Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. Becker visits and shoots a TV Museum, some ice skaters, Brass Plum (a clothing store), the Disney store, the Hemlock Society (a group that advocates euthanasia), and tapes an interview an unidentified former journalist from the Washington Times, who talks about the "moonies."
00:00Copy video clip URL Videomaker Eddie Becker visits a TV museum and gets footage of old televisions. The tape opens looking at wall that says, “What Television Will Mean to You.” It shows an old advertisement for the television. The camera then moves to tape an old television show, and the people who are moving through the museum. An old magazine ad by General Electric reads, “What is Television?” Becker continues to tape different exhibits and pictures. One stand has old TVs from over the years, with tiny screens. Becker lingers here, taping people’s reactions. One TV screens old advertisements, a game show, and a family comedy, tracing the evolution of TV shows.
15:42Copy video clip URL Cuts to footage of people ice-skating outside in Washington D.C. in the evening.
17:42Copy video clip URL Becker walks around Brass Plum clothing store. The tape cuts to a mannequin dressed in all purple, and then zooms out to reveal a wall of TVs, and a neon sign that says Brass Plum. He watches shoppers trying on clothes, and looking through the racks. A man finds it odd that he is being recorded while he’s shopping, and Becker asks him his opinion of the store, and the man thinks it’s “too much,” but finds it convenient. He was buying a Christmas gift for his niece. Becker zooms in on a man sort of sleeping in front of a bunch of Christmas sweaters.
22:58Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to the Disney store, where a giant Pooh screen is above a giant mountain of stuffed animals. Employees are putting some toys back, because so many of them are knocked on the floor by children. Becker tries to interview one of the employees but the conversation is inaudible. Songs from Disney movies play in the background. The TVs above display a variety of Disney videos. Becker talks to a woman who contemplates buying a toy tea set. An employee talks about Disney a little, saying Disney is both “nostalgia and the future.” One employee says working there makes him feel like a kid again.
38:21Copy video clip URL Becker goes to a meeting of the Hemlock Society, a group that advocates euthanasia. Members talk about how the issues of euthanasia and long-term illness have touched their lives. Becker first interviews the vice president of the society, who had breast cancer and got involved after watching a movie about euthanasia and wanting to be in control of her life. She got information about the society, and found there was a D.C. chapter forming. She explains the feelings she had about death, and that she feels the Hemlock Society gave her back some of her dignity.
43:31Copy video clip URL Becker asks that the technology involved in her own situation. She says she didn’t want to be put on life support, and talks about her philosophy of being in control, and that she feels better now that she has made the appropriate preparations. She now helps other people make decisions.
46:43Copy video clip URL Becker interviews another woman, who calls herself a health educator, and sometimes works as a personal counselor, and leader of a discussion group. “The concerns that people have about dying are varied… they vary from the psychological to the social to the physical to the legal.” She discusses legal misunderstandings and emphasizes the importance of being prepared. Becker asks about the technology, and the woman explains that though it used to be the physician’s decision, now the physician does not know his patients, and is reluctant to make any decisions. Doctors, she says, are worried about being sued and nursing homes want to keep people alive because it is their source of income. She continues to talk about legal technicalities in hospitals.
56:53Copy video clip URL Becker asks about a specific bill, and the woman explains that the bill would allow for doctor-assisted termination of life. At the moment, doctors can’t help you because it puts their job in jeopardy. Families and inheritance further complicate the issue. “The individual decides what he wants. It’s very difficult for the family to decide for you.”
01:00:40Copy video clip URL The tape cuts. A woman speaks in Swedish briefly about the Swedish National Radio, and Becker asks about satellites in Sweden. The woman eventually says that she has cable TV.
1:01:55Copy video clip URL Interview with a former journalist from the Washington Times, a newspaper founded in 1982 by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church as a conservative alternative to the Washington Post. The tape opens in the middle of him explaining a photograph to Becker. (He will explain it again later in the tape.)
