tv 2017 Miami Book Fair CSPAN November 18, 2017 2:35pm-4:36pm EST
it was a monday, that's right. and i'm watching it, and i'm going this is just a loss. this is not like the terrible beauty of the kennedy funeral which was gorgeous and crisp day, beautiful jacqueline, beautiful kennedys, the horseless writer, all that wonderful power and beauty. this is just a loss. we're losing bobby kennedy. >> host: you say in your book, chris matthews, that you were in montreal and you were seriously considering staying up there -- >> guest: no, i never said that. >> host: your student deferment was running out. >> guest: no, i never said that. >> host: did i misread? >> guest: i never said that, first of all. >> host: okay, i thought i read that. >> guest: no, no. i never would have done that. i had -- at that time i did not want to put on a uniform because so many people were putting on uniforms who were not serving in combat. there were a lot of billets in the military, a lot of ways to
make your parents happy and avoid combat. that wasn't it. i wanted to do something positive, i joined the peace corps that summer. >> host: okay, all right. well, why this book now? >> guest: well, i started working on it, i did jack kennedy a couple of years ago, and before that kennedy and nixon. i knew the story, and what i came to believe was how powerful bobby was. he was the leader on civil rights. he was the one that talked jack into the civil rights push in june of '63. he was the one who really got him through the cuban missile crisis, who advised bringing the turkish missiles in as a negotiation and answering the first letter from khrushchev. he also was the one that went to the ex-com group, the top advisers to the president, and said we can't be like the japanese, we don't believe in sneak attacks. we're not going to kill a whole bunch of cubans in some sort of big raid on cuba and kill a lot of russians. we're not that kind of country. so he's a moral compass. that's the reason. and right now you asked me why i
wrote book, in the end, in the final drafting of it, because he's what we don't have; empathy, unity and a moral compass. >> host: and before we go too far, i do want to read straight from here, because i overstated what you do write. what you do write when you were up there was, for me an important personal moment that long weekend came as i sat on a park bench several blocks up from st. catherine's street studying a list of notes to myself. these were my options now that my student deferment was turning into a pumpkin. the one that jumped out at me promising adventure, patriotism and good values was the peace corps. my preference, africa. that's chris matthews. >> guest: i was thinking of vista, i was thinking of teaching high school, of becoming a national health officer, that was another way to go. and i also thought what al gore did, take an enlistment in the military and being a public information officer because then i would learn how to write.
that's what i really was thinking of doing. >> host: chris matthews is our guest. bobby kennedy: raging spirit, is the book. and monet in maryland, you are first up. please go ahead. >> caller: hi, chris matthews. hello. i spoke to you the other night on wbz radio, and i gave you a shout-out, and i thanks you for deciphering the climate we're presently in, the political climate -- [audio difficulty] and i also wanted to tell rachel -- [audio difficulty] and a little lady by the name of daisy. she's 7 years old, and she loves rachel, so would you tell rachel that for her, for us, please? >> guest: i'll be glad to do that. rachel and i are good friends. she's a wonderful person individually not on camera, as well as on camera, but i think she knows she's loved out there.
i know she knows that, because i see her ratings every night. they're through the roof. she's our tent pole on msnbc at 9:00 every night. so i'll do that, thank you. >> host: norman, haslet, michigan. good afternoon. chris matthews is our guest. >> caller: mr. matthews, with all these -- it seems to be that all these conspiracy theorists don't seem to want to go away. in fact, even this morning -- or not this morning, but last night i saw on a canadian television broadcast more evidence of people talking about president kennedy's assassination, and
bobby kennedy was impugned to be part of the so-called conspiracy. do you think -- >> guest: what? bobby was part of the conspiracy to kill his brother? >> caller: yeah, it's silly. and i wish -- >> guest: no, it's worse than silly, it's horrifying. >> caller: right. >> guest: that's an awful thing to even repeat, sir. >> caller: i don't believe it. >> guest: it's just horrible. he loved his brother. >> host: hey, norman, make your last point so mr. matthews can respond. >> caller: well, i just want to know there's any way, if mr. matthews can say something that can end all this conspiracy stuff. >> guest: no, there's nothing i can do because -- >> host: thank you, norman. >> guest: here's what i think is going on here. there's two incentives for believing in conspiracy theories, and they're all pretty recognizable. one incentive is we're trained
from the time we're little children in our fiction, in our literature that a great leader, a protagonist always had a bad, strong antagonist whether it's moriarty and sherlock holmes or iago to othello or the cavendish gang with the lone ranger. but history shows us that people who commit assassinations are little people desperate for some role in history. the people who commit mass shootings are little people with no good life to live who also include their own suicide in these decisions. so i think we've got to get back to the reality of the world we live in and not literature. the other reason people wanted these conspiracy theories, a lot of progressives and people on the left can't live with the fact that a communist shot jack kennedy. it's just too hard to absorb. and i understand that completely because of the time we lived in, the people that publicly hated kennedy were on the right. and it didn't seem right that somebody on the left killed him, but those are the facts.
lee harvey oswald had that job at the book depository long before they had the mothered -- motor decade route that day. and all conspiracy theorists believe in all conspiracies. if they believe in the kennedy conspiracy, they believe in the robert kennedy conspiracy. it's just one long daisy chain of conspiracy. they have to believe it. i can't explain it. but you asked me when am i going to clear it up for them? i can't, because facts don't work. >> host: you thank jonathan karp of sigh hon and schuster in your book for giving you this assignment. >> guest: well, he's great. jonathan this is believed in me -- has believed in me. bobbies has this connection of affection. -- bobby has this connection of affection. very accessible guy, street-level. as i said, not a big, handsome guy. obviously, he was an attractive guy, but he's somebody you can say, you know? i think i know that guy.
he's the one the father didn't like. he's the one that had to work for everything, had to figure things out. like in the cuban missile crisis he goes from hawk to dove. civil likes, he had no interest, and then this guy gets his head knocked in, and he realized the hatred that was going on against black people, in segregation, is and he got into it. and mccarthy, he loved him but he realized he was the bad guy. that's growing up. you learn the people you love are wrong. it doesn't always fit neatly. and i think he also got tired of chasing bad guys and decided to look out for victims toward the end. >> host: from your book, jack was el gafnt; bobby awkward. bobby was to be the enforcer, the heavy, making his presence felt in situations where jack needed to remain at a distance. >> guest: as jack would say, go see the governor of ohio. he says he's for me, but i don't think he's for me. he won't say it publicly. so he sends him, and he said
keep me out of hit. he sends bobby in with a rubber hose, he goes in and out comes the governor for jack. but he says that was like a mobster in the room with me. he made me do it. he did the same thing with the governor of maryland. he had to tell the governor back in '52 who was hanging onto the governorship, we're cutting you loose, buddy. jack's going to get elected to the senate, and you're going to lose re-election. and jack said, keep me out of it. so jack is the prince everybody likes, bobby's the one -- here's a great example. i worked for tip o'neill all those years. tip it would me jack came to him in 1956 and said can you give me your credentials to the convention in chicago? give me your credentials so you don't get to be a delegate, and give them to my little brother. of course, tip, he's irish. he remembered this his whole life. who's he think he is, that upstart? never blamed jack. he blamed bobby. that's how jack liked it.
