tv Democracy Now PBS December 20, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
democracynow.org 12/20/16 12/20/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> ladies and gentlemen, today is a very difficult day. i am like millions of people across germany, horrified, shocked, and very sad about what happened last night. amy: germany is in mourning after a truck plowed into a christmas market, killing at least 12 people in what officials are describing as a deliberate attack. meanwhile, a turkey russian vessel or to ankara was assassinated by a man yelling "don't forget aleppo, don't , forget syria!" we will speak to phyllis bennis
of the institute for policy studies. then as donald trump wins the electoral college vote, we will look at how he controls the media. mr. trump: my opinion of the media is very low. they are terrible people. the media, look at all of those people back there. scavengers. they are like scavengers. they are scum. amy: we will speak to former labor secretary robert reich, professor at university of california berkeley. >> we've never had a president or president-elect who has taken the media on so directly and so negatively and tried to plant in the public's mind -- i think this is the real danger, amy -- trying to play in the public's mind the notion that the press is the enemy itself. amy: we will speak with the former labor secretary robert wright about trump's control --robert reich about trump's control of the media, what he feels the country needs a peaceful resistance movement.
all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in germany, 12 people were killed and 48 more wounded in berlin after a truck drove into a christmas market around 8:00 p.m. local time, plowing into the stalls packed with shoppers and tourists at about 40 miles an hour. late monday night, german media, citing local authorities, is reported police have detained one suspect, a 23-year-old pakistani refugee named naved b, he has denied all involvement. early this morning from unnamed sources within the german police told local media a believe naved was not involved in the attack and the perpetrator may still be a large and armed. as many as 250 police officers raided berlin's largest refugee center, which is housed inside a hangar at a defunct airport and
questioned at least four people. no one was arrested. this is german chancellor angela merkel speaking this morning. >> there is know with sufficient certainty, but we must assume it was a terrorist attack. i know it would be especially hard frost to bear if it were confirmed the person he committed this attack was someone who sought protection and asylum in germany. this would be especially despicable are the many german today in and day out are actively working for refugees, as well as those people who actually need our protection and make an effort to integrate into our country. amy: germany has taken in far more refugees in the last two years than any other european union country -- as many as 1 million refugees in 2015. the attack recalled the bastille day attack on a boardwalk in nice, france, in which 84 people were killed after a tunisian-born french citizen drove a truck through crowds of people in july. "the new york post" falsely
reported isis militants had claimed responsibility for the attack in berlin. the director of the u.s.-based site intelligence group, which monitors the online activity of militant groups, said late -- that no one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. the russian ambassador to turkey andrey karlov was assassinated monday evening at an art exhibition in ankara, turkey, in a shooting both turkish and russian leaders have called a terrorist attack. turkish authorities say the lone gunman was a 22-year-old off-duty turkish police officer. he shot karlov dead in a dramatic scene in the middle of the art gallery, as he yelled, "don't forget aleppo, don't forget syria!" the attack came as the turkish foreign minister was on his way to moscow, russia to meet with , his russian and iranian counterparts for talks on the ongoing syrian war. russia has been backing the syrian government in its war against anti-government rebels, most notably by launching a months-long bombing campaign against rebel-held eastern aleppo, which included targeting hospitals and other medical centers. russia's bombing campaign helped
the syrian government take over eastern aleppo last week, marking a decisive battle in the five-year civil war. this is turkish president tayyip erdogan, following the assassination. attack onibe this russia's embassy as an attack on turkey. turkey's state and nation. after the attack on the russian ambassador during the talk with mr. putin, we agree this is a provocation and there isn't any dispute. amy: on monday, russian president vladimir putin also described the assassination as a provocation and said it sought to fray relations between russia and turkey. the committed crimes, august the a provocation designed to spoil normalization of russian-turkey relations and the railing the peace process in syria, which is actively promoted by russia, turkey, iran, and other countries interested in reconcile men of the conflict. amy: the assassination came only hours after the u.n. security council voted monday to monitor the evacuations from eastern
aleppo. the resolution passed unanimously. russia had threatened to veto an earlier version of the plan. the red cross says 25,000 people have already been evacuated from eastern aleppo since last week, when it fell to advancing syrian government forces backed by russian airstrikes. the red cross estimates thousands of civilians remain to be evacuated. on tuesday, syrian soldiers reportedly broadcast messages over loudspeakers calling on anti-government rebels to leave eastern aleppo. last week, the u.n. accused syrian government troops of shooting at least 82 civilians on-site amidst the fall of the city. in the united states protests , broke out across the country as the 538 electors of the electoral college met in their respective state capitols and voted to elect donald trump the 45th president of the united states. trump scored 304 votes -- well over the threshold of 270 votes necessary for him to become the next president. his democratic challenger, hillary clinton, won 227 votes.
