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tv   In Depth with Jeffrey Toobin  CSPAN  August 27, 2016 12:55am-2:20am EDT

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new york times" in which he was bragging about manipulating the press with the iranian deal. it is wonderful what he did in iran it was about pressures but the fact after 12 or 13 years of consistently telling the iranians we would discuss a nuclear deal with you if you stop in richmond that was the requirement to return years ago we made it known to others keep enriching and that is when i got going there is nothing wrong to say that in the case of the deal were reached still accuse them of and when the attack took place they knew with intelligence galore
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they only had one suspect they'd in tell the american people the rose and others suspect and chairman dempsey and general clapper head of the director of national intelligence had both told the president they couldn't be sure they had a case against him that it is not a slam dunk for what we know to be in the arsenal so i don't like not telling the truth the reason why what he may not have done i don't know why gsa the story is told by the white house is like liable you cannot get too close in congress today he is hated like hiller.
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i will take a second to say he is fighting a life-and-death more if those isis people get in power he and his wife and children will be hung up like mussolini in the square yes uses beryl bombs but i know a country that use that for seven years in which our national security was not at stake. it was as. and no we use it because it is cheaper a barrel bob is 63 gallons and it is cheaper than to drop of 500-pound bomb. at first we did i wonder about al gore morality but is a really better to use
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the 500 lb bomb that would have even more power? i don't make as a case for him but is he any worse from the guy in saudi arabia it chopping off the heads right now? any worse than the uae that happens to the shia minorities? i don't think so. so there we are. ascii about the president not getting involved assyria with those special forces and as far as i know peshawar as sadr is recognized by the u.s. says the iranian power with approval by the syrian government the areas in there with approval and then the group from lebanon they are there with the approval but we are not. the president put 250 special forces casually?
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no. the world does vides the devil to you if you think the number of american troops into iraq is three 1/4 thousand they announced time telling you this four or five times that amount if you killed the pilots or the crew from the ocean. so that is not telling the truth to the people and that is sad but on the other hand, i don't think he will be the brightest president for the next 50 years. >> that is a lobar but thanks for your time i enjoyed the discussion is
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there then kinky is a genuine patriot fans saw some anything's going on that he manipulated he said something to the effect if we don't do this now will be too late spinnaker radio network's bureau chief moderates race in america with a panel discussion with race and american culture. the author of many books
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including the old: too close to call in his most recent, american heiress area. >> toobin, welcome to c-span2's in depth. the authors of seven books and counting including your most recent book american heiress, wild side of the kidnapping, crimes and trial of patty hearst and i want to begin where you end the book. youwrote this without her cooperation . >> i did quite how was that? >> guest: there were several things different about this book then my other book. this is the first book i've written that was really atthe border of journalism in history . all the other books that i wrote, i had sort of covered the underlying story in real time and then wrote about it. this is something, i was alive in the 1970s but i was a kid.
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i didn't follow this stuff so it was starting from scratch in terms of my research and i discovered that there was a tremendous volume of printed material and in particular 150 boxes of material about the liberation army and its trials, that one of the survivors had and i managed to obtain access to that though i knew i had a great deal of material no one had ever seen before but obviously to answer your question, i would have liked to have talked to patty hearst. she may have through intermediaries wanted to know part of this but i realized i had so much in her material about her own book, her own testimony, or fbi fbi interviews that she had given up to the fbi and others, i had her perspective and i got to many people who knew her
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during that period and subsequently i was able to report around her in a way that i think i was able to give a fair impression of her perspective on the events area and this quote further explains why he wrote the book. use a quote, the kidnapping foretold much that would happen to american society in a diverse number of fields including illuminating the feature for the media, the culture of celebrity, terminal justice and even sports . >> guest: i sometimes thought the hearst case when i was writing the book as a trailer or modern he, like a coming attraction for so many things that we began to see in big ways and small ways area it was the first of the great modern celebrity criminal events that of course anticipated the o.j. simpson case area the shootout on may 17, 1974 where six of the eight sla kidnappers died was
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the first live broadcast of a breaking news event that anticipated so much of how we cover news and even smaller things like participants in a big news story seeking out book deals during the event. here you had stephen leader, her former fiancc, you had jack scott was one of the people who sheltered the sla trying to get a book written. you had f lee bailey her defense attorney trying to write a book while as defense attorney. so many things that became commonplace started or became visible in the hearst kidnapping side. >> host: of course randolph and catherine hearst, their pictures were in newspapers, they were on television and you may not reference to the black dress that she would often wear, why?
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>> guest: one of the important back stories of the whole kidnapping and its aftermath was patricia hearst difficult relationship with her mother.there was nothing particularly or there is, there was and is, excuse me, let me take a sip here. >> host: by the way, patty hearst is still alive. >>guest: very much alive, living in the new york suburbs. he's 52 years old .mostly a homemaker, social life. she's got two daughters, a couple grandchildren and she raises show dogs. that's what she does a lot of the time but to answer your question about the black dress because i think this is important . like a lot of 19-year-old, patty was 19 when she was kidnapped, he had a contentious relationship with her mother, especially in the 70s where people used it to talk to all of the time about the generation gap, catherine
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hearst came from a conservative georgia family and patty at the time of her kidnapping was living with her boyfriend, what used to be called living in sin with stephen weed, her fiancc area there was a lot of contention there and when patty was kidnapped, there were all these press conferences that her parents held in front of her house in hillsboro, patty said in one of the early communiqucs that mom, get out of that black dress. that's not helping anyone. and it was an interesting signal of how she was bringing her rebellion against her parents into her life with the sla, that part of the reason she joined the sla was that she was alienated from her parents, not a big deal. in ordinary circumstances, a lot of 19-year-old young
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women are alienated from their mothers but here under these extraordinary circumstances it turned out to be significant. >> host: and as a way to get her release, you write the following. the event was without precedent in american history. no one had tried on short notice to feed thousands of people. what made the moment so extraordinary was it took place because of a political kidnapping. >> let's make him feed the poor.
