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Hardcore Hate; Interview With Morgan Fairchild
Aired January 27, 2005 - 13:35 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Today somber ceremonies mark the liberation of Auschwitz 60 years ago, where as many as 1.5 million people were killed as part of Hitler's Final Solution. Six decades and many horrific revelations later, why are some Americans still worshipping Adolph Hitler and the Nazis? CNN's Rick Sanchez has been investigating.
And a warning, this report contains language that might be offensive to some viewers.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is Minnesota 2005, not Munich in the 1930s. It's a new generation, an American generation, worshipping the ideals of the Nazis to a heavy metal beat. It's hate, Hitler and heavy metal, as the man behind the music proudly looks on.
BRYON CALVERT, PANZERFAUST RECORDS: Do you know how many labels I could start with a quarter of a million?
SANCHEZ: From his home in South St. Paul, Minnesota, ex-con Bryon Calvert, really name Brian Cheeny (ph), has made it his mission and business to market hate rock. He calls it white power music.
CALVERT: What we sell is survival, dude, survival, and that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sells itself.
SANCHEZ: And what Calvert sells he seems to believe. It's in his music, in his books, and on his body.
(on camera): Are you a devotee of Adolph Hitler?
CALVERT: There's a lot of things that he did that were spot on.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): The label is called Panzerfaust, in tribute to the Nazis. The lyrics glorify violence, against blacks, against Hispanics, but with a special emphasis on Jews.
(on camera): Let me read to you from some of songs -- "Now the Jew must pay the bill. Now it's crystal night once more. Your race once again burns."
It sounds pretty violent. It sounds pretty hateful.
CALVERT: Hey, hey, hey, Nobody ever said that -- I'm not trying to convince anybody that I'm a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). We are not a bunch of pacifists. There are angry white kids writing this music. There are angry white kids listening to it, no doubt about that.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Kids that Calvert wants to convert with his music, and his Web site.
(on camera): Let me read something from your Web site. "We don't entertain racist kids," you write. "We create them."
CALVERT: You asked me that, but aren't you concerned that you're going to make these kids -- I am a racist. I obviously think that the world would be a lot better place if there was a lot more racist people.
SANCHEZ: This is where the movement goes from someone's belief, no matter how hateful, to something that most would consider much worse. In fact, they call it "Project Schoolyard." They are targeting kids, maybe your kids, by trying to get them hooked on their music.
(voice-over): Students across the country. Calvert say tens of thousands of them are receiving this CD, with music from bands like Hate Machine and The Bully Boys.
CALVERT: It's an outreach effort, and it's not really any different than any other company that gives samples of its product to people. For example, if I have a coffee company and I want to give people samples of my coffee, I'm not going to give it to my own customers.
SANCHEZ (on camera): Coffee doesn't come with a message of hate.
CALVERT: Who gives a damn. The purpose of that example is a marketing example.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): The principal of this West Virginia town gave a damn when two people tried to distribute the CDs to his students.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We certainly don't appreciate unwanted people coming and trying to take advantage of 10 to 14-year-olds with hateful propaganda.
SANCHEZ: But that's exactly what Calvert and Panzerfaust are trying to do. And when the principal tried to stop it, he got this phone call from Calvert, who then recorded it and put it on his Web site.
CALVERT: I suggest you mind your own (EXPLETIVE DELETED) business and stop stealing CDs from your students before you get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sued out of you.
SANCHEZ (on camera): Bryon, they're children. Would you like it if your kid went to a school and someone came and gave him this message?
CALVERT: If I have to make room for homosexuals and hot-and-tots and you name it, you're going to make room for white kids with rebel flags and white power CDs, and if you don't like it, tough (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SANCHEZ (voice-over): For all of the music CDs that Project Schoolyard have distributed, it's not clear how many new Nazis Panzerfaust has created.
Meantime, Calvert is now in a business dispute with his partner.
(on camera): You're having problems with Panzerfaust in particular? Will that mean the demise of the movement?
CALVERT: Of course not. One monkey don't stop no show.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): The "monkey" slur is aimed at Calvert's partner. Calvert now wants to cut ties with him because he's part Hispanic, not pure enough, nor white enough for him and the other angry young men who gather in basements like this one, surrounded by the sounds and the images of a hateful time, a time they want to bring back.
Rick Sanchez, CNN, in South St. Paul, Minnesota.
