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Nancy Pelosi, Flavor Enhancer MSG, Resilience

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2022 3:22 pm

Nancy Pelosi, Flavor Enhancer MSG, Resilience

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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December 11, 2022 3:22 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, John Dickerson talks with filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, whose new HBO documentary is about her mother, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Also: Lee Cowan visits with folk singer-comedians Tom and Dick Smothers; Tony Dokoupil profiles singer-songwriter Charlie Puth; Robert Costa talks with rapper and TV talk show host Killer Mike; Allison Aubrey looks at the controversy over the flavor enhancer MSG.

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CBS Sunday Morning
Jane Pauley

Today's CBS Sunday Morning Podcast is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Does your financial advisor know you as well as the markets? At Ameriprise, we take the time to get to know you and your goals. We provide one-to-one financial advice that's personalized to you to help build your portfolio along with your financial confidence. For more information and important disclosures, visit slash advice.

Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC. I'm Mo Rocca, and I'm back with season three of my podcast, Mobituaries. I'm looking forward to introducing you to more of my favorite people and things, all of them dead. From a top dog in 1990s television... What happened? What's the story, wishbone? a former top banana.

In the world up to 1960, when the Gros Michel was the only banana that we got, they were clearly better. Listen to Mobituaries, wherever you get your podcasts. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. This past week, Forbes magazine named House Speaker Nancy Pelosi one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

That might be an understatement. Nancy Pelosi is our 52nd Speaker of the House, the first woman to hold the job, and second in line to the presidency. In a few weeks, she steps back from that role while still representing the people of San Francisco in Congress. John Dickerson takes a closer look at Madam Speaker through the eyes, actually the camera, of her daughter, documentary producer Alexandra Pelosi.

I started taking pictures. Alexandra Pelosi's new documentary has a lot to say about her mother, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. You are impossible to crack. But she's still struggling with the vicious attack on her father just a few weeks ago. How's your dad doing now? He's getting better every day. Thank you for asking. The scars are here.

I mean, he looks like Frankenstein, but I think the emotional scars, I don't know if those ever heal. Following in the footsteps of the speaker who says you can't ever get tired, ahead on Sunday morning. As for R. Lee Cowan, he'll be talking with that legendary duo from the 1960s, the Smothers Brothers. Still bickering, still entertaining after all these years. Mom liked you best.

You lower your voice. Mom liked you best. Yes, Smothers is their real name. And yes, they're real brothers. And yes, they did fight with one another, like all brothers do.

His thought process is not, I think, different. And we argued constantly we could clear a room. And we have cleared a room. Their sweet rivalry and sweet music made audiences laugh.

And now in their mid 80s, they're about to take a victory lap. Coming up on Sunday morning. Robert Costa sits down with rapper Killer Mike, host of a talked about talk show. Tony DeCopel catches up with singer-songwriter Charlie Puth. We'll order out Chinese with Alison Aubrey. Hear about our friend Josh Seftel's latest filmmaking venture and more. It's a Sunday morning for the 11th of December, 2022.

And we'll be back in a moment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is about to step down from her leadership post while remaining in Congress. John Dickerson turns to documentarian Alexandra Pelosi, the speaker's daughter, who's been looking at her mother's long career, good times and bad. This is so surreal for me because I spend my life behind the camera. And so sitting here being interrogated by you is really sort of what nightmares are made of. Really? Yes. Why? Because I'm a behind the cameras person. You can hold the camera if that makes you feel better. Thank you.

Like a little security blanket. Yeah. Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker, is the youngest daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Make sure when you're editing that you include that nobody in my family would want me speaking for the family. No one would hire me to be their spokesperson because nobody wants to hear what I have to say at the dinner table.

Not exactly. Her family might not want Alexandra to be the spokesperson, but that might be why what she says is worth talking about at the dinner table. Every family has to have a dark cloud, and that's me. It's been a dark time. Her father, Paul Pelosi, is recuperating from a hammer attack by a man asking, where's Nancy? Which was also the chant from rioters on January 6th, who targeted Nancy Pelosi above all others. I didn't really choose this life.

It chose me. Nancy can be found in Pelosi in the House, the documentary her daughter has made about her premiering on HBO this Tuesday. It's a not quite authorized look at the speaker counting votes, dancing with grandchildren and talking on the phone. Always on the phone. Don't go too far to the left.

You have to win the electoral college. If you want to understand her, you have to watch her work. So I watched her work for decades.

I watched her work. She invited us to everything. We're passing this bill.

Come on down. That's family time for us. My kids grew up in the Capitol. That's how my children spent time with their grandmother was watching her pass health care. The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly. How do you feel about America?

