tv Author Discussion on Journalism CSPAN March 4, 2019 4:01am-5:02am EST
>> hello, everyone. good afternoon. i think i can speak for all of the panelists and say that this tucson festival of books is quite awesome. the energy that all of -- [applause] -- there's just a terrific energy that the authors need and feel and thank you for. i think you can say that probably half of the panels at this festival this, title could be, orwell was right. this panel is actually called "can truth survive fake news? the very phrase of which, fake news, is fake itself.
coined by a bottomless pinocchio who by my colleague, glen kessler's count, has uttered more than 8,700 false or misleading claims. we have a great panel to discuss the search for truth and its meaning today, starting with to my far left, nina burley, great writer, correspondent for news week, formerly of "people" magazine, and a prolific author who has written about everything ranging from middle eastern archaeology to the amanda knox trial in italy and her latest book, which i have to be careful with because the first word is golden, and it's about trump, but it's actually golden handcuffs. that's about the trump women. to my immediate left is rick wilson, who i'm sure everyone who watches msnbc knows by now.
[applause] >> thank you. >> a republican campaign operative for many years, and probably the ultimate never, ever, ever trumper. a conservative whose mug has gotten millions of liberals excited to see him on tv, with his brilliantly lacerating takedowns of the president and his cult. and his book, of course, is called "everything trump touches dies." and trump has never touched me, thank god. literally. and in the middle, i'm honored to prepare david mccraw, great first amendment lawyer for "the new york times" who has been in the trenches, fighting for a press freedom at the time since 2002 and before that, at the daily news, i believe. and his book, which is just come out and is for sale here, even
though i think the pub dade was march 12th, he puck it it and i -- pushed up and i consider it quite a really well-written, self-dep creque indicating indie illuminating story about the storied that david and the lawyers try to protect inside "the new york times." [applause] >> start with david because there was one sentence in his book that got me thinking of contrasting it with rick and nina, where he is talking about the immediate hours and days after the election in 2016, and he says, i was wrong about trump for much too long. and he is talking there about trump's danger to freedom of the press, and david i want you to explain why you were wrong and why you think you were wrong.
>> can't we start someplace else? the largest crowd ever, ever, ever, in -- [laughter] >> those aren't -- >> photos of my crowd. >> so,. >> at least 7,000 people in this room. [laughter] >> that line and one of opening chapters of the book, starts looking at what i call myself as the raving moderate. i'm an optimist by nature. thought that the campaign had been the campaign and that we would then get back to something that looked a little bit like noram. people were recrew knowing join various campaigns to take on trump, fight against change in law and so forth. the middle of the trump came to "the new york times" and there was this really interesting event at the end of that where he has been speaking for 50 minutes with our editors, and
somebody asked him about free press, and whether he was really serious but trying to change the law, which would be very hard for at the president to do. he said i rates that with somebody and then this person pointed out that it would be easier for people sue me and so i think you're going to be okay. nobody thought we would be okay. don't then anybody of us thought we would be quite in the place we are, and the point i'll make very briefly, is that i'm still not that concerned about change in law. clarence thomas, a couple weeks others, talked about rolling back times versus sullivan, the seminal liable liable ruling but i'm concern but the effort to delegitimatingize the press to encourage people to think of the press as a stain on america, the enemy of the people, purveyor of fake news, and i've down a lot of work overseas with free
speech fresh and you cannot move public opinion, you cannot operate in a free society, you cannot move people to protest scandal, can't move people to stand up to government when it's wrong, and that is why the discrediting is so deadly to democracy. >> nobody has shackled rick wilson, of course, but i was struck by another chapper in your book on the media, you where you say that conservatives waged war on the media for decades and the media won. how do you explain that with fox news and everything that's going on today? >> we're actually in a golden age of journalism right now. there's greater investigative reporting going on right now than at any point since water game. doesn't mean the media is not under a nearly existential threat with the division in society we're in right now which
we're siloed into two big media pools and you have the most brilliant creation of roger ailes, who was a genius another television. whether you love or hate roger, he was a genius at creating television. he built the machine that holds donald trump aloft in our society today. fox news reaches 90 million americans. that's a lot. that's a lot of eyeballs every day. the dominant cable force in the country. that doesn't mean they're completely able to set the agenda for the whole country. they are constant drip feed of fear for a lot of the trump base, a constant pressure up wear on trump's numbers for the republican base and enforcement mechanism but we have a press right now that understands sometimes it has to get in the fight to preserve its role in our sew do it preserve its as an institution when it's under a withering attack main who holds the free press in utter contempt. and the irony of my
