The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
Intro ROBERT MacNEIL: Good evening. Leading the news this Monday, Israeli and Palestinian protests marked a new U. S. effort to get the Middle East peace talks started. Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson said he tried to get General Noriega to leave Panama. Washington accused Panamanians of harassing the U. S. ambassador. We'll have details in our news summary in a moment. Jim? JIM LEHRER: After the news summary, we look at tomorrow's important Wisconsin primary. Judy Woodruff reports on the Jesse Jackson campaign, Roger Mudd on the campaign of Michael Dukakis. The assassination of Martin Luther King 20 years later is next. And we close with a Paul Solman report on a California man who believes in children at the office. News Summary MacNEIL: Secretary of State George Shultz began another effort to persuade Israel to accept his plan for peace talks with the Palestinians. U. S. officials said there had been some movement. Right wing Israelis protested Shultz's arrival by erecting a huge effigy of PLO leader Yasir Arafat outside his hotel, while Palestinians staged a general strike. Shultz had four hours of separate talks with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. After the meeting Peres and Shultz spoke to reporters.
SHIMON PERES, Prime Minister, Israel: We have devoted a great deal of time that it would look how can the interim agreement become a reality with a promise for a permanent statute in the future. And I do believe there is a great deal of possibilities and hope. GEORGE SHULTZ, Secretary of State: We have now engaged on this initiative and the important aspects of its content, namely, the direct face to face negotiations, if we can get to them, and trying to see more fully just how the content might shape up. MacNEIL: As today's talks were underway, Israeli soldiers clashed with Palestinians protesting Shultz's latest visit. In the West Bank town of Bani Naim, soldiers killed one Palestinian and wounded 7 others. In other part of the West Bank, Arab youths set up road blocks which were later cleared by Israeli bulldozers. Jim? LEHRER: In this country, Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson admitted today that he had exchanged letters with Panamanian military leader General Manuel Noriega. Jackson said in Milwaukee he wrote Noriega March 22, urging him to leave Panama, but Noriega answered with a firm no. Jackson said today that he remained convinced that Noriega's departure was in the best interests of the Panamanian people. State Department spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley offered this official reaction this morning to the news of the Jackson initiative.
PHYLLIS OAKLEY, State Department spokeswoman: In our view, proliferation of channels is a tactic that Noriega likes to use to buy time. We have available channels of communication with Noriega if and when they are needed. We think it would be best to continue to use these channels exclusively. REPORTER: Do you think Mr. Jackson is hindering the diplomatic process by involving himself? Ms. OAKLEY: I'm not going to get into any sort of characterization of that. We made our views known clearly, I think, on what's preferable. LEHRER: Ms. Oakley also criticized Panama's action in a Sunday incident involving U. S. Ambassador Arthur Davis. A Panamanian military vehicle chased the Ambassador's car. Ms. Oakley said it was a serious threat to the safety of the ambassador. The Panamanian government said the soldiers were merely trying to protect Ambassador Davis. Meanwhile, 1300 more U. S. troops prepared to fly to Panama tomorrow. Army troops at Ft. Ord, California, are among those ordered Friday to augment the 10,000 American military personnel already there. U. S. officials said the new forces will assist in protecting U. S. personnel and property. MacNEIL: Jesse Jackson, Massachusetts Governor Dukakis, and Tennessee Senator Al Gore were battling for delegates tonight in Colorado caucuses and tomorrow in the Wisconsin primary. Jackson and Dukakis appear to be running very close in Wisconsin. The latest poll giving Dukakis a slight lead. Campaigning today, Dukakis criticized Jackson for assuming the role of mediator in the Panama situation. But softened it when he learned that Jackson had repudiated such a role. Since he and Jackson are running neck and neck in the national delegate count, the Wisconsin primary is regarded as a critical test. LEHRER: The Arizona senate headed tonight for a vote on whether to impeach Governor Evan Mecham. The Republican governor is accused of thwarting a death threat investigation against a state official, and improperly using public money to assist his Pontiac dealership. In closing arguments today, the prosecution and the defense spoke in dramatic terms about what was at issue.
