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tv   QA Mark Farkas  CSPAN  December 30, 2018 11:00pm-12:03am EST

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next, c-span's q&a talking about the senate, conflict and compromise. then the bbc reviews this year's action by the british parliament. the discussion on opioid addiction in the united states. ♪ >> this week on q&a, c-span producer mark farkas. he talks about c-span's new documentary, "the senate: conflict and compromise." brian: mark farkas, c-span producer for 34 years. new documentary on the united states senate. why? mark: the genesis of it was actually mitch mcconnell had
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done a tour of his office for american history television, went so well, he got in touch with us -- he's interested in history -- and brought to c-span a documentary on the senate. we looked at it and said it might be a good idea. met with his folks, hammered details out, and then we started moving forward slowly, like the senate moves. brian: when did all this start? mark: 2016. brian: so we're talking three years ago? mark: about three years ago. middle 2016 when we got the proposal. we started shooting at the end of 2016. brian: the purpose of this hour is to talk about the documentary. not to show it, but to talk around it. i'll ask you how it came together. first of all, if you're going to watch it for the first time, what is the time and date?
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mark: it is wednesday, january 2, 8:00 p.m., the night before the senate comes back to session. brian: if people are watching after that, they can find it on our archive. mark: or the archive. brian: here's the opening. >> i've been asked several times today, will i agreed to this version or that version of the amendment? no! >> the framers believed-- >> let's follow the constitution. >> sometimes it seems nothing is happening on the senate floor. the action is going on elsewhere. >> senators offices. in the offices of the senate leaders. but that's all preliminary. sooner or later, everything has to come here.
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here is where the final say, the final act takes place. here is where the law is made. brian: alan cranston on your screen, deceased, but formerly from california. so, why that start? mark: two reasons. one, ted stevens, starts out with no. he said it easier for senators to say no, so he encapsulated the power of one senator. people make the argument that senators have more power than any legislator in the world, most unique legislative body in the world. the other thing is, on c-span, part of this is because of television, there's a lot of time in these quorum calls and it looks like nothing is going on. in actuality, there's a lot.
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they are hammering out details, things are going on in press rooms, there's always something happening outside the floor. then they say we need to show it, which everything does come to the floor. that's where the law is made. that's where things have to be voted on. the have a different way of voting. brian: back to the senate floor, here's senator rob portman of ohio talking about resolution 642 and i'll ask you what this is about and a second. >> consideration s-res 642. >> senate resolution 642, authorizing taking pictures and filming in the senate chamber, the senate wing of the united states capitol, and senate offices for production of a film and book. >> without objection, the senate will agree on the manager -- the measure. >> without objection. brian: what did this have to do with your project?
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mark: the first time a television network gets inside the u.s. senate. we had been in there for the capital, but when it was not in session. it took us a long time to get in there, but it allowed us to get into the senate chamber an hour and a half before they begin, and then during the session, we were in the chamber and able to get shots of what you can't see from the government cameras, all the politicking, the backslapping. some of it is bipartisan, a lot of it is not. you see groups of senators sitting around. it was a real education into what goes on in that room you cannot say on television because we're getting a feed from the government. brian: how long is it? mark: an hour and a half, just about. brian: and what did you try to do in this hour and a half? mark: a lot. probably too much. the senate goes back to 1889.
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we have all those years. we tried to weave in the body today, and hopefully people can make their minds up after watching the hour and a half, if this is watching the hour and a half, if they think the senate is doing the job the founders laid out for them to do. from impeachment, to advise and consent, to legislating. the senate is just a unique animal. the idea is, how do they operate? what do they do? a lot of people think, historians, the senate is broken. senators have said that themselves. take a look at the farewell speeches. a lot of people think it's broken. a lot of people don't know what the senate does.
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so the production aims to tell people what they've done, some of the people who have changed it over the years, and hopefully at the end, like any c-span production, you're able to look at and make up your own mind. brian: the following is not in your documentary but it was spoken on the floor of the senate by senator mccaskill, who lost to josh hawley by about six percentage points. she made this farewell speech on december 13. >> i'd be lying if i didn't say i was worried about this place. it just doesn't work as well as it used to. the senate has been -- for me, but i must admit it puts the fun in dysfunction. an author said no family is complete without an embarrassing uncle. we have too many embarrassing uncles in the united states senate. lots of embarrassing stuff. the united states senate is no longer the world's greatest government body. and everybody needs to quit saying it. brian: what is your reaction to that after spending all this time thinking about the senate?