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that will be our initial ransom demand and randy hearst, remarkably, actually set up an entire organization called "people in need" ran out of a big warehouse in san francisco and they did in fact spend millions of dollars feeding the poor. didn't go smoothly and some of the food distributions -- there were riots. so many people wanted the food that the people were injured seeking it out. brut randy hearst, who i think is sort of one of the few heroes in the story, randy really wanted to get his daughter back and he had less money than the sla thought he did but he spent millions to set up this organization, which did in fact give out a lot of food. >> host: this apicture of katherine hearst and stephen weed after the kidnapping. he does not come across as a very strong character. >> guest: one of the things i learned in doing lots of
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interviews about this story is that the only thing that the fbi, the sla, the hearst family, and patricia herself had in common was that none of them could stand stephen weed. that was the one point of ewan national it in. stephen -- this is not a bad person, bad guy. he was a graduate student in philosophy but kind of hautey and arrogant and he thought the knew better than anyone how to happen the situation and succeeded only in annoying everybody, and the hearst family, and patricia, were particularly resent. of the fact that during the kidnapping itself, february 4, 1974, after he was hit by bill harris, one of the kidnappers, he ran off instead of saying to protect patricia. >> host: we'll spend the next three hour with author and lawyer, jeffrey toobin, our phone lines are open. you can also join us on facebook
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at facebook.com/booktv. send us a tweet at book tv. our twitter is,@booktv and send us an e-mail, booktv booktv@c-span2.org how long does it taker now you right a book? sunny have a simple system which is related to the fact i'm a staff writer at the "the new yorker" and my editor gives me a limited amount of time off. don't have the bandwidth, the capacity to right boat "new yorker" articles and continue my work the "the new yorker." what i do is when i'm in the writing portion of the book, after i've done enough reporting to feel like i have enough material, i write five beiges -- pages a day. 1255 words a day and that's a significant amount put not an overwhelming amount to write,
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and it really accumulates if you keep up at that pace. it's 25 pages a week, 100 pages a month, and i find that it gets me to an appropriate book length in somewhere around six to eight months. that just the writing. now, i view the reporting, the research, as equally, if not more important than the writing. that is a little harder to measure, how long that takes. that varies. as i said in these other books i've written issue was reporting in real-time, so it wasn't a sort of separate research period. but all in, at least a year, but probably somewhat more. >> host: talk about the kidnapping that took place in 1974. you have a picture of the house writ took place in san francisco, and you also -- >> guest: in berkeley. >> host: you also point out how san francisco has changed significantly from the '70s to where it is today.
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>> guest: it is remarkable, this a real revelation in writing "american heiress," how different the 1970s were, especially in northern california. from the way things are today. just give you one statistic. the mid-1970s there were a thousand political bombings a year in the united states. think about what that would be like today. most of them didn't cause injuries or death. although some did. but this was just a time of tremendous political violence, and the epicenter was the bay area. san francisco and berkeley. there had been the summer of love in san francisco in 1967. there had been the free speech movement in berkeley in 1965. but by the '70s, those movementses which gap with a good deal of idealism had curdled into real anger and san francisco in particular was rid
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'by terrible crime, including the zodiac killer, the zebra killer. i think people forget -- everybody remembers dirty hari, clint eastwood's famous detective. he was a san francisco detective because san francisco, at the time of those movies, was the symbol of all that was horrible and dangerous in the united states. today, of course, san francisco is silicon valley and the high-tech and prosperity and high rent. then it had a completely different reputation, which was just interesting to me as someone who was just coming at the story new. >> host: we want you to join the conversation. 202-748-8920. eastern or central time zone. 202-748-8201 in the mountain and pacific time zones. we welcome our listeners on chance radio. our conversation with jeffrey
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toobin. let me go back to an interview on "dateline" with pa trish that heart. >> how do we understand this missing year of your life, after the shootout, the sla members are killed. you could have left at any number of points. >> no, i think it's not true could i have left at any point. couldn't do anything at any point anymore. i couldn't even think thoughts for myself anymore. because i had been so programmed that the fbi was looking for the sla, shouldn't even try to think about rescue because they would call in psychics to find me, and that's the kind of thing i believed. >> host: what led her to basically stay with them? because she joined in. >> guest: she was part of the group. >> her nameas tania. >> guest: she called herself tania. she took the name tania because
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the guevara's partner and fellow revolutionary in -- bolivia was tania, an east german woman. one thing i tried to stay away from in writing "american heiress" was the jargon that's associated with the story. brain washing, stock home syndrome, all of which are journalism terms. i try to look at the facts and what actually happened. when you see what patricia's life was like during that year between may of '74 and september of '75 when she is arrested, you see these tremendous -- these repeated opportunities for her to leave, that she accounted -- she went to hospitals, she had poison oak and needed to get treated and gave a fake name. she traveled across the country
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withjack pot and his elderly parents who begged her to go back to her family. and my simple-minded view, and i think it's good to look at things sometimes in a simple-minded way, is that she didn't go back because she didn't want to go back. she had joined the sla, like a lot of young people did in the '70s, they joined in with revolutionary groups who later rolled their eyes and say how could i get involved with those crazy people? i have no doubt she wouldn't do it today, like most of the people wouldn't do it today, but then she did. >> host: you're very descriptive in her conditions. she grew up in wealth and privilege and she was in an apartment, house that was salad, dirty. she took the name, tania, met with who she called her comrades as they welcomed her into the sla. so a very different lifestyle to say the least.
