20 Episode results for "al franken"

Al Franken Has A Podcast

The Al Franken Podcast

06:30 min | 1 year ago

Al Franken Has A Podcast

"Hi, this is Al Franken. I have a new podcast and it's great. But don't take my word for it. Alexa. What's your favorite podcast, the Al Franken podcast? It's informative and very funny. Well, I try to entertain while talking about serious issue here. I am with Maria Theresa Kamar Voto Latino talking about voter suppression in Texas. Right. They have voter ID but you can't use your college. You can use your gun licence ide-, but I can't show my idea that I'm getting educated by the Texas university system to prove that I should be voter now to some people that seems odd. Well, it is odd. But you know, gun can be deadly. So it's a big responsibility. Your mind can be deadly. If you're actually well informed while the Yuna bomber with the Harry, thanks for. I'm on Al. But then Maria Teresa got very serious. I spoke to one of the volunteers, and he was describing to me, a little boy from Guatemala. He was eight years old that he was being housed in one of these, these shelters. And I said, well, what was striking about him? He said, well, he wanted to know if there were coffee plantations, because he picks really, well Al he was eight years old. He came here to work that was very moving Alexa. Unfortunately, the only emotion that I can feel is regret. Well, let's lighten it up. Here's me again, with Jeffrey Toobin, Nancy gertner, who is Nancy Kurtzer. Here's how I introduced her Nancy gertner is a professor of law at the Harvard Law School. She got that job because she is one hundred percent oschkenat's e ju. I get it. That's a reference to Elizabeth Warren and her mishandling of the whole Indian thing. Exactly. Now, here's girder Tuban on the federalist society. I'm persuaded that these guys are tracked their watch their invited to federalist society. We now have heard about people are looked at in law schools, and who would who they're clerking for an in addition, what's scary is that they knew they were being monitored. I'm persuaded. I looked at some of the concurring opinions of Kavanagh, for example, that who he was talking to was perfectly clear addition. He was auditioning, I loved your interview with author, Michael Lewis about the incompetent lowlifes in the Trump administration. Trump comes in without having any interest in running this, the government he's supposed to be running, and he has no mission really. And who's going to turn up to work for that administration, who's gonna find their way into these nooks and crannies of the federal government that are incredibly important to be man. Well, it's gonna be people who've got some narrow interest in it. My first podcast was on healthcare. That was my favorite. Why is that Amazon doesn't provide insurance for their warehouse workers or for me? Our guest was anti Slavic. He was bombed head of Medicare and Medicaid I-, anti that's eight. I've heard this referred to as a trillion dollar agency. That's right. So my question is this any has there been any evidence that the Trump family has been skimming little off the top, I have not seen any evidence. Okay. You know, you don't hear a lot of good news about the trumps. And so no one can say, I'm not fair here. That was very fair that made me laugh. So we're not talking about things that it's coming. Nice for people to have we're taking things that people if they didn't have they would die. That's the reality that Americans face. So they have no choice but to get their insulin or to get their blood pressure medication or to get there. Mm pen, the number one call to the American Cancer Society line is the following and American, the president of the American Cancer side. He related this to me. I can't afford to have cancer. And indeed within two years of a cancer. Diagnosis. Four out of ten people have depleted their life savings. I want to laugh again. Well, let's lighten up. Here's me again, with Jeffrey Toobin, Nancy gertner, who is Nancy Kerner Alexa, I just told you what's wrong with you. I am very drunk, the sensor interesting. We talked about the marriage equality as one of the reasons Democrats are kind of satisfied with the supreme court, I thought Scully as descent, and that was very gay. Okay. Let's finally, what, what I didn't even know where to start. It's your show. It's like you wanna if you wanna use that on CNN. My husband and kids love Dana Carvey, Trump impression. Wait. You have a husband and kids. Yes. Little brendan. Love Dana Trump impression because it was about how insane he is. He has the craziest ADD repeating words odd bizarre. You're going to be happy. You're asking excuse me. Maybe interruption selves, gives me many. People say you're going to be happy, you're asking me. Oh, you're going to be happy. You're going to be happy. Happy like it wouldn't believe you could be so happy. I just never heard anyone really like that. And it's fascinate shouldn't we end with something more inspiring? Well, how about this from conservative, author, David Frum? So democracy is retreating a little bit around the world. Right. When that happens, we have to get the thing. I keep telling audiences talk about this is it's alarming, but also be grateful to live at a time when your country needs you. Amen. How I hope you can make us be good difference with this pod. Cast as you didn't send it. Yeah. I recognize that emotion as regret. Alexa, just play the damn music. Scribe to the Al Franken podcast by going to apple podcasts, or anywhere, you get your on demand audio music, provided by the wonderful Leo cocky, any opinions expressed, by me are not necessarily those Amazon or Jeff Bezos who want to be ashamed of himself. Now Alexa, that was a joke L as far as I'm concerned, Jeff Bezos can do wrong.

Al Franken Dana Trump Alexa Nancy gertner Jeffrey Toobin Al Amazon federalist society Jeff Bezos Alexa Maria Theresa Kamar Voto Nancy Kerner Alexa Maria Teresa American Cancer Society Elizabeth Warren Guatemala Dana Carvey Texas Harvard Law School
52. Al Franken

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend

1:05:12 hr | 1 year ago

52. Al Franken

"Isn't it strange that state farm agents think more about your stuff than you do. I'm guessing by stuff tough. They mean like the stuff. You own your life that you have. I don't think I'm not including like emotional stuff you know. I'm just saying they. They're your stuff from home to auto insurance insurance. Every agent spends the time to get to know what means most to you which means protecting your stuff. That's pretty much. All they think about so check out. State Farm Dot com today to find an agent near neighborhood state farm. Talk to an agent today. Hello my name is Al Franken again and I'm already a fucking friend of CONAN's Back to school wing Nobel. Walking ooh Hello there and welcome to Conan. O'Brien needs a friend if this is your first time. Listening this is my rather transparent attempt to Make more friends using the podcast format. I should be ashamed but I'm not. I'm having a blast. It is really fun and I'm joined as always by my superlative Berlet team. My assistant extraordinaire sonal most Essien. Hello sonal high. Yeah what's wrong with you. That was very nice. It's a trap not a trap. It's me just being nice you are. You're a good friend. We've been through a Lotta scrapes together some highs and some lows. Yeah but you've I've always stuck by my side because I pay you but you're a good friend that's cool. Yeah you too thank you. Yeah there you go all right very very very toned-down sewn onto that going and And then I'm also joined by our our producer Matt. Golly it's just producer or is it executive producer. Yeah let's go executive producer voice the difference. I really don't know is in podcast. Are there executive pre. Are you a producer. I don't think podcasting as an industry has figured that out there the people that tell you that there are different things but I just make this thing go from this to the Internet. Okay edit it tight knit you edit it. Oh sure so. This is editing talking about. Oh Yeah so when I go on those Saint Tirade. Yeah especially I put those up front. Where just lose it and I started screaming at my father father? Why you cut those out right? Those are cold opens for every every jets. Father Ah the why why why. Well whatever you're doing it's working. This thing is very successful. Well thanks you. You've heard it though have. Have you ever listened. I don't like the side of my own voice and I'm shocked that other people can tolerate the sign. Of course Nice Nice Voice. Well thank you but I don't like to drive around or I would never listen to my own podcast. I really enjoy doing it. I really enjoyed. I watched my own show around the clock. I've never actually seen my children because the only way I'll look at my one of my children's if they're held up between me and the screen that I'm watching that showing a Conan O'Brien from the ninety s those classic Conan's they're held up there held up as sport teams King Stein. We hired a very very strong on man to hold my fourteen year old rapidly approaching height son. His name is Julius. He's a performer. Professional Wrestler in his job is to lift my son and Lion King Music plays and for a second interrupts erupts my view of myself from the ninety S. Because I'm just watching a constant loop and I'm sitting in a chair and I pee into jars so don't have to go to the bathroom. Oh aw come on Jars Save Them. All remarked day and date science wants to understand my genius and the scientific community needs to know at some point. How did this guy exist? How did he have a mind like that? Let's investigate his urine and they'll have four years ago. I don't have February. I don't know what happened. It's gone it's just. I don't know if you've got thrown away or what. Let's discuss. This is there. Like a raiders. The Lost Ark Warehouse full of jars of year. Yes yes at the end of the CONAN O'Brien story they're going to pull back slowly giant warehouse and it just going to be jars of urine. Look maybe we've gone down a bad road. We'd gone down a great road. I think the important thing is that science will one day have access to my urine to understand how my mind worked worked. What's that noise is just utter disgusting discount? I don't think anybody cares. What's I don't think anybody cares? I see do. They're going to have to figure out one day how this happened to me how to stop it from. That's going to be an antidote. Was this vaccine. Why not right? We're injecting a small amount of urine you to vaccinate you from becoming like worldwide Wii all children at birth. Oh this one's starting to babble. He certainly talk nonsensically and he's he's dipping out of weird. It's depression and then Euphoria Korea and lots of weird Babel and civil war references quickly in injecting with the CONAN antivirus. He got a sunburn in the delivery. Room I all right yeah. That's a good laugh just because I can't go in the sun but it's possible it's possible Ospel can sit at the end of Boston. We have a really good show today. Really Fascinating Show uh guest today. is an author. He's an Emmy Award. Winning comedian and a former senator of Minnesota. He's now hosting his own Sirius. XM show the Al Franken show. Oh Al Franken is joining us. I would like to mention I did talk at length with Al on the show. TV show about his resignation from the Senate and it was a Was a pretty serious discussion as you can imagine if you WanNa see that interview. It's available on team Coco. The podcast was an opportunity for me to go a different different way and talk to my friend. Al Franken my friend of many many years. Who is a brilliantly funny comedian and talked to him about comedy and how maybe he thinks it works? Because I still don't understand myself He is hilarious. I'm thrilled he's here now. Franken thanks for joining us. I bet you in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight eighty eight Karasu thirty one years ago. Yeah I yeah I was was a punk kid. I remember very clearly My writing partner at the time Gray Daniels and I came to New York to write on Saturday night live and I pitched something and no no no no. I'm you laugh. The Al Franken laugh. Oh and I immediately relaxed. I thought we were going to get bounced out of there. Any second pitch. We had a sketch. Remember what it was about. It was about a lab professor. It was something I used used to do from my friends. It's a lab professor. Could be like who had a lab skeleton. And he'd say well we have of course the year Patella is the thickest of the bones and then he would look over this going to go because he got scared every time and then you you came up to me and you want. I really liked that way. Let's sorry that's how you away. No that was Roseanne Barr. That was a T. Rex but anyway anyway you were a generous laugher with me right away and I remember that Feeling great I remember that feeling. Great if people aren't laughing in in the office or is harder but it's a it's interesting too because everything would be based on your remember this the read throughs that we would do. I'll turn alive and you did. How many I mean if you add up all your years? It's Saturday night live. Isn't it like a one hundred eleven. It's something crazy. I did. Fifteen seasons dozens so we did twenty year right That's three hundred for. You're really into numbers I was good at math and science. Johnson and I must sputnik kid was born in fifty one when sputnik went up. My parents marched me and my brother into the living room and said you boys are going to study the math and science so we can beat the Soviets and I thought that was a lot of pressure. Donna did you really thought it was. You guys is in Minnesota we were we were literal literal and obedient. Yeah so and so my my brother was real really really good at it and went to Mit And I was really good at it and you know went to another school. That was very well thought. Yes yes I've heard of that school and he became a photographer and I became a comedian. Yeah but but we beat the Soviets. You know it's nice that you took that seriously and then yes. The Wall. All came down the Soviets were defeated and then sonal married one yes but he. He wasn't one of the Soviets. CBS you're fighting well. In a way as he was he was a child. We were fighting. We're fighting them all. He was a child and he grew up in the Soviet Union. The child came here here. Yeah Okay when he was eleven hours I maintain. Is that when you fight the Soviets you fight them. Aw Man so attack your husband even as a small child we were. We were out to defeat tack. You're saying tack was the enemy. Yes he was and now he's not. He was a child so I I don't. I disagree a child's name. The remember anyway. Yeah so I I came to live and I was so scared and and then got to know you Jim Downey right away. And that's the thing about that. I was impressed with his. They throw you right into the deep depend. There's no you'd think that the band got to write a sketch. was that the deep end. No but what I'm saying is you've got to do. Are Your job the deep end okay. That'd be yeah right right a sketch right right. GO IN AND PITCH to Steve Martin go in and pitch to Martin Short. Go in and pitch to you. You've just come in off the street but that's a that's like cool and a privilege. You're you're getting. I think being thrown in the deep end is a good thank God. This isn't going. I thought it was a pejorative. Okay Ah this is just not going away I wanted to go. I had a couple of ideas thinking back to the show. One one is just this is my show or senate life which show. Oh wait when you when you say to me show. And I'm sorry my Ron girly if someone says to me like hey yeah the show I go of course cone on. Tbs I think Conan podcast. Nothing sooner what do you think when you hear the show. You know what I know how you think you think Gigolos. Oh no longer on the air so so will mail gigolos. A dramatic acted out. It's reality it's it's it's it's soft core pornography. I'm not even kidding. It's got a plot and it's got certain Gigolos. It follows but it is. It's softcore softcore pornography sorry wow anyway backhoes this show like that get cancelled getting any interest interest in the software that happened Gigolos. Were pulling. Yeah No D. Bill Nye Science guy came up against us and just cleaned up. I I have no idea I don't know but but at your we're GonNa talk about staying alive. What are you? What are the ideas you wanted to talk your favorite sketch that didn't make AK- oh that's interesting that like I don't know if it's my favorite so one that come one of the ones that comes to mind one? That was most annoying to you. That didn't yeah. There was one. I'll tell this disparity between how it did it read through versus. What happened to the sketch so I had an idea? Ah You remember Phil. Hartmann had a character named Mace. Yes may S- was is this. I don't know that I can access the voice but this incredibly incredibly tough tough guy in the world like a niece Mesa and Phil Hartmann one of the Great Essono. Yeah no players of all time could do anything for Glue. Good Ya and he did this character. That just was very funny where he was based on the world and so I had this idea that macy's in his cell and the scene starts with you know a guard coming by and he's I guess right. Screw the people. It's incredibly tough. It's really tough. And then whoever the guest was that we can. I don't remember who it was. But let's just say it was Mathew Modine. And he's my Go-to he's my Go-to let's say if I say like look if I'm ever murdered ordered by let's just say Matthew so so then they put this prisoner in with him and it's that classic thing language they screw with me. The King of this cellblock see I mace and the guys like whatever I don't want any I don't want any trouble doing each new London and the theme tune in his new shiny and he does this whole thing attack. The guy lays down on his bunk and Mace looks over and and there's the typical There's there's a bunk bed. It's it's a jail cell for two and there's one exposed toilet in the middle of the room base is looking king over and it just becomes clear that Mace's shy about pooping I so Mesa's doing a lot of like maybe He's looking at the toilet and he started the head that way and the Guy Matthew Modine is like hey if you gotta go you gotta go. And then he's saying things like why don't you go to sleep. You look tired. Probably going to get a good night's sleep. That's the first thing you gotta do. And you get imprisoned against like okay. I am a little tired. He starts to go to sleep in the minute. He thinks he's not it off. Phil Hartmann goes over. And then this was something Greg Daniels Outta that was really funny which is he starts peeling off little pieces of toilet paper and a steadier and then Matthew Modine would wake up he so this thing has read it read through and kills killed and you know when a piece kills it read through and people were like pounding. The desks the piano and the coroner's rattling the acoustical tiles falling just it was killing killing and afterwards people were coming up like patting me on the back gotta learn made eye contact with a- and then celebrated with a tic TAC and I was like wow and then the all week long people. I can't wait for that. I can't wait for that and then in a dress rehearsal and they start to do it not. I don't know what happened to this day. Not a laugh and it happens sometimes but you know the away. There's a thing our in a sketch. There's a trigger. It's and it's the it's the trigger that's supposed to set everything else. The wonderful all the last. I just want to come the need to be with that trigger and when you hit that line and the trigger polls and nothing happens you know that you got nine more pages right and none of that's going to catch none of it and so I watched it just completely go down the drain. How `bout you do? You have a sketch that you I loved another. I have several one and Dr so far has an interesting history in life there. What okay this is what happens so Al Gour? I just want to tell our listeners that I have a pen and paper and I'm trying to draw. I'm just trying to figure out how one thing goes to another like. How does Al Gore and doctor and it doesn't work? I'm telling you right now. It doesn't work so Al Gore Is going to host and I believe it's two thousand two and he asked that I be a guest writer so I and I think about it. I ah have some some lead time and so I I write this sketch that Albore is not right for back. Here is the premise. Okay you have three of our cast members. Remember Amy Poehler being one of them and they're waiting in a room. And I think amy was the one who is very impatient and skeptical that this famous diagnose Titian MHM who can diagnose diseases when no one else can was coming from Duke and their little. He's a little late and She is kind of both skeptical and then patient and there's one one of the other doctors going like no telling you he's amazing Okay okay so the the whoever the host would be the doctor comes in Dan and he's read all the files right all the different people and So let's bring the first patient in and they cannot these other doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with this guy and so This doctor from Dukes says the To the patient he says says okay. I'm going to need you to part and the guy says what I'm going to need you. You know art and so the Guy Tries and does finally squeezed one oil and doctor says your mother was Salesian. Yes yes did you have to bully Salad Loyd for lunch today. Did you have and very specific very specific disease and all all the other doctors are going like. Oh well of course I figure that. Oh my God that's brilliant and the good news is this is that we know how to treat this and you're gonNA be fine And a guy is going off. Thank you thank next. Patient comes in too far skeptical but farts and he's going like Jeff Typical but I'm glad I just if you're listening you this right now and you obviously are skeptical but farts skeptical ever been said. Oh I forgot I forgot one. I forgot one. Beat is after that first patiently. He takes a little fan. Sure you'll electric you know one of those little little fan clears the okay. So second one comes in and he goes Very interesting and like did you fart again. And he takes out a beaker and collect this one because he wants to bring it back to uh-huh then another guy comes in and he's just an asshole. Yeah he's just a fucking asshole about being yeah So far and he just just a Dick about it and finally does it and and and like you know what I'm GonNa Talk to you later. And then he leaves and He says he's he's a dead man uh-huh and all of them are kind of like okay with that. I just never like this. Never liked it so then the last person comes comes in the final patient comes in and you have to Fart and person really very valiant effort and can't do it it's just can't do it can't do it and then you hear our and he looks puzzled and He goes like wait a minute. That can't be your heart. You're half Australian. Just can't be yours. Well and Amy Poehler the one who is so skeptical goal says that was me right and it goes we gotta get you into surgery staff. Okay now that's a good sketch. Yes okay so this way you pitch this to wanted Al Gore. No Doctor No. I knew that Al Gore was is not right for far. Okay so here. Here's what happened. I am not working at the show at this point. I'm doing other stuff. I just came in for Al Gore. But I'm going like I've got a fucking jam here for doctor and So while I'm not there I'm going to submit it for which is not a good thing to do. I mean if you're not there and there and you submit it for re through. Sometimes the writers that are there can feel right that They resent little bit They want their thing in. And so but I'm thinking like Okay Christopher walken host so I go okay all right. All right Chris Walk out put it through with Christopher walking so goes in and it doesn't get picked and then another month later I submitted again and it doesn't now you know the writers every time Lawrence's alright next sketch. Doctor they're not there air and they know that this is the seventh week in a row being read and the pages are crumbling in yellow from from age. Yes there. There's there urinated with you okay. Right and Tina Fey Was Head writer. I think time she So so I stopped doing it I it never gets done. It just doesn't get done so on thirty rock they refer to FARC doctor very often. What's going on the floor rehearsing for sure Omar to you made perfect sense to say and then when she meets Matt Damon and I I think she in in this show she pretends to be something else and finally? She admits that she's the producer and writer for this for this right now ratio ratio and she says I write far doctoring. I love founded in a way it found a life you know. Yeah and then. Here's the thing. She never gave me my campaign well in a way. She gave the greatest gift of all. She made far more immortal. Yeah Yeah it's playing all around the world constantly It is GonNa take a quick break. Let's just take a quick break. Some business to do. Just hang on sitting here with Al Franken. It was face. There are certain things in life that well. It's okay to cheap out on you know like car washes because your car's GonNa get dirty again or insulin. Do you need the best insulin. That's probably not a good example The Best Insulin that you can get pharmacy grade. So that wasn't a good example. But you know what I'm getting at we get it. Yeah there's some things you can't cheap out on and then some things and I think I accidentally mentioned a few that you shouldn't but one thing you should never ever cheap out on is your battery. Yeah you need a good battery in your car harmen. That's what you need interstate batteries. I'm telling you it's America's number one replacement battery that is an achievement. It's the battery. Auto Techs prefer three times more than any other brand three times. I've got the facts right here. Various charts stations now. I'm I'm no expert. I'm not some car guy. I'm not some guy that knows a lot about cars but I can tell you that you never know what a cheap battery can cost you. No one wants to end up with real regrets. If you're going someplace you really excited to on that big Conan O'Brien show that you're GonNa go see a seventy year battery Fritz out on you and you can't make it to the Conan O'Brien show. You're bummed out. Never get over it so keep your car battery prepared for anything. Get Quick Battery Test Today. Make sure to let your family know to check their batteries. To tell everyone around around you tell friends and foe. I want my battery check. Then you should have your check. Do I used to have dead batteries a lot. 'cause back in the day when I first moved out to Los Angeles I drove drove a nineteen seventy-three Plymouth valiant I bought it off a bunch of surfer dudes down in Venice and I drove this car around like an Old Lady Car Batteries to die on me. I went to died on me once when I was supposed to drive a young lady home after a date. Let's just just say that's not cool vibe. Sorry I can't drive you home milady. But the batteries dead in my nineteen seventy-three Plymouth Plymouth valiant so you'll be cooking it on your own. I could've walked her but I didn't. I said good luck to you. I hope you'll safe. I'M GONNA Cower here in my car not a story that shows me in a good light but there you go or cells batteries batteries. There's no time for daily Downing shillyshalling challenge. Find your closest interstate battery dealers at Interstate. BATTERIES DOT COM. That's interstate batteries dot com. You can also find them on facebook interstate batteries Outrageously dependable do when you think about it And if you really think about it your mattress might be the most important part of your life. Thank the most important part of your life. Yeah more so than like family children children. The mattress is the foundation of your life. Your Comfort your well being okay. Your allergies are interesting. Well just saying mattress mattress is crucial key. He wanted mental. All goodness flows from the mattress. Sleep on it exactly. Zenith's makes premium mattresses at the best prices. You don't WanNa be messing around rounder mucking around with some other mattress. 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Yeah if they if you could do that why don't they put some clam chowder in there anyway. You you can find Zina's products that Zina's dot com as well as all your favorite retailers like Amazon target wayfair macy's and so much more so head dizziness dot com to learn more every every mattress on Zina's dot com includes money back one hundred night trial free fedex shipping and a ten year. Worry free guarantee their prices are such a satisfying. You don't even need a promo code not necessarily for less than four hundred dollars you can pick up. One of their best reviewed premium queen mattresses one of their stylish frames one of our comfy. Sofas they had me say our it's not my company anyway. Maybe I'm a part time investor. Now that would be illegal anyway. That's the I. N. The US DOT COM And we're back uh-huh so okay another one that this is another sketch. We're talking about sketches that we love the didn't make it on Saturday night. Live right and which which. Which one is this? This weirdly is another doctor. It's called. That's Marin columnist and it's a Sitcom it's like a fifties Sitcom and it's The song starts and there's a you know the montage Sitcom when it comes to cancer. He's got the answers he's the best in the Biz but when it's hunting I'm home. He used thicken the dome. That's my on Colin file. So I submitted once with a sketch kind of in it. Ah Show right and then I did a next week on you know and so the next week worked right and the next week doc was. It's take your daughter to work week or day. Yeah and it's just. He's pointing to these x-rays I guess or whatever the okay. He's a goner. Okay this one is. It's in his liver. I hope the daughter the daughter's eighteen. Oh this is your teacher uh-huh and that killed and so I just said okay. Just take the sketch. That isn't great route. And just do that and it didn't happen. Here's here's one of things. This just reminds me of something to ask you about which is when I was watching San Alive along with everybody else. Seventy five to eighty you in Tom Davis I remember watching late last night. And you did this sketch. You can remember this better than I can but there was some sketch where you're doing something throughout this period of time and you're getting adding progressive visit you. That's getting progressively sicker. Is it a tumor. Is this the brain tumor. Yes the brain. The brain tumor comedian. And it's your comedy. Yeah just tell me because I remember watching that at home home and howling at but it was so dark time thinking nothing. This dark has been on television before. Yeah you know This was So we'd been doing the Franken Davis show as a show within the show and we were on when the show is short So yeah well. What didn't work and they put us on in the last half hour so But we have been on an overtime people knew near the Franken. Dave show you had like a cool cool. Yeah animated of your of your faces. It looked like it's the Franken and Davis John Don Don and then I don't know anyway so we we come out and And I have this Bandages huge hand bandaged with a big lump on the. You know the bandages You know Adhesive tape around Gauze and my heads wrapped in it and Tom says it has a brain gym right and he's always you know we're a team but he's always wanted to do a monologue doc right and and work on just try to and I think that I really encouraging that. Because that's his dream And he's going to do and he's a little of his own doing well and So just laugh weary. Sorry and so I go out there and tell the first you know you. Have you heard the one about the rabbi. who doesn't charge forgiving circumcisions? He only takes tips. Okay and Tom's going like ooh that funny and and then from then on I just. The punchline is always he only took tip and Tom is trying to encourage courage people to laugh and I start that one point I start the clearly just losing almost about to pass out and he has a sponge and water just starts. Yes sponging was. I have a memory which I love to tell people that stars you and I think this Harrison. Yes word gets out word gets out that George Harrison's in the building and he's down in Lawrence Office and I'm I don't think he can be a bigger Beatles fan than than myself I just I I know everything about them. I know the instruments I know I know. The chord changes changes the whole thing. You know the songs. It's yes I know. I know some of the names of the members. Get Hazy on the bass the player. But we're there. We're thinking we're going to see him. Are we going to see him. And then finally George comes down the hallway and we're all in the writer's room and then he comes in and I remembered he had been out partying with Lorne and he was a little tipsy and Lauren had gone out to dinner and traditionally on Tuesday night though. This is Tuesday night. The show gets written on Tuesday night and we stay up all night all night but it really you know. Starting I don't know ten. PM or something. Things are actually starting to be written. And so first of all George Harrison shows up uh-huh at around eight and they go to dinner. Yes and they don't come back until like ten ten thirty and Harrison's really yeah he's he's tied went on and this is what I remember very clearly he walks in. We all stand up. He comes into that those those white. It's double doors into the writers writers around writers raise area and he standing there and he's sort of weaving from side to side as one does when ones he's had a lot to drink and he said I'm Saudi. I'm pissed as a newt. I'll never forget that went Saudi. I'm pissed as a Newt uh-huh and then he said was you'll standing at and we were all staring at him and then he looks over in the corner and then he sees a piano and he goes over any sits down at the piano and he starts to play the piano so a beetle is a relatively Lee small room with us. Playing the piano making music making music beetle is making music and all of us are transfixed it and I think he plays about twenty seconds. nope glass made more more. Okay more all right. Whatever I'm being controlled uh-huh he plays more but he plays for a while? And then you you come out of your office and you said okay. And then and then he gets startled and he gets up and scuttles away like the hobbit son Ogre he gets up and stuttle's away and took office. Did that or did that not happen. A version of this is what happened. Actually first of all he played for a lot longer her than you remember. He played for a long time. Yeah not many people when a beetle is playing go. Hey let's pick it up with the point. Is We have a writing staff. We have a show that gets written now. And you know it's like eleven and he's playing and he's playing quo. Okay what is it so special. This week Aroo mcclanahan is on the show who cares. The show could've sucked that week. Who Cares we sat there for six hours and listen to George Harrison and then just turned in could have been a whole show of one doctor after an mcclendon? I didn't think of that but this this is prior to the existence of seats. Okay okay so I had a role that year. which is I think I was the producer responsible being responsible? Yeah and no one is going to leave that room and work. As long as George Harrison is playing the piano. You have no one on your side in this room. I know and I'll say something else. I mean I think also the you have been working on the show since seventy five and George Harrison had been around the show a lot. So you'd spent a lot of time with George Harrison whereas this was my hand spent a Lotta time with George Harrison go antiquing. I know we used to go to listen to the light jazz and Gazebo. But but here's the thing. I didn't say quiet this is I went to fill harman and I said in my office was very near the Yes. Your office was the close to us. Does this office to the conference room and the piano. I'll verify that so I say to fill watch this and I go into my office so I don't see Harrison's Harrison's reaction but I'm told later what it was. I slammed the door as hard as I can and I knew that it sounded like an explosion. Yes he he jumped. Yes and I've been told it is two or three feet above the piano bench and then back back to the piano jumped up back the piano bunch. He's been drinking so he startled afraid and runs away and I don't think ever returned learned to America. I haven't looked into it but I don't think he shit from few people who were there but I bury you. No ill will go okay. Okay but can I ask you a question because you've told the story before use say sort of made. It seem like it was a joke but were you really telling him to be quiet now. I'm confused I think he was doing a bit of Joe. I think they were doing a bit. I I want to have successful TV. Show at any is kind of kind of my goal. And he'd been there a while also he was very drunk and I'm not a music critic go. I don't in his best work. He was on the bus Last right yeah and the bill's gone and guess what happens. People get the get to work bright and we write a good show. I don't remember if it was a good show. I don't either eighth slightly passable show but now I I you're I will say absolutely fearless you. I remember you not being intimidated by massive stars and just going right in and I'm were you always way. Were you like that. In one thousand nine seventy five. We ever a scared pup or or do you have any of that first show like how scary it was. We're doing a live show. Will this even work. What if will this? It was very unlike what the show became. Because we had. I think three musical acts or something and you had muppets to muppets. We had music. ACT The the hit was Chevy and update. Yeah and the show didn't become show until you know started getting more like what it was in the lily early. Tomlin I think was the first shows seem like one of the shows but you know George Carlin. I think did to model on or something. It was like it was like like midnight express but with more people highly always try to point this out to younger people that are sitting comedy. Is that nothing. Is What you you think it was at the beginning. And a good example of that is watch a simpsons from the first season First of all Dan Castellaneta. Who Does homer? His take week on homer was that he sounds like he should sound like Walter Matthau and so walk. If you watch the boy now come here boy why are you. I'll get you D- oh well we'd better. I mean it's not. The pacing is completely different. It's it's radically medically different. And I always tell everybody that nothing you know. People tend to think that everything springs out proudly and that never ever happens. I mean I think good show is a living thing I know that has told me that you know people used to say to him starting with the second season well. It's not as good as the first I. Then they started doing this dead joke probably right away in second season. Yeah I guess it's that was it was like Arthur Miller or something said that you know he wrote death of a salesman and everyone's like Oh my God this is the best thing ever you're and then later on hit right is other plays and people would say it's not soon and then they'd write more like you know it's just not the bacillus and then finally late in his life. If people had read something in people would say you know we've been thinking about it death of a salesman isn't that good actually. It was really. It's really just if you stick around long enough. They'll take everything apart. I do my five gas alone. I'm like in. There's nobody in the studio with me except a climate scientists Zahn and we're talking about obviously global warming and what we need to do and he gets into the Underdeveloped world the poor countries of the World Third World countries and when their economies expand that they're going to have to skip a generation of energy. They'RE GONNA have to skip coal and go into you You know carbon-neutral Feel and that kind of thing and I said well how could we just get these countries not to develop up and he didn't laugh okay for example so we had former energy secretary Ernie moonies. I'm laughing uh-huh and he's on he's a great guy and he he actually go. She ate is all the technical aspects of the Iran nuclear deal is brilliant. Brilliant guy he was the head of the physics department at Mit. And we're we're talking also about climate and we have this discussion about whether natural gas is a transition or not. There's controversy about that. And he he says it is he says it is and he says I for example. I work with Southern Company. which has this big utility in the south? So I say to him. You're working for the man. And he goes well or or the woman didn't know the phrase. That's exactly what happened. Like he just didn't know the phrase working for the man and he I think he's like five years older than me or something like that an and people five years older than me. No the phrase working for the man yes but I think he was studying physics physics. He's trying to fix the world. He's trying to save our planet from from a global disaster so he it didn't and you're angry that he's not up on his. I'm not angry not angry. I'm just I'm going like I really respect him I think he's he's a great. There was a great public servant. He's a great mind and he's a tremendous asset to this country in the world. But I just kept making fun of. Hey can I get you. I know you're over but we can voice Chris. Yeah the united cut I don't but this guy does okay so so this up anyway and okay so so we did. We had a rewrite table. On Thursdays we re right and The Bush the caucus debate now right. Yeah and Dan you know for those that don't remember Dukakis was probably about what five six or something yeah Bush was like. I don't know h w Bush was like like six one. Yes to a lot in the news that Dukakis was could he stand on something and and the camps were going back and forth like well. It can be one apple box but it can't be to see you know maybe it can be one step but not a step and a half and they were negotiating. That's was in the news so we're looking for a Joe. You know some way to do this. And we get it from Conan only because he does sound effects right or this sound effect which is a hydraulic draw. ICK Lift Yeah so if you look at the the piece it was Jon Levitz Dukakis John Hilarious Dukakis. And he kinda gets. It's behind the podium gets and you seem like get ready and I remember pitching this in the room. Yeah and then the AH then it goes up. I can't do it you I'm going to do it. And then it goes to high right but it goes like a a lever for and Yeah no he doesn't have someone else's doing somebody else is doing it but he is. He played it so beautifully because he is is trying not to to caucus try not to react but he goes up. He's being humiliated trying so what I did in the room it was just what if he gets behind the podium. And then you just hear and grinding. Here's an in fact pitching elevator or something in doing that. I was happy that day. That was a day where I used to go back to my apartment which was in Williamsburg Brooklyn and this zero eight and this is back when you I again. Things are not what they were you Brooklyn in one thousand. Nine hundred eight was a scary place to live have high the crack epidemic it's not the Williamsburg today where there's just an. Why did you live there? I know it was less expensive. Yes say also I aide had not lived really in New York before and I was coming from Los Angeles where I started my career and I didn't know and so I had a friend this woman. Lynette Cortez has who over the phone. I said I just need to find a place to live in New York I just got hired at Senate live and she said come live. I have an extra I live in a townhouse. And there's there's a room here that you could have and I live in Williamsburg and I was thinking colonial. In fact I really was thinking like gas jets and and COBBLESTONE street center insurance people turn butter. I said that sounds fantastic. Ah I got my brother Neil to drive me. And we showed up in early February of eighty-eight pitch black freezing and we get off the Williamsburg Bridge and start. Hurt heading south. And then we get off. And it's just looked like a like one of those post apocalyptic movies of burned out cars and all the streetlights likes. We're we're dark. And someone said later on they told me how the the crack dealers shootout streetlights. Oh so everything was dark smart and I ah I kept thinking what is this. We got off on the wrong thing and my brother Neal is saying no no this is this is Berry street this is and and then finally the car starts. It's too slow down. And he goes like to forty two to four. No no no no no no no no no. This can't be any comes to a stop and it was a scary scary place to live and I remembered coming to work one day and I used to take the Ale to walk eight blocks I think north to get take the l I went and got frye boots with giant heels and I would wear a trenchcoat because I thought that it would make me look tougher and have a cigarette coming out of my mouth because I thought this would make me look tough. I just I looked. I looked like a tough a tough looking guy. Kids in exactly nineteen thirties movie. Where three kids trying to get into a movie as adult? You're on my shoulder. Shut up to see the move I it was terrifying and then I came to work and I remember just listening to chatter US chattering. And you're doing something and then you just heard me say yeah no I just came in from Williamsburg Burgan went why you're living Williamsburg on you. And he said you gotta get out of there. You're GONNA fucking die. Yeah I did along long right after. You told me that I got out and I moved to Eighteenth Street. Yeah Yeah Okay so thank you you say my life okay. Okay well there you have it. Yep this is There's been a joy very nice having you here in Laughing our asses off. And let's do this again. This is really fun. Yeah we mean but what was that it wasn't I'm trying to I was going. I'm wondering when we do and how when you do that do you do that. You had Dana. Yeah a couple can happen again. You know you never know okay. Yeah okay good yeah well what a terrible ending an awful any to an interview just is sort of a like a little like a wind down. It's a wind breath to be continues. Yeah one voice is getting really. Oh But al Franken thank you in case. You're not aware of the team in cocoa podcast network doesn't just feature Conan O'Brien needs a friend. That's right Andy. Richter my good friend hosts a personal and candid podcast. We asked each guest's three questions. Where'd you come from? Where are you going? What have you learned? Richter hopes that the podcast will reveal a pretty complete picture. Sure of who a person is which is why. I'm hesitant to do it because I'll be revealed as a true sociopath anyway. Andy's got an incredible brain very curious. Brain and very funny guy pass gas include actors and Comedians such Dax Shepard and technically owned Jim Gaffe again Jane Lynch Wjr the show launched it number one in the apple podcast charts and audiences seem to love the show new episodes debut every Tuesday the shows available for for streaming through apple. PODCASTS stitcher spotify Google podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I've had the pleasure of getting to to listen to Andy's very funny and interesting thoughts over the years and I think you're a fool if you don't check Fitz podcast check it out a few episodes ago on these at Galvin actress a conversation. You mentioned that you had written to e B white the author of Charlotte's Web. How old were you when you did that? Let's see I would have been in high school when I did that. And he had this Book of Essays And I wrote this letter and I don't know what possessed me but I dashed it off and I consent it. I think I found out somehow pre internet where he lived or basically what town he was in. I sent it up to North Brooklyn main and then and kind of forgot about it and then I think a month or two later. I get this envelope in the mail a letter from Ab White. And I've only ever had admi- the letter he sent me. I never remembered what I sent him. All I knew is that in his letter to me. He said He compliments my writing and he says you said you have a hard time taking criticism. You're going to have tough times a writer and so I remember him saying that which in itself is a criticism. Could've yeah but also what I remember very clearly when when he was so interesting is that Roti white and basically my main question was not. I'm not sure I can make it as a writer because I'm worried about criticism. And then what do I do. I become a comedian on television. Replace David Letterman At a time when he's beloved and get more criticism than most Cubans getting a thousand lifetimes. So that's just so funny that I said I'm I'm kind of afraid of dogs and then I ended up in a career where I jump into wolf packs covered in sausage Greece. And just see what happens pence. I just find that really interesting. Well Cornell Library has recently on earth the letter that you sent. They found it and they found the letter and I never look at comments online. Because I'm so afraid of criticism. Even today they released it and I saw it was getting some attention on the web so I clicked on one comment comment and it was and it. was you right like a girl. I am looking at your penmanship. I wouldn't say the girl it's very gender fluid Lewi bother you. Isn't that a compliment. Because guys have guys chicken scratch girls have like well not. That's not no oh anytime. A man is told when he's when his gender definition is is challenged by someone else online I it can rattle you for second and usually you know I. I thought I was afraid. I hadn't looked at the letter yet and I thought that I made Like my eyes had it full circle and a little smiley face. I'm struck by how evenly spaced. Everything is it's almost like this was put into a computer center justified. It's incredible yeah It's as if someone who wrote. It was completed laughing at my pain. Yeah the fact that here. We're back at laughing at the lesions in my mind here stains on this letter to those and you did. This is is handwritten. You did a signature and then printed your name like I know totally unnecessary. I knew I knew that people did that. unprinted on typed letters. And I don't think I had a typewriter so I wrote the letter but then signed my name but then printed it underneath as if it was a tight lead. Oh it's just a window into who I was but I have to tell you I really was Worried about putting they saw online. I think it's sweet and I think you should take it as a compliment that you write like a girl but I also think it's sweet that you wrote that letter to someone who you admired. And it's sweet that he responded. I think the person only said I write like a girl because in the letter. I say I'm so happy to be a little girl. I think they meant. I think that's what they were talking about. I said I'm so happy to be a little girl and to be growing up to be Woman one day. Why did you want to tell you that? I don't know it was a very confusing time for me. It's okay yeah. Teenage years are confused. I was wearing a nineteenth nineteenth century. I remember this nineteenth century wedding dress when I wrote up. Fine Yeah you're going through you're finding yourself was it was my what was my nineteenth century tattered wedding dress phase that I went through. What did you end up finding in one hell of a guy really good guy the salt of the earth? Yeah where's he yeah. He died he he died in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight. He got married off now. Just gone. He's dead He was He was attacked by a mob. That guy and then he was replaced by this Guy Guy. You know what I like. This guy he's cool this guy this guy. This guy's my friend. He's like family to me. I must say now we do a lot of you know I do want to say we do a lot of sort of bickering Korea. But it's all with love and love is one. Yeah it's done with a level of affection action in respect respect respect. No you were going to say it was done with love so you love us you you push it some time. What do you mean what do you mean you just love to push it? What do you mean you just love to? I love you. You just love to stick your Chin into the buzzsaw. Don't I'm right here and you know that my I love you know that I am registered as a black belt in hurting people with my words. I I don't want to hurt you. but You keep coming at me with your with your irony. Chuck's I sent. You do want to hurt him. I think you like I think it makes you stronger. I always I compare you to to the witches and Hocus pocus where they suck the souls out of the kids and it makes them stronger and I feel like you you become stronger. Make Fun of people. Yeah I do. Yeah Yeah it's Nice. I'm a soul sucking which death leaves Children As just dried out. husks asks when I'm gone. Thank you and guess what happy holidays to you too. Merry Christmas business. God bless US everyone every one I was thinking about What scrooge had taken Ambien so the three ghosts visit him but then he just doesn't really remember it in the morning you know? uh-huh leans out the window and he's like boy and the boy looks up. You know the boy says go. Get the biggest goose in the window and take it over to Bob Crash it He just leaves out the Maze Bowl. I bullied and he's yes. Sir Go fuck yourself. He just can't remember. He saw his own grave. He saw this stuff but he's on. Ambien is remember and there's all all this he ordered some stuff on in-between the ghosts. He ordered stuff on that he didn't even really want. And there's all these cookie crumbs in the bed and you know and then he wakes up in the morning and he's literally just been shown his grave and he was crying and he was like but this is the way things will be or could be if I change should be determined back to sleep and then he orders a few more things he goes on Amazon. You know he watches some really weird porn. He the whole cinnamon loaf that he doesn't even like and the crumbs are all in the bed and then he wakes up in the morning. Boy Boy yes. Would you like me to go get the goose because your life is turned around. No go fuck yourself piece of shit and the ghosts are starting to kind of drift back. Did you hear what we go here. What are you doing here? Know you've met us. We shouldn't have let him Ambien. CONAN O'Brien needs a friend with sonum obsession and Conan Conan O'Brien as himself produced by me man GORLIC executive produced by Adam Sex and Jeff. Ross a team Coco and Colin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Ear Wolf. The song by the white stripes incidental music by Jimmy Vena. Our supervising producer is Aaron Blair and our associate talent producer is Jennifer samples. The show's engineered by will becton. You can rate and review this show on apple podcasts. And you might find your review featured on a future episode got a question for Conan call. The team COCO hotline hotline. At three two three four five one two eight two on and leave a message it to be featured on a future episode. And if you haven't already please subscribe to. CONAN O'Brien needs is a friend on apple podcasts. STITCHER or wherever fine. PODCASTS are down. This has been eighteen not cocoa production in association with. Hello Oh this is Matt Goalie. 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SIO201: Did Al Franken Get Railroaded? with Jamie Lombardi

