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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Evocateur - The Morton Downey Jr Movie. Aired 9-11p ET
Aired August 20, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Hello folks, what do you know? Hello. Hi, baby. I've been -- I got a huge call. You don't mind if I use the piano, do you?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Sit down you fat bitch.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Listen you (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Sit down.
PETER POTTER, JUKEBOX JURY 1958: Morton Downey Jr., I only hope you'd be as famous as your famous dad.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Just one other question. How much further can it go?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He became a cartoon.
GLENN BECK, T.V. HOST: America is going to come through. We must advance or perish.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Glenn Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, they're all people saying, you know, what's in their heart.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I think Glenn Beck has become big because he's the own one telling the truth.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Morton Downey is the folk hero of the United States.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He stands up for what he believes in.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: He captures the heartbeat of America.
MORTON DOWNEY, JR., SINGER, PRODUCER, T.V. TALK SHOW HOST: My audience, finally selected a spokesman that identifies with their needs and with their dreams and with their frustrations.
We're proud of this flag.
I love those people. I'll do everything to protect them.
BOB PITTMAN, MTV NETWORK FOUNDER: I was the programmer who started MTV. If indeed we have 60 channels of television available to the American public 24 hours a day, everything that there is a significant interest in ought to be represented. What's curious to me is a lot of the critics say, "We shouldn't offer that?" Well as I say, "We only put 20 books in library those were the only ones we could agree on as good books."
MTV shook up what T.V. could be. We refused to live within the boundaries of what was thought on as T.V.
JOE PYNE, T.V. HOST: Good evening. It's Time to play chicken. My name is Joe Pyne. We'll touch your nerve in just a moment.
PITTMAN: But I didn't want to be Mr. MTV my whole life. I was 30, 31 years old and looking for more fun things to do that I have never done before.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: With us now is Jerry Rubin. He advocates disobedience of law.
PITTMAN: So I set up to find a new talk show. We start talking about it here. Remember the "Joe Pyne Show" from the '60s. No show like that on T.V. any more.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I dislike the fact that you went to Cuba as Castro's guest. You consort with the enemies of this country. This alone is reason enough to kid you a menace.
PITTMAN: Taking a hard and fast opinion, driving the opinion home.
JERRY RUBIN, SOCIAL ACTIVIST 1967: Are you willing to hear my views?
PITTMAN: No politeness.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Fine. You walk away.
RUBIN: This is a circus and that you are a fool and may not in anyway discuss it.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You're a liar. And (inaudible)
PITTMAN: Often, you know, you go back and recycle an idea, update an idea, but it's dependent upon finding the person.
Morton had been around radio -- Talk Radio.
WALLY GEORGE, CONSERVATIVE RADIO AND TELEVISION COMMENTATOR: Morton Downey Jr. Now, Morton, I was on this guy's so-called conservative radio show. I resent the charges you made, saying that I was a disgrace to the conservative cause, that I didn't know what I was talking about. You are the one, baby, who are a conservative come lately. You're the phony. You're the guy.
PITTMAN: Mort just understood performance...
DOWNEY: How do you want to hear some facts? I am the same kind of phony you are. I am the same kind of phony.
[21:05:00] If you want to lot me answer, I am the same kind of phony that you are.
PITTMAN: ... how he turned everything into something theatrical.
GEORGE: Don't warn me, punk.
PITTMAN: We met Mort in person. We go, "He could be good." He was good on the radio but just made for television.
DOWNEY: Well, good evening, everybody. How are you? I'm Mort Downey Jr. And as you're going to find out in the weeks, months, and years ahead, certain things really burn my buns. All right?
One thing that's happening is the morality of this country is on a low ebb and it is getting lower. It's not getting better. It's getting worse. We're going to examine this topic tonight.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: And this is the risers that you guys sat in where he would start kissing the first row of ladies.
JOSHUA ROTHMAN, HISTORY PROFESSOR, RECOVERING MORT FAN: Mort just sort of tapped right into that 17-year-old male, you know, something.
MICHAEL ROSEN: Where other 17-year-olds might be doing other stuff at night -- I mean we were driving to Secaucus to go out to the "Morton Downey Jr. Show". All right?
PAT BUCHANAN, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: It was a provocative show to deliberately provoke the guests and provoke confrontation. And he took it further than anyone that was on television.
DOWNEY: There's a war going on in the streets of America -- a war on drugs and the slime that sell them to our kids. Former Congressman Ron Paul, how can you call for something on America, the legalization of drugs?
RON PAUL, LIBERTARIAN PRES. CANDIDATE: Because I detest the use of drugs. And I think we would have a lot less drugs used if they were legal. I think it's part of the American system to let people make choices about their own personal habit.
JOEY REYNOLDS, RADIO HOST, MORT'S FRIEND: He knew how to manipulate. He could have been a serial killer.
DOWNEY: Do you believe that the government should stay out of our personal business altogether?
PAUL: Yeah. This is...
DOWNEY: Well, it happens to be my -- all right. That's good, guys.
PAUL: ... but more...
DOWNEY: It also happens to be my personal business if I want to kill my 4-year-old, kid, right?
DOWNEY: No, no, no. Wait a minute. You are giving libertarian a distorted explanation.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: If you are not tethered to the facts, that incredibly entertaining. If you can just say anything...
PETER GOLDSMITH, SENIOR PRODUCER: Yeah, yeah, you are not tethered to the facts. But I will say this, Mort had amazing charisma on the set. He related totally on an emotional level. There's no intellectual level for Mort.
DOWNEY: (inaudible) of the issue pal.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Listen, Mr. Potato-head.
DOWNEY: (inaudible) had a slime like you in the White House, I'd puke on you.
GOLDSMITH: He attacked a guest with a ferocity that was unbelievable. And people loved it. They loved him for it.
PAUL: We are high on the ideas of freedom.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: You are loser.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Just say no.
PAUL: You say no.
DOWNEY: I think I detect his voice changing. Maybe his cajones are getting small.
THOMAS DIBENEDETTO, BUSINESS OWNER, MORT FAN: And cut to a commercial. I Said, "Oh, my god."
ROTHMAN: That's kind of class act that he was.
DIBENEDETTO: And when you're changing channels and you land on that. You tend to stop. Like at a car accident. "Oh my god. Let me watch this for a minute or two more."
JIM LANGAN, MORT'S WRITER: Before that I was considered very uncool to be that abusive to a guest. Correct?
GOLDSMITH: Well, the other side of that was Phil Donahue.
