tv Kathleen Hall Jamieson Cyber- War CSPAN December 22, 2018 7:30pm-8:35pm EST
apply for driver's license. >> guest: many kids don't know and a lot of them fall into profound depression. that's what you see in one of the kids, he tried to commit suicide. he felt so desperate and so at a loss. we invest in these kids in public education and they grow up here and to sort of shut them in a closet, how does that benefit our country? >> host: stephanie yellin-mednick is a journalist and the author of "the making of a dream" a group of young undocumented immigrants who change what it means to be -- by harpercollins.
>> good evening everyone. i am tracy donnan. thank you for joining us at the maryland state library for the blind and welcome to -- please take a copy of compass to learn about upcoming programs for a flyer and you can also check out our web site to learn about everything going on like the new streaming service we have launched prayer with your library card you can use canopies is the name of the service to watch award-winning films and documentaries in addition to i believe 30,000 other films. it's pretty incredible. so tonight kathleen hall
jamieson we'll talk and then we will have a q&a and then there'll be time to mingle at the ivy bookshop. kathleen hall jamieson the packer professor of communication at the annenberg school for comedic asian at the university of pennsylvania is also the director of the annenberg public policy center. among her award-winning oxford university press books are packaging the presidency, eloquence in an electronic age, the spiral of cynicism and the obama victory. tonight we will hear her talk from and about cyberwar -- "cyberwar" how russian hackers and trolls helped elect a president where she draws on pathbreaking work where she and her colleague isolated significant indication effects in the 2,002,008 presidential
campaigns. kathleen hall jamieson explains by how it changing the behavior of key players in altering the focus and content of mainstream news russian hackers reshape the 2016 electoral dynamics. it sure to be a very interesting conversation so please give a warm welcome. [applause] >> thank you and thank you for coming out on the bitterly cold evening and thank you to c-span. i hope you're in a warm place and one which you have a hot drink it front of you. this is a generally depressing topic and let me start with a predicate which is 2016 was an unusual year. don't expect you to dispute that idea but let me tell you why from a communication standpoint that was an unusual year. when we study communication politics we pretty much say by the conventions you know who is likely to win the election. you can do that because you have enough people who are tied to
the political party to save basically if they like the candidate for their party they are likely to vote for their party it's pretty likely the person has the largest party identification and is the most popular is likely to win the election. very years that are exceptions in which the elections are extremely close. when the election is close communication is more likely to matter. that's not the only reason that 2016 is a unique year. 2016 is unique here because there were conditions that made communication more likely to have an effect rather than less likely. the first is very high levels of absentee balloting. with absentee balloting occurring during a period in which you had very high levels of media coverage of russian hacking and you have high amounts of russian troll like davidian cyberspace. ordinarily there wouldn't be enough voters there to persuade but since you have absentee balloting and it was tied to a very high level of undecided
voting it means anything that comes into the communication environment in that last month or so has a greater chance of being able to change the vote than it would for example if we are all voting on election day and the things are happening a month earlier. the combination of high-level absentee balloting and the high number of undecided as we are closing in the last week of the election is almost one in eight. there are other factors that are at play as well. the party is what holds people pretty much to their bow. on average about nine out of 10 democrats are going to vote for the democratic candidate. they may waffle but they are eventually likely to vote for the democrat. nine out of 10 republicans people who say i'm a republican are likely to vote for a republican. in 2016 with a higher than average number of people who said i meet neither one of those. i'm an independent.
those people are more likely to be able to be persuaded because they are less tied down by party. you have one other factor and effective that i don't expect anybody to think his controversial which it just wasn't a great deal of affection for either of the two major party nominees. there were a lot of people who when they had their voting hand and they were absentee balloting are they went to the ballot box for holding their nose even as they cast their vote. under those circumstances it's the more difficult though to cast. you might decide to stay home. might be harder to get you out to vote and remember we have higher than average numbers of undecideds. you have higher than average numbers of independents back enduring this whole last month we had absentee balloting so something major happened to people that had that elegant hand. the communication stimulus can create the effect. in this context the question is did the russian interventions do enough to change 78,000 votes in
three key states? hillary clinton won the popular vote in donald trump won the electoral college and he did it by capturing three decisive battleground states. there are all sorts of other factors that play in the election. it's easy to say i know quite the outcome occurred the way it did. it was something hillary clinton did, something she said her something donald trump did the people really liked. i need to set up a situation in which we specify all of that is going to happen and it's all baked down and is it's not going to change. what i'm going to ask is you held all those things constant. everything that was good or bad that any of the candidates did you assume they were going to happen anyway and they were just going to sit there difference with the russian intervention to push a 78,000 votes in one direction or another. it's not a very big number but
what i don't think can't say is all these other factors might not have played a role in the election. they obviously did. they got us to where they were with 78,000 votes still an issue. the question is what pushed those votes if anything and was at russia? i'm not going to make the case conclusively that the russians did it. i'm going to make the case that i think there's a pretty strong argument that they may have. i'm going to make a case for probability not for certainty. that's the reason for asking the question the way i have. i've asked the question how did russian hackers help elect a president if all of those other factors are there? because there is no evidence at least not in the public domain that the russians directly intervene by changing votes. they did get access to registration systems but as far as we know from our national security folks they didn't actually change ballots. they didn't pull levels and you
can't say they were elected because all the factors were there. the question was did they tip the balance in order to move 70,000 votes and that's the question i'm going to ask you as the author brother books and as an elderly woman i don't usually have new experiences. usually my life is pretty predictable. they teach, a research, i have great family, i play with my grandchildren. i am grateful and any given day that i'm healthy and i can walk because i've had back surgery. that's my typical life. i don't expect you to be surprised by anything. i was surprised by this. >> there's a hilarious quote in the circles of washington. on the same day we had this revelation that there are seven
more intelligence officers. now we have seven more pick 20 people persuaded 300 million americans to vote in a certain way. or persuaded them not to vote at all. if they can reach people like this than they are genius. >> how many of you know what already is? already was called russia today once. it's now called already and to those in the social media sphere already means retweet. when you go to your hotel room i would like you to look to see whether already is on your cable menu. you will find it in a surprising number of places. this is a gremlin talking to you and they are familiar faces.