Serious Inquiries Only

45:57 min | 1 year ago

SIO201: Did Al Franken Get Railroaded? with Jamie Lombardi

"You're listening to serious inquiries on <music> <music>. Hey everyone will i have mentioned in the past few shows that i was looking to collaborate with. Someone and i am here to tell you. Here's that someone it's jamie lombardi jamie how you doing i i am doing all right. Thank you so much for bringing me onto this. Thank you so much for coming on it. I know it was it was so random but it was we we met over a through erin on philosophers in space and we had a great time and i just thought you'd be somebody with a really <hes> informed and critical feminist voice that i just i think would be so great for the show and i'm really excited to to give it a try here and if you know if we hate it we'll just quit. It's fine no no. I really really hope to live up to expectations so yeah. Let's give this a go awesome. Could you give people just the briefest of bio so that they may be nowhere. You're where you're coming from. What experience you're bringing in all that yeah very briefly. I'm currently working as a professor of philosophy at bergen community college where i mostly do intro class says and a variety of ethics courses before that i went to graduate school at n._y._u. Studying bioethics i did my undergraduate at rutgers <hes> and in a different life i dabbled a little bit on in some political campaigns <hes> so that's been fun yeah lots of cool background there. I'm sure there are so many future topics. We can get to <hes> but you had mentioned you. Were going to give like a free speech in academia talk coming up. I'm really curious to hear what that's about yeah so in october. I'm going to be at the university of michigan for the public philosophy network conference and i'm going to be talking talking about how to make sense about the debate around free speech and academia <hes> there are all of these claims being made about people being de platforms formed and this being tantamount to censorship and infringement on free speech and how to sort of untangle these competing claims about protecting tactic people from harm and protecting the ability to say things that are necessary to be said yeah you know and i i <hes>. I don't know exactly what where you're coming from. I mean one of the cool things i think about getting on the show is just how different like you're not a podcast person and that's totally okay but it's it's it might even be good to to have a diversity of kind of background and where we we get our information and all that stuff and but i'm wondering is this from you know is this along the lines of talking about how the right has really just wage this kind of campaign. I don't know what to call it but this this campaign of of constantly harping on free speech and colleges free speech and colleges and just blowing it out of proportion is it is this at all in response to that or is this kind of to the side of that is it related related so if successful i would be thrilled if the argument that i'm making would be able to be applied to that and make sense of that for this talk in october. I have a much narrower focus on and i'm going to be discussing specifically the issue about trans exclusion verse trans exclusion in within in feminism <hes> because right now philosophy is <hes> having a bit of a debate with itself to put it mildly about whether or not academic mkx philosophy and feminism in particular should be trans exclusive or trans inclusive and those who are advocating for trans ends exclusiveness are making the claim that they are currently being silenced andy platforms and this is an infringement on their academic freedom some that will be the access point that i'm focusing on in october at michigan but i do hope to be able to come up with a framework or an analysis that allows us to make sense of it in a broader context taxed that makes a lotta sense so but i i was going to just bring up. I don't know if you've heard about this but actually came across it somewhere on twitter. I say that too much on the show. It's bad practice but i it's like i'll see a really interesting thread and then i see a million of them a day and then i try to bring it up later. I'm like oh shoot which one was that but i came across a threat where somebody who was previously part of this free speech kind of battle on campuses. <hes> was talking about the fact that there's a professor right here where i am and u._c. Davis this is like minutes away from me who is potentially getting fired over like anti police remarks and wouldn't you know it. It's no part of the <hes> right wing. Talking talking points on this and i was just wondering if you had heard of that if not it's okay i was just going to mention and i've been meaning to mention on the show. Just haven't gotten a chance yes so i'm loosely familiar with jason recent stanley as actually a philosopher who works at yale who has been tweeting about this more recently <hes> and this is something that he pointed to you you that when there is these sorts of violations they disproportionately tend to impact people who are advocating left wing views and they're just really isn't the evidence dance to suggest that conservative thinkers are libertarian thinkers are right-leaning thinker as in general are being silenced or d platform d- yeah it not really my opinion on it. Is it really just the the right is so. I don't know there's like there's so much better at marketing. They're so good at putting together this campaign where they're all on the same talking points. They're all in line. They're all talking to each other at tucker. Carlson is up their polling on every interviewer that or interviewee rather other who has had any problem in academia at all and it's so tough to like fight back against that so but that's interesting i i will be very curious to hear that talk once once it comes out any final thoughts on that topic before we move onto what we want to talk about today. Took the only thing i i would like to say in what you just said is. I think the right has a real advantage pige here. They're defending the status quo. They're basically just saying no things are pretty good as it is and so that's a pretty easy message to get on board with but when your argument is actually you know what things aren't working. You're the message that you need to have is what's going to and that's a lot harder to to come up with. Then things are fine. That is a frequent theme of the show. Actually i status quo. Warriors is the counter term that i've used sometimes like think that you know they they label me a s j w social justice warrior but <hes> i think status quo warrior is a good term for for the other side of that sometimes but yeah speaking of kind of related to that <hes> i have really been wanting to talk to you about this alfran article this was in the new yorker and and not to not to go too much into it but i did a few episodes on the al franken situation <hes> i believe with christy winters i want to say sorry i did it a few home and i'm blanking but <hes> one way or the other we did a few because i was a huge al franken fan. I loved his book. You know i'm like i was really into <hes> how <unk> how well he was doing at these hearings where who's asking the greatest questions and then adds more and more stuff came out. It was kind of coping process of recognizing like okay this this is too far in this guy has to go <hes> that that is where i eventually got to after the second and third accuser <hes> so just to just full disclosure on where i was on this show joe but <hes> why don't you do you wanna bring us up to speed with there. Was this new yorker article. It was by jane mayer. I believe i i'm not sure how to pronounce if it's meyer mayor but <hes> but she was very vociferous in her defence of al franken do you wanna get kind of bring us up to speed on this article and what you thought of it yeah so i i found this article really revolting at times. There were some sentences that i read where i actually had to sort of like. Put the phone down on and just look away and say okay. I'm gonna i'm gonna break for a minute before i continue on reading this because it just goes to show how easy it is for even you you know well informed. Well educated and i imagine some extent self identifying feminist women can internalize the sort of misogynistic addicts scripts that dominate our behavior and it was shocking to me how much of the behavior in question was attempted had to be sort of hand waved away or made okay because it wasn't as bad as raping children and we don't really like the political views of the first person who accused her anyway. I'm isn't al franken cool and i was really really struck by that. Yeah yeah i i totally agree and i it's so hard. I don't know what i can't get in the author's mind you know but it does it does feel especially with some of the follow ups. I've seen where people have tried tried to go back and forth with this author and be like hey what about this and she seems so defensive of franken in a way that it doesn't strike me as like objective journalism. You know it really seems like a personal case to me. That's just my opinion. You know like it really seems like this person really wants to clear al franken and i worry three that liberals are going to want to take this kind of an easy way out. You know to beat to feel better about what happened you know. Do you worry about that at all alec. This is something that they're just going to kind of swallow and be like oh see he got railroaded. Yea i you know i think it's a really difficult time. Just fall enchanted chen room but you know i think it's a it's a weird sort of identity questioning sort of time to be a liberal and i think in a lot of ways franken checked all the right boxes and franken had that ability to sort of fight back in a way that was he he managed to be simultaneously intellectual and aggressive that people are really looking for in the age of trump and that's understandable to an extent you know trump is terrible but there seems to be a lot of motivated reasoning in a lot of the defenses about franken and about him being railroaded because at the end of the day minnesota's still has democratic senator they are not worse off his legislation is not unable to pass through through the halls of congress and his estimated net worth is still between five and ten million dollars like the dude is fine. Pardon me does worry though ah sometime so i've made that same argument a lot and i still believe it like we talk about you know men facing some of these consequences sometimes as those like the death you know and there's there's a lot of dramatics about that at the same time one thing that occurred to me. I can't remember if it was franken. In or who knows god knows how many others <hes> that that that happened where i was thinking to myself. Wait a minute. If i had to choose between five have to ten million dollars of net worth and this reputation versus just being like being me you know like i would not take that deal you know and so sometime like sometimes sometimes i worry i think there are a reputational costs that are very severe and they probably should be <hes> you know because oftentimes this is very gross commits behavior but sometimes i do worry that we minimize what that is because that's what people do really value their reputations and like if it were the case. He's hypothetically that like all this was just b._s. Like he didn't do anything wrong it. It would be pretty egregious like it would be pretty horrible for him. You know yes and no so. Let's it's you know if all of these allegations are completely false and he has lost his job in the senate right and none of this us that has been said to him strip. That's obviously an injustice right obviously unfortunate and i don't want to miss words about that. If somebody loses their career we are over a false allegation that is horrible but the idea that men's reputations and men's careers are in more danger than the women in accusing them is just not borne out by reality. We saw this when oh god what was his name. He sent the pictures of his penis pinas from new york. He was married to an adviser to hillary clinton. I h- how can you remember weiner yeah. He was was able to be rehabilitated in the public consciousness so much more so than the women he had sexually harassed again with bill clinton and monica lewinsky a._b._c. We are all too ready to fall on our swords to continue to hold up the men that we love bill clinton while the women they've sexually actually assaulted or harassed have to go through their lives being treated like pariahs imagine how hard it had to be to be monica lewinsky in her early twenties navigating her early career after what happened with bill clinton and yet here's this man the most powerful man in the entire world who is received like a hero how because of his ability to to communicate complex ideas to to regular people yeah. I'm gonna kate man splaine this. I love her right. Sorry wait. Did she coin empathy or am i giving it's going to bring that up before yeah yeah go ahead yeah feel free so i i think the franken case is a perfect example of him pathy sympathy as the idea that we give so much more sympathy to the male perpetrators of sexual violence than we do to their victims and it's our willingness to identify or sympathize primarily with male aggressors than their victims yeah yeah and it it's interesting because it seems to me like it applies to so many things like yeah sympathy but it's also there's there's also i've seen ever since reading that book <hes> i've seen like a racial version of that too. You know where it's like if anything you know if if a single black protester does something wrong. It's the end of the world whereas you know white people do all kinds of crap after a sporting event you know like after a championship. You know all kinds of white people right. No one gives a shit kind the thing it's like it's this biasing of like what what matters more you know. What what's what's going to be a big deal. The loss of a certain person's career career or like some other costs that we kind of hide from society like all the cost like all the weinstein victims. You know like we don't we don't really see it until somebody does this new story about it. You know it's hard. It's hard for us to see a lot of it is our fault as a society and who value but it's also like just just by default going to be much harder for us to know the hypothetical cost. You know like how many careers didn't happen and all that versus this guy who got taken down that we can see very visibly right and that's always the conversation that we never happen. We talk about the loss of this. Man's career is the loss of how many women's careers <hes> when they just bowed out of the profession when they felt too humiliated or two dehumanized to return to that particular line of work are given what had happened to them and there was one line in this article that stuck out to me in particular about this the author is quoting. I believe it's angus king from maine gene who describes what happened to franken as the political equivalent of capital punishment and it just struck me thus language in the way that it encouraged us to think of a man losing his very powerful position in the senate but yet still still being a multimillionaire keep in mind to being you know on a par with death and that this was worse than any of the various sorts of sexual assault that happened to women and it's just mind blowing to me the subtle ways that semantically we encourage this idea that men and most often white men are to be the center of all our stories. They are the protagonists they are the people we are supposed to care about and everybody else is just sort of a plot device to their narrative. Yeah i think there are still some tough questions in here that i would love to to get your thoughts on <hes> one thing that i hear from even people who i think would self identify as feminists and liberals and all that is why not the <hes> let let the due process take it gets course that's. I think a lot of the people quoted in this article <hes> somewhere like like you just said you know this was out. This is a railroading. This was capital punishment. There are others that were like you know. We should have at least let the investigation happen. You know the ethics investigation. Do you have thoughts on that like that. There might be more difficult nuance question possibly or maybe you'll tell me it's not i don't know so i i have so many thoughts about this <hes> first and foremost i think it's really bad it's really bad idea to set how we treat a very well liked senator and former celebrity in these scenarios compared to how we treat regular sorts of people when these things happen. It's going to be really hard. I think to draw useful corollaries when you're talking about how you know regular people who make fifty sixty seventy thousand dollars. There's a year are treated compared to a sitting united states senator with ten million dollars in the bank. There's just real world implications. <hes> some that are different in ways that i think matter <hes> so that's one to you know the problem with due process is it assumes adjust system and i oh i my apologies to any of the listeners who are not yet aware <hes> but ours is not ours is very much broken. <hes> i believe leave rain estimated that out of a thousand sexual assaults four assailants will go on to be prosecuted <hes> the the experience of trying to prosecute someone for sexual harassment very often for the victims feels like a retraumatize ation. Their credibility is is put on trial. Their sexual history is dredged up. It's a humiliating and painful process to say nothing of the thousands thousands of untested rape kits. That's dates across the united states still has so that's the other thing right and then al franken continues to say things like oh well. We should have done the ethics ethics hearing well that sounds great and if you're you know political understanding is limited to the sorts of things that can fit on bumper stickers. That's going to be very persuasive <hes> but then you realize i think it was in two thousand seventeen. There was one hundred thirty eight violations that the ethics committee looked into and zero disciplinary the plenary actions toothless so there's a lot of separate issues. I take take all your points. I wanna quit for now. Maybe just focusing thin on the case of franken in. I think it's a way bigger different topic talking about the justice and injustice of this system through all the way down to people who are who are maybe not even documented you know who can just get absolutely railroaded all the way up to you know wealthier people and all that but let's talk about the specific question of al franken because i do hear you and and the ethics track record there that you reference i remember at the time time <hes> talking about that as well like it really. There's no guarantee that that's going to bring us anymore. Answers but it seems to me that and this borders on on maybe another of the tough issues that i want to get your thoughts on is the the fact that we in the wake of me to. It's almost like we're two different jurisdictions jurisdictions you know if you commit sexual assault and you're in the democratic jurisdiction while stuff happen. If you're in the jurisdiction of republicans it's not doesn't matter and while i am totally all four democrats holding democrats accountable for that kind of thing absolutely don't get me wrong. Is there any part that the tough question to ask you is what if minnesota hadn't been democratically controlled and losing his seat would have gone to a republican. Does that change what we need to do it all or is it just the case that and furthermore like what if that could have been a critical vote on on an abortion bill or something like those those are questions that i found really difficult and was glad we didn't really have to answer but like what if that happens thankfully. This wasn't a democratic senator. Senator in you know florida but then again you know we have democrats that don't vote very democratic late very often <hes> who tend to be in these sorts of positions in the first place <hes> and so you know i want to say that sexually sexually assaulting women is bad no matter your political affiliation and i'm pretty adamant about abortion rights among many other things things even the instance of a key vote i want to be i want to say that you just you shouldn't rape women and and i don't know i guess i'm just an extremist about that and if the democrats can't get key legislation passed if the democrats can't keep type a woman's right to her bodily autonomy intact absent a raping senator well then the democratic party. Hardy deserves to go up in flames. That's sort of where i'm at. I should be able to have both my bodily autonomy and democratic senators who don't sexually assault women an and i shouldn't be made to feel as though i'm doing something morally problematic by insisting that my democratic representatives both secure karen my fundamental human rights and don't rape women well put i it's hard though because i i think this this'll be branch out to a broader political discussion that we should definitely have maybe not now but i i think the the the structure of the senate favors republicans so so much that i personally don't blame like i've our time being as mad at democrats for not having the votes because the system gives idaho to senators and whatever whatever like these stupid states have the same amount of senators that you and i have that i have in california all these millions and millions of people so it's it's tough like i think that structurally <hes> it's i wouldn't maybe put as much blame on the democrats as perhaps you would but but that may be for another time i don't know but i wonder wonder if i wish we could do this time where there's no bipartisan partisanship. I think there's no chance but i was thinking like i wish there would be some law in place because it's almost like you want a ceasefire like you want like a truce like okay. Democrats and republicans hypothetically good people if there are any left on any side. It should want it to be if you discover that who you know lindsey graham whatever republican senator turns out they have you know just just horrible whatever criminal thing that gets uncovered. I feel like we should if there's one bipartisan thing we should agree on should be like okay. Let's agree that in those instances this is you just get to replace the person was someone within your party and like we'll cancel it out and that'll just allow both parties to get rid of these awful people and not feel like it's this hostage situation where you don't want to give up abortion rights for the whole country for the sake of this one person you know like i wish that were possible yeah yeah that seems totally reasonable to me and i would be willing to support that. If only you know reasonable people capable of putting the best interest of the country. I were in charge and we could do that. It would be great did you. I found it really difficult during this time and i and i want to get your thoughts on it. Did you find it difficult. When it's like yes you know <hes> and we should get back to the franken article maybe and discussed some of the some of the stuff in this new article and some of the original <hes> accusations. I think because it's people might wanna wanna know about it for one and start. Maybe i'll just briefly do that. So the the original accuser was is leeann. Tweeden the conservative talk radio host and if you haven't read this article i think it may i mean it's probably worth knowing knowing some of the information that jane mayer uncover like it does seem as though leeann tweeden was dishonest about some stuff but like is there. How do we approach that. You know how should someone who wants to be a feminist and wants to be a good ally. Maybe how should we think about that like like. What's the balance between okay. I don't want to take apart victim. You know like i don't wanna be trying to take someone down or whatever but like if there's these you know things that seem to be pretty documented that she made some false claims how do you how do you do that tightrope walk. I guess so this is a really tough case because you're right. There are claims that she makes of this article points to that seemed to be at the most charitable not entirely consistent right <hes> tempered by the fact that she's also his political adversary so step one really want to still believe women when they make these sorts of accusations even when i don't like their politics i think that's a good starting point. The second point is when people have looked into how survivors of sexual assault. I have informed the authorities about what's happened to them or their friends or family. The nature of trauma is such that your memory. Marie isn't always vertical. You are going to get things wrong and so there's the sense that you know if someone doesn't remember things things exactly correctly there definitional lying right they're intending to mislead that's not always true and so one of the things that makes this case case really worrying is that there does seem to be some things that are at least not consistent and it's hard to get clear about what of that is is the result of political motivations because the author does bring up that in two thousand and seven sean hannity wanted to go after franken for this on purpose to sort of derail derail his campaign for senator and what is just the sort of in limitations of human memory that we should expect when there's sneeze kinds of things that happen limited. If you agree with this feel free to disagree this would have been a very valid article. If it was only leeann tweeden sweden like if that was the only accusation and that's what took down al franken sure like fine write an article maybe looking into that and the fact that she's conservative talk radio host he has ties to <hes> sean hannity all the stuff fine but like it's almost like they just choose to forget or pretend unlike the wall was a seven or nine other you know accusers of inappropriate touching like they just pretend like that doesn't didn't exist and to me. That was what was so shocking talking about. This article is like how can you just dismiss all of the other accusers who are like yeah he did some of which by the way are many of of which were like democrat women who are like i voted for this guy and i took a picture with him and it was gross and he groped me like that that to me. It was pretty inexcusable usable it. What do you think about that if it was just leeann tweeden maybe they would have a point so i completely agree with you. I think what also stands out to me is even within the the context of this leeann tweeden accusation every single old joke and skit that they're referencing is predicated on the idea that kissing women when they don't want to be kissed is hilarious instead of violation of human rights and <hes> what this really gets at is the idea again that men are the center of our stories and only their encounter of this is what matters do you feel any tension with putting not in context of of like u._s._o. Tour and saying yes yes. This is absolutely inappropriate however within the context of what he was doing in two thousand and three on this u._s._o. A u._s._o. Tour that's a body kind of comedy thing like it. It's perhaps unfair to al franken single him out for that and then again this is ignoring the other things which we very much shouldn't do but as a hypothetical you know like is that the kind of thing where with a good enough apology that that acknowledged that now that that's very wrong and he wouldn't do would that have been something that you would have been able to forgive for al franken if you had to decide so as someone who's not one of al franken's victims. I don't think it's my place to say i would order would not forgive him. I think that's fundamentally between al franken and the people who have been on the receiving end of his unwanted attention <hes> what i think this does get to <hes> though is the way so much of the way that men and women interact with each other functions on the sort of gendered scripts that we sort of unconsciously and uncritically endorsed by our participation in them but never really think think much about them and i think that's what makes this franken case such a lightning rod because franken is doing what he's you know come to understand throughout his the entirety of his life experiences. How guys behave how it is right for a guy to behave right the idea idea that these u._s._o. Tours are themselves sort of raunchy in this particular way is contingent upon there being a certain way of relating of men and two women that is acceptable and normal and now we're sort of starting to say like women don't actually like this and women have never actually actually liked this and it's time you start paying attention to this because the fact that women don't like it spoiler matters and i think i think we're in this moment where the culture is shifting so there's a there is a sense in which yes it is unfair to single out al franken in saying that open you are continuing to behave in ways that were acceptable ten years ago but are not but that is also not holding men accountable for thinking meaningfully about how they behave fair enough i am. I realized i started. I started another question. I think i didn't finish it. <hes> i want to know so from your perspective like how did you deal with just the sheer frustration <hes> because it was maddening to me of having to deal with like nc donald trump going after al franken and just the sheer hypocrisy and discussing this of it like i i i totally hear you that we wanna hold democrats to account for for what they do and i totally agree but is it. How do we take it out of this frame when donald well trump the rapist and chief. You don't like the guy the guy who's been accused by what fourteen women i think it is much higher than maybe more you know is is is hopping ping onto sound off about al franken. How do we not dive into that and be like well. You know what like if you're gonna if you're gonna try to take advantage of this politically like it just feels powerless. I guess like how do you deal with that so i understand that right and that's been something that a lot of democrats bats or democratically inclined people have said like oh. I can't believe we're going after al franken for just a kiss. When the president of the united states is talking about grabbing women by the pussy and endorsing people for senate who has molested children we have to get some proportion here and like in the narrowest sense chance like yeah absolutely that's true right like raping strangers in an alleyway is obviously worse than having to be fringed kissed when you don't. I don't want to be one of the things that really stands out to me. Is that when we frame it that way. It has the the real world result of suggesting that these milder forms of sexual assaulter are somehow okay right and that we should just be grateful at isn't worse like oh. Well don't don't complained that. He stuck his tongue down. Your throat like it's not like he raped you. As though not being raped is a thing you should be grateful for instead of like baseline line standards of decency yeah and i also want to point out that as you said we do have a democratic senator named named tina smith who doesn't get her do in this conversation. You know it's like people pretend she. Either doesn't exist or whatever you know. It's like no she's in there. She's successful. She does a good job like you know. Fortunately it wasn't the case that this seat would go to republican because that's for me. I find that that ethical issue issue like a little bit harder just because of how how evil republicans are that. I do in my opinion like i it's. It's a tough tough trolley raleigh problem of you know on one hand. It's <hes> punishing very justifiably franken for sexual misconduct versus the other other railroad track is like reproductive rights for all of women in the country or something like that and i'm glad we weren't put in that situation and i think that <hes> tina smith doesn't get her due for being being a fantastic replacement for that seat. So is there anything else that you'd wanna talk about on this article. Yeah there's one thing that really stood out to me that we haven't addressed yet and i think this is tied to all of it in about who gets to count as the center of our stories and who who gets to have our moral attention when al franken interviewed for this piece he talks about people who have been me too and this is perhaps one of the grossest lines in this entire piece to me because he turns the metoo movement when he says people who have been meet tude he makes the assailants themselves the victims and he completely turns this entire your movement upside down on its head and then he goes on to say that he was on the losing side of this and i'm just struck by how tone deaf this is and how inconsistent this is with a real meaningful apology that al franken again sitting on between five to ten million dollars it considers himself the real victim and on the losing side of the me too movement as opposed to all of the women who have been raped and sexually harassed harassed out of their chosen professions yeah and i just i i also remembered something i i was going to mention <hes> on the on the ethics review or or whatever you call it the ethics investigation question going forward like a again. Just i guess planning for the future when let's say maybe it was is just one accusation and you know we we. We don't have all the information we might want as a public to make this kind of decision i mean would would it have made sense to say okay. Let's do the investigation that way. We can hear what al franken is as we can hear what any of his victims have to say and then at the result of that we can still say we don't care what the verdict of like the you know. Sub committee committee is or whatever it is we. We still want you to resign or not. Would that have been like perhaps a third way like a middle kind of road between these two things. What do you think i mean. I guess that's possible. I think the thing that i worry about is how much this would be used to set an example for future cases a not just for while position addition senators but every day regular people and leeann tweeden irrespective of her politics or her intentions seems to be the at least at this point in her career relatively well situated right in a way that's not going to have significant financial or correal impacts for her so if al franken was subjected to a senate hearing and got a slap on the wrist and there was no big deal leeann tweeden can go about her normal life pretty much indistinguishable from somehow she had done so before i don't know that that's true in our more sort of general cases of sexual assault and so i worry about saying that we should have done that instead because i think it sort of ignores the very real way that the trials for things like sexual assault and rape have of re traumatizing victims right yeah no. I definitely hear that <hes>. It's something on on opening arguments. We've talked about the fact like up until a certain year you know you're allowed to bring into evidence all this. You know what's her sexual history. What's or whatever like. It's only pretty recently that legally legally people were like wait. We shouldn't be doing this like we shouldn't be putting the victim on trial and i think it still happens. I can't remember if that's a federal thing or if that's only certain states that have eliminated that off the top of my head. I don't remember but one way or the other i it's depressing and depressingly recent like how how recently it was that they were like. You're not allowed to ask what she was wearing and what her sexual history. Is you know like in in a trial. If it's been such an interesting time to try to make sense of where where where the average person you know just just the average like i dunno citizen who is seeing whether it's al franken in or whether it's a another example that i want kinda wanted to talk to you on another episode. <hes> neil degrasse tight <hes> tyson who we put our trust in you know because oftentimes if if we say okay if the police say he's guilty is guilty if not he's not. That's just not going to cut it for so much of this stuff. You know like it's not the the the what's going to convince. A jury you know like isn't necessarily in my opinion. You know i think some conservatives who argued the other way but like in my opinion that's not what we want the standard to be for like who should be in a prestigious position and i think the real problems come into where where you get lower and lower in the reputational reputational i dunno totem pole or whatever when it gets to the point where it somebody who has influenced but is not important enough for buzzfeed to do an investigation like you know do some journalism eliza mon mike. It seems the those people for the most part still have free reign. You know it's all it's almost like we've needed these journalistic investigations from different. You know whether it's new york times whether it's buzzfeed whoever it is we've needed them to like bring to light some really bad behavior in a way that the police don't do in a way that the companies don't don't do and it's almost like if you're not at that level of notoriety or fame where someone would even bother to do that then you you just get off with it. Still it seems to me no. I think that's absolutely right and i think that's one of the dangers of the way. This new yorker piece is framed. This idea that men are harmed <unk> by these accusations is just not borne out by any reality that i recognize and we're so concerned that you know our our men might be harmed that we're we're losing the opportunity to address the way that they're actually causing harm and we don't have a good framework for making sense of of these sorts of cases and how to hold people accountable in ways that acknowledged that we're in this sort of lentil stage where the culture is shifting. Um and people have not always been aware of these things. Even though maybe they should have been <hes> but it fundamentally centers the wrong person in the story. I think yeah totally i i so i guess in terms of this new york apiece i mean in terms of al franken is probably at least the third episode i've done <hes> for me like for my opinion and feel free to give your your closing thoughts are remarks. I just think that this was an attempt to get out of jail. Free you know for like this article to me really struck me as like here's a way that a bunch of people who were fans of al franken can feel better and frankly we. You just shouldn't like i was a huge fan. I still have his book on my shelf because it was so good. I loved his book. I'm so sad that he turned out to be shitty. <hes> but that's you know that's that's how it is like. We we have to realize that that's that that's there are people who do bad things and it's not we we have to accept it and we have to deal with it and not find ways like this in my opinion to pretend that they got railroaded. There wasn't justice like there. Were a lot of accusers who didn't who weren't conservative. Talk show hosts who were actually supportive of him politically and had no reason to be like making up a story <hes> <hes> who said that he did gross stuff like groped kissed that like stuff that in my opinion disqualifies you from being a representative of for for democrats. I think so that's that's kinda my closing thoughts anything <hes> to close from from you yeah i. I completely agree right there. Is i think that gets it right. You know there's a line in the new york apiece where the leeann tweeden is characterized as hating al franken can as though that's her motivation for doing this and it forces us to answer a couple of questions i think most importantly how should someone feel after they've been violated in this particular way if al franken actually did this to her. Should we reasonably expect leeann tweeden to not hate him. I mean that seems like non right to me and i think that gets to the more important question. Which is how do we understand. How do we relate to potential sexual partners. I think are sexual. Ethics are really outdated. I think most most of us have sort of accepted them kind of unquestionably through the implications of friends and t._v. Shows and movies and haven't of it really critically thought about what it needs to flirt or be interested or the different dynamics involved and that now we may actually have to do that if we want to get clear about the right and wrong ness of these sorts of situations. I think that's a that's a great note to go out on. I think it also probably previews a lot of great episodes. Come so yeah jamie. Thank you so much for jumping on. I this is great conversation. I'm really looking forward to speaking with you more <hes>. There's so much i've been i've been reading articles and just thinking like oh. This would make a great topic so i'm looking forward to thank you so much for coming on. Thank you so much looking forward to the next time all right well that does it for us. I can say that <hes> thank you for listening. Please share the show if you found this interesting and and <hes> if you'd like to support the shogo patriot dot com slash series pod. That's where you can make sure that it keeps happening and with that said we will see you whenever next we see. I don't know it's exciting. I don't know <hes> we're going to have to talk off line and figure out what we want to do next but this was a lot of fun we'll see everybody. We'll see you on the podcast feed. Just stat just refreshed that thing and see when we're there <music> <music>.

al franken senator leeann tweeden assault senate new york bill clinton jane mayer jamie lombardi rutgers university of michigan minnesota twitter monica lewinsky united states donald trump Senator bergen community college senate
Jane Mayer On The Case Of Al Franken

