE THEY GET THE INFORMATION THEY START TO DISCOVER THERE'S NO BIG ARGUMENT, WHICH IS WHY NATIONALLY MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS ALL SUPPORT THIS.

WHEN PEOPLE SAY IT'S JUST GOING TO BE TOO EXPENSIVE FOR BUSINESSES ESPECIALLY SMALL BUSINESSES.

WHAT'S YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?

WELL THE GOOD NEWS IS WE DON'T HAVE TO THEORIZE WHAT IT WILL DO TO SMALL BUSINESSES.

HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW.

WHEN CALIFORNIA PUT IT IN PLACE BUSINESSES SAW PROFITS GOES UP.

IT MAKES SENSE THAT HAPPENS.

FOR THE FIRST TIME PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO DROPOUT OF THE WORKFORCE.

INSTEAD THEY HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF PAID TIME FROM THAT FUND AND THEN USUALLY STAY IN THE WORKFORCE AND GO BACK TO WORK.

BUSINESSES ARE PRODUCING MORE GOODS AND SERVICES AND GETTING HIGHER PROFITS.

THE FEAR MONGERING, THE PEOPLE WHO SAY IT'S BAD FOR BUSINESS IT'S ALREADY BEEN DISPROVEN AND THAT'S WHY IT'S A COMPETITION WITH NEW YORK JOINING IN, MASSACHUSETTS, OTHER STATES WANTING TO DO THIS IN ORDER TO ATTRACT, RETAIN AND GET THOSE PROFITS.

TELL US WHAT CALIFORNIA HAS DONE.

THEY'VE TAKEN A SIGNIFICANT STEP.

SNEERS WHAT'S HAPPENING.

UNDER GOVERNOR NEWSOME THERE'S THIS CALL AND SUPPORT NOW FOR BROADENING OUT THE PAID FAMILY LEAVE PROGRAM THAT ALREADY EXISTS.

SO WHAT WE'VE SEEN IS THAT THIS HAS BECOME SO POPULAR THAT NOW THERE ARE CALLS TO EXPAND IT.

AND IN CALIFORNIA THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT CREATING A SYSTEM IN WHICH BOTH PARENTS AFTER A NEW CHILD GET THREE MONTHS PAID EACH.

THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT EXACTLY,000 STRUCTURE THE FUNDING AROUND THAT.

WHAT THAT DOES IT BROADENS THE NUMBER OF WEEKS PEOPLE WILL GET PAID.

YOUR VIEWERS MIGHT BE HAPPY TO KNOW NEW YORK IS WORKING TOWARDS SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR.

AS OF 2021 BOTH PARENTS CAN GET 12 PAID WEEKS EACH.

SO IN EACH CASE THERE'S SOME SPECIFICS ABOUT WHO CAN GET IT AND HOW MUCH.

BUT BIG PICTURE, NEW YORK IS ADVANCING TOO AND CALIFORNIA IS COMPETING.

WHY DO YOU THINK THERE'S A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING?

BECAUSE NO ONE HAS EVER TOLD THEM.

IN AMERICA AND IN SOME WAYS IT'S LEGIT A REACTION, ALLERGIC REACTION TO TAX.

WHEN WE HEAR ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT A SYSTEM IN WHICH SOME MONEY WILL BE TAKEN, GO BACK TO 1776 IN YOUR MIND.

THIS IDEA THAT WE REJECT ANYTHING THAT SOUNDS LIKE A TAX.

WHEN PEOPLE HEAR PAID FAMILY LEAVE OFTEN WE HAVE THE FIRST AMERICAN INSTINCT TO SAY THAT SOUNDS LIKE A TAX, TAX IS NOT FREE MARKETS IT'S BAD FOR BUSINESS.

HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE HYPOTHETICAL ABOUT THIS.

IT'S AN INSURANCE SYSTEM AND IT HELPS BUSINESSES.

SO NOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT HOW DO YOU FEEL?

I'VE BEEN ON CAPITOL HILL AND WORKED WITH NEW YORK LEGISLATURES.

SPOKEN AT VARIOUS STATE LEVELS.

WE'RE AT THE POINT WHERE NOBODY HAS A STRONG ARGUMENT AGAINST IT.

ARE YOU FINDING IN YOUR TRAVELS SOME AREAS OF THE COUNTRY ARE MORE WILLING TO EMBRACE THESE NOTION?

YES.

WHAT HAPPENS IS THERE'S SORT OF A GROUND SWELL WITHIN EACH STATE.

AND AS THAT GROUND SWELL GROWS YOU GET CHANGE.

NEW YORK IS STRUGGLING WITH THIS FOR A WHILE.

AND THE GROUND SWELL GOT TO THE POINT IN WHICH EVERYONE AGREED TO IT.

