tv Book TV After Words CSPAN November 1, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT
on his campaign. conducting opposition research by videotape being him by a any event in southwestern virginia, the senator pointed at the of volunteer this fellow over here with the yellow shirt to macaca to recover his name is is my opponent. let's give a welcome to macaca welcome to america and the real world of virginia and with that his bid to a screeching halt. it was viewed as an offense given the indian heritage and that it was a racial slur parties with the rest of his campaign to defend himself while the other came from behind to become a formidable challenger am lost by a little more than 7,000 votes. not just because he said was due but it is why he lost
because politicians say stupid things for generations even the crowd laughed at the time and a senator probably never gave it another thought until the nvidia -- video hit the internet and spread like wild fire will be of the virginia borders all because of youtube that was about one year old at the time. this helps to eight illustrate how fast everything has begun in a message could be shot out and spun around quicker than most politicians feel comfortable but that was four years ago. these examples just keep on coming. it is tied to update the book and it is five months old. [laughter] >> last summer department of agriculture employee shirley sherrod pressed into the national spotlight by given a speech and one
conservative blog third took the club that made it look as if she was racially and tolerate and put upon the website if everybody reacted really quickly. bru-ha-ha he received common-sense brought up from their secretary of agriculture tom vilsack naacp she received the whitehouse phone call asking for resignation in. she must have been baffled about what was happening and i don't blame her. but it we can blame the media. this book argues that the media as we have right now does not work really well and a productive american democracy. i think shirley sherrod would agree. this is on political media which just used to be the news now includes the entertainment media because
of the size and scope of the media outlets this and the development has been astronomical. the technological changes like satellite and internet technology have not only sped everything up increase the opportunities to get the message across and and surveying exponentially and also the opportunity to make money so there are a lot of the facts of the first is there is a lot of time and space. now you have 24 hour networks and that is a long time. there is the incident number of internet sites and with all of this comes consequences have 24-hour news networks and at this
moment there are still acquiring the journalists them for them to go get the facts and the news but also filling space with punditry which is more opinion than anything else. there is a demand for infotainment which means everything has to be sparkly or quick or funny and exciting which is not what we would normally called the american political process. there is this financial imperative because there is so much money to be made in the ad revenue in print and on the air and with all of this competition means more people fighting for our attention. the partisanship that has resulted, it is a different kind than what we see with the american political system.
is that basically, where we are right now, we have two sides fighting with one another but we don't understand what it is we are fighting about but because it is entertaining and we attract a lot of attention and it brings a lot of viewers for the book goes through medium by medium and historical eighth. i was told by my sister make sure it is interesting so i will not go into the history. [laughter] i am sorry historians. but it begins with the print medium as newspapers and magazines and books i think we are painfully aware that of the fact fewer people are reading newspapers are buying books or reading magazines but instead they move on negative sometimes that is successful but sometimes it does not work. the newspapers in particular are facing a terrible crisis
because newspapers historically have been where the news is gathered or facts information is the dog got there having a hard time making money so they are shifting online to the effort to get everybody to pay attention. but they still have to make money on lines of the issue their preissing is how do they charge for their content? people will want to pay for content so the problem is so widespread that only a lot of those following journalism that on npr there is a great program called "on the media." a wonderful program but the problem facing newspapers that it is so often talked