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mark: well, it's interesting because if you listen to senator mcconnell and what he says, the senate has been arguing within the senate. what the press does is cover the acrimony. they don't cover the bipartisanship. and i think one of the things that's really interesting, one of the clips in the documentary, william proxmire talking about television coming to the senate. he says be careful what we're asking for. this place is going to dissolve into what a lot of people think it's going to become, which is very acrimonious. what i think, there's a fair amount of acrimony, but just yesterday the bipartisanship showed up on the crime bill. again, you can look at it both ways but even orrin hatch, who's been there for over 40 years, said he's never seen it as bad as it is now.
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brian: let's look at some video that you shot on the floor of the senate. people here that for the first time, on the floor. how many people were you allowed to bring into the senate to record what you wanted to record? mark: we had four of us, production assistant who was always upstairs, and then on the floor was myself, the director of photography, and bob riley, shooting the handheld camera. we had a small staff on the four, about an hour and a half to set up. you got the pages, the parliamentarians, and you've got this aura of being on the floor of the senate. you've been on the floor to the senate, but to be there as they are getting ready for a session, it's almost like a dance is happening. brian: how long ago did you do this? mark: that was in march of 2017. brian: what kind of rules did
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they have for you when you are on the floor? mark: the only rules we had, there is some reason we couldn't should the doors. there was a some prohibition against that. brian: can't you see the doors online? mark: you can go on the internet and you see the doors of the senate. in the end, we did shoot the doors of the senate and they ok'd it for whatever reasons. the other thing, they didn't want us showing anything security, anything concerning security. they didn't want us showing the faces of the pages. so we sort of had to move around. you'll see shots of page's hands. other than that, we could show whatever we wanted to. brian: the senate has pages. the house no longer has pages. here's video of you explaining what you're going to be shooting. >> we are on the floor of the united states senate. this is unprecedented.
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no one else has ever gotten an opportunity to do this. it's for production on the documentary on the u.s. senate on the floor an hour before they begin. we're going to ring around the chamber, get shots during the session, and then go back down to the floor. truly special. brian: what if somebody in the audience now is saying, so what? you had cameras on the floor of the senate. mark: less gray hair than this guy. so what? well, its unique. two, a lot people don't know this -- i think as they are watching c-span for a number of years they might, but someone might not. when the senate goes on television, it is the senate's cameras showing what's going on there. and they're not showing everything that is going on in
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the senate. we're getting a chance to show people, especially during a rollcall vote, a cocktail party without cocktails, where everybody has to come together. it's different than it used to be, we were told, because television and enable them to watch speeches from their offices. they're not on the floor as much. but for a rollcall vote, they all have to get there. is a combination between catching up -- it's a combination between catching up, to hammering out legislation. it is unique to get in there and see some of that. brian: what is your training that allows you to be able to even do this? mark: most of my training has been done here. i had a father who was a producer for nbc, so i spent some time with him. and the ones we've done on the capital, the white house, and the supreme court have enabled me to learn the craft, i think. we also have a program here. i've got a team of video
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journalists that produce almost as many documentaries in each city that they go to. it's hard to do. this is the hardest one i've ever had to do. the capital, the white house, and the supreme court were about video -- about buildings. that was from the outside in. this is from the inside out. this is the goings-on of the senate. so you don't have the visuals, but you've got a great story. brian: if mitch mcconnell suggested this, how much control did he have over the content? mark: zero. when we met with him for the first time, we had a couple conditions. one was hey, you've got to grease the skids with the democrats. because if we have access to the republicans, we got to have access to the democrats. and two, you don't have any editorial control over this. he said that's fine, but you can't focus on the acrimoniousness.
