tv Democracy Now PBS May 8, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
05/08/18 05/08/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> determined when a heart stops beating, the dozen a beating heart indicate life? for me it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart. for me it is sickening to sell fetal body parts. and for me, my state leads me to protect life. amy: as iowa's governor signs the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, we look at the fight for reproductive rights in the era of trump. we will speak with cecile richards. she has just stepped down as
president of planned parenthood after 12 years. will she be running for office cap go she has a new book out "make trouble: standing up, speaking out, and finding the courage to lead -- my life story." >> the danger is what this administration is doing in vice president mike pence is the orchestra master on this, of putting people into places of authority that will now repeal and take away women's rights where we have actually no public discourse. amy: then we look at why reporters from the denver post have flown to new york to stage a protest outside the offices of the paper's publisher alden global capital. >> we are outside the headquarters today asking them to invest or sell newspapers. their decimating newspapers. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. new york attorney general eric schneiderman has resigned after four women accused him of repeatedly physical assaulting them. the accusations were first reported by the new yorker magazine. two of the women, michelle manning barish and tanya selvaratnam, say schneiderman repeatedly hit them, slapping them across the face and choking them to the point they each sought medical attention. they both also accuse schneiderman of threatening to kill them if they broke up with him. selvaratnam, who was born in sri lanka, said schneiderman called her his "brown slave," and would hit her until she would call him "master" and demanded she say she was his property. both women say schneiderman drank heavily and that the abuse often occurred when he was drunk. they both told the new yorker that they repeatedly fought back against the non-consensual physical abuse. another woman, who spoke to the new yorker without being named,
said schneiderman slapped her across the face after she rebuffed his sexual advances. schneiderman denies the accusations, but resigned three hours after the new yorker expose was published monday. while serving as new york attorney general, schneiderman has been an outspoken opponent of president trump and has repeatedly sued the administration. he also sued trump for defrauding thousands of students through the now-defunct trump university. schneiderman has also been an outspoken figure in the #metoo movement, and he sued hollywood mogul harvey weinstein's company after more than 100 women came forward to accuse weinstein of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. this is schneidermanannouncing the civil rights lawsuit against weinstein's former company, back in february. otherhave investigated companies for patterns of sexual discrimination or harassment. we have never seen anything as despicable as what we have seen here. amy: new york attorney general
eric schneiderman has resigned. president trump is slated to announce at 2:00 p.m. today whether he will withdraw the united states from the landmark 2015 iran nuclear agreement. president trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, despite pressure from european leaders, iran, the international community, and even his own defense secretary james mattis. today's announcement comes amid more revelations about how the israeli private intelligence agency known as black cube to orchestrate a dirty ops campaign against members of the obama administration who negotiated the iran nuclear deal. the guardian reports trump's , but theed black cube new york times as it is not clear who hired the israeli intelligence firm. among those black cube was hired to investigate and discredit were obama's top national security aide benjamin rhodes, and vice president joe biden's national security adviser colin kahl.
black cube is made up of former officials from the mossad and other israeli agencies. it is the same firm hired by disgraced hollywood producer harvey weinstein to stop publication of articles that exposed him as a sexual predator. the national rifle association has announced retired u.s. marine corps lieutenant colonel oliver north will be the next president of the nra. north was a central figure in the iran-contra scandal, helping the reagan administration circumvent congress by secretly send arms to iran and use the proceeds to fund the u.s.-backed contras in nicaragua. north has also been a fox news contributor. back in 2000 when he was working for msnbc, democracy now! interviewed oliver north outside the republican national convention just after george w. bush chose dick cheney as is running mate. what do think as a choice for vice president? >> perfect. amy: why do you like them?
best vice make the president. amy: you had dealings with him in the iran-contra days. he was ray much against it. how did he help you? >> he major we ended up with freedom and democracy in nicaragua. otherwise, it was still be of communist country. amy: what about getting aid to the contras even though congress has said it was not legal? >> that is that what congress that at all. oliver north back in 2000. he is now been named to lead the nra. kelly controlled effort to shield the minister under scott pruitt from facing tough questions of problem events. as pruitt undertook widely a popular efforts to roll back environmental regulations. the 10,000 documents have been made public as part of a freedom
of information act lawsuit filed by the sierra club. this comes as "the new york times" reports senior white house staff members are urging the president to fire pruitt who is facing a mounting array of ethics and spending scandals. the trump administration has announced plans to dramatically increase criminal prosecution of migrants who are apprehended crossing the u.s.-mexico border. the crackdown would also include separating immigrants from their children for months, if not longer. the new zero tolerance policy would further criminalize migrants who currently face civil, not criminal, penalties for unauthorized crossing. this is attorney general jeff sessions. >> i have put in place a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our southwest border. if you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. it is that simple. if you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you.
