tv 2018 Lukas Prize Ceremony CSPAN May 20, 2018 7:15pm-8:53pm EDT
>> i am the dean here at columbia journalism school we are glad to see such a strong crowd tonight on this, the 20th anniversary for this award ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary all day with isabel wilkerson the author and was brilliant and we have other past winners here as well that i will introduce in a minute. but tonight in this session we will hear or present for awards for nonfiction writing and we will hear from the panel discussion that i will moderate in over the last couple of weeks i hope you
know she offered that story of the former attorney general that will be a very interesting session so one of the three lukas prize prize awards named after senior executive of hunter douglas in the netherlands when he passed and his children establish this as part of the lukas prize project and was an avid reader of history and the family has generously underwritten this since its inception 20 years ago and really i think they are here with us that they would be recognized. [applause]
>> one of those guests is a work in progress that i think is distinctive in all of prize giving and has made such an impact on the fine riders in the fine books and for the first time looking at those works in progress with $25000 grants given to the completion of significant works of nonfiction over those concerns are thank you for your mission to expand that part of the project. we have a short video to show you of the origin from j anthony lukas prize. >> so many respects the most important part
done through storytelling with a social conscience if you look at now the winners i thank you would say it is a. the on of excellent -- pantheon of excellence. [applause] so the lukas prize has grown to encompass not just the history prize but also the works in progress prize into $5000 grants to two of the strongest students in the legendary book writing class here at graduate school that have gone on to publish books
i would also note the project is formed every year by board members and judges who give a lot of their time to uphold the ideals that you just saw in the video and she recognized for members thank you for the time. [applause] and i want to mention the drug judges that are here for their dedication to review many of the books to select a winner if you were here please stand. david, ethan, and elizabeth thank you for your time.
there are a few past winners i see in the front row. marsha, susan and will come back we met we share the stewardship of this project with the nieman foundation as you saw the director on the video but we have her partner as a deputy curator of the nieman foundation to give out these awards so james can get us started. [applause] >> thank you very much welcome everyone it is an honor to be here on the nieman foundation to recognize this important
work we begin with work in progress of word to help completion of a significant work of nonfiction on a topic of political concern this year barbara clark was the chair and we have two winners first is chris hamby an investigative reporter based out of washington also won the 2014 pulitzer prize for investigative reporting has a $25000 award for the true story of the epic battle for justice judges said to combine meticulous "in-depth" reporting for research with a portrayal of individuals mom -- afflicted with black lung disease still has not
been eradicated immersed in the lives of the west virginia miners and the courageous people to help them honors their work by shining a light on the dangerous conditions and those that are often forgotten no other option options. environmental human costs and the complicity to prevent treatment staggers the mind considers a heart and his work in progress shows the dependence on coal has implications beyond the theoretical. please join me to congratulate chris hamby. [applause]
>> as a work in progress. [applause] a writer and professor public radio commentator she just played on -- pay that gentleman who applauded. [laughter] to cover domestic violence working as a foreign correspondent for marketplace and contributed to all things considered winning the 25000-dollar award for her work what we don't know about violence can kill us. the judges and their citation said no visible bruises plunges the reader into domestic violence. the single achievement that she illuminates the dark quarters of the specter her perspective on the challenges to work within the system and
with the role of those factors unemployment routine pregnancy .the way to possible solutions in the best tradition she participates to capture the details to say what we don't know about violence can kill a third compassionate examination promises to take the national conversation on this issue in a productive direction please join me to congratulate rachel. [applause] >> now turned to the market history prize awarded annually to any subject but to combine
expression this year for david marinus and elizabeth taylor the finalist american dreams of laura ingalls wilder braziers the editor of the library of american power for it in goal little house theories the judges citation weeds carolyn has brilliantly recast the understanding of laura ingalls life at the time to shape the myth of the iconic west prairie fires reflect the deep knowledge of capture the full are of laura ingalls wilder's life poverty and struggle and reinvention. frazier illuminates how wilder wildly popular little house theories was a profound act of
self transformation by a woman who had reimagined her frontier life to be uplifting with disappointment keying into those relationships between wilder and her daughter rose prone to dramatic mood swings with a dark strain running through the family considering it touchtone to the house on the perry to place that experience and imagination unfortunately she could not be here tonight. so now we move on to this year's winner, stephen kotkin professor history and international affairs he won for his definitive biography of joseph stalin the second volume in the trilogy to the conflict of hitler's germany
the judges notation reads a stunning achievement to review with precision the. that the inpatient dictator develops into a monster to use the authoritarian rule and course of power to manipulate those visions to forge despotism through mass bloodshed through the command of the immense body of documents comprehensively is remaking the ussr into an empire he gets inside the mind of a tyrant of murderous of sessions leading to execute nearly 1 million people. the second volume deepens the understanding of a tragic. by his extension with the rise
in germany that conflagration in modern history into his right a captivating biography with the evolution of stalin as a human being a political operator in this horrific era of modern history please join me to congratulate stephen kotkin. [applause] mac lastly the j anthony lukas prize for narrative nonfiction on the topic of political concern to exemplify the great commitment to social responsibility to characterize
the distinguish work this year's judges was also the chair the finalist is jessica for her book no man land to describe the dark underbelly to the new low-cost labor pool made up of largely of older americans and from columbia journalism school judges wrote in their citation if it exists to take us to stirring places we have never been to share a character driven story to succeed brilliantly offer a powerful human perspective as she sees that is tested at every turn through that epic journey in the gmc van that
