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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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June 14, 2020 12:10 pm

CBS Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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June 14, 2020 12:10 pm

In our cover story, Tracy Smith talks with Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Jordan about her new biography of Melania Trump, “The Art of Her Deal.” David Martin looks at how black military leaders are taking to social media to discuss racial bias in the armed services. Nicholas Thompson handicaps the women in the running to be Joe Biden’s running mate. Erin Moriarty explores how the integrity of medical examiners can be compromised. Lee Cowan talks with father-and-daughter Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard about her new documentary exploring fatherhood, “Dads.” Serena Altschul reports on how millennials and seniors are sharing a love of films via the ”Long Distance Movie Club.” And John Dickerson discusses lessons in presidential leadership.

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Learn more at Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday morning. Today is Flag Day, a celebration of the banner that symbolizes these United States.

A unity that seems a little frayed these days. Of course, the White House and its current occupant figure into the current whirlwind, but what about First Lady Melania Trump? We'll be getting a clearer picture of her from Tracy Smith in our cover story. Melania Trump, thank you very much. She's one of the most private people to ever inhabit the White House. But a new book says First Lady Melania Trump has considerable clout, and she's not afraid to use it. This is very different than the narrative that some people have painted that she is trapped. Oh, makes her crazy to say she's poor. Melania trapped. She's not the First Lady.

You don't know ahead this Sunday morning. With just a week to go until Father's Day, Lee Cowan has a Hollywood case of like father, like daughter. Because it's not only a film society. A week from Father's Day, Ron Howard is wondering just how he'll celebrate the day. I've always felt a lot of support.

Is that what you're calling it? The redheaded daughters and my redheaded wife. There's a lot of red. Coming up on Sunday morning, a lot of fire.

How that fire ignited Bryce Dallas Howard's new documentary, all about her dad and ours. Joe Biden may want to displace Donald Trump in the White House, but to do that, he must first pick a running mate who will be just the ticket. This morning, Nicholas Thompson considers Biden's options. The time is drawing near for Joe Biden to pick his running mate. He's already made one promise. I would pick a woman to be my vice president.

And now the voices in the street are putting new pressure on him. Your argument is that traditionally the vice presidential pick doesn't really matter, but this time it does. Given what's happening in our country right now, you can't make the wrong pick.

Warren, Harris, Abrams, Bottoms will look at who might be number one to be Biden's number two later on Sunday morning. Let's take back this country. John Dickerson lays out the challenges faced by today's presidents. David Martin talks with members of the military about the racial hurdles they face, plus Erin Moriarty, Steve Hartman, and the story behind the song known as the Black National Anthem, all on this Sunday morning, the 14th of June, 2020. We'll be right back. Where's First Lady Melania Trump when her husband is so often front and center?

A clearer picture emerges from correspondent Tracy Smith in our Sunday morning cover story. I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order. Recently, while President Trump was talking law and order. They've got to get tougher.

They've got to get tougher. First Lady Melania Trump was tweeting about healing and peace. So it's voluntary. You don't have to do it. And back in April when President Trump declined to wear a face mask. I don't think I'm going to be doing it. His wife put one on and urged others to do the same.

It is another recommended guideline to keep us all safe. Okay, it's not exactly a palace coup and some might say not nearly enough to keep her husband's more controversial actions in check. But either way, according to a new book, Melania Trump has more influence than you might think. This is very different than the narrative that some people have painted that she is trapped. Oh, makes her crazy to say she's poor. Melania trapped. She's not. She is smart, independent.

She will decide what she wants to do and what she doesn't want to do. Melania Trump, thank you very much. Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Jordan is the author of The Art of Her Deal, published by Simon & Schuster, a ViacomCBS company. Of course you asked to interview Melania for this book. What happened?

Basically no reply. The Trumps, both of them, make people who are around them sign non-disclosure agreements. They also, I quickly learned, told people that knew Melania when she was young, when she was a model, to not talk. The White House dismisses the book as fiction, but Jordan says that after several years and more than a hundred interviews, a clearer picture emerged of a woman who grew up dreaming of a life far away from her native Sayonitza, Slovenia. She's a girl who grew up in a really small town and couldn't wait to get out. She told everyone that. I mean everyone I talked to in Slovenia said she couldn't wait to get out of this town. She wanted to be where the action is.

At first young Melania wanted to study architecture, but she was persuaded that modeling was a better option and she found success doing mostly print work in Europe and later in New York City. She wed Donald Trump in 2005, became a U.S. citizen in 2006, and eventually sponsored her mother and father, Amalia and Victor, to be U.S. citizens as well. And how about chain migration?

How about that? Somebody comes in, he brings his mother and his father. In fact, just days after their son-in-law made a speech blasting so-called chain migration, Melania's parents took the oath and in effect became chain migrants themselves. Politics aside, both are said to dote on their 14-year-old grandson, Baron, who's learned to speak their language. So Baron Trump speaks Slovenian very close to the father.