larry king was on this channel formerly "cnn." you could see him as well so they are people who watch already and haven't realized that this is the outlet that was called russia today. when already has a commentary about my book that for me is a brand-new experience. it didn't exactly get my. eric: right back nonetheless i was thrilled. thank you, kremlin. instead of the argument i'm going to try to make i'm going to show you another clip. >> there was untoward action by russia but to make the leap that they somehow change the election results is -- >> that's beyond any belief. you have to believe in unicorns to go there. the fact is there were
allegations that the russians may have hacked into the dnc it appears that there is no evidence whatsoever that had any impact on the election. >> over here we have to unicorns exist and over here we have the russians categorically did it. my argument unicorns over here and russians categorically look like this. what did the trolls the imposters in cyberspace pretending to be u.s. nationals to? they probably get us into this realm of uncertainty. the unicorn strictly to that is i don't know whether they are targeting was precise enough to reach the voters. the platforms no so about here. unicorns and trolls. more certainty because we know they changed the media agenda and we have polling data to suggest they may have done it inconsequential ways.
we have a strong. it says when you change a media agenda and you change the criteria people are using as a result in a collecting it candidate that can influence those. we also know when you create imbalances in us which is so there is now more negative messaging about one candidate that's where you get communication affect which is why we don't usually see them in the campaign. usually it makes very little difference in the mix on the margin because both sides advertise message, speak and talk to constituencies who are roughly equal at comparable levels. they pretty much balance each other out. so if someone else comes into the situation and pushes up the message balance that's where we see changes. we saw that certainly in 2000 we saw it again in 2008. whether it's a message imbalance that's when you see communication affect. the russian hackers created a message imbalance by giving more negative information about hillary clinton or the trolls in
some people's social media feeds that's where you expect not massive numbers but enough numbers that on the margin can change an election. the unicorns here and over here absolute certainty trolls here, hackers here. if russia gets information that changes information and make public the analysis on the clinton service. the russian disinformation played a role in his decision to make that public which in essence he did by notifying congress. in that case becomes more certain because the effects at the end of the election when it changed the media agenda were. clear. there's a 2.5% shift. i'm being conservative in saying 2.5 points. attributable as best one can
tell largely to the server coverage and coverage of the calm investigation. certainty unicorns trawls hackers and russian disinformation. pause for a moment and say if kathleen is going to make an argument that this could have created an effect in this could have just couldn't bear any number a number of combinations of those things that one preselect said that there was an effect. this is an argument that says this alone or does the loan or this alone although on the comey case there's a strong argument that russian disinformation was there. there's enough there that the argument becomes more plausible if the message imbalance is our creative. that's your given i'm going to make it i'm going to make it based on research that the community has done and that i've done with my colleagues over the years. we have had the good fortune of being in the field with what is called a roaming cross-section
in 2000. all that means is we were in the field serving every single day. rather than aggregating five days of data and saying we know these five days we had a random sample every single day. means we can watch day-to-day changes in the electorate across time. we had over 100,000 days. as the largest survey of academic committee ever run at that time. it's then and credibly close election and an election in which one candidate was the popular popular vote in one candidate wins the electoral college. we have the engine that election because we didn't have social media. when advertising is being used in campaign it's over here in the battleground. it's not over here in the non-battleground. what that means is we could actually see what happens when you have advertising versus non-advertising and comparable kinds of voters.
