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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  December 21, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PST

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hello everyone and welcome to amanpour and company. here's what's coming up. >> enter stage left, from syria and foreign policy to climate and the environment, the progressive candidates shaking up global politics. a conversation with the chief of staff to democratic rising star alexandria cortes. and the dutch politician that's become the country's great green hope. then is our private data safe on facebook? the top tech journalist digs into alarming new revelations. plus, shooting the breeze. why the candid cafe chats of two british reporters are going viral the world over.
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station from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to the program, everyone. president trump has stunned friend and foe alike with his announcement that the united states will be pulling it's forces out of syria with immediate effect. breaking such massive news with a tweet saying, we have defeated isis in syria. my only reason for being there during the trump presidency. this, though is the furious reaction from the president's own party. >> the decision to withdrawn an american presence in syria is a colossal mistake. >> pulling the plug on these troops without giving due consideration to the consequences, i think, is something that i don't think any of us want to do. >> we have been dishonorable. this is staining the honor of
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the united states. i hope the president will reconsider this. >> he confirmed that planning for the pull out is already underway. in europe, allies with troops in the fight have been caught off guard and it has displayed kurdish forces that worked closely with the united states to fight isis while the u.s. has helped protect them in the region, the kurds are describing the food as a blatant betrayal. trump's move on the syrian chest board was welcomed by the grand master himself, the russian president vladimir putin. >> as far as isis is concerned, i agree more or less with the president of the u.s. and i have spoke about this. people have really achieved substantial changes with regard to the militants in syria and have beaten the forces in syria.
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>> what he left unsaid was that it leaves the territory for the russians, for the iranians and syrian president assad. now there was another stunner last week as well at the climate summit in poland. it was held to decrease carbon emissions, but the united states came making a pitch for coal and other fossil fuels. but the president increasingly out of touch with a growing green movement in the united states and across the world. the populous wave that brought him to power is facing strong headwinds these days. from the united states to europe, progressives are rising and i'm joined now by two of them. he's the chief of staff to democratic alexandria cortes and from the netherlands, the leader of the green party. today his ambitious climate bill was passed by the dutch parliament. gentlemen, welcome to the
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program. let me start with you. what do you say first and foremost? the progressives, bernie sanders and others in your party also called for a more socialist foreign policy. so what would the congresswoman elect do with drawing these u.s. troops from syria be? >> thanks for having me on the show. to answer that question, you have to step back a little bit to how we even got into this mess in the first place, right? so the united states passed this disastrous authorization of the use of military force bill back in 2001 which basically allows a president to unilaterally go into armed conflict and the result has been a destabilize middle east and destabilize iraq. we shouldn't have had troops in syria in the first place. so we think this is a good first step to remove troops and start the draw down of troops. however, the way trump is
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framing it as mission accomplished, we accomplished what we went there to do is ridiculo ridiculous. we have created a mess and it's time to try to help clean up the mess that we created. >> so you can see that, actually, politicians from both sides of the aisle are having really sort of a difficult time coming to terms with this because it actually has been a mess and a very irregular u.s. policy from the beginning. let me quickly ask you whether this even registered in the dutch political affirmament. >> of course. what's most important is a new approach in foreign policy. you can't beat isis on the battlefield but we have to beat isis in the hearts of the middle east and other countries. what we need is diplomacy.
