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Owen Wilson, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Covid Effect on Education

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
March 26, 2023 3:00 pm

Owen Wilson, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Covid Effect on Education

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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March 26, 2023 3:00 pm

Guest host: Lee Cowan. In our cover story, Seth Doane looks at efforts to repatriate stolen art and antiquities. Also: Mo Rocca marks the 50th anniversary of "The Young and the Restless"; Martha Teichner profiles Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; Tracy Smith looks at how the pandemic has affected students' school performance; John Blackstone checks out a new album of rarities from the Everly Brothers; Ben Mankiewicz sits down with actor Owen Wilson, star of the comedy "Paint"; and Rita Braver looks at one of the fastest-growing school sports: girls wrestling.

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You can also listen ad-free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. Good morning. Jane Pauley is off this weekend.

I'm Lee Cowan and this is Sunday Morning. Fine art is coveted by many but owned by only a few. And many priceless pieces have ended up in museums or private collections in all the wrong ways. Even today, looters, some using the cover of War, are selling relics through a sophisticated underground market. But in recent years, there's been a movement to return some of these treasures to their home countries. Seth Doan this morning examines the diplomacy and detective work behind returning precious antiquities. This international quest involves not just agents and art historians, subpoenas and search warrants.

You get some tips from some pretty unusual places. Kim Kardashian photographed at Met Gala. Yes, yes. It does gall me a little bit. People sent me this article that said something like Kim Kardashian cracks, you know, antiquities case. Okay, fine, whatever. It's actually partially true.

An assistant district attorney who's helped return enough artifacts to fill a museum coming up this Sunday morning. Owen Wilson is a well known actor, but also an Oscar nominated screenwriter who, despite all his accolades, tells our Ben Mankiewicz he still can't believe his good fortune. So much, but I kind of like a winter landscape.

Oh, in LA, man, it rains. It's exciting. Oh, I love it. Another day at the museum with Owen Wilson. Well, this reminds me of that app where it matches you to an old classic. Like, really?

That's the lightness for me? It isn't, but it does look like his character in his new film, the latest for an actor who still can't quite believe he's a movie star. Awesome.

I definitely consider myself lucky, you know, making a living doing something creative. Owen Wilson, later on Sunday morning. For 50 years, our afternoons have been filled with those who are young and restless. Mo Rocca celebrates the long running CVS soap in a way that only he can. After 50 years of marriages, melees and melodrama, The Young and the Restless stands a grande dame of television drama. Aren't most of the shows that we're streaming soaps? Isn't Yellowstone a soap?

I understand that they're not the soaps where at the end of the scene, we're like doing that dramatic look into the camera. Not so young, but every bit as restless, ahead on Sunday morning. That's where we begin this morning. Then John Blackstone is talking with the children of those rock and roll legends, the Everly Brothers. Tracy Smith looks into the ongoing crisis and education sparked by the COVID pandemic. Plus, Martha Teichner with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Rita Braver on the growing popularity of girls wrestling. Along with commentary from author David Sedaris and more. On this first Sunday morning of spring, March 26th, 2023. We'll be back in a moment. Maybe more importantly on your life. I'm going to be your financial coach, someone who brings common sense and an insider's perspective on how to manage your money and your emotions. And I promise we are going to have a little bit of fun along the way.

Have a question from retirement to career changes to college funding? Just send us an email at Ask Jill at Follow Money Watch wherever you get your podcasts.

You can listen ad free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. By some estimates, up to 70 percent of the artifacts that we clamor to see in museums all around the world are actually stolen. The underside of a global market that's worth billions. Seth Doan looks at the growing effort to return some of these looted treasures to their rightful owners.

Here's a dirty little secret. Up until 10 years ago, it was considered oh so gauche to ask inconvenient questions of provenance. Colonel, don't you understand?

It just wasn't done. He's an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, homicide prosecutor and retired Marine colonel with a master's degree in the classics. It makes him a powerful foe against those trafficking, trading or buying stolen antiquities. The world of cocktail parties and bespoke suits and limousines pulling up to the curb. How could I ask someone of that stature, do you have the invoice or do you have any proof that it was legally removed from the country of origin? And so that was then. I got it. This is now. Amid seized antiquities, we heard how Matthew Bogdanus has been employing his detective skills, prosecutorial powers and yes, a bit of bravado to target the illicit art world.

He founded the DA's antiquities trafficking unit in 2010 with one employee. Now we have 18 people. But it is relatively young unit.

Was the sense that this was not important? Bear in mind that we live in a world of infinite problems and finite resources. I'm primarily a homicide prosecutor, even now that's half my job. Much like homicide, when a loved one is taken from you, it's forever.

When an antiquity is pillaged, it's gone forever. Your jurisdiction is New York. It's an important big city, but it is just New York.

Yeah. The words just in New York should actually never be in the same sentence. Sure, it's just New York.

