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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  November 30, 2016 11:28pm-12:14am EST

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[inaudible conversations]
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a state that will live in infamy. >> as well as winston churchill. >> the british and american people will walk together. >> interviews with veterans at pearpearl harbor on the day of e attack the 75th anniversary of pearl harbor is featured on c-span radio. at 7 p.m. eastern listen to c-span radio at or the c-span radio app. earlier on washington journal we looked at the internet and whether it is a reliable tool for democracy. usm >> host: joining us from new york is max reed, the senior editor for new york magazine
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selects all section of the website. he's here to talk about the topic of news. good morning. >> guest: good morning. >> host: you wrote a recentea piece looking at the idea saying maybe the internet isn't a fantastic tool for democracy after all. can you give the sense of what's led to the writing of the topic of fake news? >> for the last three decades, it's been sort of a silicon valley gospel that the internet is a tool for democracy and, freedom of speech and freedom generally. that has been true in a lot of situations. you look at the beginning and the social media allowed those protests to flourish but in the
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last six or seven years we have seen this rise of populism around the world of the autocratic generally populist often xenophobic leaders not just in russia that in western europe and southeast asia andd one thing that seems to be clear across the world is they use the internet whether intentionally to target critics, harass journalists, to organize their own sort of populist and i think it is a moment to say maybe it tells us about how and why the internet is a tool for democracy and on th one sort of powerful component of that is what has been labeled fake news which is highly misleading and completely untrue stories put out by the
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hyper partisan news sites that circulate on social media and there doesn't seem to be a lot of control over whether they should be allowed on social media and one example, there's an article that circulated claiming the pope endorsed donald trump which of course he did not and that was shared by hundreds of thousands. >> host: when it comes to looking at the sites you cited one example. is this a partisan thing or equal opportunity when it comes to people putting this type of information out there? >> guest: everybody likes to share and read news because it is sort of the human thing and it's true there are fake news sites but i would be perpetuating my own fake news if i didn't preteninvited to attend
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heavily towards the right. studies done by those feeds demonstrated the conservative pages tend to have more false or untrue information on them and you even look at some of the reporting on this. when you talk to those that are undertaking a fake news sites they said they tried to put together the sites about hillar clinton, bernie sanders, and itt is this in particular that provides the kind of traffic foc that allows th goes to big prof. >> host: we have a listing of some examples of what she compiled a list of websites that she would classify as fake news among other things. give us some examples when it comes to this type of news. >> guest: a lot of them aree places that were set up on thees
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fly in the last year and they articlad some times people in the u.s.. there was an article about the country of macedonia where there was a bunch of college students and teenagers setting up websites to make money to buy themselves music equipment. one thing they've done is made it much easier to together a very official looking or sounding this website. so ending the which most would recognize as a news source is turning over unbelievable traffic that any legitimate news thstitution would love to haveve simply by posting fake news like the pope is endorsing donald trump. the broad definition that might include incredibly hyper partisan sites like breitbart for example that would includee
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truth out on the left or right hand those would hate to be put in this category because a lotwh of what they write is taken from a partisan viewpoint. >> host: that joining us to talk about this idea of fake news and joining to talk about it if you have questions, 202-748-8000, democrats, republicans, 202-748-800 202-74, independent, 202-748-8002. tell us about the select allm section of the magazine. >> guest: we like to cover it from a cultural perspective to look at how it is being used by people. it's been a fascinating examplet of how it transformed our poliity to have conversations and to organize politicalrly movements and this is something we are fascinated and interested in but we also like to post
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funny videos and stories goingdi on. the internet has changed the world and i think we are still reckoning with the way our lives are different. >> host: is there a measurable way to say that fake news including the election for donald trump? >> guest: i'm not sure there is. in i imagine there's a number of studies being undertaken right now. i can tell you there was a recent study last week that demonstrated even though theoretically sophisticated people, digital native digital d trouble distinguishing fake news from real news and advertisinge from genuine journalism. you can also look at the raw numbers into people that have seen these in the headlines we are talking in the millions. that's hard for me to believe there is no influence. facebook itself relies on the idea that the news feed when you put through to the homepage and
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scroll through the feed thatfake influences you and fake news doesn't influence the election. it doesn't influence you to think one way or another about a candidate this whole businesss model is broken. advertisers should be leaving in droves. it seems clear to me the act of seeing something as you are youe scrolling through, the act of sharing stuff it's almost like repeating the news yourself to inform what is true and what isn't true. does that mean you're going to switch from hillary clinton to donald trump i don't think so but i think that it will help h shore up your beliefs or maybe help you decide you don't want to vote at all. i think it changes voting behaviors in a way that is closest to this one but it's worth looking at. >> host: do you think it changed the behavior of someone looking beyond the news story itself to see if it were true or not? if you
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>> guest: if you prefer basic media hygiene and if you don't trust single sources and try too read a wide variety of sources and if you are in nursing yourselimmersing herselfin a nue probably safe from the scourge of fake news. but i worry it's created a spot for news, something like 170 million people use it and that'ifit's more than vote ever. if you use facebook to get news, what you are getting is news from "the wall street journal," the times, they have long histories of the smart and rigorous system alongside and looking identical to news from places like ending the if you are a busy person as we all are and you're scrolling your stuff and why he one day, you might not know or recognize one of the stories you see without reading this from the
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times and one is from ending the fed and it's easy to have that attached in th to back up your d as a way of forming your opinions about things. so even people that have a strong sense of media literacy i who are interested and engaged in the news, it can still affect the perceptions of the candidates. keith >> host: we have calls lined up, the first whiskey fromn with chicago illinois. you are on with our >> guest: ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: great topic and good morning. f we are going to look at fake news, we have to start with the granddaddy of them all and print it in digital media.
