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tv   After Words with Dana Loesch  CSPAN  August 27, 2016 2:19am-3:19am EDT

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the miniseries came out in the immediate aftermath of eric turner's staff in new york and all these incidents that gave rise to the black lives matter of move in. this story, the way i wrote it and the way it was portrayed was about race in america and how jurors, especially saw african-american jurors saw the relationship between the los angeles police department and african-americans and it turned out in my view that o.j. simpson became the utterly undeserving beneficiary of that poisonous history. but this year, which had so much attention on the o.j. simpson case, it just showed how timely that story was because the relationship between african-americans and the police
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remains the center for american life. >> host: yes or no to the verdict surprise you? >> guest: yes. yes, it did. as my wife and others have reminded me many times. if you recall what happens, the jury announced that they had reached a verdict on the previous day and then we had to wait until 11:00 in the morning the next day. i was on television all through the overnight saying what you think is going to happen? i predict that o.j. would become the did given how brief the jury deliberations were and the fact, and i freely admit this, having sat in the courtroom i was utterly convinced of his dog and i thought the jury would see it the same way. i am very much ready. >> host: nancy from redondo beach, california. europe next .tv.
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just go thank you, steve, thank you toobin -- mr. toobin. our timing was almost perfect regarding the supreme court. have you read about that decision based on a novel that was in the nation i believe. and if so, what are your thoughts on that? i read that i go there was a scholar and he basically said he was almost treason in and i would just love to hear your comments on that hang out. so much. >> guest: i'm an admirer. he was as many old men remember one of the prosecutors and the charles manson case in manson case in his book, helter-skelter , about the manson case is as far as i'm concerned one of the great true crime books ever written.
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this was very critical of the decision in bush v. gore. i was very critical of the decision. i think vince's criticism, as much as i disagree with the decision, with a little over the top to talk about treason, to talk about the apocalyptic stand of how bad it was. i say none of this in order to defend the decision in bush v. gore, but i found that book somewhat over it dated. >> host: alcor had seen his recount is a logic puzzle to be solved after judicious reflection. of the vice president and his aides were hunched over their calculators, republicans were breaking bars rolls over their heads. >> guest: as i said, i spent the whole summer -- the whole 36 days, november and december of 2000 in florida in tallahassee.
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one of the things that you couldn't help but notice was the only protesters in the streets were republicans and they were out in front of the vice presidential mansion here in washington, it getting -- get out of cheney's house. get out at cheney's house. gore didn't want any protesters on the street. he wanted this to be an orderly a political process. one of the main differences between the two parties especially between jim baker the republican leader and warren christopher was that baker understood that this was a bar fight as well as legal fight. that was one factor in the outcome. >> host: william, you are next. >> caller: yes, steve, hello.
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i am their c-span cartoonist of yesteryear. i am just so tickled to see you and jeffrey votes. c-span is wonderful. c-span is a safety valve for our system of government in trying times. >> guest: things for your work which lists forever on c-span.org. >> caller: i appreciate you guys, too. that is wonderful. jeffrey, i've got to say it sounds to me like i have your other books, either by library and my wife insists on buying books nowadays. i want to apologize. i just want to mention it. i love the way you write. i do have a couple comments.
