Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 14, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EST

11:00 pm
continues. james billington is just introducing laura bush. >> hi am referring to laura bush who brought the concept of the national book festival to washington from her home state of texas where she has conducted it if great success. [applause] she comes to the national book festival throughout her years on pennsylvania avenue. she is a former librarian.
11:01 pm
[applause] she is a teacher, an offer of multiple books including her latest, "spoken from the heart". former first lady, you speak to the heart of all of us. she will do a reading and take questions. microphones are on either side. keep your questions brief and on point. she honors us by taking time out from an extraordinary schedule involving the united nations, oral -- her championship with many other good causes. please join me in welcoming the woman i have been able to call with full genuine conviction leader in chief of the united states of america.
11:02 pm
[applause] >> thank you very much for all of your good work, thank you for being such a great partner for the national book festival and thank you for continuing to build this national book festival. this is the tenth national book festival which is so terrific and icy looking around, is hugely popular with people all over the country. so thank you for coming and thank you for the warm welcome. i want to thank david reubenstein for your generous gift to the library of congress which will ensure that the book festival will continue. thank you very much. [applause] i love the national book festival and i am happy to be
11:03 pm
here this year as an offer. , have spent most of my life surrounded by books. i was an avid reader as the child. my mother and i were regular fixtures at the midland county public library which was a magical place not only with thousands of books but because it was in a basement which was a very exotic place for west texas. going to the library was the only time i ever got to go underground. i continued my love of books through college, elementary school teaching, dallas and houston, graduate school, science and as a public library and in houston and school library in austin. i have made a career out of my love of books and helps spread that love i helped found the texas book festival and the national book festival. but while i love reading and
11:04 pm
never thought i would write a book. certainly not one about myself but in george's eight years in office to a close publishers began calling asking when i was going to write a memoir and realized there was a lot i wanted to say. our years in washington, first decade of the new century were as consequential as any other time in our history. we lived through the most vicious attack on our homeland in the history of our nation. i was on capitol hill on the morning of september 11th and i will read you something about that. george and i cried with the grieving families and grieve with the nation and never forgot that day for the rest of his time in office and will never forget it for the rest of our law is. i met so many of the brave to and women who volunteered to defend our country to give their
11:05 pm
lives so that the rest of us may never know terror again. i have met the voices for freedom like the former czech president, the great intellectual and play right who for years was imprisoned by the communists but never gave up hope for freedom. when the iron curtain fell he stepped up to lead his country and is still speaking out on behalf of the oppressed. i met the dolly llama from tibet, female candidates for parliament in kuwait who ran for office in 2006, the first year that women there were granted the right to vote and i met women in afghanistan who under the taliban could not leave their houses alone, who could not get an education. who would have their fingernails pulled off as they so much war a code of fingernail polish. now there lives a changing.
11:06 pm
in my book i wanted to give voice to all of these remarkable people and to share these experiences with others. i wanted to remember the many wonderful people i met at home. volunteers from the red cross and the baptist men who drove all night to storm ravaged gulf coast after katrina to cook meals for those in need and who stayed for months helping the people there rebuild. the brave coastguard volunteers who rescued some 30,000 people stranded after the hurricane struck. i wanted to tell of the days i spent with the young men in our cities and towns, many of whom were ex gang members who were trying to turn their lives around. why was never more proud than was part of helping america's youth high was able to welcome kits group of ex gained members from l a to whitehouse.
