METROFOCUS: DECEMBER 26, 2019

With President Trump facing possible legal trouble here in New York, we take a look back at another commander in chief whose courtroom showdown rocked the state. ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Correspondent Dan Abrams will join us to lay out the case. Asbury Park, once a mecca for musicians like Bruce Springsteen, fell on very hard times, but is now going through a miraculous and melodious metamorphosis. We have the story. A new study on the impact of toy colors on your child’s development reveals some interesting facts.

Aired on May 29, July 10 & December 23, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS' THEODORE ROOSEVELT FOR THE DEFENSE.

WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP FACING POSSIBLE LEGAL TROUBLE HERE IN NEW YORK, WE LOOK BACK AT ANOTHER COMMANDER IN CHIEF WHOSE COURTROOM SHOWDOWN ROCKED THE STATE.

ABC NEWS CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT DAN ABRAMS LAYS OUT THE CASE.

EVERYTHING THAT DIES ONE DAY COMES BACK.

THOSE LYRICS IMMORTALIZED BY ASBURY PARK'S FAVORITE SON BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN CERTAINLY APPLIED TO HIS HOMETOWN.

ONCE A MECCA FOR MUSIC, ASBURY FELL ON VERY HARD TIMES BUT IS NOW GOING THROUGH A ME RACK LOUSE AND MELODIOUS MEDICAL MORE FA SIS.

IN A MOMENT, A NEW STUDY ON TOY COLORS AND THEIR IMPACT ON YOUR CHILD'S DEVELOPMENT REVEALS SOME INTERESTING FACTS.

DETAILS AHEAD.

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

♪ ♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' MADE POSSIBLE BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSG & E.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS FOUND HIMSELF AT THE CENTER OF SEVERAL INVESTIGATIONS HERE IN NEW YORK THAT COULD EXPOSE HIM TO LEGAL TROUBLE PERHAPS WHEN HE LEAVES OFFICE.

BUT HE IS NOT THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO FACE PROBLEMS IN THE EMPIRE STATE.

PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT HAD TO FIGHT TO DEFEND HIS LEGACY AFTER LEAVING OFFICE OVER A CENTURY AGO.

THIS AFTER A FRIEND TURNED RIVAL SUED OUR NATION'S 26th COMMANDER IN CHIEF FOR LIABLE, SETTING THE STAGE FOR A CASE THAT ARGUABLY RANKS AMONG THE TRIALS OF THE CENTURY.

THAT COURTROOM SHOWDOWN IN SYRACUSE IS NOW THE FOCUS ON THE NEW BOOK 'THEODORE ROOSEVELT FOR THE DEFENSE.'

OUR GUEST TONIGHT IS BEHIND THAT STORY.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE WITH US HERE ON 'METROFOCUS' MY GOOD FRIEND FOR A LOT OF YEARS, ABC NEWS CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT DAN ABRAMS.

JACK, GREAT TO BE BACK WITH YOU.

TAKES US BACK TO OUR OLD DAYS.

RIGHT.

WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A LONG TIME.

WE'RE NOWPAST THE DECADES INTO MANY DECADES.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BOOK.

I'LL PREFACE IT BY SAYING I THOUGHT I KNEW A WHOLE LOT ABOUT ROOSEVELT, RED A LOT OF THE BIOS.

I FOUND HIM JUST A FABULOUSLY ENTERTAINING AND CURIOUS FIGURE, BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THIS STORY.

YEAH.

LET'S START OFF WITH HOW YOU DISCOVERED THE STORY AND SOME OF THE DETAILS.

SO IN OUR FIRST BOOK 'LINCOLN'S LAST TRIAL' WE FOUND THIS TRANSCRIPT THAT HAD BECOME A FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY FOUND IN 1989 THE ONLY TRANSCRIPT.

WE TOLD THE STORY SURROUNDING THAT TRANSCRIPT.

IT WAS A GREAT STORY, BY THE WAY.

THANK YOU.

WE TALKED ABOUT THE BOOK.

IT WAS A MARVELOUS READ.

IT WAS A FUN STORY AS ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS THE LAWYER.

