METROFOCUS: MAY 16, 2019

May 17, 2019 at 5:30 am

Mayor Bill de Blasio has officially announced his run for the White House, making him the 24th person to announce a 2020 Democratic presidential run. Will his progressive pitch for the presidency resonate with Democrats? We have the details. Bryan Cranston takes the anchor desk as mad prophet of the airwaves Howard Beale in the hit Broadway play inspired by Paddy Chayefsky’s classic, “Network.” Now, the “Breaking Bad” star is here to share his take on the media and life in and out of the public eye.

Aired on May 16, 2019.

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>>> TONIGHT ON "METRO FOCUS" AND
THEN THERE WERE 24.
24 DEMOCRATS READY TO TAKE ON
PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2020.
>> DONALD TRUMP MUST BE STOPPED.
I'VE BEATEN HIM BEFORE AND I
WILL DO IT AGAIN.
>> I'M BILL De BLASIO AND I'M
RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT BECAUSE
IT'S TIME WE PUT WORKING PEOPLE
FIRST.
>> MAYOR BILL De BLASIO
OFFICIALLY TOSSES HIS HAT IN THE
EVER INCREASING RING OF
DEMOCRATS MAKING A RUN FOR THE
WHITE HOUSE.
BOTH LOVED AND LOATHED IN NEW
YORK, WILL THE MAYOR'S
PROGRESSIVE PITCH FOR THE
PRESIDENCY RESONATE WITH
DEMOCRATS AROUND THE COUNTRY?
>>> AND THEN BRIAN CRANSTON
TAKES THE ANCHOR DESK AS HOWARD
BEAL IN THE BROADWAY SENDOFF OF
"NETWORK."
>>> THE BREAKING BAD STAR IS
HERE TO SHARE HIS TAKE ON THE
MEDIA AND HAVE A FRANK
DISCUSSION ABOUT LIFE IN AND OUT
OF THE PUBLIC EYE.
>> THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS
"MELT
"M
"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.
>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH
JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.
IT'S BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE
SYLVIA A AND SIMON B.POITA
FOUNDATION.
BERNARD SCHWARZ AND BY --
>>> WHAT I BRING IS ABSOLUTE
TOTAL FOCUS ON PUTTING WORKING
PEOPLE FIRST.
I HAVE DONE IT HERE.
THESE ARE NOT WORDS, THESE ARE
DEEDS.
THAT'S WHAT PAID SICK LEAVE IS.
THAT'S WHAT PRE-K IS AND THAT'S
WHAT GUARANTEED HEALTH CARE IS.
THESE ARE REALITIES THAT JUST
CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES.
I INTEND TO BREAK THE MOLD.
I INTEND TO MAKE HISTORY AND I
INTEND TO WIN.
>> IT'S JACK FORD.
IT'S OFFICIAL.
AFTER WEEKS OF HINTING AT A
PRESIDENTIAL RUN BILL De BLASIO
HAS JOINED THE FRAY.
THE MAYOR IS THE 24th DEMOCRAT
TO ENTER THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL
RACE JOINING A CROWDED FIELD LED
BY CANDIDATES, MANY OF WHOM HAVE
MUCH HIGHER NATIONAL PROFILES.
IN NEW YORK THERE ARE THOSE THAT
ARE SKEPTICAL OF THE MAYOR'S
PRESIDENTIAL BID.
IN FACT, A QUINNIPIAC POLL
SHOWED 77% OF NEW YORK VOTERS
SAID HE SHOULD NOT RUN.
NO SITTING MAYOR HAS EVER BEEN
ELECTED TO THE PRESIDENCY.
PRESIDENT TRUMP HEARD THE NEWS
ON TWITTER CALLING MAYOR De
BLASIO, QUOTE, THE WORST MAYOR
IN THE U.S. ADDING, IF YOU LIKE
HIGH TAXES AND CRIME, HE'S YOUR
MAN.
NYC HATES HIM, END QUOTE.
MAYOR De BLASIO WILL NOW TRAVEL
TO IOWA AND SOUTH CAROLINA, SOME
OF THE FIRST STEPS IN A LONG
SLOG OF A PRIMARY CAMPAIGN.
JOINING US AND TELLING US WHAT
THIS MEANS FOR THE CITY IS OUR
GOOD FRIEND BEN MAX, EXECUTIVE
EDITOR OF THE GOTHAM GAZETTE.
IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE.
YOU HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT
WHEN YOU COME VISIT US.
LET'S START OFF WITH, WHY NOW.
>> I THINK HE TOOK A LOT OF TIME
TO DECIDE, AS YOU SORT OF HINTED
AT THERE.
AND I THINK HE WAS GENUINELY
DECIDING, IS THIS SOMETHING I
WANT TO DO.
