19 Burst results for "Alex Gibney"
"alex gibney" Discussed on Kickass News
"She overdosed now. Some of the most damning evidence in this documentary is actually a hundred and twenty page justice. Department memo about purdue pharma one for you were the most shocking revelations in that memo or to one is the terribly unethical relationship between a medical examiner at the fda and a pretty far in fact This person who worked at the fda a medical officer curtis right actually sat down for three days with representatives of purdue pharma to work out the wording of the review of produce own applications so produce effectively riding review of its own application the fda thanks to this fda official now. One of the things that comes that is that in the package insert the the the literature that accompanies the drug to claims. Were made that were really. Were not credible at all. Was that because of the time. Release mechanism this drug wasn't subject to abuse which it was and produce knew very well that it was number two that you could take up to sixty milligrams of oxycontin over a long period of time and then stop like that and there wouldn't be any ill effects back to curtis right. It's interesting to note that having given purdue permission to include this information in its package insert which was a hugely valuable marketing tool germs. Going out to doctors a year and a month or so after he left the fda. He's hired by guests to purdue pharma for compensation close to four hundred thousand dollars a year. Which back in the day in the late ninety s was quite a tidy sum of money. It's still quite a tidy sum of money and yet no one As far as the do farm executives have ever been charged with any kind of a crime. Why not it's not say there haven't been charged. What happened was a federal investigation into fraud charges in other words. A number of us attorneys From western virginia who are concerned about the scarily rising rates of opioid overdoses began to investigate reduce farm to see if purdue was falsely marketing. It's drug proclaiming. Its safety and efficacy in ways that we're unreasonable and so they started a An investigation which lasted for two or three years and produced one hundred twenty page prosecution bama which was a recommendation to prosecute key produce executives and indeed to prosecute them for felonies which would have sent which if convicted sentenced to prison for a long period of time. This goes up to the top levels of the department of justice. All along the way the career prosecutors sank. This is such a powerful potent piece of evidence..
"alex gibney" Discussed on How The Heck Are We Gonna Get Along
"I think we're all susceptible to the con- that's why i think. Stories about cons are so fascinating to all of us so liars. How many do you call them liars. Easier the like the many of the folks that you've or folks are companies organizations that you have have investigated are good at making at selling this reality or did this false narrative to people and it sounds like there's not necessarily a certain subset of the population is more susceptible to falling for those scientology type beliefs. But they all the people who fall for them are all people who want to believe that is true they wanna believe that what scientology promises is going to help them. They want to believe that. These medicines that they are peddling are helping people's lives they want to be part of. It has to do with a moment to rope you but part of it has to do with a certain moment in time like i talked to what was so interesting to me about the scientologists that i spoke to many of whom are super intelligent people at a moment in time when they were psychologically wounded or week scientology came in at least the initial application of some of the talking cures scientology that they use with the Intake thing yeah. They felt better. It was like freud's talking cure. You know i got something off. My chest was suddenly. Whoa what could be wrong with this on feeling better. And then the scientology auditors say. Well let's do some more. You might feel even better and then you're hooked and then you you you go along with it. Isn't that wanting to work of to. I mean if you if you reach out for that type of wanting the placebo effect as we're as human beings that's why when they run placebo controlled studies. They run a placebo effect but the placebo effect tends to work across humanity. They're not killer people fall for the placebo right. All of us do. And i think that's the reason that all of us fall for fraud so it's particular circumstances and i would argue to that you know a lot of the people that we talked to in crime of the century where people who fell into addiction because they were suffering from enormous pain and at least initially Some of these opioids. Particularly the time release opioids that produce selling help their pain but what they didn't expect or what they lead were led to believe didn't occur was that they got addicted and the next thing. They knew they needed the drugs. Not for the pain but because they were going through withdrawal if they didn't have them and that led into a vicious cycle so if there's not i was not give me the answer. I wanted alex. I was hoping there would be a separate. There'd be a separate a separate thread. Because i wanna know how we can no. We're not being fooled. I like to believe that i'm not. I like to think. I'm smart enough to not fall for this. But it sounds like everybody susceptible to it. So how do i know. I'm not be invented. Everyone susceptible to but at the same time. Everyone has the tools to be able to steer against it. You just need to arm yourself. It's like being you know. It's like early in the days of the internet. You know if you got this strange email that said. Click on this and you go. Okay let me click and it would be fishing attack in the next thing you know. All of your data would be released to the world. Well now we're a little bit more sophisticated about phishing attacks. And by the way i have to believe. That's one of the reasons. I do what i do. It's like a way of saying watch out. You know if something seems too good to be true. It probably is so. It's a way of practicing over time so that you kick the tires and i think that's incumbent on all of us and i got fooled not too long ago i was. My wife was really surprised. Like you of all people by you know a luckily for me. It wasn't fishing attack but something close to it because it came from somebody who believed might have really been in trouble. I i got because they're getting better at it. People are getting better at fooling as i used to be able to tell my mom. Listen if the grammar is wrong. And they're misspelling basic english words. It's probably not coming from inside the country. it's probably but now they're spelling stuff right. You know what i mean. And so they're getting they get smarter too. And so and i you know of course because because the political podcast we are we tie it into the world of politics and i mean i'm not ashamed to say we can see a lot of these same sort of gas lighting tactics having happened especially over the last four or years where there is a group of people who seem to be slightly more willing to believe whatever they're told on certain news channels here Because they want to believe it but there is a there is an inability to convince people that it's not true like i can. If i'm a scientologist. If i were a scientologist and i watched going clear. I would have convinced myself that you were biased. And you were full of shit. And i am sure that wind crime of the century comes out in a week there will be forces trying to say that alex gibney is biased..
"alex gibney" Discussed on How The Heck Are We Gonna Get Along
"The way big pharma knows that most lobbyists know that most people are. I think would be surprised to learn that these big companies in many cases right the legislation that is jammed through congress on their behalf. And so yes. I think politicians practice kind of willful. Denial i mean you know. In one of the stories that we tell the story of a law that was passed that actually undermine the ability of the da to go after big companies who are flooding the country. And i'm talking about some of america's biggest corporations who were literally flooding the country with opioids in ways that they knew to be responsible because they knew where every pill was going every pharmacy every pill and towns of a few thousand people getting millions of bills one for every man woman and child for every day of the year. So that can't be for back pain that's gotta be for something else. So they knew better and there was a law that allowed on the da to crack down on them and crack down on them very effectively if there was so called diversion which means taking prescription proper prescription drug transactions and diverting them or allowing them to be diverted into the black market so legislators at the behest of lobbyists some of whom used to work for the department of justice. And or the da. Go along with rewriting these bills. Because they're told it'll actually be better for law enforcement. It wasn't better at all. But they don't do any due diligence and they're given this and they're given very tidy title. Which sounds like it's better for everybody in addressing the opioid epidemic when it's when indeed. It's doing the exact opposite so at some point. I don't think it's cynical. Because a lot of them get up there with a great deal of a sense of righteousness. And we're doing the right thing for the american people. This is bipartisan. I mean the law. I'm talking about was an amendment to a law that was passed by unanimous consent that means every member of congress passed it which means that they didn't bother to read the bill and they didn't bother to do their diligence on the bill to see just how damaging it would be. They floated it because big pharma one of them to floated and because they were going to get paid lots of money so is paid to play and that is staggering. But back to your point. I think that they allow themselves to do not because they think i'm taking money and it's bad but i need the money. Even though i know hundreds of thousands of people are gonna die or result but fuck it. I'm gonna take the money. And i am sorry to swear. That's not good. Who gives a shit. We do it all the time. Some things deserve it so that's not how they do it. They do it by saying this is so important. So many people are suffering ran. This will really help. Law enforcement eviscerated law enforcement. And this will really help patients. Even though it did enormous damage to patients. They just believed the bullshit that they were being spun by the lobbyists because it was in their financial interests to do so. So i think people know this voters at home. No it i mean we. I think most people don't trust any politician at this point but some things like money and politics and the amount of money that companies spend or spend to lobby to to affect legislation. Just don't get any energy from voters not sexy issues. They're not things that most people vote on. So as much as we know it is destructive far. Not just in big pharma but in dozens of other policy areas. Is there a way to get people more interested in the effects of it and to actually want change. Because i don't know that really either side of the aisle is too eager to stop taking this money unless the laws are changed and no one can take it right so what how do how do we take issue. Like this. Like money and politics lobbying. The damage that can be done to americans everyday lives because of money and politics. How do we make it sexier so that people will actually put it even closer to the top of their list of priorities. It's a good question and it's a tough question. But before i answer that question let me go back something you said earlier it is true and actually there's a line about it in the film you know in terms of and categories of people. Nobody is less trusted than members of congress there at the absolute bottom. Okay really says where do where did pharmaceutical companies come in on that list one of of that but whereas doctors and nurses at the very tight right. Those are the people. But what's interesting is if people really believe what they tell pollsters then no person congress would ever serve more than one term. Because they're all be voted out immediately right because nobody trusts them and they're held an utter contempt well but they don't trust other people's congress members to like their own but not others like. Oh i love my guy but everybody else's corrupt well. No your guys corrupt to or again you know. They're all corrupt. They're corrupt not because they're a different kind of person than the other congresspeople but because the system is corrupt the system is a pay to play system and people have got to fixate on that because unless that fist system gets gets fixed. We're all done. That's why the opioid crisis happened is because of money and because money is greasing everybody's palms every step along the way and money that the unchecked desire for money allows for collateral damage that it's just clawson thirty five hundred thousand people there but it's not un- unfortunately i guess.