I am scared to death. Alexandra Pelosi has made 15 documentaries, but this one is like her first. Journeys with George Journeys with George, a behind the scenes look at George W. Bush's campaign based on her time traveling with the candidate and other journalists like your correspondent.

Both films are about two worlds, the political world and the real one behind a split. Pelosi has been observing all her life. What's the first thing you ever filmed of your mom?

I started taking pictures back in the 80s with a small like Walgreens camera, you know, and then it certainly evolved. I grew up two feet behind Nancy Pelosi, so I got to see how everyone behaved in front of her and everything they said the minute she walked away. The image of Speaker Pelosi is an endless cycle of activity in a political environment where she has become GOP enemy number one, summed up by an aside Pelosi gives during one negotiation.

See, here's what happens in negotiations. When you get toward the end, people get tired. And that's what he is. You can't get tired. You can never get tired.

And you apparently can't go off message, even with your daughter. You are impossible to crack. You know that?

Yeah. Well, I have my sensitivities. Even you can't catch her off guard. No, there's no catching her off guard. My life's work has been trying to get her to go off guard, but it doesn't happen. She eats nails for breakfast. Crack your mom. Yes, I do.

I want to crack you. But there are parts of the documentary that will catch Mother Pelosi off guard. I showed her the preview and she called me up and she said, I think that you should take these things out. And I said the film is already going to air like she was editing a film that's airing in two weeks. Yeah, that's who she is. They said somebody was shot.

It's just horrendous. The film's climax is January 6th, 2021. Days earlier, a severed pig's head had been delivered to her mother's home. But the family joined the matriarch for the historic day as usual. And Alexandra was filming as usual. Mr. President, don't let anybody know where you are.

My 16 year old son was the first one who called it. He said, what if they stormed the Capitol? We were looking out the window and you know Nancy Pelosi, she's got to learn the script for the day of how we go through counting the electoral votes. She's not paying attention to the jackass climbing the walls. And she thinks, well, we have full security here.

This is going to be fine. Alexandra Pelosi kept rolling as the family and members of Congress were evacuated to Fort McNair, a US army post. Security took us out because we're family, but the staff were all there. They knew what was coming and they had to go hide her at her desk. All these people who did not sign up for this.

We're coming for you, Nancy. Young, optimistic people who want to go work in the speaker's office, have to go hide under a desk. I saw it in the eyes of the staffers as we were leaving the building that we were leaving and they were being left behind. Concern we have about personal safety.

Some of the footage was featured by the January 6th select committee. Pelosi and other leaders plead for troops to end the riot, which they ultimately did. But the collateral damage lingers after the glass has been swept up. On January 6th, my 16 year old son was asking me, why do all these people want to kill Mimi? We call her Mimi. And I think for me, the hardest part now is trying to explain to my children who are teenagers. They saw the Oath Keepers trial that they went to the Capitol and said they wanted to hang Nancy Pelosi from a lamppost. They get news alerts on their phone about that. So trying to make peace with the fact that my mother says that public service is a noble calling and my kids don't understand why people want to kill her for for what? What did she do? Pass health care?

I still haven't been able to give them a good answer to that question. There's one recurring character in the documentary, Alexandra's father, Paul. My father is the breakout star of my mother's life and of my movie.

He's always there. And I don't know many men who would be willing to just ride along for that kind of a life. But here's what's not in the documentary. The vicious attack on Paul Pelosi in the family home in San Francisco at the end of October.

Police say the attacker was looking for Nancy Pelosi, but found her husband instead and beat him with a hammer. How's your dad doing now? He's getting better every day.

Thank you for asking. The scars are here. I mean, he looks like Frankenstein. The scars are healing. But I think the emotional scars, I don't know if those ever heal. I mean, that's tough.

It's really tough. I don't think it's OK for an 82 year old man to be attacked in his home in the middle of the night because of whatever his wife does for work. Adding to the emotional scars for the whole family is how some reacted. I haven't slept since the night my father was attacked. What happened to him is one thing. What the outside world did with that for their own political fodder is what's much harder for us to handle as a family. I don't care who you are and who you vote for. Nobody should think it is funny that an 82 year old man got attacked in his home.

And yet a sitting governor and a wannabe governor and members of Congress were laughing about it. She's losing the gavel, but finding the hammer. Apparently, her house doesn't have a lot of protection. We're going to send her back to be with him in California. That's what we're going to go do.

The hardest part to deal with is how do we talk about how the media landscape used that event for tweets, for clicks? What does your mom say about that? My mother leans into her faith. She has to believe in America. She has to believe in God. She has to believe in the Democratic Party. She has to believe in the future of America.

