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tv   Washington Ideas Forum Day 1 Afternoon Session  CSPAN  January 4, 2015 5:40pm-6:01pm EST

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ent rate is down. we have near universal healthcare, access to health a project that was a hundred years in the making. a lot has happened. i think what you've passed into is when president obama was elected there was a sense of enormous possibility that as he had promised the tone could be changed here in washington that the partisan super fish yailty of the deballot could be -- of the debate could be transcended and the country united. there is no question that goal has come close to being met. it's gotten worse and the president would be the first to admit that and to regret his own inability to make that go away. what i think it tells us as citizens is no individual, no president can do that. we have to do it. if you think about it, the last three presidents have run on a promise to change the tone in washington. bill clinton george w. bush,
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and barack obama. i think it's most recent and associated with obama but the other two presidents said the same thing and both oversaw a washington that only became more partisan and more acrimonious, and more grid locked. this is why we need political reform. our system is broken. a lot of people in this town and this auditorium would agree with me that gerrymandering of our house district is a principal cause of the kind of nonsense we all have to suffer through and inability of congress to get anything done. and the problem is political reform is not an exciting proposition. >> if they can't get anything done how do they reform? >> if congress is not going to do it, we've seen some action in the states, it has to be state by state because they control how the districts are written and drawn. it's got to happen there. the only way anything happens is there has to be some kind of popular momentum behind it.
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most people say they want political reform when asked. but nobody votes on political reform. that's why politicians -- if there was a pay off to campaigning on it, politicians would campaign on it. >> because the pay off really would be sort of they would get kicked out. >> yeah. so they, you know, the other guy would win. >> right. >> the other candidate would win. people aren't that motivated by those issues. they're principally motivated by other ones -- national security and the economy. >> since we're here to talk about media, so you have this, you know, polarization that's happening in washington. it's leading to gridlock. but do you think -- how much of that is fueled by media? you have fox news on this side which is sort of talk radio op-ed. >> right. >> and then you have on the left basically comedy pointing fingers at the guys at fox.
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what you have is entertainment basically and whatever is the craziest wins. you have no one saying let's reform this because that's boring. but if you have a ted cruz out there, it plays well in peoria as they say. >> i think what has happened is self-identified conservatives and liberals goes with, they find news that affirms what they already believe. and that's obviously damaging to the cause we're talking about, fixing the broken system. so the media itself is suffering from a systemic failure. i think what is refreshing about the transition here, about some of the new media ventures we've seen is that there is a return to real news
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and nonnews without the political, not seen through the political lens in a way that news is so often seen, especially television news. i think what vice is doing, if you look at the documentaries and the news channel it's unvarnished -- very old school in a new media form. nothing is more sort of old fashioned. >> similar but not always good. that may be the case but it is explanatory. it is providing information in a way that can be hard to find in some of the traditional media. >> to go back to me being the moderator, we have this sort of polarization that's happening in media and in politics. now, one of the things that i'm personally passionate about but
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i think is a tremendously confusing issue in america is sea level rise, global warming. and i was talking to mayor bloomberg about this the other night. he was saying it's a media issue. i was saying, well, you please, go to texas where they have a three-year drought. all the cows are gone. rick perry's like, it's not happening. rubio's state, not thinking. when you look at this issue and it's one of the only countries in the world where we're still debating, it's an issue at all when you have 93% consensus which doesn't ever happen in the scientific community, why is it 40% of this country doesn't believe it's happening? why is it that politicians won't go out there and, by the way, what's happening now is interesting because republicans who had been, you know, anti
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are now realizing they're not going to get elected if everybody swings so now it's changing. but how important is that? what the hell is going on with climate change denial in this country? >> a couple things. one you see politicians realizing they can't be in denial permanently because there will be a political cost, that is what will motivate politicians to act to do something about it. the problem is if you wait for the majorities to feel like they have immediate self-interest to atress by taking care of doing something about climate change we may wait too long. the problem is instant gratification that politicians in our political system, politicians seek and our political system rewards. in florida the long-term challenge of climate change means your state is sinking that's not a problem marco rubio or any other politician in florida has to worry about today or next tuesday or the