We do have the best galleries in the world, some of the finest museums in the world. More importantly, if it passes through New York, we have jurisdiction no matter where it is now. If the wire transfer was made in New York, we have jurisdiction no matter where it is now. If it was offered for sale, if it was shown at an auction, so sure, my jurisdiction is limited to New York City.

But to update a phrase, all roads lead to New York. When deployed to Iraq in 2003, Bogdanus engaged his troops in tracking down objects looted from Baghdad's Iraq Museum. Today, his team of civilians, detectives, agents and historians has recovered more than 4,500 antiquities in the U.S., valued around $300 million.

It is an honor to be here today. Just last Tuesday, a more than 2,000-year-old bronze bowl or crater stolen from a tomb in Macedonia was handed to Greece's culture minister. It was sitting in a burial tomb.

Ahead of that repatriation ceremony, Bogdanus let us get a closer look. This was recovered from an Upper East Side apartment here in New York. This is sitting in someone's home.

Sitting in someone's home. This is Sardinian Idol here. They've recovered objects from 28 countries, repatriating more to Italy than anywhere else.

What do you have inside here? Italy's paramilitary police force, the Carbenieri, granted us access to their vault in Rome. It's packed with stolen and fraudulent art they've seized. Major Paolo Salvatore is commander of the art police's archaeology section. These objects were illegally excavated, he told us. By Italian law, they belong to the state. Countries have their own cultural heritage laws, which govern the protection of antiquities. In enforcing Italy, Salvatore often turns to a familiar ally.

Matthew Bogdanus. Bogdanus's team has helped repatriate more than 500 pieces to Italy. And last summer, Italy opened a museum of rescued art in Rome. Every single item in that museum was recovered and returned by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

The centrepiece was obviously the orfeus and sirens from the Getty that Italy had been trying to recover for 30 years. We asked the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles about those pieces found to be stolen or illegally excavated. They declined our request for an on-camera interview, but told us thanks to information provided by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, we determined that these objects should be returned. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, however, did welcome us in. How many objects are in the Met's collection?

We generally use the number 1.5 million, although it's a rough number. Andrea Bayer, the deputy director for collections, took us to see an object on loan from Italy. The Euphronius crater went back to Italy and they have been sending us object by object.

The Met appeared eager to highlight constructive cooperation with museums, after having made headlines for showcasing objects that should not have been there, including this gold coffin which Kim Kardashian posed next to during the 2018 Met Gala. It had been illegally smuggled out of Egypt. We were the victims of an international fraud.

So we learned it was an uncomfortable lesson for us. That picture of Kardashian went viral. One of the people who saw that photograph was one of the people who looted that coffin out of Egypt. One of his co-conspirators happened to be one of my informants.

Sure coincidence. Bogdanos reviewed the paperwork provided to the Met. The permit was issued in May of 1971 and the permit stamp said AR Egypt, Arab Republic of Egypt. Well here's the problem, smugglers. In May of 1971, the Arab Republic of Egypt did not exist. It was the United Arab Republic. And so we confronted the Met with that and the coffin is now in Cairo where it belongs. In recent decades we've become much more conscientious and conscious of this history of the objects and more careful.

By 1970, the UNESCO guidelines came out saying, you must know where works of art were excavated or where they were sold from. This is a sort of dividing line date for us. And once the world community began to look at things in that way, we've been out in front ever since. You say you try to be out in front of this, but subpoenas have been issued, search warrants have been carried out. How embarrassing is that for an institution? So Mr. Bogdanos is actually our ally in this.

We don't see this as a confrontational thing with him. If his office is in possession of information that we do not have, it's our responsibility, our duty and the thing we want to do to make sure that it is returned to the proper owner. This is a fantastic object. Andrea Bayer wanted us to see a newer addition to their collection. One of the few great antiquities that we've been able to buy in recent years. The Met purchased this wellhead in 2019 and Bayer says they can trace its history since it was excavated. And there are no scary gaps in that provenance. Which must be a relief for someone like you.

Which is a tremendous relief to me and to all of my colleagues. That ancient crater is already on its way to a museum in Greece. Matthew Bogdanos wants repatriated pieces overseas put on display and museums and collectors in the U.S. put on notice. We have informants in many museums around the country. You have undercover agents in museums. I wouldn't call them undercover agents.

I would call them academics and archaeologists and art historians who care. And will call you if they see something. Yes.

You must have a very busy phone. Three years ago this month, with pandemic fears at their peak, nearly all public schools in the United States were closed. But Tracy Smith finds that even as COVID receives, our children are still paying the price. It sure looks like the pandemic is over.

Stadiums are open again. Crowds are everywhere and hardly a mask in sight. But COVID hurt a lot of things you can't easily see, especially in schools. I feel like I just need to stand on a mountaintop and just yell to folks, take this seriously. Everything is at stake right now.

Jeffrey Canada knows he's the founder of the Harlem Children's Zone in Manhattan. We all knew that the pandemic was going to affect education, but how bad is it? We've got the data now and things are bad.