she dubbed van halen i think i see what she did there. [laughter] he was in the last three space of america and found the first-hand view into the new economy to transform the nation through the rendering of portraits of american to give us the work to transport us into the center of the beating heart please join me to congratulate her. [applause] and finally this year's winner
with staff i read the washington post amy goldstein over 30 years. "janesville" and intimate account of the fallout from closing from those plants in janesville wisconsin and this story of the hollowing of the middle class the judges wrote that stunning specificity amy goldstein "janesville" costs about the middle class in one midwestern community to become emblematic and to buttress the family social fabric that you have that original social science into a portrait of workers and politicians and parents teenagers and educators and a community struggling to find a way forward and as a subtitle puts it, "janesville" is american
story a triumph of nonfiction in the tradition of j anthony lukas prize she cannot be with us tonight she's at a conference in new zealand but she did send previously recorded remarks. >> thank you very much. i wish i could thank you in person i'm glad we could be with you all. i'm so grateful to columbia journalism school for this honor i had not thought about the gratitude to the nieman foundation but nieman has found a way. this is profoundly meaningful to me because of the value that stands for with any money -- the namesake i was to my 20s when published i received a copy as a gift it was an excellent gift because i had been covering the school busing case my job in norfolk
virginia so to be court ordered segregation impact of people within the city that it was easy for me to recognize how brilliant this book was. the idea that crept up a few decades later during the great recession there was a lot of terrific journalism for the obama stimulus plan and if the government should rescue the auto manufacturers but didn't look what it was like to lose good jobs and what effect that has on workers and families and i was upset at telling that story as a microcosm in the metaphor. with a proud industrial past with the oldest operating general motors plant shutting
down two days before christmas 2008 and as people who are generous over several years my gratitude is expressed as people of janesville. looking how to make real people into characters i put my old copy of common ground on the bookshelf rereading it i found it as powerful as i had decades before it even more daunting because then i was beginning to understand what goes into writing a book i was told by the design one --dash teach you that this is an honor i will always treasure thank you so much. [applause] she was a wonderful colleague at the post one -- the
washington post many years ago it is amazing to see how many are still supported from the newspaper newsroom so my stop time is 7:25 p.m. i believe some time to ask questions so we will go quickly down the row so your work in progress originates as investigative reporting to win a full of surprise a few years ago about the resurgence" country disease that he thought we had left behind but you focus on the simplicity of the legal profession but those support that they needed as they fell ill so talk about how you move
from deep investigative reporting to the narrative that i can see in the work in progress your strategy but why do you describe you are making that transition. >> even as massive as this was many hours of editing i could really only scratch the surface. and basically we made a promise as american people to the coal miners do what we could to eradicate because we know how to do that so we would provide fair compensation and we still have not done that there are a lot of reasons why but nothing short of a national scandal frankly so moving from this
historic sidebar on a new frontier it was a massive story to tell and there were a few characters that really stood out in the series. and what i decided to do after spending years reporting with them coming out in 2013 so reporting on the struggles with the benefits that they deserve so developing into a parallel narrative a young man from western new york came from the whole field as a 22-year-old kid-year-old kid and he was a volunteer with the boron property and to
become a carpenter and a clinic worker and then lawyer that quickly intercept incredibly meaningful way with the contractor of gary fox who was a coal miner. and to come together to battle against the coal industry. >> say one word about the contract with the medical profession to evaluate claims? >> it isn't unusual with those suspects but this is something that stood out with the initial series and since then as a significant threat that
either as a major institution if you examine deeply they just find that implausible when you do more reporting find that you are proven wrong that nobody can piece that together. so the most surprising thing that is flushed out in much greater detail in the book there is a group of radiologist that had a huge impact on literally thousands of claims over 40 years but they were all losing their claims and one of the characters in the book we actually featured in the original story and i have continued to follow him
including after his death and the autopsy to prove. >> that is very powerful and it will be powerful in the book i'm sure so no visible bruises what we know about one -- don't know about violent killers i enjoy reading these chapters and the framing of the book you have created so far. so as a scholar pursuing the ideas but also to bring people to light so two questions, you say at one point domestic violence is a public health crisis that we failed to identify with those obvious solutions with that violence
and without that disease we would be much are there along. so tell us about those ideas you find in your research so those potential ways to mitigate and then tell us how you constructed this as a story to bring these cases to life. >> just a couple of small questions. >> i think like a lot of journalist with domestic violence i was interested but i did not separate that as a vexing social issue i would go so far to but that somebody
just made a bad decision in marriage. but i met a woman on a saturday afternoon one day working in the domestic violence crisis center. i said that is interesting. she said we will predict homicide before it happens i was like what? how do you do that? it seems crazy i ended up following her around like she would go grocery shopping because i was so taken with the idea that you could address something that seems on addressable she was very patient with me because
obviously you know nothing. [laughter] so here are the books and the people to talk to so i spent two years educating myself on the particulars why victims don't leave or why someone doesn't show up with a restraining or that is we should be worried about. but then i began to see it is like i am not mad at you to scoop me on this story which is beautiful work but domestic violence was the front lines during mass shootings there are huge numbers of mass shootings that have domestic violence in their background and not taken seriously
law-enforcement, judiciary, we don't take any of that seriously. it is tricky because you have to catch them in the misdemeanor face before it is escalated and the law dictates what you have to follow so i began to understand in a way how domestic violence affects not just individual families but our communities and all the other forms of violence 80% of the men in prison today have backgrounds or they are victims themselves. but i could never figure out how to make the book. it just ended up being like self-help end it didn't feel narrative.
