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Larry King Live
Sally Jessy Raphael Talks About Television and Troubled TeensAired May 12, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, got a troubled teen, cheating lover, trashy looking pal? Sally Jessy Raphael, host of television's longest-running topical talk show, handles them all. She's here for the hour, and we'll take your calls, next, on LARRY KING LIVE.
So much to talk about, so little time.
SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL, TALK SHOW HOST: Oh, am I going to get you? I am. All right, set it up, set it up let's go to the Senate race, all right?
KING: What are talking about?
RAPHAEL: I'm talking about the fact that there is a man there who had some kind of sex with a girl young enough to be his daughter, and that there is another man -- a woman there who didn't know anything about it, and a man who told his wife on television that maybe it's over. That could be act I. That's it. You are saying all those things.
KING: That has become -- reality is life, life is television.
RAPHAEL: Right now, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Think about it.
KING: What do you make of this?
RAPHAEL: If you say -- the most asked question, Larry, to me is why would they go on television? Why would a husband go on television to tell his wife they are getting separated?
KING: That's right. He told us and her on television.
RAPHAEL: Right. And where did she answer him?
KING: On television.
KING: Why? You're the guest.
RAPHAEL: Because -- they did it because they can't face each other, and they're not communicating. And they're on television, and they're safe. There is something very safe about sitting there in front of all those reporters. Alone in a room, the two of them together, yes, you have a lady friend, and so now I would like to get separated OK? I'll take the kids, I'll go to California. Think about that.
KING: But it's weird, isn't it? I mean, it's true, but weird.
RAPHAEL: It's no different for them than it is for somebody...
KING: So it answers the question, why do people go on Sally Jessy to say -- talk about their personal life?
RAPHAEL: Read that opening you just gave.
KING: What is appeal to the viewer of real people? In other words, why do we like seeing them do that?
RAPHAEL: We like to see them because we know the difference between the soaps and the talk shows, and we really relate. There is a human being sitting there, I don't know what that human being is going to do, and these people at home know I don't know. Are they going to get up an walk off? Are they going to cry? How are they going to be affected? And that is something they're fascinated by.
The problem now is, though, daytime is in really bad shape, daytime network television is in bad shape, and...
KING: And so it has to?
RAPHAEL: It has to raise the bar, and raise the bar and raise the bar.
KING: And so we have the extremes. We go the "Springer" route in some areas, right?
RAPHAEL: I don't know how you would make it on network television today without going somewhat of that route.
KING: Why would people -- let's take the extreme. Why would people -- all right, I understand the other. Why would people go on "Jerry Springer?" Or are they actors?
RAPHAEL: I don't know. I always thought they might be, but I don't know. I know our company only...
KING: Why would someone go on, and yell as soon as the person walks out on the set? You're going to be surprise. Why are they shocked?
RAPHAEL: They could be doing that because of a producer backstage has told them to do it or has revved them up. I mean, we don't do that, so I can't really answer for Jerry.
KING: You don't encourage a guest to cry.
RAPHAEL: Oh, absolutely not, no. Somebody would be fired for that. Or dressing them, or telling them what to say. They merely tell them, this is what is going to happen.
KING: Well, let's take it farther. We have court TV shows.
RAPHAEL: OK, I can explain that.
KING: People in conflict.
RAPHAEL: OK, no, no. Quick fix, immediate justification, immediate. Somebody wears a robe, they got authority. Somebody stands there, somebody else stands there, they solve the problem right then and there. Gosh, don't we love our problems just solved immediately like that. Talk shows can't do that.
KING: So again, television is life. Perry Mason solved it in a hour.
KING: Here I get it solved in a half hour.
RAPHAEL: There will be nine new judge shows starting in the fall. Every one wants that answer.
KING: Why do we love that?
RAPHAEL: Because we Americans love material things...
KING: Greed. No, greed is wrong. Something for nothing.
RAPHAEL: ... everything material. I don't know that we're greedy so much as -- no, I think we want stuff. We're the biggest let's "get stuff" country in the world. We have more clothes in our closet than anybody else on the face of the Earth. We more cars. We want things. The "Millionaire" thing is things, and now he sells the suits, you see; dress like a millionaire.
KING: So you can buy Regis clothes.
RAPHAEL: Yes, because we merchandise everything. We merchandise our children.
KING: And how long does that last?
RAPHAEL: His show?
KING: No, the clothes, the show -- how long does all of it last? Is it a fad? Does it go forever?
RAPHAEL: I think the show will have a good run. It's had a good run in England, and now it's in Japan, and what they've done...
KING: And South Africa, saw it in South Africa. RAPHAEL: Yes.
KING: Will someone come along with the $4 million Bonanza quiz?
RAPHAEL: No, no, they're going to come along -- probably the company I work for, they're going to come along with strip poker.
KING: You're kidding.
RAPHAEL: No I'm not, and I saw it in Italy. They haven't told me they're doing this yet, because usually if you work for a company, I don't know about CNN...
KING: Who's your company? Which one is it?
RAPHAEL: Studios USA. Studios USA.
KING: That's Diller, right?
RAPHAEL: Yes, in effect.
KING: "Strip Poker," people undress, play poker, and undress?
