tv KQED Newsroom PBS March 17, 2019 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
tonight,governor newsome's reprieve for death row inmates sparks debate and a college admission scandal rocks the higher education landscape. san francisco's new public defenders shares his goals and prioritiefor the job. plus, a new book offers a chilling loo at how tech companies are stripping the details of our lives not only for profit but for control over our behavior. hello and welcome. we begin with two majortories this week. on wednesday, governor newsome signed anha order ing execution for as long as he is in office. california currently has more than 700 mates on death row. ayre than o anyther state. governor he can not sign off an executing hundreds of human beings knowing there might
be innocent people among them. the decision won praise from activists but critics call the move an abuse of power. meanwhile, in othera mr developments this week, a number of californians including actresses and prominent business figures are among the more than 40 people charged in a widespread college admission scam. pants allegedly bribed athletic coaches or paid people o cheat on college entranc exams to get the kids into top schools. joining us to discuss the ories are scott schaeffer, senior editor of california politicsnd government. republican political consultant shawn walsh of wilson walsh consulting and jill tucker, "san francisco chronicle" education reporter. welcome to you all. >> thank you. >> jill, the collegeadmission scandal has roots here in northerncalifornia. the bribes, many were funneled through aat fouon based in sacramento. can you tell us what happened with the $20 million that that foundation took in?
where did it go? >> $25 million. it went not toward nonprofit good will andms progor underprivileged kids as the nonprofit claimed. it actually went to funnel to coachesnd other people at universities to help wealthy and actresses, doctors, ceos, their kids into the college of their choice. ou lookedhrough the tax documents. one said they made donations to fr.nds of cambod >> yes. and we never heard of these people. we certainly have never gotten a dime. so far, we haven't identified really any of the money funneling toward charitable caus causes or helping disadvantaged youth. it seems that all that money helpedva aaged youth and their parents and the people like mr. singer who was arrested and pleaded guilty.
>> can we expect to see more? >> i tink it's the tip of the iceberg. i think you'll see more issues. this is just around mr. singer. the pofessional college admittance business is big bucks. people are. terrifi ucla had 130,000 applicants for 14,000 slots. they had 65,000 applicants for 000 slots. parents are freaking out. our kids right now are waiting or letters in the mail right now. >> you both have seniors. >> yes. and it's a war. so when you hear a kid is not getting into cal ucla with a 0, theyapply to 20 skills. it is a self whipping up issue. this is why it uched on millions of americans. >> you say it's a war. a tst of pare don't have any artillery to fight that war, right? that p sragrais part of the iss >> in a way, it is creating a level of parent who do have means who hire professional sat
guarantee. there is already some political fallout from this, right, scott? senator ron widen on the finance committee said he will propose federal legislation to end tax breaks for college donatithns before and while the donor's child is enrolled. how else mightthis play ou politically? especially in the presidential election? >> absolutely. i think you're already seeing the democratic party going to the le on a lot of income and equality issues. i think this is going to give encouragement to people like
elizabeth warren and bernie sanders and a harris to talk about increasing taxes on corporates, on wealthy individuals. it's going to really -- i think people will see this issue of inequality in a different way. this is such an easy to understand issue. >> it affects so many people, too. >> so offensive. >> to, you know, everyo t. ou ha think too, is this really about the kids sore thors about the parents? do they havele to the y sticker on the car? do they have to say where their kids go to school? a lot of theids didn'tnow this was on there. >> they better hope they didn't know. >>atell, yeah. oes it say about us as a society, right? in terms of the inequities that exist out there. this is something as yo pointed oe parents have money to pay, it further perpetuates the
inequities. how do we go about resolving. there are $100 millotion from tech ceos and the universities are turning them down othat. i think the billions airs that can buy a building, i have to buy a coach. so for a $500,000, i candget my into ucl -- or ucla or usc as opposed to $100 million. so in a way it's a bargain. where there is a will, there is a way. >> i thk the large donations are still getting kids into college. >> how do yo level the play field? >> i think there are a lot of programs out there for these tds. i talk a young woman today. she applied to 20 -- more than 20 schools. she started preppingor the s.a.t. when she was a freshman through a nonprofit program. she has worked so hard and, you know, to get in with, you know, low income family, public
school. and she was deeply offend bid this. but she is getting offers into college because sheed wo really, really hard and supported by these programs and hese folks in the community that's are working with these students to get them in. >> i think it's ironic. the outside influence of sports and athletics. these were not top tier sports. we're talking about the sailing club. although i play waterpolo. it's not a top tier sport, lacrosse. so that is one alissue. affirmative action. you know, i think there are a lot of families, kids where it's -- they're first in the family to go to school. from frking classilies or people of color, immigrants. and they get to the schools and they feelike they don belong because they didn't earn it. >> you know? >> it's so ironic. >> and it may not be the right fit for them. it's what their parents wanted for the but maybe not the right fit for them. >> is there evidence that attending the lective colleges can lead to salaries down the line or personal happiness?
