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tv   Brookings Institution Hosts Discussion on Post- Election Media Landscape  CSPAN  December 14, 2016 1:15am-2:32am EST

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[laughter] president-elect trump: i am telling you, she is good at this stuff. they say he is tied with me. you will not lose to them, do not worry about it. now it is, whatever time, 8:00 or 9:00, the numbers were so great. donald trump has won the state of texas. that means it was a slaughter. donald trump has won the state of georgia. donald trump has won the state of utah. and this guy that was put up there to fight me, he was -- hillary even beat him, ok? we won utah by 25 points. all of a sudden, they are saying, what happened?
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now we win all of these states and they are holding pennsylvania. ladies and gentlemen, donald trump has won the state of wisconsin. [cheers and applause] president-elect trump: they said donald trump has won the state and i give a lot of credit to them. your governor, i give a lot of credit to paul ryan. i give a lot of credit to vice president mike pence. they stood up here and they campaigned like you never saw before.
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now we pick up a state we were not really expecting. we did not know that was going to happen. after that, michigan was announced. the greatest was when pennsylvania came in because that is a big and beautiful state. donald trump has won the state of pennsylvania. they are doing all of this red and the map was so beautiful looking. i will never forget the guy who was saying for months, there is no path to 270 for donald trump. but there was a path to 306. [cheering] there waselect trump: no path to 270. in fact, they could not get me up to 270 but they got me to 269. i kept going back to maine.
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i went back to maine four times for one. there is a beauty, a genius to it. the other would be easier, the popular vote. i go to new york, california, texas, florida. electoral college is genius. you go everywhere and unless you see it, unless you see -- it is a very different way of campaigning. it is matchplay versus strokeplay. unless you see how this works up close and personal -- we ended up winning and i will never forget when they were on the map and they put up wisconsin and he said, there is no path for hillary clinton to become president. [cheering]
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donaldnt-elect trump: trump is your next president of the united states. because of you. i want to thank the people of wisconsin. you are incredible people. and i can tell you this, we are going to work so hard for you. we are going to work so hard. we will have the best people in the world and you see the people we are getting. if you do not mind, we will not be totally politically correct. is that all right? we're going to work so hard for you and we are going to bring back your jobs and we are going to terminate obamacare and come
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up with a great health plan that paul ryan is working on right now. and we will cut your taxes and we will have strong borders and we will have the wall, the wall. we will have that wall. we will stop the drugs from pouring into our country. we will build up our military and take care of those vets, take care of them. and we are going to make -- look, here's the bottom line, we are going to make you so proud of your country again. so proud. [cheering]
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>> [crowd chanting "usa"] mr. trump: we are never going to let you down. i am saying this from the heart. this is me to you, not reading anything, no speeches. i say it to the heart and maybe -- i know how hard you worked in the state and my people were so incredible in this state and they said they did not even have to work to get out the vote. we are never going to let you down, wisconsin. i want to tell you in the truest sense of the words, it is a theme we started right from the beginning, we will make america strong again. we will make america powerful again. we will make america rich again. we are going to make america
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great again. i want to thank you, wisconsin. god bless you, merry christmas. god bless you. thank you, wisconsin. thank you. ♪
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>> in new york city, donald trump met with entertainer and songwriter, kanye west at the transition team headquarters in trump tower. after the meeting they reflate posed for a photo -- they briefly posed for a photo. [crowd noise] kanye, what did you discuss in your meeting today? >> just friends. he is a good man. we have been friends for a long time. >> [indiscernible] >> no comment about your meeting with the president-elect. >> i just want to take a picture right now.
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[indiscernible] aftera stream of tweets the meeting, mr. west said they discussed supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in chicago. noting he feels it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change. in his final tweet he said # 2024. the rapper announced his desire to run for president in 2020 at the mtv music awards a year ago. trump met with bill gates and jim brown and ray lewis. we'll hear from the microsoft cofounder first. >> mr. gates, how did the meeting go? >> we had a good conversation about innovation, how we can help in health, education,
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impact of foreign aid and energy and a wide range of conversation about innovation. >> for an nfl stars and jim brown and ray lewis talked to reporters after the meeting with trump flanked by trump advisor, scott.a and darrell >> how do you think it went? >> i think it went fantastic. great meeting. >> talked about merging the program with the trump administration to make america great again. it's a men's vehicle already in place that mr. brown is spearheading. it is a match made in heaven. it is something just to enhance
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the african-american vehicle. have a vehicle in place that we need the country to get behind so we can affect positive change in our community. >> could not have been a better meeting. the graciousness, the intelligence, the reception we got was fantastic. >> what are some of their policies you guys hashed out? we can talk about what we are try to do from urban element in job creation. whate talking about entrepreneurship really looks like from the individuals themselves. with the america i can program have formernow we gang members and people who have changed the lives. we believe the trump administration, if we can combine these two powers of coming together, forget black or
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white, the bat -- the bottom line is economic development in these urban development -- these urban neighborhoods. >> [indiscernible] appropriate?it was >> what i do feel he is wide open to helping us change what has not been changed. you go all the way back to $22 trillion since president johnson was around anything about what that is. $22 trillion that we have not addressed yet. for us as a black community, for trump to even step up their and say i am going to do that. that means everything. the election is over. we need to talk about going forward. >> we have a partnership.
