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Larry King Live
Charlie Rose Discusses Joining '60 Minutes II'Aired September 13, 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: He's one of television's top talkers: Charlie Rose, correspondent for one of TV's highest rated shows, "60 Minutes II," and host of his own PBS show. He is with us for the hour. We will take your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.
He's an old friend. He even hosted this show. It's great to have him with us. It is always good to see Charlie Rose, the host of "Charlie Rose" on PBS, correspondent for "60 Minutes II."
Lots to talk about.
Now, how did you -- how did the "60 Minutes" thing come about?
CHARLIE ROSE, CBS "60 MINUTES II": Jeff Fager, who is a wonderful executive producer, knew of me. And I had talked to him when he was executive producer of the evening news about doing something with Rather. And then, when I did my own PBS show, I was reaching out for the anchors and using them as kind of stringers.
And I used to talk to -- occasionally talk to Fager. And then, when he got this job, he called me. I was Colorado. And he said, "I want to talk to you when you get back." It was in August. And I came back.
And he said, "Would you be interested in this?"
And I said, "Yes."
And he said: "We are putting together an interesting team. And it takes different mixes to make a magazine show work. We have got Rather. It's a good start: Bob Simon, Vicki Mabrey. And we would love for you to consider it.
And I said, "I can't give up my show."
And he said: "Well: deal-breaker. You've got to do that."
KING: So he wanted to you give up the PBS show?
ROSE: Yes. And I said -- I loved the idea. I mean, "60 Minutes": the legend, the people, telling stories in a different way. And -- but I couldn't leave my show. I mean, I built it up nine years then.
And they said: "Maybe you could come in do 10 pieces a year, make a contribution, see how you feel about it."
And I love it. I love it.
KING: Tell us what you do. You don't -- you're not committed to them to do a piece -- you can't do a piece a week and work...
ROSE: No. No one does a piece a week.
KING: I know.
ROSE: Maybe Mike.
KING: Do you select -- do you select your pieces?
ROSE: Yes, but producers have ideas. They come to you and say: What about this? You go to a producer and say: I'd like to do this. I've never been asked to do something I didn't want to do.
KING: Are you surprised at its success?
KING: A lot of people were betting that copies of other things don't work.
ROSE: Two reasons: One is that it is a great franchise, obviously. Fager -- without sort of being too kind to him -- is a very good executive producer. He had been at "60 Minutes." He understand the franchise. He had the support of the other guys: Hewitt, Rather, those guys. And he got Rather on board. You know, and then you could deal with that.
Bob Simon knew the franchise as well, because he worked for "60 Minutes" Sunday. And so it had a chance. And we worked hard. And we've been growing, and getting better and better. And I'm loving it more and more.
KING: At the outset, Hewitt wasn't all that crazy about the idea.
ROSE: That's what they say, yeah.
KING: So you do...
ROSE: Understandably so. I mean, he spent 25 years.
KING: You pre-tape when you go out to do stories?
ROSE: I do.
KING: Because you don't miss a night of your show, right?
ROSE: I don't. I pre-tape. But I also found out something that worked better than I ever imagined it would. I go to Paris. I'm doing a piece, for example, a profile with Carlos Santana. While I'm in Paris, I have some downtime. I go over to the Bloomberg studio, and I say, I'll do an interview with Roman Polanski -- which I did -- or do an interview with Henri-Cartier Bresson.
I'm going to over to do something in London: Ridley Scott in the next week. I'll do something for my show at night.
KING: Best thing about PBS is you can do anything with anyone. You don't have commercial worries, right?
ROSE: Yeah, right.
KING: It's a great gig.
ROSE: Right. No interruption.
KING: ... daytime daze.
Lots to talk about. And we are going to cover a lot of bases with Charlie tonight. And we'll be taking your calls as well.
First, let's talk about Bobby Knight, a man you interviewed once on your old...
ROSE: Yes, a long time ago on "Nightline," when it...
ROSE: Yes, exactly.
KING: 1:00 in the morning.
ROSE: 2:00 in the morning.
KING: 2:00 in the morning.
ROSE: And then they flip it over. And for two hours, then they flip it over. And it was a cult show. I mean, people loved it, because at that time, there wasn't the buildup of all the cable channels. And so there it was with conversation, with you, and...
KING: Oh, I had a great time there.
ROSE: It worked. And I loved doing it. And CBS had a good bunch of people. And the great thing about it: They ignored it. It was in the middle of the night. Until the saw it...
KING: Didn't know who produced it, right?
ROSE: Yes, didn't know.
KING: All right. Basketball...
KING: You're a -- you played basketball?
ROSE: Played not at Duke, which -- they were a pretty good team when I was there. Jeff Mullins made them number one in the country.
KING: Not bad.
ROSE: I went out once with Jeff to play. And it's like a different zone. I mean, it's not the game that you know.
KING: Yeah, I know. But you played high school ball, right? And then got -- so you're still a crazed fan, right?
ROSE: Love it.
KING: And you went to do Knight at "Nightwatch."
KING: What did you think of him and what do you make -- what's your -- give me Charlie Rose's view of this whole mishigas (ph).
ROSE: I think he's -- he's got -- something is wrong. I mean, he understood -- even though he says he didn't -- he understood that he was on probation. And he couldn't resist it, is my guess, because it's who he is. It's his personality. He's a good guy. And he is also a temperamental tiger. And he can't resist it, and not because he means to be malevolent, but he just is.
He's a great coach. He's a great teacher. And what happened should have happened, because of the circumstances and the buildup over the years.
KING: Would you want a son of yours to play for him?
ROSE: I have some other choices. Dean Smith would be one. Since Dean is no longer coaching. Mike Krzyzewski would be another.