PHIL DONAHUE, T.V. HOST: How in the world does a person become a foot model? And could you be one? When we come back in just a moment.
RICHARD BEY, T.V. HOST: The host would do an interview on the stage...
DONAHUE: Do you wear high heels? Hang on one second. Let me get some of the folks back here.
BEY: ... then run through the audience get their fairly polite questions...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: My question for her, sir, is what got you into ballet?
BEY: ... and hear the fairly polite answers.
SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL, T.V. HOST: I need a hint. How do you get your husband to do anything around the house?
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: You know...
RAPHAEL: I know what Downey was doing. He was ripping off every single aspect of Joe Pyne perfectly.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: How do you get the last drop of ketchup out of a bottle?
PITTMAN: We learned that T.V. was out of step with the American public.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: What happens? All the ketchup is forced at the lip of the bottle.
RAPHAEL: Very good.
PITTMAN: That America after Watergate had given up this false politeness. In the '80s it was time for it to end.
DOWNEY: Quarantine for numerous Aids...
LYNDON LAROUCHE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's throughout the coastal (ph).
DOWNEY: ... even though we know Aids can only be caught basically in sexual ways?
LAROUCHE: Do you know something, Mort? Do you know it has never been proven aid can be sexually transmitted? It has never been proven in a laboratory.
DOWNEY: No, I don't know that.
LAROUCHE: And nobody would ever volunteer. The experiment was nuts.
DOWN: Because I have spoken to a number of people at the CDC.
LAROUCHE: I'm in the middle of this, you ought to know that, Mort. I'm in the middle of research. I have been for a number years on that.
DOWNEY: Are you a research expert?
DOWNEY: Are you a research expert?
LAROUCHE: Wait, shut up, and let me answer the question.
DOWNEY: You shut up.
LAROUCHE: Shut up and let me answer.
DOWNEY: Are you a research expert?
LAROUCHE: Why don't you shut up?
DOWNEY: Why don't you shut up? All you are doing is spewing garbage.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I was attracted to that kind of awkward, dangerous atmosphere. When he first came on the scene, I was immediately sort of mesmerized by the show.
DOWNEY: A vegan?
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Vegan.
DOWNEY: Let me hear what she has to say here. Let me hear -- go ahead. You abstain from what?
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Yes, I abstain from all animal products...
DOWNEY: All animal products?
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: ... including dairy and clothing.
DOWNEY: And clothing? I eat raw hamburger.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: And what is your cholesterol?
DOWNEY: I eat raw fish. I smoke four packs of cigarettes a day. And I have about four drinks a day. I'm 55 years old. And I look as good as you do.
GLORIA ALLRED, FEMINIST LAWYER: He was in your face. He was take no prisoners.
DOWNEY: What the hell is a feminist? I thought any one who had breasts is a feminist.
ALLRED: There are no feminists who have ever burned a bra. So let me get that straight to you, Mort, right away.
DOWNEY: There's almost no feminist who ever had anything that they needed to wear a bra for.
ALLRED: Between us, there was a certain amount of sexual tension.
Likewise on your jockstrap. But in any case...
DOWNEY: How does she know? She has a tape measure on her tongue?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I was used to being on MacNeil-Lehrer or "Nightline," where everything was so dignified.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: And to take up this issue is Alan Dershowitz, a professor of law at Harvard University.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Alexander Hamilton once said that the civilization...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: All of a sudden then, almost has -- like the yin and the yang. Morton Downey Jr. identifying with the issues every day people had.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Don't listen to this man.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Listen.
DOWNEY: A prosecutor is not your lawyer.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We had Downey yelling at these people who you felt like yelling at sometimes.
DOWNEY: If I depended on a guy like you, New Jersey's pre-eminent lawyer, I'd find my ass in the crapper for the rest of my life.
RAPHAEL: Which is what all of the reality shows today are based on.
DOWNEY: Who said this guy is New Jersey's pre-eminent lawyer?
RAPHAEL: There is that prurient excitement of not nice people.
DOWNEY: Intellectual trash like you. You don't know that...
RAPHAEL: And saying not nice things...
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: When was the last time you looked in a mirror, it probably cracked.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You weren't quite sure whether it was all set up or whether some of it was set up or whether it was all real.
MAURY POVICH, T.V. HOST: Hello, everyone, I'm Maury Povich.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Almost the first fan letter was this catholic high school in New Jersey. Someone invited Mort to go to assembly where they were discussing the "Morton Downey Jr. Show." Should it be on T.V.? Shouldn't it be? We arrived at this catholic high school. And they swarmed like he was the Beatles.
Mort turned to me and he goes, "Jesus Christ, what's happened? What have I done? I'm a 55-year-old middle-aged guy. And I have 14-year- old catholic girls in skirts climbing on the hood of my car."
And we all looked at each other and said something changed here. We had only been on the air about a month.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Mort's father was Morton Downey Sr. Some people call him the first recording star in America. He had a beautiful voice. So Danny boy -- and my dad just loved him.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I want to sing for you today, a new one I call "Jericho".
GOLDSMITH: Mort's mother was a dancer, one of the Bennett sisters, a showbiz family, but a sadly broken family. His father was gone all the time. Thefather refused to let the mother have any contact with the son. I had asked him what his mother died of when he just says alcoholism. He said his father drove her to drink. Really Mort was denied his mother.
LANGAN: He hated his father. He wanted to say that he sold more records than his father.
POTTER: Listen to this one. This is his first record, his debut, picked out an old standard to bring back. Will it be a hit or a myth?
KELLI DOWNEY CORNWELL, MORT'S DAUGHTER: My dad was always trying to be a singer. And, you know, he didn't have my, my grandfather's voice.
POTTER: What did you think of Morton's first effort on record?
MELINDA MARKEY, MORT'S FIRST COUSIN: I loved it.
POTTER: You liked it?
MARKEY: I really did. I thought it was just wonderful. And most -- I'm so glad they picked an old song for him. He's got a very new type voice.
JOAN BENNETT, MORT'S AUNT: Voice?
MARKEY: Modern -- well, it was small but he seemed very modern in his style.
POTTER: Now did this young man impress you as a vocalist?
BENNETT: Impressed me very much. I don't think he sounds anything like his father. He has a much bigger and much deeper voice than his father.
POTTER: Dean, did I wake you? I'm sorry.
DEAN MARTIN: No, I was just thinking about this record. They didn't give the boy a chance, you know.
POTTER: Why? What do you mean Dean?