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muslims all over the world and the west is not their enemy and they have to live together. this is the only way to really beat isis. >> let's move from that macro foreign policy to something much more specific which is energize you and a whole new generation of green activists and green candidates and also the united states as well. but while i still have you, tell me about this bill that you proposed, this climate bill and that has actually now passed by the dutch parliament. tell me what it does and why it's significant. >> three years ago i just started this bill with another party here in the parliament and now 8 parties signed it. it's a climate bill that makes sure that climate goals for the netherlands are in a bill and it set a goal for 2,050. it says that we need to see a
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reduction of 95 percent and also make sure that we have a goal for 2,030. we need a goal of co2 reduction, 49%. and this is for the first time in history that so many parties in the netherlands do agree on those goals and it isn't a bill. so the government cannot think maybe we can start tomorrow or in another year. it's obligatory by a law and that's really special. it's also special that we made this bill with a lot of people from the left and the right. so we managed to get all of those people together. i think this is the historic part of this bill. >> i think you're right and i'm going to put that to you because as you know, because you're still in there, well, you tell me, is there that kind of opportunity now for consensus within american parties for what you have put forward which is, i believe you call it the green
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new deal for america. >> yes, absolutely. what the green new deal is, we're calling for a plan to mobilize the economy at a scale that we haven't seen and it's millions of jobs and we're aiming to create a completely green house gas free country in ten years. massive investments in industry, in infrastructure and when you look at asking about popular support, when people hear about the idea of tackling climate change in a way that really mobilizing our economy and creates welfare and prosperity for everybody, you see massive amounts of bipartisan support. it's one of the most popular ones out there. upwards of 80 to 90% support among democrats.
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divisive rhetoric on the right that donald trump is giving us is to pose it with a message and plan and actual goal of how do we create wealth and prosperity for everybody. and in the process end this threat of climate change in the time line that they tell us we need to tackle it in. >> it's really fascinating, the new generation of candidates who have been elected to the u.s. house for sure are taking this on board. and just to fill out the polls that you're talking about, a new one conducted by yale and george mason found that 80% of voters, this plan to reduce carbon emissions, even most republican voters, nearly 2 in 3 said they supported the green new deal when it was described to them. the poll didn't tell respondents that the congressional backers
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are all democrats. so i wonder if there's anything that you can learn from jesse and how he managed to get all parties on board in the netherlands. >> we have a lot to learn. congratulations jesse, because actually tackling climate change is going to be an international movement, right? my guess is that we have to create a big, broad based popular support for this before we get them all involved and all the elected officials involved. we're calling for national smart grid. decarbonizing agriculture and manufacturing. the massive scale is so big that once there's enough of a momentum and enough of a movement and ideally in 2020 we have the political will to pass a plan like this, i think, you know, that's where the strategy
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here is. we should put this plan together and try to build popular support around and in 2020 if we do have a president that's willing to put this forward, we can get to work and tackle climate change head on in ten years. >> and of course all the jobs presumably that this kind of new technology and energy would bring. but can i ask you, you know that the current administration in the united states, the president has called climate change a hoax or doesn't believe in the man made nature of it and believes that it's cyclical. and as i said in my introduction, the u.s. representatives to the poland climate conference came with a pitch for coal and fossil fuels. how does that go down with a sort of a green movement. not just in the netherlands but in france and germany where we have seen green candidates actually win elections?
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>> yeah. the greens in germany are not second in the polls. there's the real possibility that the next chancellor of germany will be from the greens. president trump is missing the green wave and i think they're not fighting the right fight. i totally agree, first we have to build popular support but when we have managed this popular support as we did in the netherlands, we have to reach out also to the conservatives. it's not enough just to fall back to our own supporters. now we have to work together because this is -- we share a country. he won the election in 2016 and almost everybody in the world and speak for the united states or the european union or the netherlands, everybody understands that we have to fight climate change. for our children. for our grandchildren, for the world we live in. for our health.
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and we need an approach to work together to make sure that this fighting of climate change rarely happens. at the same time, a lot of people are afraid of losing their jobs. a lot of people are afraid they can't afford their energy bill. this is why we need to take care of all of those people. this is not only a climate revolution and technical revolution but also a social revolution. i totally support the idea of a green deal. fighting climate change and making sure that we live in a green economy tomorrow. it's all about social welfare and social change. >> and obviously america is the second biggest along side china and it makes a big difference. i wonder if you can just listen to this. a little bit of a sound bite.