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>> it makes sense the outreach program that we put in place that you followed very closely. mr. trump made a commitment to improve the conditions of the lives of african-american's. this is going to continue the work that we started with the national diversity coalition and can."th "amer i the president-elect was very enthusiastic about it. >> he made a verbal commitment. this was the first of many meetings. we are going to go forward and strategize and the next step will be implantation. we are not going to drag our feet. the vehicle is already in place. the model already works. we are going to energize this model, put the government behind it for the african-american community. we are going to get busy.
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--does it concern you at all that trump has not appointed a woman or minority? about his -- minority? >> we are here to talk about this on this american program. cooks how do you hope to use -- >> how do you hope to use your platform to carry this message? also hold the administration to its word? >> is no sigrid -- no secret that have mr. brown picks up a phone call and calls anybody in the nation who is in athletics or entertainment, that phone call is easily picked up. the moment he picked it up for me years ago, the reason why i am standing beside him right now with every vision he is put forth. he has passed the torch to me.
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to reach anybody, there is nobody we can't reach. that is why we are here because we can raise a lot of people to work together. >> we are not here because of politics. we are here to help the president of the united states help the people who need help. i know dr. carson personally. i think he is a person -- i think he is a perfect choice. one thing that mr. president spoke about, those are the things he can be educated on. be sure dr. carson can caught up on housing very quickly. brilliant guy. ask any other questions? -- >> any other questions? >> we will have more updates from the elevator can from trump tower and the rest of the week on c-span and on our facebook page. >> next, a discussion on media coverage of the 2016 elections.
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former speaker newt gingrich on policy priorities in a trump administration. later we look at what makes a successful residency -- presidency. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal live every day with issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, former indiana congressman, and former chess petition secretary will be on to discuss a bipartisan group of government officials who want to reduce the power of money in politics. senator bob graham will be on to talk about the news of the day and a book called "america, the owners manual." michael warren of the weekly standard will join us to discuss the republican effort to appeal -- repeal of the affordable care act. be sure to watch washington
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.ournal at 7:00 eastern join the discussion. at -- on the future of the nation's education system and the every child succeeds act. that is at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. later, immigration policy experts on sanctuary cities and immigration laws will be live from the national has club at noon eastern. -- national press club at noon eastern. >> c-span's documentary contest is in full swing and we are asking students to tell us what is the most important issue for the new president and congress to address in 2017? joining me is actually. she is a former winner of 2015 over documentary, help for homeless heroes. tell us about your studentcam documentary. >> my partner and i produced a
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documentary where we cover the issues of homeless veterans on the streets of orange county, california. we decided these people who have fought for our country and the fact they are now living on the ok pete wenot decided we are going to talk about this issue within our community and we decided to make a c-span documentary. i encourage all seniors, junior's, even middle schoolers to use this platform to raise your voice to say that your generation deserves to be heard in the government and there is a better place to stick these issues, this is it. my advice for the students who are on the fence of starting this documentary is to really look into your community and see what is affecting around you --
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affecting those around you because they're the ones you see the most. issue thate is an you see happen every day on the street, that is probably where you can start. be a part of this documentary because you will want to be a voice for your timidity. >> -- for your community. >> thank you, ashley. if you want more information, go to our website. ♪ >> politico editor susan glasser on her essay on covering politics in a post-truth america. it outlines how reporting has changed and questions whether facts still matter. following her remarks, she joins a panel to discuss her piece and the role of media in the election. this is one hour and 10 minutes.