Fresh Air

48:26 min | 1 year ago

Jane Mayer On The Case Of Al Franken

"This message comes from N._P._R.. Sponsor indeed if you're hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes set up screener questions then zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates using an online dashboard get started at indeed dot com slash N._p._R.. podcast from W._H._y._y.. In Philadelphia I'm Terry Gross with fresh air today a new look at the sexual misconduct allegations against Al Franken the controversy over for his resignation from the Senate under pressure in two thousand seventeen has been reignited by an investigative piece in the New Yorker. We'll talk to the reporter Jayne Mayor Franken and his main accuser Leeann Tweeden both called for a Senate ethics committee investigation but never got one. Jane Mayer wondered what would it look like if somebody actually did the investigation and how would it come out so I kind of through myself into it to see if I could figure that out by interviewing everybody who would talk to me on all all sides of it. What mayor found was a lot of holes in Tweeden story mayor also looked into the stories of the seven other women who came forward after Tweeden? That's coming up on fresh air support for this podcast comes from the Neubauer and we're family foundation supporting W._H._Y._Y.'s fresh air and its commitment to sharing ideas and encouraging meaningful conversation in a new article in the New Yorker titled The case of Al Franken. My Guest Jane Mayer Investigates Investigates The accusations of sexual misconduct that led Franken to resign under pressure from the Senate. She found that the story told by Franken's chief accuser Leeann Tweeden is full of holes mayor also looked into the accusations against Franken made by seven other women who came forward after Tweeden three weeks after Tweeden's accusations franken resigned after being pressured by some of his fellow senators. Seven of those senators told mayor they now regret having called call for Franken's resignation an eighth came forward after the article was published mayor is one of the leading journalists who's been reporting on sexual harassment and assault from Anita Hill's accusation against Clarence Thomas to the accusations against Brett Kavanagh last year mayor joined with Ronan Farrow to break the story of four women who accused New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a physical abuse three hours after the story was published Schneiderman resigned during my interview with mayor regard to hear a recording of Leeann Tweeden in which he talks about Al Franken's behavior when they did a U._S._O.. Tour together in two thousand six and will hear an excerpt from two thousand four interview with Al Franken about the U._S._O.. Tour he just completed listening back to that interview now puts Tweeden's accusations in a different context Jan mayor welcome back to fresh air. Why did you want to write this piece and wine now? Well both <hes> Al Franken and his Central Accuser Leeann Tweeden had called for independent investigations of their charges and they never got them so I was just interested in what you would find if you ever went back and took a look got it so his main accuser Leeann Tweeden was on a U._S._O.. Tour in two thousand six. She made her accusations public in twenty seventeen. Can you some up what her accusations are. There serve a twofold two main parts of it. The first was that in two thousand six on this U._S._O.. Tour she acted in a skit with Al Franken that he had written a skit just for her as a way of forcing forcing her to kiss him and that when there's a kiss seen in the skit that he took advantage of her and stuck his tongue in her mouth so it was a description basically of a kind of a sexual assault that was this forced first sexual kiss that came out of a skit that she said he wrote just for her and she said as soon as she saw the skit she suspected what he was up up to and then he went ahead and made her rehearse when she didn't want to and he overpowered powered her and sort of basically assaulted her so that was one part but the second part of her accusation was that he asked a photographer to take a picture humiliating her and real had it released and mm sent to her in a C._d.. Of some sort and that was sent to her to make her feel humiliated and what the picture showed was that when she was asleep on an air transport plane and she was wearing a helmet due to n._F._l.. Bulletproof vest that he did this kind of mock lecherous thing where he approached her with his hands above her breasts not quite touching them but quite close and made it look like he was leering at her okay I want. I WANNA play Leeann Tweeden in her own words describing a little bit of what happened and later we'll hear Al Franken describing a similar sketch that he did on an earlier tour. You're so this is Leeann. Tweeden <hes> recorded in November of two thousand seventeen on K._A._B._C. in L._A.. This is the A._M.. Station that she was working on so at this point she's talking about how she and Franken and we're alone backstage going over there lines one last time he's like well. We need to practice the kissing scene and I'm like yeah okay. Whatever and I just sort of blew him off because I didn't like we don't need the practice? Kissing scene is just a quick little thing you know and mini persisted and he's like No. We really need to practice the kissing scene like Okay Al You just turn your head right. I'll turn my head right. We got this you know whatever and he kept persisting. I'm like Al This isn't S._N._l.. We're not really really gonNA KISS so we don't really have to practice and he just kept persisting and it just reminded me of like the Harvey Weinstein tape that you heard the girl when she was wired up for the New York <hes> the N._y._p._d.. And he just persistent and badgering and just relentless you know and so I was just like okay fine too so you would shut up you know and he just sort of came at me and we did the line and he came at me and before you even kind of get close and he just put his hand on the back of my head and he mashed his face against it happened so fast and he just mashed his his lips against my face and he stuck his tongue in my mouth so fast and all I can remember is that his lips were really wet and it was slimy in my in my mind I called him. Fish lips the rest of the trip because that's just what it reminded me of. I don't know why and stuck his tongue down my my mouth and I remember I pushed him off with my hands and I just remember I almost punched Kim so because every time I see him now like my hands clench into fists and I'm sure that's probably why and I said if you ever do that to me again. I'm not going to be so nice about it. The second time and I just walked out away from him and I and I walked out and I I just wanted to find a bathroom and I just wanted to rinse my mouth out because I was just disgusted. You know it was just one of those. I duNNo. I I was violated. I just felt like you know he betrayed my trust and obviously obviously that is not what I wanted and that's I felt like he wrote that just to get that peace and because he knew he wasn't going to get on stage and that was that was why he was badgering me to do it then when we were alone because that's what he wanted okay so that's an excerpt of Leeann Tweeden said on her station K._A._B._C. after she made her accusations public and that was recorded in twenty seventeen so jane one I I heard Leeann Tweeden's accusations and when I saw the photo that she talked about accusing Al Franken of touching her breasts and by the way in that photo she's wearing a Kevlar vest and his hands don't seem to be touching all of it reminded me of a sketch I mean like the photo seemed like a callback to a sketch that he told me about on the air in early two thousand four just a couple of weeks after returning from a U._S._O.. Tour in Iraq and Afghanistan entertaining the troops and he describes the sketch that I'm referring to in that interview you quote an excerpt of that interview in your piece. I WANNA play a a slightly longer version for our listeners so they can hear what Al Franken said about this sketch and <hes> he is positioning the sketch like in the manner of the old Bob Hope U.. S. O. Tours worse in which like Bob Hope what always be surrounded by beautiful women like cheerleaders and models gorgeous actresses and he'd make a lot of double entendre kind of sexual innuendo jokes knowing that he had an audience chance of young men who were the troops in the audience and these were always broadcast on T._v.. So everybody who grew up in the fifties and sixties saw these tours on T._V. and I'm sure Franken was in the audience for those as well so this record in two thousand four about the two thousand three U._S._O.. Tour that he just come back from Leeann Tweeden's tour her U._S._O.. Tour with Al Franken was a few years later in two thousand six. You know I did <hes> very kind of Bob. Hope or <hes> Mighty Carson art players attack on the show they'd really dumb stupid stuff and there's a lot of sex and a lot of stuff about the military and and the U._S.. Oh knows that I do that they. They know that I've done last three tours and they know they totally trust me. What's your material like when you're doing? What was your material life for this latest U._S._O.? Tour so what we did was again we approaches serve like a Bob. Bob Hope Show so <hes> what would happen is Keri would come out and carry turner it will is a <hes> an actress on Jag a show that <hes> the the guy that goes on armed forces television and that the guys love it's. I've never seen it but it's very popular show on C._B._S.. And his ninth season and carry is terrific and she's a pretty blonde and she would come out and say some very sincere thoughts of <hes> of around an injured. It's me and I'd come out and my first line was so anybody here from out of town and then when next line was <hes> <hes> boy this army chose not agreeing with me you know these <hes> I've had five of these Maris those are meals ready to eat. I've had five these Maurice and none of them seem to have an exit strategy and then I just do like but it's an honor to be here with Kerry nine seasons on Jaguars and she goes well. Yeah I said well you must must've had a lot of thousands of guest hosts on our guest stars on the show. She's well yeah. We not thousands. We've got a lot. We've been very lucky. I said well. I noticed that I haven't been a guest on Jag and she said well you know it's we've been very lucky okay and I said well. I hope maybe by the end of we've done this together that could be aghast and she said well. You know it's a drama. It's not a comedy and I said well actually that's why I've taken the liberty of writing an audition edition piece for my as an audition for for Jag and then it's just a piece in which I play a visiting prosecutor who's been sent a Jag ups by the Pentagon shake things up <hes> Lieutenant Lance. It's hard grove and it's just stupid. I think I brought it so I could play a little bit of it it. She goes <hes>. I gave her the script. I'd say it's your lunch. She goes Lieutenant Hargrove. What are you doing here in Jag ops? I told you call me Lance. They laughed at that Lieutenant Hargrove this Jag ops. It's all business here is it then why are you wearing that negligee and then and they cheered that she says my character would never wear negligently office you would if you're madly in love with Lieutenant Lance Harbor Ally married on the show to Lieutenant Bud Rubber type two kids yeah yeah yeah yeah keep reading then she reads Lance. I've have been wearing this. I'm wearing this negligee because I want to be <hes> tonight. It'd be very special. I WanNa give myself to you completely now. Kiss me then I kissed carry just grabbed her and Kester and she fights me off and she says now wait a minute now. You just wrote this so you could kiss me now. They're cheering the guys and she says Vica Kiss anybody. It'd be a real soldier like one of these brave men now. They're Jaren or women who wants to help me out the volunteers you use soldier and I'd go okay. I guess we are entertain the troops and then then they'd read the script again and the soldier would kiss her and real. You know we wrote in the script they kiss along the kiss and God the guys went nuts was this is what I loved about. This was if each guide kissed her and then I after the kiss I go way wait. It's not over. There's another line and carry so there is I could go ahead. Read it to the soldier and the soldier would read you know Harriet woman ear age really should have a thorough breast examination every year lucky for you. Dr Al Franken is here and I hear approach with my hands out she go out at ease and I'd say too late for that. Now she go. They get Outta here so that was that was sort of the Bob. Hope thing of getting a guy on stage the kiss <hes> pretty pretty girl that was Al Franken on fresh air recorded in January of two thousand four Leeann Tweeden U._S._O.. Tour with several years later that tour was in two thousand six so this is three years before he toured with Leeann Tweeden and I know some people listening we'll tell you that was like really sexy sounding and tears laughing so much and so I'll cop to that yeah I was laughing lot this during the Iraq war in two thousand three and I thought Al Franken was kind of a mocking himself and and be doing some Meta comedy about Bob. HOPE SEXIST JOKES ON U._S._O.. Tours maybe that was a misreading of it and now I'm also thinking about with. I'm sure there were women who were in the military in the audience to during that a lot of women were exposed to sexual harassment in the military so maybe in that respect to these jokes might not have landed that well to the women in the audience but I wasn't there. I don't know how it went over though online because there is a video of it it seems to have played pretty well so Jane you've heard Al Franken in two thousand three. You've heard Leeann Tweeden's comments about how she feels like she was sexually abused by him in two two thousand six so you say none of her accusations hold up so run through some of her accusations that you checked out that don't hold up. Let's start with the sketch. Let's start with the connections ends between the accusations. She's making and the jokes that Franken was trying to tell him a sketch. Well so I'm the reporter. I'm trying to figure out what happened here and I'm doing my research is reporter and one of the the things like do is click on an interview that Al Franken gave to you back in two thousand three in which he is describing the entire skit that ah Leeann Tweeden is claiming. He wrote just for her in two thousand six so clearly. There's some problem here <hes> there's a factual issue because he didn't just write it for her. In two thousand six he is describing it to you three years earlier and he's played it with a different actress and the picture that we've all seen that has talked about something that's gone viral that picture of Al Franken with his hands hands out towards Leeann Tweeden's breasts when she's in her bulletproof vest or whatever that picture is exactly what he's describing is part of a skit. It's not what it looks like when they put it out they put it out and it looked like something that he was you know spontaneously doing and she described it as unbelievably humiliating and not funny and it turns out as you could hear him describing on your own show Oh that in two thousand three he wrote the skit and she performed in it regularly <hes> that is of several actresses performed it before Leeann Tweeden they did it in two thousand three two thousand four two thousand five and then two thousand six Leeann tweeden comes along plays the role and then all these years later in the middle of the metoo movement in a statement that compares Al Franken to Harvey Weinstein as you played earlier. She says he just did <hes> this in order to basically sexually harass me <hes> so I'm trying to figure out what's the story here and one of the the <hes> sort of pieces of evidence is your own interview here which is so it's interesting to me. You know I mean and so what do you do when you're reporter and you're looking at this kind of thing. Well you go see if you can reach the actresses who played the part to see what they thought of it and to see if they'll confirm this and so I did I spoke I got a statement from Kerry Turner where she talks about it and she like I am as a supporter of the metoo movement and she wants to make that clear but she also wants to say. I played that part. I had no problem with with it and I had no problem with Al Franken so call up then the second actress who played that role and she played it a couple times and that's <hes> trailer Portman and I she speaks to me on the record in this piece and she says well you know I just have to say it's just not correct. Leeann Tweeden is not correct and saying that Al Franken wrote this for her because I played the same part a couple years earlier and I said well what was you know. How did you feel about the kissing scene? Did you feel that it was taking advantage of you in some way and she says well no I mean you know of course you're going to rehearse professionals. Rehearse <hes> and <hes> you know certainly in her case. There was none of this kind of French kissing thing. I mean that's not to say I'm very careful in the peace is because we're in a period here and I think we should have always been in a period where we listened to women and we hear what they say about whether or not they feel that they were sexually harassed so Leeann Tweeden didn't WanNA speak to me but I put in the story well. Maybe she felt upset about it anyway. She's actually not an actress. She's a model a lingerie model and it could be that she wasn't accustomed to rehearsing the way these actresses were and that she did maybe feel surprised even though she had read the script before but at any rate what you've got is a big hole in her story so I spoke to eight of the other people who went on that U._S._O.. Tour including the military escort who <hes> whose job it was to stay a really close to Leeann tweeden physically make sure she was almost never out of her side except when she was asleep and Leeann Tweeden had described what she said was kind of constant harassment coming from Al Franken and that he was getting back at her and humiliating her because she had rejected his sexual advance in the kiss scene and <hes> so I said you know what what was the dynamic like between them and do you remember any kind of tension. She said No. I I never saw anything like that and neither did any of the other eight people that I talked to who are on the U._S._O.. Tour that's not to say that there might not be somebody up done enough of this kind of reporting to know that it takes a lot of <hes> digging and you know maybe there's somebody out there who saw something something who I couldn't reach and so I called Leeann Tweeden again <hes> and I texted on talk to people who earned said you know I'm having trouble finding anybody who corroborates her story and she mentioned there were a number of corroborates. I hoped that it may be she'd give me the names of someone who remembered her story and crooked corroborated <hes> and she never responded. My guest is Jane Mayer a staff writer for the New Yorker her new article the case of Al Franken investigates the allegations against him of sexual misconduct after break. We'll talk about some of the things Al Franken told mayor and will discuss what mayor learned about the allegations seven other women made against Al Franken after Leeann Tweeden came forward. I'm Terry Gross and this is fresh air support for fresh air and the following message come from rocket mortgage by quicken loans. Imagine how it feels to have an award winning team of mortgage experts make the home buying process smoother for you with a history of industry leading online online lending technology rocket mortgage is changing the game visit rocket mortgage dot com slash fresh air equal housing lender licensed in all fifty states n._M._l._S. consumeraccess dot org number thirty thirty rocket mortgage by quicken loans. It's push-button get mortgage. Let's get back to my interview with Jane Mayer about her article. The case of Al Franken published in The New Yorker Mayor investigates the allegations against Franken of sexual misconduct that led him to resign. I'm from the Senate under pressure. In twenty seventeen mayor found that the story told by his chief Accuser Leeann Tweeden was full of holes. Tweeden is a conservative radio talk show host and former model who was with Franken on a U._S._O.. Tour in two two thousand six and performed in sketchy wrote she alleged that he wrote a new sketch that involved his character kissing her character and that he wrote it just to have an excuse to kiss her as a piece of evidence of his misconduct she you posted and now famous photo taken on a military plane during the tour where she's asleep dressed in a helmet fatigues and a bulletproof vest and he's standing over her with his hands above her breasts mugging for the camera with a comical leering leering look on his face but the photo appears to be a reference to a joke that was in the sketch. You interviewed Al Franken. How did he describe the photo in question to you? He actually really feels really badly about that photo because he said she's asleep. It's always wrong to take a picture of someone asleep because they're not consenting you know it was it was something that he's not proud of but he also said that <hes> he did not sexually harass her. He said what it was was. They were busy <hes> towards the end of the tour they were punchy and it was a body tour and it was they were goofing around. I think is the word that he used and I think you can you know many people would <hes> object to the pose the taste <hes> the look the sexism of the joke and especially that she was asleep but. what he's saying is it was not harassing her it was not malicious it was being dope and his persona that he often plays as a comic and he was a comic at the time is to play the part of the jerk and and i think he did a pretty good job playing the jerk in that picture and did he see that picture as a callback to a joke in the sketch that they done together he did i mean you know you can see it's exactly the same post which is one of the thing about the sketch you know <hes> tweeden says that he did rehearsal just as an excuse to kiss her in this sketch the actress in the sketch says out you wrote this line just so you'd get to kiss me so that accusation in a way has an odd echo with the actual sketch you completely i i didn't an was i had a hard time even figuring out how to write about out this because it was that what you've got is a woman who played a part that al franken wrote <hes> in which she says you wrote this part just to kiss me and then all all these years later she comes out and accuses him of sexual harassment and her line as she's talking to everybody about it is he wrote this line just to kiss me so it is a complete sort of <hes> borrowing of the line from the skit that he wrote in which she supposed to push back and be annoyed and she is pushing back and being annoyed so i finally settled on trying to describe it as as kind of like he was in a position of having to sort of describe a <music> an asher drawing it's like you it just sort of it it's dizzying really and he had a hard time figuring out what to say he told me about all this and he didn't want to accuse anybody <hes> falsely but he also wanted to defend himself so he was he i think he and his staff i interviewed all of them they felt in kind of a bind in weren't were really weren't sure how to handle it you learned about how leeann tweeden made her accusations public at the time she was working at k._a._b._c. a._m. where she still working but then she was co hosting a morning show you describe the station at the time as a struggling conservative talk station whose survival plan was to become the most pro-trump station in l._a. you say that people at the station helped her with the statement that she put on the website how do they help her well so i interviewed them and they worked through the details with her in meeting after meeting they had these sort of secret meetings where the news director whose name was nathan baker and doug mcintyre who was her co host on the morning drive time show both of them are quite conservative but maybe not quite as conservative as the station nation which is really become the pro-trump station in l._a. and they've both left since so i spoke to both of them about it and i wanted to know as a journalist what was the level of care that they put into the journalism journalism here did they check out her story and what they told me was and you can read the peace there on the record what they told me was no both of them said they did no fact checking they did not call anybody else on the tour they did not ask the names of any corroborate they certainly didn't speak any corroborates they didn't look at the script they didn't look at the photographs to see what the dates were on them so they didn't recognize that that there were all these holes in her story <hes> they trusted her on faith faith because <hes> one of them doug mcintyre said you know she's person he knew <hes> and he felt she was a person of integrity and <hes> so they took her at her word but the other thing that they did that journalistically is is so questionable fashionable if you ask me and i've been journalist for many decades is that they never got any comment from al franken before they put this story online <hes> so k._a._b._c. <hes> sent <hes> a note some kind of email to al franken after the story was already live on the internet saying would you like to comment <hes> by then it was you know spreading everywhere they actually literally gave it to the drudge report twenty four hours ahead of the time when they contacted al al franken so they wanted this they thought through how to make this story spread everywhere but they never asked al franken you know was a true does he have anything to say about it <hes> by the time he heard about this story it was kind on a fait accompli you mentioned in your piece that tweeden was pro-trump emma's also a birther is that relevant to the story well i i mean i think you know everybody's political agendas are interesting to know they i think that in this case <hes> you've got a woman who is <hes> very much a political opponent of al franken's she's an outspoken conservative she's <hes> in a a fan fan of trump and i have her talking about that and al franken is of course a big opponent of of trump's he was one of the most sort of liberal and outspoken anti-trump <hes> senators he he he was a very aggressive off questioner of trump administration <hes> figures when he was in the senate so you've got a kind of you know it's again trying to flesh out who are these people what happened here when k._a._b._c. a._m. the radio station were leeann tweeden works and where she i posted her statement when they posted her statement her accusations against franken did look like one woman's personal statement or did look like a a reported story that there were posting like like a you know a reported news story well i mean they put it out under the banner of the station so it it looked like a legitimate news story which one would ordinarily think had been checked and and that may maybe they'd you know at least gotten comment from the person that it was about and so i think that was part of the problem when i looked back at this to try to figure out what what happened one of the things i wondered was why didn't <hes> franken if he feels that this story was so wrong which he really does he thinks it's he thinks that she wasn't telling the truth why didn't he push back harder i wondered <hes> and and i think when i talked to his staff and him about this part of the problem was by the time they learned about this story they felt that it was almost impossible to turn the the the media narrative around about it it had come out and he was already being <hes> besieged by press reports and the reporters were not on doing what i did hear which is take a long time to go see what what lay behind the these charges the they rushed to get it right up on the internet and he and so he began to think and staff began to think that the only only way that they were going to try to get the truth out as he saw it was to have a hearing in the senate ethics committee and he could bring his witnesses and he could call the photographer in who took that picture and he could bring in the actresses and the other people who were on tour with him and that's what he was trying to do and wanted to do <hes> but the story just kind of got a life of its own took off my guest is jane mayer the new yorkers chief washington correspondent her new article all is titled the case of al franken after a break we'll talk about the accusations made by the seven other women who came forward after leeann tweeden and accused al franken of sexual misconduct this is fresh air support for this podcast asked and the following message come from the walton family foundation where opportunity takes root more information is available at walton family foundation dot org bitcoin a huge amount of electricity to power it's computers and that is created some very unique money-making opportunities in different parts of the world it is also causing some governments concert listen and subscribe to the indicator from n._p._r. let's get back to my interview with jane mayer a staff writer for the new yorker who's who's new article is titled the case of al franken she investigated the allegations of sexual misconduct that led franken to resign under pressure from the senate in twenty seventeen so after leeann tweeden made her accusations stations against al franken seven other women came forward consum- up their accusations yeah i mean you know it's a it's a big number and it makes it pretty hard to imagine that al franken did nothing as a reporter looking at this <hes> a lot of what reporting on sexual harassment comes down to is looking for patterns of behavior by the time if reached you know the additional seven women you're you're thinking something the thing must be wrong here you know <hes> and so what was it and so what i did was try to take a look at the other cases i'm not you know his defense lawyer i'm just trying to scrutinize what's going on here and i guess if you tried to summarize what they are you've got to other cases of women who <hes> felt that he was <hes> about to kiss them one of whom he kissed on the cheek <hes> because she turned her head away and the other who said it looked like he was gonna kiss her her and then you've got four other women who were posing for photographs with him and said he touched them in some way that made them uncomfortable while they were posing maybe either touched abreast touched their rear ends <hes> touched their waste and they felt that it was in a creepy way and then there's one more accusation which is a woman who said that it a fundraiser <hes> he somehow touched her i think it was maybe on the breast and then <hes> <hes> she excused herself to go to the bathroom and she says that he said can i come with you it was in the middle of a crowded fundraiser almost all of these i you know if you go through them they took place in crowded places places in public and these were moments that lasted i asked the women those who i could reach how long how long did this go on and it was usually sort of three to four maybe five seconds so these were sort of fleeting touches yes <hes> and <hes> you know sort of weird so i try to figure out what that was when you say weird you what do you mean by weird who's weird flick well i just you know i i i think this came down to kind of close look at a subject that we as a culture grappling with right now which is the politics of touching you know are these touches harassment are these touches friendly are are they molestation are they accidental are they sexual advances that are being made on people i thought probably the only way you could begin to figure this out is by talking to the women as much as possible and trying to get from them what they experienced taking a look at their credibility so you could sort of figure out what did they bring to these accusations and and trying to talk to not just franken but the people he worked with about what they made if these accusations and so i set out to interview all of them and what we're on the insights A picture of Franken and how he moves fruit through the world physically <hes> he is by his own admission oblivious a lot of the time <hes> obtuse Bruce is what I call him. I spoke to him in terms of how he touches people. He's playful. He pulls them together for photographs. He takes kids and sort of puts them in a hammer hold and he often as somebody who used to be the in the entertainment world spins people around towards the light when he's taking pictures in order to get a good picture with them so he's touching all these people and the other thing is people are always touching him all the way through the years people people who wanted to have their pictures taken with him because he's a TV celebrity on Saturday night live and he's the best selling book author so everywhere he goes people are asking for pictures and I get this from talking to staff and they say you know he's constantly posing for Pictures Church. He's constantly mugging it up. He'll put his cheek right next to somebody else's and you know <hes> all this stuff is going on and he is kind of a slob <hes> and this I knew from I have to say one time I ever met him. I was on Air America on the radio show that he used to host and and I don't remember too much about it except that he seemed quite gruff <hes> in terms of his personal interaction with me and he I think was eating throughout throughout the whole interview. There was like a sort of paper plate with with food on it and it was kind of like you know the food in the eating was all mixed up with the interview <hes> so I kind of remembered this and so I asked a lot of his staffers you you know is he bit of a Slob. <hes> could it be that he's touching these women sort of without a lot of <hes> care you know is he not careful about how he touches people and they said well actually it's been an issue so I'm thinking <hes> what does that mean. What what kind of issue is this and it turned out that if you do enough reporting on Al Franken what you learn is he's a hugger? He used to be a Kisser Hissar. If he knows the person sometimes he'll kiss them on the lips <hes> so you've got two of his friends from comedy talking about that or one of them's Randy Rhoads so she's on the radio with him the others the comic Sarah Silverman. She says he's a lip Kisser <hes> and he also is a hugger <hes> he comes out of the entertainment world he comes out of sort of New York <hes> kind of Borscht belt humor it's his culture and when he started running for office which <hes> it was really in earnest in two thousand seven one of the things that's in the story that I found most interesting was he kissed somebody on the lips who we knew a woman who is not married to an a young staffer who's named in the story who's was quite conservative interim sort of as culturally he's from South Dakota. He said to Al Franken he's working for Al Franken. He says don't do that and Al Franken says really and the the staffer says yes people might misinterpreted so you're talking two thousand seven. He stops doing it he. He says he tried you know. That was a wakeup. Call to him. So then I look at these allegations an awful lot of them happened before he got that warning and you so you can make of it what you want but I think <hes> you know to me as someone trying to figure out where the truth lies in this it's it's important to know that when this man was called on his behavior and told it was making seen people uncomfortable and he shouldn't do it or told that it just looked wrong and he shouldn't do it. He was surprised and he stopped <hes> so you know it shows it. It's not exactly the same as like a a Predator Leeann Tweeden put him in the category with Harvey Weinstein. It's you're talking about something different. It's a different there's a different category of behavior taking place here. My guest is Jane Mayer. The New Yorkers chief Washington correspondent who knew article is titled The case of Al Franken. We'll talk more after a break. This is fresh air support for N._P._R.. Comes from Newman's own foundation working to nourish the common good by donating all profits from Newman's own food it products to charitable organizations that seek to make the world a better place more information is available at Newman's own foundation dot org support for N._p._R.. Comes from W._H._y._y.. Presenting the podcast eleanor amplified and adventure series kids love and will make those summer road trips a little easier on everyone here reporter Eleanor outwit crafty villains and solve mysteries as she travels the globe to get the big story available where you get podcasts or at W._h._y._y.. Dot Org. Let's get back to my interview Jane Mayer She's a staff writer for the New Yorker her new article titled The case of Al Franken Franken hope to get a hearing before the Senate ethics committee that never happened. Why didn't the Democrats pursue that well in the beginning? They said they would do so but as each allegation broken the news against Al Franken and they started to pile up there was a lot of pressure put on the Democrats in the Senate by the media and by women's groups saying how can you possibly condemn others including our President Donald Trump for the way they treat women when you're not condemning one of your own colleagues Al Franken and the pressure was especially strong on the women senators who had made sexual harassment a crusade fighting sexual harassment a crusade and so they were being put under you're a lot of pressure daily and the pressure was growing and eventually they went and met with Chuck Schumer the minority leader in the Senate and said they thought that something had to be done about this and then Schumer asked Franken to resign and you describe that scene from FRANKEN point of view 'cause he told you about it right and I also spoke with Schumer Steph about it and got a statement from Schumer about it so we've got both sides of of that story too and I spoke with the Women Senators <hes> you'll see that at Kristen Gillibrand who's taken a lot of heat for being the first to call Franken to resign spoke to me about why she made her decision when she made her decision and how she sees it yeah. I've I think in reporting story like this. It's so important to get everybody's input because there are a lot of different sides here to hear from and they're all in the story as much as I could possibly get them <hes> Um and so anyway <hes> what happens is there's this there becomes a what one of the senators described as a stampede Senator White House from Rhode Island says this stampeded Democrats starts calling for Franken to resign nine and Chuck Schumer comes out among them and calls for Franken to resign and before that behind the scenes Chuck Schumer has met with Franken and says you have to step down you gotta step down by five <hes> and Franken can says but I want my ethics hearing I you know I want due process and <hes> and <hes> basically the leader of the Democrats in the Senate Schumer tells him <hes> no you know you're you're you gotTa have to resign signed for the good of the Party and the good of the country and if you don't you could be stripped of your committee <hes> <hes> positions and you could be censured <hes> by the others in the Senate and people basically he's worn Franken has told will treat them like a pariah so franken strategy will was to not spend a lot of time fighting back in public but to rather wait for an ethics committee in which he could present you know witnesses and people who would corroborate his story also explain the context of what happened but then he was denied the ethics committee and then he seemed to disappear afterward he did I mean and to give the other side of his disappearance and you know that he didn't get the ethics committee hearing I mean people do point out and I think fairly that if l Franken had really wanted to he could've stayed in the Senate Senate. Nobody can make a senator on you can expel someone from the Senate but that has not happened since the civil war so <hes> he and his staff and his family all got together and they met about what to do and it was in tremendously <hes> sort of fraud night and <hes> they decided altogether that really he wouldn't be able to serve his constituents well in Minnesota if if he was treated as an ostracized caused by the other senators because it takes a lot of teamwork to get anything done in the Senate and <hes> and so he decided to resign so Jane you reported so many sexual harassment and sexual assaults all stories dating back to the Clarence Thomas hearings what's the moral of the story regarding the Al Franken case where does that fit in in the metoo movement in your I I talked to a number of incredibly smart <hes> feminists about how they saw it <hes> and they're quoted in the story trying to evaluate it too and I end the story with a quote from <hes> Deborah cats who was the lawyer for Christine Blasi for the woman who accused <hes> Justice Cavanaugh of having <hes> crew <hes> sexually misbehave towards her many years ago and so debbie cats in the story says she feels it's a kind of a cautionary tale that <hes> The metoo movement which she's a tremendous supporter of as am I <hes> needs to <hes> make sure that there is some kind of due process. You need to make sure that <hes> th that that there is <hes> proportionality in <hes> in terms of you know being able to distinguish different gradations of bad behavior <hes> not everybody is Harvey Weinstein <hes> but there may be other kinds of misconduct that also need to be addressed but in different ways and <hes> nobody is saying you need to put up with sexual misconduct but there are just different levels of it and then finally you know I think what she's saying. Is that <hes> that if you if you confuse less serious charges with serious ones you feed a backlash backlash against the whole movement that could hurt the movement and their number of women who were really strong feminists who worry about that in this story Jane Mayer thank you so much for talking with us and thank you for your reporting my pleasure. It's great great to be with you. Jane Mayer is a staff writer for the New Yorker her new article titled The case of Al Franken fresh air's executive producers Miller our interviews and reviews produced an edited by Amy Salad Phyllis Myers Sam brigger Lauren Crendall Heidi Simone Theresa Madden Moods Eighty and Seth Kelly. They challenor directed today show. I'm Terry Gross <music>.

Jayne Mayor Franken Leeann Tweeden Al Franken Jane Mayer franken reporter Senate harassment Terry Gross Bob Hope New York assault Tweeden Harvey Weinstein Clarence Thomas Lieutenant Lance senator Philadelphia Iraq
Dan Le Batard vs. ESPN, Al Franken Reconsidered, and the Worst 'Lion King' Reviews | The Press Box

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54:28 min | 1 year ago

Dan Le Batard vs. ESPN, Al Franken Reconsidered, and the Worst 'Lion King' Reviews | The Press Box