I don't. For me, the hours come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus. Nancy Pelosi will retire from House leadership when her term as speaker ends next month, but will continue to serve as she has since 1987. My mom loves to tell the story about how she first ran for Congress. I was there when she was 16. I was the youngest of five, so I was the only one left at home. I was 16 years old, and my mom came to me. She said, Mommy has a chance to run for Congress.

Do you think I should do it? I won't do it without your permission. I said, Mom, get a life. Meaning, get a life, go run. I don't care what you're doing.

One teenager doesn't want their mom out of the house. Yes, go. Right? Fine. Thirty-five years later, we're sitting in the ICU. I said to my mom, if I had known what I was signing up for, I never would have given you my permission. Now, I told her that in the ICU. My father says, you can't say that that's not fair. You can't say you wouldn't have let her go and live her life. What you can say is, today, if she came to you and asked for permission, you'd say, no way.

Paul Pelosi appeared in public for the first time since the attack at the Kennedy Center Honors this past week. He received a standing ovation. As I'm wrestling with all of this dark stuff, my father keeps telling me that it's really important to say that it was worth it. I don't know that it was worth it. I'm wrestling with whether or not any of this was worth it. But my father still says it was worth it, that she got to live her dreams, and that for him, that was worth it. Even after everything he's been through, he still says it was worth it. Attacks already in the promo.

That's fine. Listen to hold up wherever you get your podcasts. Singersongwriter Charlie Puth was a musical prodigy at age six, a superstar by 23. Then, a chance encounter forced him to rethink everything.

He's talking, for the record, with Tony Dacopo. If you remember the melody, you may also remember the young man at the piano. Charlie Puth, then just 23, co-wrote and then co-performed with rapper Wiz Khalifa the 2015 song, See You Again. It became one of the biggest pop hits of the decade, spending 12 weeks at number one and getting nearly 6 billion, yes, billion views on YouTube, launching Puth as a bona fide star. He followed it up with two big solo albums, full of huge hits, including that turtle on my knee. He followed it up with two big solo albums, full of huge hits.

But in early 2020, Puth announced that his much anticipated third album would be scrapped, because as he put it, none of the music felt real. You were a bankable star, multi-Grammy nominated, billion stream songs, you were touring, you were selling out stadiums, so it's a big deal to say, actually, stop. What was that moment like where you said, no, we're not doing this?

I'll never forget it. I went to a restaurant in West Hollywood, right when I had decided that I was going to start over, and Major D came over to me and said, Elton John would like to meet you. Through a friend, the pop legend had heard an early version of the album. He said, that music you just put out was not very good. And I was a little taken aback by that, because it's not like I disagreed with him, but it's not every day you get to run into Elton John at a restaurant and have him tell you exactly what you were just thinking 10 minutes prior. I got to imagine that hurt a little bit. It did, but it didn't.

It stung for about two minutes, and then I walked back over to the table, and I just pointed upward, and I was like, that confirms everything. It was a moment that made Pooh think back to falling in love with music. Growing up in the New Jersey shore town of Rumson, his dad was a builder, his mom a music teacher. I would wake up with her playing piano every day. That was the alarm clock, her playing.

We first talked to him back in 2018. Sometimes like... I think my brain would be musically awake before I even had breakfast. And we learned that pretty soon, Charlie's parents had realized their son had a unique gift for memorizing songs. I found it way easier to listen to the Beatles if I'm playing.

Who knows how long I loved you. My 10-year-old brain thought I could just listen to the record and play it back just by hearing it, and I thought that was a normal thing. By 10, this musical prodigy was performing at school and in church, starting with the day the organist didn't show up. I had heard the mass, the music so many times. Hallelujah, hallelujah.

I just played the entire mass. It's almost like that thing on a plane was like, is there a doctor on the plane? But it was like, is there an organist in the church?

Is there an organist in the church? And I raised my little hand, and my feet didn't even reach the pedals. What gave you the courage to do that in a room full of adults in God's house?

I've always just wanted to save the day. And it wasn't just grown-ups who took note, whose classmates did too. Were you shy? I was shy, but at the same time I wasn't. When I was in my musical element, I wasn't shy.

When I was doing a science project, I was very shy. But you can walk right on stage at church and play the organ or school assembly. Yeah, because I knew I got it. I knew that no one else was going to be able to do that that day. In the most humble way possible, I could say that. I don't think you have to be that humble.

I just like making people happy. That led Puth to major music schools in Boston and New York City. I was just working really hard to make a name for myself and in this community. All the while, he was performing his songs, first on YouTube, then on an actual stage, starting right here at the Bitter End in Manhattan. I was so nervous and I played an hour set and I had 200 people.