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let's take a listen. >> you only speak of the green economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. you only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. you are not mature enough to tell it like it is. even that burden you leave to us children. but i don't care about being popular. i care about climate justice and the living planet. >> i mean, it really is remarkable, no matter how many times you listen to her and the way she says, you leave it to us children. it's really important for the u.s. because what she did inspired children all over. well, certainly in sweden and in australia to protest once a week, boycotting their classes, as you know, protest brought
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many cities in australia to a stand still inspired by her. i guess i'm asking, what can the young generation of leaders do to harness young people to make this message drive home in the u.s.? >> yeah, you know, the interesting thing is, we don't need to harness young people. the young people already get it. the young people are leading this movement. there's this incredible movement that she sits in with in nancy pelosi's office. she's right. the adults just don't get it. it's a lack of imagination and lack of vision and our political leadership like climate change are asking dumb questions like, how are you going to pay for it? if we were trying to build an interstate highway system today it would have never happened because we have a congress that's too focused on the ability to have any sort of imagination or vision or ability to get anything done.
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every dollar created 2 to 3 dollars of economic growth. this is going to be the moon shot of our generation. it's going to be the thing that saves our society. and instead, we have a political leadership that's too busy playing political games and petty bickering. the committee that we're calling for right now, we're only calling for a committee to create a plan over the next year and we thought that would have enough support and congress to say let's make a plan to solve this problem we clearly have ahead of us and even that we can't get all democratic leadership on board with. so i don't think it's a matter of us trying to convince the youth. i think it is a matter of the youth trying to convince the adults or create a new generation of political leadership by removing the adults from leadership because we do have to tackle this
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problem head on. we have to take the bull by the horns. >> yeah, well, look, you have the example in the netherlands. let me come back to you. i want to widen it out a little bit. all of this is also about the american dream and the global dream because we're in this populous moment that may or may not be challenged by this new, young, green progressive movement. we've seen it in elections and it's actually really heartening. i want to ask you whether you're surprised to read this statistic. according to recent polling by gallop, in america, most democrats and young americans now believe in socialism and they further describe it as sort of north european socialism. yes higher taxes but much, much better services. how do you assess that when you live across the atlantic?
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>> i think it was in 2016 that i had the opportunity to travel the united states. i was there for a couple of weeks and i talked to a lot of people in states and i talked to republicans and democrats and everybody i was talking to, it was just the same as the people i was talking to in the netherlands. a lot of people were afraid for the future of the children. would their future be better than their own future? and they were afraid of their jobs. they were afraid that their income would not rise in the upcoming years. so they were afraid for the social security. and when i was talking to them, i get to pay a little bit more taxes but i get a lot more security. this basic idea of a government that you pay taxes and we share the burden and make sure that we take care of each other, that's a universal thing. it's not something from europe or something from the united states. i think it's a universal idea and i'm very glad that more and
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more people in the united states truly believe in this ideal. >> it is extraordinary, isn't it? i mean, this sort of move comes at a time when you have this new generation, many on the left, progressives, being elected to power in the u.s. >> yeah. and you know, it's not a surprise because the way of life in america has been declining. we've had stagnant wages. life expectancy is starting to dip down. if you just look at the bottom 90%, things have been getting really, really bad and there was this global recession and that, the bottom 90% did not recover afterwards. it's no surprise at all that the majority of americans, especially new, young kids and the youth that see a bleak future ahead of them who are --
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study after study shows they're going to do worse than their parents generation are embracing new ideas or european style socialism because it makes no sense to live in the wealthiest nation in the history of this world and have people die because they can't afford health care. have people that can't get jobs because they can't afford education. it makes zero sense. >> i'll stick with you for the moment, what would you say is the big unifying achievement that you on the democratic side and having flipped the house, it's not all progressives. there's a lot of democrats that also won, in fact, more than the progressives, but how -- what do you see as your goal for the next two years? >> absolutely. the flip that happened this year was a big call for change and a big call for new ideas. and whenever there's a moment like this, it's really the people coming together crying out for let's fix this stuff.