SO WE SAID, YOU KNOW, THIS MAKES SENSE FOR US TO SEE WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE IN TERMS OF TRANSCRIPTS AND TRIALS.

AND WE CAME UPON THIS.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT ON THE STAND FOR EIGHT DAYS DEFENDING HIS LEGACY, HIS HONOR AND AS YOU POINT OUT THEODORE ROOSEVELT IS AN INTERESTING CHARACTER.

NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT, HE IS SUPER COMPELLING.

THE IDEA OF HIM BEING ON THE WITNESS STAND FOR EIGHT DAYS.

FRANKLY ROOSEVELT TESTIFIES IN HIS DEFENSE.

IT'S AN AMAZING STORY THAT, YOU KNOW, IS OCCASIONALLY MENTIONED IN A THEODORE ROOSEVELT BIOGRAPHY.

WHAT'S THE GENESIS?

I MENTIONED FRIEND TURNED RIVAL.

WHAT WAS IT THAT HAPPENS THAT BRINGS THEM BOTH INTO A COURTROOM.

SO WILLIAM BARNES WAS A NATIONAL REPUBLICAN LEADER.

AT THE TIME HE WAS THE HEAD OF THE NEW YORK REPUBLICAN PARTY.

ROOSEVELT WAS BASICALLY ACCUSING HIM AND THE HEAD OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF BEING IN CAHOOTS TO PREVENT CITIZENS FROM GETTING TO VOTE FOR THEIR SENATORS, AMONG OTHER THINGS.

BACK IN THE DAY IT WAS THE PARTY INSIDERS WHO PICKED THE SENATE.

IT WAS THE STATE HEDGE SLAYTURE, SO THE PARTY BOSSES HAD ENORMOUS -- NO POPULAR VOTE OF SENATORS.

AND IT ENRAGED ROOSEVELT.

HE THOUGHT IT WAS WRONG.

HE THOUGHT THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE AND HIS POSITION WAS THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WERE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT STAYED THE CASE AND THEY ACCUSED BARNES OF BEING CORRUPT.

BARNES SUED THEM.

BARNES SAID, THIS IS HURTING MY REPUTATION.

BARNES HAD FUTURE POLITICAL AMBITIONS, TAKES HIM TO COURT, SUES HIM FOR $50,000 WHICH AT THE TIME WAS A LOT OF MONEY.

A LOT OF PEOPLE WARNED BARNES.

THEY SAID BE CAREFUL HERE, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO GO DOWN THIS ROAD?

AND ROOSEVELT WAS VERY CONCERNED WHEN HE GOT SUED BECAUSE THIS TRIAL WAS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN WHETHER WILLIAM BARNES WAS CORRUPT, BECAUSE BACK IN THE DAY THE LEGAL STANDARD WAS THAT ROOSEVELT HAD TO PROVE IT WAS TRUE.

VERY DIFFERENT FROM NOW.

VERY DIFFERENT FROM NOW.

IN THE END THE PLAINTIFFS WENT AFTER ROOSEVELT.

THEY BASICALLY SAID YOU DID THE SAME STUFF, YOU'RE A HYPOCRITE AND ROOSEVELT TOOK THAT INCREDIBLY PERSONALLY AND FELT VERY STRONGLY THAT HE NEEDED TO DEFEND HIMSELF AND HIS HONOR.

LET'S JUST SAY THAT HE WASN'T SO GREAT AT TAKING INSTRUCTION FROM THE LAWYERS OR THE JUDGE.

CAN YOU IMAGINE HAVING HIM AS YOUR CLIENT AND NOT TAKING YOUR INSTRUCTIONS?

YOU KNOW, AT TALES THIS IS A SERIOUS THING TO ROOSEVELT.

THERE WERE TIMES WHEN THE RULINGS THAT WENT AGAINST HIM WOULD CANCEL HIS WEEKEND PLANS SO HE COULD HUDDLE WITH HIS LAWYERS FOR THE WEEKEND.

THERE WERE DEFINITELY TIMES WHEN HE WAS ON THE WITNESS STAND WHEN IT WAS CLEAR HE WAS ENJOYING HIMSELF.