The crowds grew. And on tour with him back in 2018, Puth sure seemed to love every second of it. But later that year, when we met him at his home in Los Angeles, the musician had begun a pretty serious self-review, even after the breakaway success of See You Again. We had the biggest song in the world. I had to put an album out.

It was rushed. And we had songwriters who didn't know me or even talk to me half the time, put records together for me. And I was just like, I don't know what I'm going to do.

I don't know what I'm going to do. And at the time, put records together for me. It sounded fine, but the message on those songs meant nothing to me. Not long after, he decided to pause and rebuild, though, the pandemic hit.

F major. Looking for a new outlet, he turned to TikTok. What if this song started off like buh buh buh buh buh buh buh? And then the bass would go bum bum buh buh. I thought I was going to be able to do something special and just produce music for other artists. He did, co-writing the number one hit Stay with the Kid LeRoy and Justin Bieber. I was like, OK, that's what I'm going to do from now on.

I'm going to make other people's dreams come true. But I was kind of lying to myself. Instead, he started writing for Charlie Puth once again. Now, three years later, the pop star is back.

With a wildly popular collaboration with Jungkook of BTS. And while Charlie is officially his third album, the now 31-year-old artist says it feels in some ways like his first. I'll be telling the truth from here on out. You can't lie and write a song.

I'll be telling the truth from here on out, sometimes to my detriment, but at least it will be the truth. It happened this past week. The boy in the box finally got a name. He became the boy in the box when his badly bruised body was found stuffed in a cardboard box in a Philadelphia neighborhood back in 1957. Two generations that followed, he was simply the mysterious victim of what would become one of the city's oldest unsolved homicides. As a result, says police commissioner Danielle Outlaw, his cold case has haunted this community, the Philadelphia Police Department, our nation and the world. On Thursday, persistent detective work and DNA tracing brought the mystery to an end. The boy in the box is Joseph Augustus Zarelli. His parents are now dead, but police say he does have living siblings. They're now hoping for a new round of leads in the unsolved case. The four-year-old was first buried in a pauper's grave.

Later, his remains were moved inside the front gate at Ivy Hill Cemetery under a weeping cherry tree. The headstone simply reads, America's Unknown Child. Also this past week, we marked the passing of two members of our CBS family. Grant Wall, one of the best known and respected soccer writers in America, collapsed suddenly Friday in the press box while covering the World Cup in Qatar. An analyst and contributor with CBS Sports, Wall began his career with Sports Illustrated where he worked for two decades before starting his own website and podcast. The exact cause of death is not yet known. Grant Wall was 48. And we at Sunday Morning lost a valued friend and colleague, lighting director and designer Leonard Mancini Jr., who quite literally turned the lights on here at Sunday Morning for decades, passed away on Friday. When he wasn't making us look our very best, Lenny was hard at work at 60 Minutes and the NFL Today at CBS Sports. He leaves behind his wife, Mindy, children John, Liz, Amanda, and Derek, and five grandchildren.

Lenny Mancini was just 64 years old. Every season, tis the season for many of us to order out for Chinese food. But what do we know about what goes into this popular cuisine?

NPR's Alison Aubrey wants to set a few things straight. Americans love Chinese food. At one point on election night in 2020, Google searches to find some outnumbered searches for who had won the presidency.

But you'll still see these signs around. In restaurant windows, menus, on food packages, have you ever wondered why? Back in 1968, the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter written by a doctor titled Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. The doctor described feeling sick after eating a meal at a Chinese restaurant.

The physician exhibited some unusual symptoms leaving that restaurant, the headache, palpitations, nervousness, dizziness. Tom Sherman is a biochemist and nutrition expert at Georgetown University. He says that letter sparked decades of research and confusion over MSG, even an entry in the dictionary.

But the upshot today? The evidence is complete. Data in multiple studies conducted multiple different ways with human subjects has never found any evidence for toxicity of MSG. And people get sucked into believing, you know, because I ate this and this happened, it was what I ate.

And that's frequently not the case. MSG is basically a concentrated form of glutamate. It has about one third of the sodium found in table salt. It occurs naturally in many foods, from cheese and tomatoes to corn. I mean, I don't want to pretend like it's good to eat MSG, but it certainly isn't bad. Researchers say some people may be sensitive to MSG, but health authorities from the FDA to the World Health Organization have deemed MSG safe in the amounts it's found in food. MSG is used all over the globe. Americans eat on average about a half gram of MSG per day. It's found in everything from fast foods to snacks to canned soups. But the term Chinese restaurant syndrome has marinated long enough in the U.S. that it's left a sour note to Chinese American chefs like Chris Chong.