about, they come up with the jingle to play every time somebody addresses the problem. somebody will say that is the difficulty with the newspaper industry. to the jingle. [laughter] president future business models it is very catchy and cute but you know, if a problem has a theme song something has gone horribly awry. magazines face the same kind of problem as well from there i go to radio, terrestrial, and that allows more options and a am radio which has to be more talk radio there is a place for that i was just interviewing over the summer a conservative satirists to said talk radio is the greatest place for conservatives because there is a place they could go to feel at home and hear their opinion and said that is a
wonderful. i had not thought about that like that. i thought of it is being more entertainment and news. says sean hannity has three hours to fell they don't go line by line. they try to entertain their audience. they are the first ones to admit this. they do this quite well which is why they keep doing it. my wonderful husband would be very upset if i did not mention streaming radio on the computer because that is how he is getting his radio so that means now you can hear stations broadcast out of know what the court jakarta. i have not tried but she is nodding summons me there is on available. [laughter] meadows to television and i
am not that old and students are thinking yes. you. are. [laughter] but when i was a kid there were three television stations in my eight father had to climb on the roof and put the antenna up there which was heroine because he is so wonderful but not that coordinated. [laughter] i am just kidding. but then everything changed with satellite technology then you live -- go from three channels up forthcoming thinking that is so much television. then 64. how could we have 64 channels and nothing good is on? now we have 300. it is remarkable. it will keep increasing and getting bigger but the facts is so much television out there that you can select exactly the channels that
will speak exactly to your interest and you can shut everything else. of you just want to avoid the news, that is great. if you want to watch the news, go to c-span and watched public affairs programming or say i want to watch conservative news or liberal moves and go to msnbc see you can select the type of news that best suits your own interest and as a result, we're moving away from having a common at news experience. the internet industries' everything and a good way. the internet is so fast it is hard. it is so incredibly enormous and politicians and new sites have various ways to
use the internet for their own purposes. politicians have their own web site and their supporters set up opposing websites, there is a lot of it chicanery it going on there. bloggers to give opinions opinions, spiral videos, facebook, today i spoke at the institute of retired persons is and how many here are on facebook? and one-third of them raise their hands that is incredible because if i ask my students they raise two hands because that is how much they are on facebook. [laughter] social media and everybody has a web page said difficulty to figure out which are most useful for which will provide with fact and not just opinion which truth is it is just a combination of all of them.
you just can't go online to salable get online news because chances are you'll get it from a newspaper site or cable news challenge it is a huge combination of these different media forms where books are discussed on the radio and people tweaked and it is a huge system and this huge system has a consequence is. what i will do is sit the facts they get to the negative consequences and end up on a happy note so we don't feel doomed. [laughter] although i think we already kind of art. the mandate for entertainment = political fighting and it is much more exciting to watch people yelling at each other than to have a substantive debate. also politicians have to
shout to be heard over everybody else and that means a lot of fun civil language and a lot of accusations and what happens with american democracy is if you really piss-off you're political tempo -- opponent nothing has says it ever have to work with you again. if they work with you because you are not see then that is a major problem now what politicians used to spring to one or another they will write a book specifically to go on a book tour and advertise themselves and it is of the publishing house best interest because oftentimes they are owned by the corporation that owns said cable television channels. there's a big coordinated
effort and they are trying to contort themselves into what demands politics but really more entertainment than anything else and that i interviewed for the book, a writer for "saturday night live" and why did the politicians go on "snl"? >> i don't know that they're trying to get big laughs. it is a way to angola to try the credit none of the politicians that have come through the show pulldown collapse. one they do, a gets a laugh because it is so odd and unexpected like seeing a dog wearing a sweater not that good dog looks great. [laughter] bejeezus the dog is wearing a sweater. [laughter] i wanted to call the book at a dog in this letter and the editor said no. could you imagine the cover?