They're actually worse than most of us thought. In fact, I would tell you that we have an education crisis right now. The actual numbers vary by community. But according to a nationwide test given to fourth and eighth graders, reading skills dropped to the lowest point in 30 years. And in math, nearly 40% of eighth graders couldn't understand basic concepts, the worst performance since testing began back in 69. This is not just poor kids who are living in the urban centers.

It's all over America. There's been a dramatic reduction in ELA and in math scores. This goes along with the loss of students in school, with the increased violence that's happening and the behavioral problems that kids are facing. In my career of more than 45 years, I've never seen anything close to this.

And it's not hard to see how it happened. Experts say remote teaching and a lack of computers at home are to blame. Add to that the fear of watching your family members die, no wonder millions of young people had trouble learning or even making it through the day. We have seen an increase of 50% in the number of children presenting to our emergency department from the beginning of the pandemic to last fiscal year. 50%? 50%. Kids who are in some sort of mental health crisis. Yes. So what did this place look like during the spike?

Oh, man. Heather Houston, chief of psychology at Southern California's Children's Health Orange County, says even she couldn't believe how many kids needed help. What we're saying, those of us in children's mental health, is it was burning embers even before the pandemic, and the pandemic came and just threw gasoline on that fire. We're seeing more and more kids come in who are having suicidal thoughts. We're seeing more and more kids come in who are like, my grades have dropped, I can't function anymore, and if we don't help kids sort of manage some of these mental health concerns, they can't learn effectively. These kids are struggling.

And here's something else that might take your breath away. A University of California study found that during the pandemic, kids spent an average of 17 minutes a day less on physical activity. Now, those 17 minutes might not seem like a lot, but over time, those small losses can really add up. During the pandemic, some kids didn't go out at all, much less do any kind of exercise. Racers, are you ready?

Yeah! So now gym teachers, like Dan DeJager at Meraki High School near Sacramento, are playing catch-up. Instead of highly regimented sports and PE classes, DeJager runs a program designed to ease kids back into physical activity by having them do anything that'll get them moving again, like relay races, normal, or frisbees, or whatever this is. Stop, left. At this point in these kids' lives, these are the habits they're developing for the rest of their life.

It's like wet cement. We only have so much time to make a positive impression on our students. And so we want to use that time as wisely as we can and the best we can, and we've lost a little bit of that time.

Now that we're back in person, we're trying to get there again. Of course, keeping kids active can do as much for their minds as their motor skills. Good fall through, Vex. The use of activity for mild to moderate depression can be as effective as medication. So if we're active, if we're doing well at school, that can affect your mental health, and your mental health can affect those things as well. So you get that vicious cycle going, right? There's a linkage there. It's all connected.

It's all connected. But the bigger picture here, according to educators like Jeffrey Canada, is that this could be a kind of lost generation, undereducated to the point where it drags down their future and ours. I read one study that these kids' earnings, their lifetime earnings, will be affected in the tens of thousands of dollars. There's a whole cohort of young people who are not going to get the kind of education that's going to allow them to get the best jobs. It's going to cost lots of kids tens of thousands of dollars over their earnings, some hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We keep forgetting that this is about America. That eight-year-old is going to be 20 when you blink your eye and 25 in a short period of time. She needs to be an engineer.

He needs to be a medical doctor. We need to start thinking about these kids as the resources for this country. Canada says there are ways to fix this, like intensive tutoring throughout the week, extending the school day, and keeping classrooms open in the summer.

Seems he knows what he's talking about. The Harlem Children's Zone, which takes kids, as they say, from cradle to college, has become a model for success, drawing attention from presidents and kings. So how'd the pandemic hit them? They say math scores dipped a bit, but English stayed about the same. And in 2021 and 2022, 100% of the school's graduating seniors were accepted to college. Harlem Children's Zone CEO Kwame Owusakese says those numbers are proof that things like intensive tutoring work. So you're paying your teachers extra to stay after school using tutors.

Absolutely. There's no replacing the work that needs to be done by shortchanging the investment in time, extra time, for our young people in the classroom with the educators. And there may be a silver lining for the rest of the country.

Psychologist Heather Heuste. What do you think things are going to look like 10 years from now? I feel like we could be raising a generation that's going to be a lot more attuned to people's pain, that's going to be a lot more attuned to helping each other, understanding the importance of connection. And that may actually lead us into a better place. So I remain an optimist even as we've gone through a very hard time. I don't think we're through it yet.

But I do think we can come through and be better. That was a huge hit back in 1957. And believe it or not, its lyrics, considered way too suggestive in those days, got it banned in Boston. It was the very first success for what would become one of the biggest acts in music. Rock and roll pioneers, the Everly Brothers.

With John Blackstone, we take note. In 1957, they were two kids from Tennessee. What is your name? Don Everly, age 20. Unaccustomed to being on television.

How about you, what's your name? Phil Everly and I'm 18 years old. But they had a hit. The Everly Brothers were young, and so was rock and roll. Rock and roll had a place where it started. That's a different conversation for a lot of people.