>> i think it matters a lot to somebody who comes from a working class f does from the kids in these families. they already have a lot of advantages. you no i'm not sure what is the added value, you know, of going to a topnotch school. >> i think it's the connections. it's getting hired. you know, if you're a yale graduate yushgs goi graduate, you're going to take a look at yale graduates coming up behind you. i think that networking does definitely help these young people. there are studies that show, for example, only a very small percentage of the top 100 u.s. compaes are run by ceos that graduated from ivy league schools. >> i'll tell you. i worked in t reagan and bush white houses and the top echelons of government at least in the st. if you got go to yale, princeton, or harvard pedigree, you're usually an assistant e or defense.st
there is an advantage to those schools. >> in politics and the supreme court. we've seen that. i have to move on to the death ignalty now, scott. that is the other story this week. despite the fact that california voters have repeatedly upheld the death penalty and in 2016 sped upecution, voted for that. so newsome promised to honor the will of the voters. what happened? >> well, i thinkobviously he feels deeply about this issue. he has had i think in his career we sawhis with same-sex marriage. he broke the law essentially. got reeled in by the courts. i thinkor him, heas looking at the reality of within the next few months of having to sign off on the lethal injection protocol. there were 25 people on death row whose appeals were exhausted. personally ust didn't want to do that. now he's not first politician to
do something a little different than he said hgowould when he into office. on the other hand this is never a top layer issue in the gubernatorial campaign. he has been against capital punishment for long time. itsh not a ck, however if you're a crime victim oufamily, y're nhappy. >> i wonder if -- i wonder if if the fak if it's a reprieve this is n permanent. the next governor can take that away. does that give him coverage to say this is my -- during my term. i'm giving this reprieve. >> it could. the reality is that the leading cause of death on death row is old age. they're getting they're in their 60s and 70s a lot of them. yeah, it's hard to imagine given where the politics of california are going that the next governor is going to be tougher on capital punishment. and the question might be on the 2020 llot. there is already a move to do that. >> i want to get you in here. you were part of pete wilson's
administration andderafting the h penalty policy during that time. what do you think of the move? >> i think it sends a meage that the executive ignores the law of the land. and i will tell you, on this issue, the death penalty, i have fou p this to beobably the most dishonest public policy apbate thatns from there are people that are heart felt and molly believe it is wrong on the death penalty issue and will do anything to stop that.u' and so y seen this time and time again in the state offo
caia where, you know, the ninth circuit judges are passionate about this or advocates are passionate about this. they thwart it. the u.s. supreme court yell back and said stop this. you're abusing the justice system. so every time it's beenwarted and come back by the voters an done. this once ain, notonly did we have a repeal of the deathna y and a support of death penalty and people rejected the appeal. >> the trend line is clear. the support for capital punishment is going down for decades. >> as in the case of same-x marriage situation. so that raises the question thay sometimes a public policy statement of this nature, it takes a while for public opinion and the courts to catch up.ec se we saw same sex marriage eventually become the law of the land. >> i would argue from a public policy perspective. the governor went out and used selective facts. it costs billions of dollars to do the death penaltye c yes, it does cost more. you think that people were
putting death penalty issues o th daily basis. they're in the state of california on annual basis, it' fluctuated over the past 20 years between 2500 people who committed murders every year to 1800. of those cases, it's been between 8hand 20 have been given the death penalty. it is a very, very importanto publiccy tool for prosecutors to use to generally clear -- >> he's not firster gr to issue a moratorium. there are other governors on th. west co 18, 20 states banned capital punishment. >> i wonder if there is enough support for the death penalty to create a groundswell to recall? >> i don't know. >> we have to leave itth e. jill tuck we are the "san francisco chronicle," scott schaeffer with the k community yd also shawn walsh, tou for being here. >> thank you. now to local politics on monday, san francisco mayor appointed someone to serve as san francisde next public nder. he will replace hadachi who held
the office since 2003 until his abrupt death last month at age 59. he has been with the public defender's office for 11 years and had been managing his felony division. in a statement, mayor reed praised him for his commitment to justice and equity and for continuing adachi's legacy. nice to you have here. >> thank you for having me. >> congratulations on your new position. how are you >>feeling? it's a lot in a short amount of time. but the office has really been wonderful in their support of me and directioning and continuing his legndcy and exg on it. a lot of the community have been really positive about this development. i'm excited to ve in a new direction. >> and what was that new direction? what is the priorities? >> well, what is a new direction? jeff was someone who was always believed in a growth mindset. he alws tried to really grow a tremendous depth with our office.