Both her parents spent a huge amount of times in the White House living there. There's a unit within the family unit and it's Melania, her mother, her father, and Baron and they all speak Slovenian and it's kind of interesting the secret service has no idea what they're saying. And Donald Trump doesn't have a good idea of what they're saying a lot of the time when they're speaking. No, and he has said it annoys them sometimes because he has no idea what they're saying. But Jordan also says Melania has no problem making herself understood.

She's quite influential and I think people have underestimated her big time. For instance, when Donald Trump was trying to figure out who to pick as his vice presidential candidate, he brought Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Pence and had her vet them. She spent two days with the Pences and her advice to him was, you know, pick Pence because he'll be content to be number two, the other ones won't. They'll be angling for the number one job. But while Melania has toed the Trump company line in the past, like the false birther claims about Obama, it's tough to tell what she thinks about his most recent decisions.

I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem. Like advocating the use of force against people protesting the killing by police of George Floyd. So if people don't like what's going on with this administration, how much can they blame her? So this is a really tricky question, but I think most people that I've talked to about that say you're not really to blame for what your husband does, but I do think there's a special responsibility when you're in the White House. You know, it's not just a regular spouse.

You have a platform. Now, I know that she's using it in ways that we don't know because I keep hearing about all the influence and the advice she's given him. She doesn't do it publicly, but it's, you know, maybe it would even be worse for those who don't like Trump. Maybe who knows what else he would be doing if she weren't whispering in his ear. I still think that most Americans don't think they know the real Melania Trump.

Catherine Jellison teaches history at Ohio University. So is it kind of important to know where the First Lady stands because she does have the President's ear? I think pretty consistently in the modern era, First Ladies have been sounding boards for their husbands and occasionally have weighed in on policy matters. Certainly Mrs. Clinton did, Mrs. Carter did.

So I think the American people want to know something about the family life of a president or a would-be president at the time of a presidential campaign. Of course, a defining moment in the 2016 campaign was the infamous Access Hollywood tape incident. I think that was the moment that she had the most power. You know, Trump is all about leverage and power, and that was the moment that Melania really came into her own. You know, I'm automatically attracted to people.

I just start kissing them. This tape from an Access Hollywood shoot, which surfaced a month before the 2016 election, captured Trump talking about women in the most vulgar, offensive ways. He was saying that because he's a star, he can grab any woman and was using pretty lewd language. And, you know, if Melania didn't back him up, if she walked up to me and if she walked away right then, he was toast. At around the same time, Jordan writes, Melania was starting to renegotiate her prenuptial agreement. Because she had wanted to do that during the campaign, no dummy, and she picked the right moment to try to get a better deal out of him. And when she delayed her move to the White House, Jordan says that gave her even more leverage. What did she get in the new prenup? I don't know the exact details, but what I'm hearing from multiple sources is she moved in at the right time and got what she wanted. Of course, at 15 years, President Trump's marriage to the First Lady has outlasted both of his previous unions. He may call himself a great negotiator, but in Melania, it seems he's met his match. Is this a, is it a loving marriage or is it a business deal? What I'm told is that there is more there than people realize.

Yes, they live, I think what many people think is bizarrely separate lives, separate bedrooms, you know, they have separate routines. But she's fascinated because we've never had somebody who only arrived in America at the age of 26. And 20 years later, 20 years later, she's in the White House.

It's quite a story. Today, Flag Day, we honor the star-spangled banner of our national anthem. But in recent days, we've been hearing more about another song, a song often referred to as the Black National Anthem. Lift Every Voice and Sing was written as a poem by African American educator and activist James Weldon Johnson in the late 1800s. It was first recited by students at the segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida on Abraham Lincoln's birthday in 1900. James Johnson's brother, John Rosamond Johnson, set the poem to music. And in 1919, the song was adopted by the NAACP. Its lyrics speak to the African American struggle for freedom and equality. Over the years, countless church choirs and performers have lifted up their voices to sing its words of hope, including Kim Weston at the 1972 Los Angeles Coliseum benefit concert memorialized in the film What Stacks. Lift every voice and sing. Till earth and heaven ring. Ring with the humble knees of liberty.

Let our rejoicing rise. Helping vulnerable seniors cope with the isolation of quarantine is a pretty big challenge, which is where the movie-loving pair Serena Altschul has been talking with comes in. The coronavirus has been especially deadly for one of America's most vulnerable populations, that's people in nursing homes. It's no secret why the people taking care of our elders are taking no chances when it comes to safety. You know, we've been spraying our mail since day one. Husband and wife Terry and Sherry Teichmeier run Lake Park Senior Living in Camden 10, Missouri.

You look pretty. We asked their son Grant to film what daily life is like these days. There's just things that we do that are considered over the top probably by our residents. They probably look at us and go, oh my gosh, you guys are nuts. But not anymore.