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>> guest: to call the way they lived a lifestyle, almost -- inflates it. they were desper rad doughs on the run and they had no money. some people asked were they on drugs? the answer is, no. the reason is because they had no money to buy drugs. they robbed banks. three banks forks the very simple reason that, as willy suton said, that is where the money was. they needed money and they were living on enormous 20-pound bags of chicken parts. at one point they ate horse meat and bought contains over black beans, the cheapest food they could have. that is the life she was living for much of this time and it was very tough. >> host: you have a picture, take a look at this film from one of the bank robberies.
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one of the iconic photographs. where was she and why did this become synonymous with her situation? >> guest: this video is from the first bank robbery, the most famous one. she was kidnapped february 4, 1974. on march 31, six or so weeks later shark issue others noone okay she says she is tania. two weeks later on april 15th, this probably we're looking at now is the hibernia bank in a quiet sunset section of san francisco. they go in as a group -- remember just how weird and shocking this was. the bank robbery, as scary as it is, is usually committed by one or two people. this was this -- basically all six of the -- eight-actually, kidnapped this sla members were involved in some way in this bank robbery, and they had
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scouted the location of this bank robbery and noticed a relatively new innovation. security camera. and they stationed patricia, as you can see, she was toll to stand where they knew she would be photographed by the security cameras as in fact she was, because the sla believed in guerrilla theater. sever of them came from the indiana university theater program, and they wanted to show off that their prize recruit. so that's why they put her at that part of -- that part of the bank so that she would be -- so the camera would take her picture. >> host: another book "the nine inside the secret world of the supreme court." how are they doing now with eight? >> guest: the supreme court can clearly function with eight people. it is not designed to function
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with eight people. i think most people don't realize historically -- the constitution does not set a number of justices, and until just after the civil war, the number of product -- fluctuated because congress can raise or lower he number of justices but to state the obvious, there's a rope why there's an odd number of justices on the court, because tie votes are -- that's not an effective way for the court to operate. this is not ideal, but it is certainly a -- doesn't mean the supreme court is not functioning but just indicative of the political dysfunction that we live with, that no vote has taken place. >> host: is the chief justice, john roberts, umpire he said he wanted to be? >> guest: well, chief justice roberts is an extremely
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impressive person, and he is a very good symbol and custodian of the court's public persona. he is, i think, someone who takes very seriously the court -- how the court is perceived in the country, and i think does his best and does a very good job to make sure the court is seen in the best possible light. he is also a serious judicial conservative. he is someone who, like the other eight justices, was appointed by a president who wanted him to represent a certain ideological perspective on the court, and roberts has done just that. he now faces a very unusual and extraordinary, indeed, situation, where a chief justice may be in the minority in a great number of cases.
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going forward if in fact barack obama or if hillary clinton wins, her appointees represent a majority on that court. >> host: one final question before we get to calls. do you suspect the senate will go back on its pledge not to have a hearing onmer rick garland if hillary clinton is elected and will announce her appointment after she becomes president in january of next year? >> guest: no. i think when mitch mcconnell says that the next president should fill this seat, i think he means the next president should fill this seat. but no means does that mean if hillary clinton wins she will have an easy glide path to confirm whoever she appoints, but i don't see any real possibility that this senate, which is so politically polarized and includes people like ted cruz and tom cotton, who will not stand for any sort
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of vote on an obama nominee and can gum up the works, given the very tight time frame. i just think the idea that there will be a lame duck confirmation seems out of the question. i think it's possible that hillary clinton might renominate merrick gar lean and that would be a different situation, but in terms of an obama nomination of merrick garland getting a hearing and vote, not going to happen. >> host: let's go to david from tulsa, oklahoma. go ahead. >> thank you for taking my call. first, i would very -- very quickly like to thank c-span, you, mr. sculley, and mr. swain, and your coverage of the -- both of the conventions. >> host: thank you. >> guest: me, too. i don't want to -- sorry to interrupt but i might as well ad my voice of praise. >> caller: there you go. and my question for mr. toobin is, is the -- was there -- there
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is a precedent for what the associate justice ginsburg did in speaking out on a political -- the presidential campaign in such a way that became very controversial. she obviously apologized, but i think in your book "nine," it's refreshing to get to know the justices a little bit more, and i applaud you for that, and i would like to know more about the justices. i like the fact she spoke out. >> guest: well, the answer is, in the modern era, there is no precedent for an explicit endorsement or nonendorsement bay sprem court justice in the middle of a presidential race. interestingly during the '40s and '50s william o. douglas was considered as a possible
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vice presidential candidate for harry truman, and others. so i don't -- i think people can be too shocked that supreme court justices have political opinions. they are very smart, safer have i people. they live -- savvy people. they live in washington. appoint by presidents. very aware of and interested in presidential elections. but -- and also we can have a sort of fake naivete about the apolitical nature of the supreme court. the supreme court is a deeply ideological body and there is not -- the idea that they are entirely separate from politics is, i thinks, unduly naive. how, i do think there is a good tradition of justices staying out of direct electoral politics and that's why ruth ginsburg was
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criticized, even people who are normally fans of her and i include myself in that group, and i think she recognized that she had made a mistake. i know she recognized she made a mistake. she apologized and moved on, and i depth think we'll hear anymore comment about her moving to new zealand if donald trump wins the election. >> host: not only questions about whether or not barack obama was born in the u.s. during the 2008 campaign, but then came january 20, 2009, senator barack obama taking the oath of office from the chief justice of the united states, we talk about john roberts -- here's how it unfolded. [cheering] >> are you prepared to take the oath, senator? >> i am. >> i, barack hussein obama do
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solemnly swear. >> i will execute the office of president to the united states pathfully. >> i will execute -- >> pathfully in the office of president of the united states -- >> the office of president of the united states faithfully. >> and will to the best of my ability. >> 2012 the best of my able. >> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. [cheering] >> host: what a mess. >> guest: watch the president's body language. he memorized the oath of office. >> host: just to refresh -- not everybody knows this -- i wrote a book -- is this a squeak debt
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to "the nine" which is called "to the oath" and the opening chapter is about why the oath was botched between the two of them there. and i watched it many times when i was writing the book but i haven't watched it for a number of years and it's startling to see how badly it was botched, and the real reason it was botched was a classic bureaucratic snafu, which is that chief justice roberts, his assistant, sent a copy of the oath with the clauses marked off for how he was going divide it up -- going to divide up the words -- to the inaugural committee but not to obama's office. that document, which i actually have a copy of, was never forwarded to obama's transition office.