remove lower in all the people who subscribe to dog fancy magazine because they don't know they think it is a guide to creating dog sweaters. [laughter] but that is what it is. people are looking for politicians you were going on the craziest tv shows to be heard. barack obama is every rare and a love that about him but i was doing a youtube search barack obama on "the view", monday night football , dog fancy, it was everywhere. [laughter] and other reasons they are doing that is that they're trying to construct the image that is universally appealing to appeal to specific groups through specific means of communication which means it
is not the best use of their time that i will leave that up to them. another negative consequence is that there's just too much opinion and we are losing sight of the fact far less educated now in terms of education there is so many more sources of information you would think you'd have a huge wealth of knowledge but in fact, news cost a lot of money and opinion doesn't sell as a result it is easier to go with your opinion which is more entertaining than to drum up a lot of facts sir but it has been measured and documented so let me scary with this, yen 1989 did a study of 74% of the american
public could name the vice president pro in 2007 and never dropped a 69%. now in 20 years is only a 5% drop but all of the media blew up and suddenly all of this cable and radio and internet which we did not have. of glor had not intended it yet to 55 -- invented it yadda. [laughter] but in 2007 the vice president was dick cheney who shot a man in the face and not only did it receive all of that news attention but all the entertainment attention that piled on top and still 31% could not name the vice president? that is horrifying. one of the reasons for the knowledge gap is too easy
not to watch any information and too easy to escape. it is incumbent to change that. when another negative consequence is the media is breeding cynicism. in the polarization reaches the public when they are so ferociously mocked, you get a sense they are all balm split they are not parallel politicians they are hard-working people to work out very early in think they're doing the best they can for their constituents and it takes a lot to run for office program a fan of politicians but this makes you think they're all hitting on prostitutes in the minneapolis men's room or hiring hookers and taking them to washington d.c. for the weekend. they are really not that is
the entertainment factor but we hear about. also the media and breeds instability. when it is okay on national television to call somebody and not see or fascist or socialist and not know what it means, and it is okay to do it in real life and that is a big problem because we're not saving the big words for the times that really matters or callous. this incivility is in our everyday life but it was the last year when president obama gave the health care speech bank congressman will send felt it was okay to interrupt the president of united -- of the united states to say you live. it is not. is okay to dislike barack obama. he is not here right now it is okay to dislike about okay to disrespect their
president of united states. i don't think i agreed with george bush if he was a good morning i would say this allows the morning but if he walked in the room hands down you are not on twitter certainly not interrupting a the president of united states because that is something we should hold sacrosanct he is the leader of everyone and we have a loss that and the media is partially to blame. finally our expectations are out of a lack of what we expect them to be. we want them to be funny, smart, control but not to control the, short and succinct, but deep up the same time, self-deprecating and eloquent, emotional and stoic and very, very good looking which is horrible because some of the smartest people that i know are very unattractive. [laughter] silver and witty and completely normal.
that is unrealistic. when we expect these people to reach the standards what we think we will get? i promise i would end on a happy note and i have to give a shot out 21 writer named 80 cobb who were so positive about the media may have some great things to say that i left was sandoz thinking there is hope for democracy but really thanks to those two people. [laughter] we have developed a free market of truth this impact has been seen long-term right now we may be fighting whether obama is from kenya so the truth is out there we just have to get to abandon
the long run we are developing the free-market of truth or there are so many available and as researchers, we can now access so much more material to find the truth and help uncover things better interesting so it is there and also because there are plenty of places to go you necessarily don't have to go to one cite the pick from a bunch of video like this country then pick the ones from great britain. that is terrific and we would not have that if not for the gigantic media system. ride definitely think it is overvalued it is good to hear what your opponent has to say to sharpen your own thoughts accordingly and finally, reaching and
connecting more people and that is wonderful. bringing in a group of 20 international scholars last summer and having the opportunity to talk to them it was wonderful because not only did i get to tell them about the system, they would tom arafat so now i get an e-mail from a professor and pakistan who says have you thought about this? this is the way it is going hear that is a gift that absolutely keeps on giving. the problem is we're not taking advantage of them a and it is incumbent upon us to try to use this mediatek is available to better ourselves. i heard on npr so they like and technology to food there
are technology choices that are healthy and it is good it makes you stronger and faster and better but then others that are like twinkies and they destroy the system and the same could be said for the media there are wise choices out there to be made and it is incumbent upon us to find those choices now everyone to double inches of twinkies of santa blocks adopted baby but a steady diet of that will crash the system. that is why i wrote the book and i will take questions. if anybody has any. of. [applause] >> >> of a strike by the phrase
free-market for truth per car 12 say something that could be a problem because there is a difference between a free-market for truth or a free market friday as part of the free market for ideas is good that everything is reasonable but also it occurs that there are certain truths letter unreasonable to the night to say barack obama was born in kenya or george w. bush initiated the 9/11 attacks, neither of those are true but we seem to be at a point* where maybe from the media that they are almost scared to say there are truths but denied the reality of obama's was not born in kenya but no way bush caused 9/11 that means there in the tank for bush? if there is a free market for truth doesn't that open the possibility is for the