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we said well, no, you can't ask us to do that. we're not going to concentrate on it, but we can't shy away from it. we have to have a product we feel both on the journalism side and people watch the senate they didn't give a big wet kiss to the senate, but he also have to say we didn't do a hatchet job either. so in the end, they didn't have any editorial control. they may have wanted it, but they didn't get any. brian: here's some video of you and bob riley and then sorenson as you're going about the floor shooting stuff, just to give some people some perspective on this. what was the hardest part of this -- by the way, where are you there? mark: we're on the -- rostrum,
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they gavel he's taking out is actually not a gavel. that's the parliamentarian, the legislative clerks talking to us about what they do each day. it's interesting, then we're walking around the floor, getting shots of papers on the desk, people getting the chamber ready, doing microphone checks, getting things ready. it's a window into some of the people that make this place work. and the parliamentarian really has an incredibly important job. they know the rules of the senate better than the senators do. one of the senators on tape said it takes about a full term to get the rhythm of this place. that parliamentarian is really, really important. brian: how did you approach this for the audience? and what do you envision the audience to be for this? mark: hopefully the audience is anyone who's interested in what
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they used to call the world's greatest deliberative body, the most unique legislative body in the world. the powers that the senators are given are different than any other body in the world. not only do they legislate, but we've seen with the kavanaugh hearings, the supreme court hearings, they really have powers given to them by the constitution that no other legislative body has. and even the constitutional convention, the senate was the big fight. some people didn't want to have a senate. jefferson didn't want to have a senate. it really is what makes our government different. it's a huge part of the checks and balances system. if you're interested in how your money gets spent, what these people do, you should watch it. brian: most of all the video we are going to use is not in your documentary, but here's senator dick durbin, who is the number two senator in the democratic
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party on the floor. >> [inaudible] brian: that's what it would sound like if you're sitting in the gallery. explain what you're trying to do their. mark: we were trying to capture the senate in action, or not so much action. you could see his really playing to the gallery. there were no other senators in there watching. that's part of what we're trying to show, as well. if you had watched the senate's feed of that, you would have seen a tight shot of senator durbin. you wouldn't have an idea there's nobody else in the chamber at the time. we're trying to give a realistic impression of what that place, how it works.
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brian: when did you, and i'm sure the senate wouldn't particularly like this question, but when did you find yourself having fun doing this document? mark: fun? it went from fun to i'm done to fun again. when you're over there and on the floor, you understand you're getting to do something historic. the other times are when you're in an interview -- we interviewed seven senators and historians. when you know you're getting something, for a producer, that's cool, that's fun. the real fun to this was the archival material that we went through. we used -- i think you candidate, we had 80-90 clips of senators over the years from
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1986 on. but going back in the archives and looking for the material that's going to make this one, have some tension, two, have some reality. and the other idea is to track the senate in the television era to see what television has done to the senate, and those moments in the television era that really represent what the senate does and how they've changed the senate, as well. so the archival material was just -- i mean, i can't tell you how many times kimberly, the editor and producer, she and i -- there were some great times we were laughing and laughing and laughing at bob dole, really funny guy. senator byrd, of course, he gets out there and he is talking about poetry week. the senators are supercalifragilisticexpialidocio supercalifragilisticexpialidocio supercalifragilisticexpialidocio supercalifragilisticexpialidocio supercalifragilisticexpialidocio supercalifragilisticexpialidocio supercalifragilisticexpialidocio
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the that's not in there because we don't have time for it. but all the archival material really takes you back. it's really a treasure trove. brian: the current senate historian is in your documentary. here she is for a little bit over a minute talking about humor and senator byrd, senator kenny -- senator kennedy, and others. >> groucho marx said he found television to be educational. because every time someone turns on the set, i go in the other room and read a book. great. i like that. i say be like groucho. let's have more groucho. >> humor is very helpful. i remember one-time senator byrd was on the floor, and he was giving a speech. i was in the gallery. it was clear there was something going on behind the scenes and they were playing for time. >> i memorized poem after poem after poem. quick senator kennedy came into the chamber. >> the senator of west virginia is courteous as always.
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i would love the opportunity to continue to listen to his very, very fine statement. >> i want to give my friend a second chance. i want to warn him that this is poetry week. >> the senator may be even more reluctant to interfere. we have a good prospect of listening to him quote the poetry. >> this went back and forth for half an hour or he would recite poetry and kennedy would come back, i love that one. it was clear there was something going on. they were working on a compromise and they were just playing for time. brian: senator robert byrd spent 51 years in the senate. mark: longest-serving senator. brian: in history. mark: in history, yes. brian: so how much of robert c byrd do we have in our archive? mark: in our archive? my goodness. a lot.
