tv KQED Newsroom PBS November 3, 2018 1:00am-1:30am PDT
with tuesday's elections looming, immigration once aein two er stage while high profile state measures on the gas tax and rent control prospects. and how much responsibility should social media companies bear for anti-semitic content? and jose antonior vargas s his memoir on lying and hiding. welcome to kqed newsroom. we begin with a high stakes midterm elections. in the final days before voters head to the poll president trump has made a number of immigration pronouncements in an effort tois appeal to h base. they include a proposednd to
birthright citizenship and he targeted the caravan of central american migrants suggesting federal agents can fire at them if they toss objects at them. meanwhile, ne s pollshow proposition 6th repeal of the state gas tax is trailing among voters. ime for proposition ten, which would give citiesli the a to expand rent control. as part of our ongoing election coverage i am joined by californiand politics government team. scott shafer, always good to see you guys. scott, democrats are hoping, as you know, to fp those seven gop seats in california that they have been trying to target in their quest to win 23 seats to retake contro of the house. how is the current messaging from president trump and the white house on immigration affecting those key races, and does it vary depending whether
it's a central valley race or orange county race? >> there areo many cross currents happening right now. you mentioned the birthright thing with immigrants, the caravan. a week ago there wg the shoot pittsburgh at the synagogue. the pipe bomber. it's hard to isolate one thing and say what impact is it e having. we owing a lot of voter interest. the secretary of statee ct with final registration numbers for california and 78% of eligible vots are registered it hasn't been that high for a non-presidential election since 19 there is a lot of interest. i think democrats have been vo focused on not getting distracted by trump and tryinay to son message of health care, the republican tax bill, jobs, that kind og. th i think if trump suck seeceeds wille up rnout of republicans. >> it's telling as trump is going around the country to key states, he is not coming to california.
i think that might be partly for his own reasons. also i don't think if every district it's a good idea to be seen next to the president. if you have a huge latino population, those immigration messages don't play orange county is a mix of people. so i think for republicans in , californhere has been this tightrope to walk this entire campaign where they want to appeal and sort of themselves with the president in some ways. in this harsh immigration rhetoric, it may not play as well in california. >> i yhink certainly can see by how the president is moving in these final days of the campaign. is focused on senate races. that is where he is spending his time. he is not coming to california, spending time in suburban districts. i would say for democrats they e focused on healthcare. i think there is a big difference when you go to a place like orange countyth wher are behind in registration and need to sell a centrist
message. the central valley they have a registration advantage and it's really about turnout. >> teak speakingf the central valley, the nation's most expensive congressional race this year, because the election day is just on tuesday, is here in a solidly blue state in the central valley. the incouple ent devin nune the republican share of the house intelligence committee, the chief defender of president trump he is thenc bent, his challenge is a fresno prosecutor. how much money is being spent on this race and why is it soex ensive? >> it's ironic because this is the least likely to flip of a lot of these districts. it's not actually one that i think democrats saw long ago as an opportunity. but what'sha happened is nunes has really under his fundraising game. a couple of yearsgo he raised $1 million, didn't ally have an opponent. he has raised $11 million.
it's not in californ t. it's on d.c. circuit. of big s, sort conservative donors. on the other side andrew janse, a prosecutor. i think it's an uphill battle. he raised $8 million himself. what's happened is we have seen i think a conversation happening in the central valley even wit the so of registration favorability to nunesthat we haven't seen in fresno. they for the first time in years deny enforcing him. >> the democrats would love to flip although it 345emay be a. i was in sonoma and i saw and u jans signs. a lot of the money is coming from the bay area because, yoow the central valley is not a wealthy area. there is not a bunch of bige donors orthy people. it's a very poor area. so, yeah, i think there is a l of excitement. it's a seat they'd like to flip if they could, democrats. but they know it a reach.
>> and nunes has been re-elected times. >>e yeah. ands endorsed by the fresno bee until now. there is a war going on sort of like an echo of what trump says media.he he had a 40-page mailer focused on "the fresno bee." >> and in these congressional races like in places like otcentral valley ares more focused on local issues or are they more concerned abou coming out of the white house? >> it's always the national issues. you see teis midterm election. it ultimately is a reflection and referendum on the president and what's happening in washington as much as d republicans tr make this about local issues. they know how unpopular donald trump is in many swing districts a.n califor they want to talk about the gas tax, things happening at the dmv and localssues. i think people, trump is on everyone's mind, on the mind of voters. so i think for democrats they succeed when they turn the
issues back to the patient and health care. >> let's talk about the propositions. we have tworo very highle ballot propositions. one of them is proposition, the gas tax repeal. in a new poll out this week from uc berkeley's institute of ud governmental s shows it's 56% of likely voters areed opp getting rid of this gas tax was supposed to be a rallying cry for the gop. what happened? >> this happened inen june w josh newman, the freshman senator from fullerton, orange county, wed v for the gas tax was the target o a recall and he was recalled. and that took away the o-thirds majority the republicans had in the senate. john cox has put in a bunch of money to get i on the ballot. really the money has dried up. there is a huge amount ofth mon on other side because you have labor, chamber of commerce, contractors, local officials have all teamed up toay we don't want to have this transportation money taken away. >> thatmadehis campaign interesting to me.
