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tv   Tavis Smiley  WHUT  June 9, 2011 8:30am-9:00am EDT

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tavis: good evening from los angeles, i'm tavis smiley. first up tonight, a conversation with "washington post" columnist and best-selling author, david ignatius. his spy novels are always connected to real-world events and his latest is no exception. "bloodmoney" centers on fictional c.i.a. operations in pakistan. also, ziggy marley is here. this year marks 30 years since the death of his legendary father. as ziggy is continuing to forge his own path in the music business, with his latest c.d., "wild and free." later, on, a special form mans from ziggy marley. david ignatius and ziggy marley coming up right now. >> all i know is his name is james and he needs extra help with his reading.
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>> i'm james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference, you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remve d remove obstacles to economic empowerment one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewelkel you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] tavis: david ignatius is an award-winning columnist pe "washington post" and a best-selling author. his latest is called "bloodmoney" and he joins us tonight from washington. david good, to have you back on the program, sir.
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>> great to be with you, tavis. tavis: there is a fine line, they say, between fact and fiction. of all the noffs you've written, which all seem to be rather timely, it's almost hard in some instances to know where the line is in this novel, "bloodmoney," between fact and fiction, because so much of what you write is literally happening at this moment. i assume you've picked up on that. >> well, i was astonished when i watched the raymond davis case unfold. your viewers will remember that raymond davis was the c.i.a. contractor who was arrested in january and imprisoned for shooting and killing two pakistanis who were trailing him. it turned out that he was part of an undercover c.i.a. operation that's so much like the one that i'm describing in my novel. and he ended up getting released two months later through payment of blood money which is the title of the novel and one of the themes. by that time the book was
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already printed. i was handing out copies to my mom and dad and other relatives, and here it was coming down in real life. the truth is, as you know, people like us look at what's happening in the world, and then we project it forward. we think if i know a and b, then i've got to know that c and d are coming. and that's kind of the way it's been with my fiction. i do spend time with c.i.a. officers and with officers from disi, the pakistani intelligence services and services of other countries. i think, based on what i'm seeing right now in real life, where the story has to go, and with my last few books it's actually ended up in that space, which is weird for me as a writer, but, hey, i hope it's fun for readers. tavis: i want to come back in a moment to your prophetic writing, as it were, given what's happening between the u.s. and pakistan even as we
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speak. but i'll let you topline what the story is and then we'll come back to some real-life stuff. >> this story is set largely in pakistan. it's the story of a c.i.a. operation under very deep cover far from lngl far fro far from eabses hat traditionally provide cover. it's an entertainment business based in studio city, california. to hide our covert operatives when they're abroad. it funds itself through a hedge fund in london in a way that i hope readers will find believable. it's doing really crazy things off the book in pakistan and it gets found out. one of the operatives in the opening pages gets killed. the story of the book is really what went wrong with that operation, who knows about it, who's killing these agents from this undercover organization. and then, in a larger sense, what's going on with the united states and pakistan.
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if ever there was a web of deceit and distrust, it's the u.s.-pakistani spy relationship. and i try to get to the bottom of that and describe characters that i hope were true to life. by the end of the book there's sort of a way through this thicket. in the end, it's about how we go about resolving conflicts and breaking the log jam. that's where the blood money theme comes in. i hope, as i say in my acknowledgements, that painted in colors that are true to life. tavis: to your point of a moment ago, david, why, in the world that we live today, with stories that unfold every day that surprise us and just take our breath away, would you think that readers might have a difficult time believing that an operation like this would exist and that it would in fact -- this clandestine operating would be funded through a hedge fund in london? is that really so hard to believe in today's world? i think the readers can handle
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that. >> it shouldn't be. the c.i.a. in real life we know is looking for new kinds of cover. it's looking for new platforms, as they like to say and it tries to use the revolution in tec use all sorts of corporate entities in ways that are hard to detect to get our spice in the places they need to -- spies in the places they need to be. we're not chasing soviet spice. we don't go to parties and hope to chase them. we don't hide in the mountains and where they'd shoot us if they saw us, not to have a cocktail at a reception. the world is changing, and the c.i.a. has had to change. for me as a spy novelist, i write realistically about where they're actually going. sometimes james bond movies drive me crazy. they're fun to watch, but they
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don't have anything to do at all with what intelligence officers really do. tavis: given that you write in the read world -- your day job is writing at the "washington post," as we well know, how do you keep from putting too much truth, too much reality, too much what's in the news every day in your novel? how do you resist that? >> well, you have to invent the story, reinvent real life in your own imagination as a writer for it to have any power for readers. that's something i've discovered as i've worked on my books. otherwise you end up writing a newspaper story and calling it a novel, which just isn't going to be interesting for people. and it's that reinvention that makes it interesting. to your question that i think you're implicitly asking, how do you avoid putting too many secrets in, how do you end up avoiding tipping the hand. i don't know enough that that's
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really a big concern, but my boss, ben bradley, used to speak about the wiring diagram details of intelligence operations, and he always said to us that "washington post" readers don't need to know how the wiring diagram goes to understand the important facts of the story. and i think that's a true and valid point as much for novelists and it is for newspaper writers. tavis: in the time that i have left here, what do you make now beyond the novel "bloodmoney" of the real-life relationship or lack thereof that we haven't touched on? >> what i try to say on this book, tavis, and feel as a journalist writing every day is that this is like a bad marriage. there's so much mistrust. the partners have such deep resentments against each other.