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and the goal for us as democrats and progressives and whatever group, you put forward a plan and idea and vision and and i'd like to tell this story. when fdr gave his great speech when he talked about how he had to come to the aid of our european neighbors, he actually said these production targets. he talked about, we have to build 185,000 airplanes to tackle this threat head on. and at that time they gave that speech, america was only building 3,000 airplanes a year. it was such a ridiculous idea. a lofty goals. generals, ceos, business leaders, everybody said it was
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totally ridiculous. even hitler thought it was just america and propaganda and blow harding, right? but by the end of world war ii we built 300,000 airplanes. that shows us what we're capable of when we set a vision and have a goal and come together as a nation. we have a lot of wealth. we have labor, we shouldn't be kicking out immigrants. we should be trying to bring in as many immigrants as possible and recruiting people to build this new nation together. that's the vision we have to put forward and have a real plan and if we win on that vision then we can have a stable democracy and country with prosperity for all for generations to come. >> a final word for you, is this part of the recipe for facing down at the polls, the populist, nationalist rise that we have seen ever since 2016? >> absolutely.
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this is the way we have to fight populism. they're losing ground and people don't trust those politicians anymore. they think they're only working for the big corporates and then they are -- the only alternative until a couple of years ago were the pop yulous. we see a green feature. we see a future where we care for each other. we care for other countries but also our own people. a future where we share our economic growth. so i think this is the way we have to find a populous because a lot of people that are voting for populous parties, they aren't racist. they're just afraid for their future. and as we progressives have to give them their future back. if we achieve this, we can make sure that we can unify our countries again. >> thank you both very much indeed. two views from each side of the atlantic. thanks a lot both of you for joining us. >> thank you. >> now, perhaps the dominant ingredient in today's political
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c caldron is the internet. facebook stirs this pot with scandal after scandal. the latest, facebook shared data from hundreds of millions of users including even some private messages with companies, among them, amazon, netflix, spotify all without consent. that's according to the new york times. to dive into this gray cloud of social media ethics, we turn to the executive editor of recode and she's host of the recode-decode podcast. she said facebook is sewing the seeds of discord in our democracies. >> welcome to the show. facebook, every day something is hitting us. what's the latest? >> the latest is that they have used your data badly again by giving access to all kinds of players including netflix, spotify, netflix, microsoft. >> they promised they weren't going to do that. >> no, they didn't. they never promised they weren't
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going to use the data. the question is what you give consent to and how they interpret the consent. they're a data, he just made a big deal about quitting facebook used to call mark zuckerberg an information thief. there's information that you freely give up to facebook and other such entities to get things. >> but the reports today in the times and your column say that they went beyond what we thought they were doing, and they were using it in ways that we had thought they had stopped. >> not precisely. what it is is they're using it in lots of different ways in order to have data relationships with these providers and trade back all kinds of different advantages. so the question is, are they allowed under consent decrees and others to do this and they have a broad reading and other people have a different reading. so the question is will the government step in and make very clear rules about how facebook and other entities like it use
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information. >> do you think the government should? >> yes. there should be a national privacy bill. there's privacy bills in europe and one in california, but there isn't a federal privacy law. not just for facebook but for all of these people that just suck in all of this amazing amount of data from everything that you do in your digital life. >> one of the things that i didn't know is that not only were they sucking in my data, but if i was a friend of anybody on facebook, a friend of anybody on instagram big companies could suck up that data from facebook. >> if they had arrangements and partnerships with facebook. >> but not my permission. >> did they need your permission or did you agree to it in a broad sense? it's so confusing and what facebook has done is anywhere they can use data or sell data or use data to their advantage, they did so, but it's your data and the lack of clarity of what they're doing with it is the issue and the sloppiness with which they use that data. some of the things that they stop doing and they promised to
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stop doing and then they haven't quite stopped doing it. >> like what? >> all kinds of examples in the article is that they stopped in relationship giving the royal bank of canada an ability to have e-mail addresses. e-mail addresses or something that they shouldn't have had. the royal bank of canada wasn't using those things, but they had the ability to use them. the question is why are they giving away the store and what's the reason for it and what's the advantage and where is your consent in this whole thing. >> one of the consequences of their policy of weaponizing data is that the russians got to use this weaponized data and there's a new report from the senate intelligence committees. >> there's two reports that came out, stuff that people had an idea of is how this data is used by russian trolls and the government, russian directed propaganda against the u.s. and the u.s.electorate. there's a whole range of things they tried to do, essentially to create a mess within the u.s.