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first tuesday of november in 2016. there's not a compelling interest to address it. what i do think in our sort of traditional media, you have a problem of sort of on the one hand there aren't enough voices of authority calling you on that, well it's still a matter of debate. why? i think there is a tendency to not uniformly so but to hide maintain the objectivity by saying he said this and she said that instead of basically saying what he said is patently false and what she said is based on science. i think that the ebola situation now is, has a similar aspect to it on the issue of how you contract ebola and whether it could go airborne. i heard politicians say we don't know. some experts say it could, you know, be contracted -- it could
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be airborne. no they don't. some do. maybe 5%. >> used to be paid by philip morris. now paid by -- >> the media the response of the media and not the partisan media but the authoritative media needs to call out that kind of nonsense. >> okay. i will. >> yeah. [laughter] >> but here's the fundamental problem or a fundamental problem which is as you know, and was mentioned, i was old school reporter from traditional media, "time" magazine for 20 years. >> this is where you make fun of me. >> no. i look to you for answers. there's been an enormous amount of downward economic pressure on traditional media. that has come at a price. there is no question. fewer have foreign bureaus, fewer have domestic bureaus.
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one reason why there is a sense that all people is concentrated in the white house is every tv reporter does every story from the north lawn because there aren't tv reporters anywhere else who are paid by those organizations. >> sure. >> so how come you seem to have faith that there is an economic model in producing news that is sustainable when all these other innovations that have a long history of doing it are struggling so much? >> because we're making a lot of money. >> well, but --. >> look. >> are you keeping the secret formula to yourself? because there is a public good here that could be done. >> look. it's not rocket science. basically, there's a chapingjg of the guard every generation in media. we're the changing of the guard for gen-y. it is a different language, different way of doing things different way of shooting. different way of cutting. what was interesting in the beginning was vice was like the
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kid brother. like oh, look at those crazy kids. they're -- around with news over there. as it started getting bigger and bigger it was they can't be journalists because they have tatoos. they can't be journalists because they have beards. they can't be journalists because they're from williamsburg. well, if all they're commenting on is our style then we're all right. then it was like well you can't be journalists because your a he not doing it the way we do it. >> right. >> right? i think you have to look at, you know what-daybreak why is fox doomed, right? why is the "new york times" doomed? they're doomed because fox is fox news, skew at 68 years old. right? and they're sort of angry afraid old people. old people don't buy anything. so except for drugs. >> they vote. >> yeah, they vote. >> well, it's a problem. [laugh laugh]
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>> so you look at that and say, well, you have the "new york times." i love the "new york times." we have our fights but they have been the paper of record forever. the problem is they're sort of galvanized into inactivity because they're like oh, we could do this. oh, -- no. we'll video. i don't know. video is hard. and so quite frankly you have to start from scratch. you have to start, it has to be organic. it has to work. it can't be created in a board room. people at fox say hey what should we do to get gen-y or -- they've been number one for 40 quarters. i always say you should enjoy it. you should, you please, get the gold watch and get your pension and just enjoy your time. it's over. right? [laughter] >> in your view, there is no model where traditional media
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is trying to make that transition and can succeed? >> no. >> in the long term. >> i don't think so. >> because there's still a lot of good product out of the "new york times." >> sure. >> you can find it online and even video and other things. >> yeah. >> but to exceed in this environment -- >> what the "new york times" does is amazing. but newspapers will con tony: shrink. >> right. >> it's all mobile. right? if you don't have a mobile solution then you shouldn't even show up to the gate. unless you've been investing in technology, and, by the way unless you have all of your people who have grown up only having mobile devices, then again you shouldn't come out of the gate. because my dad will read the "new york times" as a newspaper and you're like, great. so you should enjoy the time when people will do that. but that's over now. >> right. >> we're not ever going to go -- "time" the biggest magazine in the world, what is the forecast for the future of "time?" >> it is definitely a struggle.