YOU'RE SORT OF SURPRISED THAT THE STORY HAS CONTINUED ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE EXTENT OF THE MEDIA COVERAGE.

JUST READING THE 'NEW YORK TIMES' COVERAGE OF THIS TRIAL TAKES DAYS.

IT IS SINGLE SPACED, BASICALLY TRANSCRIPTIONS BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH A BIG DEAL, BIG HEADLINE, FOLLOWED BY WHAT ARE REALLY TRANSCRIPTIONS OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN COURT.

NOT EVERY WORD, BUT A LOT OF IT.

THINK ABOUT IT.

WE'RE 1915.

WORLD WAR I IS HEATING UP.

BIG DECISIONS HAVE TO BE MADE ABOUT U.S. INVOLVEMENT.

AND THAT TRIAL AND THE SINGING OF THE SINKING OF THE LUCITANIA KNOCKED IT OFF THE FRONT PAGE.

IT BECAME A SENSITIVE ISSUE FOR THEM IN THE TRIAL BECAUSE THERE WERE THREE GERMAN AMERICANS WHO WERE ON THE JURY.

BACK THEN A LOT OF GERMAN AMERICANS HAD GREAT SYMPATHY WITH THE GERMANS.

MANY GERMAN AMERICANS HAD BEEN VERY CRITICAL OF ROOSEVELT'S POSITION UP TO THAT POINT WHICH HAD BEEN WE GOT TO GET INTO THIS WAR.

THE GERMANS ARE UP TO --

A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE HOW WILSON WON REELECTION BY VOWING TO KEEP US OUT OF THE WAR.

YEP.

AND ROOSEVELT PUSHING VERY, VERY HARD TO SAY WE OUGHT TO BE IN THIS.

SO IT SUNK DURING THE TRIAL.

HIS LAWYERS ARE CONCERNED ARE WE GOING TO ALIENATE THESE THREE OF OUR 12 JURIES THAT ARE GERMAN AMERICANS.

AS A WHOLE GERMAN AMERICANS HAVE BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THE GERMANS AND VERY ANGRY WITH ROOSEVELT FOR COMMENTS TDE.

AMAZINGLY WORLD WAR I ENDS UP CONNECTING TO THIS TRIAL AS WELL.

YOU ALWAYS LOOK FOR PARALLELS.

SO WE NOW HAVE A PRESIDENT WHETHER YOU SUPPORT HIM OR OPPOSE HIM, I THINK EVERYBODY WILL AGREE HE IS SOMEBODY THAT IS NOT AFRAID OF A FIGHT AND SOMETIMES WILL SEEK OUT FIGHTS.

SO DO YOU SEE PARALLELS.

THERE ARE DEFINITELY PARALLELS.

THERE ARE ALSO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES.

TH THEODORE ROOSEVELT BELIEVED IN EXECUTIVE POWER.

HE BELIEVED CONGRESS SHOULDN'T BE GETTING INTO HIS BUSINESS.

HE CALLED PEOPLE NAMES.

HE CALLED PEOPLE EUNUCHS.

QUAINT.

THEN THAT WAS A BIG DEAL.

HE WAS A REPUBLICAN FROM NEW YORK WHO WAS VERY OUTSPOKEN, KNEW HOW TO PLAY THE MEDIA, WAS ALSO CRITICAL OF THE MEDIA AND IN FACT AT ONE POINT HE USED THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO PROSECUTE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LIKE WHAT THEY WERE SAYING.

A COUPLE OF PAPERS HAD BASICALLY SUGGESTED THAT HE'D SKIM SOME OF THE MONEY ON THE PANAMA CANAL DEAL OR PEOPLE CLOSE TO HIM.

AND HE WENT CRAZY.

SIMILAR TO YOUR PRIOR BOOK WHERE ABRAHAM LINCOLN THREW JOURNALISTS IN JAIL BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LIKE WHAT THEY WERE WRITING DURING THE CIVIL WAR.

AT LEAST THERE THERE WAS A WAR, SOME REMOTE JUSTIFICATION.

WHAT ROOSEVELT DID HERE WAS -- EVENTUALLY THE CASE GOT THROWN OUT, BUT HE HAD A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MEDIA.

