tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN October 18, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
and just into us here at cnn. the white house announcing it is resuming tours in a couple weeks on november 5th, to be precise. the tours were originally canceled back in the spring because of forced spending cuts. that's it for me. have a wonderful weekend. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. after the few weeks we've had, i'm going to try my hardest to avoid saying the word shutdown today, starting now. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the money lead. now that we're done flirting with potential default for a few months, the markets finishing this note -- finishing this week on a high note but the real story on the street is what you'll find if you google "google" today. the buried lead. drones are not just for killing targets thousands of miles away anymore. forget the benz and the rolex. private drones are the new status symbol. i will take one for a test flight. the pop culture lead. it's an unflinching look at the horrors in america's past. the reviews are stellar across
the board for 12 years of slaves but will audiences find it too hard to watch? good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we'll begin with a new lead today, the money lead. the closing bell just moments ago on wall street. considering the few weeks leading up to now and the threat to our economy that congress just barely avoided by raising the debt ceiling, i think i speak for many of us when we say we needed this. the dow finishing the day more than 20 points up which may not be huge but is way above where we thought it might be and way above where it was hovering the middle of the week. the s&p 500 is a real story, surging into record territory for a second day. you hear that slapping noise out there? that's the sound of palms hitting foreheads all across the country, from those who saw the $85 public offering price for google back in 2004 and said to themselves ah, it's just a fad. today, google's stock price reached the $1,000 mark for the very first time. we will talk all about that
success story in just a moment. first, let's get to alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. happy to see you standing in a normal place, not a subterranean vision out of dante as some of us worried it might be. kind of dicey leading up to the end of this week but a strong finish. >> oh, a strong finish. the markets are up big time for the week. the major averages are up anywhere from 1% to 3%. one trader telling me look, wall street is like a voting booth and this was wall street's way of telling washington good, you finally got your act together. well, not really, because the uncertainty is still there in the market because the same issues are going to come up in january. but still, the market is focusing on other things. third quarter earnings, good earnings coming from morgan stanley, google, as you said, google hitting this stunning new record high of over $1,000 for one share of google. then there's another record. that other record you mentioned, the s&p 500 closing at a second record high, second time in a row, this adding to an already amazing year for the index which is a much broader measurement of
how stocks are doing, because there are 500 stocks in it as opposed to 30 in the dow. it's also what many of your retirement funds track. it's up 20% for the year. historically, an 8% gain is what we usually see, so 20% is really, really good. analysts, believe it or not, they see more room to run for the index since the federal reserve is expected to keep propping up the economy with stimulus money which means more support for stocks. jake? >> alison, before you go and enjoy a well-deserved weekend, how nervous were people who work in that building at the beginning of this week and how relieved are they now? >> i think they knew when it came down to it that lawmakers would sort of come to their senses. you know, there was some trepidation here and there but i think in the end, they really believed that a debt ceiling deal was going to be reached. >> all right. thank you so much. many of us don't leave the house without checking it. many of us wouldn't get where we're going without it. as we mentioned, google had a
day to remember on wall street with shares hitting the $1,000 mark for the first time ever. i want to bring in rocco pendola. columnist for "the street." google demolished expectations with its earning report. how did they do this? >> jake, first i want you to repeat after me. you don't have to worry about a shutdown at google. >> you really -- you don't have to worry about a shutdown at google. okay. >> there you go. fantastic. you said shutdown within the first five minutes of the show. yeah, they blew it away. you didn't get that, jake. come on. >> i didn't realize i violated -- >> you are so enamored with the $1,000 stock price like everybody else is. they're on fire. the reason why is because they're focused. they're more focused than yahoo! who does search, more focused than bing and more focused than apple, one of the greatest companies in the world that doesn't even do search. this means we make our money on advertising. that's all we care about. there is potential to make money in so many other areas and their