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>> good afternoon everyone. welcome to the brookings institution. i would like to give you a little bit of background on how a panel of distinguished journalists who are going to be talking about a very topical subject. i would like to give you a little bit of background on how this particular event came about. at brookings and i felt, like a lot of revolutions, the digital revolution, exciting as it is, and in some ways very positive, has also produced some victims. longformose victims is
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journalism. genre alive,p that we have launched a periodical series of what we call brookings essays. they are web-based and they take , buttage of new technology we keep a premium on high-quality, in-depth writing relevant to the big issues of public policy. ofexample is the disruption the fourth estate, in particular, the rise and the spread of fake news. that led to us asking susan glasser if she would be good enough to write a brookings essay that tackles that
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thelenge in the context of 2016 campaign and its outcome. it is harder to imagine a better offer for this -- author for this venture. she has extraordinary insight, d,perience, and i might ad a heroic ability to meet deadlines. she is very often on the other side of deadlines. she has made politico a supreme platform for reportage and commentary. earlier this year, she and her husband, peter baker of the near times, moved -- of the new york times, moved to jerusalem. yesterday, they announced they will be returning to washington to cover the u.s.'s role in the
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world and in a very interesting era that we are now entering. susan, andk to d.c., welcome back to the brookings institution, where you have been a real good friend to a lot of us around here institutionally and personally. she is now going to offer some opening remarks and then she discussion and and glenn.uce jim the podium is now yours. susan: thank you to all of you for sharing your time this afternoon with me, with brookings, and with my colleagues. i want to say, first of all,
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writing an essay about 2016 and donald trump and the media and putting it out there in the istext of a post truth world kind of like inviting the trolls to a dinner party and we can discuss what the reaction has been. i do want to thank -- not only has he had the vision to really embrace longform and put the commitment of brookings behind this very evocative and powerful series of essays. i have had the privilege of writing one and editing and partnering with brookings. i think it is a very valuable contribution. if this is finally my moment as a journalist where i am not entirely sure where the glass of transformation is half-full, we are here today as a result of one of the positive aspects of
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the media transformation and the digital revolution. everybody can potentially be a publisher and brookings has the same tools that we have at brookings -- at politico or the new york times or buzz feed. that being said, this is my moment when i finally, after 25 as an optimist, sat back down to the table looked at the glass and wondered if i have been misreading it just a little bit. i appreciate him doing the hard how the endaining of my essay -- i am retracting
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the conclusion of my essay. after three weeks in the middle east, i would like to say we have fixed it all and we are returning to washington where politics is really dysfunctional. jerusalem is a very same place in comparison these days -- is a very sane place in comparison these days. seriously, it has been dizzying what the response has been. published,essay was let's stop and think about the incredible series of new cycles we have been living in. this is in the last 10 days since we published this piece. we have been living in the great fake news panic of 2016. as washingtonians, we are aware of its iteration and coming to our favorite neighborhood pizza
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place, the moment when safe news -- fake news became a real threat is something we will be thinking about long after 2016. we have been living in the cia versus the fbi versus trump new cycle over the question of russia and its intervention in the united states election. the thing i have noticed, which is striking and will not be a surprise to anyone who has read this piece or thought much about the media, who is claiming fake news around every corner? will don't -- donald trump himself. you have this incredible circle collapsing on the -- upon itself, whatever metaphor you want to have.
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we are living in a fully realized hall of mirrors that results from some of these long-term trends. what has the reaction to the essay been? that metaphor of inviting trolls to the dinner party is not entirely unwarranted. no one here will be surprised to know that either this was a wildly pro-hillary essay in which we were basically making apologies for the democratic nominee and none of it was her fault. or conversely, a lot of people felt i absolutely completely failed to counter the fact that it really was the media's fault that hillary clinton lost because we over covered her at the expense of not covering donald trump sufficiently. there is the part that believes it is that cover-up of donald trump's true evil or a cover-up
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of hillary clinton's true evil. another strand of criticism which i have encountered is we wrote too many hard-hitting stories about trump or that we were covering up russia's intervention by spending our time writing the hard stories about trump or clinton. of course, one of the takeaways, and this one might be fair a little bit, i wrote this somehow as a way of making journalists feel better about the fact that nobody cares about what they do anymore. [laughter] i am not entirely sure about that line of attack. i thought i would throw that out there for you. many people, i would say, also objected to the notion that i wrote a sentence about the media being smug and out of touch in the past tense and many readers
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would like you to know they believe the media is in the current present tense smog, insular, and out of touch. i think that is a fair critique. my point was slightly a different one. a lot of people, no matter what you say about election 2016, given how raw feelings are, they really want you to know that we do not understand just how angry white america is. what can we talk about going forward? we are not going to be relitigating campaign 2016 except in learned discussions and academic papers. --have to think of a way that is where it has been most surprising and most interesting.
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so many people have come forward with very concrete ideas in a way i am not familiar with. most of you have a sense of journalists and you know us well enough to know that we are the type who like to sit around and criticize much more than we like to build things, much more than we like to solve problems, much more than we like to take action. surprised at the number of people who have come forward with very specific concrete ideas. we have got to do something about it is a refrain i have not heard very much up until now in my career in journalism. i have been surprised and struck to the extent by which some people say we should fight back with lawsuits. other people say, we should create a new website and we
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should police fake news and we should find a way of betting -- vetting news organizations we believe our content providers or stories.vidual get out there and find a way for journalists to affirmatively make the case for reporting, independent journalism, for facts and why they matter. we have taken it for granted. it was part of our social contract that we thought it was such a bedrock assumption. this is a moment where we have to change the way we think of it. it is not a spectator sport anymore. these are things that we value and how do we go out there and bring a new generation of people? how do we bridge this incredible divide between those who accept and are part of the consensus that exists in washington?