We do it and we do it because we love them and they know it. There's only a piece of chocolate. Of course, while the residents seem okay on the outside, you have to wonder how our most vulnerable population is doing on the inside. Jan Clark, Janet Murphy, and Jean Waite are a few of the residents here. You know, they want to isolate us and we're already isolated in our heads. So, you know, it just was, I got a sad deal. Halfway across the country, 28-year-old Ellie Sacks and 31-year-old Matt Starr, two millennials isolated way off in New York City, were coming up with an idea. What if we started a movie club with quarantined senior citizens and then we came up with the name the Long Distance Movie Club. And after some cold calls to various homes around the country, they reached Lake Park. I got to be honest, you know, you get calls like that in this line of work and you're like, okay, what is, what do they really want? Why is somebody from downtown New York calling us in this little town of Missouri?

But since the quarantine began, Sacks, Starr, and the seniors have been getting together virtually every two weeks for this newfound ritual. One senior could have Roy Rogers and the other theater would have Gene Autry. Watching films of a bygone era and then talking about them. That was a terrible way you acted. Maybe I was jealous. To me, it was kind of a heartbreaker. It seems to have opened windows to personal memories. And I was so disappointed when the price went up to 25 cents.

How does it feel now when you see that it's like $18? Oh my gosh. We're watching old movies. We're hearing about people's pasts. And in a way you can sort of find answers and find some comfort in the way that we've dealt with things in the past.

Sacks and Starr have also been making new friends at Priya Living in Santa Clara, California, a retirement home where the majority of seniors are Southeast Asians. Did that seem like a realistic storyline? Learning about classic Bollywood films along with Indian culture. You know, it showed a woman's strength. Is another biweekly event.

This really has become our quarantine highlight. And if the story of these two millennials using film to connect with our elders sounds familiar. And I said, I have this great idea.

I have no idea how to do it. And she said, well, I do. We met them a couple years ago when they remade Woody Allen's Annie Hall. Well, what's the matter?

What's the matter? With seniors Harry Miller and Shula Chernick from a New York nursing home. Should we find a place to sit?

Yeah, we can sit down maybe. And the bonds forged between young and old from making My Annie Hall inspired this new project. It's that really evocative scene.

Almost like a good sequel. This has been another reminder, just like from the My Annie Hall experience, that there are not a lot of opportunities for young people and old people to have meaningful experiences. Has it brought you all closer together?

I think so. It's an outing and it's something different takes our mind off anything else going on with us personally. So in a way, the movie club has been a good medicine for all of this.

It's been a great socialization, yes. It'll be some time before seniors will get to hug and kiss their children and grandchildren. But for now, seeing loved ones through a screen will have to do. And just maybe, the silver screen can provide some comfort along the way. For all ages.

There definitely is an excitement when Matt and Ellie's names are mentioned and it's like, oh, that's today. So you're going to keep it going. Definitely.

Yeah. So which Democratic hopeful would be just the ticket as Joe Biden's running mate? Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, sizes up the field.

Thank you so much. Back then, before he had to wear a mask to leave his house, before protests convulsed the nation's cities, Joe Biden made a promise. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow.

I would pick a woman to be my vice president. Now it's about time for Biden to make that pick. How important is Joe Biden's vice presidential pick? It's very important.

It's probably one of the most important things he'll do between now and election day. Alyssa Mastromonaco and Dan Pfeiffer are both known to listeners of Pod Save America. They're ready to debut a new podcast about the vice presidential pick called That's the Ticket. In 2004, Mastromonaco helped lead the search for a running mate for John Kerry. In 2008, she did the same for Barack Obama, a search that led to Joe Biden.

Dan Pfeiffer was a senior aide to Obama during his campaigns and in the White House. There are five moments that truly matter in any presidential campaign. The convention speech, the three debates, and the vice presidential selection. In this campaign, the convention could happen on Zoom.

It may not have the impact it normally would. It's not fully obvious that Trump's ever going to debate Biden. So this may end up being one of the most important vice presidential selections in American political history.

A CBS poll released at the beginning of May showed Democratic voters strongly supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren for vice president. Almost two to one over Senator Kamala Harris, followed by former Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Trailing them are former Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and governors, all of whom are in the single digits. That was May.

This is June. We're in a moment of intense protest out on the streets. How does that affect Joe Biden's vice presidential thinking? In the wake of these protests following the murder of George Floyd, of course, the vice president is watching this. He sees the hurt and the suffering in the country.

And of course, I think it plays into his thoughts about picking a vice president. I think to the extent that there was pressure for diversity on the ticket, that pressure is going to be increased. Right now, if you understand what's happening on the streets, justice must be an urgent issue. And I think you have to put a candidate on that ticket who is credible in that space.