HE'S THE ONE WHO CALLED THEM INITIALLY MUCKRAKERS WHICH AT THE TIME WAS A BIG INSULT WHICH THE PRESS TOOK IN THE END AS A BADGE OF HONOR.

SO THERE WERE A LOT OF COMPARISONS.

ON THE OTHER HAND, HE WAS SOMEONE WHO CARED MORE ABOUT NATURAL RESOURCES THAN ALMOST ANYTHING.

MOST OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS ARE THANKS TO THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

HE CARED ENORMOUSLY ABOUT HONESTY.

I THINK EVEN DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTERS WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, COME ON, SOME OF THE STUFF HE'S SAYING, YEAH, MAYBE IT'S NOT ENTIRELY TRUE BUT IT'S ABOUT STUFF THAT DOESN'T MATTER.

ANYTHING THAT WASN'T THE TRUTH MATTERED TO ROOSEVELT.

THIS IS THE SECOND IN YOUR STRING OF GREAT DISCOVERIES OF GREAT COURTROOM DRAMA.

WE HAVE A THIRD ONE COMING TOO.

WE HAVEN'T ANNOUNCED WHAT IT IS YET.

IT'S ANOTHER ONE WITH A TRANSCRIPT.

ANOTHER GREAT CASE WHERE MOST PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A TRANSCRIPT.

AND THE TRANSCRIPT TAKES YOU ON WHERE YOU NEED TO GO FOR THIS JOURNEY.

IT'S GREAT HISTORY.

IT'S GREAT COURTROOM DRAMA.

WITH TEDDY ROOSEVELT AT THE CENTER HOW COULD IT NOT BE ENTERTAINING.

CONGRATULATIONS AND WE'LL GET YOU BACK NOW ON THE NEXT ONE.

I APPRECIATE IT.

DAN'S GOING TO BE BACK HERE TOMORROW NIGHT AS WE CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION THIS TIME FOCUSING ON SOME OF THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE.

> DIZZY GILLESP ELLA FITZGERA THE BOSS BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.

MANY OF THEM PLAYED AT ASBURY PARK.

ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THIS SHORE TOWN'S MUSIC VENUES WERE DAMAGED, SOME BURNED TO THE GROUND LIKE IN NEWARK IN A POWDER KEG OF RACIAL TENSIONS THAT EXPLODED IN A RIOT, LEAVING ASBURY PARK LITERALLY IN ASHES.

NOW THAT TOWN IS MAKING A COMEBACK.

BUT IS THE MUSIC ALIVE AND WELL AND HAS IT HEALED ITS RACIAL DIVIDE?

THOSE QUESTIONS ARE EXPLORED IN THE NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'ASBURY PARK, RIOT, REDEMPTION, ROCK 'N' ROLL.'

HERE'S A CLIP.

ASBURY PARK WAS LIKE DISNEYLAND.

THIS EXOTIC FEAST FOR THE EYES AND EARS.

YOU JUST FLOATED A FOOT OFF THE GROUND ALL DAY LONG LIFTED BY THIS GREAT MUSIC.

THERE WAS A CERTAIN MOMENT IN TIME WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENED HERE THAT WASN'T HAPPENING ANY PLACE ELSE.

THAT MATTERED.

ASBURY PARK'S MUSIC HISTORY GOES WAY BACK.

THE TOP BLUES GUYS, BB KING.

THERE WAS AN EDUCATION TO BE HAD.

YOU COULD CUT YOUR TEETH AND TRY NEW IDEAS.

IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT.

THE JERSEY SOUND WHETHER IT BE SOUTH SIDE JOHNNY OR BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, THAT JERSEY SOUND IS DISTINCTIVELY AND UNIQUE HI JERSEY.

JOINING ME NOW IS THE DIRECTOR OF ASBURY PARK, A FRIEND OF MINE FOR A LONG TIME TOM JONES.

SO NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF THIS.

I WANT TO PREFACE THIS BY SAYING I'M A JERSEY SHORE GUY.

GREW UP IN POINT PLEASANT BEACH, A TEENAGER IN THE '60s.

ASBURY PARK WAS OUR MECCA, IT WAS OUR DESTINATION.