KING: But if you were
KING: You have a son. He's good. He's good. And Bobby's recruiting him.
ROSE: I'd rather he not. I'd rather he play for some other people.
KING: Because of the way he treats them.
KING: Even though he would learn a lot of other lessons.
ROSE: Absolutely. And you know people, and I know people, that say he's as good a teacher...
KING: As everybody.
ROSE: He knows -- "x" knows like nobody.
KING: Why do you like the game so much?
ROSE: It's just -- first of all, North Carolina is basketball country. I loved -- I grew up with basketball -- Carolina a 1957, I sat listening to the radio. And Tommy Kearns came out to jump ball. You know, he was about 5'11''.
ROSE: With Wilt Chamberlain. I have always loved the game. I have played it in high school. It was the game of North Carolina -- more so than football. There's no great football -- except Florida State is now in the ACC. It was a game that I was taller than most of my high school friends. So I had an opportunity to play well. And I just loved it.
KING: Also, it has all the athletic skills, right?
KING: Offense, defense, you have got to play both.
KING: You like the pro game, too?
ROSE: Love it, yes. If I...
KING: Are you one of these New Yorkers that's always at the Knicks?
ROSE: Not always, because I don't have the tickets to be there. But I go as often as I can. And I love being there. And I -- it's just -- it's magical for me.
KING: You've become a big part of the New York social scene, too, right? Every time I read the
ROSE: The less that is said...
KING: ... Charlie Rose is there, right?
ROSE: Well, what happens, I think, is that you get -- I'm not apologetic for it, because I love to be out. I love to talk to people.
KING: And you love the city.
ROSE: Yes. Oh, this is your city. KING: I know. I remember when you went here.
ROSE: Oh, man. I love Brooklyn. And I love Queens. And I love Staten Island, you know. And I love going across the bridge when I come back just to see it in the -- you know, see the skyline. I love being on the streets. I mean, I'm one of those people that don't need to leave New York, yet I'm doing more traveling than I've ever done. But it has energy and pulse. It has the highest level of excellence across the board than anywhere.
It's theater. It's fashion. It's Wall Street. It's media. It's...
KING: One other thing on Knight: Is he going wind up somewhere?
ROSE: Oh sure.
KING: College or pro?
ROSE: I don't know. I guess college. Isaiah has said, I think, that he would take him as an assistant.
KING: Thomas offered him a job in Detroit. Could he be an assistant?
ROSE: I think he is at Indiana.
KING: Indiana, I'm sorry. Could he be an assistant?
ROSE: I don't know. I think probably now he wants to get stabilized, wouldn't you think?
KING: Think he would take a small school?
ROSE: I would think so.
ROSE: I don't know if that would happen. But I think he -- I think he wants to teach. I mean, this is a guy -- whatever you say about him -- loves to teach. And he loves kids. That does not excuse anything that's happened. And it's unacceptable. And he should be adult enough and mature enough and experienced enough to understand it.
KING: Our guests is Charlie Rose.
Lots to talk about -- and your phone calls too. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CHARLIE ROSE")
ROSE: What you should do is combine Shakespeare and stand-up.
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: We could.
ROSE: We could. WILLIAMS: Is this not a chicken that I have I held? Did not the two Jews enter the bar and, on entering, find that it was there? All is undone to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but drink the scotch, I shall know thy name. This show, one Rose, yet there sits, and yet all time, outside, the day the Wall Street crumbles, Nasdaq-like, bungee rises. Is it a between these -- this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Tell Bill Gates to open the windows of time and Rome we'd be.
KING: Our guest is Charlie Rose. We'll go to a lot of your phone calls, too. It's always great to see him and have him especially on this program tonight.
Peter Jennings will be here tomorrow night, a mutual friend.
ROSE: Yes, indeed.
KING: What do you make of this latest -- today's controversy is, was that deliberate, that "RATS" thing in the RNC ad?
ROSE: What do you think?
KING: Well, the editors here say no way they would have let that go, so it had to be.
ROSE: My perception is that somebody knew they were doing it, that they just almost -- they say frame by frame or letter by letter when you put that kind of animation together. And the technical people say you had to know.
KING: Is it just good stuff or are they getting a bum rap here?
ROSE: It depends on who knew. I mean, somebody may have been having fun.
KING: You mean, Bush didn't know.
ROSE: No, of course not.
KING: Someone was probably having fun.
ROSE: Maybe, or thought that they would just take a shot here.
KING: Is this a one-day story?
ROSE: I think so, yes.
KING: What's your overview of the whole race so far?
ROSE: Gore's coming on strong, it looks like. I mean, my -- everything I know is what I read and people I talk to. I'm not out there.
I've interviewed both of them for "Reader's Digest." I did their presidential interviews this year, and they're both interesting people.
I have never bought, as I don't think you have, that this is dull. Nothing is dull about it for me.
KING: No, it's the world, the future.
ROSE: Exactly. And they talk about interesting stuff, and these are two people who come with very different kinds of agendas. And when it settles in, you're going to see that there's a lot different. Ralph Nader's wrong; there's a lot different between these people.
And they've got different ideas, what to do about the surplus. They've got different ideas about Medicare. They've got different ideas about taxes. They've got different ideas about prescription drugs. They've got different ideas about arms control.
KING: What brought Gore on so well from being so down?
KING: Do you think?
KING: Good pick, huh?
ROSE: The choice of Lieberman, in my judgment, just after that, things began to happen. You know, some of my political friends will say, well, it had to do when Daley took over the campaign, he brought some order and stability to it.