Cornell Belcher is a longtime Democratic pollster and progressive political strategist. He believes the odds just got a lot longer for Senator Klobuchar, a former prosecutor in Minneapolis, where the killing of George Floyd touched off the protests. Politics isn't about what's fair. And I can make the argument that this conversation is unfair to Senator Klobuchar, which I actually think it is. But the political reality is, I think she's a harder pick today, because if you picked her today, you start off in a position of having to inoculate and explain, because if you're explaining, you're losing.

So whose stock has risen? Senator Harris is larger today than she was a month ago. I don't think there's another sitting senator who's been more vocal and been more spot on in the conversations about inequality and justice and the discrimination that is within the system.

It is time that we say that bad cops are bad for good cops. Those images of Senator Harris in the protest itself, that's a powerful image. She's presented well at this time. If you were to say to me, who is the most obvious choice to help you win the election, then I would probably say Kamala Harris. If you asked me who gives you the most upside, the greatest potential to be a game changer, I would say C.S.

Abrams. If you asked me who would be the best person who step in as president on day one, who would be Elizabeth Warren? Alyssa, is that correct?

Yes, that is correct. Add to the possible shortlist, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Florida Representative Val Demings, and Susan Rice, who's Obama's national security advisor. All are reportedly being vetted by the Biden campaign. So give me the one word that should be most important to Joe Biden as he makes his choice. Electability. Beating Trump. For the view from a former adversary, we talked with Stuart Stevens, a Republican strategist who ran Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. Stevens has now joined the Lincoln Project, a group of never Trumpers who have been putting out ads like this.

Who do you trust, the coward or the commander? My theory of the race is that it's about non-white turnout intensity. And I think the picking of Harris would play to that.

But the not picking of Harris would definitely be a negative for that cause. There's a school of thought that Biden should be concerned about whether his pick helps appeal to Trump voters. Stevens points out that Trump got less than 50 percent of the popular vote. What about all the Obama Trump voters, people who backed Obama in 2008, 2012, and then Trump in 16? How do you win them back and can the vice presidential candidate help with them? You know, I wouldn't spend a minute thinking about getting anybody who voted for Donald Trump. First of all, if everybody voted, you get 46.1 percent. Second of all, that's not really true, because a lot of those Trump voters, we don't talk about this because it's kind of morbid, but they're dead.

He did very well with older voters. Probably a million of those are no longer with us. I don't want to talk about Trump voters anymore.

I don't. Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher. If they voted for Trump, God bless them. They're not a swing voter. So you don't actually think that Biden needs any Trump voters? If you think about Trump voters, you're dead wrong.

It's why we'll lose. Then there's chemistry. Biden might have a unique perspective on who he'd like beside him as vice president. Joe Biden, when Barack Obama asked him to be his vice president, cut a deal where Obama agreed to have lunch with Joe Biden, just the two of them, once a week, every week they were both in town. And so I do think Joe Biden is going to think about this in the context of who is the person I want to have lunch with every single week for the next four to eight years of my life?

That sounds absurd, but it's also a proxy for the bigger question of, is this a person I can work well together? Will we be partners like Joe Biden was to Barack Obama? Biden will turn 78 just after the November election. If he wins, he'll be the oldest president to ever take office. Some people think that Biden will be a transitional president.

Maybe he'll only serve one term. So the candidate he picks as vice president may well be the next democratic presidential nominee. Should the voters be holding that in account? And should Biden be thinking about that a lot as he makes his choice? I think voters are holding that in account. It's important that he picks someone that they think can step into the job immediately.

Because look, it's uncomfortable, but voters are a little bit worried about Biden's age. But it's important that they actually pick someone who settles that discomfort. Biden has said he hopes to announce his pick around August 1st. Stuart Stevens believes there's only one thing that should matter, winning. Is there anybody Biden could choose as vice president who would make you want to sit out the election?

No, he could pick you and I'd vote for him. This is Intelligence Matters with former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell. Bridge Colby is co-founder and principal of the Marathon Initiative, a project focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. The United States put our mind to something we can usually figure it out. What people are saying and what we kind of know analytically and empirically is our strategic situation, our military situation is not being matched up with what we're doing.

Follow Intelligence Matters wherever you get your podcasts. The nation's military took a huge step forward toward racial equality this past week. A step that David Martin tells us underscores just how difficult life for black military leaders has been. Many of you may be wondering what I'm thinking about the current events surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd.

Here's what I'm thinking about. And with that, Air Force General Charles Q. Brown began an emotional social media soliloquy on the racial bias he has dealt with all his life. I'm thinking about my Air Force career, where I was often the only African American in my squadron or as a senior officer, the only African American in the room. We first met General Brown on a 60 Minutes story five years ago, when he was the commander of the air war against ISIS, directing strikes in Iraq and Syria. The amount of secondary that are going off in Iraq, the amount of military that are going off there gives you a good indication or some level of explosives inside those buildings.

His low key demeanor then was entirely different from that of the man who could remain silent no longer. I'm thinking about wearing the same flight suit with the same wings on my chest as my peers. And they mean questioned by another military member.