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let's just say that. i don't know how many hours of robert c byrd we have, but he cast more votes. he's number one on the all-time voting list. you could spend -- it would be a great documentary just doing it on robert c byrd on the floor of the senate. brian: he died in 2010. is there anybody like him in the senate now? mark: you know, i'm not sure there's going to be anyone like him ever again. again, he was out there reciting poetry. he knew the rules of the senate. there are some many times we were going through videotape and watching him just either waxed poetic about what the institution is supposed to do, or take on a senator who doesn't know the rules as well as he does. i'm not sure theirs in
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institutional us now that does that. brian: when he died he was still a united states senator at the time. kind of explain to the average person that may not be in the television business, how do you do this? what kind of days to you have? for instance, how many edits are there in this document are? mark: well again, hats off to kimberly, who did the editing for this. there is a screenshot, i don't know if nick is able to show it, but if you take a look at the timeline for the documentary, which is about 90 minutes long. you're seeing it on screen there. there are over 10,000 edits that have been rendered here. brian: what are we looking at? mark: that's the timeline, from beginning to end, of the program. embedded in there are video effects, edits, dissolves, graphics, you name it. you've got a back time music to make sure the music ends when somebody is going to begin speaking. so, it is laborious.
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i haven't the earthly is idea how she does that or how a professional editor does it. you've got to scripted out, and then be open to change. and believe me, this one had some changes. there's something in the senate called unanimous consent. and we, here at c-span doing a program like this, you need some sort of consent from your bosses and everyone else that the program is ready to go. it's a hard one to do because we're not making a judgment on the senate, but with got to present something in 90 minutes that tells everything the senate does. the problem with that is the senate moves slowly. that's what they're designed to do. so one of the big challenges is, had you make something look very
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quickly in a body -- brian: robert byrd, on the floor of the senate in 2002, talking about the war powers act. >> we should also recognize that the administration's new approach to war may also pose serious problems for our own constitutional system. in the proposed use of force, the white house lawyers claim that, "the president has authority to use force to defend the security interests of the united states." it says no such thing. i dare them to go to the constitution and point out where the constitution says where they say it says. they cannot do it. they cannot do it. brian: after senator byrd opposed television, he was responsible for leading the way to opening it up. and then we saw a lot of him on the floor. mark: sure. interestingly enough, senator
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mcconnell voted against television in the senate. full interviews with our senators are on the website. but he said he made a mistake. he said television has been good for the senate. brian: how do people find the full interviews if they want to watch this? mark: you go to, and then we got four different areas. the full length interviews with the senators, farewell speeches, we use a number of farewell speeches in the program. we have highlighted farewell speeches. if you're watching the senate, some of those recently, like senator mccaskill, were easy to watch. from our capital documentary, with got an area where we show special spaces of the senate. you've got the president's room, the vice president's office, lbj's office. then we've got historians corner. we interviewed, betty you
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mentioned, don ritchie, dick baker, kate scott. brian: they are all in the historians office. mark: or used to be in the historians office. dick baker has a much different take on the senate. now that he's out, he's able to talk a little more fully. although i would say, i found all the ones, betty, kate, and daniel, who work for the senate now, they were very honest, some of the most honest commentary in the program comes from them. talks about dissatisfaction from members these days, that everything is more controlled by leaders except -- instead of the regular order and it gets hammered out like that. they were very, very honest. brian: again, people watching saying, once wrong is they waste time talking about poetry.
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how do you explain that and how much of a day on the floor is the kind of thing that irritates the public, and why the percentage of approval is so low? mark: well, the public is very irritable, obviously. the senate, the ratings for congress normally hovers in the teens. the senator in the program -- brian: from missouri. mark: from missouri. he said leadership positions in both. he said teens are better than the low teens. people have sort of expected it. don ritchie said the approval ratings, they're often rated lower than car salesman. having orrin hatch said that. but they get reelected at a high rate. it's an interesting part of the system. ben sasse, when he made his maiden speech, said i went back
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to my district. and what i hear is a pox on this country from both sides. if my constituents had a chance to throw out all of us instead of elect me, they would throw out all of us. brian: ben sasse is a republican from nebraska. mark: correct. brian: here's some video, again of robert byrd, and al d'amato. he got out of the senate in 1999. he's still alive. watch this. >> this is out of order. if we're not doing this party any good on this -- >> i ask for regular order. i know enough about the senate rules to know -- that i have not violated rule 19. and the senator can just -- >> i want a ruling on the floor. i think the senator now has gone beyond what is provided for --
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>> if the senator would shut his own mouth -- regular order. brian: what would you say to this? if the senate was always that interesting and back and forth, a lot more people would watch it. mark: i would say that's probably true. of course. people are drawn to tension when they're watching television. that's just the way it is. if it was like that all the time, of course people would be watching more often. brian: but when you originally got into this thing, senators were not a happy if that's all you did. why? mark: that's not all they do. again, we've got to be a mirror. there's two sides of the senate. one site is the public side, where they are arguing. the other side, if you believe them, and you have to believe part of what they say is true, or all of it, however much you want to believe yourself, but that behind the scenes, and again ben sasse said that in his opening speech.