republican:leagues, many of them declare themselves to be strict constitutionalists and as an all strict constitutionalist, i'm a big fan of the second amendment but not the only one i look senate first amendment matters and matters more than the rest, not just because of the order until a position but because of the importance of having a accountability mechanisms in our society and one of the most important is a free and, frankly, sometimes confrontational press. foundered didn't exist in an era of state run media in the tone of fox. they had a variety of, frankly, partisan press outlets that all waged war on each some all competed to have messages and to have news pushed out the, and right now we are in a good era in some ways because the media is energized and in a fight and they know they're in a faith and can't be complacent and analysis an era where they have opportunities they rarely have
with most out whos. most white houses, good ones, leak on burn '. this white house leaks because it's not a good one. leaks all the time. all in this darwin union battle in the trumps who who will be the last foreign be humiliated and thrown out the dar. the worst apprentice ever. so that's sort of the 30,000-foot view of where we're at in terms of i think the challenge and the opportunity for the press right now. >> host: i think that applies to the national press and especially some of the larger papers in the dangers of local coverage and state house coverage is still very much vulnerable. >> on the economic model side, that's a whole -- >> yes, nina, you have faced the dark side of an attempt to repress the exploration of truth related to your book but not exactly the back. can you explain what happened to you and how that has affected
your perspective? >> yes, just like to start by saying the -- i'll read you a quote from ivanka trunk. my become bit this women of trump. one of her -- she wrote a book early before he ran for office, and she is her father's daughter, the quote is. perception is more important than arrest if spun perceives something to be true it is more important than if it is in fact true. this doesn't mean you should be due miss to us or deceitful, but don't go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage. so, that's kind of what we're up against. among many things. so what david is referring to is i wrote my book about the trump women, the three wives, eye scrap and trump's mother and grandmother.
assigned by simon & schuster based on a magazine article i did right after the inauguration about the women of trump, and when they offered me the contract, my immediate -- i dragged my feet for a long time because having covered trump, having lived in new york, watched how he operates, having read the biographs, i knew that his habit of litigious responses and willingness to file lawsuits as frivolous and as losing as they might be, was a scary thing to confront. i know somebody who was involved in one, a writer and it's not a pleasant thing to be -- have to deal with. so i was reluctant to start it and then when i did start it, i made a decision not to put things in it that were not entirely nailed down, with
sources, double checked, we had lawyers go through it. for months before it came out. even though my editor would have loved to have something in their there that would have drawn down the kind of attention that michael wolf's book -- i assume everybody is familiar with michael wolf's book, the text on the trump white house -- because to do a book like that, you are guaranteed what is now today the oprah's book club stamp of approval which is the trump rage tweet, and for publishing that is what you want. but i avoided all of that. i kept -- i hewed to things already published or thing that had 100% corroboration, and the book came out in october, to absolute silence from the trump administration and the right wing press, which was kind of interesting. it was completely ignored.
i'm not a conspiracy theorist but i think they really didn't want to give it any attention at all, and three or four months passed, the london telegraph contacted me and asked me if i wanted to write an aural about, about melania and using material in the book and doing a little more reporting. so i wrote a piece over christmas and it went up, and they sent me a letter a week after it came up and said, we received a letter from charles harder, mel lap ya trump's attorney, charles harder has gotten 3 million tuesday out of the daily mail already. charles harder brought down an entire media company in new york over the hulk hogan video. and he is a fearsome character. the telegraph immediately retracted the -- took the story offline, and that was fine, and then they moved to write an
apology, which is sort of -- they said -- they called and said we have to apologize. we really want this to go away and put out an apology letter and said we're not going to use your name. well everybody everybody in the world knew -- didn't take throng figure out whose star it gentleman's they tech it down with an apology and it was abject and apologized for thing that other journalists have written about here and things that are factually accurate, and then the said they gave hear substantial sum which i understand to be probably in the low five figures, probably just legal fees but a real stain on of course my reputation and my project. so i had to get a lawyer in london to counter all of these claims officially and that's online, and the question is now whether or not one goes to court to win back one's reputation,
and i'm not a litigious person. i like my story is out there. my side of the story, and i think that's probably where it ends about i don't know. we may go further. the lawyers think they have a case but the point of it is, when you're writing about these people, that is always a threat. i think that's where i'll leave that for now. >> nina, the fun part about that is if you did go to that you would get her nda in discovery. >> yes. well, that's -- the idea of getting her into discovery of course is -- >> which is where trump always folds when it comes to lawsuits. >> right, the british law is much different than ours, and that is why they caved in so quickly, because they might not even get to nda. they might not get to discovery. but it's still under discussion. stay tuned. could get interesting.