11:07 pm
the same house where we hosted the queen of england and the pope on his birthday. the more i thought about it, the more i realized i had some great stories to tell, even about the great easter egg caper at the 2006 easter egg roll where if you want to know what happened in that story i think i will let you wait and read it in my book. i had so many wonderful memories to share. memories about the white house. stories about our lives and our families and of course, many of my happiest and most enduring memories are of the national book festival. i remember something from each of the eight festivals i attended during time at the white house. remember talking with my favorite authors. hosting vladimir putin at the second festival with the national basketball association
11:08 pm
players who were our partners. the beautiful gala dinners, wonderful authors at the white house on saturday morning. and so many more happy memories. but i especially recall that first national book festival. september 8th, 2001. it was a magnificent day, sunny with a beautiful blue sky. just the kind of weather we hope for. friends came from around the country to stay with george and me at the white house. 40 came from boston all away who had worked with me on the texas book festival. i remember how patiently the festivalgoers waited in line to meet their favorite authors. that festival was everything we hope for and more. three days later, our world changed. since we are here in the history cab i thought i would read from
11:09 pm
my book a little bit about the day that changed our world. tuesday morning, september 11th, was sunny and warm, the sky and brilliant cerulean blue. my friend at the national book festival have all thrown home and even george was gone in florida for a school visit. george h. w. bush spent the night but they already left on a 7:00 plane to catch an early flight and i had what i considered a big day planned. i was set to arrive at the capitol at 9:15 to briefed the senate education committee chaired by edward kennedy on the findings of early childhood development conference that i held in july. in the afternoon we were hosting the entire congress and their family for the annual congressional picnic. the self lawn of the white house
11:10 pm
was covered with picnic tables are awaiting their fluttering cloth. come per rainy from buffalo, texas, was setting up his chuckwagon. entertainment would be old fashioned square dancing and texas swing music by ravens and and his classic band asleep at the wheel. in silence going over my statement in my mind, i was very nervous about appearing before a senate committee and having news cameras trained on me. had the tv been turned on i might have heard the first fleeting report of a plane heading the north tower of the world trade center. and said it was the head of my secret service detail, ron sprinkle, who leaned over and whispered the news in my ear as i entered the car a few minutes after 9:00. my chief of staff at the white house, domestic policy advisor margaret stallings and i speculated on what had happened. a small plane may be.
11:11 pm
a cessna running into one of those massive towers on this beautiful september morning. we were driving up pennsylvania avenue when word came that the south tower had been hit. the car fell silent. we sat in you disbelieve. one plane might be a strange accident. two planes were clearly an attack. arafat about george and wondered if the secret service had already begun to raise to air force one to return home. two minutes later at 9:16 we pull up to the entrance of the russell building. in the time it had taken to drive less than two minutes in the two miles between the white house and the capital world as i knew it had changed. senator kennedy was waiting to greet me. we both knew when we met that the towers had been hit and without a word being spoken we
11:12 pm
knew there would be no briefings that morning. together we walked a short distance to the office. he began by presenting me with a limited edition print. it was a face of daffodils, a copy of a painting he had created for his wife victoria and given to her on their wedding day. the print was inscribed to me and dated september 11, 2001. an old television was on in a quarter of the room and i glanced over to see the plume of smoke billowing from the twin towers. senator kennedy kept his eyes averted from the screen. he led me on a tour of his office pointing out various pictures and pieces of memorabilia. even a framed note that his brother sent to their mother when he was a child in which he wrote teddy is getting fat. the senator who would outlive all his brothers by 40 years
11:13 pm
laughed at the note as he showed it to me finding it amusing. i kept glancing at the glowing television screen. my skin was starting to crawl. i wanted to leave to find out what was going on. to process what i was seeing but i felt trapped in an endless cycle of pleasantries. it not occurred to me to say senator kennedy, what about the powers? i simply followed his lead. he may have feared that if we actually began to contemplate what had happened in new york i might dissolve into tears. senator judd gregg of new hampshire, the ranking republican on the committee and one of our good friends, in mock debates at the ranch, arrived as i was -- senator kennedy invited us to sit on the couch as he continued chatting about anything other than the horrific images unfolded on the tiny