there was one more damage that 2000 handed us. in the last week of the campaign he had the breaking news that there was a dui back in george bush's record and as a result in the last week of that campaign he basically went silent on television. he was only in the news one night. from there that's an area where we had major broadcast networks discussing serious issues. al gore took advantage of every one of those weekday nights and talk to candidates about issues. meantime george w. bush did not with the exception of one day. in those environments george bush was hammered by al gore on the social security issue. the question was, was george bush going to shortchange social security with this private investment accounts or depending on which construction you're
going to use linguistically. what happens in that environment is you have the message imbalance. you've got a lot of exposure from gore across the whole population and less so for bush. whereas in the battleground in non-battleground you can compare what advertising is doing in one and not the other and then there's a third thing. he ran out of money and as a result he was understanding bush and as a result again we get the effective message imbalance is. when we are looking at this message of imbalance we drew the conclusion was shifted the votes on the margin helped gore nationally and helped them in the popular vote was the difference in messaging and news over a week. what helped bush win the electoral college was the imbalance in advertising. that is one of the reasons when we came into the 2008 campaign again the same model we were looking at the specific messages and advertising.
when candidate obama outspent candidate mccain and he did dramatically could we see that message pushed up inside of her polling data? again we are in the field every day and we match up the voting data to the advertising data for television and radio. remember social media was not yet a big factor and we are able to show that as the amount of obama messaging went up began to push votes in his direction on the margin specifically through those issues he was advertising on. that's the backdrop. when you see these imbalances for 2016 we have a reason to think that imbalances matter and the question is whether imbalances in the situation which we assume all the things that were going to happen are going to happen and they were going to change and was created by the russians? and going to argue that the russian trolls in cyberspace had a sound feeling of the election
and would argue the heck are's affected election. my theory is they changed in ways that created message imbalance is in changed in the cases of news the kinds of things that people were focused on. we have another finding that says when something becomes more important to you you are more likely to use it in discussing candidates. we don't use every possible situation when we are trying to figure out how to vote. we are using the ones that are most important to us and those play a part by the forces of communication. let's start with the trolls. they magnify cultural change in a targeted voters they needed to target. they tried to mobilize the evangelicals and veterans and try to be mobilize black voters and gender supporters and they tried to shift young liberal supporters and those who are
disaffected of hillary clinton rather than the democratic vote to jill stein produces consistent with donald trump's needs electorally? i started out very skeptical of the notion that someone in saying petersburgh could figure out how to influence an election here. the "washington post" asked me to write the op-ed which was the genesis of this but he it did so because social media platforms in late october early november of 2017 were beginning to quote advertising content on their site and "washington post" said you study all this kind of stuff, can you answer the question did this help elect donald trump? i started out by saying look at the evidence and see but i was really doubtful until i looked at the ad and to my surprise found out they had a theory of what donald trump needed or on the other side what one needs to do with hillary clinton. it was really electorally is found.
if donald trump couldn't mobilize white evangelical christians and white catholics at least roughly to the romney level and he couldn't mobilize military household and veterans at least to the romney level that he wasn't going to win the electoral college. if you look at the statistics in august he's way below where he needs to be with both of those constituencies. patrols went after those constituencies and try to swing them against hillary attempted i was surprised to see that. if he wanted to hurt hillary hudson and depress her vote because the constituency she needed the most with a black voters. she didn't need to get to the obama level. she need to get somewhere in that range of no surprise to see they spent most of their effort here trying to be mobilize african-american voters. then he wanted to be mobilize the sanders voters. just to be sure if you are
shifting enough people away from her they are not going to vote for trump there's a mood to shift to stein. that also surprise me. they expected they were going to shift someplace and they shifted towards gary johnson. he's going to get more votes on average. libertarians have a bigger constituency than does the green party. they were. savvy in their understanding of what the electoral needs were of donald trump or the potential electoral liabilities were about hillary clinton. they also were tied into the trump structure in ways that were very sensitive to donald trump's message. they are not largely putting new messages into play through the trolls in cyberspace. they taking assisting messages that are already in the conservative and more right-wing and they are amplifying it and make it more selyem. they are doing it in a way that is consistent with what donald trump as saying. they also target voters they need to target. here is some survey data about a
dominant constituency that donald trump's seemed to reach and i'm going to let you read it because as i tell my students you can read more rapidly than i can speak. those who believe the u.s. needs protect them against foreign influence or five times more like a favorite front. then those who do not share those concerns. two-thirds of the working class the american working class has gotten worse since the 1950s. 52% said the growing number of immigrants threaten the country paid more than half say this commission against whites has become just as problematic as discrimination against minorities. donald trump didn't create these attitudes. these attitudes are there. the question is did he harness them in the answer is yes. if you hold these attitudes you are more likely to support donald trump rather than hillary benton. the trolls are coming in with messages consistently they are not only being consistent with donald trump but consistent with