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and yet, the reality is that they need each other. if this marriage broke up, if the united states and pakistan really said sayonara, baby, each would be in greater difficulty. our national security interests really require us to figure out a way to be better partners. and i think that that's going to require each side to do things that are uncomfortable. i personally -- one thing i've written a lot about in this book is our use of predator drones. we need to think about whether we're overusing that weapon, whether that weapon has become almost addictive. it's so easy to take people out from 10,000 feet. and the pakistanis need to think more about really working with us to go after the enemy that's going to take them down as much as us. the taliban are killing i.s.i., pakistani intelligence officers every day. so they need to get more serious from their end. if people look at it from that sort of tough-minded standpoint,
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like a couple in therapy, to continue my analogy, i hope they'll do better with it. can i say one other thing? tavis: sure, sure. >> when i'm talking to you, tavis, i can't help but think about the time we spent in china, walking in shanghai. it's such a pleasure to be with you. you're one of my favorite television journalists and somebody who -- i wish you were here in washington, we were going to take a walk after the show and talk about stuff. tavis: that's great of you to say. as you may know, i just returned from china and since david set me up so beautifully here, starting monday, july 11 for five nights on this program we're going to bring you a program called "postcards from china." i spent about two weeks in china putting together a five-night special that will air on this program starting monday, july 11, through friday, july 15, about china, the economy, education, the future, the environment. everything about china you could ever want to know you'll see here for a full week starting
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monday, july 11. david, thanks for the book, "bloodmoney," award-winning writer and columnist for "the washington post" and secondly, for the nice segue to promote my china special, monday, july 11. >> i will be watching. i can guarantee you that. tavis: david, thank you very much. i appreciate you. up next, ziggy marley. stay with us. tavis: please welcome ziggy marley back to this program. five-time grammy winner is out next week with a new solo project called "wild and free." this year marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of his iconic father. in just a few minutes he'll perform a song from the new project. but first, ziggy, good to have you back on the program. >> thanks for having me, tavis. tavis: been good? >> been good. tavis: 30 years, 30 years. >> doesn't seem that long to me,
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though. seems like yesterday still. i don't know. i'm with him every day. i see him every day. actually, we did a documentary about him. i just saw like a screening of where we are already and it's pretty heavy, you know. the emotions are still high, you know what i mean? we still have that emotional thing. it's not too long for me. tavis: i would think that one of the reasons why it seems like yesterday for you -- you tell me -- but i think that one of the reasons why it seems so soon, so recent, is because people won't let you forget it. in other words, everywhere you go people are playing your dad's music. everywhere you go, people are still talking about bob marley. everywhere you go you see posters of bob marley. i don't mean just in jamaica, but around the world. i remember having this conversation with some of the members of the king family. everywhere you look up and you
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see street names with their names on it. holidays every year. it's hard to put it in the past when people are reminding you of it every day. is that part of it? >> yes, that's a part of it, of course. but, you know, i don't mind at all. i don't mind. his spirit is with me constantly and i'm a believer in that world and the world of dreams and stuff. i've had dreams of my father over the years and that's the way i stay connected to him now. it's still in my subconscious, he lives in there. tavis: when you say you don't mind, how is it that you don't mind? how is it that you've come not to mind when you've tried to create? you've done a good job, obviously. but one has to create his own career, his own song stylings, finds his own voice in the massive shadow of a guy like bob marley. how do you do that and not mind? >> i think in the beginning it was -- well, i wasn't as conscious of it as i am now.
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but in the beginning, it was harder. but i think it's humility. because bob was such a great artist and individual. you have to be humble. you have to look at the bigger picture of what the movement and what he was about and your place in that movement. and i think that is -- i was very humble. i wasn't trying -- like really trying to hard to step into his shoes. i wasn't hungry about it. i accepted it and i was humble enough. but then after so many years in the music industry and becoming a man, i'm much more comfortable with who i am now and so much more comfortable with that fact and i can live with it very easily. tavis: was there ever a point where you were upset, had to wrestle with, find your way through the comparisons between ziggy and bob? because that's inevitable. was there ever a point where that got to you?