01:02:55Copy video clip URL Becker asks him to start at the beginning. He says he went to work for the Washington Times in the spring of 1983. This journalist describes being deceived by the paper, thinking it was a legitimate news outlet, and later learning that the paper actually planted false stories for its journalists to report on: “I had no earthly idea what [it was]… other than it was a conservative alternative to the Washington Post.” He says the Unification Church actually controlled the agenda of the paper.
01:05:44Copy video clip URL The journalist recounts being assigned a story on Makarenko, a man from the Soviet Union who spent time in jail there. Apparently he lied some about his past, and was actually an art restorer who forged works of art on the side. The journalist now believes the story was planted. He got an unsigned note on his desk asking him to write this story, unbeknownst to his editor. He thinks that the story was planted by the Unification Church. Makarenko was scheduled to testify in Congress, and the journalist learned that the Unification Church employed Makarenko, and the story was intended to augment his testimony.
01:11:15Copy video clip URL Becker asks about why the journalist didn’t drop the story, and the man says that he got curious, and was then told that he should stop working on the story. After this, the journalist noticed some inconsistencies in Makarenko’s story, including an odd story about photos taken.
01:15:10Copy video clip URL Next, the journalist says he asked for the negatives Makarenko took, but the negatives were pieced together, indicating that not all the negatives were given. Two analysts, separately, thought that these negatives were not taken in the Soviet Union.
01:17:17Copy video clip URL Becker wonders if this was related to how the journalist lost his job with the Times, and the journalist says he stopped working on the story, and that’s not why he lost his job. “I did in fact run afoul of the political interests of the Washington Times, and I was in fact sacked in May of 1985.”
01:17:57Copy video clip URL The journalist shows Becker Regardies, a business and political magazine. The journalist wrote the Makarenko story about the compiled photographs for Regardies, which angered the Washington Times. Regardies published the pictures Makarenko gave. The journalist now explains the photograph from the beginning of his interview. Evidence of the fact that these pictures were not taken in the Soviet Union are circled in the photo. The journalist goes through each piece of evidence, and then shows another photo supposedly of political prisoners forced to labor. A third photo from the article is the only one that captures Cyrillic characters. However, a photo of a topless woman is on display, which is illegal in the Soviet Union.
01:23:55Copy video clip URL The journalist hears about the reception of the article. Makarenko filed a lawsuit 13 months after publication, claiming defamation. “The bottom line here is not about a Russian… more importantly, they give the appearance of having access to the American power structure, and the appearance of being influential.” He says the church wants to appear influential to international powers, like Japan.
01:26:12Copy video clip URL The journalist displays issues of the Times, and explains the headlines and some of the evidence of bias in the paper. For instance, he shows a map which leaves off a significant port city, and therefore misses the most important part of the story it reports. “They’ve had years now to develop knowledge and expertise… it’s a superficial newspaper.” Becker asks about the influence of the Times on people in the U.S., but the journalist is doubtful of the extent of its power. He lists numerous other publications of the church.
01:32:58Copy video clip URL The journalist talks about the secrecy of the Unification Church, operating through front organizations. He explains their efforts to create influence in the journalism and political spheres. The journalist says that all of this requires a lot of money, and among other things shows that it does not support the democratic initiatives it claims to back.
01:38:21Copy video clip URL Becker asks about Japanese funding, and the journalist claims that the money for the Unification Church comes from Mitsubishi, going back to the origins of the Unification Church in Japan. He says Mitsubishi wants to increase its market in China, and receive defense spending. These motives have been supported by Moon and the church’s interests (in exchange for funding).
01:42:21Copy video clip URL The tape cuts, and Becker asks about his experience working with “moonies.” The journalist calls them intelligent and well-educated in general, and thinks they are misrepresented by the public. He thinks the leaders are “operatives for foreign interests” and impose their agenda by buying their way in. The journalist doesn’t oppose the motives per say, but that their initiatives should be labeled as foreign opinion.
01:46:00Copy video clip URL End of tape.