PAUL ECKSTEIN, prosecutor: How much proof is required to demonstrate the respondent has puffed, exaggerated, misremembered, dissembled and out and out lied? If veracity is an issue in this case, respondents lack of veracity has been demonstrated, not just by clear and convincing evidence, but beyond a reasonable doubt. JERRIS LEONARD, defense attorney: You have to vote if you're going to vote to impeach him to convict him that he's evil. And I put it to you that in neither one of these counts is there sufficient fact or law to find Evan Mecham is an evil man. LEHRER: The Senate is expected to vote later tonight or early tomorrow on whether to impeach Mecham and thus remove him from office. MacNEIL: Memphis, Tennessee, held its first memorial to mark the assassination of Martin Luther King there 25 years ago today. Among the observances was a march to the Lorraine Motel where King was shot to death after coming to Memphis to lead marchers in support of a city sanitation workers union. Earlier, Mayor Richard Hackett told a memorial meeting, ''It is time for Dr. King's dream to become a reality, time for the city to do more to help the poor. '' In King's hometown, Atlanta, his widow, Coretta Scott King, told a memorial gathering at his tomb, ''The have slain the dreamer, but we're here to say that they cannot slay the might dream. '' Mrs. King announced plans for a march in Washington on August 27, to support a legislative agenda to end poverty, racism, war and violence. LEHRER: And finally in the news, the Major League Baseball season opened today. There were eight games scheduled this opening day, the first early this afternoon at Fenway Park in Boston between the Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers won it five to three in 10 innings. And that's it for the news summary. Now, Jesse and the Duke in Wisconsin, the 20th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, and a Paul Solman report on a businessman who believes in the family. Wisconsin Primary MacNEIL: First tonight, we update the presidential race and the battle between the Democratic frontrunners, Jackson and Dukakis. Tonight, voters in Colorado go to precinct caucuses to elect 45 delegates to the national convention. Tomorrow there's an even richer prize in Wisconsin, where 81 delegates are up for grabs. A poll published by the Milwaukee Journal yesterday gives Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis an 8 point lead over Jesse Jackson. The other two candidates, Al Gore and Paul Simon, trailed far behind. Tonight we look at the Jackson and Dukakis campaigns. First, Judy Woodruff has been watching how Jackson courts Wisconsin's white voters. JESSE JACKSON, presidential candidate: Let's get a little rhythm, a little battle cry, going. You say, ''Come alive. '' AUDIENCE: Come alive. Rev. JACKSON: April five. AUDIENCE: April five. Rev. JACKSON: Come alive. AUDIENCE: Come alive. Rev. JACKSON: April five. AUDIENCE: April five.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Fresh from his surprising two to one victory in the Michigan Democratic caucuses, Jesse Jackson crisscrossed the state of Wisconsin last week, arousing crowds at every stop. At mostly white Pulaski High School in Milwaukee, Jackson singled out the 18 year olds, and asked them to vote for him. Rev. JACKSON: Who you gonna vote for? AUDIENCE: Jackson! (repeat)
WOODRUFF: Just a few weeks ago, political pros were predicting the Wisconsin primary would get little national attention, but Jackson's win in Michigan has sent the equivalent of an electrical charge through the political process, and invested new importance in tomorrow's outcome. MARK SOSTARICH, Milwaukee County Democratic Party: Nobody can grab the enthusiasm of a crowd as Jesse Jackson can. He just has them spellbound at times, and that enthusiasm generates into enthusiasm in the campaign. Plus he's also seen as an up and comer right now. He's riding the crest of the wave right now, and a lot of people find that exciting and interesting. JEFFREY KATZ, Milwaukee Journal: If Jackson really does catch on here in Wisconsin in a broad way, who knows what that might portend in New York on April 19 and in the future down the line in the fall. If he's really able to reach enough mainstream voters and get people who don't otherwise vote. It's a very, very potent candidacy.
WOODRUFF: The latest Wisconsin poll showed Jackson running very close on the heels of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Most call it a toss up. That's particularly striking in a state where only about 4% of the voters are black. It means Jackson is getting the majority of his support from white voters. In fact, polls show at least a quarter of the white votes are going to Jackson. Up until now, Jackson has won as little as five and as much as 30% of any state's white votes. In general, he's pulling the white vote he won four years ago. Dr. KAREN LAMB, Jackson supporter: It's that magnetism that draws me to a person like Rev. Jackson -- I think the leadership that the man is demonstrating, just speaks directly to the concerns that I have, and those of my family have. It's so powerful, it's really -- it's been a long time since I've felt excitement. And I do feel charisma --
WOODRUFF: Dr. Karen Lamb is a social worker in Milwaukee. And the wife of the city's longtime mayor, Henry Meyer. She publicly endorsed Jackson after his victory in Michigan. Ms. LAMB: I just find him inspirational. He addressed the issues that are near and dear to me -- again whether we're talking about international foreign policy, we're talking about domestic issues, we're talking about people that need jobs, he was the only national candidate that came to Washington, D. C. , when we had the march to bring Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome more to the fore --
WOODRUFF: Besides black voters, Jackson is expected to do well with traditional white liberals like Lamb. That should translate into a strong showing in Wisconsin's academic centers, like the university town of Madison. Mr. KATZ: The element that has apparently really attracted attention here is the possibility that Jackson may be attracting blue collar voters. And that of course is a key not only in Wisconsin, but in the northern industrial primaries to come.
WOODRUFF: Jeffrey Katz is a political reporter for the Milwaukee Journal. He and Todd Robert Murphy, a political analyst with Republican ties, agree that for Jackson it's not the votes of blacks or of traditional white liberals that will make the difference, but the support of working class Wisconsin. TODD ROBERT MURPHY, Republican Analyst: This is a manufacturing economy. We've had some rather substantial plant closings. We had Kenosha, we've had difficulty in the Fox Valley area, we've had meat packer strikes. Jesse Jackson has been here during those controversies. He came into this state early. He talked to the blue collar white voter very early in this presidential campaign. And he has a message for them. And it may be rhetoric, but nonetheless, to people who are looking at their jobs ending a year, six months from now, or having ended recently, he's getting his message across. Rev. JACKSON: We vote together, and march together, we'll get jobs together.
WOODRUFF: When 850 meat packers in Cudahy, Wisconsin, began an extended strike last year, Jesse Jackson was the only presidential candidate who came to show his support. When 5500 Chrysler auto workers in Kenosha were told last January that their plant would be shut down, Jackson was the first national figure to express concern. And just last week, Jackson scheduled a rally in Warsaw, Wisconsin, to show support for electrical workers who recently had their pay cut 15%. Rev. JACKSON: Profits up, wages down, jobs closed. We need Jackson action (cheers).