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society. that's the goal. >> can facebook crack down on things like this? >> i think they could. the thing that you don't realize is the russians used facebook exactly the way it was built. they used twitter exactly the way it was built. they were customers of facebook and twitter and youtube and they're using the systems the way they're built. you can post anything and do anything and nobody is checking anything. just the way you might on a media company. you can't just post anything on the new york times. you can't just post anything on to this station because there are controls in place. and there it's a free for all. >> there's a big distinction between platforms and publishing companies or platforms, you know, people just go on and say whatever they want. but haven't we gotten sort of halfway in between with things like facebook where they should take responsibility for some of the things on their platform? >> they 100% should. there's a law on the
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communications decency act that gives them broad immunity and therefore they created cities where there's no police, where there's no fire department, where there's no safety for anybody but anybody could do what they want to do, and it's like the purge. anybody can do whatever they want for one night except that it's every night of the week on facebook. so the question is, should they be treated like a media company and have laws in place that regulate and should they be a n of the communication decency act. >> they had responsibilities to monitor what's on their platforms. the problem is these platforms are so massive and the information is so vast. what's coming over at took or twitter or youtube is so hard to
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control, the question is, is it controllable by anybody? can you do it by algorithms and human intervention? it's differ globally. it creates this incredibly complex situation that mark zuckerberg invented. >> they can remain bystanders. >> resume blpresumably. it was move fast and break things. they are part of breaking democracy. we can't put it all on them. the cable networks and all of their noise and stuff like that, all kinds of things contributed to it. but the fact of the matter is these platforms have been hijacked by forces to create discord or messaging which is problemat problematic. you get services from facebook. people like using facebook and twitter and youtube and things
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like that, but the price for putting your information in there is that they get to control your information and use it for other things and combine it with other things and target you. so it's a system in which you are -- they don't like me to say this and they don't like other people to say this, but you're the product. you're the product being bought and sold continually by these players. >> you just mentioned that your friend walt and former colleague got off facebook. >> yes. >> have you thought of doing that? >> i'm not on facebook that much. i'm on facebook but i don't use it because i am aware of their information. what they do with the information. i got off instagram a long time ago. then there's a whole addiction issue. there's this whole issue of how much these systems have been designed to keep people addicted to them. it's a mess of these things. can the people that run facebook run facebook well enough to be responsible enough. >> my students at tulane now
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feel they're part of a backlash. they would never use facebook. do you think a backlash is happening? >> i don't think young people use facebook. i think a lot of people use instagram. less and less so. i think the issue is will people continue to use this knowing that their information is at risk? and that's a big question. >> do they know that instagram is owned by facebook? >> not as many people and they also own whatsapp so they own a lot of things and then google owns youtube. and then they trade this information among and between each other and very few companies, apple is the one that doesn't participate and what's interesting, i did an interview with tim cook earlier this year and it got mark zuckerberg furious and i said what would you do if you are mark zuckerberg? and he said i wouldn't be in this position in the first place. so the business model is the problem. the business model makes this happen. >> so they have been so good at
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adverti advertising it, selling it, they know everything about you. doesn't that mean going to the other side of the equation, wouldn't they be able to spot bots posting things falsely. >> some people think so. they have all the information. it's so vast and they weren't paying attention. they weren't monitoring political advertising. you'd think there's a couple of things they should be paying attention to. political advertising should be one of them. they were taking a lot of money and not doing the monitoring that other people have to do. other media entities have to do. should they be obligated by the government to behave in ways that people brought phone companies into line. they brought media companies into line. they brought microsoft into line. the government can do this. >> as you said, they bought whatsapp and instagram, google buys youtube. do you think one way to regulate
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this is to say let's go back to the old way we were doing anti-trust and we didn't let it happen this way? >> that's another way to solve the problem. the question is, how do you approach this correctly and continue to allow innovation to thrive? one of the things that's great about this country is we invented the internet. we really did. right now there's a lot of competition from china, for example. they have a whole other way of looking at information. they have a surveillance economy. they allow cameras, surveillance, facial recognition. the stuff is coming down the pike around ai and stuff like that. do we want china to run that? that's an argument that mark zuckerberg made to me. do we want my kind of internet or a chinese kind of internet? so it's a really big question of innovation and where innovation goes and obviously the more data the better the system is. >> that would be china on data. they can collect data on more people and more data. >> they're better at it. >> do you think google should go back into china? >> no, i don't.