before this measure qualified for the ballot,ll $3.8 mn spent by supporters. after that 1.5 million. so it's almost as if the campaign petered off. they wanted it on the ballot not only for turnout buto give republican candidates something else to ta about other than donald trump. >> there were -- a republican wouldn't be in the top two of the governor's race. now there is one. >> mimi walters, now a congresswoman, in a tight race, she is not going to be putting he money behind a gas tax repeal she was six or ten months ago. >> the measure that would allow cities to expand rent control and a whopping 60% of thete surveyed said no. i mean, then a different poll by the public policy institute of california said renters are rejecting this measure. why is that? >> even re fascinating when recent polling showed that people support the idea of rent control but don't support proposition 10. number one, the no side spent three times more than the yes side. i think that plays a huge rol
what you talk about advertisements, getting the message out there. the ballot lanage is confusing. it's talking about repeal and not, you know, expansion of rent control. ipe think somle may say, am i voting to repeal rent control of those add into the fact that, yeah,very poll is not doing well. >> prop c, the local measure in francisco. salesforce ceo supp it. twitter's ceo jeff dorsey opposes. you havelehis ba of the tech titans going on. where will this end up? this is the homeles measure. >> yeah, taxing these big companies to pay for homeless services. it looks like it will get more than 50% and win. the question is will it be challenged in court. the fault lines have opened up among the tech community and democrats. nancy pelosi, dianne feinstein are for it. mayorondon breed is against it. an interesting battle and one that will not end next tuesday. >> you are going to continue to
be busy. you will all be covering it, i know, and we will see all of you ck here next week for a full roundup of the election outcomes and their impacts in california. thank you very much. and just ami er. neis coming tuesday join us on the radio and onor full election day coverage. hate speech on social media. a deadly synagogue shooting in pittsburt weekend and a series of pipe bombs mailed to prominent democrats, these incidents are intensifying scrutiny of the role that social media plays in inciting violence. the pittsburgh shooter posted anti-semic comments on gab.com. that site is offline for now. despite efforts to remove hate speech, facebook, twitter, instagram and whatsapp remain fertile ground for hateful speech. here are "new york times" technolog report mike isaac andd
or casey newton. welcome. mike, i know that yoe been reporting on how hate prolifer rates online. you think graham isan example. when you searched for anti-semitic content on instagram after the synagogue ot s what did you find? >> the surprising thing i guess about the moments ly after the shooting is we didn't have to look that hard to fi anti-semitic content on instagram. all we did, my colleagues and i started type in fairly nonoffensive words like, you know, we wrote jews or judaism or sort of anything related to thets eve of -- over the last weekend, and one of the first c hashtags the up was hashtag jews did 9/ which is, now, insane and completely not related to the eents that went on. >> claiming jews were behind the september 11th attacks? >> exactly. ande problem for instagram is
that this stuff, every time a major news event happ s or in this case a tragedy, people who are trying toroll these platforms can just start flooding the zone with a of super messed up content, basically, and it's hard for them to figureo out how catch it immediately. >> it was intense because you found nearly p 12,00ts with that hashtag, jews did 9/11. i know that the impact of hate and misinformation online is hoping globally as well.ho did social media affect the recent presidential elections in brazil? >> sure.n so brazil we saw a situation that many are compared to one that w saw in america not that long ago where social media sort of conveyed this sense of tr perpetual e and panic and it made the country really vulnerable to a more far right authoritarian time who says, don't worry, i will ma it better. in brazil on whatsapp people were able to use part of the app
which lets people forward sort of memes, texts. they can go a really long way and be used to promote misinformation. because the app is encrypted we have a hard time seeing inside to see what people are saying. >> we haveeen instances in myanmar, for example, where facebook was used to whip up anxiety about the rohingya minority, about child kidnaps tha led mobs torder peope. there ar several glaring instances out there. so in thi whose job should it be to rein these lies and conspiracy theories? a?e me the government? social media companies themselves? >> it's real -- i am sure y hear this all the time. it's a real hard tension between the idea that we should be able to community indicate privately withne another or worry about fr speech being tamped down by governments or companies or the
press or whatever, right? ke part of at least an american democracy is to be able to say what you want. but the ideah that free speech can have real world consequences and in some cases li actually deadly consequences. and i think right now we are grappling with how to construct these services in a way that doesn't amplify things in like an oversized manner and really sort of show that influence in a different way. >> you know, i think everyone probably has a role to play here. there is a role for the governeent in doing s kind of regulation. there is a role for the press to phenomenaome of these as they are doubling up. i think that the social media companiethemselves have a special responsibility to do something. hey decided to grow into these places. they decided to open up shop in myanmar and start sellingds ere and start generating revenue there. they didn't have a plan for how they were going to moderate the content on the platform. what they are doing now is sending out a bunch of janitors