if you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. and that child may be separated from you. any code that is attorney general jeff sessions. the giuliani said the president will decide by may 17 whether he will testify special counsel robert mueller's investigation into whether the trump campaign colluded with russia ahead of the 2016 election. robert said monday that mueller rejected proposals to allow trump to answer questions from investigators in writing. in nigeria, at least 45 people were killed and a dozen more wounded on an attack on a village in the northwestern state of kaduna saturday. officials have described the gunmen as bandits. the assault is the latest in a wave of violence in central and northern nigeria, which has killed more than 1500 so far this year. meanwhile, the nigerian military says it has rescued more than 1000 people held captive by the militant group boko haram in nigeria's northern borno state.
most of the rescued hostages were women and girls. in yemen, the u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition bombed the presidential office in the capital sana'a monday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens more. witnesses say the bombing occurred in the middle of the day when the presidential office is usually filled with employees of the houthi rebel administration. in lebanon, hezbollah and its political allies have won additional seats in lebanon's parliament in lebanon's first parliamentary elections in nine years. the election results are seen as a blow to the u.s.-backed prime minister saad hariri, whose political party lost seats in sunday's parliamentary election. fair-housing advocates are planning to sue the department of housing and urban development and its secretary ben carson for suspending 2015 rules that require communities receiving federal housing dollars to work toward desegregation. dr. carson suspended the
obama-era rule in january after calling desegregation failed socialist experiments. despite the landmark 1968 fair housing act, communities across the united states remain heavily segregated, and landlords and mortgage companies still practice widespread racial discrimination. first lady melania trump has unveiled her platform. it is titled "be best," which seeks to promote physical and emotional health, and particularly aims to combat cyber-abuse and bullying on social media. almost immediately after the announcement melania trump , was accused of plagiarizing an online safety booklet, which was nearly identical to one published under the obama administration. in melania trump was also caught 2016, plagiarizing parts of former first lady michelle obama's 2008 speech. this comes as president trump is
slated to ask congress to cut $15 billion in spending, including a $7 billion cut to the popular chip program, that is children's health insurance program. in hawaii, hundreds of residents are continuing to evacuate a volcanic eruption that has spewed lava and hazardous fumes across parts of the big island. more than two dozen homes have been destroyed so far. geologists say the volcanic eruptions are expected to continue. and in north carolina, hundreds of students rallied to support university of north carolina doctoral student maya little, who had her first court appearance on monday on misdemeanor charges of defacing a confederate monument on unc's chapel hill campus. last week she poured red ink and her own blood on the silent sam statue, which was erected in 1913 to honor confederate soldiers. students and professors are calling for the statue to be
taken down and replaced by a monument to the black victims of lynching and white supremacy. this is maya little speaking outside the courthouse on monday. >> i will have more court dates. i will be try for adding historical context to the crime they keep on our campus called silent sam. we stand up to the universities and institutions that exploit our labor but do not have the decency to protect us from these invading racists. amy: to see all of our coverage of the movement to take down confederate statues, you can go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show looking at the attack on reproductive rights by president trump and republican lawmakers in state houses across the country.
on friday, iowa's governor signed one of the nation's most restrictive abortion bills the new law requires any woman seeking an abortn tondergo abdomin ultrasound. if rb isabortion detected which often occurs at , six weeks and before a woman knows she is pregnant. governor kim reynolds signed the bill on friday. >> if death is determine when a heart stops spinning, then doesn't a beating heart indicate life? for me it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart. for me it is sickening to sell fetal body parts. and for me, my state leads me to protect life. amy: under the new law, woman who were raped or a victim of incest are exempted if they reported the crime to authorities. the iowa aclu is now suing to block the measure from taking effect july 1. this is planned parenthood of the heartland spokesperson erin
davison-ribbey. >> functionally what we're looking at is a ban on abortion before most women are many women know that they are pregnant. around the six week mark. whenhen you look at abortions are typically performed, for planned parenthood as a provider, 99% of abortions, more than 90 numbers and of abortions are performed after the six week mark. so this is almost entirely a complete ban on abortion in the state of iowa. amy: meanwhile, in south carolina, democratic lawmakers used a filibuster to defeat a republican abortion ban that would have prohibited as many as 97% of abortions in the state. this comes as a federal appeals court ruled last month that an indiana abortion law signed by vice president mike pence when he was the state's governor in 2016 is unconstitutional.