But for the public, all of a sudden there was Gore making his first and most important choice, and it was a guy that the country liked, and he was enthusiastic, and he loved being picked. He was the first Jew -- all of that.
He was a guy who had, as you know, been in the well of the Senate, saying this was morally awful.
KING: We were at the White House the same night once, doing Clinton.
KING: Before we get back to Gore, what...
ROSE: Yours was much better.
KING: Oh, stop it. What do you make...
ROSE: No, it was. I -- we focused on the future, and I wanted to talk about the personality of him.
KING: What do you make of the enigma that is Bill Clinton?
ROSE: Oh, I think it's fascinating. Someone told me a story recently that they said, you know, the thing about this guy is he is so curious that he just sucks everything out of you, everything, and you almost want to make stuff up in order...
KING: To keep him interested.
ROSE: To keep him interested. And that he's just -- they were comparing him to some other politicians, how curious he was. I think he's a fascinating figure.
I mean, you don't want to draw Shakespearean lines, but there's tragedy here, you know. You know, that it's always going to be there in terms of the judgment.
I was at the tennis match and they introduced him. He was there, and he was enjoying himself, having fun. And there were some boos when they announced him. You know, so he's a controversial guy but he's smart.
KING: Do you think the public will miss him?
ROSE: Of course, they will. But I think -- I think that the public likes change and I think they like to look forward, and I think they're ready to move on.
KING: We'll ask Charlie about the race in New York -- there was a debate tonight -- and more on the presidential race and lots of other things, too. We'll ask him about that strange case in New Mexico today, and take your calls, too.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSE: Were there experiences of any kind or anything that you wish you had had, looking back, that might have served you as a leader?
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think that I would have had a better time with -- with some of the military decisions I had to make if I had been in the military. I'm not sure I would have changed the decisions I made. In fact, I'm almost positive it wouldn't have, but it might have made them go down a little easier with some of the people who disagreed with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Charlie Rose. You wanted to add something on political.
ROSE: This political race, I love the race. I love the ideas.
KING: Closest race in years.
ROSE: I think anybody could win this. I don't think this is Gore's to lose even. I think it's dead even from where I look at it.
California, Gore seems to be pulling ahead. Looks like Florida is competitive. New York has a wide margin. The battleground, as always, seems to be in the middle west.
But the debates could make a difference. They made had a difference for Jerry Ford. Do you remember that?
KING: Sure did.
ROSE: They made a difference for Ronald Reagan, when he said, "There you go again."
KING: What about...
ROSE: It was different kind of race.
KING: One of the great moments.
KING: What about the debate over the debates? The commission meets tomorrow.
ROSE: I personally thought that Bush should have just said, look, I'm anxious to debate, I've got something I want to say to the American people, I want to meet my competitor, I'll do the three debates, and I'll be with Larry, and I'll be with Tim, and I'll be with Peter. And wherever they want to go, we'll talk about the future of America. That's what I thought he should have said rather than playing it...
KING: How important will they be?
ROSE: Crucial, I think. Defining.
KING: Could decide the race?
ROSE: I think so, if -- especially if somebody makes a mistake. Debates give a candidate an opportunity -- and again, this is what I read and see -- they give a candidate a chance to define himself.
Ronald Reagan at the time that he was debating Jimmy Carter, people didn't know. He'd been governor of California. What was he really like? And could he stand up to a guy who had been president for four years who was said to be one of the smarter people to occupy the office?
Well, the way he handled himself proved to those people who had dots, may not vote for him, but he could handle it.
KING: Yes, so it is crucial. ROSE: Yes.
KING: Vice presidential debates important or not?
ROSE: I don't think they vote for the vice president. I think they vote for the president. Don't you?
KING: Were you surprised at the Cheney selection?
ROSE: No, because I think George Bush seems to be someone who is going to vote for somebody that he's -- he's going to select somebody he's comfortable with. He wasn't looking for a constituency. He was looking for a running mate. He was looking for someone that everybody believes could help him govern, but whether it helps him get elected is another question.
KING: Why do you love politics so much? For all the years I've known you, sports and politics is Charlie Rose.
ROSE: And movies.
KING: And movies.
ROSE: Yes, and books.
KING: But politics, why?
ROSE: It's in my blood. I come from the South. I remember -- I said to an audience at Duke a couple of nights ago, you know, I remember when Frank Porter Graham was running for the Senate a long time ago. Terry Sanford in 1960, a young governor who had the courage to support Jack Kennedy, and Kennedy loved him after that. And Governor Hodges then became secretary of commerce, when I was a kid, you know.
I remember Jack Kennedy. I went to Hyannis Port once.
KING: You could (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you'd name the whole Cabinet.
ROSE: Oh, yes.
KING: Easy, right?
ROSE: I knew. Yes.
KING: All right. What about the New York...
ROSE: Except I...
KING: You're a New Yorker. You've got a Senate race that's easily the most talked about in the country. What's your read on it?
ROSE: Oh, I think it's...
KING: They debated tonight. I didn't see it. I saw the last five minutes. ROSE: I didn't see it at all. So I was coming over here and I taped tonight late. And so I didn't see -- see the debate at all. I got a report on it when I walked in here, and evidently it got rather brisk and fierce there for a while.
I think that -- again, it seems to me from afar that the race is pretty even. She's had a problem getting over 50 percent, and I saw a poll today that suggested she was up close to 50 percent, which is in her favor. He's an attractive candidate, doesn't have many negatives, it appears. How well-known he is, the impressions that are being formed about him, probably important.
KING: If Gore's way ahead, as the polls indicate in New York, it's going to help her?
ROSE: Wouldn't you think?
KING: Or is it too -- is it too entities here? You know what I mean?