D. MARTIN: This kid sings better than he does on the record. You know it, because they were rushing him. And this is his first record. They stuck him in that echo chamber. They overdid it you know. I think that the old man should been there.
POTTER: Morton Downey Jr., I only hope you will be as famous as your famous dad.
DOWNEY: Thank you.
POTTER: He was an all-time great. Thank you.
DOWNEY: Thank you.
POTTER: Morton Downey Jr., everybody.
LANGAN: Somebody send in an old-Time Magazine from 1932 or 1933 where the old man was on the cover of Time. This is pretty cool.
LANGAN: And someone mailed and thought he might enjoy it. And I gave it to Mort. I didn't realize he had some big issues there.
GOLDSMITH: He had a domineering father. I think he had a real reaction to that.
LANGAN: Mort was obsessed with saying, "I'm more famous than my father. I'm more famous. I make more money. More Americans have seen me." Then I came back an hour later. It looked like confetti.
CORNWELL: My dad was always trying to live up to his father I think.
DOWNEY: Say, mom do you know where your teenager is tonight? Is he just hanging around? You know, let me tell you something.
BEY: He wrote these pauses in because the audience was going to be yelling "Kill the guy. I'm as mad as you are."
DOWNEY: I'll tell you what i would do to him. Should we hang this kid? You bet you. Hang.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: If you think primetime sitcoms and soaps are a snooze, and the movies bore you to tears, then watch the man who will excite you and insight you. "Morton Downey Jr." weeknights at 9:00 P.M. on Channel 9.
PITTMAN: Often, the self destructive people really entertaining.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: The Morton Downey Jr. Show has been garnering the highest of ratings in the New York market. Starting Monday the rest of the country will be able to sample his particular brand of television.
BEY: It happened so fast. My god, he just arrived there. Usually, you build these things up year after year after year.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Morton Downey Jr. just got his show syndicated.
LANGAN: Well, I wish he had the same voice that his father had.
GOLDSMITH: He was on all the magazine covers. He was an icon already within a matter of months.
ROTHMAN: I watched the show and I personally would never be on it. He has what you can only describe in his audience as a lynch mob.
DOWNEY: You know, this is not Phil, this is Morton Downey. Sorry (inaudible)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Good evening, everybody. Welcome to the "Morton Downey Jr. Show".
UNIDENTIFED MALE: They would let you in like a few people at the time to make sure they're getting a good mix of people in this area.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: First you cared about getting into the studio. Then you cared about getting a good seat.
ROSEN: You needed the aisle seat to be able to get to the mic.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You'd almost feel your heart pounding ready to go in there like mixing up with everybody.
CROWNWELL: My dad was backstage, bouncing around just getting so worked out, just so excited.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Well, we used to have this big boom, boom, boom, drum beat, right?
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: The minute he walks into the...
GOLDSMITH: ... it looked like it all started vibrating.
BEY: Morton high-fives the people that are closest, grabs a pretty girl and gives her a big kiss.
[21:25:01] That energizes him. That, you know, he's taking their energy, smoking cigarettes as if he needed any more stimulation. And then he would explain what the topic was going to be that night.
In Shakespeare you have iambic pentameter, it follows a beat, but sometimes there is something in there (inaudible) which is a pause.
DOWNEY: Hey, mom, do you know where your teenager is tonight? Is he just hanging around?
BEY: He wrote these paws in because the audience was going to be yelling, "Kill the guy. I'm as mad as you are."
DOWNEY: I'll tell you what I'd do to him. Should we hang this kid? You bet you. Hang.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: The atmosphere was alive with the energy off the audience.
DOWNEY: Join us. Take that chair, sir.
DAVID CLARKE, DEATH PENALTY OPPONENT: No, no, no, no, no, no. I would appreciate not doing that.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Back when, you know, where else did you see Americans being passionate about capital punishment?
GOLDSMITH: Every member in the audience was happy to stand up and say his or her piece.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I want to know how they would feel if somebody they loved were murdered? I feel that any murderer deserves death immediately and none of this baloney.
CLARKE: The law of the land before we put somebody to death we're going to check everything to make sure that's right. There's another issue...
DOWNEY: Is that true? What the hell is the other issue? Tell me the other issue you (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: In his attempt to grab America's divided attention, Downey is turning unleashed rage into unlimited ratings.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Why is a show like that so successful? Many people find the audience frightening. It's been called "The Beast". Many people compared it to crowd gathering and a public hanging.
CLARKE: Mr. Downey, I appreciate that you're trying to make a name for yourself...
DOWNEY: I'm not making a name, you (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Talk Shows have always realized studio audiences are important. But he's the first one turned them from an audience into a mob.
CLARKE: I'm not going to bring myself nor the citizens...
DOWNEY: Then, get the hell off the stage. Get the hell out of the stage. Get a hell out of here you. You are a disgrace.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: You had the Roman coliseum where the crowd's are saying, "Get out of here, you're boring."
DOWNEY: If my producers think I have to apologize for that, they can go straight to hell. I don't apologize for anything.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Yes, this is the Morton Downey Jr. Show calling to confirm your six tickets for tomorrow night's filming at 7:00.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You waited like what? Two months for the tickets?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Yeah. Not bad.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We look outside you'd see people tailgating. I've never seen snorting coke on the hood of the car before coming in.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: He's great. He is sexy.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: He's not afraid to open his mouth. He's not afraid of anybody.
LANGAN: Tom Shales -- I remember the famous T.V. critic...
GOLDSMITH: Washington Post.
LANGAN: ... of the "Washington Post". I thought he put it best in one of his reviews. He said the Morton Downey Jr. Show is a talk show with a happy audience.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Mort. Mort. Mort.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: And of course, our loudmouth.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Shut up.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I will not go for any of that crap.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Give him a second.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Shut up.
DAVID GIEGOLD, MORT'S BODYGUARD: What are you laughing about? Just take the pictures.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Halloween in the "Morton Downey Jr. Show".
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I saw the audience. And the audience was pretty frightening.
LOYD KAUFMAN, DIRECTOR, THE TOXIC AVENGER: I was physically hurt. There is neck and back injuries. Purely a physical assault.
GIEGOLD: I was then known as the Seacaucus slammer six years before the "Jerry Springer Show". Jerry Springer is not like Mort. He ain't got no backbone like Mort had. Mort would go up in somebody's face and confront them.
DOWNEY: You who traitor of the United States. You traitor.
GIEGOLD: The studio the first in the business to put people through a mental detector.
GOLDSMITH: Well, at the end of the night. Say to the guys, "How you doing?" "Well we got like 16 knives. 16 knives."