THIS IS A MAYOR WHO WE'VE KNOWN
HAS BEEN LATE POLITICALLY TO
CERTAIN THINGS, LOOK AT HIS LACK
OF ENDORSEMENT AND FINALLY
GETTING ON BOARD WITH HILLARY
CLINTON IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION.
I THINK HE WAS GENUINELY TRYING
TO FIGURE OUT IF THIS WAS
SOMETHING HE WANTED TO DO.
AS YOU NOTED, THERE HAS NOT BEEN
A CLEAR CHORUS OF PEOPLE SAYING,
RUN, BILL, RUN.
>> HOW CAN HE BE HURT BY THE
LATENESS OF ENTERING INTO THE
FRAY?
>> WELL, THE FIELD IS SO BIG AND
FAIRLY ESTABLISHED AND YOU'VE
STARTED TO SEE PEOPLE GRAVITATE
TOWARDS CERTAIN CANDIDATES,
ALTHOUGH I WOULD SAY THAT OTHER
THAN SOME OF THE SUPPORT FOR
PEOPLE LIKE BERNIE SANDERS WHO
RAN LAST TIME AND RETAINED SOME
OF THE CORE HE HAD, THERE ARE
PROBABLY PEOPLE WHO ARE
CONSIDERING A VARIETY OF
CANDIDATES AND WHEN THEY'RE
POLLED THEY MIGHT BE GOING WITH
SOMEONE WHO THEY'RE FAVORING AT
THAT TIME, BUT IT IS A LONG ROAD
AHEAD.
THERE WON'T BE VOTES CAST IN
IOWA UNTIL NEXT YEAR SO THERE'S
A LOT OF TIME HERE.
BUT COMING IN AT THIS JUNCTURE,
YOU HAVE TO WONDER WHO IS THE
AUDIENCE?
WHO HASN'T SORT OF SAID, YOU
KNOW, I'M LIKING WHAT ELIZABETH
WARREN IS SAYING.
I'M A BERNIE GUY.
I'M A BIDEN WOMAN.
THERE ARE ALREADY PEOPLE WHO
HAVE GOTTEN INTERESTED.
>> STAKED OUT THEIR TERRITORY,
IF YOU WILL.
MIGHT BE THERE BE A POSITIVE
COMING IN BEING THE LAST ONE
INTO THE RACE?
>> YOU'D HAVE TO --
>> MAYBE.
YOU KNOW, WHO KNOWS?
YOU'D LIKE TO THINK HE MIGHT BE
THE LAST ONE.
IT'S GETTING A LITTLE BIT ABSURD
AT THIS POINT BUT, YES, HE GETS
TO MAKE SOME WAVES.
MAYBE HIS NEWS CYCLE, GETTING
INTO THE RACE IS A LITTLE BIT
LONGER THAN WE'VE SEEN FOR
OTHERS.
THERE COULD BE SOMETHING TO THAT
DEPENDING ON HOW SUCCESSFULLY
THE ROLLOUT GOES, THE TRIP TO
IOWA, THE TRIP TO SOUTH
CAROLINA, CAN HE CREATE SOME
GOOD BUZZ.
DOES HE HAVE SOME POLICY
PROPOSALS TO ROLL OUT.
WE SHALL SEE HOW WELL HE HANDLES
THIS INITIAL PHASE OF THE
CAMPAIGN IF HE GETS SOME BUZZ
GOING.
ONE OF THE CONCERNS FOR HIM I
THINK IS THAT HE DOESN'T HAVE A
BIG TEAM ASSEMBLED.
A LOT OF HIS OLD ADVISORS ARE
NOT WITH HIM.
>> FOR OTHER PEOPLE, THERE ARE
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BECOME A BIT
DISILLUSIONED WITH HIM.
THERE'S A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT
HOW HE'S GOING TO PULL OFF EVEN
THE EARLY PHASE TO SEE IF HE CAN
GET SOME MOMENTUM GOING.
>> IT'S INTERESTING EVEN IN THE
ERA OF MODERN DAY POLITICS,
BEING A MAYOR HAS NOT BEEN A
SPRING BOARD.
WE MENTIONED JOHN LINDSEY WANTED
TO RUN WHILE HE WAS A SITTING
MAYOR.
DID NOT WORK FOR HIM.
WE SAW ED KOCH TRYING TO RUN.
MORE RECENTLY MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
AS A POSSIBILITY, RUDY GIULIANI.
IT DOESN'T CATAPULT PEOPLE INTO
THAT HIGHER OFFICE.
WHAT IS HE GOING TO ARGUE?
WHAT'S HE GOING TO SAY AS TO WHY
IT SHOULD BE DIFFERENT FOR HIM
AND WHY HE CAN BRING SOMETHING
FROM HIS TENURE AS THE MAYOR OF
NEW YORK THAT WOULD BE VALUABLE
TO THE NATION?
