tv Open to Debate CSPAN December 3, 2016 8:45pm-10:01pm EST
in many sectors i'm not the first one to -- this is been known for a long time. and this is a basic concern. comes back to the question of policy. i think competition is an endangered species that always need support. this is been realized in this country since 1890 and it's still true today as it was then. so there are things about financial world that are good for competition. the fact that you can be bought up by private equity firms if you don't perform. that's always hanging over the head, by and large. >> that answers for short-term profit. >> well yes, but companies are able to elevate themselves. you you think about a company like amazon.com which never makes a
profit yet is growing at a fantastic rate, yet my concern about outfits like amazon.com or microsoft or google is that they tend to be so powerful and so strong that they end up dominating the market and become complacent. then the big question is, to what extent to we have free entry into this market, i can see 20 years from now we were doing the same do for transportation. these are all too evil and i think financial markets will have a very, very serious responsibility to make sure competitiveness stays alive if they don't then the fcc and the government will have to stop and starting with at&t and time warner. so we we end of drop a grain almost thanks. >> there you have it. you you make up your mind.
both of the books are for sale please try man thanking the professors. [applause] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> sunday and book tvs in debt were hosting a discussion on the december 1941 attack on pearl harbor on the eve of the 7575th anniversary. on the program steve toomey author of countdown till pearl harbor, author of japan 1941.
in craig nelson with his book, pearl harbor from infamy to greatness followed by an interview with donald stratton, a survivor and co-author of a book and american sailors first-hand account of pearl harbor. were taking phone calls, tweets and email questions fly from noon until 3:00 p.m. eastern. go to go to booktv.org for the complete schedule. >> welcome my name is mike and i am the director here it is my pleasure to introduce our honored guest, heather is a professor at mit, she is a professor of film and media and has written a number books, we met about a year ago at a conference that was put on by the buckley program it yell and i can see at the time that she
has an affinity for trying to understand the connection between the communications world and the media world on the one hand and different elements of the conservative movement so this is a natural outgrowth of the previous work looking at that area. heather has watched maybe not every single one of 33 years worth of fire line episodes but pretty close. she is probably the reigning expert now on all things related to firing line. please help me me welcome heather to the podium. [applause] >> thank you it's great to be here, particularly particularly at the hoover institute because hoover was so important to the research i did in the book. i was at stanford will all the papers are when they preserved all the episodes in the papers and transcripts i could not have done it without the hoover institution. it's great to be here the first
thing that people ask me about this book is why did you write it. the short, quick answer in part is this guy, i have been working on the book since 2011, about a year and half ago it became more urgent as our level of discourse seem to be deteriorating in the shouting matches be increase. it seemed like an important time to be talking about a show that really valued civil discourse and civil debate to be people who disagreed with each other. part of the the reason was from that impulse. but the other source of the book is more personal but intellectual development. the book in 2011 what's fair on the air was about the extremist who emerged in radio and television, mostly local radio but somewhat on tv in the years
following barry goldwater's defeat in 64, barry goldwater totally came out in the election, he got 10,000,000 10 million votes but he was trounced. people had a sense that the conservative movement instead, but the conservative movement blossomed in the wake of that defeat. in in some of this was on this legitimate side when oakley was advocating for but also a lot of extremism, paranoia and people like the john birch society emergent, that president eisenhower was a conscious, dedicated agent of a conspiracy, so these folks took to the airwaves and with their conspiratorial paranoid thinking and buckley at first was appearing on some of their tv
shows, this is him in the early 60s on a show called fast form which is created by a texas oil billionaire so buckley was a regular guest on that show but he figured out quickly that this guy was bad for the movement, bad for the image of conservatism, he, he was an extremist and paranoid and just to tell you little bit about buckley, he emerged emerged as a national figure 1951 with the publication of god and yell and a tack on his alma mater. this made him a minor celebrity, the book etched into the bestseller list at number 14, he became known from this book, but he really became known a few years
later and 65 when he ran for mayor of new york because if you run for mayor you become a national figure figure not just a local figure to new york city. he ran as a protest candidate on the conservative ticket. he he was protesting that john lindsay, was not conservative in any way, and buckley very famously was asked what would you do, was the first thing you'll do if you're elected and he said demand a recount because it just seems so unlikely. sure enough he he did not win but he staked a claim for conservative republicanism. and this really put him in a position to start his own tv show just one year later, because he was articulate in the media and there was a great coup for his campaign and in the middle of it all there is a newspaper strike, that met the radio and tv coverage of the campaign increase dramatically and buckley was great on tv. his great impart not only