LANGAN: Brass knuckles?
GOLDSMITH: Brass knuckles.
LANGAN: Who bring that to a television show?
GOLDSMITH: They were ready for a controversy.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: If you guys and that other gremlin over there like Japan so much -- you can shove it where it belongs.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Wait just a minute.
ROTHAM: It was perfect for 17-year-olds because it had no nuance at all. Everything was black or white. Everything is either totally one thing or totally the other. There is no middle.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We are America. We're number one.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You know, what I think? I think Donald Trump should take his board game and just go to hell.
STU STEIN, SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER: Kids today can make a goofy YouTube video.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I have an American car. And it still runs just fine. Just fine.
STEIN: Stick it up on YouTube. 10,000 hits, goes viral, and now they are, you know, the flavor of the day.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Let's face it. We did it to ourselves, Mort.
STEIN: Where in our case it was very simple. Just go on T.V., pretend you're somebody you're not, and you got on T.V. for five minutes.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: What if Elvis was alive why don't you book him on the "Morton Downey Jr. Show".
CORNWELL: I don't want to say it was a cult because it wasn't a cult. But where did these people come from?
DOWNEY: Go ahead, pal.
JOSEPH MCBRATT (ph), STUDIO AUDIENCE: My name is Joseph McBratt. And I'd like to speak to these very ignorant men right here.
BEY: Shot in Seacaucus. The jersey characters are in that audience.
MCBRATT: They don't give a (inaudible)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: "Real Housewives of New Jersey" and "Jersey Shore." use this very same confidence, assertion that you find in the Jersey character.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You want to get out and vote. Change it. Get these guys out of there.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: But before this you never saw -- unless they were on "Candid Camera".
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I just don't believe that anyone like that has the right to breathe the same air as I do.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Real, real people on television.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I guess it's the American policies. Get the hell out of America if you don't need it.
DOWNEY: This is the beginning...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We decriminalized cocaine by decriminalizing...
DOWNEY: ... a great movement...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: ... marijuana.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Despicable. You're a piece of (inaudible)
DOWNEY: ... of the people of this country...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I don't sell my body.
DOWNEY: ... taking this country become to ourselves, all right?
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: You have no remorse right now.
DOWNEY: We have sent those people to Washington. They haven't done squat for us.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Mort, you have made at least half a dozen converts in our control room.
DOWNEY: Rise up, America. Rise up.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: It is clearly entertaining as hell. Beyond that, what its it?
DOWNEY: I'm after establishing a platform for the American who has been unheard by his government.
Good to see you. How you doing?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I watch you every night, brother.
DOWNEY: Thank you, pal.
ALLRED: He saw himself as...
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Hi. Nice to meet you. ALLRED: ... representative of the working men and that he should be the evocateur who understood their emotions and who helped to express their emotions.
DOWNEY: Someone like me could be a frightening person. Someone like you could be a frightening person. Most of us of course are just average everyday human beings like my audience is. And we hope that the politicians become frightened to us.
BEY: He did fulfill a desire of an awful lot of people because he got a huge audience.
DOWNEY: We're not leaving. So if you don't like the pledge of allegiance, and you don't like prayer, you leave.
BUCHANAN: Hannity, O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, they're not as crude as Mort was. But they are appealing to that same audience.
MELODY MILLER, AIDE TOSEN. TED KENNEDY: I knew Morton Downey Jr. as Sean. He didn't use his father's name when I knew him in the '60s. On Cape Cod, Morton Downey Sr. had a house on Squaw Island, which was a hop, skip and a jump from the Kennedy compound.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: That is Morton Downey, the Irish Tenor talking to Mrs. Kennedy. Morton Downey has been a friend of Kennedy Family for years.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: So Mort grew up with some of the younger Kennedys.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Now, Morton Downey is talking with the president. Brother Robert, attorney general, next to Morton Downey there.
MILLER: When Robert Kennedy died, there were so many different ways people expressed their grief. Sean expressed his by writing his small little book of poetry. Its title was "Quiet Thoughts Make the Loudest Noise". I thought that was a rather interesting title.
CORNWELL: He was always writing poems. His brain was always going constantly. It was hard for him to just chill.
MILLER: Row upon row of grief wracked followers, sunken cheeks, replacing their years' ago happy faces sang proudly for their departed friend their final hope and wondered why a man must die to be a hero and whether he honor only those, our own selfish hearts destroy.
This is the reception room and Sean is talking to Joan Kennedy. Ted Kennedy's wife. I'm there in the back ground talking with someone on the phone. Sean as usual was very well dressed, sartorial splendor was one of his attributes. We had the election for Edward Kennedy to become majority whip in the senate. And this is the moment we got word that he won. There's Sean in the background. Right here, is the senator addressing all of us. Sean standing in the doorway smiling at him. He supported the issues that Senator Kennedy was supportive of. So he was liberal on a number of things.
It was hard to understand, really, how you could have been so for Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy and then be so much against their positions. I was kind of in a quandary.
BUCHANAN: He was a surrogate for an awful lot of people in representing their views and their attitudes.
DOWNEY: Good evening, class.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Good evening, Mr. Downey.
BUCHANAN: A lot of working class folks...
DOWNEY: Hey, welcome to your American history lesson...
BUCHANAN: ... had a desire for a conservative point of view.
DOWNEY: Sure as hell ain't attended one like this one tonight.
BUCHANAN: They want to hear it because this is what they believe.
DOWNEY: The liberal policies of the Democratic Party have failed for 40 years.
BUCHANAN: He did fulfill a desire of an awful lot of people because he got a huge audience.
DOWNEY: We're not leaving. So if you don't like the pledge of allegiance and you don't like prayer, you leave.
BUCHANAN: Hannity, O'Reilly, Glenn Beck -- they're not as crude as Mort was. But they are appealing to that same audience. You talk about the Tea Party today, some of those working class folks are exactly the people to whom he appealed the angry voices of people left behind.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You see on these shows, we're already mad.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: That's why the system is all bottled up.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You might not be. But by the end of this hour you will be within of us.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: This is a protracted battle. OK? The left views politics as war. They're engaged 24/7. Their foot is on the gas pedal 24/7. You're not going to convert the left wing rally, OK. But you can convert people individually.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: That's where Morton Downey is coming. They have some anger. He is so magnetic. DOWNEY: From Goldman Sachs to Meryl Lynch who stole the food of taxpayers...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He will just pull you to it.