He runs the East Wind Snack Shop chain in Brooklyn, New York. I openly admit that I use it in my food and I have no problems with it. Would you consider it an ingredient that adds flavor?

That's exactly what it is. It's no different than salt and pepper. And it just adds a depth of savoriness to food. Chung says the lingering stigma against MSG may have more to do with xenophobic views than with food science. I've worked in Japanese kitchens. I've worked in Thai kitchens, a lot of kitchens that weren't Chinese, and they all use MSG to some extent. But I've only heard in the Chinese environment the request for no MSG. They said, you know, don't put MSG in the food.

I know you guys use it in China, but you live in America now. There's not Italian restaurant syndrome or Mexican restaurant syndrome. That's Tia Raines, senior director of public relations for Aginomoto, one of the leading makers of MSG. First of all, MSG is delicious. The company led a successful campaign to have Merriam-Webster update the term Chinese restaurant syndrome as dated and offensive.

And another campaign took aim at the phrase, no MSG. For one thing, MSG was not discovered in Chinese restaurants. It was a Japanese chemist, Kikunai Ikeda, co-founder of Aginomoto, who first extracted MSG from seaweed over 100 years ago.

Today in the U.S., Aginomoto extracts glutamate from corn, and the flavoring is produced at this factory in Iowa. For Tia Raines, MSG's reputation can still be tough to swallow. We are trying to bring these facts forward at this time so that people aren't afraid when they see monosodium glutamate on a food label, or they're not afraid to have it in their kitchen and use it in their cooking. Here's your big finisher for the MSG. And let people taste for themselves is the takeaway for Chris Chung 2. That's it. One takeout at a time.

If you give it a try, it's not really going to have those effects that everybody says it will. It's lovely. Thank you. Yum.

You know, I'm just here to tell you, if you choose to believe me, what lies ahead of you is some really, really great meals. If anything has got a chance of solving the world's problems, it's science and technology. And every breakthrough was the result of somebody doing the breaking through. I'm David Pogue. This is Unsung Science, the untold creation stories behind the most mind-blowing advances in science and tech, presented by CBS News and Simon & Schuster.

You can listen to Unsung Science wherever you get your podcasts. Steve Hartman this morning has a story of remembrance and resilience. 64-year-old Betty Strang of Greenfield, Wisconsin, is getting ready for an anniversary. The anniversary of a terrible day she can neither forget nor remember. I don't remember anything from that day.

One year ago, a red SUV tore through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six and injuring more than 60 others, including Betty Strang, who suffered a traumatic brain injury. Betty was part of a dance team called the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, which lost three members that day, but gained something too. When I got home from the hospital, I know I emailed the grannies to say I was home. And they were so supportive, like, oh, thank you. We assembled a few of the dancers and found a bond. I knew they were all there for me. Almost like family. And that's what kept me sane. I don't think we could have done it without each other.

I really don't. By March, the grannies were already practicing again. Still recovering, but I'm so happy to be here. And this week, they returned to walk the same street in the same parade. For some members, like Betty, who at one point couldn't imagine leaving the house, this coming out was an absolute triumph. But for all members, the parade was also a chance to send a message, a message to anyone along the route who might be marching down a comeback trail of their own. Think about the grannies.

They came back, I can too. I've wanted to dance with the grannies forever. It's a group of feisty women here, so, yeah. Feisty role models of resilience, who turned out to be much tougher than their pom-poms would imply. It's Sunday morning on CBS, and here again is Jane Pauley. They were a wildly successful folk-singing comedy duo, until the war in Vietnam turned them into a political lightning rod. Lee Cowan catches up with the Smothers Brothers. This is take two with Smothers Brothers. Quiet on the set! God, I always wanted to say that. Tom and Dick Smothers never expected to be back on camera again at this point in their lives.

I have to get them really irritated to have them do a good interview. Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, production 120, take one. They especially didn't think they'd be appearing here on CBS. CBS presents this program in color. After all, ours is the network that famously canceled their top-rated show back in 1969. It's the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour turned primetime TV upside down. My old man's a sailor, what do you think about that? He wears a sailor's collar, he wears a sailor's hat. Tommy was on guitar.

Dick was the straight man on the bass. My old man's a cotton-picking, finger-licking, chicken plucker. What do you think about that?

I think you better not make a mistake. Looking back at it, we look so naive and so pure and so clean. Was a cotton-picking, finger-licking, chicken plucker's raincoat, or was a cotton-picking, finger-licking, chicken plucker's shoes?