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first of all i think i have a dead yearbook because it sounds like when i was teaching criminal justice before i started cartooning, when i did not, anthony lewis' book about the gig in case. gideon's trumpet. he was one of my favorite. i think i've got to get your book. it must be kind of the odd verse of that case, talking about patty hearst and her brushes with the law. i think that is going to be very fascinating. i do have a question for you. i think jeffrey come you might be interested and as a former teacher of constitutional law, what you said. i think you was "the nine." every citizen of the united
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states ought to read that. >> host: can you imagine the sale? every citizen, rather. >> guest: i want to say jeffrey if you can come up with an idea about how many more people we can put on the supreme court, maybe we will get some better decisions. >> roosevelt tried to pack the court with more than nine. i think we should worry about adding 29. let's just get to nine. that would be a first step. >> host: one of the early books, transcendent. whatever you did deserve imprisonment. the values you learn that your mothers need. he lied, he cheated and one of
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each. >> guest: was pleased to hear you asked that question is if people know what oliver north says. i feel obligated in answering that question to explain a little of the background because i think the iran-contra scandal is not necessarily at the top of people's mind at the moment. oliver north was a lieutenant colonel in the marine corps who is assigned to the reagan white house. he met with the assistance of his superiors and john poindexter to provide assistance to the contras who were fighting the left-wing government in nicaragua, which is still part of the cold war and he managed also to sell missiles to iran in order to free hostages in the
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used some of the money that he thought from iran to fund the contras, which congress had prohibited. >> host: one of the headlines this week with the freeing of the hostages and $400 million today. >> guest: it is remarkable how iran in particular out of all the countries in the world manages to confuse and basically mess that the american government. there is a uniquely bad relationship between iran and the united stated that seems to recur and decade after decade. there was an independent counsel appointed, an outside prosecutor. his famous lawrence walsh. i was the junior member of the team for lying to congress for taking security fence and appropriately. he was dead, but then the court
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of appeals overturned his conviction and he has been out and about ever since. he is now a military analyst on fox. i wrote a piece for "the new yorker" quite a few years ago. i'm pleased to think that anyone remembers the whole saga at all. >> host: one rattan for a call before we take a short way. linda from annapolis. >> guest: good afternoon. i have not a very significant question about the patty hearst book. in the present, and he mentioned that she is a homemaker. she lives in greenwich and living a life she was born to. did she hire her bodyguard or her chauffeur. and if so, is she still married? >> guest: this is not a trivial question at all. it is something i explored in
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the book. she did marry her bodyguard right after she was released from prison on bail. her lawyers had to hire bodyguards for her and they hired an off-duty san francisco police officer named or an art shop. the two of them fell in love and they married in the late 70s. they moved to the east coast is used at just weird not to greenwich and i think it fair not to disclose where she lives. she is understandably concerned about her security. they had a long and happy marriage and they had two daughters. unfortunately, bernie died of cancer in 2013 and patty hearst is now a widow. perhaps not surprisingly, became head of security and many of my friend who work at hearst magazines like "esquire" or
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cosmopolitan dialysate he took my employee photo i.d. there is a whole generation of journalists that have pleasant memories of bernie shaw taken employee i.d. photographs. >> host: we are at the midway point of our three hour conversation. a lot more to talk about. what's your next project? >> guest: i don't know. when i write a book, i find the effort so all-encompassing that frankly the last thing i want to think about right now is what my next book will be about. i do know happily that i will write more books, but they tend to emerge organically from my work from "the new yorker" and i don't know exactly -- i don't know at all what it will be about. >> host: more with jeffrey toobin on c-span2 with "in depth." more calls, e-mails, tweets here on booktv.
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>> author, columnist, lawyer, jeffrey toobin. the book "a vast conspirace." he said the following. when president clinton was caught in the most cliché of dilemmas, and menopausal woman from the out this react if not with candor and grace, but with the dishonesty and that are among the touchdown of his career. >> host: did i write that? that seems a little harsh. look, bill clinton, let's state the obvious, should not have been involved with monica lewinsky. but i saw that the hero of the story to the extent there was one with the american people, which you would not not everyone, but it's like we get this.
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this guy had an affair with a woman. but we don't fire people in this country, especially from the president for doing that. i thought the maturity and the good humor for most americans was really a contrast to the way most politicians and much of the news media viewed the story. this is the now story about very ordinary human flaws that was inflated in today's institutional crisis. >> when you said euros, among the key players. >> guest: it was not a great moment for american public life. needless to say, i do not defend bill clinton. i do not defend him which he clearly did. or when you look at his opponent
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, his back year after year pursuing him on non-sense and it's finally fastened on to this. not only wasted an enormous amount of time on it, but also botched the investigation by not giving her immunity at the beginning and getting this thing over with. you know, bill clinton was very fortunate and if that are series in this ridiculous drama. >> host: the cover of the book , wagging the finger. what is up with the tide? disco when i was coming here, i was thinking, is he going to ask me stuff i don't remember? i wrote this stuff a long time ago. one of the gifts that monica lewinsky gave to clinton during the relationship is a beautiful azania tide. he wore that tie during his
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grand jury testimony, which was ultimately televised. there were those who thought that this was a symbol --a sign, a signal to monica lewinsky but i am still inking a few end quote type to your story defending me. that strikes me as a little far-fetched. i devoted an team and none time to trying to locate a copy of the tie and i had a lot of dealings with the people from seeing it. one thing i didn't know it is azania rotates their ties and once they move on to just sort of move on and don't have any. a great souvenir of cobain story i couldn't get. >> host: from the book a vast -- "a vast conspirace,"
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with regard to health care, she quickly became one of the least popular first ladies her defense of her has been drove her to great heights of popularity. she and her husband tried to capitalize on the good feelings towards her. >> guest: yeah. it seems like a long time ago. but our sense of who hillary clinton as has gone through quite a number of iterations. of how long she's been a major public figure. she became the first lady in my 293 which is 23 years ago and she was the focus of public shin as the leader of the health care case. but i think, you know, this was an example of how the clintons were fortunate in their adverse very.