What do you mean? I mean, it didn't exist. There was no rock and roll, and then there was rock and roll. We discover so much stuff about our parents. For Jason Everly, Phil's son, and his cousin Stacey Everly, Don's daughter, the history of rock and roll is family history.

Phil died in 2014 and Don in 2021. Now, the next generation has assembled a new album of remastered tracks. It's not a greatest hits album. I mean, we just found record after record after record, and different these little, you hadn't heard these songs before, so it was just, it was fascinating. I've been made blue Because, you know, we, the usual suspects, we always have, you know? And everybody else. Yeah, like everybody else, right? And then, you know, we see, oh wow, they recorded that?

How interesting. Are there particular ones that stand out to you? I think my favourite is Gone, Gone, Gone. Gone, gone, gone Ready, gone Gone, gone, gone The album was produced by someone who also knows what it's like to be the child of a rock star.

I'm so honoured to see you holding it. Adria Petty, daughter of Tom Petty. I'm a rabid Everly Brothers fan, and I even named my daughter Everly with my dad's urging.

I am one of those people. Tom Petty died in 2017, but he passed on to Adria his respect for the Everly Brothers. I mean, there would be no Crosby, Stills and Nash, there would be no Beatles. John and Paul used to play Don and Phil when they tried to figure out their arrangements.

I mean, when someone asked me why I was doing this, I was like, because Dad wouldn't have existed without them. In 1986, when the brothers got their star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, Tom Petty was there. So many people are credited with influencing the rock era, but these guys really did, more so than anyone I can think of just about. When they went into the studio to record, say, Bye Bye Love, it started out country, and it came out a rock and roll classic, and it blew everybody's mind. Here's the microphone right up here.

Good. Don and Phil grew up performing on country radio with their parents, Ike and Margaret. We've been sweethearts for so long Don is just 13, singing on this rare 1950 recording from an Iowa station. Now a memory Just a few years later, the brothers headed to Nashville. Straight from Nashville, Tennessee, the Everly Brothers.

Come on! Wake up, listen to me, wake up Home movies the family recently discovered have never before been seen in public. They show Phil and Don enjoying the fruit of their early success. The Everly songs of teenage love and teenage angst somehow became more poignant with their brotherly harmony. Dream, dream, dream when I want you In my arms when I want you By 1960, they were so popular that Warner Brothers signed them to a record-breaking contract. The biggest recording contract in music history at the time, a million dollars, that was crazy talk. We would like to do a more recent record.

We hope you enjoy one called Kathy's Clown. Kathy's Clown became the Everly's biggest selling record ever. Don't want your love anymore Don't want your kiss But by 1964, their sales were dwindling. And things changed, you know, the Beatles came along and music evolved and exploded again in a whole new way. The Everly Brothers continued to tour until 1973 when it all ended suddenly, right in the middle of a show. Your father throws down the guitar? He does, yeah, that was, yeah, he was... Had enough.

Yeah, had enough that day. I mean, in reality, they're real brothers. They reunited ten years later, and as Phil Everly put it, their bond remained. Don't take this heaven from one Because you're brothers, you sing a certain way together and you have a certain background that works and meshes together. But it's because we're brothers that we're back together.

Not because we make music, but because we're brothers. Don and Phil. As something of a coda to their career, in 2003, they performed with another reunited duo, Simon and Garfunkel.

Bye-bye love Bye-bye sweetie rest I think it was two people who could actually understand what they had been through, too, because there's two guys that sang so closely together as well, like brothers, and had their ups and downs as well, you know, through the years. In their early years, as Don Everly once noted, rock music was considered a passing fad. Pop music is a fickle mistress, and tastes change, they come and go, but tell you what, rock and roll lasted, and that was the thing they were telling us all along, it's never going to last, it's never going to last. But it's still here. And the music of the Everly brothers still rocks.

Nearly seven decades later. Women's wrestling has been an Olympic sport for nearly 20 years. Our Rita Braver takes us to meet some young women who know all the right moves. It's one of the fastest growing high school sports in the country, girls wrestling. Here in Minnesota, it wasn't even an official sport until the last school year. Now the number of girls here has more than doubled from 250 to 541. Little Soldier State Champion last year.

Led by champions like Skyler Little Soldier of Hastings. And there's the pin, 25 seconds. Now a 16-year-old junior wrestling at 145 pounds, she's ranked as one of the top 10 girls high school wrestlers in the country following a grueling training regime. At 5 a.m. I wake up and I do 500 push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and dips.

500 each? Yeah. What got you interested in it? My little brother, actually. They took me with to his wrestling practice and I just wanted to start right then and there. And Skyler Little Soldier, a proud descendant of Native Americans, now has a slew of honors. Where's your state champion medal from?

This one. This is from last year. When Skyler started wrestling at age five, the only opponents around were boys. Did they say, ah, she's a girl, I'm going to be her easily, and were they surprised? People said that for a long time, but what happened?

