tv Bush Center Hosts Discussion on the Presidency in the Digital Age CSPAN July 3, 2016 12:43am-1:45am EDT
nixon at the 1972 convention in miami beach, the 1980 democratic convention with united city,in the george h.w. bush at the 1992 republican convention in houston, bill clinton and chicago for the 1996 democratic convention, anthony 2004 republican convention in the city of new york with george w. bush. saturday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> in his weekly address, president obama talked about celebrating independence day and honoring service members and veterans. newlso discusses a initiative that would make it easier for military spouses to work in any state. gowdy andtives trey lynn westmoreland deliver the republican address. they discuss the benghazi investigation and its final
report. president obama: hi, everybody. happy fourth of july weekend. theonday, we will celebrate fourth of july like most of you, in the backyard. we will hang out with friends, and watch the fireworks show. we are fortunate enough to have the south lawn as our backyard so we will fill it with hundreds of our troops, veterans, and families. for the past years that has become one of my favorite traditions by celebrating our freedoms and honoring those who sacrificed to make that freedom possible. our serviceing members, veterans, and families is something americans try to do every day without fanfare or expectation of anything in return. for the past five years michelle and dr. joe biden have tried to follow the example with their
joining forces initiative. rallying forces. helping reduce veteran homelessness. just this week, michelle and something about military spouses. that is the issue of professional licensing. americans aren't familiar with but for most american military families it is a problem as troops are transferred from based to base. because families serve with them, the spouses move 10 times more often than most of us. 10 times more often is tough on a career. and more the end what men and three of these buses works in a profession that requires a professional license or certification. nurses, child care providers, accountants, social workers, and other jobs. until recently, when they were lines,o move across the
they needed to recertify for a job they are already qualified for. experienceith a might have to take entry-level courses or pay a fee or wait months for paperwork to be processed before they could get back to work on the job they love that helps them support their families. that does not make any sense. so we changed it. when michelle and jill took up this cause only three years ago, only three states had taken action. they rallied state legislators into action. a milestone. today, all 50 states have acted to streamline these issues. it is a big step forward but we are not done yet. we will keep working to make licensing simpler for more jobs and reach more qualified workers. so we can finally say to our military families, when you move you will no longer be forced to put the career you love on hold just because you and your family have chosen to serve your
family. this is what this is about. and women inen and uniform as much as if served us. take a look at joining forces.gov to find out how you can serve the troops in your community. to all of our brave men and women in uniform, you represent the best of who we are as a nation. on this day and every day, we thank you. have a great fourth of july, everybody. >> today as we prepared to celebrate the fourth of july we can take heart in the fact that have helpedd women with the independence for our nation. >> the same spirit was on display in libya. brave men and women serving at one of our highest foreign outposts and one of america's least-secure diplomatic
facilities had to rely on their own ingenuity and determination in on one another to survive. >> the select committee on benghazi sought from the beginning to tell their story providing me final, definitive accounting of that fateful night for the families and american people. as a result of this investigation, we now know that no american forces were ever going to benghazi the night of the attack and the small group from tripoli did that did go, initiative.eir own because of the investigations, we now know the full story that made itpersonnel that from tripoli to benghazi and faced all of those, including the fateful mortar attack. >> now we know if not for the extraordinary efforts of a cia security coordinator, we would've lost two more americans that night. is real story of benghazi
truly detail of two cities. and benghazi, where people were valiantly fighting for their lives, and washington dc where administration officials sent on a teleconference and talked for two hours. >> meanwhile, forces ready to respond were first to rate on the transport and to change into fourut of it uniform times. the end result of this previously unknown teleconference was a list of action items, half of which had to do with an online video. telling that to instead of a single focus of way,ing people in harm's key administrators were arguing about a video and the appearance .f our people >> with determination, relevant documents, and talking to new witnesses, the select committee tee is now able to tell you, the
american people, about these important new facts that fundamentally change what we know about benghazi. >> because we want to do everything possible to ensure this ever happened again and if it does that we are better prepared to respond, the majority makes a series of recommendations for the pentagon, state department, intelligence community, and congress. on behalf of a grateful nation, by thosethe services who served in benghazi. on this independence day weekend, we recognize them as true american heroes and patriots and we thank them and we think their loved ones. may god bless our citizens and may god bless the united states of america. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. , talks about the
latest developments in the presidential election campaign. and the executive are at fund for peace on the report at the most at-risk and stable states around the world. be sure to watch beginning live at 7:00 a.m. sunday. 20 discussion. >> i never felt the urge to make money. what turned me on was to make policy. that is what drove me. an announcer: sunday night on q&a, a two-part interview with mark green. author of "right, infinite memoir." generational he talks about his life and public office. >> you have to have a drive.