his electoral needs to reach these voters. fears of cultural change. now you know why i'm not reading this out loud. let me pause for a moment to talk about the nature of social media. in a social media environment we are highly likely to be talking with people who are like his way. not all of us but most of us. it's an environment that tends to draw together people who are or were decreed on things than they don't necessarily live anywhere near each other. they get into communities in which they like and share things
in common. it becomes an area in cyberspace in which people are likely to relate things to each other that they are already disposed to believe and in the process they are more likely to share with other people who are just outside of that sphere by talking to them and it to step flow phenomenon. the university of pennsylvania demonstrate that within the past year said getting materials on line doesn't just influence people to get them. also influences people who are talked to by the people who get them and in cyberspace you have a tendency to like and share without really processing things deeply. they move very quick weight when we see an image to hit like and share. you see that lots of people already like it and lots of people are sharing, you are more like you to think that you like it and share it and share the material. what happens in an environment when someone takes lots which
are automatic processes and amplifies the material by creating the illusion that lots of people like this. those aren't asked the humans liking. those are bots liking. the lots are creating the sense that this is normative. this is something that everybody accepts inside the community. what you're doing essentially is creating an environment that is right for anger, fear and negative emotions and is self-reinforcing and that can in the process increase the likelihood of of going outside social circles to get some impact or that's my theory of how social media environment has changed politics. in the past we have had something in. it took time to read it in. and it took time to share with someone else. it didn't mean it he didn't influence you but it didn't have a quick visceral movement that has right now. if you saw something in. and keep couldn't say gee 2000,
3000. this is really great content. there wasn't that kind of social structure around sharing to create a sense that we all adopted. in that environment there's a persuasive power and you get what some call the contagion effect. magnifies a cultural change. they target the voters they need an element type about those voters. they started with benign appeal and that helps aggregate the audience. to the extent that you like this you probably like this kind of content you probably identify with jesus. now i've got you identified. now i can use a look-alike function and social media to figure out what other people like you are. i can start to identify the people who like this kind of content. one of the things that people assume mistakenly when they
approached this book is i'm going to make the argument that the trump campaign had to have corrugated. i'm actually going to argue the opposite. built into the social media structure are those ways to reach people that made up possible for someone in saint petersburg to reach them very easily. didn't require coordination. if i could figure out to use the look-alike -- and you also had to find a way to figure out who to donald trump need to influence. ..
if you can read english and are in st. petersburg you have a guide book who to reach. you didn't have to be smart or know anything about the electorate although they did send folks over here who said if you want to work inside purple states, they didn't need to send people here to find that out. i have pages and pages in which i quote literally from media outlets about what you have to do in florida, what you have to do in pennsylvania, who you have to reach, who you shouldn't try to reach, who is already being successfully reached. you got capacities of social media and the information you need tactically sitting inside our media structures. then they stole the clinton playbook. they had the turnout models for the key states and for the entire clinton campaign. we know they hacked it and had
it. presumably when the hackers got it they shared it with the trolls. i don't know that for certainty but i bet, given the centralization of the kremlin, they probably did figure out how to pass that through. there was no need for any coordination in order to accomplish everything that i'm showing you here. doesn't mean there wasn't. just means you didn't have to have it in order to see what i'm seeing as a pattern. now we are going to start moving. clear issue identification. more clear issue identification. mobilizing veterans. this is taking a statement by hillary clinton out of context but it's a commonly used statement in conservative media. mobilizing veterans. mobilizing veterans. this is an ad that's aired by independent expenditure committee in the united states. this is not russians.
>> there's so much at stake in this election. that's why i'm supporting hillary clinton. hillary clinton is honest and trustworthy and -- >> cut. what's the problem? >> i can't say these words. >> what do you mean? >> i just don't believe what i'm saying. >> you're an actress. >> i'm not that good of an actress. honest and trustworthy. give me a break. make america number one was responsible for the content of this advertising. >> okay? the ad was sponsored by the beat crooked hillary pac backed by robert mercer. breitbart run by bannon features the same still video from the video featured by the russian troll account which shared the ad and their tweet was then retweeted by michael flynn. what does this show you? there's a synergy that takes existing content and then amplifies it, tries to expand
its reach, in this case to try to demobilize african-american voters. more demobilization attempts. sanders supporters. sanders obviously didn't say that. and stein. i find stein of all of these pieces the most interesting, because once you look back, things become more obvious than they are when you are actually working in the campaign. i would have expected they would have tried to mobilize people and shift them over to try to get the libertarians. but instead, it's to jill stein. here's an appeal. choose peace and vote for jill stein. trust me it's not a wasted vote. the only way to take our country back is to stop voting for the corporations and banks that own us. grow a spine, vote jill stein.