HERMAN CAIN, TEA PARTY ACTIVIST: This is the Herman Cain show live. (inaudible)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Audiences react to conflict. More people will tune in if you have conflict. And villains lend themselves, vilifying people lend themselves to attracting large audiences.
CAIN: The liberals they are frustrated because they can't find a head to this movement to cut off so they can kill it. There is a fine line between passion and anger.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) MINNESOTA: We are going to repeal ObamaCare. Don't lose hope.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Yeah?
BACHMANN: Don't lose faith. We are going to do it.
CAIN: Repeal that sucker. Every once in a while, you'd smile to let them know you ain't mad at nobody. You're just passionate. That's all.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We want to reach more people. We want to communicate with more people. We want to change hearts and minds out there.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: As long as you're upfront about it. That you're not trying to tell your audience you are one thing and then you are actually something else.
DOWNEY: Trillion dollars, isn't this typical of a left wing problem?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: The critics would say that your popularity is based on the fact that you are appealing to the worst elements of human nature...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I could totally disagree with that.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: ... to jealousy, to anger, to pettiness.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Morton Downey is in the business of implicitly selling his hatred. And people are buying it.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Well, is there something in the nature of television that calls forth characters lake this periodically?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Yeah, ratings.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You are that generation. That is your role. This is that moment.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: There's always been a longing among, you know, some portion of the American Public for somebody who speaks for them.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: If you'll speak for these people and allow them to speak their mind they'll love you for it.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Our national anthem chorus has find her a great Irish Tenor.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Let me ask you, your dad ever sing the national anthem?
DOWNEY: Yeah, pop sang the nation anthem at the Democratic Convention. God bless him. And I'm sorry that he sang it in a Democratic Convention. Too bad it wasn't Republican.
MILLER: I mean how did this happen and gosh it's disappointing. I think Senator Kennedy was disappointed. He was kind of put off.
Sean would call up and say did you see the show? I did. I disagreed with everything you said all most. He would say that he had just evolved.
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: It is amazing to me that you could do Morton Downey's Show and call something I do a circus. But...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Mort and Al Sharpton became very close.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We're not bringing it as a (inaudible)
SHARPTON: Always look to have a fat clown. Wait a minute. We're coming back to the Tawana Brawley case. Stay with us.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: They ssaw something ion each other they were using.
DOWNEY: Tonight, Reverend Al Sharpton.
CORNWELL: He worked for many, many years trying to find his niche. Figure out where he fit. I remember from the time I was a little kid, him always wanting to sing.
LLOYD SCHOONMAKER, MORT'S FRIEND: We started a group called "Turquoise". It's just he and I. And we did a song called "Lonely Man". We had our little single and jumped in his van traveled all through California going to radio stations. And they're playing the thing. We had a great time. That was a hell of a trip.
I can't really say that he was conservative or liberal. He would seem to go in either direction whatever seemed to work at the time.
[21:50:00] BILL BOGGS, MORT'S EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Mort wasn't gay or anything. But on the road, Lloyd would sleep in the same bed with Mort just to keep his company but they're totally straight.
SCHOONMAKER: He really attached himself to me. I was something he could hang on to almost like his blanket.
CORNWELL: He's just -- he was always looking for acceptance and for love.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He had a record and he was touting it. He came to Syracuse, New York. I was a young disk jockey and he was a character and a half. And I said why don't you come do the morning show? And he took the job as the morning man.
DOWNEY: Thursday on a mad (inaudible) swing a thing, Mort Downey with you until 8:00. "Our Everlasting Love".
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We were Top 40 radio. And we were talking a lot about people who were acting out on television.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You want to walk away? Fine.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He and I had a little chat about Joe Pyne. Rember Joe Pyne? I thought he was a jerk -- a successful jerk. He got everybody's attention.
DOWNEY: We got to get involved, we got to to get our hands dirty. The only thing that we can do is save these unborn children.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Downey decided that if he could be the person who was outrageous, controversial, he would get the most attention. He was on the air and started taking phone calls and arguing with people.
DOWNEY: The Democratic Party is opposed to life.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: After he saw the way people were reacting and acting, he catered to it to be bigger and more popular.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: You have reversed the position you took only six months ago. What caused you to come around?
DOWNEY: I really want to see how they respond, right?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He would go over the show with me. He would go in the cafeteria and eat his food.
DOWNEY: OK. Segment one. You got your segment one charted?
GOLDSMITH: Every (inaudible) exactly. Tell me, sir, what's the show tonight?
DOWNEY: I understand that talking about taking the new housing -- the low-income housing and placing it in the middle class neighborhood. Am I right with that?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Mort had a audiographic memory.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Everything in the northeast is lily white.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: When he went on the set, he would repeat verbatim.
DOWNEY: The obvious question here is that the opposition to the NAACP suit represent an attempt to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: What he had told two hours before...
DOWNEY: The obvious question here is that the opposition to the NAACP suit represent an attempt to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods
UNIDENTIFED MALE: No, you see...
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We would figure out, OK, this is going to be your position on this topic...
DOWNEY: How come none of those wealthy neighborhoods get some of that housing?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: And he would go and argue those positions like nobody else.
DOWNEY: There are 200,000 units available in New York City.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Maybe, maybe.
DOWNEY: No, not maybe.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: It was a great act.
DOWNEY: Please tell me, because you look homeless.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: If you're going to make fun of me, Mort. I don't have to be on your show.
DOWNEY: You don't? Good. Good night. Good night.
GOLDSMITH: Mort was arguing with the guy, and (inaudible) to them all.
GOLDSMITH: And this guy was furious.
DOWNEY: Get out of here.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: It's almost like he was spitting on you when he was yelling at you sometimes.
GOLDSMITH: The guys knew this. He believe this is going to happen. But he's going to fight with Mort. We walked out of the studio the three of us and then outside Mort goes, "You did a great job."
CORNWELL: There were times I would hate to watch the show because it was so violent. I didn't like seeing that side of him, I guess, because that's not the person I was raised with. He was never like that unless he was on camera.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: He played the angry populous.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: We call it populism sometimes. I really think it's more envy. All cultures are basically pyramids. There are very few people on the top. And all of the people on the bottom are angry. Why am i not a star? Why am I not...
LANGAN: The reason I'm not a star is because the system screwed me.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Exactly. It's the system. It's not me.
LANGAN: The man can't held me down.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Right exactly. Even though...
RAPHAEL: Once you've decided on the act, and once you've written down the compounds of the act, if you stand out and say I'm a tree long enough, you get leaves.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: You have been described as a nice guy who pretends to be a right wing maniac. What do you find offensive with that statement?