it makes you undesirable in a spouse and friend. you have to wake up and go to soep and can, i want this much. win.u do everything, you except lyndon johnson. announcer: airs sunday night on c-span's q&a. and part two will air on c-span2. next, a look at how the presidency is covered by the media in today's digital age. this discussion includes journalists, editors, and a spokesperson from hillary clinton's 2008 campaign. from the george w. bush presidential center in dallas, this is one hour. [applause] >> thank you. welcome, everybody. it is a privilege to be here representing the dallas morning news and introduce the first dannel. i will introduce them as they come on to the stage.
is a veteran of four presidential campaigns, as seniorserving spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign in 2008. olivia knox is the chief washington correspondent for yahoo! news where he is covered the white house, politics, and since 2012. press was the adjunct to for 15 years. senior adviser for external affairs comic kevin sullivan leads communication and marketing through all areas of the bush center. he was appointed by george w. bush as assistant to the president for communications in 2006 and oversaw messaging development and communication planning. since two thousand two, kathleen
carroll has been the executive director and senior vice president of the associated press, the world's largest independent news agency. they have won numerous awards during her tenure, including this year's pulitzer prize for service. overall, for a little prizes and george polk awards. she is a texas native and we like to point that out when we are here. our moderator is marty. of thecutive editor washington post since 2013. marty has been part of 10 pulitzer prizes during his time at the post. the boston globe, the new york times, the los angeles times, and the miami herald but he may be best known for his uncanny interpretation -- impression of the actor lee schreiber. i hope you and join the panel. thank you. >> thank you, michael. thank you all for coming.
the panel for participating. the title of this panel is the presidency coverage in the digital age. what i want to do is start with the question of what is fundamentally different about covering the resident in the digital age. olivia, maybe you can kick it off. >> sure. when i started covering the white house, everything was on paper. we would get a statement on paper. we would get announcements on paper. the wire services had to move quickly but everything else had a more leisurely days. as the white house embraced e-mail and under this president, embraced social media, announcements have come from a variety of sources. is constantly on
deadline. that is one of the biggest changes of the last 15 years or says. >> did it change qualitatively? olivier: a little bit. one of the changes as that we are now trying to reach audiences that are consuming the information from a variety of sources and platforms. we are competing for these guys in a way that we were not when i started the job. for wire services, this has not changed all that month because we are constantly on deadline. but now, everyone is. one thing we have learned is newsexpectations of the product are different. the example i would give is in an old-school video, you could build suspense and introduce characters. with the digital age, if the from ae is about falling trampoline, you need to show the
bear falling out of the tree into the traveling within the first 15 seconds of the video or people will turn it out. that has made a difference. everyone is looking for the magic wand that will turn every story into gold. we experiment with shorter stores and longer stories and more graphics and fewer graphics. i do not know that we have settled on a solution formula for making it work. kathleen, if new services are becoming more like wire services, has nothing changed for the wire services? >> things have changed a little bit in the way olivier described. everything is faster, particularly residential campaigns and white house announcements. the need to get allen's and context and some other way to think about the story at the same time you're reporting on what is happening is greater than ever and that taxes and
organization unless you make it a group effort. you can't just put them by themselves, they have to rack up. implication is that if the story is going to be more toplete, and set of having do it even a couple hours for the ap. i think the biggest change is the one we have all talked about a lot and that is that the story covers itself. host: what you mean by that? of flame: we have a competitor in the white house that use social media effectively to release pictures shot by the official white house photographer and talk about things am doing and completely skip over the press, which sounds whiny and i don't mean for it to, -- whiny?hy is it or why is it not whiny? why should we be concerned? kathleen: more and more, this