because he was articulate, smart and charming, he was not afraid to show what he really thought and felt, so here he is, john lindsay, lindsey looks upset and buckley so bored, because lindsay is not very articulate, smart and interesting and buckley complained that buckley wrote his own speeches with your playing syntax, just terrible syntax and so people wrote letters to buckley and set i disagree with you and i went out for you but thanks for being honest and pointing to how much of politics was a rigmarole. so for for example he would decline to go to parades because he was like were not going to talk about policy at parades that's just image stuff and he was really campaign part-time for mayor.
so he was seen as an honest candidate even by people who thought he was much too conservative for them. so year after the campaign he started his television show, firing line which ran from 66 until 99 about 1500 episodes, and i want to show you a clip from that first year with david, he was a tv talk show host well-known as a liberal, he had a show called open and, was called open and because it was open-ended, if the conversation was going well they would keep talking for a few hours to the end of the broadcast way, if it wasn't going well they cut it off at 30 or 45 minutes it's kind of amazing this was happening at the time so he was one of the earliest guest and now show you two clips from the show to show you flavor of the program. >> the first time in television
history the people are interested on he who founded the program dedicated precisely to the proposition committed viewers to listen to as many as three hours at a stretch for many remain through communication with their reviews and ideas for which we are very grateful and then a staunch liberal in every context of the title, mr. eleanor roosevelt would unquestionably when it there's nothing as a prevailing buyers, so we're at the point and you're most welcome, to give us your preliminary views. >> why think it was unwelcome to how you introduce me. [inaudible] on the oak asian and old
programs you would bend in your -- [inaudible] >> it what a genteel disagreement right, so he is just fuming, he is such a short fuse and buckley has not always a long cute views but in this case he does, the charming meeting of people who week clearly can't really stand each other and i will show you one more clip from the same episode. >> were not here to deny that by and large the surfaces have a television and they are liberal dominated. >> if you use it, of course i do. i think our country in the last 40 years has been a liberal --
in our churches, our schools and communication media,. >> so that's really the dominant line at the time. it points to how lunatic it would seem if it had a conservative public affairs talk show 1966 and people think this is a liberal country, what are you talking about so it's kind of amazing. in addition to political guests, buckley also also had cultural figures, artistic figures, box specialist who is devoted to a bar can they would discuss bok and so on and i wanted to show you a clip from an episode with norman mailer to give you a sense of what he did outside the strictly political discussion. this conversation is not a political, is from 1968 and mailer has published armies of the night and shortly after he
appeared on the show he won the pulitzer prize and was about the mark on the pentagon and the opening is buckley reading aloud from i believe time magazine, their coverage of mailer at this event. [inaudible] they got annoyed and asked to speak louder, it won't do any good, but the time he was perky enough to get himself arrested by two marshals,. [inaudible] [inaudible]
>> >> quite notably he had black powerful on the show and he even has security guards behind him. they never move to route to the old thing they are not armed although there is a negotiation not to have guns on the show and he never knowledge as they are there he never makes icon tacked laugh laugh in the appearance of black power of the show goes where was showing it sound bites and
they conveyed to the networks that they should not cover black power anymore that they should just ignore it. but they did not take that advice and continued the it, but if you describe it to one of the newsletters this was a dead place to learn about it. in here is eldridge cleaver on the show. and betty friedan was kind of ridiculous not a very good speaker. she was the desk of the
family but they agreed about this one issue after they rob the show he wrote her a thank-you notes and said goddamnit you are good. unfortunately she did not want to come back but it was a wonderful show and they had just debated the week before she resounded the one that debate according to the cambridge students. so buckley also had that had come up over the years and he also had margaret thatcher on the show twice. she was not there to talk about women's liberation issues at all so this is
some of the government has not with all of the propaganda but look and i regard these questions as very trivial. >> he takes it but he has just been told of by margaret thatcher and that is great because she says we don't focus on this issue is not relevant and buckley says this in is poppycock what is going on because they're not more women in office but he pushes back. and also doing a few episodes with clare boothe luce but in she specifically asked to be on the show to talk about feminism.