RAPHAEL: I don't know what they're doing. I saw the show...
KING: What are they doing?
RAPHAEL: ... in Italy, completely undressed, naked as a jaybird, the girls are dancing around, and...
RAPHAEL: Are you kidding? It wiped the "Millionaire" show off the Italian television.
KING: So Regis now has to worry that NBC is going to come up with "Strip Poker."
RAPHAEL: He doesn't have to. No, he doesn't. He's riding a wonderful wave, and he deserves it.
KING: No, I mean, it's wonderful. He does deserve it.
RAPHAEL: He's good.
KING: So "Strip Poker" will do good?
RAPHAEL: I think it depends upon whether...
KING: Where does this go? We're going to have people living together, and eliminate them, they win money. CBS is going to strip that, right?
RAPHAEL: Right, or the guys on island where the last one left. KING: So what -- voyeurism, that's what that is, isn't it?
RAPHAEL: Yes, it is.
KING: I think that's always been popular and we just have a medium to do it through.
RAPHAEL: Perhaps. I hadn't thought of it that way. A lot of what used to be at night is now during the day, and that's interesting. And we are -- America is afraid of its children, terrified of its children.
RAPHAEL: Especially teenagers. We gave them, as a country, all these material things. What we didn't do is listen to them, we never gave them our time, and so they -- I mean, Columbine, you could build an arsenal and worship Hitler, but your parents don't know that? Come on. So the parents don't talk to their children, and some of them see them an hour and half a week, and the children are angry, and now America knows that its teenagers are angry, and they think, that boy is going to come in and murder me in my bed in the middle of the night? Happened, happened here, happened there. Of course.
KING: Speaking of that, as we go to break -- and we'll be taking calls for Sally as well, a lot of subjects to cover -- here is a discussion about guns on the "Sally" show -- watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW")
RAPHAEL: I looked at you three times, and I -- oh my goodness, and I didn't see a thing on you. Holy mackerel! Not only that, I watched you move. You don't have anything else. Oh, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have anything else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's all.
RAPHAEL: I am really shocked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: By the way, one of our producers in Atlanta says "Strip Poker" is on the USA cable network every night at 10:00 Eastern, except they go down to g-string and shorts. They don't go nude.
RAPHAEL: The men wear shorts? Can they wear boxers?
KING: In Italy it goes nude, right?
RAPHAEL: Oh, yes.
KING: OK, that gun show...
KING: ... you set that up with that kid to do that?
RAPHAEL: No, he does it. He goes around and tells people about that. He goes to police departments and shows police departments how kids who are not where -- it's also a bid for kids wearing uniforms.
KING: Yes. How young do you have them?
RAPHAEL: I won't...
KING: How young do we get on television?
RAPHAEL: A lot of talk shows get very, very young.
KING: Younger than 10?
RAPHAEL: We -- I've seen places where they're sent to boot camp younger than 10 years of age. I can't do it -- I can't.
KING: What's your age to draw the line?
RAPHAEL: To me, you have to be a teenager. You really do. Because, I think a teenager is aware of what they're doing, and I think that there are children who just don't know what they're doing.
KING: Are there shows where you say to yourself, I'm a little over the line today. we've gone too deep into...
RAPHAEL: Yes, and I cut it out in the tape.
KING: You do?
RAPHAEL: Yes, yes, if something -- you see, I can't control -- if somebody goes to hit somebody or something happens or somebody gives somebody a passionate kiss, but I can take it out of the tape. And I do. And we will.
KING: How about subject matter? Is it hard to come up with these...
RAPHAEL: Well, as I said, what people want to hear today...
RAPHAEL: ... is two things. They want to hear teenagers, everything and anything to do with teens: teen paternity tests, teen boot camp. Because we're...
KING: Teen sex, teen...
RAPHAEL: Yes, because we're afraid of them. And the other thing they want is punishment. That's why the boot camp works. You take bad people and you punish them. That's why the judge shows work. You punish them. Americans desperately want to see people punished. There's a certain thing about us that -- and we want the punishment to be very strong and right now.
KING: Is this cyclical?
RAPHAEL: Most everything was. In the year the 18 years we have done the show, it was always cyclical. But it never -- it didn't come back. I started talking to celebrities, and then America said, we're not interested in that from you. And then we did Chippendales, because women suddenly wanted to ooh and aah over male bodies as men have done. And then we went to neighbors feuding and things like that. It hasn't come back. It's cyclical, but it hasn't come back.
KING: We've become psyched now to such that almost any behavior becomes acceptable. So a president or a mayor saying, I did this -- hey, saw it on Sally.
RAPHAEL: But, Larry, did they always? Did Kennedy do that? Did Roosevelt do that?
KING: We didn't know it, did we?
RAPHAEL: Why didn't we?
KING: We didn't have this.
RAPHAEL: OK, we didn't. But why didn't we know it. Why did people not write that Roosevelt was in a wheelchair? Why did they not write that?
KING: Beats me, but they didn't.
RAPHAEL: What was there in the reporter that kept him from delving into those things and asking about the issues.
KING: David Brinkley, when he was a young man, he didn't go into the service. And he covered the White House, and he was shocked to see Roosevelt in a wheelchair. And he said to the man next to him, why isn't this reported? And the guy thought it was irrelevant -- irrelevant.