president withdraws the public service behind closed doors. we are not whining because we are not in the residence watching him for his socks on but we want to be able to ask questions on behalf of the public. shut off from that and instead what you get is a shiny, polished, adept view at an administration that is filtered by people whose job it is to promote that administration. and i think it is dangerous for the republic. marty: mo and sully, you have seen this from the other end. does that sound like whining? does that concern you at all? or is that just what a president does and what a president should do? >> i would say empowerment is the biggest change, whether it be our teenage kids, can be like an international journalist because of the power of what is in your hand in your smartphone. in terms of -- when you work with communications to the white
house your job is to get the message out in the most persuasive and memorable way you can to extend the reach as far as you can. now, our attitude with the team at the white house working for president bush was, it was sort of like going to the restaurant and you order from each column. there would be an event, maybe a speech, a meeting with local business leaders or community leaders. we would always ask the president to allow one reporter to sit in the meeting. it was the energy at the "wall street journal" with john, writing about energy during that cycle, let us allow john to sit in. even though we did not have twitter yet, we had a major web operation, even then. you can get the right audience. you do not get the whole picture if you only did it yourself. and i think that is still today, even as technology has advanced, it is a speech, maybe an interview, maybe it is a sit down, a quick thing, letting the reporter sit in the room. it is certainly letting the
photographers in. we saw an upheaval in a few years ago when the white house was issuing so many of its own images and keeping reporters out. it is all of the above. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. you can use the empowerment you have as the institution, but also work with the news media. that is we are the only country , where the media that covers the president is right down the hall. and you have to have -- president bush left and called a symbiotic relationship. there is a little bit of a transaction. as he said last night, you needed me, i needed you. and i think that is important today, even in the face of all of this great new technology that empowers all of us to put out our own content. host: what are your thoughts? >> i think technology has fundamentally changed. i want to take a step back and remember what this is all about. the relationship and the role of the press in a democracy is so important, it was cemented in the first amendment to the united states constitution.
that is important. in the very first amendment to the u.s. constitution. having said that, there is no more sacred relationship in our democracy than between elected official and voter. that is what it is really about. for generations, you all were the conduit. you were the ones that connected that. you are not needed as much in that relationship these days. and i'm not saying you are not needed, right? but i'm saying is because of technology, both sides of that relationship can actually circumvent you, to some extent.
so when you see a white house or political campaign on either side of the aisle do that sort of thing, i think right now we are still trying to experiment and try to figure out what is the appropriate use? i do not think cutting the press out is appropriate. but there is a way to directly engage, directly take a message -- i understand why people pursue that. now, having said that, i will also say that there are challenges on the other side of this equation. the reporter who said, as a few that i have heard say, the notion you have to go to the white house to actually cover the white house is no longer true. and necessary. that bothers me, a little bit. the notion that because of the internet and because people's views are so -- the digital age is actually making us less connected, and it is creating a whole new perspective, a whole new reality for so many people. because anybody is a journalist, anyone with an opinion and set up their own corner, and we are gravitating to people who have like minds. so, there are now conservative
media outlets where conservative voters can go, there are now progressive digital media outlets that do the same. what is happening in the middle, the true objective truth seekers, are struggling, because people are kind of retreating to their corners in this digital universe. and, you know, what do you do? how do you actually discern what is true, real, what is not? kathleen: can i just say one thing? i take your point on all of this. but the thing that is missing in this discuss it of messaging, is a one-way communication. the president of the u.s., whatever party, is answerable to the public who elected him, or whom he or she serves.