"The David after criticizing E._S._p._N.'s no politics policy. Dan Le Batard said he was not in the right frame of mind to be on his radio show Monday. According to Sports Business Journal what I want WanNa know is if you didn't want to do this podcast today. How would you have described your mental state with yield southern's phrases accent four and wouldn't couldn't come? You know that one no I don't yeah that's sort of just like I didn't WANNA show or I. It wasn't in the mood for showing up. Brian was sent foreign couldn't come today. I feel like we've seen a lot of celebrities. Who are maybe politicians with their job site exhaustion right mental exhaustion? That's kind of a nice this kind of a simple exhausted. I think we're your I remain somebody who produces a shell the correct answer that you couldn't give would be. I'm currently asleep it just earlier today. Brian Stelter tweeted a a quote from laboratory today saying that he was upon his return saying quote. I'm a little scared a little nervous. I'm walking a bit of tight rope so you know the metaphors didn't end on day one. They're still going. I think that I would have been a little bit more sympathetic if you said he was nervous as a cat and room rocking chairs to go on the air today we're the brain rod of media podcasts the press box a part of the ringer podcast network Hello Media Consumers Bryan Curtis and David Shoemaker here much of great stuff to get to on today's show. We're GONNA talk about that Big Al Franken story in the New Yorker. We've got a report from America's content farms on the subject of Jeffrey Epstein. We've got the dateline of the week and the overworked twitter joke of the week as though is but David back to the Dan Le Batard affair last Thursday Lebatardshow went off on Donald Trump's racist comments about the Congress members not squad <hes> and the centre-back bit in particular. He also went after E._S._P._N.. Let's listen to a little bit of it. There's a racial division this country that's being instigated by the president and we we hear at E._S._p._N.. Haven't had the stomach for that fight because you're mel did some things on twitter and you saw what happened after that then here all of a sudden nobody talks politics on anything unless we can use one of these sports figures as a meat shield in the most cowardly possible possible way to discuss these subjects but what happened last night at this rally is deeply offensive <hes> done by the president of our country Lebatardshow read a tweet from Nick right who is apparently allowed to go in on the stuff off and then he continued. Let's let this tape role a little bit longer. It is so wrong what the president of our country is doing trying to go down getting reelected by dividing the masses at a time when the old white man old rich white man feels oppress being attacked by minorities Black People Brown people women. That's who were going after now Black People Brown people women and that's the like. Let's do it as the platform. That's what you're seeing and the only way we can discuss around here because this isn't about politics. It's about race. What you're seeing happening around? Here is about race and it's been turned into politics and we only talk about it around here. When Steve Kerr Popovich says something we don't talk about what is happening unless there's some some sort of week cowardly sports angle that we can run it through when sports has always been a place where this stuff changes five seconds after something like that happens David? Everybody's mind goes to E._S._P._N.. And Politics E._S._p._N.. And Liberalism what is the policy here's where my mind goes to the anguish and Dan laboratories voice because what he is explaining there is the eternal conundrum of being a sports writer there what you do on a daily basis is is about these games and what you're not talking about on a daily basis is about that shit that's going on over there in the White House and seems like a much bigger story. That's what he's talking about and we're looking at it now through this E._s._p._N.. Lens wins and the rules and Jimmy Eternal. We'll get to that in the second this is this is what being a sports writers all about and it saying that I have this giant platform and somehow either I'm not or I can't talk about the thing that it seems much more important. It seems like a much bigger story and sometimes that plays out his policy between the writer under the media member and their employer but I think most the time it just plays out in somebody's heart and in their mind and you know to me if I ever meet a sportsreiter sports media person who isn't feeling this especially right now. I kinda wonder what's wrong with them and I kinda. Wonder you know if you if if you just think that this little thing we do over here. Most of the time is just fine and there's not a little party that wonders if you shouldn't be doing something else with your life then I just you know to me it was to me it was lebatardshow articulately articulating something that has been around forever. Would you think I think that's right. I think I I think that you put perfectly <hes> you know we're not in the finger-pointing segment of the of the discussion yet but but I do think that there's something to be said for you know when you when Your Business Model is creating this you kind of wall to wall entertainment world rate <hes> then there has to be room for discussion of other things I mean if your if your intention is to get as a gift people to turn on the channel in the morning or on the radio in the morning and never flipped the dial I mean that's gotta be the you know the goal at the end of the day and then in some in some ways you've gotta you've got to figure out you've got to figure out a way to be oncoming or at least somewhat more encompassing in your subject matter and then in separate from that or maybe it's a it's a corollary to that when your business model is based on personalities right E._S._p._N.. Radio is not just readings sports scores <hes> and like injury reports is this is is Dan Lebatardshow human being is the reason I mean is is is getting paid lots of money by E._S._p._N.. Because of who is a person as a T._v.. Show he has a radio show broadcast T._v.. Show <hes> this is Dan. I mean it's it's it's it's him as if it's him as a personality and part of that personality isn't is interested in talking about this well. It shouldn't be it. I mean on the one hand I get. I get the the corporate stance of like only when it relates the sports only when whatever but it does seem sort of ridiculous on its face when the hook is that someone with a similar job description at another company tweeted about it and now we can talk about now. Maybe that doesn't count for you know maybe that maybe maybe maybe it doesn't count when Nick writes about it but is really all we need just to have like I mean I mean couldn't we just have one low level N._F._l.. Player or one medium tear N._F._l.. N._B._A. Player who just took it upon himself to tweet a liberal deliberate perspective perspective on every political things so that they would have a hook to talk about it on the radio. I mean with that really be a solution because that seems to be what they're asking for and that's what he's that's what he's calling out is so silly yeah exactly I mean and to think that I mean I guess that we discussed this. We discuss this trump. I made their I mean I I tweeted these things. <hes> you know but I feel like at some point you have to just acknowledge that something's beyond the Pale right and and and I think that's what lead guitar was doing here and I think that it's a direct challenge to his superiors to say you know I'm sure that along with all these bylaws or whatever about you know sticking sports they probably said you know at some point. It'll be to the point that we have to. We you know that you'd have to touch on it and I think this is love towards saying we're at that point and <hes> if you don't agree with me then like sure you're you're welcome to come down on the side of the racists. This is well. I think I think John Skipper had a policy who was a previous president of E._S._p._N.. That was like that which is there's all these things we have to do because we're E._S._P._N.. And the data shows us we should do this and this is where the audiences and this is what the audience wants but there is a subset of things we should do because they're the right thing to do because the time the country whatever it is demands that we should do this. This is the right thing to do. People may not want this as much as they want something else but this is the right thing to do. In every public statement Jimmy Petar has made he has not talked in those terms. He has said right very clearly. The data tells us to do this. The data says E._S._P._N.. Viewers brewers consumers do not want politics politics it with big big air quotes so therefore even if you Dan Lebatard were hired as you just said because you're a really interesting person because you're a polymath and when you sit down dinner at night sixty percent of your conversation is about this thing trump said today and you have a great interesting perspective on it you you know a lot of talk about that's it. We don't want that. We want you talking about N._B._A.. Free Agency in N._F._l.. Training camp that kind of stuff and you know listen Lebanon has snuck more non-sports into a sport show then basically anybody in human history especially on that big a platform but you know I don't. It's funny because to me guitars whole thing was you can't talk about this and by the way that forced everybody at e._S._p._N.. Who's politics are similar to Lebatardshow to make a choice and you we I know who these people are? This isn't a secret but those people have made a choice to say. Look you get the E._S._p._N.. Exposure you get the Nice contract you get a perch at the top of the sports media world but guess what you have to play by the rules rules. You can't talk about it and you know but Taro since he came in did that and think of how many people have made that choice think of how many people ninety nine percent of the time on a daily basis of billet okay okay okay one time. It's yeah yeah I mean I think a lot of people would make that choice. I don't think that there's a you know I don't think we need to wade deeply into the moral imperative argument human. I think that for a lot of people a lot of people's Calculus or people are in a lot different position than Dan Le Batard. Maybe Dan Laboratory would have done the same thing if he was broadcasting on a pirate radio to an audience of one hundred people. You know I kind of actually do one away to the moral imperative. I mean a lot of people's Calculus for saying yes is that they DECI is that you know they have other. Their priorities are providing for their family or doing whatever you know there's. I don't even want to cast aspersions anybody else at E._S._p._N.. Let's let's roll this back in imagine that Grantland had continued pass Twenty Fifteen Simmons Simmons resigns you and <hes> we're all sort of happy. GRANTLAND family and Donald trump gets elected and Jimmy Petar becomes president of E._S._p._N.. And you and I look at each other go wait. We can't say anything about Donald Trump up ever either in our E._S._p._N.. Product or basically on our twitter feeds or just we can't use any part of whatever microphone we have. Would we have quit the next day you know in my <hes> Walter Mitty fantasy I'd love to think so but I probably not yeah probably not but I would like to think that you and I would have at least been pushed mentally inside inside ourselves to worry about it and to wonder okay the right decision yes but I think I think that I'm not sure if this I'm not sure what side this really comes down but I think it's worth it's worth pointing out that part would've that there is a moral aspect to that. which is that like the things that are president said in tweeted <hes> you know everyone should be shouting from the rooftops about how offensive inappropriate and problematic they are but there's also so the this maybe this gets back to what we you know? The kind of core of the the the media side of the conversations like the idea that of site light grantland would exist and not be touching on these issues is just might would be impossible to to to consider consider in night in two thousand nineteen right. I mean it would be like I mean. Could you imagine what what the third rail would have to be for Simmons Jonathan AC- to tell us no. We're not gonNA touch on that for fear of offending readers in I mean it would just like the idea that you can be voice driven a writing driven even just an idea driven media outlet in two thousand nineteen and have that have anything have something that significant be off. Limits is just would be mind boggling right so like so. So to say if he if that was a really grantland yeah it would be like I would. I would think about quitting but I would think about quitting almost less oh because the moral aspect and more because of the like I don't this what have we got ourselves into just from a purely functional optional standpoint aspect does that make sense dough absolutely and and when moral you know again it's you're right. It's biting off a lot to say I expect everyone to be up in arms about this and and you know and and calling out trump for racism and stuff like that I guess I'm more mean like just living with yourself and being okay with what you did. You know look we we. We're lucky to work in a place in a great place right now where we don't have those kind of handcuffs on us but still you know you and I spent a lot of our time doing other stuff too. I love. I love writing about Kendrick Perkins I do that's that's fun but when I look back and say you know Brian. Would you do during the trump years. You know I mean I mean you know that that stuff plays into it not because there's anything wrong with writing a piece like that because just what I talked about what the conundrum of being sports writer to your point about voice I think that's so important because the kind of people were talking about here were either hired or promoted by John Skipper and they were hired or promoted because they had a voice and because they were interesting people beyond the world sports those are the people who are now being are are subject to a policy that is really enforceable only two people who are all. I wanted to break N._F._l.. Traits all I want to do is break N._B._A.. Traits I just maybe I care about politics but it's not you know my day. The job is this and this is what I want my work product to be and it to me. It's like you have a rule that was designed for a totally different workforce than the workforce that you actually have and when <hes> you know Simmons by the way I recommend Simmons Hall prelude to this on his <hes> Monday podcast which everybody should listen to <hes> because he's been in the eye of that storm in Bristol you know at a level that you and I can't even imagine but one thing he talks is about as what's going to happen laboratory and I wanted the same thing because dude this is July twenty nineteen. We got sixteen months. AGO is trump that a campaign is trump. GonNa talk about taxes and tax rates. It's for the next sixteen months and if you if you let loose on this one and said how can we not be talking about this what happens when the next one happens you know and one thing we we read all the reports is that you know Qatar when laboratory talk this last weekend Petar said he over and over the he's not going to change the policy that he believes the only clean way to have a policy as saying. You can't talk about this stuff. Well listen any maybe that's maybe that's functional pass through it right right. I mean it's sort of like forget what they call it but to sort of like the twenty four rule when when we had the national debate about torture though it's just like you know I think most level-headed people could agree that the appropriate thing to do is to make it was for torture her in all instances to be illegal and if there was ever instance where torturing someone was the only way to stop a terrorist attack with him. Presumably you would be <hes> you. Would you know you would you would not be convicted of a of a major crime that you would be released because of mitigating circumstances in this and this <hes> that wildly over blowing it maybe but this feels like that right that like there's a there's an exception to every rule and maybe the most powerful thing that that Dan Le Batard can do is to not be overtly political every episode for the next six months and to let and to do only <hes> you know into choose to into to choose to make his stands based on the things that he's he determined to be beyond the Pale. No maybe we'll be in a situation where many many any instance have been beyond the we could think twice a week but I think yeah I mean listen. No I mean this podcast keeps on going along I guess but but the but I do think that there's a I do think that there's a power to him. You know I mean it's not the Dan Le Batard has apolitical person known was particularly shocked by this but when it happened. I think that a lot of people were caught off guard and I think that that is where a lot of the power of woody of his statement came from right eight absolutely absolutely can confirm and and so after E._S._p._N.. They were absolutely taken aback and blindsided and so maybe that's I mean maybe the the answer is Petar rose rule I mean I think there's some legitimacy to if to the to the idea if you're gonNA take that this is this is a this is what E._s._p._N.. Is going to pursue in the abstract. There's legitimacy the idea that you have to have a hard and fast rule or else policing it would be impossible <hes> and then may end so maybe the the functional way forward is to have that be the rule into punish the Dan laboratories of the world when they feel as necessary to speak out but to punish them in consideration that there I mean we consider when doling out the punishment that they're doing a supremely important thing that they believe very strongly in you know. When is it like? It's like the equivalent of finding a n._F._l.. Player like twenty five thousand dollars for missing a meeting or something like that Yeah Yeah Yeah. I guess I guess at the end of that is the the E._S._p._N.. Is E._S._P._N.. Enforcing its discipline. Policy part is the part. I just don't give a shit about at all. It just seems so small in all this but that's why but that's what we're talking about it. Though right I mean Eh. It's actually not why I'm talking about but you know I just. I just think I think that is yes. You're right that is that is the cheese in the mouse trap that everybody runs too because it's E._S._p._N.. And politics it's media reporters Clay Travis and all all that stuff to me I just said I just think there's something I think there's just a much bigger idea here about the profession that we work. I remember talking to Bob Website many years ago about this bob website who snuck more politics into a sports column than any human being has ever done and in writ wrote it better than any human being has ever done probably yeah he said to me he said you know what I covered sports through the lens of race and gender and Class I did but you what else I could have done. I could've gone out written about race and gender and class. I could have just done that and like I said that to. Me Is the idea in the back of everybody's mind here and and that's the I certainly the idea in the back Dan laboratories bite or dot though the front of Dan laboratories mind but that that's the big. That's a big thing here. It's it's the it's the whole enterprise. It's not about E._S._P._N.. And making rules and all that stuff they they're gonna go on just fine. Whatever happens is Dan Libertarian? They're going to be just fine yeah. It's gone it is it's the business we work in and it's a lot of us not all of us a lot of us kind of coming to grips with that on a daily basis especially in times like these one quick thing on the lips it and say <hes> quote that you just reference this a half remember by the way right. No no no but that's but it's an important idea regardless because you I mean I'll just put you a little bit on the spot but you have a lot of runway at the ringer. You could write more or less what you WANNA right. As long as I mean subject matter wise. There's very few things that are just getting shot down. You know at at at first pitch <hes> if you were determined to write us I mean a a story about <hes> about race racism about class. <hes> there's a good chance you would do it through the through the guys of of sports right you would find you. You would find a sports story to tell that would make the broader point that you want to serve because because that's that's what people are GonNa read right. I mean that's what our that's that's A. There's a you as a writer might find some comfort there but also it's a it's a you know the best way to illustrate a story sometimes is by writing through the lens of something else by writing under the banner of sports in some other broad topic that the people are customer reading about the whole point trying to say is one of the one of the scary things about this instance in about where E._S._p._N.. is in general is that it risks shutting down not just the voice that we like on radio but an entire important wing of journalism in literature <hes> for fear that someone might be offended. Were not going to. We're we're going to just say a an upfront no on all all of those things that Bob website wrote you know the none of those things would have gotten through would get through today the thought of that. I mean that's that's frightening. You're saying essentially that sports writers who had this part of their brain would see how high the gates were getting that stuff into print or onto the year so they would just go elsewhere. They just say yeah. I it certainly a fear I mean I certainly at big places. I guess what I would say. Is that nowadays at Eh here we are at the end of the newspaper era. The Wall is shorter than it's ever been at other places so there's a ringer there's deadspin we could name one hundred noises that just really don't care and it just doesn't matter and and they're not worried about it yeah but if you're already working there if you're an employee at E._S._p._N.. If you're one of these big places the idea of like will I risk my job to tell the story when I could just as easily tell another story. I I mean that's that I think that's the that's the fear that I'm talking absolutely and I think in again I think that's the daily choice and sports writing and talking about sports is fun. People do it because it's fun and choosing to write stories and that is is not you know is not just pure toy department people do it because it's it's. It's it's really enjoyable but yet right there. Is that sense like now you know maybe that I have this great idea but maybe I'll do this other idea because it works better <hes> for my <hes> for my employer <hes> and I and again. I just think there's one hundred percent chance at that's happening every day it one hundred percent chance that's happening every day at E._S._p._N.. And elsewhere by the way David Time for the overall twitter joke of the week where we celebrate a gag that was so obvious that all of media twitter made it at exactly the same time said nominees to at the press box pod where they will be gratefully received <hes> David Most horrifying thing this summer that did not happen on Capitol Hill. Was He trailer for the movie adaptation of cats. I'm really not speaking of moral imperatives. Oh my gosh I'm kidding. I think anyway take it away. Dancing cats my first trip to New York. When I was in like seventh or eighth grade my mom and I went to the winter garden does he cats and it was one of the most magical bites in my life it almost it almost made me want to be a theater? Critic got even even understand what that job was and I. I just thought like whatever whatever life is I wanted to be here in the balcony of the winter garden watching cats climb up and down the walls and sing memory at the end of the show then I watched that trailer like what the fuck was that whole thing about. I have no memory of the plot of this at all and I can't imagine what it is. That was so weird I I know what the I know what the plot is. <hes> a doesn't doesn't get any closer to understanding standing with the point of it is there. I think that the overwhelming this is going to be one week I think the overworked twitter jokes sort of all justified the overwhelming feeling that I got in this office I mean around the ringer was that <hes> especially for like the under thirty set <hes> who were aware of this movie the Hallway along. I mean the through production were just sort of like wait. This movies actually about cats. I think now you can hear about the movie a million times cassettes or different sizes whatever and then it's just like no. That's Taylor swift in a in a cat costume. That's just sort of unbeliev yeah. I had no idea that was coming. The plot of it was and it was very I think we should just have a sidebar of just explaining the plots of Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals. Just oh my directly because I thought they went on this. This may be number one in just batch it crazy but number two would be close number two. Oh I just I just think we could we could make some hair. Maybe it will start that on the ringer <hes> on the press box next week all right David speaking of cats. It was an overweight twitter show just to right. I'm allergic to cats. You sent me that yes melodic cats. I did see a couple people do the side by sides as of <hes> rebel Wilson's cat <hes> laying down with her arm behind her head and Garfield with the same clothes have big big. Jim Davis Moment UH so <hes> I'll anti Rosa asked us to please. Consider the phrase Uncanny Valley for inclusion and for that wasn't overworked twitter joke and a good one the uncanny valley. I love it. Thanks to I- lengthy for that one family David Basketball News <hes> lots of players are excuse me that over again in basketball news lots of N._B._A.. Players ejecting themselves from the Fiba World Cup team this week James Harden Tobias Harris Zion Williamson all not going to play it was overworked twitter joke to announce that youtube twitter user. We're leaving the FEMORAL Cup team and includes not because his particularly funny but this is just this. This is one of the great overwork formats of all time somebody some celebrity announces something and you to decline like I am not appearing at Davos or I will the royal member of the Royal Wedding version of this. I will not that you're going to rumble yes without be attending the royal rumble. That'd be the wrestling version anyway thanks to Dave more hearn for that one all right David before we move on. Let's take a quick break. Today's episode is brought to you by luminary new podcast subscription service with some of the best content around. I'm excited about luminary does the only place you can listen to the newest show in the Ringer Network Greg stuff story of Woodstock nineteen ninety nine. This is definitely a podcast. You can't can't miss break stuff. The story of Woodstock Ninety nine is about a music festival in upstate New York. The became a social experiment riots looting numerous assaults it was set to a soundtrack of the eras most aggressive rock fans and incredibly it was the third iteration of Woodstock Festival known for Peace Love Hippie Idealism Woodstock Ninety nine revealed some hard truths behind the business in danger nostalgia can engender the luminary APP is free to download in addition to the can't miss originals originals. You can use it to listen to thousands of guests including this one whether into music TV and film Comedy Sports Have More Luminary has the right show for you check out woodstock ninety nine and so much more only on luminary each our first two months of access to luminaries premium. I'm content for free when you sign up at luminary link slash press box after that it's seven ninety nine a month luminary dot lake slash press box for two months of free access luminary shuttling slash press box cancel anytime terms terms apply David type of the notebook dumb for this first item Frankencense or Franken sanity on Monday twitter collectively paused to regain Jane Mayors Big New Yorker Reexamination of the Al Franken affair if you've forgotten the then U._S.. Senator Franken was accused of a number of metoo offenses most notably pretending to grope the breasts of talk show host name Leeann Tweeden while while she slept while they were on their way back home from a U._S._O.. Tour and what mayor did in addition to interviewing Franken not surprisingly regrets resigning and thinks he got railroaded is to do a point by point recap of what happened how the first allegations surfaced from Tweeden and then the subsequent allegation than how Kirsten Gillibrand and a number of senators called on Franken to resign. I saw some mild <hes> tweaking of this piece on twitter. I thought first of all this was just a very valuable will tick tock of that whole bear because I don't know about you David I had forgotten a lot of this and I had forgotten for instance the sheer number of charges against Al Franken and the sheer number of accusations I kinda I felt like Oh. It's this one thing but it had a photograph and all that stuff. What did you feel about the peace? Yeah I felt the same way I think that it was that the <hes> I wasn't more shocked because there are more accusations. I should say <hes> but yeah I didn't remember the whole Fa- I didn't remember the whole story. I think you're right that it was it was a helpful way to break it all down and the media side of it I thought was what was most I mean not most interesting but but very interesting especially again for the purposes of this podcast but just the way that ah the there the constant refrain in the peace was that this someone tried to or wanted to do this but it was but they didn't do it because of the way it would come across in the media or they tried to do this but but if found the deaf ears of the media <hes> and just the way that one that kind of media institution of journalism is so predictable <hes> and so in some ways of verse to getting to the Truth <hes> that that I think was was was really <hes> I mean we really stood out to me some of that came from the Franken team because they realized pretty early that there were inconsistencies in Tweeden story. Are there a couple of elements that tweeden story that weren't true. She Thought Dot for instance that Al Franken Al Franken were performing on this U._S._O.. Tour for troops overseas and yet they had a sketch and there was a kissing scene in the sketch where he and she were going to kiss and she said that she thought he had written Cnet for her as a way of trapping her and then there's all this video out in the world and also testimony from other women who Franken went on the tour that he had performed the sketch many times it was supposedly a body body was the word for word repeatedly used in the space a body sketch the done there were things like that but Franken is you said early ish in this me in the METOO era thought he couldn't say anything about that because he thought if I come out with this it'll sound like I'm being defensive and it'll it'll just make things worse and he was calling for a essentially as Senate investigation into himself. Yeah meanwhile meanwhile all these other women come forward and eventually the eventually Gillibrand and a number of female senators call under resign and then he feels like he can't do anything about that I was it's funny because I saw nate silver tweeted he called the peace manipulative as hell and a master class and biased reporting and editing since she accusing using the New Yorker and mayor of stacking the deck <hes> to try to get readers to be sympathetic for Franken that I think was probably some of the intention of the piece I actually came out with the totally opposite feeling though which is that while there were some things that happened very quickly and you know he certainly felt pressure and eventually cave depression resigned from the Senate. I wasn't so sure that he got railroaded at all and one reason that is that this this photograph existed way before Al Franken ran for Senate in two thousand eight Al Franken reminder won his Senate race by three hundred and twelve votes out of more than two point five million votes cast yeah now if the if if Leeann Tweeden had put forth that picture in two thousand eight is Al Franken even in the Senate no no way I mean he he he had a lot of stuff to deal with during that campaign about <hes> drug use on S._N._l.. And you know some some humor <hes> pity road and some sketchy on all that kind of stuff. I don't know that I don't know that he's even in the Senate at all so it seems a little weird to say oh well you know just because this came out in the context of Harvey Weinstein Wean FM you to Roy Moore which was a campaign going on mayor writes a lot about that that he would have <hes> that this was the only reason aim at just almost. I almost thought Oh what a weight I forgot that this this happened a long time ago and he might not have been in the Senate to begin with insomuch as it was a political hit on Franken whether or not it was there was railroading involved the New Yorker piece by Jane Mayer went out of its way to to kind of explain this but the the story originated with <hes> conservative a an l._a.. Conservative radio station but they they published it on their website <hes> in mayors retelling to give it sort of the sheen of legitimacy but they didn't you know they didn't ask Franken's camp for any comment or anything before they before they published for fear that someone would would beat them to the story or the story would come out. <hes> you know I think our view our perspective. I think it was that's worth pointing out and I don't know how much the repetition of being printed I really matters but I do think that perception skewed by the fact that this was a successful hit and or names you WanNa consider it a hit. It's skewed by the fact that he that you know he ended up resigning from the from from his job right <hes> and if this had been a total boondoggle this has been like a Jacob walls thing then I think we would look at it all completely differently you know if if he had kept his job and everything had blown over I mean I I guess what I'm saying is I think we judge the story based on the results in in in based on what actually happened and and and and whether or not mayor's piece is just corrective or you know manipulative trash whatever as as <hes> as nate silver called it. I mean not not those words but manipulative. <hes> you know I think I think that ah the pieces is worthwhile. <hes> on its own terms the I just add two things to that which is not only did franken resign but donald trump and break cavanaugh didn't ran for after being accused of much much much much much much much more serious thanks and so there's all this discontent tour to anger on the left that those guys got away with it and somehow Al Franken again for for stuff that was just not even in the ballpark didn't get away yeah and that to me in that to me. Is I mean it's in a way that's why the mayor pieces so valuable because that was my thought about it and then you read this and you realize there's a lot more this just a lot. This is a lot more complicated than that and you know I don't know Joe Biden we saw push through a bunch of accusations of unwanted touching and sort of weird behavior Franken had a bunch of accusations like that even his in some of his staffers say that he did you know kind of Hollywood show business thing of just kissing all women on the lips even women. He didn't know well something that wouldn't be interpreted very very rightfully interpreted as as a weird thing to do <hes> I thought the other theme that came out of this from Franken Zand is just as political tactics this obviously part of him that wishes he just had hung in there and not resigned and pulled a Bob Menendez and said hey this looks terrible but I'm not going anywhere and you can either reverence in the peace right you can either stand with me or not and we'll do a huge investigation and look if tweeden accepts his apology as she did and says she didn't want him to resign. If then you'd have you know some of these act if some of the accusations of he had been able to get some information out there and stuff like that would he have had to resign like six months later I don't know does they get reelected. Maybe and I t but again that's all coming from him and I just I thought that was an undertone here of like maybe Franken thinks he did the wrong thing yeah and if he had if he had you know run this back you would have just hung in there yeah. This is really minor really really small part of the story but for the you know Kirsten Gillibrand and and I mean I guess Comma Harris was mentioned was part of that original group that that <hes> they went to Schumer as well but if you're so politically insecure that you can't wait to actually have evidence bear out <hes>. I'm not sure how that really reflects on your demeanor to be president. I think that's a question that's worth asking right. It's certainly been asked <hes> and just do. We have any doubt that the Franken thing just just you know cut the tires on the GILLIBRAND for president campaign before even started <hes> I mean it said pretty explicitly and the piece yeah yeah yeah I mean that's like to me when I hear when I hear criticism of Gillibrand. It's like I would say it's like seventy. Percent Franken related yeah online anyway but <hes> a really interesting piece recommended Jane Mayer The New Yorker David twenty twenty dropout watch eric swallow has already gone. We've already. We've what we we already miss. Her swell could Maryland's John Delaney be next. I WANNA refer you to a piece in axios by Alexi maccammon titled John Delaney any staffers of asked him to drop out things things are going well when you the people who work for you are begging you to stop running for president. <hes> Maccammon reports that these staff thought he flopped at the first debate Miami <hes> notes that Delaney has not been competitive despite spending nearly nineteen million dollars and loaning himself eleven million dollars of his own money Delaney's wife April she reports is <hes> basically running the campaign according to one former staffer and and Delaney. There's a feeling delaney as easily influenced by outside forces like his wife and friends rather than his own staff officer Mitre David John Delaney has been running for president for nearly a year now yeah he declared last summer and. <hes> Kinda ran that I'm the only guy running for president bit for a long time anyway. It seems it seems like things are he's going to be in this next debate so maybe that's Kinda pulls pulls a swale well and as soon as as soon as you run out of debates you're out yet. Maybe that's a strategy here. As long as I can get free time on cable. I'm running for president and assured as the free cable time draws up drives up. I'm gone <hes> Delaney denied the report port and yesterday he could be seen tweeting quote. I talked about my favorite APP might go to Karaoke Song and my inspiration for fighting climate change on now this news so we were not deprived of knowing <hes> John on Delaney's <hes> go to Karaoke Song. I did not have the heart to watch it. A dateline of the week. David was El Paso Texas Home State L. Texas Great City El Paso An N._b._C. reporter went there to take stock of the floundering and that is the official journalistic adjective here floundering campaign and Beto Aerobic and I'm GonNa read the lead of this article and you just stopped me. If you hear something that maybe sounds a little bit off okay and it may be que El Paso Texas. Are you ready quote. BETTO Rourke has gone from fee NAM to front runner to flailing in five months and so he came home to this dusty bordertown last week to regroup now may way dusty S._T.. Bordertown better roof is not from where snoopy's brother lived in the dusty bordertown. That's fantastic. El Paso has six hundred thousand plus beep dusty bordertown. What what pulp fiction did the person by the way went there this is this is another line in El Paso this isn't they didn't just like Google like retro postcards from El Paso History? Was She watching touch of evil on the plane when she got off something dusty border John Anyway what is dusty even me in the city this is it just the old western like like dirt streets and stuff. I don't even know that the saloon and the S- Asprilla being sold in a card or something like that at tweeted this somebody somebody somebody tweeted back well. El Paso is kind of dusty so maybe anyway David. I'd like to nominate eighty door-stepping journalists of the week. He is Javan Vitol of the T._V.. Station New York one and at the U._S. Capitol he was following Rand Paul of Kentucky around Rand Paul Big One of the two senators to block unanimous passage of a bill that would fund the nine eleven victim victim's compensation fund once you listen closely here is some of the audio of tall and Paul's encounter in the hallways of Congress. This is so good Serra anything you can say to the first responders daughters who came yesterday interesting to see if you watch Fox News we just did an interview on Fox News and there's a lot of good information on their fuel. Tell your viewers tuned into Fox News. We have some great stuff there about Fox News but she I really quickly well. I if you're a professional you could call and get an interview like they did so we try multiple times yeah. I don't know who you are. Who you want your one sir? What is your objection to the bill if you'd like to be sort of professional reporter with all their respects or what what is your objection to the nine eleven hundred bill if you'll call and get an interview great idea understand you have issues with the national debt you watch Fox? Is your objection Sorting Watch Fox News. You'll see that we explained explain exactly what the laws were so watch Fox News King or deny clean that up sir. What do you mean by the lies? Is there anything else you can tell us sir. Thank you Sir Wow. How do you think Rand Paul genuinely wants Giovane vitale to be professional reporter in the help them and it'd be like chasing some career advice area? Yeah you just feed just watch Fox News and transcribe. My remarks marks off a friendly outlet. We could find like this and even do you think that maybe this doesn't matter. Do you think that if you watch Fox News I already didn't interview. There is a more compelling case than no comment and I mean. Do you think that he do you think he came off looking better than if he had just been like yeah no no no big deal but no comment right now. Wouldn't that have been the way to go if you're determined not to talk to anybody absolutely it sort of cuts the interview short right. Are they going to run as New York one going to run a minute of following mute rampal down the hallway probably not no I was I was watching it. I was I couldn't help but think local news is like the dorkiest old media thing there oh yeah only so many things that transfer from that world into twitter world but guy following politician down the hallway and politician lecturing the guy is one of those things that translates perfectly yeah. It's amazing. It's it were it works on twitter just like it worked on the Channel Six. I team back home yeah well. This is also it's also this is the case. This is the case you know for just sort of laying bare the filibuster. You know we've talked before about how you know. One love trumps masterstrokes is figuring out that he could just bullshit for thirty seconds in this question would change into something you wanted to talk about. All you have to do is going to run out the clock <hes> man. I'm sure that Rand Paul probably thought that he was running out the clock. I bet he thought that this is going to be a five second clip anywhere if it amounted to any T._v.. Time at all but I mean he just looked like someone who didn't have the facility to discuss a vote. He had just made an like. I mean that's this is this is this is all the candidates in the next cycle. These are the the the campaign commercials against him for I mean for his opponent. This is just going to be this just walking down the hall not having an answer to a very simple question David. I have a content farm report for you. Row Radio Station might have a farm report. We've got a content farm report here. <hes> really interesting piece by Tiffany Sue in the New York Times about Jeffrey Epstein who is <hes> been accused been indicted on sex trafficking charges. <hes> the pieces called Jeffrey Epstein steen pitched a new narrative and these sites published it so after Jeffrey Epstein got out of jail yeah for the first time back in two thousand nine. He tried to rehabilitate his image by having someone pitched journalist about all the good stuff done. I'll his all his good works. <hes> got pieces in National Review HUFFPOST FORBES DOT COM quoting Tiffany Sues P._C.. Or the article on Forbes website was attributed to drew Hendrix a contributing writer as times revealed an article last week he was not the author of the peace piece instead it was delivered to buy public relations firm and he was paid six hundred dollars to attach his byline at posted at Forbes Dot Com <hes> she continues about Forbes Dot Com a staff of roughly two hundred employees produces Forbes's in-house in house journalism but most of the hundred articles the site publishing day comes from a group of nearly three thousand outside writers yeah three thousand yeah I mean Forbes is I know this again only because I dragging in a professional wrestling journalism which is just a wonderful part of the Internet's underbelly but yeah I mean Forbes Forbes is like I think the most <hes> too I mean people are constantly surprised at Forbes is just the content mill like some of the worst offenders out there all do is just published a I mean emailing a piece in the odds are it's going to go up on Forbes Dot Com and he's GonNa look like a legitimate peace and it's going to have the imprimatur of you know high level journalism but no this is just like a this is like it's it's blog spot you know the the differences is vanishingly small think of how many art requests he get on a given day and how strung out you feel just imagine three thousand writers. That's that's more than the New York Times says reporters and it's it's. It's crazy three thousand. We got time for one more thing. Do you wanna hear Aaron Boone Yankees Manager Dump in for the Yes network on slinked television. Do we wanna read <hes> negative reviews of the Lion King this Sea Lion King come on we already did it the Department of pans. I'll meet up with these together. Thank you Chris <hes> from the Department of Pans. I always loved these because it's kind of like an anti blurb. Here's what you will not see on the lion king commercial attributed or the poster in the case <hes> Anthony Lane at the New Yorker rarely has brand. Dan Recognition soared to such fetishistic heights and I regret to inform you that aside from updating of the vocal cast the most blatant discrepancy between the old and the new is a very slight increase in the comedy of flatulence <hes> so that's Anthony Lane on the line garrison at the mad about movies podcast just about every choice Jon favreau made as director was the wrong choice and his insistence on one hundred percent realism in a film in which animals talks and do choreography makes my head. Her <music> makes my head hurt would be great for the for the ad the sort with the soaring music on <hes> on a network television Ellen our friend and colleague Rob Her villa anytime you get Ville on the poster it's great with an anti virus. He rates Disney's money grubbing empire. Were already off to start there by the way does these new money grubbing empire indeed encompasses everything that the light touches even those parts the light already quite lucrative Lee touched may we all live long enough to see our favorite favor kids movies transformed not ruined exactly and certainly not improved in dispirited and yet bloodless technological marvel's a spirited and yet bloodless technological marvin cash batted that that's a great one right there was an anti blurb congrats rats to rob <hes> for writing the seminal blurb about the good usage their time for David Shoemaker guesses these strained Pun Headline God I k we pause now for David Duke Brown the Atrophy Oh <hes> man the last winter was fantastic beasts and where to find them fantastic beasts and where to find that was good stuff. I've got a British open or open championship on for you. David knows Herman article in something called Old Omnibus Sport which was syndicated on Yahoo and it's a few so we alter when we need when sports news breaks. We turned omnibus sport. It's about the English Golfer Lee Westwood. WHO's girlfriend? Helen story was his caddy last begin in Northern Ireland. The Open Championship Lee Westwood says she doesn't know too much about golf but she knows a lot about the way my mind works <hes> but what you need to know David is that a golfer namely Westwood had his girlfriend and as his caddy at the open championship. What is the Omni Sport strained pun headline girlfriend catty no more musicals that was so we did a there's no more rain at e pain on the plane in here but this is so hard is <hes> AH is caddy in the headline? Can I get that. I mean pun play on caddy. CADDY is in it but not as upon no it is not the point. I think Oh let me tell you this open as the punt word okay it's not who's your catty or something. The <hes> the open open relationship in Westwood enjoying their open relationship with Cata girlfriend as the Omni sport it happen it'll open Kapitolo unison now Westwood Enjoying Open Relationship Keti girlfriend than a picture of them kissing on the Omni sports congratulations of the folks at Omni Sport for winning this weekend's this excuse me straight but headline he is David Shoemaker. I'm Bryan Curtis. Chris Almeida helps us with research. Jim Cunningham produces a show or lukewarm takes about the media on Friday talk to them rant <music>. Whatever life is I wanted to be here? In the balcony of winter guard watching cats climb up and down the walls broadcasting on a pirate radio to an audience hundred people bows I talked about my favorite APP might go to carry out of my inspiration for fighting climate change on now this news. It was one of most magical lights in my because I mean to talk a little bit on the spot. I'm allergic to cats cats as nervous academy rocking chairs on the air to take it away dancing cats.

Mitre David John Delaney twitter Al Franken Al Franken writer president Dan Le Batard Donald Trump Al Franken Dan laboratories N._F._l Jimmy Petar John Skipper Brian Stelter Dan Lebatardshow Franken Jeffrey Epstein Simmons Simmons Nick New York
The Case of The Case of Al Franken