other revenue is growing. it's almost 5% of the pie which is a few percent higher than a couple years ago but they're laser focused on advertising dollars. they have all these android devices out there. they have chromebooks that are selling for $300. all they want people to do is use them, use the google ecosystem and click on ads. and they make tons of money. billions of dollars every quarter doing that. it's remarkable what they have been able to put together. they have seen the future like nobody else. >> but it's not just ads, right, and their search. they have content. they have youtube and yahoo! doesn't have anything like that. >> exactly. that's the problem. yahoo! has lots of traffic. they always have. they have some really great properties but i don't think yahoo! is the go-to place. a few weeks ago, springsteen was playing in rio and i wanted to see what the set list was. i went to the fan site and said wait, the time change, brazil and l.a., the show hasn't happened yet. there was a link and where does
it go? to youtube. this rocking rio festival in brazil, they were live streaming the concert on youtube. i watched it for two and a half hours. great quality. i actually used chromecast, a little thing google put out so it's on my television set and i'm watching this thing for two and a half hours. today i went to google to find something, i ended up on youtube. i watched one video, they hooked me, i watched about three more. so yes, they have fantastic content across all their platforms. youtube probably has the most potential right now and they're just skimming those advertising dollars. that's the thing. skimming that advertising money. they'll worry about other revenue slowly but surely. there's no stopping where they can go. >> lastly, rocco, let's say i don't own google stock and i don't think i do. should i buy some? or do you think buying it at $1,000 a share is a fool's errand? >> a lot of people say $1,000 a share, that's expensive and you really have to consider things like the stock price compared to
revenue, compared to profits. you look at netflix at 330, pandora at 25, they are really expensive stocks. google's a pretty good value. that said, you want to be careful cha something because you missed it at 85, at 100, at 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700. it's always a fool's game to chase those stocks. it depends on your personal situation. want to make it a small part of your portfolio, probably not a bad ideaven at these levels but to say my strategy is going to be to catch google going from $1,000 to $2,000 it's really risky for most people, particularly if you have retirements, college funds, first homes, those kind of things that your money depends on. >> thanks again, my friend. to our national lead. for the last 16 days of let's call it unpleasantness in washington, d.c., the big political story of the month would probably be the stumbling debut of the obama care website which allows consumers to, from
the comfort of their couches, long for the joy of a trip to the dmv. we have reported extensively on the problems people have had signing up through the health care exchange web sites that launched october 1st. cnn reported first earlier this week that there are problems on the back end, too. insurers are having difficulties. they are getting bad data from the government on who would buy the plans insurance companies are supposed to offer. now the "wall street journal" has more details about that. we are talking about duplicate enrollments, wrong information, blank data fields and concerns over whether the people signing up are actually eligible. some insurers have now hired temps to call these new customers and clear up the mistakes. the administration will not release enrollment numbers for the affordable care act until november at the earliest. cnn has been surveying 14 of the 36 states taking part in the program along with washington, d.c. based on that, our most recent estimate for the number of people who have signed up is at least 242,000. coming up next on "the lead" he was just nominated for the top security job in washington, d.c. but is jeh johnson the
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government spying on your e-mail? agents busting illegal immigrants or failing to do so? the department of homeland security is a sprawling agency encompassing everything from border patrol to domestic threats from al qaeda, cybersecurity and transportation security to disaster assistance. it's been three months since janet napolitano announced she was resigning from obama's cabinet as head of the dhs. she left office early last month so who is taking her place? president obama announced two hours ago that jeh johnson will be taking over if confirmed. here to give us insight on what we can expect and what he can expect, julie myers-wood, former assistant homeland security secretary and spencer ackerman, national security editor at the guardian. we were talking about this during the break. you were special assistant to president bush helping to come up with the short list of nominees after the bernie kerik discussion exploded.
