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A Tribute to Artie Shaw

Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died Dec. 29 at the age of 94, apparently of natural causes. In the 1930s and '40s, Shaw's band ranked with the Goodman, Dorsey and Miller bands in popularity. But he largely rejected pop tunes and stuck with music by composers like Porter, Gershwin and Berlin. We remember Shaw.

15:52

Other segments from the episode on January 3, 2005

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, January 3, 2005: Interview with Robert Stone and Tim Findley; Obituary for Artie Shaw.

Transcript

DATE January 3, 2005 ACCOUNT NUMBER N/A
TIME 12:00 Noon-1:00 PM AUDIENCE N/A
NETWORK NPR
PROGRAM Fresh Air

Interview: Robert Stone and Tim Findley discuss the new
documentary "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst"
TERRY GROSS, host:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Many terrorist groups try to use the media to magnify the scale and importance
of their actions. A new documentary examines an early example of this in the
case of domestic terrorism. "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst" tells
the story of the SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army, which in 1974 kidnapped
the 19-year-old newspaper heiress and demanded that her father, Randolph
Hearst, pay a ransom of $300 million in the form of food to the poor. He
tried to comply and organized a food program, but it ended in chaos and riots.

Patty Hearst was locked in a dark room for weeks. When she was allowed out of
that room, she declared she had become a member of the SLA. She participated
in one of their bank robberies, carrying an AK-47. Much of the coverage
surrounding the story in subsequent years has speculated about whether she
ever really believed in the SLA's cause, or if she was just brainwashed. But
the new documentary revolves around the SLA itself and how it used the media,
and how the media helped inflate the power of the SLA.

When the group first kidnapped Patty Hearst, one of the leaders of the SLA,
who went by the name Cinque, released this tape.

(Soundbite of "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst")

SINQUE (Symbionese Liberation Army): Randolph A. Hearst is the corporate
chairman of the fascist media empire of the ultra-right Hearst Corporation,
which is one of the largest propaganda institutions of this present military
dictatorship of the militarily armed corporate state that we now live under in
this nation. The primary goal of this empire is to serve and form the
necessary propaganda and smoke screen to shield the American people from
seeing the realities of the corporate dictatorship which Richard Nixon and
Gerald Ford represent. In closing, I wish to say to Mr. Hearst and Mrs.
Hearst, I am quite willing to carry out the execution of your daughter to save
the life of starving men, women and children of every race. And if, as you
and others so naively believe, that we will lose, let it be known that even in
death, we will win. For the very ashes of this fascist nation will mark our
very graves.

FRESH: That tape is one of the many broadcast actualities included in the
new documentary "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst." My guest is the
director, Robert Stone. And just to clear up any confusion, he's not the
novelist Robert Stone.

Also with is Tim Findley, who covered the story as it unfolded for the San
Francisco Chronicle. The paper's competitor, the Examiner, was owned by the
Hearst family. I asked Findley to describe the SLA. He said their first act
was the assassination of Marcus Foster, the newly appointed superintendent of
the Oakland schools. He was the first African-American to hold that position.

Mr. TIM FINDLEY (Reporter): Foster was a very progressive man with great
ideas. And he came up against a very, I would say, reactionary group of civic
leaders in Oakland at the time and promised great things for the
schoolchildren. The SLA comes along and, acting as a so-called leftist
organization, kills him when they kidnapped Patricia Hearst. In fact, I
didn't know Patricia Hearst had been kidnapped for two days after she was
taken because the publishers hid that fact from everybody. So Patricia Hearst
was woven into the story of the SLA, which I originally pursued as the story
of a left gone very, very wrong in assassinating Marcus Foster.

GROSS: You say that the left was really opposed to the SLA. Why was the left
opposed to the SLA? The SLA had used the rhetoric of the left and used the
anti-corporate stand, the helping-the-poor stand of the left for their own
purposes.

Mr. FINDLEY: No. That came later. The SLA, you must remember, came along at
a time when they were, I would say, greatly infatuated by the left movements
in civil rights days and the student movement and now the prison movement but
greatly impatient with the way it was going. The war in Vietnam was over.
The big demonstrations had finished. These individuals had not really played
a part in that, and they wanted a piece of the pie. They saw the revolution
as continuing. But if you examine what was truly going on in the left of the
time and in that period of the early '70s, there was a great deal of
intellectual study being devoted once again to Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin
and really hard-core Bolshevik ideas. The SLA, if you will, came along like
the Marx brothers. And that's really the way they portrayed it. The left,
the serious left, wanted nothing to do with these clowns.