so i just kept at it and i would write it for whoever would take it not until i went to a prison program in california i met people who were in a domestic violence program in this prison and i realized nobody was talking to the victims but we don't treat the seed of the problem so that really stuck with me that people talk about the victims being stock but we don't ever talk about the perpetrators being stuck. so i guess i saw that as a way in and went back to the prison again and again that would never happen in the midwest but i began to talk to these guys and they gained a sense
of their own emotional complexity because i would have these gang bangers say things like i was hanging with my always want --dash with my man and i called her a bench and then i realize that took away her sense of self. [laughter] and so then i realized that was the way to encompass this as a narrative as a way to turn off domestic violence. >> stephen kotkin was a hard to make this transition? [laughter] i had the privilege to read the first line as it was a finalist for the pulitzer and
an astonishing piece of work and as vivid and as well-written as any biography i can remember reading for some time. i decided just to read as many chapters as i could commit in the time plus a lot of conversation with hitler and stalin and that is one of my subjects but start with the framing that you used coming onto the stage with power because you say if i remember correctly that it wasn't just that he made collectivization but collectivization made stalin with his huge ambition to collectivized agriculture so talk to us about the origins with the ideology of the party and the ambition
in social justice combating people and gave up the only job he ever held as a weatherman. and he did that to go in and i'll no money, no profession no prospect and if not for world war i and the revolution maybe we would not have heard anything about him. but here he was with private property that we call capitalism so the only way you
could build a better world to transcend the market or colonization and then the great depression and many people not just all and believed the only way to get a better place was to eliminate people. but the difficulty and the violence were greater than the original problem. of course then they folded to geopolitics and the time. in the fate of the world.
>> after reading that account of how politics was killer i jumped forward to the internal version when he starts killing tens of thousands of people and military officers and one of the themes of that part of the history is it was easy for him all of these mechanisms were now inside of the machine that were generating these purges so to think about that framing of what that really was. >> it isn't easy to murder nearly 1 billion people to be in a position of authority and eliminate your ambassador and military officers and eliminate the police and do
that while you are eliminating the others. and yes he did have the machine to deal with the communist ideology and through the outside world but through the world-class struggles with violence and enemies but most of this was part of the original underground revolutionaries but he was extremely powerful unfortunately but still i have spent many years now thinking
try to understand. >> the last piece that i read was about the run up with his pact with her on the eve of the second world war. and what i read to keep hitler on the stage with the treatment of geopolitics as 12 years his junior resident format and history leading up to the pact and then the invasion is incredibly complicated and esther mann -- interesting to negotiate with britain simultaneously the germans were negotiating with britain simultaneously he had a problem in east japan. so tell us a little why he made that shocking decision and also how he thought about
this. where the peace treaty was imposed on germany without russia's participation. of course, one or both of those to the extent that you can come back from being flat on her back it was a generation. the bursae peace treaty was doa before [inaudible]. the british and the end of the war. recognized this and the british spent the entire. trying to revive the bursae treaty to make it stable to include germany and maybe even [inaudible]. stalin, for his part also had of based on marxism and leninism and it wasn't followed.
imperialist war would destroy the community if the impact together and ganged up on people. however, if the imperialist were divided and fought each other instead then the soviet union would be safe and maybe socialist revolution would break out in the ruins of war among the imperialist. stalin spent the interwar period quoting germany for different reasons from helprin was courting germany but they were both according germany and hitler's rise to power in january 1943 change nothing. the brits continued to try to bring germany into a settlement in full infamously known as appeasement and stalin continues
his attempt to lure germans a ray from the french and the british which he eventually succeeds in doing in augus august 1939. this courtship of hitler of the british and the soviet spies made sense from the point of view of the geopolitics at the time. >> super helpful. we've got ten minutes and let me open it up to the floor for a few more questions for anyone. i would imagine someone with a microphone, in the back. stand up and they will find you. >> i'm curious we talk about the parallels between 1914 and 1941 when you put forward and think about how the future might look as russia tries to unravel 1991 what are your thoughts? >> to be honest i'm not that good at predicting the future. i'm just getting my stride on dealing with the past.
