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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  December 13, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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hello, everyone, and welcome to amanpour and company. here's what's coming up. as bashar al assad won in syria. nearly eight years and half a million deaths after the u.s. said he had to go. the outgoing un humanitarian adviser. plus, a television legend who is often imitated but never matched. my conversation with the great tv host. plus, going back to school, one woman who's working to help students accused of sexual misconduct get into u.s. colleges.
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uni world is a proud sponsor of amanpour and company. a river, specifically, multiple rivers that would be home to uniworld rivers. that dream sets sale in europe, asia, india, egypt and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information visit uniworld.com. additional support provided by bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar walken heim. judy and josh weston and by contributions of your pbs station. welcome to the program, i'm christiane amanpour in london. in the midst of a week of
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extreme political chaos across the west from here in britain, where prime minister theresa may tangled with the revolt in her own party, to france where president emmanuel macron has faced outright rebellion in the streets and in the united states where the reality of the divided government to come is already paralyzing washington. so what band width does this lead for real life and death, war and peace policy making. let's take the situation in syria, for instance, which continues to spiral downward. it is the deadliest conflict on the planet with more than 500,000 people believed to have been killed and upwards of 10 million displaced and now the latest unn voice of syria is leaving his post by the end of this month. he tried to bring a diplomatic solution to syria but turned tout to be an exercise in futility. he leaves behind a country where bashar al assad is on the brink
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of winning the civil war. with russian and iranian support. there are troubling reports as well that banned chemical weapons are still being used in aleppo, while russian, american, turkish and iranian military forces and their proxies are all on the ground. they are all trying to secure their own interests, and the syrian people are the biggest losers. by guest, yan eggland was right there. his job was to try to relieve the humanitarian suffering, another impossible task, as he too steps down, he admits the international community has failed syria, and he reminds me of the nation's awful distinction, more fire power used against more defenseless civilians there than in any other contemporary conflict. welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> i don't know whether you think but to an extent it's almost like syria is the
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forgotten war. after all of these years of desperate, atrocious killings and refugees and destruction, it's almost la di da, nobody is talking about it too much anymore. how do you reflect on that as you leave that position? >> it is a major mistake to believe that the greatest war of our generation is over. it's not over in two senses. there is fighting in many places in syria. even against the islamic state in the far east of the country. there is a place called idlib with 3 million civilians and they are under control and people there fear a major attack any moment now. it could be a battle, similar to aleppo or damascus, but also it's not over in the sense that the place is in ruin. i traveled around damascus just
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a few weeks ago. i haven't seen such devastation over so large urban area anywhere in the 30 armed conflicts that i have visited. >> wow, that is quite a comparison. in 30 armed conflicts, you've never seen anything like syria. >> not anything. of course, i mean, was as much level to the ground, in bosnia, you know that, from the bosnia war. parts after beirut. but in syria, you travel for three, four, hours, continuously in car, and you only see devastation, so it's over much larger areas. >> i just want to ask you to reflect after all the effort, your effort, brahimi, you can name all these distinguishes un
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officials, and yet i would say that perhaps the world has lost and assad has won. how would you assess? >> well, i would say humanity lost in this war. there were too many bringing fuel to the fire, and we were too weak, those of us who tried to do our best to shield civilian population to get human relief to besieged areas, and to get armament to not fight civilians. we were too weak, and those who fueled the fire, those who believed they were fighting t terror, you know, everybody was fighting terror, and when you believe you're fighting terrorism, you seem to be able to wage indiscriminate war. >> let's drill down on that a little bit. you're right, every side said they were fighting terror, whether it's assad, whether it
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was iranians who help assad, whether it's the russians, whether it's the americans fighting isis in syria. tell me about that. it's like a catch all for all sorts of conflicts including in yemen. that is what the saudi led coalition says in yemen. >> and the other side as well. i'm very worried that this so called war on terror has gone astray. we who are humanitarians now find ourselves in terrain where one group of the other may be labeled terrorist, but then also leadership, yes, the russians, the government of syria said these are not on the position groups, call them by the right name. they are terrorists. then the largest of these groups pledged allegiance to al qaeda. they were called alustra, but it
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was a large opposition group really. the moment they pledged allegiance to al qaeda and their leader, of course then they became part of that war on terror and in idlib, this is now the largest group. so a mother, you know, a widow with five children, she's move into the next house will now fear russians bombing here but she would fear the westerners boycotting her with aid because you're in an area of terrorists so we cannot risk any deviation of aid, we're going to boycott you. >> i want to talk about idlib because you bring this up. it is the last so called rebel held zone and as you mentioned, nustra is the biggest group there, also there are civilians, hundreds of thousands of civilians there. at a point a few months ago, it
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looked like assad, backed by russia and iran was going to do a final assault and take back idlib as well, and then president trump stepped in. and he talked about a syrian-american doctor who persuaded him to try to intervene to save idlib. this is what she told me. i don't know whether you have heard of dr. ream. this is what she told me. i would like to pick it up on the other side. so this is how she explained it to me. >> i explained to the president, i am not making things up. this is not a humpty dumpty story from syrian woman. this is what really happened. we watched in horror how, you know, the regime systematically targeted bred lines, residential neighborhoods, marketplaces. the plan was clear. the writing is on the wall. idlib province is marked for death. >> as we know, president trump then prevailed upon russia and iran and syria, i guess, to leave idlib for the moment.