>> note that is the beginning of the show at the end she -- he says to her of the notion that women are inferior to men the original sin of which i not guilty and not want to see them behind the wheel of every mac truck. what do you think and this is response. >> i imagine i study what i really think. [laughter] i am under the most charming and settle against a male chauvinist. [laughter]
and that would never say publicly but maybe a three martini lunch you can imagine her telling him of kindly. i will read some excerpts from the introduction than the civil-rights chapter and then we will do q&a. >> although the program was undeniably his firing line was not his idea to begin with and not altogether surprising it is hard to imagine a tv star less interested in television
than buckley he won an emmy in 1969 the longest-running public affairs show with a single host in history but she was the allied air. he did write a fine novel after all and how could you consider big gag -- rick jager a good singer he did listen to the beatles with his weekly session with his personal training but he really could not stand them in the 1970's he interviewed by playboy magazine and then appeared on the nbc comedy show laugh and to explain why did the interview playboy that we soleil to communicate my views to my son noting he only agreed to appear on "laugh in" because
he was offered to fly out to california on an airplane with two right wings. one cast member claimed mr. buckley buckley i have no discernible appear on television you're always see to it does is he cannot think on your feet? he can to be responded it is very high to stand up carrying the weight of what i know talk about lady and entertainment he replied and said if he were more respectable and that is to be desired he remained a good sport while being the dignified face of conservatism he had never watched the entire episode of "laugh in" but archie bunker he noted is the
greatest anti-conservative ripoff in modern history. and was putting out on a debtor party because he was appalled watching all in the family. he once a dollar edged anybody who wants to understand what is going on has to achieve the the most bookish man the whitaker chambers watched its and interrupted every single night of his life between seven and 11 he also noted u.s. to busy to watch a much self he had no idea who jaba the hut was and was down to a reference to mickey mantle. he was not aware of mass
culture and a devoted yachtsmen and harpsichord and did tv world of of the song from the brady bunch how audacious it was to choose an excerpt as his own programs the song. although she occasionally settle down was a power to click from show to show not only a jar of peanut butter also a remote-control. a fleeting interest to be editor of most of opinion by ap the better bacon sandwich could only be improved by
rothschild and traveled in italy to write a book give the high culture if he had the idea to host a tv show even political. bnd was pitched 1965 by a of an entrepreneur. he was agreeable to the notion through 1966 to complete his symbolic tran4 mayor of new york dizzily posthumous book on reagan he publicly revealed firing line was the brainchild of thomas o'neill. syndicating the show 66 through 71 when it went into the commercial syndication market in line for pbs. it was originally imagined as a 13 episodes series but almost tranfifteen data episodes you have to
consider these numbers typically runs seven seasons with 154 episodes in 456 episodes of law and order. buckley claims in the beginning and that means canteen or eager. and to never turn up profit with fiery why this was a labor of love. and to generate profits. and then to do vital work that has in advocate, "firing line" the only unprofitable with public affairs type as well