acceptability of nonsense which contributes to the incivility it identified as a problem? >> when you talk about the free-market for truth is we don't have to rely on media sources to tell us the truth but to look at obama's birth certificate online and the birth announcement from the day he was born that says he was born yesterday to say that is the truth. even if someone on fox news says we're not 100% sure about this for cnn, we can now say we know the truth just because they said it on tv does not make it true that are making real that is the free market of truth but i agree there's also a free market of ideas as a result. >> i like your analogy about
food and technology so i will use it. if americans are expected tutus outlets that are good for them like they're supposed to choose food i would remind you about what most americans look like. [laughter] and offer me some assurance we will make better choices than we do with our food. >> fact is a lot of pressure. [laughter] i do not even know how to begin except to say that we have to be more demanding. continuing with the food analogy of our pants are too tight we know it is time to put down the gigantic bag of
doritos and go for a walk. we realize we're not getting all of the information's that we need but then it is time to turn off the entertainment and go to something more substantial. i am not sure how to do it and the government can tax soda which is wildly unpopular. it cannot tax britney spears although maybe they should. [laughter] it would make a lot of money. she could pull us out of the recession but it is a good question but it is incumbent on all of last. >> do you have to have a balanced diet. i like twinkies and doritos i do not want to get to e-mails. >> at what point* with a history of the media also
being equated with freedom? >> it is so interesting to look back. people will say the big three networks talk about the era of cronkite s.a. hallowed time and again talking to these conservative writers who said i don't know if they were so hallowed, they were pretty biased seto where you stand depends on where you sit but there was a time when journalists were more aggressive with the attack dog journalist really trying to capture all the real news. hard news as opposed to the soft news now blending of news and entertainment and there was a time when that
happens. but right now we move away from that. that is a problem that the same time now there are great websites that focus on politics and capitol hill. they are still out there. they are filled with integrity. it is up to us to find. >> muckraking it? >> and no. it is 100 years old but it occurred because it sold newspapers. it in dug up the sleazy stories of politicians that just sold newspapers like potato chips. it is not new but has potential and you cannot change the media or the profit potential of the
press in a capitalistic economy and the politicians won't change because they have a con finance so i keep going back to this but it is up to us. really. it is. >> it is a complex type of time that it on fox news is the most watched network and msnbc lagging ratings and air america went off the air. what about conservative media? i knew during the clinton years continuing through the bush years now to the obama? >> that is a great question. conservatives for the last 30 years ever do there is a perceptible liberal bias that is something they feel strongly about.
if you talk to someone who is conservative what about fox or talk radio? they will say too little too late. and the second, there is not that much. how can fox news counterbalance cbs, nbc, cnbc, msnbc, abc and that there is still out of balance but those on the left say hogwash. fox is the most watched network and rush limbaugh is tremendously peak of hot powerful and important. what i worry about most not who has the most power but we're also selecting media outlets to only reaffirm what we believe and not working across any ideological or political
ideal to gauge whether the people are thinking. if you only listen and watch people who agree with you you'll never get smarter. in fact, you'll only parent with other people are saying in so that is something i'm definitely concerned buy. >> a former journalist i think it is fair to say 20 years ago known in the profession could predict what it looks like today and in the research you did for the book, if anybody spoke with things will look like 20 years from now also if you look back to say this time is like but time many years of the past when
people had a sudden revelation about how information could be presented could you look back and also look forward? >> in terms of looking back they said they had a partisan press also that resonates but at that time the party system and sells for so strong we don't have that now. in terms of added the smear that position. technological innovation and is something i am sure older americans could say the birth and growth of television just cause to fear with people to say this will change everything and it did but we did not know how much or what form it would take. looking back, those are some areas of parallel but
looking forward, it is interesting because i will always ask particularly fresh graduated journalists and pokes to work on capitol hill, what is the next thing? tell me about the next thing. somebody said twitter. what is that? they told me i brought home the package and said this looks ridiculous. why would anybody? and it is bigger than anything. i am always trying to figure out what will happen next and as far as i can talk come on the future it is more of this particular psittacine journalism where people will take it upon themselves to start blogs or contribute to and they will opined a tremendous amount by what is missing are the
journalists are the people who go to a town hall meeting to write down what happens every body can have an opinion. that is what people mentioned in my research quite often and what they are very concerned because there will be more open any incoming. you will be out gathering the news of all 13 major newspapers folded around the country? that is a lot of journalists out of a job. where will they go? who will pay them to get the news? not that many entities can. if they don't get them than water they doing instead? [laughter] >> last question c-span's? >> i could talk about c-span for the next two hours.