>> host: let's hear from alan in houston, texas. go ahead, alan. >> caller: hi. the only reason i'm touching on this is because, as you just said, mccarthy's a bad guy. but was bobby up with mccarthy going to exonerate nazi criminals that were involved with the shootings at mall madty? >> guest: which, gene mccarthy? >> host: do you know what? it's probably another theory or conspiracy theory. >> guest: yeah. >> host: probably joe mccarthy and -- >> guest: i don't know that story, sir. >> host: yeah. julie, largo, florida. julie, your question or comment for chris matthews. >> caller: hello. hey, chris. >> guest: hi. >> caller: hey. i haven't gotten your book yet. listen, i just reread arthur schlessinger's journals and went through all of the personal interactions that they had, and
it was kind of -- >> guest: i love that book. >> caller: yeah. it really kind of brought back that history. i lived through it the same time you did. listen, i know it's kind of a hypothetical, but what do you think would have been the difference in this country if bobby had not been assassinated? would we have a -- >> guest: well, i think his brother -- oh, i think so. i think this would have happened. if he'd been elected, if he had been elected, let me tell you, we wouldn't have had nixon, of course, by definition. bobby was going to end that war. and if you go to washington or you had relatives who were killed in that war, half the people in that war were killed after '69, from '69,en january. so clearly, that would have been one result. i also think that as the war went on from '69-'73, this country got very divided as you remember. you were my age. between hard hats, the working people, the white working class who didn't go to college, and the college kids, and the country got very divided on
class lines. well, that's still the case today. i think we're still living the legacy of what the bitterness of that fight over the war. so if we could have ended that war faster, we would have had a better result because the only result we got in '73 was we got to leave. that's what they wanted us to do, leave, and we left. and all we got back were our prisoners. we would have gotten them back, that would have been the easiest thing to negotiate. so i don't know what we got accomplished except a lot of dead people and lyes ruined and a lot of bitterness between '69 and '73, and we wouldn't have had nixon. we wouldn't have a watergate. >> host: you talk in the book about people swayed by the kennedy name. >> guest: yeah. >> host: that have made a difference. and it could have carried him to election. >> guest: hmm? >> host: you talk about people being dazzled to or swayed by the name and the fact that could have carried him in '68. >> guest: we saw what happened in the '64 democratic convention in atlantic city.
when he walked out there to introduce a film on his brother, it was 20 minutes of applause like nobody had ever seen. and i think he looked enough like his brother -- he certainly evoked his brother -- people when they saw him, a lot of minorities especially saw jack. and he would say when he'd go through a crowd he'd say the his friend or somebody, that's for jack. that's for jack. i think the kennedy name, obviously, depends on the perp. teddy kennedy doesn't have it. the kids don't have it. they'll have to earn it. it's certainly a good door opener, though. there's a guy in louisiana, the senator from -- >> host: bill kennedy or bill cassidy? >> guest: john kennedy. someone town there in authority without embarrassing told me, you know, this is what happening you know? name. but they had to earn that name. joe kennedy did not have that great a name, the old man. >> host: what was jfk's approval
rating in early november '63? >> guest: i remember as a kid looking at "u.s. news & world report" i used to read back then as a kid, and it was close. but i think he -- you know, presidents got reelected in those days. if you think about, not since hoover was somebody defeated for re-election. that was the great depression. i think nixon would not have run, i don't think. i think he would have beaten goldwater. the guy he was afraid of, he was afraid of rockefeller. and then rockefeller got divorced, his new wife, happy, left the four kids to her first husband. this killed the deal. the american people were not going to like somebody who just had that kind of a marriage. it was just a dealbreaker. and so it ended up being goldwater. it would have been very hard for goldwater to win, although i loved goldwater -- not loved, but i really liked him as a kid. he was a libertarian, you know, leave me alone, let me live my life. when you're 18 years old or
something like that, that sounds really good, libertarianism. and then you get older and realize we do need social security, things like that. we need to have good social programs. >> host: what are you reading right now? >> guest: you know -- [laughter] i have, tonight i'm going to read, i think i'm going to go read shattered on the plane, because i hear it's good. i have been avoiding reading anything else for six months because aye been writing and editing -- i've been writing and editing. you know in track they call it the kick at the end? i've been in the kick, and the kick meant every weekend, every morning, every post-midnight, going to bed exhausted just to get this book written the way i wanted. it's the best thing i've done in my life. they want the spirit of bobby back, whatever people's politics. i think a lot of conservatives looked at him as an honest man, as somebody who really was what he was. and it's not about glamour or charisma, it's about a guy who
tried to make himself better all his life. he just kept trying -- he knew he wasn't great, and he tried to make himself a better man, and i think people identify with that. >> host: one of the things i learned in your new book was april 4th, 1968, when he was going into indianapolis, the police wouldn't escort him -- >> guest: isn't that something? >> host: i had no idea. >> guest: so he had just spoken at notre dame university and at ball state university and had given a very upbeat speech to a young african-american kid who said what gives you faith in america. he said the i think most white people and most african-americans are good people, and then he gets to the word that dr. king's been killed by a white guy in a racist killing obviously. he said i feel so bad i just gave that kid hope. he gets to indianapolis, he's about to go into a tough neighborhood, what we used to call a ghetto neighborhood, tough neighborhood. the police refuse to go with him, so he has to go alone. he gets up on this flatbed
truck, and he asked the guy -- because i work for nbc, i could get the tape. asked him, do they know yet? and the guy goes, no. imagine looking out into an audience of black faces, african-american faces in the dark and telling them that their greatest here reof their history has -- of their history has just been shot by a white person. and he had to do that. he felt he had to be the one to do it. he couldn't dodge it. so he sort of took off his skin. he went in there -- which i think all empathy has to come from vulnerability. you don't walk up to a person who's dying or sick and say i'm strong, you're not. you have to find some way of showing you're weak in this circumstance. you can't fix anything. and he said, you know, my brother was killed by a white man, and it was his way of saying, you know, i do know what suffering is. he talked about prayer. and most politicians, i know i shouldn't say this, but they say when our prayers and thoughts are with you, it's just pro
forma. where him, he meant it. he was a prayerful guy, bobby, he prayed all the time. he said let's say a prayer for our country. and our people. when you listen to that, you're just overwhelmed by it. he was the only human being that could have done that. and i think that's who he was, empathy. real -- he had lost a brother in the war, he had lost a sister to the airplane accident, another sister because his awful father had a lobotomy performed on her, he had a brother-in-law killed in the war, he had teddy almost killed in '64 in that plane accident. he was surrounded by death and the good things in life. but he knew pain. >> host: fernando's in oregon. fehr fernando, you're on with chris matthews. please make your comment or ask your question. >> caller: hi, chris. long, longtime fan. you've been doing a great, great job, and i was just thinking
about when politics works, have you been thinking of maybe even telling people, hey, this is the road map to what we could get to with this whole situation that's going on right now? i'm sorry, i'm not plugging in in your -- >> guest: i think -- no, i know what you mean. i always research for the facts. but when it comes to crafting the book, i mean, i know what i'm doing. i'm basically talking about what we lack today. it's not just trump, it's what we lack in terms of empathy for people in trouble in this country where a leader actually seems to care, a leader in either party who actually wants the unite people. it's easily to play one side or the other of the racial fight, the class fight. you just pick a side and thump on the other side and say how great your fight is. make the fight worse, more ferocious. and the third thing that's really missing is moral
authority. not power of the government, but the moral authority. since the time we were kids, we wanted to think if the president knew a situation, he would do the right thing. and i don't think we have that right now, that sense of moral leadership. and, you know, we can disagree about abortion rights and gay rights. there are disagreements, but a sense of right and wrong about doing the right thing for our country, i think, is missing now. we don't talk like that, and i think we have to have a leader that does. >> host: michael, calls bury -- salisbury, connecticut. good afternoon. >> caller: how are you? chris, i've got two simple, one simple question, one observation, and i'll take your response off the air here. first off, did you ever get a real good definition or understanding of what the asaws sip's motive was -- assassin's motive was? you know, bobby kennedy's
assassin? and was there anybody else involved. and the second thing is just an observation. been watching you a long time. you know, you have a very difficult time saying complimentary things about conservatives. i'm not being critical, i just noticed that about your work. anyway, take care and keep up the good work. >> host: and that was michael -- >> guest: well, last night i saluted orrin hatch who i worked on his first race in utah. his fight the other night with sherrod brown was real. i think he was deeply offended by being accused of being the rich man's bagman, and a few minutes ago i said i liked goldwater. there are limits. here's what i think happened with bobby, and i do think assassins. i don't want to celebrate them, but there's usually a politics
behind it except in the case of hinkley which was sort of a fantasy with a movie star. with bobby, sirh hand sirh hand was a christian arab who didn't like bobby's policy support of israel. why was bobby so pro-israel in that campaign? because when he was fighting for the california primary with a lot of very important, well-educated i jewish voters, they were for gene mccarthy who was a cerebral, thoughtful liberal, and they really liked him. bobby was irish and part of that whole they didn't really like the old man because of what he'd done in the war. so bobby had to go overboard in supporting israel. and when i got this from gene mccarthy afterwards, they said bobby was for supporting the sale, for example, of f-15 fighter planes over the table. as mccarthy put it, we were selling them under the table, it wasn't a big deal, but we were always arming israel.
