tv 2018 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books CSPAN April 22, 2018 7:29pm-8:01pm EDT
you know how big this country is, 330 million. the. the answer is not to give them attention but that's why this recent starbucks incident is something where i think no. most people are good about it. when i was running the media and hiring people a lot if a person of color or minority or wh or wr came in, i was happy. i wanted to feel like a good guy to hire them and that isn't fair to the other and i understand that, but that's the way most people are and they should be accepted. i was on the left.
i knew everybody in the chicago senate but it's over. forget about it. that was then versus now. anyway, that's the end. >> host: we want to make sure we get some calls. we've got some waiting. let's hear from keith in delaware you ar were on with aur and screenwriter roger simon. >> caller: yes, mr. simon thank you for appearing today on book tv. do you make any mentioning in your book i know best anything about david and charles coke and their views on things like libertarianism and so forth? >> host: what do you think of their views? >> caller: i worked for one of their companies for five years and i am not particularly an
agreement with the way they see things. >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: i don't believe in any ideology completely because i think that's dangerous. but i think that they are often misunderstood and it's interesting that the left liberal circles when they start attacking the coke brothers i say you know they over for marriage years before obama and there'there is a shocked look or face they don't believe me. go to google and look it up. >> host: mike from north arlington new jersey good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. my question is to do with political correctness.
what is the opinion on political correctness and its effect on our culture particularly in our universities and as far as having an intellectual dialogue, how does he feel about political correctness? >> guest: you bring up the university. i'm not going to get into it heavily now because my wife and i are starting a company that in part deals with political correctness and the university. the university is a place where i know i am being sarcastic here but he famously says with 100 schools of thought 100 flowers bloom, 100 schools of thought and in our universities today only one school of thought
that's not good for education as i'm sure you would agree. >> host: you write about how your education and moral narcissism. social science and humanities these days are largely a collection of morally narcissistic yes men and women students forced to comply with their views to succeed or they do so automatically assuming it is fruitless to resist. >> guest: that is what i believe. i went to the ivy league universities and they are not the same places i went to. >> host: i don't know if you saw recently in part when oregon they are dropping a wad of their humanities classics courses because it is too focused.
>> guest: ucla not far from where we are sitting right now you no longer have to read shakespeare to get a degree in english. >> host: why is that a bad thing? >> guest: there is such a thing as good and bad. politically correct people don't agree, but i would say william shakespeare is probably the most talented human being who ever lived in my book because i'm a writer and i'm a little bit prejudice but if you study literature and have not read shakespeare, it's like studying religion and not reading the bible. it's about that extreme. i don't know. because he was a white man, so what, i don't care.
it's interesting to read. i don't care whether they were white or black. i'm a follower of chinese former chairman who said he famously i don't care if the cat is black or white i only care if it [inaudible] >> host: we've mentioned enemies a love story. what else, what other kind of work do you do here in hollywood that we should know about? >> guest: a lot of work that never got made, very typical. in one of the ones that did get made recently is a film called a better life that just came out a couple of years ago in fact the lead actor got nominated for the academy award on that one and what was interesting about it is
a good 20 years ago under the title of an american latino version of the bicycle thief, a classic italian and standing on the senate monday directin stepd the money never showed. it's such a typical story in hollywood that you are just kind of like a victim also just and that is a bad thing to me because people come to hollywood and then complain about hollywood. it was all there. it's always been the same. >> host: what's it like to be on top? >> guest: is great for ten minutes. i had my ten or 20 minutes.
when i wrote enemies people were saying it's the best application ever and a nobel prize winner i felt like a million dollars. that's part of me was saying this isn't going to last. it lasted maybe 20 minutes and an earlier version when i wrote the basic end of the screen adaptation of my own book, there was a verse of that. but unless your name is steven spielberg that's what it is. it's nowhere near as glamorous as it used to be. now it is more industrialized. it doesn't even make the attraction. >> host: you mentioned you and your wife are starting a new company dealing with higher education and political
correctness. does she share your politics? >> guest: yes. we couldn't do this if she didn't. it wouldn't be a marriage made in heaven. it's not political correctness per se. it's a company that is going to try to open up the higher educational system to a new variety of ideas. i think everybody should study. i'm not against that. i think anybody that hasn't read it is not educated but you also have to read adam smith and make your judgment. >> host: george from st. paul minnesota, go ahead. >> caller: hello, thank you for taking my call. can you hear me okay? >> host: we are listening, please go ahead. >> guest: >> caller: you said some very interesting things.