as the of mike wallace interview. the only conservative example the "firing line" was unique with the public affairs program as buckley describes it. to be modestly designed with no production value. but it was to say the least not a good-looking show. the lightning never varied with those pale light skin. and supporting those pantsuits anti-feminist of the ambassador's style hairdo one could count on uh
destruction of that mannerism the inclination to stick his tone not like a lizard for the 20th anniversary celebration program the only visual interest to detect and then he could part is hair with his tongue. and also perhaps appearing on 1966. and then to be defended and challenging 1964 hofstadter attributed paranoia with the thought that was a brilliant to be walking or talking proof of the claim as if to drive the point home the
earliest point was barry goldwater with the confident claims of liberalism and extremism in determined to struggling for the of the beholder that it needed and conspiracy theorist for the conservative movement. but to truly understand "firing line" and by extension was seemed a pipe dream with the conspiracy theorist those missing data base strangle hold on american conservatism and 1/2 to forge a new image from scratch virtually. that is the introduction concludes and i will skip
ahead. with civil-rights and black power. "firing line" focused as a right-wing conservative was concerned about the systematic of the problem of american racism. he did not oppose racial discrimination or empowerment or integrated schools and did oppose the most federal government intervention. annuities issues quite another to deal with is in dialogue as the advocates of black power with that segregated status quo on paper but they may have seen
comfortably in mind with senator thurmond on every issue and then it quickly became apparent it was a conversation about racial issues as his physicians were revealed. and then the then new to air their position within that they're using the program that pervaded the rest of the media. and dawn firing line behalf to put up by asking a lot of questions on national television. and then to see the light of day greg that by hand on a mimeograph machine. and then avoided investments .
and a stern lecture as they appeared on the show. but that language was strictly off-limits. fin and then provide -- forbidding and dirty words with those thought patterns. and buckley made up point the before they started shooting to cancel out the payment civil-rights maverick with the very picture of decorum. and made some boilerplate arguments to send their children to any school that they wanted that they kept discovering new rights.
and then to be accomplished in america. then then to tamp down with each cigarette that he let. do with those in northern negro's are important. and went to the south and not to the north and and could not care less to buy a hot dog what about the rats are the cockroaches? >> what if they kill the rats is there a law that says you cannot kill the of rabbi and so tired of the argument i have rats by pit traps over the place second never get rid of them. >> in harlem if you kill one to more comeback to carry the carcass away. >> why didn't that have been
in other cities is there a special refuge there? it is a municipal function. >> when you have the entire family. >> diagnostic testing its 2d misapplies the garbage collection you are in favor of garbage collection? i am in favor of socialized garbage. but he will not let go there is nothing special of the ghetto garbage problem. they are more rhetorically find moments with the civil-rights movement with that rap prob -- the rat problem in the ghetto to comprehend in urban squalor.