this is pennsylvania elector tina pickett. >> the basis of this is the people voted and they placed their vote, as they should and had a right to on november 8, and that is the basis of the vote we place today in my mind. amy: on november 8, trump won pennsylvania by less than one percentage point. as the electors met inside, hundreds of protesters gathered outside state capitols in across the country, including in wisconsin, michigan, maine, and pennsylvania where 12 immigrant rights activists were arrested during an-anti trump rally, as they demanded the closure of the berks family detention center. in the lead up to monday's meeting of the electoral college, millions of people had called on the electors to refuse to vote for donald trump. there were 5 million signatures on one petition alone. but in the end, only two republican electors, both from texas, broke ranks and voted against trump. in fact, more democratic electors ended up voting against
hillary clinton, instead casting three votes for former secretary of state colin powell, one vote for vermont senator bernie sanders and one more vote for , yankton sioux nation leader faith spotted eagle of south dakota, who is part of the resistance to the dakota access pipeline. the official election of donald trump comes as an interview aired in which first lady michelle obama told oprah winfrey that she and her husband, president barack obama now know what it's like not to , feel hope for the future. what not're feeling having hope feels like, you know? hope is necessary. concept.ecessary and barack did not just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. i mean, he and i and so many believe that -- what else do you have if you don't have hope?
what do you give your kids if you can't give them hope? amy: over the weekend, as clips of the taped interview were published online, donald trump attacked first lady michelle obama, claiming that she "must have been talking about the past." on monday, president obama granted clemency to 231 prisoners -- the most individual acts of clemency granted in a single day by any president in u.s. history. obama pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes. obama has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency and has shortened the sentences of 1176 people, including 395 serving life sentences, as part of a push to reduce the number of people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses. but he still has not offered clemency or pardons to some high profile political prisoners, including army whistleblower chelsea manning or native american activist leonard peltier. in north carolina, the charlotte city council voted unanimously
monday to rescind the anti-lgbt ordinance that prompted north carolina's house bill 2, otherwise known as the "bathroom bill." the law denies transgender people use of the bathroom, changing room or locker room , that matches their gender identity. on monday, north carolina governor elect democrat roy cooper said lawmakers will meet for a special session today t repeal hb2, which he has called "one of the most discriminatory laws in the country." chinese and u.s. officials say china has returned a u.s. navy drone china seized in the south china sea last week. the u.s. has called the seizure of the drone illegal. china has claimed territorial control over the south china sea, one of the busiest trade routes in the world, while the u.s. has asserted the area should be considered international waters. after the drone was first seized, president-elect donald trump tweeted -- "china steals united states navy research drone in international waters -- ritz it out of the water and takes it to china in unpresidented act."