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i have two questions on that, how long is that cease fire, so to speak, going to last, do you think? and what about an ordinary syrian american woman almost doing what you were unable to do, call off the attack dogs in aleppo and elsewhere? >> well, i find her description of the situation completely accurate, and of course we have all tried to give that image to all world leaders over time, and i'm glad she was able to do that. i think the real dynamic in the situation was that the russians and the turkish government felt an overwhelming pressure to reach a deal. and that two nations who influence here accept the outside government and that's russia and it's turkey. turkey is within the zone f of
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idlib, 3 million civilians, many are the position groups. they have military posts there. the deal made in sochi between russia, turkey, also with iran present, paid a lot of lives. for three months there has been much less fighting and there's also been sporadic air-raids before this the place was hammered, including hospitals and schools. hopefully it will stay on, but then the pressure and the u.s. has to stay on this, has to be enormous on russia, on turkey, and on the government. >> well, the u.s. says it's staying in seyria. you know, there was a lot of talk about whether the u.s. will pull out. they declared isis was defeated and they've decided on other issues that are going to keep them there, including iran. this is what the national security adviser john bolton has said about staying in syria. we're not going to leave as long
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as iranian troops are outside iranian boards and that includes iranian proxies and militia. so analyze that for me. tell me what you think is going to happen with the u.s. staying there, with iran becoming the target of america's, you know, attention. is this going to be another sort of proxy war like we see in a different way in yemen? >> all of these nations saying we need to stay. we need to have our shares in this company. we need to have our footholds in the place. it again, makes me very worried for the civilian population because the battles may be over, one after the other, but there will not be peace if there are so many nations fighting each other in syria. i mean, israel is now bombing in syria because they say, rightly, that iran is there. so can saudi and iran stop
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fighting each other in syria to the last syrian. could they rather take it between themselves as honorable men. >> i want to dig down a little bit into how obviously difficult it is to be a un envoy trying to bring an end to what's happened in syria. stephan, there is no military solution. with respect, there is a military solution and it has been waged and assad is the winner, along with his backers, or thanks to his backers. i mean, is the criticism correct that sometimes the un just says these things and they are divorced from reality. >> i happen to agree with
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staff staffan. the problem is not solved by smashing a city to pieces so that there is no fighting anymore. the problem will be solved when there is reconciliation, when refugees can return in safety and dignity, when there is agreement on rebuilding, when people do not leave in complete fear all the time. and that's not syria today. so this belief that i can smash the place and then that's the solution is wrong, in my view. we did, however, also have some victories. i mean, we worked around the clock. we did get in relief to many besieged areas where there hadn't been, you know, any relief for months or even years. i think a collective pressure actually led to turkey and russia reaching this deal that held off the attack on idlib,
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and still is. so why did we manage to have some limited breakthroughs because there was a humanitarian task force where the u.s. and russia, iran, and saudi and the security council had around the table. i know a few other places where actually the u.s. and iran, saudi sit at the same table with russian, including russian military, and that was something where we succeeded. we got a place that is hopeless to reach, we got it three, four weeks ago, and it was the first time since january. >> look, it would be churlish not to be pleased when you can get even a convoy or a truck or a stack of rice into a situation as desperate as syria. however, i think even you would agree that it is a drop in the ocean, as you're trying to get
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one or two loris in, one or two convoys, places are being besieged, starved into surrender, bombs from the air, and generally waged military war. let me put this criticism to you from an article in the atlantic. nearly every cease fire that was championed by staffan de mistura has collapsed. he is accused of landing to a diplomatic charade, as the syrian government and allies conducted a scorched earth policy against rebel held parts of the country. respond to that. >> of course i would agree that there were many more failures than successes, look at syria today, look at the suffering. look at all of the people. the alternative will be that nobody tried, that we will just let all of those who were cheer