bobby had to come out and really make it dramatic, and, of course, sirh hand sir hand heard this, and i believe he made it clear that was his motive. i think he did do it alone. i just talked to vince who was there physically holding up bobby after he was shot, and he watched those bullets come from the gun of sirhan right there. so i believe that's what happened. it isn't complicated. and there you have it, a guy killing for political reasons. he's been in prison ever since. teddy kennedy after him, to be spared. not to be executed. i think we know everything. this isn't complicated like some of the others. >> host: how many u.s. presidents have you known? >> guest: known? [laughter] >> host: interviewed, talked with. >> guest: obama, w., w.'s father. by meeting, saying hello, they would know me. clinton, of course. i know some also-rans, clinton,
mrs. clinton, hillary clinton, al gore. i know joe biden very well. i'd like to have met them all. jimmy carter, i knew. i worked for him as a speech writer. so i guess i've known a lot of them. >> host: ronald reagan? >> guest: i had picture-taking sessions with him. you know how i got -- i had dinner two nights ago with ron, his son, up in seattle. i'm friends with him. i was very good friends with nancy for the last 15, 20 years because my mom died of alzheimer's, and i got, i went to a thing with nancy, and we were talking about alzheimer's and how she missed her husband, and she said it was worse than the shooting because she lost the company of her husband. my dad went through that. so we became very good friends. and nancy was fun. tough but fun. frankly, you'd go to dinner, and they were talking about this, we'd go to dipper in, like, beverly hills. one time i went in one of
these -- i walk in, i'm earlier, and i say, hi i'm going to dinner. and they said, what, are you secret service? no, i'm her date. and then she'd chasten some of these hollywood hangouts and say things like, a picture of big plastic menus with all the hollywood stars' faces on them. and she calls the old guy over, he goes where's ronnie? .. but she used to treat. >> host: chris matthew that latest book, bobby kennedy:a raging spirit, thank you for your time. >> i am with you, c-span is
great. >> host: booktv coverage of the miami book fair continues. up next you will hear from novelist salman rushdie. after that, katie tore will be speaking and a gold star father, they will all be speaking and we will conclude by taking calls from katie, that is coming up today at the miami book fair and we will be live tomorrow. we will head back to chapman hall on miami-dade campus. salman rushdie is up next in a moment. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon.
good afternoon. i hope everyone is enjoying the fair. yes? that is great. our prayer goers are coming in. we are going to get started in the interests of time. i mary lou harrison. many of you know, very pleased to welcome all of you to the miami book fair and to the next session. miami-dade college is very proud to bring this book fair to miami. and to the many visitors that come into miami book fair every year. the fair would not be possible without the collaboration and support from many many volunteers, hundreds of volunteers many of whom are students of miami-dade college
and also students from our local high school, middle school as well, tremendously grateful to our young people for the support they provide. there are many corporate sponsors i would like to acknowledge, many corporate and community sponsors have come together to make this book fair what it is today. our circle of friends, i always acknowledge you. you get applause, thank you very much. the reason we acknowledge you each and every time is we truly truly value the fact that you have joined the circle of friends and your support means a great deal to us. without further a do, i have the distinct honor of introducing the author and i would like to ask that you
silence your devices. we will move on to the program. for salman rushdie is a world run around -- world renowned novelist. he has written more than 11 novels and earned numerous distinctions including being selected to serve as a fellow of the british royal society of literature. he was also selected as a distinguished writer in residence at the carter journalism institute at new york university. his second novel, midnight child, won a booker prize. that was deemed the best novel. among all winners marking the 26th and 40th anniversary, so many other accolades i should mention but time is short and i know you want to hear from salman rushdie but he was also
knighted by queen elizabeth ii for his many contributions to literature. he is no stranger to miami book fair having made appearances here many times. today he will talk about his us novels, the golden house. welcome to salman rushdie. [applause] >> thank you, great to be here, can't remember how many times it is but it has been a few, that is a good sign. i was listening to george
saunders before. he has been here a long time. i felt his pain. by the time you get to this point before the end of the book tour, you wonder what you want to say. i thought what i wanted to say, my work has been working its way towards america for a long time. back in the late 90s, i wrote something that was partly set in india and the second half, that was a different america, the new york city i first learned about as a kid when i was 24, 25 years old in the
early 70s. the other new york was dirty and broke and dangerous in parts and cheap. as a result of being cheap, was full of young creative people. i found myself on my first trip to the city in this downtown area surrounded by filmmakers, musicians, writers and painters and so on and i thought how cool is this? a city in the south pole, as anyone who knows the city, not very far apart. anyway, that was about rock and roll music and it is set in that place in that time, i have been working my way closer to
the present moment. my novel fury had the bizarre fate of being published on september 11, 2001. not a great day to publish a novel for all kinds of reasons, most of which are not literary. it was a novel about the summer of 2000 in new york, the strange thing, i have written it in a comic satirical novel, the narrator says about the city it is boiled with money and that incredibly self-confident, affluent, greedy new york, it would be a satirical comedy and on the day of its publication it became a historical novel because that
city ceased to exist in a slightly different city replaced it. nobody did any bookstores that year. a year later i was asked to do a reading, i thought i would read from it and had no idea what the response would be because everything was a pretty roll. i had the strangest experience. i read this passage and what i felt coming off of the audience was lost out to. a sense of nostalgia for that other place. i remember at that time there was a day in the doonesbury comic strip which i like, one of the characters said to the other i really miss september 10th. what happened in that novel was on the day of its publication it became september 10th. it became a novel of the day before. the novel i wrote before this
two years and eight months and 28 nights which if you do the math is 1001, was a new york novel but a fairytale, arabian nights story taking place in new york city, flying urns, genies riding on flying urns. when i finished it, i thought i had taken this kind of writing as far as it could go and as far as i want to take it and not much more for me to do down this particular road. do something else, do something opposite. this novel is in part the answer to the instruction to myself. hold the flying carpets, never mind the magic knowss, 86 the
genies and to write a novel, a different sort of novel, a novel to prepare for which books i'm not often associated with which were tried to do what i tried to do, to capture a moment of the history of the city and the country, the age of innocence like james baldwin in other countries, novels like that. this is a novel about a patriarch with three best up sons and there's a very famous novel about an evil patriarch with three messed up sons, brothers, about of. i thought i would pay my respects and should tell you the truth, wasn't much use. because dostoevsky, what he is doing as a writer, apart from that echo in the shape of the
book, in the right of it, i get a lot from, charles dickens, one of the things i always admired about dickens and tried to use in this book is the contrast between background and foreground. the dickensian background, the world of charles dickens is portrayed with minute, scrupulous, obsessive realism. incredible social detail and naturalistic accuracy. the dickensian city lives today because it is created with such incredible attention, minute detail and the thing i always admired is he seems to be able to talk about the whole of
society, not just his own little patch. he can talk about aristocrats and murderers and swindlers and shopkeepers, anything that is happening in england in his time, he seems able to capture and put on the page and that provision, i tried to emulate in various books, certainly this one. get out of your comfort zone, there is something very important about writing, the novel is about reporting on society. it was once described as a mirror walking down the road. you can't assume you know everything. and the evil patriarch has been
very involved, organized crime in the original country in bombay, they not israel name. a man who calls himself narrow golden is telling you something about what he thinks about himself. this is not a modest man. anyway, he has this evil past and in order to create him i had to find out a lot about criminal mafias, extremely enjoyable. i began to feel like mario puzo translated into hindi. and he has three sons with different agonies. one of them is brilliant but high functioning autistic.