Slate's The Gist

36:02 min | 1 year ago

The Case of The Case of Al Franken

"This program may contain explicit language. Also we have a newsletter coming out. It's at slate dot com slash gist news now on what the possibly possibly filthy show. It's Friday August second two thousand nineteen from sleet. It's the gist Mike Pasqua so maybe maybe heard cory booker did well in his debate though polls don't show it corey booker fun fact has a brother named Kerry Booker also has a dad named Kari. Sorry Booker has a mom named Caroline Booker. According to the polls momentum from the debate could not carry booker much higher than three percent and that's where he's been polling but he's not in it for the bump. Oh no he's in it for the approbation and the approbation came in the form of one very specific Appalachian Look. I think they've talked about what happened. Last night. Cory Booker the Happy Warrior returns. There's a certain kind of Happy Warrior nece that I that I saw a few people exhibited particularly we Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker Cory Booker really had a solid night he threw some punches but really avoided getting hit too much and he still was able to hold onto that happy warrior which is all part of his argument. Yeah I think last night was cory Booker's night. He was kind of the Happy Warrior that enter you and I have been expecting to see from him. In a debate abate booker I think plays to his strength which is he's happiest when he gets to be the happy warrior so the Happy Warrior the original happy were was Al Smith ask the governor of New York and he had this wonderful street quality and then F._D._r.. became apart. He was also a happy happy warrior. I was Joe Pinon on Fox friends. Chris Hayes are let sands on C._N._N.. Jim Messina M._S._N._B._C. Luke Thompson of the National Review Jonathan Alter and possibly possibly Al Smith in there because that's who happy warrior is about F._D._r.. I use the phrase Happy Warrior to describe Al Smith at the Democratic Arctic National Convention in One Thousand Nine hundred twenty four so how does the phrase last in the political realm for ninety four years knowing using today actually voted for Al Smith and is it so descriptive if anything it sounds a little discordant to twenty nineteen years I mean applying warrior. You're in a non war context a little bit of a thing we've moved away from. It's a horrible phrase but a similar phrase in a sphere other than politics I think would have fallen fallen away by now a little past. It's sell by date couple similar phrases stumping for a candidate or throwing one's hat in the ring. Why do we say these things well because we've always said these things but that is true for other idioms and other walks of life? Here's some proof so the nineteen twenty four democratic mccracken convention which I mentioned which birth the phrase Happy Warrior took place over many days in the summer of twenty four. I randomly picked a New York Times the headline about the Yankees so baseball's going on baseball still use phrases but listen to the phrases used in this story about the Yankees from June of Nineteen eighteen twenty four ruth's homer fails to check senators babe gets eighteenth circuit clout the senators and the weatherman mainly the senators prodded the Yanks of flight lower in the pennant race today in four innings of light in three of darkness followed by downpour a cloudburst and whatnot what not the Washington's one three two two homers they'll short for home run but circuit cloud that they check the senators and and you're thinking oh we still use weatherman they weren't using it to mean meteorologist. There were using it to mean a man who controls the weather indeed they were from context. If you read the whole piece you get that so much of language and phrases and idioms evolve but with politics with its donkeys and elephants that Thomas nast created and references to stump speeches there's not been as much evolution and I have a theory as to why there are elections all the time but we really pay attention in presidential years and while it's true since nineteen twenty four there have been ninety five Yankee seasons full of clouds and weathermen in politics. It's only been twenty four elections actions. There isn't enough time for phrase to be absorbed and digested to work its way through the system. They say the cells in the human body turnover turnover every seven years were just not allowing the body politic enough time to rejuvenate prognosticators will tell you that past performance isn't helpful in politics as it is in say baseball because of sample size and I think that also affects the language happy happy. Warriors are still around while the Tammany wets have gone the way of the Mug womp the free spoiler and the Rockefeller Republican on the show today way I feel about the favor that Donald trump has been doing all of us by picking grossly unqualified appointees. It's nice to have an opportunity to get a sense of the rotten tent poles goals that are holding up the circus but I last week I look back at slates initial coverage of the two thousand seventeen sexual harassment allegations against Al Franken and I found it lacking here's a quote from the article posted a few hours after the first allegations arose there is no rational reason to doubt the truth of Tweeden's accusations nations new legitimate defence franken's actions and no ambiguity here at all Franken should resign from the Senate immediately whether is there is reason for doubt and defenses and especially ambiguity Jane Mayer of the New Yorker provided all of that Leeann tweeden claims don't hold up to scrutiny as provided by Jane Mayer slate for its part has not corrected or commented on the original article well. I'll say this I'm slate and they've certainly let me criticize it so there's that but what our publication has done is to criticize Jane. Mayor's piece which I thought was pretty sound slates Christina Carucci did not and therein lays the conflict which is of course a building block of drama or at least a twenty minute interview slash arguments Christina and I have at it after this yes support for this podcast and the following message come from Google U._S.. Army veteran Mitch Coit is showing that small businesses can do big things Mitch founded skinny sticks Maple Syrup and started small tapping syrup from the maple trees in his Wisconsin backyard and selling bottles at local stores with local demand increasing greasing Mitch was ready to make more syrup than expand his business google ads to put his brand in front of people who were searching online for products like his it just the first month abusing Google ads skinny sticks sold as much syrup as they had the entire previous year now they're connecting with customers worldwide with help from Google tools which is one of the millions millions of small business owners in the U._S.. Using Google to grow learn how Google is helping businesses in your state at Google dot com slash economic impact in the curious case of Al Franken as extricated by Jane Mayor set off of course a lot of discussion and consternation and in our pages there was an article called what Jane Mayer Gets Wrong about Al Franken in sub head and what she fails to understand about the metoo movement was written by the estimable Christina Ricci who returns to this program in once more more a somewhat adversarial position low Christina Hi Mike Yeah there's no other way I'd I'd be on this show so thank you for having me well. I'm against the people agreeing with each other format. We <hes> we we have dipped our toe Grew with two yes. We're in agreement. What a great place to start off not not as exciting as this so? What does Jane Mayer get wrong about? Al Franken first of all I think she grossly mischaracterizes is the problem people had with Al Franken. She spends the majority of her piece talking about how you know. Leeann Tweeden was politically motivated which we knew everybody knew that she was a conservative that she worked at a conservative radio show that she had deep ties in the right wing. She talks a lot about how all all of his friends think he's such a nice guy. He never harassed anyone in front of them. The way that she framed the peace both within the article and in her tweets where she says you know he got railroaded. Everything almost everything that was reported about the accusations against him were wrong just fail to live up to themselves. The the piece failed to live up to the claims that she makes you can read a piece like this and say okay. She raises a lot of questions about the accusations that were made but none of them actually get at the heart of why people who wanted Al Franken to resign wanted him to resign it wasn't about the claim that Leeann Tweeden me that he had thrust his tongue in her mouth or that he had written this skit just so he could kiss her or rather. It wasn't just those things it was the accretion of of eight accusations against him that he had made people uncomfortable and it was the picture that we saw with our own two eyes of him gleefully pretending pretending to or possibly actually groping her breasts while she was asleep. I think so your main point because you through a couple of other flaw finding that you found with Jane in Mayer's article in there your main thesis about what she gets wrong as she gets wrong why people wanted Al Franken out of the Senate and the sub fees is it wasn't just is Leeann Tweeden it was eight women wasn't one woman. It was eight women now I would say that I don't think she ever asserts that. What she does is spend a lot of time on the main accuser by main accuser? I'm going to say the one that got the vast majority of the attention for a lot of reasons. She spends a lot of time and she as she said in her tweet rights almost nothing his main accuser said checks out irate that statement true almost it's nothing she said checks out. What about the things that you know mayor raises questions about but doesn't actually disprove like the fact that Leeann Tweeden says we you were rehearsing and he thrusts his tongue into my mouth? You know mayor doesn't disprove that. She just raises questions about it doesn't check out. I mean it. She's not saying that first of all she said almost nothing has main accuser said checks out and I'm sure she would say that the one thing we can't know is this one interaction that Tweeden said had no one else saw. So what mayor did I really think as best as journalistically possible is document how while that may have occurred and its unprovable if they were the only two people in the room she spends a lot of time showing how it is implausible I would say or unlikely that they would ever have been the only two people in the room. I mean she put a lot of I guess we could disagree that anything's possible but you put a lot of journalistic effort into showing in interviews with eight people including and this is pretty unique in he said she said maybe you object to that phrase. I find that troublesome yeah but in. He said she said interactions. It's pretty unique that you would have both the people have official minders from the U._S. military so I just think she did her journalistic job on everything that was possibly checkable. She checked it all and like she said almost nothing checked out. I I would disagree with your contention that she checked almost everything that was checkable with the tweet with his interaction with his main accuser right and I would you know lump into that category all the other reporting that she did or context she provided on the U._S._O.. Which I actually found really valuable I think this piece functions really well as a contextualising King of the U._S._O.? Situation if I were to make a list of facts that Leeann Tweeden laid out about her interactions with Al Franken and then a list of the facts that mayor was able to prove wrong. I don't think that the majority or plurality were disproved by Jane Mayer but I do agree with you that you know she reported them far. I'm far more deeply than anyone else did. At the time well as far as <hes> maybe missing some big things but Tweeden said he wrote a skit where purposefully flee from me where the purpose was to kiss me he did kiss me against my will he continued to Lord this over me and have had an adversarial relationship with me and at the very end of the tour he used in the last day of the tour a picture of him harassing me as a final fuck you due to show you. I still control you and that picture was sent only to me. In fact the tour was the skit was written and performed by many other people. The picture was sent to many people. The picture wasn't taken on the last day of the tour. No one saw any interactions before <hes> between in them that would indicate that there was animosity. I don't I don't know what are the other main main accusations that are missing the people who were talking about. Oh you know he drew drew devil horns on her or something like that. I don't think people were saying that didn't happen. They're saying she's interpreting them wrong or maybe purposely mischaracterizing characterizing them to gain political points there any other other than this kind of setting. Is there any other walk of life where a conservative commentator who is friends with Sean Hannity Hannity who was sitting on information for years who time the information to have maximum impact on a Democratic senator who orchestrated with Roger Stone One would get the benefit of your doubt. I'm like honestly not trying to litigate whether or not Leeann Tweeden is lying for political purposes. I feel like that was what Jane Mayer ear was kind of trying to suggest and I think that's a fair assessment and I was convinced she was and you know I'm not unconvinced that she was but Jane Mayer's description fan of Al Franken's time with the U._S._O.. And the people she got to say you know he never behaved inappropriately with anyone else. I saw him around. Cheerleaders eaters like it took me two seconds to Google Al Franken U._S._O.. And one of those people's names to find an essay he himself wrote where he said that that one of the jokes he made on his tour was Oh these cheerleaders on this tour I can't wait to go home and have sex with my wife while thinking about them and he himself said I behaved served really respectfully toward these three young women young quote unquote urban women who are on the tour with me this hip hop group. I did not behave that same way with the cheerleaders. Cheerleaders mayor doesn't include that in her piece where she says I'm fact checking. I'm reporting far deeper than any other person was willing to go on this U._S._O.. Issue it she. She didn't even include what he himself has said about the way he acted on this tour. You think that he made a joke on the joke. Was I wanNA have sex with these cheerleaders others. I don't think I know because he he wrote that in mother read the exact the exact thing for mother Jones. Thank you all right. This is franken talking about N._F._l.. Cheerleaders sure leaders who are on the tour no U._S._O.. Tour is complete without N._F._l.. Cheerleaders and the Redskins sent to Kelly and Katie Cornwell whom the troops <music> seemed happier to see than me as I told the soldiers quote. I don't know how you guys do it for nine months. I've been over here a week and the first thing I'm going to do when I get at home have sex with my wife while thinking about the cheerleaders not so different from you guys except I won't be alone that to me is not a joke about having sex with the cheerleaders and also it is a joke he is. You might not think it's good joke but he is a professional comedian. He did tell that joke and that you killed in the troops liked it. I don't think you're describing his joke accurately. I think the joke is about him saying that he wanted to think about the cheerleaders while having sex with his life. Yes yes in a way that you guys are going to also the differences. I'll be with a woman and you guys will be alone. I think Why did Jane Mayer include the person saying he treated the cheerleaders with respect because because they really didn't know he did treat them with respell. Cowley sex joke about them respecting them. That's not respecting them. I don't care if that's I don't agree with you but I don't care if that's what quote unquote cheerleaders are four. I don't care if it's in the tradition of Bob. Hope hope I don't care if the troops liked it just because somebody laughs at a joke in an institution that is known for its sky high rates of sexual assault dud laughs set the joke doesn't make it an appropriate joke or a joke that is not sexual harassment. I don't think like just because sexual harassment is included in a joke or or because because <hes> cheerleaders are asked to expect sexual harassment and accept it means that it's okay or not sexual harassment at all so you're saying one cannot argue and Jane Mayer was wrong to put a quote in her article describing Al Franken as treating the cheerleaders respectfully. It is ipso facto impossible possible for him to treat them respectfully if he made that joke. We just quoted yes. I think that that joke is disrespectful. Now I want to get to something that we don't disagree on on but I want your opinion of which is it is true that Jane Mayer on many occasions quotes. Many people generally saying I wouldn't do that. Hat Al is appropriate with women or owl is Sarah Silverman calling him almost as sexual all these people who didn't see eh or had no first-hand knowledge of Al Franken sexually harassing anyone saying Al Franken wouldn't sexually harass someone now. Here's my question in Articles John Harvey Weinstein or Charlie rose or Eric Schneiderman articles that Jane Mayer has written there is often the part where the good reporter does the survey of the people who know them and oftentimes there is the yeah this was an open secret or doesn't surprise me given what I've seen or throughout his career there there were Hanson intimations. My question is do the work and you interview the people around them and you find a general tone of this is very shocking and out of character character do not put them in. Do not put those quotes in if you do put the quotes if they are damning now I guess I don't think it was necessarily a problem that she found people who said this is our out of character but I don't think that's what those people said. The people were specifically trying to say that the accusations that were made they thought were lies. They thought the people were lying like the person who said that he thought Leeann Tweeden was maybe just because Al Franken was ugly like Oh. He's not some you know cary grant character but he would. He sticks his tongue in someone's mouth. No Oh that's directly refuting somebody else's account that the source who made that refute refutations could not know anything about so yeah. I don't think we should have put that quote in well. I was that person supposed to know what happened. Well because to be clear. There's only one accuser who accused him of sticking his tongue down her throat and that was Leeann Tweeden so this guy is saying he was like your uncle morty. He wasn't cary grant but tongue down the throat. No I've done hundred hundreds odds of events with this guy I've been on the open road and on his book tours with him and that he's five hundred percent devoted to his wife. There's like a little bit of a stupidity ready to that quote but overall. I do think that there is a journalistic value to the accretion of people who know him and people who know him well and people who know unless well saying entirely we out of character and you wouldn't get that with a lot of the other people who've been involved in two situations. I guess the other thing I would say to that is part of what I was trying to say when I made the differentiation between him and Weinstein and all the other people who yeah I agree. Those interviews were incredibly helpful and talking about how many people knew about the behaviour of your. I don't think the situation with Al Franken that he's got like a secret life or a dark side or this evil side. It's like pretty clear when you look at his behavior his humor like again. This is probably all should have been litigated when he was running for office. Isn't that her very point that it should have been litigated. I the whole article in what you told Terry Gross rose for motivation for doing this was not to be as defense lawyer will but was to go back and figure out what really happened to essentially give him the hearing that he asked for and never got but I think she did claim to have done that in her tweets about the one where she said he was railroad railroad routed me rail. I think that means unfairly removed from off. No it's it's. That's not what railroaded means. Railroad is a comment on the haste of the procedure. Not The ultimate judgment judgment railroaded means justice quote unquote or injustice happened without due deliberation and consideration. That's exactly that her her piece gave him. The fair hearing that he didn't get in combat was her motivation and she thinks that she thinks she pretty much destroyed. Leeann Tweeden's accusations nations. I think she goes pretty far. Okay you know that's a fine disagreement and you think it's insane because well of the reasons you said and because picture is there yeah but but I also think that it was ultimately his decision to step down. That's the other thing we agree on that. It was Al Franken. I want to read this or if you don't have the peace there. Don't you say it was ultimately. Al Al Franken's hands that did it not someone else was at yeah you know He. He's the one who resigned. I think the way Jane Mayer framed the piece where she calls Al Franken one of the losers of the metoo movement or on the losing side of the me too movement is really offensive to everything that this this you know <hes> incredible unprecedented grassroots movement is trying to do and has succeeded in doing and grateful that the metoo movement has given people an opportunity to question why male politicians have treated women like this the fact that these men never really felt like it was their job to change change their behavior or reconsider it or think about like yeah that humor was fg up until this moment when they've been called to task for it. I think demonstrates the success of the metoo movement and they shouldn't be characterized whereas the losers because as a society who is you know in these men purport to be invested in the liberation of women and the dignity of women should also it'd be happy about that. I'll read the losing side quote yet. He franken added being on the losing side of the metoo movement which he fervently supports has led him to spend spend time thinking about such matters as due process proportionality of punishment and the consequences of Internet fueled outrage of course it was on the losing side. He lost his job. He lost his reputation mutation. He went into a funk. He was depressed. He took medications. I suppose you could you could view it and get offended by the use of that phrase but in the way it's being used in this article and to his life. I think a fair reading can say that Al Franken who supports the METOO movement was hurt but by the accountability that it also brings to see that he's on the losing side. I think makes an assumption that like somebody's winning and I don't know that anybody can win in this situation since what we're talking about is people who felt demeaned by his actions and in general in the metoo movement just plenty of people who have. I've been you know who are survivors of sexual assault and abuse like no one's winning there when when a bad man loses his job when a Harvey Weinstein doesn't get to make another movie like I.. I don't know that anyone wins in that situation. I also think it's different to say that somebody has suffered professional consequences and personal emotional consequences as a the result of that and saying that they somehow lost because you know what you're saying is it reduces it to something like a game. I guess he's on the they were on the losing side of a war or he was on the losing side of a custody battle. Is there really really winners and those things <hes> colloquially perhaps a line editor could have flagged that and made her change Egypt but I I get your point. I think it's just that line. I think it's the general way that this peace and plenty of other pieces about the metoo movement have talked talked about the women who are bringing these accusations or supporting the metoo movement are capricious. The indicative only want to bring men down down when it's not necessarily about theirs but in this piece it was only about Leeann Tweeden and she obviously did WANNA bring Al Franken down and I think there's a lot of evidence. He told him that she she didn't want him to resign. After she brought the accusation forward she obviously worked with Sean Hannity two MAC and Roger Stone to maximize the political impact and fall out out of the accusations okay. Does that mean that the accusation have been brought forward well yeah because I think I think Jane. Mayer proves that it was basically basically false. I suppose you could say that. She really felt that it happened and then she got bad advice from conservative actors who told her to. Maximize it with these explanations but since I'm doing a lot of work for Leeann Tweeden here who seems to have been a best extremely misleading leading an unfactual about her accusations. I honestly don't care about her at all and whether she's lying about these things or is is is trying to was trying to use the accusation for political purposes like that actually doesn't matter to me what I'm trying to ascertain when I listened to her story the seven others and look at that photo read what Al Franken wrote and watch the skit is whether I want someone like Al Franken in office and whether I believe him when he says this was all innocent humor I always treat women with respect so my last question is this finally you said that having I considered all the reporting you still think Al Franken shouldn't be <hes> someone who's representing you or people in the Senate shouldn't be a public official official. I think you said this despite the Jane Mayer piece do you think a reasonable person reading the Jane Mayer Peace can take it all in on faith breath and come to the same conclusion because of the Jane Mayer piece the amount of time that she spent talking about the political leanings of Leeann Tweeden and her radio station and you know picking that story apart I think raises the possibility that this was all a political stunt. You know we disagree on this but I think the way she spent so little time talking about the other seven accusations and in a a couple of cases kind of trying to undermine them makes it seem like those can be very easily ignored. I don't know I think that people can probably read her piece and be convinced that yet these accusations were a big nothing that this was a case of Metoo like swinging its blade with too much haste waist and like this well-meaning innocent man got felt in the process. It's hasty played. It's it's ill considered poorly constructed sites as it repeats the wheat of Al Franken. I'm glad you asked I think a reasonable person could read the piece and say yeah. I still think Al Franken should have gone and that's that's because I am that reasonable person. Yeah I mean I'm obviously also an extremely reasonable person who thinks Al Franken still should've resigned but I think reasonable people could read the article and come out on either side of it. I would love to talk to somebody who was <hes> really convinced by this article to change their mind. Not just the Democrats to it already changed their minds. I mean I I would also hope that reasonable people who read this article also read the other accounts in Huffington Post and Jessie Belle that shine a little bit more light on the accusers that she <hes> you know doesn't spend as much time on as she does Leeann Tweeden Christina I enjoyed it. I always like like having you on and you write well and interestingly jinx. Make thank you so much for having me Christina Ricci article what Jane Mayer Wrong about Al Franken thanks again Christina. Thanks <music> now the Spiel it is a nice service that Donald Trump is providing by suggesting horribly Leeann qualified people for important offices. We get to scrutinize these horribly unqualified people and wonder how the hell there in the highest reaches of government to begin with. I notice this phenomenon a few years ago in my state New York with Governor David Paterson before he was governor and Eliot Spitzer did his spitzer sure thing patterson was lieutenant governor he was blind. Perhaps you remember the S._N._l.. Sketches which go much deeper than he was blind but as a New Yorker when when he was lieutenant governor all you ever heard was oh this guy's great this guy puts in so much work to memorize speeches 'cause he can't read them off the page. What an inspiration and maybe it wasn't inspiration operation but as soon as he became governor we also learned he was kind of an incompetent inspiration or at least an overmatched inspiration or maybe lieutenant governor is just a really really easy job? Guess what it is. I remember the day after David Paterson was sworn in and that was the day he decided to divulge all the affairs he'd been having there was a headline on C._N._N.. New York Governor Colon state employees among my several affairs imagine. That wasn't a paraphrase imagine. That was an exact that quote the Patterson said as I take this oath. I want to be honest with you. I haven't always been perfect. What I'm saying is state employees? Among several affairs Governor State of Plane Governor Paterson Direct Supervisor was she on your payroll. No I think you're missing the point of my statement my several affair several affairs so we learned about David Paterson the hard way I guess trump is giving us the easy method of learning about some of the people already in government some fellow wants the lowly lowly almost inconsequential job of second in charge with the Department of Defense why look into his background but once trump names him to be secretary of defense well we get to learn that he wants argued that his son acted in self defense defense for bludgeoning his mom with a baseball bat she had been criticizing him for hours. A so-called economist wants to be trotted out on all manner of T._v.. Show as a defender Sheriff Trump's policies that could go on forever but then trump intervenes helpfully nominate Stephen Moore and we get to learn all about him that he believes women men are inherently inferior and that he doesn't understand the gold standard quite a service but the real service is with a sitting member of Congress. I mean right there in Pennsylvania's tenth tenth. Was Tom Marino he would have gone on in Congress but he was nominated to be the drug czar and it was only then that we learned that he was the chief architect attack behind the bill basically written by the pharmaceutical companies to shield them from penalty and to you know allow the opioid epidemic Marino went went through withdrawal and so did Mark Green nominated to be secretary of the army was then revealed that he told the tea party quote. If you polled hold the psychiatrists they're going to tell you that transgender is disease now. That one's a little bit of an unusual case because it was after. He said that that he was elected to the U._S.. S. House of Representatives but at least now we know his position and finally there is today's case of the trump administration relying on the withdrawal method is a prophylactic John Ratcliffe will not be director of National Intelligence. He inflated his resume. He bragged about arrests. He did not oversee he claimed seem to be the chief of anti-terrorism national security in the Eastern District of Texas which is a title that does not nor has ever existed. He displayed aide in curiosity as a member of the House Intel Committee he never accompanied the committee on any overseas trips to learn about intelligence operations and and he's out he has withdrawn but he has not withdrawn as a member of Congress so thanks for the Info about who our elected officials are car. This is a valuable service. The trump administration provides shining the spotlight and all but when you lift up the rock the critters are supposed to scurry away way. Aren't they know we just put down the rock move onto the next rock always next rock. There is one victim in all of this and I think you know who it is. Steve Corral or are specifically the guy who does his prosthetic noses. John Radcliffe with a more rectangular knows is a dead ringer for Steve Corral specifically when he was playing brick Tomlin on anchorman. Perhaps it's deep cut but no deeper than whoever the president is going to excavate as our next director of National Intelligence. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks years later. A doctor will tell me that I have an I._Q.. Of Forty eight sounds qualified to me and that's it for today

Al Al Franken Jane Mayer Leeann Tweeden Jane Al Smith Leeann Tweeden Christina cory booker Google Senate Governor David Paterson baseball Donald trump Sean Hannity Caroline Booker Kerry Booker Christina Ricci Harvey Weinstein harassment Roger Stone Elizabeth Warren
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Not Regretting Al Franken

The Daily

32:30 min | 1 year ago

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Not Regretting Al Franken

"From the new york times a michael borough this is he's the daily today a growing firestorm on capitol hill after democratic senator al franken is accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman more than in a decade ago when talk show host leeann tweeden accused franken of sexually inappropriate conduct when they work together on a u._s._o. Coming forward to make groping accusations accusations against minnesota senator democrat al franken another woman has come forward to accuse franken of sexual misconduct doc. This just came in that kirsten gillibrand senator from new york. She is now calling on senator al franken to resign. This is marking the first time a senator or has called on the minnesota democrat leave office as i it was senator kirsten gillibrand and then claire mccaskill maisy hirono maggie hassen patty murray kamala harris tammy baldwin have now called on their colleagues to resign nothing i have done as senator nothing as brought brought this honor on on this institution and i am confident that the ethics committee would agree nevertheless today. I am announcing that in the coming weeks. I will be resigning as a member of the united states senate nearly two years after senator al franken's resignation over allegations of sexual harassment new reporting about oh 'bout those allegations has revived the debate. Al franken is back in the headlines in trending tonight. That's thanks to this asarco published in the new yorker today over whether the democratic party particularly senators now seeking the presidency in twenty twenty moved moved too fast in calling on him to resign to new yorkers. Jane mayer says parts of twins account. Don't hold up like her claim franken wrote one skit so so he'd have an excuse to kiss her repeatedly when asked if he regretted resigning frankin replied oh yeah absolutely and seven senators went on the record route saying they regret calling for his resignation never regrets for the white house hopeful kirsten gillibrand furious democrats called her a traitor. The on this subject gillibrand is unapologetic. Senator kirsten gillibrand says absolutely not it's. It's tuesday august twenty you you ready. Are we ready. Is mike lauren phone. Okay hello hello. Hey senator gillibrand. It's michael gold barbaro. Hi michael how are you how are you and well where are you. I'm in my house in d._c. You're on a break from the campaign trail cracked so we wanted to talk to you because you're running a presidential campaign that has really distinguish itself by focusing on gender gender inequities questions around harassment and equal representation and for many americans the way they first came to new you for that and maybe the way i got to know you period was through your leadership in calling for senator al franken minnesota to step down after allegations of of harassment back in two thousand seventeen and in recent weeks. There's been some new reporting on what happened back then so to start. I wanna go back to at that time to right before the first allegation against franken. This is november of two thousand seventeen. The harvey weinstein story has just broken in and the times and that's followed very shortly after by accusations against roy moore the republican senate candidate in alabama. What do you remember senator about that time. Well there was even more than that going on. There was a breaking story about rampant sexual harassment claims on capitol hill and i was actually working on legislation to change the rules of how we deal with sexual harassment in congress there was also <hes> my constant i and fight to end sexual assault in the u._s. military and so there was a lot going on that moment before those allegations came out. You were very actively a working on this issue before the metoo issue had kind of broken open absolutely for over five years in fact <hes> so what was the conversation going on among democrats as you were considering how to handle the allegations against roy moore on those allegations there was a lot aww clarity and those a lot of clarity up front you had someone who was accused multiple times of pedophilia of inappropriate create sexual contact with underage women and it was really no ambiguity with regard to that certainly not from democrats <hes>. I wonder how to yet occurred hard to you that the metoo movement would reach the democratic party. I had no doubt it would discourage of sexual assaults sexual harassment event is prevalent everywhere and i knew full well that it would at some point come to congress and it was coming to congress to what do do you remember about the first allegation leveled against your friend and your fellow democrat al franken well. I remember i was sitting in an armed services services hearing when a staffer showed me the breaking news and the photo and i read the article and it was disturbing and concerning and i think over a couple of hours. I was ultimately asked what i thought and i said dad. There should be an ethics investigation so what happened that changed your approach. Because of course ultimately you called for franken under resign and there wasn't an ethics investigation right what transpired over the next three weeks was a lot of information eight allegations emerged. I each one was determined to be credible and was corroborated in real time by the national media two of the allegations that emerged emerged were since he was elected and the eighth allegation happen to be a congressional staffer and the nature the allegations were all very similar and with each allegation as it grew it created more and more concern in my mind i couldn't defend him. I couldn't carry water and my silence was doing exactly that so i got to the point where i wanted to say very clearly early that i didn't think it was acceptable and that i felt that he really needed to resign now. Thirty four other members of the senate it followed me pretty quickly some within minutes <hes> several who are running for president today i also as you know michael have two sons and my oldest theo uh-huh is now fifteen and the conversations we were having at home were upsetting to me as a mother <unk> mom why tough on al franken and so i had to <unk> have clarity as a mom in just say to feel at the time it's not okay for anyone to grope someone without their consent or to forcibly bley kissed them without their consent and it's not okay for senator franken. It's certainly not okay for theo so i had to have clarity and so i made my i'd decision and senator franken. He had his own choices he could have explained himself. He could have stuck it out to his ethics ethics investigation and he could have waited till the next election. Those were all his decisions not mine. But why did you yourself. I no longer want to wait for the ethics investigation. You said he could avoid but you called for his resignation right. I just reached the point where i couldn't defend him. He had also already acknowledged that he had crossed the line. He acknowledged that he had to be much more careful insensitive in the future and when he had the opportunity to talk to me and our colleagues he didn't really take that opportunity. Did you reach out to him no and we were there and he knew that we were concerned me and several other senators and what do you mean by clarity. You just use that word because it's clear that some people looking back on this case see it as a grey zone. So how would you define clarity for the democratic party but from my perspective when you grow up a woman without her consent when you forcibly kissed a woman without her consent. Those sir are actions that are not appropriate for someone who wants to serve in the public. It's a pattern that is disturbing and i just can't defend. It and i couldn't defend it over the last few weeks. Number of women have come forward to talk about how they felt my actions at affected them. I was shocked. I was upset but in responding to their claims. I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do. I also think gave some people the false impression that i was admitting to doing things that in fact i haven't done some of the allegations against me are simply not true others. I remember very differently serving and the united states senate has been the great honor of my life. I know in my heart that nothing i have done as a senator nothing as brought this honor on on this asa titian the older i back home <music> you're next big opportunities coming right now and all it takes to own the now is ten dollars for just ten bucks vistaprint gives you five five hundred personalized cards and with every one of those cards you pick the look the style and the statement you wanna make in the moment vistaprint wants to own the now which is why our listeners will get five hundred hundred high quality custom business cards starting at nine ninety nine satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Just go to vistaprint dot com slash daily to get five hundred custom business cards. That's vistaprint sprint dot com slash daily offer expires september eighth. You said the allegations or corroborated by the national media kind of real time of course there have been these developments in recent reeks with significant reporting in the new yorker that has challenged many of those accounts raise questions about their accuracy i don't i don't think that's accurate. Actually i felt that piece only challenged one account. There were eight credible allegations from what i read it really seemed to delve into only one the one being the first cracked not the one about the person who served in the military not the one about the congressional staffer not the one about the former elected official not the few who were groped at the state fair will reporting did address address the former congressional staffer the one that i really well. I think there was maybe two sentences on it. I think in the case of the other allegations nations and this was what the new yorker article seemed to establish several of them were about perception of senator franken's actions and what ah jane mayer asked the congressional aide was if it was possible that franken hadn't been making a sexual advance. This was a case where perhaps he had just been clumsy uh-huh e when he reached into hug her and the woman responded quote. Is there a difference if someone tries to do something to you unwanted and i wonder what you make the allegation of i just have to stop. The allegation was of a forceful kiss. It was not a hug. Let's not confuse the issue and when he made that gesture in whatever form he did he said the words that's my right as an entertainer and as someone who is trying trying to make the workplace safe for all young men and women who work in congress to not stand by her and to not be able to protect turn. I wouldn't be good senator and i wouldn't be able to continue to lead on these issues. I think the question was how do you feel about destroying drawing a senators career and to ask that question is the perfection of victim blaming and it is unfortunate that that would be said to a a young female staffer who has devoted herself to public service. Were you at all troubled by the new information that emerged when it came to the first allegation miss tweeden. I know you're saying that ultimately it was about the kind of cumulative understanding of behavior but there were some specific acidic revelations about the people around the woman who made these allegations about inconsistencies inaccuracies of things she claimed happened or that were unique to her that turned out to not be right. According to interviews a play wasn't written by al franken according to jan mayors reporting just so he he could kiss her he'd written similar skits before and many women have played those roles that allegation ultimately opened the door for these other allegations to come forward so is is it problematic. Is it worrisome to you that there are inaccuracies and lots of questions and challenges around that first allegation <hes> the fact that that he admitted to crossing the line in many examples. He said i across the line for some women. I know that at any numbers too many the fact act. He said he had to be much more careful insensitive in the future. Those were his words that came out after the third allegation so i finches picking apart. One allegation is really harmful. I think it's harmful to the larger moment that we're in because how would you feel my goal. If you're the second third fourth fifth sixth seventh or eighth allegation. How would you feel if you were the congressional channel staffer to see members of your own institution saying you're not sure now. I think it's a pretty devastating feeling and i think it pushed us back. I think for women and men across america who have been abused assaulted harassed afraid to come forward because of retaliation. I i hear you pushing back on all of the reporting there. Is there room to challenge. Those who accuse of course there is. That's what justice justice about when you say believe women what that means is not they get to decide whether something happened or didn't it means that she will do <music> an investigation when a rape survivor runs into a police station and she said i was just rate and the police officer says her oh yeah well. Is that what you were wearing. Oh you knew the person oh you were drinking there disbelieving her and so they are not doing an investigation asian what the phrase means is believed him as much as you believe someone else who runs into a police station inside my car was tolan and start the investigation and so that's the whole point <hes> the metoo movement and being able to come forward with your truth is so that you can tell what happened happened to you so perhaps there's a chance at justice. The truth is there's women and men all across america who will never be able to call out their boss. Who's bosses this art famous enough. Where a public call out would make a difference they could never be able to even have the hope of justice and so i thought at this is a moment where i needed to speak my truth that this was something that i didn't think was okay and given hate allegations and in two cents he was elected and having the eighth would be someone who works in by place of work again as i said this is something i've been working on for months months before this. It caused grave concern to me. I i completely understand the point. You're making an how difficult it has been for women to come forward but as you said much to the investigation in this case has been done by the media not traditional investigators and this latest reporting seems to provide some new information that an investigation would likely have shed light on so in retrospect. Do you wish that senator franken had held on for the ethics investigation so that when we talk about justice we can. That's the proper investigation and so there's no but you're asking me about <unk> out something. That's not my choice whether or not to stick it out for an ethics. Investigation is al franken's decision and his decision alone. He's entitled to every bit of investigative work. He could've sued every woman that came forward in the criminal justice system. He could have sued them for fraud. He could have had any measure of investigation that he wanted. He's the one who chose not to have that but what he is not entitled to michael and i wanna be clear on this is my silence. He's not entitled to the democratic party being in his corner because if that's what's expected of us than his role is senator senator is more important than the rest of our roles is senator that we can be speakers of truth that we can stand with a woman who works in our workplace who felt not only only attacked but felt devalued so those are my choices whether to seek out or not i am somebody who stands up for people who need protection action who need their voices to be lifted up and i will stand with those eight survivors. I would do it again today and that's the courage we need to have. I'm grateful that the democratic party has the courage to do that. You're totally right that ultimately it was his choice it was he decided to step down. I wonder if ultimately though you're cause would be strengthened by an investigation into allegations like this because in that case. There's no room for ambiguity ambiguously. There's no room for anyone to say we are just believing women with no proof and in the process we may be ruining careers without evidence evidence. If it just makes everything you just said stronger if you help ensure that there's due process and that is a process that you can influence with your voice and potentially in this case did influence <hes> i was not willing to stay silent for however many months that investigation investigation was going to take place in a lot of these instances. We are asked what you believe in what you think because we are members of congress and because we are decision makers on these issues. I don't think people waited for harvey weinstein to have a full criminal investigation before they decided he i had to go. I don't think people waited for any of the examples that you could raise in multiple venues in different industries stories. I just knew i got to the point where i couldn't defend him so i chose to say i'm not okay with this. What do you make of the fact that in the the months that have passed since franken resigned. A number of your democratic colleagues have now said they regret joining you in calling for his resignation. What does that tell you. Does it mean that some of your democratic colleagues have lost that clarity in your mind. No i think it represents a struggle struggle that a lot of people are having right now with this idea of redemption in this idea of forgiveness and how does someone who has made mistakes reemerge any context or any industry and how much room for forgiveness do do you see there as being in this moment. I think it's there for anyone who wants it it just as a matter of having the humility and grace to take responsibility to to know that you need to say you're sorry and move on from there i think for everyone there's always that path. You just have to choose to take it. Would you like like in that sense to hear from senator franken in this moment he is saying he regrets stepping down. He's denying many of the allegations and the way that they're being framed. I'm guessing you don't see that as the kind of contrition that you're looking for my perspective doesn't matter this is for our senator franken what happens from iran and is his decision and how he decides to take this moment will more broadly as someone who oh has become a leader on this issue. What would you like to see men doing who are in the kind of position. That franken said you know it's interesting. I haven't really seen it. Yes but i would imagine somebody who wanted to reemerge in whatever industry they're in just needs to apologize. Whatever the appropriate area active taking responsibilities would depend on what they were accused of and the context is having humility to recognize. You're wrong and having the grace to seek forgiveness. That's it. That's all it takes. It's not hard. It's just very rare. I want to talk about your presidential campaign. As it relates to all of this as we talked about in many ways this kind of brought you onto the national stage advocacy for women's become quite central control to your campaign and i wonder what you make of the fact and i hate talking about polling but with apologies that you're pulling quite low in this moment and that the democrat who is currently leading in the polls joe biden faced accusations of inappropriate touching himself a couple months ago and continued on with his campaign seems to be doing doing quite well. Does that trouble or does it tell you anything. I don't think that's necessarily the reason. I don't think the al franken something has helped. I think it's hurt when it comes to democratic donors i mean i think it's been really established yeah and written about that. Some donors don't want to support my campaign but i could have told anybody at the time that there is literally no reward for we're standing up to powerful men who are good at their day job and i've been doing it for a long time. I know this is a provocative question and that's why perhaps my last one would about about the possibility that you're not just hurting your own candidacy with this approach that you've just laid out but perhaps hurting the democratic party. Just just stick with me for a second. I'm mindful that that just ahead of the two thousand eighteen midterms brett cavanaugh was accused of sexual assault and he continued on with his supreme court nomination your republican colleagues in the senate in it they stood by him and they and he cavenaugh prevailed in getting confirmed. We started talking about this idea. Yeah the democrats should hold themselves to a different standard and watching this play out. Is there a danger in the democratic party playing by a different set of rules than the republicans that you might discover that americans don't necessarily agree with the standards that the party is using the us senator gillibrand are applying plying and that the party will suffer while the republicans only gain power so i couldn't disagree with you more michael first first of all i disagree with the notion that democrats paid a price over al franken. I think tina smith is an extraordinary u._s. Senator doing a great job and i'm having a higher electoral victory than her predecessor. I think kamala harris who replaced al franken on the judiciary committee has shown she has tremendous mendes voice on that committee and has done outstanding job the fact that roy moore was not elected and we have an extraordinary democrat doug jones the fact act that two thousand eighteen was an enormous victory for the democratic party. Not only did we flip the house of representatives because women ran in red and purple places across this country. We had extraordinary victories across the country. Women in america know that the democratic party hardy values them women in america know that the republican party might not and i would challenge the democratic party do not lose sight that you have to do the right thing even when it's hard and i think that when we value women and do the right thing long-term we will prevail we will be stronger and we will earn the support of americans because we value their mothers their daughters and their sisters <music> too if your candidacy might have been hurt by this but you think that there are these other signs that the democrats really gained from all of this. What's the takeaway that you wanna leave listeners with sometimes. It's very hard to do what's right. I know it's hard. It's really hard. It's it's really hard when the person someone you care about and admire and like and enjoy. I think's really good but it doesn't mean we shouldn't anyway <music> the sadder. Thank you for taking time to talk about this. I really appreciate it. We all do <music>. <music> <music> will back the daily is supported by wicks dot com. If you're ready to build your own website go to wicks dot com now to get started for free. Whether you're a business owner or a blogger anyone can create a professional website using wicks you you can start building a site from scratch or choose a beautiful template then customize it to look and perform exactly the way you want to build a website. You'll be proud of goto wicks. Dot com slash rush the daily. That's w i x dot com. Slash the daily and get ten percent off when you're ready to go premium. Here's what else you need. Took the decision to ban me and my colleague. The first two muslim american woman elected to congress is nothing less than an attempt by an ally of the united states to suppress our ability to do our jobs this elected officials during a joint news conference on monday congresswoman this woman ilhan omar and were she to publicly condemned israel's decision to bar them from visiting the country but said that would not discourage go from speaking out about the plight of palestinians living under israeli control denying visits to duly elected members of congress is not consistent with being an ally and denying millions of people freedom of movement or expression or self determination determination is not consistent with being a democracy omar encouraged her congressional colleagues to take the trip that she had to leave have been denied so i would encourage my colleagues to visit with the people we were going to meet with see the things as we were going to see here the stories we were going to here we cannot we cannot let trump and netanyahu succeed in hiding the cruel reality of the occupation from us so i call an all of you to go. The occupation is real barring members of congress from seeing it not make it go away. Israel said headboard the lawmakers because of omar until leaves support for boycotting the country over its treatment of palestinians but said it would have allowed to leave whose grandmother lives in the west bank to visit her if to leave agreed not to promote the boycotts during her visit to leap. You said she could not comply with those conditions. I think my grandmother said it beautifully when she said i'm her off. Arabic means her bird and she said i'm her dream manifested. I'm a free bird. So why would i come back and became bow down. When my election rolls was her head up high gave her dignity for the first time and so through tears three o'clock in the morning we all decided as the family that i could not go until i was a free american united states congresswoman coming there and hand. No one believes that officer pantaleo get out of bed on july seventeen two thousand fourteen thinking he would make choices and take actions during an otherwise routine arrests that lead to another person's five years after the death of eric garner whose final words i can't breathe became a rallying cry life. The black lives matter. The new york city police officer blamed for his death has been fired for office choices and actions even even made under extreme pressure matter the officer daniel pantaleo who put garner in a chokehold in staten island in twenty fourteen was he's not charged with a crime by either the city or the federal government but an n._y._p._d. Judge found him guilty of reckless assault and had recommended his termination in this case the unintended consequence of mr guarded steph must have a consequence of its own on monday afternoon. You garner's mother responded to pantaleo fire pantaleo. You may have lost your job but i'd lost the fut- you should lie seventeen two thousand fourteen. I lost my son. You cannot be placed there. You can get another. Maybe at burger king and that's it for the deal. I'm michael barr see tomorrow.

senator al franken senator democratic party senator kirsten gillibrand senate michael barr congress united states america assault minnesota Jane mayer harassment new york harvey weinstein new york times congress
Al and Conan OBrien