"alex gibney" Discussed on How The Heck Are We Gonna Get Along
"Y- you know good finish learning. Yeah and when i started the film did about julian assange we steal secrets. You know i. I went in thinking that it was a david and goliath story and julia was kind of an unalloyed good guy and i barely knew about chelsea manning And in that story. Got much more complicated as i dug into it. So you know you learn to. It's almost like having a a theory and then you see if you can prove it but you have to be open to the idea of truth here is all wrong do you. Do you fall in love with your subjects. Ever do end up liking them or disliking them. And therefore how do you keep that from painting how you portray the situation well. It's an interesting question. Because i end up liking particularly when you sit down with somebody doing an interview. I find particularly the way. I do interviews non-confrontational their their conversations and i ended up having an appreciation for people as human beings and i ended up being sympathetic to them in the moment and indeed allowing them to tell their stories very much the way they wanna tell them. I think that's important. That said i think. I also you know i've been around long enough to know that. Sometimes i get lied to offer at the end of the day. My biggest obligation is not to the interview subjects but to the to the audience so it's incumbent upon me to find a way to get out the truth a deeper truth and you know sometimes that means Reaffirming what subjects have told me and sometimes that means showing that what they told me complete and utter bullshit and sometimes that they are pissed that you ask them. Yeah well sometimes. They are in though like i said. I don't generally do the kind of gotcha questioning where the attention is focused back on me. As as the hirola interrogator the gotcha moments to be in the editing room. If i discovered what somebody has told me is a lie. Then i'll have to find a way of showing that. Does it make you mad. That they lie to you or sure does make me mad though door. I've learned that We're all afflicted with this Tendency to try to tell stories in which we are. The loyd good guys don't say it doesn't really surprise me that they do it so sometimes like i remember. One critic asked me why wasn't angrier. In the armstrong. Live that lance had lied to me and and i suppose you know. I didn't think thoroughly enough about it the todd but i i i suppose the answer to that is mainly because i expected into right but you do go after people who i think you or at least i would expect to lie to you. I mean eliot spitzer and i mean scientology elizabeth holmes. I mean you you you kind of think you gravitate towards people who are deceptive or do you think we all are in. You just happened. You know characters at the characters at the center of stories where there's some elements of deception. You're going in knowing that you're doing a story now about deception but also possibly unlikely about self-deception so in that sense it kinda comes with the territory self-deception okay. I may get that with eliot spitzer elizabeth holmes. I think deceived herself. Really i think so. You think so. She went and a sociopath is what. Because that's what i took home from. It can say that she's associated path and that's an easy diagnosis to make But i think that in order to lie really effectively and this may not be inconsistent being associated pat but in order to live really effectively. In the moment. When you're telling that lie you have to believe it's true. So that's a. That's a kind of self deception and i think that when elizabeth holmes told people passionate voice that this box was really a magnificent device. She believed that was telling the truth. Maybe because she thought sometime in the future was going to be. And when lance armstrong would be on on the podium and say how dare you say that i as a cancer survivor would ever use performance enhancing drugs. I believe that at the moment. He said that he believed he wasn't lying. Even though he would come down off the podium that he was speaking to people on and and he might go do another bag of blood and he would know very well that he was lying and one of the things he said to me later. Was you know. Because i called the film. The armstrong said yeah. Well i did lie. But but i think the best liars are people who deceive themselves into believing that it's the truth. So that's why self-deception i think is important support and understand how the psychological process works. It's a kind of variation of the end justifies the means. Where if you believe that your possessed of a noble cause and it's okay to do things that are bent around the edges. Because at the end of the day you're serving that higher purpose but over time that becomes a kind of corruption that That defiles what. You're what you're trying to do. And that's very much the case in the crime of the century. I mean that's that's that's really a textbook case of that. Yes so are there. Differences than in the ways that people like eliot spitzer lance armstrong lisbeth homes lie and the way organizations like scientology and big pharma. Lie i mean you're talking about think people inside organizations tell themselves the same kind of lies really in other words..
"alex gibney" Discussed on How The Heck Are We Gonna Get Along
"Entertainment the way americans obtain and digest the important information in the world around us over. The last several years has become a billion dollar industry. Our news anchors. Our news reporters are all celebrities. Are celebrities are outspoken and invested in our political process and at times the line between entertainment and politics can become incredibly blurred so seven years ago. Politico recognized this phenomenon and they began working to use the power of that increasingly gray area to start some very important conversations to bring together in one place people from all corners of the political spectrum for thoughtful debate and discussion about some of the most and urgent topics and issues facing america. They wanted to harness the power of entertainment to get people engaged in issues that they might never have engaged in before and capture an audience's attention and make them think about how they might improve the world around them so when politican began in two thousand fifteen it's enormous success was really no surprise because even though politic on was the first of its kind using entertainment to spur people to start important. Conversations isn't really an entirely new tactic. Great tv and film documentarian have been doing it for years. And of course. I'm not talking about just any documentary. Not just the kind that we all had to watch in high school. Not talking about nature documentaries not those tv docks that teaches about world war one or how cheese is made. Some of the world's greatest documentaries are able to take a subject that's so obscure tell the story and make us feel joy or fear or sadness in ways that are even more powerful than some scripted films can and they do it all while teaching about something that we might have never heard of before and oftentimes they inside us to take action and to expect better from the world around us and and politicans guests this week on how the heck are we going to get along is exactly that kind of documentary maker. Alex gibney has been called the most important documentarian of our time. His documentary films and series about enron and wikileaks. And scientology eliot spitzer steve jobs vladimir putin's russia they've not only been showered with praise and awards including six emmys an oscar but his docs have done more to give viewers a glimpse into some of the darkest and most disturbing sides of human nature than almost any documentary films ever made now after exposing the secrets of organizations like the church of scientology for his series going clear or the secrets of businesses. Like elizabeth holmes theranos the winter out for blood and silicon valley. Alex gibney is returning to hbo next week with his newest project. The crime of the century. It's a two part documentary that takes on possibly his biggest subject yet. The pharmaceutical industry. He'll talk with us this week. About some of the secrets. He uncovered as documented the most powerful industry in america. And i'll ask him what our political leaders can do to prevent healthcare prices in america from continuing to rise to prevent the opioid crisis from being exploited by pharmaceutical companies and do politicians even have any power at all over an industry as strong as big pharma in alex gibney vast experience documenting some of the most scandalous and unscrupulous members of our society. What has he learned. That might help us understand. Why it's become so easy for americans to trust the untrustworthy. And if believing people and they're dishonest messaging is simply a flaw of human nature. How the heck are we going to get along. Hello alex hey are you on. You can hear me. I can hear you. Can you hear me. i can hear you. I'm actually kinda pumped about this. I just wanna make sure. Mike can hear everything. He needs. Mike as our engineer. You know all about the camera stuff. I'm actually. we've done this while for a year now and i don't always get to talk to people who i have seen all their stuff so it's really kind of cool to talk to you. I'm thrilled that you're able to do this with us. Thank you so much first of all. Let me just say that delighted. I am a big fan of your stuff from going clear. And and the inventor all that and and it's a it's varied your. Your topics are so kind of all over in a way. Is there a thread that you find within them. Like how you choose them. Sometimes i choose them and sometimes they choose me so that would be the reason for variety and sometimes it's important to branch out a little. But i mean i think if you look you dig down. I mean. i am interested in deception. I'm interested into in fraud. And i'm introduced interested in abuses of power. That said i've done docs about sports about music. You know that interests me too I guess i'm also interested so You if he doug you could probably find a commonality of purpose. But i think what drives me to do. Certain stories is because they are good stories. Do you not good stories before you go into them. Always generally but i you know thing is sometimes a good thing to to imagine that you know the story when you start but it's also very helpful to be humble enough to realize that you may not know the story at all and it may take you on a completely different direction and that ends up being pretty important powerful to win that happen. Well let's look at the armstrong live. For example i was. I was hired on that film to kind of ride along. Let's observe lance during his comeback year. Two thousand nine and that was to be a sort of you know that was to be a pure sportstalk. You know following a an athlete at the top of his game or an athlete. Coming back ed. you know. After he had been at the top of his game and could he do it again. Well he did. Something again turned out differently. So.
"alex gibney" Discussed on Awards Chatter
"You now have an in house team. As i understand it that grew and grew. But you're still. I mean the some there. There are people that i cover the documentary community. People can get bitchy and jealous and whatever and there are people that say. How is it possible. That alex is actually involved with all of these films. Putting out so many i wanna just ask you to kind of clarify that the the the critical thing is what we were just talking about a minute ago. Which is that. The film's aren't made quickly. They're all made over period. Of sometimes i. I think the armstrong light took four years to do and the crazy not insane three years. You know so. They'll take a long time. If i was doing verite films more. I think it would be harder to do what i do. Because when you're out in the field and if you're a one man band like fred. Weisman is or two percent crew. You're out there shooting every day and it's very tame material and then you have to put it together. It's just not. How do i operate in a far more collaborative process. But on the films that i direct. I'm there. I'm i'm asking the questions i'm going out. I'm doing the research now. I surround myself with a team. That only does one thing and so i can move back and forth between them but i just learned rhythm on on those two films that made me understand that i could do more than one thing at once if i had group of talented dedicated people who are also who are only focused on one thing. But you know if. I'm shooting something. That's it like in the middle of shooting Everything else has to go away because you know even in an interview situation you have to be in the moment you have to be utterly attentive to that and for other films. It depends like armstrong lie. I was on the road with lance armstrong. A lot. I was out every day on. The tour de france is very hard for me to do anything else during that that period but in the cutting room it's different because you can and and the beauty of having a little bit more stability as you can take film do certain point then maybe put it aside for a month or two because actually i mean if it were possible from a budgetary standpoint though would actually be a great creative solution for people because you get to a moment where you're desperate on schedule if you put it away and then come back to a month or two later. You see all the problems instantly but anyway. That's how that's how i did. It and a lot of people kept saying. Oh look he cranks some out. The simple truth is that's just wrong. They're all slow. But i have a curability to a multi multi task. Yes kill your ability to multitask and to move from one thing to another and to leave this one behind and then focus intensely on that thing but it's only really possible when you've got those films in the cutting room mind you even. When i'm in the cutting room i will go off and shoot from time to time because you find things that you need to do but but but by having dedicated teams who are only doing one thing and then i moved back and forth. I found a way to make it work. Which was the only way. I could slowly build up a company that had some lasting power was to do enough of those projects so i wasn't a victim of that situation where you finish the film and then there's nothing there to pay the rent right. I hope we can do sort of a rapid fire. Just a question about a number of these. Because i want people want sort of remind people if they have seen these or wet their appetite if they haven't to go back and check these out so as we build towards the present just quick thing about a bunch of these so casino. Jack i understand abramov was willing to meet with you in prison. But not on camera obviously. How do you decide to proceed with that film anyway. I was going to make it anyway whether he was gonna talk to me or not. And and i've done that in the number of films and that was one where the story was just so good so some people make decisions based on access. I make decisions based sometimes on not same thing with client nine. You know when we started. I didn't know for sure that eliot spitzer was to cooperate. That's the one film where everybody cooperated the escort. All of his enemies eliot spitzer cooperated know. Joe bruno. I mean everybody. I don't know if that will ever happen again but it was. It was really an incredible thing. It's one of my favorite films that i've done because everybody's there it's really a vivisection of power in america. Well and so for for my client. Nine question it's it is sort of the inverse of the casino. jack one. why did eliot spitzer. Why do you think he did speak with you. What was what's center for him. At the end of the day the had happened. But i think he wanted an opportunity to make the argument about why his career was meaningful. That is to say. I wasn't just going to do the scandal. I was going to do the rise and fall right so he would have an opportunity to make his case why he had done something important. And in exchange. I would have the opportunity to ask him why he allowed himself to be taken up. So that's why may maxima culpa the first of your two docks dealing with religion and corruption within religions with that one. What do you hope people take away from such a disturbing story. We all kind of have a sense that and we've read the news that you know. There is sexual abuse within the catholic church. This is such a disgusting case where the guy is preying on deaf kids. What is the end goal and telling a story like that. Do you have do you basically do you stand out. You have to have a thesis statement in your own mind. This is why i'm doing this. I think it's useful to have a proposition or a hypothesis. But it's also important to be able to be willing to question that hypothesis as you go. I was interested in this story because of the horrific nature of it. That is say a priest praying on deaf children which was about as pernicious as you can get. But i was. I really took the story on because these deaf one they grew into men actually decided to take their battle all the way to the top and they sued the pope and so kind of like taxi to the dark side. I wanted to show the granular detail of abuse in a particular situation but also how that spread to assist them and the system was one of enabling priests and also creating a system in which you actually caudal and and allow this practice to go on for years thereafter year after year because again back to this theme. I'm so interested in the end justifies. The means we're holy men it's holy religion it's about you know we're on a mission from god therefore you know we caught a priest to even though he may have abused some children that that that's the road to hell. Yeah yeah so that was twenty. Twelve then twenty. Thirteen is we steal secrets. The story of wikileaks. And i think that maybe the lesson here is that it's sometimes better when you don't get what you want going. In this case the assumption i guess was hey. It'd be great if we get assange than he apparently says. Only if you give me a million dollars which was never happen. And so as a result you end up focusing on then bradley now men and that was a probably better in the long run anyway. It was much better and chelsea is terribly important. Figure in. it's it's hard for people to remember now but she was very much a forgotten figure at the time everybody was like julian. Assange is the leaker. Julian assange wasn't the leaker. Julian assange was the publisher and the person who took all the personal risk was was chelsea..