WOODRUFF: Randy Curtis, an electrical worker who was losing $6500 a year because of the pay cut, is voting for Jackson. RANDY CURTIS, electrical worker: He knows more people like us than probably anybody else running for president. He seems to be more realistic towards us than anybody else. It's a chance for a change.
WOODRUFF: Jackson is apparently also reaching beyond blue collar voters to impress people like Fred and Jane Teely, who teach school in Warsaw. They too showed up at the labor rally for Jackson. WOODRUFF: What do your friends say when you tell them you're thinking about voting for Jackson if you say that to them? FRED TEALY: Well, most people say there's no way he's going to win the nomination and if he does there's no way he's going to win the election. And -- but I think it's that kind of thinking that stops him from actually winning. If we can get past that idea, then I think he may in fact win. But it's ridiculous in 1988 people are still thinking about skin color instead of the candidate.
WOODRUFF: No one in the crowd said they would vote against Jackson because he is black. But several suggested a vote for him would be wasted because they don't believe he can be elected President. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I would support him if he was a Vice President, but I don't think -- to me, I don't think I would support -- I mean, I don't think he's electable. WOODRUFF: Why don't you think he'd be electable in the fall against George Bush? UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I don't think the country's ready for it. WOODRUFF: Ready for what? UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: A black president. WOODRUFF: Why do you say that? UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I wish he would get elected, to tell you the truth. But the trouble is, I'm so afraid that if he does get in office, somebody's going to shoot him.
WOODRUFF: Tillie Bichanich is a longtime Democratic Partyactivist and coordinator of the Dukakis campaign in the Milwaukee area. She is convinced that if the Democrats nominate Jackson, they will lose the White House to the Republicans. TILLIE BICHANICH, Dukakis Milwaukee Coordinator: I just feel that the Democratic -- the people who vote in the Democratic primary are more liberal, they're inclined, you know, to go for I would think a Jesse or anyone like him, a Walter Mondale, George McGovern. But when it comes to the general elections, the independent voter, and maybe a disgruntled Republican won't buy it.
WOODRUFF: Bichanich says however charismatic Jackson is, the fact that he has no experience in government is a serious drawback. Ms. BICHANICH: To me, Jesse is a preacher, he has no track record. When you go for, apply for a job, you have to have a resume, qualifications. All the other guys had it, and I don't feel Jesse did.
WOODRUFF: Mark Sostarich, who chairs the Milwaukee County Democratic Party, is also worried about Jackson's growing popularity within the Party. He believes Jackson could not beat George Bush in the fall. MARK SOSTARICH, Milwaukee County Democratic Party: If you start surveying people and ask whether or not they would support Jesse Jackson for President on a nationwide scale, we start coming up with problems and concerns about his stands with regards to Israel and the hard Jewish voters that are very active in the party, and also financial supporters of the party.
WOODRUFF: Sostarich and others fear that Republicans who have no contest in their own presidential primary will cross over to create mischief with the Democrats by voting for Jackson, who some consider the easiest Democrat to defeat in the fall. But reporter Jeffrey Katz says his newspaper's polls indicate that should not be much of a problem. Mr. KATZ: The percentage of people who identify themselves as Republicans are not crossing over in big numbers, and those who are are doing so across the board.
WOODRUFF: Crossover or no crossover, for Jackson to succeed, he must persuade voters like those in the predominantly white South Side of Milwaukee, people of German or Polish descent, who frequent Serb Hall, a popular gathering place here. At a fishfry on Good Friday, we found some Reagan voters who were voting Democratic this year. Fifty year old Henrietta Terasinski also supported George Wallace in 1972. But likes Jackson in '88. HENRIETT TERASINSKI: I think he's just an all around, honest speaking person. WOODRUFF: Did the fact that he's black give you any pause when you were making your decision? Ms. TERASINSKI: Well, Kennedy got in and the Pope didn't run the world. I don't think we're going to have to worry about the NAACP or anyone else. Color doesn't mean anything anymore.
WOODRUFF: Sixty six year old Suzanne Walulik says Jackson is qualified to be president, but she's voting for Dukakis. SUZANNE WALULIK: Well, because I'm afraid that Jackson, because he's colored, cannot win. And I want definitely to win against Bush in the election in November.
WOODRUFF: Eugene Walulik, her 70 year old husband, disagrees. EUGENE WALULIK: I think that Jackson could win in November, definitely. I think Jackson's a very good man. Because he's colored is I feel is past.
WOODRUFF: Thirty five year old David Schraeter supports Dukakis. He is troubled by Jackson's background as a minister and his position on the issues. DAVID SCHRAETER: I find he's a little bit weak. He say we all need jobs, well we all know that to beginwith. I haven't seen him actually address how we're going to get those jobs.
WOODRUFF: For the Waluliks, however, the issue boils down to whether Jackson can defeat Bush. Mrs. WALULIK: Because of the racial situation in this country, through Reagan's whatever, has created more racial tension than we had before. And I just fear that this man cannot make it, and God knows, we've got to get the Republicans out of there. WOODRUFF: When do you think this country would be able to elect a black? Mrs. WALULIK: I have no idea. Mr. WALULIK: The public as a whole has changed their thinking. And I believe that they would accept a black president, and I believe in my own heart that -- I'm selling myself on Jackson now! LEHRER: The other side to the Wisconsin coin is the Michael Dukakis side. Our essayist and political analyst Roger Mudd spent this weekend with Dukakis and his campaign in Wisconsin. He listened, along with Wisconsin voters, as Dukakis continued to stress his extensive government experience. It was the theme he repeated today at a rally in Madison.