RAPHAEL: But isn't what happened with Giuliani and Hillary irrelevant? Shouldn't -- should we be talking about that?
RAPHAEL: Or shouldn't we be talking about which one would make the better senator for our state.
KING: When is a -- when is a private matter a public story? We had a panel discussion last night for CNN advertisers at which some person said, well, if a girlfriend gets an important job, that's public business if the public's paying her.
RAPHAEL: I agree.
KING: So where is the line? Where do you draw the line?
RAPHAEL: I'm not -- unless it is of the public's business, such as the taxpayers money is paying this woman, I don't really think their divorce, their marriage, who's doing what and to whom is really my business.
RAPHAEL: I think more like the French think. It's not my business.
KING: What's taboo today?
KING: Are we coming to that?
KING: Are we coming to discussions of that?
RAPHAEL: I hope I'm not here then.
RAPHAEL: I think -- what is it when you make love to dead people? What's that called?
RAPHAEL: You've got it.
RAPHAEL: I think that's...
KING: Are you -- do you -- when we lump daytime television, does that offend you? You'll see people saying...
RAPHAEL: I'm very offended...
KING: ... daytime television.
RAPHAEL: ... very offended, very offended. How do you -- in fact, even when they do those Emmys, which -- I mean, award shows...
KING: You've won an Emmy.
RAPHAEL: Yes, and so maybe I can say it's a crock. Maybe I can say all of the award shows I think are crocks, but especially television. Can you tell me somebody on a soap opera is on the same thing as, say, Rosie O'Donnell? And those are the same Emmys. I mean, it doesn't make sense. And also, I think there's probably a way to make it happen for you. I didn't, but that was a gentler time.
KING: Do you worry about your business?
RAPHAEL: I think we are all lumped -- I'm very worried. I'm very worried about the networks. I'm worried because an awful lot of people took their intelligence, packed up, went to cable then went to the computers, yes. I'm worried about what's happening to the people that are left.
KING: Where are we getting our information from?
RAPHAEL: You got it.
KING: We'll be back with more of Sally Jessy Raphael.
Tomorrow night, we're going to repeat our interview with Stephen Hawking.
Monday night, Bob Dole and a panel on aging.
Tuesday night, Nelson Mandela.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW")
RAPHAEL: You asked us to do something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
RAPHAEL: It always looks so easy. It wasn't hard. We have a company that's wonderful, and they found your father lickity split. And then he said, I may not be his father. Eighty percent I don't think I am.
Now, I can't break hearts. You know, I just couldn't do it. But I think you do have to know the truth.
So what did you find out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can kiss. They are father and son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Get a little personal here for a minute. You live in Nice?
RAPHAEL: Yes, a lot.
KING: How do you do a show in America?
RAPHAEL: I have terminal jet lag, I guess.
KING: You live in Nice, France. You have a farm?
RAPHAEL: In Duchess County. I, you know, those...
KING: But home is Nice? That's what you -- you think home, you think Nice?
RAPHAEL: Home is the farm and Nice. I'm lucky. You know, the farm is grounding. We raise our own vegetables. I have cows and horses and chickens and things, and I worry about preservatives, but I don't eat my pets. And we have fresh eggs.
KING: Why Nice?
RAPHAEL: There are two things...
KING: You watch this show in Nice?
RAPHAEL: I watch you -- you're my home. My god, that's important.
KING: Why do you live there?
RAPHAEL: Two things...
KING: People go there, Sally.
RAPHAEL: ... quality of life is better in a lot of European countries than it is in America. I'll just give you a quick example. People here can work until they're 35 and they're still getting two weeks off a year. That isn't a quality of life. Parents come home for lunch and sit with their children at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And the other thing is the funding for the arts. We're the richest country, supposedly, in the world, we don't have a Cabinet post for culture. We have a Cabinet post for the post office, a little outdated with e-mail, but we don't have a Cabinet post for culture. We can't fund museums. We can't fund public television. And that upsets me because it's something that's terribly, terribly important. And little European countries like Italy and Germany and France, they do care. And it's very important to them.
So those are two of the many reasons I live in Nice.
KING: And your husband, Karl, he's always with you.
RAPHAEL: Always with me.
KING: He's a staple of your life.
RAPHAEL: He is so great. We are -- if you are going to be with somebody 24 hours a car, seven days a week...
KING: Why are you with him 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
RAPHAEL: It's either the best thing in the world or the worst. For us, it was the best.
I'm with him that much because he's funny. He makes me laugh.
KING: He's at your show all the time.
RAPHAEL: Always we are together. We're never apart. Makes me laugh. He's just funny. He's Norwegian, and he's strange. He's off- the-wall. He does weird things.
KING: I remember when you -- we worked together, Sally and I, in Miami.
RAPHAEL: He was weird then.
KING: He was worked -- he was weird then. He's always been weird. Now he's blond all of the sudden.
KING: I mean, Karl is straight weird, right? He's weird...
RAPHAEL: Straight. Oh, no, he's a straight man.
KING: No, I don't mean gay "straight." I mean, he's...