>> david you have defendant wilt these same lawyers for -- dealt with these same lawyers for pressuring "the new york times" for trump even before he was elected. and what did you -- explain that and why you're more protected in the u.s. that nina faced in england. >> okay, i'm going to try not to laugh in professor mode here. exactly right, that the u.s. laws have been a god send to democracy. we should stan up for them. the heart of the libel law in this country was certain in times versus sullivan, 1964, where it began this revolution where the supreme court said, even if the story is wrong, the publisher can still win as long as the publish didn't have actual mall louse, reckless disregard over the truth. i you've believe what you're writing to and no reason to have any substantial doubt out it,
you're still protected even if something goes wrong. it has been a blessing for the press, allowed the press to do incredible things. one thing i think is really important to keep in mind is that when the supreme court ruled in times vs. sol shri van in 1964 it was saying be courageous, do tough stories, go after people in power, know that you'll be protected by the law, and i as a lawyer think it is a betrayal of that, of that that law and a betrayal of what justice brennan in the supreme court was doing if i take the possession we should be scared. i want to help our people get things published. always been what we're without. as lawyers at the "new york times." i'm lucky to work at the "times" in that we have long taken the position that we will not settle libel cases for money in the united states. actually goes back long before
times versus sullivan. did an article for "times" and there was this 1920s letter from our publisher who i believe is the great, great grandfather of our current publish-under and it's a remarkable document because a lawyer has wherein written to him, lawyer for "the new york times," saying we're going to settle this case upstate new york, and the publisher writes back and says you now my feelings about this. do not pay money to settle libel cases. if we got it wrong, we'll hear that from a court and we'll pay whatever the court says we should. but we're not going to simply settle to make the problem go away. our commitment to our journalists-journalism, is that strong. so itself is easier for me than a lot of my colleagues elsewhere because i always know the answer when somebody asks, should we settle?
blahs the answer is no if they're asking for money. nina is correct is that england plays by very different rules. one thing is true in england, the publisher, the author, has to prove something is true. it's just the reverse in the united states, that in this country the plaintiff has to prove that it's false. huge difference. we were sued in england by somebody who had been a hanger-on with the beatles in 1967. the article had been a reprise of what happened in 1967. we suddenly found ourselves trying to find people from 1967 who, a., remembered what happened, b., had not smoked so minute dope they had some shot at remembering it, and 3, many times deaf for having sat through too many rock concerts. it was tough lift. think i want to end with is this, because of the way foreign
law makes it easier for people to sue, congress took an extraordinary step in 2010. they passed the u.s. speech act. what the u.s. speeching a says if somebody wins a libel judgment overseas in a country that isn't as protective of free press as the united states is, that person cannot bring that judgment to the united states and enforce it. not come here and get bank accounts and make a levy against property. credibly powerful law to stop what was going on which is people were suing overseas and coming to the united states to enforce it. he the important thing to remember but the speech act since most of you won't get sued for definition overseas. the important thing is every republican and every democrat voted for that bill. every one of them. that was in 2010. that is the consensus we need to get back to the free press matters. >> rick, i spent the year 1995
writing about newt gingrich and the republican revolution and in some ways consider that to be a progenitor of what is going on today. >> absolute lie. >> making you be self- self-deprecating like david, did you see this monster created then and what role do you feel responsible for yourself as part of that? >> i think the moment where i started to have a kind of, like, hmm, is this thing out of the fence at this point? during the 2010 cycle, where suddenly we were seeing sara palin promoting primary candidates who were crazy as a sprayed roach and who were just not ready for prime time, because the long march and evening gingrich was smart about this. the understood while the contract with america was a great brand mechanism, remember, newt's pickups in '49, those
people were not run summoning idealal platform, they were run agency reformers and this guy is a better fit for this district than this other guy. may not be every dream date but he can win. so newt three -do was a little practicality in it, but it certainly set the seeds of something that has become sort of a defining characteristic of trumpan conservative and that's the sense of inferior identity but the media, tout get us, always lie, always mean to us, saying we're stupid or slow or big gotted, and -- bigoted and that becomes a tribal signaling mechanism inside the republican party where -- in the era of trump, it doesn't matter what you think but debt and deficit or individual liberty or property rights or foreign policy. the big tests are twofold. one do you love the great leader, donald trump with all your heart and soul and will you