"alex gibney" Discussed on In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
"Right now? So people are getting hospitalized more frequently thirty seven states. And in Seventeen states, their past seventy percent capacity and I see you bet. which is a number that I watch for because that tells you when it really needs to be. down. I can't even tell you how badly we're doing if this were just doing badly, we need to turn this around. We need to turn around fast and to talk about what we've done. Wrong. Let me introduce. Alex Gibney. I Hey. Alex. Hey. How's it going good you good. It has. Congrats on the movie by the way. Thanks. What's the responsibility of being the first? To document this in film, did you feel a certain type of responsibility? Yeah we did at the same time. We also had a feeling we were going to be I because I was determined to have this out now because it seems to me inappropriate reckoning like if you're going to render judgment on on what happened particularly in the early days of the pandemic, then you know let people rendered their judgment at the at the ballot box. Well, you know it's interesting I think the timing is probably there's probably challenging to figure out, but you had Y- the last two pieces of really relevant news and I'm. Not GonNa Spoil any of this for people who are going to watch it and I encourage everyone to watch it as I did the introduction you found a way to very nicely fit in, and of course, you never know with this administration this virus pandemic what's going to happen around the corner tomorrow but I think you found a way to very nicely capture the first six months of this. Maybe that's where we should start. You've spent at least that much time in deeply thinking about causal effect and how to represent things. Take us back to what you think are the two or three most essential moments where things went wrong. It's fair to say that we focused mostly on the beginning and in some ways, what's remarkable is how at the very beginning things went right you know CC got the information about the virus from China. They rapidly made a test they delivered the test, the public labs. And it seemed like everything was working properly but then everything went haywire and the biggest thing of course is the failure of testing because testing sounds like, oh, it's the test protesting is the only way you have understanding where the viruses and therefore how to combat and how to contain it. Because if you know where it is, you can put people in quarantine, you can contact trace them and you can really. Contain the virus in a way that would save so many lives in the economy..
"alex gibney" Discussed on WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
"Because there's that moment were were key shows up at millbrook and we'll convert in leary is so uptight. Well that's it. The two schools have asked US schools of acid. Do I just. I love that moment. Where he's just like they're up there? Meditating some rich lady's house because right Keesey because leary was a fucking hustler right. You know. So he's got the you know. They're all meditating in wearing robes. That scene in the film you do because they photographed it. Oh it's kind kind of great. It's hilarious because aren't they addressed in their Al Clown Alfie. Yes and they're in there. They're playing instruments. which and they really can't play but you know and and I and they couldn't take it so they they beat it off to the local waterfall where they're all you know Dan? Yeah doing the dance. Infecting Neo Cassidy was still in it. Well and now nil wasn't on the bus on the way back which made a little made the character of it a lot different but he definitely driving the bus in the way across and it's fascinating to hear him because we've got a lot of his wraps on tape. Oh Yeah so you can hear him talk and he talked incessantly. It was like he was the motor motor. Almost like it was almost like scat singing. Really really that guy really rare that character. How like is this the story about him just dying walking down railroad tracks through? Apparently you have to ask Robert Stone. Who Sadly I think is no longer with us? He wrote the book which is a great film. I I really liked it. It wasn't that much scene but it was based on his book ball. Dog Soldiers called Who'll stop the rain nick? Nolte Yeah and Nick Nolte you you know you can. That's the last. CD's like walking down that train track. I was sort of obsessed with those guys. I mean you're a little older than me so probably a little closer for you like Held you sixty six. Yeah you can remember is going so I had to think for a second but you're ten years on me so you were actually in it. I was like I just eked out a boomer. I dislike the last fast so ever a boomers. You're like in it. Yeah I mean I was like in in I was fifteen and sixty eight so I wasn't quite like but I saw. Yeah yeah and it was like mind blowing it was mind blowing. So what So what do you what do you like. Where does this movie go now? So it's You know it's having a little theatrical run here and around the country and then ultimately ended up on Amazon and what's the next thing what do you what the next fight man. What are we doing? I don't know wh- The the the the always be something I. I'm doing a quirky film in the meantime all about Why we kill? I got interested. Sit in the psychiatrist named Dorothy. Lewis can you break it down to a couple of reasons. One is over money one of them's pussy. What's the third one? Yeah exactly know. She's it's more of a serial killer thing so this is a woman who's examined more serial serial killers than just about anybody. And wh what are you finding out. Well what's going to spoil any no. I don't want to spoil anything but I mean you know it all goes back to childhood. Let's just say that really. Yeah it does with those guys. Yeah everything goes back to childhood. That's the you mean. They found there. There would would through each of their stories again. You you you you you find some kind of brain damage and just a record of horrific abuse either sexual or physical abuse. Oh really really yeah and do you. Do you do other stuff. Do you do. Non Documentary stuff. Yeah I did. I did this series called the looming tower. Oh Yeah I remember that in which was based on a Lawrence right book Pulitzer Prize Book and it was all about the battle between the FBI and the CIA and the run up to nine eleven and how the CIA kind of hit the ball why That's the big question I mean. The one of the guesses is that they you know because they were two members of al Qaeda that entered the country a new about yeah eighteen months prior to nine eleven pilots. Well they ended up being pilots. I mean they. They came in studying studied how to fly rain. And no San Diego and the thinking is that maybe the one of the flip them But what's they lost track of them and then the next thing they knew oops right. Yeah Fuck exactly he. I guess that's the way again. That's one of those things like. Where's the conspiracy theory there? It's just like they just made bad call. Yeah and they won't cop to it. I mean that's the An and they get very very angry. This idea that that they would do something like that. But there's been no explanation over it. I mean they had this information. Eighteen months prior prior and at least fifty people knew about these guys And and they knew they'd come. They'd followed them from terror summit in Malaysia. Yeah so they knew all about awesome but they didn't say anything to the regular and then it comes down to funding and it comes down to politics and it comes out in the a y insulate themselves. I was like that. Yeah they don't want to because they have to appear like they know exactly what they're doing all the time right that's BC this new Adam driver movie the one the report Scott Berns. Yes good film. I thought it was informational film. Yeah I thought that it was a good learning experience and it was well acted it. got a little slow but it was because it had a lot to you had to get up to speed on that stuff. Yeah no I I I mean I know a lot of the players in that Ali sue fond plays a role Dan Jones. I know the Guy Adam driver place. That's right yeah you know that guy. Yeah and it consumed zoomed his wife you did. I mean He went down the rabbit hole and did a great service to say the tragedy and it was. The tragedy of the Obama Administration was that they weren't willing to hold anybody to account and the Feinstein Committee. Most of those you know lot of what's in that Report is still classified so the great body of that is still hidden from the American public Part of it is like really kind of revealed revealed in taxi to the dark side. You're I mean that's what was going on. That's right that's right. I didn't even realize until I saw this movie. Just the scope of it. Yeah I mean it was allot hits spread. I mean you know the likes to say whether only certain people were authorized for one. I know it spread spread throughout the system and I talked to guys you know Low level military police in interrogators in. Yeah and you know. The waterboarding thing had so infected the system that it became routine so whenever they get a prisoner they'd indoctrinate them or asserted. They induct them. Yeah you know. They'd put back doc on their head and they covered with water. Yes make it hard for them to breathe. Yeah so it was like many waterboarding for everybody so the system it migrated like like a very virulent virus throughout the system is terrible I fuck. How does that happen? Like this is the area that you're kind of dwelling and there's that you know the justifies the means it gets back to that I mean they. They felt that they had an obligation to prevent that next attack. And so they were going to go. And that's the other thing that I find incredible to you know really really hard to understand is the CIA had already gone through a cycle where they had tried and experimented with some of these techniques and found them wanting with basically they found it. What what they deliver is they deliver? What the interrogator wants here? Now out the truth right that takes skill And they apologized is to Congress and so forth and so on then mysteriously in the wake of nine eleven all these techniques come back and they do it all over again and they get get it wrong but in this case because they had such high level buying an it migrates over to the armed forces firearms failed. And the next thing you know it's spreading reading throughout the system and that's how you got great right and and they like but the thing is like when it gets down to that level where the people who are administering it Yeah no longer. It's no longer an ends to a means. It's just that they can do it. They can do it this at the thing. They talk about force drift and they. What's that well the idea that you know when you're Chehreh getting somebody he's not giving you the information that you want here? You have a tendency to amp up the pressure and the violence Eh. You know And also it comes from this idea that you've been given permission right to go there so then you naturally you start to feel his anger builds up and your unconstrained by any sense of Morality ethics so yeah go there. That's the concerning turning part of the human animal. Yeah that part. And and that's why and that's why you know good military leaders say you need an ethical code you need rule are these. These guys are GonNa act like animal because you're placing people in stressful situations where they're buddies are being killed. Yeah and they're gonNA cut loose like an animalistic kind of like like you know. Fuck you not even animalistic. It's actually more human right it's payback. It's payback right. Yeah Yeah I guess. That's the impulse. And that's what makes it see. That's what makes it sort of like interesting fodder for people who are try ballistic and racist. It's like well fuck them. You know that is we did the series of you know I was executive producer along with Steven. Spielberg came out recently. Discovering called why we hate and it was trying trying to get to the science of why we hate you know how did that evolve And interestingly you know if you really do a deep dive and they've done awesome at Yale and as a matter of fact they've done some wonderful studies in terms of sort of infants. Study of it all starts with a sense of justice and injustice. We're hard hardwired to get very upset if something's wrong that there's a kind of ethical code we have that mutates over time into sense of perceived injustices you era as you get associated with the tribe. So you're trying to protect yourself against somebody else. They've been unjust right. You know. We're getting away and now we're good in their bad. The next thing you know all that's rough so I it starts something relatively good taste the recruiters cruder for Isis. Don't start with you know. Come to the Middle East and you can murder people it starts with a sense of you. Know if you're finding spiritual hole in your life we can fill that with love and a sense of kinship. You know where uh where we can reach to a higher place and so so it's a sense of belonging a sense of higher ideals that's the entry point right and Genetic Elsie turn. Yeah you know same thing scientology you know suddenly starts abuse human rights. Nothing scientologists as bad as Isis. I'm just saying that's how it gets turned but it always starts with the appeal to the goodness right. It's like we all want to feel that we're good so bad you know. We're we're good guy and an appeal to truth to right. Yeah it's all the same Fox. News is Isis religion the whole Shebang. The only thing that's not like that it's like I just want to buy some Pie Kinda. Yeah I mean the tweeting. It's the most harmless belief system is high. Got The best pie right. I don't know man I ah. It's scary dude. It is scary but you know what the the good news is that they're always you know interesting. Engaged aged particularly young people fighting back and and that's always the hope good. I hope you're right me too. It was good talking to you. It's great talking to you. Mark.