what is missing is the opportunity for anybody to ask a question. journalists have the opportunity to ask questions. the message is not being replaced by town halls or forums, where anybody can ask a question. it is a very select friendly audience, the questions are screened in advance, and it's still part of the one-way communication. i think it is not good for any administration to not be questioned by people -- and not just by people who are shopping -- are shouting on the internet, but to be able to answer questions. that is a door that is slamming. mo: i don't know if i would agree it is slamming. i think people are trying to figure out the equilibrium, right? i don't think the white house --i hear the criticisms of this particular right house -- white house, and it is shutting the press out, but it is not entirely shut out. the president still does media interviews. he still does news conferences with his new staff, daily briefing. and i think you are right, i do not think it is ok to exclude the press. but what is the right equilibrium in this digital age? i do not know anyone who has figured it out. host: when you say trying out
other tools, it sounds very antiseptic. but what we're talking about is a white house that excludes news photographers from a newsworthy event, excludes the media from an event, and then releases its own, i will call it, propaganda. the job of the photographer, whose material is being released, is to make the president look good. i'm not a particularly paranoid person, but i cannot vouch for the accuracy of the photo, in that i do not know if it was posed. i don't know if it was closed, i do not know if the postelection handshake between romney and obama, i don't know how many times it did to get right. [laughter] >> what is fascinating about that particular photo, the white house editorialized it in the caption. it was something like, neither man wanted to be there, but they felt they need to be. it was amazing moment in the captions. when i pointed this out in one of my pieces, they went back and deleted that. so they had this incredible control over the images and words.
and no one is saying they cannot use twitter or facebook or reddit or whatever. our objection is chiefly -- we have many, obviously -- but it is bad that they exclude us. they say it was a private meeting. and then there are 10 minutes shot by the white house videographer that goes up on the web. that is not a private meeting. what is really annoying is that the first draft of history is increasingly not a skeptical reporter, you know, kicking the tires looking under the hood. it is a press release, essentially, whether it is video or photo, and that really bothers us. marty: the state department had a question excised, the video released by the state department. and it ultimately was pointed out that this question was somehow missing from the video. and they acknowledged that someone had deliberately, we do not know who, had deliberately removed that portion of the
video and now they had to put it back in again. >> people have a sense, they know the difference, consumers of news know the difference between something that they can trust -- even though the numbers of the media popularity has declined, you are still above congress. marty: hanging on, barely. [laughter] >> i don't like being compared to congress. [laughter] >> pew was out last week with a report that said 62% of u.s. adults get news from social media. and we are predominately talking about facebook. while "adweek" a couple of weeks ago at a fascinating story that if facebook were a tv show, and would have been 27th in that week's nielsen viewership numbers. youtube i think was 49th. instagram was 156th or something. this is what i mean by all of the above. you have got to reach people. you have to hit them in multiple places. but as much as people -- 80% of people using facebook, i think the number was 12% have high confidence in the news. we know they like things that i
-- is sent to them from one of their friends. but if they do not have confidence in the material, are you really getting to breaking through with a message for your client or the president or whoever? that is why i kind of like the all of the above approach. marty: mo, you are talking about the mainstream media not be needed. but you did not say it was needed. but yeah, i mean, we have for example, political candidates, of course, just to fear a bit to those the residency who aspire to be president, who are appealing to their very own media outlets that very much favor them. donald trump, obviously breitbart.com. bernie sanders, young turks. they say, the media is giving you its own reality. the conservatives will say they are promoting a liberal agenda in many instances. the people on the far left will say they are promoting a corporate agenda.
so, we are actually getting the real reality from these outlets and the media is part of the conspiracy. cracks that is right. if you look at outlets like fox news, its slogan is fair and balanced. if you talk to your average viewer, they say no. thehink fox news is balance. it is the balance to a progressive media culture of their. said they recognize they are going here because it provides a different and more conservative per spec death and that is what attracts the viewers. i think that is amplified 100 times in the digital space. people are reinforcing their perspectives. and as the digital age is designed to perpetuate that. i read on my phone from various media outlets. them willle one of
then shove stories that are just like it with that of in front of me because it knows i will click. we are living in an age where the click is king. so, it is easy to understand perspective of the same event suddenly becomes warped and segmented into different perspectives. the wall street journal did a tremendous graphic where they looked at to facebook feeds a side-by-side of a progressive viewer and conservative viewer and looked at the same events and how they were consuming the news. it was remarkable. headlines, you would think they were living on two different planets. that is what worries me about the digital age. journalism is becoming more commentary. it is not how it is presented and how it is consumed.