sacrifice everything for him? two, do you hate the else? and trump has recognized very clearly in imbedded in all this status, nationalist, authoritarian stuff he flirts with, he has to drive a wedge between his base and objective truth and reporting. and they hate the thought that the president's words and actions and deeds will be report accurately and he will be held to account. that disturbs them tremendously. but we started to see that bayh effecter indication. fox was started in 1996. and social media started to real sweep in as a political factor around 2010 to 2012 and these things started to have a sort of sing alert of -- singularity of this siloing effect with re
republican base vote and the sense of infear you'rity and paranoia but the media and institutions more prodly, i this echo chamber telling them, be afraid. are you not afraid yet? because the brown people-coming can whether it's the muslims caravan or ms-13, whatever monster du jour came out of bill shine's brain for the past 15 years. they sort of all swept together and made this perfect storm in 2016 that led to us i think to point where we and are the catalanottolys you have a goo who is morally reprehensible and morally bankrupt, has a farrell cunning about the media and understands how to play it manipulate it and use it and how to turn it as a weapon to keep his base gipped up all the time. >> i'd like to take three-minute break here to go to nina and just clear your mind trump for three minutes because i want her to talk about something else,
which is your reporting on main to knox was really groundbreaking, and i'd love you to talk but what lessons you learn but assumptions of fact and your search for truth and trying to figure out that story which had so minuting myology built up around it. >> i would like to tenant but can i just follow up on what rick just said? >> don't hold off. >> i started in this business in the 1980s, covering the state house in illinois, and that -- the state house -- are people from. sneer a lot of snow birds. and that state house in that press room was filled, filled, every little warren, every office, every square inch of it had journalists in it because there were that many newspapers and that many radio stations and that many outlets in the state of illinois. downstate, upstate, telling americans what is going on in one of the most corrupt state
capitals -- i guess they all -- >> i'll see and rates you on that. >> now maybe -- i learned everything i needed to know about american politic in springfield, i illinois income those years. now in my -- i'm totally disagreeing with rick on the golden age thing. in my lifetime i don't have the figures that i used to have them full the numbers of journalists -- the people who are actually working at what i do, has collapsed and plummeted. know people who are selling hot dogs in detroit who used to work for the "chicago tribune." the industry has collapsed. my company, the place i work, hanging on by its fingernails financially and all of this happened at a time when we now have a president and a regime running this country that has singled out journalists by name, by tweet, from the oval office, in rallies with ten or 15 or 20
times more people in them than you right here, howling, howling at them, and howling memes, lying memes over and over and those of out who are supposed to tell people what is going on, in your state house or in the white house, we're drowned out. i have twitter feed. we all -- everybody has to tweet back. we write -- of course we have the megaphone but they're so i cy load the tv is silo sodas somebody who has in -- my whole training was to cover and believe in the fact there was a public looking for the objective as opposed to the subjective, over the two years i've been covering trump, the beginning that kind of quote from ivanka trump was a joke to me and this whole thing was sort of -- oh, just quite anens interesting thing to cover.
it's ridiculous and this last summer i started to really understand and feel how degrading it is to the profession. i don't mean tee grading like bring downs to the ground with -- lie down with dogs and come up with flees but just the degradation, the dissolving of what we do excite golden age of journalism and i have to -- >> i take your opinion on that. >> i wish it was, i i know people -- >> i think i'm -- i think david riz point but my observation is correct. i am talking about the times, the post, playing at this very high level with this incredible degree of access and incredible scoops but your example -- when he started out in politicness 1988 there were 60 reporters covering politics in the state and now about five. i kid you not. they're stretched to the absolute outer boundaries all
the time. they don't -- they miss enormous stories all the time, and, no, there is no social media component where bloggers will fill the gap between that and actual journalism. doesn't happen. >> can i break the gold age/ice age tie here? it is the ice age in local journalism. if somebody said the other day if your ambition is to steal a lot of money through politics now is the time to run for office because your local newspaper is not there to care anymore. i agree with rick, at the other end, the coverage of washington, has really been superlative. we feel it's time, the pressure we feel from the "washington post," "the wall street journal," other outlets to cover the big story is there. the last thing i would just say, not in defense of illinois but in -- to underscore it, i grew up in illinois, in a small farm town in illinois. every governor, every governor when i was a kid went to jail.