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leading the different sides in this war, to go on with it and there wouldn't have been any convoys to anyone. listen, the humanitarian effort in syria reaches millions every month. millions. in devastated areas. where we fail was with the besieged there is, where we fail is where there was cross fire, and it wasn't for lack of trying. it was because the member states of the united nations failed us. had the agreement in 2012. if it had been pushed through, and i blame really nearly all of the security council members, but certainly first and foremost, those who supported the government, russia and iran for not helping get that agreement through. a smaller war could have been stopped in 2012. in 2016, '17, '18, it wasn't
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really possible to stop the forces of war. >> thank you, as always, for your very frank assessments. it's really great to get your perspective. yan eggland, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. and now we turn to some much needed cultural relief. my conversation with a beloved television personality who set the mold for today's late night talk shows. dick cavat may not have been the highest rated but he was arguably the most influential, his interviews with hollywood legends, politicians, rock stars, artists and writers defined an era in ways that feel fresh and full of impact even today. i spoke with dick recently in new york to see if i could get this interview to share the secrets of his magical thinking. we began by talking about his mentor and inspiration, the
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great jack par who preceded johnny carson host of the tonight show. welcome to my program. >> i'm glad to be here. i sit yelling at the screen when am i going to be on. >> i do interviewing for a living but it's almost embarrassing for me to say that talking to you because you're the king of interviewers. >> i'll be the judge of that. >> all right. when you came on to the stage, how did you get your break? how did a young boy from nebraska by way of yale university become dick cavett. >> i gave them a copy of time magazine, making $60 a week. so our paper item, jack par, worries about his monologue more than anything else. i was a huge par fan. i went home and typed a monologue, took it on the subway, down to the rta
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building. knew what floor jack's show was on, and here he came down the hall as in a contrived situation, and i had put it in a "time" envelope, so it caught his eye. i said i've written some stuff for you, mr. par. he said, okay kid. you want to be a writer. he took it in his office. i went and sat in the audience, he came out, took some papers out, i thought i made. he said this routine about mothers in law, and i thought, oh, you know, it's not my stuff. it's somebody else, in the middle of the show, he did wonderful ad-libs that were from the real life character. like chip hijacking was in, and he had a hand mic in the audience, and a woman said or he said to her, what do you think about this pirate ship, they used that phrase. and jack said it must have been a surprise to the people hearing
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a voice come over saying attention, please, this is your pirate speaking. that got a big laugh. he used another one of my lines in the elevator later, he said you want to write, don't you, kid, and i said yes, and he said come back in a week. and here we are. >> and here we are. >> everything followed from that. everything. >> and jack par was the biggest and the most successful, right? >> he was it. he was mr. tonight show. steve allen had done one before, but jack, surprising the impact jack had on the nation. he was only on five years. >> it is pretty amazing. >> johnny, 30 some. >> and johnny carson was a big rival of yours, right? >> well, being two nebraskans who came to new york, dewey eyed, we were very very good friends. >> i just want to quickly read part of the incredible roster of
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guests on your program over the years. marlon brankatherine hepburn, alfred hitchcock, john lennon, that's not bad. >> those are the little folks here's the advice that jack par gaf you, he said to you, hey kid when you do your show, don't do interviews. >> that knocked me over. i picked up the phone. he said it was jack par, and i didn't believe it because he never called me, and he said, kid, this is jack, you know, if you're going to do this show, let me give you some advice, please don't do interviews. i said, what do i do, sing, or talk to the guests in poetry or. >> he said, no, interviews, that's the q and a, and what's your favorite this or that, david frost falling asleep on his clipboard. just make it a conversation. >> so don't do interviews, have conversation. >> conversation is best, and
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when it becomes spontaneous, and rolling along, and you can throw your notes away. a friend of mine pointed my fault out once at the beginning. i stuck to any notes, and i would go to this one and this one. >> in other words, you weren't listening. >> it wasn't that bad. >> it could have been, right? >> not listening. >> so look, i just read this incredible list. you said just for starters. it would be on anybody's dream list to have marlon brando. you were debating his premise that each of you were in fact actors and to prove his point, he dissected your performance as a talk show host. here's the clip. >> you're thinking of 60 things at once. how is it going. is he upset and distressed and articulate. is the bored, is he offended. here's a good time for a joke.