he later deleted the tweet, after realizing he'd misspelled "unprecedented." in zurich, a gunman who wounded three people after opening fire during prayers at an islamic center in zurich has been found dead a short distance from the shooting. swiss police say the gunman apparently committed suicide. the police have not identified the shooter. a worshiper who was a witness to the shooting says the three wounded victims were somalis, and that the islamic centre was frequently used as a mosque by zurich's somali community. the head of the international monetary fund, christine lagarde, has been convicted in absentia by a french court of negligence by a person in position of public authority. the case stems from a case in which she approved the misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds in 2008, while she was french finance minister. the french court did not sentence lagarde to any punishment, and she will not have to have a criminal record. ban ki-moon is calling on the un security council to stop the flow of arms to south sudan,
warning of a possibility of genocide. >> the security council must take steps to stem the flow of arms to south sudan as well as in the clear warning that speech , incitement, and violence must end. and there be accountability for mass atrocities and other crimes. if we fail to act, south sudan will be on a trajectory toward mass atrocities. people will be the target of those atrocities while they pin their hopes on the international theunity in general, and security council. amy: south sudan is the world's youngest country. u.s. backed south sudan's independence in 2011 and the country's president whose troops are now accused of carrying out the majority of the crimes in the ongoing civil war. and back in the united states in new orleans, mayor mitch landrieu has announced new
orleans has reached a $13.3 million settlement over three police brutality cases from the weeks before and after hurricane katrina. one of the cases involved the death of 40-year-old ronald madison, who was shot and killed on september 4, 2005 when a group of new orleans police officers opened fire with ak-47's on families crossing the danziger bridge in search of food following hurricane katrina. please later try to cover up the case. another case involved the death of ray monroe there was be to death by police officer one month before the hurricane. the families have been seeking justice in these cases for 11 years. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show looking at a series of shocking attacks that shook germany, turkey and switzerland on monday. in germany, 12 people were killed and 48 more wounded in berlin after a truck drove into a christmas market around 8:00 p.m. local time, plowing into the stalls packed with shoppers and tourists at about 40 miles an hour.
german police have detained a 23-year-old pakistani asylum seeker is a possible suspect, but berlin's police chief has acknowledged they may have picked up the wrong man. meanwhile in turkey the russian , ambassador to turkey andrey karlov was assassinated monday at an art exhibition in ankara. turkish authorities say the lone gunman was a 22-year-old off-duty turkish police officer. he shot karlov dead in a dramatic scene in the middle of the art gallery, as he yelled, "don't forget aleppo, don't forget syria!" meanwhile in zurich, switzerland, three people were injured when a gunman opened fire at a mosque frequented by somalia refugees. the gunman was later found dead apparently after committing suicide. to talk more about these events, we are joined by phyllis bennis. she is a fellow at the institute for policy studies. she's written several books, including most recently,
"understanding isis and the new global war on terror." phyllis, if you could respond to this latest series of attacks, each one different with its own circumstances. >> they are all different, amy, and i think it is important to consistently keep in mind that we don't have much information yet. the most clear information is about the assassination of the russian ambassador in turkey. very little information about the horrific truck scenario in berlin. it is not even certain at this point it was deliberate. it appears to have been, but we don't know who was responsible. as you said, the police chief a berlin said they don't think they have the right man in custody. we don't have any idea who it was. it would not, however -- i think it would be a mistake to sort of say, well, it might be an accident so we don't have to think about it in a political context. this is happening in the context of the continuation of the war in syria. the reality that while the
horrific attacks on aleppo have mostly come to an end at the moment, and most civilians have gotten out, there are some left your hopefully going to be evacuated today. that war is far from over. the consequences of that war have spread across its borders. that is part of the reason for the tensions and then reconciliation, new tensions, or reconciliation underway between russia and turkey, which may or may not have something to do with the assassination of the russian ambassador. and in the attack on the mosque in zurich is a reminder that islamophobia, attacks on refugees and immigrants are continuing and are on the rise, certainly here in the united arisingsince the period islamophobia during the election campaign over this year, and particularly since the election of donald trump as president here in the united states.