what is very conflicted about gender transition, whether to do that or not. one is very nostalgic and doesn't like the way he has been obliged to relocate. that meant -- i did start off with some knowledge, friends who are autistic, a couple friends who have been involved in gender translation, personal experience as a way of opening the door and find out a lot more. at the end of a novel feeling better informed than you were, that is true -- the reader, feels better informed than they were at the beginning. the function of the novel was to bring news, theoretically that is not true because there are so many other ways of getting information. the more ways there are of getting information the less
information we have. i'm not talking about the 45th president yet but the internet is a place where garbage and truth coexist and seems to have more or less the same level of authority. to distinguish between those things, the act of writing and reading novels at a time like this, have been such disputed territory. one thing the novel has always been good at doing is making a contract between writer and reader. you form a joint agreement
about the nature of reality. you say to yourself how it is. this is how things are and it is pleasing to the reader, to make that agreement, we live in an age in which we really need to make that agreement again. reading good books is one such way, getting a grip on what it is. this is incense a private novel about this family, difficulties, it takes place in new york city at this very moment. it does something you are taught not to do which is to write a novel about the exact moment the novel is taking place. you should have distance and
perspective and all that and yes you should. i have never been good at doing what i'm taught to do. and as i say there are the greatest novels which i tried to do capturing the moment the book was made. the great gods be -- the great gatsby, bonfire of the vanities, when compared to all of these, compared to the great grads the diminished the great gatsby and the godfather, what is that? what book could that possibly be? but apparently i have written it. that is enjoyable. if you are trying to get to grips with how things are it is a difficult moment, a dark
moment for somebody of my persuasion. i came to think the book was family tragedy although it has comic aspects, tragic comedy. surrounded by the larger tragic comedy of america. the words donald trump don't occur in the novel because i wasn't going to let him in. [applause] >> but the background of the novel at one point the question of the 2016 election is there. it occurred to me in a deck of playing cards there are only two cards that don't behave properly. what is the trump and the other is the joker.
i thought i don't want the trump so i like the other one. there is a character called the joker, with green hair, who runs for president. and wins. that man, nowhere to be seen. not in an age of heroes. there is that. the context of the novel, trying to write this kind of grabbing what used to be called the zeitgeist, you have to grab everything whether it is people's obsession with croutons or occupy wall street or whatever, you have to let the book the elastic enough to let on what is going on. that was enjoyable to do. it is a story within a story, story of this family, broken family inside the story of a broken country and i think that
is the thing i wanted to emphasize because if the election had gone the other way i wouldn't have had to change hardly anything because it seems to me in many ways trump -- the rift in america would have been there if hillary had won. if trump was somehow to the materialize tomorrow, it will still be there. renée, the young filmmaker who was narrator of the novel who investigates this mysterious family is anguished about his country and that is what he's anguished about, not so much about a particular catalyst but this incredibly divided reality in which people can't agree even on a simple thing like what is the case? that is the book i wanted to write, this book about a private factoring and to make
it funny. i am going to do that, one of the most unexpected things about this book was a character i had thought of but been a minor character. he meets somebody -- an extremely beautiful very ambitious gold digging russian girl. completely fictitious. she gets her hooks into him. i thought i would read you how she does that. the most surprising thing is ever since this book came out and people are reading it is people really like her. people keep saying that russian girl is kind of cool.
she is the most self-seeking, selfish, amoral character in the book. but you got her bigger. this is a surprise to the author. you can decide what you think. we will have some questions. let me read you a few passages. here is doctor lisa, the russian girl. she is striking, astonishing, has long, dark hair. her body as long exceptional, runs marathons and is a fine gymnast specializing in rhythmic gymnastics. as a youth she came close to the russian pics team. she is 28 years old and youth was when she was 15. her region of origin is siberia and she plans to send from flattery senior himself who wrote many books about the
region including the one became a corrosive film. this line of descent is not confirmed because doctor lisa is a brilliant liar accomplished in the arts. she decides she wants to come to america and be adored and send us dollars back to her family. this is what she has done, she has flown the coop. in america, new york city and in florida and making money doing the work, many men does i her, she's not looking for a mere man but wants to protect her. as a child, a wicked stepmother to the home of the which, in the heart of the heart of the
forest, helped her escape, and beginning a search so the story goes. there are those who tell it differently saying -- she gobbled up every one. the ugly old which acquired all the young girls beauty. the spitting image on the affair, remains sharp on the inside. this is in miami. she is about to meet hers are. she is on fisher island. where else would she be? the vanderbilt health is the heart of the island. rewind, the 250 foot yacht
making a swamp deal with developer carl fisher. the yacht in exchange for the island, accused at the time of watergate being next in's back and, being a group that bought the island from a man who bought the island from a guy who bought the island for vanderbilt. as previously stated, peacocks has discretion, class. after the new year's eve dance on the outdoor dance floor, strings of light and women in their jules and security guards guarding the jules and those who buy the jewels admiring their property. it is a much talked about winter and spring november in
april love affair. so she seduces him. what chance is there? after she seduces him everything when you want it is yours. on the third night she discusses business. this is not a shock to him. this makes things easier in the comfort zone. she produces a print card the size of a postcard with boxes to take. let's go through the details. i should not stay in the house on mcdougall street, that the family home for yourself and your sons. i'm not your wife so i'm not your family so you could choose, the resident in the west village for convenience and ease of access will be on the upper east side for more discretion. this is also my preference. so two bedrooms minimum, one
more is art studio space, is it a rental? for how many years? we proceed to the car and i leave to you completely, bmw 6 series and suv, or so nice, i love you. the question arises of where i have a coat, both of the above. this goes without saying, and every house you see checking in. i must comport myself, you see the categories, recommend generosity.
you cannot regret it. i speak english, french, german, italian, japanese and russian. i ski, waterski, surf, run and swim. the flex ability of my gymnastics i retain. in the coming days i will know how to satisfy you that you know yourself and what is needed to assist this, if a room must be constructed, let us call it a playroom. make sure it is done immediately with the greatest discretion, never look at another man. no other man will ever touch me nor will i tolerate any inappropriate advances, deserve and must have exclusivity. this is one more matter for later. this is the matter of marriage, lowering her voice to the most alluring level. i will have honor and standing,
only as your wife will i truly have this. until then i am happy, the happiest and most loyal of women and my honor is important to me, you understand. you are the most understanding man i have ever met. [applause] >> my unexpectedly popular &, goes to show sometimes people like bad girls better than good girls. new york and america now with the heart of it, a mystery from across the world, the first time i have written a book which -- something like a mystery, because there is this
dark secret, going to enormous legs to change the ability to seal their past. i need to know the answer to why. and information into the readers ears. it is disinformation. what is happening over here, the president is good at this. it was fun to write a mystery. one of the non-writers that helps me do it, alfred hitchcock. strangely, the place in greenwich village where the novel is set i discovered was 100 yards away from what hitchcock had in mind when he
made rear window. it has a kind of for your window feeling. the central setting is a communal garden in the heart of the village which actually exists, and acting stories while being watched with everybody living around them. hitchcock is the great master of suspense, so it is hitchcockian, you find out what the secret is and hope you will like it. [applause] >> we have 10 or 12 minutes for questions so you have some, the mic is over there, please go to it and i will try to answer.