GROSS: Robert Stone, can you talk about how the assassination of Oakland's
superintendent of schools connected with the kidnapping of Patty Hearst?

Mr. ROBERT STONE (Filmmaker): Well, shortly after Marcus Foster's
assassination--about a month or two later, two members of the SLA, Russ Little
and Joe Remiro were arrested in a traffic stop and charged with the murder of
Marcus Foster. And the SLA had--you know, they'd studied these guerrilla
groups in Latin America and they'd watched this movie "State of Siege," which
is all about a political kidnapping. And what they did was they kidnapped
Patricia Hearst initially with this idea that they were going to trade her for
Russ Little and Joe Remiro in some sort of hostage exchange.

GROSS: Those were the two men arrested for the assassination of the
superintendent of schools.

Mr. STONE: That's right. That's right. So, I mean, it sounds kind of crazy.
But in their sort of romantic idea of being the armed guerrillas, they thought
they could pull this off. And they quickly realized they couldn't. And out
of that sprang this sort of massive, sort of Robin Hood demand for Randolph
Hearst, Patty Hearst's father, to feed all the poor people of California to
the tune of $300 million.

GROSS: Let me play a tape that you include in your documentary "Guerrilla:
The Taking of Patty Hearst." This is a news clip of Randolph Hearst, Patty
Hearst's father, reading the kidnap notice that he received.

(Soundbite of "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst")

Mr. RANDOLPH HEARST (Patty Hearst's Father): (Reading) `The united forces of
the Symbionese Liberation Army, armed with cyanide-loaded weapons, served an
arrest warrant upon Patricia Campbell Hearst. All communications from this
court must be published in full in all newspapers and all other forms of the
media. Failure to do so will endanger the safety of the prisoner. Should any
attempt be made by authorities to rescue the prisoner or to arrest or harm any
SLA elements, the prisoner is to be executed.' And in capital letters under
that is `Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people.'

GROSS: Now once Randolph Hearst read this kidnap notice--the notice said all
communications from the SLA must be followed in full by the media or that
would affect Patty Hearst's safety. Tim Findley, what position did that put
the media in? Did you feel that you were now responsible for her life, that
if you didn't do what the SLA said, that she would be harmed?

Mr. FINDLEY: Well, I was in an exceptional position in that, you know, as a
reporter, I was again still working on the Foster story and by then had
identified who the SLA was. But the newspaper was refusing to print my
stories identifying who the SLA was for fear of harming Patricia Hearst. I
had no role in their decision to go ahead and print every word that the SLA
sent them. They did ask me what I thought about that; I said I thought it was
a mistake, but their reply was essentially the same, is that they would do
everything they could to protect Patty Hearst. And it's very hard to argue
against that at that point, although in my case, I was put in an extremely
difficult position because I was basically withholding information that my
sources had given me which could have led to their arrest. And my sources
were left-wing sources and were beginning to suspect that maybe I was not such
a friend of theirs after all; maybe I was working for the police.

GROSS: What kind of tips were you getting from the left that you had to
withhold?

Mr. FINDLEY: Well, certain people in the left had known these people very
well, and they told me who they all were. We knew where they were for a time.
I had the identity of everyone involved in the SLA and their background.

GROSS: Are there a lot of sources you're protecting to this day?

Mr. FINDLEY: Well, there's a couple of sources, sure, you know, that I'm
protecting and, you know, I was promised never to reveal. And I don't even
know where those sources are today. But more than that, it's the matter of to
give away the techniques of what had to go on at that time, just to come up
with all that stuff, that--you remember that the left found itself rather
embarrassing to be chasing one of their own in this situation, and yet these
people had stolen guns from other people in the left and were to carry out
their nonsense and their homicide. They were running around with guns that,
if they were caught, would be traced back to other members of the left who had
nothing to do with it and wouldn't have anything to do with this sort of
thing. They had, you know, sources of their own, they thought, within the
left who would give them up in an instant if they got the change, and they
were only gradually learning in the SLA itself that they were in that kind of
jeopardy.