kathleen: it the age marty and i lived in where newspapers were middle of age was an unusual. it newspapers. there were lots of newspapers because they appeal to different groups. specific audiences. the fact that people like to be associating with people who think like them is not new in the country. president'sis that in the united states did not have their own outlets to go to directly to the voters. it is about whether media is segmented or not. the problem we are trying to elected and officials closing themselves off from the people they were elected to serve and using the mechanisms not just with the white house but throughout the
government they run to close off access to people. >> they are closing themselves off from the people they were elected to serve but they are not necessarily closing themselves off from the people who support them. what are the implications of that? kathleen: the obvious question to ask about that is, are they serving them or are they serving the wider responsibility to serve the entire country? >> yes. the president needs to serve everybody who participated in the process. he represents all of the people and do you try to do that. the key, though, is you have to put out -- to the extent you control your own channels, it has to be good content or will not get shared. here at the center, a couple years ago president was hired
the editorial director here because he was credible and has an independent voice. journal of ideas. a digital publication. you can sign up at the bush center website. we had joe lieberman, mark cuban, who had enormously effective sharing. today in politico there was a reference to market cubans story issue of thehat catalyst six months ago because it was good, compelling, a little bit of surprise. ryan kirk was in that issue. surprise people with the content. make it good. make it compelling. the white house example, people forget president bush did have the first all-digital presidency. every photograph was digital. live streaming. virtually, all event starting in
2001 were live-stream. he did a blog on the trip to the middle east on air force one. the first representative was , we did ad for yahoo! lot of digital interviews in those days. after 9/11, white house towards had been cut up. the public cannot come in. a way to show the public the decorations and show the story of the said holiday season was through the lens of barney, the president's beloved scottish territory -- terrier. up and barney zipped through the white house showing the decorations. it was a massive head and went on for years. mrs. bush did a premiere at a children's hospital every year. and british prime minister tony parton appeared imminent over the years. it was good content.
interesting. a little bit off-beat. and terms of serving your audience, you have to have good stuff and credibility. point, barney cam is infinitely more important than anything else you listed during the bush administration. [laughter] >> to me, it was an absolute pivot point in any administration. do remember what happened with the burning cam? every single -- the barney cam? it was on every single morning show. the traditional news media took content produced by the white house and used it without really modifying it. was the moment in which the white house realized that, sure, we're going to get but thete of people
fall of the barriers to entry was to me a lot more important for powerful institutions that have built-in constituencies. in the moment when they are taking the video and showing it and tenderly as much more important than the blog and the rest of it because that is what spread into this presidency where they are producing their own. they love to cover themselves. somed, they expect on level, and unfortunately we are with them, if they release a particularly good video for photographs, that we are going to take their content and it is going to displace what would have been hours. >> that is poorly true. the bigger calculation, not speaking for the white house, i've never spoke to them about this, but the bigger regulation is not that you are going to be taking it but that they can go around it. they can't secure their own channel if you look at how many followers barack obama has on
twitter. they can go straight to the people. necessary.is less i think that is the calculation when a white house or political campaign does something like that. >> that would be true if they were not excluding us from that event. >> i am not disagreeing. i am not suspending the exclusion of the press. the calculation is, now there are other avenues. kathleen: at this museum has a very famous picture and there are many of them of president bush's experiences -- expression as anti-card whispered in his in her. that is a piece of history, important. i doubt that a picture like that would be taken in this particular administration and probably not recorded possibly by a white house photographer but that event, if something important was happening, it
would be taken off the site i am almost certain. what does that mean for the history of a presidency when it events like that occur off stage? a no, i think your point is that one. and i think olivia said it before, right? the first draft of history is increasingly being written by the campaign or why the administration in and i think that is to across the board. i think everyone is trying to more.l that a little bit >> so of the mainstream press is being sort of pushed out of the picture and it seems like it is to some degree, and the question is, how much will it be worst out of the picture, does the public care? >> no. nope. >> why not? >> because they are getting aeir information from multiplicity of sources and i do not know that they know when they should trust a video or paid like that, you know? i was struck when the president