What about socks? Did you think of yourselves as stand-up comedians early on? No, we thought of ourselves as folk singers.

But suddenly my word reads someone else's name. Stupid song, I'll sing it, I'll sing it anyway. What did you say? Stupid song, but I'll sing it.

I don't want you angry, I just want you to know that it's a stupid, dumb song. They were almost an instant hit. Just two weeks after the show premiered, the Smothers Brothers beat Bonanza in the ratings, which at that time was practically unthinkable.

It was just the biggest thrill, it was unbelievable. They were truly charming, especially their famous bouts of sibling rivalry. Just be quiet one minute. Mom liked you best!

You lower your voice. Mom liked you best. The truth was, though, they say their onstage arguments weren't really all that different than the ones they were having backstage. In fact, we were getting along so poorly, he set up a thing where we had couple counseling.

Because we're a couple. It was in this room. And it helped us so much. It made a big difference. It prolonged our career.

Their youth is what appealed to CBS, which was struggling to garner a younger audience. Everybody's probably surprised. Here we are, back for the fourth show in a row.

Surprise ourselves. When the Smothers Brothers comedy hour hit the air in February of 1967, Dick was only 29 and Tom was 30. And I know someone's got a fight over there, but why does it have to be me?

Which meant they were also young enough to get caught up in the political and social upheavals of the 1960s. Tommy, especially. Our government is asking us as citizens to refrain from traveling to foreign lands. Okay, all you guys in Vietnam, come on home. Who wrote the heavy satirical pieces?

Gonna get all the letters. Tommy didn't necessarily see himself as political, he says, but he was socially conscious. And along with the show's other writers, including Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, nothing was off limits. For the start of his term, we are going to give our President Nixon our full support and lay off the jokes entirely. That's right.

It's going to be in office for at least four years, and I'm sure we'll be able to get around to him a little bit. Even the show's musical guests were stars of the counterculture, performers like Pete Siegel. We were knee deep in the big muddy, the big fools had to push on. There was never premeditation or anything we ever did. We never did it to get attention. We just did it, and if it got attention, I said, I'll do it again.

Maybe we'll get some more attention. As their humor got sharper, the CBS censors started sharpening their scissors. The censors handbook right here will change my way, that's for sure. I just, I must finish reading it because they wrote it themselves. Well, why is it taking you so long to read such a skinny little book?

It was written in crayon. Cutting out controversial content, sometimes entire skits, putting Tommy on the defensive. I was offended.

What do you mean I can't say that? All of a sudden it became something more. So as they started sort of cutting more and more, it kind of poking the bear more and more though too, right? It became slowly, I was poking the bear.

The CBS would like to give us notice, and some of you don't like the things we say, but we're still here. How did you feel about it? Because you sort of had hoped that maybe Tommy could dial it down a little bit. Well, he said to me one time, he said, you sure you know what you're doing? I wasn't sure that was the right thing to do.

I said, well, let's pull back and just do what we were doing. And then maybe the show would have one more season. I didn't think they were going to fire us, but they did. CBS announced today that the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour will not return to the CBS television network next season. They sued CBS for breach of contract and they won, but it was of little comfort. The brothers had been banished. You never really blamed Tommy for the show ending, right? Crying out loud, no.

He created everything. I was confident in our talent and our show and what we did together. I was just pretty angry near the end where I wasn't funny, you know? If I was doing material, it was kind of mean comedy.

I needed to be fired. If we had gone another year, it would have been strident. They didn't give up performing. In fact, they did a few more TV and stage shows. CBS even invited them back for a time. But the magic of those early years was gone.

Just lean forward, nose over toes. Next month, the duo, both now in their mid-80s, are taking their show on the road again. Bless your heart.

Thank you all. Walking on stage, I feel that kind of love coming back, a lot of attention to us. It's kind of sweet. They've been working on honing their show for months.

Most recently, testing out material in Norfolk, Nebraska, Johnny Carson's hometown. There's a lot of mature people in the audience tonight. Gone are the musical instruments and the singing, but not their timing.

When I die, I want to die like my grandfather did in his sleep, not in stark terror like the rest of the people in the car he was driving. So this is kind of a victory lap or something, just to go by these people one more time and to take a look at these brothers that they liked a lot, to see how they, oh, they don't look that bad. They remain forever showmen. Their sense of stagecraft, after all, was refined from years of doing live television.

And while there's plenty of reminiscing in the stage production, the show's also full of new material. Being a comedy team is like a marriage. It's like a long 50-year marriage. It's like an old marriage, yeah. Like an old marriage. A lot of fighting and no sex.