otto kearner, dan walk, even fat sam shapiro went to jail. i took away from that, one lesson, can't trust people in the government. i can't forwardy conservatives have gone. that was their ethos, down e don't trustee people. >> skepticism in state power was the core -- the power of the state had to be constrained, the power of the executive had to be constrained. he remember when republicans were declaring that barack obama was like black stalin because he was doing executive orders and they were freaking out, and trump does it now as his central mode of governance and conservatives are like, yeah, all right, that's cool. >> but i warrant to hear but amanda knox. >> yes, we do. >> so amanda knox; i went to itfully 2009 with a book contract, my idea was to go over there and write about why this american girl turned into
charles manson because that's what i'd been reading. i was consuming information of "people" magazine, reading the british tabloids, read what our reporters were reporting based on the italian media and interviews with the lawyers. went over there got there right in the beginning of the summer, and they had been -- the trial had already started. sort of in play, but in italy, everybody knows that you must take your six-week vacation in the summer so wholing the went on hiatus and that allowed know start interviewing everybody who was around, the prosecutor made himself available. the cops, some of the cops. some of the people involved in the investigation. all the lawyers. and i'm just doing journalism 101. just doing knock on the door, let's see the document, tell me where this piece of information that i read comes from in the
document. you, mr. prosecutor, do you back up this piece of information that is in now the british tabloid? and nothing was adding up. in the first couple of week is realized, uh-oh, i got a problem and i called the editor and i said, i don't know what you want me to do here but i don't know what is -- i no longer think that the book is about a girl who went and turned into charles manson. i don't know what it is, whether she did it or not. i'm now completely confused. and so i stayed and i had an assistant and we started to keep doing journalism 101, went up and down italy to different sources, people who knew the difference players and the trial played out, and she was convicted, in a courtroom with the madonna peeling from the wall. it's a medieval courtroom and there was a -- the cross and the
church and they had been calling her a lucifer and the whole book had really -- should be an opera, not a tv show. the conviction was called -- the press was install at midnight, come in at midnight good-it and was november and there was fog snaking through the pea as a and people in the dark nose, you could hear them howling. american killer. and we went in she was condemned, and that's the word they used, condemned, convicted, and i walk out thinking, wow, i i've just witnessed an actual modern-day peggan scapegoating ritual. it was amazing and i learn a lot through that case about how you can take somebody's story in our
business and turn them -- just completely create a character out of bits and pieces of information that are not in italy they too journalism differently. they have mafia problems. their legal system works differently because of the mav you so it's not as transparent as ours, and so anyway, that's the long answer to your question. i did learn a lot about how the media can be manipulated, and also if you're young, female and attractive, the things the press likes to do with that, especially the british tabloidses and i'm an english major, an angelo file -- appearing lowe filed. they loved the british place. the had 15 or 20 papers you could buy. >> i loved all that. the home of the english language, but watching the way these guys worked, so much
cynicism. i lost a lot of respect for them. but it's still a great language. >> host: let's state away from truck one more team before we get back to rick in the belly of the beast. david i'd love for you to talk but in the "new york times" and the genesis of the #metoo movement and how the sensitive topics or issues you have to deal with in writing about that. >> it kind of came out of the blue for me in that i received a message from bill o'reilly's lawyer asking to come over and talk. i had no idea what he wanted to talk about. and he showed up and i -- told me that the "times" was working on a story about bill, and i got in touch with the reporter and
that was the first time i had been aware that this line of reporting was taking place. those stories were incredible by emily steele and mike schmitt. they represented really hard reporting, a lot of those cases involving bill o'reilly involve settlement agreements and getting our people who had agreed not to talk about them and getting behind the settlement agreements. that led roughly the same time to the work that jody cantor and megan toohey did on harvey weinstein. in the book i talk but -- always a little slow, my motto. i'm at the airport and i remember jody is looking for me and i called her back and she said she was doing this story but harvey weinstein and we're sure to get sued and i remember thinking, i've seen this movie
before. we'll do a story, they'll deny it, everything will continue on, maybe some ads will be pulled. the ads will come back it and will be nothing. i was so wrong. and the thing i remember -- goes back to little bit about what i was saying earlier -- is that need to stand up to stay with the story, and megan and jody were incredible. they did not get intimidated. they kept pushing. they were an inspiration to me, and i was not going to be the one to get nervous but it. there was a team of lawyers that harvey weinstein ended up with. they had proved less team than mutually repelling particles because they started pushing each other away and then contradicting each other. and so much of what followed in the aftermath was interesting because there were so many stories after that, and rightfully so, but that lawyers