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so obama didn't know how roberts was going to divide up the words, and if you see what happened there, is that the -- roberts thinks he's going to si, eye barack hughes same obama do solemnly swear and obama interrupts him after his name and then robert bz gets flustered and the whole thing goes to hell, but it's all because neither one of them knew how the other was going to break up the words. >> host: what is interesting in the book is you talk about the next day think first full day of the obama white house, the number one issue was he legitimate in taking the oath of office, was he a legitimate president which created a white house debate. talk about that. >> guest: well, there were newspaper stories about sort of the oath, and david barren, a young deputy assistant attorney general -- hardly anyone was in their offices at that point --
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had a conversation with greg craig, the white house counsel at the time, and said, remember, this is a president who some people think wasn't even born in the united states so we have to be sure of his legitimacy. we have to be sure there nor shadows on his legitimacy. so they, on the morning of the 21st, have all these sort of -- not panicked but serious conversations about, what should we do about that? and in short order, they decide, you know, just to be sure, belt and suspenders, let's redo it, and they call the chief justice's chambers, greg craig, the white house council, calls and says we'd like to do this, and roberts, true to his sort of midwestern graciousness, says,
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subtly. and in the afternoon comes over to the white house and they re-enact the oath. a bizarre post script. when obama is reelected on -- in 2012, inauguration day, falls on a sunday, and on -- by tradition, the public ceremony is never on a sunday, so roberts came to the white house and administered the oath privately on sunday, and then publicly and successfully on -- in front of the capitol. so barack obama is the only president, except franklin roosevelt to take the oath of office four times. >> host: what is interesting is there is know video -- the moment we had the picture from the white house of the chief justice giving him the oath of office, january 21, 2009, but the white house did not allow reporters -- they allowed a pool photographer, a print photographer, but no video of that ceremony.
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>> guest: right, robert gibbs, the incoming white house press secretary at the time, this was something that was happening very much on the fly, and he was given short notice, and he decided, in effect to heck with a video pool of this, we'll just have still photographers, but i think in retrospect it was a mistake not to have a video record of that. there were a handful of witnesses. there was a pool of reporters who were present, and some of them have just pulled their tape recorders out and i had a chance to listen to the audio, but there is no video of the -- of what happened. >> host: next is jim from california. you're on with jeffrey toobin who is a write are for the "the new yorker" and a contributor to cnn. >> caller: thank you very much
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for having me and thank you for the show you do and for c-span in general. which is a wonderful network, one of the great ones. didn't franklin roosevelt take the oath in one take the first -- the first inaugural? >> host: in the become -- >> guest: when i was writing "the oath" i got into oath minutiae, oath history, and you're right that franklin roosevelt is the only president of the modern era -- we don't have tape recordings how it went much before him -- but who just recited it outright without the chief justice telling him what to say. another sort of peculiarity of the oath story is that the last line that we're so familiar with so help me god, is associated
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with george washington. he -- george washington supposedly said it after being sworn in as the first president, but even that is subject to a little bit of historical debate. the fact that he supposedly said it wasn't disclosed until about 20 or 30 years later, and the question arises, why did no one talk about if that what he said, for another 20 for years? so there's a bit of mystery how the oath evolved the way it did. >> host: jim, still there? was there your only question. >> caller: i wanted to ask also about the appointments to the court, beginning with bork, where i thought he was unfairly treated, and i think that's where the politicalization of the court began and since then we have had what i would call blind appoint; not because they're not very good lawyers or don't have the background or the
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skills, but we used to hey law professors, my constitutional law professor at northwestern many years ago was nath thannal nathan, want of brandeis' law clerks. brandeis was not a judge. goldberg and stephens came out move law school, northwestern, but lately it's just been harvard and yale. we don't have that -- the scope and the diversity that we -- i believe we should have on the court with everybody going to the same school, getting the same education, all being supreme court clerks, and so on. i just like your comments on that. >> guest: diversity -- i think you make an excellent point about diversity. we think about diversity in terms of race and gender and obviously that is important but there are other kinds of diversity. think about this. the supreme court that decided brown v. board of education in 1954, not one of the justices
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had been a full-time judge before going on the supreme court. earl warren was governor of california, hugh go black was senator, an attorney general. these were people who had big, complicated, public lives. n the modern era -- you're right to point out the bork nomination as the turning point there has been a tendency to move towards only appeals court judges. when samuel aleta replaced sandra day o'connor, all nine justices were former federal appeals court judges and i think the court does miss something without people who had run for elective office, for example. sandra day o'connor was the last justice who would run for office. she had been a state senator in in arizona. it's terrible loss for the court they don't have that kind of diversity of experience, but i do think that -- i think the
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caller is right that the bork experience led presidents to pick people with relatively bland public records, that even though people on the inside might know their actual political views, they are seen as safe choices because they can't be pinned down with controversial opinions. >> host: let me follow up on that. you've write: temperment allie chief justice rein quest never left the nixon justice department. justice odon for never stopped being a politician. antonin scalia, bryan, remained the law professors, and john roberts was a litigator whose primary responsible was to figure out ways to win. >> guest: that's right. and that is -- i think illustrates why diversity is a real value. sandra day o'connor wanted the