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there's a lot of friendship and bipartisanship around here. you just don't see it on the cameras. and you think about the kavanaugh hearings and lindsey graham saying you picked the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. that's what the public sees and what they don't see and what we tried to show a little bit of, as much as we could. we got in, but to get all the way into an institution like that, is got to get buy-in from all 100 senators. brian: did they let you into the senators dining room? mark: no. brian: where they have lunch every day and only senators are there at the table. mark: the biggest ask we got denied for was the cloakroom. we wanted to go in just because it sounds like something nefarious was going on in the cloakroom. brian: why didn't they let you in? they let you and when you try
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doing a documentary on the capital. mark: i don't know. having been in there and seeing what goes on in there, there's nothing that's going on in their that's so -- in there that's so earth shattering, good or bad. they meet, the go get a cup of coffee. there's a democratic cloakroom and republican cloakroom. brian: what is regular order? mark: you have to ask for a real specific regular order. they've got regular order. there's also its of terminology the senate uses. their rulebook's about this thick. their traditions are about this thick. regular order is really more, you've got the president pro tem on the dais who is supposed to have order in the senate. brian: you mentioned bob dole
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and his humor. he used to be the majority leader, back in 1994. >> i understand the program is going to be, why are people so fed up with washington? here's example number one. number one right here. business as usual, spend money and tell people you're going to solve the problems. $30 billion. somebody has to pay for it. that's why people are fed up. oh, we don't want to stand in the way. we don't want to inconvenience anyone, so we're going to vote to move this process along. one of the one-time for the american people -- why not vote one time for the american people? brian: 95 years old, hasn't been in the senate since 1996, ran for president, what do you think? mark: we had him in the program a couple times. his farewell speech to the
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senate, he gets it in a nutshell. he says basically, i've always been told differences are good. differences are healthy. he says we're the healthiest people i know on the planet because we've got a lot of differences. he shows up in a humorous sort of way for some. but he was majority leader and minority leader at a time when the senate was undergoing a lot of change. take a look at the 1990's, when he becomes majority. again, majority minority leader, off and on. that's when you got more house members coming into the senate than ever before. the election brings 40 members of the house into the senate, the most at that time. that's when a lot of people, both historians and senators, that's when this acrimonious floor debate really began to take hold.
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because a very important reason, republicans have taken over. democrats have controlled the senate and the congress. he says this is the first time he came to work and said they make a mistake, that can throw things our way. that it became more contentious. brian: if you ask me, and you haven't, who i would remember most from this documentary other than mcconnell or schumer, is barbara mikulski. she talked to you for a long time, and she does have a presence in this documentary you put together. let's watch a little of what she had to say. >> i'm tired of hearing we're too emotional when we talk. when we raise in issue, we're too emotional. well, i am emotional. i'm so emotional about this, i am telling you if we don't pass this bill, i'm so emotional i'm going to press on. it brings tears to my eyes to
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know how women, every single day, are working so hard and are getting paid less. it makes me emotional to hear that. then when i hear all of these phony reasons, some are mean, and some are meaningless, i do get emotional. i get angry. i get outraged. i get full panic. and the way i want to channel my emotions is by helping everything we can do to be able to pass this bill. brian: she's 82. she left the senate in 2017. she didn't run again. straight shooter. 30 years in the senate, tenures in the house. did you interview her? mark: we interviewed her. i'm sure susan would tell you the same thing. straight shooter, doesn't pull any punches. historically, they did those, they canvassed capitol hill staff. she was one of the most typical to work for -- difficult to work for.
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but on camera, and in the floor speech, she tells you how does. -- how it is. brian: here's rick santorum, who left the senate back in 1995. he spent 12 years there from pennsylvania. >> some have likened this chart to a depiction of an appendicitis operation. my god. appendicitis. that's not an appendix. that's not a blob of tissue. it is a baby. it's a baby! brian: other than the emotion of the argument he's making, the camera angle on that, it didn't show the whole chart. why not? whose cameras are those?