>> WE DO NEED, I THINK, A LITTLE
BIT MORE OF A STUDY AROUND THE
COUNTRY AS TO WHY THE MAYOR OF
NEW YORK CITY SEEMS LIKE A BIT
OF A DEAD END AND WHY PEOPLE WHO
DON'T KNOW MAYOR De BLASIO LIKE
HIM AROUND THE COUNTRY.
WE'LL LEAVE THAT ASIDE FOR A
SECOND.
HE'S GOING TO OFFER THIS BLEND
OF PROGRESSIVE AGENDA AND
EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE.
HE'S GOING TO SAY, I'VE DONE IT.
HE'S ALREADY SAYING THAT.
I'VE DONE IT IN NEW YORK CITY
AND I CAN DO IT FOR THE COUNTRY
BY IMPLEMENTING POLICIES AS HE'S
LINING UP THAT HELP WORKING
PEOPLE.
AND WE'LL SEE EXACTLY HOW HE
DEFINES IT.
I THINK HE'S GOING TO TAKE A
VERY BROAD DEFINITION TO WHAT
WORKING PEOPLE MEANS BUT HE'S
GOING TO TALK ABOUT THINGS LIKE
UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN,
MAYBE COUPLING THAT LIKE HE HAS
IN THE CITY WITH AFTER SCHOOL
PROGRAMS, HIGHER TAXES ON THE
WEALTHY, HEALTH SCARE.
YOU NAME IT, HE'S GOING TO OFFER
TO VOTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
SORT OF THIS VISION FOR DOING
MORE FROM THE GOVERNMENT FOR
WORKING PEOPLE TO PUT SOME OF
THE MONEY BACK IN THEIR POCKETS.
>> AND THERE CAN BE SOME POWER,
DON'T YOU THINK, TO THE NOTION
OF SAYING THEY'RE ALL PROMISING
YOU IF YOU GIVE THEM A CHANCE
THEY THINK THEY CAN DO IT AND HE
CAN SAY, I'VE DONE IT.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
I MEAN, EVEN A VICE PRESIDENT
LIKE JOE BIDEN CAN'T NECESSARILY
STAKE HIS CLAIM TO TOO MANY
THINGS THAT HE PERSONALLY MADE
HAPPEN.
I MEAN, HE'LL TRY TO CERTAINLY
TAKE SOME CREDIT FOR ANYTHING
THAT HAPPENED IN THE OBAMA
PRESIDENCY, BUT THEN YOU HAVE A
BUNCH OF U.S. SENATORS WHO SPENT
A LOT OF TIME IN THE MINORITY.
THERE ARE REAL QUESTIONS AS TO
WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS PEOPLE CAN
POINT TO AND HE'S BEEN THE CHIEF
EXECUTIVE OF THE CITY,
DEMOCRATIC MAYOR WITH A
DEMOCRATIC CITY COUNCIL AND HE'S
BEEN ABLE TO PUSH THROUGH A LOT
OF THINGS.
CRIME IS LOW.
JOBS ARE HIGH.
HE HAS -- AND THIS CAN BE A
DETRIMENT TO SOME, BUT HE'S
EXPANDED THE CITY BUDGET IN SUCH
A SIGNIFICANT WAY THAT HE GOT A
LOT OF PROGRAMS HE CAN SAY, LOOK
AT THE WAY I TOOK ALL OF CITY
GOVERNMENT TO MAKE IT MORE
EQUITABLE FOR PEOPLE IN NEW YORK
CITY.
SO HE'S GOT SOME THINGS TO RUN
ON.
THERE'S ALSO SOME CRISES THAT WE
KNOW THAT ARE HERE IN THE CITY
THAT HE SHOULD HAVE TO ACCOUNT
FOR.
WE'LL SEE IF VOTERS MAKE HIM
ACCOUNT FOR THOSE THINGS LIKE
HOMELESSNESS, THE PUBLIC HOUSING
CRISIS, HIS INATTENTION TO MASS
TRANSIT FOR TOO MUCH OF HIS
MERRILTY.
I DON'T KNOW THAT THOSE THINGS
WILL MATTER TO VOTERS.
HE'S HAD CAMPAIGN FINANCE
SCANDALS.
WE'LL SEE.
IS HE GOING TO GET ASKED ABOUT
THAT IN IOWA?
I DON'T KNOW.
CRIME IS SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER.
HE'S NEVER HAD A GOOD
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NYPD,
ESPECIALLY THE UNIONS INVOLVED
THERE.
UNIONS, NYPD REPRESENT TIFS,
UNION REPRESENTATIVES PROTESTING
HIM WHEN HE'S MAKING THE
ANNOUNCEMENT OUTSIDE THE STUDIO.
>> RIGHT.
>> DOES THAT CARRY OVER DO YOU
THINK OCCASIONALLY?