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how do we broaden the circle of people who understand why, in fact, that old adage still rings true -- you can have your opinion but you cannot have your own set of facts. you are not entitled to your own set of facts. frayed.sensus has i have not seen that in 25 years in washington. i'm excited about the prospect of taking concrete steps that address the crisis of legitimacy of american journalism in a way we have not seen before. we get to the questions, i hope you all will step up with questions and also with ideas. i want to invite the panel to the stage. conversation about political journalism, about how we got here and where we are
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going. i am delighted because these are people who i have learned a time from and they help explain -- a time from and they help to explain why we are not just talking about generic digital journalism. we are talking about the role reporting plays in our democracy and politics. jim glassman is our first panelist. he taught me most of what i know about journalism. he is not responsible for the bad parts. he was the editor at my first job out of college. he is a real visionary when he comes -- when it comes to washington reporting. news, teaching all of us -- buzz feed news, teaching all of us about the possibilities we have not thought through when it comes to taking real old-fashioned ideas about reporting and why it
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matters and showing how we can do it in new formats and new mediums and in news organizations that did not exist 30 years ago. the other panelist is my friend and colleague glenn thrush with whom i have worked closely with over the next few years in launching politico magazine. he has been our chief political correspondent at politico this year throughout the 2016 campaign and comes from the world of new york and has taught me a lot about reporting and thinking about politics in this crazy moment we live in. [applause]
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>> thank you, everybody. i thought we would just jump right in. the first question i wanted to ask everybody is one that i have spent a lot of time thinking about since this crazy election, and i'm sure you have, too. what could we have done and what do you think about what it's going to take for us to cover a president of the united states who doesn't share many of the consensus view is of the role of independent people that most of the in this room, and on the stage do? what did we screw up?
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what didn't we screw up? first of all, i want to one ofly question what my sources says about democratic politicians, the bedwetting politicians tend to do is very -- and the extent of being so reflective is being narcissistic. extent, we are spending way too much time scouring our own mistakes and figuring out what we did wrong. aggregate ofad the the coverage of this campaign got more than enough information about both candidates to make an informed decision, let's put that on the table. there were ignominious moments, given donald trumps 30 minutes of unmediated airtime on his podium. i recently did a piece about the
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turning point of the campaign. when you make a piece about the empty podium that donald trump will eventually occupy, you are elevating him to a level that one should not elevate him to. in general, i think we are in an environment where we have people who are attacking the press systematically, who are essentially attacking legitimacy of all institutions broadly in order to make a profit, or make a political profit. i think we need to understand that we are in, i would not say it is a war, but i think we need to be somewhat less reflective and somewhat more deflective. ms. glasser: so we didn't screw up anything? mr. thrush: no, we screwed up a lot. but i think voters had more than enough information. ms. glasser: i'm glad you make that point. i came out at the beginning of this essay and said that, and
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that was probably the thing that pissed off more people, isn't it nice that you are absolving everyone of all blame? but i think it is true. journalism by and about washington, about this campaign, is better than it ever has been before. jim and i will talk a little bit about when i first started out in the late 1980's. the truth was, we were not nearly as good reporters as there are now. we didn't know most of the things people know now. what we expect of our reporters and journalists is much more now than it ever has been in the past. is the scary part. i'm glad you brought that up. but we did screw up, right? >> no. i largely agree with glenn. by the end of the campaign, there was a lot of information, true information about both
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candidates. donald trump was actually fairly easy to cover, his past,ooking into his background, the type of business man he is, he has been a public figure and celebrity figure for so long, that finding true information was not a difficult thing to do. the same for hillary clinton. ms. glasser: so why did nobody care? ms. hilton: that is the bigger question. the post truth, post fact. people, it is clear they have given up on their trust in institutions. if there's anywhere that we screwed up, it is like, how do you bring that back? i don't disagree with anything anybody said so far, but i think the problem is people not believing, or not really caring about the facts. that is a subject that i think a
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lot of people have tackled, and i have spent a lot of time on it ever since i was at the state department, which is now eight years ago, where i was confronted with a lot of conspiracy theory. the question was, why do people believe these things, what do you do about them? the answer, like in michael something weok, all understand, that intuitively, our intuition and emotions are much stronger than reasoning. that presents tremendous problems for an institution that is founded on reason. we are on teams. what we constantly look for is good news about our team and bad news about the other team. i think this election provided opportunities, thanks to the revolution that the internet caused, for us to find --
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whichever team we are on -- we decide that" we want to discover. that is really what happened. i will give one little example. team has been saying that donald trump has won a landslide victory. i will that, if the -- i will bet, if you did a survey of his supporters, they will say that he did. the fact that he got fewer electoral votes than the winner of two thirds of the recent presidential winners, at least since 1900, including both terms of barack obama, both terms of bill clinton and so forth, it doesn't really matter, because it is this emotional connection that counts. i think the real issue for us is how do we handle that? things are slipping away very quickly.