ROSE: I think -- I think -- you know, everybody writes about her relationship with female voters and why people -- and why she's not doing better. I think people will vote pretty much for her or for him. I mean, I don't think they're going to vote for Gore. But a lot of people will get in there, and if there's a huge margin, pull the lever.
KING: We've asked of others and even asked it of them, so I'll ask it of you: Why do people hate the Clintons? Not dislike. Hate.
ROSE: I think part of the political opposition coming out of there was the nature of the couple. I mean, these were two people who came out of Arkansas, and he said during the campaign, you know, you vote for one you get two, whatever he said -- something like that.
I think also a lot of Republicans felt like he was co-opting their terrain. He came in and he was a new Democrat, and he wanted to engage in welfare reform and other things like that. And he was tough on crime. I mean, he was in favor of the death penalty.
KING: So they should like him.
ROSE: But they also realized that he was taking some places that they wanted to be like 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and they regretted it. I mean, they felt this guy's stealing our thunder, he's taking our message.
KING: How did he overcome all he overcame?
ROSE: I don't know. A fascinating story today. Did you see it, about -- about -- a guy from "The Washington Post" has written...
KING: A new book.
ROSE: New book. The basic of this story is, is that there was serious talk about going to see him. One of his former aides was talking to Sweeney, the AFL-CIO leader. And this book recounts this fascinating conversation where Sweeney says -- they said, maybe we need to go talk and maybe it's to...
KING: To leave.
ROSE: ... to make the case that he has to leave, as you remember when they went, Barry Goldwater and others went to see Richard Nixon. And it didn't happen. Sweeney said maybe later or not yet, Harold. That's what he said, "Harold."
And I think he just hung in there. I think he never -- he was tough. He defended everything, and the country wasn't sure, my impression, wasn't sure that losing office was the penalty he ought to pay. Maybe impeachment, yes, maybe censure, but not driving him out of office.
KING: Back with more of Charlie Rose. We'll talk about a few other things in the news and take your calls for the host of "Charlie Rose" on PBS and one of the new major correspondents for "60 Minutes II" on CBS.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSE: Potential of science to do harm...
CLINTON: But you know, it's always been that way. I mean, it's always been that way. And I think that my -- I'm actually more optimistic than -- keep in mind, no one believes that someone is going to come in and kill everybody in America. That's what we worried about during the Cold War.
Most people are good people. We've got plenty of talented people. We just need to be imagining the future, thinking about all the problems as well as all the opportunities, and then prepare.
Society always has problems. There are always misfortunes. But basically, I believe the future is quite promising and far more exciting than any period in history.
I wish I was going to live to be 150. I'd love to see what happens.
ROSE: Would you like to be cloned?
CLINTON: No. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We get a guy arrested, he's supposed to be one of the spies of the century, every known nuclear secret in the world, and today he's out free on a plea bargain, guilty of one count of mishandling nuclear defense data, and all he did was time served. ROSE: He doesn't look like a serious spy, does he?
KING: So what happened?
ROSE: I don't know. I mean, it's just amazing to me. The next question you want to ask...
KING: Do you think there will be...
ROSE: ... the people at the Department of Energy -- somebody.
KING: Do you buy any of the charges that was racially involved?
ROSE: I don't know. I mean, I -- it's a question of an Asian- American, China, makes people wonder why they thought that somehow Asian-Americans are more likely to do this. Therefore, it added to the weight that they put to put him under suspicion.
You hate to believe those kinds of things, so I don't know.
KING: Pat Buchanan, going anywhere?
ROSE: I don't think so. Do you?
KING: Why not?
ROSE: Do you think he's going anywhere?
KING: I don't know. I'm trying -- he hasn't been involved yet, so I don't know.
ROSE: He's had an operation, I think, gallstones or something, and I don't know what it was, but I think that's what it might have been.
I don't know. I mean, he's -- it's like he didn't get the Reform Party nomination and have clear sailing. He'll clearly be heard from. You know, he can talk economic nationalism like nobody can.
ROSE: He can stand in front of an audience and tell them why he wants to protect their best interests, you know, and why he's going to keep those jobs from going away. And he says it with passion and conviction. But he doesn't seem to be clicking so far, maybe because the money hasn't come in and maybe because the campaign hasn't started.
KING: Only Pat Buchanan would officially open the campaign at Bob Jones University. ROSE: Yes.
KING: He has chutzpah.
KING: He has that. And you mentioned him before. But what do you make of our friend Nader and this quest?
ROSE: I don't know why. I think he's doing it because he genuinely believes there's not much difference and I differ with him on that.
KING: He believes that.
ROSE: Yes, of course he does.
He has -- he's an admirable American. This guy -- you know, this is a guy...
KING: He saved a lot of lives.
ROSE: You bet he did, and early on. And I mean, the irony of Ralph Nader is here was a guy who never took much salary, who lived in a little room or two, and made some stock investments, chose well. And he's got, you know, he's got 4, 5 -- made $3 million or $4 million in there, because the stock market, like it has for so many Americans, has been good to him.
KING: But he's in this to prove a point?
ROSE: I think he -- I think he genuinely believes that there ought to be someone offering the progressive alternative as he sees it -- again a kind -- a kind of anti-globalization and some other points. He can make his own points better than I can. But I think he believes that the two parties are similar and he believes that no one on the left is being heard from. And I think he thinks he can make the argument.
KING: We'll be back with calls for Charlie Rose on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSE: Rather than "Sit down," how about "Please have a seat"? All right.
GARRY SHANDLING, ACTOR: I'm not ready.
ROSE: We'll talk about that, but we're going to tape what we talk about.
SHANDLING: All right. Go, go, go. Just start.