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of course it was supported by a.m. talk radio and fox news and that is misinformation and it feeds and feeds and builds and builds. we have to have a better educated population it's that, h simple. >> guest: i think it's important to look at the history of how we got here and part ofas that is talking about the legitimacy of the media from the left and the right over 20 years and that's absolutely important in this. putting it in the same category that we are talking about is twofold. one says it leads to a lot of silly sources but the other
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fleets to correct legitimate sources and there's a strongly partisan but that doesn't make him a pillar of light -- paddlee of why. it's the distribution power around facebook so there's a difference even if it is the worst that exists alongside a host of other options for you each of which has its own ability to demonstrate what it is and what it's about.e what worries me is when they are in the singl the singleserving t make it difficult to distinguish one source of news from another and emphasize the comments. i think it is just as important in terms of forming an opinion
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and they feed off of one another and so there is no reason to drop attention to fox news or the drudge report. but it is important to be paying attention to it holistically. >> from middletown, independent line, go ahead. >> caller: great to have you here.ou you just touched upon the issue i had it for you an for you ando ask your opinion, your perspective how much if at all what you attribute the sudden viability and the success of this fake news practice that was strategically a lot of reporting that had relied upon the stories
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that were later supposed to be fake. how much if at all do you attribute that to this vacuum that has been left behind of these news divisions having been formcerated on their needed newsgathering personnel budgetsg and transformed into celebrity sex scandal, gossip, press releases marketing news? what's the role of the legitimate news? >> guest: that is a complicated question i don't have a simple answer. i think the internet has in fact onceviscerated journalism and it means that organizations that were once all-powerful, and newspapers in any major
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metropolitan area are forced to compete on different terms. there is no news organization that hasn't revived in one way or another on what i think we'd like to think of as sort of frivolous news, celebrity gossip and also crosswords, recipes, cooking and even that doesn't bother me. i love that stuff and i think in many cases it's more important than we give it credit for. what's happening now is every organization is required to reach an audience to survive as a business it needs to be receptive to whatever the audience wants at any given moment. there's a lot of conversation this week about the extent to which journalists respond to the message is donalmessages donaldg out and it's a difficult question in part because obviously he's the president elect and his statements are newsworthy that often time they seem to be based in hisom
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imagination there is no relationship and sometimes they're just vindictive and weird and not productive so one strategy might have been pretending we have newspapers and twitter is no other internet you put those utterances on the team because they are important but you diminish their. importance. now every single article is a unit that can be shared on facebook or twitter and all of a sudden it is difficult to make judgment calls about newsworthiness and i'v and types would've gotten off track here. i think that's the death of journalism as an institution or the sort of chain that is undergoing means there is anoaxn enormous space and i do think it's important to acknowledge journalism hasn't served in the way that it should have if you talk to almost anyone about the value of the times which i think is the greatest paper in the world and enormous bastion of
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reporting has had a number of false reports about the iraq war and that kind of erosion ofit mk trust makes it easier and easier to the bottom feederfor the botn facebook to see that space and take those readers. >> host: on the republican line, good morning. >> caller: good morning.g i am 70-years-old and i've been watching the news for a long time and for me it is pretty much either fake or distorted. generally i try to watch the different channels and outlets but i got kind of curious when they came up with the findings on clinton and the headlines on
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cnn were comey claims clinton is careless. there's a difference between extremely careless and careless and that is one example of how they are distorting it. i think that's kind of how the communists used to do it and then 65,000 e-mails come out anf there's nothing on it. as an american i'm kind of concerned as i grew up 70-years-old i grew up looking at the truth of the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and that is far from what's happening now. >> host: thanks. >> guest: obviously every journalistic outlet comes from a specific place and they don't even necessarily need to be political. they can be business, stuff thet don't want to cover because it would turn off advertisers or