[laughter] it is a national treasurer. since i used to work there i can tell you it is. the mission is different. it is not a news network different an icn and that what it does first of all, it is funded by the cable industry. so there is no profit motive. it frees up to take a camera and tape and author speaking or a congressional hearing or a lecturer at a university and all of this together creates the outlying programming showing the primary admission is the house gavel-to-gavel and also on the senate gavel-to-gavel when they're not operating when you get the other programming now there is c-span 3 and i think some places is c-span four and five which is awesome. it is a great.
but there are no commercial somewhat doesn't have the financial imperative the other networks have. so they are able to show everything as it is. no editing or no opinion on the part of the networks. they will bring on four call in shows and analysis to say this is the left side and right side and what they started doing a bunch of years ago was to divide up the calls mature liberal to call this line or conservative to call that number. that way they bring in all of the opinions that you can get but it is not the sexiest network in the world which is why it is considered a public service and a national treasure as opposed to cnn which tries to make more money but a
>> 896 liv director of fixed point* foundation andrew both the new to the debate. the resolution debated is atheism poisons everything. i again this is the resolution and the question and discussed it is a play on the title to christopher hitchens best selling book a god is not great our religion and poisons at everything arguing that
affirmative is dr. david berlin's the professor of mathematics and also a professor and author and his books are available in the lobby you have the opportunity to meet him. arguing in the negative is christopher his shins a journalist and cultural critic and best-selling author and most recently the author of the memoir hitch 22 also a best seller and available in the lobby will have the same opportunity to meet christopher hichens to have your book signed by him but just a bit of the format for tonight's debate. first of carl -- first of all, 12 minute opening statements dr. berlin's the will be the first than
christopher hichens them to have a rebuttal of six minutes each then a speaker recap to say final remarks i will be time keeping time asking these gentlemen not to trample the time limits. then we will move into a question-and-answer time i have questions submitted here i will read them that i will signal when they have received the last question they should give some sort of closing statement and says dr. polanski is going first you'll have the opportunity to go last. that being the case, we will now begin our debates and dr. david brunelleschi plays open for isf.
[applause] >> i would like to thank the fixed point* foundation for their outstanding hospitality. [laughter] and two christopher hitchens my pleasure at being allowed to bask in the radiance of his reputation. the proposition and between us ladies and gentlemen, i am perfectly aware that that proposition is fully compatible with the proposition that religion poisons something where christopher hichens announces they were prepared to invade how to attack the
priests i would wish them well although it could not join them. [laughter] in some respect as dr. johnson once said the proposition and that atheism poisons everything hardly requires a defense. the inquiry is not needed. the last date that ec is someone is a possibility was also lost eight there was a possibility and cast your mind back 21791 under the cathedral of notre dame and standing there it's somewhat elaborated by my imagination
and wasn't robespierre and also zero and they were watching or were looking at notre dame and one says what should we do with this pile of gothic junk? let's rename it. good idea what should make college? cedis thought they would call after themselves and robespierre came up with a wonderful idea call-up the temple ever use them. good thinking. that works splendidly in means nothing we might as well have called the temple of evidence are temple irrationality. what should we do next? the next one said let's kill a lot of people so that is what they did. one say rename to notre dame the temple of reason it was relatively easy to kill 50,000 in women and children that is the proposition reared discussing 18515460
years later a aged remarkable progress wonderful sense of material in a poem entitled dover beach reflects on the decline of religious faith and the melancholy trying rot and did not see particularly optimistic based optimistic and tuna say to himself and his readers, only this. my beloved let us be true to one another for the world which lies about us for the land of dreams so various and beautiful and new, has neither joy nor peace nor
help for pain and we are caught swept from struggle and flight and a clash by night it is a prophetic declaration of the progressive movement from the 19th century. in 1914 surveying the carnage to come the secretary of great britain said again prophetically the lights are going out all over europe what a strange word pro we shall not see them lit again in our time. ladies and gentlemen, i submit the 20th century was a record germany rush of china and cambodia and elsewhere that not only of remarkable stupidity and brutality and violence but unparalleled brutality stupidity and violence. each of the regime's behind