lectured us. one thing he lectured us about should be producing quality content, not choosing the audience. which was interesting because actually the perfect distillation of his communication strategy. the president sits down with a woman who is chiefly known because she ate fruit loops in a milk-filled bathtub. he is not looking for good questions about the islamic state, i guarantee you. he is looking for that audience. they chase the audience. >> she was not a good messenger for that. >> super effective. when the president sent down for --t skit between two forms between two ferns which this presidency called an interview -- [laughter] >> that is like saying dana
carvey gave a press conference. nonsense. it quickly became the number one driver of enrollment and obamacare. this stuff works. people love it. people watch it. people can't be let. they are not necessarily aware of how they are being stared. talk about out of rhythms. --as at the george h bush the george h.w. bush library. someone said, you yahoo!. i go to yahoo! to get my news and it is all tim kardashian. at down, go away, you are not real newsperson. and the moderator said, i want to answer that. sir, you are going to yahoo! and using a lot of kim kardashian? here's a thing, that page is chiefly of a rhythm-driven, if you are saying a lot of tim kardashian news, sir, it is because it is all you click on. [laughter]
>> one thing about the youtube the state offter the union last year, 2015, president obama did three youtube interviews. -- they have a big following on youtube. he did them one after the other. i think it has been viewed now almost 4 million times if i am not missing. one of the question was, if you are a superhero what would your superpower be? you are right. they are not income. there were a couple legitimate questions in there, but i applaud them for doing that. they should not exclude the media. they could do both. it reminded me of a state of the union experience we had with president bush in 2007, the day ban across the country
to do interviews about the state of the union. we went to kansas city to talk about health care and we did the event and an interview in a few things and get back in air force one and the president comes into the conference room and comes, so how is it out there? we have cable news on tv. he says, how is it playing out there? i said, sir what is playing out there is that the dna on the and a nicole's baby came back. in t said, you mean we could say that home? laughter] >> i am pretty sure he knew who and nicole smith was. -- m in no coal smith was. anna nicole smith. we are always talking about getting outside the beltway, you can never control what is going to happen in the news. that in that particular
national security apparatus would not let us load to youtube so we did not have that available to us but we would've done the same thing, i think. had we had that mechanism. gone are the days when the nightly news was a national convening. around ando not sit watch the nightly news anymore. the relevance the sunday news used to have him driving the debate for the coming week has all but disappeared. people are experimenting still. something like "between two ferns" was one of the greatest communication moments of this white house. put aside what it meant for journalism, and was a president communicating with an audience he desperately needed to communicate with and it was important. it had national significance. but i agree with you, it should not eat done at the exclusion of
the hard interview. >> olivier mentioned these being -- the speech that president obama made that covered politics. let me read you what he said. he said, let's face it, in today's unprecedented change in your industry, your job has gotten tougher even as the appetite for information and data flowing through the internet's rations, we have seen newsrooms" the news cycle has shrunk. there is enormous pressure to fill the void, feed the beast with instant commentary, twitter rumors, awesome, and to soft stories. then we failed to understand one we should.well as that has consequences for our lives and the life of our work country. media companies have have the obligation to maintain certain standards." i want to get your reaction to all that. because i want to know whether
you think we are in an environment where news organizations are dumbing down the news? and whether all we are doing is just chasing? >> no. kathleen: it assumes that the news organizations that are here are the same producing cat videos. i think there is a lot of room between cat videos and serious, boring stories. there is a lot of room in the middle, that people should read and consume. that is a lot of what news or religions are trying to do, make information interesting so that people will read it. because we are competing with cat videos. >> peter baker of the new york times last summer had interesting comment on this. people were asking about media bias, being biased against him, more sensationalistic or
whatever, he said yeah, but we are also biased against the simplistic. because we know, the last number i saw, 39 of the top news sites got it from mobile traffic. so people are skimming. if you do not get them in the first couple of sentences, they're not going to read the whole story. i don't think the media dumbs it down. i think they have tried to to make it more successful, recognizing we are an organization that is consuming more news than ever, but we are skimming. kathleen: skimming is ok. information that is broken up to be accessible is a lot more effective then seeing some big long piece of type, thank you, we are trying to get to them. olivier: it is a 24/7 cycle that has this effect, but i disagree that it is speed that is the problem.