,o the broad question remains we are facing a very, very difficult political reality, one that requires a great deal of new thinking about how to take on these questions. we're looking at a situation where i think the only thing we can be sure of is that refugees across europe, in particular, those in turkey, those in germany, are going to face a very serious consequence of this range of attacks that we have seen over the last 24 hours. amy: on monday, donald trump issued a statement after the berlin attack. he said -- "our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today's horrifying terror attack in berlin. innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the christmas holiday. i says another islamist terrorists continually slaughtered christians and their communities and places of
worship as part of their global jihad. these terrorists in the regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom loving partners." if you could talk about his focus on christians, where when you look at the last few days -- well, in the zurich attack, of , inse, muslims, in aden yemen, 48 people killed on sunday in a suicide bombing. >> the reality is that statement by donald trump is filled with false claims. one is, as you say, this notion that somehow islamic jihad or other islamic extremist organizations have particularly targeted christians is simply not true. far more muslims all around the world have died in these horrific attacks than christians have. the notion that the christmas markets across the germany are
somehow a religious expression is also simply not true. it is very much a colts role reality -- cultural reality, cultural capitalism. these are small markets across german cities in the run-up to christmas. they are very secular. they're all about drinking wine and buying gifts, stocking stuffers sort of things, and they're very popular. they had very little to do with religion. this is part is simply not the case. the notion of donald trump is a at a time when the german police are saying, we don't know who did this, we don't know for sure atwas an act of terrorism all, that he gets out in front of it and says, "this was an act of terror committed by radical islamic terrorists," is simply based on nothing. it is based on his assumptions, based presumably on his own kind of islamophobia. so i think we have to be very, very cautious in consistently
challenging those false claims, whether they are made by donald trump or anybody else, that simply make the situation worse and do not help us to either understand the motivations of people who might have carried these acts out -- if indeed, the one in germany was a deliberate act -- and most importantly, how to stop it. how to prevent it. making false accusations without any basis in reality is simply going to make the situation worse and not better. amy: let's talk about what is happening in syria right now and what you think needs to happen. what is the latest on the situation of thousands of people in eastern aleppo and the attempted evacuations of them? >> i have not heard the news for the last several hours. what we were hearing from yesterday is that the majority of civilians had made it out of aleppo. some are left. there are different assessments andeen the u.n., the icrc
other agencies on the ground about who might be left, how many people, how many may be civilians and how many may be fighters -- some of the fighters have been refusing to leave. there had been an attack by rebel forces against a set of buses that were en route to take civilians out of two towns adjoining aleppo that had been besieged for months by rebel forces. and the government had wanted those civilians allowed out. that was the kind of quid pro quo that was underway in the evacuations of the last few days. seems to beion underway again, but i don't think it is complete yet. so the question of aleppo is not a settled question. it is on the verge of being definitively taken by the government, which would be a very significant victory for the government forces made possible a lot by the role of russia, particularly russian airstrikes -- many of which attack civilian
targets. medical facilities and others. so the cost to civilians in east aleppo has been enormous. the cost to civilians in western aleppo and other parts of syria continue as well. of course, right now we're also hearing about the massive civilian destruction that is underway in roseville --mosul in iraq where the u.s. is coming out airstrikes in a never to supposedly rid the city of its control by isis. but at the enormous human and civilian cost to the city and to the people who live there. so the militarization of the global war on terror, both in syria and in iraq is taking a huge toll on civilians. certainly as we're seeing now, potentially, the notion that ending the control by isis of
the territory and populations that they have had under their control in both syria and iraq, imagining that somehow that is going to end the problem of isis as a terrorist force is simply not the case. we have known for a long time, terrorism experts, even u.s. officials have acknowledged that the likelihood is that as isis loses control of territory, it will return to its origins as, if you will, an old-fashioned terrorist organization carrying out attacks on civilians in the region, probably most of all somewhat further afield, perhaps in europe, perhaps elsewhere. but what we're seeing right now is the reality that this global war on terror is indeed having global ramifications. in the militarization is increasingly does increasing the threat to others, but most particularly in the middle east region. , the extrahyllis bennis
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in the united states, protests broke out across the country as the 538 electors of the electoral college met in their respective state capitols and decisively voted to make donald trump the 45th president of the united states. trump received 304 votes -- well over the threshold of 270 votes necessary for him to become the next president. his democratic challenger, hillary clinton, won 227 votes. trump is scheduled to be sworn in as president one month from today on january 20. we spend the rest of the hour with robert reich who served as labor secretary under president bill clinton. reich, who now teaches at uc berkeley, has emerged as one of donald trump's most vocal critics. he recently wrote a piece headlined "trump's seven , techniques to control the media." i interviewed him yesterday and began by asking what he thinks donald trump represents. trump, besides not
being qualified to be president, in my view, and on the campaign trail and even after the campaign was over, advocating, legitimizing, and enabling people to be quite hateful in america if they were already leaning in that direction. donald trump does not have any understanding of a democracy. if anything, his leanings are toward tyranny. whoi simply mean, someone absorbs the trappings of power but does not understand that he, in a democracy, is a public servant. he is working for us. we are not working for him. in many ways, donald trump seems to be indifferent at best to the democratic process. he, for example, treats the press -- and we need a free and independent press. every democracy requires a free and independent press to report on what the powerful are doing.