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you're thinking about 9 million things and reacting to what i'm saying. how is that going to be, is that going to be offensive. so you're doing this editing at an insane rate. and i mean, you have to do that and that's your job and you have this demeanor of levity and lightness and amusement and it's easy to ask if that's finally what goes on in your mind or if you're feeling at all. >> i feel like all my clothes have been taken off. >> you felt like you had been stripped bare. >> the sensation of here i am lick dickey cavett, and marlon brando is talking about me. here's one that will knock your
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hat off, as grouch yno would sa fred astaire. a nebraskan, he was from omaha. >> what did you think of brando. he was a pretty intimidating guy. what did you think of him, and how did you carry on the conversation after you had been stripped naked so to speak? >> i didn't know how to do a show after that. he had come up to my dressing room before the show. i was in awe. he was so brilliant, and afterwards he said. >> i said why. >> ooii've been looking at it f years! i have no idea what you just said. >> you want to go down to chinatown. >> people often said that to you. >> we went down, i'll make it quick, paparazzi followed us, jumps out of his car as we got out on the dark streets of chinatown, everything was
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closed. i said that one right there. the other guy is his assistant. people say the same expression on your face. he did not get tired of taking it, and he kept going with it, and we all know marlon has a temper with it, and he leaned in, and said you want to take those sunglasses off, marlon. marlon took them off and wam, a shot that came up from the sidewalk, broke galel a's jaw as he fell face forward on the hood of a car, and really. >> that was marlon brando. >> i thought this is thrilling, the biggest day of my life. >> you are known among your friends as incredibly literate, intellectual. >> why is that. >> i don't know why it is. you use words and words and words to the point that your
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wife, your wife, your first wife, your late wife once said he is a genuinely witty man. he is a questioner, really, you ask him a simple question and he employed the secratic method for 45 minutes. . do you recall, what is it you thought of, because you did do interviews for more than an hour or so, and that was commercial television. that doesn't happen that much these days. >> i don't know. i never had any experience doing it before. and i found that when i got out there and thought of jack, talk to the people, don't read what is your favorite mountain or something, that it just seemed to flow. >> was somebody like david bowie a natural for you? i'm a great david bowie fan. i don't know if you were, but he was particularly cutting edge on all the gender fluidity, and his music was cutting edge, and his
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persona. >> he's dynamic, and you can feel it sit tting there, as you can with brando, and a something really emanates. >> i'm going to play a clip. >> let me play a clip. >> story teller and a story writer, and i decided that i'd prefer to enact a lot of the material i was writing, rather than performs. at this moment i'm performing adds myseas myself but i will return in the future to return back to writing stories, and i don't care what anybody says. i like doing it, and it's what i shall continue doing. >> everybody, you know, laughed at that. did you get him then? did you get how revolutionary he was in this industry and how -- >> probably not. probably my antenna were a
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little wiggly at that point, and lame. but then as i watched him, as they would say about garbott, se didn't seem very interesting instead studio. there was all kind of things going on. something is going to happen. something's going on. >> tell me about huge stars, you did two programs with katherine hepburn. three hours all told? >> it's same how that came about. i had wanted her for years. finally she said something to somebody. >> how did you get her to agree? >> i don't know what did it. i think a couple friends said you should do it with him. he's the one you should do it with. she had never done that, and she's the kind of woman, if she's never picked up a snake, she will pick up a snake, just so she's done that, and she decided to do a talk show. >> she was pretty cantankerous in the actual interview? >> she was at times, yeah.