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they have to in a lot of ways from a business point of view. they need to collect more data and be part of a system that's massive amounts of people and other chinese competitors are doing that there in china. the question is what do they have to give up to be in there? and there is a question, companies are here for shareholders and not for morals or things like that, but google made a pretty strong statement about that when they left china. the question is what has changed that they would then move back and what do they have to give up to go back in there? it's clear what they had to give up which is a search engine that senators. >> a search engine that sensors but also gives the government the data of which individuals search. >> is that a red line you wouldn't cross? >> i wouldn't cross the sensor one. they made a big deal of leaving and i'd like to hear the explanation for going back. >> you said shareholder value but google when it was founded had this nice high flying level, don't be evil was part of the
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mantra. what happened? >> i don't know what to say. they shouldn't have done that in the first place. we're here to make money and use the environment the way that we want to. what happened with tech companies ihey acted like they were better and then when it came down to it, maybe they weren't as better as they pretended to be. >> well, broad question then about the american economic system, is it only about shareholder value or should we go back to a time when corporations had stakeholders including the interests. >> look at the sexual harassment lawsuits that were settled where they paid enormous amounts of money to the accused to leave which is fascinating. so the question is, people objected within those companies. this is not the company i work for. so the question is, can we get the employees of these companies that aren't going to put up with
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it. certain people don't want to work for the department of defense. should that be allowed? should it not be allowed? these things have to be sorted out. >> you know mark zuckerberg pretty well. he seemed to fit in this description as somebody that took too many -- >> he left college. >> dropped out of harvard without studying. >> he's trying to now. >> not just that but he's having dinners with philosophers. he's having dinners with economists and things like that. that's why i call it the expensive education of mark zuckerberg. we're playing the price. he is controlling facebook completely. he owns -- he controls the shares. so he makes every decision at facebook. and what is really interesting is he always says we should all decide together. i'm like except you're the only one with the decision making power. so he controls it, he runs it. he's the founder. he's the ceo. he's the chairman of this massive global communication system that's impacting everyone.
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should we let one person, unelected, decide some of these issues? i don't know. >> given the power you just described he had, what strikes me is that people start blaming sheryl sandberg. do you think that's sexist? >> a little bit. she should be blamed too because she's part of the management team. but the point i was making there is that there's also a cto of facebook. there's also someone who is head of the product there. there's also a chief legal officer. all men. you've never heard their names. she gets all the ayre that mark deserves. she also deserves it as a principal manager there. she has responsibility and helped design these systems, these advertising systems or was in charge of people that design them. so the question is, who do we hold accountable for? to me the person that controls 60% of a company and is the ceo and chairman is the person that
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i look to first. secondly i would look to the coo. >> do you think one of the inherent flaws of the internet is that we allow too much anonymity as opposed to doing what the well, and you and i remember what the well was, the original online service, it began by saying you own your own words. in other words, you're responsible for what you do. >> i think they have allowed anybody to do anything. it's a wild west mentality and they try to back it up with people should say whatever they want. freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom of consequence. who pays for the consequence of this freedom of speech. they do make choices. they talk about freedom of speech continually as the excuse to let anyone on these platforms. but they have removed people. they have made weird decisions and stuff like that. so it's a government that has no rule. it's kind of happ hazard. who is going to make the rules? it's a bunch of executives sitting in silicon valley making
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those decisions. and it's global. there's issues in myanmar and india and a lot of it is the sloppy rule making. when there aren't rules, unfortunately humanity tends to misbehave and what happens when that happens? >> i'm confused about this invocation of free speech and the first amendment. why does that apply to robots, trolls, russians working in a st. petersburg russian agency trying to spread false information. >> they like to say it's a slippery slope. if we stop them, we stop this. >> all slopes are slippery. >> our values might inherently create this disaster. the fact that we allow so much free speech might create the disaster that's coming upon us. so it's an interesting question is where do you draw the line? and in some cases, for example, alex jones who they had on -- who they kicked off of various