the law restricted a woman's ability to seek an abortion, including in cases where the child would be born with a disability. well, for more, we are joined by cecile richards. she has just retired as president of planned parenthood after 12 years at the helm. and she has written a new book titled, "make trouble: standing up, speaking out, and finding the courage to lead." in the book, cecille richards writes -- "for the first time in my life i'm wondering whether my own daughters will have fewer rights than i have had." cecille richards, welcome back to democracy now! in your new role as whatcom a private citizen, and activist? >> a troublemaker, yes. youri want to talk about life, but i want to start with what is happening right now, these last laws. start with iowa. >> iowa, this is one of those extreme abortion bans in the country. unconstitutional. the aclu is suing. planned parenthood will sue as
well. i think it shows everything this congress has not been able to do and the white house could not get through congress they're now trying to do at the state level. the important thing to put it in context is not only are they trying to ban all abortions, they are trying to end sex education for young people in iowa, shut down health centers that served about 12,000 women in the state of i will. this is not only an attack on abortion rights, it is an attack on affordable reproductive health care for people everywhere. amy: do you think will ever go into effect? the aclu has sued. other laws have been blocked. explain the logic of this law, the governor reiterating saying this is a fetal heartbeat bill. when you hear a fetal heartbeat at six weeks, is an a five life. >> i was shocked she signed this bill. it is so extreme. as we know iowa actually -- should ben and
able to make their own choices. she is out of the mainstream and plan to a very extreme part of the republican party. this is going to have an impact this november. that is why women are turning out in droves because they understand their rights as well as affordable health care are under attack all across the country. and this administration has been leading up. juan: and addressing the extreme segment of the republican party, the trump administration reports that kellyanne conway went president trump and reminded him about his pledges to abortion dinner campaign and now we're hearing about this potential gag rule. you talk about what it might signify? >> absolutely. i think we will see it sometime in the coming day. basically, the most extreme ban on information about abortion as well as access is what they're talking about doing. it is a domestic gag order that would really paralleled what is
happening overseas. women would no longer be of the get information about the legality of abortion, get referral, even mention the word if a health care provider is participating in the family planning program. planned parenthood provides more than 40% of the family planning through the national family planning program. we would be banned and women who come to us for health care would be banned. it is unbelievably extreme. i can't believe they're going this far, but that is the rumor. amy: have we seen something like this at a global level and this will be the first time he would be used domestically? >> correct. one of the first things this president did was institute or raised to to the global gag rule which cut off millions of women across the country from family planning service, maternal health care services. that is the thing that is so insidious about this. the very health care that helps prevent unintended pregnancy, detect cancer, provide women -- preventive and
services would not be unavailable for millions of women across this country. most are women with low income, many women of color, who don't have other health care options. amy: they gag rule, it is expected to be handed down any day from what the white house or hhs. >> right. amy: said their patients could not get information or even mention the word abortion if they serve patients to the title x program. explain what that means. >> the title x program at the national family program. it was signed into law by republican president, a bipartisan program. it is a primary way in which women with low income access birth control. what this government is time to say is if a woman comes into a health center that provides services through title x, she would not really get any information about her legal right about abortion is even an abort -- an option. i've never seen anything like this.
this is the most extreme restriction -- even the doctor-patient relationship and woman's ability to get life-saving information from the health care provider. juan: in terms of some of the policies the trump administration has already implemented to deny women's basic rights, things like illuminating protections for assault, trysexual to eliminate teen pregnancy mention. what have they are ready done? >> it would take us hours to go through all of the things they've done but i think in this area of women's health and affordable health care, it is important not only are they trying to make abortion now impossible to get safe and legal abortions, they're trying to in the family planning program and the sex education program. planned parenthood just got an injunction on that. then we saw during the efforts to pass trumpcare, there are trying to get rid of maternity benefits for women. basically, if you are a woman in this country trying to get access to affordable health air, you have never had a worst
president the donald trump it is a administration. amy: on monday, it was reported in 2017, trespassing at clinics more than tripled and death threats, threats of harm nearly doubled. this is a clip from the rewire documentary "care in chaos," that chronicles the rising tide of harassment and violence against abortion providers and clinics under the trump administration. this is abortion clinic administrator calla hales in north carolina. >> i tried not to focus on the of assassinations of doctors and attacks on doctors and clinic workers in the past. if i focused on that every day, i would not get out of bed. and i have to keep moving forward. this clinic has to stay open. >> they kill babies. they poison them. they dismember them. then they say as they wipe their bloody hands, we have done nothing wrong.