DOWNEY: The word pretend.
BUCHANAN: He did not look like the child of a Hollywood star. He came off, quite frankly, as authentic.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: This is all you do in show business. You get people riled up.
BEY: It was an act just the way Sean Hannity is an act, you know, but I was an act too, you know, to some degree. You know, I mean it's television.
DOWNEY: You are what people perceive you are. All right?
UNIDENTIFED MALE: And...
DOWNEY: If you believe I'm a phony, that's entirely up to you. I know that I'm telling the truth. I know I tell the truth about myself. I bet you can't stand in the same mirror I stood in, baby. I bet you can't.
RAPHAEL: Hello, there, big shot. Making out you've got (inaudible)
Putting on an act that even fools yourself. People detest you. You're nothing but a mirror of your own inflated ego. We'd go through life staring at the self same glass. What an ass.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Gold watch, gold rings and fuchsia and fur things. If your continence shines so bright, why is the tinkle so bright. Look again fool, it falls to a narrowing shadow at your sidewalk clicking heels. How sad the looking glass, that empty stares back, echoes, "Hello, Big Shot."
DOWNEY: All right. We've got quite a topic for you tonight, folks. This one is hot. Say hello to David Letterman. All right. Give him a chance, give him a chance.
DAVID LETTERMAN, T.V. HOST: Have you had a dermatologist look at those things on your face?
DOWNEY: (inaudible) wait a second, buddy. Send him back to Russia, back to the Russo.
SCHOONMAKER: I was over a friend's house. And I said, by the way, didn't you know that Morton Downey, Jr.? Yeah. Well, he's got a T.V. show. So I watched it. And i said holy (inaudible). So I called him. Oh, you've got to come back and work for me, Lloyd. You can't believe what's happening.
CORNWELL: LLoyd was always trying to make it. My dad was always trying to make it. When my dad felt that he had, my dad wanted him with him.
SCHOONMAKER: I'd always have my guitar. And I'd pull it out and we'd start singing folk songs. I said, "Why don't we do an album?" Morton Downey, Jr. sings.
I said, "Sure. I walked in. You know, here's the pumpkin from California and all of the sudden I'm next to Mort. I got a weird feeling.
DOWNEY: We had some of the kids from the Association To Benefit Children. Are they the homes of the next children? Hey, do you want to come home and live with me and my doberman pinscher?
CORNWELL: My dad was married to my mother for 13 years or so years.
DOWNEY: And that's my wife over there. Where's my wife? Kimmy, stand up. Stand up, darling.
CORNWELL: He was married to Kim for 13 years also. That seemed to be the number that it ended, unfortunately.
SCHOONMAKER: I'd move in with Mort and his wife Kim in a house in Englewood, New Jersey. I would sit on the couch with Mort's dog centered here with me working on songs on the album coming up with them slowly.
[22:00:08] I was going to get a career in music. This would be my catalyst. Every night, we would go out to the limo and then race into the city and go to Spring fellows or Elaine's.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While being married to Kim, he enjoyed the fact that for the first time in his life, he could get laid pretty it will since he was in TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. He was 50. And so, he was kind of in a suspended, you know, adolescence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Adolescence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, he was going for the 20-year old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He would take me out to dinner and a beautiful young woman would be there. It was a very awkward position to be put in because he wasn't divorced from Kim yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kept a diary with the microphone on my little cassette saying you can't believe what the (muted) happened today. I don't think this girl is really interested in you. Shut the (muted). And I'm going to do this anyway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His then-wife Kim when we got in the limo she did kick him in the shins from the other side of back seat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At that point, he went after her physically and if I hadn't been there to grab he's going to punch her. I threw him over the hood of the car and I said you want to take a punch at somebody, take a punch at me. There was some anger towards women. I don't know where that begins but it was there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had been invited to do the Morton Downey, Jr., show. On the show, it's just strippers and belly dancers. So, there she is with her top off. And then it occurred to me, I'm better than this. I just took off my top. Oh, wow, he really like this.
He said you did a good thing. You did a good thing. Now, all of the sudden, he's all happy. Like we're working as a team to create entertainment. Yes. But now, in the next moment, he's brutalizing me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd love to try to beat me, honey. I'd show you how to kick the living (muted) out of a broad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sick and tired of guys like you calling us bimbos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down, you fat bitch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was like (muted) me. He was saying I can (muted) and act like knock me down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kathryn (ph) was you make your living on your back. You don't have the right to exist in this country. So.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's a man who loves hookers. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me hear to me, she's been trying to say something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to say that I feel like this business has the potential to show how beautiful the human body is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These girls and he say, you can't be my producer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's your mike?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This girl quit her job. He's got the big blond hair and the big tits and she's like I'm ready for work. She came into the office in tears. Mort had called her into the bathroom and asked her to hold his penis while he went to pee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember that. Unfortunately I did as well. Yes, I do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God. That was the so...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that was the really sort of...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a pathological liar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what he really was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The abyss was opening up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says she was kidnapped and raped by six white men.
Why is it that the black woman with some blame about a white men raping her. The black woman must be terrorized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tawana Brawley was a teenager who claimed to have been kidnapped by these white guys. Some had been police officers. They had repeatedly raped and sodomized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They raped her in Wappinger, New York, they wrote racial epithets on her body, they smeared her body with feces and then, they left her for dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Al Sharpton and two lawyers took over the case.
ALTON H MADDOX JR., AFRICAN-AMERICAN LAWYER: I have been privileged to be involved in this case. I have been privileged to be an adviser and spokesman for Tawana Brawley.
GLORIA ALLRED, FEMINIST LAWYER: There was quite a bit of stir about who had raped her and whether it was true.
[22:05:03] TAWANA BRAWLEY, RAPE VICTIM: I am not a liar and I'm not crazy. I simply want justice and then I want to be left alone.
ALLRED: That a perfect kind of story for Morton Downey.
MADDOX: It is amazing to me that you can do more than Morton Downey, Jr., show and still call me dual circus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Morton and Al Sharpton became very close.
DOWNEY JR.: I agree we always have to have a bad crown.
MADDOX: Well, jumping out of the case. The bottom line.
DOWNEY JR.: We're coming back to the Tawana Brawley case. Stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They saw somebody in each other they were using.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, Reverend Al Sharpton, hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is more for what it was. The ratings grab her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A brutal, racial rape.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It had sex. It had race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It had it all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It had it all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story is developing every single minute.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need the material so that, oh, it was to the twilight skin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a new angle on this. It sound the box that she was in. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Maddox's sister.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Morton Downey certainly squeezed every bit of blood and ranker out of Tawana Brawley story.