did was simply impossible. in by the time ever on the show in 1973 and was still in exile and the fbi who infiltrated the organization later to escape a murder charge and was all smiles m. buckley was flummoxed by his staff proposed explains i am attempting to pin down a point with uh difficulties of the black panther party ashore in coherence. i don't understand your talking about a dime of very close listener. and the steady stream barely
coming up for air. with the "firing line" version of throwing in the towel to put down the clipboard. then understanding that utility thought so that would not be coherent. pet certainly that is confirmed by the performance. and with cambridge massachusetts maybe he made dead dialectic asset of themselves. and windows "firing line" episodes centered on issues of politics and of legacy of the civil-rights movement remarkably many years later regarding federalism and
voting rights. once believed we could over over, and jim crow by was wrong federal intervention was necessary by then almost everyone had a very the "twilight" years jesse holmes still said the south should have been enough alone. he may have shifted his thoughts and then it is interesting to discuss racism from improving and that topic is on "firing line" in the '80s. then to appear on the "firing line" debate the
aclu is full of baloney. [laughter] that was the best of days set up. with that national review archive and then describes the national review material as completely and respectable shortly thereafter best damn liar use so hard on my husband? he said so many terrible things needless to say that she did not off the air they got around smashingly. going to dispersed a baseball game. this time he won and then to
back into a corner on firing line because of a. with no holds barred tv debate and then decisively to prove that 1.you have baloney. [laughter] [applause] >> can i take some questions? [inaudible] this is the best cd i have had a longtime. everything go word i have loved every moment. did you have seen the recent
documentary what did you think again this says that they would not prepare for the debate such as it was. is that true? then what was the of preparation for the show? i was raised on the show so what was his preparation greg also been i have been told but it don't know wobble that -- but don't know spanish was his first language. is that true? what is the source? we made to answer both questions a terrific documentary some things are
little to overreaching it is the very good fell. to the democratic national convention but before they were on they said okay anybody you would appear anti-said anybody but gore vidal laugh laugh they had several encounters on television in the best over prepared and had scripted the of hell out of the end was very prepared and then at the end losses temper and was horrified by that that
he was uncivilized using swearwords on television. now the question about the show preparation he had a researcher at the office of "national review" for some years and to say the folders of research material to photocopies newspaper articles and was the very busy man and read of books already as a voracious reader he could not take a break so he was prepared on the fly on that special typing table in the back so he was very well prepared and you could see one of the
charming things they would have their yellow legal pad with a glass of water and that clutter just pour the designed to say what is next? so enhancer to your second question his nanny was spanish so he did learn spanish first and then english and then he learned yang lu negative french but he was home schooled in the early years of his life with a town house with all of the kids in they would rotate spanish on the first floor bank godown for amounts and
at certain points sent to of british boarding school so they picked up the british accent that never totally went away so i don't thank you sense that spanish inflection but with those language backgrounds but a similar voice but that subtle almost british inflection and right before reagan was sworn and widely talk like better use such big words? this is our top. i talked to my dog that way. and sometimes those precise words are the way to go.
>> your book is excellent thoroughly enjoyed it but at the conclusion you think the issue promoted the book that to there is a void in the contemporary media landscape. and that we don't have this on cable news or the intellectual combat. so given that mainstream to be palatable to the left to take down those liberal radicals. to help people see that they were radicals themselves. and not answer the need of the conservative movement
but effaces different challenges. so what service could that play? what could that do for the modern conservative movement ? in fact, in the new era there is a lot that it could do. but obviously when you have a resurgence of extremism sometimes i talk about the extreme meeting of its the weeds. with that battle to be in the conservative movement.
and there is management on both sides. i hope there is the space for this civil discussion and reach each in that era there is television for everyone. if you are interested in pets to be in the subdivided marketplace. and the thought for that political discussion there has to be room for that. that this could be on an hbo and where the show was shot for many years and then to buy advertisements.
so this may be popeye and the sky. ultimately what it means for the conservative movement but siddig is too soon to tell in with that crossroads is the sense that it has been corrupted? is that not be answer? but if it was a venue to say coffee is microphone with that nonsense on fox news and a mess in b.c. that italy be salutary for the movement with the direct cause and effect type of way.
about these larger political activities? that was interesting discussion. but over the years of those catholics that word in agreement with those discussions so on and so forth bobby and this is a relationship to the christian right with that respect that they we're doing politically but i think with hypophysis. to get to seem crude compared to catholicism. with religion into politics so he thought those things
that were pushing with people in the show at the moment when they were impacting be conservative movement with the '80s and '90s with pat robertson in theory to know him outside of the media spier but one of the interesting shows was falwell where he comes on to speak moderately how he once that pluralistic society. and buckley says use seem very moderate. how you convey yourself to the constituents in aegis would not pick knowledge that. it to have those players to
say they are good bet to to look at this engagement but when his favorite episodes to run every christmas for years and another favorite with those can now debates of ronald reagan and for most conservatives. en the other favorite was actually the bbc interview and then to have that conversation after words. >> i am a huge fan.
and then to come here, my question is the making of the leader intellectually what was so special that would help him to garner a the clout in to say in with the birch society they would always be there overlooking the movement but as far as i see now not a single person on the right that everybody would agree over 57 minutes.