we're helping people by murdering their offspring. we're helping people by killing little baby boys and girls. >> it really does upset a lot of patience to be able to hear people yelling and screaming and calling them names while you're in the back of a building that is 200 feet away and there is layers of concrete and wood between you. amy: that from the rewire documentary. richards, the threat that abortion providers are finding now increasing, not decreasing. we know how many doctors, nurses , security guards have been killed or wounded attempting something to ensure women's health care. >> it is very serious. why what you played in terms of the governor of iowa, the way in which she discusses and talks ,bout women who have abortions this kind of shame and stigma coming from elected officials is very dangerous. one of the things i also want to point out, this government is
trying to restrict women's access to health care. we were at -- we are at a record low for teenage pregnancy in the u.s., 30-year low for unintended pregnancy and the lowest rate of abortion since roe was decided because people are getting better access to health care. ironically, everything this a administration is doing is going to take over the progress that women have been making. juan: could you talk also about last month a federal judge ruled unconstitutional legislation passed in indiana under mike pence in terms of -- could you explain the significance of this as well? one, yes, the federal court system has been sort of the place we are able to go in general to protect against laws that are unconstitutional of the one in indiana and iowa, which is clearly unconstitutional. the danger is, we now have in a administration that is rapidly filling up the federal court system with lifetime appointees who are completely opposed to
women's rights. it is important -- we have to fight these issues on the ground as well, not only in the court system. i think for anyone who isn't aware, they need to know that vice president mike pence has been an advocate for getting rid of planned parenthood, getting rid of women's access through productive health care. iss isn't something that being driven by congress or the president, this is the agenda of the vice president of the united states. amy: i'd ask you about the latest is that just broke, eric schneiderman, new york attorney general, well-known as a women's rights advocate, playing a very significant role as the new york attorney general having to reside amidst allegations of one woman after another, four so far, that he assaulted them, that he abused them. >> incredibly shocking. incredibly shocking. i really appreciate their bravery of these women coming forward.
i can't imagine how hard that was to do. but that is what it is taking now. i am glad to see women supporting women across the country to tell their stories. i think the same accountability should be held to people in , toce all across the board the highest levels of government. amy: kellyanne conway just tweeted "gotcha." >> she needs to look at who she works for. juan: in terms of women coming forth, we have reports of 527 women as of april stepping forward to run for the house of representatives or the senate. your sense of this growing involvement of women and -- in politics directly? >> women are shaping politically, culturally, economically. i have been on this book tour and it is more like a revival than a book tour in that women are just coming out. they want to get involved host of summer running for office also summer starting organizations. women are literally calling
commerce, marching. they have tot, and vote this november. if women vote in november, we will change the direction of the country politically. amy: will become back, we ask you what office you will be , cecille richards. she is just retired from serving as planned parenthood federation of america president and head of actionnned parenthood fund. she has been there since 2006. she is traveling the country. tonight she will be at the 92nd street y in new york. then she is headed to nashville and beyond with her new book "make trouble: standing up, speaking out, and finding the courage to lead." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
she had been there at the helm for 12 years. for new memoir "make trouble: standing up, speaking out, and finding the courage to lead." you are born in waco, texas. you just left planned parenthood. are you planning to run for office? >> i don't have any plans to run for office, but i have been an agitator and troublemaker and organizer my whole life. i'm keenly focused on making sure every woman in this country is registered to vote, activated, and vote this november and beyond. i do think this is the best opportunity we've had to make serious social change. juan: and you are the daughter in therichards, an icon texas democratic party, national democratic party, former governor of texas. the influence her mother had on your life? >> tremendous. not only my life, but women everywhere. i still run it women who say they got into public office or ran for office or whatever they're doing now in large part
because of mom. in a funny way, i think there are parallel. mom was never supposed to win. she was a liberal woman, divorced woman in texas, if you will, and she won because a grassroots outpouring of teachers and union folks and lgbt people and farm workers, you name it, was so overwhelming on that day. i've never seen more organizing happening, more excitement and folks finally realizing that who we elect to office has an enormous influence on what happens in our lives. juan: when you mention the teachers supported your mother, we're seeing this enormous spread of strikes in the red states. and the teachers of america are largely women. the reality is, this is a mass movement oh women workers states. up in red >> everywhere. i was in arizona recently. the teachers have been on strike.