That's not the point. Speaking of marriage, Dick just had his fifth this past September. Tommy was the flower boy. Being together, they say, is now more important than ever. Tommy lives on his vineyard here in Northern California. Dick is currently living in upstate New York. How often do you get together like this?

I think now it's three or four times a year. The Smothers brothers were always better together. My buddy, my brother. Their bond outlasted the critics and, in the end, paved the way for so much of what makes us smile today.

Once upon a time we were on TV, every Sunday night we knocked them dead. People laughing is holy. And if you can be part of that and control it and create it, it's the best thing ever. And when someone said, what's the happiest time in your life? What's the happiest time in your life is standing on that stage with my brother a few inches away on my right and having that feeling with that audience. That defines my whole life.

There's nothing better. In March 2020, a family on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, got shocking news about their loved one. Christy wouldn't die. My daughter came and notified me that Christy was run over. And I said, is she OK? And she's like, no, she died.

I was like, what? Missing Justice from CBS News takes you inside what really happened that night and the federal investigation that followed. Listen to Missing Justice from CBS News on Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts.

We usually turn to filmmaker Josh Seftel for thoughts from his mom. This morning, though, Josh has news about his new documentary in conjunction with The New Yorker called Stranger at the Gate about how love can conquer fear and hate. A few weeks ago, there was a wedding in Muncie, Indiana. This is Mac, and he's getting married to Stephanie.

And this is Bibi, who's offered to cook all the food while her husband, Sabir, officiates the wedding. What you never know about this picture is that 10 years ago, Mac had plans to murder Bibi and Sabir. Two decades ago, when Mac served in the military, he started having trouble coping with the death he saw around him. So he went to his superior to ask for help. He looked at me straight in the eye and says, Mac, you're on the range.

You're shooting at a paper target. As long as you can look at them as anything but human, you won't have any problems. I said, oh, OK, that makes sense. Yeah, yeah. And that's what I did. When Mac returned to the US, he no longer felt at home. I was being forced to see people that I considered an enemy every time I went out the door. Got to the point to where I just wanted to do harm to them. And that's when he hatched a plan. My plan was to detonate an IED right outside the Muncie Islamic Center.

And I was hoping for at least 200 or more dead, injured. But when Mac arrived at the mosque to scope things out, Bibi and Sabir met him with kindness. And he's like a guest, so I couldn't help it except to make him feel from my heart from my heart that that he is welcome. He hugged my leg. This guy doesn't know me. Hugged my leg. I invited him over for dinner.

That was pretty heavy. They don't even know the truth. Confronted with this kind of compassion, not only did Mac not end up bombing the mosque, he eventually joined the mosque. I could never, in a million years, repay this community what they've given me. I do see Rachel as my little brother.

He didn't know anything but her. You showed me the right way. You showed me what true humanity is about. After 9-11, when I saw my Muslim friends facing hate, it felt disturbingly familiar.

As a boy growing up in upstate New York, I faced anti-semitism, name calling, and even a rock thrown through our living room window. That's why I started making this series of short documentaries that stand up to the hate. The story of Mac, Bibi, and Sabir and their unlikely friendship is the latest film in this effort. If this story can have a happy ending, and these people can be friends... God bless you. God bless you. Congratulations and Mubarak. Thank you.

Maybe there's hope for the rest of us. He's a Grammy-award winning rapper and host of a talk show that often crosses the political divide. Our Robert Costa is in conversation with Killer Mike. This is Killer Mike, a rapper and member of Run the Jewels, an acclaimed group with intense music.

This is also Killer Mike. Did the rough times prepare you? And in that preparedness, why did you never give up? I felt that there was something better in me, something bigger. On Love and Respect, his emerging PBS talk show, he is turning down the volume and trying to build conversational bridges.

Your mother and father are someone I want to talk about. The program is a throwback, no frills, as he sits down with those who are left, center, and right. You were not pro-Trump in 16.

No, I was not pro-Hillary in 16. Look at this place. Yeah, man, it's where the magic happens, Love and Respect. Despite his name, his show is civil and candid. You have tough questions on this show. Yeah, yeah, you don't agree with everyone.

You and everyone are not always in sync, but what you can do is have a loving and respectful conversation and exchange. Right here. What do you think about when you pull up here? Oh, man, how I wish my grandparents were still here to greet us.

Born Michael Render, he forged his love of words here. This is where I grew up. This is the porch I grew up on, and this is where my grandparents would sit and talk. Historically black Collier Heights is near where the 47-year-old still lives in Atlanta. My sixth grade teacher lived probably only 20 houses down. It's a neighborhood of all black people that chose to live amongst black people.