11:14 pm
screen across the room. i looked around his shoulder but could see very little and i was still trying to pay attention to him and his conversation. it seem completely unreal, sitting in this elegant sunlit office as an immense tragedy unfolded. we sat as human beings driven by smoke, flame and searing heat jumped from the top of the twin towers to end their lives and as firemen in full gear began to climb up the tower stairs. i often wondered if it was ted kennedy's defense mechanism. after so much tragedy, the death of his oldest brother in world war ii, the assassination of his brothers jack and robert and the death of nephew's including john jr. whose body identified when it was pulled from the cold dark waters off martha's vineyard, if
11:15 pm
after all those things simply could not look upon another grievous tragedy. 9:45 after george made a brief statement to the nation which we watched clustered around a small television that was perched on the desk, ted kennedy, judd gregg and i walked out to the reporters my briefing had been postponed. i said you heard from the president this morning and senator kennedy and senator gregg and i joined his statement in saying that our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this act of terrorism and our support goes to the rescue workers and all of our prayers are with everyone there right now. as i turned to exit, lawrence mclaughlin asked a question. you know children are struck by all this. is there a message you could tell to the nation? i didn't wait for him to finish
11:16 pm
but began. parents need to reassure their children everywhere in our country that they are safe. as we walked out of the briefing room the cellphone of my advance man john myers rain, cnn was reporting an airplane had crashed into the pentagon. within minutes the order given to evacuate the white house and the capital. the secret service decided to take me temporarily to their headquarters located in the federal office building a few blocks from the white house. following the oklahoma city bombing their office was reinforced to survive a large scale blast. outside apps go, the city streets were clogged with people evacuate in their work places. in the time my reach my medicaid flight 93 had crashed into the west side of the pentagon which
11:17 pm
had begun to collapse. in the intervening years senator judd gregg and i and many others were left to contemplate what if flight 93 had not been forced down by its passengers into an empty field? what if shortly after 10:00 a.m. it had reached the capital dome? walking through the hallway in the circuits service building i saw a sign with the emergency number 911. had the terrorists thought about our iconic number when they picked this date and planned an emergency so overwhelming. for awhile i said in a small office area off of the conference room silently watching the images on television. i watch a replay of the self tender of the world trade center roaring with sound and collapsing into a silent plume offering my personal prayer to god to received the victims with open arms.
11:18 pm
the north tower had given way in front of my eyes sending some 1500's holes and 110 stories of concrete buckling to the ground. inside secret service had courted i asked my staff to call their family and i called my girls who were whisked away by secret service agents to secure locations. in austin jenna was awakened by an agent pounding on her door. in her room at yale barbara heard another student sobbing uncontrollably. a few doors down. then i called my mother because i wanted her to know that i was safe and i wanted so much to hear the sound of her voice. late in the afternoon we got word the president was returning to washington. at 6:30 we got in a secret service caravaned to drive to the white house. i gazed out the window.
11:19 pm
the city had taken on the cast of an abandoned movie set. the sun was shining but the streets were deserted. we couldn't see a person on the sidewalk or any vehicles on the street. there was no sound at all except the wheels of the ground. by 7:30 we were up to the residents. i have no memory of having eaten dinner. george may have the non the plane. he tried to call the girls as soon as he was upstairs but couldn't reach them. barbara called back at 8:00 and george left to make remarks to the nation. we finally climbed into our own bed that night exhausted and emotionally drained. outside the doors of the residents the secret service detail's sat at a very usual post. i fell asleep but it was a fit for rest and i could feel george staring into the darkness beside me. then i heard a man screaming as
11:20 pm
he ran. mr. president, you have got to get up. the white house is under attack. we jumped up and i grab the rope and stuck my feet in my slippers but didn't stop to put on my contacts. we grab kitty with spot trailing behind. we started walking. george wanted to take the elevator but the agents didn't think it was safe. we had to descend flight after flight of stairs to the state floor, then the ground floor and below while i held george's hand because i couldn't see anything. my heart was pounding and all i could do was count stairwell landing is, trying to count off how many more floors we had to go. when we reached the kiosk i saw the outline of the military aid unfolding the ancient bed and putting on some sheets. another agent ran up to us and said mr. president, it is one of our own.