here's a search of rtm sputnik shows 100 stories on air and online were friendly to stein and the green party. that's interesting. if you think about the picture you've seen of michael flynn with vladimir putin, you look at the rest of that picture you will see jill stein was at the same dinner. that's an anniversary dinner for rt. suddenly, the move to stein makes sense because stein is more hospitable to some russian views so there's some logic behind the move to get people to shift over to stein. that said, if you take the baseline vote for jill stein and this is convenient, because she was the candidate of the party, four years before, so you have the same candidate which means you kind of control what people thought about the candidate. if you take the difference between her vote in 2012 and assume 2012 is her base level of
support given a traditional democratic and republican nominee, and look at the difference between that and the vote that she got in three key battleground states. in two out of those three states, the difference alone would have been enough to shift those states. so there's not an insubstantial increase in support for stein. maybe there's something else going on out there that i haven't seen, but i haven't seen it, and if you did, please share it with me because we're really interested to figure out where did that mobilization come from. we do know the russians were trying to help her. this is what i've argued so far. the trolls' theory of the election was sound. what i don't know about the trolls is whether their targeting was precise enough. i know it could have been because they had access to the voter playbook that would have made that possible. but i don't know that that happened. so my argument for them is over here on my continuum. it's a more tentative argument. let's look at the hackers. the hackers affected the democrats around the democrat national convention. what they were doing at that
point was putting out information that suggested that sanders supporters should not stay with the democratic ticket. they affected the news agenda before the presidential debate on october 9th. that's the second debate. they affected the agenda throughout the month of october and during the last two debates, then they affected the agenda, i would argue, but not through the hacked content but through the illusion of having hacked content in the last 11 days, if they influenced that comey decision. let's first look at the convention. first effect, the material that suggests there was a thumb on the scale at the dnc against sanders, hacked content, is released and debbie wassermann-schultz resigned. that's a disruption. as hillary clinton is trying to consolidate the democratic base, content from democratic operatives is now being released suggesting that they were inhospitable to bernie sanders and that can't be helping, as
hillary clinton tries to consolidate that base. you also know there was a real threat by the sanders supporters at the convention to just simply walk out at one point. also, you began to see hacked information being used to try to discredit the clinton foundation, so there's a second track of information that begins to come out at this point. the debate. sorry. the news agenda before the second debate. october 7th is a really important day in 2016, and i'm sure that one of the things that you will remember, although you may not remember october 7th, is some vulgar statements by candidate trump. some language that had never gotten into news before, got into news, including grab them by and i will not repeat the rest of the sentence. the access hollywood tape breaks on that day but that's not the first news event of the day. the first news event is one that says the office of defense intelligence had made an announcement along with homeland
security that says that the russians were behind the hacking. that's major news. you could reasonably say that's going to be above the fold and will lead the newscasts for the weekend. the question would be, how do you know that, intelligence community? after all, you would work for barack obama. can we really trust this. presumably, we have that as a debate and also ask, well, if it's accurate, why would they want to hurt hillary clinton? so the first news event of the day is that. the second is the access hollywood tape. this is why october 7th is such an intriguing day. now you've got an event that under ordinary circumstances would tank a campaign. very serious video allegations. remember what it took to end the candidacy of gary hart. we now have a movie about that. and within an hour of the time that that story breaks in "the washington post" we have a third news event of the day, and this is the one the mueller investigation appears to be focused on. we get the hacked materials from
podesta, first tranche comes out. now, the news folks have a choice. they've got intelligence community, at least two parts of it have said russians did the hacking. news story one. news story two, they've got access hollywood, what's more irresistible than sex and vulgarity and three, they've got hacked content and what has been hacked and released are segments of speeches that bernie sanders wanted to see all through the primaries. it's inherent newsworthiness inside those hacked segments assuming they really are hacked segments and are accurately representing what hillary clinton said. importantly, they are segments, not entire speeches. so what would you guess the news media would do? well, i would have guessed they would take story one, the russians did the hacking, move it over into story three and say the russians hacked content has just been released in the form of speech excerpts and they look like this. now they have two news stories. access hollywood versus russian hacked content just released.
that's the e-mail content, here are the hacked speeches. they lost the first narrative. so print news covered it below the fold, but by the time we get to sunday, it's gone. the russian origins are gone. for the rest of the campaign, the press is going to treat the russian hacked content as wikileaks, as wikileaks content. i want you to think for a moment what the implications are in saying it's from wikileaks because wikileaks has put things in public domain that some in this room probably approve of, things that the government probably didn't want us to see. the news has treated wikileaks has a quasi-legitimate news outlet in the past when it released those kind of things. and when you say wikileaks, people don't hear russians as a result. that's a name that's been around for awhile. when people also don't hear is julian assange doesn't like hillary clinton because hillary clinton wanted him prosecuted for what she considered his misuse of national security data