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basically bill clinton had a very inappropriate relationship with this woman and then lied about it. but it was essentially a private matter for him and his family and his wife. the fact that his opponents try to bring it into a constitutional crisis and she managed to deal with him on a personal private level i think generated a lot of sympathy for her. just trying to think about the pattern of hillary clinton's career is that she can to be this popular when she is involved in partisan controversy. that was true in health care and it is true now and she's running for president. bush is likely to win, she's certainly not as popular as she was when she was secretary of state, which was a large the apolitical position.
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she is likely to be more popular as a president if she becomes president then she has as a candidate you choose not a great candidate. she is not a great campaigner. but she is actually pretty good at being in office. she was a popular senator in new york. so i think that is one of the patterns that his record of her life. >> party structure is organize your research, specially interviews to conduct and how you're able to handle your notebook or obligations in g of research assistants? just go just to answer the last question, i have never been able to hire research assistants in the sense that people who go out and do the legwork for me and interviews for me, i don't grudge the writers who do, but that is too much a part of the research itself.
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i could neither said that work out to others. i have had people who have helped me with topics and i'm very pleased to say that my neighbor in sherman, connecticut with someone i hired to create an index for the 150 boxes of material i got, which was and is visible to try and figure out how to use all this. that is the kind of thing i've had a research assistant for discrete assignments like creating an index of those boxes. after how i structure my work, to meet the reporting is always the most important part. going out and talking to people and going out and interviewing people, getting the documents
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were reading the primary source material that came out at the time. once i start writing, as i mentioned to you earlier, i am very fastidious about my five pages a day quota. i have to get it done every day because that is how i can complete a book in a reasonable amount of time. while i'm writing, and still reporting. one of the things you've learned in my experience when you sit down to write is you learn about the holes in your research. one reason why i write 1250 word is that it leaves me time everyday to continue my reporting: people on the phone, looking at documents. i never stop reporting of the book is dead. >> host: benjamin joining us from florence, massachusetts gave you a max. >> guest: good afternoon on the east coast.
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you mentioned earlier your interest in american history and recently the sub checked over his bitter ginsberg and involvement in political discourse coming out. it is significant and the study of american history you should well know that john jay, the first to bring our justice was in fact twice a candidate for the governorship of new york and ran for the public nomination for the presidency from the supreme court as he got the nomination and subsequently was appointed chief justice of the supreme court and william douglas tried to get the democratic nomination for vice president in the night team 40s. so there is a long consistent history of justices involvement and political activities and for
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ruth bader ginsburg to make a few comments about the political campaign strikes me as small potatoes compared to the history of such involvement. the issue has been raised, but i haven't seen the suit those who criticize ginsburg acknowledged the historical record and take that into account into her statements. >> guest: is a factual matter, you're clearly correct. i actually mentioned when this came out. times have changed. the place of the supreme court in modern life is after the justices i'll acknowledge the man nominated, when they are confirmed, they tried to be more cut off from day to day political events. i don't bring any great naïveté to the subject.
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i recognize the supreme court decisions are often deeply political in their nature. but there is a tradition of many decades standing. it is now the justices should try to stay out of the day-to-day electoral politics of the country. that is an appropriate line. i think she recognized that. that is why she apologized and is not doing it again. i agree this is not world war iii. it done impeachment of a crisis, but it was an appropriate comment he made. >> guest: i've had three e-mails i'm not sure what they're talking about. at the first migration there is so much movement that at the psyche took the oath of office from a subway stop. please comment.