>> SO THE POLICE UNION, THE PBA,
HAS ACTUALLY BEEN FOLLOWING HIM
ON THE ROAD AT TIMES THROUGHOUT
HIS TIME.
THAT COULD HURT HIM IF THEY
CONTINUE TO DO THAT.
THAT'S ALL PART OF THEIR
CONTRACT NEGOTIATING.
THEY'VE DONE THAT WITH MAYORS,
DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN.
THEY REALLY TAKE THOSE SORT OF
TOUGH NEGOTIATING PRACTICES ALL
OVER THE CITY AND ALL OVER THE
COUNTRY SO THAT COULD ABSOLUTELY
HURT HIM.
IF THE MEDIA IN SOME OF THESE
PLACES SEE THAT IN THEIR AREAS,
THEN IT STARTS TO SEEP INTO
THEIR COVERAGE MORE THAN IF THEY
HAVE TO GO BACK AND FIGURE OUT
WHAT'S GOING BACK IN NEW YORK
CITY.
>> NEXT QUESTION FOR YOU.
OBVIOUSLY HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO
BE SOMETHING OF AN ABSENTEE
MAYOR AND HE'S BEEN KNOWN TO BE
A MICROMANAGER, NOT SOMEBODY WHO
LIKES TO DELEGATE.
IT'S HIS STYLE OF MANAGING, BUT
THERE'S GOING TO BE A VACUUM.
DO YOU THINK THAT'S GOING TO
ACCELERATE THE RACE FOR THE NEXT
MAYOR OF NEW YORK?
WE'RE GOING TO SEE PEOPLE SORT
OF START TO FILL THAT VACUUM
EARLIER THAN THEY MIGHT
OTHERWISE?
>> I THINK THAT'S A GREAT POINT.
I THINK YES IS THE ANSWER.
THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THE
FOLKS THAT ARE LINING UP TO RUN
FOR MAYOR ARE GOING TO SEE A BIT
OF A VACUUM HERE.
THE MAYOR IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE
VERY STRATEGIC ABOUT HOW OFTEN
HE COMES BACK ROM THE TRAIL,
THE TIME HE SPENDS, THE EVENTS
THAT HE HAS, THE CLARITY WITH
WHICH HE'S MAKING THIS AND IT'S
A BIT OFFENSIVE THAT HE'S NOT
HAPPY WITH THE JOB HE HAS
LEADING THE CITY.
HE HAS 2 1/2 MORE YEARS OF HIS
TERM AND NOW HE'S GOING TO RUN
FOR HIGHER OFFICE WHEN THERE'S
REAL PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH AT
HOME.
YOU'VE SEEN SOME OF THOSE 2021
CONTENDERS SAY THINGS LIKE THAT
WHEN THE MAYOR WAS CONSIDERING
THIS RUN.
WE HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS HERE.
I THINK WE SHOULD DEAL WITH
THOSE.
>> THE CANDIDACY HAS BEEN
LAUNCHED AND WE'LL SEE WHERE IT
GOES.
BEN, WE'RE ALWAYS SMARTER AFTER
WE SPEND TIME WITH YOU.
WE'LL TALK AGAIN REAL SOON.
>>> I WAS MAD AS HELL And I'M
NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE.
>> ACTOR PETER FINCH PORTRAYED
PETER BEAL IN THE 1976 OSCAR
WINNING FILM "NETWORK."
IT ARRIVED MORE THAN 40 YEARS
OLD.
IT WAS WHERE TV NEWS AND TABLOID
TELEVISION WERE HEADED AND IT
FEELS JUST AS PERTINENT TO OUR
TIME AS IT DID BACK THEN.
THE CURRENT ACCLAIMED BROADWAY
ADAPTATION OF THE 1976 MOVIE
"NETWORK" STARS BRIAN CRANSTON
AS THE MAD PROPHET OF THE AIR
WAVES.
CRANSTON, PROBABLY BEST KNOWN
FOR HIS FILM AND EMMY AWARD
WINNING SERIES "BREAKING BAD" IS
ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED STAGE
PERFORMER.
WON A TONY AWARD FOR PLAYING
LYNDON JOHNSON IN THE PLAY "ALL
THE WAY" AND HE BRINGS ALL OF
HIS WEIGHT TO THE ACTING PART OF
HOWARD BEAL AND THIS MULTI-MEDIA
SPECTACLE.
WE ARE DELIED TO HAVE BRIAN
CRANSTON JOIN US.
BRIAN, IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU
HERE WITH US.
I WANT TO START WITH "NETWORK."
YOU'VE HAD A LONG AND
EXTRAORDINARILY SUCCESSFUL
CAREER.
I WOULD SUSPECT THAT GIVES YOU
THE LUXURY OF A LOI THE OPTIONS.
>> YES.