MICHAEL DUKAKIS, presidential candidate: I'm running for the presidency because I want to help hundreds of thousands of families living in poverty to lift themselves out of poverty, and don't let anybody tell you we can't do it. In my own state we've helped over 45,000 families move from welfare to work in the past four years. With real training for real jobs for those welfare mothers, and day care for their kids, and we're going to do that in every state in the country beginning in January of 1989, and help hundreds of thousands of families to become independent and self sufficient. My friends, I'm running for president because I don't want to see another four years, or another eight years, like the last seven. You know, after seven years of charisma, maybe it's time for some competence in the White House, don't you think? I have no interest in being known as a great communicator. I want to be the great builder. I want to be somebody who builds the future of this country with you and with people like you all across America. I want to build a future for America where we're working together to build strong neighborhoods, to invest in a healthy and growing economy. To make the American dream come alive again. LEHRER: Roger, is the Dukakis campaign in a state of panic, or a state of confidence, or what kind of state, as a result of Jesse Jackson? ROGER MUDD: Oh, they're not panicked, Jim, but if you were a small, cool Greek governor from Massachusetts up against ''Run, Jesse, Run,'' you would have reason to be nervous. I think they're nervous. They wish that Wisconsin was behind them. They're not sure how it's going to come out. They're glad that it's a primary state and not a caucus state, where Jesse Jackson does much better. They are thankful, privately thankful, that the black percentage there is low, because they know what's happened in the past when Jackson's black vote has been up. But you know, it's just the luck of the draw that Mike Dukakis has to run against Jesse Jackson. I think if Dukakis could assemble an ideal field to run against, he'd ask, maybe, Terry Sanford and Walter Mondale to come back and be his opponents. But privately, Jim, I think that the Dukakis camp is glad Jesse Jackson is their opponent. LEHRER: Glad? MUDD: Glad simply because Jackson's negatives remain high, even though his approval is good and he's drawing crowds, you know, two and three times what Dukakis is drawing. But I think in the last, maybe 48, 72 hours, the Dukakis campaign feels fairly confident that they're going to win. LEHRER: There was much talk after Michigan, Roger, that Dukakis needed to change his message. Has he? MUDD: There was considerable pressure after Michigan brought to bear on him: Sharpen your message, get a better focus on your message. Michael Dukakis, I have found in the brief time I was with him, is very satisfied with who he is, he's -- I don't want to say he's smug, but he likes what he's done with himself and with his life, and he doesn't need a lot of outside advice. He does not thrive on input. He was very confident and very comfortable, as they say, with the message that he had, and he decided after what happened to Richard Gephardt, who tried to change his message, that he would not change his, and he would stick to his knitting. So while there have been little slight readjustments, the basic message remains the same, and we heard it a minute ago, which is that I am competent, I am not charismatic, but I am competent, I've been there, I've done it, I've been the governor of Massachusetts for 10 years, and I know how to say yes, and I know how to say no. LEHRER: How does it go over to a -- as you say, he's now drawing, he did not draw as large a crowd as Jesse Jackson did, but to the crowds he does draw, how does that message go down? MUDD: Well, you don't go to hear Michael Dukakis in order to engage in a group chant. It is more a cerebral experience than it is an emotional one. And I must say that the response to him is muted. He's a cautious man. He's very careful, because of his experience as a politician. And the one disadvantage that he has in running against Jesse Jackson is -- like Pat Robertson -- for 15 or 20 years they were in the pulpit and were answerable only to God, so to speak, and not to he voters. LEHRER: You said that the Dukakis people believe they're going to win this thing tomorrow. How serious would it be if they lost? MUDD: Well, there's no question that the popular momentum has shifted from Dukakis over to Jackson. Jackson is on the cover of Newsweek and Time, there have been frontpage stories about him, and the emotional wave is moving towards Jackson. If Dukakis loses in Wisconsin tomorrow, he has no excuses, no excuses. He cannot say any longer that he was running against a native son, he cannot complain about the rules that applied in Michigan, where there was a caucus situation. If he loses, he's lost it himself. He put everything he had into this Wisconsin campaign, because he hadn't campaigned very hard in Michigan. It will slow him up immensely. It will encourage Al Gore to stay in. And as long as Al Gore remains in, Mike Dukakis is denied a showdown with Jesse Jackson. LEHRER: Are the Dukakis people, the people around Dukakis, are they already talking as others are that Jesse Jackson is going to probably have a place on this ticket? MUDD: No, I've not heard one word about that. I think the Dukakis people realize that the nomination is theirs to lose. That if Dukakis somehow loses the nomination, fails to win it, even when the primaries up ahead, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, in fact favor Dukakis, if Dukakis can't win it, then there's no way the Democratic Party's going to be able to deny it to Jesse Jackson. I think they've accepted that. But I don't hear any talk about a Dukakis/Jackson ticket, or having Jackson on the ticket with Dukakis. LEHRER: Roger, thank you very much. Lasting Legacy MacNEIL: Twenty years ago today, Martin Luther King was assassinated. The night before he had spoken these words:
MARTIN LUTHER KING: I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountain top. I don't mind. Like anybody I would like to live a long life, longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain. I've looked over and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want to you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy tonight, I'm not worried about anything, I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. MacNEIL: The next day, Dr. King was shot dead while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Joining us now to discuss his legacy are David Garrow, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Bob Maynard, editor of the Oakland Tribune, syndicated columnist and a frequent contributor of essays to this program. Mr. Garrow, if Martin Luther King had been granted a long life, longevity, how much closer to the Promised Land would he think the black people he'd been struggling for had got 20 years later? DAVID GARROW, King biographer: Not very far at all. I think if King were here with us today, in 1988, that he would be talking about economic injustice and poverty in America in very strong terms, because our record these last 20 years, since 1968, on fighting poverty, has been very poor. MacNEIL: Do you agree with that, Bob Maynard? BOB MAYNARD, Oakland Tribune: I would think so. I think the problem is that you have to look at other forces of politics and history, Robin, that were at work in the same era. Dr. King was fighting against a tide of the legacy of racism on one hand, and the rise of the new conservatism on the other, which began, as you know, over the Goldwater campaign in 1964. Then, of course, Nixon won in '68, and the Democrats only won one term, '76 to '80, and then it was back to the conservative agenda again. And all that time, I think that Dr. King would have made relatively little difference to what actually developed as policy in that period. Having said that, I would qualify it by reminding you of that great British expression that history does not disclose its alternatives. MacNEIL: You're saying that two decades after, nothing much has changed? Or -- Mr. MAYNARD: Well, for specific groups -- now, you have to be very careful here, Robin. In that, the civil rights movement, though it stirred the hopes of the poorest of the poor, was most successful in liberating the middle class, lower middle class, black Americans, peoples of color, with some education, some job market skills, some ability to escape the trap of poverty. Those in the lowest levels of our society, with the least, the poorest of the poor, though they were the ones who did most of the marching, as they are now the ones who are doing most of the voting for Jesse Jackson, nonetheless received the least as a result of the tumult of that movement. MacNEIL: Why have the economic issues been -- and class issues -- been so intractable, as compared with the legal and voting issues -- the accommodation, housing and so on, and voting rights issues, which King fought for at the time, and with some success, given the civil rights act, the voting rights act, and so on? Mr. GARROW: I think there are two basic answers. First, the question is jobs, fundamentally. When one looks at the socioeconomic statistics for these last 20 years, what we see is that the major cities have lost a phenomenal number of blue collar jobs that otherwise would have been available to people. And then I think secondly economic change in eliminating poverty in pure budgetary terms is going to cost, would have cost much more than the 1964 Civil Rights Act, or the 1965 Voting Rights Act cost us as a society, in dollar terms. MacNEIL: How much would you say the Vietnam War contributed to that, Bob Maynard, too? You mentioned the conservative agenda and the rise of conservatism. Mr. MAYNARD: Well, before I respond about Vietnam, let me just say quickly I would add a third to David's list of things that caused the economic picture for poor people to be what it is in this country. And that is the collapse of the public education system in most of the large cities after the desegregation orders of the middle of the 1950's. As a result, there was already a white flight to the suburbs, which was accelerated as a result of what happened in '54 and afterwards, and as a result of the departure of, first whites, and then black middle class people, you were left with an education system that was made up primarily of the poor in the cities, and as a consequence of being for the poor, it will surprise you that it became in most instances a poor system. Now, with respect to Vietnam, what Vietnam did in the middle of the 1960's was to help to polarize our society between peoples of color and liberals and students and so forth, who were opposed to the war and who found common ground in fighting for equality, fighting against the war, fighting for female equality and all those other issues that arose in the middle 60's, where on the other side of the ledger you had a conservative middle class mainstream America, appalled at some of what went on in the protest movement of the 60's. And fueled indeed by those excesses that you saw in the days of rage on the streets of Chicago, and some other of those examples, and thus a resolve was set in motion -- or I'm sorry, a resolve was reached among middle class Americans that it was time to take the political system back, and of course with the end of the war, that became rather easier to do. And you saw the rise of Reaganism from '80 on, which was a signal of the culmination of that attempt to temper the excesses of the 60's. So much so, I suspect, that we have now gone to the other end of the pendulum, and are heading back somewhere toward the middle, with this campaign in 1988. MacNEIL: Bob Maynard mentioned a moment ago that some of the people who marched for Martin Luther King, or their spiritual successors, are now voting, or are going to, for Jesse Jackson. What do you think Dr. King would have made of the phenomenon of the Jackson candidacy? Mr. GARROW: I think King would have mixed feelings, in all frankness, about the Jackson candidacy. I think he would be overjoyed that there's a serious, major, black presidential contender. And I think he'd be overjoyed at the amount of electoral progress, in terms of black elected officials that we've seen over these past 20 years. But King was someone who more than anything was interested in tangible gains, tangible improvements in people lives. And I think that he would want to be certain that all the time and all the effort and energy invested in a