I just kept proving them wrong. She's someone that has broken the glass ceilings and opened the doors for those other girls. Skyler's head coach, Tim Hannaberg, says that last season, the first time Hastings High School fielded the girls' wrestling team, it was just Skyler and five other girls. This year we had 18 girls in our program, tripled in size since last year. I already have girls begging and pleading and wanting to join the sport for next year because of the girls I have in it right now. And just try and go down and grab the back of her heel like that. Wrestling is a powerful sport for girls because it teaches them how to own their space, their voice, and their body.

Every time you get knocked down, you have to get back up. Sally Roberts is a major reason that girls' wrestling has taken off. She's founder of the advocacy organization Wrestle Like a Girl.

What does that mean to you? I was at a wrestling tournament and this little girl came up to me and she was so upset and I said, what's going on? She said, I just beat this kid wrestling and he said it doesn't matter because I wrestled like a girl. I said, wait a minute, I'm a two-time world bronze medalist and if he wanted to win, maybe he could wrestle like a girl too. Like, there's no shame in that.

So we took that name and we honored it and we owned it. Roberts says she grew up in a stress-filled home and was constantly in trouble. I ended up getting arrested so many times I got put in front of a juvenile detention officer who said, hey, if you don't find an after-school activity, you're going to face going to juvenile detention. She says wrestling turned her life around. After winning many titles and a stint in Army Special Forces, she started Wrestle Like a Girl in 2016.

Back then... There was six states in the union that recognized girls' high school wrestling as an official sport. That's all? Yes.

Today there are 38 with more on the way. American women have won gold medals in wrestling at the last two Olympics, but they have not received as much attention as other champions. Fast feet, fast feet, fast feet! In part, Sally Roberts says, because of the false perception that the sport is not feminine. Yeah, forward, forward, forward, forward.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't tell that to the girls who attended this workshop at American University in D.C. The media has always portrayed, like, contact sports as so masculine and something girls couldn't touch because we're fragile and, you know. So I was just like, why not break that stereotype? And I was like, no, it's for guys.

I don't want to do that. I want to be a cheerleader. And then I realized, I was like, hey, this is kind of fun. What do you think about wrestling?

It's fun and aggressive. And at the Minnesota State Championships, where ninth grader Lauren Elsmore of Pine Island was a contestant, her dad, who coaches boys' wrestling, acknowledged that he'd made a mistake in trying to keep his then eight-year-old daughter from joining. I'm like, Dad, please let me wrestle.

And he's like, no, no. My initial response was, no, girls didn't wrestle. He relented, and before long, Lauren found a girls' program. I got to actually practice, experience other girls on the mat. You still would wrestle boys from time to time, and how did they react when you beat them? Some of them would, like, cry and throw their headgear.

But now that there's, like, girls' wrestling starting up, they're starting to, like, what's a good vote for that? Respect. Respect.

And they're not getting so upset. And as for respect, Skylar Little Soldier just took her second state title. What's ahead? I have the same dream that I'm working towards every day. What is your dream? Olympic gold medalist. You know, that's a pretty good dream.

Yeah. The Young and the Restless. It's marking a milestone, 50 years in the soap opera world, and our Mo Rocca joined the party and the cast. Thank you for not messing with the theme music.

You're welcome. Who would want to mess with that? And if you did tweak it at all, what would happen? There would be an outrage.

Planes would fly over CBS. This is page 13. Michael starts at the counter.

Executive producer Josh Griffith was just 14. Take one. Kind of a drag, isn't it? Stuck in a place like Genoa City. When The Young and the Restless debuted 50 years ago today.

I feel so restless. There are certain things that you leave alone. That's what keeps the connection to the history and the past with the fans. I've been watching this show since I was 15 years old. My dad is 88 and he still watches to this day.

And it's the fans. We love it. The show is great. Like the ones we met at CBS Studios. I was in high school and I used to run home for half an hour, no VCRs, watch the show and run back to high school. That have made The Young and the Restless the most watched soap since 1989. About 3.7 million viewers tune in each weekday to gawk at. Get your skinny butt out of bed because we have some things to settle.

And gush over. The goings on in Genoa City, Wisconsin. He used you like a common whore.

You are pathetic. I'm still here to this day. We started watching because of our grandmother.

So it's that comfort feeling. Maybe your grandmother is not here, but what you did with her is still here. For actress Laura Lee Bell.

Yeah, but there was never any actual proof of that. Y&R, as the fans call it, is a family business. You sort of grew up on this set. I did. Hi, honey. Good to see you. Her parents, William and Lee Bell, co-created the show. He would let his office door always be open. But we might be watching him do something like this. That's you with your head on the table there.

That is me, yep. How big a hit did Y&R become? The Bells ended up living in a Beverly Hills mansion with a retractable roof.

You push a button and you got fresh air. After a half century and more than 12,000 episodes, there's a lot of fictional family drama to keep track of. Danny, I don't want to have this baby. So we asked producer Elizabeth LeBrun for a crash course on who's who, who's with whom, and who's been with whom. Victor Newman, Nicky Newman. They've been married in the course of the show, I believe, four times.