this remarkable decay of civilization has two characteristics and the first place, then then guiding these regimes and their entourage shifts did not believe for one moment there is a power higher than their own. they acted that as much and in the second place in the mass murders there aided and supported by any number of crackpot scientific disciplines and the case of the nazis especially from germany in biology having heard of 70,000 handicapped men women and children from the background the narrator says in terms of following
comprehension my goodness we have sinned against a lot of natural selection. , sinned against the lot of natural selection? the communists have the cool crackpot theory that the to crack pottery's were repugnant but atheism today is not the private doctrine of a handful of individuals but a social movement advanced chiefly by the scientific community certainly by the united states but also in europe. some of this is advantageous say few popular writers discover that writing a book showing that god does not exist they could make a
fortune. i am very sorry i was not there to join them. i did not think about it. i am quite sure somebody now writes a book how old god does not exist but the inevitable consequences of this degree of atheism has evolved the defamation of scientific thought quite striking of this character. after all, the sciences, if we restrict our attention two this serious and those with mathematical physics and dairy show that they have nothing to say about the business of god.
lee 18 questions that trouble the human imagination about which the science was seriously considered are resolutely silent comedies remain just for they were especially good judeo-christian religion has a coherent body of belief and doctrine which they can be explained in do we understand why the universe of rose? no we don't. do we understand? and not a prayer right now do understand the complexity of life? we cannot begin to describe a living creature in precise terms. requiring 4,000 -- what a wealth of the information about biology but an abandoned last of understanding we have about
living systems for good to we understand why the laws of nature are true? what about analytic situations where we can be pushed forward into we understand why the universe remains stable? the medieval ponder this question and came to this conclusion that god is everywhere of what a remarkable declaration. can we do without it? do we have the explanation? there was one paper i know that addresses the stability of matter but beyond that everything is in the matt -- enigmatic how can we propose to rule out of court in advance the hypothesis that not all the answers to the human heart but answers
to genuine intellectual need one was seized the american scientific community like a herd of wildebeests, it is very reasonable to add are they going some place or fleeing? the overwhelmingly obvious answer they are fleeing from the idea that they reject for a variety of reasons. clough only is the inquiry about atheism not necessary in terms of the history of social thought that not necessary in terms of the outlines of scientific thought that the last question, the most important , wants the college's asks what compels to follow the laws of nature? but one who had presided over the destruction of churches and synagogues zero
europe and the mastermind between the extermination of the jewish people ask a very similar question in 1944. when confronted with respect to its own speed traps last after all what compels us to keep our promises? it is often derided as the unhappy consequences. i don't think relativism is the issue but i do think the issue of what compose us to keep our promises is very relevant. i have in front of me a remarkable but and. if you shall press it viewers are untold riches.
the only consequence beyond your happiness is the death of one anonymous chinese peasant. who among us would you trust with this button? sit still christopher. [laughter] thank you. [applause] >> can you give me three minutes? >> thank you mr. bowen ski for the generous introduction. thank you ladies and gentlemen. at short notice i can only hope to match my rival all with the implications and then the ready access but
and. let's take, instead of notre dame from robespierre, the direction of the other most prominent the one day you see on your way at the airport day grand wedding cake of the sacred heart. boat to celebrate them mass of workers or individuals that tried to save the honor that was thrashing at the feet of bismarck. many, many more people were killed in that massacre and terrible repressor days reprisal but it was not enough but the whole church had to be consecrated by the french clear call
establishment to celebrate of the fellow countrymen does a show that religion plays and? by no means but to the german of the century the rouble studied yes it does but the clerical white -- right wing goes under the frame in the most thorough looking in advance to determine who would be to in the terrible war of 1914 which very much has been raised buy me in his magnificent history of the first 2,000 years of christianity dib