RAPHAEL: Yes, yes. But you see, if you say to him, he went in, and Billy Idol did his hair platinum blond, because I like "Ally McBeal," and there was a guy on Ally McBeal who just died. His name was Billy also. And Karl says, if she likes the guy, I'll make myself a platinum blond.
Please tell the story of Chance if we're walking about television.
KING: We're talking about the impact of television, and I left on the red eye the other night. And Becky, our nanny, said to Chance, who's 14 months old, say good-bye to daddy, and he turned to the television and waved.
KING: What does that tell us? Now, I'm standing there, and he turns to the television and waves.
RAPHAEL: My daughter in kindergarten asked another child, "What show does your mother do?"
KING: As we go to break, speaking of Karl, here's an example of a husband stealing the show. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW")
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAPHAEL: Look a lot like Ralph Kramden.
You really don't look like Ralph Kramden. You look like Cliff in...
You know that one with the bar there? Yes. But you're cute, you're really cute, and I'd be glad to see you after this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAPHAEL: My husband, Karl, appearing as the bailiff. As much as I love him, keeping him in his place on the show kept me on my toes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said he kept coming back...
RAPHAEL: Oh, he wanted to take over the entire...
We got him in the classroom...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge Judy's husband could do it.
RAPHAEL: No! No! No! No!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right? Right!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: How about celebrity-driven television? We'll be going to your calls in a little while. We have Darva Conger. She's a celebrity.
RAPHAEL: You know, when I...
KING: Paula Jones. Donato "the fisherman," the closet man, he's a celebrity.
RAPHAEL: Hey, they're casting the movie, "Elian: His Story." No kidding. It was in "Variety."
KING: Who's up -- who's up for Donato?
RAPHAEL: The second role, lead will go to the fisherman. The picture of the boy, "the fisherman," in the closet, yes. No kidding.
KING: All right. What about this 15 minutes of fame this medium brings to people?
RAPHAEL: I -- I have more -- I don't have -- I think people should have 15 minutes of fame. That doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me more is the merchandising of things that perhaps should be private. People merchandise -- television performers merchandise their children. I was asked to merchandise the death of a child. You know, can you write a book? Can you give a lot of -- write some articles?
KING: You don't like "Playboy" having Darva pose nude?
RAPHAEL: I don't care about that. When I was on with her, I said in five months she'll be naked. I was a month off.
KING: But that doesn't bother you?
RAPHAEL: No, that doesn't bother me.
KING: So you can (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
RAPHAEL: The only thing that bothers me is the hypocrisy of saying: "I really just want my life back, so therefore, I'll go nude in `Playboy.' That's the way I'll get my life back."
"Boy, I was surprised when he kissed me on television, so I'll just go on `Playboy' so they can kiss the picture."
You know, that's hypocrisy.
KING: But hypocrisy is the thing that most people are annoyed about. The -- a guy -- if I yell, "Do as I say not as I do."
RAPHAEL: Yes, but people merchandise a disease they have, you know? They talk about it, and they're in the middle of saying, if you get this disease, this is -- and then, oh, I can't talk to you anymore about it. I'm writing a book, and the story will be in the book. Where people are hanging on their words to find out how they handle something like that, and then it's merchandised.
KING: So the next -- it's impossible then to predict this. Where does this all go? Take this the next step. RAPHAEL: The sad thing is a lot of the unrealistic images that children get. Larry -- and it comes from that, from that merchandising.
I did a show last week with 7-year-olds who were bulemic. That I would put on.
RAPHAEL: That I would put, because they were with a doctor and because the children were explained in children's terms. They weren't being yelled at because they were bad.
KING: How can you be a 7-year-old bulemic?
RAPHAEL: Because you are looking at -- because the kids in school call you, fatty, fatty, 2 by 4, and you find out that if you throw up your food, it won't ad weight. And that's -- that is an image.
And children -- for a long time, women had those images in magazines and on television, and now the children have the images. And a woman may be able to separate that it's OK to have a love handle there, but the children can't.
And you're hearing all kinds of terrible things about children: the laxatives and the throwing -- they take laxatives in the fourth grade to be thin like models used to.
KING: This is 8? This is incredible to me.
RAPHAEL: Seven and they're throwing up. Seven and they're bulemic, to use the correct word.
KING: What shows get you the most reaction?
RAPHAEL: Boot camp, because somebody -- the kids are bad, and they're punished. That gets the most reaction. What gets the least is what you saw with -- when I do parodies, it -- hello. There it goes. There she goes.
KING: They don't like that?
RAPHAEL: They don't. They couldn't care less, you know. I have to do something for some kind of a...
KING: So we want on this kind of show, we want conflict of some kind resolved?
RAPHAEL: Conflict gets you a couple of more rating points: somebody telling somebody off and then it being resolved is really a winner, yes.
KING: We'll back with your phone calls for Sally Jessy Raphael. She's the longest-running host of a topical TV show in television history, national TV talk show (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in October of 1983. And she has won an Emmy as well. And the show keeps on -- how long are you going to keep doing it?
RAPHAEL: Until they throw me out.
KING: So even though you're Nice, and you're living in Nice...
RAPHAEL: How long are young going to continue?
KING: Until they -- I don't know.
RAPHAEL: Throw us out.
KING: I don't know. I love it.
RAPHAEL: See you on the front porch of the old folks...