Are you a pilot? Part of what makes this so powerful is that Brown, who goes by the initial CQ, is about to become the next chief of staff of the Air Force. General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., as the United States Air Force chief of staff, is confirmed. The first African American to head one of the armed services. What is the importance of General Brown becoming the chief of staff of the Air Force?

It's historic, but part of me also says, you know, why didn't it happen before? Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, the top enlisted soldier in uniform, took to social media to talk about his own battle against racism. Here's part of my story. I was born in 1968. My father was black. My mother was white. Did you feel racism as a child? I didn't just feel it. I saw it. I saw the KKK march down my street when I was a child.

Grinston enlisted in the Army in 1987. You must have had to check a box on race when you enlisted. I struggled with what to check on that block. So at the time, my driver's license said Caucasian. So I checked Caucasian. Several years later, he had to choose again which block to check. So I checked black and I handed it to this lady and she looks at me and goes, well, that's not funny. You're right. It's not funny, but that's who I am.

Grinston obviously succeeded in the Army and says his race never held him back, but it's always there. From the day I joined until the last time I got the question was in 2014, 15, where you got the, what are you? It's like the worst thing you could ever ask me. And what would you say?

Human being. Being caught between two worlds can reveal some ugly truths. I was surprised with what people would say when they caught your wife. And it was just blatant racist.

How did you usually handle it? A very ambiguous answer instead of that's wrong and don't ever say that again. And you probably shouldn't be in the Army. That's how I wish I would have said that. After Grinston unburdened himself on social media, he heard back from other African American soldiers. The most powerful one is that when he took off his uniform and he walked to his house, the police came and arrested him for breaking and entering. I just can't get that image out of my head.

His video has been viewed more than a quarter million times. What kind of conversation were you trying to start? Open up and actually talk about our struggles like mine. It's hard for everyone to understand if you don't hear the story. Even success stories like Grinston's or C.Q. Brown's are stories of racial inequality. I'm thinking about the pressure I felt to perform error-free, especially for supervisors I perceive had expected less from me as an African American. I think about having to represent by working twice as hard to prove their expectations and perceptions of African Americans were invalid.

Our strategy to go after this Army is very, very simple. It's been three decades since Colin Powell became chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Since then, it's been nothing but white males.

C.Q. Brown will break the chain, but not erase the long shadow of slavery. I can't fix centuries of racism in our country, nor can I fix decades of discrimination that may have impacted members of our Air Force. But the soon-to-be chief of staff of the Air Force and the sergeant major of the Army have started talking about it in a way military leaders never have before. The blinders and the shields are off, and now we're having those tough conversations that we didn't have 20 years ago. Bereft baseball fans will do just about anything to salvage at least part of this season.

Our Steve Hartman has the story of one cry for help. For the boys of summer, this has been one dark winter. Little League's canceled, pro baseball in limbo. Like the Yankees. Ten-year-old Jake Kurzon of South Elgin, Illinois, says kids in his neighborhood are going to have to go to school.

Jake Kurzon of South Elgin, Illinois, says kids in his neighborhood are devastated. We were just sad to hear that COVID-19 stopped baseball. What would you give to have baseball back?

We would give anything. And that's why, not long ago, Jake reached out to the only person he knew who could both understand the depth of his sorrow and might be in a position to help. He poured his heart out in a letter and addressed it to Mr. Babe Ruth. Never mind the Yankee great died 72 years ago. Jake was determined to get a message through to him, and he thought the best way to do that was to send the letter here, to the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, where Ruth is buried.

And sure enough, the staff conveyed the message, posting it right on his marker so the babe couldn't miss it. Jake wrote, I thought you would be interested in knowing this is the year 2020, and we are in a world pandemic. They canceled baseball. We all have kept praying for this to end. Was your thinking that if he knew that this was affecting baseball, he might step in and help?

Yeah, because it's the sport he loves and he plays. What did you want him to do? Since he's like a guardian angel now, I wanted him to somehow make this pandemic to stop. You think you got your message? I think so. Now, every time Jake sees someone released from the hospital or hears good news about a vaccine, he knows the babe is doing everything he can to bring back baseball and make the world as it was. So our sincere thanks to this imaginative little leaguer who found a major league way to help. Do you think you could ask him to help the Tigers win a World Series? Because I've been rooting for that and I haven't had much luck. Or do you think that's a bridge too far? I don't think you'll answer.

I guess I'll try. Joe DiMaggio. Father's Day is a week from today. And by way of preview, Lee Cowan has dropped in on a Hollywood family that lives by the motto, like father, like daughter. I feel really privileged to have been the beneficiary of having like a great dad, you know, and he has. Interviewing a father and a daughter can have its moments. Can I Shanghai the interview for once?

Yes, do it. And it was pretty clear that with Ron Howard and daughter Bryce Dallas Howard. What was your ethos around that? That I was just a third wheel in what was otherwise a lovely family conversation back in February. Oh, thank you, Dad. You're not biased.