michael chertoff ultimately got it. he did not have a tremendous wealth of experience. why was he the right man for the job and compare him to jeh johnson? >> i think there are a lot of similarities between secretary chertoff and jeh johnson. chertoff was the right man for the job because he's incredibly smart. dhs has a lot of very difficult issues, a lot of first impression issues, and he could look at those and decide them very quickly. >> you really need to be able to make snap judgments? >> to make judgments quickly. you can't mull over things for years. dhs is not the kind of agency where you can do that. chertoff also had successfully navigated the inner agency community, something jeh johnson has done at the department of defense. they were both former prosecutors from the southern district of new york. so i think ultimately, president bush thought that background would give secretary chertoff a real leg up and help him bring together this agency. i think he did so. >> spencer, we have had two governors serve in that role, tom ridge of pennsylvania, napolitano of arizona. is it important to have a big
experience with a big sprawling bureaucracy, because that's what this job is. >> it has to be important. this is one of the most unwieldy agencies in the federal government. it faces a lot, right now, existential questions about should it even persist in the form we know it as. it's very easy to come into dhs and know a whole lot about one thing that it does, cybersecurity, aviation security, immigration. it's very rare and in fact, we haven't really had it yet, for a dhs secretary to know everything or at least most things about everything dhs does. >> tell us what you think about jeh johnson. think he could be effective? >> fascinating choice. johnson has a very rounded background inside a lot of the very important national security law issues that he faced at the pentagon. for someone to run an agency like this, even with the management questions, he knows a lot as we were just discussing about the inner agency process that's going to be really important. and this will be a test of how
perhaps a different background for an agency whose existence is very much in play might turn out to be an agent of change. >> what do you think? >> absolutely. i think his background at d.o.d. and his experience dealing with cybersecurity issues is going to be absolutely critical. dhs and d.o.d. are in a lot of disagreements over how cybersecurity, one of the biggest threats to our national security, should be handled. he's been right in the middle of that. i think he could be very effective in helping kind of bridge the gap. the other thing that i think, when you look at his speeches, he's a very thoughtful guy and he's good at looking at emerging issues. you've got to have that for a dhs leader. i think he could be a good choice, particularly with the appointment of dhs dep sec majorcas. i hope they confirm him quickly. together they could be a good team. >> this is one of the more fascinating things about the johnson appointment from a counterterrorism perspective. johnson is one of the leftward pols of the administration's internal dialogue about what to
do about the war on terrorism and gave this fascinating speech late last year before he left the pentagon about envisioning a time and a circumstance where there is no longer a perpetual global war against al qaeda and that's not really something the government's been very prepared to talk about or even envision. what does victory actually look like. johnson took a public position on that, saying it's really almost for internal consumption as well as public consumption. it's okay to envision a time in which the u.s. moves beyond this and does so successfully. the fascinating thing, you don't really get the sense that dhs is going to be the player influencing that conversation internally. >> with him in place, dhs could be. i think if he's the secretary, and he has a voice, he could be the player. >> isn't that something that the bush administration officials especially might be not excited to hear about, somebody talking about the end of the war on al qaeda given that there still is this existential threat from al qaeda and affiliated groups like al shabaab? >> i think certainly, jeh