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showhrush: i was on an npr a couple of weeks ago. we had a trump surrogate from tennessee on the line. we were talking about his tweet about the 3 million illegal crap. which is full of sorry. we were pressing this person on this. this is what she said. she said, "unfortunately, there's no such thing as facts anymore." and the explanation of that argument was, well, you believe there wasn't 3 million illegal votes, but so many of mr. trump 's supporters really do believe votes.ere 3 million i don't believe in that moment she really understood the fundamental difference between those two things. that, to me, has been the mindbending aspect of this campaign. not that donald trump won. i think him winning was always a
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possibility.but i think the notion that so many people were not imbibing fact in the way that we thought, the process of assimilation of fact and decision-making is much different than i think what we've assumed in my career. ms. glasser: i want to hone in on that with everybody. conspiracy theories have been around forever. partisan media has been around forever. a divided country has been around forever. we fought a civil war. you can go back to alexander hamilton to see evidence of media that spreads untrue stories, that people believe different things. what is it that is different about now, or that we feel to be different about now, or is it just that we feel it to be different, and it's not different? i think it is important to hone in on that, because that is where we start to understand, are we facing a different and more existential threat to our democracy or our independent
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conspiracy than theories, lies, and falsehoods of the past? that is one bucket of questions for everybody. i want to come back also to jim's point, very important, looking at the social science rationale behind this. you can sort of refrain that as -- reframe that as narrative fact. one of the things about donald andp, his particular skill genius, is understanding narrative, and definitely not understanding fact. he is pretty divorced from the world of fact, and he is pretty genius at the world of narrative. he understood in ways that i think we had a hard time grappling with that creating, or reinforcing a narrative around hillary clinton, whether it was email, or corrupt hillary, lighting hillary, was going to be a very successful way for him relevant,ts that were
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and discard facts that were inconvenient. i do think as a journalist, we all know the power of narrative, and how hard it can be to disrupt narratives, even those that are fundamentally untrue or misrepresentative. to me, that's what a lot of the election was about. fax no longer have the power to disrupt narrative, or perhaps thatne part of the media disseminated the narrative was stronger than that. but let's go back to this question of, is there any truth anymore, and is this something different? ms. hilton: i do think that a chunk of the media really wrapped the concept of a fact check around them as a blanket. that people known really resist facts that
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challenge what they truly believe. journalists, generally speaking, when you give them a fact, they incorporate it into the future of how they tell their story. the average person doesn't do that. thinking about that clinging to fact check, i think that was a misstep. i think that was one of the things i did discover at the state department. when you try to refute the light, you acknowledge the lie in the first place. i want to go back to your very first question of the two-part question. i think what has happened is people are wired to respond to narrative, to respond to -- if i say, once upon a time, you will all pay a lot of attention. whereas if i say this is 50% greater than that, you probably won't.
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so we are all wired to want to listen to narratives and we are very intuitive. but the big change really has been technological. i don't think there's any doubt about that. when i was in college, i wanted to start my own new spout -- newspaper. i got out, and i did that. let me tell you, it was really hard because of the three , biggest expenses i had were paper, ink, and distribution. now it's not so hard. , i mean, everybody is a publisher, as you said up there. brookings as a publisher. actually brookings was a , publisher before the internet. we are all publishers, and to quote susan glasser, this is going to be a a golden age for anyone who cares about journalism and access to new ideas on information. this is she wrote before the election started. it's true. it is a golden age. but it is a paradox, because at the same time, everybody has his
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or her voice. those voices are not necessarily factual. i'm going to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but i was trained to respect facts. i knew what the rules were. when i was in college, and we went to the same place, if you were a competitor for a place on the harvard crimson, and you made one mistake, you were out. one factual error, that was it. it was very, very serious. now, everybody is a journalist. nobody is really a trained journalist. so, i think that a lot of those problems occur. but it is really sort of the collision of these two things, technology, and the way that we are wired. and by the way, i also want to the good things about the internet is it does correct things, and there are a million voices out there. i don't want to repeal it. i think it's great, but i do
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think it causes problems. it does cause serious problems when people believe things that are not true. mr. thrush: i think we aren't in a golden age, we are in a gold age, right? [laughter] it is disconcerting, the way that you can't rationalize your way around it. i have an alternative theory. i think we have to wrap around a is not a bias of mine, this has been demonstrated, that donald trump has weaponized falsehood. we have to be as forceful in pushing this stuff as he is. he is a product of the tabloid environment. -- people in washington dc may not really understand that. everything that trump does is configured to appear on page six post." new york
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his entire public image is based on a priority. i think the way you go after somebody like that, go after in correcting the record and holding him accountable is by using the tabloid tool. one thing i would disagree with. i don't think we are in an age of fact versus narrative. i think we are in an age of fact versus narrative. anrative presupposes attention span and consistency in terms of storyline. what this guy does is branding. looking at what fake news does as a brand or a hashtag. three weeks ago, it was a weapon of the left. now if you look at my trolls, and please don't, everything is now #fake news. everything that i don't agree with. itse are people -- although is not confined to any one of one movement, although it does seem to be more on the right -- people really understand branding in an intuitive way. trump is teaching people branding. it will keep snowballing.