RAPHAEL: Assisted living. I want assisted living.
KING: You do want...
RAPHAEL: I want a butler and a maid and a cook and a...
KING: I want to be 92, and I want do this show from a condominium.
RAPHAEL: You aren't...
KING: Hello, Larry. That's right.
Today's guest is the plumber for the building.
Did you fix Ethel's pipe in 306?
We'll be back with more and your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW")
RAPHAEL: I understand that Jimmy, like you, cannot get it into his head that she doesn't want to be with him anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's fine.
RAPHAEL: Does he have it in his head?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn't know. He wants -- he loves her.
RAPHAEL: I don't care! There are a lot of people I love. Paul Newman doesn't want me either!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Sally Jessy Raphael, the host of "Sally," and we're going to go to your phone calls, as well. And, they didn't bring it down. so I can't go to it -- now they did.
Vancouver, British Columbia -- hello.
CALLER: I wanted to ask Sally whether she thinks that these wild, out-of-control teens are just more prevalent and we're discussing it more than we may have in the past.
RAPHAEL: No, I think they're more out of control. Look, how old are you?
KING: Are you there ma'am?
RAPHAEL: OK, let's say she is 40. She did not do the things that I mean...
RAPHAEL: ... you know, we didn't...
KING: We didn't do the things they're doing.
RAPHAEL: ... I didn't, you didn't, they didn't. They are today.
KING: But now -- but we're also seeing it.
RAPHAEL: Yes, but I do think it's there. I don't think it was there. I don't think...
KING: So who -- what came first, chicken or the egg? I mean, who started it?
RAPHAEL: I think the permissiveness started, lack of discipline, giving kids things but no time. I think a generation of parents who can't say no. They cannot say no. It's so much easier to say yes. They want to win that popularity. You're the best mother that ever lived. But if I say to you, you can't go out tonight or you can't do crack cocaine or you can't have 14 boyfriends in your room at night, you're going to dislike me. Jeepers, I don't want to be disliked as a parent.
KING: Fort Wayne, Indiana -- hello. CALLER: Hi, you send kids to -- troubled kids to boot camp. Now do you ever get in trouble with welfare or social service to say you're too tough or abuse?
RAPHAEL: Well, first of all, when they're at boot camp, they're completely filmed and monitored.
KING: You want to explain how that works?
RAPHAEL: Yes, we -- there are programs across the country, prison programs. In fact, there's a fascinating program in Canada where bad children are standing in a hospital, and suddenly somebody comes in and they're dying. And they see everybody run around and take care of them. It's scared straight, prison things, the same thing, visiting a prison. Yes, they go...
KING: It's all volunteer? They volunteer to go? You can't...
RAPHAEL: They volunteer, their parents sign them. They are monitored completely, they're filmed all the time.
KING: They can be taken out any time?
RAPHAEL: Well, they don't stay very long. They say very short amounts of time, just enough to get -- the thing is not to keep them, the thing is to show them this is what's down the road for you, be it prison, be it boot camp, be it whatever.
KING: And the question is do you ever run into problems with social groups or anything?
RAPHAEL: No, we've never had a problem. No. no, never had a problem. All of these are approved things. All of them are monitored.
KING: Never had a kid harmed at one?
RAPHAEL: Never, not once.
KING: Akron, Ohio -- hello.
CALLER: Hi, my question for Sally is, don't you think that seeing coming home from school little kids, and seeing people screaming at each other, trying to hit each other, absolutely no respect, perpetuates the problem?
RAPHAEL: I do.
CALLER: Kids seem to think if they see it on TV, it's got to be real.
RAPHAEL: Yes, I honestly do. I honestly do. I happen to be on almost exclusively in morning times...
KING: Oh, really? RAPHAEL: You know, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00. But I do believe that it is not good for children to see that. What is good is for children to see them discussing it and having psychologists talk to them about it and maybe learning something.
You know, we can go back -- I think I've said it before, that we thought a drunk was a guy on the Bowery until Phil Donahue said one in five families. Kids now understand addiction. That was something...
KING: So there's been a lot of good in that?
RAPHAEL: Yes, oh a lot. That's something that wasn't talked about.
KING: We're all knocking it here. There's a lot of good in this.
RAPHAEL: Yes, of course, of course. There is enormous amount of good. Incest wasn't talked about. People now know, hey, that's not right. Go for help.
KING: Being gay.
RAPHAEL: Yes, exactly, exactly. And AIDS.
KING: And the public grows up with it.
RAPHAEL: And AIDS and diseases and even heart disease -- oh, gosh, uncle, he had a heart -- well don't tell anybody. Let's not. And now...
KING: What do you make of the mother's march Sunday?
RAPHAEL: I think it's fabulous. I think that if you have to say Charlton Heston, your sweet mother, Charlton Heston, your sweet mother, you will go with your sweet mother.
KING: And doing it on Mother's Day is pretty good PR to do that, right?
RAPHAEL: Very, very good. And look at how well they did with MADD. There have been a lot of social issues that if women took into their own hands and used that image of God and mother and country, that works very -- it probably would be the only thing that could fight the rifle association would be one's mother.