[laughter] but i will say this. we are not in that right now. we have no authoritarianism tendencies and other issues, tribalism, one could go on but this is not that time period. we don't have the violence in the politics that was characteristic of that time. the xena phobia in the racism and anti-semitism it's like an accordion and in those days the accordion was wide open to the max. now with the authoritarianism they open up the xena phobia and they open up racism and anti-semitism with a little bit
on the accordion but not like that. however, what is the difference between communism and fascism? the difference is communism is over. hopefully, not but communism does not work with pig in animal farm. they can't all own the property and they can't aggrandize wealth the same way but once you bring back marxism is private property you can keep the authoritarianism and the self-dealing's become legalized, in a way. and so, fascism provides the model that works for the elite in a way that communism does not. even though socialism is still back on the agenda because socialism is related to the image and reality of capitalism as the image quality of capitalism goes away the image
of socialism goes the other way. we are saying that but the deeper tendency and the deeper problem is that the communism stuff where they don't the state owns a property and you get control to some of it that did not work and we will probably not see that again. >> speaking of fascism, let me ask chris a question about the 2018 election. [laughter] there was a primary tuesday in west virginia where a cold beer and would been to prison or neglect of safety conditions that led to the death of minor was narrowly or somewhat defeated after the intervention of the president. there is a democrat, joe mansion, in the senate now who is up for reelection and his fate might have something to do with which party controls the
senate and i'm sure he was hoping that blankenship would win so that he could run against him and but from your boots on the ground field reporting what is happening in west virginia in relation with the attitude for the president and is there still room for a character like mansion who was one a couple of the times as democrat and who seems to be the most vulnerable defending incumbent out there in that party. >> well, right, i gave up in 2016 predicting politics. [laughter] honestly, it's difficult to say because when i am in there in west virginia and talking with guys about their jobs. it's basic justice and fairness. were not talking about that. what you hear and i hear a lot of people who are opposed to
environmental regulations and regulation in general but they also appreciate the fact that the affordable care act gave them a crucial provision that restored a presumption in the law that ronald reagan had taken away in 1982 that made it much easier to get black lung benefits. they appreciated in long part that the preventive rules put in place in 2014 under the obama administration seem to be working to help cut debt levels down and prevent this from happening in the future. as far as what they will do in 2018, i mean, your guess is honestly as good as mine. >> thank you. well, seeing no additional hands in the air let's transition to -- do we have one?
question. >> what surprising things did you find [inaudible] >> what surprising thing among the men? gosh, there is so many. one is that they don't have a sense of themselves as intimidating. you know, they don't have a sense of themselves in terms of agenda role or expectation that you know, they never think about things like it's okay for me to be enraged but not to cry. things that seem basic. the other surprising thing is that a, that they feel stuck to
in the same way victims feel stuck. don't have constellation available to them in terms of their emotional range and wants they do get that, not always but if they take it seriously they will learn to be better communicators but they just simply don't know and so that has been surprising to me. the other thing that is surprising this came up and i did interviews in the immediate aftermath of the attorney general story people seemed surprised that he was an abuser but people in the field who worked with abusers are not at all surprised only 25% of domestic violence perpetrators are those rage politics. we equated with anger management and get the charges dropped and sent to anger management but
it's not really angry. his about power and control in terms of one person and so abusers get victims because they're charming. it's not at all surprising that someone like attorney general schneiderman was able to find women today. i guess i'm that's how i would answer that. there is surprise on both ends. >> that is a great transition to john. let us thank our panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> so, first of all, jamie, welcome. i think most of you know jane mayer from the book that she cowrote about the clarence thomas case and she has two recent books at both have the word dark in them. the dark side and dark money. she has been a reporter for "the wall street journal" and the new yorker for some time. i think we first met in 1984.
most recently as i think all of you know she deserves congratulations for two very impactful stories in the new yorker. the first one was on the so-called dossier and christopher steele and who he is and what we should think about him and the most recent one in this week we were just talking about our now former attorney general, eric schneiderman. the first question i would ask from [inaudible]'s book where she says who is john galt? who is eric schneiderman? >> well. we don't really answer that question because were only writing about this particular aspect of him.