11:21 pm
the plane was one of ours. for months afterward we would hear the military jets thundering overhead travelling so fast that the ground below quivered and shook. they would make one pass and five minute later make another low-flying loop. i fell asleep to the roar of the fighters in the sky hearing in my mind those words, one of our own. there was a quiet security in that, in knowing we slept the tween the watchful eyes of one of our own and just a little closing sentence, from the second book festival in 2002, moments from that day stay with day. but of particular note proposing remarks by david mccullough in which he described john adams's quest for knowledge. the greatest gift of all he was certain was the gift of an
11:22 pm
inquiring mind. he said, quote, have the liberty to think to myself and david mccullough added we face a phone today who believes in and forced ignorance. we don't. [applause] thank you. >> we have time for questions. we have a few minutes for questions. i like that charlotte's web tee shirt. >> i am the grandniece of e.b. white who wrote charlotte's web. [applause] >> two years ago when you were signing your books we talked and you both signed my book and i knew e.b. white's presentation, i always bring your book can't
11:23 pm
talk on your page where you reference charlotte's webb and i thank you for that children's book. it is wonderful but it is also a wonderful book and thank you for writing it. >> thank you so much. i really appreciate it. >> what was your feeling when you found out you were attacked by one of your own? >> we were covered by one of our own. they were protecting us. what we were talking about revelatory caps. debris united states military. we were protected by then. that gave me a great feeling of security. >> what was your favorite part about being host of the national book festival? >> i left seeing so many happy people who love to read. something that book lovers all share, no matter what our
11:24 pm
political views or differences might be, we all love reading. there are so many tremendous american authors. for our own writers around the world. but especially children. we have a wonderful body of children's literature in the united states and children's library and i am really proud of that. one more i think? >> what are you reading now? >> cutting for stone, with one of his books, and the national book festival, a great book about twins but also ethiopia.
11:25 pm
one of the books given to me by booksellers, a book about the civil war, by robin beara. george is reading a biography about bond hopper. i am usually reading the newest books by respectable lawyers. i will be at the texas book festival in late october. i hope any of you who have a chance can come to the festival. thank you all very much. i appreciate it very much. thank you all. [applause]
11:26 pm
>> i see what you mean by readers in chief. wonderful to see you again in person. we thank mrs. bush for being here. signed copies are being offered. one more vote of thanks for the inventor. [applause] this event was part of the 2010 national book festival in washington, d.c.. for more information, visit
11:27 pm every weekend book tv bring you 48 hours of history, biography and public affairs. here is a portion of one of our programs. have any >> why are white people called caucasian? at denney if you ask your cells that? enis whknow why? no. and this is why -- well, it'snsa still happening. in the russians and chechens in chechnya, the caucuses were having tremendous struggle so. so why are white americans ch calledec chechens the? well, i did find the answer. the answer to me to germany, took me to germany in the 18th-century. now the idea of race was invented in the 18th century. g it doesn't go back to antiquityt
11:28 pm
there were not white people in antiquities.ince so many but since so many people thought that, i thought i should address it. so my book actually starts with the greeks and romans, and their commentary on the people who became europeans, and with thele greeks and romans discovered were people who lived in various ways for the greeks the talked about what we call a culture, and for the romans who work in a various ways because the romans were imperialists and were very interested in who was a good fighter and who could help and who had to be vanquished. i followed this german idea into the united states by the french intellectual thomas carlyle who.
11:29 pm
was an intellectual and wolf waldo >> caller: emmerson. so i spent a lot of time with ralph waldo emerson who was thef kind of genius of nineteenth-century white race hhe theory. ralph waldo emerson didn't have a good deal to say about blackhh people but he had a great deal ideaay about white people. te whi the 19th century the idea prevailed that there were many white races. so there were people who were vensidered white no one can question their witness. whit clearly the irish were white. very clearly people descendedler from english people or scottish people were white or german people. but they belong to differentng races.o they were white but they belong to different
11:30 pm
so for instance the irish c catholics were thought to belong to the cultic race and people t descended, english people were thought to belong to the saxon race and the saxons were better than the celts. it wasn't until the middle of the 20th century which many of us remember vividly that thee idea of one big white race came s o wa into being in which everybody who was white was the scene as s trivial sum. and it's not an accident that that happened to politics. it happened through the national de mobilization of the great depression, the second world war and the federal policies crafted after the second world war. so one big white race is an idea