when he released some of that other material earlier. so you think the press would be saying wikileaks, run by julian assange, who doesn't like hillary clinton. no. you'd think they'd say wikileaks, passing russian hacked content through. they didn't. we would interpret the content differently if we kept it tied to the source. some people might think well, i like julian assange, i like russians, at which point they might be more approving of the content, but some people might ask the question why are they doing this, what is their interest in this? and should some of this be discounted on those grounds because there's nothing comparable being done with donald trump. this isn't like press leaking, where the press will find anything it can from anybody and try to get it out there. this is asymmetric. it's happening only on one side and it's tactical. it's being used in this case to blunt the effects of the access hollywood tape. which it effectively did that weekend by creating a counterbalanced narrative. we know from the woodward book that inside the trump campaign,
there was active consideration of moving pence to the top of the ticket and moving condoleezza rice into the vice presidential spot. it was that serious. so what helps blunt the access hollywood tape? hacked content dropped strategically and the press creates a counterbalance narrative that looks like this. >> i'm chris wallace. explosive leaks just before the second presidential debate. more hacked e-mails that show what hillary clinton really thought of those big bankers. and donald trump apologizing after release of a tape of him making a lewd remark about women. >> you can't do anything. >> republicans are fleeing the campaign and saying he should step aside. we'll assess the damage with trump adviser rudy giuliani and as some of hillary clinton's speeches to wall street banks are leaked, we'll talk to campaign manager robbie mook
about how she will handle the fallout. >> those are the frames. but notice what you're not hearing. intelligence community confirms russians did the hacking, russians are the origin, or julian assange, through wikileaks of both of the hacked speech content. that counterbalance narrative played some role in helping donald trump survive that weekend. we don't know how big the role is but we know it played some role. imagine that third piece in the narrative isn't there at all. so the hacked poe bdesta contens not dropped after that debate. you would have the russians hacked and you would have access hollywood, two anti-trump stories. instead, first drops and you get a counterbalance narrative. what use was made of the content. >> john, what's her real view,
crack down on big money or kiss up to them? >> there's now a counterbalance narrative and the narrative is what's the real hillary clinton, what are we seeing in these speeches as opposed to the fake hillary clinton who is saying other things in public, what is the real donald trump, this is a public/private narrative about both. is this merely a locker room banter which is what trump and his associates alleged, or is this in fact sexual admissions of sexual assault which is what clinton supporters are alleging. this is a public self/private self narrative for both of them but it's counterbalanced. the agenda throughout the month of october, what happens with wikileaks as opposed to what happens with access hollywood. well, here, a number of articles mentioning wikileaks in headlines by outlet. you see substantial play in conservative media but you see a respectable level of play in
mainstream media. and it's during this period that you see between the first two bars that we find a drop in perception that hillary clinton is qualified to be president. so the question is what was in the news agenda during this period that might have explained that shift. one possible explanation is it is the wikileaks content that is getting substantial exposure. clinton's scandal coverage, the first two bars in yellow, that's where the drop in perception of qualification is. this last period with the big jump in green, that's that comey end period where, for 9 of 11 days, you got negative clinton headlines and news about speculation about what's on the weiner laptop. what happens to access hollywood, bottom line is access hollywood, the top line is wikileaks. wikileaks, the content continued to drop tranche after tranche after tranche, managed to keep itself in the news cycle for the rest of the election.
here's the effect on qualified to be president. here's a change in qualified to be president which i would hypothesize has something to do with this. affected the agenda during the last two debates. here's the speech excerpt of hillary clinton. she says you just have to sort of figure out how to get back to the word balance, how to balance the public and private efforts that are necessary to be successful politically and that's just not a comment about today. if you saw the movie "lincoln" and how he was maneuvering and working to get the 13th amendment passed and he called one of my favorite predecessors, who had just been governor and senator from new york, ran against lincoln for president and he told him i need your help to get this done. but everybody's watching, all the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least, so you need both a public and private position. that statement was not a statement that said hey, wall
street banks, i'm going to tell you something in private, i'm going to get rid of dodd-frank. publicly i'm telling everybody i'm going to be tough on you. this is a statement made in the context of discussion of a "lincoln" film. here's the debate question. >> the question involves wikileaks released a purported excerpt of secretary clinton's paid speeches which she has refused to release and one line in particular in which you, secretary clinton, purportedly say you need both a public and private position on certain issues. so is it okay for politicians to be two things, is it acceptable for politicians to have a private stance on issues? secretary clinton, your two minutes. >> as i recall, that was something i said about abraham lincoln after having seen the wonderful steven spielberg
called "lincoln." it was a master class watching president lincoln get the congress to approve the 13th amendment. it was principled and it was strategic. and i was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the congress to do what you want to do, and you have to keep working at it, and yes, president lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments, convincing other people, he used other arguments. that i thought was a great display of presidential leadership. but you know, let's talk about what's really going on here, martha, because our intelligence community just came out and said in the last few days that the kremlin, meaning putin and the russian government, are directing the attacks, the
hacking, on american accounts to influence our election, and wikileaks is part of that, as are other sites where the russians hack information, we don't even know if it's accurate information, and then they put it out. we have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary, a foreign power, is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election and believe me, they're not doing it to get me elected. they're doing it to try to influence the election for donald trump. now, maybe -- >> now she's blaming -- she got caught in a total lie. her papers went out to all her friends at the banks, goldman sachs and everybody else and she said things that wikileaks just came out and she lied. now she's blaming the lie on the late great abraham lincoln. honest abe never lies.