the first thing need to do is meet with all of the other units. i have been the fell ony manage. we have so many different units. there is a strong investigation and paralegal staff. there is a lot of information gathering a improve each unit in the office to best serve the citizens of san francisco. >> and your predecessor was also work that went beyond the public defender's office. he was a advocate for justice reform and pension reform in san there are certain issues beyond the walls of the public defender's office thatakeally spo you, that you plan to be a vocal advocate for? >> yes. the are many areas. but just to go over a couple. increasing evidence that thebr n is not fully developed until ages of 23 or 24 years old. yet, we're stl treating youth as people who have fully formed brains. so expanding young adult areas where we can move young peoplee into rather than
incarceration, further rehabilitation if the e was a crmmitted and moving in a positive direction so people can move into either the education or job force areas without convictions on their records. > and you also founding member of theoup public defender's for racial justice. i imagine what you're talking o about ties ihat as well. this is the group that advocates for selecting juries that more representative of the communities that they come from. that they're chosen from. how does the issue of race play out today whenu're defending your clients? >> it plays out in so manyways. to give you a quick example, there is a tri that i was doing and the juror said, listen, i don't want to be on this jury. it doesn't look fair to this jury. you're client is a young african young man from the bay view and juere is no one who looks like him on this . there is no unwith from the bay view on this jury. i don't see how we can give this young man a fair trialin the
whole audience started clapping in that moment. i think the residents of san francisco are aware we need greater vie ver greater diversity on the injurijuries reflects our community. >> s what are some ofthe ways you go about accomplishing that? >> the first thing is collect the dat yachlt who a. we're going to ask the jury commissioner and an initiative statewide that is pending no you to have jury commissione collect thdata. once they collect the data, then we can do more to see how we can get fair juries. the. >> i want to ask you about something else as well. your predecessor had a tenseio relhip with the san francisco police department. there have been leaked reports about his death. iois week the san francisco police officers cut ties with the former president after he madeks inflamatory rem about adachi's death on his facebook site. are you concernedabout that adversarial relationship? how would you go about
addressing it? t adversarial relationship american ng that the legal system is founded on. you want a public defender's office and defenders who are confident and comfortable through vigorous cross-examinofion of police cers. >> this goes just beyond the standard relationship rooted in how our legal system is structured, right? it seems very persol. how wou you go about fixing that and mending fences? >> i just actuall met with chief scott. i saw him on two occasions. he is looking forward to sittin. d i hope to continue conversations with him. but at the same time, chief scott and, you know, the residents of san francisco are interted in reform. it's important to collect data on tedisproportion arrests for african-americans, for example, in the community and see if we changes lly do some that will actually make policing more fair for the residents ofi san fra. >> you're the son of immigrants from india. what role does that play and how you approach your legal work? >> when you look at the
where my parents come from, it's a village in south india which is pretty poor farming communir. and my fatas able to because there were a couple people in that community who believed in him, really achieve heights in educatio i think that's one of the same things we should be tryi too your our clients to really look at what their potential is. and secondly, some of the disparities that we have withine san francisco, have two san franciscos sometimes when you look at the conditions and some of the housingprojects and we have the skyrocketing real estate wealth in the city. and that -- what we have internally in the city plays out globally when you look at some countries like india in comparison to the united states. >> that formed your work in that way. >> the new public defender in san francisco, we wish you all best iew your job. thank you. >> thanks for having me. we turn our attention to ai bolew of how tech companies are trying to control every
aspect of our lives for profit from smart watches to socialed ia posts to even the words we speak at home, tech companies areapturing all that data and alyzing, bundling it an reselling it. they're not minding the intimate details of our lives, they're trying to shape and control them. that is the contention in a new book "the age of surveillance capitalism." and she joins us now in the studio. nice to have you here. >> so glad to be here with you. >> you coined the term surveillance capitalism. can you explain to us what it is? >yes. surveillance capitalism birthed in the 21st century in the digita era. other areas of capitalism evolved this way. they claim things that live outside the market dynamic, bring them into the marketplace to be able topu be sold and hased. so, for ample, industrial capitalism took nature, brought night the market dynamic and