to clean i up. so far the results are pretty mixed. hat are they doing? you refer to them as janitors. facebook, for example, touted it's higher than 10,000 people to actively look for all of this stuff. how is that working? >> i see it -- i mean, i don't know what you think. i see nd as a bid on a bullet wound, honestly. you can hire thousands of people to try and u cleandifferent things that are going around, but, you know, facebook has 2 billion people using it a month, at least 1 billion every day. untold billions of pieces of connt circulating on there. there is no way that tens of thousands of people re going to catch this. their big thing is a.i. >> artificial intelligence? >> yes. what they say t is thaty can sort of use these tools that are essentially just scanning ford patterns all of the texts and videos that people are uploading and say that like hate speech, that looks like an incitemen of to violence. they say over time they will be
able to dramatically reduce th amount of hate speech on the platform. i believe them. that is an efftive tool. they are having some success with it. the issue has tended to be that the problem is bigg than their efforts to contain it so far. >> and there is also the haditional problem of bots. that is something is taking off on its own. you know, human usersacstill unt for much of the hate speech on, you know, on social media, but there are al these automated bots out there. i was reading about anma anti-deon league study that says anti-semitism and hate crimes surged in the u.s. over the past two years. 30% of the accounts tweeting against jews on twitter are from bots. >> yeah. it is a really sad state of affairs, frankly. twitter has known about this bot issue for a long time. now, what they would say is that they want to permit people to create these kind of bots because bots can also used
for good. there is a bot that is popular among polical reporters that tells them when a member of the trump family has foowed a new account or followed a tweet. that could give you insight into what the trufrmmps are thinking about. when you let everyone have access to the tools, some people will build really bad ones. >> and one person can spend a couple hundred dollars and buy thousands of bots to flood twitter with anti-semitic content. one guy with a little money can have a bigger influence than they should be on the platform. >> today as were recording, bots blief helped contribute to the trend "kill the jews" trend. it was a top trend on twittern there was anti-semitic incident in new york. there were mainstream outlets reporting about it. it turned out that that particular phrase haven't been used in the incident. by that point it was too late and many, ny peopleaw this
as the top trend. >> what should the government's role be. there is a federal law that protects these companies from being held accountale for what people post on their sites and their platforms. that took affect more th two decades ago. that was when facebook, people were just telling them abppt what hed in their day. youtube had cute cat videos. we are no longer in that territory. so should those regulations change? >> i think we're starting to see the heat intensifying from congress right now. you know, there is senator mark warner of virginia has introduced the honest ads act, which sort of provides mo transparency into the types of l ads people can buy on facebook, so you can actually see who is doing the advertising and if it's from someone who is trying to manipulate i people a different country or something like that. so there is more, think they
are reining it in. they don't want to tamp down on speech and be therbers of speech. it's a push and pull. >>complicated debate for sure. mike isaac with "the new york times" and casey newton with the verge, pleasure to have you here. >> thank you. moving now to a personal take on immigration. in 2011 jose antonioa va whose journalism career included a stint at "the washington post," reveals he was living the u.s. illegally. since then he has become perhaps the most well known undocumented imgra grant -- immigrant. he has a new memoir, dear america, noetsds tes of an undocumented citizen. welcome. >> thank yofor having me. >> it's been seven years since you announced you were undocented in a "new york times" magazine essay.
you have produced documentaries, produce been in several interviews. why did youde de to write a book? >> according to the u.n. there are 285 million migrants in the dorld. i wano understand what is the human right of people to move? what does that look like? and then the election of donald trump happened and i was living in downtown l.a. and the building manager, i was living there for like two years at tha, potexted me a few days after the election and said, where we're not sure we can protect you if i.c.e. showed up in the apartment. you may wa to move out. so then that's when i had to kind of face the reality that i have been here 25 year c get detained and deported at any point. >> that must have been a tough message to absorb? >> yes, it was. but it kind of forced me do mething that i never want to do, which i think i don't want to do, which i like mental health, right? how do you actually feelat
this is? awaye been so busy running from it, i think, and juggling so many things. >> and hiding? >> so, you know, the book, as you know, is structured lying, passing, and hiding. the book really about what the psychological toll is of being in this country as a quote/unquo quote/unquote illegalilian according to president trump. >> your mom put you on a peane from hilippines heading to the u.s. to live with your grandparents when you were 12. you didn't know you were undocumented until you were 16 until you tried to get aiv 's license. you write about your deepna alon from your grandparents. you write, quote, the america they dreepd for me w not the america i was creating for myself. >> i had to ry understand why they did what they did. when i was a kid, when i was 16 i didn't understand it. they smuggled me here. they paid somebody $4,500.