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when i was writing the oath and that chapter about the history about that when i needed to bring you can see most of the presidential oath were various video. i don't remember people walking around during the roosevelt won. i do remember that he recite the oath. it's also worth remembering that a lot of what goes on now is choreographed for television. that includes presidential and not duration, which are in meticulous detail choreographed in 1933 when franklin roosevelt took the oath for the first time. there wasn't that kind of image management of newsreels even in a rather primitive form. the fact that people were not aware that they run camera
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perhaps isn't as surprising as all of that. >> host: from chester, pennsylvania, welcome to c-span2 booktv. >> guest: mr. toobin, i love your work. did you graduate from october? >> guest: no, but my dad was a proud graduate in philadelphia where she would never fail in the next sentence to say wilt chamberlain also graduated from overbrook high school. my dad was a proud philadelphian. >> guest: my husband did, too. just a couple statements that if you could tell me whether my statements are correct. i think your question about iran and the relationship with u.s.a. comes down to two words. anyway, the next point is i don't understand -- i'm confused
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about supreme court because their initials are not political, there is not a partisan or new score. aside from elana kagan, the last just as i try to. that was circumstantial. if you could check me out. i just don't understand why nine of the best and the brightest can't agree on a five-page document. >> guest: thank you for your question. if i might make my cryptic statement. kermit roosevelt was a cia official in the united state who helped initiate a coup d'état in iran in the 1950s, which has led to a lot of internet stories
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the united states and iran. i don't pretend to be an expert, but that is the reference. you know, as for why the supreme court justices can agree, here i have a lot of sympathy. this is a question i often get about the supreme court. why did they have to disagree so much? why can't that be judges, not politicians. why can't they just put the politics aside and reached legal decisions? if you look at the issues before the supreme court, if you look at affirmative action, abortion, same-sex marriage, all the sets of issues, and there are not a political answers to these questions. these are questions that are as much political as legal. you can't expect people to put aside their political views to
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answer questions because questions themselves are so bound up in politics as much as love. this is why i always say in presidential election that people should matters and that when they are voting in a presidential election, they are voting for the future of the supreme court and it will very different if donald trump is president or hillary clinton as president, especially because of how well the justices are now. by a gear into the next presidency, ruth bader ginsburg, stephen breyer and anthony kennedy will all be in their 80s. deities outmuscled as they once were, but the 80s are still buried a family concert you expect they will not just be that justice scalia vacancy that exists now, but multiple vacancies over the next four or eight years.
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>> host: followers on twitter at booktv and you can like us and join us on facebook at facebook/booktv. margie is joining us from proxima west virginia appeared overhead, please. >> guest: hi, a few years ago c-span feature a book called the divide. i'm wondering if you read that, mr. toobin. i am one of these people who struggle with inequality. since cnn is doing a lot of documentaries, is there anyway you could take a look at the book and see if you can work with cnn to do some kind of a documentary about the inequalities in our court system especially for poor people and people that are minority. >> guest: i am very familiar with this sort. he mostly writes for "rolling stone" now.
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you know, i think you don't always have to have a winning candidate to have an influence in the united states. goldwater lost in 1964 a catastrophic landslide to lyndon johnson. but if you look at the goldwater campaign, you see the root of the reagan camp game. you see the root of the country's right turn in subsequent years. if anyone is interested in that subject in particular, the book server pearlstein really identify how in the laws of 1964 the future of the republican party is really revealed. i say that because the caller's question very much is related to the bernie sanders campaign. the bernie sanders campaign was a real phenomenon of the 2016 can paint.
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he's got a lot of votes. he won a lot of states. hillary clinton's position on the issues change they move to the last undoubtedly because of bernie sanders starting with her position on the transpacific partnership trade agreement. the democratic party of 2016 as dramatically more liberal than the words in 1992 when hillary clinton's husband was very intentionally moving the party to the right. i think the callers concerned about inequality is really shared rabbis people in this country and i think bernie sanders camp pain in the enormous success of that really illustrate that. how were whether that will translate into actual action of hillary clinton is elected president, i don't know.