it was a shame in some ways because i think he's a very complex character and if it were a bigger profile there would've been more about why some insight into why he behaved in this way. why would someone who sponsored the legislation in the new york assembly making strangulation a crime later be accused by women of assault and of choking them which is exactly what he was turning into a crime. who is he? i think the parts that we did not going to work that he had a very unhappy upbringing. he was grew up in new york city, parents were divorced when he was very little and his father paid very little attention to him growing up in he was that's what his mother and he told at least one of these women that
she reminded him of his mother and it was not a good thing. [laughter] i think there was a lot of unresolved issues in his life and i'm just going on -- i did not interview him for this but i'm going off what the him and who were intimate with him how he was a serial monogamous and what they said about him was that he was in a lot of pain and he was anesthetizing himself with alcohol and tranquilizers pretty much five nights out of seven. meanwhile, performing very ably as attorney general for the state of new york. i admired him from afar so this was not a story that gave one great pleasure to do. he seemed like he was doing very good things in the public arena
but it was completely contradicted by what he was doing privately. have to grapple with didn't go over the line to the point where the public needed to know this? >> take us through the process and how the story first came to attention. >> well, one of the women was a classmate at harvard with a couple of people at the new yorker and she had a very good friend at the new yorker and jennifer was her interest and they worked at the same building where the new yorkers she began to confide in her friend there and the story reached the editor and at some point they were busy working on the still peace and i got the story about schneiderman and i would say and i wasn't eager to do it at all but he said just talked to her so when i was done with this piece i did and it was remarkable how quickly one woman led to another woman to another woman and
another woman and it came out to more. each one as i talk to them it became these interesting and upsetting patterns but there was tremendous patterns there even down to one described how he wanted her to remove the tattoo on her wrist because it was inappropriate for potential additions wife to have a tattoo. then the next would say he told me he wanted the scars removed from my torso where i had cancer surgery and then another with a he told me i needed plastic surgery for breast enlargement and then another he told me i need a botox and he was remaking these women through controlling them with plastic surgery even and it was really strange.
one by one they said i lost 30 pounds and he would control what i ate and my hair was falling out and i became emaciated and they sent pictures and you could see the bones were sticking out in her chest and cheekbone sticking out and then one by one they say he would tell me to drink any drink incredible amount for these drinks in lemonade side glasses that were hard liquor and hold it up to my mouth like a parent with a kid in state drink, drink, drink it to the point where it's spelled down on my chest but each one would say the same thing and these were years apart that it was going on over and over and that was not even about the sexual abuse but just a really strange thing to see the repetition. >> through his me to reporting also and how did your --
>> no, so ronan came in late and thank goodness. i don't think i had the appropriate skills that it takes in some ways for a story like this because it takes an incredible amount of patience and handholding and i'm not used to that. ronan has infinite patience with difficult people to be interviewing. from the start talking to tonya she and her lawyer were on the phone and i said i really think at a minimum we only had one person and i said we need three people and i like three people on the record. what happened was as we reported it one would go on and then we lose another one. they were freaking out and so scared and they were so emotional about this thing and i was sort of being -- i was like just cut it out.
i didn't say that but that was my attitude was just sit tight and we need three of these. ronan is wonderful at talking to these people and he reassured them and he told them that it was incredibly important what they were doing and just a wonderful bedside manner. i wasn't sure because i never work with him before but he is tireless and he helped get the medical records and he knew just what to do on that and then i wrote it. so, anyway. it was fun working with him. he was really, really great. >> early on and rachel address this issue i think everyone knows that women stay even when they are being beaten and there's a familiar pattern of domestic abuse and was there ever a time when you weren't entirely sure whether maybe there was a consensual s&m
dynamic to this or did you know from the beginning? >> that was part of my impatience in the problem and i don't know if rachel said this but i have a very different attitude toward someone hit me i and my feeling is they would be dead. so, how does somebody get pulled into something like this. it doesn't implicate them in some way and it was very hard for me to find the full sympathy and i kept asking why did you leave and it takes -- it was a real education working on this much like what you went through which is that eric schneiderman was very charming guy, as you said, they loved him and at least three of them and therefore women in one of them was not really involved with him. she just -- he just made an advance on her but and then hit
her but they were very invested in the relationship and was hard for them to get out of it and they kept thinking they could change it, fix them, getting therapy and he would make them feel insecure by saying you are not liberated enough to meet my needs and i'd like to marry you but you know, this is not working really and all of these manipulative strategies that made them feel like somehow god caught up in it and it got worse and worse. most domestic violence abusers don't start on the first date by hitting someone. a lot of the people who get hit get hit for the first time on their honeymoon and that was true of one and a lot of them get hit when the women get hit when they're pregnant.