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mark: the senate recording studio, that is funded and run by the senate, run by the government, controls the cameras and the camera angles. if you watch more of it, they do make a point of showing the charts. senators want these charts and the images to be seen. that popped up later. it was very interesting. it was in the 1990's, which at one point, bob byrd takes up the floor. he does a speech about incivility in the senate. it's a very famous speech for senate watchers. he basically gets out there, and not by name because you're not allowed to impugn a senator by name, that's rule 19. maybe we should have that in every workplace. but he gets out there and everybody in the senate chamber knows he is addressing rick santorum, and he's got a great line. there's been giants in the senate. little did i know i would see pygmies.
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that's when tension really started to be amped up. again, it's for the viewer to make their own minds up whether that's the right way to do it, and whether it's the same today as it was in the 1990's. brian: i've got to mention a former employee by bill gray, put together a website. mark: on charts. brian: on charts. 700 charts on there? we call them screen grabs. anybody that wants to look at this, they can get online. go into google and type in bill gray and senate charts, house charts, and it'll come up. mark: part of the thing with rick santorum, he had a chart called "where's bill?" for 20 straight days, he brings that to the floor. you should be calling the president by his first name out here.
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but, sen. merkley:'s out here with his constitutional tort -- senator merkley somes out here with his constitutional chart. brian: this man left the senate in 2005, classic from south carolina. mark: and i don't think barbara mikulski will like what he's got to say. brian: here we go. >> i don't believe that the idea of the senate is not what it used to be in the sense of the personnel. we got a way better group of senators. we have, senator, five drunks, or six drunks. there's nobody drunk in the united states senate. we don't have time to be drunk. and we got more than that. we've got the women. we had one woman, she was outstanding, but she was outstandingly quiet.
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it was margaret j smith from maine, wonderful lady. now we've got 15 of 17, and you can't shut them up. mark: told you. i don't think senator mikulski, might not like that. but there are 23 previously, now 25 women serving in the senate, which is an all-time high, i believe, for number. you've got 10 african-americans in the history of the country who have served in the senate. and so that's part of what we deal with in the program, as well. we look at when african-americans start coming into the senate, when women start coming into the senate. there's been 52 total women in the senate history.
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we're at an all-time high now. but if you think about 25, 26, that's a quarter of the senate. and the population is 51%. brian: and you interviewed tim scott. he's in there a lot. mark: he is in there and it's really interesting because the first african-american center is hiram reynolds, who comes in for reconstructions. the second one is blanche k bruce, and he believes in 1881. the next african-american center elected is edward brooke in the 19 late 60's, but the next african-american senator from the south is tim scott, 130 years after blanche k bruce served. so we track the senate and their role in the jim crow years, the anti-lynching. it's a reflection of the country, and always has been. brian: joe biden, 36 years in the senate, he was elected when he was 29, sworn in when he was 30, left in 2009. here he is in the work hearings.
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>> if they had evidence of a crime that's being committed -- >> how are they going to get evidence -- >> wiretap. >> wiretapping? >> legal wiretap. >> you're saying they're going to authorize a legal wiretap to find out if people are using contraception? >> unbelievable. mark: we used a hearing as the way to show how the process has changed. robert bork got up there and the point is made, and it's a good point, he spoke his mind. you saw it in the clip. he gave them answers he felt he should give them. ever since then, and we even had mitch mcconnell on the floor saying congratulations robert bork, you basically set the bar for everybody to come after you. and now what we have at confirmation hearings that
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people think doesn't inform the public are these questions from the nominees that don't get answered. brian: here is a man who lived to be 100 years old, 48 years in the senate. name is strom thurmond, another south carolina and. >> i rise today in support of the amendment offered by my distinguished men from north carolina senator helms. they knew the design pattern for the confederacy. the congress began considering the extensions of design patterns early in this century. to protect and give by congress authorizations by extension of design patterns has been the
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most common form of proud pattern ask in recent history. brian: died in two dozen three and he had -- 2003 and he had a famous 100 birthday party. but unfortunately, somebody lost their job because of it. mark: trent lott, who showed up at the birthday party and what he had told folks, sort of an offhanded joke about i would have voted for strom. he lost his leadership position. i will to you one thing about strom thurmond is that there is a sort of new way of looking at him from the senate historians over there in terms of, not so much his civil rights stances, but some of the other things that senator thurmond began to be known for over there. senator packwood lost his job because of some improprieties towards women. again, only 52 women have ever served in the u.s. senate. it's been a men's club for all these years.