KING: Do you think you're an -- I remember on radio you were an advice-giver when you did your national radio show for ABC. Do you still do that, don't you? You tell these people what you think they ought to do.
RAPHAEL: I tell them not as much as we get somebody who is more knowledgeable about it. But I -- when I'm sitting there and I see that, yes, of course I tell them.
KING: Do you think Dr. Laura's going to work? RAPHAEL: You and I are only two people I know who made it from television to radio. Do you know anyone else?
KING: You mean the other.
RAPHAEL: Yes, from radio to television.
KING: Yes, I guess that's true.
RAPHAEL: Do we know anyone else? All of the others have not -- it has not worked for. There is something about being seen. When you're a female and you're harsh, it becomes unfeminine on television. A man can get away with an awful lot more than a woman.
KING: Well you can get away with a lot of different things on radio. You could be wacko on radio, you could be wacko on television...
RAPHAEL: Exactly, exactly.
KING: ... and it looks simple.
RAPHAEL: But it's a very hard transition to make. I think she's awfully conservative, and television strikes me as a more liberal medium. That's all I'll say. I wish her well. I always wish them well.
KING: Imus is simulcast.
RAPHAEL: Yes, that's radio and television.
KING: That's radio on television rather than...
RAPHAEL: Yes, right. By the way, since we're -- a lot of people are interviewing young kids and exploiting them and so forth, what happened with Bennett and your friend from Connecticut? What is it, Lieberman?
RAPHAEL: Yes, there was a point at which they tried to get talk shows banned in Congress, and there were things...
KING: Well, they were mad at Springer and...
RAPHAEL: No, they damned with all of us in this...
KING: You, too?
RAPHAEL: Oh, especially me.
KING: You took offense to that?
RAPHAEL: Oh, yes because they mentioned my name in "The New York Times" and stuff like that. Where are those guys now that it's gotten an awful lot worse in some corridors. Are they off doing Imus? KING: On that note...
KING: ... we'll take a break. And here is a scene from Sally Jessy Raphael with teens talking about life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW")
RAPHAEL: Do you have a roof over your head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
RAPHAEL: You ever been hungry, really hungry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
RAPHAEL: I have -- hungry, hungry, hungry. I've been hungry because what food I had I gave to my children. But when you're so hungry that you can hardly stand up and do a day's work and you've still got to go out and support your kids, you'll find out a little bit about choices and about what love is all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Sally Jessy on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Sally Jessy Raphael, and we go to Worcester, Massachusetts, hello.
CALLER: Hello there. Sally, I'd like to ask you what you think of shows like "The Ricki Lake Show" and Jerry Springer's show, and how they influence our young people.
RAPHAEL: You know, the problem is, when you do it and you're working during the day like I am, I have to be honest, I've only seen a portion of one of those shows.
KING: You're kidding?
RAPHAEL: No. I just don't have time.
KING: But you have a general idea what occurs.
RAPHAEL: Not -- if I had to define it, I could define Jerry before the company told him no fights. What he's doing now, I don't know.
KING: They yell, and they just don't let them fight.
RAPHAEL: They just yell and they don't. And Ricki...
KING: Do you do surprise shows? RAPHAEL: ... I haven't seen in a long time. Where we ambush somebody?
KING: Do you ever surprise? Yes.
RAPHAEL: No, it's very hard to...
KING: All right. Now, help me with something. I'm watching -- I turned on Springer the other day, and he says, we have a surprise for you, a shock for you. And a person sits down, and then her boyfriend comes on and says, "I have another girlfriend." And then she goes immediately into a tantrum and crazy. What did she expect him to say? Or did she expect him to say, "I have a cousin Imelda you've never met."
RAPHAEL: Could have been or...
KING: My father...
RAPHAEL: ... you are the new millionaire.
KING: My father has a disease and I've never told you. What does she expect other than -- so are these actors? Or -- why are they there?
RAPHAEL: You know, that he...
KING: Why would you go on a show in which your boyfriend is going to tell you he has a girlfriend?
RAPHAEL: Even people who work in the business do not know what Jerry is doing. We really -- I know Jerry himself is a surprisingly literate, very funny...
KING: Oh, bright nice guy.
RAPHAEL: ... good politician, all of that. But the show, none of us know. Do you know when we get our -- we talk -- I would say the same thing. What was that woman doing? How did that work?
KING: Why did she go on the show?
RAPHAEL: Why did she go?
KING: And also she just said, he's the love of my life, he's the greatest person. I have another girlfriend. I hate him and I'm going to kill him now and I'm going to punch him in the face!
RAPHAEL: I don't -- do you think it took place over an hour and they cut it down to two seconds?
KING: I have no idea. RAPHAEL: It could be.
KING: So we're in the business and we don't know.
KING: And what about Ricki Lake? Does she do stuff like that? I don't know.
RAPHAEL: I haven't seen the show in a long time. She hasn't seen mine, so I we're even.
KING: San Pedro, California, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, Sally.
CALLER: How you doing?
RAPHAEL: Good, thanks.
CALLER: Hi. Sally, I'd just like to ask, are you getting a little fed up with interviewing the delinquents? You seem like you're getting annoyed with it all, with good reason.
RAPHAEL: You know, you're very astute. Yes, I am. I think...
KING: When does it get to be, "All right already"?