I WENT TO CONVENTION HALL THERE AND SAW ALL THOSE BANDS, THE BEACH BOYS AND THE FOUR TOPS, THE ROLLING STONES.

GREAT MEMORIES AND YOU WERE THERE FOR THE BEST OF IT.

ELABORATE A LITTLE BIT ON WHAT WE'VE JUST SEEN.

I'M GOING TO GET TO YOU IN A MINUTE AS TO WHY YOU WANT TO DO THE DOCUMENTARY.

LET'S SET THE STAGE FOR IT FIRST AND TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT FOLLOWING UP ON WHAT THE FOLKS JUST SAID IN THE CLIP.

WHAT WAS ASBURY PARK?

IT WAS A REAL ASPIRATION DESTINATION.

PRESIDENTS USED TO COME TO THE JERSEY SHORE FOR SUMMER VACATIONS, SEVEN PRESIDENTS.

AND LONG BRANCH WAS A SPOT.

AND OCEAN GROVE WAS A METHODIST ENCAMPMENT.

AND THE FELLOW WHO FOUNDED ASBURY PARK, JAMES BRADLEY, HE WANTED A BUFFER BETWEEN OCEAN GROVE AND LONG BRANCH.

HE BOUGHT ALL THE SAND IN BETWEEN AND HE SET UP ASBURY PARK AND HE SPENT ALL HIS MONEY ON THAT SO HE NEEDED SOME SORT OF A REVENUE SOURCE AND HE CHOSE MUSIC.

ASBURY WAS A MUSIC MECCA.

ARTHUR PRIEN SET UP THE BANDSTAND ON THE FIFTH STREET ARCADE.

FROM THE ABSOLUTE VERY FIRST DAYS, ASBURY PARK MUSIC WAS ITS THING.

WE SET THE STAGE FOR WHAT IT WAS LIKE.

WHAT THEN DREW YOU AS A FILMMAKER TO WANT TO TELL THE STORY IN A DOCUMENTARY.

WELL, WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL IT WAS POST RIOT SO IT WAS REALLY ON ITS WAY DOWN.

MY SUMMER JOB WAS I WAS THE PEPSI GUY.

I USED TO DELIVER PEPSI UP AND DOWN THE BOARD WALK AND ALL OTHER JERSEY.

MY SUMMER JOB WAS I WAS THE BEER TRUCK GUY.

YOU WALK AROUND AND SAY HOW CAN THIS BE, IT'S AN HOUR FROM YORK AND IT'S REALLY ON ITS WAY DOWN.

I'VE ALWAYS HAD THIS DEEP LOVE OF THE TOWN.

FLASH FORWARD A LIFETIME AND WE HAD GIBSON GUITARS, THE CHAIRMAN OF GIBSON GUITARS GOT A PICTURE OF BRUCE PLAYING A GIBSON.

HE'S OBVIOUSLY FAMOUS FOR PLAYING A FENDER.

A LITTLE HANDWRITTEN NOTE SAID, WOULDN'T THIS BE GREAT, YOU SHOULD TALL ME.

IT WAS TOM POTTER'S GRANDDAUGHTER WHO HAD A COLLECTION OF PICTURE NOS ONE HAD SEEN IN OUR HOUSE IN WACO, TEXAS.

WE LOOKED AT THE PICTURES AND I SCANNED THEM FOR HER.

NEXT TIME I WAS IN ASBURY PARK, I WENT TO WHERE THE CLUB HAD BEEN.

IT WAS ON THE THIRD FLOOR ABOVE THE TOM McCANN SHOE STORE.

I REMEMBER IT.

I TALKED TO THE GUY.

THEY WERE TURNING IT TO CONDOS.

WE ENTER UP THIS ENDLESS FLIGHT OF STAIRS AND IT WAS STILL 1970.

NOTHING HAD HAPPENED SINCE THE RIOT.

THE STAGE WAS STILL THERE, THE DAYGLO PAINT WAS ON THE WALLS.

WE DIDN'T TOUCH A THING.

WE DID A SHOOT.

THAT'S WHAT REALLY GOT ME INTO THE STORY.