presidential campaign was going to result not simply in delegate votes at a convention that would be there one day and then essentially vanished the next after the convention, he'd want to see that a campaign was really going to make a difference in people's lives. MacNEIL: Yeah. Bob Maynard, do you have an observation on that? Mr. MAYNARD: Well, Robin, it is that quite apart from whatever Dr. King might have thought of that development were he alive, the fact of the matter is that on April 4, 1968, the hope that Dr. King had kindled in the hearts of many, many of the poorest of the poor died. The reason we had 110 urban rebellions that night of April 4, was the signal of the death of the hope that he had so brilliantly kindled over the previous several years. I worry now, as I see those same previously hopeless people, those that I call the have nots and the near have nots, as I see their hopes being rekindled again by the Jackson campaign, I cannot help but wonder where that ride ends, what is in store for those people who are turning out with such enthusiasm and such intensity for Jesse Jackson today -- what happens down the line? Where is the down the line? What is the promise for those people? I have no idea. But I must tell you that 20 years later, as I think of the night of April 4, 1968, when I covered one of those 110 riots, the one at which the nation's capital was nearly burned down, I have to worry about the rekindling of that hope without any clear sense from Jesse Jackson or anyone else as to where all that is leading. MacNEIL: I don't know whether you want to pick up on that. But you said something similar yourself. Is -- you've studied King a lot. What are the differences between King and Jackson, as leaders? I mean in many ways, Jackson has picked up the spiritual legacy, and is moving with it in a very practical way. What are the differences? Mr. GARROW: I think King and Jackson as individual human beings are quite, quite different figures. King was someone who was really quite uncomfortable about being a public figure. He did not want to be a celebrity, he did not particularly enjoy being on the public stage. And all of the people who were really close to him, I think without exception, stress what a truly humble, self effacing man he was. Someone who had a real sense of calling, of obligation, to be of service to people. And Jackson is a different sort of person. He enjoys being in the public eye. Many people that were close to King think of him as too egotistical. I very much agree with Bob Maynard's point about -- this is a phenomenal, emotional high that we're seeing now, and perhaps after the Wisconsin results tomorrow, but I think the toughest question that confronts Jesse Jackson is what happens with these raised hopes if Jackson is not on the ticket. What will he be able to say to people? Mr. MAYNARD: And what will the rest of us be able to say to those people as well? It's not just Jesse Jackson. Everything about our institution of politics, our notion of the rule of law is really raised to a rather high level of scrutiny by this campaign, simply because if it is later perceived that this candidate was not treated fairly, and that the people who voted for him didn't count as much as some other people might count, I think the Democratic Party could suffer an irreversible credibility gap with black voters, and conceivably with many other voters. MacNEIL: Doesn't that recede the more white voters he attracts? That danger? Mr. MAYNARD: Well, it certainly does. That remains to be seen how many those will be. But you must always remember that the poor of this campaign, and what made it a credible campaign, were those victories on Super Tuesday throughout the Deep South, which were black votes overwhelmingly, 91%. And those people, mired, many of them, in rural and urban poverty that is extraordinarily intractable, think something is going to happen different in their lives because of Jesse Jackson. And I'm not so sure I can tell you what that is. MacNEIL: Well, Bob Maynard, David Garrow, thank you both for joining us. Family Man LEHRER: Finally tonight, our special business correspondent, Paul Solman, goes Hollywood. He tracked down a college chum who's now a fabulously successful and fabulously wealthy television producer, who uses the management techniques of a 1960's hippy.
PAUL SOLMAN: The magic of television on the set of Family Ties. But the real trick here is making money. Lots of it. Right now it's rehearsal. Michael J. Fox is a face 40 million viewers will eventually see, but the burly bearded guy is the one to watch. Presiding over the final runthrough, just six hours to show time, is a new breed of executive, a managerial magician who's transformed the communal values of the 60's into the most mainstream and most lucrative TV program of the 80's. This is a story about the art of management. And the manager who seems just too good to be true, the president of Ubu Productions, Gary David Goldberg. Outside, it's a bright, blue Friday in Hollywood. Not quite as blue as it appears, maybe, but then this is dreamland. Paramount Studios, where three of Goldberg's series are being shot right now. And what's the chief executive of Ubu Productions doing on the lot? He's taking a break to play basketball. Goldberg's style may look like management by horsing around, how to succeed in business without really trying. In fact, Gary Goldberg is always trying, even though he's already at the top. To Goldberg, the 80's are just like the 60's. Work and play are one and the same. Well, this isn't a hardhitting expose of the TV industry. Instead, it's the story of a big business in cutthroat Hollywood, in which everybody claims to be, and actually seems to be, happy. And the reason is largely the chief executive, Gary Goldberg. The kind of manager you read about in the business literature, but so rarely find in real life. Well, I'm here to tell you that he wasn't always this way. When I first knew Goldberg in college, back in the early 60's, he played basketball in this gymnasium, and slept through everything else. He dropped out early sophomore year. But the turning point came when the 1960's finally caught up with him. Goldberg soon blossomed into a fullblown hippy. He and partner Diana Meehan cohabited a Greek cave, with their dog Ubu. Goldberg still raves about the view. He handed out ill gotten airline tickets in the streets of Amsterdam. In California in he early 70's, he returned to college and amazingly found himself in a writing class. One day, even more amazingly, the teacher told him he was a writer. GARY GOLDBERG, Ubu Productions: And he said you can definitely write for television, you know. He said what are your favorite television shows? I said, ''We don't have a television set. '' I hadn't seen television in years! And so we went out and got a set from a motel that was going out of business in San Diego, brought it home, we plugged it in, and it was Get Christy Love. And I watched it for a few minutes, and I turned to Diane, and I said, ''I can do that. '' I said, ''I can do that. ''