>> i wanted to know -- the book -- had anything to do with what you are talking about. >> and who is that? >> in terms of -- writing about -- >> you couldn't have named two more different writers in terms of technique. i am a great admirer of cortez. his novel hopscotch is one of the great novels. i -- very cool. i felt -- that kind of realist tradition, a little more to do with this book because the book is not a realist for a start,
for example there is a wonderful moment, the beginning of the novel, a cinematic do that starts off, this is the city of marseille baking in the sun, in this city, this neighborhood is like this, people living in it, in this neighborhood, this is what the house is like and is obviously occupied by people with certain wealth. the middle of the room, her name is -- when you get to her, this is a brilliant device. the best thing you do is keep
it. i remember this once, the multiple narrators when i lie dying, this wonderful answer which only faulkner could have given, when i'm in the throes of my genius. and i don't know any writer who would do differently. he was right about the second part, refer to the throes of genius. >> i don't have a prolific question. i would like to know what it was like to work with larry david. the show was totally
improvised. >> it was fun. i met him a couple times, touching me out of the blue, he had written this thing and don't want to be in it. what thing is bad and cut i see a script? that is difficult because there is no script. i said can you tell me something? he told me about two or three sentences. that sounds funny, i will do it. then there was a moment of thinking how would it be if i were the only person in curb your enthusiasm who was no good? but surrounded by convenience, good at improv, good at making you feel comfortable. on a given scene, you are supposed to get there today,
how you do it is up to you. there are certain lines i am proud of, with 60 pixie dust, that is my life and there is a bit that is cut out. if you go to the curb your enthusiasm facebook page and there is a deleted scene, i can see why they cut it, in between the two scenes, to visit in my house, unbelievable mansion, then we go to the restaurant, to the restaurant, are there female butlers, there are a few, he says nothing would be
better than a female butler because there's the possibility of sex. i say no, there is a fool in the butlering world, what is the rule? don't -- that was my life. anyway. all i can say is two of the most enjoyable days i had for a long time. >> speaking of fat well. i was a 6 you make in tehran, on national tv, my mom told me this is why you shouldn't criticize islam. over 28 years, i am in x muslim still being told by americans
and canadians i shouldn't criticize islam but this time in the name of diversity. my question is how do you see the dynamic between islamic culture and western culture play out? what would you suggest to me as the best approach to westerners, some sort of a balance. >> say what you think, there is nothing else, you can't second-guess people. if you believe things to be true you should say them. islam is not immune to criticism. no set of ideas is because they pay lip service to a god. [applause]
i don't see any reason to give religious ideas respect. you have to make a distinction between human beings and ideas racism should be called out, that is fine. that doesn't mean you have to pussyfoot around ideas you don't think are right. if you say the world is flat i have to tell you you are an idiot. then you have to be allowed to tell me why you think it is flat. it looks flat. that i tell you you are an idiot again. there has to be free play in the discussion of ideas that include theological ideas. you have to distinguish between that and attacking human beings
for different things and they get blurred in this conversation and have to be kept apart. [applause] >> a very long subject, i don't have time. that is much of i can do. >> will there be a balance between islamic culture and western culture? >> i have no idea, no sign of it yet. >> >> and i was born and raised, i learned about christianity in 2006, and started to question it and wrote a comedy screenplay, if it was told from a feminist mary magdalene's point of view, refusing to call god, i got a lot of pushback once it was finished, what have
you discover you are more resilient than you thought you were. i'm glad to be at the end of the story because it was a long time ago. the satanic verses was my fifth published book. this is my 18th. most of my life as a writer comes after it. feels like a long time ago. i am proud of it and pleased the first is less, the book is finally being read just as a novel, being studied in colleges and so on and has the life of a novel. some love it, some hated and some are in between and that is the ordinary life of a book. i am glad to have that life, small principal called free
expression which is worth fighting for, in these times and administration which is keen on the second amendment but not so keen on the first. [applause] >> let me try to answer. let me touch on it. regarding christopher hitchens, have you speculated much -- >> it is very difficult. christopher hated the clintons. christopher's dislike of the clintons was pathological. what -- far too smart to buy into trumpland but he would
have been conflicted but i don't know, we need them but don't have him. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, salman rushdie, for gracing us again. [applause] >> salman rushdie will be signing his book on this floor on the other side of the elevator. >> to begins the next program. [inaudible conversations]
♪ >> you are watching booktv on c-span2, live coverage of the miami book fair which began in 1984. for the last 20 years booktv has been covering it live, held on the campus of miami dade college in downtown miami. and joining us is one of the cofounders, doctor eduardo petrone who has a day job at miami-dade college. anytime we are down here, this
looks like a street for but we are in the middle of the college campus. >> absolutely, this is our campus downtown, right here in the center of the city at the center option in miami, the civic life, political life, books and writers, what -- all year round. in november we do a book fair, hundreds of thousands of people to the campus and from all over the world and booktv. >> host: how many students attend here? >> guest: about 170,000, the largest institution in the nation. >> host: how did you get so big? >> guest: we are an institution. very high quality, very excessive community.
this is everyone's college in miami, hardly a household's, nothing touched by this institution including me. it is an institution, touching the american dream. >> while we were standing here, 7 people walked up and thanked you and said thank you for access, thank you for community. what is your philosophy behind that? >> education is the most important equalizer we have especially in the 21st century. we provide opportunities for 18 and 19-year-olds, we have two high schools in the college, two stops, we also have people
in the middle ages, 40 and 50s, to retrain in new certification, women after raising their children felt it was there chance to get what they need and very much a microcosm of the community and education, in the classroom. book fairs are an example that these book stairs. to be faced with so many books from all over the world to see the writers, the authors than ever imagined they would see. to ask them questions, this is a gift in the miami community and one that almost everyone takes advantage of.
>> you and your friends, mitch kaplan of books and books, >> i am from buenos aires, and to see the length of people to go to a book fair, i came back and said why don't i do that in miami? most people said i was crazy, that people would come to the streets of miami, you have to -- a place and time where everybody was going to december. i invited a group of people, librarians, bookstore owners, if they are willing to work with those to sign a book fair i would find sorts of ways to do it and help and as a leader in that effort, to cochair at that time but now is the chairman. the book fair and that history.