trump continues to denigrate the press and to bypass it whenever he has any opportunity. amy: so specifically get into this issue of the press. you wrote a fascinating piece saying, as you have said no, democracy depends on an independent press, which is why all tyrants try to squelch it. they use seven techniques that worryingly president-elect trump already employs. these seven into techniques, beginning with parading the media -- berating the media. >> donald trump has almost from the beginning of his campaign, and certainly -- he has continued it in the postelection period, to denigrate and berate the media. he holds rallies and talks about the dishonest media. he uses adjectives like scum and
scoundrel to describe the media. he picks out individual members of the press who have criticized , and talks about them in very critical terms or mocks them. ais is not the habit of democratic -- democratically elected president will stop we have had presidents who had been upset by particular reports. here he truman was very upset when the media reported -- particularly reporter criticized his daughter's singing, and he had some quite stern words about that reporter. we never before have had a president or president-elect who has taken the media on so directly and so negatively. and tried to plant in the public's mind -- and this is the real danger -- trying to plant in the public's mind the notion
that the press is the enemy itself. if the public does not believe in a free and independent press, then we're in a kind of fact-free university because -- and also president is immune from criticism. consciously or not, what donald trump is seeking. amy: your number two point of techniques that trump has used control the media, blacklist critical media, during the campaign he blacklisted news outlets like pulling "the washington post" credentials. i was surprised at the time that other reporters on the campaign trail covering trump did not jointly say, if they are not allowed in, we will not report on you, we will not go in, either. >> i was surprised as well. what the media certainly needs to do is stand up for itself, instead of for other members of
the media. i understand media, the situation today is competitive and there are a lot of media outlets worried about losing readership and so forth. but it is very important for the media to stand for a free and independent media. yes announced his white house press room, when and if he ever has a news conference, will be no longer -- the media will no longer be assigned seat. they will be -- they will actually be assigned -- those seats will be assigned by the white house press room, not the media who cover the white house. amy: you are saying by trump's people. not a small detail at all. i trust detail and not the white house press association. >> exactly. trump's own office, his own detail will be assigning those seats. a dangerousis president in terms of undermining the freedom and independence of the press.
donald trump looks at the press the same way he looks at everything else, the art of the deal. if you can strike a deal that will give the press something or particular member of the press or particular newspaper or news outlet and advantage, then he expects something in return in terms of favorable coverage. that is not the way it is supposed to work in the united states or in any democracy, that is why we have a strict demarcation between the press and those in power. amy: number three in your list of seven techniques to control the media, turning the public against the media. i want to go to a clip of donald trump. mr. trump: you know my opinion of the media is very low. the press are terrible people. the media, look at those people back there. scavengers. they are like scavengers. show them the crowd, press. show them the crowd. show them the crowd. look, they are not turning the cameras.
they don't even turn the cameras . they don't even turn the cameras because you know what? they are very dishonest people. disgusting reporters, horrible people. some are nice. they are scum. remember that. amy: you have trump referring to the media as lying, dishonest, disgusting scum, and then you point out, for example, question the present motives like talking about "the washington post" publisher jeff bezos, head of amazon. talk about that. unprecedented.is we have a president elect of the united states who comes up with interior motives for why a major news outlet like "the washington post might be critical of him. he says jeff bezos, the publisher of "the washington post," also from amazon, is somehow worried about an
antitrust action and therefore, does not want trump to be president or did not want trump to be president, is worried about trump. this finding of interior motives of assigning particular strange why anelevant reasons outpost of the press might actually be criticizing donald trump is an effort, it seems to me, to undermine the credibility of the press, to cause the public to doubt what they are reading. and donald trump, remember, lives in a fact-free universe. this is someone who even after the election has said that, for won by a landslide. in fact come hillary clinton came out with a list 3 million more popular votes than donald trump. he says there was massive voter fraud. there's no evidence of mass or
-- massive voter fraud. he says the homicide rate is up 45%. we know the homicide rate is down 50%. in a fact free universe, and ofs we have a media capable correcting the record, then we have a president who can say almost anything to justify whatever you wants to do. that, again, is a very dangerous situation in a democracy. amy: you said that jeffrey b says, the publisher of "the washington post" the founder of amazon, donald trump said the washington post wrote negative things about him because be zos things "i would go after him for antitrust." >> when donald trump goes after jeffrey bezos, the publisher of "the washington post" because of some notion that amazon and bezos are worried about a
possible antitrust action at trump might inspire -- that is designed to undermine the credibility in the public's mind of anything the "washington post" might publish. it is an absurd allegation. there is no reason to believe ast the "post" reporting anything with amazon or any antitrust issues, but you see by creating this kind of conspiracy theory for this kind of paranoid notion about the press and planting it in the public's mind , the public, or at least a portion of the public, is led to think that anything the "washington post" or another paper whose credibility the president-elect tries to undermine says is justified or is true. that is terribly dangerous in a democracy. amy: or he might be threatening the reverse.