BUT I JUST THINK IT'S A GREAT PLACE TO TELL A STORY.

IT'S A METAPHOR FOR A LOT OF OTHER THINGS.

MOST IMPORTANT HI FOR US IS THAT MUSIC IS A CONNECTOR.

IT'S A TOWN SPLIT RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE BY RAILROAD TRACKS.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT.

TALK ABOUT THEN THAT ERUPTION THAT TOOK PLACE IN 1970.

IN THE FILM WE'RE PROUD THAT WE TALKED TO MUSICIANS.

WE TALKED TO PEOPLE WHO WERE IN THE RIOTS, NOT PEOPLE WHO COVER THE RIOTS.

TO A PERSON, THEY CAN'T REALLY TELL YOU WHY IT HAPPENED.

THE POT JUST BOILED OVER.

BOOM CARTER WHO WAS ONE OF BRUCE'S EARLY DRUMMERS, HE LIVED RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO NICKY ADDIO.

BOOM'S FATHER WAS THE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEST SIDE.

NICKY'S FAMILY LIVED RIGHT NEXT DOOR.

BOTH OF THEM H SAY THEY FEEL IT WAS OUTSIDE AGITATORS CAME DOWN.

NEWARK HAD ERUPTED IN RIOTS BEFORE THAT.

NOT TOO LONG BEFORE.

A YEAR OR TWO BEFORE THAT.

THEY TALK ABOUT GUYS COMING DOWN FROM NEWARK.

WHO KNOWS.

IT WAS RIPE FOR THAT SORT OF A PROBLEM.

THE WEST SIDE HAD A GREAT CULTURE.

IT WAS A GREAT MUSIC DESTINATION TO ITSELF.

IT WAS THE STOP ON THE WAY BETWEEN PHILLY AND NEW YORK.

BIG BILLS.

THE ORCHID LOUNGE, CUPID'S.

I'VE BEEN SOME OF THOSE PLACES.

SO MUCH OF THE DAMAGE HAPPENED ON THE WEST SIDE.

THAT'S RIGHT.

WHAT WAS IT THEN THAT STARTED THE RESURRECTION OF ASBURY PARK?

FIRST OF ALL, I THINK IT SANK TO AN ALMOST INDESCRIBABLE LEVEL AND THINGS BECAME VERY AFFORDABLE.

THE HIGH SCHOOL HAD TO BE TAKEN OVER BY THE STATE.

A JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF SCHOOLS IN NEW JERSEY --

AND THE PHYSICAL PLANT IS STILL SO IMPRESSIVE.

THE STADIUM IS LIKE A LITTLE BIT OF THE 20s.

REALITY BECAME VERY AFFORDABLE.

THE BONES OF THOSE GREATHOUSES WERE STILL THERE, BOUGHT THEM FOR A SONG.

WONDERFUL RESTAURANTS STARTED.

AND THEN BUSINESSES STARTED.

IT'S A.

Reporter: ORGVERY ORGANIC DEVELOPMENT.

IT WAS A GREAT PLACE FOR SOME PEOPLE.

FOR EVERYBODY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS, NOT SO MUCH SO.

NOW YOU CAN COME BACK AND EVERYONE CAN COME UP AT THE SAME TIME.

THERE WAS A REAL CONSCIOUS THOUGHT PROCESS GOING ON BEHIND THAT NOW.

THERE'S A GREAT FACILITY THERE CALLED THE LAKE HOUSE.

IT WAS FASCINATING WHAT THEY'D DONE.

DESCRIBE WHAT THEY'RE DOING THERE.

FIRST OF ALL, IT'S A WORLD CLASS RECORDING FACILITY.

IT'S GOT A VERY SPECIFIC SOUND.

THE GUY WHO STARTED IT LOVES AND FOUND MIXING BOARDS.

IF YOU WANT TO RECORD THAT SOUND, THAT'S THE PLACE TO GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

ON A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL IT'S FANTASTIC.

JOHN AND HIS RIGHT HAND ARE COMPLETELY DEVOTED TO THE COMMUNITY.

THEY'RE RUNNING OUR OUTREACH PROGRAMS BRINGING MUSIC TO KIDS THAT OTHERWISE WOULDN'T GET IT.