11:31 pm
based in politics. stomach to watch this program in its entirety, go to simply type the title or the authors and at the top left ofm the screen and click search. ago [applause]uths thank you very much. about six months ago i was doing what authors usually do, whichi is travel to small townsand askl question. he said to me, you spent five years studying his life, is there any kind of practical thing you talent -- thing that you learned from it. i thought. and six months later i have the answer. if he's out there, here's the answer. if you want to take notes, feel free. the answer is if you make a lot of money in life, and you endow
11:32 pm
a prize like pulitzer did, everybody will know the prize but they are not remember who the heck you were. and for me as an author, this actually gave me an opportunity. because there are a lot of giants in the 19th century. morgan, rockefeller, and we think they have no connection to our lives. but they do. most of you drove a oil-powered automobile to come here. we're talking about rockefeller. many of you hopefully are going to run over and buy a book. you're going to whip out of credit card. which is based on a financial system invented by morgan. well, pulitzer is one of those geniuses from the 19th century who is the midwife who in a sense may have brought you here. you learned about the environment. maybe electricically on the "washington post" web site. by the idea of news and all of
11:33 pm
those things are owed to us or came to us from pulitzer. for me as an author, it's a great opportunity. i'm writing about one the giants of the 19th century who most people knew nothing about. unlike reading about morgan or rockefeller, it's an opportunity to tell you something new. i want to leave you with a couple of aspects on why pulitzer is so important to us. in a sense, his hand is still reaches out through the grave and touching our lives today and effecting the way we communicate, the way we organize news. i'm not going to tell you the story about pulitzer who started off as hungarian immigrant and soldier, i want to tell you how he reshaped journalism, which in a sense was a boring craft before the man arrived and changed things. the first moment is in 1878. when he invest his last few dollars in buying a bankruptcy evening paper in the city of st.
11:34 pm
louis on the steps of the st. louis courthouse. the same courthouse that decide the dred versus scott decision. all of his friends thinks he's nuts. afternoon pay never a city where three afternoon papers are being published, none of which are making money. he's buying a bankrupt paper. this is one of the distinguishing momenting in his life that would reflect the characteristics to caused him to reshape our society. because he's not an inventor. he's not like bell or somebody that said we need a gadget where we can talk to each other. what he was is a man who would perceive huge social trends. sort of like we did before. and the analogy i give, people think i've really lost my marbles when i ask you to imagine a surfer. here i am talks about a 19th century figure. i want you to see this before i talk about pulitzer. if you have ever been to the coast where there was surfer,
11:35 pm
look far past the waves where they are breaking, there, young men and women on their board, and old surfers too, let's just say men and women on their boards. they are paddling slowly. suddenly they paddle fast and ride a huge wave. somehow they are able to detect the slight undulation in the water and realize that's the big wave. pulitzer did that with our society. he realized that farmers were leaveing their farms in illinois and missouri and coming to the city because of industrialization. they were becoming factory workers. what were they doing? they were commuting. women who used to be important economic decision makers on the farms were now becoming housewives. it's all going to play into something you were going to see in a second. gaslight and electric light allowed people to entertain
11:36 pm
themselves in the evening by reading. a new printing press had been invented by ho that would print quickly, paper was being made from trees that had the strength to go through the machines at high speed, and the victorian internet had arrived. you call it the telegram. bringing news from new york and washington to st. louis as fresh as that morning. so he took all of these ingredients and published an afternoon paper with news from washington and new york as fresh as that morning so that the commuters heading home desperate for entertainment filled with entertaining tales about the city and economic decision making material for the housewives, advertisements, where can you buy gingham, flour? he created the new medium of mass communication in st. louis that became a huge success. so now let's move along and see why it went from st. louis to elsewhere.
11:37 pm
new york in the 1900s -- in the 19th century was really the capital of the united states. now i know you are thinking here i've come to washington and i'm saying i'm ignorant. no, this was a swamp infested place that only politicians went. broadway and the music and the theater. that was new york. publishing, that was new york. media, the newspapers, that was new york. and so pulitzer was waiting and biting his time to get to new york. he did the same. he came to new york, bought a bankrupt newspaper, brought his western style, and became an instant success there with a newspaper that none of us now anymore because it's gone, "the new york world." he replicated what he had in st. louis, but added something very important. as an immigrant he looked to the lower east side of new york and saw the vast waves of new americans. he didn't see them as a threat.