ROSE: OK. Just start. OK.
SHANDLING: Do you what you want?
ROSE: Chris, roll tape.
SHANDLING: You do what you want. You do what you want, Charlie. You're a master.
ROSE: Well, and we're rolling, so just for the benefit of the audience at home, this is all...
SHANDLING: No, I'm not ready to start, though.
ROSE: No, we're starting.
SHANDLING: I'm totally not ready to start.
ROSE: I know, but we'll just talk about that, but this is going to go out to America, you and I talking about...
SHANDLING: On what day do you suppose?
ROSE: I think it'll be Monday.
SHANDLING: Is that true?
ROSE: Yes. Is that good or bad?
SHANDLING: Well, why don't we -- it's both. That's the fantastic part of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CHARLIE ROSE")
ROSE: Do you hate the Academy Awards? Do you hate that competition? Or is that -- do you look on that with some other...
MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: Oh, it is like an alien nation going out to that thing. I mean -- and everybody has that wild look in their eyes.
ROSE: Another planet.
STREEP: You know.
ROSE: And their perfect dress that they'll never wear again.
STREEP: And their perfect dress, and their hair, and all the people commenting on their hair. But no one ever mentions that I have lost more than probably any human being. And I'm really good at sitting in the chair when they go: "And the winner is..."
ROSE: So what do you do?
STREEP: Like nine times in a row. (LAUGHTER)
ROSE: Give me what you do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROSE: I love her. Oh man, I love her.
KING: Now, was that "Charlie Rose"? Was that "60 Minutes" or "Charlie Rose"?
ROSE: That was a "Charlie Rose" special. We do these. And we now take what is a biography -- do an hour -- take a long time, go talk to some of their friends. Dave Matthews is a great rock -- Dave Matthews Band. Dave Matthews...
KING: And run it on special nights, or...
ROSE: Yeah, run it on special nights. Promote it -- perhaps use it -- send it overseas. We're doing Peter O'Toole that way, Meryl Streep, Garth Brooks, Dave Matthews. And it's fun. And people love biography.
KING: They do.
ROSE: I don't have to tell you.
KING: Salt Lake City, Utah, for Charlie Rose, hello.
CALLER: Good evening. Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Hello, Charlie.
CALLER: Hi, I have a question. I used to follow you back on CBS news "Nightwatch" back during the '84 campaign and never missed a beat. You look great.
ROSE: Thank you.
CALLER: Haven't aged a day.
My question: How do you feel political reporting and news- gathering has changed? Anything that has surprised you since that time?
ROSE: Oh sure. I think it gets better and better and better and better. I mean, I think the -- there are people who have been doing it well for a long time, like David Broder, Bob Novak, and Johnny Apple, and lots of others that I don't name. But there's more reporting. It's more sophisticated the way they report.
There is more access, I think. I mean, I think it's terrific. And I love everyday. I read seven or eight papers in the morning, as I suspect you do.
KING: Every day.
ROSE: It's the greatest thing in the world.
KING: I don't know how they do without a paper.
ROSE: I don't either. You get up in the morning and you just lay them in front. I do -- I have a stand-up desk. I get up in the morning. The sun is coming through the window.
ROSE: I have a -- I carry a ruler, so I can rip them up, you know, for ideas. So I think political reporting as -- is better and better. I think reporting is better. I think, you know, athletics and sports are better today than they have ever been.
KING: And so we have today the best basketball player who ever played...
KING: ... the best golfer...
KING: ... that best hockey player, right?
ROSE: Yes. Isn't it phenomenal? I mean, here is Tiger Woods, what he is doing. Somebody is redefining athletic achievement in a particular sport.
KING: At age 24.
Longview, Texas, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I love you and Charlie both.
KING: Hi. Thank you.
CALLER: I'd like to know what both of you think of Hillary running for Senate in New York City.
KING: Well, she -- I know she always wanted to live in New York. I was told that years ago.
ROSE: I was too.
KING: New York was her goal to live there. Running for the Senate, I guess it was Charlie Rangel's idea, wasn't it?
ROSE: Yeah, I -- well, Charlie Rangel, Bob Torricelli, or someone like -- one of the two of them. I think they took it to her. I don't believe -- there's a story that they also approached the late John Kennedy and others. But they were looking for someone they thought would offer the Democratic Party a better chance of winning the seat of the great Senator Pat Moynihan, who was retiring. So that was a factor. And they went to her and she decided she wanted to do it.
I think probably it appealed to her for a lot of reasons. I remember people would come on my show and say: She will never do this. And I said: She can't resist this. I mean, this is an opportunity for her to strike out on her own, an opportunity for her to position herself, to play a role in the country's future. Why not?
KING: All right, like Robert Kennedy before her -- the other guy who came from somewhere else -- although he had a residence in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- do you think it's a stepping stone?
ROSE: Oh, I think that if she does well as a senator, she will certainly be among those people considered for vice president or president, sure -- if she's elected. I mean, I think that race is far from over. And it's even now. And no one knows how that's going to turn out.
KING: What do you make of the Giuliani story? And he's changed.
ROSE: And I saw him -- without -- I saw him here. And I've seen him. He has.
ROSE: I haven't interviewed him since he's had prostate cancer. And I remember I talked to Andy Grove almost the night that it -- we found out -- and who has done such wonders for prostate cancer. It's a subject that you have addressed on this show. It's an interesting evolution. People say he's more mellow. You can hear the way he reacts to things.
There's still the fire. But it seems that in terms of certain issues, there's more compassion -- with certain people, more compassion.
KING: That would have been some race, huh?