>> WHAT WAS IT ABOUT "NETWORK"
AND HOWARD BEAL THAT YOU SAID,
THIS IS THE NEXT THING FOR ME?
>> IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE STORY
FOR ME.
THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT
ELEMENT IN ANY PERFORMANCE ART
IS THE FOUNDATIONAL VALUE OF THE
WRITTEN WORD.
SKBL HOW FAMILIAR WERE YOU WITH
THE FILM BACK IN 1976?
>> SAW IT WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE
AND BACK THEN I THOUGHT, AS I
THINK IT WAS WRITTEN, INTENDED
TO BE A SATIRE, AND HOW CRAZY
WOULD IT BE IF WE CAN JUST TURN
ON OUR TELEVISIONS AND WATCH THE
DEATH HOUR, THE VIGILANTE SHOW
OR SEE AN EXECUTION ON -- YOU
KNOW, HOW SILLY.
HOW CRAZCRAZY.
>> MADNESS TAKING OVER OUR
TELEVISION.
>> WELL, NOW HERE WE ARE AND OUR
TELEVISIONS ARE JUST A LOT
SMALLER NOW.
THEY'RE IN THE PALM OF OUR
HANDS, AND -- BUT THAT
TECHNOLOGY IS, YOU KNOW, ALIVE
AND WELL AND LIVING IN THE
CENTURY.
>> AND I WONDER WATCHING IT, I
SAW IT AT THE SAME TIME.
AROUND THE SAME AGE, I'M A
COUPLE YEARS OLDER THAN YOU SO I
WAS JUST FINISHING LAW SCHOOL.
I HADN'T GOTTEN INTO THE
TELEVISION NEWS BUSINESS.
IT WOULD BE 15 YEARS BEFORE I
DID THAT.
I REMEMBER WATCHING THAT
THINKING, THAT'S KIND OF CURIOUS
THAT THEY WOULD THINK THIS IS
WHAT IT COULD BECOME BECAUSE AT
THE TIME, 1976, WE HAD THREE
NETWORKS AND WE HAD CLRONKITE,
NAMES THAT YOU RESPECTED.
>> RIGHT.
>> BUT YOU COULD TELL THAT
SOMETHING WAS STARTING TO CHANGE
BUT I LOOK AT IT AND SAY, HOW
PROPHETIC WAS HE?
WOULD WE KNOW WHAT IT WOULD LOOK
LIKE IN 2019 OR HE WAS THINKING
IT MIGHT SO MAYBE I BETTER SEND
OUT A WARNING ABOUT THIS?
WHAT DO YOU THINK LOOKING BACK?
>> WELL, PATTY HAD A VERY
CHALLENGING CAREER IN TELEVISION
AND FILM.
HE WAS A VERY PROUD WRITER AND
HE DIDN'T APPRECIATE NOTES FROM
MANAGEMENT ON THE VALUE OF SOME
OF HIS WRITING.
CHANGE THAT, CHANGE THAT AND HE
WASN'T PLEASED WITH THAT.
HE SAW THE MECHANISM OF
TELEVISION ADJUSTING TO THE
TEMPERAMENT OF ITS AUDIENCE.
I'LL BE HONEST WHEN I WAS
WATCHING CRONKITE OR BRINKLEY OR
ANY OF THOSE NOBLE AND REVERED
ANCHOR PEOPLE OF THE DAY, IT
NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT I WAS
BEING PACKAGED, THAT THEY WERE
SELECTING THE STORIES THAT THEY
WANTED TO TELL AND TO FEED ME.
>> AND THAT'S THE WAY IT IS,
FRIDAY, MARCH 6th, 1981.
>> I REALLY THOUGHT THAT WHEN
WALTER CRONKITE TOLD US ONE NEWS
ITEM AFTER ANOTHER, THIS IS JUST
WHAT IT IS AND THAT'S THE WAY IT
IS.
AND HE WOULD -- BUT, OF COURSE,
SOMEONE HAD TO MAKE DECISIONS
ABOUT, WELL, WE ONLY HAVE TIME
FOR THESE 12 STORIES AND THESE 6
NEED TO GO AWAY.
WELL, SOMEONE MADE THOSE
DECISIONS OF WHAT TO SAY AND
WHATNOT TO SAY.
AND YOU'D LIKE TO THINK THAT IT
WAS VERY ALTRUISTIC.
NO, IT WAS THIS IS WHAT THE
PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR.
THIS IS HEARSAY AND OPINION AND
WE DON'T WANT TO HAVE THAT IN
OUR NEWSCAST.
>> I TELL PEOPLE WHEN I FIRST
STARTED DOING TELEVISION NEWS 30
SOME YEARS AGO, IF I EVER LET MY
OPINION SEEP INTO MY REPORTING,
THEY'D PULL ME OFF THE AIR.
ISN'T THAT A QUAINT NOTION
TODAY.