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court to stay towards the center of american politics. nat was the kind of politician and the kind of judge she turned out to be. antonin sal ya -- scalia was someone who had very definite views, born in the academy, of what the constitution meant and he spent two plus decades trying to push that agenda. i think these justices are the people they always were. i just wish that the talent pool was different, that it wasn't just appeals court judges and law professors. >> host: this is a tweet from one of our view disagreeing with your sale of pa trish that hearst saying i disaglee that miss hertz join the sla. very was a victim. mr. toobin does not understand brain washing. >> guest: this is an argument i take very seriously, and also someone who has covered criminal
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law as a former prosecutor. i am very aware that crime victims are people who need to be treated fairly and with dignity, and there is no question that patty hereto was a crime victim. she was kidnapped. it was a terrible thing are. she was put in a car trunk, and then put in a closet, and she had no role, no agency no participation in that. there were -- have been rumors she had some role in staging her own kidnapping. that's all total nonsense. she was a pure crime victim. however, there comes a point when people do change, and you look at what happened from february of '74 to september of '75, and you look at her behavior, and the only conclusion i can draw is not
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that she was brain washed, which is a concept that i think is murky at best. what i believe happened is this was a restless and vulnerable woman, who was appealed to by people who were treating her by and large well, by match march and april. she fill in love with run of her cappers, willy wolf no doubt. and then he joined in with them and spent the next year on the run. willy wolf was killed in the big shootout with the los angeles police department in may. she meets up then with steve sole and falls in love with him. yes, she was a crime victim, and, yes, crime victims definitely deserve our sympathy and respect, but in this circumstance, my conclusion was she joined the sla. >> host: why and how did she got
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the pardon by president carter. >> guest: she got a commutation from president carter and a pardon by president clinton. that's significant. just to bring people up to date on the story, she is tried after she is arrested for the first of the three bank robberies she is involved in. again, keep in mind, this isn't just one bank robbery. she did three, club one where a woman was killed. she was tried for the hibernia bank robbery, the first one, the one we saw the surveillance video from, on april 15, 1974, in san francisco. she made the defense that the caller was talking about and people were talking about, i was brain washed, coerced, and the jury rejected that defenses' she was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. following the failure of her appeal, the hearst family organized this tremendous drive for president carter to commute
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her sentence. ronald reagan, close friend of the hearst family, joined in this effort. her local congressman, leo ryan, joined in this effort, and something happened on the eve of the decision -- carter's decision about whether to commute her sentence, that really tipped the balance. that was -- people who were alive in the '70s will remember this -- the reverend jim jones followers who was also from san francisco, in guyana, committed mass suicide. they all drank the -- this expression -- miami hear this expression but don't know where it came from -- they drank the kool-aid and committed mass suicide. that created enormous interest in the united states in the subject of brainwashing. how can you get people to do something like this, and carter in the immediate aftermath, commuted her sentence and she
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only served 22 months. >> host: congressman ryan was killed in the shootout at the same time. >> guest: exactly. what killed in guyana visiting his constituents. two decades laid later, bill clinton is about to leave office, and jimmy carter and roslyn carter urge his strongly to pardon patty hearst and on the same day he issued pardons for his brother, roger clinton, his -- the pardon for mark rich, the fugitive financier, he pardoned patty hearst and my view of the commutation and the pardon is the purest example of how wealth helped patty hearst. our prinze are full of people who fall in with bad people and make bad decisions and wind up locked up for a very long time. there are lots of people like that.
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our system does not have much room for forgiveness of those people. patty hearst becomes the only person, the only person in all of american history, to receive a commutation from one president and a pardon from another. and that to me is a story about wealth and privilege. >> host: and the relationship with her mom post commutation? >> guest: you know, like so many teenagers who find their parents intolerable and unfair and annoying, she not only become -- develops a loving relationship with her mother, as i see it, she very much becomes her mother, like a lot of us become our parents. >> host: go to roger in decatur, georgia, with jeffrey toobin. >> caller: thank you for c-span. jeffrey, let me say first, i find your work too journalistic, it's not really thoughtful
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enough for someone who is not write only deadline. i'd like to get some of your experiences, observers of the supreme court. do you think the justices have a juris prudence when they come to the court? is this something that is sort of created by law professors, that they write about, and then the justices try and follow it? is it something they're trying to just be consistent with opinions they have written and find themselves booked into a place where they can't change? in other words, -- >> guest: i get your question. let me try to give you a thoughtful answer that you'll find satisfactory. the constitution is a document that does not interpret itself. it is subject to many, many interpretations. and the -- it is a political document, and interpretation of
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the political -- a political document is a political act, and the reason justices are picked for the court is that presidents think they will be able to extend their own political and ideological legacy through their appointments, and you know what? they do a pretty good job of it. that's why we see the four democratic appointees voting one way and the four republican appointees voting the other -- in most -- not all but in most cases when you look at questions does the constitution protect 0 woman's right to choose borings. does the constitution require that every state allow gay people to get married? the constitution doesn't answer those questions. you need an ideological approach to the constitution, to answer those questions. and there are differences and they are largely based on politics, and that's why it matters whether democratic or republican presidents make
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appointments. >> host: send us a tweet,@book tv and send us an e-mail at booktv@c-span forth organize. lauren asks whatever happened to stephen weed? did you interview him. >> guest: i did. he was a graduate student in philosophy when he was living with patty hearst, and he didn't become a philosopher. he became a real estate broker in silicon valley and he has led a very nice life in largely obscurity, the way most people do, and he is a nice guy, and he remains somewhat bewildered, as anyone would be, by this crazy experience but he is a -- now in his mid-60s and married, kids. >> host: in the interest of full disclosure, we're obviously interested in this tweet from a viewer saying: i read all your books signed by him.