they had 75,000 people in the streets. as you say, 75% of teachers are women. there fighting not only for themselves and equitable pay and a living wage, but fighting for their pupils. it is incredible to me that women across this country are leading the fight for public education at a time that washington is silent. amy: your mother served as governor of texas from 1991 to 1995 before george w. bush. in 2003, she was asked by james henson of the texas politics project about whether she felt her many years of work onrightsn successful. thehere is no question that very fact that young women have the same opportunity in college, that they have a chance to play sports because of title ix, that they have the right to terminate a pregnancy that doesn't make sense in their life or for the life of a child. the fact that we have equal
opportunity in the workplace -- all of those things would never have happened if those of us who are participants in the women's movement had not been there and fought so hard. >> you sound satisfied. >> oh, i am hardly satisfied. i am outraged most of the time. seems toe progress forl, how difficult it is young people to realize that their very freedoms are in jeopardy if they are not willing to fight for them. backou also have to look and accept and be pleased that things have changed. during a period of her life did not have the right to vote. the law in texas was that
idiots, imbeciles, the insane, and women could not vote. and less than one generation later, i was the governor of texas. amy: that is ann richards. she was the governor of texas. we're joined by her daughter cecille richards, who traveled that road with her through success and through losing as well. and what she taught you and what you went on to do, how did you come to be head of planned parenthood? you almost did not apply for the job. >> like a lot of other women, when i was called to interview for the job, i had all of my own self debts. i've never done anything that bit. i'll must cancel the interview. then i did what any grown woman would do, i called my mom and she said, are you kidding me? this is the most important organization for women and women's health in the country. and thank goodness she told me to go to the interview. that she was a big believer in
women and that we always discounted ourselves, always winning for the perfect moment, always waiting to be asked. and her message was always "don't wait for someone else to ask you, don't waver instructions, and for goodness x, start before you are ready." ifa can that's a car -- i have taken that to heart. record number of women are getting involved, even if they don't think they are ready. amy: you had a meeting as head of planned parenthood would jared kushner and ivanka trump. talk about how that took place, where you met, what they had to say. right after the inauguration. we're the women's march, which was historic. i got a message that ivanka wanted to talk about planned parenthood. i knew the president has said he was going to defund us. -- after will as i was about
as skeptical as i was about meaning, i thought if there were any opportunity to explain exactly what we do, i had to take the chance. when i found out she was bring her husband jared kushner, i convinced my husband to come with me. we met at a golf course, some golf course the president owns in new jersey. jared kushner really laid out his proposal, his deal, i guess. he said, look, the republicans control everything. we're the white house, congress. you have no bargaining power here. what essentially you wanted me to do was to say of planned parenthood quit providing abortion services to women in the country, he would talk to speaker paul ryan to try to assure our funding and maybe even get us more funding. extent ofort of the it. i said, that is not ever going to happen.
planned parenthood is never going to trade off women's rights or women's ability to make their own decisions about their pregnancy for money. he went back at it. yet understand, my father is pro-life. to his he is entitled own opinion, he does not have the right to take away this right from every single woman in america. that was kind of it. we all went our separate ways. what i would point out is, even though the republicans controlled congress, control the white house, there was a mass mobilization by the people who supported planned parenthood and we defeated that effort to defund planned parenthood. i am proud to say our doors are still open all across the u.s. but that is why we have to organize. that is why we have to mobilize. that is why people have to vote this november. juan: in your book, you talk about it not as a memoir but a call to action. what is the action you feel necessary? ifwhatever you're doing,
you're not steering or self, you need to be doing more. this is not a moment to wait and think someone else is one to take care of this problem. we are seeing women in unprecedented numbers now taking action. the last poll i saw slid 20% of americans in the last year have protested or done something. that is the stork. even in the fight to protect obamacare and planned parenthood access, one estimate was 85% of phone calls to congress were coming from women. women are on the move. i know you're talking to some soon in colorado. everywhere i go, women are doing more than they ever thought they could because the future is at stake. they are feeling empowered. amy: i want to turn to another clip of you before trump was elected. i want to ask, did ivanka say anything? sheery little except that was disappointed that i had not said nice things about her father in the election since he