11:38 pm
he saw them as strength. like himself. they were going to contribute. he admonished his reporters to go and write about their lives. so his reporters dissented on the lower east side and wrote stories about their lives. not just about their lives, they were using dickens about their model. tell stories about their lives. so the world would come out with a headline, tiny tot falls to his death as mother looks on. and on the upper reaches of 5th avenue where people drink the tea with the finger up. look at the prattle that's going on in the paper. and they were missing the point. because if you are went to the lower east side and you win in the black and tan bars or the overcrowded dining rooms, what were those families talking about? they were talking about the children that had fallen off the
11:39 pm
floor the nice before it was so hot, something that we know today in this tent, so hot that in order to sleep, people went to the top floor and children sometimes at night rolled off the roofs to their death. so he went covering sensationalism. he was writing about their lives. and as a result, he gave them a newfound dignity, now if any of you were to invite me home, and don't worry this is just an analogy, you don't have to do this. i'm betting on your refrigerator you have a clipping. a clipping of your wedding, son and daughters school. those curred irregardless of the clipping opinion the clipping gives that moment a dignity. a meaningful representation that you cherish and keep. well, imagine in the world before television and radio. those stories encapsulated their lives and gave dignity to those
11:40 pm
people. for once, somebody was paying attention. they would spend their pennies buying the paper, making it an enormous success, reaching a circulation of 1 million copies where there were only 64 million people in the united states. as this goes on, there's something else that relates to their lives. the french have decided to give us a gift. the statute of liberty. if you remember your history, it's a gift of the french people to the american people, not of the french government. the french people had raised the money privately and in turn, we were supposed to raise the money. but we were failing. so pulitzer pull it on the front page of his newspaper that the money to build the pedestal was not coming in. he editorrized and said we need to bring the money in. people every day, poor people, kids, came to the paper and gave a penny or nickel. now it may not seem like much.
11:41 pm
pulitzer is like a robert barron. the poorest people in new york were coming in and entrusting him with their pennies and nickels. in return, he was putting their name in the newspaper. a kid with the street arabs, or you are you are -- urge comment. it was build with the money, and it was erected with the money of these people. pulitzer was changing the new york landscape by his new use of media and emptily if iing trust. we have foundations and 501c3s. so there's another change that's going to go on that's going to
11:42 pm
symbolize how he's changed our lives and created -- it was the midlife of the modern mass media. his paper has become such a success. pulitzer's life is becoming a dramatic change. he's falling blind. like bay toe venn who can't here his own music. french's hotel. he had thrown him out of the hotel. he buys the headquarters later. park row is significant. this is the world before twitter, cnn, before the instant
11:43 pm
communications. if you wanted to know who won the election, go down to park row. and on the buildings, they could have blackboards. cleveland is ahead. it wasn't just elections. when americas cup was waged, they telegraphed the results. they had small ships that moved across. there was a boxing match on one the islands. they are mare ya nets reenfacting the fight. now for those you old enough, you are going to get this. the crowd loved it, they asked them to do it again. this is instant replay a century before abc wild world of sports. park row is an interesting park of aspect of the life of new york. fleet street, "tribune," the little newspaper called "the new york times," and the "herald" he
11:44 pm
built the tallest newspaper. it was a dome and gold leaf on the top of it. this was a crew that wrote the world and produced the paper that on sunday was as thick of a telephone book. with things like dress patterns. the greatest invention, of course, the color sunday comic or cartoon. sheet music that you could use to play long before we had ipods, buy and play the newest song that night in your home. recipes, serialization of novels, economic instructions. so the immigrant population turned to the world for all of this kind of construction on sundays and gut it for just a few pennies. so this building went up. and it was the tallest building in the world at that point. on the globe. and it was at the center piece of new york. so just like he was redoing the
11:45 pm
american mass media and reshaping and he was reshaping the new york skyline in a way that's so symbolic that i want to finish telling you this tale. imagine these immigrants now coming to the united states in the late 19th century. 1890 or so. and folks, this isn't a casual trip. they are leaveing the ukraine, poland, and places like that. when they say good-bye to their parents, there's no flight home next year to come home for their the holiday. they probably never see their family alive. they are gambling their last pennies to come to the new land and get a foothold in the economic dream. they are arriving in the new york harbor in the overcrowded ship. they come up to the deck. the first thing they are going to see is the statue of liberty on a pedestal erected by the pennies and nickels of the people that came before them.