that's the good thing. that's the big difference between abraham lincoln and you. that's a big, big difference. we're talking about some difference. but as far as other elements of what she was saying, i think it would be great if we get along with russia because we could fight isis together as an example but i don't know. but i notice any time anything wrong happens, they like to say the russians. sdhee she doesn't know if it's the russians doing the hacking. maybe there is no hacking. the reason they blame russia is they think they're trying to tarnish me with russia. i know nothing about russia. noi about russia but i know nothing about the inner workings of russia. i have no deals, i have no business dealings, i have no loans from russia. >> that's how we get to today. to find out what the impact of those statements and debates was throughout our polling data, i encourage you to take a look at the book. to find out about the comey disinformation, encourage you to look at the book.
the fact is the hacking affected the debate agenda, affected the news agenda, minimized the likelihood that sanders supporters would be consolidated behind clinton and disrupted the campaign, and the question is to what extent. was the extent great enough to shift 78,000 votes. i would be happy to take your comments and your questions. or not. yes, ma'am. >> we are recording for c-span so if you could speak into the mic microphone. thank you. >> what do you think really motivated comey to come out with that information at the last minute? >> we know that from the public record from director comey that there were two factors at play for him in making the unprecedented decision to make the july announcement about closing the clinton investigation without charging.
ordinarily you would expect that they simply would indicate they're not charging. one was the meeting between bill clinton and loretta lynch on the tarmac. the second was information that he's not free to disclose in public which is classified information, which press coverage would suggest is information in russian hands that suggests that loretta lynch gave assurances to clinton supporters in some fashion that the investigation would not go too far. there's no reason to believe, based on press accounts, that loretta lynch knows the person she supposedly communicated with or the others who were relaying the information had done that, either. there is as a result every reason to suspect the information he says he was concerned would be released imminently was, in fact, russian disinformation. so if the second classified factor is russian disinformation in the summer decision, then the question is is that not still at
play in october, when they could have quietly undertaken the investigation of the contents of the weiner laptop and not disclosed the fact that they were doing it. and if you believe that it is likely that hillary clinton is going to be president of the united states, which we know director comey has said he believed based on polling data was likely, it is at least plausible that he was trying to protect the integrity of her election by ensuring that the fact of the investigation of the server was not released after she became elected, and the country would then say wait a minute, we would have changed our vote had we known that. so that is my argument for the information being russian disinformation at time one and if it was being at play as well at time two. otherwise, i don't see why he would make the statement in essence public by going to the congress. yes.
>> you started out by saying it was going to be a discouraging talk, as i recall. >> did i disappoint you? >> not in the least. so i thought you would now tell us what should be done to minimize the effect of the social media campaigns in our political process. >> the social media platforms were just sitting ducks for this. their targeting structures were such that you did not need sophistication to know how to engage in sophisticated targeting. i studied political communication for a long time. after each major election i sit down with the time buyers up until this last election to say tell me exactly how you targeted the time buying. it was a very sophisticated art. they would explain how they microtargeted this and cross-targeted that and the radio did this in relationship to the cable, in relationship to
the television, after which we would create charts and graphs that would try to capture it in order to put it into our study. we don't need to do any of that to understand how you could reach exactly the same people right now, because we could have ourselves with the knowledge that was publicly accessible, done sophisticated targeting. at a level of sophistication or higher than time buyers when engaging in previous elections. that's how vulnerable social platforms were, and they were because they weren't set up for politics. they were set up for advertisers to target us. so if you're not paying for something, you're the product. essentially they are selling us. in the process they got a highly sophisticated means of knowing that when the ad starts following you around, notice you search to find one thing and for the next couple of weeks, all the ads for those things follow you around. well, imagine that you take all that sophistication and drive it behind some simple instructions to get to evangelicals, to military households, to african-americans, to sanders supporters, et cetera, and the structures are just sitting
there to deliver. first they fixed that. so it's more difficult to make those kinds of targeting moves right now as an outsider. secondly, you could buy advertising that's illegal for a foreign national to buy advertising in our elections, but you could do it inside these platforms because everything is so anonymous and digital. so one of the mueller indictments is indicting people for illegal purchasing of identities and illegal bank conduct that ultimately bought the ads. now what they've done is set up a structure so that you have to provide in one case a social security number, in another a business i.d. number, and there's a verification process to confirm you are buying from within the united states. so they are trying to make moves to shut this down. if you went on to youtube during the election, you would have found all kinds of rt content but you wouldn't have known rt, formerly russia today and that it's state sponsored. now when you go on youtube you will find rt is government sponsored content and pbs has government funding and bbc.