IT'S NOT SO MUCH GEOGRAPHIC.

WE'RE SEEING SOME DEVELOPMENTS IN EVERY TIME ZONE IN THE COUNTRY WHICH IS GREAT.

BUT WHAT WE DO FIND IS WHERE THERE'S THE LARGEST GRASSROOTS EFFORT IT TARTS TO HAPPEN.

ALSO WHERE STATES ARE HEARING ABOUT EACH OTHER IN THAT COMPETITIVE NATURE KICKS IN, THAT'S HELPING AS WELL AND THAT'S ONE REASON THAT IT'S NOW QUITE LIKELY TO HAPPEN IN CONNECTICUT, BECAUSE CONNECTICUT -- PEOPLE HAVE SEEN WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AND THEY WANT TO COMPLETE THAT TRI-STATE T TRIFECTA.

IN AN ERA WHEN WE RARELY HEAR THE TERM BIPARTISAN ARE YOU FINDING BIPARTISAN SUPPORT ONCE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

ONLY AT THE STATE LEVEL.

THAT SPEAKS HOW MESSED UP THINS ARE IN WASHINGTON.

IT'S RIDICULOUS.

THIS GOES BACK BEFORE DONALD TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT.

I WAS ON CAPITOL HILL TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT PAID FAMILY LEAVE.

MEETING WITH SENATORS.

ALL THE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS I MET WITH WERE LINING UP TO SUPPORT IT.

THE BEST SYSTEM AVAILABLE IS CALLED THE FAMILY ACT.

IT WOULD TAKE THIS NEW YORK IDEA AND MAKE IT NATIONAL.

SENATOR GILLIBRAND OF NEW YORK IS ONE OF THE MAIN PEOPLE PUSHING FOR THAT.

I'M ON A WORKING GROUP TO HER OFFICE.

ALL THE REPUBLICAN SENATORS I MET WITH AND THEIR STAFFS THEY HAD NO ARGUMENT AGAINST IT.

THEY AGREED IN PRINCIPLE BUT WOULD NOT TAKE STEPS TO MOVE FORWARD AND THAT SPEAKS TO FEAR OF THEIR OWN VOTERS, THE FEAR OF WHAT YOU SAID, THE FEAR IF YOU STOPPED PEOPLE ON THE STREET THEY WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE REACTION TO IT BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW IT'S GOOD.

AT STATE LEVELS IT'S BIPARTISAN IN ALL OF THE STATES WHERE IT'S HAPPENING.

NATIONALLY WE'RE NOT GETTING TRUE BIPARTISAN ACTION SPECIFICALLY FROM THE FAMILY ACT, WHICH IS THE RIGHT WAY TO GO.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

YOUR SEEING, STILL, THIS NOFGS A STIGMA THAT ATTACHES TO THE IDEA, ESPECIALLY OF PATERNITY LEAVE?

YES.

I'M GLAD TO SEE THAT IT'S GOING DOWN A LITTLE BIT.

THAT'S ONE PLACE WHERE WE'RE SEEING BIPARTISAN EFFORTS.

REPUBLICANS ARE TALKING CONCEPT THE -- CONCEPTUALLY ABOUT PAID FAMILY LEAVE FOR FATHERS.

WE'RE SEEING STIGMA STARTING TO GO AWAY.

THIS IS PART OF THE WORK I DO.

MEN FACE DEMOTIONS OR SOMETIMES GET FIRED IF THEY DARE TO TAKE PATERNITY LEAVE AND THIS IS PROVEN AROUND THE COUNTRY IN ALL SORTS OF SITUATIONS BECAUSE WE HAVE THIS BACKWARD THINKING THAT MEN ARE LAZY AT HOME, THAT WE DON'T DO ANYTHING AT HOME, SO IF A GUY WANTS PATERNITY LEAVE HE'LL CRACK OPEN A BEER AND DO NOTHING UNTIL THE WIFE GETS HOME.

WE HAVE THESE STEREOTYPES IN MIND SO UNTIL WE CONQUER THAT WE WON'T HAVE THE LEGISLATIVE ACTION THAT WE NEED.

THANK YOU FOR TALK WITH US.

MY PLEASURE AS ALWAYS.

BE WELL.

TONIGHT WE'RE TAKING YOU BACK TO THE TIME WHEN THE VIKINGS RULED THE NORTHERN SEAS.

LONG BEFORE THE WORLD HAD EVER HEARD OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS THESE WAR WARRIORS TRAVELED FROM NORWAY TO NEWFOUNDLAND, BIRDS AS THEIR COMPASS.

THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THESE BIRDS ALONG WITH A HOST OF OTHER ANIMALS, ARCTIC FORKS HUMPBACK WHALES AND REINDEERS IS THE FEATURE OF A NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'WILD WAYS OF VIKINGS.'