>> NOW THEY PAY YOU MORE.
>> IF YOU DON'T GET AN OPINION
IN, NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR FROM
YOU.
>> ANGRIER ON THAT POINT.
GIVE ME A HOWARD BEAL.
LET'S JUMP IN ON THIS.
>> GET IT TO THAT POINT.
>> I HAD A MENTOR BY THE NAME OF
FRED FRIENDLY.
>> YES.
>> YOU KNOW THE NAME.
FRED FRIENDLY WAS THE CONSCIENCE
OF TELEVISION NEWS.
>> YES.
>> I STARTED DOING THINGS WITH
FRED ON PBS, MODERATING THE
PANELS.
FRED HAD A GREAT EXPRESSION HE
WOULD SAY.
IT'S WHAT I THOUGHT AFTER
WATCHING THIS.
I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU AGREE.
HE WOULD SAY THE PURPOSE OF THIS
SHOW IS NOT TO MAKE UP
EVERYBODY'S MIND, RATHER, IT'S
TO MAKE THE AGONY OF DECISION
MAKING SO INTENSE YOU CAN ESCAPE
ONLY BY THINKING.
>> OH.
>> ISN'T THAT A GREAT LINE.
>> THAT IS SO GOOD.
>> IT WORKS FOR ALMOST
EVERYTHING.
BUT I REMEMBER SITTING WATCHING
"NETWORK" AND IN THE END SORT OF
TAKING A BREATH THINKING, FRED
WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS.
NOT BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN
TERRIBLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE
DIRECTION OF THE NEWS, AND HE
WAS, BY THE WAY, BACK THEN, BUT
HE WOULD HAVE LOVED THE FACT
THAT IT MADE EVERYBODY IN THE
AUDIENCE THINK.
>> WELL, YOU MIGHT BE PLEASED TO
KNOW THAT PATTY TALKED WITH FRED
ON THE RESEARCH FOR THIS.
>> I HAD HEARD THAT.
>> QUITE EXTENSIVELY.
>> I HAD HEARD THAT.
>> HE HAD PASSED BUT HIS WIFE
CAME TO THE SHOW.
SHE SENT ME A NOTE AND SAID,
FRED WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY PROUD
TO SEE THIS.
>> HE WOULD HAVE.
>> TO GET A STAMP OF APPROVAL
FROM A PERSON LIKE THAT WITH
THAT BACKGROUND, IT IS REALLY
SATISFYING.
>> YOU APPRECIATE THE STORY AND
THE LINE.
>> YES.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STAGING
BECAUSE IT'S SO DIFFERENT.
YOU KNOW, YOU START OFF AND
YOU'RE COMING OUT AS HOWARD
ABOUT TO ANCHOR THE NEWS AND I
THINK ANY OF US WHO HAVE EVER
ANCHORED A NETWORK NEWSCAST WERE
STARTING TO SWEAT RIGHT AWAY
THINKING THE CLOCK IS COUNTING
DOWN TO IT.
AND THERE'S SO MUCH GOING ON.
>> YEAH.
>> AND I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT
PARTS OF THE STAGING IS THE BIG
SCREEN SORT OF BEHIND YOU.
>> YEAH.
>> IT'S AS IF WE'RE WATCHING YOU
AND THEN WE'RE GETTING TO SEE
WHAT THE AUDIENCE GETS TO SEE
ALSO.
WHEN YOU FIRST SAW HOW THEY HAD
SET THIS WHOLE THING UP, WHAT
WAS YOUR REACTION TO EVERYTHING
THAT WAS GOING ON THERE?
>> EVA VANHOBART AND JAN, THE
SET DESIGNER, THEY LOVED THAT
MULTI-MEDIA INCLUSIVE KIND OF
BRING EVERYTHING AT YOU.
IT REALLY FITS.
IT'S VERY APPROPRIATE AND
GERMANE FOR THIS STORY.
A NEWSROOM AND THE ACTIVITY OF
IT.
AND ALSO THE -- IN TIMES THE
COMPLACENCY OF IT.
WE HAVE A LIVING RESTAURANT AND
BAR.
>> YEAH, THAT'S INTERESTING, ON
THE SIDE.
>> KIND OF CRAZY.
>> THEY COME IN, THROW MORE
MONEY, SIT THERE, HAVE DINNER.
AND YOU INTERACT WITH THEM ON
OCCASION.
>> EATING AND DRINKING.
>> YEAH.
>> YEAH, IT'S CRAZY.
>> IN SOME WAYS ALL OF THAT
ACTIVITY CENTERS YOU INTO
HOWARD.
>> GOOD.
>> AND I DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD,
BUT IT DID.
SO ONE OF THE THEMES, THE OVER
ARCHING THEMES OF THIS IS THE
NOTION OF THE POWER OF ANGER
AND, AGAIN, GOING BACK TO THE
FACT THAT THIS WAS WRITTEN 44
YEARS AGO?