You're not biased at all. Lots of famous dads with famous daughters. We could have talked with about Father's Day, but fatherhood has been more than just biology to the Howard family.

Starting, of course, with Ron Howard's relationship with his TV dad on The Andy Griffith Show. Hi, Paul. I wanted to have a talk with you. Okay. Ready?

Ready. This, are there rules for how Paul should treat his son if he's a kid? Well, my dad couldn't read at the time. How old were you? Six.

Six years old. And so my granddad read for him. And when Rance Howard, an actor himself, read that very first Andy Griffith script, something as a father felt a bit off. He said they're writing Opie the way they write every kid in a sitcom. It's kind of wise ass and funny and it'll get laughs, but wouldn't it be different and interesting if Opie actually respected his father? Yep, Ron Howard's dad helped change the course of a TV treasure. Okay. Okay, what is it?

Two girls. When Ron Howard himself became a father, he took those lessons with him. It's not so much what you say, it's really showing up. You just go all in and say, this is a priority.

I'm going to very consciously do this right. And right meant being there. He often brought his family to his movie sets. That's Bryce as an extra in parenthood. She loved the experience and even as a little girl, thought the movie was pretty darn funny. When you're sitting in your Chevy and your shirt's are feeling heavy, diarrhea, diarrhea. Kevin, honey, where'd you learn that song?

Last summer at camp, mom. Oh, that was money well spent. Like when I would be grounded, they would ground me from the set because they knew like I did not want to risk that. Really, that was the punishment?

It was the leverage. Instead of don't take the, you can't drive. It's like you can't come to set.

You can't come to set. And I remember one time I was like, you're ruining my life. How could you do this to me? So perhaps it's no surprise that she followed her dad into acting. Oh, pause as good as always, Minnie. I'm glad you like it.

What do you put in here that makes it taste so good? She followed him into directing too. And this coming Friday, streaming on Apple TV is her gift to fathers everywhere.

Her documentary, Dads. We went from no kids to four kids in less than six months. Everybody thought we were insane.

We were just crazy. My hope is that this is a movie for dads so that they don't feel so alone. It's often overlooked, but modern dads are taking a more active role now than ever. Double the number of fathers are staying home now than in the 70s.

The ranks of single dads are growing too. And if you're going to document these new dads, Brice Howard figured why not start at home? I wasn't supposed to be interviewed. I didn't think, but I showed up one day just to cheer my daughter along. And suddenly I was in front of the camera.

I thought just for a moment to like take a little quick snap. I think what ultimately adds up is what they see, what they witness. All right, little baby. The way you as a father live your life.

I kind of mentioned, I was like, you know, and then we could maybe do something like with our family and stuff. And he was like, no. Her powers of parental persuasion are pretty strong.

She convinced other big names like Jimmy Kimmel to tell their dad's story. Like the day his daughter's spit up ended up in his mouth. And of course, your reaction is to throw this person, you know, as far away from you as possible. But I didn't. I held on to her.

I just spit as much of it as I could out. And that's when I realized I was a dad. If this is a movie about fathers, it's a comedy. Like, let's be clear. This is a comedy. And why is that?

Well, because it's it's every day as a parent is a comedy. You know, it just is. You never really know what you're doing.

No, no, you don't. I definitely underestimated the situation. All hell broke loose. But it's delving into the chaotic lives of everyday dads where the documentary really flourishes. Take daddy blogger, Glenn Henry. Clean up the toys.

Yes, girls and boys. He had no idea how to be a dad. Given the response to his YouTube channel, he realized no dad really does. What is wrong with you? It's people outside right now thinking that I'm abusing this because they hear him screaming.

And it sounds like it's. I realized that there was no rite of passage for the process of becoming a father. Like there's a rite of passage for women. You have the baby shower, right? You obviously go through the actual the transition of the birth.

And and we have excluded men from that narrative, from that incredible moment of transition in your life when you will never, ever be able to go back to that place again. My son is so smart. That was certainly the case for single dad Robert Selby. He didn't want to be a father at first, but now he can't imagine anything but. My son one day told me he wanted to be like me and I looked dead in his eyes. I'm like, you're never going to be like me. I don't want you to be like me.

I'm doing everything in my body to mold and shape you to be better than me. We can all do better. The past few weeks have certainly shown us that. But it does make you wonder just what the conversations will be like this father's day. As parents, we're being asked to rise to the occasion. Most of those talks might happen over Zoom or after a march on Washington. It's essential to have these conversations with our kids.

You can't ignore the fact that there's a pandemic going on and we can't ignore that there is an epidemic of racism that is going on and has been going on for centuries. And maybe that's the not so simple secret of being a good dad. Never stop learning. At his best, a father provides a kind of consistent sense of safety and therefore possibility. So you start the movie out with the question, what is fatherhood? Right.

What do you think the answer is now that you've done all this? Fathers are caregivers. That's what they are.