so what they have done is universalize the disclosure but now we've got more protection because now we can tie source back to content. as i said, you might say i love the russians. propaganda all you want but at least we know it's the russians doing it. we have those kinds of changes in place. there are now partnerships with fact-checking organizations. and ultimately, the director of factcheck.org runs it in practice but my policy center directs it so i sign off on all of it. we are now part of a partnership that takes crowd sourced disinformation, checks it to say is it accurate or not, and we post up content through facebook, when someone searches for it they get our correction over to the right in the search structure. that's an attempt to dampen down the effects of disinformation without infringing on political speech. big issue is how do you try to get more information in an environment which really privileges first amendment and ought to, in every way that is possible. so there are moves that have been made by the platforms. they are not enough but they
certainly are there. we are better protected than we were in the past. i'm concerned that we haven't heard from our big reputable media outlets what they would do differently if exactly the same thing happened again. after they made big mistakes in the past, they have actually written editorials to say to us we really made a mistake and here's how we have learned. they haven't said that about their use of the hacked content. in some cases, they simply got the hacked content wrong. that's just bad journalism. but in the pressure of having thousands and thousands and thousands of things dumped on them with all those resources rushing to find things that they presumed were newsworthy, you can see how they would make that mistake. humans make mistakes under that kind of pressure. so i would like to hear from our reporters and our big reporting companies that this hacking could have been against republicans or against democrats. i would have guessed in the past if you said the russians are going to intervene, they would intervene to disadvantage the republican, not the democrat which is on average going to be true of russian relationships
idealogically to the two political parties. so instead of people thinking that oh, well, it was just a platform, we have to get that under control, i would like them also to say a big effect of the hackers was mediated by our press. the hackers would have had no real effect if it hadn't gotten that content into news. i would like to see what is done differently. in the comey situation, i think the russians may have effectively checkmated him. if you believe that you're going to have the fbi and justice department discredited by information in russian hands, just accept the possibility you are trying to set this up to make it really hard for director comey to have any good choices, first you would make sure the hacked content that is released is accurate so that nobody could say well, this must be inaccurate if something is dumped that is disinformation. the hacked content is as far as we know, accurate. there may be a couple exceptions but as far as we know, the major pieces of hacked content that were released to wikileaks were
accurate. you will see at the beginning of my book, i have a statement quoting president putin that essentially says what's wrong with hacking? it was accurate, wasn't it? we should worry about those people who are trying to manipulate the american people, which i think is one of the funnier statements i have read in the last two years. but what that says to me is there's a strategy there. protect the accuracy of that so that when you drop the disinformation, its accuracy will be assumed. given how polarized we are, if disinformation had been dropped to say loretta lynch was in the tank for the clinton administration, don't you think a good part of the population would have believed it and we would have called an election into question? so what was the good choice under those circumstances? if that is the circumstance director comey found himself in. and if he thought that hillary clinton was going to be elected anyway, then the path that makes the most sense is one in which you make sure the public knows that you in fact are engaged in the investigation. the investigation could have come out in a way that was
negative for hillary clinton. who knew what was going to be in those e-mails as a result of that investigation. but it was public and as a result, you couldn't discredit her if she were elected. of course, if she weren't elected you didn't have to worry. there wouldn't be a discrediting. i think he might have made a different calculation had the polls not suggested strongly she was going to be elected. >> in an earlier pre-social media day, if one wanted to influence policy makers, the "post" or the "times" or "wall street journal" depending on the point of view, would have been obvious. in this social media world, i have come from the earlier day, what is the most influential channel or even medium in this new world? >> well, first, in a campaign environment, the reason i wanted to play the clip for you of the debates, the debates are one of the last venues that democrats
and republicans and independents come together to watch in common. so upwards of 68 million of direct viewers, that doesn't count all the secondary viewing and there is substantial secondary viewing, are all the viewings through news pickup of parts of debate. to the extent there is one form that is still there that we get both candidates who have equal opportunity to make the case, moderated by a respected journalist, i would say the most influential form we have got is debate. debates largely reinforce what people already believe, but that doesn't mean that they are not valuable because they increase the level of accurate information we have about both candidates, on average across debate. the reason for that is it's an interesting finding because those of us who study politics, you say we're not going to learn anything. we do, because you miss some things. sometimes you know one candidate's position but never heard the other. you get the contrast point of view. they are extraordinarily valuable. i wish we could find more venues like that in which we would come together and give people as much
unmediated time to communicate with us as they could unfiltered so we could make our own judgment. i think i'm now out of time. i appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. thank you to folks who are watching through the c-span book channel and for those of you heading out into the cold winter night, thank you so much for joining me. [ applause ] >> thank you, everyone, for joining us. there's time to mingle and purchase books from the book shop. you can also get your book signed by kathleen and if you have any lingering questions, we're here until 8:00. thank you. >> c-span launched book tv 20 years ago on c-span 2 and since then, we've covered more than 15,000 authors, spanning more than 1,000 weekends. in 2009, harvard professor henry
louis gates spoke with biographer walter isaacson about abraham lincoln's stance on race and slavery. >> he says that i am fundamentally an unalterably opposed to the institution of slavery. he never wavered. he never wavered about slavery. but he definitely wavered about black people. but he changed. lincoln, the attractive thing about lincoln, what we try to do in the film and what i certainly do in the book, is to show that he was a recovering racist. that he got better. he didn't know any black people who weren't servants. there's a cult of lincoln in the historical profession. they are so desperate to protect him they will say yes, yes, he had great black friends. like who? like billy the barber. what about frederick douglas? >> frederick douglas changed his life. he met frederick douglas three times at the white house. he had never met a black man this intellectual. >> you can watch this and all