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>> here's a clip. watch this clip. >> you keep interrupting the long story of my life. would you just shut up. >> i won't speak again for the next hour. >> you never listen. that will be the day. or, that will be the night. >> i mean, no punches pulled there. >> my favorite moment in that show was when i cornered her, i got sort of having fun with her, and i said, you know, we work together summer at stratford, i was an extra in the merchant of venice with you, i had one line. you weren't on stage. what was your line. i said, my master antonio is at his house and desires to speak with you. >> is that how you said it? it was the biggest laugh ever. >> she loved getting a laugh. >> we had a good time. >> in 1971, you, in fact, had the first television interview with john lennon and oyoko ono.
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you were asking john what made the beatles break up. here it is. >> how long was it fun? >> everything is fun off and on, you know, so i thought it could have gone on being fun off and on or it could have got worse. it's just, when you grow up, you know, we don't want to be the crazy gang. british or the marks brothers which has sort of been bragged on stage playing she loves you when we've got, you know, asthma and tuberculosis. here they are again, yesterday, all my troubles. a long time ago, i said that i didn't want to be singing she loves you when i'm 30. i said that when i was about 25, which in a round about way meant i wouldn't be doing whatever i was doing then, you know, at 30. when i was 30 last october, and that's about when my life
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changed, really. >> so his life changed. >> john was so approachable, so available. so when you met him, it was that feeling of i've known him a long time. though you had not. and they had fun on the show. >> and this was a very very difficult time because he was choosing yoko over the beatles. >> yes, yes, it was. >> i maybe did one of the few good things, really good things i have ever done, which was went down as he asked me if i would, and protested the fact that our great unindicted coconspirator of that time, richard nixon wanted john out of the country, and then unfortunately later got himself out of the white house. i thought they would have to cut his hands off his wrists to get him out of the white house. >> we forget that john was put on a blacklist, right, nixon sicced the fbi on him.
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>> and i helped him. it was a good feeling. >> what did you do? >> anything i could do for john, and against nixon, i would jump at. >> and what did you do for him? >> i just went down and talked about how he should not be thrown out, and his lawyer was there, audience, and now, if you go to you tube and put in cavett nixon, you can see him in the oval office, the words are up here. it begins with what is cavett anyway, he says to his hr alderman, and the last line is cavett, there must be something we can do to screw him. >> absolutely right. you took the words out of my mouth. on the white house tapes. >> i never heard you talk like that. >> is there any way we can screw him. you were one of the first to delve into covering watergate. you didn't shy away from those actual topics. >> i did not. no, because it was so damn
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interesting. i don't know how much credit, but you woke up every morning, and you had to have your watergate fix. it was just thrilling. >> i mean, again, you had an extraordinary conversation with henry kissinger, it was afterwards you discussed nixon's final days, and you asked about his mental health. he said it was a rather scary period. we were living in a nuclear world. what did you think when you heard kissinger say that? >> kissinger, who i liked though i've offended him once or twice. he said an interesting thing. it didn't hit me so much until later, how would you describe nixon or what was nixon, and he said just about anything you would say about him would be true. isn't that wonderful? >> that is wonderful, and kind of weirdly, during that time, you know, you were speaking to senator ted kennedy. and he was talking about a
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health care bill. i mean, it was all those years ago and how he hoped to pass it through the senate and he called it the health security act. that was in 1972, and just because of the craziness over the political battle over health care still today, i want to play that clip of ted kennedy with you. >> you become bankrupt too often or you're never really assured of quality health care. it's too difficult to get health services. we have tried to outline some of the ways in which that could be done with our health security act. i think it's a program which hopefully will be discussed during a national campaign and we'll be able to get the kind of support necessary to pass it. >> isn't that interesting? >> isn't it? 40 years later, still a matter of divisive debate in this country, basic health care for everybody. >> he didn't say anything about mexicans being rapists, but that would have really warped the time machine. >> can i make a very hard turn and a quite difficult hard turn. >> do your worst.