sold it as real estate, as land. >> how is thisifferent from the normal free market capitalism that we have become accustom to? >> all right. so surveillance capitalism took an unexpected and darker twist. it claims private human experience foramhe market dc. it brings it into the marketplace, translates night behavioral data which are then sold in new ktpds of marces to business customers who want to lay bets on what we will do in the future. >> so inou your book cite the game pomon gos an example of this. this will illustrate this. how did that modify our behavior? >> eventually surveillace capitalists understands the best data comes from intervenig in our behavior and shaping and herding and tunin us torts the
objectives. >> so pokemon go b did that saying if you go to these business establishments, can you see the characters there. leading people to businesses they may never have visited in the first place. >> that's right. it established these futures markets in human behavior with a whole range of service bars, ers, restaurant, places to get your tires changed, whatever it may be. and these establishments paid pokemon go fo fall.nteed foot so just like in the online world, the advertisers would pay google or febook for click hrough rates, now we're out in the real world in our realives where, of course, we will spend money. >> in your book, it's nearly 700 pages long. you lay out the case in great detailil and very cng detail. you compare this to elephant poaching. ech companies in this case are taking our raw human behavioral mateal and stripping that and then we're
the left overcharactarcasses. but companies like facebook will say they're not selling your personal information. is that just a matter of symantecs? >> yeah, or iwould hav called it euphemism. you know, the idea that you disguise what you are really doing with clever language that leads you to make a difference conclusion. what is really happening here is we are the source of raw material. for surveillancesm capitand production processes and sales. and what they're selling is bets on ourfuture behavior. >> so what do you think needs to happen to try to fis situation? blic mber one, change in p opinion, a sea change which i believe is already under way. we need ne law, new regulations that will specifically outlaw the eunprnted activities of surveillance capitalism. rms of two, we need new f collective action. this can't be the burden of individuals. we need to come together,
recognizing our shared interests to pressure democra to make changes. number three, we have an opportunit for competitive solutions. the companies that decide to comento this space and offer us the digital, the way we want it empowering, democratizing, they sand to hav every single person on earth as their customer. none of us want surveillance capitalism. >> i know a lot of people are worried about technology andta nd yet they buy something like alexa, the personal assistant for teir homes. and they think they're okay with that because they like the convenience. so there seems to be this disconnect between what they say thbo're worried and what they do. what would you say to them? >> scholars call this theac pr paradox. we say one thing and do another. but, in fact, what we undetand is that when you actually reveal to people what is going on behind the veil backstage, nobody t wants anythido with
it. the problem today is that most of us can't participate effectively in our daily lives without moving through theig al medium and the supply chains that lead right into surveillance capitesism's facto so surveillance capitalism has a lot of wealth. at is directed to engineering the systems to keep us in gnorance. they're design be hidden. they're designed to be secret. so it's very hard for us to be aware even just a couple weeks ago pugh research has a story about facebook users who have no idea the way in which facebook iscategorizing them feed them to advertisers. even todayle peo are surprised and ignorant about what is going on. he answer lies not just in the individual's action. it's entolerable that should be asked to give up the digital.
it's utilities, it'sit conveniences information for the sake of protecting ourselves fr these pernicious activities. what we really want to do is discover our shared interests. fnd begin to join together in the kinds political and social action that will ultitely make a difference, new law, new regulation. >> if this tide of surveillance capitalism is not changed, what do you fear will happen? >>hat i fear will happen is an assault on democracy. the kind of future that we be heading toward is different from the future we want. first of all, instead o democracy, we have compu truth. ip stead of society, we have population statistics. instead of humanautonomy, we have people who are tuned and herded, rewarded and punished to move in certain ways toward the guaranteed outcomes that t owners of these systems desire. and it is against the very
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