they are kind of stuck. these people were not married to him and they weren't pregnant but they were publicly known and his mate and they were out there and they admired him and they feel in retrospect that he that this is about being such a champion of women that in being a feminist himself that they felt tricked like he had this deal of good housekeeping and they trusted him and thought of course he's a great guy. look at the things he said. he is winning every award from every women's group and they cannot understand because it was confusing. they'd be in bed and he would suddenly hit them and hit them again and again. >> it was pretty clear pretty early that he was a monster but when it became crystal clear that there was not a 50 shades of gray back story that maybe they were covering for was with the fourth woman where he
doesn't have any whips and chains relationship with her or whatever but he just takes her off from a party and waxer apropos of nothing. >> right. and what he says to her i thought was telling. it was he said i know people like you and she's a very prominent lawyer, high-caliber women and she's divorced with children and you could make so many decisions in your life and i know what you really want. he really want a male to be in charge. any concert really hard and meanwhile before that even he saying you are a little slot and you want to be my little for enlisting these things that are incredibly demeaning to her like he's saying and after he hits her he realizes this was i hit
the wrong girl to paraphrase edward robinson and he suddenly starts freaking out realizing she she's an important lawyer and he had hurt very hard in the says a lot of women don't know they like it but they really wanted. so, that's his -- it's as arrogant attitude. you want this and basically no means yes which is so amazing coming from him. you said he's a monster in there was a very interesting essay by megan in "the washington post" where a writer for the atlantic these days writes about how she had a boyfriend who hit her and she said it's a mistake to think that people say they are a monster but they are actually, in her case, and in some ways, very charming, very accomplished, funny, devoted in many ways and it's the confusion
of someone who seems like they are okay a lot of the time and that has this other side and they said they clicked into it and it became one of the women time you said doctor jekyll and mr. hyde and without the other side of him she would not have been there. if he was obviously like that but these are very educated accomplished women. >> no doubt we will see the movie at some point but in the meantime you can watch big, little lies. >> i still have not seen that but i have to go see it. >> nicole kidman husband plays the role and i want to talk about dark money a little bit. first of all, how do you define dark money? >> it's the term of art and its refers to money being spent in politics where you can't see who is spending it and you can sometimes see what is buying and
you can see ads it buys and its influence but you can't finally trace it back to its origins. >> you also cover in this fine book that pulls together a lot and explains a lot about what is happening to our politics in the last 30 years and you also have money that is not quite dark because you know the koch brothers and richard mellon skates and that doesn't make it less insidious and i wanted to bring the story forward in the book came out in 2016 so the koch brothers at one of the conferences that you chronicle you have at a resort in california of colorado sometimes there's a tape that leaks out but it's not just their money but their friends money and in
january of this year they pledged $400 million. >> for the midterms. >> yes, and to give you the sense to give you moderate democrats raise a $30,000,000.108000 increments and do you have any sense of whether that 400 million plus the 30 million that chuck has pledged are they waiting until after labor day to pour a huge mountain of cash on top of all of these democratic candidates or have they already spent some of it or might they not spend some of it because of other factors. >> i think they will spend it.
this is incredibly important to them. it's more important than the presidency is owning congress. that is where so many laws are passed that affect their business. it really works for them to own the hill. if you look at what they did 2014 and the last midterm election they spent early which was is not just in the last few minutes but they really have a whole infrastructure that in many ways is much more powerful than the republican national committee and has more employees and more money and includes going door to door all over the country and they've got [inaudible] i think in every state now so they've got an organizational model that is like a major national party but it is funded by 400 of the
richest conservatives in the country. >> do you think the conventional wisdom is wrong that the democrats because of they like the trump or -- >> i'm optimistic that the democrats and i am a democrat will take the house back and i think that there is just an outpouring of activism and people may be motivated by just putting a check on him and that idea that they've got both houses of congress and the court in the white house because we've seen the early races in the scene in virginia the huge turnout and its always about turnout. the democrats can get their turnout i think they will -- >> even though the history is that state and local races the candidate with the most money wins overwhelming percentage of
the time. >> that is generally true but also a lot of democrats are pouring money in it. navy not quite on the size of the koch brothers but they are not making donations of the coen brothers but there are motivated democrats. congressional races are left [inaudible] >> you write about corruption and not columbia but other schools and pretty corrupted by the koch brothers money that is really dark with all these institutes that nobody that they are controlling the professors who are appointed to be in these institutes but now as a result of your book and other work do
you think that people's consciousness has been raised enough on this and it's an issue at george mason diversity and you think there's a counteroffer now among woke people to identify the dark money and combat it? >> there is an effort and an organization called on coke my campus and that is what was working at george mason is and at wellesley the koch brothers are now funded centers in 350 colleges and universities that are pushing free market ideology under the guise of it being freedom of expression and freedom of ideas on campus and politically correct and they need to personally fund this to make sure the ideology is not airing and they
are doing this all over the country and it varies depending on which part of the country how woke they were. i was down speaking at the university of texas in austin recently and they had a brand-new coke center that was just opening and it's amazing how little people understood about what about it. they said it was freedom of expression and we just thought it was a good thing in there so much money behind it and it's hard for these places to turn away the money and then they were shocked that they had a debate in the head of the center debated the people on the faculty and the pre-existing faculty was pulled away by how right-wing they were. these are conservative people and they've never seen anything quite like their theology so it is happening all over the country. i think there is more of a fight now than when i wrote the book but most places just take the money. some of them and i never know
how to pronounce her name but any rate there are places where you take the money and you literally have to agree to teach [inaudible] and there are schools that are difficult economic positions one was the quaker school and suddenly all these quakers are learning about [inaudible] >> and probably in janesville, two. >> yakima paul ryan and were so worked worked closely. >> before we open it up want to ask one question about the dark side which one you want the george anthony book award in 2009 and gina haspell what you know about the dark site that she supervised and how do you sort out her level of responsibility for destroying the tapes of the torture that took place there?