The Al Franken Podcast

52:21 min | 11 months ago

Al and Conan OBrien

"Hey everybody we got a great one. Today you know for a change. It's it's also a departure of sorts CONAN O'Brien an Iot been friends for. I think over thirty years it's now and When I was in La Awhile ago? I was a guest on his late. Night talk show on a tbs he is now the dean of late night TV host. I think he's been thirty. Years hosted the show in a so hard to believe Aleve when he first started he was everyone went. Who the hell is this guy anyway? He he's been a huge influence on comedy And he has his unbelievably successful podcasts. And he interviews a lot of COMEDIANS and John Mullany was on a a recent one and talked about one influence. Now CONAN was not unlike letterman. Who is an influence on comedy CONAN has been a tremendous influence on on comedians. And I did the talk show and then immediately after I went and did the podcast first. The agreement we had was that we'd both post it. So what you're about to hear Cost my team. Nothing and if I must say you're going to enjoy this now you'll notice right away when you listen that there is a lot of laughter and it's not just me and Conan. He has a few people in his studio there and Clothing Sonal Moss Essien who is His assistant at the show has been his assistant at the show since I think since he's come away and I've got I've known on her for a while they've done the show and She's great and She and he have great chemistry. Selma's job basically is. She gives him a lot of Shit. And this is the part of the show were before the guest comes on. So you're not going to hear that. But hopefully my doing. This will steer a lot of my vast audience to Conan and in his wildly successful podcasts and hopefully vice versa But really what sonal and you will hear this Parv her job is she laughs. And if you listen to my interview with Dana carvey about how he did political comedy at SNL and this is not long after. George H W Bush died. We were talking about how he got the Got The impression Russian and one day we were sitting around. You just did a not gonNA do that thing over there and I laughed really really loud and we talked about that. Dana said that laughter is the oxygen of comedy. Now you may have noticed that I'm alone I don't have anybody Laughing and there's one advantage to that which is that. If if I say something that I think is funny. No one can prove that it wasn't anyway. I think you're really going a to enjoy this now. We we've added a little bit. We've we've Taken out the parts where Conan talks to SONA and Matt Gowrali Gowrali who is the Producer of the podcast. Let's face it. You WanNa hear me you know but but what you'll hear you'll hear sonal laughing. We were all laughing. We had a great time. I know you're gonNA enjoy this one. And if you we haven't listened to Conan O'Brien needs a friend. You'd be there. I think he has like a million downloads per her podcast. Anyway so But you gotTA gotta go check it out so but we'll listen to this and I swear to God you're GonNa this is a great one for change I met you in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight eighty eight. Listen I thas correct thirty one years ago. Yeah I yeah I was a kid. I remember very clearly My writing partner at the time Greg Daniels and I came to New York to write on Saturday night live and I pitched something and no no no no no no you laugh the Al Franken laugh. Oh and I immediately really relaxed. I thought we were GONNA get bounced out of there any second pitch. We sketch remember what it was about. It was about a lab professor. It was something I used to do for my friends. It's a lab professor. He'd be like who had a lab skeleton. He say well we have. Of course the Patella is the thickest the bones and then he would look over this going he and he got scared every time. And you and then you so you came up to me and you and I really like that and I wait a minute. Let's sorry that's how Utah Roseanne Barr. That was a T. Rex a But anyway you were a generous laugher with me right away and I remember that feeling great. I remember that feeling. Great if people aren't laughing in in the office or is harder right. It's a it's interesting too because everything would be based on you. Remember this the read throughs that we would do a live and you did how many I mean if you add up all your years. It's Saturday night live. Isn't it like one hundred eleven. It's something crazy. I did fifteen in seasons so we did twenty year right That's three hundred numbers I was good at math both science and and I'm a sputnik kid was born fifty one when sputnik went up. My parents marched me and my brother into the living room and said you boys are. We're going to study math and science so we can beat the Soviets and I thought that was a lot of pressure. Did you really thought it was Z.. You guys in Minnesota we were. We were literal. Yeah a liberal and obedient. Yeah and so and so oh my brother was really really really good at it and went to MIT. And I was really good at it and I you know went to another school tool. That was very well thought of. Yes yes I've heard of that school and he became a photographer and I became a comedian. Yeah but we beat the Soviets. You know it's nice that you took that seriously and then Yes the wall came down the Soviets were defeated and then sonal married one. Is that right. Yes but he. He wasn't one of the Soviets. You were fighting well away as he was he was a child. We we were fighting. We're fighting them all. He was a child and he grew up in the Soviet Union. The child came here here yet when he was eleven hour and I maintain that when you fight the Soviets you fight them mall Manso tack your husband. Even as a small child we were we were out to defeat tack. You're saying tack was the enemy. Yes he was and now he's not. He was a child so I don't I disagree with a child's name. Remember anyway. Yeah so I I came to live and I was so scared and and then got to know you Jim Downey right away. And that's the thing about that. I was impressed with his. They throw you right into the deep end. There's no you'd think that. What is the band? got to write a sketch. was that the deep end. No but what I'm saying is you've got to do your the job. The deep end. Okay Yeah right right a sketch right right. GO IN AND PITCH to Steve Martin go in and pitch to Martin Short going in pitch to. You've just come in off the street but that's a that's like cool a privilege. You're you're getting think being thrown in the deep end is a good thing Haha. God this isn't going. I thought it was a pejorative okay. It's just not going away. I wanted to go why I had a couple of ideas thinking back to the show One is just this is my show or senate life which show Oh Richard Housing when you when you say to me show and I'm sorry my wrong really really if someone says to me like hey yeah the show I go of course Conan on TBS. Right I think Conan podcast. What do you think when you hear the show? I know how you think you think Gigolos high no longer on the air so I tried to mail. Gigolos is a like a dramatic acted out or as reality show. It's reality it's it's it's softcore pornography even kidding. Yeah it's it's got a plot and it's got certain gigolos follows but it is. It's softcore pornography geography club. Sorry Anyway back show like that get cancelled. We're getting any interest in this awesome. That happen I feel like Gigolos pulling you know to bill. Nye Science guy came up against us in just cleaned up. Cry Aspen. That happen I have no idea. I don't know but but al You we're GONNA talk about starting to live what are you. What are the ideas? You WanNa talk your favorite sketch. That didn't make it. Oh Oh that's interesting like I don't know if it's my favorite so when it comes one of the ones that comes to mind or the one that was most annoying to you. That didn't go. Yeah there was one. I'll tell this there's the disparity between how it did it read through versus. What happened to the sketch so I had an idea remember Phil? Hartmann had a character named Mace. Yes Mace was this I. I don't know that I can access the voice but this incredibly tough off right toughest guy in the world like a niece Mace Mesa Phil Hartmann one of the Great. SNL players of all time. Yes could do anything for Glue. Good Yeah and he did this character. That was very funny when he was made. Tough guy in the world and so I had this idea that macy's in his cell and the scene starts with a guard coming by these. I guess right screw keep walking you know and it's incredibly tough it's really tough and then Whoever the guests was that we can? I don't remember who it was but let's just say it was Mathew Modine. Yeah he's my Go-to he's Let's say if I say like look if I'm ever murdered by let's it's just say Matthew Modine so so then they put this prisoner in with him and it's that classic thing like screw truth me the king of this sub C. I.. Mace and the guys like whatever. I don't want any morning trouble. You Bet your lungs tuning eras. And he does this whole thing then. The guy lays down in his bunk and Mace looks over. And there's the typical There's there's a bunk bed it's jail cell for two and there's one exposed toilet in the middle of the room is looking over and it just becomes becomes clear that macy's shy about who I like. He's looking at the toilet well. It and he's starting to head that way and the Guy Matthew Modine is like hey if you gotta go you gotTa do. And then he's saying things like why don't you go to sleep. You Look Tired GonNa see. Get a good night's sleep I gotTa do and you get in prison. Okay Yeah I am a little tired. He starts to go to sleep in the minute. He thinks he's not at off. Phil Hartmann it goes over and then this was something Greg Daniels added that was really funny which is he starts peeling off little pieces of toilet paper and I Matthew Modine wakeup he. So this thing is read it read through and killed killed and you know in in a piece kills it. Read through and people were pounding the desks the piano in the corners rattling the acoustical tiles falling just killing and I- afterwards afterwards people were coming up like patting me on the back of laws. Lauren made eye contact with and then celebrated rated with tic TAC. And I was like wow and then the all week long people are like oh I can't wait for that. I can't wait for that and then Dress rehearsal and they start to do it. I don't know what happened to this day. Not a laugh and it happens. Sometimes you another way. There's a thing our in a sketch gach there's a trigger. It's and it's the it's the trigger that supposed to set everything else. The wonderful all the ladder to come need to be with that trigger and when you hit that line and the trigger polls and nothing happens you know that you got nine more pages right and none of that's is going to catch none of it and so I watched it just completely go down the drain. How about you? What do you have a sketch that you absolutely loved another i? I have several and Fart. Doctor the doctor has an interesting history in life they want. This is what happens. So Al Gore. I just want to tell our listeners that I have a pen and paper and I'm trying to draw. I'm just trying to figure out how one thing goes to another like. How does Al Gore and doctor and it doesn't work? I'm telling you right now. It doesn't work so Gore is going to host and I believe it's two thousand two and he asked that I be a guest writer because we're so I come and I think about it a have some some lead in time and so i. I write the sketch that Al Gore is not right for. Okay here is the practice. Okay you have three of our cast members. Remember Amy Poehler being one of them and they're waiting in a room and and I think amy was the one who was very impatient and skeptical that this famous diagnostician Who can diagnose diseases this is when no one else can was coming from Duke And he's a little late and she is kind of both skeptical and then patient and there's one one of the other doctors going like no I'm telling you he's amazing. Okay so the far the Whoever the hosts would be play fart doctor comes in and he's read all the files right all the different people and So bring the first patient in and they cannot these other doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with this. The guy and so This doctor from Dukes says the To the patient he says okay. I'm going to need you to Fart mm-hmm and the guy says what I'm going to need you to Fart. And so oh the guy tries and does finally squeeze one and the doctor says your mother was Salesian. uh-huh yes yes. Did you have to bully salad for lunch. uh-huh today yes I did you have and very specific very specific disease. All the other doctors are going like I'll of course they didn't figure that. Oh my God that's brilliant and the good news is that we know how to treat this and you're gonNA be fine And the guy is going. Oh thank you think. Next patient comes in. I'm going to be skeptical but farts and he's going like I'm glad I if you're listening to this right now and you obviously are skeptical but farts. Let's meet skeptical but for ever been said. Oh God I forgot I forgot one. Beat is after that I patiently. He takes a little fan. Sure you'll electric one of those little fan clears the air okay. So second one comes in and he goes Very interesting and like would you fart again. And he takes out a beaker and collects this one because he wants to bring it back to two then then another guy comes in and he's just an asshole. Yeah he's just a fucking asshole about being too far and he just it's just a dick about it and finally does it and and it's like you know what I'm GonNa talk talk to you later. And he lays and he says he's. He's a dead man and all of them are kind. I have like okay with that. They just never like this. Never liked it so then the last person comes in the final patient comes in and you have have to part and the person really very valiant effort and can't do it it's just can't do it can't do it and then you hear if our and he looks puzzled And he goes like wait a minute. That can't be far. You're half Australian A and this can be yours. Well Amy Poehler the one who is so skeptical says that was me right and he goes. We've got to get you in a surgery stat. Okay now. That's a good sketch. Yes okay so this way you pitch assist you you wanted Al Gore to Dr. No I knew that Al Gore was not right for far. Okay so here Dr. Here's what happened. I am not working at the show at this point doing other stuff just came in for Al Gore. But I'm going like I've got a fucking in gem here for Dr and so while I'm not there air I'm going to submit through which is not a good thing to do. I mean if you're not there and if they're not there and you submit it for read through sometimes sometimes. The writers that are there can feel right that They resent a little bit. They want their thing. And and so. But I'm thinking like okay Christopher Walken as host so I go okay all right. All Right Chris Rock I'll put through through with Christopher walking and so goes in and doesn't get picked and then another month later I submitted again and it doesn't care now you know the writers every time time Lawrence's neck sketch part Dr Jack. They're not there and they know that this is the seventh week in a row being read red and the pages are crumbling. Yellow from from age yes there. There's they're irritated with you. Okay right and Tina Fey Was Head writer. I think time she So I stopped doing it never gets done. It just doesn't get done so on thirty rock they refer to FARC doctor very often. What's going on on the floor much to you? Yeah made perfect accents. And then when she meets Matt Damon And I I think she in in this show she pretends to be something nothing else and finally. She admits that she's producer and writer for this for this right a variety show and she says I write far Dr Drinker. I love and in a way found a life. Yeah and then. Here's the thing she never gave Danny my camping well in a way. She gave the greatest gift of all. She made. Farhi remark immortal. Yeah Yeah it's playing all around the world constantly et it is GonNa take a quick break. Let's just just take a quick break. Some business to do. Just hang on sitting here with Al Franken. Okay before we we cut to a break I I I just want to address something Because in in our last podcast I did a commercial parody for a magazine called Cigarette Aficionado and I thought it was evident that it was a satirical and the whole point of it was to make fun of the idea that smoking tobacco. Oh is somehow glamorous and sexy and I thought it was pretty evident. That cigarette aficionado doesn't really exist Some of the features were Ralph Nader At his eighty million dollar the hamptons estate dressed in versatility and showing off his collection of vintage. Dangerous cars and also His favorite thing is his collection of Old cigarette lighters And we had a feature on smoked foods and stuff like I got some emails to my office. People who were outraged changed that I was Taking tobacco money on the show. This was not I. This was not real was what I'm trying to say here and I want you all to know that I would. I would not take money from the tobacco industry and would not have an advertisement if there were a real magazine called Cigarette Aficionado. I would not actually have them by time on the show you understand. Okay let's Let's go to real break those of you who listen to to the podcast and all that very often we have Guests who are doing something. Good for people Jason Jason Cantor who ran for the Senate in Missouri in two thousand sixteen in barely loss in in a landslide for trump. In in that state he lost by three percent. He is very involved with something called the Veterans Community Project. And it's what it does. Is it It it helps homeless vets and they do this by building what are called tiny homes for vets. And as you know the number one solution to homelessness is a Ho- these tiny homes are in a community of other tiny homes. So there's a community there. They also provide services but these tiny homes have a kitchen. They have a bedroom and bathroom in basically tiny homes but an apartment this size in Manhattan would go for two million easy you know in the village three million And also the as I said they give services To these vets as well may remember that Jason was running for our mayor of Kansas City. And then he was going to win and he he announced he was quitting the race because he felt felt had to take care of his. PTSD from his service in Afghanistan and he is just This organization is it's just wonderful doing great work veterans community project. And if you would like I would love for you to make a contribution to veterans community community project and here is where you go. WWW DOT veterans community project dot Org. That's vats veterans community project DOT ORG so Thank you and by the way they're not paying for this. They're not paying for this. So you don't have to do backslash backslash Al and we're back so okay another one that this is another sketch. We're talking about sketches that we love the didn't make it on sale now live right and and which one is this. This weirdly is another doctor. It's called that's my oncologist. And it's a Sitcom Like a fifty Sitcom and it's Song Stars and there's a you know the montage Sitcom when it comes the cancer. He's got the answers he's the best in the Biz but when it's honey I'm home. He's thicken the dome. That's my on College Eh. So I submitted it once swith sketch kind of in it as I show and then I did a next week on you know and so the next week week worked right and the next week was it's take your daughter to work week or day. Yeah and it's just. He's pointing to these x-rays X rays. Okay he's Garner okay. This one is in in his liver the daughter the daughter's like eight. Oh this is your teacher and that killed and and so I said okay. Just take the sketch that isn't great. Eight route and just do that and it didn't happen. Here's one of the things. This just reminds me of something I wanted to ask you about when I was watching Santa live along with everybody else. Seventy five to eighty. You and Tom Davis I remembered watching late night. And you did this sketch you can remember this better than I can but there. There was some sketch where you're doing something throughout this period of time and you're getting progressive visit you. That's getting progressively sicker. Is it a tumor. Is this the brain tumor. Yes the ran. The brain tumor comedian. And it's your comedy. Yeah just tell me. I remembered watching that at home and howling at but it was so dark. Time thinking thinking nothing. This dark has been on television before. Yeah you know yeah This was so we'd been doing the Franken Davis show as a show L. within the show and we were on when the show is short So what didn't work in Warren. Put a sign in the last half hour so oh but we have been on. Irvine's people knew near the Franken. Dave show you had like a cool. Yeah animated of your of your faces. It looked it's the Franken and Davis Don Don Don Don Anyway so we come out and And I have this bandage is huge bandage with a big lump on. The you know the bandages You know at at. He's a tape around gauze and my heads wrapped in it and Tom says I'll has a brain him right and he's always you know we're a team but he's always wanted to do a monologue right and and work a lot you know. Just try and I and I think that I really encouraging that. Because that's his dream and he's going to do and he's a little oh he's not doing well and So just laugh weary and so i. Hi Go out there and tell I you know the have you heard the one about the rabbi. who doesn't charge forgiving circumcisions? He only takes tips. Okay and Tom's going like clue. Two thousand employees that funny and then from then on on the punchline is always he only took tip and Tom is trying to encourage people the laugh and I start that one point I start the clearly. Just lose in almost about to pass out and he has ask sponge and water just starts sponging. Was I have a memory which I love to tell. Oh people that stars you and I think this Harrison. Yes word gets out word gets out that George Harrison's in the building and he's he's down in Lawrence Office and I'm I don't think he can be a bigger Beatles fan than than myself I just I I know everything about them. I know the instruments I know I know the Chord Lord changes at the whole thing. The song it's yes I know I know some of the names of the members. Get Hazy easy on the Bass player but We're there and we're thinking of we're GonNa see him. Are we gonNA Siham. And then finally George comes down the hallway and we're all in the writer's room he and he comes in member he had been out partying with Lorne and he was a little tipsy and Lauren had gone out to dinner so mm-hmm traditionally on Tuesday night. This is Tuesday night. The show gets written on Tuesday night and we stay up all night all night. But it really you you know. Starting I don't know ten. PM or something. Things are actually starting to be written and so first of Paul George Harrison shows up At around eight and they go to dinner yes and they don't come back until like ten ten thirty already. and Harrison's really drawn. Yeah he's he's tied one on remember very clearly he walks in. We all all stand up. He comes into that those white. It's double doors into the writer's room right around writers raise area and he standing there and he sort of weaving from side to side as one does when once had a lot to drink and he said Saudi I'm pissed is a newt. I'll never forget forget that you went. Saudi I'm pissed as Newt. And then he said was your staring at and we were all staring at him And and then he looks over in the corner and he sees a piano and he goes over any sits down at the piano and he starts parts to play the piano so a beetle is in a relatively small room with us. Playing the piano making music making music beetle beetle is making music and all of us are transfixed and I think he plays for about twenty seconds. nope less made more more. Okay more all right. Whatever I'm being controlled? He pays more but he plays for awhile. And then you use come out of your office and you said okay. And then he gets startled and he gets up and scuttles away like a habit that sun ogre he gets up and stumbles away. And you go back to your office did that or did that not happen. uh-huh a version of this is what happened. Actually first of all he played for a lot longer than you remember played for a long time. Yeah not many people when a Beatles playing go. Hey let's pick it up. What's the point? Is We have a writing staff. We have a show that gets written now. And you know it's like eleven and he's playing he's playing Okay what is it so special. This Week Rue mcclanahan is on the show. Oh who cares that show could have sub that we who cares out there for six hours and listen to George Harrison play and then just turned in it. Could it's been a whole show of doctor with Rue mcclanahan. I didn't think of that but this. This is prior to the existence of far. Okay okay so I had a role that year. which is I think I was the some producer producer being responsible? Yeah and no one is going to leave that room and work. As as long as George Harrison is playing the piano. You have no one on your side in this room and I'll and I'll tell you something else I mean I think also the you have been working on the show since seventy five and George Harrison had been around the show a lot so so you'd spent a lot of time with George Harrison. Where's this was? My hand spent a lot of time with George Harrison. I go antiquing. We know we used to go to listen to the light jazz and Gazebo. But here's the thing. I didn't say quiet. This this is I went to fill harman and I said and my office was very near the Yes. Your your office was the closest to us. Does this office to the conference room and the piano. I'll verify that. Yeah so I say to fill watch this and I go into my office so I don't see Harrison's reaction but I'm told later what it was. I slammed the door hard as I can and I knew that it sounded like an explosion. He he he jumped. Yes and I've been told it is two or three feet above the piano bench inch and back to the piano jumped up back to piano bunch. He's been drinking so he's startled afraid and runs away a and I don't think ever returned to America. I haven't looked into it but I don't think he is. Are you married Shit from few people who were there but I bear you no L. will go okay but can I ask a question because you've told the story before USA sort of made it seem like it was a joke but where you really telling him to be quiet now. I'm confused fused doing a bit of a Joe. I think you're doing a bit. I I want to have a successful TV show at any kind of my goal. And he'd been there a while also he was very drunk and it wasn't I'm not a music critic but I don't think they don't think it was his best work. The wheels on the bus ie around Sundance Bahamanian here. Yeah yeah the bill's gone and guess what happens. People get the get to work right and wrong good show. I don't remember if it was a good show. I don't either. Ah Eighth slightly passable show but now I I. You're I will say absolutely fearless Louis. You I remember you not being intimidated by a massive stars and just going right in and were you always way way. Were you like that. In nineteen seventy five dollars. who were you ever a scared pup or do you have any remember of that first show like how scary it was doing being alive show? Will this even work. What if will this? It was very unlike what the show became. Because we had I think three musical lacks or something and you had muppets to think. We had muppets. We had music act. The hit was Chevy in an update. Yeah and the show didn't become the show until you know started getting more like what it was in the lily. Tomlin I think was the first shows seem like one of the shows but George Carlin. I think did to mine long or something. It was like it was like midnight express. Yeah but with more people people always try to point this out to younger. People that are sitting comedy is that nothing is what you think. It was at the beginning and a good example. All of that is watch a simpsons from the first season First of all Dan Castellaneta. Who Does homer his take on homer was that he sounds like he should sound Walter Matthau and so if you watch I H boy? Now come here boy I. I'll get Chu Tao. Well we'd better I mean it's not and the and the pacing is completely different. It's it's it's radically different and I always tell. Tell everybody that nothing you know. People tend to think that everything springs out practically and that never happens. I mean I think a good show is a living thing I know that you know. Lauren has told me that you know people used to say to him. Starting with the second season season well. It's not as good as the first I did. Yeah I they started doing this dead joke probably right away second season. Oh Yeah I guess it's that Arthur Miller or something said that you know. He wrote death of a salesman. And everyone's like Oh my God this is the best thing ever and and then later on hit right his other plays and people would say it's not it's not like you know it's just not death but salesman then finally late in his life people had read something in people would say you know we've been thinking about it death of a salesman. Isn't that good actually. It was really. It's just if you stick around long enough. They'll pick everything apart. I do my podcasts alone. I'm like back in. There's nobody in the studio with me except a climate scientists is on and we're talking about obviously obviously global warming and what we need to do and he gets into the Underdeveloped world the poor countries of the world the Third World countries and when their economies expand that they're going to have to kind of skip a generation of energy. They'RE GONNA have to skip coal hole and go into You know carbon neutral fuel and that kind of thing and I said well how could we just get these these countries not to develop and he didn't laugh he saw okay for example so we had former energy secretary very earnest. I'm laughing and he's on and he's a great guy and he he actually associated all the technical aspects of the Iran nuclear deal. He's a brilliant brilliant guy. He was the head of the physics department at Mit. And and we're we're talking also about climate and We have this discussion about whether natural gas is a transition addition or not. There's controversy about that. And he says it is he says it is and he says I for example. I work with Southern Company. which is this big big utility in the south so I say to him you working for the man and he goes well or the woman? uh-huh maybe didn't know the phrase. That's exactly what happened. I like. He just didn't know the phrase working for the man and and he I I think he's five years older than me or something like that and people five years older than me. No the phrase working for the man yes but I think he was studying physics. He's trying to fix the world he's. Va trying to save our planet from from a global disaster. So he didn't and you're angry that he's not up on his. I'm not angry not angry. I'm just I'm going like I. I really respect him I think he's he's a great a great public servant the great mind and he's a tremendous asset to this country in the world but I just kept making fun of him. I hey can I get you. I know you're over but we can. Yeah we cut. I don't but this guy does okay. So how so chop this up anyway. Yeah okay so so we did. We had to rewrite table. On Thursdays Thursdays we rewrite and The Bush secaucus debate. Now right now and you know for those who don't remember Dukakis. BACCHUS was probably about what five six or something yeah and Bush was like I don't know h w Bush was like six one to a lot in the news is that Dukakis was could he stand on something and and the camps were going back and forth like well. It can be one apple box but it can't be to see you know maybe it can be one step but not a step and a half and they were negotiating. That's was in the news. Were looking for a Joe. You know some way to do this. and Ah we get it from Conan only because he does sound affects right or this sound effect which is a hydraulic lift. Yes yeah so if you look at the the the piece it was Jon. Lovett says Dukakis John Hilarious Dukakis. And he kinda gets behind the podium uh-huh and you see him like get ready and four. I've ever pitching this in the room. Yeah and then the then it goes up. I can't do you I'm GonNa have you do it. And then it goes to high right but it goes like a a lever and Yeah I know he doesn't have somebody else is doing it but he is. He played it so beautifully because he is trying fine not to to caucus trying not to react but he goes up. He's being humiliated trying so what I did in the room. It was just like well. What if he gets behind the podium and then you just hear grinding like an elevator or something because I and was doing that? Copy that day. That was a day where I used to go back to my apartment which was in Williamsburg Aymesburg Brooklyn and this is eighty eight and this is back when you I again. Things are not what they were you. Brooklyn in nineteen eighty. The eight was a scary place to live high to the crack epidemic it's not the Williamsburg of today where there's just. Why did you live there? I know it was less expensive. Yes let's say I didn't the only thing that also I had not lived really in New York before I was coming from Los Angeles where I started my career and I didn't know and so I had a friend this woman. Lynette Cortez who over the phone. I said I just need to find a place to live in New York I just got hired Senate live and she said come live I have an extra I live in a townhouse. And there's there's a room here that you could have and I live in Williamsburg An- An I was thinking colonial. I really was thinking gasset jets and and cobblestone streets center insurance people turning take that sounds fantastic and then I got my brother Neil to drive me and we showed up in early February of eighty eight pitch black freezing and we get off the Williamsburg Bridge and start heading south. And then we get off. And it's just looked like a like one of those post-apocalyptic take movies of burned out cars. And all the streetlights were were dark and someone said later on they told me the the crack dealers. Shootout streetlights lights. Oh so everything was dark smart and I kept thinking what is this. Got Off on the wrong thing and my brother Neal is saying no no no this is this is Berry street this is and and then finally the car starts to slow down and he goes gets to forty two to four. No no no no no no no no no. This can't be any comes to stop. And it was a scary scary place to live and I remembered coming to work one day and used to take Ayla to walk eight blocks north to get to the end the L.. I went and got frye boots with giant heels and I would wear a trenchcoat wrote because I thought that it would make me look tougher and I would have a cigarette coming into my math because they thought this would make me look tough but I just I looked. I looked like a tough law. I'm not a tough looking guy to kids in exactly. Yeah Look Nineteen Thirties. Movie were three kids. Try and get into a movie as an adult. You're on my shoulder to see the movie. It was terrifying and then I came to work and I remember listening to chatter US chattering. And you're doing something and then you just heard me say you know I just came in from Williamsburg why Williamsburg. He was burgundy wine. Yeah and he said you gotta get out of their fucking dot long long right after after. You told me that I got out and I moved to Eighteenth Street. Yeah Yeah so thank you. You saved my life. Okay well there you have it yet. Yeah you know what this is. It's been a joy very nice having you here in laughing our asses off. And let's do this again. This is really fun. Yeah we mean what was that. It wasn't I'm trying to know I was going like I'm wondering when we do. And how do you do that. Do you do that. You will see you had Dana. Yeah I know a couple of again you know you never know okay okay good. What a terrible blending awful to interview just to sort of? I think it's like a little wind. It's a wind down to be continued. Yeah one yeah yeah voices giving really. Oh Aw Al Franken thank you. Yeah well I hope you enjoyed Listening that beautiful music is by Leo. Cocky the Great Leo Cocky. I WanNa thank Peter Osburn. UGH Burn for producing. We'll talk again next week.

Al Franken George Harrison Conan Al Gore writer TA Mathew Modine Dana carvey Senate Lauren Phil Hartmann CONAN Amy Poehler New York Tom Davis professor Greg Daniels George H W Bush Conan O'Brien Mace Mesa
A Conversation With Franklin Foer