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we live in a very polarized moment as the democratic party is more liberal, the republican party is more conservative and seems likely will control the house of representatives if not the senate as well. how hillary clinton can maneuver between her leftward direction that she has taken in a congress that is unlikely to approve much will be one of the challenges of her presidency if she's elected president. >> host: i will take you back 32 used in the cbs news archives 1984 and get your reaction. >> good evening from cbs news. this is ms. berry. the president-elect, daniel ortega has called for a summit with president reagan to reduce tensions. the later said u.s. pressure was behind the caracas efforts to obtain weapons from soviets. 2000 mourners attended a
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memorial service for baby fae, the finn who made medical history when she received a baboon heart transplant. police have identified skeletal remains near seattle is another big tub. a number of known but tends to 28 in tampa, florida, robert has been charged with the murder of nine women in that state. >> host: jeffrey toobin, your mother. just as bad my mom. my mother was one of the pioneering television women on television news. she was at abc for many years issued by cbs when she was doing those is raikes. alas, she died last summer in july of 2015. but you know, it is so interesting to watch her on television because she was so good at it. she had a great voice. she had a terrific presence on television. she looked great. you know, my television career,
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it is bizarre that i in the same business. i have never been an anchor and i had no ambitions to be an anchor. but she was so good at reading from a teleprompter in presenting the news. it takes someone in the business facing to see just how good she was. and she was a great mom as well. >> guest: did she consider herself to be a pioneer or she looking for a job? >> guest: you bet she was a pioneer. in retrospect especially. when i was a kid, she was just looking for a job. but be the first woman to anchor to be the first woman to be a vice president of a network news operation. all of that was very important to her. she was a very serious and committed feminist and she was concerned not just about her own
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progress, but the progress of all women in all fields. .. he was a wonderful inspiration as well. among other reasons as a man who supported feminism very much. >> host: you wrote a piece in new yorker.your own career and the dichotomy -- you use that word -- in terms of being a lawyer and author, somebody who is on cnn, bridging different platforms. >> guest: i think of myself as an itinerant constant present
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provider co-content provider. >> host: we'll go to rick from red center lakes, colorado? >> caller: it is colorado. northern colorado. okay. i have a general constitutional question. i'm not a scholar and i'm not an expert, but i have read the constitution a few times, and as i see it, just as a citizen reading it, what strikes me is that first article, the longest article, the most specific article, is about the legislative branch, and then there are two short articles about the additional -- that would indicate to me just as couldn't of a sane person that the legislative branch was perceived by the founders as the central branch of government. the most important. and when i see that the president currently has 4% approval rating but the government has a -- whatever it
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is -- 70% disapproval rating are strikes me that's not difficult to explain if you can agree that the running of the country is primarily the job of the legislature. they can fire the president, they can make taxes, make war. what is your thought about sort evolution of the three branches of government. >> guest: if i can just answer you question. you pinpoint something that is so important and this is an observation that i think is not made often enough, and it's why it's a really good idea for people to actually pick up and read the constitution occasionally, and the -- to me, every time i read it, my reaction is very much like the caller's, which is article 1, describing the legislative powers, is much longer than article 2, and even longer,
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again, than article 3, which describes the judiciary powers and we live in a system where since marbury vs. mad desson in 1803 the courts can invalidate anything the two branches do. think the real turning point came in terms of the balance of power february the executive -- between the executive branch and the legislative branch came with the nuclear bomb. i think in 1945, once it became clear that the president could essentially end the world with the push of a button, metaphorically, the power in this country had to go in the direction of the executive branch because the fact that we lived with the threat of extinction for 40 years, and still technically do as well still nuclear weapons pointed at
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us -- i think that led to a tremendous shift of power from the executive -- from the legislative branch to the executive branch. it's very hard to move it in the other direction. it's particularly hard to move it in the other direction when congress is so dysfunctional, when you have a filibuster system in the senate that requires 60 votes to get anything done. very little gets done. the fact you have an executive who can actually get things done in and a legislate temperature that either chooses not to or can't is another explanation for why power has shifted that way. >> host: a tweet from pam saying: would you be interested in writing a book on justice ginsburg? >> guest: you know, one of the things i know from my involvement in the publishing business is that there are a lot of books in the works about justice ginsburg, even as we speak, and there was a wonderful
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book published called "notorious rbg" that sort of a paperback original, wonderful book, a friend of mine wrote it last year. i'm going to leave rbg to other authors because there are plenty of. the circling around her. >> host: another tweet saying jeffrey tube bin's mom was a pioneer in tv. the things you learn in booktv >> guest: i'm delighted. >> host: from cleveland, ohio, neville is next. go ahead. >> caller: speaking of my mother. >> guest: speaking of my mother, native of cleveland, ohio. >> caller: i observe you on cnn as a legal mind on cnn. but my question has to do with
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the legal background of congressmen. i believe that more congressmen are lawyers than in any other profession. can you say whether you think that having congressmen being of legal background is in any way significant for the way the country is run? >> guest: you know, i don't really think it matters that much. throughout the history of the supreme court, the law school that has sent most justices to the supreme court -- you know which one it is? none. for decades, most of the supreme court justices didn't go to law school at all. it was only in the mid-20th mid-20th century that law school became a common route to being a lawyer. most lawyers became lawyers by clerking with an old lawyer the way abraham lincoln did.