i was a bit in a quandary about the title of your book about moral narcissism. to me, i can't imagine a better example of being amoral narcissist then being a libertarian. that is about as far as narcissistic as i could possibly imagine. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: the other one is the big moral change for you you say is 9/11 and for me it was also. i'm not going to get into a big argument about culpability and conspiracies. i just want to ask did you ever consider that the bush administration might have had some complicity and i will hang
up and listen to what you have to say. libertarian, moral narcissist and 9/11. >> guest: i understand there's an element and when i say i'm a libertarian, i'm half a libertarian because i don't believe as i've written in both of my books at adhering 100% to any ideology is smart. there's a lot to learn from a lot of things. if you want to pin me as a libertarian, go ahead, but i'm not really, go to rand paul for that. now the other thing i'm asking me whether they were guilty about 9/11, i think absolutely not and that is conspiracy stu stuff. good afternoon yo you're on with roger simon.
>> caller: thank you. i have the impression that i haven't read a lot of books or seen a lot of movies movies and books tend to pick sides these days, right and left and defend it and criticize the other side and perhaps there are movies or books that don't do this but given your bipartisan background perhaps we need a movie author to produce some sort of fiction or nonfiction movie that actually has people coming together or a way to come together or to think about coming together rather than to always emphasized fighting the other guy to death. thank you. >> guest: i couldn't agree with you more.
there is a great quote from the great filmmaker under the sign of a great painter and quote is everybody has his reasons and i've always believed that is ths true in the great filmmaking all the characters have their reasons for being who they are and if we understand that a lot of what you're talking about comes true. i'm always working on a book and i'm writing a novel now. it would never be as explicit as they write and nonfiction. >> host: from the book i know best, political tea leaves and a form of obfuscation is being performed but is intended to blur and a dusty situations that are not there that should be and that would be consistent in their worldviews and power. what are we talking about?
>> guest: that is exactly what happened. i think in general political elites in the extreme sense stalinists are here and everywhere and their primary interest is power and therefore they are manipulating ideas to use power all the time, but the moral narcissism makes them feel good about it. all those people that say trump colluded with russia, they never bothered to check it out. i remember they ask dianne feinstein whether she had found anything and she said well, no. it's almost comical if it isn't sad. it's sad for the country but a lot of time and money was wasted.
>> host: what was your opinion of ronald reagan contemporaneously and his debate for your opinion of him today? >> guest: that is a great question because of course content or any of the mighty opinion was he was a terrible right-wing person and then as a middle of the administration i was sent by universal pictures to write a movie for whoopi goldberg has been around for a while as a member of the white house press room. in the mix of this i was welcomed into the press and i
have never seen ronald reagan's peak. i went on the plane to tallahassee florida and he was giving a speech just for the day to the high schools in tallahassee and all of a sudden i'm there in the audience watching this guy speak like my god he is good. he was wonderful with those kids and the kids loved him. wait a minute, there's something wrong here. is this the monster upset when you've seen it you've seen it all? i realized he was making a deal and the wall was coming down and i got confused. what's interesting about my life
story, i am willing to change a and i'm willing to change back if i'm wrong again. it would be harder still what i could do it. >> host: frederick in port charlotte florida you are on with roger simon. >> caller: yes, i wanted to know what you think about the problem they are having right now and whether he is the insurance policy they were talking about in their text messages. >> guest: i've been following that closely and writinthis clot the politics as well and it's one of the interesting stories. one of the great stories of our
time. why i won't read the book -- >> host: this is your column from pj media with a quote at the top. >> guest: i still believe that is true except i could learn a little bit more about the psychopathology of james comey but it's hard to get into it. he's a strange human being. what's interesting is people that strange can rise. the director of the fbi is a powerful position as we know from the days of j. edgar hoov hoover. so there's nothing to learn their. >> host: how did you get to hollywood? >> guest: i married a girl that was a playwright at the
school of drama i wrote a novel way of life as a student that got published much to the consternation of my fellow student. it got blocked and was almost made into a movie by alfred hitchcock which at age 22 was an amazing experience. i've never read a screenplay but i thought this could never happen. they just like the dialogue and the novel. it's a different place now but that's how it happened. >> host: so you came out here to hollywood. are you going to stay here? >> guest: go. at ththe time has come to leave. that doesn't mean i'm going to stop writing movies, books. i am a writer to the core. it's in my dna that you can do that anywhere on the planet. i think you can stay in one place for too long.