"alex gibney" Discussed on WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
"Right rent a camera that was expensive now the barriers much lower lower. I mean you can. You can shoot something on your your Samsung your iphone or whatever and then you know even if you borrow. Somebody's computer added together. And BINGO. Oh you got a movie you know so so. The barrier to entry is lower but like any medium. It's what is the artist. Do do with the material right but also like the the sad thing is not unlike. You know quick baiter any sort of December information he outlet is that yeah. I mean the we can still have these standard but but the the market's GonNa be flooded with content is what they call it. Now it is it's flooded with content but I I th. I think the good stuff does rise to the top you know people and And the interesting things about docks particularly in this moment where where were dominated by Click Bait and social media you know in a period of ninety minutes to two hours or or or take some of the dock mini series like the jinx. Yes you know you immerse yourself in a world in the world for at least for my money worlds. That are more complicated that you you walk out of it thinking. I'm not sure what I think. That's what I'm thinking about it. That seems to be. That seems to be the agenda of a good doc when you walk out like I don't know if he killed him right or the or maybe I know he killed him but was that a good thing or a bad thing. Exactly yeah you so all those things because if you you don't think about it after you left then feels like it's not a good documentary But but that aspect is what we so desperately need. It seems to me you thinking the thinking part rather than ready fire aim right yeah it. It doesn't serve to convolute the truth in in such a a kind of in a way that that people were trying to hide something do and that was like in the in the movie. The citizen came came movie here. You know that's what interested me about the murder right right for a long time. The murder was gray complicated. You dear I know exactly what it was like right but the the goal of the Putin regime was trying to make it as simple as possible. So the grace separates into pools the black and white. You've got a guy with the white hat you've got a guy with a black cat Simple simple it seems. It's happening on a happening in our authoritarian experiment is A. It's not a white hat gray hat. It's sort of like well. You know what they're saying is too simple. This one seems a little more elaborate and complicated and crazy but that makes it more true. Yeah like when you look at spiracy theories and the logic in them. Yeah you can take anything but the thing about consumers you. There's those they do fit together at some point. It's retroactively right. Yes it's it's a way that stupid people feel smart. That's right yeah. Who Don't like you're necessarily put a context on anything? Just line up a bunch of things not even necessarily in a quantum logical order well and ascribed to them a kind of intention that may have been pure circumstance. And there's I think there's a romanticism of it that you know something could be that devious. It just plays into their sense of of intrigue. Yes yeah and that you know who the bad guys are a but but so that disrupts the truth. Because they can't accept sometimes this just mundane right. They they refuse to Ha- you know the the think eh history just kinda plays out sort of a strange bureaucratic way. And they're the people aren't as organized as they attribute them to be. I think that's always the case. Yeah Yeah but Anytime you think that sore on the black tower is planned at all. I mean look I just as an old school kind of like aggravated lefty thinker. I'm disappointed in the deep state. If they do exist Iran expected more than they thought they would nipping in the bud. If they were thought they were actually turns out. There don't exist at all it turns out they're all fucking hacks strike sloppy. We're Smiley. Yeah Yeah So. What was this The Hunter S. Thompson. Docu did gone so alive. Did know the my first Dan on the job was to photograph his funeral. The Johnny Depp version where they blew his ashes in the rocket. And I got into it after that. What what would you either because I see on on the resume there's a couple of Sort of like Kind of like boomer heroes you know in my heroes too but Ken Keyes Ian and hunter they both those guys guys were heroes to me and for similar reasons. I mean hunter. I thought one of the great political books of all time was his campaign. seventy-two shirt it was just just great. Yeah and it. Mixed the rigor of a journalist with the kind of artistic ambitions of the novelist. Right right. Yeah you know all that stuff and you become on the story. Yeah you become the story but also you. Can you WANNA riff. On something go for do you see Muskie he looks you know heavy-lidded and and and dark and so you you imagine that. He's you know addicted to the strange Congolese hallucinogen gain. Yeah why not. Yeah You Know Nixon imagines is is aware wolf dripping with blood shirt leaving the White House. Why not so? I was really interested in that. And the difference during him that now then and now is there are people on the right who would think like. He is addicted to a game. That's clearly why right. Yeah yeah no hunter news a joke. He yeah he can turn a phrase dude yeah he was really a masterful writer funny and liberty the freedom to do that. That's right and that's what I loved about him so I thought I will let me explore them. Get into it. I was also interested to I mean he had a kind of personal tragedy which he I mean it was the drugs but really the alcohol. Aw Yeah but then he became. It's like the great lesson for artists. It's like don't believe the clippings he became a kind of caricature of himself. Yeah were people counted on him to be hunter and then he kinda thought well. What would hunter meaning some fictional version of WHO I am so yeah and he held court and he had the ACOLYTES who are pushing him too far right and he he was never able to at least seemingly never able to self upset assess? It's enough to kind of manage his life that's right and And also you know when you're young and yourself medicating with all those drugs and alcohol. You can managing over membrane himself. That's right he didn't like He. I think he actually did. You did fuck brain up. He did you could see it. I saw these. These guys did the last interview with Hunter and they started it and then hunter said look I I gotta go. I'll be back and hunter when they started it. Hunter was sweet. He it was cool. He's great he went off to the bar and had a bunch of drinks and we came back he was completely out of control. He was howling with anger. You know he was incoherent You you know and you can see it so the stick wasn't working deva. Just yes he was writing about sports toward the end right and he wrote about sports though he had these moments of lucidity acidity we we we talk about one in the film the You know right after nine eleven he wrote a piece and he wrote for ESPN because that's who's writing for at the time. But he wrote a piece that kind of laid out the whole war on terror where this was all going to go. Yeah it was a brilliant piece. We started the film with that. Yeah and was he right. He was dead on dead on. I mean in that you won an Oscar for movie you did about the downside of the war on terror. Dark side to the dark exciting. Yeah and I. It's it's interesting to me that now like with the Kind of Attempted authoritarian takeover the system. Where you have you trump? Is this president who who is thinking. He's going to embolden the military by enabling them to commit war crimes without Any any any kind of Punishment You know a movie like taxi to the dark side is a you know an indicator of of that of that should be. You're not not not question right. And it's interesting taxi to the dark side which is all about torture and how the Bush administration basically enabled a culture of torture that film when it was completed ended up being being a required. Viewing it the Army Jack School you know. And and it was taught frequently at West Point. 'cause real military code knows. Does that there has to be. You know. You're being the sheriff from the Wild West. You have a license to kill right but there were a laws in war you know you have to play by the rules. And if you don't play by rules disciplined breaks down and you're no longer you're you're playing that game of the end justifies the means it's just a pure power game and And you have and trump himself also remember on the campaign trail so yeah we gotta bring back torture. Yeah Yeah I mean He. He's really doing his best to this. This is this is a a real struggle for the system and this is an authoritarian leader. Yet we're dealing with yes and you know whether this testing our systems he's testing all of our institution they're buckling. Yeah they're having broken yet but they're buckling fuck man. So would you about Keesey Keesey I. It was such a huge fan of his thing right. The the output was interesting. Yeah these two fucking bow amazing moments of clarity conviction and that's right kind of happen. Well you know he's up there. He was up their heels. The but yeah one floor of the Cuckoo's nest and then sometimes I greatly notion. Novels are just real poet that guy he was and but I also like the for Keesey. I liked the whole idea of play and magic. Sure you know 'cause for him you know there's a famous mon where the pranksters Road in on a big antiwar demonstration in in San Francisco and on the bus. Yeah Neo was driving. Undoubtedly and for for for my money was a great eight moment because they saw that in the demonstration. It was a peace demonstration but they had kind of been imbued with a sort of militaristic form arm of the demonstration itself brightest of protests and Keesey was trying to say. Lighten it up there. You're playing the rules. You're playing according adding to their rules. The rules that we should be you know investing in which of the rules of creativity and play that which which I I I found really interesting his whole life he. He was engaged in that idea which which I really liked but the the film came about because we discovered that there had been in this sixteen millimeter film. That key shot. Oh really Of the famous bus trip yes and nobody had really put it all to God's country. Yeah both going and then coming back my glove that I thought that Tom Wolfe did a great did he did do a great book though we got into and we realized how much he had it access to some of the audio tapes. Clearly who did. Yeah yeah which. I didn't really realize I mean it was a completely harebrained scheme. They didn't have anybody who knew how to operate the cameras or you. They hate us or hated the idea of experts right. They hired a sound man for one day in New York at the world's fair and he quit because he was so like you guys fucked all. Hi It's crazy and so but it's magnificent and its way so we went down the road. We my editor intern co-director Alison Ellwood. And I went down the road of trying to reassemble this footage. That had been cut to cut apart by keesing the pranksters to see if we can put something back together. Yeah they're yeah they're would get into that zone. I gotTa Watch that. Yeah if you come out good I thought so. Yeah you you tell me but it's magic trip it. It turned out I think really well and and most of the film is just their footage and their audio telling the stories. They're moving across the country and then on the way back when kind of an epic pick journey. Yeah when I finally read Electric Kuwait Asa test. I just a great book. It's great because there's that moment were were key shows up at millbrook and we'll convert in leary is so uptight. Well that's it. The two schools have asked US schools of acid. Do I just. I love that moment. Where he's just like they're up there? Meditating some rich lady's house because right Keesey because leary was a fucking hustler right. You know. So he's got the you know. They're all.