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can jeffrey comment on the future of video in the supreme court. >> guest: oh. c-span2 has a real axe to grind on this one. >> host: not an axe to grind with want to open the process. >> guest: look. i used to say that the reason there were no cameras in the supreme court could be answered in two words. and those two words were, jon stewart. because the justices didn't want to be made fun of on "the daily show." jon stewart is gone but the concept is the same, and we talk about stockholm syndrome in the context of the patty heart case. how about in the case of sonia sotomayor and elena kagan, both said during the confirmation hearing said i think cameras in the courtroom would be a great idea.
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now you ask them, i don't know, i'm worried about the effect on the deliberations. to me, the arguments against cameras in the supreme court are terrible arguments. there are no witnesses to be intimidated. this is just lawyers arguing. the importance of the subject matter is unquestioned. it's their candy store. they don't want open themselves up to much scrutiny. one thing that will happen is i do believe the justices will eventually allow live streaming of the audio of supreme court arguments because they're already microphones, already are -- they release the audio at the end of the week when they have arguments. i think that will be their concession to the modern world, and i think they will recognize correctly that takes the heat
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off. video would be different in fairness to the justices you would have to put in cameras, have to change the lighting, and i think they should, but it would be a significant change. the live streaming the audio would offer no change at all. >> host: from "the fine" outsiders tend to be surprised by how rarely supreme court justices supreme to each other one union ones. under justice rhenquist they spent a good deal together as a group. what change snead it hasn't changed that much. john robert wad as law clerk to rhenquist and i think temper. ally and terms of interpersonal dynamics roberts has rep mix indicated the rhenquist court. rhenquist serve under chief justice burger who was generally unpopular because they -- his colleague thought burger tried to have too much of a heavy hand
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in the court's deliberations and rhenquist said, look, we are going to disagree, that's inevitable, but we are not going 'obother each other, so rhenquist, who didn't have a lot of patience inen, tried to move things along, and the court's conferences, they're secret nine -- when shape meet with each other to discuss the cases that, i would go around the table and vote. they wouldn't discuss the cases very much. and that is expandedded a little under roberts but a basically a similar scenario. rhenquist's philosophy about the justices was good, fences make good neighbors. we leave each other alone, we'll get along better, and it remains mostly that way. they do enter act somewhat but this is really nine separate law firms and they vote and they exchange memos but that's mostly it. >> host: nancy, you're next from brooklyn, new york. >> caller: i have two questions.
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one is what this dear vacation of the symbionese liberation army name, and is i'm mystified a person who is 70 years old would not be able to acknowledge that they were a different person 50 years ago from the one they are today? i'm kind of mystified and puzzled and wonder if you could comment on that. i know you don't know her motivations, but it just seems bizarre to me as an elderly person myself. thanks. >> host: she is in her early 60s. >> guest: as far as i'm concerned the early 60s are not elderly. it backs d bill bill becomes moe foreseeable future. don't want to think of that as elderly. but it's a good point. i think people become locked in with their stories. people try to justify their behavior. people try to explain.
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it's a lot easier to say, you were a victim, than to say you actually participated in some very bad acts, and there were some very bad acts during that lost year that patty hearst was on the run with the remnants of the sla two more bank robberies, including one where a woman was killed. there were bombings. she shot up a street in los angeles. this was a serious crime wave by patty hearst and others which renders her commutation and pardon all the more incredible. to answer your first question, donald defreeh was the leader of the sla. a lot of people today think, the sla they were one of those black revolutionary groups donald defrees was the only black person in the sla and he
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collected recruits about him that were mostly middle class kids, berkeley students, berkeley dropouts, students who migrated from indiana, and he came up with the word symbionese, which is sort of a corruption of symbiosis. he thought people working together in symbiosis -- he made up the word symbionese. he called himself, some people may remember, general field marshal sinq, which is an absurd inflated concept that they had about their own importance, and that's why he called them an army. and liberators. but as i point out in "american heiress," symbionese is not a word. they did not liberate
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anything or anyone, and they certainly were not army because they were about a dozen of them tops. but that's the derivation of the name. >> host: you have a relatively recent photograph of patty hereto. >> guest: i do. she is now best known for raising show dogs. she raises stizu and had a victory at the westminster kennel club in one of the divisions. so one of the amazing things about patty hearst's story is that for all the tumult and crisis of these events and going to prison, she has let the life for which she was destined. a wealthy homemaker, socialite, and this shows we are who we are. >> host: richard, ventura, california. you are next.