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it was becoming one when i left. you know i admire the folks at that organization and others who have continued to fight to maintain relevancy and try to make a profit. if the product is fox news or msnbc, i don't want that product. >> right. it's a lot cheaper to produce that because it's just a lot of hot air often. >> sure. >> and the, you know, going out and getting the news embedding someone with isis, sending somebody to liberia to report on ebola, and take that risk and find the story, that is an expensive proposition. i guess people who are still at least partly tied to traditional media look at something like vice and others and say, are you willing to make the necessary editorial investments for, you know, to maintain levels of editorial
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standards that have become so expensive to maintain for some of these other organizations? or is do it yourself journalism as they sometimes call vice, you know, kind of viewer beware proposition? >> well, i think it's changed. for example, i think when you look at our coverage of isis or ebola or ukraine or tahrir square, a lot of what we do is live streaming so everyone is saying something and we're just showing it to you in real time with no commentary. i think the day of the voice of god, you know, for an hour a night telling you what you're watching and what it means and what you should think about it is over. i think that's good. because gen-y is the most sophisticated media cohort of all time. very smart. very savvy. and they can tune into something and watch it. that's why we call what we do immersionism in that we go more
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on a documentary film making philosophy where you go in and you press record. because the story evolves. >> right. >> it's not like oh, there is a fire at city hall can you give me two pictures. so we, you know, so that whole era of -- it's funny because whether you have the same standards, you have to understand that gen y grew up with weapons of mass destruction, with, oh, saddam hussein is harboring al qaeda even though anyone with half a brain knew they were a secular regime and natural enemies. the irony is now you see what's happening is we go into iraq to get out al qaeda and then mess it up so bad we create isis. what makes al qaeda look like a tea party. >> right. >> you sit there and we have to understand young people see that. and so when you say, well, are we going to have the same standards and practices? are you going to have the same, you know if that is the gold standard of, you know, everyone
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was marred by that. everyone knew. the "new york times." everybody. if that's the gold standard of integrity, you can have it. [applause] >> i think that's a great point. >> now people talk. >> old people! [laughter] >> when you talk about your core audience and the disillusionment that generation has developed in the wake of the failure to change everything that's wrong with washington in the last five and a half, six years, does that translate into a withdrawal from political activism in your mind, or because people were already saying that in 2012, and i think republicans were banking on it in 2012, and they said there's no way obama could be disillusioned and disappointed so many people that he is ever going to have
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that same electoral model including the record-setting levels of youth vote again in 2012, that he had in 2008. in fact, young people voted even more in 2012 than they did in 2008. so are they -- have we really screwed them up now? now in 2014 are they done? >> what i would be worried about, and we're out of time but i'll finish with this light note is we spend a lot of time embedded with isis, but, you know all the groups in the middle east. with arab spring effectively was a youth revolution. with the socialists and the anarchists and youth action for peace and all these in europe. and here we embedded with occupy wall street. and what i will say is you have a whole generation that's just getting back on its feet. they've been disenfranchised economically ks disenfranchised politically, dissatisfied with the media.
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young, which is dangerous. and they're pissed off. and god help us when the next economic downturn comes because you're going to see europe explode. you're going to see southeast asia explode. you're going to see the middle east explode. if america hasn't -- >>
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the event begins with the obama administration's use of executive orders. that is live at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. here on c-span, we will have a discussion of the u.s. policy towards the asia-pacific region. it will be live at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> the 114th congress gavels in
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on tuesday. watch live coverage of the house on c-span. in the senate live on c-span two. track the gop led congress. new congress, best access on c-span. newsmakers his next with ken buck of colorado. we look at public opinion of the congress and white house. at a :00, our conversation with janet madea. >> joining us from denver colorado is congressman ken buck. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> joining after questioning is emma and sean, i appreciate your


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