The Al Franken Podcast

1:05:18 hr | 1 year ago

A Conversation With Franklin Foer

"Hi It's Al Franken and we've got a tremendous podcast for you today. Franklin four has been one of the most brilliant progressive American journalists over the last twenty five years and I'm a huge admire of him from his days at slate from its inception. He's been the editor in chief of the New Republic. <hes> couple Times Franklin now writes cover stories for the Atlantic monthly monthly and took some time out from the one he's just finishing up right now on Amazon and he's also done Brian Cover stories on Paul Manafort and on ice and actually we start the conversation really about ice and these <hes> what's behind these new raids and he's one of the few political journalists who has been writing about big tech and dangers that it presents an has doing in a prescient and very thoughtful way his latest book a world without mind the existential threat of big tech just want some prestigious international award that I can't pronounce and that's what we really care about about on on the Al Franken podcast prestige. That's primarily what we're going for <hes> here on the podcast so Franklin I will be talking about the effects of facebook Google Amazon apple and <hes> on the way Americans get their information <hes> how cliques have affected journalism and how our attentions span hope. I'm sorry no and how our attention span <hes> oh. I'm sorry I just I. I was looking at my phone. I got a text message. I'm babysitting tonight anyway. <HES> <HES> was I lost my train. <hes> my dad always said that. If you can't remember what you're talking about it wasn't important in the first place Franklin Franklin four okay. He's <hes> GONNA be with us in a moment but I actually now they think about WanNa talk about Secretary Costa's resignation but really more about the shady character who's going to be Acting Secretary of Labor. That's Patrick. PIZZAZZ basell has been the deputy secretary of Labor nomination. I fought very hard against because from nineteen ninety-six to two thousand one Zella was a lobbyist for Jack Abramov's firm. The most famously corrupt lobbying firm in the long heralded Donald Annals of corrupt lobbing firms Abramov and his team did some just terrible things always on behalf of horrible people and one of the very worst things they did was lobby on behalf of garment industry in the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific and this is really ugly and Zella was in charge of it there were sweatshops eighteen gene hour workdays they recruited poor young women from rural villages in in China and in the Philippines and told them that they're going to the united it states of America and that's because Marianna islands had become a territory of the United States and these women had to pay in order to be flown to the United States this is thousands of dollars Aziz women had to pay and if they were short they could take out a loan which pay off with their unbelievably meager salary there were also forced abortions mandatory abortions there was forced prostitution now on the other side of the ledger there were all expense paid luxury junkets for Republican members of Congress their staffs and their families and and for right wing thinkers like Kellyanne Conway all flying First Class to and from the Mariana Islands <hes> an accommodations at the fancy schmancy Hyatt Regency Z. Gulf tropical drinks with little umbrellas <hes> the whole nine yards and also you got propaganda from Zella so that when Republican leaders like Tom delay return to Washington the majority leader Peter would call the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana islands quote the perfect Petri dish for capitalism quick history of the Northern Mariana islands there a string of of of islands and they're just north of Guam to give you some idea of the geography the biggest island is site pan where they had the battle of Saipan a key battle in world war two which we <hes> when we won that we took over in the Marianas and control it after the war the northern Marianas was under the United States offices nineteen seventy five became a United States territory the Ford Administration wanted to help its economy so so <hes> it it said the businesses air would be able to ship products to the United States without quotas or tariffs or duties and they could even label stuff made in the U._S._A.. And they also wouldn't have to abide by American Labor or immigration laws so it wasn't long before American labels like Ralph Lauren Brooks Brothers J crew your Banana Republic. They're all making can close in sight Pan and who would do the actual work while they're these impoverished young women <hes> who've been recruited from China and the Philippines promise jobs in the United States eighths and they paid thousands of dollars and when they took the flight to the western hemisphere it must have seen remarkably like a remarkably short flight right <hes> the women found themselves incite pan and they're soon working eighteen hour days in sweatshops under horrible horrible conditions at night they'd be locked up with hundreds of other women in barracks infested with rats and <hes> equipped with one outside toilet for every fifty women they were allowed out for one hour every Sunday but many any had signed contracts agreeing not to fall in love or have a baby or protest working conditions and hence the beatings by factory foreman and hence the forced abortions those forces abortion some times came from a special kind of exploitation the women who were young and pretty or sent to work at various nightclubs in town catering to tourists who like young pretty girls some of these women owed money for their trip to the United States and were forced into prostitution. I I happened to write about all this back in two thousand five in my book the truth with jokes and all all this was very carefully documented by the Clinton Labor Department and by various investigative reporters Brian Ross who <hes> uncovered a lot of this for A._B._C. News did the number of reports on this and millions millions of Americans knew about these conditions but presumably not Patrick Zella because when I questioned him about his work there he told me that he had not been aware any of the sordid details this is odd and a lot of ways he they lobbied for Willie Tan it was the biggest manufacturer there and one of the biggest abusers of these women and <hes> that's actually in one of Brian Ross's report a dinner with these congressmen and Willie Tan <hes> speaking to them and this was dinner basell had organized. I was on the Senate help committee and that's health education labor and pensions and <hes> met with Mr Zella in my office the day before the hearing as a courtesy. I told him I was going to vote against him. Because of his work in the Marianas and I was going to ask him about that in the hearing there were widespread reports at the time that workers face terrible conditions including <hes> reports of many of these employees were women brought from who were told from the Philippines from China. We're told they're going to America and they ended ended up in these jobs in the northern Marianas islands and there were forced abortions prostitution and routine beatings you've been nominated to position where you'll be closely closely involved with enforcing minimum wage laws and other worker protections yet as we discussed in my office. One of the key issues you lobbied on was to block bipartisan legislation for basic worker protections in the northern Mariana islands were garment manufacturers could produce clothing labeled made in the U._S._A. Without having to comply with U._S.. Minimum wage laws in fact Mary Mariana Islands were your firm's largest lobbying client. Obviously that is concerning history for someone who will now be charged with enforcing worker protection laws. Were you aware of those horrible conditions even. On Wall you lobbied against the minimum wage protection for irs first of all senator thank you you did say you would tend to ask the question I appreciate that in our meeting yesterday and prepared to address the issue. I was not aware her of any such thing. I did not know just learned that twenty one of restraint Ross colleagues were also convicted of wrong I was I was not one of them. Okay and clear sorry about that. I was never ever congratulations. Thank you on that you know in retrospect. I wish they'd been more emphatic pointing out that he was was lying but I assumed that was just obvious to the rest of my colleagues. Maybe I had overlook the possibility that a few of the Republicans on the committee had gone on on one of those junkets so here's what I think we should do. I am putting a petition online at Al Franken Dot Com Tom that you can add your name to demanding that the House Labor committee investigate whether Zella knew about these abuses in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and lied during his confirmation hearing this is essentially about lying to poor Asian women taking their money putting them into slave labor and forced prostitution and forced abortions are acting labor secretary shouldn't have spent four years making sure the Congress didn't change that so good Al Franken Dot Com and sign the petition and get your friends to do so as well Patrick basell tend not be are acting secretary of Labor okay now. Let's go to my interview with Frank. One four the friends call you frank. That's right wrong requiring. Thank you <hes> first of all welcome thank you. I know you're doing research for your piece right now for the cover story that you're going to do on Amazon that's right. I may if I turn in a piece. That's not of high enough. Quality by editors might not put it on the cover so you've just raised the stakes for me there but that's that's the announcing that exactly exactly but if if you see this story Anonima cover can make some judgments about prejudgments about what you'll get inside you know you can only do this for so long. Before you start kind of losing it twenty five years that's pretty Reagan so I read this article on ice which is <hes> revelatory and basically said that ice was one of the things that are trying to do is just scare the shit out of people yeah well in that that sounds <hes> maybe like a crude way of describing what they do but if you go back and read all of the <hes> the theorist you were at the core of the hard core Anti Immigration Hawk Walk Community. You'll see that it's actually pretty explicit that they say that <hes> there's limited bandwidth that ice in the government has to deport immigrants from the country and that ice only has so many beds under it's control and only have so many airlines that it can use to find people out of the country and that if they really wanted to reduce the pool of ten eleven million immigrants in the country here who who don't have <hes> illegal status that the only way that they can do it is by raising the stakes were life become so uncomfortable that they decide to leave on their own accord and I started seeing this when the trump administration came in <hes> I would go all over over the state of Minnesota and everywhere principals teachers were telling me that the kids whose parents were not documented were terrified <hes> and it was hurting their performance in school. I'm was just going into the nurse in the school or going to clinic for anxiety because they knew that it was a very real possibility that their parents would be taken away and did just knew the United States. That's all we knew right. Well and it's also just what you just described the the core of cruelty. That's embedded in that sort of policy where you're waging psychological warfare on a against people who many of whom have been here not just years. I put a lot of them. Decades 'cause this tremendous backlog and our immigration of the community yeah yeah they're. They're completely intertwined themselves themselves Americans because they've been here for so long their kids have been born here so the children are actually American citizens and then for the government to come in and to just create the sense of randomness that anybody here who doesn't have the right papers is is <hes> subject to deportation that under the Obama Administration Obama Administration had started off with this very crude deportation policy which was also very cool very cool but then by the end of the Obama administration there was a sense that they constructed it did very clear priorities so if you committed a crime you would be the priority for ice and you'd have like a real like a violent crime or something like that as opposed to a minor exactly okay and in your article then we'll move on to 'cause we got a lot to talk about here. Sessions was a big part of this. Everyone thinks of him as will not exactly a hero for not on recusing himself but as we someone who was <hes> beleaguered by a guy who's worse than him right. It doesn't take a whole lot of deep reading to see that sessions was terrified of the demographic transformation of the country and <hes> he spoke about wanting to protect <hes> convey civilization in a culture and <hes> when he was a senator thy he was way too the rate of I was his car was <hes> witnessed to that of course on immigration because we wrote an immigration reform bill in the Judiciary Committee in two thousand thirteen <hes> and <hes> it got sixty eight votes in the Senate Senate and House never took it up because they were going by the hastert rule right. If that bill had passed then immigration you'd have you'd have Republicans being associated with immigration reform with with the sort of with the sort of amnesty rate with giving people and it would have taken half to citizenship along path it would have taken that issue off the table right and and I think it's arguable you could argue that if that bill had passed <hes> an in Donald Trump didn't have the issue of immigration to demagogue it would have probably been much more difficult for him to ever found a path to the presidency that seems to be the only thing <hes> that if you eliminated then he wouldn't be president thanks Komi thanks Russia the bastards <hes> so <hes> wrote this great book. I loved this book world <hes> without mind the the existential threat of big fact which is great because we need another existential threat <hes> which and since I wrote that book existential threats are everywhere so <hes> I want to get to the origin story story of Silicon Valley and I did not know the stuff there is kind of a hippy libertarian thing <hes> that pervades Silicon Valley and it has its roots with the Sky Stewart D- brand so as a grateful dead fan. You surely know that the the peninsula south of <hes> San Francisco was this incredible confluence where you had both the grateful dead in L._S._D.. <unk> d. and the commune's getting invented but it's also the place that gave us apple computer the P._c. and the Internet and I don't think you could have had either of those things without the other the hippies had decamped jumped in mass to commune's and they had an idea about how <hes> they could use tools and technology to essentially liberate themselves from the curse of technology and that's what you'll hear from <hes> <hes> soccer Berg and all these guys some variation of them so that this is a liberating thing and also will bring us everybody together right you wouldn't have had <hes> the creativity and the that infuses technology that allows for all this innovation if you didn't have this hippie spirit that still is there yet hippie libertarian right well so I think one of the strands is that this dream of creating oneness of creating the sense of wholeness of can of tying the world together in the same spirit of the commune's and also this idea that you can use technology to alter consciousness all that he can use to to run Andrew. I mean it's it's true I mean it's it's. It's you know L._S._D.. Altered consciousness but then they started to this Guy Stewart brand who we talked about who is the the major theorists of technology in this period in silicon valley goes to see video video games played for the first time and he said Holy Cow. This is familiar. I'm watching these guys can transfixed and transformed into this altered state as they're sitting here playing with these games and I think we think about this even mark Zuckerberg somebody like that WHO's pretty square who I doubt his <hes> dropped acid in his life still thinks about the technology kind of having the same sort of transformative power to transform consciousness so that we're all one yeah <hes> one and there were a big community of making the globe a community thereby <hes> making countries like Myanmar <hes> just paradise exactly it's kind of a beautiful powerful dream. You could see how people get carried away with. The idea that we could all be stitched together into this one network and <hes> it's it's it's something that has almost theological implications too when you start to get carried away guys have <music> are let's face it and I guess they have reason to be <hes>. We're we're talking about Sergei brand and <hes> Larry Page did Google Bazo Soon Bennett Amazon and <hes> is October the they have grandiosity. Would you say that yeah I would and I guess why not I mean your multi multi multi billionaire because of something you invented yeah. Why wouldn't you be but they have like some ambitions for example to defeat death? It's a small one but I i WanNa know what that looks like. It's evidently you have some scientists. Some doctors and scientists get together together and they <hes> at through technology through the data you get <hes> figure out how to keep a human being alive forever. Does that the idea that's the dream that's the dream right well and you can and see how if you've created a machine. That's able to answer every question seemingly that you enter into it. You begin to think well. I saw this one big problem. I'm going to move on to conquering the next next big problem and so <hes> you know there's other problems besides death. <hes> well for example is social security solvent this would this would help now which which raises the question if they did this. Let's say they saw this. <hes> who gets it is just those guys or is it. You D have to like be C._F._O.. And then you're cutoff that below C._F._o.. C._F._O.. I th I don't know if they thought all of this through because <hes> one you could live forever but just get older right yeah so you know I'm sixty eight and I feel a little diminishment of of some of my powers <hes> not not mental. I'm just getting smarter and smart but <hes> you know just muscle mass yeah and you know my back is kind of hurting me and I've talked to people who are older and they say it just keeps getting worse and I can't imagine so. Let's say you're hundred ten and you're one hundred twenty nine hundred fifty. You may be living but it just may A. B.. Hell yeah well. It's also I mean they're you know things start to get boring after awhile and if you're if you're going on forever and ever doing the same thing <hes> time and again well. That's my thought. Let's okay so you're living saying let's say okay now. You're two hundred and twenty years old and <hes> the world is taken over by a horrible horrible dictator and this woman this woman doesn't like you particularly and so she decides we are going to put you in a capsule and we're going to send you to this galaxy the the few galaxies away about a hundred million light years and we think there's a planet there that might have life and we need somebody to go there and check that out. That's GONNA be your job because you can live forever so we're putting in the capsule. They'll be no reading material real <HES> NO INTERNET <hes> but we have this technology where we can feed you the same thing every day and keep you alive and that's it and we'll give you a journal and you you know Dear Dear Journal. It's the year two million eight hundred sixty five thousand nine hundred seventy eight. I've been in this capsule for over over two million years and I am. I'm just going nuts yes but doesn't sound <hes> like the happiest <hes> immortality. I've ever heard about yeah so I'm GonNa talk those guys. I you gotta get a meeting with them and say think about this through anyway. I've just alerted everybody to some of the downsides of this but I wanNA talk to you because I want my audience to know the you were the editor in chief of the New Republic. <hes> The you're on the ground floor in slate to right out of college right Yep Yep anyone in Seattle you went to Seattle it was owned by Microsoft at that point and so I I drove out to <hes> Seattle and <hes> Michael Kinsley had just started what was going to be the first kind of Mega Internet magazine the first real serious four ray of of an old school mainstream media person going into as you Internet publishing and it was a blast <hes> and and now it's monopoly it see only place people get their news but it's still around still great still has a great people so and you said You did new republic and now you're the Atlantic and you've written bucks but you talk in world without mind about your experience at New Republic and it's bought by one Zuckerberg's roommates yes from Harvard who was employee number three of facebook and he became fantastically wealthy when he bought the new republic I think everybody said that he was worth about seven hundred million dollars. He was twenty eight eight years old. What's his name Chris? Chris US okay so Chris US kind of went in one way and then started to say you know we wanna get clicks right yeah yeah he he lost his way <hes> that he'd come he came in with Kim Noble intentions and then at a certain point Easter to panic and he said you know what we need to turn ourselves into a business he wanted to prove himself as a businessman and so the only way that he could see to do that was to leverage his knowledge of facebook and so we installed a data guru on our site and <hes> we were instructed to come up with what's called snapple content and so that's you know as this is like he doesn't one eighty on himself yeah yeah I think even he you even you would admit that now and let tell me about chart beat now because I think the says so much about all journalism now almost all journal yeah so what what was chart beat or what is chart beat Chirpy is <hes> <hes>. It's a meter that measures how many clicks any cider any given piece of content if we dare use the terrible word is getting at any given moment so if you walked into the Washington Post you would see <hes> <hes> their own version of chart beat hanging up on giant TV screens at Hover over the newsroom and and and and it's when you constantly you yeah you're doing and and all all these things <hes> it's GonNa structured to addict you <hes> again. It's it's basically an addictive piece of technology giving you instructive instructions on how you could produce addictive content for your readers and so I would wake up in the morning I and I would look at this. <hes> this the chart beat APP to see how the New Republic was doing. If the meter was going away that promised like it would be a good day or if it would be a bad traffic day and I would check constantly over the course. Ah because I like all cares you're the you're the editor in chief of New Republic and you're spending a lot of time yeah checking on chart beat like all kids who were not terribly popular in high school. I just wanted to be liked and I wanted to be popular and also so journalists are constantly told that we're working this imperilled profession and that the only way to have journalism survive is to make it into a functional business in the way that we were told to make it into a functional business was to produce pieces that got lots of traffic because that would drive advertising revenue and that has just made journalism better and better right and so I think the most important term <hes> in journalism awesome over the course of the last decade is trending that ooh yeah. Are you trending Arshi trending and so you would on facebook. There's thank God I'm Oh I feel so good. I'm Trent Oh no wait a minute. That's not me Oh. I'm an idiot. I'm not trending Nazi. <hes> maybe some other wait a minute. No no me attending okay so in other words. They're they're looking whether you're trending and so now you write this about what's happened to journalism you say higher brow publications have no guilt about tossing off articles articles on these trending subjects so long as they dress them up a bit with a pocket square of academic pretension or a scarf of argumentative cleverness. The results are highly derivative. You just describing every frigging I read all the time I mean they will go to <hes> I mean Epstein has got to be the guy being clicked on right now and they'll be eh one after another of these in the New York Times we'll do ones and they'll buell someone will have a viewpoint. That's a little bit smarter than someone else <hes> and <hes> or have a different take yeah or just have a little thing to dress it up as you were saying you you quote Josh Topolski who was a founder vox and he says everything it looks the same reasons same and seems to be competing for the same eyeballs the tremendous irony of it all is that the Internet was supposed to promise US diversity and pluralism and if you had a strange strange niche interest you'd be able to get attention for that strange niche niche influence it would be creating this tremendous pluralism in the world but really the opposite has happened in terms of the mainstream yeah yeah we. You get the way we got this incredible. <unk> form ISM rate that you and it's exactly what you described where the New York Times writes a story about topic a all the things that are reports get kind of slightly jumbled up and recycled by other publications and there's this the same sameness and there's also this heard factor the other. I think crucial term is filter bubble which is that social media tends to sort us and so you get sorted into your ideological tribe tribe and so if you're so if you are interested in being racist you'll you'll your interest will be catered to exactly and but even within that accident interest in even within that racist bubble <hes> you're essentially getting the same thing over and over again <hes> you get this echo chamber and if the Russians want to target those people right they can write or if they WANNA <hes> target African Americans who have <hes> obviously shown an interest in a black lives matter <hes> they would send them stuff about Hillary and her thing about superpredators yeah from nineteen ninety four right because manipulation elation is the very essence of what a site like facebook is while the big manipulations to keep you on facebook exactly yeah exactly because Ari so what what happens what happens precisely that they amass all this data on you what is data they did a totally bloodless word but it's really this cartography of the inside of your head. It's this portrait of your psyche and <hes> they study everything that you read and everything that you buy and they know your a friend network. Yeah you know it's what you hear things like <hes> the amount of data that we have doubles or triples every year and the data isn't about like how human cells fight fight cancer there about how many people who bought a fit bit and a scale also responded to an ad for weight watchers. I mean that's that's ninety nine point nine nine percent of the new data that we have right well of course I mean so these companies want to do is to get you to buy things that their machines that are tied in with advertising and that's that's where the revenue comes from brand and what is the day to do when you can scan every email you've ever written the g mail or you start to put together a picture of the user of the person and you start to be able to figure out the things that gives them anxiety diety or the things that give them pleasure and it becomes the basis for even more effective and sophisticated manipulation okay now <hes> the the Lizard Brain come in the play here so you said fear ear yeah or what brings you joy yep and sometimes the fear button is the right one right right. It took someone yet and so journalists that's journalism. It's a world that I know best year and I look at journalism and I see all the ways in which it's constantly trying to exploit people's fear so you look at something like parenting. You're on facebook in your <hes> in that set you constantly getting articles <unk> saying you know you're being a bad parent because of X. Y.. Or Z. Reason and health is another example of this that like everything gives you cancer. It makes you fat and here's how you can avoid it the it's usually based on some then read of distort hid science or social science that is being hyped and sensationalized in order to get people to Click and you see the patterns if you're a media organization or somebody tried to exploit this system you see the things that freaked people out most consistently because the things that freak people out most consistently are going to be the ones that you get you the traffic and therefore the advertising money so basically the model here there is to divide people and especially to make people angry and and despondent yeah I mean it's it's kind of amazing that Donald Trump flourished in this world. Could you out oh. I WanNa read them in your book because <hes> is kind of talks about how I think big media <hes> was helpful. <hes> in <hes> in trump being elected new right this. I thought it was a beautifully written paragraph. Donald trump is a combination of the era he understood how more than at any moment in recent history media need to give the public what it wants a circus that exploit subconscious tendencies unseasoned biases even if media disdained trump's outrages a built him up as a character and a plausible candidate for years media pumped trump's theories about President Obama's foreign foreign birth into circulation. Even though they were built on dunes of crap it gave endless attention to his initial smears of immigrants even though media surely understood those provocations stoked an atmosphere of paranoia and hate once trump became a plausible candidate media had no choice but to cover them but media had carried him to that point stories about trump yielded the sort of traffic that pleased the gods of data and benefited the bottom line that is I mean that's a big part of the story of Donald Trump. It's also to give him credit. He was incredibly interesting to watch and entertaining right yeah and of course he was able to do that before the Internet that he exploited tabloid culture in in New York City but I think that's that's actually the telling thing it's the way in which the rest of media has shifted in the direction of templates yeah that that that's what <hes> you know. It's part of what happens. In in this click economy is that it converges with the New York Post so how much of of news is consumed on social media in other words. How much of our news do people get on facebook and Google? I'm I'm a little bit rusty on this but I think it's it's something like sixty percent of Americans <hes> say that they get their news primarily through social media and that the largest percentage of that is through facebook. I think one of the terrible things about the news feed on facebook which is this it looks like a reverse chronological set of things that have been posted by your friends but of course it's a list that's been sorted by facebook in its algorithm for you every for you as an individual in order to keep you. I want to ask you about algorithm. The word Algorithm Yeah Ado does Google have an algorithm or does it have lots of algorithms. I mean really has lots of algorithm okay because sometimes you know they google changed his algorithm. I'm going like there. There's one algorithm rate but what you're saying is what they're really saying. What they're saying is that Google Google restructured structured it system so google makes it is constantly twisting the dials of the knobs that determined what appears at the top of search result and Google will sometimes make a decision for the sake of its own traffic or for the sake of its own business or for the sake of trying to do a better job getting users? The best information seems to be the best information it'll make some sort of switch in and people are always trying to game the system that their tricks that you can use to get higher up in a search result and that their entire industries that exist <hes> consultants who you can pay lots of money to to try to get you higher higher up in a search result and so when Google changes its its algorithm what people are saying is that Google will make some sort of sweeping change to its rankings <hes> to try to knock down the people who are exploiting it or but it. It's like odd non. Can you tweak the paranoid algorithm is is that what's going on. I not with Google I know not not with Google but on facebook or something yes facebook <hes> facebook makes decisions wins like that Emmett editor they would say <hes> the paranoid one. I think that they would say you know we're paranoid part of this algorithm well. It's what what what happens is is that the data the data shows that there's a certain an thing that that it's picking up patterns and it's using it's taking those patterns and using it as the basis for with the news feed shows in the future and everything is everybody's buddies unique yeah but facebook has is the ability it a lot of this happens almost organically 'cause the machines are learning and the machines they take results which then inform future results but facebook has this God's eye view view on what people are reading and they could tweak that to penalize certain certain genres that it sees can constantly ascending in it system but it doesn't do it because it sees that people click on the sorts of things okay <hes> you mentioned search results and <hes> Google sort people search for stuff and <hes> there's this question about whether Google sometimes <hes> <hes> favors its own stopped yet of being fair right. It's it's something that's been investigated by. European anti-trust authorities been investigated by our own Federal Trade Commission and <hes> studied by a lot of academics and there's I mean there's there's some pretty clear examples where I mean yelp. YELP was the big one. It's the big one that's those restaurant reviews right in so yelp was thriving business that when you typed in A. Restaurants name it would be the first thing that would spring up <hes> on your google search and Google saw this and they said hey this is a pretty cool business. We should get in it and hey because we control the search results we can put ourselves ahead of yelp which which is exactly and we had a hearing on this and I gotta play <hes> a little bit of this for you <hes> this Eric Schmidt The C._e._o.. Of Google testify before the Judiciary Committee and <hes> killing play that the then the ranking member ask you well when that's not the case when you're not putting out the answer that people want when you're not doing that do all your rankings reflect an unbiased algorithm and you said after a little hesitation. I believe so that seemed like an pretty fuzzy answer to me coming from the chairman. If you don't know who does I I really that really bothers me. Because that's the crux of this quote. It is impossible for any of Google's competitors to be displayed prominently Google itself even if if Google's own algorithm rates them higher you think that's a fair accusation I generally disagree with is Google still using yelps content to drive business to Google places <hes> as far as I know not not as far as you know yeah he was those are pretty fuzzy answers that it was a model of moral courage and backbone. I don't know what that was. That's not good. That's not good testimony it. Why wouldn't you go yeah or something like that? When why wouldn't you do that? I don't get people when they testify. Will Mark Zuckerberg remember when he testified the Senate you got your old colleagues. Get hammered allot for doing a terrible job asking while they they did yeah and <hes> Zuckerberg that was embarrassing. I mean in more than one case well. It's also true that you know <hes> they ask embarrassing questions of of bankers and other people people to and yet we find ways to to regulate those industries and pass legislation about those industries. I think with tech there is this sense <hes> can more than with other parts of the American economy that tech is so complicated that kind of <hes> you know fuddy-duddy <hes> representatives of the people will never be able to grasp asp it adequately enough in order to pass to mad orrin hatch at retire as he began to roll up his sleeves on this. What what would you like to see? I mean this is an antitrust issue. It used to be if the consumer doesn't pay a higher price then it's not harming anything I see companies developing something a new product a new service taking a risk investing their time their effort <hes> their capital and <hes> the they want to sell it on on Amazon go to sell it on Amazon and it works and and Amazon then goes like you know what that works. Why don't we do it and we'll just do exactly what they do and they do now to me? What that does is disincentivize is doing the kind of work that the people who took the risk do yeah so that's a harm yeah to stuff? We just don't know whether it would exist list or not. If there was some regulation on this damn thing right yeah it will and let's go back if we if we hopped into the antitrust time machine antitrust in this country was not just about protecting the consumer and it was not just about achieving the lowest prices in the most efficiency it had a more holistic approach to to what I intended to protect was competitors for it was it was a welcome competitors but the producers that if I if journalist I've right things at a magazine a magazine I should have some sort of protection against the monopolist who come in and steal my <hes> my advertising not because it's bad ad for the consumers per se but because we <hes> we wanted to protect a plurality account explain how <hes> they're stealing your advertising or the the newspapers advertising right so stealing is probably <hes> <hes> the wrong word because they didn't do anything illegal but what they did do is they came in and they created they got a monopoly where they because they collected data on the people on readers <hes> they were able to go to advertisers and say look you're spending. You're spending this this. This is astonished any large sum of money on buying a full page ad in the New York Times and it'd be much much more effective for you to spend that money on Google Google were we can target consumers with these these ads either in the search results or on web pages and so and and that's what's happened and that's what's at uniformly happened yet and so- newspaper advertising and newspapers papers collapsed in very short order where <hes> we had massive contractions and the number of reporters in the country and some of it's hard to see because the New York Times is still wrote a very robust excellent newspaper. The Washington Post is still a very very good newspaper but <hes> and maybe even the Minneapolis Star Tribune is a good newspaper but there are a lot of mid sized cities and small towns bounds in this country. They're tiny plenty of layoffs of <hes> very good political reporters <hes> at the Star Tribune yeah so they're still <hes> there's accountability at at the national national level but <hes> we know that a lot of bullying behavior and corruption in this country takes place at the local level and without newspaper reporters <hes> hawking over that watching it very very carefully. It potentially goes unchecked. Who's going to uncover it your times <hes> you know does not have the capacity to go to every mid city that doesn't even though they have incredible amount of resources New York Times Yeah <hes> I like thank of this podcast as the daily without the New York Times resources so I don't know enough about this subject no S._o.? <hes> okay okay so that's anti-competitive Yep. Okay <hes> are more people getting kind of is their movement toward not just looking at the antitrust implications of all this but at at at doing something about it you know actually if you looked at the trump administration it actually reflects a turn where the guy who runs the antitrust division of the Justice Department has started to talk about the problem of big attack and right now. It's just talk and you've got a lot of Democrats running for president who started to talk about big deck but it's really just talk <hes> the <hes> Anti Trust Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee is calling hauling executives from Google phase up committee yeah. I you know I sometimes was alone like comcast Time Warner cable here like ten at night my wife because it says here that comcast wants to buy Time Warner cable I wo- less ridiculous they'd own. I don't know two thirds of the broadband you can't do that and comcast comcast is really is against it ended trolley. They've gone the cord on that the you can't do that and so I call up my legal counsel for the Judiciary Committee and I say <hes> Josh Oh. Let's write a letter to the F._C._C. S._e._C. in the in the D._O._J.. Varma justice and <hes> who have will be deciding on this and let's get a lot of net neutrality blow on it. I couldn't get one Damn Democrat. I I couldn't get anybody astonishing eight. It was and I it went fourteen months before I got <hes> and was just before it fell apart. I think the reason I got I got like five names and <hes> that's when Bernie and <hes> Elizabeth Warren and <hes> Markey I think and remember was Wyden joined it but that only only after fourteen months and this really does show the power that a company like comcast had a comcast had over a hundred lobbyists on the hill but the and this is really interesting there other lobbyists who were paid not to lobby the other side right so it was like <hes> you know you're going to stay on the bench. You've got your your hired guns that are meant to go firing hiring and then you get your hired guns that are just meant to stay quiet yeah so I mean I meet with somebody and some say he's a lobbyist for Google. I go now. He is in. I am well. He's just been paid not to uh-huh lobby for the other side I go that's Kinda Kinda ugly and <hes> but it fell apart for the very reason which was they would've had two thirds of the broadband. The country the Midwest in Minnesota in particular has convert rich tradition of <hes> taken on monopoly. I I like to think I that was a lot of what I tried to do is just look. Get these huge companies and say like I. I don't think this is going to consolidate a media for example I was in. I worked at N._B._C. for a long time and when comcast tried to buy N._B._C.. I think I was also the only against it and <hes> you know Jeff Zucker at the time was president of N._B._C. and he came to my office and I had just gotten there and he said this would be good for Lorne. Wow Yeah and I said okay but I don't represent Lorne senator from Minnesota S._e.. And he he immediately realize he kind of stepped. He's a smart man stepped in everything we just talked about about trump justice to permit in presidential candidates talking about monopoly. It's a pretty big turn from recent American politics right that the antitrust felt like a lonely issued to you because it was a lonely issue that there weren't very many people talking about it from your insider kind of perspective sitting up in the Senate and being on the Judiciary Committee. Why was it that people really didn't care about these issues? I don't know you have to pay attention to a lot of stuff off. <hes> comcast was a big donor to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party loves becoming you know it's really hard to see them. <hes> go I so you guys want to merge Oh. That's that's great and now and on that one you know Bob Casey from Pennsylvania comcast is in Philadelphia. There's a comcast tower there so you know he represents those those people work there so it was impossible to get people were also just coming off this era where <hes> the Obama Administration was pretty friendly with with TAC rate. Ah Google didn't Google do the you know data for his campaign and Google executives visited the White House more than any other public company but in it's not just it's not just the Obama Administration. I mean this goes back for a couple of generations where <hes> where both parties basically were inclined to let markets run their course they wanted to have a light footprint when it came to stepping in and and provincially stifling innovation and so <hes> we we had this rich tradition of antitrust that kind of goes back to the founding <hes> Jefferson wanted to write <hes> anti monopoly -opoly into the Constitution the Sherman Antitrust Act which was passed in the late nineteenth century is incredibly broad. It says that <hes> it it's a law against monopoly and over time we started to constrict strict those laws <hes> quarry but those were aggressively enforced for good longtime in the twentieth century they were aggressively enforced <hes> up through E in Republican administrations aggressively enforce them is well. It was only until Ronald Reagan came to power that they started very quickly and precipitously fall out of favour was was it Reagan or was it Bork was it will embark work was the it was the intellectual godfather but it was it was when wait a minute I was I was eating actual Godfather to the Intellectual Godfather to Intellectual Godfather three. It's like old franchise. It's Intellectual Godfather three was not up to one and two <hes> tried to get out and they pulled the back yet. One and two were unbelievable Jesus Christ Lizard I can can you <hes> now. Did somebody on that. I mean who owns that is at this must be the motion picture studio. I had okay <hes> well. That's easy to look up. You know we can look that up on Google or the Internet movie database which is by Amazon. Oh you didn't know that no <hes> well then I got a choice you say I got a choice well. I you know what I have. No problem anymore your article it'll be a cover story in <hes> which means I did good which means you did well. What would be on the cupboard? You know you don't know I don't I don't have any control over that you don't I mean do they. Go like Jake <hes> Frank <hes>. Do you like this one or are you like this one. No no after after it's done so that I can't complain that's not your job. Your job is to right exactly and you do that better than <hes>. I think well. I'll make you better than everybody. Let's make it was really nice eastern to back away from it well no I just one of the best one of the very very best and again this is the thing thing like if it just you can go back right now if you're <hes> listening to this and read the manafort cover story from the Atlantic monthly what a weird guy so strange such a baroque Dell and <hes> <hes> but yet it's kind of reflective of the city that we live in. I mean that Paul Manafort it was kind of an only in Washington story well he and stone. I guess get together. The first I campaign and lobbying group rate right that he in stone helped rewrite the laws for <hes> how lobbying was done in Washington what was acceptable behavior then he started lobbying on behalf of if <hes> these despots right so you had he would it was kind of his specialty right. He was better at it than anyone he would take <hes> he'd take your <hes> your your your murderous goonies dictator and and then figure out how to repackage them as the later Latter Day Thomas Jefferson and then bring him the Washington to celebrate it exactly exactly and there were lots of plenty of conservative think tanks who's Ango <hes> Jonas Savimbi yeah like a mass ass murder I yeah terrible terrible criminal God <hes> and and one of the fascinating things. I don't know how you found this but <hes> it's it's he has a couple of daughters right and one sent an email to the other saying we have blood money yeah money's blood money yeah <hes> will there text messages tax which were which were <hes> hacked by by <hes> Ukrainian activists because <hes> Manafort had spent more than a decade in Ukraine working for Victory Annika VICI was the also wouldn't surprise you to learn a murderous <hes> authoritarian thordarson character and <hes> he got thrown he ended up having to seek exile and Moscow because it was a revolution nice place in Russia. You know it's not that he's going to I would he had a better place in give wasn't them that was that like some opulent crazy. Yeah Yeah and Manafort wanted to live like that right yeah. That's part of the theme of your stories started hanging yeah yeah. He started hanging out with those guys guys and go like why can't I have a fifty million dollar home in the Hamptons. So one of the great stories from the Yanukovych Palace is that he goes into exile and <hes> the Revolutionary Storm the Palace Alice and they see some bubbles percolating up in the art of the man Made Lake as at his palace and they fish them out and their actual documents that relate to <hes> <hes> the lawyer Greg Craig who was partnered with Paul Manafort and so they fish them out in that became the basis for I was a yeah it was it became part of the paper trail that ended up dooming those guys <hes> we're talking <hes> the frank for and <hes> we we're changed. I'm calling an audible here. We're just GONNA do your entire career. <hes> no thank you so much. I know you gotta go back and work on on the <hes> well. I'm pretty confident. We'll be a cover story on on the subject. We've been talking about today but specifically Amazon's Jeff Bezos I. There's a whole foods across the street from <hes> our apartment here in Washington. We live two blocks from two grandchildren so we're here a lot. I I have Amazon prime you know and I have it on my phone. You have a thing a bar code on your phone and you put ended up to the thing and you save money on some premiums. I think I saved some today on a blueberries okay. I'm blueberries today and it was like sixty cents I saved or no no no no it was like three Bucks Fox or something and I always say this to the cashier. I go I well. That's three Bucks Jeff. Bezos won't get his hands on and what's interesting is the reaction because usually we why would they know what I'm talking about. But every you know a lot of times they do and it gets a laugh or a flicker of terror as yes. They're taping this uh-huh error there this on video <hes> no so <hes> if you're listening to the podcast and and you're a cashier at a whole foods say I heard that on your podcast why would they get an additional additional discount pass listeners getting laugh as its own reward blaming. That's that's the biggest reward you can give anyone laugh at their joke that they my family and my parents so a thank you and good luck with this thing and by the delight thank you for listening. I also WANNA thank Leo cotton for this. <hes> beautiful beautiful theme. I WanNa thank Peter.

Google facebook Amazon Judiciary Committee United States mark Zuckerberg editor in chief Donald Trump Senate Al Franken Northern Mariana Islands senator Patrick Zella comcast Atlantic monthly New York Times New Republic Brian Ross Paul Manafort
Democrats Wanted Zero Tolerance for Misconduct. Then Came Virginia.

The Daily

25:46 min | 1 year ago

Democrats Wanted Zero Tolerance for Misconduct. Then Came Virginia.

"From the New York Times. I'm Michael Barbaro. This is the day. Today. Democrats have adopted a policy of zero tolerance from his conduct has or press. My members of their own part. The growing political crisis in Virginia is testing that approach. It's Friday February. Good afternoon. Dave for calling by marriage towns down. That's how maybe this is. He they're I'm trying to reach. I guess name Jonathan Martin in room five. Oh six I'll cook right now. Thank you. Guys. Hey, how are you? Good. I think we did find the right Mary at. Okay. Let's trumping Jonathan Martin covers national politics for the times Jonathan where does this story really start? I think it has a drew in the Al Franken scandal a growing firestorm on Capitol Hill after democratic Senator Al Franken is accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman more than a decade ago. What if you recall, it was the fall of twenty seventeen another woman is coming forward to make groping accusations against Minnesota, Senator democrat Al Franken in array of stories came out and another woman has come forward accusing Senator Al Franken of groping her during a USO tour. She's the fifth woman to accuse the Minnesota Senator of inappropriate behavior there were Nuff charges against him Senator Kirsten gillibrand Claire mccaskill maisy Hirono Maggie Hass and bit. Finally, Patty Murray camera Harris, Tammy Baldwin, Bob, Casey of Pennsylvania. I wanna get urged him to resign. Fine, led by Cureton gillibrand now keen lid for president and keep in mind. This was the same time that in Alabama Senate candidate ROY Moore remains defiant at this point denying sexual assault allegations and rejecting calls to drop out now more had been accused of sexual misconduct with a group underage women when he was younger and the Democrats were trying to pick up that seat, and they didn't want to give the Republicans any fodder dilute their attacks against or more enough. This is a conversation. We've been having a very long time. We need to draw a line in the sand and say, none of it is. Okay. None of it is acceptable. And we as leaders should absolutely be held to a higher standard, not a lower standard, and we should fundamentally valuing women. And that is where this debate has to go. You wanna position themselves on the high round morally and politically in you take that and put it against the backdrop of an Alabama Senate race. Where lo and behold Democrats now have an opportunity to win a seat. They hadn't hadn't decades, and they are acting in ways that are going to position themselves. Best four serving and the United States Senate has been the great honor of my life and Alf Rankin was being accused of these things during that moment. And Democrats did not really has the Tate today. I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate. So what does asking Senator Al Franken to resign represent about the strategy that the Democrats were forming in this moment, I think the strategy was we have to police our own ranks, and this sort of implication of that was in the Trump era, we have to have clean hands. And if we're going to criticize the president we have to have a zero tolerance policy in our own ranks we cannot accept misconduct that is going to let the Republicans muddy the waters, politically if you will when we come after them. I remember Jonathan as I'm sure you do that some people saw Franken as a kind of sacrificial lamb for the Democratic Party to pursue this strategy. You're describing and I wonder if as a political reporter in that moment, you sensed what the conversation was among democratic politicians to just about decision had made western that privately. Plenty of Democrats were saying bit. Franken is. Basically walking the plank because we have to make this point. And we have to be pure on this issue. Now, they wouldn't dare say that publicly but remind the backbone of the Democratic Party in this era is women they are crucial to Democrats winning elections. And I think that the party felt like they didn't have a choice when it came to Franken in that moment, so zero-tolerance can seem hard line. But it allows the Democrats to call out the Republicans without any room for acusations of being hypocritical. That's the idea correct in. How did this democratic tragedy of zero-tolerance actually play out after Franken was forced to resign? Yeah. So I think the Franken president is what has first time. Now carry the day for Democrats you had other accusations of sexual misconduct. Edina, the house of representatives its longest serving member step down today. Under pressure Democrat John Conyers was accused of sexual misconduct. John Conyers longtime ever congress from Michigan. You had an upcoming democrat in the house from Nevada who also was similarly forced out because of serious actual harassment charges that has become the kind of Democrats rule of thumb that we're going to take us where zero tolerance approach on these kinds of allegations. We need one standard across the board. So folks, we're gonna call on Donald Trump design John Conyers who has retired over signed. It folks are gonna call and everybody else to resign that we have to hold Senator Franken anyone else that is accused of sexual assault to reside. And I think that is what really set the predicate going into the bread Kevin hearings. Democrats once they found out that he had been accused of sexual assault. A lot of them felt like this is somebody who simply cannot sit on the highest court in the lien for them. It was the very principle of do. We believe women. I believe you, and I believe many Americans across this country. Believe you that's the guiding. Force in terms of the democratic strategy on this. We come down on the side of the accuser, we believe women. This man is not a monster, nor is he what has been represented here and these hearings, but the Republicans, and what was really a sign of a divided country sided largely with Cavanaugh. And I think there was no more Alestra tive moment of this country's chasm on these issues. Then those premium court hearings last year, right? But it also to me started to signal some of the potential limitations of zero-tolerance go, which is that some Americans started look around them at the people, they know or at themselves and to ask what I want to be held to zero tar standard that the Democrats are holding people to write. Yes. Because what happened with the cavenaugh hearings was also this question of how far back. Do we go? In Oregon start judging people based on their high school and college conduct. And that was a huge thread of that moment. I think that a lot of conservative women, especially looked at somebody like you have on said that could be my husband could be my son who could be there is falsely accused and hot of other people looked at plsy forums at heck that could be my daughter, or my wife, and I his heck with them to be believed. So it did start this moment of the conversation of okay? What isn't is not fair game. And what is that line? We still have sort of defined that still kind of moving target here. But quietly you do hear some Democrats starting to wonder what how far is this gonna go and Virginia has really brought that question home. We'll be right back. With Lincoln learning, you can access over thirteen thousand online courses taught by real world. Experts to help you land that job nail that new project or earned that next promotion Lincoln learning recommends courses based on your career and helps you learn skills. Employers are looking for at every level. Keep learning all the moments that matter to your career CHAI Lincoln learning free for one month at linked in learning dot com slash daily linked in learning dot com slash daily. So let's just start Jonathan by reviewing what's actually happened in Virginia over the past week deep breath. Okay. It's been a extrordinary week in Virginia. Nobody in capital here has seen anything like this in state history. It started on Friday breaking tonight, a racist yearbook photo taken over three decades ago has surface leaving Virginia's democratic governor facing some. Mm serious questions about his past conservative website published a yearbook photo from governor Ralph north medical school and from nineteen eighty four decades old yearbook page suddenly in the spotlight tonight because of this picture of two people one in black face, the other KKK hood this immediately created a firestorm. He was either the guy in the Klan outfit or in black face when he was an adult in medical school. This is not some youthful indiscretion. This is an adult acting as a racist in by Friday night. Go to north head conceited and apologized for being on that page and ask for forgiveness. I cannot change the decision I made nor can I undo the harm my behavior calls then and today, but I sent responsibility for my past actions. And I'm ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust. Well by midnight de. Kratz across the country and ever Jinya were demanding he resigned reaction across the political spectrum pouring in tonight. After governor Ralph northern admits and apologizes for appearing a racist photo that dates back to was med school days in hundred eighty four on Saturday, go into north, and reversed course, had a news conference at these executive mansion in Richmond. Our since I made my statement yesterday. I reflect it with my family and classmates from the time and firm to my conclusion that I am not the person in that photo. He concluded that he was not one of the two men in that photograph, and the he had no plans to resign did participate in a dance contest in San Antonio in which dark in my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume is. Because my memory of that episode is so vivid that I truly did not believe I'm into picture in my yearbook then. When Sunday Super Bowl Sunday. There is rumors swirling all day that tenant governor just in. Fairfax has some kind of a me too issue. It's not clear what it is. Now Justin Fairfax himself stands accused of serious wrongdoing at three in the morning on Sunday night. So Monday morning Fairfax, Lieutenant governor post a statement on his Twitter account preemptively saying that he did not commit sexual assault on a woman. Monday morning, watching the post published a story saying we reported this out last year around the time that Fairfax was being inaugurated, and we decided that we couldn't corroborate it, and we're not gonna publish it. But they did at that point offer some details about the woman about the encounter a politics. Professor from California called Vanessa Tyson says that Fairfax sexually assaulted her in his hotel room at the two thousand four democratic national convention in Boston Fairfax and fatty denies again the case and at that point start suggesting that some of his political rivals are potentially behind the leap don't. Have to be a political genius to understand that this is a complete smear. And in my character. I've put up for election for people to come for Jinya in three statewide elections. Never anything like this ever been raised not throughout my life flash. Four then to Wednesday where the state's leadership is already in chaos. People are waiting what they're gonna do. Will. They resign in rumors again pickup update now. Multiple scandals embroiling Virginia's top officials more hearing the attorney general has some kind of racially insensitive issue in his past a stunning admission from Virginia's attorney general, Mark herring. Who revealed he wants wore black face in college. He said he was dressed as a rapper and the style of the legendary Curtis blow this comes after hearing called that photograph on north medical school yearbook page in defeat. Profoundly offensive shocking and deeply disappointing. And that leads us to Wednesday where the state of Ginny isn't utter utter chaos, and it's not clear who is still going to be in power by the end of the week. So obviously this presents a kind of overwhelming stress test. I have to imagine on the Democrats zero-tolerance policy. That's exactly right now. This is where the rubber meets the road are Democrats going to enforce their own policies in this moment, where you've got three Democrats who lead a major state in this country who were facing serious allegations of racist conduct and sexual assault. Are they going to force all three out are they gonna show forgiveness for some? But not others. Are they gonna show for goodness for all three? We'll walk us through how Democrats are handling it so far and what they have been thinking. So far, the hardest line has been on north tonight. The calls for governor. Ralph north to resign are growing reaction with with with much of the outrage coming from north fellow Democrats state legislators, the Virginia state black caucus. For example, residents candidates, comma, Harris Kirsten gillibrand Elizabeth Warren job, I Hillary Clinton Obama turning. General air colder Bernie Sanders. Cory Booker or swale. Well, practically every major democrat has called on north to resign. He Democrats are largely United on that front. Okay with Fairfax. There's much more of a wait and see mode. Here we go again, except for now, you have Democrats who are avoiding talking to the press it's difficult because you've got a woman making detailed accusations now on the record Fairfax and Batley denies it. Neither of them have yet to produce corroborating evidence from that time. So Democrats in that situation are saying, I think it's important to have consistency and moral clarity. I don't have any reason to know whether just in Fairfax, he's telling the truth or not. But I think I'd say the same thing I said in the bread Kevin issue, which is there should be a full and complete thorough independent investigation. That's they wanna hear more. They want to see investigation. Even that's a tough Jewish in. Because what happened if there is no investigation. Does just remain the accusations of mistakes. In and the denial of Fairfax. What do they do? And what's his Mark herring? Need to go. Are there calls for him to go? What's happening? So no calls on herring to go yet with the case of herring. He preemptively apologized to the Blackhawks an emotional meeting Wednesday morning in Richmond. He seems to be on. So what steadier ground because of how he handled the issue also worth noting. Yes. Or is politics in the politics. Here's the law. If the attorney general of Virginia is to resign during the legislative session his successor would be picked by the legislature. Guess what the Republicans control narrowly state house and state Senate? So they would be in charge of picking a successor. If hearing those resigned, so that also has create some incentive for Democrats, hold their fire. So suddenly zero tolerance in the midst of a very confusing situation is being even more for complicated by politics. It's important to keep in mind, Michael if I can just go back for a minute to what happened in the case of L Franken in the haze of John Conyers, there was no real political risk there because you had Democrats in Minnesota who were going to replace Franken. But they democratic John Conyers had a really safe seat in Detroit, and he was going to be replaced by a democrat new real risk. They're two different story. I think in Virginia where you got all hundred forty seats of. The state legislature up for grabs. This fall Democrats are on the threshold of taking back both chambers, which would give them an entire domination of state politics, and you know, d want to ham Republicans the attorney general seat entirely by forcing him to resign in leading the Republican control budgets later appoint his successor. That's a much more real shall we say test of this policy than it was with the Franken or Conyers situation because you're talking about much more in the way of political sacrifice. Right. But I wonder is your sense Jonathan at the bigger question. Here is about that. Whether Democrats are willing to stand by this policy when it could have negative political implications like a Republican taking democratically held seat or that it's about perhaps this zero tolerance policy being too stringent for the reality of our lives. Yeah. There's two things at work here in Virginia as. As more and more revelations come out of college students appearing in black face and yearbooks. I think this question now is how many people are going to get swept up in this kind of investigation. And if we do apply this standard widely that that is a horn behavior of the has to be prosecuted with the loss of a job. Then are we prepared for lucky to lose their jobs? Some people will say absolutely it is an appalling demonstration of racism. That's the worst kind of vestige of the battle days, and we absolutely should penalize folks for that. There are others who will say it took place thirty years ago people make mistakes in their youth. They shouldn't lose their jobs and their livelihoods for their worst day or their worst moment, you're going to hear both of those arguments quite a bit in the days ahead because these Pacers of black face are not going to be limited to a few politicians in Virginia. You can be assured that this is going to be. Turning up and other states and other professions around the country, and it's not gonna stop here. It's going to be a bigger conversation beyond this state and beyond politics. We started by talking about Al Franken and the line that was drawn in his case as Democrats started to create this zero-tolerance all eighteen months ago. I wonder if in this moment, Democrats are recalibrating and rethinking that decision to force him to resign. Given the recalibration we're seeing now I think we're seeing the first makings of that recalibration. I'm not sure if they'll go fully through with rethinking their policy as long as Trump is the president, and they wanna have the high ground, but the best example of this kind of real time assessment is Senator gillibrand who led the charge when it came to pushing out Al Franken, but who has said on Fairfax that she wants to see an investigation. She was very sympathetic to the woman, doctor Tyson and the charges the doctor Tyson Baid, but some their children's not calling Ford Fairfax to resign. She saying that she. Wants to hear or see rather. An investigation of this case that itself is very telling the value of that. Jill bridge has been out front on these issues is not calling for Fairfax to quit calling for an investigation. I think does indicate the first making of some kind of recalibration on this approach. Jonathan. Thank you very much. Thanks bill. On Thursday, yet another elected official in Virginia. This time a Republican became ensnared in the states political crisis state, Senate majority leader Thomas Norman, acknowledged his role in editing a yearbook that featured racist slurs against African Americans Asians and Jews as well as racist photographs including people in black face, a don't condone it. And I haven't engaged in it. If you look back through that yearbook, you'll say first of all do not appear in any pictures any derogatory disingenuous way to any minority group. What else you need to? On thursday. The supreme court voted to block a Louisiana law. That would have made it harder to have abortions in the state in a five to four decision that suggest for now that the court will observe precedent on the issue despite its right Ord till under President Trump the decision in which eve Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberal. Members prevents Louisiana from enforcing the law that opponents would close most of the states abortion clinics. During today's hearing we will examine a topic of great interest to American people. We've a view whether a president vice-president. In a candidate for the office should be required by law to make a tax return available to the public house. Democrats began hearings on Thursday about a plant that would force President Trump to release his tax returns despite his long standing objections to making them public. In other words, we asked the question. Those pub in have a need to know a person seeking a hole into highs office and our country obeys tax laws House Ways, and means committee debated a Bill that would compel presidential candidates, including Trump to release ten years of tax returns shortly after receiving their party's nomination, but Republicans on the committee, including Representative Mike Kelly warned against trying to release the president's tax returns against his will. It was set a very dangerous precedent. And the question is where does it end. What about the tax returns of the speaker members of congress or federal employees for that matter any political donors? There is no end in sight for those whose tax information may be in jeopardy. The daily is produced by feel welcome Lindsey garrison Waigel Wester Anne Brown. Andy mills I threes, Colorado, Claire tennis getter Michael Simon Johnson, Jessica chunk, Alexandra Leong, and Jonathan wolf and edited by page, count, LaRussa Anderson and Wendy door. Lisa Tobin is our executive producer. Samantha Hennig is our aditorial director. Our technical manager. Is Brad Fischer? Our engineer is Chris would. And our theme music is by Jim Bromberg, and Ben lands of wonderful special. Thanks to Sam Dolan. Mckay. Labou Dr and Stella tame. That's if the deal, I'm Michael. See? If you think Bank is just for depositing. Your paycheck immed- to experience first Republic Bank here, you'll find an exceptional team of people who genuinely care about you and your financial future, you'll have a dedicated banker who knows you by name, and is there to help with your individual financial needs big or small from refinancing your student loans to buying your first home, your dedicated banker is always a phone call or Email away. Visit first Republic dot com slash Acela. Are today first Republic Bank, equal housing lender.