appraised the work of planned parenthood. i said, well, i did say at least he understood the important work that we did. it in the same breath he said he was going to defund us, so did not seem like much room for a complement. amy: in 2015, this was between jason chaffetz of utah, then the chair of the house oversight and government reform committee and you cecille richards, then president of planned parenthood federation of america. --fe its tries to prevent present a slide he claims is from planned parenthood data showing an increase in abortion and a decrease in cancer screenings. >> there are one or two places that do it, but that is mammograms. >> if you give me one moment to explain, plant care is a women's health center just like -- where i go for my breast exams every year. if you need a mammogram, your referred to a radiological center in that is how women ask the receive their care. -- iovide breast exams could get you numbers of how
many hundreds of thousands of women receive breast exams at planned parenthood the past year has nothing to do with -- again, you created this slide. i am no idea what it is. >> it is a reduction over the reserve years in pink. that is a reduction in the breast exams and the red is the increase in the abortions. that is what is going on in your organization. >> this is a slide i've never been shown before. i'm happy to look at it. it absolutely doesn't reflect what is happening at planned parenthood. >> you're going to deny that if we -- >> i'm going to deny that no one is ever shown us this live. we have provided you all of the information about everything, of the services that planned parenthood provides. it is a feeling we're trying to get to the truth. you just showed me this. >> i pulled those number is out of your corporate reports. >> my lawyers are informing me the source of this is americans united for life, which is an antiabortion group. i would check your source.
>> then we will get to the bottom of the truth. amy: so that was jason chaffetz questioning. this was a grueling five-hour with you as president of planned parenthood federation of america. i think before the trump administration, you are the one to continually talk about fake news. how fake was this? >> it wasn't a hearing. i thought it was going to be hearing, so always prepared for the facts. it wasn't. it was an effort to embarrass me or planned parenthood on national television. they were completely unable to do that, in my opinion. they interrupted me. they would not let me answer. at one point my son texted and said, mom, you're doing such a great job. i think raising the all those years helped to prepare for these guys. at the end of the day, not only was planned parenthood completely -- there was no wrongdoing, the perpetrators of the skin were indicted on 15 counts.
frankly, the popularity of planned parenthood went up. today, after all of the attacks by the is a administration, this congress, chasing tickets now retired, -- jason chaffetz now retired, fox news most recent poll we are the most popular organization the country. our membership has well. we're now more than twice the size of the national rifle association. that is what is important to me, that going into the future, it is ensuring that every person that is ever relied on planned parenthood for health care is mobilize, active, and voting in the election. juan: and speaking of the future, what is the future of cecille richards? are you going to run for political office? >> never say never, but that is not my plan right now. i am going around the country talking about my book and talking to women. women are the most important political force in the country. we saw african-american women really lead in getting a new senator elected in alabama. we have seen women winning his torque races in virginia and wisconsin.
in texas, my home state, fi rst two latina congresswoman likely to come in the state. i would love to be part of making it happen. amy: on is primary day in a number of states like west virginia. forle richards, thank you joining us. cecile has recently stepped aside as president of the planned parenthood federation of the planned parenthood action fund. her new memoir she is traveling the country with -- where after nashville? >> pretty much going everywhere in the country. amy: you going back to waco were you were born? is it true a clinic was just founded there? >> in waco, texas, we just open a brand-new planned parenthood health center. it is exciting to see across the country planned parenthood's
resilience and our ability to be a little provide services to matter what. amy: cecille richards, premier troublemaker. her book "make trouble: standing , up, speaking out, and finding the courage to lead." when we come back, we will stick with journalists from the denver post and the boulder daily camera. they have been fired. they have resigned. and some of them today are protesting outside the hedge fund, the alden capital fund here in new york. find out why. ♪ [music break]
amy: "black girl magic" by jamila woods. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the rising rebellion against censorship and layoffs implemented by the nation's second-largest newspaper chain, digital first media, and the new-york based hedge fund that controls it, alden global capital. reporters from the denver post and media around the country have flown to new york city to protest alden global capital outside their office today. the hedge fund is no for slashing and downsizing its papers to maintain high profit
margins. in 2010, digital first media has cut edges and staff and newspapers across the country including the oakland tribune, the san jose mercury, and the st. paul geithner press. in recent months, digital first media cut 30% of the newsroom at the denver post. the private company reportedly has amassed profits of almost $160 million in 2017 and a 17% operating margin. far higher than other newspaper publishers. the denver post launched an open revolt against its hedge fund owner in april, publishing a series of editorials in an alden and itsinst tactics. editor chuck plunkett, who was behind an april 6th editorial headlined "as vultures circle, the denver post must be saved." the post's editorial page editor chuck plunkett resigned thursday