Well, since you got radio time, I'll give you a small example. When we
finally did publish the story about Cinque and who he was, I included in that
story at least five references to his affection for plum wine. Now I wasn't
trying to attack the guy necessarily as, you know, a drunken revolutionary,
but we were trying to underscore the fact that the source for that information
was a source he would recognize through the plum wine connection, and we
emphasized that over and over again in the stories, just to let them know that
we obviously knew more and that the left itself was telling them, you know,
`Stop now, don't go further.' And they ignored that.

GROSS: Well, that's really interesting. You think that got the message? You
think they got it?

Mr. FINDLEY: Yes, they did.

GROSS: Yeah?

Mr. FINDLEY: Yes, they did.

GROSS: My guests are Robert Stone, director of the new documentary
"Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst," and Tim Findley, a journalist who
covered the story as it unfolded for the San Francisco Chronicle. We'll talk
more after a break. This is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: My guests are Robert Stone, director of the new documentary
"Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst," and Tim Findley, who covered the
SLA's kidnapping of Patty Hearst for the San Francisco Chronicle. He also
wrote a book on the story, and he is interviewed in the movie.

Mr. FINDLEY: Co-wrote with Les Payne of Newsday, by the way, so...

GROSS: Oh, thank you.

Robert Stone, one of the things you really focus on in the movie is how the
media covered the story, and you get a little glimpse of the difference
between the mainstream media and the alternative media's covering of the
story. I want to play a clip that you have in the movie, and this is a clip
of Paul Fischer at the Pacifica radio station KPFA on day nine of the Patty
Hearst kidnapping, talking to his listeners about a message from the SLA that
they had just gotten in the mail.

(Soundbite of "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst")

Mr. PAUL FISCHER (KPFA): And what we're going to play next, as per
instructions from the SLA, is a tape recording from the SLA which purports to
contain the voice of the kidnapped victim, Patricia Hearst.

(Soundbite of mechanical noise)

Ms. PATTY HEARST: Mom, Dad, I'm OK. I'm with a combat unit that's armed with
automatic weapons. And these people aren't just a bunch of nuts; they've been
really honest with me that they're perfectly willing to die for what they're
doing. And I want to get out of here, but the only way I'm going to is if we
do it their way. And I just hope that you'll do what they say, Dad, and just
do it quickly. And, I mean, I hope that this puts you a little bit at ease so
that--and that you know that I really am all right. I just hope I can get
back to everybody really soon.

GROSS: That's a news clip that is included in Robert Stone's new documentary
"Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst," about her kidnapping by the SLA.

Robert Stone, part of your movie is about the media coverage of the kidnapping
of Patty Hearst. Standing back from it a little bit, what do you think--how
do you think the media played it, and do you think that the way that they
played it affected the outcome of the story?

Mr. STONE: Oh, I mean, the fact that the SLA got the attention they did is
what makes the SLA something that we're talking about 30 years later.
Otherwise they would have just been a footnote in history that would have
been, you know, forgotten. But I think that's the most interesting thing
about this is how they got the attention that they did and how really half a
dozen people got the attention of the world through this kidnapping. I mean,
what you're seeing here is--I think it's really the beginning of the broadcast
news media at least sort of merging with the entertainment industry and
almost, you know, an act of political terrorism being played out as a form of
mass entertainment for people.

So you start off with, you know, the clip that you played that was played on
an alternative radio station. That ended up being rebroadcast by the
television news media who were standing in front of the Hearst ranch and
holding up radios, and the television cameras were filming the radio, so it
filters out there. And then this ended up sort of going across the country.
The communiques were broadcast in full in the newspapers across the country.
And it gave the SLA really incredible power beyond the fact that they were
just this really tiny group. And they ended up kind of buy--they got into
this sort of feedback look where they sort of bought their own hype and they
sort of fed their own megalomania, in a sense.

GROSS: One of...

Mr. STONE: And the rhetoric, too. The rhetoric kept--they would put out
these--you know, they would refer to themselves as soldiers and that they were
an army and that they were holding Patty Hearst under the terms of the Geneva
Convention. And then Randolph Hearst would start using this rhetoric, and the
media would start using this rhetoric. And I think they almost came to
believe their own rhetoric. They came to believe that, `Well, maybe we are
having a huge influence on society. Maybe we really are starting a
revolution.'

GROSS: A lot of the media was camped out on the Hearsts' lawn. And one
reporter who is interviewed in the documentary "Guerrilla" says, `We were
being messengers for each side, but nobody was really doing their work as
journalists.' Tim Findley, would you agree with that? Do you think a lot of
the press was being used as a messenger but wasn't out there actually trying
to uncover what was going on?