ROSE: Yeah. The fire is still there when you see him say something about somebody that he's clearly not happy about. He just did something yesterday I thought...
KING: How do you see the House and Senate, by the way?
ROSE: I don't know. I keep asking people about that. I mean, I thought for a while, Democrats had a chance to take it.
KING: The House?
ROSE: Yeas, I thought so. I know the Senate may be more difficult, it appears. I don't know. It will be interesting -- interesting to watch. I don't know the impact the presidential race has on the House race -- Senate more difficult, you know. I don't where the country is going.
KING: What effect -- do we take time, when the Olympics come, do you think away from politics? I mean, they are going to keep campaigning.
ROSE: Of course we do, you know. You know we do. I mean, I don't think that there are a lot of people -- it's like the prime-time schedule is not going to start until after the Olympics -- and some of the television networks.
KING: A debate won't take place until after the Olympics? So...
KING: So do the politician's then -- is this a time for personal appearances? This is get out to the hustings?
ROSE: I think it's time -- and do the things that George Bush said the other day that he wanted to do. He wanted to go the site. He wants to go out and do more. I saw the other day where he said he was going to do more mixing with the people and less mixing with the press.
KING: Do you think they got thrown by the Democratic Convention? Do you think they took too much time back? Because this -- I mean, this was a well-oiled machine, this Republican machine. What did it?
ROSE: What do you mean?
KING: I mean, do you think the Republican fallback -- if that's true, if there is a fallback -- again, all this is what we know -- is what we feel -- what caused it -- other than Lieberman?
ROSE: He had a good convention. And I think he said -- I think they both had great conventions. George Bush had a first-rate convention.
KING: Sure did.
ROSE: Everybody said it was a brilliant convention for him. He came out of that convention -- what -- 10, 12 points ahead?
KING: Every minute timed on the ....
ROSE: That's right. Everything was before 11:00. You remember George McGovern?
KING: 2:00 in the morning.
ROSE: Was that in Miami? Where was the Democratic Convention?
KING: That was in Miami.
ROSE: In Miami. And Al Gore had a good convention, too. And I think he made the points. He wanted to say: I'm my own man. The president did a very good job the first night, I think, in terms of saying what he thought his administration had achieved. So both parties had good conventions.
The race is now about where most people tell me they expected it to be: even.
KING: To his credit -- to this credit, Bush always said it was going to be very close. What did you make of the kiss? --- ROSE: Oh, I gave -- I say to Al Gore, whatever the motive was, I would tend to give people the benefit of the doubt of that. He just felt like it was the thing to do at that moment.
I mean, if you have lived politics all of your life -- all of your life -- your father was a senator, your father wanted to be president, your father wanted you to be president -- and you're going out there, and it hasn't been easy, and you're accepting your party's nomination, and now you're going for the most important speech, you're going to feel some emotions.
KING: Back with more of Charlie Rose right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CHARLIE ROSE")
ROSE: You said that she was misunderstood: Mrs. Robinson. Was it because...
ANNE BANCROFT, ACTRESS: Yes. She was not understood by herself. And she was also not understood by the society around her.
ROSE: And you understood all this at the time you were performing this part.
BANCROFT: Yes. Yes.
ROSE: And that's how -- that's why you could do what she did.
ROSE: This is a movie I remember as much as almost any movie.
ROSE: You know?
BANCROFT: Yes. Most men do.
ROSE: Most men...
ROSE: We are just -- we are just so predictable, aren't we? We are so obvious, aren't we?
BANCROFT: About that, you are. ROSE: When it comes to that...
ROSE: ... predictable, obvious...
ROSE: ... not very bright. Not very subtle.
BANCROFT: No, I didn't say that.
ROSE: Not very subtle.
BANCROFT: Don't put words in my mouth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Charlie Rose.
Would you have chucked all of this to have been in the NBA?
KING: Come on.
ROSE: No, no, no.
KING: No? OK. Calgary...
ROSE: I wouldn't chuck any of this -- all of this for anything I can imagine.
KING: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Mr. Charlie Rose?
CALLER: Yes, I'd like to ask you, what do you think Mr. Bob -- oh no, Bill Clinton is up to after his presidential reign is over?
KING: OK, what does he...
ROSE: I don't know. I saw something very interesting in the Boston paper the other day, they were suggesting that he should be a candidate for the presidency of Harvard, someone in "The Globe" ran a story said they are looking for a new president at Harvard.
KING: He'd fit in there, wouldn't he? ROSE: Yes. I mean, the whole -- the idea was these are the qualities you look in, he's a Rhodes scholar, smart guy, administrative experience, knows a lot of people, would be a heck of a fund raiser, would have a relationship, knows a lot of people around the world.
KING: Could write, could lecture.
ROSE: Can write, could lecture. Would be -- you know, I don't know...
KING: Not bad.
ROSE: I think that he probably wants to go out and write his book and probably make some money for a while.
KING: You see him running for the Senate from Arkansas?
ROSE: I can't.
KING: Carthage, Mississippi, hello.
CALLER: Who is going to be the next president, Mr. Rose, and why?
ROSE: I don't know. My first question to Al Gore with this "Reader's Digest" piece was, you know, why do you think Al Gore should be president? I don't know. It's -- I think it's an even race now. And I think that clearly the pundits are saying, if in fact it is about issues for a while, then it ought to be -- it would favor Gore because most of the issues seem to cut his way.
On the other hand, R.J. -- E.J. Dionne wrote a piece the other day suggesting that Bush has offered some rather radical choices for America and that he ought to get out there and preach his conservatism because America liked some change.
KING: The problem (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
ROSE: It has been a good time for America. It's been -- been -- most people have -- are better off now than they were eight years ago.