when digital first media refused to approve his new editorial that called on it to "reinvest in its newsrooms, or release us to better ownership." plunkett's editorial also alleged the company has instructed editors at all the papers it owns to never mention the company without its clearance. amy: two other editors at the denver post have also quit over censorship and drastic staffing cuts made to the paper's staff. larry ryckman, the paper's senior news editor, quit last week. on april 25, digital first fired the editor at the boulder camera for publishing an editorial about the company he said he was told not to run. instead, it was published online by the boulder free press. reporters from digital first publications around the country are railing outside alden global dish rallying outside the alden global capital's office here in new york city to demand that the hedge fund either invest in its newspapers or sell them. democracy now! reached out to alden to request a comment or join us on the show today, but they did not respond. for more, we are joined by three guests. in denver, dave krieger was the
editorial page director at the boulder daily camera before being fired last month for self-publishing an article critical of alden global capital. and here in new york, julie reynolds is with us. she's an investigative journalist who has been reporting on alden global capital. her most recent article for the nation is headlined "meet the vulture capitalists who savaged the denver post." and elizabeth hernandez is a reporter for the denver post. she is protesting alden global capital this week in new york city. we welcome you all. elizabeth hernandez, let's go to you first. you're wearing a t-shirt #newsmatters. talk about where you will be posting today and why you is a reporter are doing that. >> we will be protesting a front of alden global capital headquarters. alden global capital is decimating these rooms across the country. invest or sell in the newspapers. juan: talk about your own
personal experience in denver. as an intern in 2014 at the denver post, hired on in 2015. in 2016, i was laid off. i worked at other media organizations for a couple of years including the boulder daily camera. hours just hired on back at the denver post three weeks before we were told that we were losing one third of our newsroom. , you are theeger former editor of the boulder daily camera. how long did you work there? >> i was there three and a half years, amy. amy: talk about what happened, why you were just fired. well, like that of the post properties,er dfm has been getting smaller and smaller over time. boulder is a very dynamic community. it is the start of capital of colorado.
it is a high-tech community that is vibrant. google, twitter will stop one of the most highly educated communities in the country. the camera used to serve the community pretty well. as it has gotten smaller and smaller, we have been able to do less and less and less. , seemede an issue that to me, the community of boulder needed to know about. so then it could decide whether he wanted to save this institution, it's 128-year-old daily newspaper, or whether it was willing to watch this hedge fund essentially pleaded dry. if you read the report, the timeline here is pretty short. at 2020 perhaps as the end of the line for a lot of these properties as old and simply drains all of the cash out of it. i felt it was important people understand what was going on. the newspaper is the community storyteller. if we are not telling the story because it is about us, people
are not going to find out what is going on. i felt it was import to write about this. i submitted the editorial to our editorial board as i always do. it is our standard process. the editor approved it. the publisher did not. at that point the question for me was, will i allow this story to be suppressed? the people of boulder not to know essentially until it is too late that this newspaper is on its last legs? i thought, no, my responsibility as a journalist is to tell the truth as best i can frame it. let the people know what is going on. so i did take the editorial that have been spiked inside the paper and published it on a blog goode so that the people have the information that was contained in it about what all this alden global capital is doing. juan: following alden global capital a firm that outside the publishing world was basically itsown for most folks and
record, especially some of the unitednstitutions of the states, the orange county register come the san jose mercury, the denver post. what have they been doing? unusual, i worked at a digital first media newspaper when alden took over. herald.oderate county a some owners or get decimated. there was the hot water in the restrooms. we had no pens or folders. when you bring in or own office supplies. i went through three years of that. then as an independent freelancer thought, why don't i certainly investigate these people? i am an investigative reporter by background. i was shocked by what i found. these guys had no real experience in the media. they had invested for a little aboutin sinclair media, five or six years ago. then they took over two large newspaper change -- chains to combine to become the largest
newspaper chain in the country, digital first media. they had no interest in journalism. they're what is known as ewald are hedge fund. that is a wall street term, not my term as a journalist. vultureare known as a hedge fund. that is a wall street term, not my term as a journalist. they will get what they can and leave the bones out in the desert to dry if anything remains at all. what a shock to me as well looking into them was the high-level of secrecy in this organization. as americans we're used to knowing who owns our media, who controls it. we expect that kind of transparency. but these guys were first incorporated in the island jersey, which is an international tax secrecy haven. a lot of their financial investment funds are in the cayman islands, including the digital first media assets are actually based in the cayman islands. so there is no transparency. there is no information about