>> YEAH.
>> AND NOW BEING PERFORMED IN
2019.
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE
NOTION OF IT IS AS REAL NOW,
MAYBE EVEN MORE SO THAN IT WAS
WHEN PATTY PUT IT DOWN ON PAPER
44 YEARS AGO.
>> HE RAILED AGAINST THOSE OF US
IN -- BACK IN THE DAY BEING SO
ADDICTED TO TELEVISION THAT
THAT'S -- WE COMPLETELY RELIED
ON IT AS IF IT WAS GIVING US OUR
SUSTENANCE THAT WE DEPENDED UPON
LIFE.
REMEMBER, WHEN IT WAS IN OUR
HOMES AND IT'S LIKE, THEY'VE GOT
COLORED TV.
REMEMBER THE FIRST, THEY'VE GOT
COLORED TV.
LET'S GO WATCH IT.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU'RE
WATCHING, YOU'RE WATCHING COLOR
TV.
>> IT WAS MIRACULOUS.
THEY HAVE A COLOR ONE.
>> WE WERE ADDICTED TO THIS.
THEY WERE SO TAKEN IN.
WHO'S FIGHTING OVER THE CHANNEL?
DAD'S GOT IT --
>> YOU HAD TO FIGHT FOR THAT
HOUR.
>> YOU HAD TO BE THERE.
>> IT WENT AWAY.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
IN THAT CASE IT WAS MORE LIKE
LIVE THEATER BECAUSE ONCE IT WAS
OVER, IT'S OVER AND THAT'S IT
UNTIL THE RERUNS CAME IN AND
THEN IT WAS -- THEN IT BECAME --
AND THEN THE VCRs AS BIG AS A
SUITCASE.
BUT THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT RESONATES SO STRONGLY NOW.
WE ARE EVEN MORE ADDICTED TO THE
LATEST TECHNOLOGY.
OUR PHONES, OUR TELEVISIONS
WHICH IS NOW IN THE PALM OF OUR
HANDS.
HOW COMMON IS IT TO WALK DOWN
THE STREET AND YOU'RE SEEING
PEOPLE WALKING AND JUST -- IT'S
REALLY AMAZING, ISN'T IT, THE
ADDICTION.
>> AND FRIGHTENING.
>> AND FRIGHTENING YET I WILL
CONFESS THAT I, TOO, IT'S AN
AMAZING TOOL.
IT IS THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE THAT
IS TRULY VALUABLE.
>> SO --
>> THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS.
BUT THE OTHER THING THAT REALLY
STRUCK ME THAT IS THE POWER OF
ANGER, THAT WE SHUN IT.
IT'S NOT AN EMOTION THAT WE
WELCOME, BUT WHAT PATTY WAS
TAPPING INTO IS THE VALUE OF THE
REAL AND HONEST HUMAN EMOTION OF
ANGER.
AND IN MOST CASES IT'S PROBABLY
NOT VERY BENEFICIAL TO YOUR LIFE
TO EXPRESS IT.
>> RIGHT.
>> BUT SOMETIMES, AND SOME
PEOPLE WILL ARGUE MAYBE NOW IN
OUR POLITICAL -- SOCIOPOLITICAL
ENVIRONMENT NOW, MAYBE ANGER IS
THE APPROPRIATE EXPRESSION.
AND IS IT WRONG TO BE PUBLICLY
ANGRY IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC
DIRECTION?
>> WATCHING YOU ON STAGE AND YOU
ARE, YOU KNOW, SO DEEPLY
INVESTED IN THE DIFFERENT
EMOTIONS, AND I WAS ASTONISHED
WHEN I GOT A CHANCE TO GO
BACKSTAGE.
HOW IS HE NOT EXHAUSTED NOT
GOING THROUGH ALL OF THAT ANGER?
>> WELL, BECAUSE LIKE AN
ATHLETE, YOU'RE STILL ON
ADRENALINE.
YOU'RE STILL -- THAT GAME IS
STILL FRESH AND YOU'RE PUMPING,
YOU'RE SWEATING, YOU'RE STILL
FEELING THAT.
ISN'T IT TRUE THAT WHATEVER YOUR
SPORT WAS, THE NEXT DAY IS WHEN
YOU GO, WOW, WHAT HAPPENED
THERE?
>> YEAH, GOOD POINT.
>> WHERE DID THIS BRUISE COME
FROM?
>> I DON'T REMEMBER THAT HIT.
>> YEAH.
YOU'RE SORE AND YOU CAN -- IT'S
THE NEXT DAY EFFECT.
AND IT IS FOR ME, TOO.
YOU GO THROUGH ALL OF THIS.
YOU'RE PUMPED.
IT'S WHAT I LOVE TO DO.