Nicholas Newman. He was married for a long time to Sharon. To Sharon. They are currently divorced. Adam has been married to Sharon. Oh, Sharon married both brothers.

Yes. Sharon, at one point, was married to Jack Abbott. Victoria has been married to Billy Abbott. John Abbott is not the biological father of Ashley Abbott, although he never knew that he wasn't. Am I correct that Adam is having a child with Sally?

That's correct. But Sally is dating brother Nick. Life in Genoa City is complicated, isn't it?

It certainly is. And life for all soaps got complicated around 1995. Back then, there were 10 on the air.

But that same year... If it doesn't fit, you must acquit. The whole O.J. trial, that ultimately took our Nielsen numbers so low and never to be revived at that level because we didn't know we were watching the first reality show with O.J. Melody Thomas Scott has played stripper turned corporate executive Nicky Newman...

I would advise that you keep your guard up and your eyes open. ...for 44 seasons. I'm a dinosaur, but I love it still. I have so much fun here. We shoot many more pages a day than a film or a nighttime show, but only certain people can do it.

I can attest, it's not easy. Captivating. Simply captivating. Hello, Milton.

To prepare for my own scene, yes, they gave me a guest role, I rehearsed with my sound man slash scene partner, Carlos Asencio. And how's your wife? Sarah, is it?

Excellent memory. We're divorced. I'm sorry to hear that. I played Genoa City accountant and HR nightmare, Milton. If there was ever a chance for us, Nicky, this is it. Now, Milton, as I have told you before, it's just not going to happen. Alas, there is no future for Milton and Nicky because Victor would squash me like a bug.

As for the future of the young and the restless, it's a survivor, one of only four remaining soaps. Are you surprised that you're here right now? Deeply grateful. I would be lying to you if I told you that I'm not surprised.

Eric Braden plays Genoa City's take-no-prisoners tycoon, Victor Newman. I'm going to sit in the chair that you're sitting in right now. I like it.

I want you out of it and I want me in it. It's a medium that is obviously loved by millions of people all over the world and yet not respected appropriately. You don't think it gets the respect it deserves? I mean, I don't give a damn, you know, whether I do or not. I really couldn't care less. But I know that, generally speaking, yes, it's sort of slightly looked down on.

You want this chair? Sure, it's easy to mock the mayhem and the belladrama. Neither of us expected this.

But that doesn't mean that I walk out on you. I love you. But millions remain mesmerized. The stare, the end of scene stare, what is that about? I would miss it if it weren't there. Yeah, we've sort of moved with the times and I think you won't see as many of those.

But the reality is we have to end the scene, so it has to be on a stare. Nicky Newman, you are a golden goddess. We turn now to some food for thought from author David Sedaris.

I was in the breakfast room of a nice hotel in San Francisco. And as a maitre d showed me to my table, I told him that I followed a strict Hegan diet. Vegan, he asked?

No, I said Hegan. I only eat things that were male. I'm hoping that's all clearly marked on your menu.

His face fell. I'll need to know what sex my eggs are, for instance, if I decide to get eggs, I said. Sausage being such a hodgepodge is impossible for me, but I do enjoy bacon from time to time. It just has to come from a boar rather than a sow.

I'm hoping you can verify that for me? In a diner, you'd be laughed out of the room, and for good reason. But in a fancy restaurant, it's let me, uh, talk to the chef. I tried the same line at dinner that night, and again, I let it sit for a moment before admitting that it was a joke, something I just made up. Well, thank goodness, my waiter said. I mean, this is California. We get it all here.

So I naturally assumed this was a new thing. What, I wonder, would be the point of heganism, other than making yourself seem unique or righteous in some way, though that often seems reason enough? There are hardcore fruitarians who only eat things that fell to the ground naturally, thus sparing the apple or orange or fig tree any unnecessary trauma. Then there are freegums who don't believe in waste and only eat food that they find and don't have to pay for, including roadkill. I met a guy in a plane once whose daughter had just gotten sick from eating an overripe raccoon carcass. In the movie Transamerica, one of the characters identified as a level four vegan, explaining that he only ate things that didn't cast a shadow. Is that real, I wondered? It wasn't. But I was fooled until I looked it up. When it comes to food, or face it, food in wealthy, industrialized countries, nothing's too crazy now. That's why when I saw the words, eat the rich, spray-painted on a building not far from my hotel in San Francisco, I thought, as had my waiter at dinner the previous evening, really, is that a thing now?

Every forest needs a tallest tree, and I think we found ours with probably the most impressive shaft of lumber that Mount Mansfield has ever seen. That's Owen Wilson, channeling a familiar big-haired TV painter in his new film, Paint. Wilson talks with Ben Mankiewicz about a career he says he never could have put on canvas. Rembrandt would be, he could be like Sinatra. While the Hamburg Museum in Los Angeles is an unlikely haunt for a Hollywood star, A Van Gogh.