"alex gibney" Discussed on WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
"Is that civic duty understanding what what makes this country function gene and work in great and just sort of You know how politics works. Most people don't know and they don't give a fuck right and and there's this idea of like America. Could this America that America's great but most people paying lip service to most things around America even intelligent people that you and I know they. They don't really no what the fuck you're talking about. And they don't know what's at stake and so when you hear bits and pieces of of of hearsay your quick bait or whatever and then all of a sudden you're going I don't know oh it's like at some point. There has to be a barometer of fact right and institutions You know the fifth state or whatever that you believe that's right But like now I think what's happening more than just propagandists at the dissemination of information in general is allowing people to to get. It's a to kind of get untethered. It becomes overwhelming the volume of information and the volume of Click Bait Information. That's I think. WanNa you know a serious problem too. It's like like this stuff comes in. There's such pressure to to to generate Stuff so quickly. Yeah without taking a beat and saying well wait a minute. What really happened here? Maybe we should take a few days to actually figure that out or even just read the whole article right. I think that most people just take in these moments. It's enough to throw a switch in their brain to go. I heard that thing was not this well and that is a human problem that we all have that confirmation bias thing where we're we're kind of hard wired to believe what our try beliefs right and so this media environment can't wear everything is designed to kind of like a Pavlovian terms to try to make you. You know you hate the other side and believe your side is good right. It's just it's meant to be sort of emotional Food right sure term for our worst impulses right right. Yeah this need for. It's just very odd thing that people think that things are so compartmentalized and things. He like with conspiracy theories and things like you know like just because you can put these pieces together and get the The answer that you want that they could actually happen that one. Well well they make us feel comfortable because they give us a sense of certainty. It's it's almost like religious dogma. Yeah that's right it is like religion and it's You you know a film about that and the subtitle was the prison of belief you get locked in the prison of belief you know. Then things were problems because I saw that a while back that these now when you went into that you're outside of just the same curiosity the reality we all have you know I I i. I'm not fundamentally Able to suspend disbelief the AH hardly at all let alone. What's necessary to believe bullshit right? Yeah I mean I believe my own bullshit but the whole God thing yeah l.. Like on the outside. When you look get you know Fox News or Scientology Miller in some ways in terms of the brain fucking? It'll give you sure you know when you're not the kind of person that can suspend you if you're like how the hell how does that happen. Well and that's what I was interested in. I was interesting because and I and I found a group of people who agreed to be interviewed. Including you know the director Paul Hag. Oh yeah sure. Sure the the the actor trying. I'm trying to remember his name now. Wonderful actor who's on the Chicago of police show Powder in no. Oh He's out now but all these people were What was interesting to me was to find out how they got in because they they were all smart people right right and the answer is a little bit at a time when scientology first comes at you they don't say look? Here's the secret papers that tell you about Thi. TGI The foreign planet and the the overlord with blows shit up and volcano. Yeah no no you. Don't get any of that stuff. Just get you sit down with this machine. Yeah and somebody talks to you like a therapist talks to you the self help you feel better letter like you talk yourself out. You tell a few of your problems and it's simple and you get well even even before that it's just like just talk some problems out here thinking Gee Gee I felt good. Yeah maybe I'll go back. Yeah right and slowly but surely you get indoctrinated into a a series of Belief leaf systems but also a different kind of language. I talked to scientologists. Were on the verge of getting out. In fact I talked to Lee remmy just those shoes on the justice she had gotten out and it was almost hard understand her because the degree of jargon was so intense like I was there with a researcher who had been in the scientology subject for so long she was like translating for him like I was talking to Kofsky. Or something you know but it's that slow immersion process that The takes you there and then you find yourself years later if you want to get out because you realize all sorts of human rights abuses are going on you realize. Well I've been a fool but how do I now admit to myself that I've allowed myself to be fooled. That's a very hard thing to do. Well that's why we're fucked as a country I mean. That's that's that's exactly like because I know there's a lot of people that now. A good percentage of their anger is is is is is at themselves that they can't accept that that their pride wound allow them to accept that they were wrong. They're going to double down. That's right and that's a huge. The problem it's scary to yet is scary. And you found that what scientologists has time. I mean I think that's what was so tough and that's why it's so hard for people to leave because they have have to admit Jayme. Yeah it's as though they have to admit that they've been lying to themselves for these years. They've they've wasted their lives and that's a very hard thing to do now. I don't think they wasted their lives and the way they ultimately get out. It's by saying look it's a long journey. I'm on and those few years. I may have been fooled. But I'm a good person and I'm coming out the other decide all that but it's very hard thing to admit that you were wrong. It's interesting because that happens in personal relationships is all the time it happens in politics. That happens in personal relationships. It's you know were hardwired to believe in some ways even though we have the capacity to to check those beliefs with a kind of rational understanding of what's going on the belief thing is some sort of mutation of of some kind of survival instincts. So you're not you know eggs. Essentially I waited in all the time right. and and sometimes it's useful. I mean we're we're imbued with snap judgments so that you you know when it's dark and and and you hear a sound it's loud you jump and you look around you know rather than it's also useful and even like you're just in a sort the vikings keeping your shit together on a day-to-day basis. You have to assume that there's something some sort of faith to believe that life is worth living yes so it can be vague. Yeah that vague faith I. I'm okay with that with that. I mean did you like what what what drives you towards. And even the Enron thing well that was sort of straight up you know like let's get inside this racket. Well it was it was interesting listening to me and and the the part that was hard to get at here was the culture of Enron and the culture of Enron did turn people into something different. Because Emme we're hearing Carol California like the worst of Enron was that period when these Electricity traders were shipping electricity out of the State state media waiting for prices to rise and then shipping them back in right and that was appeared where they were causing brownouts all over the state blackouts. All that stuff and the funny thing was as I began to do research into some of these traders particularly the ones who were caught and Charged he has some cases convicted. You know you would have thought okay. They must have been the worst kind of people but you look at who they were in their communities like they were the people who were you know always always beating the drum for charitable contributions they were they were doing help at the fire department. They were you know. They're extraordinarily civic minded people all right in their private life but they become convinced that that Enron was this avatar of pure capitalism. And you had to be a shark right well. I think that's a again. That's the wave of that is still a happening that there's this idea in and now it's it's different in terms of of what's happening politically where the construction or the tenets of democracy are are becoming seen as archaic. Hey Eric in in the face of sort of like why shouldn't he be able to fucking do whatever's necessary to he's the president. What else what is being president? Dan Do which number of shameless. small-time fucking drifters that disguise attracted to government. which has always been a republican thing? Put somebody the head of the agency that will collapse thing. That's right you know. That's the way they they want to deconstruct the state right but but But this sort of shamelessness on behalf of regular people and lack of tolerance and just sort of like you know these Republicans in Congress. They're insulated to the point were they. It's it's not that they really believe what they're saying but they're like who gives a fuck. We're GONNA win well at the end of day. It's all about winning with this. You got to wonder like winning. I'm for what you know. 'CAUSE 'cause I've talked with Enron. Yeah Yeah you talk to who I talked to some Republican congressmen and and they're like this is really bad but we can't say anything so she'll keep up the pressure on you right doing a good job. Ah Yeah keep keep going and then turn around and go fake news exactly building exactly fuck it man. Oh but Enron on these people were viewed with the sense. That only by being the most repair bastard. Yeah you know. Could you make the market work. And that was the view right. Yeah And everybody got into that culture until of course it collapsed because it led to rank criminality analogy. But which is what you will. And I don't I have to assume that they know that they knew and they didn't know I mean. I think I think that's where you get into this vibe where you in order to lie effectively. You have to lie to yourself right because and that's belief that's belief and and it's a variation you know. There's there's something if one thing has turned my head around in terms of doing documentaries entries these last fifteen years. It's the idea of the end justifies. The means yeah. I used to actually believe that was a good idea. Like if you have a noble end okay you have to get your hands dirty thirty. Yeah I now see how dangerous that is because once you go down that road slippery slope. It's a very slippery slope. The police call it noble cause corruption. You know you start planning planning you know heroin. They asked pockets and stuff like that. Because you can't get them for murder right and the next thing you know everybody's bad and you're entitled to be corrupt because you're at a good guy and they're the bad guys are you yet..
"alex gibney" Discussed on WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
"It seems these struggles with mortality. Lead US directly to wrestle with our individual understandings of God which if we trace it goes back ages to the ancient Egyptians Egyptian's whose history I understand can be a soft spot for some yet still it should be stated that they did. Do US always service by domesticating cats or were they themselves domesticated under the watchful eye of lafond his ancestors having said that though on your own ancestors shoulders mark though and even heavier burden that domestication of society helping people reach into a realm of the self reflected back to us out of that unwavering stare of the unknowable. The vessel that we refer to as the cat if what made lines into cats wolves into dogs and artists out of Apes. Isn't God the I don't know what is whichever way you look at it if you can be there with her when she passes on or the roller coaster comes to a halt while she is around other living humans humans remembering that La Fonda was there at the beginning and played a part in all of this should hopefully ease the pain. The first time I listened to w beauty f you read the Old Hebrew prose if I am not for myself. Who will be if I am only for myself? What am I and if not now when trying trying comedy over these recent years is felt to me like learning to fly? Here's to the nine lives we live. Thank you for all you do boomer lives. Thank you Patrick. That was pretty stunning. I liked it and it. You know it is food for thought my friend. I don't know so we're we're God goes but I do know there's a leaf floating upward outside my window. That's probably just wind but there are moments you know in the Chris Fall Fall whether it was kinda cold here but it's Kinda Queer here in Atlanta which I'm still here in Atlanta.
"alex gibney" Discussed on American Scandal
"And yet because of their entertainment aimed value they get redistributed and recycled over and over and over again until they have enormous political force. That's me me is something that's That's scary But also worth looking at And and a key feature of the of the client nine film the other thing I would say and this is probably GonNa get me in trouble but I'll say it anyway. The other thing that I always wondered about the client nine story and I don't know for sure whether this is true but there's another shadow figure that I wasn't able to include directly in the film But that is David boies. The the lawyer the famous lawyer. David boies is the attorney for Hank Greenberg. I always wondered given what we know now about David boies reaching out and a procuring a ruthless private eye firms for Harvey Weinstein whether or not. That was a job that he was given on the Spitzer case. I have no way of knowing whether it's true. I in retrospect I wonder about it. Yeah Roger Stone is just a character and I can't believe he's been doing it so long his tactics I think you're right. have suddenly become mainstream. They were dirty tricks but now they're Perhaps just the way things are done. That's right I think that's absolutely right in terms of comment about politics Roger Stone has managed to make Dirty tricks tricks that used to take place in the shadows of the political arena. He's brought them into the big ten. You're a documentarian and filmmaker. Your father was Frank Gibney Ebony. A longtime journalist editor author a famous in part for books that looked at power suspiciously like in communist Poland and the Soviet elite secret police. How did your Father Influence your work and your mission as a documentary filmmaker? I thought my father. I think my father influenced phones me. Greatly he was very proud of his Career as journalist even when he had become a businessman he was the vice chairman of the Board of Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. which while it had its own aditorial mission was also very much about business job but he was very proud of his work as a journalist? Both as a kind of a truth truth seeker and is somebody who attorney curious I think also in terms of his career. I'm afflicted with his same character flaw wall which was that instead of the classic road to power which is to suck up and kicked down as you're climbing the ladder you know. He had a tendency to suck down on kick up and so as a result he was fired from a number of his jobs at time. Newsweek in life etcetera the I think perhaps I was wise enough in my career Mostly worked for myself because I think I would have had a hard time working for other people But I think I was lucky along the way in terms of seeing some of my colleagues who in some of their early films were flattered Very extraordinarily because some of their early films were were were were great and much-heralded item much longer tougher road to get to the position of prominence in my career and as a result by the time I got there. I wasn't as a willing Or Susceptible to believe the bullshit so I think I had that advantage and I do think one of the things I think about now and I make a a documentary about somebody and I make a lot of documentaries about abuses power and I think the Spitzer film is one of those ones that I'm particularly proud of because I think I gave everybody nobody there say Ken Langone. I heard him tell other people who loved this film. He comes out with very different conclusions and I would come out of it with but he he feels I got Spitzer ride and I got him And I feel very proud of that because it seems to me. You have to make films particularly when you when people are willing linked to to Trust you with their testimony that you have to be true to what it is. They're trying to tell you and to embrace the contradictions. It's a of that testimony so that you feel you could watch that film while sitting next to them in a movie theater and be able to defend everything that you did. I think that's a hugely valuable eligible exercise that that that That to seat movie theater exercise where when you're watching cut and thinking man I'm really taking the to this guy right now. How you think to yourself wait a minute? What he was sitting next to me? Would I be able to look him or her in the eye and say this is fair. That's my test. You've covered a lot of interesting subjects in your career and a lot of interesting people just a casually wondering here If you had access and budget and everything you needed of anyone living today who would you do a film about and why well and this is an impossible task. But the person I'd wanted to a film about is Barack Obama but I fear that I would be disappointed because I wouldn't get the Barack Obama that I would want to make a film about the Barack Obama. I would want to make a film about his one who'd be ruthlessly honest and I don't think he's is prepared willing or able to do that at this moment is career. But I've never seen such an extraordinary mixture of high ideals Soaring rhetoric and yet in my view SHUJI disappointing craven Political actions that ultimately led to disastrous policies and and he is a God knows the difference between the principals and the actions and so it always made me wonder why he chose the path that he chose at a moment. When he could could've gone high he went low and yet at our lowest moment he was also able to go very high particularly when it came to try to unite us? You you know in a in a in a moment of great rhetorical flourish So you know if he were to be honest Barack Iraq Obama's the person. I'd like to make a film about fear. Can't be honest. Well if you happen to make the film I will be sure to watch it. Alex Gibney thank you so so much for joining us today on American scandal. Many thanks great pleasure. Thank.