johnson might give a different speech today than he did a few months ago. recent events have shown we're not yet to an end game but you have to think about what's the end game, are we moving there. i think having a secretary that has a big voice in this discussion is important. the one management challenge i will say, i do think he faces a lot of management challenges, is how do you manage empty chairs. dhs has so many vacancies. so in order for him to be effective as the secretary, you've got to fill in those senior level positions. otherwise, obama is not going to be able to move his agenda forward. >> final thought? >> julie made a really great point about cybersecurity. this is going to be increasingly important to what dhs becomes as right now counterterrorism is to what it is. cybersecurity faces a lot of questions about who does what, who protects the civilian internet, who protects data security on a business infrastructure and particularly the military facing a lot of questions about whether it should do more in that space as opposed to simply protecting military networks and conducting
outward threats against foreign adversaries, particularly when most cybersecurity threats are about data exfiltration. it will really be fascinating to see how a former pentagon official at senior levels is able to negotiate this with the pentagon. >> fascinating stuff. thanks for coming in. we appreciate it. coming up on "the lead," feeding your brain. a new study looks at the power of sleep in fighting off diseases like alzheimer's and dementia. we'll explain. next, the future of drone technology is here. we're using one for this very shot. coming up next on "the lead." t: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the hearverythwe do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. time for the buried lead. that's what we call stories we think are flying under the radar and speaking of flying, drones is a loaded word. one that's getting and been getting politicians riled up for years now. >> with respect to the drone -- >> drone hellfire missile. >> use of drones. >> but there is more to drones than the unmanned military aircraft used to strike foreign targets. smaller drones can do everything from crop scouting to food
delivery and their sudden mass appeal is raising new concerns about how to control and legislate powerful technology in the hands of private citizens. welcome to your future. by 2015, these small privately owned drones equipped with cameras and advanced technology could be changing the way we live for good and possibly for ill. each month at this rural airport near washington, d.c., tim reuters organizes just one of several nationwide groups of hobbyists and hopeful entrepreneurs dedicated to expanding drone use. >> we really believe the sky is the limit with this technology, and we want to incentivize people to start thinking about how can you apply this to real world problems. >> reporter: unmanned camera toting drones can go where many aircraft and helicopters cannot. more safely and more cheaply. for example, a drone costing a
few hundred dollars can be used to monitor wildlife reserves and assess damage from natural disasters. you can even use them to deliver wedding rings if you're so inclined. what you cannot do yet is commercialize them, making it hard for private citizens to get licenses. >> as soon as you start charging money, you need to get a license from the faa. so right now, america is sitting on its hands while around the world, people are starting small companies that are eventually going to grow into big companies that we're all going to have to compete against. >> reporter: i figured if the future of innovation looks like this, i ought to learn to control it. after a few practice rounds, tim lets me go bigger. >> you took the training wheels off. >> i did. >> okay. >> little more aggressive. up, up, up, up. up, up, up, up. >> whoa. >> looks like it's in fine shape.
>> reporter: it suddenly becomes clear just why this growing technology has its legal limits. >> is this thing filming me? >> oh, yes, it is. yeah. it's been filming the whole time. >> reporter: this club in maryland of up to 600 active drone users are excited about this new world of drone use, but there are some americans who are not so enthusiastic. >> how do you monitor their use? >> we have to carefully consider the impact on the privacy rights of americans. >> reporter: to address some of these justifiable concerns, the federal aviation administration is working under pressure from congress to prepare for potential risks. its assignment to commercialize and regulate the use of drones. its deadline is september 30th, 2015. >> this is happening, no matter what. whether the faa wants to acknowledge it, whether law enforcement wants to acknowledge it, they are being developed and they're being advanced all over the world. so this isn't a question of when, it's a question of how are we going to deal with it as a society. >> right.