a unique individual, keen knowledge of everything in literature, empathy, commitment to building community is unequal, nobody else, no energy put into something like this, takes a lot of work year round, take the thousand volunteers but something this community appreciates and something we are proud of. >> host: where is your book? >> somewhere around here. i keep losing them and carrying them and putting them somewhere else but i lose it and being able to witness for a long time, there is nothing more gratifying to be able to shake the hand of people that become
your idols, you keep their books up close to you, because of what they have to say. for me it is difficult to concentrate on my everyday work. i want to meet every one of them and thank them, they make america what america is about. it is a celebration of the writers. you can find finance gathering, writers, everything literary and international. when we started, book fairs in the united states and we have been credited by the forerunners of book fairs, a dedication from almost every state to come down here, to see the fair and try to get ideas
how to get a prayer site. even laura bush who started the national book fair in washington, when mrs. bush, not laura but her mother-in-law came and said this book fair is an embarrassment, got that work to laura bush, they wanted to learn how we were doing this and they were happy to see the national book festival in washington but there have been many others developed even in florida, 5 or 6 book fairs that are the result of -- -- >> host: you mentioned everyday work, what does the president of the college do these days? >> i spend a lot of time, i consider myself a cheerleader blessed with great faculty,
very talented students and my role is to protect learning, students get the highest opportunity to get engaged in the learning process, have the latest technology and resources available to them to be able to flourish. so that takes me all over the world. that takes me a lot of different places. going to meetings which i have my to do list every day. if i do two i am happy. >> host: doctor eduardo petrone of miami-dade college and cofounder of the miami book fair, thank you for your hospitality. as i said we are on the campus of miami-dade college and there are a lot of booths. you see these all along here and these booths are often
sponsored by individual authors or sponsored by publishing houses or whatever but we ran across an author we wanted to introduce you to, laura, here is her book, wife beater shirt optional. what is your theme in here? >> my name is domestic violence if the stereotype of people wearing what they call wife beater shirts whether they are men or even women. it can happen to anybody in any socioeconomic group or anybody. >> host: with the national conversation we are having right now, do you consider some of the events publicized, domestic violence? it >> guest: it definitely is about power and control. domestic violence isn't usually a problem with anger. it is about control in a relationship.
a lot of the anger is about losing control or not having control and what we are seeing in the media is powerful people who have abused their power with other people. >> host: where do you practice? >> guest: fort myers, florida. >> host: what is your specialty? >> guest: my specialty is trauma, domestic and sexual violence. i have been working with trauma survivors for almost 30 years. >> host: if somebody picks up the wife beater shirt optional, what will they learn? >> guest: they will learn the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationship. i work with so many people who come in telling me they are having problems in a relationship, not realizing buried and abusive controlling relationship but they are not getting hit so they don't realize their relationships are abusive. >> host: what is the response you have gotten in miami? >> very positive, very positive, very eye-opening,
very heartwarming. >> host: you are the author of wife beater shirt optional. there is no dress code for domestic violence. thank you for your time. booktv's live coverage of the miami book fair continues. let's go back to chapman hall. up next is katy tur talking about her book unbelievable about the 2016 election. we will hear from the goldstar father and katie will be taking your phone calls. all live from miami. [inaudible conversations]
[silence] hello everyone. please take your seat. we're about to begin the next session. as other guests come in, let me greet you with a good afternoon to everyone. i'm alu harrison and again welcome back to chapman session e her at miami book fair. i don't believe anyone this this room is joining us for the first time today, if there is anyone -- no thank you. thank you for being here with us
i hope you had an opportunity perhaps to -- produce various booth and activities throughout the fair, and tonight is almost coming to a close. but not quite yet. and we have a real treat in store for you right here in the chapman center for this session and the very next one. so i know that you will enjoy it. at this point i would like you to help me to welcome the individual who will introduce our guest's author and the moderator, and that is is none other than mess pathy political writer from the miami harold. patty. [applause] >> hello. welcome. today we are going to hear from two people katy tur who needs to introduction to this crowd and tony decople a cbs news
correspondent and also he was previously a senior writer for nbc news and senior reporter at news week where he published an article that led to his book the last pirate. he holds master degree in american studies from columbia university, and once attended elementary so got some miami roots. katy tur is a correspondent for nbc news and anchor for msnbc recipient of the 2017 walter cronkite qeard for excellence in journalism she was called disgraceful, first third rate, not first rate and not nice by then candidate donald trump. [applause] she reported on and took slack from the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in american history. at some rallies including here in miami at a memorable news
conference if you've read her book -- and later at a rally at base lib park six days before the election where he called her out by name and someone in the crowd turned against her about her book front row seat to the american history is her dark comic fascinatingly bizarre and scary story of how america sent a former reality show host to the white house. it's also the story of what it was like for tur to be there as it happen whatted inside of a world where reporters we are sat on, demeaned, and discredited. please welcome tony and katy tur. [applause] >> hello, hello. it is true i am mr. katy tur.
and if anyone didn't get the joke that is reference that we are husband in wife to in addition to being colleagues in the world of journalism. thank you. [applause] i wanted to -- interview. and it is a recent three weeks old, and i will hope to avoid -- [applause] which means there are no marital issues to work out on stage it is too new so i was hoping to get a sense from the audience of how many people here already have read the book and how many have not. how many have read the book? so we have a lot of curious, maybe on the fence buyers i think that's helpful because we can start with -- things that go to the beginning of this story. because the donald trump trajectory and katy tur trajectory are entwined in a very fascinating way, and in the
very same way that he -- is is a political neophyte who meads unexpected progress in his primary campaign and became president, kay here was not a political reporter when afl this began. so -- could you tell the nice people it shall [laughter] what it was that you were doing -- >> judgment whether they're nice until after they buy the book. [laughter] buy the book -- so i was a foreign correspondent an living in london, and i jus came back to new york for a couple of days. to remind my bosses that i exist because they have a tend stoi forget who you when you're overseas unless there's major news happening and it was a slow period, and i showed up in the newsroom and i'm standing around with one of my colleagues, and donald trump was making headlines. e he had just announced that he
was running for president. and in doing so said mexico was sending rapist into the country. so -- macy's dropped the donald trump brand from its stores. univision said we're not going to air your pageant any long asker and nbc qoangt either, and this was a ballooning story that needed to be covered. and they needed someone to cover it. but there aren't going to put a political reporter on it because why would you put a political reporter on donald trump? i mean he's a side show it is done in a few dayses. [laughter] so they said who is around to do this, and someone yelled outty she's just standing around. [laughter] which i was -- i corp.ed one story, and then two then three and i was told the president of nbc news wanted to assign me the campaign full-time. and i freaked out. [laughter]
i thought -- a myriad of things, one, i was living overseas. and i was not living in new york. two, i have a vacation in sicily in a week and a french boyfriend who i'm supposed to go on it with i'm sorry tony. [laughter] and oh, my god they don't take me seriously if they're going to put me on the donald trump campaign they must think i'm a joke as well. [laughter] but e i called a friend of mine who had covered mitt romney in twefs and he had been urging me to do a political campaign at least once. because he said it was -- unlike anything else you will do. it's grueling but it's fascinate i called him and he urged me to do it after he stopped laughing because it wases donald trump. and i said yes. and i was assured by a boss that it would be six weeks tops.
[laughter] and then he said and -- if he goes to the white house you'll be white house correspondent. [laughter] he starts laughing steps into an elevator door and elevator door shuts. >> important thing it was cinematic in its moment. >> you know it's not an important assignment when the confers takes place in a hallway as elevator doors shut. this was a come to my office assignment -- >> in the beginning trump was having gatherings to later become the pastorallies that cable networks would carry in their entirety but they were much, much smaller you're i think the very first one or one of the very first ones in new hampshire. could you talk a little bit about that? and many contrast to what most of us have seen later, and also the -- the interesting way in which trump and you seem to be in a die ma'amic from the very beginning. >> so first rally i went to was one of the first donald trump
rallies and this was around backyard pool at a private home in new hampshire there was about a couple of hundred people. remember at this time nobody was taking its candidacy seriously. they thought that he was just trying to get some attention an confusing because people or companieses were dropping him. why was he trying to get all of this negative attention? as so assums is was he wouldn't -- laugh to the debate, and even if he did he would get laughed off stage and he probably wouldn't want to release his financial since secretive about his money. so at this backyard pool where there were only a couple of hundred people, mostly it was just people wongdingering what in the world donald trump was doing. i mean he was on stage. rambling -- he had no coherent threads for why he was campaigning except for -- i want to build a wall, and i believe that mexico is sending racist and media didn't caveat
with me with some market people and i get more standing vaitions than anybody, and katy tur you're not paying attention. [laughter] in the middle of this i presumed he was never talking to me because yadz never met him or shared same air as him and no reason in my mind for donald trump to know who i was, and my producer gave me a hard nudge since the entire place is looking at me and -- as is donald trump. and i just yelled out i'm tweeting what you're saying which i was doing and which he approved of because he said i was doing a good job and he moved on. but that became the dynamic between two of us and that was the very first day calling me out while he was on stage either for work that he approved of or more often than not work that he disapproved of. >> why do you think he took an a particular interest of you particularly in the beginning -- [laughter]
i'll let you have your own assums but i'll let you have this. donald trump wants to be taken seriously. and i was the very first network correspondent assigned to cover his campaign full-time. and that is -- an honor when you have a presidential candidate that means that a tv news network a broadcast network something list legacy of nbc news has decided to o assign a reporter full-time to you that means they're taking you seriously so he must have seen me as somebody very early on that he wanted to charm into submission. somebody that he could rely on for favorable coverage also remember -- we're nbc news and he has a long standing relationship with nbc because we air the apprentice. and then there were large swath of time before any other correspondents were assigned toughs cover him full-time.