"alex gibney" Discussed on American Scandal
"Today we wrap up our series on corruption in the state capital of Albany in New York. We started the series with the rise and fall of former New York attorney. General and Governor Eliot Spitzer his very public demise made national headlines. It was also the subject several years later documentary. Client nine the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer in two thousand eighteen. I spoke about that film with its Oscar. Winning Director Director Alex Gibney and the course of making the film Gibney interviewed Eliot Spitzer himself many of his enemies providing a much richer understanding of the scandal and of the corrosive effects of power especially Albany in addition to give these multiple emmys a grammy several peabody awards more. He's also won an academy award for for best documentary feature in two thousand seven for the film taxi to the dark side which he wrote and directed. He's the president and founder of Jigsaw productions and has been named by The New York Times and Esquire magazine as the most important and prolific documentarian of our time. Alice gibney joins us from Jigsaw Studio. In New York City the American scandal is sponsored by the capital one Walmart rewards card introducing the capital one Walmart rewards card earned and five percent back at Walmart online games for the kids headphones for that. A laptop for mom doesn't matter you get five percent back at Walmart online. You'll also learn. Learn two percent at Walmart in store restaurants and travel and one percent everywhere else when you want all that you need the capital one rewards car capital one Walmart rewards card. What's in your wallet? Turns exclusions apply capital one and a Alice Gibney thank you for joining me on this interview episode of American Scandal. Thank you Lindsey. Good to be here. You'll work work really spans. The gamut documentaries on scientology to musicians Frank Sinatra and James Brown and you've even executive producer cooking series on Netflix so given such breath. What draws you to a project? What about a subject gets you thinking? This needs to be a fill very very often. I'm drawn to stories That look behind the headlines once once the caravan of the twenty four seven news cycle has passed by a a lot of evidence and a lot of detail and sometimes the various central meaning of historians left behind. People have decided what the story is about and they've moved on Twenty Four Seven Caravan. So I'm intrigued at what the real story is and and what people missed And so in the case of the Eliot Spitzer tale I found a number of interesting things about offered this story By a group of people who who thought I should take it on and I was initially a not so interested because it just seemed like a garden variety sex scandal but the more I thought about out of the more interesting it became. I mean this was the sheriff of Wall Street who goes down just a few months before the world economy explodes That timing seemed interesting to me then. The whole idea of there was a kind of murder on the Orient Express quality to this which is to say that Spitzer was going after some of the Titans of industry and banking And as a group they ended up taking him down so it seemed to me a pretty interesting story about tower on how power really works. And we'd like to think that people in government are more powerful than private industry. Maybe it's not so maybe it's more of a bare knuckle brawl than we think. Then there was the whole issue of Of how we went down that is to say the sex scandal and I was interested in the sexual politics as well as the electoral politics. So for all those reasons it seemed a very interesting story to explore in two thousand. Seven Eliot Spitzer is elected governor. He spent eight years. As new. York's Attorney General and earned the moniker on occur. The Sheriff of Wall Street fighting corruption in the financial industry. He was a hero for a lot of people and seem too big. Too Big to jail right. Were you living in New York time where you admire. I was in the New York area. I live in the great incorrupt state of New Jersey but I work in New York so of course I was intensely interested in what was going on in New York and I. I certainly wasn't admirers spits. I thought he was fulfilling an important function. Now he may have been legislating from the Attorney General's office but frankly I thought he was doing something that needed to be done. which was to hold the power? Our of Wall Street in check because They were patiently violating the rules. That we regard you know in a kind of idealistic way. Way is essential to the functioning of of good markets and fairness in the economy And he was going up and punching a lot of these people in the nose and basically saying you can't can't just be corrupt. I'M GONNA I'M GONNA come down on you. Come down on you hard. Because as the Attorney General of New York state I have purview over the financial industry. And so he was one of the few people willing to take them those people on which I found really interesting and I think frankly could've been president He he was one of the few politicians democratic politicians who pulled higher among men than women So because he was a law and order a guy Guys like them and women locked in to because he was trying to stick up for the underdog so I think he had. An opportunity has not fallen so far to to become president of the United States. I think he was on his way then. Of course just a year after becoming governor He's connected to a prostitution ring. which really no one was expecting given his law and order background when when you were researching this and thinking about the sexual scandal aspect what was interesting about that? Portion of the story from a filmmakers perspective. was there one single question you needed to answer. I wouldn't say there was one question but there were a number of questions. The first thing was why escorts you know one have an affair or And and then I also wanted to know a lot more more about the world of escorts because of course the world escorts and And when we say escorts I mean very high. End High priced prostitutes or sex workers So they catered to the financial industry and of course As it turns out they also catered to the attorney general and governor but but So so I was interested in. Why would a- crusading law-abiding Attorney General? And why would he turn to an escort service which is of course illegal in New York state And I you know and then I also wanted to know more about it. Like who was this Ashley Dupre. It turned out that actually she was not at the heart of the story. She was rather peripheral referral character. But I did find somebody who is at the heart of the story so there were a lot of interesting threads to pull on in order to be able to understand understand the sexual part of the Spitzer scandal and who was it that you found that you thought was at the heart of the story. We found a woman WHO's not named. She's called Angelina in the film. But this was a woman who had a great many assignations with Spitzer and indeed would travel travel to meet him while he was on the road which was one of the reasons that she was in the sights of the Department of Justice because the Department of Justice We're was trying to make a man act case against Spitzer and the man act is a much reviled of piece piece of a legislation. which makes it illegal to travel with a woman across state lines for immoral purposes? What ultimately Nail Jack Johnson Johnson.
"alex gibney" Discussed on Slate's The Gist
"Character in a story so the story and this one was hugely compelling you have a guy who goes from nothing to the very top all the way back down to nothing again and then rises. This is the kind of You know dissident in exile so that was incredibly compelling and also it tells us a lot about Putin along the way which I thought was hugely useful useful coming out of the two thousand sixteen election. Yes the American election that is and suddenly we want to know. Well how does Russia work right. Because I don't think we'd been paying too much attention to Russia to be honest with you. I mean quite properly. We should have seen them as a threat. That's containable unless you have of someone at the highest reaches of power seeking to let them out of their box right and to secure influence way beyond say their economic might now Russia's still a potent nuclear power. Yeah and so you know. There's that reckoning well Ukraine nukes people don't realize this they're like nine countries with nukes Ukraine's one in life South Africa wants to they could re up their program. Israel has nukes should. They won't say they will. But they do but they do What is your technique? I've talked to errol Morris and some other documentaries heave even invented an apparatus for doing an interview where I have a variation on the apparatus that well his his apparatus is called the interior tron shots. So I have a thing called. I called Tony Tron. It's much more low tech is it. It's called a Tony Tron. 'cause it was built by Tony Rossi one of my one of the cameraman. I like to use and it's basically a wooden box with mirrors and so you put it over The Lens the Lens looks forward and then you sit off to the side and then you mask yourself with you. Know a some kind of a barrier so the person's looking into the Lens and then they see you the difference with arrows devices that you know you can hear me in the room. I'm pretty close host. That person physically right and in this case we also had a further problem. which was that? I don't speak Russian so we had a kind of simultaneous translation system. So that while we're talking could be a conversation without us. Having to wait for a translator to give the answer. He speaks English he he does is understand English and he speaks English haltingly but I think he felt if he's telling his story he wanted to be able to express himself in a sophisticated way. And in the Tony Neutron what is he so it gives the appearance that he is making eye contact directly with the audience. He's looking right into the barrel of the land. What are you looking at so I'm looking at? I'm a minute ninety degree angle. I'm looking right at him and he sees me because of the mirrors in the box. What are you lose if it's just the standard you know if a TV TV network does a shoot? The usually the way to do it is the questionnaire will sit off camera and the person in the interview will make eye contact backed off camera. And that's what we'll say sure we won't see someone staring into the length. So what are the benefits and law so you know the benefit in this case was with hotter Kofsky you separate him out from the others so he becomes the key character. He's the only person for whom I use the entire Tron. Some people do that differently too but in this. I've done that in a number of films were certain key characters. I will shoot with the Tony Tron and the other ones. I'll sit just off camera to emphasize a slightly different role. I think the benefits you get out of the person looking directly at the viewer is it feels more intimate. I mean you're looking right into. There is the disadvantages you. Sometimes I forget that you know. It's an apparatus it can feel forced sometimes but I. I like the vibe depending on the situation for me I I I. I very the approach. Depending on what I'm trying to accomplish when you're doing a documentary not on a historic figure so not on Jimi Hendrix. After he died but on someone who's right there in the room with you Do you find it more challenging more satisfying to do it with someone on who is at least ambiguous then to do it with someone who is clearly heroic clearly evil villainess. Yeah because I think like if when I think about your current subject when I think about the Spitzer documentary other one that's even when I think about some some of the Enron stuff I think you really really like the ambiguous characters. I'm interested in the gray You know and I think that good documentaries invest in the gray and propaganda is just the opposite. There's a line in the film where it's over. Time pools of grace separate into black and white that had to do with the propaganda into surrounding the mayor's the story around the mayor Where the story gets clearer and clearer but not necessarily more true? I'm pretty interested in the grey because because I think one of our one of our big problems and and for which the documentary can be. A solution is to invest in complexity. You know not without a sense of moral direction but a sense that we all have failings we all have greatness within us and it's exploring that because too often it becomes a very easy task for people to say. Well I'm a good guy and that person's a bad guy therefore all we have to do is get rid rid of the bad guys and everything will be fine well. I think there's all a little bit of good and bad and there's a there's a bit of good and bad and all of us and the better we understand that the the better off. We'll be I think. Alex Gibney is the director of Citizen K. It's about the trials literal and figurative of the former Russian oligarch Mikhail. Well depending on the city you live in. It might be playing now. Eventually it'll show up on Amazon great to talk to you greg. Thanks.