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it's been slowly changed. it's interesting, they have a different way of looking at senator thurmond than they used to. have theocryphal stories of senator thurmond going into reception, grabbing a handful of shrimp, putting them in his pocket, going back to his office and offering them to staff? mark: i believe my friend bob riley, who witnessed it firsthand, saw him put it in his pocket. brian: you mentioned senator packwood. senator packwood left the senate in 1995. he resigned. he's still alive. he's 86 years old. here he is in his resignation speech in 1995. >> it's my duty to resign. it is the honorable thing to do. for this country, for the senate. so i now announce that i will resign from the senate.
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and i leave this institution not with malice, but with love. good luck, godspeed. brian: so, a lot of what we're showing, as you know, is not in your documentary. mark: it's not, but it is. we wanted to go through archives. again, it's a treasure trove. it's a rabbit hole you could keep going down. the more you find, the more you're amazed by what you got in this archive. it would be a fantastic idea to launch an interactive timeline.
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there are so many moments in our archives, we don't have time to use all of them and all of them aren't pertinent for what we were trying to do, but we used anywhere between 80, 90, 2 100 of these clips. it's constructive to know there's more where that came from. brian: if someone joined in the middle of this, we are talking about a documentary you did about an hour and a half. first-time run will be january. mark: wednesday, january 2, 8:00 p.m. on c-span. new senate comes into session january 3, so that's what we want folks to watch it the night before the new senate comes in. brian: it would be the night before, or they can always go to our website. mark: there's a special website for the program. brian: here's some footage you shot when he went into senator mcconnell's office, and he's chatting with john cornyn, who is his deputy. >> [inaudible]
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they're told we're waiting on the continuing resolution. said they think they're getting closer on health care. >> that's what i hear. >> yeah. >> don't be surprised if it doesn't look exactly the way it looks when we send it back. [laughter] brian: now was that spontaneous? mark: not really. we were following senator mcconnell to get some behind the scenes footage to put into the program, and what he said there may have been the most that he said as we followed him throughout the day. so he was not loquacious, i would say. but he let us in. we used some of the footage. and we wouldn't be doing this
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without his ok to do it, as well. brian: the minority leader is chuck schumer, and is quite a bit with them. here's some video. explain this little 20 second video. what is this? mark: we were supposed to be following senator schumer to catch his day in the life, but his press secretary said he's going to be briefed by staff, is going to be interactive. you really get a window into the senate and senator schumer's day, so we waited outside the door. he said are you ready to come , in? and we went in. brian: he also served 18 years in the house. here's that short video. >> come on in. ok, welcome to my office. the best thing about my office is the fireplace. i'm from brooklyn. we never had a fireplace ever. in brooklyn, we don't have
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fireplaces. now i love it. when it's a cold evening, we have these nice logs. they even have starter logs. even someone like me can start a fire without fail. >> why didn't you use that in the documentary? mark: it's a tremendous window into the senate and how they work. we didn't use it because it wasn't about fireplaces. and we, i have some follow-up questions in there. sometimes it was not what we were told it was. we went in the first time and senator schumer's wife happened to be in the room. take two. it and said my wife doesn't want to be in this. i'm back out there now going, ok, now i know what we're getting into. it's not a staff meeting at all. we didn't use it because we really didn't get much out of it. brian: here's some more video on the floor of the senate, senator
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blunt talking to barry black, who's the admiral. he's been a chaplain in the senate since 2003. this is only half a minute. >> [inaudible] >> i'm a big fan of clarence mccartney, great presbyterian preacher, and of course his lyrical language is off the chain. there is, one of my favorites -- there it is, one of my favorites. brian: do you know who the fellow was on the left? mark: he was the guest chaplain of the day. i'm not sure who it was. the interesting thing about barry black, the thing with
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senator mcconnell's staff -- said about not focusing on the acrimony. it must've been a couple days after we had that meeting and i'm watching the senate because i'm watching it every day. chaplin gets out there and his prayer, he is praying to the lord for the senate to be less acrimonious. forgive us for permitting the acrimony. so i called up my now friend, who worked for senator mcconnell now, no longer with us. did you just hear what the 's prayer was?n he said yeah. i think god outranks senator mcconnell on the acrimony. yeah, okay, fine. brian: who's elizabeth mcdonald and megan pickel? mark: elizabeth mcdonough is the is pollen terror the aid of the -- is the aid of the senate and megan is one of the legislative clerks staff there.