1,200 YEARS AGO THE NORTH ATLANTIC WAS PRISTINE AND PURE.

A LAND RULED BY FALCON, BY WALL RAD -- WALRUS, BY REINDEER.

BUT ANCIENT PEOPLE CAME TO CLAIM THESE LANDS.

PEOPLE LIKE THE VIKINGS.

THIS WAS A WORLD THEY EXPLOITED.

BUT IT WAS A WORLD THEY ALSO NURTURED AND REVERED.

NOW, TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO SEE THE NATURAL WORLD THROUGH ANCIENT EYES.

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO EXPERIENCE THE WILD WAY OF THE VIKINGS.

JOINING US NOW WITH MORE ON THE 'WILD WAY OF THE VIKINGS' IS NATURE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER.

THANK YOU.

YOU KNOW, FRED, AT FIRST BRUSH ONE MIGHT THINK 'WILD WAY OF THE VIKINGS' IS A DEPARTURE FROM FROM THE USUAL NATURE OF THE DOCUMENTARY.

THERE'S SOME DRAMAIZED MOMENTS BUT CONSIDERING THE FACT WE HAVE A AS IFCY NATION WITH VIKINGS AND WE HAD INTEREST ON DOING SOMETHING ON SCANDINAVIAN WILDLIFE.

CAN WE GO TO THESE LOCATIONS AND ENVISION WHAT THEY SEE.

CERTAINLY DEPENDENT ON NATURE FOR EXISTENCE BEFORE SCIENCE AND CRAFT A SHOW AROUND WHAT THEY SAW, WHAT NATURE MEANT TO THEM AND GET NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE WILDLIFE THERE.

HOW DO WE REALLY KNOW?

YOU SAY THERE ARE DRAMATIC RECREATIONS ABOUT THE WAY THEY LIVED.

HOW DO WE KNOW HOW THE VIKINGS LIVED 1,200 YEARS AGO?

THESE REMNANTS, YOU KNOW, WE CAN SPECULATE THAT, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT WILDLIFE BEHAVIOR, FOR EXAMPLE, WE KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, A HUMPBACK WHALE WILL FEED NEAR SHORE.

WE CAN SPECULATE WHEN THEY SAW A HUMPBACK WHALE THEY KNEW THEY WERE NEAR LAND OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

THERE ARE REMAINS OF CUPS AND BOWLS AND TOOLS AND OTHER THINGS CLEARLY FROM THE WILDLIFE THAT THEY ENCOUNTERED, SO WE CAN PICK UP SIGNS OF WHAT THEY ENCOUNTERED, HOW SOME OF THESE MATERIALS WERE USED, THEIR CLOTHING.

WE HAVE A WONDERFUL SEQUENCE JUST A FEW YEARS AGO SCIENTISTS DISCOVERED A VIKING ERA SET OF SKIS IN A GLACIER IN NORWAY AND WE THOUGHT DID VIKINGS SKI?

WELL CERTAINLY ON THE SLOPES OF NORWAY IN THE WINTER THEY WOULD NEED TO KNOW HOW TO GET AROUND.

SO WE CREATED A SCENARIO ON SKIS GOING OUT TO HUNT REINDEER.

IT'S ONE OF THE MOST FANTASTIC THINGS I'VE EVER SEEN.

TODAY, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WE JUST SHOT IT, THERE ARE STILL TENS OF THOUSANDS OF REINDEER IN THESE INCREDIBLE HERDS, AND WHAT WE SAW WAS BEHAVIOR I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

YOU WERE REFERRING TO A SCENE, I GOT TO SAY THERE'S A HUNTER SCARES THEM AND THEY DO SOMETHING -- THEY START, THOUSANDS OF THEM START TWIRLING AROUND TO CONFUSE THE HUNTER AND IT DOES.

THEN YOU HAVE AN AERIAL SHOT OF IT THAT'S AMAZING.

IT'S SPECTACULAR.

I HOPE WE'RE SHOWING THAT AS WE TALK.

ALMOST LIKE A FISH MEAT BALL TO CONFUSE A PREDATOR OR HUNTER THEY SPIN.

THEY RUN IN THIS CIRCLE.

SO YOU'RE CONFUSED BY THEM AND CAN'T GET A GOOD SHOT.

THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED.

IT TOOK THE VIKINGS 200 YEARS TO TRAVEL FROM SCANDINAVIA TO NORTH AMERICA BECAUSE IN BETWEEN THEY WERE COLONIZERS.

THEY COLONISZE SCOTLAND AND THEN YOU SHOWCASE THE ANIMALS THAT THE VIKINGS NEEDED TO SURVIVE ACROSS THAT TREK.