"alex gibney" Discussed on Slate's The Gist
"Citizen. K is the story of Mikhail. I WANNA pronounce the right holder off ski. It's the K- and the sort of sounds like an H.. When you say it in Russian he was one of the preeminent Russian oligarchs after after communism fell and this version of cartoon capitalism or gangster capitalism took hold and he ran huge companies including Yukos which was the oil company of Russian if Russia? And you know I'll which pretty much puts him as the richest one of the richest men in all of the Post Soviet Union Union. He was allowed to operate under the auspices of Ladimir Putin until he wasn't his story. His whole story is told by the filmmaker maker. Alex Gibney in the new documentary citizen K. Thanks for joining me. Alex great to be here. So this is the title is a reference Prince Two Kafka Kafka and also citizen Kane. It's a double. Hey it's a double whammy. Yeah because okay so citizen Kane Charles Foster Kane I guests in Xanadu he did Did Kubla Khan Stately Pleasure Dome Decree and we have We have Khodorkovsky's compound and we documented riches and we see the rise and fall and there is no Rosebud but it is definitely dramatic in so far as it is a classic arc. It's it's a classic Arkan. And over time he inhabits more the Kafka character he gets involved in Kafka esque nature of the Russian judicial system and the K. becomes a little bit more evidence story. Let's set up some history because this is what you do in the documentary. Communism Ends Gorbachev Yeltsin is a oftentimes drunk and kind of clueless leader. But what Yeltsin does he strikes a deal with the oligarchs who are clever enough to have taken advantage of the system. At the time I'm basically he mortgages Russia's wealth he gives them he gives them an enormous amount of power and they use it and from the very beginning there's very clever Khodorkovsky guy who started off in banking and then quickly went into our not so quickly went into the extract of energy. He benefits fits tremendously but mainly because he's very smart very clever and knows how to take advantage of an opportunity. That's right I mean. He actually started off PEDDLING BLACK-MARKET BLUEJEANS. Yeah and computers. And then he gets a GRUB steak he gets a bank and he starts figuring out how to trade in these weird vouchers that they had were they they were they created gated a voucher system to try to you know get everybody involved and interested in the whole idea of capitalism so you know for small and medium size enterprises they create vouchers authors and most people didn't know what to do them but people I cough ski knew that you if you bought a bunch of them up on the cheap the next thing you knew you were owning companies right but the big deal all that you refer to. It was called the loans for shares deal and basically in one thousand nine hundred six when Yeltsin was running for election and he had a three percent approval rating reading and he was running against the Communist. Everyone is afraid it was going to go back to communism so the deal but he was in a Yeltsin was a bad way. He couldn't pay pensions and salaries right. So he went to the oligarchs as they were called for money and they said sure we'll enter some money but the collateral will be the huge companies. This huge state owned companies that the state still owns the time. And that's how basically Khodorkovsky got for a song on this huge oil company called Yukos right and I think he paid three hundred the US equivalent of three hundred something million and it's worth five billion dollars so now he's one of the richest men in Russia. The guys on the TV stations are one of the richest men in Russia at the same time a somewhat low level bureaucrat and knows the system they move Ladimir Putin is rising to power. When do their paths had cross in a meaningful way well? He pointed president on Y. Two K. by Boris Yeltsin Yeltsin steps. Down and says. Here's my man he's GonNa take over and and as a leader he initially takes you know he's regarded by the oligarchs is kind of a liberal. He's going to invest themselves and liberal capitalism any sends a message the oligarchy. Look you guys are great. You're you know how to do business. And so long as you guys stay out of politics we won't have any problem. Yeah and I would you say. He held up to that end of the bargain. Not exactly I mean. He moves against two of the oligarchs pretty quickly. The ones who who owned television or media empires right and Putin took a big lesson from the ninety six election of Yeltsin which was where there was a lot of fakery by the so-called liberals that help to get Yeltsin and power and Putin's lesson was if you control the media you control your political well destiny. Well this is why I say not that he is has ever done anything ethically but if you just strictly look at if you stay out of politics if you own a media company you're going to inevitably do do news content and that news content. If it's anything close to nonprofit Ganda is going to perhaps reflect poorly on a leader which is what happened but at the same time I am is Putin sees it through his very black and white but probably realistic lands. You are interfering with politics. Essentially chases those two guys out of Russia correct correct. Yeah and then. The next person who's on on the hitlist was a Michael Hotter Kofsky. Yeah and Kofsky starts to take an interest in politics. Takes people accused him a buying seats in the Duma the representative body in Russia and he became more and more interested in promoting civic values and also promoting voting transparency in the economic sphere for some altruistic reasons than some selfish reasons. The selfish reasons were that he was embarking or wanting to embark Econo- merger with Exxon Mobil and that REX Tillerson isn't in the documentary. But he could have been he could have been and so so. That's one where Vladimir Putin takes notice for a couple of reasons one transparency to the idea of handing over Russia's natural resources to foreign company right right and not maybe not getting a stake in it and also creating maybe he sees that this will create an hutter off ski A very very powerful figure who is aligned with Exxon on mobile veteran just exon Who's aligned with Exxon and the other thing that Khodorkovsky does to inject himself in the politics in this big nationally. Televised Conference on corruption goes right Putin right at Putin. He basically accuses Putin of corruption. There was a crooked oil oil deal that had been done where you know. A tiny oil companies suddenly sold itself for you. Know a fantastic multiple to a pal of Putin's and How to ski called him out on it and very quickly you can see kind of Putin's eyes light up and he starts to say well you know you're not so clean yourself autopsy which was true New York but in a few months after that conference executives from Yukos started to be arrested and and by the conference was marked by October Holocaust himself was arrested? So why does he think. And why do you think that Putin didn't do to him. What he does to people who bother him he can have them killed? You can have them disappeared. He could just not care about so-called when we talk about public sentiment. It wasn't overwhelming there. Weren't you huge protests sweeping cities it. Was He got some support. So what's the theory about. Why Putin let him go? Look I think sometimes it's more beneficial. Oh politically again. We don't know Putin thought but just guessing it's sometimes more politically beneficial not to create martyrs 'cause smarter stand for something and particularly a martyr whose inside the country right so you have a guy in a prison. In Russia he stands for something and people keep beating the drum of. Here's as a dissident who's standing up for you know Democracy and all that so and he's getting tremendous international pressure at a time when he wants to hold the socio Olympics so for all sorts of reasons maybe you know he lets the pressure off himself. The political pressure off himself by by letting Hanako ski not only not doing anything to him but letting them out so that he can leave the country. Did you want to do this documentary because of the events the the milieu that we're talking about or because of the character. I mean whenever I do a documentary. I'm always looking for a character in a story. That's compelling yes you know because people come to Milan say once you do something on this issue and my thing is well. That's an interesting issue. But why should there be a film about it. Unless there's a compelling character.
"alex gibney" Discussed on Slate's The Gist
"It's Digest Mike Pasqua. Hey good for chuck todd the meet the press moderator Raider noticed and reacted to an egregious attempt by Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana to muddy the waters on supposed Ukrainian election interference so good for Chuck Bat bad for Democracy. But it isn't every interviewer who would recognize the shading of the truth. Kennedy was involved in and would react with appropriate. I really well done. Let's listen. I believe that the reporting by the Washington examiner you should read the articles chuck. They're very well documented and I believe that a Ukrainian medium district court in December two thousand eighteen slapdown several you came from Ukrainian officials for meddling in our elections evaluation allegation of Ukrainian law. Now I didn't report those facts. Reputable journalists reported those facts. Does that mean that. That Ukrainian the Ukrainian in Leaders were more aggressive than Russian. No Russia was very aggressive. And they're much more sophisticated. Okay stop it here up until now. This had been a hard hitting interview interview where todd rightly pushed back on most of Kennedy's descriptions and characterizations. He was justifiably. Skeptical and Kennedy goes all fancy bear on us us and todd just can't believe it here was that but the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poros Shinko. Yeah actively worked for Secretary Clinton now if I'm wrong and they work for Secretary I mean my goodness wait a minute. Senator Kennedy you now have the president of Ukraine saying he actively worked for the Democratic nominee for president. I mean now come on I mean I got to put up. You realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States. It's is this man Vladimir Putin good job chuck. It's an outrageous claim. And I bet that most interviewers wouldn't have been so correctly apoplectic that it have been more genteel. Maybe they wouldn't have even noticed it. The difference between how an interviewer acts and what that interviewer points to as beyond the Pale it really matters Adar's it as the audience for weeks. In fact I've been sitting on this interview that was done by axios. Is Jim Vanda high. He was interviewing the head of customs and border. Control troll Mark Morgan and he was talking about the exact people and kinds of people who are setting the policies of enforcement but it's Donald Trump. It's Mike Pence it's you you can Kuching Alley at Stephen Miller then you look at the undersecretaries acting undersecretaries in the director's every single one of a white man. What do you think that the people who are affected by these policies like need representation potentially from the fifty one percent of Americans who are female eighteen percent Hispanic thirteen percent are African? Americans is Jim I again. I think the premise of that question is is is a false premise reality premises that's the data and that's who I disagree because you're saying because we're white somehow there's an issue there so because the white eight-man you're dealing with something that affects a we should be judged by the by the content of character not the fact that I'm a white male without even getting into the inadequacy of how Morgan answered answered the question. Vanda high was absolutely right to stand up for his premise. There was nothing wrong with the premise. Morgan may object to what he perceives as the insinuation relation. He might cite reasons why that doesn't matter but the premise is the premise. And Morgan doesn't get to reject it just because it makes him feel uncomfortable. There's a lot of bad interviewing out there. I try not to commit to much of it myself. But when good questions and good technique and good emphasis occurs. I say we should highlight it and so we have on the show today how I spent my four day weekend. Maybe you're like me yet. So many of your optimistic plans is come crashing down on the rocky shoals of intention a fairly possibly overly full accounting of me attempting to two hundred thirty errands in the sleet a a slog through cat sickness cardboard box management and credential removal issues. We all have them as challenging as it is raw but first speaking of Russia and aren't we always speaking of Russia to understand Vladimir Putin's rise to power it helps to understand who he took it from the documentarian. Alex Gibney has a fascinating fascinating film out about one oligarch who got on Putin's wrong side and pay a huge price citizen K with director. Alex Gibney up next. This episode is brought to you by they all birds. Everyone loves a gift they can feel good in and good about and every give her wants to give the best gift all birds of the perfect shoot a gift and to get this holiday season. So if you're gifter or getter or a drifter or regret or all birds are good for you unless you're a gifted because all birds the bonafide thing the real deal. They're stylish they're comfortable. They're sustainable. I'm wearing them right now. I'm wearing the kind of all birds. Shoes who's known as the toppers like high tops but all birds way to call just gone high tops. Mine are this nice very nice texture and the shoelaces laces. They're like the on noodles of laces. They have a large islet and a large aglet when the aglet cousin the islet you know you have derived all birds are the perfect gift to make the holidays a little less uncomfortable for everyone on your list. Give the gift of comfort this holiday season. Get a pair for yourself at all. BIRDS DOT COM.