IT'S MY JOB AND I WANT TO TELL
THE STORY AND I GIVE IT
EVERYTHING I CAN.
I'M WEEPING.
I'M ANGRY AND ALL THIS AND IT'S
THE NEXT DAY THAT I WAKE UP
AND --
>> BUT YOU'VE GOT TO DO IT
AGAIN.
>> GOT TO DO IT AGAIN.
>> LET ME ASK YOU A COUPLE OTHER
LINES IN THE SHOW AND THEN I'M
GOING TO TALK ABOUT YOUR CAREER
A LITTLE BIT.
WE TALK ABOUT SORT OF THE
TIMELESSNESS OF THIS TODAY,
2019, OF SOMETHING THAT'S
ADAPTED FROM SOMETHING THAT'S
WRITTEN 44 YEARS AGO.
THERE ARE TWO SPECIFIC ONES I
REMEMBER.
ONE WHERE YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT -- AND LAMENTING, THE
CORRUPTION OF WALL STREET AND
FINANCE AND THE PARALYSIS OF
POLITICS IN WASHINGTON AND THEN
YOU TURN AND YOU SAY, AND THE
RUSSIANS.
AND IN MY AUDIENCE IT GOT A
GREAT REACTION.
>> EVERY DAY.
>> 44 YEARS AGO THAT WAS
WRITTEN.
>> NOT CHANGED.
>> I'M SAYING, IF PATTY WAS
WRITING TODAY, THAT SAME LINE
WOULD BE THERE.
>> SAME LINE.
>> WHAT DOES THAT TELL US ABOUT
US?
>> THINGS CHANGE AND THINGS STAY
THE SAME.
THE SAME IS TRUE WHEN I DELIVER
A SPEECH ABOUT -- I'LL TELL YOU
WHO'S BUYING UP CCA.
THE SAUDI ARABIAN INVESTMENT.
WHEW, YOU KNOW?
>> DID THEY ADD THAT?
>> NO.
NO.
>> THAT WAS FROM BACK THEN.
>> YEAH, HOW PRESCIENT IT WAS
AND IT JUST -- IT'S REMARKABLE
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT HOW HE
WAS ABLE TO DO THAT.
>> LAST THING I WANT TO ASK YOU
ABOUT IN NETWORK, AGAIN, ANOTHER
LINE AND GET YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT
TODAY WHERE YOU SAY, DON'T LOOK
TO US FOR THE TRUTH ESSENTIALLY.
WE'RE JUST GOING TO GIVE YOU
WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR.
>> YEAH.
>> AND WHEN YOU SAID THAT LINE I
THOUGHT, OH, MY.
YOU KNOW, THAT HAS TO HAVE BEEN
WRITTEN YESTERDAY.
>> RIGHT.
>> AGAIN, BECAUSE THAT'S --
>> NO.
>> -- YOU KNOW, THE NOTION OF
THE ECHO CHAMBERS.
I'M TALKING ABOUT BOTH SIDES.
>> YES.
YES.
>> THE NOTION OF WHERE DO YOU GO
NOWADAYS IF YOU WANT SOMEBODY TO
SAY TO YOU, HERE'S WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN THE WORLD.
LET US DISTILL IT FOR YOU --
>> RIGHT.
>> -- SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT
AND LET US PRESENT IT TO YOU AND
YOU DECIDE.
>> WHERE DO YOU GO?
>> WHERE?
>> RIGHT HERE.
FOR ME, THIS IS WHERE YOU GO.
THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE YOU CAN
GO THAT MIGHT BE UP FOR DEBATE
BUT TO ME INTO MY SENSIBILITIES
AND MY TRYING TO BE OPEN AND
THOUGHT FULL AND SEE -- AND HEAR
ALL SIDES, THIS SEEMS TO BE THE
PLACE TO GO.
>> WELL, IT'S -- I'VE GOT TO
TELL YOU, NETWORK IS MAGNIFICENT
THEATER.
IT'S WHAT THEATER IS SUPPOSED TO
BE.
IT ENTERTAINS US AND IT MAKES US
THINK AND YOU ARE NOT
SURPRISINGLY FABULOUS IN THE
ROLE.
SO IT'S BEEN A DELIGHT TO SPEND
SOME TIME.
AS PEOPLE SAY, A BIG FAN FOR A
LONG PERIOD OF TIME AND I WILL
LOOK FORWARD TO WHATEVER THE
NEXT PROJECTS ARE GOING TO BE.
>> THANK YOU.
>> MY PLEASURE.
>> IT'S BEEN FUN.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE
POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERYL
TISCH, THE SYLVIA A AND SIMON
B. POITA FOUNDATION.
ROSLYN P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE
ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --
>>> CORPORATE FUNDING FOR
"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY
MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR
RETIREMENT COMPANY.
AND BY PSE&G.
SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING
THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

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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