So when I grow up in this world where everybody looks like me. Growing up, public TV was always on. Its characters, his friends. Fred Rogers, Bob Ross, the cast of The Electric Company and Sesame Street.

PBS was a diplomat of sorts introducing me to a world outside of me. But years before he appeared on PBS, a DJ wowed by Render's rap skills crowned him with his stage name. This kid's a killer. This kid's a killer. And people start calling me killer. Killer Mike. Success and a Grammy came fast.

He later formed Run the Jewels with rapper and producer LP. And I'm scared that I talk too much about what I think's going on. So is your bus your home when you're on tour? Yeah, this is the house. This is the apartment.

We met up on tour. The shows sold out. Their message, razor sharp. Nobody speak.

Nobody get choked. These days, Render's life is a busy balancing act, music, TV and politics. I'm a freedom fighter on records.

I'm a Superman like figure. But yesterday at a city council meeting in Atlanta, I was just a small business owner out of the entertainment community, very much Clark Kenton, just making sure that I raged on the behalf of the people. So you're on tour right now? Yeah.

And you're flying home to go to a city meeting? Yeah. That activism has come with a cost. Critics. Some say he's too right due to his support of gun rights and his sit downs with Trump allies.

Others say he's too left since he supports Senator Bernie Sanders. Render shrugs them and party labels off. You're just choosing a team, just like the Cowboys or the Vikings or the Falcons or Green Bay.

You're just choosing a team. I'm not saying that team doesn't have some thoughts and ideals that you agree with, but anything that becomes mob mentality is not an individual thought or mentality. When you start to hear the same words come out of 20 people's mouths within two or three weeks, then you know they've been programmed.

Render's rise fueled by anti-establishment lyrics has caught the establishment's attention. All of us serve the same masters. All of us nothing but slaves. Never forgetting the story of Jesus, the hero was killed by the state. Two years ago, when Atlanta erupted after the murder of George Floyd, the mayor called on him. I didn't want to come, and I don't want to be here.

Why were you reluctant? Because people had a right to be mad. People had a right to be angry as shit, and you get tired of it. So I'm duty-bound to be here to simply say that it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. And don't burn it down, you said. I don't burn it down because if you burn it down, what do we have left to pivot to? Where's the economic strength going to come from? Where's the political will and know-how going to come from?

That news conference was a crossroads, pushing him toward more, beyond music, and he's still grappling with violence and race in America. You don't have a choice to say the system has let me down again. I can't. You have to do it. You have to. You have children depending on you. Those that are yours and not, I have to. Because even if you hate me, even if you begrate me, your child is still black. There is no excuse for expecting the same things out of this Republic that everyone else deserves and has. You deserve the same. So when you get up and you're looking at me every morning, and sometimes, boy, you just want to shed tears as a man.

I'm sorry, I get emotional about it because I haven't thought about a lot of these things. No one's coming to save us, black people. So what needs to be done? First and foremost, we have to value ourselves and the ability to learn that we can be confident and competent to do for ourselves. Render is a big believer in black-owned businesses and owns his own chain of barber shops. He calls them swag shops. You come here to get shaved, washed, and groomed.

You walk out that door and you're exercising your swagger. The cuts cost money, but the talk is free. What's the conversation like between the barber and the person getting the cut?

It depends on the relationship. It could be an old client or a new client, but it can be about anything pretty much. As for Killer Mike, he wants to keep the conversation, wherever it is, going, for as long as he can. My goal is to be like the Rolling Stones in ACDC. Give me my depends and my genes and let me get up here and kill it.

With that said, I'd also like to be able to sit down and still converse with people I may or may not agree with. So I believe in being able to do it all, so I'm going to keep it going. I believe in being able to do it all, so I'm going to keep trying to. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Hey, it's Roy Wood Jr., host of The Daily Show podcast Beyond the Scenes, and we are back for season two. Beyond the Scenes is the podcast where we take the topics and segments that were on The Daily Show and give them a little more love. This season, we're bringing back more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents, more experts, giving us some extra knowledge you can't get anywhere else. Don't miss it. Listen to Beyond the Scenes wherever you get your podcast. No matter where you get it, just find us. Here's something about having a number one hit.

Can't wait for the next one. Streaming now, a new Showtime original series, George and Tammy, starring Academy Award winner Jessica Jastain. You live in a fast world. And Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon.

Fast is the only speed I know. It's the incredible true story of country music's king and queen. You're gonna take it from us. Take what? Our fire. George and Tammy, now streaming on Showtime.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-11 16:08:01 / 2022-12-11 16:28:18 / 20

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