RAPHAEL: It does. It did. I'm past that. But I must tell you something that happened, and they'll -- again, I'll be in doo-doo, but that's the way it is. The company said to me, Studios USA, Valerie said to me, "Do you want to do something different than that?" And I said yes, and they gave us a good amount of money, some great film, good cameras and all of that, and we turned out month after month of very, very good, credible shows. Some of them I think were as good as anything that "60 Minutes" did.
We spent a fortune, we worked like dogs, and it all went down the drain.
KING: Didn't do well.
RAPHAEL: It didn't do well. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) circling the...
KING: They are -- shows like what?
RAPHAEL: Well, we did shows on diseases, on things that -- things that we really felt were issues, things that we felt strongly that America should know about. How to protect -- something as simple as how to protect yourself on a dark street. All kinds of very, very socially redeeming things.
We found fascinating people from all over the world and put them on. The cost was tremendous. The American public, you can't force feed them something they don't want.
KING: So give us the teens who...
RAPHAEL: They want the teens who are doing dope and having sex.
KING: So you go back to that.
RAPHAEL: So if I want...
KING: But if the lady noticed something, are we saying that maybe you're...
RAPHAEL: Then to the extent...
KING: ... you want to go another route?
RAPHAEL: Well, I can't. To the extent that she...
KING: Well, but could do -- you could leave that show and do something else.
RAPHAEL: Right. To the extent she noticed it, that's the extent that I'm not being professional, so I will make a little more of an effort.
KING: So in other words you're acting?
RAPHAEL: She shouldn't have seen that.
No, I'm not acting. Are you ever sitting with a terribly boring guest, Larry, and...
KING: I try to make the best of whatever the circumstance is, but I'm not acting. I'm trying to make whatever the circumstance is...
RAPHAEL: I'm trying to make the best of whatever the circumstance.
KING: But if I had to do teenagers every day, I wouldn't do. See, I couldn't do that. If the show got to be...
RAPHAEL: I haven't enough money to retire yet. I need -- I need the job.
KING: That's very honest.
KING: So therefore, if you had enough...
RAPHAEL: See, it comes down to that, doesn't it, sometimes? Unless it's something that's repugnant, unless you feel even with no money... KING: Have you had to do a show you absolutely didn't want to do?
RAPHAEL: No, no.
KING: That hasn't occurred?
RAPHAEL: No, because if that did, then there is no money in the world that is worth it. I need the money to the extent that every Joe Blow in the world needs the money. I need the money for the children and the roof over my head.
KING: Are you in charge of your show?
KING: In other words, they can't tell you, you will do this tomorrow?
RAPHAEL: They would not because they know better, and they cannot. I don't think -- but they do -- I owe this company to be successful. I owe them those ratings.
This is not -- unfortunately, we don't have the kind of public television. So I owe it to the people, the stockholders, to Barry Diller, to those people, to give them the best that I can, and still look in the mirror every day, and still say: OK, you've helped rather than hurt; you're not -- you're not the problem; you're part of the solution.
KING: But sometimes -- for example, an all-news network -- we will do a show where we know we will not do that well as we normally do in ratings because it is important to do that.
RAPHAEL: At least -- at least 40 percent of what I'm doing is that, and that's why I worry about the ratings, because at least 40 percent of it is one for the Gipper.
KING: We'll be back with more of Sally Jessy on this -- I say Sally Jessy, because when I first worked with her, there was no Raphael. That's how far back we go. I used to say: "And that's it for tonight. See you again tomorrow night at 9:00. And stay tuned now for Sally Jessy through the night."
Remember those days?
RAPHAEL: That's right.
KING: On the causeway in Miami, Florida, when we were starving. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW")
RAPHAEL: Dennis' mother, who has passed on, which is maybe how this whole thing can come about, passed on, and never mentioned any of these things. But when this picture, this prom picture where she's with your father was taken, she was pregnant with him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.
RAPHAEL: Leading you to wonder if he is not only your father, but Dennis' father. Correct?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Sally, and we go to Merced, California. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Yes. Sally, for one, I think you're one of the classier people out there.
RAPHAEL: thank You.
CALLER: I'm a police officer, and I've been dealing with boot camps for a long time personally. And where my question is, is do you feel that what the kids need is a quick fix, because that's what's happening with some of these shows, or are -- it needs to be longer? Because sometimes the boot camps they're exposed to go on for a long time. Do you think that it's an impact thing, or is that it?
RAPHAEL: It differs...
KING: Officer, don't hang up. I want to ask you something. Go ahead.
RAPHAEL: It differs with the children. No one's asked me our success rate. We check back with them. We have a 50-50 success rate. Fifty get it, the other 50 don't. Some get it real quick, some should be there for a lot longer.
KING: Officer, what do you think of the concept?
CALLER: You know, I'm -- I'm a former Marine, too. I served in the military. And, you know, it was -- it was a life experience for me going through boot camp. But I don't feel that type of program -- I mean, I'm involved with it, but I don't think it's really the answer. People believe that they need sometimes just an altering moment, and that's it, and that will define their life. And I think that's where some of this is going. But you can't do that. You can't yell at a kid every day, expect them to one day go, click, oh, god, now I'm doing fine. I think that...