O'BRIEN: Other news across America now, in New York City, a grim discovery amid the melting snow drifts. A cab driver's body found in his car three days after he died. Investigators believe the 70-year- old man suffered a fatal heart attack Sunday shortly after parking on the street. During the blizzard and its aftermath city snowplows heaped snow against the windows, delaying the discovery.
In San Francisco, is this home the source of a big leak? FBI agents now sifting through e-mails and other material they nabbed there in a raid. They suspect homeowner Victor Conte may have leaked secret grand jury testimony to "The San Francisco Chronicle." Conte is the founder of Bay Area Labs, also known as BALCO. He is awaiting trial on charges he allegedly distributed illegal steroids to more than 30 top athletes.
And it's not every day a governor offers to knock the block off a shock jock, but it's happened in New Jersey. Acting governor Richard Codey's wife was reportedly mentioned as deejay Craig Carton made some disparaging remarks about postpartum depression. Codey later encountered the deejay on his way to another talk show. A Newark newspaper's saying the governor expressed a wish to take him out. At a news conference today, Codey said I didn't say I would take him out, I said I would take him outside. The jock wants an apology, which has so far not been forthcoming.
PHILLIPS: Miles is extremely excited about this interview. Matter of fact, I don't think I've seen Miles this excited in a long time. She's done everything from daytime television to film and now she's here with us. Look at this. Making a charitable stop off Broadway, up next, we're talking live to actress Morgan Fairchild. You look amazing.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE GRADUATE")
DUSTIN HOFFMAN, ACTOR: Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me.
For god's sake, Mrs. Robinson. Here we are, you got me into your house, you give me a drink, you put on music.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MILES O'BRIEN: All right. Anne Bancroft. She was robbed, she didn't get the Oscar for that. She should have. Of course, she was up against Katherine Hepburn that year. Legendary, opposite Dustin Hoffman -- that was a tough on -- as Mrs. Robinson, of course, in 1967's "The Graduate." That character long synonymous with the seductive and corrupting, yes, older woman. "The Graduate" was adapted for the stage in 1998, a smash on and off Broadway and the West End as well, with a who's who of beguiling and very grown-up actresses in the leading and at times revealing role.
The latest to take on Mrs. Robinson, television and film veteran Morgan Fairchild. It is our great pleasure to have you with us.
MORGAN FAIRCHILD, ACTRESS, "THE GRADUATE": Oh, well, thank you very much. It's very nice to be here at CNN Central.
O'BRIEN: It's good to have you here. You look great. How about this role? When you heard about it was this something you just wanted to do right away?
FAIRCHILD: Well, I did. You know, I mean, it's kind of funny, you realize how life moves on. When this movie first came out I would have been the daughter and now I'm Mrs. Robinson.
O'BRIEN: Time passes on. But you could do both.
FAIRCHILD: Oh, well, that's kind of you. That's kind of you. But it is -- it's a very, very fun part. I mean, she's one of those classic iconic characters of American cultures, so it's great tackling this one. And she's a very strange woman.
O'BRIEN: It is much better role than the daughter role. There's no question about that. And it is, you know, there's a little bit of a rite of passage here. So when you got into it, did you get the film and look at Anne Bancroft's interpretation of it or did you prefer to stay away from that?
FAIRCHILD: No, no, no. I didn't look at it. I hadn't seen the movie in about 20 years, and I would prefer not to work that way. And I haven't seen any of the other ladies do it on stage, either, so. You know, you look at it like you do any other piece of material. It comes in, you think what would I do with this? How would I interpret this? What would I do? I think the play is very interesting. It's sort of classic alcoholic relationships with all of the other characters in the play. So she's an interesting, twisted, strange lady. O'BRIEN: And, yes, it's such a 1960s time capsule. In bringing it to the stage right now, I'm curious if there was any attempt to update it at all or just keep it pristine in the 1960s.
FAIRCHILD: No, no, it's very much 1963. And most people, if they remember the movie, which came out in '67, was sort of after the '60s broke, and what we all fondly remember of the '60s, you know, the '60s revolution. But the play is set in '63, as is the book it was based on, which is really more of an extension of the '50s. So it's much more repressive, pre-women's lib, pre-pantyhose, pre-pill, pre- Kennedy assassination. I mean, it's a whole other cultural world.
O'BRIEN: Yes, and you know, the famous line about, you know, plastics. Of course, you know, there might be a temptation to sort of adapt that to today's world and say computers or something. It's good as it is, isn't it?