Mr. FINDLEY: Well, you know, I'll say proudly I never was on the front lawn
of the Hearst mansion at all.

GROSS: I figured, yeah.

Mr. FINDLEY: And I certainly spent a lot of time out there looking for these
folks. Yeah, it's easy--and you gotta remember that it also hit at a
technological time in that, for the first time, many local stations and
regional stations were able to put up a live signal, though admittedly it took
a big truck. However, this situation fit just perfectly for it. And old-time
reporting, frankly, such as we were doing seemed to be lost in the process.
It's OK with me. You know, some--lots of competition doesn't hurt sometimes.

But I'll give you a good example. There was a television--a woman reporter
who sort of tracked after it for a little while and came along behind us, and
she went on television one time and we had followed these people through the
housing projects in San Francisco and knew where they had been there. And she
went on television; she said that the way they survived in the housing project
was that they stole wash towels from local service stations and sold wash
towels. We could figure--what was she talking about? They sold wash towels.
And we looked back and we realized that what she had heard was that the people
in the housing project had referred to them as `the Watch Tower people'; that
is, Seventh-day Adventists, you know, who come door to door...

GROSS: Oh.

Mr. FINDLEY: ...knocking on--to sell you a thing. The SLA was doing just
about that. They were going door to door, knock, knock, knock, `Here's the
revolution. Can we come in and talk to you if you're not having dinner for a
while and see how well you fit within the future for, you know, insurrection
and treason?' And they started calling them `the Watch Tower people.' And she
heard that instead, `the wash towels people.' But--(laughs)--I'm sorry, it
just is an amusing story.

But a lot of things like that got carried away. Other people exploited the
media into claiming they had a communique when they really didn't, you know,
and trying to sell it for money. And there were a lot of offshoot little
entrepreneurs running around during the food giveaway program. So it was pure
craziness. And, as you say, most of the media remained camped out on the lawn
of the Hearst mansion as if she would drive up someday in a--I don't know, in
a pink Volvo or something with revolutionary flags on it, say, `I give up.' I
don't know. She never did, you know.

Mr. STONE: Hearst fed the whole thing, though. I mean, he felt that that was
his only power to get his daughter back is the fact...

Mr. FINDLEY: Well...

Mr. STONE: ...that he controlled all these papers and controlled all these
radio stations. That was...

Mr. FINDLEY: I'll tell you, though...

Mr. STONE: That's what he knew. That's the world he knew. So he invited
them all onto his lawn.

Mr. FINDLEY: Yeah. (Chuckles) Well, this was funny. He called me one
morning; it was real early. And I live in Sausalito. And I answered the
phone and he said, `Tim?' And I said, `Yeah?' kind of half hung-over, half
asleep. He said, `This is Randy.' And I said, `Right, this is Randy.'
(Laughs) I didn't believe him. I said, `Randy who?' `Randy Hearst.' And he
had this idea that he wanted me to help him out and he wanted me to contact
all the underground papers in the United States, the heavy-left underground
press like the Berkeley Barb and so on and so forth and get them to print a
message that he would write and print every word he would write in the
underground press. And I said, `Well, gee, Mr. Hearst, you know, you've
got--What?--seven newspapers and 15 radio stations, I don't know, TV stations
and stuff, and you want me to get you the Berkeley Barb? I mean, really,
that's gonna help?'

And he was convinced somehow that he just needed to get through to her with
the right medium. And so, of course, we did, and I don't think they ever made
the deal to print everything he said in the Berkeley Barb. But he was
desperate for that kind of thing, to find the right approach. He was
convinced that if he could just sit down with these boys and girls, that he
could talk them out of this whole thing.

GROSS: Robert Stone directed the new documentary "Guerrilla: The Taking of
Patty Hearst." Journalist Tim Findley covered the story as it unfolded for
the San Francisco Chronicle and is featured in the film. They'll be back in
the second half of the show. I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

(Announcements)

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: Clarinetist Artie Shaw and his big band. Coming up, we listen back to
a 1985 interview with Shaw. He died last week at the age of 94. Also, we
continue our conversation with filmmaker Robert Stone and journalist Tim
Findley about the kidnapping of Patty Hearst.