and part of the challenge is that the faa doesn't really have the enforcement capacity to deal with it. >> reporter: not every community, after all, welcomes drones. >> what's to prevent all of these commercial operators from sharing the vast treasure trove of data that they collect with the government? >> reporter: jennifer lynch is an attorney for the electronic frontier foundation, a nonprofit privacy rights group that sued the faa last year demanding to know who had applied for drone licenses. >> i think that drones also present new issues and those include the fact that drones can fly at various altitudes that make them impossible to see. they are able to gather much more information on us than has been possible before. >> reporter: there are also clear safety concerns. this drone capturing images of a bull race in virginia this summer suddenly fell from the sky, injuring at least four spectators. one month later, texas became the first state to pass legislation punishing improper drone use. the state now implements fines
of up to $500 for the crime. >> surely you can understand why there are people who see this and think holy cow. >> there are real issues here but whenever you empower people, there's always going to be a challenge associated with it. >> reporter: so as the faa works to overcome the obstacles, americans like these will be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to take off. >> one final point. given that the term drones can have a negative connotation in many minds associated with killing and surveillance, i asked tim why not change the name. he said quote, to be honest, we're trading a little bit on the mystique of the military. if we had called ourselves the remote control club of washington, d.c., you would not be here talking to me. end quote. in 2012, neuro scientists reported on something they called the glymphatic system that clears out toxins that
could be responsible for brain diseases such as alzheimer's. now we're learning one way to clean out those waste products could be as simple as getting more shut-eye. according to researchers from the university of rochester medical center, sleep clicks the system on to a super-clean type level, clearing out the cobwebs from your brain, removing products linked to dementia such as the toxic protein amyloid beta. they found the brain does a better job of detoxing itself when asleep than it does awake. they hope to use the research to come up with new ways to treat and prevent certain types of brain diseases. it was a surreal moment wednesday night when sentgrapher diane ready had her outburst on the house floor. she rushed the dais and starting shouting when the members were voting to reopen the government and avoid bumping up against the debt ceiling. no one knew why this, in the words of her husband, sweet level-headed woman was suddenly scolding congress, screaming that a house divided will not stand. but now she is saying god made
her do it. in a statement to fox news, she said for the past two and a half weeks, the holy spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me through my reluctance and doubt to deliver a message in the house chamber and that is what i did last night. unquote. though she obviously broke the rules of decorum, she was doing what so many americans wanted this week, giving congress an earful, making sure they heard her. let's check in on our political panel in the green room. ross douthat from the "new york times" senator ted cruz apparently does not need help from his friends. >> you know, i'm not serving in office because i desperately needed 99 new friends in the u.s. senate. >> does the senator have any new friends after this crisis? >> he has plenty of friends. he has harry reid. he has chuck schumer. he has most of the democratic caucus. i don't know why -- he also has plenty of friends outside the senate. rush limbaugh, sean hannity and
so on. i'm not going to worry about how many friends ted cruz has. i think he's doing fine. >> stay tuned. i'm tony siragusa and i'm training guys who leak a little, to guard their manhood with new depend shields and guards. the discreet protection that's just for guys. now, it's your turn. get my training tips at guardyourmanhood.com see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood.
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welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the politics lead. it's quite an image, the way politico tells it. the speaker of the house taking a drag on a cigarette and explaining to the president off the record that he had been quote, overrun by a faction of his own party. but is that really what happened? and with less than three months to go to the next fiscal fight, what can we expect from speaker boehner now? let's bring in our panel. columnist for "new york times" ross douthat, amy stoddard and margaret carlson. ross, i want to read something from your blog that i found interesting. from your blog. a lot of smart conservatives with deep knowledge of previous eras in our politics and experience in fields with the behavior of the house caucus simply wouldn't fly are projecting their knowledge, their smarts and experience on to a situation that's a lot more