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>> because, maybe painful hard turn. there are a lot of great creatives across the whole spectrum of human endeavor who suffer from some kind of depression in all sorts of degrees. you did yourself. >> way too many, and it's not hard to find. yeah, and there's nothing good about depression. somebody called it the worst for man, and it sort of is. people are familiar with the fact you lose interest in everything. seems like all the color goes out of your life. you don't want to do anything, and it's hateful. and you also feel that you're busted, that you're going to always be that way, and with great force tells you this is permanent, you're here for good. you're a depressive victim or child or wife or friend, it will
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pass. that doesn't do you much good while you're doing it, and if anybody says to your wife, daughter or you while you're suffering from it, what have you got to be depressed about, you've got money and a house and, punch those people without offensive guilt because it's a disease. >> exactly. and you hit upon a point that people think, oh, my goodness, they're so busy entertaining other people, they're causing laughter in other people, and yet they have this darkness themselves, and you had a very moving exchange with robin williams early in his career after one of his bouts, kind of became improvisational frenzy, you had a heart-to-heart with
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him about depression and the pressure to always be on. he said to you, i could make those people happy, why can't i make myself that happy. >> that really got to me. i remember him saying that. robin certainly put in his hours with depression. and eventually, he had another complicating disease that we found out later, but yeah, he was a soldier about it. went on stage, dragging himself to the wings out on stage, up and out, and i thought i remember that. i remember something akin to it. i remember sitting here thinking that's lawrence olivia, and i don't give a damn, i just want to get home and go to bed. they know i'm nuts, they can tell before my performance, they know because i'm taking ten seconds between words sometimes and paragraphs, horrible.
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i didn't think we could air it. i think someone would come over and say, you can go home now. a year later, mr. marlon brando said did you ever look at that show. i said i couldn't ever look at it. do me a favor, go and look at it. i was in california, i went home, i looked at it. i was fine. and i told him that. and he said i know. i said, what is that. he said automatic pilot. performers, fortunately have it. it's so bizarre. the good thing about it in my case began when people would begin to come up and say if i was larry king about it, and a couple other places, and magazines, you saved my dad's life. or you saved my daughter's life.
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she's a huge fan of yours. that helped people somehow. >> that's fantastic actually. >> i want to end with a nice exchange between you and the great janis joplin back in 1970. >> dear janis, yes, my god. >> you ever get back to port arthur, texas? >> no, but i'm going back in august, man, and guess what i'm doing, going to my 10th annual high school reunion. >> take movies and bring them back and show. >> do you want to go? >> i don't have that my friends in your high school class. >> i don't either. believe me. >> you don't either? >> oh, boy. she loved coming on the show. i didn't know if she would. i didn't know who she was the first time i saw her at fillm -
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filmore. i said who was the girl in the green pants who was so good, told me her name, janis joplin, little did i know, she must have been on about six or eight times. >> you had a great connection, but you had a great connection with all of your guests. i think that's what comes through. >> not speiro agnew. >> tidick cavett, thank you so much. >> don't mention it. whatever that means. and from the fullness of one exceptional life, we turn to live, just getting started. our next guest is college admissions consultant hannah stockland, since her own rocky road into harvard university, she has made a living giving kids with a pass into universities across america. a career that's seen her attract a specific and somewhat controversial clientele, young men accused of sexual misconduct.
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she argues that before we decide what to do with bad men, we must determine which ones are bad. it is a difficult task, as she tells our michelle martin. >> hannah, thank you so much for talking with us. >> thanks, i'm glad to be here. >> i understand that you actually have an interesting educational journey yourself. you got your ged, and then you actually transferred to harvard, but just tell me a little bit about how all of that happened. >> i flunked out of high school, i had straight f's my last three semesters. i didn't think i was college material, i got a job. my parents said if you're going to live in the house, you need to have a job. i started working full-time on my 18th birthday. after a couple of years, i thought i wanted to go to college. i had no idea if any four-year college would take me based on the strength of my test scores. v eventually got into a small women's college, and did well for two years, and was able to transfer and ended up going to
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harvard. >> how did you get into educational consulting? >> this is something that came to me. after i transferred i got a job as a tour guide in the admissions office, and you know, i would be giving a tour, and there's a little spot in the tour script wruhere you say and this is what brought me to harvard, and i would say well, i had straight f's my last semester in high school, i got here when i was 22, and after every tour, some family would take me aside and say you have to talk to my nephew. he just got out of rehab, and he wants to apply to college, you know, can you help us. >> people would say that, did that freak you out? >> it was daunting. >> did you call these people. >> if they, i would give them a card and i would say here's my e-mail address if you want to get in touch with me, and those that did, i was happy to talk to. they wanted to know, can you retake the s.a.t. when you're 20, i had to do that. and questions like that.