Owen Wilson is not your average A-lister. Now look at this color here. Yeah, there's something that inhibits me from talking about a painting on camera. Because I just, I can't get over that.

In person or on screen. You'll show my novel to Gertrude Stein. That self-effacing charm is undeniable.

I even started to say brush strokes, and I was like, don't say brush strokes. At 54, Wilson continues to carve out a varied movie career. Do you, some guy, take Kat to be a lawfully wedded wife?

Okay. As a romantic lead. In action movies.

And his signature, comedies. Have you even shot one of these things before? The whole 17 years we've known each other, I've been sneaking off to go on little hunting trips around the world. No, I don't even know what the quail is. Whether as an uninvited guest with Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers.

Or engaging in a dance-off with Ben Stiller in Zooland. Just splash it onto there. Don't worry, it's not rocket science. His latest is Paint.

It's harder. PBS Burlington. An off-beat comedy where Wilson plays a painter hosting a TV show at a PBS station in Vermont. Carl is one-dimensional and very sexist.

You know I don't care what people say about me. The work and the success remain a bit of a surprise to him. I definitely consider myself lucky. Making a living doing something creative, that seems incredible. Incredible, but not improbable for a kid raised around the arts in Dallas. His mother is a photographer. His father, like Wilson's latest character, has a PBS connection.

We have to move right into our programming, which is after all, all that really counts. Running the first PBS station in the States to air a show featuring a certain British comedy troupe. He puts on women's clothing and hangs around it in bars.

He's a detective, he's okay. They were the first station to carry Monty Python. Years later, I met Terry Gilliam and he said, you know, we're incredibly grateful your dad gave us a big break. Wilson never thought about acting in school. School, in fact, was a bit of a challenge. His high school expelled him. I got kicked out for cheating in geometry. I was the only kid that was caught, that was kind of called in. Wilson could have saved himself if he'd been willing to identify the other kids involved. You wouldn't name names.

I didn't name names. So off he went at 16 to the New Mexico Military Institute. I did pretty well.

I got good grades and like all these things, it ends up being a better story. He ended up in college at the University of Texas where a friend from military school introduced him to another student. Without that thing happening, then Wes and I probably don't become friends. Wes is writer-director Wes Anderson, who became Wilson's roommate at Texas and his lifelong friend. They've made eight movies together, including The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not long after college, they co-wrote their first feature, Bottle Rocket, with Anderson directing and Wilson playing the lead. I did Bottle Rocket and people started hiring me and it was like, well, you know, it took a little bit, a few movies before I could sort of accept or say, I guess this is what I do. I'm an actor. I guess I'm an actor. As an actor, Wilson, with his unique boyish good looks and those blonde locks, soon morphed into a scene-stealer prone to ad-lib, like this bit here in Meet the Parents with Robert De Niro, who was clearly impressed.

I'd love to find time to do some volunteer work. Or just the other day I saw this golden retriever that had like a gimp with a paw, was hurt. It broke my heart. Owen Wilson is entirely comfortable discussing his characters. Talking about himself is a different story. Why are you guarded with your emotions? Has he always been that way? I think it's, well, I think just growing up in Dallas to have said you wanted to be an actor and be in movies would have sounded like, yeah, me too.

And then I want to go win the lottery after that. It would have just sounded ridiculous. That guardedness is understandable. In 2007 came a widely reported story that Wilson had attempted suicide. He doesn't discuss it publicly, but he has said that his family played a big role in his recovery. His older brother, Andrew, moved in with him for a bit after he left the hospital.

He's still clearly a big influence. That's a great feeling when you've got some backup. And my older brother has continued always to be kind of, you know, somebody who's helped me a lot.

The Wilson brothers, Andrew, Owen, and Luke, also a successful actor, are still close. You know, it's like that Paul Simon song with the boys, troops, late in the evening. And what draws you to places like this? There is something about going into a museum that is just sort of a little bit meditative. It isn't like going to like a church or a cathedral.

You kind of feel good afterwards. The museum brings him peace of mind and perhaps a little inspiration for his latest film. Is that Rembrandt? Well, this reminds me of that app where it matches you to an old classic. It's never very flattering. And I'll be like, really?

That's the lightness for me? I mean, the hair, Carl. The hair. That's Carl Nargle. Carl Nargle.

Nargle is Wilson's character in paint. That tree is probably too tall. Brace yourself. You are going to get some calls. Clearly inspired by Bob Ross, who hosted a PBS painting show for 11 years starting in 1983.

Let's have another one. Maybe he lives right there. His slow, soothing voice and permed hair have remained ubiquitous on the internet. Did you watch Bob Ross? Yeah, but I can't quite do an imitation. Let's just take it all in.

Wilson didn't get Ross's voice down, but he got Ross's essence and he made the character funny. How is everything? It's good.

Good, thank you. Which is what Owen Wilson has been doing since he was a kid. You're entitled to your favorite TV show.