by saying that, he is saying, i could go after him on issues of antitrust. >> absolutely. he is signaling to the press he also has the power, whether it is antitrust or it is the irs or the fbi or whatever he is going to be directly or indirectly in command of, he is also signaling to the press that he has that kind of power. amy: i want to read something from politico that says -- fin kushner said the agreement was sinclair which owns television stations across the country in many swing states and often packaging news for their affiliates to run gave them more access to trump in the campaign according to six people who heard his remarks.
your concerns about this, robert reich? >> every president and every press room in every white house does make -- has tacit understandings with the press. you get this interview with the president if -- and it will be an exclusive interview, but -- you have to give him that time to say his views. that is not unusual. what is very unusual is when a white house strikes a deal with the news outlet not to comment on what the president might be saying in a rally or any other event. that basically is a gag order. that is an agreement by the press not to have an opinion, not to express itself, not to point out to the public anything , not to even provide any facts to the public that might be important in terms of
understanding the context of the presidential event or what a president says. that, again, is terribly dangerous in a democracy. it actually creates and undermines the independence and freedom of the press. number four of trump's seven techniques to control the media, you talk about condemning satirical or critical comments. i want to go to a clip of "saturday night live." >> kellyanne, i just retweeted the best tweet. what a great, smart tweet. >> mr. trump, we're in a security briefing. >> i know, but this could not wait. it was from a young man named seth was 16, in high school, and i really did we tweak him. this is real. >> he really did do this. sir, you're the president-elect, so i guess you
can do whatever you want, but we would like to fill you in on syria. >> seth seems so cool. his twitter bio says he wants to make america great again. >> that is cool. >> it also says he loves the anaheim ducks. >> there's a reason that donald trump tweaked so much. he does it to distract people from the scary people in his cabinet. >> that make sense. >> exley, that is not why do it. i do it because my brain is -- amy: that is alec baldwin lane donald trump as he continues to doection as he did before. there are many who felt if this had started earlier on, that trump never would have made it to this point or perhaps as jon stewart still doing "the daily show" or stephen colbert still on "comedy central." but this issue of satire and theld trump tweeting after
scene we just played, trump tweeting "it was a totally one-sided biased show. nothing funny at all. equal time for us?" how serious this is, robert reich. >> on one level, is simpson reveals a very thin-skinned -- is simply reveals a very thin-skinned and vindictive person on the part of donald trump who does not have any sense of humor. but on a deeper level, there are some real dangers here because it president and administration, particularly when the administration and congress are of the same party, does have some power in terms of the federal communications commission and other agencies that could make it difficult for a particular broadcaster to function. and by saying equal time for our side, that is a kind of ironic comment because the multimodal by the fcc is gone, donald trump
really dominated all of the news coverage during the campaign. was given free time by the media probablyatire also is one of the most effective means of criticizing any person in power, whether that person is -- just takesjust power traditionally through time, satire has been incredibly useful and important. to criticize people who are using satire, again, in a very, very fundamental way, turns the public -- intentionally turns the public against -- potentially turns the public against these individuals. donald trump has tweeted personally and specifically against alec baldwin. those personal tweets could potentially have some damage.