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>> caller: thank you. i love booktv, and as a former prosecutor, i'm reading your book on the hearst case with great interest. you noted in the book that patty hearst was live agent 2603 ben view avenue in berkeley, the scene of the kidnapping. >> guest: correct. >> caller: in 1970 i lived at 2606 ben view avenue, the two story apartment building across the street. >> guest: indeed. >> caller: and that where you said some of the students witnessed part of the thing and were fired upon by two of the kidnappers. >> guest: actually not. they were the students who were studying for the biochemistry exam, they were not across the street. they were next door. and they were standing on the porch. one of the incredible things -- when you think about the kidnapping and the whole saga of the sla, is -- and donald defrees and nancy lynn perry
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opened up and fired on these kids who were -- who came out on to the porch to see what was going on. it's a miracle that they didn't kill more people considering how many rounds of ammunition they fired, both at the kidnapping, the bank robbery, at the shootout in los angeles. and patty hearst herself at mel's sporting goods. we can only be grateful the sla war horrible shots. >> host: richmond, are you still there? >> guest: i'm sire. >> caller: you noted how radical the area was at the time but you failed to mention another famous female resident of ben view avenue. hillary rodham clinton. lived on ben view avenue in the summer of 1971. she came across the country from yale to work for a radical law firm, which represented many of the revolutionaries at the time,
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like the pa black panthers. >> guest: news to me. >> caller: well, it's true story. it's -- you can look it up on the internet. hope you'll urge people not only to read your book but bryan burrough's book, days overarm, which is in your bibliography. an excellent book on the era. >> guest: can i just second that motion enthusiastically. the book, "days of rage" is about all -- many of the radical movements of the 1970s. mostly focuses on the weather underground but also talks about the puerto rican faln. there's stuff below the symbionese liberation army. it's a terrific book and i'm delighted you mentioned and you happy to endorse your recommendation. >> host: we have seven books to go through. so another one "too close to call" i want to read a quote. >> guest: it's about the recount in 2000. >> host: you say.
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in all the supreme court's performance in the election cases, bush v. gore, vein indicated the famous observation offer by justice robert jackson in 1953. he said: we're not final because we are in infallible but a we are infallible only because we are final. let me ask you about that point and also what al gore did not do that might have changed history. >> guest: oh, boy. well, of all my books, "too close to call" is my favorite stepchild because do. >> host: you lived through it. >> guest: i lift in florida for the whole time, except i came up to washington for both of the supreme court arguments. but that book came out in october of 2001. there was a brett pretty big news event in september of 2001. so, it came out in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
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and people did not want to hear about bush v. gore after 9/11, especially a few weeks afterwards. so, that was a tough sell, and that book was not, i'm pleased to say, unlike the others, not a commercial success, and i guess i have a special fondness for it for just that reason. i have a lot of respect for the supreme court. disagree with many decisions but i certainly understand why they came out the way they did. bush v. gore, i think, is a very dark moment in the history of the supreme court. it think it is a bad and nearly indefensible decision. it was badly reasoned. it was badly written, it was inappropriately they took the case inappropriately to start with. so i have no -- i really still
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have a very critical view of that decision. but that robert jackson quote says, we have to stop somewhere. somebody has to have the last word in american political and legal life, and we have decided to have the supreme court do it, for better or worse. and that is why our election ended the way it did in 2000, but that doesn't mean we have to be happy. >> host: you had four very different people who are central to this. george w. bush and his approach, al gore, the sitting vice president, warned christopher, the former secretary of state in the clinton administration, and jim baker, long-time friend, confident day and in the george h.w. bush administration and they had a different approach. ...
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and why the decision came out the way that it did. i don't know if al gore had picked different person now, there might have been a different outcome. and there were heroic effort on the parts of the democrats. ron klink, who plays the young leader of the democratic forces did enormous labor under very difficult circumstances and almost still one. the amount of effort and resources was tremendously out of balance and that was the result of different approaches. >> host: you quote the firm executives at theater at the "miami herald" did this is from a q&a interview with brien lamb. it runs about 90 seconds to c-span: remind us what the "miami herald" concluded about the florida election.
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>> i will tell you what we did first abolished after the u.s. supreme court decided that there would no full-scale recount of the vote in florida, we decided that we should determine for histories date what were the real result. so we did our own recount. we went to every one of the 16 counties in florida and obtained all the ballots and we were able to do that under the really expensive public records law florida, which is really wonderful. so we obtained all the ballots. we went with an accounting firm to see them at the time and they did their account deleted our count as terminal in and we went to every single ballot and we had the supervisor of elections hold a valid and recorded how that ballot was voted on whether it could in fact be counted. they were marked in a way they couldn't possibly be counted. there were different standards. how do you judge the so-called hanging chad. so if you have a outlet that was
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punctured, if the piece of paper were hanging on, did you count that or not count that? so we looked at the vote under various standards that we determined that george bush actually won that election in florida. c-span: if i could add one more point, the "miami herald" did their own recount could later the national opinion research center at the university of chicago did a different, even more sponsored consortium including "the new york times" and the "washington post" that reshaped different conclusion. if the whole state had been recounted, gore would have won. >> does a tactical mistake by al gore. >> guest: it was certainly a tactical mistake to only call
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for four counties of recount here but i think the broader issue is what we know for sure is that the supreme court's decision ended the recount. there is no more recount after december -- no more official recount. i remember it being in tallahassee the recount was ongoing, when the peoples primitive cell phones and cell phones are pretty primitive ms days and people said the supreme court has issued a stay to stop counting the ballot. they stopped counting right in the middle. "miami herald" recount tells us, the broader media recount tells us that we will never know. we will never know who won the
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election, who would have been designated the winner of the election if the recount had been allowed to proceed. it doesn't matter a unlike marty behring said they are. but respectfully, and that is not the last word. the last word i believe with all my heart is we cannot tell who would've won because recounts can re-create them. they can only happen in real time and we just don't know who would have won. >> host: an e-mail from one of our viewers. where did jeffrey toobin go to college and at that time in college significantly affect her future? >> guest: i went to harvard college and majored in american history and literature. i wrote my senior thesis about samuel adam and i just want to say since we are in television now that if someone wants to make a musical about samuel adam, i am happy to help. i am really ready to help.