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platforms, they were very loath to kick him off at first. i was like you're going to kick him off in the end. he's breaking your rules. and what they're loath to do is create rules. they don't want to create rules, because in a lot of ways, a lot of these people are in a state of peter pan boyhood where there are no rules. where you can stay up all night and do whatever we want and the question is do we want -- is that, with these critically important information systems should they be built with this at its heart. maybe, maybe not, but it should be debated by more people than just a small group of white men in silicon valley. >> thank you for being with us. >> thank you. never a truer word spoken but now to something different. behind the headlines a strange experiment is underway where reporters are being just people. the bbc's are two of the most respected radio presenters in the u.s. they tackle difficult topics like gender, inequality or
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brexit. but their new adventure is exposing a different side of them. it's a podcast called fortunately. and it's a collection of random thoughts and musings on whatever. it's become an unlikely hit here in the u.k. and they're following it spreading across the atlantic and around the listening world. they join me now here in the studio. >> hello. >> hello. >> random thoughts and musings. i guess i just want to know what it is? how would you describe it? >> i would say it's a real insight into a proper female friendship. that's probably about right, isn't it? >> i think so. if you can imagine two slightly badtempered bats going into the upside down and having a debrief on a weekly basis, that's pretty much us. >> where does fortunately come from? >> we worked for bbc radio 4 and
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in their wisdom they wanted to call it after radio 4, 4tunatley. >> so it's that simple. >> here you are ladies having a chat. you both do very, very serious presentations on radio 4. you have a listening project and other projects and they are really serious and they take on a very serious tone and you dig deep with invited guests. what is it like to flip and be yourselves? >> it's brilliant. that's one of the best things about it. we meet up every week and we don't know what we're going to talk about. we start telling the truth about what's going on in our lives, which is terrifying. >> and the glorious thing is because it's not really very produced. some of it is out. we always say the very career limiting bits. >> but you can use, you know,
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language that you couldn't use on radio. >> very much so because there's no very defined structure to it, we do generuinely move through conversation as i think most women, in particular, move through conversations. which is a bit of this and a bit of that and suddenly you'll find yourself laughing about something but then you can just change. you can go from first to fifth in one sentence. >> we're not just randomly talking to two female reporters who are having a great conversation. this has now gone to top 50 and itunes. it's across the united states. >> yes. >> i mean, yeah, well there you go. >> it's nice to be number one and i just want to read what you tweeted today. somewhere there's a deglowy wom
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as she enters however four four rapping marathon. i'm not that woman. >> i was to indignant about my female lot and i think to be fair, a lot of women will feel the same. this time of year, christmas in the u.k. and i'm sure throughout much of the world is a real -- well, some people say christmas is a joke played on middle aged women. they might be right. we have a lot to do, haven't we? >> there was an overwhelming feeling that the buck stops with mom, co-worker, colleague, whatever you are, daughter or whatever in your family or work set up. there's a thousand deadlines coming toward you. it's all got to happen by the 25th. >> and your daily show. >> your daily show. >> and you said middle aged women. i didn't. >> we are.
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>> do you feel like you tapped into this, unserviced middleaged woman and now young people and all the rest of it. but people that have nowhere else to go to have their daily normal conversations authenticated? >> maybe we're providing something for an audience that's never had this kind of thing before. we always say, we can do self e self-deprication. >> were you surprised? >> very surprised? >> to exactly that point. a lot of women have come through with the notion they need to copy the men in order to be good and get the jobs. you have to be quite dominant in your space and aggressive and firm with interviews. that's fine. that's carried women a great way and there's a female sense of
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humor which recognizes the physical and mental leakage of life and it's okay to do that. we have been surprised. >> you talk about being, you know, aggressive and forceful and of course in interviews and i've heard you do a lot of -- you're not aggressive but you're really persistent and you dive deep and firm and you are as well and yet we're going to play this little clip because you don't have a structure on this broadcast. the bbc is a target rich environment. there are a lot of people. here's you noticing somebody walking by who may be of interest. >> isn't that the junior minister for the backstop? >> is it? >> you know, they could both be former cabinet members, koenlt th -- couldn't they? >> realistically. we had some crackers recently.