FAIRCHILD: Well, it is. It stands the test of time and because, I think, it's two classic characters, it's a young man on the brink of life, not knowing what he wants to do with himself and very confused, and an older woman, very unhappy with some of the choices she made in life and wishing she could do it over again. So you have these two characters both sort of at traumatic crossroads of their lives that come together and mess each other's lives up.
O'BRIEN: Tell me about stage work. How do you enjoy that compared to doing stuff with cameras around?
FAIRCHILD: Well, you know, they're very different. I mean, I like both of them. I started in the theater when I was 10, so I grew up in the theater and was very used to that, but I love movies and television, also, obviously. But this has been really fun. Being back on the road, doing this play. I think we've got a really good production of this play. So that makes you feel good, that you go out there and the audience laughs. An actor cannot ask for more than that.
O'BRIEN: Well, you get some energy, don't you? That you don't get when you're on a soundstage, right?
FAIRCHILD: You do. You do. And I just love this play. I love doing this play. I stand back there every night before I go on and I'm just suffused with joy at being able to get out there. And I do a funny little dance that they all tease me about, you know, getting ready to go out there to get the energy up so you hit the stage rolling. And it's so fun to go out there and hear the audience laugh every night.
O'BRIEN: Is it hard to get that energy going every night? I often wondered that about doing long runs of plays, seeing actors out there, how they get that energy every night.
FAIRCHILD: Do stupid dances.
O'BRIEN: It works! The stupid dance.
FAIRCHILD: Little wiggle dances.
O'BRIEN: We got to start trying back here, the stupid dance. Tell me, you have many facets to your career. And a big core of what you've been all about over the years has been political activism, as well. Do you feel comfortable in that role as an actress/actor crusading for various causes?
FAIRCHILD: You know, I don't necessarily see myself as a crusader. What I have tried to do is help on issues that frequently, frankly, needed help. When the AIDS epidemic broke because I happened to be a science nerd and knew a lot about viruses and a lot about that virus at the time, I felt a moral obligation to go out and try to stem the fear and get out and explain to people what the disease was and how it worked. And consequently, suddenly, you know, I'm doing a lot of hard news things on AIDS, doing "Nightline" on AIDS, doing, I guess, the first townhall "Nightline" ever did on AIDS.
O'BRIEN: But you were an early expert on this subject.
FAIRCHILD: Oddly enough, I knew more about it than a lot of doctors, just because I read about it. Doctors are scattered and looking at other things. But suddenly, I'm testifying before the House Committee on AIDS and things like that. So, you sort of get drawn into it because you feel you can help.
O'BRIEN: So just to end it then, when you see actors and actresses taking stances, you've done the work behind it, do you get a little upset when an actor or actress comes out kind of half-baked on various causes?
FAIRCHILD: Not upset. I think people mean well. I think no one does that to get themselves into trouble or to look bad or whatever, but it would sometimes help if everybody did the legwork, but no, I don't criticize them, because I think their heart is in the right place.
O'BRIEN: Got to walk the walk, though, too.
Morgan Fairchild, you're doing that, and continued success in the play.
FAIRCHILD: Oh, thank you. And I invited Kyra, you guys are invited to come and see it, too.
PHILLIPS: I'm in.
She's in. What about me, Mrs. Robinson?
FAIRCHILD: Both of you.
PHILLIPS: I've got to ask a question, because everybody was asking, I've got to ask it, do you stay clothed in this version of it?
O'BRIEN: Clothed. FAIRCHILD: Oh, honey, the nude scene is in the contract, you've to do it. Everybody's had to do it.
PHILLIPS: I asked everybody.
FAIRCHILD: Like they care.
O'BRIEN: I was embarrassed to ask. She asked.
PHILLIPS: I can't wait to see the whole play, though.
FAIRCHILD: Thank you. And the binoculars in the second row during the nude scene, we'll just skip that part.
PHILLIPS: I'll be shoving my husband out for popcorn at that point.
O'BRIEN: You look great. Thanks for dropping by.
FAIRCHILD: Thank you very much.
(STOCK MARKET REPORT)
O'BRIEN: Coming up in the second hour of LIVE FROM, taking the smoking band to the next level. Straight ahead, some companies aren't playing when they say no smoking allowed. Details ahead when LIVE FROM's hour of power begins, after this.
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