"alex gibney" Discussed on Kickass News
"Has been called the most consequential documentary filmmaker of our time. He won an Oscar and seven Emmys for his work that includes among other films going clear scientology in the prison of belief. We Steal Secrets. The story of wikileaks. Mea Maxima Copa Silence in the House of God Enron. The smartest guy in the room. Client nine the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer Casino Jack in the United States rates of money and taxi to the dark side now. His latest film citizen K takes a look at one of Russia's most controversial figures Mikhail Khordokovsky the Russian oil oligarch who ran afoul of Vladimir Putin and ended up spending ten years in prison as a result citizen K opens in theaters November. Twenty Second Alex Gibney Welcome. Thanks man. Could it be here. Well you shot part of this documentary in Russia. Weren't you a little bit concerned about traveling to Russia to make a film about the man who has probably Vladimir Putin's biggest rival. Well it was. It was a bit concerning. But but everything went fine We kept a low profile and It was a lot easier shooting Russia than in a shooting in China. A really interesting house out well in China at least the last time I shot there. You're you're you're always tale by minders and Well we we may have been tailed. I didn't I certainly didn't notice it. In our our phones and Computers Pewter were suffused with malware but other than that everything went will find in citizen K as I mentioned at the top you profile the Russian oil oligarchy turned political prisoner during anti-putin activist Mikhail Khordokovsky. What did you find most compelling about the Khordokovsky Story? Well you know in the wake of the two two thousand sixteen election. Of course I was interested like most Americans were in Russia and I don't think we've been paying much attention to Russia And and what had happened there. Since the fall of the Soviet Union I was interested in how power worked in Russia and the Holocaust stories seemed like a really good way of of understanding that he was a guy who rose up from nothing to become a Russia's richest man really then went toe to toe with Putin calling him out for corruption spent spent ten years in a Siberian prison so now having been at the top he was now at the very bottom. Who's he his? Only power was ability to kill himself which he threatened to do on a number of hunger strikes and then he's finally Sent in exile. He's pardoned and sent an exile and lives lives now in London is kind of an the anti Putin activists so it seemed like a pretty good way of figuring out how Russia works in this film is also equally about this interesting era in Russian Russian history that sort of gets lost between the Cold War and the Russia Vladimir Putin which is the gangster capitalism of the nineties in Russia. How did that ecosystem allow for a banker with relatively humble beginnings like Khordokovsky to become a billionaire oligarch in a relatively short period of time? The answer was he wasn't even a banker when he started he was Selling black market blue jeans and computers He may have been given a GRUB stick by somebody but in any the event one of the things he did like many of the oligarchs was he began buying up these so-called vouchers. And these you know In the Soviet era era private enterprise was illegal. It wasn't just not practice. It was illegal in in interning to capitalism awesome What they decided to do was in the case of small to medium sized companies they issued a number of vouchers that that represented a small stake in them and they had a kind of a cash value but for those people who are super smart and understood how the system works and very few people did the system that is to say of capitalism And you could buy and sell those vouchers and pretty quickly ended up with rather sizeable stakes in in a number different companies. And that's what Hotta Kofsky did. That led him then to become a banker and he became a banker for a time You know in charge of doling out. Pensions and salaries to government workers curse and then used his clout as a banker ultimately to lend money to the government which they couldn't pay back which got him a globe gurgling. Battling Oil Company called Yukos. And that's how we got to be Russia's richest man but that's a kind of shorthand for what was like the wild west list of capitalism. There were no rules just the kind of world that Many in the Republican Party would like us to return to an and Khordokovsky can be a little bit cagey when he's pressed about this part of his story sort of only hints with a little bit of a grin at his own complicity in the corruption in the nineties. Was it challenging to get him to be forthcoming about that. I think so I mean look I think his his view and look we have a lot of archive of him. at the time I'm talking about how effectively greed is good. How how proud he was of being greedy? I think he saw it as a game and And he admits his much and he he says it was unfair. He doesn't go into as much detail as I might have liked but I think it's it's true that in a world where there were. We're no rules. He figured out how to make or how to take advantage and he took ruthless advantage and one explanation that he leans on and several eleven people. Bring up in. This film is They say what happened in Russia in the nineties is that the laws couldn't keep up with capitalism. Were a lot of the things that allegoric like him did in the nineties. Technically legal at the time Tarleton hope because the law was in such a fluid state and and that's of course what ultimately landed him in prison. You know he was put in prison the first time for tax evasion. He wasn't doing anything different than anybody was doing at the time. That may or may not have been illegal depending Dan how you interpreted the laws the the scary thing about Russian. The ninety s was the rule of law was both so anemic and so fluid and and it's a pretty you know glaring example of what can happen when the rule of law is disarray and And alongside this. We see this meteoric rise of Vladimir Putin almost out of nowhere it seems he arrives in Moscow is a bureaucrat and Yeltsin's government into in I think within three years he was prime minister. I've always wondered. How did he manage that well? He had interesting friends in powerful places as an ultimately he became a very good Operatic somebody who could get things done and one oligarch Boris Berezovsky. The ski was particularly fond of him as well as a close associate of Yeltsin's. A guy named you. Masha and they kept pushing him him forward with Yeltsin so much. So that on Y two K. That is to say that the day all the clocks change from the nineties to two thousand Putin was was appointed president by Yeltsin and so he didn't come in as an as an elected official he was appointed to the position which she's interesting? He was not really a politician except in the sense that he had the skill of an actor that he was able to amass having been a spy because he had been in the KGB and then the FSB but also once once he got into power he understood very quickly how to manipulate crises to his advantage and also ultimately how to take over The means of communication particularly the two major networks that literally made him into a kind of bond like superhero so as a really instructive instructive rise to power. That's not unlike in in some ways Our current president in the United States right and and there is this sub plot of the film how you demonstrate how he consolidated control over the media particularly television now. We've all all seen the propaganda of Putin riding horses with his shirt off and darting tigers or traveling to remote villages and interacting with locals. And I heard that you said that. Those interactions with so-called everyday Russians are actually manufactured. They're actors right well. This is something that's it's not in the film but something I learned since then and I'm told though I haven't confirmed though others tell me I it's accurate. Is that when he does these sort of You know a vox pop moments. where he he he goes by the side of the road and get an ice cream cone? That if you do face recognition software the people. Oh he interacts with her. Basically the same ten people were being sent around the country to play various roles this week. I want to be the ice cream guy. No I want to be the banker this time. Uh that kind of thing now window Putin and quarter costes worlds begin to intersect. Well very quickly. I mean Lean Putin is appointed as president in two thousand Literally the clocks tick into the next at century and At the time how to Kofsky was one of Russia's richest man he he not only had been running a bank thank but now was running. You know Russia's biggest oil company so they were immediately going to come into contact over and it seemed like nick you know how to Kaczynski himself says he thought Oh Jeez Putin is a reformer. He's younger guy. A new generation things are going to work out great That turned out not to be right and there was a famous televised forum on corruption. In two thousand three and in in that forum how to Kofsky literally called out Putin and accused him of corruption A few months later Khodorkovsky was in a Siberian prison. I think what he was calling him out over was another company's purchase of a Russian oil company. I think in sort of a a no bid contract type of deal deal. Is it fair to say that. Initially at least quarter Kofsky was really only interested in fighting corruption to the extent that it adversely affected his own business. Yes well I think that's right and I think I mean it was to his advantage. Also in another way which is he was interested in possibly merging with Exxon Mobil and to that end and suddenly it became enormously advantageous to him to engage in more transparent business practices so that he could actually engage in contracts with big business the West so I think it was in his interest for a number of reasons. Possibly you know in order to vitiate rivals and but but certainly to be able to pursue a very big deal with Exxon Mobil which Putin did not want done for a number of reasons. One is oil was considered very much of a The National Energy source at want that Putin wanted to maintain Russian control over and to the idea of bringing in transparent Business methods to what had been sort of gangster capitalist model was not something ultimately that was in his long-term interests that is to say Putin's long-term interests now after that televised showdown between Putin and Khordokovsky. One can imagine that he probably had a good sense that the heat was on and knew that he was likely to be arrested at some point. Why didn't he just take the money and flee the country? Why did he stay? That's the hundred million dollar question I asked him that question and he said you know. He had a company to protect and he wasn't going to give up his dignity. He wasn't going to back down. Because there are a number of indicators pretty strong indicators that he was GONNA be arrested a number of people a number of executives in his company were arrested before him and so it was clear that that things were closing in. I think there was a a certain amount of arrogance to it. You know. He had Amassed he had amassed a lot of influence in the Russian Duma the representative body in Russia And he was a very powerful businessman. I think he he he perhaps he thought he could face down Putin or if putting was going to put them in prison. Maybe you don't have to do a a year or two But I think that You know it was. It was a combination of Hubris and also determination not to would be pushed around by Putin. And how bad was the prison where he was sent for ten years. It wasn't good. I mean you know it was it was. It was very far away. You you know when his family wanted to visit him. It took them five days to get there. It's sort of where China and Mongolia and Russia. All meet and it's just a few miles from Russia's one of Russia's big uranium mines You know they were sort of Hash dealers. There it was it was a it was not a friendly sort of white collar prison. It was. It was a tough place in in fact in the middle of the night one night. Somebody tried to take out Hanako. Skis I with a shift so so it was It was a tough place and at one point he starts using hunger strikes to protest. How did he come to that well? The first time was in a sort sort of a local prison before he's sent off to Siberia and one of his executives was put into a very rough jail and and how to Kofsky protested that he protested with what he called a dry hunger-strike. I hadn't realized that there was a distinction between door dry and wet but but dry hunger-strike means no food no water and that means you die very quickly your blood pressure rises and you have to be sure that there there's as how to causing explain to me..
Scientology Network set for TV launch
"Of scientology is starting its own television channel the scientology tv network is up and running on direct tv apple tv roku fire tv chrome cast i tunes and google play a tweet from the scientology tv account says it's time for us to tell our story several high profile investigations of scientology have highlighted alleged abuses of former members including leah remedies an e docu series scientology and the aftermath and alex gibney emmy winning documentary going clear scientology and the prison of belief a new hampshire woman who won nearly five hundred sixty million dollars in a powerball drawing can stay anonymous a judge has ruled but judge charles temple says her hometown won't stay a secret temple wrote that he had no doubts that if the woman's identity was revealed she would the russian military he says it has run a successful test of a nuclearcapable hypersonic missile that could sneak through enemy defences a video posted by the defense ministry sunday showed a make thirty one fighter jet launching missile jeering training flight the ministry sent the missile which carried a conventional warhead hint practice talk it out of firing range in southern russia president vladimir putin named the record dagga missile among russia's new nuclear weapons that would bolster the nation's military capability and render the us missile defense useless puting says it flies ten times faster than the speed of sound has a range of more than two thousand kilometers and can carry a nuclear or conventional warhead your paul and the newsprint turn hot spring plus yeah cover right getting an amazing iphone eight because they have an all glass.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z announce "On the Run II" tour
"The scientology tv network is up and running on direct tv apple tv roku fire tv chrome cast i tunes and google play a tweet from the scientology tv account says it's time for us to tell our story several high profile investigations of scientology have highlighted alleged abuses of former members including leah remedies a e docu series scientology and the aftermath and alex gibney emmy winning documentary going clear scientology and the prison of belief jay z are heading out on the road together this summer and fall i stadium tour they're on the run to tour kicks off june sixth cardiff wales the tour will hit fifteen cities across the uk and europe and twenty one cities of north america including boston detroit new orleans houston los angeles atlanta and miami the torah is a reprised of the couple's two thousand fourteen on the run for that took them across north america and two dates in paris the paris shows.