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

We're talking about the new documentary, "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty
Hearst." It examines the story of the extremist group the SLA, the Symbionese
Liberation Army, which in 1974 kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst and
demanded that her father, Randolph Hearst, pay a ransom of $300 million to
feed the poor. My guests are the filmmaker, Robert Stone, and journalist Tim
Findley. Findley covered the story as in unfolded for the San Francisco
Chronicle, later co-wrote a book about it and is featured in the film.

The first few weeks that Patty Hearst was held hostage, she was, as far as we
know, in a closet and was going through...

Mr. FINDLEY: Like a pantry, actually.

GROSS: Like a pantry. OK. OK. And when she was finally released from that
confined space, she had a conversion or pretended to have a conversion or was
brainwashed or whatever--there's so many different interpretations of the
story. But anyways, she changed her name to Tania. She started going out
with the SLA. She joined them in a bank robbery. She carried a machine gun.
She posed for a very revolutionary-style photograph. And she released this
tape. Let's play another tape that, Robert Stone, you include in your
documentary, "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst." And this is day 59 of
her kidnapping, and this is a tape addressed to her parents.

(Soundbite of "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst")

Ms. PATTY HEARST: Mom, Dad, tell the poor and oppressed people of this nation
what the corporate state is about to do. Warn black and poor people that they
are about be murdered down to the last man, woman and child. Tell the people
that the energy crisis is nothing more than a means to get public approval for
a massive program to build nuclear power plants all over the nation. Tell the
people that the entire corporate state is, with the aid of this massive power
supply, about to totally automate the entire industrial state to the point
that in the next five years, all that will be needed will be a small class of
button-pushers. Tell the people, Dad, that the removal of the expendable
excess, the removal of unneeded people has already started.

I have been given the choice of, one, being released in a safe area or, two,
joining the forces of the Symbionese Liberation Army and fighting for my
freedom and the freedom of all oppressed people. I have chosen to stay and
fight. I have been given the name Tania after a comrade who fought alongside
Che in Bolivia. It in the spirit of Tania that I say (foreign language
spoken).

GROSS: That's Patty Hearst, recorded on the 59th day of her kidnapping.

I'm interested in hearing what you both have to say about her temporary
conversion or whatever as a revolutionary. I wonder, like, how you see that
part of the story in your mind. Robert Stone, let's start with you. You made
the new documentary.

Mr. STONE: Oh. Well, you know, I'm not a psychiatrist, but I think it can be
explained in two ways. The Stockholm syndrome, which is something that's
known to exist where captives, people who are held hostage or are kidnapped,
tend to identify with their captors and sometimes even fall in love with their
captors. This is known to happen. It's happened all over the world. And I
think that certainly happened to her early on. It doesn't explain everything
about her complete transformation, but I think it probably provided a window
into what she was indoctrinated with and this kind of ideology.

And you really got to understand it more like a cult. The SLA operated, and
increasingly operated as they went forward, as a cult. And, you know, I think
she joined a cult and totally bought into it for a time as people do. And
they were--you know, obviously, they were also living out this pop culture
fantasy, this romantic fantasy. I mean, they met at the movies, you know.

GROSS: The SLA members met at the movie?

Mr. STONE: Yeah. You know...

GROSS: What was the movie?

Mr. STONE: They met at--I think it was a documentary about Attica that Russ
Little was showing. Russ Little used to go around Berkeley showing political
movies. And they all met at the movies. And they all--and they watched
"State of Siege" repeatedly.

It was interesting, at Sundance, when the film premiered, Patty Hearst was
there and actually did the Q-and-A with me after the premiere. And she took
me aside afterwards and said, `You know, I had totally forgot this, but when I
was, you know, held in that closet for a time and they were giving me all
these books to read and trying to convince me the rightness of their cause and
everything, they dressed me up once in a costume, in a wig and everything.
They took me out to the movies to see a screening of "State of Siege," you
know.' And it was just--I had sort of gone out on a limb in suggesting the
influence of this movie on them, but clearly this was the template from which
they were operating in many ways.

GROSS: Tim Findley, what are your impressions of the temporary conversion or
whatever that Patty Hearst temporarily underwent?