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so, i don't think the fact that most -- many members of congress are lawyers has much to do with the problems and the issues. i thing congress reflects where the country is at this point. this is a deeply polarized country and when you combine that with partisan redistributioning threshing fact that most house seats have -- redistricting, the fact that house seats have been crafted to be overwhelm ily democratic or republican, you see many fewer moderates who are interested in cooperating in the house. that to me is a much more significant development in congress than the fact there are lot of lawyers there. >> host: a couple of your books. "opening arguments" you say i spent most of my fan frantic first weeks trying to pretend i was having less fun than i was, playing chicken with the white house, battling ollie north.
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i was have the time of my life. >> guest: i was. was a kid. now i sound like only an old person can talk about a -- i guess i was 29 years old -- 28 or 29 -- just oust my clerkship, and it was heady stuff. it was cool. it was great. i think actually one of the lessons, though, that i learned in "opening arguments" i learn in iran-contra is i went into that process thinking that we had a mandate to sort of show what a -- how terrible the reagan administration was, and i learned from my colleagues and just from the world, that those sorts of ambitions are unhealthy for prosecutors. to the extent prosecutors have political goals and ambitions, that's a bad thing, not a good thing. i think a narrow role for
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prosecutors who should be concerned with prosecuting actual crime, and only prosecuting actual crime, not trying to change political directions, not trying to effect elections, that's what prosecutors should do. one reason i wrote "opening arguments" was the story of my understanding that my initial ambitions were flawed, and that it's better for prosecutors to have a more limited conception of what they should do. >> host: so, therefore, what is the connection between thurgoodd marshall, the naacp and special prosecutors? >> guest: i don't know of. there is one? >> host: you wrote about how that led to the creation of the special prosecutors -- >> guest: well, i'm not sure i see it -- i mean, the public interest lawyers who are filing lawsuits as the naacp legal defense fund did to end segregation in the united
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states, that is an explicitly partisan political agenda just as evan wilson and the other lawyers trying to end the bans on same-sex marriage in the united states had a political agenda. that's perfectly appropriate. our system is designed for people to use the legal system in that way. it is not designed in my opinion, for prosecutors who have the power of government behind them, not independent actors like public interest lawyers but government lawyers, to try to use that power to effect political change. that's a bad idea. >> host: from "the run of his life," as to the central fact in this case it's my view that of j. simpson murder hid is ex-wife and her friend on june 12. in any rational analysis of the events and evidence leads to that conclusion. >> guest: that's what i think.
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and i have not been shy about that conclusion over the past 22 years. i mean, i think o.j. simpson killed the two people and he got away with and it that is a real stain on the court system. interestingly, the fx series based on my book did not take an explicit position on the guilt or innocence of o.j. they laid out the evidence and it points in one direction but i think the film makers made a smart decision not to have an explosive conclusion in the -- accomplice accomplice sit conclusion. it was much more about how the legal process worked and how -- explain how the acquittal came about. >> host: from "too close to call" if the recount had
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proceeded they might not have gone al gore's way but the fact remains al gore did not do everything he could to secure this victory so the nation could never know whether a more determined evident might have seed. said when the votes were counted the results were the same. gore won. the margins were tiny but under the scenarios from the most liberal to the most conservative, gore emotionalled the victor. >> guest: right. this is from the recent re-recount from the media consortium than the recount by in the the miami herald" it is true that the full state recount favored gore under all those scenarios, but i don't pretend -- i've said this before -- i don't pretend that we can know with certainty who would have won the election if the supreme court had allowed
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the recount to continue. that's just my point. that by ending the recount, the bush -- the supreme court guaranteed we will never know. >> host: from ""american heiress" despite the resident rim of the commune kays the sla was not a vehicle for political change. it was an instrument for getting attention for its own sake. >> guest: right. one know had gones that -- one thing that struck me about the sla, the general field marral who was the nominal lead are but the brains of the operation, such as it was, came out of the indiana university theater department and this time in the early '70s was a time of guerrilla theater and performance art and basically people making spectacles of themselves for political change, and if you look at the fee
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theatrical nature of our how the sla operated, whether it's kidnapping the heir yes or putting cyanide in their bullets or putting patty hearst in front hoff the cameras during a bank robbery, it was design offed to create a public spectacle. what the sla had no idea about was how to foment actual political change. they saw. thes as the american counterpart to the revolutionary movements around the world, in uruguay this red brigade in italy. the gang in germany. but even more than those groups, these people were utterly clueless about how to recruit anything more than the tiny band they started with. >> host: this picture from l.a., i believe, east 54th street. what are we looking at.