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>> well, it gets to me sometimes back in the day. it's the critics, you know, who cannot see just judge you on your own thing. they have to compare. it's not fair to really compare to that, because you're not trying to be like that. you're trying to be -- you should just judge merits. sometimes that would get to me. it's not about that. it's just about what it is for its own work of art. think about it in that way. but at the time -- but, again, those things we don't keep them in our minds. we just let it go. tavis: you marleys stick together as a family. the last time you were on this program your daughter was on your project. this time your son is on the project. so you keep it in the family. >> they're interested in music, the kids are. we try tone courage them if that's the way they want to go. but still, we encourage them with a realistic point of view, where, listen, just like it
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wasn't for me the way it was for my father, it won't be for you. it's not easy. it's hard, hard work. because the generation of today is much different than even my generation. they have it much more easier, a much more smoother road. so the mission is to instill in them hard work, hard work, you know. don't make it be easy. hard work, you know? tavis: how do you do that? i'm glad you raised this. this is not just the question that the marley family wrestles with. i know a lot of families in this day and age who are trying to instill that in their kids. and the more they have, the more they have access to, the more difficult it is to get them to focus on the fact that it's about hard work. you've got to work hard. >> yes. tavis: how do you go about instilling that in them? >> well, you know, i mean, again, it's such a learning process, because i had kids when i was young. i really never understand it that much -- that well at that
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time. but as i grew and i saw how they were growing, i was kinds of like, this is not right. it can't work that way. they have to be able to have a mentality that, you know, that my father had, but i have to work for my own thing. i can't be lazy, sitting around thinking it's just going to happen. so we do it with hard love and sometimes they hate you for that. but, i mean, eventuall they will understand it. but i'll tell you [laughter] tavis: that entitlement can be tough. >> yeah. tavis: speaking of your son, daniel, on this project, how would you describe the new project, "wild and free"? >> "wild and free," i think is -- i started out with this idea of it being a project around telling people about hemp, the industrial uses.
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and i like the title, "wild and free." but i think that the project is -- i think it's my most personal project in terms of what i'm singing about. every song on this album is from my heart. it's from my perspective musically. i'm not singing about -- i'm not commenting. it's my experiences in life. so i think the title, "wild and free," is that i am much more freely able to express myself honestly to the public, without trying to polish it. i'm just trying to be free with my expression. tavis: you're not the first person to do a project that is trying to make a social statement, trying to comment about issues that matter to you. there are all kinds of folk, marvin gaye most famously comes to mind with "what's going on," so there have been any number of projects. not every song lyric has to be socially redemptive, but there
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have been artists and projects that are trying to make a statement. ziggy marley is talking about an issue that matters to him. but when you are unapologetically putting on a project that talks about hemp or cannabis or marijuana, when you put a project on atlanta hawks about that, how do you do that -- not make it preachy and not stand a soapbox about that issue? we buy this, we want to be entertained. how do you do that? >> i make music that people ill enjoy and balance the ideas and philosophy that we'll put in music, that people with move and groove to it. i don't think too much about it, because as an artist myself i don't like to be reached. i want to enjoy myself as well. so i kind of use that perspective to make music, you
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know? tavis: woody harrelson. [laughter] >> everybody laughs. tavis: why does everybody laugh? because it's woody harrelson. track number one, wild and-free, featuring woody harrelson. how did that happen, right quick? >> we share some likes and stuff and ideas. he came around the house when i was recording the song. i didn't expect woody to be on the record. i just said, woody, come on. i was joking. and when he sang, i was like, oh, that's cool. let's put you on the record. and he was up to it and we did it and that was it. tavis: so if, on your next project, i happen to stop by the house, is it possible that i could end up on the record? >> it's possible, yes. [laughter] tavis: all right. i'll be by, then, in a few weeks. ziggy suggested a moment ago he's not trying to preach or proselytize. we'll give you a chance right
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now to see whether or not you enjoy the new stuff from ziggy marley. the new project is called "wild and free" and we are now going to have a special performance from ziggy marley in just a moment. stay with us. tavis: from his forthcoming c.d., "wild and free." here is ziggy marley performing "forward to love." good night from los angeles and keep the faith. ♪ ♪ ♪ don't go away when you know that it feels good ♪ why don't you stay 'cause you know what we could do ♪ baby we could get hazy ♪ hand-in-hand we feel
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♪ we see true love in our eyes ♪ baby this ain't a maybe ♪ foward to love ♪ forward to love ♪ you know we got something ♪ the feeling is true ♪ and i don't want to wait another day to be with you baby ♪ ooh ooh we could get lazy ♪ spirits speak the force of the truth ♪ no need to waste time let's just do it baby ♪ ooh ooh we could get crazy
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♪ yeah ♪ forward to love ♪ yeah sford to love -- forward to love ♪ what do you know it shouldn't be this easy ♪ you take the lead and i won't be greedy ♪ baby i'm in no hurry ♪ what are the odds strangers would meet ♪ deep inside we walked these streets already ♪ and this ain't just lately ♪ all right forward to love ♪ come on now
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♪ forward to love ♪ ♪ ♪ don't go away when you know that it feels good ♪ why don't you stay 'cause you know what we could do ♪ baby we could get hazy ♪ hand-in-hand we feel the vibe ♪ just the true love in my eyes ♪ baby and this ain't a maybe
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♪ oh yeah ♪ forward to love ♪ come on now ♪ forward to love ♪ forward to love ♪ forward to love ♪ forward to love [applause] >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: shie, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with barry manilow on his first newat mia eratl in decade. that's next time. >> all i know is his name is james and he needs extra help with his reading.
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>> i'm james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference -- >> thank you. >> -- you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud remove obstacles by economic empowerment one conversation at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioned by the national captioning institute
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