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--have to make sure to teach to make this our own. -- to make this our own. ms. glasser: i would argue branding is a subset of narrative. we do know how to watch soap operas. donald trump is a soap opera. trump is running show, in which we are all the extras. i think what you are calling branding, we have followed his ups and downs. it's not like he is a dramatic flash in the pan character and he will go away, but in fact, what he is genius at is he also needs to be thrown in a corner in order to fight his way back out. that come in to me, is much more of a soap opera type character. i want to come back to a couple of quick points. i think this structural shift in the media is what sam was talking about. when you were -- is what jim was talking about. when you are in college, i'm sure they were a little less strict, and the boss did not fire people for making mistakes.
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i would have been fired my first week as a reporter out of college. but there is a structural shift in media. we are talking about what you guys see as consumerism journalism. a structural shift. i long thought that was a positive. we have gone from basically a scarcity economy, where you graduate from college and start a newspaper, you had to pay to buy the ink, you had to pay for the printing press. paper was expensive. you couldn't print a lot of pages. that dictated the content even of the journalism people saw. my dad, who is here today, always said to me, "never got in an argument with somebody who buys ink by the barrel." it was a scarcity economy. those who could afford to buy newspaper had an outside impact on the public discourse, and on what facts were allowed in a democracy.
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the gatekeepers are gone. the media has fragmented. we all know the consequences of it, but i think what we are really dealing with now is the fact that even though we knew this, this is not the first in 2016 in which a plethora of information and news undifferentiated has been thrown at us. that has been true, at least for arguably the last decade. grappling -- to we with the consequences are would be the political process. we are overwhelmed by information. in economic cost terms of reporting journalism, communicating your facts and ideas, have now dwindled to zero, or less than zero. in the buzzfeed world, right, the costs remain the human costs of putting reporters onto a story. but i think that's an interesting question, how do you as an editor of not only a new
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media organization, but one that has unleashed a flood, or torrent of content -- i hate that word, content -- how do you think about what matters?are you publishing too much ? do you ever wake up and think, i think we should do less, but more impactful or better? ms. hilton: let me tell you a story. , two years ago, we may remember that there was a flood of content on facebook that was quick bake -- cli ckbait, and you would never believe what happened next. that has largely gone away because facebook made it go away. that in turn became a a bonanza for a lot of publishers like buzzfeed, like other mainstream media publications. but it has become a bonanza for fake news sites, who figured out how to game the system, come up with headlines that did not flag
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or trigger that, and you will never believe what happened next algorithm. but your macedonian team is getting her fake story out so -- to your grandmother in ohio, whoever it may be. i think we can't have this conversation about talking about facebook. and i think they are going to reckoning right now internally , in trying to figure out -- sheryl sandberg said the other day that she doesn't believe fake news on facebook had anything to do with the election outcome. we recently did an analysis of the top 10 most shared stories, both fake and real. the fake stories were shared much more widely. in otherppening countries. it is happening in brazil with the presidential scandal. the biggest stories being shared are fake. we have a graphic, for those of you who haven't seen it. this reminds me of what happened, actually, with this techno-optimist, when it came to
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international politics a few years ago. we are having our american version. i was the editor of foreign policy magazine a number of years ago, around the period of the arab spring. up until that moment, we felt like facebook and google, twitter, these are these great and parliament tools, -- , tools there are flash mobs gathering, and death to tyrants. and this is incredible, the world is going to see a new force in freedom. aleppo,n the death of remember where we started in syria, which is with young people coming out to make a peaceful middle-class revolution , in one of the middle east's worst tyrannies. instead, what happened is we found out that the bad guys have facebook, too.