TALK ABOUT SOME OF THOSE ANIMALS.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THE REINDEER.

OTTERS.

SEALS.

WALRUS.

A HUGE COLONY OF BIRDS.

THE VIKINGS WOULD CLIMB UP AND TAKE THE EGGS THEY NEEDED TO SURVIVE.

DUCKS.

NOW IT'S INTERESTING, THE DUCKS WOULD PLUG FEATHER FROM THEIR CHESTS TO LINE THEIR NESTS ON THE GROUND.

AND VIKINGS WOULD APPROACH THESE NESTS AND WITHOUT DOING ANY HARM TO THE DUCKS PULL OUT THESE DOWN FEATHERS AND USE THAT AS WE WOULD FOR CLOTHING.

AND REPLACE IT WITH STRAW.

EXACTLY.

SO THEY WOULD USE IT IN THAT WAY.

ANTLERS WOULD TURN INTO CUPS FOR THEM.

AND THEY VALUED ALL THIS STUFF AND IT WAS PASSED DOWN GENERATION TO GENERATION BECAUSE, AS YOU KNOW, THEY COULDN'T RUN OUT TO WALMART TO REPLACE ANYTHING.

SO WHATEVER YOU CREATED TOOK SOME TIME AND WAS QUITE VALUABLE.

EVEN THE CLOTHING THEY MADE WOULD LAST 100 YEARS.

IT GOT PASSED DOWN TO DIFFERENT GENERATIONS BECAUSE OF, YOU KNOW, HOW HARD IT WAS TO COME ACROSS ANYTHING.

THEY USED THE IVORY FROM THE WALRU WALRUSTUSK TO MAKE THESE BEAUTIFUL CHESS PIECES.

THE FALCONS.

THEY DOMESTICATED THEM AND SOLD THEM TO NOBILITY IN EUROPE.

I DIDN'T KNOW THE VIKINGS WERE SO ENTERPRISING.

FALCONER GOES BACK A THOUSAND OF YEARS.

WE HAVE THE BIGGEST FALCON IN THE WORLD AND VIRTUALLY ALL WHITE AND JUST BEAUTIFUL AND YOU CAN SEE WHY ANY CULTURE WOULD PRIZE SUCH AN ANIMAL, FALCONS ARE KILLING MACHINES.

THEY ARE INCREDIBLY FAST AND KIND OF -- THEY JUST STOOP DOWN ON THEIR PREY.

SO TO HAVE THAT IS COOL.

YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THE VIKINGS AND THE DOCUMENTARY MAKES THE POINT HOW THE VIKINGS WERE, YOU KNOW, USED ONLY WHAT THEY NEED, PRESERVED THE REST AND THEN SAVED WHAT THEY GOT FOR GENERATIONS AND GENERATIONS.

WHY DID THEY DO THAT?

WERE THEY PRO ECOLOGYISTS?

I DON'T THINK THEY HAD ANY CLUE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY.

I THINK THERE WAS SUCH LIFE IN GREAT NUMBERS.

BIRD COLONIES AND FISH AND HERDS OF ANIMALS AND IN EACH OF THESE LOCATIONS THERE JUST MIGHT BE A COUPLE HUNDRED VIKINGS.

SO IT WAS QUITE EASY TO GET WHAT YOU NEEDED AND AS MUCH AS YOU NEED BUT MADE NO IMPACT ON NATURE THAT WAS THERE.

ONE OF THE REASONS WHY IT'S SO EASY TO RECREATE AT LEAST THE VISUAL NATURE OF WHAT THEY EXPERIENCED.

THAT'S WHY I SO ENJOYED THE SHOW BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE WATCHING IT YOU SORT OF -- YEAH IT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE SEEN.

IT'S NOT AS IF WE'RE TRYING TO RECREATE 17th CENTURY MANHATTAN WHERE IT, OBVIOUSLY, LOOKS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BUT CAN YOU GO BACK TO THESE LOCATIONS IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC AND SCANDINAVIA AND IT REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE AN UNTOUCHED WILDERNESS WITH GREAT NUMBERS OF ANIMALS AND IT'S CAPTIVATING IN THAT WAY AND YOU CAN SEE HOW DIFFICULT LIFE MIGHT BE FOR THEM BUT ALSO THE GREAT POTENTIAL OF WHAT WAS THERE.

YEAH.

ALL RIGHT, FRED, GREAT DOCUMENTARY, OF COURSE.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING HERE TO TALK ABOUT IT.

MY PLEASURE, THANKS.

JUST A REMINDER 'WILD WAY OF THE VIKINGS' PREMIERES WEDNESDAY AT 8:00.

Announcer: 'METRO FOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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