KING: In other words, quick fixes don't work.
CALLER: Yes, really, I don't think the quick fix doesn't work. It's just it needs to -- it needs to be more molded and more toned. You can't yell all the time at a person because you know that they're obviously getting it bad at home because they're coming from a troubled home. They're... KING: Yes.
RAPHAEL: These kids need to be, most of them -- first of all, most of them -- 75 percent of them have really dysfunctional home lives and parents.
CALLER: Oh, yes, definitely.
RAPHAEL: Boot camp isn't going to fix that.
CALLER: Oh, I know.
RAPHAEL: And that's a pretty -- most of them need to be taken out of that environment. The minute they go back to the same old friends and the same old dysfunctional family, then you can't fight that with boot camp even if it were a year of boot camp. They go right back to the neighborhood.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Sally Jessy Raphael.
Tomorrow night, Stephen Hawking; Monday Bob Dole; Tuesday Nelson Mandela. And don't forget, June 1st and June 2nd, we'll be doing two two-hour shows those nights to celebrate the 20th anniversary of CNN, the 15th anniversary of LARRY KING LIVE with highlights of those past years. That's June 1st and 2nd. We'll be live in Atlanta.
We'll be right back with our remaining moments with Sally right after this.
KING: Do you like being a celebrity?
RAPHAEL: I think I live in France because the show is not on. I...
KING: So you don't like being recognized?
RAPHAEL: There are -- half of us need the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. And the other...
KING: Good twist there.
RAPHAEL: And the other half of us, it's a job and you earn a living and this is what do you. I think I'm in that second half, because I would choose to live in a place where no one would know my name. But when people recognize me, I owe to it them to take the picture, smile, ask them how they're doing. People feel a tremendous personal thing with us, unlike the movies.
You know, we once had this boss, and he used to know movie stars. Poeple would always call them Mr. Newman...
KING: Yes, that's right.
RAPHAEL: But people call you Larry and they call me Sally because we're in the bathroom. We're in the living room with them.
KING: Yes, that's right. We're very personal.
RAPHAEL: And I think we owe those people something. I think we owe them taking the picture or being good to them or signing the autograph.
KING: You had a tragedy in your life.
RAPHAEL: Yes -- lots, as a matter of fact.
RAPHAEL: Yes, a lot. You know, it was 20...
KING: But you lost a child.
KING: That's the worst tragedy of all, right?
RAPHAEL: I believe it's the single...
RAPHAEL: ... the single...
KING: ... has to be second.
RAPHAEL: The single worst -- the single worst.
KING: Nothing is worse than that?
KING: How do you ever deal with it? I mean, how do you...
RAPHAEL: You don't. You can't.
KING: Is it part of you all the time?
RAPHAEL: It's always there, every day. I also had a son in a major car crash, and he will spend the rest of his life with problems. It's always there. You never get over it. You can lose a parent, and that can be...
KING: Sure, that's expected.
RAPHAEL: Yes, it's the other that will always be sad.
KING: See, I can't fathom -- and I've talked to many people who have had to -- how you go on.
RAPHAEL: But you can't talk to any -- I can't even talk to you about it. I can only talk to someone else who's lost a child. And there's -- because there's no...
KING: You're a club. But how do you members of this club...
RAPHAEL: Well, you don't want to belong.
KING: I can't fathom how you do on.
RAPHAEL: You can't. You really can't. You go on, but you don't laugh the way you used to.
KING: As loud. A piece of you is gone.
RAPHAEL: With me, a tremendously important piece. I lived for that child. I lived for both -- all three of my children, but I lived for that one. She was first born. And that was dashed is just always -- also there's the thing about being -- I think it's hard on fathers, but mothers it's particularly hard on. So much of us...
KING: Because you carried them?
RAPHAEL: Yes, we carried them and so much of us lives through them, you know, and what we want for them.
KING: Do you ever say, why me?
RAPHAEL: No, I have no privilege, no. Why not me? Why somebody else, why not me?
KING: So you're able not -- you don't have to deal with that aspect of...
RAPHAEL: No. I don't -- it either gives you religion or takes it away. It took it away for me.
KING: No guilt?
RAPHAEL: None at all. I did everything in the world I possibly could. I was as good as I could have been -- no guilt.
KING: Anger at the way the tabloids deal with it?
RAPHAEL: Yes, because there were things like, she killed herself or she overdosed. None of that was true. Yes. Telling lies about people, that makes me angry. But it's senseless to be angry at something like that.
KING: And where does it leave you?
RAPHAEL: Where will -- I only can use anger when it will gets me somewhere.
KING: We're old friends and I value it.
RAPHAEL: Thank you. Me, too.
KING: Thank you so much. Say hello to all the gang in Nice. That's so hip, man.
RAPHAEL: Of course.
KING: Sid and Asher and Herbie and I were walking around Brooklyn, never said -- we couldn't even say Nice. We were so poor, we couldn't say the word "Nice." Anyway, never said cocktails, right?
RAPHAEL: But of course.
KING: Did you ever in your life say aperitif?
On that note, have a happy weekend.
Stephen Hawking tomorrow night.
Stay tuned for CNN NEWSSTAND. Have an aperitif before retiring tonight.
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