SOLMAN: And he did. Living on welfare while for years submitting script after script, loving the work without making a dime. But eventually the scripts were accepted, and in 1982, Goldberg created Family Ties. He and Meehan had traded up from the caves of Greece. Gary Goldberg is a multimillionaire now. But he still loves what he does, and does what he wants. Of course, writing a sitcom isn't all laughs, even with a roomful of pros being funny for money, several making more than half a million a year. At the last minute, a new scene has to be added to this week's episode. Even the script's author, 23 year old Katy Ford, is stumped. Goldberg, with his wits about him, has to add dialogue and make it work. Now. The scene, perched precariously between the comedy of magic and the tragedy of suicide, needs a punch line. Mr. GOLDBERG; Let's get a little joke on the -- Alise enters. And I think, ''Can I hide in here?'' VOICE: I'm still levitating, honey, don't worry. Mr. GOLDBERG: Alise, come back in -- No, I'm levitating in here now. VOICE: (unintelligible)
SOLMAN: Five hours to show time. Goldberg returns to the set. In part to provide moral support for the show's star, Michael J. Fox, the one person who could have sunk the series by leaving once superstardom hit. But Fox has stayed because of Gary Goldberg. MICHAEL J. FOX: Gary, I firmly believe is successful because that was never his intention. He is wealthy because that was never his goal. He's happy creatively, and that's almost all he ever wanted. And he's part of a great family and that's always been important to him. And the other things are products of that. And on this show, all we ever wanted to do was show up, do good work, have people see it, and enjoy ourselves while we did it.
SOLMAN: Four hours to show time, and they're just blocking the new scene. At $750,000 an episode, efficiency really pays. Mr. GOLDBERG: We actually work hard. The bottom of all of this is that we work hard and we're very responsible as the producers. In the six years we've never had overtime, you know. And that's a real bottom line.
SOLMAN: Keeping a sharp eye on costs, Family Ties is one of the most profitable operations in television history. But Goldberg pays his people extremely well. [scene from show]
SOLMAN: Goldberg's generosity might shock some people, but it's good business. For example, by doubling crew pay, to $34 an hour, Goldberg has bought loyalty, even influenced the rest of Hollywood. PAUL BASTA, ameraman:c If something happens on this lot to the benefit of the crew, then that dominoes throughout the industry. Mr. FOX: You're getting $34 an hour? Can you lend me some money? Seriously! (laughter)
SOLMAN: Goldberg's share the wealth philosophy dates back to his caveman days, but he won't share the wealth with people who won't share the responsibility. With them, he could be very tough. Mr. GOLDBERG: So I have fired guys who haven't done their job, because in order to work there, you have to feel that you're the best at what you do, and you have to be responsible for your job. I don't want to be there saying to anybody, Did you do this, did you do that? I don't want to be worrying about that. They have to be thinking about it, they have to be doing it. If I have to say to them, Move this prop, then they're out, you know, because that's just not the way this group is going to function.
SOLMAN: But if you're part of the group, you're golden. On a different sound stage at Paramount, a meticulously recreatedNew York City high school. It's the set of the Bronx Zoo, another Goldberg series co owned with Paramount. If the show hits, the owners make millions. But Goldberg has given away most of his share to the people he put in charge, Donald Reiker and Pat Jones. (to them) Do you own a large piece of Bronx Zoo? DONALD REIKER, executive producer: Huge. SOLMAN: Huge by industry standards? Mr. REIKER: One piece of his deal. Which is also unheard of. In other words, when one -- you want to talk turkey, I'll talk turkey. When one comes to get a deal, one makes a deal and lawyers get into it, and God willing, you see a penny. Gary Goldberg has given us a part of his deal. So if he sees a penny, we see a penny.
SOLMAN: From the sale of Family Ties, it's a local syndication, Goldberg has already seen $60 million. Here he's given away not just ownership, but creative control. PAT JONES, executive producer: Well, people will ask you to do things like incorporate, perhaps, more comedy into your show to make it more accessible, even though it's really a drama. They will ask you to perhaps soften your music, to take out some of the edge, to use more kids, to do a lot of things that they believe make it more commercially viable. Mr. REIKER: We don't do that. And Gary doesn't ask us to do that.
SOLMAN: Ed Asner plays the high school principal in this weekly dramatic series. Asner has worked with Goldberg since the mid 70's. So have Reiker and Jones. (to them) Do you really love it? Ms. JONES: You mean working at Ubu? SOLMAN: Working at Ubu. Mr. REIKER: Absolutely, because we're our own bosses, we have a power base, it's wonderful for your ego. Because you come in and people say, ''Would you like a cup of coffee?'' Now, what separates the men from the boys is when you say, ''I'll get it myself. ''
SOLMAN: Back at Family Ties, three hours to show time. Goldberg leaves the set to show off his proudest achievement at Paramount. Goldberg's philosophy is gradually pervading the studio. Mr. GOLDBERG: We're in the second year now of the day care center, which is really nice.