11:46 pm
they maybe ignorant of the pedestal, but they knew what the statute of liberty is. they turned and looked at the new york sky line. it's the first view of the world in which they are basing their nurture hopes on. if the conditions are just right, the sun is gleaming after of the gold dome. and so the tallest building, taller than trinity church, the thing that's lighting up in the distance is not a monument of commerce, not a monument to banking or retail or agriculture. it's a monument to the american mass media, the only constitutionally protected business in our society. specifically, it's the first glimpse of the world newspaper that will be their key to the economic growth. their key to learning americanisms of all sorts. their key to learning the english language. he admonished, pulitzer admonished reporters to write
11:47 pm
sentences to tell everything in the the form -- in the form of a story. his interest was political power. he hoped they would eventually turn to the page. the first president after the civil war is grover cleveland. do the math. it's the paper that got him elected. what pulitzer left us with after changing the new york landscape and media is a legacy we still have today. a notion of news at its core being a story. he would tell his reporters that every day i want people at dinner to say did you read that in "the world" today. producers at nbc are saying i want them to see that story. the key to that is the story and the humanization of the story. think of all of the great tragedies that have occurred in
11:48 pm
our modern lives. the haiti earthquake, famine in africa. when you read that millions of people are hurt by something, it becomes a number. but we're moved to act when we read the story of the one child who's rescued under the rubble after three days. and that's the magic that he was leaveing us with. that in our lives exist essentially a story and the magic of the news media is to capture that story to humanize it and to give it to us. and that's why the world grew to be the most powerful newspaper in america where governors in the state of oregon would write all the way to new york and say would you endorse me. i bet you today that no governor the oregon is writing to the "new york times," would you endorse me? so what i enjoyed about my five-year journey, it was like being an archaeologist. i was uncovering the world forgetten.
11:49 pm
"the world" paper is gone. pull littier -- pulitzer is remembered as a prize. no one can remember what he did. that's the joy i've had in the writing and answering questions from readers. i have time. ten minutes to answer questions. there are mics on each side. i'll try not to take six months to come up with the appropriate answer. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> what was pulitzer's connection to drama, theater, and the other prizes that have his name? >> what was the connection of pulitzer, drama, theater, and other things? personal. one of which you know 1898, he engaged in randolph hearst, and
11:50 pm
he feels stained by that. all of the major achievement are forever linked to this awful people. much like certain presidents who might have been in the office for eight years always remembered for one little moment. and they would forget the rest. pulitzer created the pulitzer prize in part to cleanse his representation. and secondly, about his belief in journalism had changed. the reason they were prizes for drama and history and music is a personal reflection of his love of those things. when he falls blind, he had readers who travel with him, who read him novels, he had a personal pianist. he thoughts this was parts of the civil society to have and the reward. back to the major prize. pulitzer got into journalism because he wanted political power. journalism was the other side of the coin. they were two sides of the same coin in the 19th century.
11:51 pm
as he became a publisher and worked in journalism, he became to under it was a far more important craft than the personal around political power. the most important prize, it may sound quaint, is the pulitzer prize for public service. at the heart of it, it's an important part of the american democratic process. that's part of the season for -- reason for the prize. this side? >> you kind of responded to my question. maybe you could expand on it. :
11:52 pm
engages in greater public service are the family owned newspapers because those publishers can make the decision not the stockholders aren't going to like. i'm going to subsidize the paper while it is losing money. pulitzer did that at times when the paper was losing money he would simply subsidize the of enterprise. the problem the corporate media family owned or not and something we all face is that news is a terrific way expensive enterprise to take an educatedcp soul come send them toand now n afghanistan and important information out the war isn't au cheap proceggss and now that the media is funding the struggle to monetize to get that income ist. bt a problem for the washingtos post. yes it is making money, it is aa problem for us because ouruffe
11:53 pm
society without that kind of unfettered reporting will suffe are similar but diversity in the nineteenth century was so much larger than it is today. >> you mentioned in passing william randolph hearst. the extent to which pulitzer is remembered historically, tends to be paired with william randolph hearst. could you spend a couple minutes comparing and contrasting the two men? >> william randolph hearst -- i'm not belittling him but he was the best imitator of pulitzer. he studied pulitzer's methods. he bought a newspaper that was interestingly started by pulitzer's younger brother so every day when pulitzer open up the journal and realize this competitor might put him out of business he was competing with of the work of his brother.