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iran, they banned it for regular people and kept it for themselves. i feel like in some ways, this conversation we are having about american domestic politics is very reminiscent of the dissolution that the techno-optimists faced when it became clear that the arab spring revolutions were going to -- i know you wanted to jump in. mr. thrush: we are talking about mediated content curated , content. the age of, buzzfeed i think it's a bad rap on that. that story, that you guys did on the fake news stuff, it really changed the game. it changed the perspectives of the campaign. you are very carefully mediated and curated and manage website. -- managed website. the thing that facebook and twitter, and read it -- reddit have to face up to, is that you
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have to start generating content. you cannot use a private platform. the web itself as a much larger question. it should be an unmediated platform. but these are privately owned platforms. people want to move sewage, they don't have the right to have the pipes. -- theyfacebook recently instituted seven new measures. they all seem woefully inadequate. i think it will cost them a lot of money to get in there and mediate things. they can do stuff without rhythms. didn't they dismiss some of the editorial staff? ms. hilton: they got rid of humans. mr. thrush: the notion that mark zuckerberg, that two out of 10 gather information from newspapers from print sites, eight out of 10 data from facebook. i think that age is over. i think these guys really need to take responsibility. ms. glasser: to be fair, and the
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survey the pew research center says about how americans get their information, i said this in the essay, more americans in 2016 got their information about the campaign from late-night comedy shows than from journalism. there we are. -- i want to go back to what none of us know about algorithms. none of us know about engineering, or write computer code. let's talk about journalism here nationalgton, and news, and what we are responsible for and not responsible for. remember, people called ronald reagan the teflon president. his donald trump suddenly more with a newarmored, type of teflon that technologists have given him, or is it something different in american politics? i think it's different in the fact that he understands media, and he has
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been able to tell his story the way he wants to, in an unmediated media way. i think that's important. there wasn't any twitter. i guess you could keep having press conferences, but you would have a hard time getting your story out in any other way. i do want to comment about something you said earlier. i'm a techno-optimist myself and i think one of the things about achnology that is sort of cliche, is that in the short term it tends to disappoint, and in the long term it tends to be more rewarding than anyone believed. we can see that finally now with television, which has gotten really good, the content part. ms. glasser: parts of it. [laughter] .r. glassman: parts of it part of it is terrible. the news part is terrible. you talk about aleppo, i talked about -- i saw the cable networks, in vain to talk about
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aleppo. this is a seminal event in world history, but nothing. i think what we will eventually solve, or help solve, is people finding ways using technology itself. i think the basic issue is the up,that you all brought which is generation -- curation, what we used to call editing. i think there are lots of ideas floating around about how to do that. i do think it will happen. i think we look back on this, we will say, wow, this is a period of tremendous chaos. people will believe conspiracy theories, they will believe lies forever. there's no doubt about that. but the facilitation, i think will become more difficult in the future. ms. glasser: glenn, you have to cover the trump white house. this is not a mere hypothetical. this is an actual, real-life
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scenario. you have to cover the trump white house now. you talk about weaponize and facts and reporting. in a practical sense, what does that mean? politicians have always lied. what is it that you are going to do differently? mr. thrush: wow, you are going to put me on the spot on that? i think you have to write stories -- i will give you an example. the new york times, and this judiciously.sed when donald trump came out and said that he no longer believes that president obama wasn't born in the united states, the new times put the word lie above the fold on a1. that was an important moment for them to be able to identify the what a liey defines is. what is the cliche about eskimos, they have 100 ways to identify snow.
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, there are 100 different ways to identify the various ways he thinks of the truth. why is the extreme end. to call it out when it is appropriate. hate this term normalization. but you can't allow these guys to dictate the terms of the debate based on this misinformation. if they are going to create a playing field in which you are accept the forced to terms based on false premises. the last thing, we have enough for every single penny. donald trump, every morning, has the capacity to change the subject. and i'm not calling anyone out on this, but there was the day, i forgot, he he put up some tweet on something, -- the "saturday night live" tweet. it was a whole spate of stories
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that have come out that we can businesses, and he changed the storylines about his internal structure. now there are five reporters that need to be deployed to deal with this. actually, it was about boeing, so there was more substance. but he is using the platform to set the agenda. it is important to say no, we are not playing along. as print people, we need to pressure and shame basic cable. if they are going to play along with this guy, and give him a pop platform, we have to be more adversarial -- give him a platform, we have to be more adversarial. if we will be in the briefing room -- we don't even know if we will have a briefing room, by the way. i think we as print folks need to be a little bit tougher on our cable brethren if they will continue to give this guy an
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unmediated platform. ms. glasser: i can challenge you a little bit on this question of whether the president using his bully pulpit, whether that is an old-fashioned bully pulpit, or a press conference or what. i want to get to the question of whether there are things you think we should do in covering a trump presidency that we did not do covering a trump campaign. >> that is a hard question. different out of a tradition which is it you cover things as they happen. you dig into the past. imagine -- i mean
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we have no interest in becoming, you know, and advocacy what wetion, a lot of do, we will continue to do the same as we have been doing. one area we can improve his oferstanding the kind conversations they are having. i think that is something a lot of publishers have done. and investigated facebook he could that made news so viral people understanding the actually looking at that traffic, those stories. >> that gets into the question of stories in what are peoples response. i have sensed a tremendous desire. to find a way to take more concrete action. for goodme his idea housekeeping seal of approval. what to you have in mind?