SO THE FILM FESTIVAL NAUNDS AND THE PROCEEDS OF OUR MOVIE GO TO FUND THAT.

WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE IT A VIRTUOUS CIRCLE.

ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

GLAD WE WERE ABLE TO RECONNECT HERE.

JUST A WONDERFUL JOB PUTTING THIS TOGETHER.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THOROUGHLY ENJOY IT.

THANKS.

> TOYS.

THEY HAVE A BIGGER IMPACT ON YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE THAN YOU MAY KNOW.

THEY MAY NOT ONLY BE A SOURCE OF FUN.

THEY MAY ALSO BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR GENDER DEVELOPMENT.

JOINING US IS A PSYCHOLOGIST AND GENDER STUDY PROCESS IF HE IS S PROFESSOR AT MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY.

LET'S START OFF WITH THAT BIGGER PICTURE.

WHY WOULD THEY HAVE AN IMPACT ON GENDER DEVELOPMENT.

SO GENDER DEVELOPMENT IS SOMETHING THAT IS DEVELOPING WITH CHILDREN FROM A REALLY YOUNG AGE.

AND SO AS KIDS ARE PLAYING WITH TOYS, THEY'RE LEARNING LESSONS ABOUT WHAT SOCIETY THINKS IS FOR THEM AND NOT FOR THEM BASED ON THEIR GENDER.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT KIDS ARE PLAYING WITH TOYS AND AS THEY'RE ENGAGING WITH THESE TOYS, THEY'RE LEARNING OTHER LESSONS SUCH AS ACADEMIC SKILLS.

SO RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT TOYS SUCH AS PUZZLES AND BROLOCKS AN NUMBER GAMES ARE REALLY TEACHING KIDS THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF MATHEMATICS AND THOSE ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LATER LEARNINGS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS.

BUT T SEA SETS ARE THINGS THAT KIDS ARE USING TO LEARN HOW TO SHARE AND HAVE CONVERSATIONS.

THEY'RE ALSO LEARNING COGNITIVE SERIES OF EVENTS.

THEY'RE ALL REALLY IMPORTANT.

LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE SO MUCH OF YOUR RESEARCH HAS BEEN -- IN TERMS OF THE TOYS AND TWO THINGS I WANT TO ASK YOU TO TALK ABOUT.

THE FIRST IS TOYS THAT ARE DESIGNATED BOYS TOYS AS OPPOSED TO GILRLS TOYS AND THEN THE NOTION OF THE COLOR OF THOSE TOYS.

START OFF WITH GIRL'S TOYS VERSUS BOY'S TOYS.

SOCIETY THINKS OF TOYS AS BEING EITHER FOR GIRLS OR BOYS.

THE TOY COMPANIES HAVE STARTED DESIGNATING THOSE BY ADDING COLORS TO THEM.

SO KNOW THAT DOLLS ARE OFTENTIMES PINK AND TRUCKS AND SWORDS AND THINGS LIKE THAT ARE OFTENTIMES BLUE.

IT'S DESIGNED TO BE ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE KNOW WHICH TYPES OF TOYS THEY SHOULD BUY FOR KIDS AND WHICH ONES THEY SHOULDN'T.

TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF YOUR STUDIES AND SOME OF THE RESEARCH THAT YOU'VE DONE AND SOME OF THE INTERESTING THINGS YOU'VE FOUND IN TERMS OF IF YOU CHANGE COLORS FOR INSTANCE, IF YOU USE NEUTRAL COLORS, THE REACTION THE CHILDREN HAVE TO THE VARIOUS TOYS.

SO THE IDEA THAT THERE ARE COLORS AND CATEGORIES OF TOYS IS WHAT'S REALLY CONCERNING TO ME AND OTHER RESEARCHERS AS WELL.

MY COLLEAGUES AND I REALLY WANTED TO SEE WHETHER THE COLOR OF THE TOY IMPACTS CHILDREN'S INTEREST IN THE TOYS.

WE GOT TOGETHER AND WE DID A STUDY WHERE WE BOUGHT TWO OF EVERY TOY AND WE PAINTED SOME OF THEM PINK AND WE PAINTED SOME OF THEM BLUE BUT THEY'RE THE SAME EXACT TOYS.