would call me for a person in the art industry or person in the music industry or person in some other industry, and i could almost script the opening line, and it always was, my guy is not harvey weinstein, and i always thought to myself -- i try to listen because that's important part of what die. that's not really the bar. [laughter] >> for any of you who watch the movie "the post," reporter are can tank rouse and obstreperous beau the lawyers at the weapons weapons and "new york times" the reporters loved them pause the lawyers were on their side and that movie made look like the lawyers were trying to stop everything in the pentagon papers. noted quite accurate and certainly not the norm. and so david and the bo jones, who i work at the post-for a long time, their role was to
help us get net the away and they believed in that deeply so i want to thank david for all of that you have done over the years. rick, if you don't mind taking us back to the dirty world of today, i'm curious whether -- how much of the cult is a fake cult? you probably get calls every day -- >> absolutely. >> talk about that. >> i want to divide it into big groups. the first group are elect officials. and i'll tell your a dirty little he secret about at the republican party me smart. ten guy nikolas senate who are actual trump believers, cuckoos, the bomb blast guyed. ten. the rest of them are either terrified of donald trump, they don't want to tweet but them or mess up their primary, just want to go on to get along, get things done. and there's a handful that are
just absurd opportunityists, lindsey graham the king of that particular mountain, and lindsey said the quiet part loud this week in an interview. i want to be relevant. i want phone calls to the president. i you're not here to have the president love you, why are you here. if you're not going to get reelect, why are you here? i don't know, call me crazy but something about serving the people of your state or district seems to at some point might have been the intention of the foundered. no really clear on that. but that opportunityist faction is -- opportunityist faction is the thing that normalized trump and that excuses all of his behavior. we got to get our judge, this tax cut, goss to get this or that. they have a sense that we're at the party before the apocalypse, and 2018 was a preview. and the scenario that mitch mcconnell faces in 2020 is that's the bad year for the republicans. we only had eight vulnerable seats up this time.
the democrats on defense in 2018. it's the republicans on defense in 2020. and if the economysen where it was in 2018, and donald trump -- his numbers, they play in a range somewhere in the very high 30s to very low to mid-40s. that's his trading range. doesn't vary. that's right now with an economy that everyone considers to be pretty spectacular if why? we'll leave that eye side. if it's not there these guys have to own donald trump and they have to carry trump on their back like a big orange weight, and they're not -- so the ones scared of a primary, keep their mouth shut bus they're afraid donald trump will tweet about them and true the crazies out of the wordwork, martha mcsally lost the race because she was afraid of kelly ward, blahs she was afraid of donald trump getting behind kelly ward and if your party is
designed to control you by fear of the crazies, it has a whole set of boundaries of getting elected in the general. and you're going to see that it rate over over a loss of rates. lindsey graham is afraid of donald trump saying, i don't like lindsey graham. i prefer candidate x and a single tweet can do it. a man, put nam, popular good dude, just a -- taking care of business kind of guy. donald trump tweeted boat ron desantis, who loved him and who pledged loyalty to him and adam putnam disappeared politically, nuked, gone, over. donald trump as enormous power over the republican base so these guys are constrained and controlled by that. now, to break out of the political space and the house, basically the same republics
either quit or got beat last time rind. you're down the core now, the trump caucus, and a lot of these guys are very, very committed to preserving the reality bubble around themselves that you have meadows and nunez and jordan and he's guys throughout basically saying, the real crime is the people investigating the crime -- wait, what? but in the trump -- the social base in the normal civilian nonelected base, there's a tribal set of the republican party that are 25% of these people -- 25% of the g.o.p. are ideologically malleable, completely in the trump cult, they care about donald trump. if he said tomorrow that the fundamental principle of conservativism is the seizure of property for the working people that, would go, of course. i if spouted karl marx tomorrow morning they would say that's conservative tim.
that's what buckley said. so about 2% of the g.o.p. are lost, gone, only about the trumps, going vet donald trump jr. for president in 2024. i promise. you they've back cult driven family driven thing. they want a trump royal family. we have seen enemy focus groups and its terrifying because they believe everything he says. he's the richest man in the world. he's the most successful businessman in american history, genius best negotiator of all time. already broken china's back in and 0 moyer its coming back. they believe this things and you can't change their mind. they're gone, done, over. 25% of the party are behavioral republicans. they just voted republic and not highly politically engaged, don't particularly love the democratic property, socialist and fiscal conservatives conserd overlapping diagrams and 25% of the party is gone.