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you know, in fairness i think hamilton life is a little more suited for a musical. did not have an impact? i love going to college. i spent most of my time in college at the student newspaper. i was really much more my nature than my academic interests. i like my classes. i was happy to study american has read, but that was when i really can't do journalism bug, even though i did go from there to law school. but i still have a great fondness for histories and early american history and reigning american era was really kind of a return to those college route. just in one very specific way. my last two books have been about the supreme court.
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the supreme court -- virtually everything about it now is on pdf. it is very easy to manipulate their research material. studying this event from the 1970, where i had received these 150 boxes of paper, it was really startling and wrinkly quite difficult for me to deal with actual paper again and a research context. i am very anxious to have these 150 boxes out of my life. >> host: sent us an e-mail. otb@c-span.org. what do you do in your free time and what was your favorite ultra- right? >> guest: what do i like to do with my free time? i have -- i love interesting
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stories and i love to cover and go places and i have a story coming out in "the new yorker" which requires spending a lot of time in alabama, which i just love because it's very far from my home. i like interesting things in the world. my own life is not terribly interesting or complicated. i am sort of a homebody. i like to play golf with my wife. i like to work in the gym. i like to read folks. there's nothing especially interesting are colorful about what i do in my day-to-day life. but i like to be out in the world into the colorful and interesting things that other people do. >> host: let's go to gary joining us from miami, florida. go ahead, please. you are on the air. >> caller: hi, i would like to ask mr. toobin something about our current president. i am a former resident of hyde park in chicago.
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and i was very familiar with reverend wright in the church. my question, the president attended the church for more than 20 years. he says in his book that reverend white was his mentor. he married michelle. he blasted his home. he baptized his children and he knew that reverend white previously had been a month on and had a company, louis farrakhan. >> host: what is your question? >> caller: well, my question is, does jeffrey toobin believe that the president did not know any of this or does he come to that conclusion that the president was either lying or
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isn't as smart as he claimed to be. >> guest: it's like 2008 all over again. this was an issue that was exhaustively down in the 2008 election. barack obama or title game that means that the president endorsed everything jeremiah wright ever said. i don't think it means he knew everything that jeremiah wright ever said. barack obama has been president for seven and a half years now and i think there's a lot of basis on which to judge whether he's been a good president or not. based on what he did as president. what he did or did not think that jeremiah wright at this stage seems utterly irrelevant. >> host: the run of his life,
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the people versus o.j. simpson. >> guest: the book became back into my life dramatically. >> host: as he sits in a nevada jail, what is going through his mind? >> guest: boy i got a raw deal. people are unfair to me. i would like to tell you about all the unfairness is one of the things about o.j. as he is a compulsive talker. he undoubtedly has the great deal to say about what has gone on in his life boats recently and in the more distant past. a lot of people sometimes have asked me over the years have made do you think o.j. has admitted to himself that he killed ron goldman, his ex-wife, nicole brown since then. i certainly do believe that he
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did. i think that he doesn't really focus in that question in his routes. i think he feels like the legal system has been unfair to him. that's a lot of people involved in the criminal justice system focus on what they think are the young heiresses of the said system, but not the underlying conduct that got them in trouble in the first place. >> host: what are the underlying questions for those who followed the case? he had celebrity. he had an ex-wife who was beautiful. he had two children. by all accounts a pretty successful career as a ballplayer, commentator, actor and celebrity. so why? >> guest: domestic violence is a real thing.
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>> guest: it is easy to make it complicated argument about the o.j. simpson case. in many respects it was a complicated stories. but why o.j. killed nicole, because husbands kill their wives. because intimate partners kill each other. because men kill women. that is what happened here. it's not really that complicated. their im. there is ron goldman's father in front of me. there i am with no gray hair little, or be two years old, looking pretty young. even then i knew that it was an amazing thing to be in the courtroom at that moment. i knew that this was like being in this film. this is a piece of history that was unfolding. i didn't even know at that red-hot moment when the verdict
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was being announced about the racially polarized reaction up he would soon see, which vaulted the story even more. >> host: which is our next quote from the book. racism and law enforcement and black citizens and thus the lecturers have stored too many insults in general and the lapd in particular we put this out. >> guest: that's right. i wrote this in the immediate aftermath of the o.j. simpson case in 20 years later and they came and said we want to know a miniseries and they made this magnificent series broadcast earlier this year. it just shows us how it is timely forever.
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the miniseries came out in the immediate aftermath of eric turner's staff in new york and all these incidents that gave rise to the black lives matter of move in. this story, the way i wrote it and the way it was portrayed was about race in america and how jurors, especially saw african-american jurors saw the relationship between the los angeles police department and african-americans and it turned out in my view that o.j. simpson became the utterly undeserving beneficiary of that poisonous history. but this year, which had so much attention on the o.j. simpson case, it just showed how timely that story was because the relationship between african-americans and

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