I just want dads to know that we see them. We see what they're up to. What's it like to be a black man having a run-in with police?

Charles Blow is a columnist with the New York Times. Recently, I reposted a meme on social media. How old were you when a cop first pulled a gun on you? I captioned it. I was 18.

You? In fact, I was a college freshman in Louisiana, president of my class, and an officer had manufactured a reason to pull a gun. Manufactured a reason to pull me and a friend over. When attempting to retrieve my license and registration, a comb fell out of the glove box that the officer mistook as a weapon. Out came the gun and up went my hands.

When my friend objected to the stop, the officer made clear his power. He told us that he could make us lay down in the middle of the road, shoot us in the head, and no one would say a thing. Hundreds of people responded to my posts, many with equally horrific stories, some saying that they were as young as five years old when their incident occurred.

One commenter said that he was in his father's arms and the gun was aimed at his father. Of those whose race seemed clear to me, most of the black responders, mostly men, had experienced such a trauma and most of the white people hadn't. This is not uncommon.

A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found that six in ten black men said they had been unfairly stopped by police. These incidents don't make the news. No one dies, but trust dies. Faith in systems dies.

Innocence dies. These incidents demonstrate the savagery of the system and the powerlessness of everyday people. And when people think that the system is unresponsive and unrestrained, they have little investment in it and little respect for it. That, for a society, is a dangerous condition.

The fact that most black men will join this dubious club of the unfairly stopped, sometimes violently so, makes everyone less safe, not more so. The killing of George Floyd does more than raise questions about the conduct of the nation's police. Here's Erin Moriarty of 48 Hours. I can't breathe! I can't breathe! I can't breathe!

We've all now seen that disturbing video. George Floyd! A Minneapolis police officer's knee on George Floyd's neck. Don't shoot!

Don't shoot! Which is why there was outrage earlier this month, after the preliminary autopsy report seemed to blame Floyd's death mainly on underlying heart problems and potential intoxicants. Floyd's family attorney, Benjamin Crump. One should not suggest that we didn't see what we saw, and what we saw should be consistent with what the science purports. The controversy put the national spotlight on the Hennepin County medical examiner, whose office did the autopsy. When a person dies under questionable circumstances, it's the medical examiner's job to determine how and why. We deserve justice. But George Floyd's family feared that with a police officer involved, politics might override truth.

It has happened before. Motorcycles is what he did every weekend. When Barbara Steward's 47-year-old former husband, Daniel Humphreys, died in July 2008, she feared she wasn't getting the full story. I was told that he had run from the police on his motorcycle and crashed. The injuries from that crash were minor, so Humphreys' death following that police chase in central California made no sense to Steward or their two children. He had no life-threatening injuries.

In fact, he didn't have any broken bones. It appeared there was more to the case, and the forensic pathologist who did the autopsy, Dr. Bennett Amalu, seemed to agree. But Dr. Amalu was working for Steve Moore, who was not just the San Joaquin County coroner, but also the sheriff. Amalu says without explanation, Moore refused to hand over crime scene reports that could have shown the crash alone didn't cause the death.

I understood why they weren't sharing it because I think they knew somebody was going to be in trouble. It took nine years for the truth to finally be made public. A highway patrol officer had tased Daniel Humphreys 31 times.

Have you ever heard of anyone being tased 31 times? Steward believes that's what killed him, and what was called an accident should have been called a homicide. After learning what really happened in Humphreys' case and others, Dr. Amalu quit in 2017 and wrote an angry resignation letter. He claims the sheriff requests that I modify my autopsy reports. I felt like he was here for us because if he wasn't the pathologist that was here, it would have been swept under the carpet because most of them aren't going to be strong enough to stand up to the Steve Moores.

Sheriff Coroner Moore says it was his job to determine manner of death and denies he interfered in death investigations. But Dr. Amalu's resignation put a spotlight on a national problem. What happened to him may happen to pathologists everywhere. When we surveyed forensic pathologists, about 82 percent said that they had been told or pressured at some point by either family members or by supervisors to change their death certificates.

Dr. Judy Melanick is a forensic pathologist based in San Francisco. Eighty-two percent of pathologists feel pressured, she says, because so much can write on just three words. Manner of death, suicide, homicide, accident, or death from natural causes. And when that death occurs at the hands of a police officer, the stakes are especially high. If you can pressure the pathologist to say, I don't know, I'm not sure, then you may be able to protect that law enforcement officer from prosecution. It can be risky to just talk about the pressures. The reason Dr. Amalu doesn't appear in this report? He says he has received death threats. Are you surprised that we've had a hard time getting forensic pathologists to go on camera and talk about the pressure they've been subjected to?

I'm not surprised at all because, remember, this is a very high-profile field, and it's hard to get jobs in this field if you've been in the media and get targeted as a complainer or as someone who causes trouble. And that may have been what happened to Dr. Thomas Rudd. In 2012, at age 65, pathologist Dr. Rudd ran for election as coroner in Lake County, Illinois, determined to take politics out of death investigations. When I won the election, my wife looked at me and said, do you think you can do the job?