KING: Why so often have pundits been wrong?
ROSE: Because they're pundits, I think.
KING: Because in truth we don't know.
ROSE: Yes, exactly.
KING: You don't know what -- who is going to buy what stock tomorrow, do you?
KING: And you don't know who's going to vote for who tomorrow. ROSE: Or who's going to watch which television program...
KING: Who's going -- that's right.
ROSE: ... or which movie is going to do well...
KING: Or who's going to win the next game.
ROSE: ... or who is going to win the Kentucky Derby.
KING: We don't know.
ROSE: Any of that stuff, you know. The favorites don't always do well, you know.
KING: So the most refreshing thing we heard tonight was when you said, I don't know.
ROSE: I don't know.
ROSE: Well, I'm going to tell you, I did -- the amazing thing the other day -- Sunday I went out to the -- I love tennis as well, as most people -- the U.S. Open, here is Pete Sampras, who I profiled for "60 Minutes," he's an interesting kid, but he is a warrior champion if there's ever been one.
KING: Oh, he is.
ROSE: Tough, tough, wants to win like nobody, and he goes out there and there is a 20-year-old kid who nine months ago was thinking about quitting. He just played, as he said to me -- he's on my show tonight -- he said to me, it's the best match I've ever played, I don't know if I'll ever play this good again.
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) him out, almost.
ROSE: Look, and it was almost like -- people hate me for saying this -- a changing of the guard, Sampras said, he reminds me of when I was 19 and I came to the U.S. Open.
KING: But if someone asked you who's going to win the Open, you'd have said Sampras.
ROSE: I would have said Pete Sampras, of course. Any sane -- I would have bet on Sampras if I was a...
KING: And you would have been a wrong pundit.
ROSE: Absolutely, you know.
KING: Back with more of Charlie Rose, you see him on "60 Minutes" and on "Charlie Rose" on PBS.
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Peter Jennings tomorrow night, Friday night, a major program on breast cancer. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES II")
ROSE: You made, they say, $15 million for...
JODIE FOSTER, ACTRESS: "Anna & the King."
ROSE: ... "Anna & the King," which suggests...
FOSTER: I made $60 in a garage sale last week.
FOSTER: Nobody reports on that.
ROSE: This says two things, A) you're at the top of your profession, B) that they're closing the gap with men, which is pretty good.
FOSTER: Yes, that is going up higher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back in New York with Charlie Rose.
Williams Town, West Virginia, hello. OK, I'm sorry -- gone.
Los Angeles, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Good evening, gentlemen. What a pleasure. Mr. Rose?
ROSE: Yes, sir.
CALLER: My question is about trust, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) back in the time of "Nightwatch," Sophia Loren, Roman Polanski, they've been more revealing and more candid in your program than any other interview I have seen. What is the origin of that trust?
ROSE: I think that's -- I don't know if the fact is true, but I think it's an interesting question.
KING: Good question. Why do you think people trust you?
ROSE: I don't -- I really don't know. Because I -- there's no -- there's nothing you do to go out necessarily and create trust.
KING: Well, you're sincere, you're sincerely curious.
ROSE: Yes, I'm genuinely curious and people know that I'm not out to take a cheap shot.
KING: You don't have an agenda.
ROSE: I don't have an agenda, I'm not out to get them. I'm out to...
KING: That's right.
ROSE: As you've said so many times, I'm out to ask questions. I'm just -- I'm curious, I want to know, tell me why, why, and also you can ask. I've never bought this idea about hard and soft, about tough.
KING: I don't know what it means.
ROSE: I don't know what it means. Duke Ellington once said about music, he -- somebody said, well, what about jazz and popular music? He said "it's the difference between is it good or is it bad?" That's the only thing that matters, and the same thing is true about questions and the same is true about you approach it. Does it get results? You know, and I've often -- I try to go to guests and say, I want to know this. There are some questions here that I'm curious. I mean, I had Amre Moussa on last night, foreign minister, you know, I said to him...
KING: You turned it over to him last night almost.
ROSE: Well, the two of them got going.
ROSE: I had the foreign minister of Israel and the foreign minister of Egypt on, and I think we may have a clip from that. But I basically said to him, because I wanted to know, he's been on -- the guest on my show a number of times, I said, you know, there are some people who believe that you and your government encouraged Arafat not to make a deal.
ROSE: You can't be more straightforward than that, make a deal. The only thing you could do is have evidence to do -- show that, and of course I didn't have that. But there is some perception -- and he answered it well.
KING: Yes. You could do it stupidly and say, did you make a deal?
ROSE: Exactly, definitely.
KING: Which is very impressive to look at and doesn't get an answer.
KING: Yuma, Arizona, hello. CALLER: Mr. Rose?
ROSE: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I would be interested to know who -- of all the people that you've interviewed who have you personally found to be the most difficult?
ROSE: Oh, that's a good question, too. I don't know, I mean, I really don't. I'm asked that a lot.
KING: You didn't get any bad ones?
ROSE: Yes, of course, you know. You've had...
KING: Robert (UNINTELLIGIBLE) drove me up the wall.
ROSE: Because he wouldn't answer a question.
KING: He wouldn't answer a question.
ROSE: I know.
KING: Give me one word.
ROSE: I mean, I'm not trying to avoid the question, but I don't have a good answer for it, is the truth. I don't know. I mean, I've had people come on who gave me short answers, you know, but nobody really comes to mind. I've had people...
KING: Anybody frustrate you a lot?
ROSE: Nobody comes to mind. I mean, I really -- I wish I had a good answer to it, because I'm asked that question a lot, who is it that you didn't like, who was your favorite guest, who was your worst guest. No one comes to mind.