i do know that people who have criticized donald trump in various ways in the donald trump has tweeted against them have in turn received threats, including death threats, from some of trump's followers. we do not want to have in this country that kind of chilling effect on free speech or on satire or any form of free speech. amy: we will be back with uc berkeley professor robert reich, former labor secretary under president clinton, in a minute. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are speaking to former labor secretary robert reich, who recently wrote a piece, "trump's seven techniques to control the media." i asked about donald trump's response to what happened when ice president-elect mike pence attended the broadway hit "hamilton" shortly after the election. at the end of the show, an actor who plays ehrenberg read a message for pence from the stage. ,> vice president elect pence we thank you for joining us here today. we really do. we are the diverse america who are alarmed and anxious they were new administration will not protect us. children, our parents, or defend us as a whole of our inalienable rights. we truly hope the show has inspired you to hold our and your values and work on behalf of all of us.
amy: donald trump responded to the "hamilton" message by tweeting -- i asked former labor secretary robert reich to respond. >> there's nothing about that note, as i read about it and read the content of that note, that was harassing. in fact, it was very dignified, very modest. it simply expressed from the casts'hope -- the cast of that broadway show is very diverse. multiracial, multiethnic. their hope that the trump administration would be sensitive to their concerns about not being hateful and not promoting racism. and for donald trump to jump on that cast and to say that they pence an apology
and that this was in some way appropriate, also has potential ischill freedom of speech any other set of performers want to say something that is slightly critical or at least signal their discontent in some way with the trump administration, are they going to be faced with a deluge a similar tweets or similar criticisms? and what is the consequences of those tweets and criticisms come not only terms of audiences in the future, i don't think there's any problem of "hamilton " getting a large audience, but whether -- but what about playwrights and casts and producers that are struggling to attract audiences or are worried about -- even about threats that may come back to them because of donald trump's outrage? you see how delicate this all is, amy. our freedom of the press depends on a lot of tacit norms and
understandings between people in ,ower, the president president-elect, and the public at large. in the press itself. the press is called the fourth estate. it is called that because it has almost governmental functions in terms of being outside the government, but being able to criticize what is happening in the government so the public is .ware of attention problems without the freedom of the press as the framers of the constitution understood him a week and not have a fully functioning democracy. amy: your number five is threatening the media directly. threatening to sue, for example, what "the new york times closed wrote about him when it came to his tax returns and when it came to accusations that women made of him directly assaulting them.
>> donald trump's mentor for many years when he was a younger man was a fellow named roy cohen , a lawyer in new york who was also -- had been an assistant to senator joe mccarthy during the mccarthy's communist witch hunts in the 1950's. whatcohen did over and over again was sue people, issued lawsuits from a lab list lawsuits often when there was anything in the paper that was critical of roy cohen for his clients. donald trump apparently internalized this and has a history of mounting lawsuits -- but when you are our president-elect or when you are a candidate, certainly when you are president, you cannot go around trying to intimidate the press and issuing lawsuits or threatening lawsuits because they say something that you don't like about them.
this is what trump did during the campaign. he also has threatened to expand the libel laws, making it easier, he says, for somebody like him to sue the media. presumably, that lawsuit would be based upon something that the media reported that he did not like to be reported and what to be reported. again, a very, very dangerous threat. amy: number six, limiting media access. you point out trump has not had a news conference since july when he famously called on russia to hack the clintons enough. mr. trump: russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. amy: that is donald trump at his has news conference and he not held one since. he has also said as president,
he won't necessarily be having daily press briefings. you know, his press secretary. but you talk about how he has blocked the media from traveling with him. you talk about his first conversation with putin, where at first was reported. it wasn't in the united states. >> it is interesting and indicative the first conversation with putin, which took place right after he was elected, was reported by the kremlin first, not by any united states media. donald trump does not like the media. he does not want to be confronted by the media. he does not want to have news conferences. three days after he was elected, barack obama had his first news conference. three days after he was elected and the supreme court decided that election, george w. bush had his first news conference. donald trump has not had a news conference since july.