who these folks are. it took a lot of digging to even figure out the names of the principals. juan: sizer not a publicly traded corporation, they do not have to do filings with fcc to report on her income or profits. it basically takes a lot of investigative reporting to even figure out what they're up to financially, doesn't? >> yeah. and like a lot of these companies, especially when they deals real estate, there's a lot of layers of what they call llc 's. it took a lot of digging to find out what properties they owned, how they were buying and selling real estate. it turned out the two main principles were buying up million me -- millions of dollars of mansions and mexican real estate with another entity selling off our buildings across the country. amy: let's talk about the founder and chief of investments of alden global capital, randall smith, president hugo freeman. you begin your piece in the nation, how many palm beach mansions does a wall street
2013, aeed? in reclusive tycoon and his wife began buying up real estate. first they bought seven mansions for a total of $23 million. another four moderately priced homes, then five more for $23 million. none of them were purchased in the tycoon's name. not in the wife's name, either. the homes were deeded to the limited liability companies including 124 coconut row. pick it up from there. who is this who is doing this? >> randall smith has long been an investment future in new york. he was known as the pioneer of capitalism. that means going into these distressed companies. he is invested in great debt, invested in feeling copies all over the world. a lot of them have scandals, allegations of fraud and corruption. any company in trouble is kind of fair game for them.
but the thing that changed with randall smith was that normally, even when a regular hedge fund would come in and they see a company in trouble, they might want to find ways to buy low, build, the backup, then get their value back because the company is going to survive and arive will stop vultures have different foss a few. their idea is to let a company flounder are pretty much destroy whatever is left, take out what they can, then move onto the next. juan: elizabeth, what does this mean to the newsroom? we reported earlier about what happened with the denver post previously. i should say that i had met the dean singleton. he did not have a great reputation as someone who is building newsrooms, but at least he was not cutting them to the bone the way alden has. you say you came to the denver post just before the latest round of layoffs. what does it mean in the newsroom? many're not covering so beats that we should be covering. we are huge, thriving community in a room full of very talented
journalists. denver deserves better. we don't have a dedicated courts reporter. i am a saturday reported, the only one who works saturday covered all of the breaking news for colorado. we just lost our digital stuff on the weekend. amy: where is your office? >> we were downtown but recently moved to a printing plant. amy: your moves like half an hour out into the printing plant of the denver post? >> that is correct. to: dave krieger, you refer a piece news annulments. what are you calling for right now? you have your two papers. you're more than a century old. held is the denver post. >> about 125 news. and for the rocky mount news died after -- 140th or 150th
birthday. >> and i was there. i was there for many years. mexican point. we're used to companies cutting newspapers so that they can increase profitability. dean singleton did that in a big way. nationwide did that. the difference is, those were at least newspaper companies. they wanted the properties to survive because that was the business. private equity doesn't care about what business it is in. they will suck all of the cash out of it and then they will move on. this is sort of the evolution of what ben graham, warren buffets mentor, use to call cigar butt investigation. you just keep raking in the cash until that cigar butt is over. if can doctor is right and a shout out to julie reynolds who has provided us with the data.
if ken doctor's recompense artists a protest like today will not matter. capital only cares about cash, not pr, not digital, nothing. cash. if that is correct, then we have to fight them on that level. as juan will remember back when we were both newspaper guild people, the way you do that is you get subscribers to boycott those papers. you get a collective action with subscribers committing to canceling their prescription if and when the organizer decides they cannot get a response from the company. then you demand thedfm come to the table and talk about same these properties or selling them. if they refuse to do that, you watch the boycott. amy: where other protests today? sensibility may care about is cash. amy: outside the building in
that does it for the show. dave krieger (people chattering) ♪ >> this is very delicious. (laughter) >> nigella: a table is more than a piece of furniture, just as food is more than mere fuel. when i moved into my first home many years ago, before i did anything else, i bought a table. and not just to eat at, but to live around. chin-chin-- amici. >> cheers. >> same to you. >> nigella: at my table, when i'm winding down at the end of a long day... >> nigella: they're ready for me, and i'm ready for them. ...celebrating friendship at weekend feasts, or making memories with family... the food i eat is vibrant and varied, but always relaxed. old favorites... so far, so good.