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stuff they are more excited to cover because they know they can bring a valuable audience and i think that annie media literacy education would need to include. there's no reason to. cnn is the gospel truth. caution what i would caution anybody about the current media environment we live in is the power is increasingly concentrated. i think the healthiest way is one that has a wide variety of outlets that allow people to choose between them and to assemble the space we can all agree on what the truth is it ta reality is. it's the only way we can have ae peaceful democracy is that people across the aisle can look at each other and agree that this thing is true and this is not. even regarding people on the other end of the ideologicaled spectrum who claimed the media e covered them too much and there is no difference between extremely careless and careless but i will say they did report
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that he said were careless. there's at least a starting point that we can have a discussion about several football fields away age from the pope endorsing donald trump or an fbi agent attached which was news reported by the denver guardian which didn't exist until about a year ago. >> host: san antonio, democrats line. >> caller: i was wondering if you could give some information on the information wars put out by alex jones. the president elect seems to be fascinated with him and goes along with a lot of his crazy theories. a lot of it is especially from
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senior citizen calling in and making statements on c-span. i know c-span doesn't like to correct people but some of the things i hear is so far out there that i feel like they do need to be corrected but anyway, i wish he would give your opinion on that. thank you. >> guest: info wars is probably the most famous site that belongs in the definition of fake news. it is a conspiracy mongering of sort of extreme right tinfoil hat kind of place. i hate coming on here and -- alex jones is a hell of a character in for a long time he
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was just sort of that, a crazy conspiracy theorist that had a radio show that existed in a way that allowed you to enjoy your entertainment without having to see it as a source of news. the rise of social platforms as the venues have met that he's not just a guy in texas with a local radio show ranting about the one world government, he's somebody that has an audience of voters and concerned citizens who seem to believe what he says. i don't have a solution to figuring out how to. recently there was an article about claiming that without evidence something like 3 million people voted illegally and appeared in the form of his
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twitter feed. i worry that we are not thinkins about how we can ensure that kind of totally baseless claim is rebutted and responded to. >> host: how has twitter and facebook responded in light of this and what technology has the potential place and how does it work?facebook >> guest: facebook has undergone a couple of different swings about this. the founder and ceo initially came out after the election and insisted that news had influenced anybody one way or another. i think as we talked about earlier, i don't think that's true and i especially don't. think facebook believes that because they have been advertising business model. there is some reporting that and the use formed please formed a p
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attempting to come up with somee a few weeks ago he announced zuey were undertaking a handfull of steps to try to combat this. one was to attach a certain kinds of labels. i am skeptical about the direction of. the content is the kind of quick fix that's going to come back and hurt us and facebook theel problem at the level is that there's too much power and asking it to wield that power is a short-term solution. the long-term solution would be to ensure they don't have that much power over the conversation nenerally. twitter is a smaller sites that
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more journalists use it and thes president elect uses it. it had less of a problem withs. fake news what it has is a problem with harassment and abuse especially against journal journalists. it finally announced some harassment tools that could theoretically be put to use to spend some of this problem that sort of remains to be seen whether they will fix the situation. >> a senior editor taking a look at a piece on the topic of the intranet news that comes across it. >> as a republican who didn't vote for trump, i know for mee
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personally i seen the things that were not true. my question for you what role does the mainstream media have in all of this and why are theyy in not reporting the way they showed in educating the public about the stories that influenc the election. first we are talking hundreds of stories a day and it's difficult theigure out which ones need to be rebutted. there is a problem media.
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the people that think that a. of the institutional media and the separate groups they can use the power facebook has required him to work and spend too much time worrying about the effect of big news on the population to let its power way in even more.