Mr. FINDLEY: Well, I think Bob's right. You have to remember first of all
that these were her peers in effect who kidnapped her. There was not that
much difference between Patty and the people who were holding her hostage
except for DeFreeze perhaps. They came from middle-class backgrounds. You
know, they had some of the same upbringing and so on and so forth. They went
through the same pop period, if you will, of Berkeley and witnessing the
revolution and the other adventures of the time. And, of course, there is
that Stockholm syndrome. I've covered the Moonies and Scientology since and
seen it over and over again. But finally, for Patty, there was also something
very special. Now Patty had always been, you know, the coddled member of
Hearst's family. And suddenly she became the princess of the revolution. And
frankly, she became conscious of that. I think she was, in the end, very much
aware that she was now the most important urban guerrilla in the United
States, however few urban guerrillas there may have been and took that quite
seriously. She had many opportunities to simply walk away from it and end it
all and go home but did not. She has had many opportunities later on to
explain it all, and I don't think she has done that fully either.

GROSS: You know, eventually there's a big shootout between the police in Los
Angeles where the SLA had moved to and SLA members who were holed up in a
house. The house caught on fire because of the tear gas that was used. Patty
Hearst and the Harrises, from the SLA, were in another house. They were
eventually arrested. Patty Hearst gets sentenced to seven years in prison for
her role in the bank robbery. Her sentence is commuted by President Carter to
22 months. She receives a full pardon from President Clinton just before he
left the White House.

Robert Stone, you interviewed two former SLA members for your documentary
about Patty Hearst and the SLA. One of them was Mike Bortin. And he's
somebody who joined the SLA after the LA police confrontation with the SLA.
And he was involved in a bank robbery in which a woman in the bank was shot.
After you interviewed him for the movie, he and three others were arrested for
that murder at the bank robbery years ago. And subsequent to him
participating in your movie, he was put in jail where he still is.

And so I'm wondering what your reaction was after spending, you know, all this
time talking with him about the past--I mean, he really comes off as, I think,
quite lucid in your documentary--what your reaction was to seeing him now
serving time for the action, which he did not admit to by the way in the
movie?

Mr. STONE: Well, he actually comes about as close as you can possibly get to
an on-camera confession in a movie. And I knew that he was involved at the
time. And he knew that this case was coming down the tracks, too.

GROSS: I see. I see.

Mr. STONE: So it wasn't a great surprise to me that they got arrested or that
they pled guilty because obviously they would be going to jail for a long time
for murder. And they actually got off--Mike Bortin I think is serving six
years. So they got off quite lightly. So it wasn't entirely surprising, but
I was in a bit of a bind because I couldn't in my movie, until this
happened--and I knew it was coming--and I didn't know whether it was going to
play out into some sort of big trial. I mean, the prosecutors wanted to put
them on trial and bring in the entire history of the SLA and brand them as a
terrorist group. This is, you know, shortly after 9/11, and they felt that
was the way that they could get a conviction because there wasn't very much
forensic evidence against them, which is why the case hadn't been solved for
all these years. And they were going to put Patty Hearst--she was going to be
the star witness to the whole thing. So I was in this bind of just waiting
and waiting to see what was going to happen. And of course miraculously, as I
was finishing the film, the story that began in 1973 finally, finally, finally
came to an end.

GROSS: Do you think that the former members of the SLA see the story
differently now than they did then?

Mr. STONE: Well, I mean, yes. I think they all surprisingly agree, I think,
with the central thesis of the film, which is that they got lost in this
romantic fantasy world, which they lived out. And I think they see that now,
and they recognize that now. They're very smart people, you know. And that
really surprised me because if you listen to the tapes, they just seem kind of
crazy. And they're not. They're not at all. But, you know, like I say, I
think all of them kind of brainwashed themselves to a degree. They also--a
lot of the rhetoric and the theatrics of it was for show, you know. They
wanted to get the attention, and they wanted to scare the pants out of the
American public. And they thought by doing that, that they could incite a
revolution, by pretending that they were bigger than they actually were, that
they would get, you know, support, that the whole thing would sort of
snowball. It didn't really work that way, but the media's definitely helped
it and fueled it. So I think you can't separate the mass media from modern
acts of political terrorism. They're absolutely intertwined and interladen.

GROSS: Well, I want to thank you both very much for talking with us.

Mr. STONE: Thank you very much, Terry.

Mr. FINDLEY: Thank you.

GROSS: Robert Stone directed the new documentary "Guerrilla: The Taking of
Patty Hearst." Journalist Tim Findley covered the story for the San Francisco
Chronicle, co-wrote a book about it and is featured in the film.

Coming up, we listen back to a 1985 interview with clarinetist and band leader
Artie Shaw. He died last week at the age of 94. This is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Filler: By policy of WHYY, this information is restricted and has
been omitted from this transcript
Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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