>> i would overstate and was very popular and then went to yale and then achieves consensus among the movement. and how is this happen with that magic formula? isn't one that was so erudite or funny but he had such a fine tune sense of humor that the conversation would turn very serious that politics does have a humorous side to it we have to keep our sense of humor to talk to the other side and so on.
into have groucho marx to be very funny except talking about humor he doesn't get any of his jokes that his sight the worst godzilla movie you have ever seen. but i am not quite sure but that was a key part and also to be is not mass media era it is one is hard to figure that one voice emerging because we don't have three channels plus pbs's and then certain ways unless you are extreme.
>> [inaudible] >> how are deeply that part? >> like the up president-elect? and where buckley responded to, and current events and always looked at the bigger picture. and mike the news media cycle you have to respond that they bought the show he could talk about the future of the conservative party. where do we go from here?
looking at us the big picture to conceptualize. so i hypothesize said to have an episode with those political candidates where does this person, from out of the of blue? to have the conceptual discussion about what was going on. and he would try to sort it out to. but with president-elect trump specifically what would you really have thought? we don't have to speculate he wrote an article in 2009 not over politics necessarily but about trump and that jesse ventura to became governor of minnesota
in the article was called the attacks of the demagogues and he handley takes down trump as a demagogue and a narcissist he was really offended by him. and buckley was so pop -- proper that he would run for office. the key would have been very proud. and to be on the cover of "national review." with the conspiring in then as they support trump. in that magazine was always us space and there is never
a ban on the perspective. it would have been very pleased with that negotiated but what i see now is morava pragmatism this is what happened and. and they are speculating and what is happening with iran to sort that out. >> with two quick follow-up questions that you reference in the book in the other with respect to funding on a very long-running show how involved was buckley? when it was on the show and
had those ratings matter not matter once you are on pbs? and then to be syndicated on the market by market basis in the ratings were up and down in part because they were scheduling him poorly. and then suddenly be worse in the morning and then the word 8:00 that night then right after it was in the first adobe at me and he wrote that letter what are you doing we just had been everywhere every respectable person is in church. what are you thinking?
so those were the ratings were less relevant and one thing that is interesting about the show is the huge voice of the free-market in order for his tv show to succeed. they said why was already do this if it doesn't make money? and is a shows you could be a not-for-profit. and once on pbs did as well to the public affairs shows they'd never showed their ratings in then to send the numbers out to the producers.
and highest numbers that pbs were 73. upstairs or downstairs through the '70s and '80s but to buckley's should grant the flying circus did very well command much better. and pbs is thrilled so they're getting the young male viewers watching specifically monty python. that is just the need him to even consider. i say he must have spent so should grant. to say this is a dead
liberal party. but he is thinking what is she doing? and when the reagan in administration defunded pbs and all programming but what is great is to read the letters that buckley sent out to those raising money. and with the wealthy capitalists here is some money to keep the show going . with other private foundations. and there was never a doubt
we argued the following to be a position of fun paralleled strength militarily and economically this is a good time to get involved and the negotiations in be prepared to make those concessions inevitably are required between two sides equally divided i made the argument that in 1947 the united nations proposed to create the state's israel accepted it and the first test several wars began each was won by israel increasing
mac book tv is next. we examined the israeli-palestinian conflict. senator mitchell served as the u.s. special envoy for middle east peace from 2009 until 2011. he's interviewed by former represented jane harman, now president ceo of the woodrow wilson center. >> so, senator george mitchell, it is a delight to see you again. i've been. i've been reading you, seeing you on the airwaves and outcomes this new book which was interesting to read and arrive just at the time of presidential transition and a lot of people t