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and so it grew from there, and i started learning from my client sgls you sa s. >> send me your addicted, your convicted your expelled, your eating disorders, your kryptonite cases f you will, did you mean that? >> absolutely i meant that. i think these kids can benefit from education, too. and it's really hard for them to get it but i know how to help them do it. >> you were doing a lot of eating disorders, kids who had to take health breaks from school and trying to figure out how to get back in. when did it become about sexual misconduct? >> i got my first two calls from students who had been accused of sexual misconduct in january 2014. and they asked can you help me in this situation. i said i have no idea, let's find out. after i had a few successful clients, the next thing i knew i had dozens.
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>> why january 2014, did something happen then that started to stimulate these particular cases? >> i'm not sure. i think it was probably a delayed impact of the 2011 obama era, dear colleague letter from the department of education that revised the standards that universities had to follow in adjudicating sexual misconduct. >> can you briefly describe for people what the shift was. >> the shift was designed to push back against a system that was, i think, correctly perceived as silencing victims, particularly women, and it was perceived as not resulting in real consequences for folks who had committed harassment or assault. and so it was an attempt to make the system more stringent, so that there would be stricter
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enforcement of title 9, the law that mandates equality of the sexes in higher education. >> is there a typical scenario that brings someone to you? >> so about 2/3 of my cases stem from i would broadly say a drunken hookup. about 1/3 of the cases, the accusation happened following the break up of in college terms, a long-term relationship! ad so are these mostly men, young men. >> they are mostly young men who are accused. >> by women. >> but that's a mix. i see both men and women accusing men. i have a tiny handful of women who have been accused, either by men or women. >> and what do you do for them? >> the main thing i do for them is help them make a plan for how to continue their education after this interruption, and help them talk about the problem on their record in a way that gives them a shot at a second chance.
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>> do you ask them, what happened here? >> yes. >> because if you're representing somebody in a criminal proceeding, i think the question would be what do they say happen. >> i need both. if i'm going to help you write an explanation of what happened, i need to understand and you need to talk about both the best way of looking at the facts and the worst way of looking at the facts. >> talk to me a little bit more, if you would, about how you go about this. >> i want to take the counselling equivalent of a searching medical history. i want to know both from the point of view of you as a student, you know, what major do i want, what kind of grad school do i want, what's my career plan, and then also what happened here in the incident in question and also in the process that led you out of that school. >> do you look for remorse? >> absolutely. >> what if it's not forthcoming? >> there's also disagreement about what happened. and i don't try to evaluate, you
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know, whose version of events would match a video tape if there had been a video tape. it's not my area of expertise, it's not my job, but it is essential to making the argument that you need a second chance, that this won't happen again. if this was just a lightning strike that could have happened to anyone, then you have no leg to stand on saying i'm going to prevent this from thahappening again in my life. if you feel that you didn't commit assault, which maybe you didn't, i wasn't there, you better find other choices that you made that you would make differently now. maybe you weren't as kindergarten as you could have been. -- kind as you could have been. maybe you were drinking under age, maybe you were hooking up with someone who had been drinking or taking drugs, and now you think that wasn't smart. you have to look at your failures of judgment, of kindness, of any standard that you want to live up to in the future. look at those failures and talk about how you've changed them.