11:54 pm
talk about sibling rivalry. william randolph hearst how did him on the less good aspects of their journalism, in raising greater sensationalism and was far more successful at that but the key moment is with the spanish-american war. many of you have heard mr. thomas talking about his book. during the spanish-american war these two papers competed in a way -- they began to make up stories. pulitzer was depressed over the loss of his daughter on jekyll island so william randolph hearst was leading his troops to compete against the world and pulitzer -- they knew if the piper collapsed they couldn't work for william randolph hearst so every of when this thing william randolph hearst did they tried to do equally. so the paper had a story about a colonel killed in the war with a
11:55 pm
really odd last name. the world picked up the story and reprinted in entirely. the next david journal announced if you look at his last name it is an anagram for week hole for the news. when the spanish-american war was over and the competition was over pulitzer came back to his senses and put out an edict that they couldn't engage in this sensationalistic journalism but the damage had been done a. of want to give a comparison to sherlock holmes and moriarty. i hope you all read the last story. if not i'm giving something away. they fight in switzerland and both fall to their deaths. history will always link -- open any history. william randolph hearst and pulitzer are linked. all the achievements i'm telling you about our lost because pulitzer will always be linked
11:56 pm
as a yellow sensationalistic journalist. thank you. yes? >> if you years ago in the fifth grade at wrote a paper on pulitzer. >> i wish i founded during my research. >> we had a little pamphlet on the history. your book was better and more reasoned. >> thank you. >> talk about the relationship with his brother? was his brother at all successful? did they dislike each other or just ignore each other. >> the question is about pulitzer's brother albert. all of the children died by the time pulitzer was 13 except for his younger brother albert who came to the united states after joseph pulitzer and just like his older brother he got into journalism. this infuriated joseph who was quite an egomaniac and his brother got into journalism but was doing better than he was. started a newspaper in new york
11:57 pm
called the chambermaid's delight. that was its nickname. but sold copies and here was his brother. millionaire publishing in new york and he was stuck in st. louis with a respectable paper. it really bugged him. when he came to new york he tried to force his brother to merge papers. he said what should the merger with you? pulitzer stole the entire staff. albert later sold the paper and it became the paper william randolph hearst got. what is great for me was my little moment of discovery was i found albert's memoirs with his granddaughter stored in paris. so this is the first offer albert's art of the story and it is not exactly flattering to his older brother. any of you have siblings would love this aspect. time for one more question and on will answer briefly. >> i miss -- >> come closer.
11:58 pm
>> i missed most of your presentation. but i was curious, newspapers versus media on television. i don't understand why anybody endorses a candidate? because i look at it as an objective field. >> why endorse a candidate in an objective field? this may be an issue of my age. when i grew up by learned how to be media savvy. the front page of the newspaper was a news. the owner who don't the editorial page express his or her opinion who would be elected and these two things don't always agree. any of you who have read the wall street journal wondered if the people on the editorial page are reading the front page because the front page talks about how financial bill will ruin america and on the next page we have to pass this bill. that was much more common.
11:59 pm
what is happening with broadcasts, the distinctions are becoming more blurred. steering networks tend to engage in what we might as older people feel this editorial was asian in the reporting and that is not the way the media originally was. there was a carvel line that divided the editorial division from the news division and the news division of reported stuff that the owners and editorial-page didn't like. but i leave you with this shot. this is why those folks enjoy owning newspapers. freedom of the press as he reminds us belongs to those who own the press. if you ever get upset about editorial in the washington times and the washington post ere's ed .. by wonderful man who gets your voice in. that would be the thing pulitzer like because he was one of the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on