so we would i would go to cities across this country where i would be the only recognizable face in a room for donald trump. other o reporters that would come o up to him for interviews were mostly local reporters he didn't know who they were so we engage one-on-one quite a bit. and he came to -- pay much more attention to my reporting than he probably would have -- had had i started the campaign in december or january when there were more correspondents. >>in the beginning you are stayd in the u.s., and you gave up -- an italian vacation -- a french boyfriend, a beautiful apartment in london. a a job exciting and airline miles to follow donald trump a person at that time virtually everybody in the political world consideredded to be a joke. why would you give up so much to
cover what was figured out to be so little. >> i was trying -- >> every few weeks i look at you and say we need really to move back to london. >> it's true. >> i loved that job. it was the dream job for me in foreign correspondent the pinnacle of my career. being a political correspondent for a legacy news network is -- is an extremely coveted job you get to travel the world you get to people people you would never get to meet, and you get to do it while somebody else pays for it. it's perfect. >> did you see something in -- the beginnings of trump that made you think this is going to be worth it? so this is going to be important? >> initially it was a six week assignment soy figurered there was nothing to lose and as it continued, he became -- i guess more captivating, fascinating. i mean, it was a roller coaster and i wasn't about to get off
the ride. nobody understood what he was trying to achieve or why so many people were so excited by him and people were still trying to figure out to this day and i got to sees it and try to understand it myself. and i was not going to say no to that and also being overseas -- again when it gets slow, you can tend to be forgotten and there's a line in the book where -- while was happy overseas it's a, quote, you know from another person saying why be happy when you can be great. and that's kind of what i was thinking in that moment. i have an opportunity to do something great to make a mark, to -- to see history unfold before my eyes. the clees shea but that's really what had a lot of us get into the business to do to watch history in the making. and donald trump love him or hate imhim was history in the making.
he was up ending every norm. he was defying political gravity. he was pissing people off. and he was exciting so many others. everybody thought he would plummet after iowa or after the fall. there were a lot of lines in the sand that the political prognosticators qowld say after that point, it's a cliff or for him. you -- and i can attest to this because i qorng for nbc and msnbc while she was covering trump, and -- we met in the makeup room. >> you were a lone voice of skepticism against the political opinion that he was going to burn out and crash. why were you so confident as a political neophyte on calls to say -- something is happening here? >> i wasn't confident.
i mean i started out with a bit of a pipsqueak voice. >> what were you saying that made you think -- >> there was enthusiasm and there was devotion, and in a way that -- the other political candidates were not receiving, i mean, he went of after john mccain can you remember a time where -- an american politician anybody frankly in public eye that where they went after a veteran or prisoner of war, and american war hero -- and were able to not only get away with it but to see their popularity rise but that's unheards of in hern politic you don't go of a veteran. you do not do it. especially within a republican party you don't do it. [laughter] and donald trump did, and he got disinvitedded from a bunch of republican events. but his poll numbers went with up and few weeks later when he went to o mobile, alabama, 20,000 people showed up for him in mobile, alabama.
he said it was 40,000. he's -- [laughter] lying. [laughter] it was 20,000 -- he lies about number there were 100,000, 190,000 you have to almost double it. but it goes to show you that -- there was something about donald trump that made whatever he said even if it was offensive it didn't matter people liked it, and i would get on the calls and people who have been doing politics forever, who are well respected who i respect very much to this day. and who have seen it all happen before, who know how thing go, said this is silly season and some are not paying attention by the time fall rolls around football will be back on tv and won't want to watch donald trump rally, it's christmas no, people
are going to be with their family by january they're going to get serious about politics donald trump could never win. but these crowds that would show up to events were still huge and they were still so excited to see him. >> let's talk about that in anybody in the room -- been to a donald trump rally one person in the back, two, three -- i would say fewer than 2% of the audience has been to a rally so for the sake of the 8% of the people who have seen it on tv what is it like to be in the middle of a donald trump rally and in the middle capabled in we're journalists. >> first off a lot of time when you are watching a rally on television something he will say will sound offense i have and you'll presume the room is not with him there is where he crossed line and camera ares aren't picking up add owe in the room or focused on him and you can't tell what's happen hadding and how people are responding. and there were multiparking lot
instances of this where he would say something like -- you know there was a crying baby and like get the baby out of here. and he was clearly joking. but on tv it didn't really ring that way. or -- somebody tweeted something and it's not how it read. but he never lost any room that he was in except for one time you never lost any room that he was in even when he was saying -- why truely wild stuff. he was calling ben carson a serial liar and making some sort of comparison to a child molester in the process. and making fun of him for the belt and stabbing, and it was like it was -- unbelievable in the moment even to the reporters who were like what in the -- is god's name -- dish caught myself is donald trump doing! did ken any get away with this i remember call "today" show saying you have to cover this in
the morning this is crazy he did this, and that and people don't care. and they don't care they like it and these are ben carson supporters too they were people saying i'm deciding between donald trump and ben carson and people who were like evangelical in iowa who looked up to ben carson because he's a leader in the community and donald trump are was just avis rating him calling him names a liar and we talked to them afterwards like he has a point. so i mean he just defied all of the odds. so my point is, these rooms were always with him. and it wasn't just the trump rallies. it was people that i would meet in -- in diners, in gas stations in airport, cab drivers, cab driverses became my bell weather for how well donald trump was doing. and i can tell you cab drivers in new york city cab drivers in washington d.c., cab drivers in miami.
cab drivers in -- oh god i don't know all of the states blanking on states like one st. louis, they generally in north carolina, they generally nine times out of ten requester donald trump supporters. so all walks of life too. >> for those of you who don't know katy's book is a memoir it is not -- an effort to tell a complete story of the inside working of the trump campaign or of the whole election. it is her perspective on all of it and what it was like to be her for 510 days on the trump campaign. and because it is a memoir, i would like are to hear you talk about how you thought about covering donald trump and how you dealt with the criticism, his camp put on you and your colleagues. and whether any of the criticism of the media that the trump campaign currently purrs still pursues is fair. >> i think you watch my tv show
so much because you asked me seven questions in one. committed these different -- >> no i have reject the criticism this is now or o now cable news show we're going to -- >> i asked the first question how did i -- >> how do you think you covered donald trump -- fairly and accurately and how did you think about that coverage? i think i covered donald trump fairly and accurately. i think i was tough on donald trump day in and day o out which is part of the reason why he kept calling me out on stage. i think he deserves deserved tough coverage i think anybody who runs for president deserves about as tough of coverage as you can give them because they're running to leave this country, and you want to be as thorough as you possibly can be boats on republican sides and democratic side independent side doesn't matter. that person needs to be fully fully vetted by the press. even if it make you understand
comfortable because it is candidate. so i think i did it fairly. i think -- it was difficult because he would say things that were untrue over and over and over again, and then there were times where he got treated he did get treated unfairly in a rally or some perception and go on tv to say he was joking and let me tell you what was happening in the room because it didn't read correctly on tv or online. but -- criticism-of-the- media in general for the way that can cover donald trump i do think that question need to look back at 2016 to figure out how to do 2020 to make sure we do it as well as we possibly can -- i do think that involves not just coverage of the candidate and not just, you know, a -- a good rinsing of their opinions a goods wash and rinse of their opinions and their policies and their behavior.