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>> i think having some kind of an optional accreditation agency, late fee seal of approval that is a result of some kind of an audit is a good idea. individuals,te blogs, don't have to aspire to that. there was just some kind of a assurance for the readers that these folks follow certain standards. broadcasting the board of governors, and i am sure they still do it, we used to do a annual audits of all of our many 60 language services and they were quite effective so
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you could have one part just standards, people have to be trained in certain things and another part could be an audit to another part could be some sort of response to criticism sitecould be funded by the , the purveyors, themselves. -- that coulde also be part of whatever facebook and google and everyone 's algorithms are. base, not a government kind of solution and it is not really a solution but he gets everybody thinking the right way. i do not think fact checking is constantlyif you are wanting to catch up and also i think it emphasizes the lies.
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that does not really help. i just to say, these people are serious. you can take what they say as being the truth or they have shown in the past that they have been truthful. i think that will work. >> there is one large platform that does not have fake news problems and that is apple news. that's because apple uses human beings who vet every single part of that comes into the platform. spirit i think the solution is local news. i think it is no accident, no coincidence that all this is taking place at a time when rinsing the extermination of viable local news outlets. that's the way you get to know reporters.
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people trust facts when they can verify themselves on the ground. when you see the photographer walking of your blog taking a picture, we are a dehumanized industry. you talked about what ticks you off. what takes the all and have nothing against the museum, what i would like to see is a percentage of the money that goes into the building of these edifices to go into maybe coverage local news so people can have more, more of a tactile experience with news gatherings. i think that's the way people are going to really understand what the truth is when you're able to really relate directly to the lies. that's the other problem in our society in general becoming more fragmented and disconnected. we thought that a lot of these institutions are going to be community building. a lot of these are isolating. >> we will be sharing on our phones to interact with anybody. -- staring at our phones in order to interact with anybody.
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mr. glassman: i also think there's a national security issue and we've seen in the last election. this is going to get worse and worse, and internationally i think the russians are terrific at this. there's no doubt about it, but as in some of the things they will be the model of the chinese will be the model. the chinese will follow the russians. i'm not blaming the chinese because they're not anywhere near as extensive as the russians. but people are going to see this more and more. i do think that maybe some kind of accreditation or something might help with that. >> all right. i want to invite all of you to join in with questions, and also ideas. but do try to keep it short at length the hand yourself if you would. the room. yes sir? question: tony, former editor of the oxford university newspaper and a journalist in london before spending 25 years here. the thing that really strikes me about the u.s. is the lack of direct questioning by politicians, that the president does not hold the press conferences, he's not held, he
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doesn't have to reply on the prime news every night. in the u.k., if a story happens overnight, the bbc radio band will be outside the ministers house at 7 a.m. questioning him directly. you also have people of different parties cross-questioning each other. i just don't see that in the u.s. people stand at eight podium like trump did for weeks on end and self-report uncritically. mr. glassman: i completely agree. i am so sick of what goes on, especially on cable news were first of all you have these surrogates who know what the talking points are for the day. one says of this. but i completely agree. i don't understand why a reporter can tolerate somebody just mouthing the latest talking points. you know just go in for the , kill.
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"careared, by the way, on talk" and i would love to see a hard talk in the united states. asking tough questions. answer.know the >> i think if we were voting in this room we would all vote for that. we had a question in the back of the room. question: my name is claudia. i am in independent writer and researcher. i want to hear from the panelists what they think of the question that donald trump was playing to an audience that did not care what the facts were that responded only to the narrative, especially as it is underscored by the race issue. i think that had a big impact on and if that is the
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case, then are you continually bynerable to penetration someone who is astute at picking up those kinds of divides in the culture? want to s that, i mean, i do not disagree with anything you said but i think as i said whatever side where on i think that people on the left are also more willing and eager to hear things that may not be true or that are slightly jaded than people on the right. i do not think there is not much of a difference. i think the difference in this election was we had someone who is very adept at x voicing the facts and adept at using the tools of dissemination to get his ideas across. >> you had a different response from different parties. do you believe this is a bipartisan problem even if it's


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