STEVEN PAGONES, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: My name is Steven Pagones. I am the individual who was accused of raping and kidnapping of Tawana Brawley.
Not only did I not have anything to do with Tawana Brawley, but there was absolutely no evidence to support these outrageous allegations.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, LAWYER & AUTHOR: Tawana Brawley's advocate would have been laughed out of any grand jury. There are no repercussions for making yourself look like a total fool on talk television. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you're going to identify for himself.
DERSHOWITZ: So, it was a perfect vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't tell me I'm Tom.
MADDOX: But you are nothing. You are a punk (muted). Now, come on and do something. You are nothing. Why don't you shut up! Telling the old ladies. Yelling at me, punk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We made Al Sharpton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We did. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, let me give you a challenge.
PAGONES: I remember hearing Morton Downey represent that I would beyond his show the next day if Sharpton agreed to bring Tawana Brawley the next day.
AL SHARPTON: Why don't you have Steven Pagonas. I bring Tawana.
MORTON DOWNEY JR.: Why don't you bring Tawana?
SHARPTON: I'll bring Tawana. Sit back and tell what day.
DOWNEY JR.: I want him here tomorrow.
PAGONES: Whispers around there were. Reverend Al Sarpton is going to be here. And he's bringing Tawana Brawley.
PAGONES: And we waited and waited and waited. And to pass the time, Morton was making an album for Morton Downey Jr. sings. And he said, he had his guitarist friend there who was helping him with this album and we wouldn't mind would be mind listening for some of these songs.
We sat there listening to probably one of the only Morton Downey, Jr. concerts. It's a shame the tape wasn't running that day.
PAGONES: And a lot of the audience had to leave after a couple of hours because they eventually wind upstanding us up.
DOWNEY JR.: Al, you told me the next day Tawana Brawley will be here.
SHARPTON: No, no, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked at Sharpton and I said what's wrong with you, Al? How could you say this? Don't worry about it. It's good for me, it's good for your race, it's good for everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He know exactly what he said. I spoke to him about this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But let me figure...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was more than willing to hear.
PAGONES: In fact, nobody ever called me or asked me about it.
STANLEY CROUCH, POET: It's kind of a Joe McCarthy is thing. Where when you watch Joe McCarthy in films, you actually can see him get excited. Dirty communist in the House of Representatives. No, no, no, there are 60 communist in the House of Representatives. No, there are 80. It's sort of a wave that people like to get caught in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand Mr. Downey can now be almost coming at a theater near you like you're taking it on the road.
DOWNEY JR.: We're opening the Apollo Theater in a few weeks.
[22:09:58] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did the show at the Apollo Theater. The premise was Tawana Brawley.
CROUCH: When he went that far there was no release of the tension. If you have been in the riot. I haven't been in one. Holding on the Downey show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go down and sit down, please. Go ahead, sir.
CROUCH: My name is Stanley Crouch, I'm a writer. Mr. Sharpton, you have been criticized by every black persuasion of leadership in New York.
Once it starts, it's hard for people to get out of it. And they can't get out of it until they're actually spent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was allege that she was laid all over with feces. Lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a lot of craft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, brother. You have your lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a lot of criticism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: get him out him. Get him out of here. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless you, and thank you for being like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said to myself, this has gone too far now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not only your talk show. What the (muted) is wrong with you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me an open mike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Downey continue with the show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Downey was saying to the audience...
DOWNEY JR.: We're not going to give the press a chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saying we're a bunch of idiots. After he said that he run off stage shut he had me on the phone he said (muted) we need some publicity for this. I can't keep these people rowed up all night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the outside, it looked like a fight. From the inside, it looked like a party.
CROUCH: Eventually, it turned out that she hadn't been kidnapped.
BRAWLEY: There is no hope. It is the only -- it is. He asked the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The grand jury concluded she made up some horrific story. She did some horrific things to herself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no evidence that a sexual assault was committed.
PAGONES: It's very difficult to sit down with your children especially when three of them are girls and explain to them there were people who were accusing your daddy of being a monster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a plane back. I'll see the next grand pull back of the advertising for Domino's pizza. Oh, you're so totally already. Why don't you advertise it?
Because I don't want the name Domino's on the screen the day that idiot you work for blows himself up.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was the number one guy on television. And we hadn't talked in a long time. He said, hey, pal, you got to come up here. We're going to check this place out, all right. Are you going to do your show?
DOWNEY, JR.: Eventually. If I go Trash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got very self-centered. He orders us whiskey sours. I don't drink. He then calls some girls from the room. I don't womanize. That was some various kind of I was pay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He went into the rehearsal hall. And there were the chorus girls rehearsing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're giddy because Morton Downey, Jr. walked in and I was of course with him and feeling like a real hot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The young couple is sitting here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He picked up Laurie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had beautiful, blue eyes. She was, you know, a struggling dancer. I was like what are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Kelly, say something and tell us then if you can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if he was playing hard to get or she really in the beginning wasn't interested. Or if that's what made her so appealing to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From then on, it was Laurie, Laurie, Laurie, Laurie. he didn't care about anything else. The producers would say to me, what is she trying to do. And I said, I don't know that she realizes that he is totally obsessed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was the cause of a lot of heartache for Kim because he started cheating while very much married to Kim.
DOWNEY JR.: Who predicted I would get divorced? Oh, yes. My ex-wife is watching show tonight. She gave me 10 great years and I enjoyed them. So, but watch what I do with the next 10, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His whole life, at that time, was trying to please Laurie. One time, somebody said well, she's just trying to get his money. Morton was purchasing a multi-million dollar condo. Laurie is going to have his Knick Knacks here and I going to put this and we're going to do this and this and this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laurie's dressing table, the stuff that Laurie wants will go here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yet, Laurie, she didn't care about the money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One beautiful top one, cash department. The bills were piling up. One, two, three, last statues. They owed $50,000 to this credit card company. And he said (muted). Then he'd grab the bill and just throw it in the trash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have the clown mask there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't like to talk about anything somebody could call him on.
DOWNEY JR.: (muted) Away from me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just went into a rage.
DOWNEY JR.: You pull -- you pull a sneak-up better (muted) on somebody else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would always after he said, no, I let you down. I shouldn't have done that. [22:19:59] DOWNEY JR.: That's tough (muted). You want to know what
kind of freak that I am? I'll rip your (muted) lungs out, (muted). Now try me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll fuck whatever I want.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a monster Mort. Get out of here, bastard!