And I said, look, if I play it straight and honest, what possibly could go wrong? Almost from the beginning, Dr. Rudd stepped on toes. As he did in the case of Lieutenant Joe Glynowitz. In September 2015, the Lake County police lieutenant called in for backup, saying he had seen three suspicious men outside a factory. Shortly afterwards, Glynowitz was found dead with a single shot to the chest.

Scores of officers from at least six federal and state law enforcement agencies fanned out We had the FBI, we had ATF, we had Major Crime Task Force warnings to stay inside. We got a killer on the loose. But when Rudd's office did an autopsy, What we found was stunning. Nobody could have got that close to point a gun that way.

So how does that happen? Only if he did it himself. Rudd told investigators that Glynowitz likely committed suicide. And yet, the manhunt for the murderers continued. And several suspects were even being held in jail. People are still being told that Lieutenant Glynowitz was shot by somebody and was a victim. Correct. And was a hero cop.

Yes. When Rudd leaked the truth to reporters, he was accused of damaging the investigation. Investigators have tirelessly worked day and night. It took two months before officials came clean and acknowledged Lieutenant Glynowitz had taken his own life. Glynowitz committed the ultimate betrayal. But instead of an apology, Dr. Rudd soon found himself facing felony charges. When he filed for re-election in 2016, the opposing party hired Burt Odelson, a lawyer, to find a way to get Dr. Rudd off the ballot. Odelson says he found enough small mistakes on Dr. Rudd's election petitions to get him to withdraw from the race. That's usually the end of the story. Not usually.

99% of the time, that's the end of the story. But in Dr. Rudd's case, he was charged with five felony counts of perjury. When I heard that Dr. Rudd wasn't done, I just couldn't believe it.

We have far more egregious cases where no charges are ever brought. Burt Odelson was so outraged, he switched sides and joined Dr. Rudd's defense team pro bono. Do you believe that these felony charges were brought in retaliation for the stances he took on these cases?

I truly do. Dr. Rudd says that to avoid jail, he pleaded guilty to reduce charges in 2018. But he wants to clear his name and has since asked the Illinois governor for a pardon. Back in Minneapolis, the attorneys for George Floyd hired their own forensic pathologist to conduct an independent autopsy.

But it may not have been necessary. The medical examiner has issued a final report that now states Floyd's heart attack was caused by law enforcement, restraint, and neck compression. He ruled the death a homicide.

His office turned down our request for further explanation. Citizens need truth in these cases, says Dr. Melanick. But without independence, pathologists may not be able to give it. If your loved one dies in the hands of law enforcement, you want to know that the autopsy was done with integrity. You want to know that you can rely on those findings. That's why it's important.

They're rare cases, but they are devastating cases. And they have repercussions for our trust in our institutions. Not many people watch the American presidency more closely than John Dickerson of 60 Minutes. In a new book, The Hardest Job in the World, he outlines challenges presidents have faced from the Eisenhower era to the present day.

I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, do solemnly swear. President Dwight Eisenhower had a particular way of doing things. The story goes that early in his tenure, he batted away an aide who tried to hand him an unopened envelope. He should never be handed anything, he said, that had happened to him.

Anything, he said, that had not first been screened to see if it deserved his attention. Ike had lots of rules like this about optimism, taking responsibility, and the necessity of vacation. He even developed a system for dispelling anger. If he was angry at someone, he would write their name on a piece of paper and discard it in a drawer.

Having done so, he stopped being angry at them. He was what we would call today a lifehacker. One of Ike's famous aphorisms was that the urgent matters should not crowd out the important ones. If you only take care of the urgent, there will be no time to identify and solve the challenges that can only be solved through planning and follow-through. This is the spiritual inspiration for the Eisenhower Matrix, a system for sorting priorities. If the parking meter is running, that's urgent and important.

Scheduling your annual physical? Not urgent, but important. Blinking email about the latest Twitter outrage? Urgent? Not important. Presidential time is some of the most valuable time on the planet. To make choices, a president must be ruthless in setting priorities and maintaining them or risk being unprepared and delaying vital action. This is a quality we should think about during elections. Can candidates focus on what's important but not urgent, like preparing for a pandemic or cyber attack, or doing the behind-the-scenes work of building an organization that will operate smoothly when a crisis hits? During our infrequently rational campaigns, we lump everything into the urgent and important category. Candidates give in to this, promising sweeping action on every item on the list. This robs us of the chance to test whether a candidate can prioritize and trains us all to be sloppy, obsessed with whatever is just before us. Sometimes that's crucial, but it isn't always crucial.

Knowing the difference will help us pick better presidents and help those we do pick do a better job. I'm Jane Pauley. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 13:21:37 / 2023-01-28 13:42:46 / 21

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