and that primarily were educated voters and the female voters and i like to say that women voters got separate from the g.o.p. in 2016. and in 2018 they got a divorce. accomplish by 2020 i think we'll have restraining orders. [laughter] how do you build a party that is viable nationally, that is dedicated to a platform that is fund judgment hill anti-immigrant, that is fundamental live alien yeted hispanics and african-americans, just trump or his people trotting out the occasion personal to say a black person works for the administration here or i have black friend there, it rid lally donald trump said that. look at our black friend the a rally and any jaw was on the floor. threat not exactly jed brook, not exactly meaningful leadership and the things has
said and done like charlottesville, those alienation forces are driving people out of the g.o.p. rather quickly. apples foreclosing a lot of younger voters who have -- look, it's the unicorn of politic that younger voters will turn out in huge numbers. they don't, they went up dramatically from 11% to 13% turnout in 2018. it's -- but those people are setting a pattern of voter behavior that if it carries on and it rates further will be a very bad piece of business for the republican party and at some point this urban-rural divide in the party is going to be a real question mark. 25% to loop back and close this up, of the republican party, they dislike donald trump, they're not comfortable with him, they are stuck, don't know that would do, they don't like him, wish he wasn't president, they like their congressmen or their senator or their republican governor, don't really like donald trump,
they're uncomfortable billion if a his affect, behavior, insults, his banality, his vulgarity, the entire catalogue of things that make donald trump a combination of a figure of ridicule and a figure of disgust by a lot of americans. all that taken as a big hole. doesn't mean that the democrats will sweep 2020 because they can snatch victory away from themselves athlete any given moment. but i think you have a party -- a republican party in very great flux right now, and the control of trump over the party is a control of fear for the most part. the fomt. fear of mean tweets, all protect the official, fear of mean tweets. if they've think trump will tweet about them the that wear clown suit and black dance in
public if that's what they think he wants them to do. >> we have 12 minutes left. so we have questions in the microphone. want to ask nina another question. this week we watched ivanka trump, without blinking, state on national television it was just normal clearance procedures for she and jared. is that in keeping with the understanding you have of -- >> you want me to read the quote again? does everybody remember it? okay. it's probably perception is more important than reality. if someone perceives something to be true it is more important than if it is in fact true. this doesn't mean you should be duplicitous or deceitful, but don't go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage. that's what is going on there it and will go on forever. i just want to say, while you're lining people up, one thing i learn -- one insight in my books that it hope everybody buys
because they don't want you to read it, is the title golden handcuffs which i didn't come up with, has to do with obvious the -- we can't leave because our jobs -- we get so much money. it's also what i came to understand about trump is that all of his relationships -- i think rick's book has to do with this -- is -- the relationships from the doorman to the journalist to michael cohen, to his -- the congress people, is every relationship has an implied threat of blackmail or financial -- taking your money away. all of them. every single one. that's why you can see matt gates doing the tweet, threatening michael cohen with revealing the mistress, and underlying all of that is -- comes would took journalism. one of the reasons trump can use the word "fake news" and he believe inside it real di-this entire relationship with the
media in new york has been colored by his relationship with david pecker and his ability to buy stories, always. always been buying stories through "the national enquirer" and that ability, if you do that -- that's of what your business model its with journalism, he looks at me and look ted "new york times" and he thinks we are all -- we all have a price, and somebody has paid us, and we have agreed to that to take the money. or they know something about you. it's blackmail or it's cash. >> we don't have too much time so make these lightning round answers. start here. >> given everything that's going on and has been going on, could each of you tell me why donald trump will not be impeached by the house. >> they don't have the votes in senate, never going to happen. >> by the house. >> doesn't matter. why take the vote if you can't close the deal? >> what he said. >> yep. >> what he said.