WHEN WE GAVE KIDS THESE TOYS WE REALIZED IT WASN'T REALLY THE TOY CHAFS DRIVING THEIR INTEREST.

IT WAS ACTUALLY THE COLOR.

GIRLS WERE MORE INTERESTED IN T BOY'S TOYS WHEN THEY WERE APPELLANTED PINK.

WE KNOW THEIR INTEREST WAS BEING IMPACTED BY THESE SUBTLE LABELS, THESE LITTLE CUES ABOUT THE TOY.

IT WAS REALLY ABOUT SHOULD I PLAY WITH THIS TOY OR SHOULD I NOT.

SO THE GIRL WOULD HAVE AS MUCH FUN PLAYING WITH THE TRUCK, THE BIG MONSTER TRUCKS IF IT WAS PAINTED PINK.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE FOUND.

WERE YOU SURPRISED AT FINDING THOSE THINGS?

I THINK WE KIND OF HAD A HUNCH THAT THAT'S WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

WE SAW THE SAME WAS TRUE FOR BOYS.

IT DIDN'T HAPPEN TO THE LEVEL THAT IT HAPPENED FOR GIRLS.

BUT WE WERE SURPRISED BY HOW MUCH IT IMPACTED KIDS' INTEREST.

THAT'S ACTUALLY CONCERNING TO US BECAUSE WE'RE USING COLORS IN A WAY THAT'S CHANGING KIDS BEHAVIORS.

REMEMBER I SAID BEFORE THAT EVERY TOY TEACHES A SKILL AND SO IF KIDS ARE ONLY PLAYING WITH HALF OF THE TOYS BASED ON THEIR COLOR, THEY'RE NOT LEARNING THE SKILLS THAT THE OTHER TOYS THAT ARE APPELLANTED THE COLOR THAT ISN'T FOR THEIR GENDER.

AND WE WANT KIDS TO LEARN ALL OF THE LESSONS.

EVERY PARENT WANTS THEIR CHILD TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A BROAD VARIETY OF SKILLS, TO BE ABLE TO HAVE ACADEMIC SKILLS THAT ARE DIVERSE AND WE WANT THEM TO HAVE FUN.

IF THEY'RE ONLY PLAYING WITH HALF THE TOYS, THEN THEY'RE ONLY HAVING HALF THE FUN.

WHAT DID YOU FIND WHEN YOU HAD THE TOYS PAINTED A NEUTRAL COLOR.

NO PINKS, NO BLUES.

WE TALK ALL OR OUR TOYS AND PAINTED THEM WHITE WITH THE GOAL OF REMOVING THAT LABELING OR THAT RULE THAT THE TOYS SHOULD BE OR SHOULDN'T BE FOR THEM.

WHEN WE LAID THEM ALL OUT AND WE SAID YOU CAN PLAY WITH ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT, EACH CHILD GOT A CHANCE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY WITH ANY TOY THAT THEY WANTED INDIVIDUALLY WITHOUT ANYONE REALLY WATCHING THEM.

WE SAW THAT KIDS CHOSE THE NEUTRAL TOYS.

THEY CHOSE A DIFFERENT SET OF TOYS THAN THEY HAD TOLD US PREVIOUSLY.

BECAUSE WE HAD SAID TO THEM BEFORE WE STARTED WHAT TYPES OF TOYS DO YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH.

AND THE GIRLS SAID WE WANT TO PLAY WITH GIRLS TOYS AND THE BOYS SAID WE WANT TO PLAY WITH THE BOYS TOYS.

BUT WHEN WE REDUCED THAT ROLE FOR THEM, THEY ACTUALLY EXPLORED IN A MUCH BROADER WAY.

THEY WEREN'T LIMITED BY THE LIMITATIONS WE HAD IMPOSED UPON THEM IN SOME WAY.

IT'S FASCINATING RESEARCH AND REALLY IMPORTANT RESEARCH AND I THINK HELPFUL RESEARCH FOR ALL OF US.

SOTHANKS FOR HAVING ME.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY --

Funders

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

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