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they are in the senate chamber. that would be a fascinating interview to talk to the two of them if you get them to talk. we talked to them a little bit about what they do, but to hear what they must have seen, what they watched unfold in front of them and been a part of his fascinating. they're two of the many people who make this place run. brian: this is the last of our video, a minute and seven seconds long. let's watch them chat on the floor. >> we'll refer those appear at the desk, and then they'll get passed over to our senate journal clerk, who will log them into her journals. >> the senate journal is the highest legal authority of the senate. it tracks motions. it's something that's required by the constitution, a housekeeper record of the proceeding. it's a journal we keep of pages on a daily basis used for our annual published volume. finally, once the volume is published, will be sent to the national archives for storage.
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>> that's the journalist role. >> thank you. >> we're considering a joint resolution on the congressional review act, statutory controlled time. one of the things we'll also do is use the timesheet to control time, what's remaining. this one is 10 hours, equally divided. obviously five from each side. we had cruise last night, four minutes on that. lot of time left. brian: in the actual documentary, this has just been a chat about the things around the documentary and the documentary itself has a lot more substance to it. i wrote down all the different headings. constitution and the senate, legislative body, filibuster, these are things you put on the screen. impeachment, advice and consent, golden age of the senate, a myth talking about clay wester calhoun.
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and you get a lot of this from the historians. how did you break this down? and how did you pace it? mark: any good program like this, i think you need moments of tension and moments of levity. you need to have some sort of structure that lets you know where you're going and what the program is about. the easiest way for this one, because this is hard. this is a hard institution to wrap your head around. was to put up a chapter heading so people knew what we were doing and where we were going. just reading some of those, it tells you how many things the senate has to do. legislation, that got constitutional powers that they have for advice and consent, and a ton of other things that we had to explain. so hopefully, it all fits together and hangs together. it has been a labor of love, and other things for me, over the
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course of the time. brian: we only have 30 seconds. there are other things? mark: the other things are, why does this fit? i thought they would work. part of it is like the senate itself. it's slow, it takes time, it takes time to figure out what's going to work. in a way, the production of it was a mirror of the senate itself. brian: correct me if i'm wrong. you're a 34 year veteran of c-span, you majored in anthropology? mark: why do you say that -- [laughter] brian: perfect for this town. mark: study of different cultures and in this town, this is a study of differences. brian: worked on this documentary for three years. mark: i am going to call it 2.5. brian: this is the no state's senate: conflict and compromise. thank you for joining us. mark: appreciate it. ♪
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments, visit us on q& q&a programs are also available on c-span podcasts. >> next sunday on q and a, wall street journal investigative a book aboutusses media mogul sumner redstone. c-span.
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c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, wenday will open the phones and take your calls and reactions to the government shutdown and your top news stories of 2018. live at 7 a.m.h eastern monday morning. join the discussion. shutdown isnment now in its ninth day and congress is out for the weekend. the house and senate will return monday for what are considered to be brief sessions with no legislative business. the senate meets again wednesday, one day before the start of the new congress, but no votes are scheduled. watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. >> new jersey sends for new members to the congress.
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one discussed her experience in the military and is it federal prosecutor during one of the debates. service to this country when i was 18 years old and joined the naval academy. after a lifetime of service, i decided to run for congress. not just concerned about what is happening now. i am concerned about the future of new jersey, because i have four kids. i think we need to work in a bipartisan manner to get good legislation passed through congress. an attack plan that does not attack new jersey. bring costs down in our health care system.
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infrastructure spending, so we can grow our economy now and well into the future. i have always put this country first. i have worked with people from across the country and across the world to get the mission accomplished. she is joined by three other new representatives. kim will represent new jersey's third district. been apreviously civilian advisor to general eus.rnalist -- petra another new representative is a veteran of the obama administration. new congress, new leaders.
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watch it all on c-span. because the british parliament is in recess for the holidays, there were no prime minister's questions for this week. so tonight we say you a bbc parliament program about major recent events including the brexit negotiations and the no-confidence vote. this is 40 minutes. ♪ ♪ >> welcome to westminster in repeal. -- in review. brexit divisions deepen. may faces a vote of no-confidence in her leadership.


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