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where were you when someone you never heard of re-signed? i was at home. >> it has been a busy time in british political life. >> we the listeners can hear the background. it's not like you're in a studio. where are you? >> we're usually outside. >> in the cold. >> yeah. the piazza at broadcasting house which is beautiful and wonderful. >> no it's not. it's horrible. >> well, it has a little modernism to it. >> but all the great and the good of the bbc have to use the entrance and walk past us and grab them. >> many are friendly and willing to talk and some of them completely bonkers. >> and they're probably more willing to talk the more you become. >> nothing breeds success like success. >> i just want to play this
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episode of you guys chatting about you suddenly realizing that it's actually travelled to some of the most seats of learning in the united states of america. >> i know. >> i was tense enough. >> i know. >> now i think that people are analyzing or overanalyzing this utter nailed on poorly informed gibberish. >> i like to think we're probably the bag of doritos that you eat. don't you think? we're the junk food of audio. >> do you take them seriously that it's an antidote to the highly stressed, highly tribalized, we're on the verge of a global nervous break down.
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>> i hope it is. we are. we're bracing and we're braced and we're honest and we are actually genuinely all about celebrating friendship. and loyalty to each other and loyalty to our audience. we started with no audience and now we have a fantastic link to loads of people listening. it's rather brilliant, isn't it? >> it is. we are grateful. let's go back to your day jobs where you take on hold different person personas. it was around all professions but the pay gap, gender, pay inequality. you have moved up.
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i would probably say i'm not equally paid. i'm very, very well paid. but there's probably men that earn more money than i do. >> you address this as well but there's still a lot of work to be done but you take it on regul regularly. >> we talk about it and it's hugely important that women continue to support each other and stick together as i know you have done it at cnn. i've been really delighted by the support that we had from people all over britain for this. >> i want to ask you about the listening project. you do go to the u.s. and all over to talk to people. you talk to people and introduce people to talk about things that they never talk about. >> you can come in to listening project and sit down with someone that you love or care
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about and have a conversation that matters. we're building our lives told our way. that's the key to it. and you don't have to talk about a particularly well researched archive or anything like that. you come in and talk about your life. the idea is that future generations will be able to tap into it in every single different -- >> give us one example. >> our christmas special is children's conversations. that's kids talking to kids. one of my all time favorites, thomas and jack, they're five years old. they have a 40 minute conversation about the fact that thomas is about to immigrate to australia. >> 40 minutes. >> you never hear children talking to each other in such an open and honest and emotive way.
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it's beautiful. really, really beautiful. so the whole idea is that we stepped back editorially and we're allowing people to have conversations. and it's what we're doing just allowing normal chat to be heard. >> what makes you feel happy when people say i love it because -- what reaction do you like? >> i was stopped the other day half past 7 in the morning on my way to work in west london by a chap in a jacket that got off his bike and said i love fortunely and i would not necessarily have thought of him as our target audience but it's brilliant that he is enjoying it. also people that can't sleep. >> and breast feeding. >> breast feeding moms. >> yeah. because between 30 and 40 minutes, you can drop off halfway through and come back and not miss anything. >> but you give people permission to be normal. >> yes. >> and to talk and to have
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community. >> yes. >> and we just had one guest on that wanted to talk about the #live your best life. great thing. wonderful. marvelous. we are #getting through it. >> phenomenal. >> well, getting through christmas. thank you so much. thank you indeed. for more discussions like this, you can listen to the fortunately podcast and tune into our program tomorrow where we'll have more on syria and how refugees have been transformed into real human beings. imagine that. and it's actually catching on. i speak to the director and star of the award winning play "the jungle." but that's it for now from us. thank you for watching amanpour and company on pbs and join us again tomorrow night. >> uni world is a proud sponsor of amanpour and company.
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she acquired uniword a boutique river cruise line inspired by her castle, she brought a similar style to the rivers with a destination-inspired design for each ship. bookings available through your travel adviser. for more information visit uni >> additional support has been provided by roslyn p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and phillip millsteen family. judy and josh weston and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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