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>> and how do you know you're not introducing somebody dangerous back into an environment where they're just going to do something else because guess what, they got away with it. >> it's always possible that someone who has done something wrong in the past so they can b in the community as students or they can be in the community as workers or volunteers. if indeed somebody is ah- habitl predator, they can and will be that wherever they may be, unless they're in a cell, which is usually not on the table. >> can you give us an example without -- to the degree that you can without violating your vow of confidentiality to your client. can you just give me a little bit more detail about that scenario. >> so there's a few typical
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scenarios, one is two people meet at a party, they go off and hook up. both have been drinking. following the hook up, in some days or months later, one of the parties alleges that they were too drunk to consent to the hookup. you know, in that case, frequently the person who didn't make the allegation is going to be expelled or suspends, even if they were equally or more inebriated. and the whole question that the case would turn on is were they intoxicated or incapacitated. >> which party, the complainant or both? >> the complainant. that is the most common scenario i see where you have two intoxicated people and everyone agrees that the encounter was, appeared consensual at the time,
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that there was yeses, there was participation, there wasn't no. but the consent, the apparent consent was no good because of the level of intoxication and so that's the core of the dispute usually that determines whether someone gets expelled or not was how drunk do we think the accuser was at that moment. >> you're telling me that the bulk of your case load is ambiguous consent, is that correct? >> the bulk is ambiguous. >> there's no force involved in your view? >> there's a meaningful minority of my cases where force is alleged, and there's usually mixed evidence on that question. the majority of my cases don't involve an allegation of force. >> what is this about in your view? there are a lot of people who are saying you know what, time's up, enough, women have been manipulated for too long, have been coerced, and have had it, and they're speaking up now.
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that's what some people say is happening, i take it you say it's actually different than that. >> no, i agree with that. i think that is happening, and i think there are a whole lot more accusations. people are speaking up both in cases where the evidence is unambiguous in supporting the allegation and cases where it's ambiguous or even runs contrary to the allegation, but it is absolutely true that the patriarchy has been silencing victims of sexual violence, that we ought to do something about that, and that in general, the fact that you have a lot of complaints is not a bad thing. >> let me break it down a little bit. you are a lawyer, right, but you don't represent people in court, do you? >> that's right. >> so criminal defense lawyers often get this question, right, which is how can you defend that person, and typically what
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thebthey say is you know what, it's in the constitution, you have a right to a defense, you have a right to be represented by counsel, and i think a lot of them would say, particularly people who take cases other people won't, if the system doesn't work for everybody, it doesn't work for anybody. but going to a four-year college, a private college, a prestigious college, that's not in the constitution and one of the interviews you said there was a client you helped who was super happy because he didn't have to go to community college and the question is why are they entitled to go to a private four-year college, prestigious college. >> they don't have to have it, and they aren't entitled to it. they may earn it. the only reason to work with me is to tell your whole story, and give each institution an opportunity to make their own decision, and for a typical client of mine who's been expelled from under grad, i
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would encourage them to apply to about 30 universities and i would expect them to get into three to five. that's often a very good outcome for one of my students, so there are plenty of colleges that have no trouble saying no. but if what i'm helping the student do is make their case for why one of the spots in the class, and they're not necessarily highly selective colleges, but one of the spots in class would be well served with me. >> and tell me why. you say you think you're helping make the system more fair, tell me why. >> we get the motto almost, believe women, and i think we absolutely should believe women and accusers in general, when we are their friends, their doctors, their professors, their family members, when your student or patient or friend or loved one comes to you and says i was assaulted, believe them. absolutely believe them. if you are a judge, a juror, a
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journalist, or a decision maker at a college, there's no one you should automatically believe. in the first instance, your job is to provide support and care for the person in your life and in the second, much smaller group, and many people are in both groups at different times, but in the second much smaller group, your job is to seek the truth. >> thank you so much for talking with us. >> thank you so much for having ne. >> that's it for our program tonight. we keep an eye on the special relationship between the united states and great britain, and the eruptions that are royaling the prime minister's party. thank you for watching amanpour on pbs and join us again tomorrow night. uniworld is a proud sponsor of amanpour and company.
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she had bigger dreams, and those dreams were on the water, a river specifically, multiple rivers, that would one day be home to uniworld river cruise asks their floating boutique hotels. today, that dream sets sail in europe, asia, india, egypt and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit uniworld.com. additional support has been provided by roslyn p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz, sue and ed ger walkenheim, iii, judy and josh weston, and by contribution to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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