>> well, she was in thailand and that was the site that she supervised and it was the place where some of the early in worse things happen. terrible waterboarding situations. people being water boarded over and over and over again. the same people and at the time it was clear they did not know anything. the reason they destroyed the tapes and i write about this in my book was that there was a consensus among those who had seen them that if they were released it would be on survivable for the program and there would be such an outcry because it was so horrific to see what was going on and they knew that they cannot afford to have these tapes comes out. that is coming from people inside the cia. they are saying -- to get rid of the evidence and is wanting to
write about it and another thing to actually see it. it was so horrible. gina haspell issued and she transmitted the order to get rid of the tapes and destroyed the evidence and what she basically is arguing is i followed the orders. it had been okayed by lawyers and so she was just being a good employee doing this. to my mind i think that is a tremendous danger with a resident like trump because she is saying now i would never do this again but if she is someone saw her job is following the orders there has been no evidence that she acted in any independent ethical standards at all. >> it's pretty clear the trump appointed her in part because she did this, not in spite of
having done this and the signal that the sons around the world do you think it will increase the amount of torture in total because around the world and will americans who are taken hostage or presenter be more vulnerable to torture now that the us government if she is confirmed is very much on the record of supporting what trump said during the campaign more water baiting? >> yes, i don't think the us is about to go back to doing it but when you have someone who is so deeply involved in it running the cia of course the message it sends to the world is we are okay with that. maybe it was not the right thing and were not doing it anymore but how bad could it be if she was not far from being fired but made director. that gives permission to places like syria and to egypt and all
these places in the world that have horrific histories of torture. we have no standing at this point to tell them that's a violation of the geneva convention because we just promoted someone who destroyed the evidence of a torn torture program and has not -- she is not completely condemned it. she has said it was a hard time but as a near-term today said the one thing that everybody really wants to hear her say which was it was morally wrong and we should never have done it. >> john mccain said it disqualified her. >> mccain has been fantastic about it. >> i think we have time for five or ten minutes of questions for jane. >> thank you. my name is philip turner. about the koch brothers and the cursors, if i may, i read dark money and and about the time
that's when the mercer's were emerging into consciousness more and more. with the koch brothers, while i don't like what they do, i never felt they were trying or willing to consort with foreign agents against the country while with bursars i see they been more willing to. i know you would not want to write another book on dark money but how do you see the mercer's in the middle of all of this? >> i did a profile about robert missile mercer in the new yorker and it's really odd person. basically he someone who said he would rather spend his life with cats than people which maybe is not so odd but i am a dog person. but he doesn't like to speak to people and he's a very brilliant but reclusive brilliant scientists and with no understanding or no -- i don't think he has a lot of knowledge about politics but strong ideas
and he reads very eccentric things and believes that hillary clinton literally murdered people from the things he was reading and he thanks that he took extreme views on civil rights. he thought the civil rights era was the biggest mistake in history and he thanks humans should be valued on the basis of what they earn so those who are earn the most money are the most valuable to society and those who are on welfare have negative value. mostly also wanted to defeat hillary clinton in the time we got involved in the whole thing. i think that he's an example of if he didn't have almost $1 billion he would no one would pay him any mind.
he's got these kooky views and but because of the system he has an ornament amount of power. >> rebecca mercer's daughter is all tied up with analytic and after the scandal broke there were stories that she would be sidelined in the cycle and do you think that is true? >> i just do not know. i don't think -- they basically helped fund him in a way that got him over the line and they brought in fannin and this is rebecca and her father in dc kellyanne conway and a few other people in cambridge analytical and it helped get trump over the finish line but i don't think trump ever liked them. people when you interview them about the mercer's i have yet to come across anyone who says they were delightful la.