if that was a problem, than the newswires would be dead, dumb, what have you. they are not. they are thriving. i've obviously biased, i am still a wire hack, but i don't think is that. it is the volume that bothers me. got to fill the air. how will we do it? you know what, we will speculate about where the airplane is for days on end. not to knock a particular outlook, but it is the volume, not the speed. when i got on board the ap, 20 years ago, my god, writing about the united states for the rest of the world. that is changed in the digital world because they have yahoo! now. but when i started out you were not allowed to say in the lede house speaker newt gingrich. you had to say president bill clinton's top opponent in the united states congress.
you had to address your audience, knowing it was not conversant. individuals, things like that. i would argue that was not dumbing it down. it was just knowing the audience. i think right now, when i write for yahoo!, some of the stuff that does the best is still on drones, syria policy. some of that is partisanship. people want to hammer this president for what has happened in the middle east. some of it is that it is a headline grabbing story with tremendous visuals and drama. but we do not really done that down. and to your point about skimming and mobile devices, it is true. but what we discovered is that one of the best times to put up a feature story is friday morning. because on friday, some of you
know this, they go to their work, there in front of their computer, and they are not working. [laughter] one of my most successful, in terms of clicks online, what happens when the president stays in a hotel? all of the dynamics of how it is arranged,, how does he handle room service all of these other issues? with about four days we had about 5.5 million readers. it was a long story. so, what i said at the outset about how we have not figured out the magic formula, it is really true. you can see stories that you think would do great but does do not catch on fire. and you know, we get our traffic from two places. search, summit happened in syria? social media, a lot of people to come back to yahoo! who have a bookmark is a homepage. jake: that story got 5 million views because they haven't seen that before. i heard a scientist once that said brains cannot resist
something that is new. so, the skimming, you sucked us all in with the school story we had not seen before. olivier: i think there is a lot of remarkable, tremendous journalism out there. i think it plays make readily important role in not just providing the facts, but the contexts. right? for the consumer, i think there's a lot of hack journalism, calling himself journalists because in our platform. i don't think the problem is speed. and i not sure the problem is volume. i think it is the combination of the two. the fact that everyone is a wire reporter now, and they live on twitter, and too often now, retreating is replacing reporting. and people are putting it out
there, and you will see reporters retweet, without checking it out, with a disclaimer. "whoa, if true." [laughter] marty: that doesn't cover? mo: if it is, it is a doozy. [laughter] mo: that doesn't work. a story has already been told. it is hard to walk it back. now that everyone is a wire reporter, in the breaking news, god, i hate that term, the breaking news business, and we are doing it at lightning speed that everybody has access to, that concerns me. marty: the broader question here, the president talked about diminished resources available to the news media these days. and clearly, we have far fewer resources than we had before. is that leading to less reporting? is that leading to less digging?