my wife and i are moving to nashville but i'm not going to become a country singer i promise. >> host: when is this happening? >> guest: shortly. >> host: are you moving to tennessee because politically you are more in tune with people in tennessee? >> guest: i think to some extent to be honest and i'm going to be honest on c-span, why not. but always to some extent. i've lived here at odds with many of my neighbors for quite a while. it's for deeper reasons than that. it's a strange comparison but you know how they tell you after using your right hand for years on the mouse use your left hand to change the narrow pathways and so forth. my pathways in la are circumscribed for years and i
think that happens to a lot of people when they grow older and i just want to break it up. it's very next politically and i like that. the part i like is the action. >> caller: >> host: please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: i'm a big fan of pj media. it's my go to site every morning sthe site everymorning so it iso speak with you. to be honest with you, i have a beer export with hollywood. there's nothing to see that's new. movies are predictable, boring. books these days are somewhat of
the same category many of them are formula written you know what is going to happen before you read it. the characters may change as circumstances may change but the plot remains the same. anyway, you were talking about the russia probe. one of the guys doing a good job on this is the smith. anyway, who are the authors that you like to read? >> host: that was batavia illinois. i share your admiration for a friend of mine and i think that he's writing some of the most interesting political material in the country today no question. but the larger issue of movies and books getting repetitive and boring i don't think it is entirely true, it has some truth
to the other problem is as you grow older and i know this for myself but i hate to admit it, i have seen so many movies now that when i do with going to happen because i've been down that road myself so many times in the worst critic when people ask me should i go see this movie, don't ask. i'm a member of the academy and they come every year. of course what you do is call your friends and say is this what we are seeing because nobody watches them all.
>> host: the oscars have been in the news the past couple of years because politics, political correctness what do you think about all that? >> guest: everything has become like that. if someone wants to attack me for my white skin privilege is, a fingethe finger got broken ine civil rights movement, all right, what did you do. i think it is all counterproductive because as long as i've been a member of the academy which is actually since 1985 and it's been welcoming to the minority members, nobody was more of a hero to the academies. who doesn't want that.
it's a great talent, but the idea of putting out there -left-brace gets into the academy why not just make it about who made a good movie last year? if it's all black people emigrate com, if it's all white people, great. if it's all chinese, great. we live in a situation where we are obsessed with this stuff. >> host: the book turning right at hollywood and vine and i know best, carl is in joshua tree california and the war on booktv. >> caller: i've been really enjoying this and i would like
to know the definition of what a political correctness is som a buddhist term that's been thrown around for decades and yet nobody can tell me what it is. it seems to me that it's just not insulting people. i will take the answer off the air. good question. first of all, if that is politically correct, i am not for it because to try to insult people like bush or al-assad or hitler. what people react against is a
thought, the thought police. you can't say one thing because it's not the right thing "-end-quotes and that's not good because that's kind of the enemy of truth assuming there is a truth, but i'm not getting into that. but we can get closer to the truttruth and it is political correctness is the enemy of if it is just enforced thinking right out of orwell. my favorite writer. >> host: stewart in mechanicsville, go ahead with your question. >> guest: >> caller: i was sitting here reading a book and also watching you at the same time. i put down my book and i'm smoking a pipe so that's not correct either but i've been listening to you and by the way i spent some time in kentucky, hop skip and a jump from
nashville. you will enjoy nashville. but here's my point. obviously i am a male, i am white and i speak with a southern accent. when i call into programs, i think 90% of the public already assumes that i'm a racist and that is the furthest thing from the truth. >> guest: that's very sad that they do that and i will see something else because i was in the civil rights movement in south carolina in the 60s and i went back more recently covering the political campaigns, i was in charleston and i was struck by something rather amazing. i saw more mixed couples in the bars in charleston an then i san
la and new york. i think it's interesting i think the south has made more racial peace than the north. i don't know how that happens hd today. i think part is that the people knew each other better. >> host: lexington virginia you have 30 seconds to get the last word. >> caller: thank you very much. mr. simon just a quick question. i think that it's been truth certainly since the days of dw griffin that there have been people on all ends of the political spectrum both the left and the right to strongly articulating their viewpoints. what's happened in the last 20 or 30 years on the conservative side of the spectrum that has largely disappeared? why don't you hear from the conservatives any more? >> guest: my generation reason i thinks it was 1968 hollywood
gradually switched over to become and it was a product of that of my generation but for a long time we all came to take over hollywood, so that's what happened. >> host: roger simon has been a guest for the most recent book i know best how moral narcissism is destroying the republic if it hasn't already. thank you for being on booktv. we want to also think the university of southern california and the los angeles book festival for hospitality, the wonderful weather and set up out here. we appreciate everything they've done to make a successful festival for us. everything that you have seen today will air beginning at