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>> guest: that is the -- may 17, 1974, patty hearst and two of the sla members went off shopping and got into -- and had to -- got into a shootout and had to leave. the other six members of the sla were caught in this house that is on the screen now, and this house was the subject of what is still, to this day, the biggest police shootout in american history. 5,000 rounds of ammunition. there you see video of it. 5,000 rounds of al mission went into the house. 3,000 rounds of ammunition came out, and all six of the sla members who were inside were killed. the l.a.p.d. thought that patricia hearst was inside the
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house at the time of the shootout, and so she understood that her life was in danger in a very direct way, which was one reason why, over the next year, she went on the run with the remnants of the sla because she saw that this is the fate that smooth await her if she was couth. >> host: we take it for granted, we saw the graphic, minicam. >> guest: this is another example of how the hearst case previews the modern world. knxt was the cbs affiliate in los angeles. it's now known as kcbs. they had a new technology which was the ability to put a satellite on the -- a satellite transmitter on the roof of a truck and make a live breaking news event available to their
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viewers, before the invention of the minimum nip cam the only way you could do a live broadcast was to lay cable weeks advance like a political convention or world series game, but there they were able to take a minicam to this shootout. the other local affiliates in los angeles said to knxt, we really want your feed. can we broadcast it as well? they picked it up. then nationally it was picked um around the country -- picked up around the country because the minicam had just been invented and that was the first live breaking news event broadcast around the country which now of course we take for granted that we can go live anywhere at any time. >> host: let's go to jeff in wood bridge, virginia, with jeffrey toobin. >> caller: i noticed during the break that c-span had that one of the most influential people
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that you have had was robert caro. do you know how he is doing and -- he is very meticulous as for as his work and what the progress is on the last book. >> guest: i haven't seen him probably in a year, but a year ago he was plowing ahead. one of the weird things in his -- the way he has done the book is that if he is going to put everything into this last volume, it's going to be a pretty long volume because he has most of the johnson presidency still to go. he's got virtually all of vietnam ahead of him, and then you have the four years that he lived after he left the white house, and here is a supreme court fact. that involves lyndon johnson. lyndon johnson died january 23, 1973, which was the day that row
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v. wade was decided. so wade -- roe v. wade was not the lead story. >> host: share this e-mail from darren in baltimore. did jeffrey eat or interview the late o.j. attorney, johnny cochran. if so, what was he like? >> guest: i disagreed with johnny cochran about the o.j. simpson case. i disapproved of some of the tactics he used in the courtroom, but i can say this now that he is gone. i love johnny cochran. i thought he was one of the most delightful, intelligent, appealing, charismatic people i'd ever met. in terms of pure charisma, the three people i would put in a category different from everyone always are open practice -- oprah winfrey, bill clinton, and johnny cochran, the froze "lit
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up the room" is something johnny decide wherever he went, and yet he defended o.j. simpson and, yes in my opinion, o.j. simpson was guilty as hell, but johnny also defended a lot of people who were not prominent and he dade lot of good in the world, especially when it came to the story of race in los angeles. so, i think it's a heartbreaking thing that johnny died so young, and i was a big fan. >> host: if it does not fit,. >> guest: you must acquit. you know, he had a charisma and a way with words that was undeniable, and that came through the jury and in this case and every other. this was a good man. >> host: let go to jim? tacoma, washington. >> caller: mr. toobin, this is a pleasure. i have been reading you for
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going on 25 years, starting with your first book. and two more books after that and a lot of your "new yorker" pieces. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i will get patty hearst book. was living in the bay area at the time and going to college so the memories are vivid. 20 years later i found myself living in brentwood across from nicole when the killings occurred so i watch the trial avidly. within a couple of week is read a piece of yours in the "the new yorker" saying the defense was going to target a cop named mark furman. and sure enough, that's how the case unfolded, and when they came up with those tapes, i thought, my word, that just kind of blows him out of the water completely. when the case was over, i thought, if there's any one person you could attribute the loss would be mark fuhrman. how he has been rehabilitated, fellow who you might at best

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