are we really doing our jobs in terms of digging beneath the surface? mo: some of you are. jake: i think some of your doing it very well. i think a lot of people are not. and it is hard. marty: less than there used to be? jake: pardon me? kathleen: i think less than there used to be. in the early part of my career, covering a lot of institutions that really touch people's lives, there is that a lot of lamenting over the last 15 years the buildings and the agencies, the stuff that is not getting covered. but if you look back at that stuff, a lot of it was perfectly dreadful. [laughter] we were. my name is on some of those stories, vertically dreadful. i think it is good to have gotten rid of that, because that turnoff audiences. and was not a good use of time and energy. but i think there are a fair number of very effective news organizations, anchoring the one based here, provided that people
need to have -- harder than going to a building and writing down what the men standing in front of microphones have to say. that was too much of our coverage for a long time. i would also like to turn this conversation more towards the business of government. we can talk about politics, it is a political year. but it is much more important to talk about what an administration, mayor, governor, president is doing in terms of governing. what are the policies? in this administration, all of them get worse than before, so we have a lot to look forward to january -- marty: you have a low opinion of some of the policy, really boring and dreadful, but even at the national level, are we not covering policy the way we used to? kathleen: i do think it gets short shrift. this administration makes it harder. but if you want to find something going on, you have to go through a public information
officer. you cannot go directly to the scientist, trying to get something from the health and human services administration, you get routed right back to the white house office. mo: the white house has minders. i went to cabo, and i will turn around and interview the minder. was north korea not an offer? [laughter] >> but it is amazing. you sit there, and they will stop the question and the answer, unless you of course maybe are slightly confrontational. maybe. and say, you have to work for. kathleen: people in government are scared to talk to reporters, or anybody who just wants to ask a question. they can get prosecuted. they are prosecuted. you know, their careers are punished. doesn't that bother anybody?
marty: at least an investigation. kathleen: don't you want to know what the people whose salaries you pay, not weather -- >> i have a source tracked me down as a left their cell phone in the car so we could have a conversation without worrying about being tracked. but i am not a national security reported this story happen to be about the relationship between the cia and the white house. but even by your standards, name redacted, absolute paranoia, the level of control freakish miss is off the chart. kathleen: there is a guy in our office, standing and talking to the father at a soccer game, i have to walk away. if we talk anymore, i have to report to my boss. i am not making this up. that is a scary thing. >> we can talk about another example, mentioning twitter, how
the white house uses it. marty: we are going to open up for questions momentarily. but go ahead. olivier: after this i'm giving you homework. go look up when the white house hates your tweet. it is looking at twitter as a kind of early warning mechanism, to watch how different reporters who are influential on different topics shape the whole perception, how they replace traditional news clippings, a real-time early warning system for them. and that goes both ways. >> that is bad. twitter is becoming a national assignment editor, in a lot of ways. olivier: it is setting the narrative, what every reporter is plugged into the figure out what the narratives are. voters not paying attention. and it is a wonderful way to get an answer to a question that you can i get answered in a
briefing. what the heck is the president doing about x? i cannot believe it. you get a phone call. marty: i was going to ask you what can be done to improve things, but sounds like you don't have an answer for that. [laughter] why don't we open it up to questions? there are microphones. welcome any and all questions. put these guys on the spot, not me, but put them on the spot. >> management comes from the top, usually, but how much of this is being driven by president obama over how the infrastructure of the white house is changing? with that, could you consider what they hillary clinton administration might look like in terms of relationships with the media? >> let me talk about it
generationally. direction does come from the top. every time there is a new administration, there are young people who come in and most of them are full of the idea that a have just been elected to the biggest office in the world and there is a lot of hubris. a lot of the policy gets sent at a time when people are feeling -- woof, woof, you know? george stephanopoulos, when he showed off, he started closing the door and telling reporters they cannot come in there is an attitude thing that crosses party lines and it is absolutely common in every single white house. the line gets said that somewhere slightly better than what we do here is none of your damn business, but we will tell
you what we need to know. it doesn't matter what the party is. whoever gets elected is going to be tighter about this. >> what about hillary clinton? what is your sense about that? >> i think very private. you? >> she hasn't given the washington post an interview in 18 months. on the other hand, we get donald trump on the phone all the time. >> and he says he hates us. he is happy to speak with us. >> but she has started going to talk shows more.