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>> for the professional journalism that has been drifted away from and now the conversation is in regard to the fake news where they are seeking information. it was later proven to be true. when you have someone you are hopefully receiving straight through then you have evidence that isn't the case, there needs to be a commitment to the professional journalism before you have a conversation abouts e fake news because if you discuss fake news than what is the real news when we give an example ofg
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those foundational organizationg saying that facebook didn't influence, then what is fake, was it all fake? >> guest: i agree th agreed a bt of the problem is the decline te thanks to its own inability to address the concerns of the people reading it. the way we are going to do that is collecting the ecosystem and we trust this as they circle
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around something. what worries me is they'r thereo be that establishment that allowed for some sense of common truth but hasn't been. the right thing to do is expand it in a way to still exist and allow those that were once held outside of it. .. that initial group of media, gatekeepers has disappeared. say what you will about the failure and number of failures political and journalistic
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failures of the media, but they macedonia g, like the teenagers, they are not interested in giving you eality, they are interested in buying guitars and they are going to sell you whatever you it.t to hear in order to get so, you know, like some point, is not perfect solution to say, okay, let's go back to the wall street jury room and new "washington post" and abc and nbc. of course not. but i don't think that it is replacing institutions with ending the fed dot comand denver gardener. host: democrat line, jane, hello there. thank you for c-span. i appreciate you. commve a couple >> been. >> then hillary clinton is
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out of the trail then there are rallies to say she didn't have any ideas but then people would argue over one another but then just recently like msn b.c. but meanwhile russian television what's going on in syria or afghanistan it is the lotus surveying for those on the
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left door of the that they were telling me this is a real thing with hillary clinton is involved in child trafficking and they actually believe this. >> guest: i agree i have nothing else to say. that is absolutely true free have trouble figuring out how to insure that the level headed coverage of the presidential elections and then feeding the beast but obviously to me but he is
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particular eight talented at grabbing attention. but then none of world with your success so that candidates that grabs attention that obama was always of candidates so i will not come up with a solution that russian television station is not the answer. but that propaganda outletnsuren the way to ensure that the independent media with that
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intelligent coverage to v voters at wish i had a better answer but it will take a lot of thinking in the lot of thought. >> host: pennsylvania republican line. >> caller: good morning. i challenge you to come up bite with one article or sound bite that there are three in million people who voted illegally. >> he put baton twitter 82 days ago they were trying to do a recount he would lead have won if
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2,000,003,000,000 had not voted illegally even newt gingrich said he thought that was damaging it should not between being quite so much. >> caller: thanks forue taking question something that concerns me so those that is convicted -- addicted to climate change so even bernie sanders. with a complete lack of acknowledgement to the republican party.
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>> highways.rt, and is a good example for a long time with the agreed upon truth to say the scientific method climate changes a good example that appearance of the acceptable opinion has been eroded away. it is riding the train.imate so those business interests that don't want to beep regulated but they find issues like that that signal belief in an because social media soleil we share news
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is certainly the way with our identity is but if you share an article on and place but it is attached to your facebook profile.atti but that tells people who you are as a person there is no way a to fix that that's system that to we distribute information.wi >> host: the democratic klein go-ahead. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. this is what just happened did donald trump ever lie?muslim if they were celebrating
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that is alive with the problem that we have here. day e n and day out and notice that the reporters today lie about something. that what you say is not fact. and nothing can need done about this. wheth whether it is an nbc or cnn and nobody challenges them. >> guest: is interesting that you mention celebrating
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the muslims because with that's scary component and every president will have his or her own twitter counseling for that is different than "the new york times" that this why he spreads and disseminates fake i just like i do that caned occur with the social media everything that you tweet could be spread like wildfire. did is difficult to figure out.self and
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for journalism to stand up for itself of the adl of what truth and reality is fete of voters are the viewers are the readers who ensure that i could not get away with.ets an and complaining to those outlets were to read the denver guardian but to bring people with the most important thing you can do. >> host: the republican line go well ahead. >> caller: i watched fake news 50 years ago was a student at tuscaloosa. i was downtown at the public library with conyers abet the top and it was raining and they said don't go out there. porch
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end i was out on of porch onib my side of the street a newsman and a cameraman and the black guy. the newsman says get me something this is nothing he said what she wants me to do he said go with dogs are he said i'd want to he said gives me something a we are going back to new york city's take some marchershe near the docks. >> host: so what is your point we're running out of time.egan. this says ben fake news since time began. >> guest: i cannot speak to that particular example if you have to invent instance the favored using civil-rights protestors.
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at times with 150 years of tablets to be falsified or fake information. there is no longer the spaces of that and correct folks. >> moving into the new id ministrations what aboutdissem news dissemination?hing we
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the most important thing wed can do is demand action from facebook. and with at concentrated power like a google and twitter in facebook even with at landscape negative and beyond uh table how they bundled los services together. there needs to be strong regulatory action. >> host: maybe the internet is not a fantastic tool for democracy after all. >> guest: thanks for having me


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