he has not had any news conference since he was elected. ist he wants to avoid here being ganged up on. he is desperately afraid that there might be a variety of questions coming from various news organizations about the same set of issues. and that would make him look and feel less powerful. and so like many -- and i use this word advisedly -- many dictators were tyrants in history who do not want to have news conferences, they do not want to be bothered with questions from the press, donald trump is avoiding the possibility that he will have many different news outlets asking him and pummeling him with questions. he does not want that possibility. amy: and finally, you talk about bypassing the media and
communicating with the public directly, as he does with tweets, as he does with his rallies -- which he seems to be continuing. in fact, just this past weekend, another victory rally. i want to play a clip. pres. mr. trump: michelle obama said yesterday that there is no hope. [boos] mr. trump: but i assume she was talking about the past and not the future. because i'm telling you, we have tremendous hope. amy: that was donald trump this weekend, yet another victory rally, which he used to attack michelle obama, the first lady. robert reich? operandi trump's modus seems to be communicate directly with followers and with the public through tweets and through rallies, and signaled that he wants to continue to use rallies even after january 20
when he becomes president. the problem for the free press is that the more you have a president who is communicating directly through tweets and rallies, the less able are the press or the media to be able to intermediate. the word "media" comes from the term "intermediation," which is speaking truth to power. intermediate in between the powerful and the public so that the powerful can be held accountable, so they can be asked questions on behalf of the public, so there can be whereism voiced individual members of the public do not have the power to do that. they are just sort of a very, very large group of individuals none of whom has the power to talk back. that is why the intermediaries,
the media, are so important. but if you have a president who is communicating absolutely directly with the public, bypassing all of those intermediaries, then you have potentially a situation in which what the president says cannot be questioned. the truth cannot get out. ultimately that is what donald trump wants, to be state thingsnue to that are simply not true. doubting climate change, for example. or saying the cia reports on russian hacking was not true. and have a larger and larger number of his followers and, indirectly, their friends and their associates and families, believe him and not believe science and not believe the media, not believe policy , not believe
investigative reporters, and not believe the actual facts out there. believe this country universe that is of donald trump's creation. amy: we are talking to robert reich, former labor secretary under president clinton, and a professor at anniversary of california berkeley. let's go to the labor secretary nominee of donald trump, the president-elect thomas andrew poster, the fast food eeo who is the head of the company that franchises hardee's and carl's jr., longtime republican donor, vocal critic, not just of the living wage, but of the minimum wage from expansion of overtime , and the sick leave affordable care act. can you talk about the significance of this position that you occupied decades ago? >> the secretary of labor presides over a vast regulatory and enforcement agency in charge
of all of the labor laws of the united states beginning with everything from unemployment insurance all the way through workplace safety and pension protection and enforcing the minimum wage laws and 40 hour work week with time in half for overtime. and everything you can imagine. if you have a secretary of labor who is anti-these labor laws and andrew puzder a set again and again is against raising the minimum wage, does not even believe in a federal minimum wage, is against the overtime regulations that came out that againstt obama -- he is many of these labor laws. if you have a president, a secretary of labor was against all of these labor laws, there is substantial danger that they will not be enforced because that is with the labor department does, is it enforces
and, frankly, i worry about that. i've seen up close how important that enforcement is. you have some firms that will disregard those laws unless the risk of getting caught times the penalty is greater than the benefits to that firm of simply flouting those laws. is a good example. we tragically have had examples of mine owners who basically turn their backs on those laws. a mine owner like, incidentally, or perhaps not as italy, wilbur ross who will be secretary of commerce. that terrible tragedy at one of his mines he actually owned. well, if you have a secretary of labor not enforcing the mine safety laws, you're going to have mine owners of basically disregard them, like older ross did. , iert reich amy:robert reich
want to get to your piece on the eirst 100 day resistanc agenda. a lot of people are analyzing what is going on. not a lot are doing what you did and asked lee talking about a resistance agenda that talks about getting democrats in congress to pledge to oppose the trump agenda, to boycotting all ,rump products -- real estate hotels, resorts, every thing around the world. can you go through what you are suggesting? >> yes. amy, generally, i think we do have to regard this as not a normal presidency. some people say, well, we have had conservative, pompous, narcissistic presidents before. this is not normal. this is really dangerous. we have to resist. we have to have a peaceful resistance. what i tried to do is list the kinds of things that we all as citizens need to do and need to
have our representatives and senators in congress do. not only mount a forceful ejection of these trump nominees -- most of whom are completely unqualified and incompetent with regard to enforcing the purposes of these agencies that they're going to be running or trump wants them to run -- but also individually. we need to boycott trump products. any code that is robert reich, former clinton labor secretary, universityor at california berkeley. we will link to his article "trump's seven techniques to control the media." ,we will link to it on democracynow.org. todayoes it for show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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