It's what makes this country great. You think you're a good actor? I don't think that I'm, you know, good. I do think there's some, yeah, I think there's some parts that I think I can play well. Yeah, well, I got news for you.

You're a good actor. To matters of state now and Martha Teichner talking with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. We are done only offering thoughts and prayers. It is time for action. The shooting last month at Michigan State University, killing three and injuring five, was the wrong kind of right moment to catapult gun control to the top of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's agenda. Whitmer may be days away from signing what she calls common sense gun measures into law. Universal background checks, safe, safe storage and extreme risk protection orders. MSU was the second mass shooting on Whitmer's watch.

In November 2021, a 15-year-old killed four and injured seven at Oxford High School north of Detroit. Nothing changed. The difference between then and now? Now in her second term, she has the power to act and is in a hurry to use it. 2023 has been incredibly productive. Passed already this year, tax breaks for the working poor and seniors. Protections of LGBTQ rights. A rollback of restrictions on labor unions.

How did it happen? Gretchen Whitmer pulled off a big blue trifecta in last November's elections. We need a governor who's going to stand up for our voting rights, our civil rights, and make sure Michigan is a place for everybody. She beat a Donald Trump-endorsed MAGA Republican. Democrats riding her coattails took both houses of the state legislature, something that hasn't happened in nearly 40 years, albeit by slim margins.

And Michigan passed a constitutional amendment Whitmer championed, protecting abortion rights. I do try to live my values every day so I can sleep at night, but I also can't take anything personally and can't afford to throw the counter punch even though I'm pretty capable of doing that if I want to. I don't do it because it's not constructive and it doesn't help the people that I serve. I read one description of you as an example of grit and grace. That's a high compliment. The President and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a plan that fails to support states. He's the same Gretchen Whitmer who spent a first term from hell. And you're governor of Michigan. I mean, all she does is sit there and blame the federal government.

As then President Donald Trump's punching bag over her handling of COVID. Don't call the woman in Michigan. You have a shirt that might be exactly that, that woman from Michigan. You started wearing T-shirts that said that woman. The best way to disarm a bully is to take their weapon and make it your shield. Whitmer's supporters had their own name for her.

And a theme song. Gretchen always said don't let people call you Gretsch, your name is Gretchen. And I don't know many women that want big in the front of whatever their name is. And so my friends and relatives, you know, people have known me my whole life, are like, are you good with this?

I'm like, I love it. Whitmer became a household name, but also a target. Armed demonstrators opposed to pandemic lockdowns took their grievances against Whitmer to the Michigan State Capitol. In the spring of 2020. We're setting the stage for things that are happening across the United States of America. In what looked like a rehearsal for January 6th at the U.S. Capitol nine months later. I was stunned to see the images coming out of our Capitol and armed gunmen with masks standing outside of my office. Fortunately, I wasn't in there. But yeah, it was it was shocking. Do you think that would have happened if a man had been governor?

I don't know. I know this, that all the ugliness that's come my way has some of my colleagues have felt it to one degree or another, but not as hot as I have. And it started once I was singled out by the former president. Then came the plot in the fall of 2020, the foiled attempt to kidnap and possibly kill Governor Whitmer.

Last December, one of the conspirators was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison, another to 16 years. Well, I have really grown as a leader in the last four years. I have to get back to the table and negotiate budgets with people who've shared stages with plotters who wanted to kidnap and kill me. I still have to negotiate and get a budget done. Governors can't just take positions and we can't throw bombs at the other side. We've got to get things done.

Whitmer's steeliness comes at a cost. Her husband, Mark Mallory, retired years early from his dental practice, he says, due to multiple threats to his patients and staff. There was one morning, like back in 2020, there were like a bunch of protesters outside of our house.

They brought guns to our property and it was just crazy because I was 16 at the time. The governor's daughters, Sydney and Shari, are now students at the University of Michigan. I am so thankful that she is on the front lines and fighting these battles and I want her to be a voice and I want her to fight for my rights. 51 years old, Whitmer spent 14 years in the state legislature before running for governor. She was practically born into Michigan politics. Her father worked for two Republican governors, her mother for the Democratic Attorney General.

Both were lawyers, so is she. I guess we're going to have to fix the damn roads now, right? Fix the damn roads was what Whitmer ran on in 2018. She sounds like a progressive, except when she sounds like a non-confrontational pragmatist. I'm just here to be the governor of all people in the state of Michigan.

And more and more, she sounds like the Democratic Party's woman to watch. I'm the first one to raise my hand. I'm supporting you if you run for president, Governor Whitmer. Dane Morris is a retired teacher from Brighton, Michigan, and he's not alone. A lot of people think you're going to run for president.

A lot of people think a lot of things. I can just tell you what I'm going to do. You're going to serve four years. Absolutely.

After that, Big Gretch has ruled nothing in and nothing out. I'm Lee Cowan. Thanks for listening, and please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. There you go. Tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at slash survey.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 16:06:34 / 2023-03-26 16:28:44 / 22

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