SOLMAN: The center was built at Ubu's insistence, with slots allocated for employees at every level of the company. Parents drop in throughout the day. Mr. GOLDBERG: It's a great problem solving technique. Come and play in the sandbox for an hour, you know, you go back, you may get it done. And for people, it's an absolute lifesaver, you know. I mean, this has changed people's lives the fact that this is here. And for us -- from our standpoint as employers, people will never leave, you know, they just won't leave.
SOLMAN: A business philosophy of Gary David Goldberg. The man's whole operation sometimes seems like a day care center. But when Ubu asked for one, Paramount had a somewhat more traditional approach. JOHN PIKE, president, Network Television: When Gary first brought up the day care center, I looked, I said, ''This is a business, this isn't a place where you bring children!''
SOLMAN: But John Pike, Paramount's ultraconservative chief of finance, quickly agreed because of Ubu's power. Mr. PIKE: It's a very, very important asset to this company. SOLMAN: Can you tell me in dollars? Mr. PIKE: A lot of millions. Lots and lots of millions.
SOLMAN: Warming up the audience just ten minutes to show time. Goldberg's old Brooklyn family is here for tonight's live taping, Grandma Jenny, older brother Stan, who helped support Goldberg back in the dropout days. The show is underway. It's the scene we saw being written at the last minute. Will the punchlines about levitation and sawing in half play to the audience? [scene from show]
SOLMAN: The line was supposed to be 'saw me in half,' but it will be fixed in editing; 40 million viewers will never know the difference. More important, as Goldberg murmurs the script, he sees the humor is working. Now it's time to walk the tightrope of tragicomedy. Family Ties daughter Mallory is talking about her friend Rosalie, who committed suicide. MALLORY: I remember one time we were at McDonalds, and these girls started picking on her. And they were much bigger than us. So I stood in front of Rosalie, and I took out a cherry pie, and I threatened them with the hot fruit filling.
SOLMAN: It's the humor that's made this show such an incredible profit machine, for Goldberg, Paramount and NBC. But it's Goldberg, the hippy manager, who built the organization and protecting it from the pressure has kept it cranking out product week after week, year after year. This is the 146th episode for the Family Ties people, the first for the actress playing the suicide's mother. But corny as it may sound, this is a family business. Everybody is accountable, everybody is involved. MALLORY: I mean, you can still love the spirit of who she was. ACTRESS: You think it's time, huh?
SOLMAN: And it's time to wrap up the show. With the inevitable closing hug. When it's all over, Gary Goldberg and company spread the glory. Big cheers for the script's author, Katy Ford. Gary Goldberg cheerleads to the end. Mr. GOLDBERG: Fabulous! Fabulous! That was so good, that was so good. That last scene was unbelievable. Great! We saw them good in the afternoon and all that. We knew it was all there. And then in the evening, something special happened. The way she cried -- she had never cried like that before. And Justine, who had a much more difficult role in that scene, I couldn't take my eyes off her!
SOLMAN: Six years of shows, and the chief executive is still as gushy as a kid. Goldberg's success looks so simple. And maybe it is. (to Goldberg) Is that really your job, to make sure everybody has fun? Mr. GOLDBERG: Yeah, I think that's a very big part of it, because you don't get this kind of performance and this kind of commitment, and you don't get these people to stay if you can't make it a real pleasant place to be. I mean, he doesn't have to stay here, do you know what I mean? Mr. FOX: Well, and the other way around. I mean, Gary staying -- Gary could have left halfway through the first season. He could have left and the show continued to make all the money he makes now -- nothing would have been different, except that he wouldn't have been putting in ten hours a day on it. He chooses to do that, and then -- Mr. GOLDBERG: Yeah, but you know why I choose to do it? Because I'll be able to look back and say, ''You know who I had a chance to work with? You know who I got to work with for seven years?'' Mr. FOX: So we should just go make love somewhere.
SOLMAN: Schmaltzy? You bet! California? For sure! But maybe the moral of this story is that nice guys can finish first. Recap MacNEIL: Again, the main stories of the day. Secretary of State George Shultz reported some movement after a new attempt to sell Israel on his plan for Middle East peace talks. Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson said he had urged Panama's Noriega to leave the country and that Noriega had asked him to end U. S. intervention. Washington accused Panamanian authorities of harassing the U. S. Ambassador. Good night, Jim. LEHRER: Good night, Robin. We'll see you tomorrow night. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
- The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
- Producing Organization
- NewsHour Productions
- Contributing Organization
- NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This episode's headline: Wisconsin Primary; Lasting Legacy; Family Man. The guests include In San Francisco: BOB MAYNARD, Oakland Tribune; In New York: DAVID GARROW, King Biographer; REPORTS FROM NEWSHOUR CORRESPONDENTS: JUDY WOODRUFF; ROGER MUDD; PAUL SOLMAN;. Byline: In New York: ROBERT MACNEIL, Executive Editor; In Washington: JIM LEHRER, Associate Editor
- Asset type
- Social Issues
- Global Affairs
- War and Conflict
- Military Forces and Armaments
- Politics and Government
- Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode)
- Media type
- Moving Image
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: NH-1180 (NH Show Code)
Format: 1 inch videotape
Identifier: NH-3101 (NH Show Code)
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- Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” 1988-04-04, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 7, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-804xg9ft7m.
- MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” 1988-04-04. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 7, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-804xg9ft7m>.
- APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-804xg9ft7m