>> so my grandfather thought, i come here, i work at the flea market as a janitor and i marry a woman who is a u.s. citizen and poof, right? their thinking was i would work an under the table job. i would live this under the table life. >> and you did not want that? >> i didn't wantt because i -- i thought i wanted to exist.dn i want to just be invisible, right. and i think for me that was the number one thing. e moment iound out i was here illegally, i didn't want to surrenderto what that was. >> you existed for a long time as a journalist. you wonl awardsg the way. there are some undocumentedig ints who are resentful of the america you have created for yoitrself. you about activists who want to know where were you jo jose, when we were on the front lines fighting for immigrant rights? where were you? >> i was lying, ssing, and hiding. i was too busy trying to create
thishauccessful version of i was supposed to be. i h internalized i was supposed to earn something, right? i was very ho st in theok about that. even when an activist said to me, you know, you can't represent us. you are not even mexican, right? this issue has been so married to latinos and specifically mexicans. look, like i -- this book fore was a way of really exploringe what all issues are and where all the hurt is. >> and you are very critic. you blame the media, too, for some of the rt and some of the misperceptions. you are critical about how mainstream media has cove d immigration. where do you think the media has failed? >> i think i'm critical becausea journalism ised to me. it was the first thing i ever thought of myself. >> you worked f"the washington post." >> i worked at the chronicle a few blocks that way, right. so journalism is important to me. what we do is important to me. i think the fact that we in
general s -- there ae exceptions -- have failed to connect theen dots bethe 11 million undocumented immigrants like me in this country and how that is connected to the 43 milhim grant population in america. this is not about immigration reform. it's about cnging america. >> and with president trump in office and with more reporting on issues like the border wall and family separation issue with central american refugees do you see improvement in the coverage? >>it absolutely. kind of embarrassing, frankly, that it t ok trump for most of our colleagues in the media to finally wake up that? a hum rights crisis. what trump has done and is doing is a cull minutatination of all policies that democrats and republicans have been a part of. this has been a bipartisan mess. it's not just trump. >> do you worry about being deported? you could be any time. >> you know, that's the interesting thing. i lived in fear of that four 14
years, from 16 to the age of 30. the past ses,n yea being this public thing that i am, that hasn't really been my worry. i'm ready fonit. i've b ready seven years ago. so i'm not -- that's not the fear. the fear is am i living my life as fully and as honestly as i can. >> have you thought about what you will do if you areeported? >> yeah. i haven't seen my mom for 25 years since she is in the philippines. two more yearsr her to come here legally. she has been waiting in line. so i'dee her. you know, thankfully, i am a writer and a filmmaker and i write and make films anywhere. but look, i think iecided to stay. so if the government decid to deport me, it will be a fight. >> why do you think they haven't deportedyou? >> i have no idea. >> you are not hard to find. >> i am at starbucks usually. they will find me there. you knw, after i came out seven years ago, a few months later veen i haven't heard anything
from the gment i actually called the government myself. i write that in the book. i i call.e. myself. i said, high, i'm jose antonio vargas. haven't heard from you. what do you plan to do with me? >> and the woman was like, no comment. >> really? >> she knew who i was, she said. she was wondering, why are you calling us? i haven't heard from you. as a journalist, we have to follow up the so i come out. obama at the time was deporting 400,000 immigrants. why wasn't i one of them. >> how isce your c of being citizen change since you came out as an undocumented person? >> so i am not citizen because i was not born intrhis co the accident of birth. i am not citizen because legally ium not. i argue there is a different kind of citizenship that undocumente immigrants subscribe to, and it's citizenship of participation. i actually thin it's miraculous that undocumented immigrants get up every day, go to work, send their kids to school and provide for their families even under this administration.
>> and pay taxe >> pay taxes. parts of their communities, i think that's mere mere ac lis *- /* miraculous. >> it's "dear america: notes of an undocumented citizen." thank you f> being here. thank you for having me. >> that will do it for us. as always, you can find more coverage at kqed.org/newsroom. thank you for joining us.
robert: countdown tohe mid terms. i'm robert costa, welcome to "washington week." president trump: these illegal caravans will not be allowed to united states. they should turn back now because they're wasting their time. robert: on the eve of the midterm elections president trump hammers a hard linen immigration.cr demos looking to take back power are campaigning k onitchen table issues, with the party's biggest name on the trail. >> this tuesday might be the most important election of our lifetime. politicians will always say that. but this time it's actually true. robert: plus -- a mass shooting inside a putsburg synagogue l