but also covering the voters a little bit more. i think we could have done a better job talking to people every day. not just talking to people but putting them on television every single day and talking about issues they cared about in their communities because all politics are local and each community was voting based on what they wanted to change in their community and that's why so many -- unlikely voters for donald trump came out on november 8th ands i palace where you expect a democrat to win places where -- obama won twice. people who voted for president obama twice ended up voting for donald trump because of economic issues. they decided willfully to ignore all of the outrailous things he said and did because they were looking for -- a hope and change that they were promised the previous eight years they didn't see it happening in their commit they didn't see their happening quality of life improve, and there was a feeling like donald
trump might despite all of his many issues might be a person to shake the system up. there was a gamble that was done for a lot of people, and we need to in 2020 ask those people if they think that their gamble paid off. >> i covered trump rallies oned outside covering the voters who were going in, and there was a time when the outside of the rallies were so violate that riot police were routinely a part of -- the control where fight would break out. where ugly ugly things were yelled and then on the inside it sometimes seemed it was even worse. what ow how safe did you feel in the middle of those crowds when donald trump himself was pointing in hissing in your direction by name? >> you compartmentalize and you covered one rally i think on the inside -- while i was hiding in miami for a day.
>> oh -- yeah. you compartment allize and people could come up to the pen and scream obscenities at us. day in and day out they would call us names, call us liar say that we should be harmed physically spit on us. any sort of -- behavior you can imagine. that happened towards the press. and there were times where we all, i mean, we were all more guarded to ends of the campaign than on edge buzz you just can't help it but there were times where people really felt like safety was on the line. there was a rally in new orleans where -- protesters stopped the rally and crowd got really ugly and someone was tripped or they were pushed or something but it seemed like whole crowd was totem public into the press pen which is just this -- bicycle rack gated off area in the middle of the rally.
so that was one moment. there was one moment for there were a number of moments but the one that comes to mind i read about in the book was -- the muslim band-aid from december 12th, 2015 this was in south carolina mount pleasant, south carolina, and we're in the belly of a war ii battleship. and to give you an idea of what was happening a the that time a few weeks earlier san bernardino had happened the terrorist attack in san bernardino. and in response to it, president obama gave a speech on terrorism to the country. and the following day, the follow monday -- donald trump dominating headlines because we're talking about donald trump and terrorism. and he comes out midday without any sort of warning without any sort of heads up. and makeses announcement through a press release that says he wants to ban all muslim from coming into the country and we
interviewed people that were waiting to get into this rally to finessed out if e they felt it was a -- god or bad idea. this was people presumed that this was just a bridge too far that this was going to sink him and couldn't possibly try to ban the entire religion l of people from coming into the country and anti-american. i don't to interrupt but i want you to mention where you were and what it's like when major news on the presidential level happens and your day goes -- sideways. >> we're in south carolina so you can imagine i'm enjoying a really good lunch. [laughter] one of the, you know, there were few and far between so we were at a -- just coming back from lunch at a great place this south carolina. stuffing ourself os with delicious fried to do. and we went back to the hotel, my donald trump with nbc news and if you get the book you'll understand what that means.
and -- we ran into another one of our colleagueses who was on his computer, and the e-mail from the campaign popped up on his computer, 30 seconds before it xaim to our phone. and his face just like -- turns white and jaw dropped, cartoonish, and he starts laughing in that like uncomfortable way you laugh when you can't believe something is in front of your eyes, and alley and i look at him and say what in the world are you looking at tell us, tell us he's like look at your phone so we started seriously refreshing our e male and then it comes over. donald j. trump announcing ban on all muslims and no senior did i -- have the phone in my hand and read it and my phone start ised ringing it was -- msnbc saying you have to go live. she describes phone as a shock collar in the book. >> it kind of is. if any any of you were watching capable news you'll know we were on tv constantly every single hour on the hour, and this was one of those blessed days where i had a three hour break so i
could actually eat lunch, and my phone rings and they said you have to get on tv and walk us through this. i'm like i don't know anything it be. i just got it on my phone i haven't had a chance to call the campaign. i have to call my sources -- but that doesn't matter when you're in the world of 24/7 coverage they need you on tv immediately trying to explain even the unexplainable so i call in, and kate snowe and i found this old tape kate snowe and i talked for 10, 15 minutes trying to figure out what this statement means, and how it might affect donald trump's campaign. or how might voters respond to for how might the republican party or democratic party or the political establishment respond to it and we're tap dancing, and just coincidentally msnbc come out that day that showed that republican voters these -- the thing that they feared the most their biggest fear was being the victim of a terrorist attack.
so there was that, and how was that going to schwa donald trump supporters opinions where has donald trump been before this and why doing this at this particular moment? blah blah blah so we rush total venue do these interviews with supporters outside and then go inside to wait for donald trump to arrive and people are angry they're scared as i mention san bernardino had just happened. and donald trump had been saying and was saying with this announcement that the obama administration wasn't vetting people. they weren't vetting people who were coming into the country and that's why these terrorist attacks are happening they're going happen more often. muslims are build bombs in their living rooms. their muslim neighbors aren't telling authorities about it and they're hiding them and the media is complicit because the media isn't reporting on it. they're not reporting on the the
failures of the obama administration. so the room was scared. the room was angry and we couldn't find anybody who thought this was a bad idea. the most we got was -- i've got to think about it. the -- the other end of the spectrum it would be what would be better if we took port to muslims. >> and at time that donald trump is making this announcement he's also conducting a twitter feud with you and another reporter. >> he was upset about a tweet that i sent out literally tweets that i sent out a few days earlier at a rally -- in raleigh ten times fast a rally in raleigh -- [laughter] there are five point in the book it's not just political stuff this the book but funny moments. where -- a bunch of protest got organized and they kept interrupting his speech over and over again at like five to ten minute
intervals enough to abrupghtly stop talking, and left left the stage . to shake hands with people and i said this is on twitter and he was furious about it. sent e-mail saying trump thought your tweets were disgrace of the not nice -- best hope. after sending that e-mail had he followed up on his twitter feed tweeting out i'm a lace yarr and should be fired in five tweets and so my twitter feed is full of people calling me a lie your and saying i'm disgusting making fun of me and my family, and -- and also death threats. but when you were -- >> it jumps from digital to real world in belly of that battleship. >> we're in the belly of the battleship as sorry we're jumping around hope you're with following as drowmp is getting on stage to make this announcement this muslim been announcement and it is the
atmosphere is it shall tense, i mean, it is a tender box you throw a match in and whole place would with light on fire. it is a -- not a skier rei room but best to keep a low profile so i'm the sitting like sitting on the platform where the cameras are cameras are all above so i'm kind of keeping my head down because he kawtsed me out i didn't want to -- be visible i didn't want to be as visible as i normally am standing in front of cram. so donald trump starts with poll numbers as he always does -- and he takes stage and before he gets to muslim ban he starts talking about the media. and then he -- saying what a lie it was -- as if the room knew what he was talking about. what a lie it was from katy tur. she's back there little katy. he's pointing -- and i'm like sitting right here