>> we all agree on that. >> zero percent chance. >> beginning of this talk, just to reveal a conflict of, and i'm a report sore i'm interested in mat people think of the press. was the statement that everybody seemed to a gray on the public doesn't trust the media the ditch trust has gone by fox news and by trump, whatever. so my question is, is there any kind of even mild fix for this? all i ever hear as a reporter just keep doing your job, do your job, file your freedom of information act request. is there a fix for this problem or just going to keep getting worse? >> i antibiotic that to you the other day so i'll let david and -- >> what was your answer? >> what he said. keep doing your job. >> i mean, as unsatisfying as that is, think that's the role of reporters. think the role of a lot of us who are not reporters are but love what they do, that is what journalists do, we have to be
the ones speaking up for it. we have to stand up against libel suits and stand up against any attempts to change the law, but i really think it depends on that same group of that rick has been talking about to come out and say, this is unacceptable, the people in the republican party to say i may not like "the new york times" but you know what? they are not the purveyors of fake nose, they're not in the enemy of the people. they're not a stain on society. we need free press. >> i second that. just think the basis of what i do has to do with speaking truth power, and that is the bedrock of our country, and everybody in this room should go out and share that notion with their friends and -- who think that that's not what the media is o -- or the press -- even. i it's media doing ridiculous things they should be allowed to speak say what they want. that's what this country was founded on. >> this is for mr. wilson, given
your peculiar acknowledge of republicans, can you tell us if anybody is likely to stand up with a back bone either in the commune tarean class or the senators? >> i think you will see a couple of republicans who primary trump, as as this moment that's an open questionee it's effective but historical precedent which is pat buchanan who mad no chance of beating george w. bush primaried him. a absolute edge okay, zero percent chance but at the drew a lot of blood into the water. churned the water up enough that the shark of rose perot came along to nip and nip and nip and break off votes from bush in the general election and empowered some of the populism of that time flood out of the g.o.p., into the independent side, and enabled clinton to win. >> i'm actually going to
interview kashich neck week. >> i don't think if he sees the timing window working for him. >> thank you. >> i had sort of two elements to my question. one is i was thinking about the book by jane meier but dark money and the look of the evolution of the powers that be behind how we got to trump in a sense. but also looking at what you were talk about earlier in terms of consolidation -- the reduction of number of journalists out there and i'm a former journalist myself. i want wanted to look at that from at the perspective of a paper i worked at, over 25 years ago that had a small town, 45,000 people, had 25 reporters and has one reporter now. at all. so the confluence of that money on that level of political
discourse and yet we have fewer and fewer journalists and more media console indication and ownership of that consolidation, meaning fewer viewpoints being proposed. >> have at it. >> the situation -- nina is right. the situation of local journalism is dire. i'd like to talk but a couple of things which are positivement one is that i think that the new nonprofit model is starting to take hold. there are people with money who are financing nonprofit local journal -- the texas tribune, for instance. you'll see that. i've been talking to people about forming a nonprofit law firm, getting nonprofit legal services to those. i think that's going to help a lot. the second thing is that "the new york times" has succeeded with a model which i hope will cav on and that is our revenue base has shifted to subscribers
rather than tidier. i don't think the local advertising mark will come bam. the internet has made that impossible but if a lot of good folks are willing to pay for news, be the subscription base for local news, there's some hope. >> i just want to say that our buy ward is benevolent billionaire and i don't the thing the wa poe would be where it is if it hadn't been purchased. you're talking but the success of the national -- the right national necessary washington. it's due somebody coming in and pouring money into it and not expecting to get a lot of money back. >> we could do a whole separate talk on the consolidation of media firms and why that led here and why the tyranny of a quarterly report has led these guys to cut and cut and cut and cut, and the belief that the power of -- for their stockholder is the only thing that matters in equation runs
head-to-head with the necessary tonight journalism. >> benevolent was the key word. there are some billionaires who are just cutting the hell out of newspapers. say for my own paper, the "washington post," donald graham who grew up in the newspaper, his family newspaper, loved it, read every day, read every story in the paper every day, was an active incredible selflessness to sell the paper to jeff base sew who jury everbase sew who has been benevolent. >> a facebook meme that says as -- that the -- as a journalist, if somebody tells you the sun is shining, it is not your job to bring some somebody wholes says it's raining outside, it's your job to open the window, put your head outside and tell us what is really happening. and i wonder how we -- you all give me much more hope than the actual media that i read or
listen to gives me, and i wonder what is the inner play between sort of presenting the whole spectrum of craziness that is out there, that actually starts also the center and moves so far to the right that it's ridiculous and the whole left is just sort of not even there. the balancing act, i guess, and then what you are talk us about, about -- both of you were talking about, just standing and speaking truth power and saying that's b.s. and we're going to tell at the truth. >> as a working journalist that's been an issue that has been discussed since i got into the business 30 years ago. always a problem and a question. people are why do you want to talk to the crazy gorilla over there if the guy said the earth is flat you have to check that out. but that's what we do, and i think just -- i think now the presses has moved against trump
so far that that's actually problematic in in ways. there is that -- a resistance because people can see it. that's one problem. the other thing is just don't get your information from facebook. that's -- please, don't even do it. ever. [applause] >> the oldest saying in journalism is the city editor saying if your mother says she loves you, check it out. so -- >> benjamin franklin said this facebook meme is excellent. >> thank you to this wonderful panel and thank you all for coming today. ...