out of control than they realize or are willing to admit. you think that this is chaos and it's going to be with us for awhile. >> i actually don't know if it's going to be with us for awhile. the absolute best case you can make for john boehner's leadership over the last few weeks, and i'm not making a strong case for his leadership, but the best case is basically he gave the faction that overran him enough rope to hang themselves with and let them run through the shutdown and get it out of their system and now maybe things are going to be a little saner. that's i think the best case scenario for why he allowed things to go as far as they did. better to have a shutdown now than to have a sort of succession of smaller crises over the next year. >> i think ross is optimistic about the future in that they could be addicted, you know, this tiny caucus, addicted to, like vampires. they tasted and they need more. >> technically, vampires aren't
addicted to blood. they just need it to survive. >> i appreciate the clarification. a vampire fact check. i appreciate it. >> thank you. "time" magazine. thank you. there's a need for it, whether it's to live or just to go on in this kind of political atmosphere. we have no drama obama and then we have a caucus that poor john boehner has to lead where this was not something they didn't want to happen. they were itching for it and each time something came up like oh, maybe we can get rid of the medical device tax, no. representative stutzman said we don't want to be disrespected but on the other hand we don't know what we want. >> the counterargument for optimism is that boehner can't be overrun by 20 members. he can only be overrun if those 20 members have another 100 members who are scared to sort of cross them, right. so again, the argument isn't that, sure, in a few months
there will still be 20 members who are happy to shut down the government. the question is for the other 100, will they be able to say okay, guys, we played it your way last time but we're not going to do that again? >> i think that's the point. if you look -- john boehner told them all along we're not going to default so everyone knew by october 17th he was going to fold and go over steny hoyer and do a vote with democrats that was going -- >> as a hill reporter, you were 100% sure that was going to happen? >> boehner and mcconnell don't default. they voted for t.a.r.p., then their various campaign arms took ads out against democrats saying they voted for t.a.r.p. but the leadership was always at the table doing that. they're not going to do that. that, they knew all along. okay, he gets 87 republicans the other night. if he had done it just in the first couple hours of the shutdown he would have had 30 republicans. so he grew his vote and assured as ross said, a huge number of people beyond the leadership table that he gave this a chance and it was a loser. >> none of this changes the fact that the last three weeks have
been stupid and insane. >> right. >> for the republican party. it's just understanding boehner's strategy in dealing with a house caucus that didn't know what it wanted and was sort of scared to compromise and so on. it's not an excuse for the overall trajectory. >> one thing that i know you heard covering the hill and i heard covering the hill is that early on, people in republican leadership were saying sometimes a kid has to touch a pot on a stove to realize that it's hot and you'll get burned. and i said when we were coming to the end of this all, i said have they learned that. and this source said well, the 20 or so have not and they may never. but everyone else in the republican caucus has. but your point is salient. it wasn't 20 people saying if you don't do this, john boehner, we're not going to vote for you for speaker in january 2015. it was a house caucus that had been swayed by the arguments of
these 20 or 30 people. >> or was afraid to be perceived as crossing them, as sort of not being willing to touch the pot. >> some primaries from not the left, but say the moderate republicans against people like justin amosh of michigan might change that a little bit which is being called a squish or rhino by the 20 or more like the 40 is not as much of a threat as has been in the past, where you're so afraid of being primaried from your right, you can't risk being called names. >> yeah, although so far, really, the michigan case aside, the number of primary challenges is almost all from the right. >> let's talk about going forward now. the cook political report has moved 14 seats in the democrats' direction. that's not to say they are now democratic seats, republican seats, but they are not as solid as they once were. do you think this will have any far-reaching effects on control of the house? >> no, count me out among the people who think this is going
to be a long-lasting benefit to the democrats and that a wave is going to build throughout '14 that's going to help them in obama's sixth year in office with defending obama care which is now live online with so many problems for the third election in a row in a fragile economic recovery. i just don't see that there's enough competitive seats and enough for the makings of a wave for them. i think republicans will have a good midterm election. all of their base is going to be excited about this and turn out for those people in the red districts and everywhere else. there's a couple seats in play, not many, 12, 17. so i think the lesson that is going to be learned from that is really worrying what you call the establishment or old guard or old republican party, that that will produce a terrible '16 for them. a '15 where the party goes to the right, picks a nominee that's way too far to the right, because they think they had a great midterm in '14 like '10 and that's what the -- >> your soothsaying abilities are --