KING: Do you ever miss that daytime gig you did with a studio audience?
ROSE: I miss an audience. I love -- the reason I like to go out and -- and, in fact, I'm thinking about incorporating an audience one night a week. I'm not sure you can do that, but I would like to do it. I love audiences. One of the things that I think is part of...
KING: I used to sit in your audience sometimes.
ROSE: I know you did. You had reason to come. And what fascinates me I think, and part of what I do is create a certain intimacy, which you do here. People say, can you do that with an audience? I think you can, because it's about focus...
KING: Sure you can.
ROSE: ... it's about concentration, it's about saying the most important thing I think... KING: If there were 500 people sitting here and when you're doing well, they're going to watch, it don't matter.
ROSE: Yes, exactly, exactly.
KING: So they create -- do create an energy, though...
KING: ... that you don't have here, right?
ROSE: Yes, that's right. But that's what gets people in my -- my studio is all robotic cameras. It's hard...
KING: I know, I've been there.
ROSE: You've been there several times.
KING: It's strange.
ROSE: So therefore it engages you, though, because you don't hear anything.
KING: There is nobody around.
ROSE: You just -- I'm it. If you don't want to look at me, you're in trouble.
KING: Back with our remaining moments with Charlie Rose. Don't go away.
KING: We are back.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for Charlie Rose, hello.
ROSE: That's a great place.
KING: Oh, yes.
CALLER: I wanted to ask you if you feel that there is too much liberalism in the press.
KING: The liberal media.
ROSE: The liberal bias. No, I don't. I think that there probably and certainly there is some bias on both sides in the press, but I don't think that is what drives most reporters and certainly all good reporters. It is not about agendas or bias. It's mainly about competition with their fellow reporters, the desire to be good. And if I have a quarrel with myself and with others it's more about competency than it is about bias, did you do your homework, did you do everything you could, have you stretched yourself to grow and to know as much as you can and to make that interview or that piece as good as it can be.
I mean, that's one of the things about "60 Minutes" that I like a lot, they bring together a group of talented people, from the executive producer and the senior producer -- and you put the piece together with your producer and you bring it in and other people sit there -- and this started with "60 Minutes Sunday" and Don Hewitt, and he's the master -- and Jeff Fager sits there and he has a genius for looking at a piece and analyzing and saying, you know, you need to turn this around, I like this better than that, and you listen, so there are more hands involved and at the other end of the tunnel is a better piece, and people like that would pick out bias in a second. You know, these guys are pros, they wouldn't allow anybody to do that.
KING: Have you ever seen two people in media plot to get someone?
ROSE: No, no.
KING: Have never seen, let's go get this guy today?
KING: Why do you think critics believe that?
ROSE: I don't know. I think that they believe -- I don't know why they do. It's a true -- and they all believe it's a liberal bias rather than a conservative bias, yet, you know, conservatives have been on the ascendancy in America.
KING: Most of the better-known commentators or columnists are conservatives, right?
ROSE: Sure, sure. Safire, you know.
KING: George Will.
ROSE: George Will.
You know, Bill Buckley for a long time. Bill Buckley is somebody I just love.
KING: Any thing you want to do you haven't done? I'm not talking about a person to interview. I'm talking about a thing. You want to do a play? You want to do...
ROSE: No, no. I mean, I -- at some point, I would like to do what you have done, and I've been asked to do it a lot, which is to write. I have great respect for what Tom Brokaw has done, not because it was a bestseller, but this book came from Tom's heart and it changed him and made him...
KING: Right. You don't -- you haven't written a book?
ROSE: No, never have, never, and love to write stuff, care about the language. You know, I mean, I -- if I can say what I want my show to be, it's a home for creators, writers, directors, musicians. I want them to feel a place they can come have a conversation. I am going to do the politicians and I am going to do the technologists and I am going to do the scientists.
KING: But you want to do the ballet dancer, too, and you want to do...
ROSE: I want the creators.
KING: ... the...
KING: ... painter, the choreographer.
ROSE: Yes, I want to do the musicians, you know. I mean, I was thinking today, I'd love -- I said to somebody, God, I'd love to do Keith Richards, you know. I'd love to do -- I love Dave Matthews.
KING: You're going to do it, though, huh?
ROSE: My favorite interview, two or three favorite interviews, and one was Arthur Ashe because it had so much emotion and poignancy...
KING: Yes, he was the best.
ROSE: ... and the other is Bruce Springsteen, he showed up one night and, I mean, the highest flattery I've ever seen for my show is Springsteen would mention shows that he's seen, you know, I saw a show on, you know, that show, or I saw you doing this and that, but he's a creator, a musician. I love songwriters, you know.
KING: And we saw a clip of someone you loved, Ann Bancroft.
ROSE: Absolutely. I mean, Streep and Bancroft for me have been sort of the highlights of this past year. I mean, so much two foreign ministers, but to know Meryl Streep -- and it's the sheer brains and humor of Meryl Streep. It's the spirit of Ann Bancroft.
KING: Wonderful seeing you, Charlie, as always.
ROSE: Thank you. Thank you, Larry, my friend.
KING: One of the good guys, folks, one of the talents and the good guys, Charlie Rose of "Charlie Rose" and correspondent for "60 Minutes II" on CBS.
Peter Jennings will be with us tomorrow night and, as we said, Friday night we have a major show dealing with the subject of breast cancer that I'm going to urge you to watch Friday night. Tomorrow night, Peter Jennings. We thank Charlie Rose. Stay tuned for CNN "NEWSSTAND." I'm Larry King. for Charlie and the whole crew here in New York, good night.
ROSE: Good night. Thank you.
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