[laughter] >> a little bit like angela lansbury in the materia candidate. >> i don't know if she's quite like that but they are bright and people find them hard to take and but their money is pretty helpful. anyway, will they be involved in this? i don't know. they originally linked up with the koch brothers and that's why they are in dark money. then they wanted to do their own thing because they were didn't think the koch brothers got things changed fast enough so then they got behind trump. >> [inaudible] people who are going to be with us long after the koch brothers are dead and will be funding these republicans -- >> we are certainly zealous libertarians in the free market tears and i actually think that charles koch who is the figure of the koch brothers is a one-of-a-kind character and i'm
sure there will be other big players but if you give him credit for being very much having put his imprints on this because of who he is. he's amazingly he thanks systematically like an engineer and he looked at the american political system and said 40 years thinking how do i take this thing over and how do i reengineer it to make it make this country the kind of extreme libertarian paradise that i believe in and so it's a lot of it is through what you were alluding to before. it's money spent not just on elections but elections are in some ways the least of it. it spent on the ideological assembly line with professors and studies that have come out with phony things the same global warming is not real and all kinds of political groups that seem to be citizen groups that are all paid for by
astroturf groups. alec that is introducing bills all over at the legislative level. it's a system and a machine that they built in. i don't see anyone else quite like charles koch to building a machine like that right now. >> american legislative exchange council, alec, the thing to get familiar with if you have not heard of it. it's very powerful at the state level. yes. >> why doesn't the left have a charles koch? >> i'm sorry, what was that? >> why doesn't the left have a charles koch? why isn't there someone like them? >> you could argue that you do argue on the right that george soros is the closest but he spent a lot of money in europe trying to fund democracy movements in the part of the world that he grew up in, hungry
and elsewhere. it is not come out very well for him. charles koch came from a place that was so far out on the fringe and felt that -- he was described by william f buckley as an totalitarian. he was a joke basically when he started and now he is the center of the republican party in this country. meanwhile, the democrats -- from his standpoint we are the establishment. the democrats do not feel they needed to build a movement. they owned the press and the academia and bit the centrism and liberalism and they did not feel they needed to build up a counter establishment and charles koch wanted to take it
over so we pulled up his own craft and academia and all of these organizations. maybe if the democrats feel endangered enough they will do the same. >> anything else? yes. >> [inaudible] there is a report that there are additional recordings of the torture sessions and tylan that gina was not able to destroy and they said something is that what you've heard as well? do you think those tapes will ever see the light of day? >> i don't know about it but it does not surprise me as a possibility because they recorded everything. one of the things i cannot believe what i was doing the book was in the beginning anyway was it was so meticulous and
deliberate and it was there were scientists and doctors and psychologists measuring to make sure that when the water boarded people they measured their oxygen levels so that they did not die but they go right up to the edge of dying and it would not surprise me if there were certainly other records and cables and i don't know if they are more studio tapes but most of these people were cameras on them in all of the sessions all over the world so -- >> there are so many examples of people trying to destroy the video and it turns up and [inaudible] was water boarded 88 times and it's quite possible one of them tapes survived.
the cia can be incompetent when it comes to all kinds of things probably including destroying the tapes. i think we are just about out of time but we have one more. >> thank you so much. in terms of your contact we hear a lot about accusations made against the deep state fighting against the trump administration in terms of your contacts with my people who have worked in the state department or cia, career people how is morale these days? tell us a little bit about the new head of the cia coming and how are these people doing. >> the morale is just terrible and it's not just in the higher levels but so many of the lower levels public servants are being laid off and trashed and i really see the backup what is
going on right now. everyone says that at the end of 2016 that the coax had not one because the candidate they did not back, trump, one. but i see so much of first of all the koch ideology is triumphant and this idea that government is the enemy in the deep state which means basically people with experience in government is the enemy and experts are the enemy and the press is the enemy and all of this was important to the koch ideology. it's amazing but they have so infiltrated the koch administration there is so many key positions. >> mike pence is standing there in the wings waiting. they are just in so many key positions at the epa with scott
pruitt is a person and double down if you look at so many people literally worked for koch industries or been the lobbyists and they are all over the place. the ideology is that government is the enemy and only the free market works in that regulation are impervious to the economy and its a battle cry now and we don't live that far from the white house and you feel it day in and day out and that's affecting the morale of a whole lot of people but i have to say i got to hand it to the press and i really think since we're here at the journalism school the reporting has been remarkable from summary places and the people have really risen to the challenge and they've kept their professionalism under incredible circumstances and
turned out one amazing story after the next after the next. they just keep doing it. the newspaper war in washington between the times and the post has been it's sometimes a rat attack thing that makes you go back to the days of the front page. there is some good news. >> on that note, thank you very much. thank you for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> tonight on "after words": >> that is one of the jobs of being old is passing the torch and taking what you know and have done or accomplished or want done and passing it on to younger hands. >> watch "after words" tonight and ibm on c-span2's book tv. >> book tv tapes hundreds of other programs throughout the country all year long. here's a look at some of the events we will be covering this