>> that's not what i'm worried about. >> ross is moving on to 2020. >> we were talking about this during the break. you think now that the focus is back on obama care and these websites having problems, things might return, there might be a little more balance when it comes to the bad three weeks -- >> i think in the aggregate, the political impact of a totally failed obama care rollout is going to be bigger than the political impact of the shutdown. now, you know, we're still only a few weeks in. there's time for the white house to sort of, you know, get their arms around the problem or around the keyboard or whatever metaphor you want. but the reality is, this has been, you know, i'm a conservative, i have been skeptical of obama care. the one thing you assume about the obama white house is they know how to build a website. this is what they do. >> unfortunately, that's all the time we have. thank you so much. have a great weekend. coming up on "the lead," he abandoned his son when the boy was just 3 years old. decades later, that boy is now a billionaire. the improbable and inspiring rise of amazon's founder, jeff
bezos. and it's being called almost too powerful to watch. could it win brad pitt his first oscar? stay with us. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ build! we're investing big to keep our country in the lead. ♪ load! we keep moving to deliver what you need. and that means growth, lots of cargo going all around the globe. cars and parts, fuel and steel, peas and rice, hey that's nice! ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our money lead, it's now your source for one click shopping for everything, from running shoes to movies to groceries to, yes, inflatable unicorn horns for cats. a steal at just $5.89. but while amazon.com famously began as just an online bookstore, its mastermind and ceo jeff bezos always planned on the site evolving into much more than that. it's the subject of the new book "the everything store." jeff bezos and the age of amazon. brad stone, senior writer for bloomberg business week, joins me now. thanks for being here. the book just came out. congratulations. so you take us through the rise of bezos, through everything he's been through from being a precocious 12-year-old to a wall street whiz kid to one of the world's most influential titans. he told you that his story isn't ready to tell yet. what does that suggest that even
after this phenomenal success, he thinks his story is not done? >> in a way it reflects an answer to an intrusive media question, it's too early to tell the amazon story. in a way it's a brush-off but it does speak to his incredible ambition. he says it's day one for amazon. considering that they built a company that's going to generate $75 billion this year, it's remarkable. but he really imagines amazon as something akin to walmart. many times larger than it is today. >> so the real question in this town and among journalists is what is he going to do with "the washington post"? he bought it for $250 million. this isn't like a little hobby, charles foster kane, i would like to buy a newspaper. >> he staked his reputation in large part to the success of this very public franchise. we found out this week that the ebay founder was also bidding so there was a competitive situation there. i think jeff believes that his long-term orientation and his, you know, innovative tendencies,
his operating discipline can really help turn it around. i expect he will invest in the newspaper, they will experiment a lot on tablets and who knows, maybe one day we will see "washington post" subscriptions going to amazon prime members. >> one of the most interesting stories in this book is you track down his biological father. tell us that story. >> i just thought it was a missing piece of the story. the guy who left his life when he was 3. i don't know if it had anything to do with the man that he became, but clearly, jeff is so driven, so relentless. i thought well, what's the story. i found him, he was running a bike shop outside of phoenix and the amazing thing was that he actually didn't know -- >> you told him. >> i told him. >> your son is this multibillionaire. >> i was actually sort of quite sad because he had wondered his whole life what had become of this boy, and now he knows. >> have they had any contact? >> there has been a little bit of contact, some e-mails back and forth. i don't know if it will go any further than that.
>> so interesting how many of these incredibly successful men have these absent fathers, whether it's president obama or president clinton -- >> steve jobs. >> steve jobs, of course. >> not a recipe for good parenting but an interesting coincidence. >> you think that's all it is? you think there is this drive to prove himself to this absent father at all? i'm sure he didn't let you put him on the couch but what do you think? >> it's hard to say. i'm sure it's an ingredient. he's a singular business figure, up on par with steve jobs. i think the circumstances of his early childhood are relevant to the man he's become. >> he's a huge part of my wife, my wife's life. the book is fascinating. it came out this week. best of luck with it. fascinating read. coming up in the pop culture lead, you might have to mentally prepare to watch it. "12 years of slaves" the true story of a free man sold into slavery. it's not what you would call a crowd pleaser.
welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the pop culture lead. we reached that sweet spot in the year when hollywood starts rolling out all of its oscar buzz-worthy movies. no, i'm not talking about the over the top thriller "big ass spider" which might pull off a sweep at the razzies this year. opening is the incredible true story of solomon northrop. critics are calling the film everything from unflinching to unforgettable. >> days ago i was with my family in my home. now you tell me all is lost. >> it was a trap. a business deal gone bad that cost him 12 years of his life. northop, a free black man living in new york in 1941 was duped to taking a trip to washington, d.c. for a job and ended up sold to a plantation in louisiana.
for 12 years, he was separated from his wife and children. after his harrowing trip back to freedom, he penned a best-selling memoir while the nation was on the brink of civil war. his chilling account of slavery would help change a nation. >> for me in some ways it was sort of a restoration process. i tried to approach it with an invisible hand. >> john ridley transformed the memoir for the silver screen. >> there is an immediacy with the story that is unmatched. you have to remember, at that time, for people of color, if they could read or write, they would be killed. so the amount of these personal narratives that could come out of the south were actually very, very small. >> he sold about 30,000 copies, after it was published. it really gives a day-to-day account of what slavery was like. >> gregory carr is the chair of the afro-american studies program at howard university. >> how successful was the memoir in bringing focus and popular culture to slavery?
>> i think you could safely say that it contributed to the end of slavery because it did galvanize a lot of popular attention. i think solomon's narrative certainly humanized enslavement, brought the dangers and the traumas of enslavement to a wider public and certainly could give in that sense political support and popular support to the politics of the time. >> if you want to survive, do and say as little as possible. >> the film is garnering critical praise for its unflinching portrayal of one of the most horrific chapters in american history. do you think hollywood has been successful in telling the story of slavery? >> there has been nothing in my estimation since "roots," since 1977, that has come close. when you see people you recognize in other contexts playing people who had their humanity attacked, it has a powerful effect on a popular audience. i think this film, this film may have a shot at helping us really
open up another kind of national dialogue about what that institution was and what its implications are even to this day. >> a lot has changed in the decades since that time solomon northop was sold into slavery in the shadow of the u.s. capitol. >> are you prepared to take the oath, senator? >> i am. >> for me to be in a space where i am just removed by generations from the actual facts of this story, where i can sit and write about this, i can be one of the producers on this film, i can sit my two sons down and i can have them watch their history, that's what's changed. that's what's changed. >> "12 years of slave" comes in an unprecedented year for african-american films. about a dozen african-american themed films will have been released in 2013, including "the butler." he's an american icon. a civil rights hero and although his life was cut short more than 40 years ago, his legacy is still very much alive. it is not a surprise that a hollywood heavyweight was asked to take on the challenge of
portraying dr. martin luther king jr. in an upcoming biopic. oliver stone tells the "wall street journal" that jamie foxx has snagged the role. foxx is no stranger to portraying larger than life icons. he won an oscar in 2005 for his role as the late ray charles. two of the most powerful forces in new york are colliding in court. culture and real estate. a group of graffiti artists are suing the owner of a long island building where their work is displayed because he plans to tear the building down. they say the landlord had given them permission to spray paint their work on the building since the early '90s and since then it has attracted graffiti artists from all over the world, but now the owner wants to turn the building into a luxury apartment building. that means the walls and artwork will have to be destroyed. the demolition has been put on hold until the court weighs in. make sure to follow me on twitter. and check out our show page at
cnn.com/thelead for video blogs and extras. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer. he is right next door in "the situation room." have a great weekend. wolf? happening now, new fears that a somali terror commander suspected in a bloody mall siege is forming an unholy alliance with an al qaeda affiliate possibly plotting to strike the united states. also, congress wants answers about the obama care rollout but the health secretary, kathleen sebelius, has not yet agreed to testify. i'll talk to a key lawmaker involved in the oversight investigation. he wants answers. and new developments in the case of two murderers who simply walked out of prison. turns out they have done it again. we have details of how they duped authorities not once, but twice. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."