BOB PITTMAN: It was sad to find a man that talented who could not control himself.
I tried to appeal to the logic of at the end of the day, Mort, I have other things in my life. I have other ways to make money. I do make money in other ways. This is your life. He just needed the money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He still did his weekend gigs. He made more money doing that than doing the show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, college after college. And we felt like rock stars. When we had a small plane, we would travel everywhere. Mort said, I did this at 21. Before I knew him when he was a younger man.
Now, I couldn't believe all these people thought he was the blue collar king.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missouri is called the show me state, right? What really burns your butt, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Its people putting the American flag on the ground and stepping all over it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about you, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so irritated that we let foreigners come in and buy up our farmland in Western Kansas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can get people screaming, he can get them cry in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to support one another and be American. This is the day of nation on this (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went out of the bathroom theater and, my God, there's a whole mob.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The University of Pittsburgh. There's 5,000 people in the audience. Crowd is roaring like rally of Mort like, you know, Mort, Mort, Mort.
And instead of doing the show, Mort walks out there and part of my friend then he goes, hey, guys, you want to see what a 60-year-old guy is blankets these days? It brings out worry. And I can see people talking to each other and then promoters in my face going this isn't why they're here.
On a plane back. I'll see the next grand pull back in the advertising for Domino's pizza. He got, oh, you saw totally our audience, why don't you advertise?
Because I don't want the name Dominos on the screen the day that idiot you work for blows himself up.
PITTMAN: He's really on fire with the advertisers. At a certain point, how do you defend stuff?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god. Security, security. Morton Downey, Jr., is in there and he's been attacked by skin heads.
PITTMAN: I said, oh, my gosh. That's terrible. I said don't talk to the press until we clear what the story was. And he said, well, what's the problem? He called me from the room with all the press already in the room.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We stopped being able to book legitimate guests. Remember?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we do. Because if you had an opposing view, it was more and 180 people in the audience against you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am the servant of the Almighty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, tell us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I seek refuge in God from the rejected Satan in name of God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not song I wanted the clouds to be constantly funny if I stay too long at the fair.
It got less real as the time went on. It became a cartoon. At the beginning it was. And later on, it became avatar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think the show was sleazy. I didn't.
Some people in this role are different. I happen to go to those different people. I'm just as worthy as any other person, even though I'm different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I remind you that the homeless woman who was a double amputee that played the star spangled banner with her tongue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was sort of the end.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we love him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea is to be an attractive figure on television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that you can change minds and ultimately policy. Can you let the entertainment value run away into the fever swamps. And I think you might have seen some of that with my old friend, Morton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got in a fierce argument with Morton and that was about the time I left. And I said, Mort, if you could just keep it in your pants a little more free figuratively, you could be the center square on the Hollywood Square until the day they put you in the ground and you don't have to call up the show.
DOWNEY, JR.: We're not idiot. You have to come to another side of it.
DOWNEY, JR.: What in the (muted) am I doing there? Oh, honey.
[22:30:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been taping.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mort didn't want to hear it when he was wrong. I guess it's a little like Elvis. Those people that are around him. Hey, you shouldn't be taking those drugs. (muted) you. You're not working anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Record this. Record this.
RICHARD BEY, TV HOST: At someone who went through a similar kind of experience. You don't think it's ever going to end and you're in the midst of it.
When you move to replace that man who's on top, not caring, who's hurt, too cruel to stop. God help you, blind man, with eyes that see but cannot cry. How foolish you are. You, too, must die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mort broke up with Kim and moved into Trump Tower. Sitting at Trump Tower one time, he said I've got to do something. I've got to do something big.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got something.
MORTON DOWNEY, JR.: Can we get to city?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Mort. What do you looking at?
DOWNEY, JR.: Hey, Mort, we're in the movies, sweetheart. Let's show this to Morton. I'll put you on television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The live show is where we would travel around. We were cut down to like three shows a month.
Mort and I flew to Denver and then San Francisco.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the San Francisco airport, I watched him walk into the men's room. I walked down here and I heard a voice go, "Lloyd, Lloyd, where are you? And I said, Mort, where are you? He said, walk down, pal, three or four stalls. I opened the door. Oh, my, God. Security! Security! Morton Downey, Jr., is in there and he's been attacked by skin heads. I said, oh, my God. That's terrible.
He said, well, don't talk to the press until we hear what the story is. He said, well, what's the problem? He called from the room with all the press already in the room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, one guy yelled kill the (muted). And the other guy just started cutting my hair off.
So, I'm watching it on TV. I said, gee, this sound so strange. It doesn't sound right. And maybe a leak at the flashback that it was a Tawana Brawley round two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mort called me. I just got jumped by a bunch of skin heads. I'm screwed. What you've got to do is you got to get a private jet to fly me back. I can't fly commercial.
We landed and we rushed to Trump Tower.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Day by day, we learn a little more about the case of Tawana Brawley.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She fold into the bags.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Witness have said they saw her climbing into the plastic bag in which she had been found.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We drive to Trump Tower and there's Donald Trump in the lobby. And he liked Mort.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, not a surprise. Well, that, oh, my, God. Take him up to my suite.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The album was just out. They shipped 250,000 copies. I knew at this when it cross to America which he did hit the wire
service went across everywhere. And people would say he's just a phony sleaze. You know, what is this crap?
[22:35:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He claims that he was attacked by his free neo- Nazi skinheads.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are not so sure. There are no skinheads to be found in the area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These radios are dying, everyone knows that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mort went in to do lie detector tests and they walked out and they said, boy, he passed up with flying colors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found him in the stall. I came in the bathroom. I yell, Mort, where are you? We got to go, we have a 10-minute schedule plane. What's going on and I pushed the door. He was leaning up against it. I opened the door and I said what the hell happened to you. I understand why a woman doesn't report she's raped anymore. All right? I understand what she'd go through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a member of the New York State community made up of story like this, Tawana Brawley, remember that? Like I can't help it but like in the story for her.
JIM LANGAN, MORTON DOWNEY JR'S. EX-WRITER: The New York Post just happened to call, did you hear what happened to Downey? I said, what? He told the skinhead had routine. And I said, oh, I'd be suspicious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lying I said this is all (muted).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim Langan, I fired him. He have said that he is going to tell a story on me if I let him go. I never reported these whole things or anything else.
LANGAN: I try to explain to my kids who are watching it on TV.