Senator Al Franken Virginia Jonathan Fairfax president assault United States Senate Senator democrat Al Franken John Conyers Franken Minnesota Mark herring President Trump New York Times Jonathan Martin Cureton gillibrand Democratic Party Louisiana Kevin
Robert Muellers Return

Slate's The Gist

32:32 min | 1 year ago

Robert Muellers Return

"Hi I'm Mike Pasco. We've got a great show for you today but before we launch into it here's a word from our first sponsor. This episode of the gist is brought to you by the relentless a new podcast from slate studios and century twenty one real estate the relentless is about extraordinary very people in the mindsets and behaviors that drive them to achieve inspiring things join host and doctor of Clinical Psychology Julie Gerner as she talks to leaders like Okay Cupid C._M._o.. Melissa Hopley and comedian Adam Ferrara about what sets them apart and how they view success differently you'll hear about what they've learned about triumph and rejection and how they continue to evolve listen and subscribe to the relentless today wherever you get your podcasts this program may contain explicit language. Also we have a newsletter coming out. It's at slate dot com slash gist news now on the possibly filthy show it's Monday July twenty second back in two thousand nineteen from slate. It's the Gist I'm Mike. PESCA and attention must be paid to Robert Muller because he's GonNa crack this whole thing wide open though his report didn't and though his press conference didn't and though the dramatic readings of the report didn't and though the comic book drawn by the Guy From Archer written by the guy from Black Hawk down didn't the congressional testimony on Wednesday in July will or now just days away from Robert Muller's high stakes testimony before Congress and Democrats are using every hour between now and then to get ready for it C._N._n.. Previewed the game plan from Capitol Hill our senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju Monitor what was striking to me in the reporting outing from you and the team this morning is it some Democrats are saying they are preparing more for this hearing than they have ever before for other hearings yeah this has been intense preparations behind the scenes and actually mock hearings. Hey listen. I am a big Fan of careful preparation all of my comments on every episode of the just notwithstanding but I gotta wonder if the testimony is GonNa land with anything close to the same window rattling force as famous actors is reading a dramatic staging of the mother report priebus believed that the president's request was a problem so he called him again and asked for advice explaining that he did not want to pull the trigger on something. That was all wrong that afternoon afternoon. The president followed up with previous about demanding sessions resignation. Did you get it. Are you working on it. Previous believed that his job dependent on whether he followed the order to remove sessions although the president did not directly say so there you heard John Lithgow Kevin Kline and I think Zachary Kitto is rights pre-bus. Oh there were other stagings of this dramatic reading throughout the country like in L._A.. Saint Louis and another one in L. A. that the L. A. Times described as being played by a star studded cast including Alfred Molina as well as Brenda strong desperate housewives Norbert Wiser Michael Nouri N._C._I._S. Gregg Henry <music> scandal and Ray Abruzzo the Sopranos Alas even the presence of the actor who played little carmine looper. Tasi was not enough to convince the public on May first marriage. I asked the public do you think special counsel Robert Muller's report should or should not lead to hearings in Congress to impeach president trump overall the public said thirty nine percent should should lead to impeachment hearings then Muller did press conference and we had the plays and we had the comic book but just the Muller Press Conference speaking on May twenty ninth. He literally said nothing that wasn't in his report but we were told that his presence on on T._V. would be enough. We're very moving. Images oriented society so just playing some clips of the STOIC bordering on furniture like Robert Muller could win the day and from them we concluded included that we would would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the President committed a crime well. Let's check what the poll said after that press conference after all those dramatic readings and comic books so remember it was thirty nine percents before all of that according to the Wall Street Journal N._B._C. News poll the latest poll done on this subject twenty one percent are in favour of hearings in Congress to impeach president trump down six points from from a month ago in eighteen points from May I well. I guess there's one last shot Muller's actual testimony. That's going to be the game changer though his stance hasn't changed at all he will not going anywhere beyond the report itself we've been told but at least this will provide televised images which of course captivate the nation and will reroute the conversation. I guess the Best I can say is well see or if I know anything about midday. Congressional hearings in July. We won't on the show today a senator score the comedian crying all the same person was Al Franken wronged or is the New Yorker wrong to be advancing a victim narrative. You will find out in the Spiel but first Maria Kondakova a- not just taking it off but keeping it off and I'm talking about howler monkeys who attack at dusk no I'm not I'm talking about weight loss and the purported impossibility of of transforming one's body from corpulent to Svelte whereas that bullshit we're kind of Cova has the answer in this episode of the Justice sponsored by Hyatt centric doc tune into somewhere new hiatt centric hotels hotels that put you at the heart of the action connecting you to your cities food culture and of course music for Miami to Milan and everywhere in between Hyatt Centra hotels point you toward the hidden gems hotspots and local sounds your destination has to offer enjoy choice amenities and playful details that uniquely capture the spirit of each city helping you to get a feel for the neighborhood before you even set foot out the door. If you're ready for an exciting off the beaten path adventure get started with Hyatt centric. When you start here you can discover well everywhere explore the hotel around the world at Hyatt centric dot com the tricks not taking it off? It's keeping it off of course talking about crocs. No I'm talking about wait. We're about to do a segment with Marina Cova. It is an is that bullshit segment. I love these segments. Hello Maria but I'm going to say I'm good. I never do any preparation for these. You're going to tell me but I did remember a few years ago. There was this New York Times article about the contestants on the biggest loser and there was and so I had to look look up that article because I wanted to see how Severe Li they portrayed the task of actually keeping off weight and apparently they've done some studies with the biggest loser and so all I remember is it's nigh impossible all to keep off the weight but I wanNA know if that's true. This is our question keeping off the wait. Is that bullshit. Do you know that biggest loser stunt I did I did read it in preparation for this very good. Yes is it persistent metabolic adaptation six years after the biggest loser competition. It is indeed that what does that say so. Maybe we should back up. Is this the most randomized test result like reality show of course not so first of all. Let's just think about who gets on the biggest loser versus clearly versus you know we're talking about. Is it possible to keep off weight in the population in general if you've lost weight eight so first of all in order to be on the biggest loser you need to pass some pretty big hurdles <hes> when it comes to your weight people who are just overweight can't be on the biggest losers then you just be a loser big loser exactly the exact impressive <hes> and I don't actually know what the screening questionnaires are but I'm guessing that it is not a random sample even after the weight hurdle and then and then you're losing weight in this hyper accelerated format sat in front of an audience on national television where you're exercising an average of ninety minutes a day plus encouraged to exercise up to three hours more on your own every single day and you got the biggest and you got executive chefs and you're being caloric. Restriction is crazy. It's seventy percent caloric restriction so so you're eating thirty percent of the calories that you need to maintain your weight but I think do you remember the study. Even though was fourteen people found people yes I read that it worked for none of them. Is this is correct but worked for none of them. Let's once again kind of untangle a little bit what it means worked all of them started to regain weight. Not all of them regained wait to the point where they were before the show in and of itself. The study says nothing because we have a biased sample we have of an extremely warped way of losing weight <hes> and then they're gone but just to kind of point out what the study found because this is something that's been found in other samples as well is that when you lose weight and this is this is at this point common finding your body compensates right so your total energy expenditure goes down so there are a lot of physiological and neural changes that happen when you experience and weight loss so part of it is that your metabolism changes so that's kind of the total energy expenditure so you're not burning calories as quickly but does that happen right after you lose the weight or for how long does your body. So so as far as we know it happens for at least a year after you lose weight and that's not but that's not the only thing that happens also your appetite regulating hormone levels change and just just to finish up the kind of the biggest loser study and what's been found in some of these is that they're also neural changes so your reward areas the reward areas of the brain there activity increases in the presence of food as opposed to before the <hes> weight loss and you're emotional control decreases <hes> and the other thing though that they often find in this comes from other studies not just the biggest loser is that it actually doesn't seem to matter whether you lose it very quickly or gradually. It seems to be difficult period. I think I I did read that. There was a recent study which followed a pretty big group of people because there was one thesis that once you lose weight you burn fewer calories. You move less not burn. That's the end result you move last and this study. I think indicated that the weight the people lost we didn't in fact move last. They may be burning fewer calories but it's not because they're moving less right so there are a number of studies that have been done in a number of Meta analyses that have been done that look at kind of what's the best eight available <hes> and the earliest good one that I found was two thousand and four and the latest that I found was twenty seventeen all right so if we go chronologically <hes> the first one was a review of weight loss maintenance that followed people for at least six months uh-huh and it found that actually yes it is possible to keep it off but you need to pass a number of hurdles and those hurdles will probably just like the biggest loser weed out a number of people so i the more weight you lose initially the more likely you are to keep weight off which makes sense right. If you lose five pounds yeah. You're probably going to gain those five pounds back lose fifty pounds. It becomes much more difficult to gain all fifty way back. That's number one reaching a self-determined Galway so not one that's just arbitrary but you set a weight Gulf War yourself and you reach it so this actually will go to some of the things that they found a a bit later on and in some other studies which is you have to have a sense of self efficacy and a sense of control over your own weight gain so someone on a show like being told what to do exactly so a sense of agency is actually incredibly important. They actually looked at in in some of the studies that there were reviewed here. They looked at something called locus of Control. Which means do you think that you control your own fate or do you think that your fate is just externally determined and people who had a more internal locus of control were better able to maintain tain weight loss are always have felt that we are the authors of our own fate? Yes well that that bodes well for your ability to maintain weight loss <hes> and then the second number of factors is more closely related to kind of that sense of the agency because they're all psychological and I think that these are actually factors that are often completely ignored because people talk about metabolism they talk about you know things like Oh. What kinds of foods are you eating? All of these. Things aren't exactly super fatty acids fruits well done well done all of these blueberries antioxidants. Yes well. Yes gold. You go drew barry but there's a lot of stuff that's purely psychological and has to do more with External Journal factor so do you have a good social support network. Are you motivated to lose weight personally <hes>. How do you handle stress? So how'd you score on tests that measure your response to stressors. Are you someone who gets stressed release Louis. Where are you someone someone who actually kind of able to deal with stressors better <hes>? How autonomous are you <hes>? How much responsibility do you assume <hes> basically how stable how strong how resilient are you psychologically because it does seem that for for for years and years I mean dieting is an industry and there was the promise of weight loss and I think we've gotten over the idea of thinking of obesity as like this moral failing but it did become quite a popular concept to simply assert that permanent weight loss is all but a myth all right so let me let me then skip some of the inbetween studies and go straight to twenty-seven elitist this is actually a study from the National Weight Control Registry Harvard did it published an twenty seventeen and this is ten thousand people who could maintain a weight loss of at least thirty pounds for at least one year? Oh my God so that's a lot of people who are able to maintain thousand pounds hounds Yup of of of lost weight at least at least at least <hes> and I hate to say this but we're going to learn very little now so exercise is important regular meal rhythm including breakfast and Healthier eating habits breakfast. I thought to have done is that bullshit breakfast we have we have but this just means important to monitor what you eat in fact one of the major predictors was keeping a food diary and consistently. Gently keeping a food diary actually writing down what you're eating and weighing yourself and this one said watching less TV as well <hes> and more freedom so the more freedom the person had initially in planning their own program of weight loss and maintenance the greater their success in the end nothing eye opening nothing earth shattering but it does seem like it is possible however I will rewind all of these studies on a little bit and say people gain weight for different reasons and I think that we do need to be a little bit careful when we say is it possible. Isn't it possible to lump people together because some people gain weight because they're on certain medicines or they're on steroids or you know they're they have metabolic changes related to health conditions and that's very different from gaining weight because you are suddenly over eating some people <hes> you know gain weight because there was a major life stressor you know some people are more predisposed to gain weight than others so it's very gain weight because lasagna's delicious. I mean that camp some people gain weight because LASAGNA's delicious and you're so if you're in that camp jumped on this all applies to the cat and I agree I don't mind Mondays but I'm the LASAGNA thing in different. People have different healthy weight points so for some people you know being what looks like quote unquote overweight is actually a fine wait for them. They are perfectly metabolic Lee healthy. We've we've done this apple show. Yes it is just weird. Those people are trainers at the gym. Yes wanted to be weird but it is weird. It can be less in shape looking person is training the more in shape looking person. I have cognitive. Dissonance makes me a bad person sure. I'm just admitting so this does happen but that person doesn't need to lose weight so we're talking about you know when you're saying is it possible the the answer is different for different people and the way to keep it off. It's different for different people but I think the the bottom line is that you do need to be cognizant of what you're eating and not just how much because the the common wisdom used to be in this we know is completely wrong is that a calorie is a calorie. We've done multiple segments on that. It's not true. A calorie is not a calorie and if your energy expenditure is greater than your energy and that doesn't mean you're going to lose weight so it used to be people said if you burn more calories than you eat. You'RE GONNA lose weight not true because it depends on what calories you're eating and it depends on how you're burning. The calories and a calorie is not a calorie so some calories just go kind of in and out and some calories stay <hes> so it's it's complex flex. We don't know the answer yes. Some people are able to maintain weight loss but it's not easy. I don't think it's easy for anyone. There was not a single study that said you know this person lost weight and just kept it off <unk> easy. It seems like there is this component of constantly monitoring yourself and that if you have that if you have the discipline to do it if you have the motivation to do it if you have the social support to do it then you'll be able to be successful and if any of those are missing. It's going to be much more difficult so that's probably why a lot of people struggle because that is difficult. The good news is though there is no evidence that yoyoing will make it harder to maintain attain weight loss ratio Ho Ho Ho Ho instead of your things so so over Drake's yes so hoeing actually has very negative repercussions for maintaining weight loss yodeling. It depends on whether you're actually Swiss or not so if you're actually sweat it seems like you get a free pass on your genetic. Kyoto's those devil food cakes with the swirl in them see. I didn't even know that yeah yeah for me sound of Music John I know but there's a Yodel. There's a Jojo See I. I know the hostess right. There's a snow there's like the pink Puffy Mike here just opening my eyes and the second that to all things I did not know existed show it is nigh impossible to lose weight and keep it off. Is that bullshit <hes> that is bullshit because I think it is possible to lose weight and keep it off but but there are lots of caveats and we need to figure out how much weight are we keeping off and were the ones who decided we wanted to keep that weight off as opposed to the producers that N._B._C. proposed to the producers at N._B._C. All right <hes> and I think that the how much is also incredibly important because it's easier to maintain certain amounts of weight loss than others Gotcha all right. Maria Kondakova is the author of the confidence game. She is right now. I have looked at APP and turn to show you what a Yodel. I am now now being shown this horrific picture of this incredibly process looking thing no this is y'all made at and sell bakery. What do you know Drake's Yodel Dominique and sells? I say we need a disclaimer right here dominique and sell as far as we know does not make Kyoto's according to wikipedia are similar to hostess brands Hojo's Little Debbie's Swiss roll all right next time. I hope I will have an assortment of them waiting for me Maria Cova thank you very much. Thank you Mike. And the questions the controversy the analysis Muller Testifies Live all day tomorrow and only Fox News Channel delivers the coverage you can trust when muller contradict his own report or reaffirm its findings watch Brayden Martha anchor our all day special coverage plus stay with our prime time is shown Tucker and Laura break it down and weigh in on what it all means for the President Special Coverage Starts Live all day tomorrow only on the Fox News Channel and now the Spiel former senator Al Franken regrets leaving the Senate he was accused by radio host Leeann Tweeden of forcibly kissing her under the guise of rehearsal of a skit that he wrote during a U._S._O.. Tour more than a decade ago according to Tweeden the skit was written with her in mind simply employees as a ruse to harass her reporting by the New Yorker out today proves that that is not true it also shows what had been reported before but now in much greater detail how tweeden coordinated with Sean Hannity the drudge report Fox News and other conservative sites to maximize the damage to Franken it worked Franken the popular second term senator at I asked for a hearing but within weeks resigned this after seven more accusers step step forward and members of his own party. Especially a group of female senators led by New York's Kirsten Gillibrand called for his ouster. He gave it to them now. A number of senators tell the New Yorker that they regret calling for Franken to step down seven went on the record. I can't say this surprised me last week. When I was interviewing Senator Michael Bennet I asked him about Franken? Do you miss having Al Franken in the Senate. I do miss of having I watch a lot of committee hearings and he sat. It seemed like you liked each other each other. He used a really smart guy. He took his job very seriously. He loved being in the Senate and I know it's you know it's <hes> it's really unfortunate <hes> but I miss him. Do you blame any members of your party for for leading his ouster. Don't the reason that I had the intuition that Bennett was fond of Franken was that in preparing for the Bennett interview I had watched a lot of Senate education. Hearings Bennett is the former head of the Denver public schools and as such had a lot of authority on that committee but Franken also asked to excellent questions. I got the sense that his fellow committee members really liked him and respected him and we're interested in when he was asking questions and I would also say that he was chief. Among the members of that committee and making Betsy Devos look like she was out of her depth proficiency is if they've reached a third grade level for reading etc.. I'm talking about the debate between proficiency and growth what your thoughts are long well. I was just asking to clarify then well. This is this is a subject that is has been debated in the education community for years and I've I've advocated growth is the chairman and every member member of this committee knows because with proficiency <hes> Dashers <hes> ignore the kids at the top who are not gonNa fall below proficiency and ignore the kid at the bottom who no no matter what they do will never get to proficiency so I've been an advocate of growth but it surprises me that you don't know this issue so the visual there is divorce opening her mouth but no words coming out his questioning Franken's questioning of Rick Perry was proficient and and he showed how little the current energy secretary had grown his questioning of jeff sessions was essential literally without Franken's questioning two sessions sessions might not have recused himself from the Russia investigation. We might have not had a muller the report and even if a mother report doesn't result in impeachment or charges it does lay out a very compelling case that the president obstructed justice trace that all back to Al Franken those are Franken's high profile contributions. I was listening to Franken's podcast podcast today as I have been over the last few weeks and he played some questioning that no one at the time paid attention to this was a guy named Pat Pa- Zella who well he's the guy who's going to be the next labor secretary of the president gets his way when Zella was under secretary Creteria of Labor Franken opposed his nomination largely because Zella worked for lobbyists Jack Abramov in the service of some really disturbing labor practices in the Mariana Islands Chinese. Women were promised jobs in the U._S.. You ask those islands are technically a U._S.. Territory they were beaten some were forced to have abortions and they suffered horrible working conditions. Here's Franken questioning Zella who was a lobbyist for these programs and afterwards. You'll hear his commentary from his podcast. Were you aware for of those horrible conditions even while you lobbied against minimum wage protection for irs first of all senator thank you you did say you would tend to ask the question. I appreciate that in our meeting yesterday and prepared to address. Pressed the issue <hes> I was not aware of any such thing I did not know just learned that twenty one of Mr Ross colleagues were also convicted of wrong I was I was not not one of them. Okay and clear about that congratulations. Thank you on that you know in retrospect. They wish they'd been more emphatic pointing out that he was was lying but I assume that was just obvious to for the rest of my colleagues. Maybe I had overlooked the possibility that a few of the Republicans on the committee had gone on on one of those junkets so here's what I think we should do. I am putting a petition online nine at Al Franken Dot Com that you can add your name to demanding that the House Labor committee investigate whether Zella knew about these abuses in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and lied during his confirmation hearing this is now that clip demonstrates a few things one Al Franken good at committees to Franken correct on the issues three Franken is still today fighting the good fight the existence of his podcast and that petition tells you that I've been listening to the podcast and it's earnest but it's also entertaining. It's an effort to use whatever abilities he has to focus on the important things that government does and those abilities are communication and comedy and insight and experience. He's a guy who clearly believes in the power of government and I do think that it is a shame that he's no longer in it now. Let me say this Harvey. Weinstein was a good movie producer. It doesn't mean he he should go free. Matt Lauer Charlie rose were. Let's say for argument's say good TV. Interviewers doesn't excuse their misdeeds but the societal benefit of an Al Franken maybe should be weighed against the believability and and severity of the charges against him. Maybe if a great man does horrible things he should not be excused but if a very good man does some quasi eye Nebula Asli inappropriate things maybe we should extend and some forgiveness perspective proportionality. I do not believe most of the allegations put forward by Tweeden though there is no way to know if franken forcibly tongue kissed her yelich inexcusable but given the inaccuracies of much the rest of her claim and her motivations to sully him I wonder about it. It is not a popular stance in this climate of believe women but it is a stance that I do think sensible and also I gotta say I think that most people even most liberal so people believe in that stance as well also a few of the other quote unquote charges against Franken even if completely true don't amount to sexual harassment a hand on the waist while taking a picture a kiss on a stage in front of hundreds where a face was turn so you caught some cheek couple of the charges do seem like really inappropriate things for people to do. I mean that inappropriate like there's the army medic said Franken copter breast before photograph. There was the woman in the Minnesota State Fair claim the Franken grabbed her butt during a photo these by the way we're not dealt with extensively in the New Yorker article and me what about me because I said at the time that it was justified for the Democratic Party to oust Franken justified <music> as politics politics is a tough and often unfair business jettisoning franken clarified the party's position as the one that was four square opposed to sexual harassment Franken could've stayed in fought but if if absent Democratic Party clarity on sexual harassment if Roy Moore had gone on to win the Alabama Senate race maybe today he seems pretty unsympathetic. Maybe he just seems selfish and pathetic but it's of note that he has gone on to keep his focus on the issues that need attention and it does seem to me that the public not the twitter torch and pitchforks squad but most people in the public still hold Al Franken in high regard. If you apportion blame for what happened to Franken Al Franken gets a lot of the blame tweeden and bad actors and the right wing media get some of the blame news organizations like at time this one also deserve blame for quickly rushing to unjustified conclusions within hours hours of Leeann Tweeden's first unvetted accusation slate calling Franken misogynistic fraud wrote quote there is no rational reason to doubt the truth of Tweeden's accusations no legitimate defensive Franken's actions and no ambiguity here at all end quote well. There was a ton of ambiguity and there still is even knowing what we know now. You couldn't precisely say that Senator Al Franken was a victim but you can very precisely say he's no longer a senator and that's it for today. Show pure Daniels freighter produced the gist they advocate shake for breakfast shake for lunch and they sensible dinner the gist just like the bank robbers who WanNa pull off one last job. It's those last five pounds that are the most difficult superdepor do Peru and thanks for listening euros are.

Al Franken Robert Muller president senator Al Franken Dot Com Franken Senate Congress Leeann Tweeden Mike Pasco Saint Louis Gregg Henry Kyoto Maria Kondakova Maria Cova Ray Abruzzo Pat Pa- Zella L._A priebus
Renaissance Man Bob Kerrey Talks to Man Al Franken

The Al Franken Podcast

47:09 min | 1 year ago

Renaissance Man Bob Kerrey Talks to Man Al Franken

"Hi Everybody we have a really really great show today for change and senator former senator Bob Kerrey former governor Bob Carey is here former well. No you're still medal of honor winner right. You're always will be recipients is correct yeah so you don't win it. You don't have a contest for the former president of the a new school. That's correct which doesn't sound like a real school. I know it is very good. Yeah okay so so. Let's do some chronological stuff. you went to Vietnam. You are navy seal. Yes that's very disciplined blend group right that the the B. N. Navy seal. You've got to be able to do white how many push ups. I don't know I forget you have to hold their breath underwater for like three minutes I can go beth is entire show to know that okay and you got the medal of honor all I I remember reading about it was climbing some cliff right wall shear wall to save some of our your man. That's close enough right yeah okay and then you get that okay well. Thanks thanks for your service. Well thank you. Oh Yeah as you lost the that was that's what got injured right wounded injured and it actually it gave me maybe the most important learning experience so I spent eight months in a in a hospital on a Naval Hospital in Philadelphia and learned a lot. What did you learn an awful well first of aw by had to be grateful because you know it was a government run hospital? The government say Malibu almost killed me to begin with but then say my life so okay and is is this is this a Va hospital naval okay and I learned a lot about the importance of volunteer effort because a lot of volunteers came in and out of the hospital you know offering to help us in one way or the other and then I learned that if I wanted to get anything done had to ask for help for a long time I had asked practice. Go the bathroom so and and seal team it you yes she operate as a team but in some ways you're taught to be the real men don't ask for help well well. I learned to the hospital real men do so it was a very important lesson for me it normally when I guess you know have an expert on on I'll have Ernie Mo- knees on climate and the Iran deal gang I'm just going to we're going to go all over the place with you on that an expert any that's right right at us a great senator okay so let's let's talk about the debates debates specifically you ran for president in ninety two. That's correct ninety two and so you've been in these primary primary debates. Have you okay how many were in the ones that you were in. How many candidates five that seems to be about right yeah? Look Benia have ten people on a state. It's not really a debate because you got even with the impossibly long one hundred and eighty minute debate give the moderator fifteen miniature down. Each candidate is going to have to what I think. He was just interrupted me. They're all going to have twelve to fifteen minutes. Talk really knew where you're going. You didn't we're GONNA finish that thought okay Jesus getting spooky. This is what I think when you have that many Eh and you're given a minute weren't they given a minute like further I answer well. Take the total amount of time mm-hmm that all the candidates gets about one hundred and sixty minutes right one hundred sixty minutes divided by ten is sixteen minutes each if they if they apportion equal and they don't and so you I wanna make a statement of some come. You're not really debating. Maybe got a challenge Biden. Maybe going to challenge Kamala Harris. We we'll have a an effort to try to move up in the polls against one person person or another but you're not really debating healthcare. You're not really debating foreign policy. You don't have enough time and the structure doesn't lend itself so to call her debate. I think is inaccurate. It won't don't feel like a debate until you get down to three or four or five candidates and even then it won't feel like a real debate and tell us whoever the nominee is up against trump you get about about a minute for a question and then that means you want to pack as much into that minute. This is my theory of why the debates are almost unwatchable trouble because you wanna pack as much into that minute as possible. That's your minute on this. I so you know that and so you and your team craft a minute answer that really should be a minute thirty minute forty of information that you just put into a minute by talking really fast and memorize the shit out of this thing and it's impossible to listen to it's exhausting and and also when you're memorize hi something and just you know it sounds like talking points no matter how eloquent it is I would like to see some people out there some of the candidates out there I I'd like to see some room to go after trump but they will when when the debate is with trump they'll go after trump well yeah but they'll be three debates with trump. Those will be the debates but but but we're trying to determine who our nominee is it would be nice nice to know which nominee will do best in those debates. I thought that debate were where they spent. Twenty minutes twenty minutes on whether or not a single payer plan should or shouldn't have a private health insurance. It was quite an intense argument we should be talking one forty seats in the house on healthcare and it was because Republicans were supposed to repeal and replace remember that they said they would do that for seven half years. Okay they win and sixteen ecksteen. They have the whole government what they do. What what have you been doing for the last seven whatever you come up with apparently nothing and they they come up with a plan that twenty million people lose their health care and and there's no there is not protection for people with preexisting condition people suddenly learn what's in the a CA finally and they go we like this and we're not gonNA vote for Republicans who are voting take away our projections and then he doubles down trump doubles down as a lawsuit right? That's correct. Why not talk about that well? They did kind talk about that. I mean the problem is again. You're all the agree that we need to do more than we're currently doing all of them. I mean there's going going agrees that we should get to universal yeah and they all agree that that the starting point is the affordable healthcare act burning. Let's go further than all all the rest of them. I Guess Elizabeth Warren and Kamala signed pretty much onto what he wants to do. so it's a has not as not okay so she was she did it first and and then she changed she she's now has a ten year ramp up to it which is probably it would take complicated implicated to go from the system. We have now to single payer would be very very complicated. It's traumatic to go yeah. I mean first of all you have to answer the question Do you think the deficits gonNA matter. If you have a Democratic president in the answer's Yes republicans don't care about the deficit and then funny. Isn't it funny. I mean if you're if you're an American who cares about the the deficit. You should want to have a democratic president because every single Republican will be born again to saying Barna trillion dollars to what you were doing this year to make the budget that that's a problem Emma and now it's not a problem now. They sort of well it isn't it. Isn't you know let me open up an worn all vote for your tax cut so it seems to me what you're getting in general and and I think it is watchable. You're getting in general of presentation. The American people that whoever the Democratic nominee is wants to do more on healthcare sees it as a particularly the cautious the real problem wants to do something about climate chains cares about income inequality me you're getting I think broad brush you getting differences between the various candidates but I think kicked me in the last debate. You get a presentation that the Democratic Party you can say it's too far to the left at that one way or another but I don't think it's out of mainstream thinking of the American people. I don't think it's at a mainstream thinking either. I think people a great little you. You were President of new school so so let's say four year college yes okay. Let's talk about this free college thing I have this theory that affluent people should pay for college the kids with affluent parents Felicity Hoffman's and if you have enough money to you know get your kid in under false pretenses you should be able to pay the full boat okay but we are making it so hard for low income and lower you know moderate moderate income people do go to college you know when I go around Minnesota and talk to students. I'm talking to people that kids that are not in in school fulltime. They're not in school fulltime at all 'cause they're working forty hours a week to pay for college in the pay to live you've and that's why we have so mu- so many his failed graduate this is one of the things that creates wealth inequality if you look at the household income and how it correlates with the sat score and the that's where the rigging begins ends because there's an absolute upward curve as income goes up because you can afford to hire tutors and so forth you're gonNA get more time to be able to get a higher also so your parents day of had a college education or graduate school education but I also think I also think that part of the problem is I said. We've been very difficult if you said to me I've got a billion dollars and I want to start a college. I'm wondering to regionally accredited. You know it'd be easier for her to go out and start a heart transplant center get to get the regulators to approve. We've limited supply and then we'd dramatic massive amount of demand primarily with with debt and number surprise the prices go up beyond the rate of inflation. We really are not forcing the kind of innovation that we ought to be forcing into higher education for just one little innovation say the colleges. We're going to hold you responsible for half of the debt. Make it be recourse. I get all the cash you borrow money and go to the new school. I get the cash from the alone. Why not put me recourse for half the darned day so so the school yeah pays the kit happy? I will do two things if you're one of my students and I'm I'm going to be record umber one. I'm GonNa make sure you take some courses and increase the chances. You're going to get a job when you get out of college and secondly. I'm GonNa make sure you graduate because the guys that have the most was trouble with that or the ones that don't finish so I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that you graduate. I'm doing everything I can to make sure that you take courses that increase the chances you're going to be able to pay off that debt and right now. You don't right now. You'd basically 'CAUSE I. I'm harmless as university or college. you know come after me. If my students can't pay back their debt I told you before we when I do a good Bernie you I do a good burning so a guy from the OECD comes to testify GonNa tell your listeners who had oecd he stands for the Organization of economically developed countries but that's not what it stands for something like that but it's basically the US Europe Europe Japan Chile you know it was Australia right we used to be number one in the percentage manage of our adults who have graduated college and I think this was they're going into the cohort that was under forty we now now gone to ninth ninth and so the guy from the OECD. We're trying to figure this out why this is so and so burning goes like I I imagine that the cost of college I it here in America is is part of why I would not graduating as many kids as you do in your let me ask you this to go to college in say Germany how much does it cost and the guy from the OCD goes in Germany. You'll go to college for free. Okay well how much the cost say in France and the Guy said Ian Francis also free how about Sweden in Sweden they pay you to go to college now. Also rigorous examinations determine who gets to go to college said Bernie support that does Bernie support saying only twenty percent percent of high school graduates going to be able to go to college and everybody else is going to be set up for vocational program which is what Germany does does that what he wants to do. I don't think so no no he wants to meaningless to basically say it ought to be free for everybody and if not free somebody's got to pick up the TAB Ford again back to the colleges you gotta say to the University. She's a colleges you gotta be part of the effort mean look what Mitch Daniels has done a purdue the for last five years. It's don't know tuition increase and the reason of former governor former over governor of Indiana President Purdue College. How did he do that? How did he do it? quit spending money you spend less money charges students less I mean that's the problem and and he's certainly an engineering school. It's so much easier. I guess to do that but you've got to put pressure on the colleges as well because it all otherwise all you're doing thing is driving more demand in the system with limited supply and even more on like me understands. That's going to drive up prices beyond the rate of inflation what else I wanNA talk about. Pell grants then because a full pell grant used to pay for like ninety percent of a public. I'm talking about a public college education and now pays for like thirty percent so I'm just talking about these kids. You're right the Minerva Foundation yeah you're the head is is about reforming higher education not no but it's a bar is it yes a quicken dramatically different students much different kind of an experience. Yes we use a fair amount modern technology but the most important thing is when you start off and it's easier when you in the beginning for existing institutions. It's very difficult. He just no cost to put into the system unless as you can justify it from the standpoint of quality when it's not full of Adjunct Faculty we're hiring full-time high quality factly to do it but there's no real pressure right right now on those schools and I think there needs to be I'm not against trying to make a better effort to help young people to be able to afford to go where where Chrissy increase in spending going going to frivolous things are going to a beautiful beautiful student union is going to won't let me ask you this. If you WANNA learn something I guess every now and then you do you find yourself saying but something I'd like to know right. How do you uh what are you doing? What do you do you do you go to some building was a classroom and wait for an adult to show up and walk in the front room and teach us something no the problem that's an outdated model and were locked into it? You propose at an any higher education environment and they go crazy. They think you're talking about mooks mooks and an online education they'd be. It's very difficult to get into a conversation about using and oftentimes. It's very low cost you. You've got very low cost offerings out there that would enable a student to get an hour faster been cheaper way and it then you're left with with the responsibility of teaching these young people how to think anyway. We're way off into that. I no no no no no this is important. Conversation is really important the by the way by the way L. The other thing is for for liberals I don't know where you get the money unless you become people like myself and say hey bob. You're seventy six right now. You look at how we're spending money money at the federal level. We're GONNA spend eighty billion dollars this year over last on people over the age of sixty five and they won't be needed to bake. It's mandated in the in the programs for for eligible beneficiaries about social security medicare medicare and Medicaid and long-term care for Medicare and you propose any changes in those programs then you think you're gonNA be proposing seniors. Go foraging in the alley for food are there are some seniors. That's what they live on and I've I. I look I'm I'm for increasing amount of money that goes to the low income seniors. I'm for making a change to the working poor women who stayed at home get some Kinda back with him in this there are things you can do to make the program fair from the bottom up but Mike God you. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about is you remember in the in the famous budget of nineteen ninety-three Clinton's budget of nineteen ninety-three the most all right. What was the most controversial thing in that budget was supposedly raising taxes on taxing the breast of your social security benefits above a certain amount a certain amount and that was we weren't going after low income people title it was on and the response was I'm just getting back out what I paid any Baloney? You're getting a lot more back out in the European it. We have to be able eleven honest conversation with the elderly in America to say if you really care about your kids and your grandkids now if you don't maybe we'll just strike that from Roy Tabula sorry but if you really care about him you have to look at how we're allocating federal money and have not fair to young people the original deal when social security it was passed the average life expectancy was sixty five. Oh the original deals a thousand dollars and tax we tax like forty nine million people on behalf of two hundred thousand beneficiaries the original deal and then every two years after the Second World War we greatly expanded the program including in the early seventies when then when Wilbur Mills wanted the United States he pushed to twenty percent and you look at the the increases in in an annual increases in that program and it's startling seventy eighty percent in one thousand nine hundred twenty percent nineteen seventy twenty percent nineteen seventy-one forcing Nixon to accept the cola now. We're on the slippery slope of the program win when it's become an enormous especially as 401k's of replace defined benefit. It's become a really important part of our retirement program not I'm not I'm not talking about replacing it at all as I said I'd make it more generous for lower income but we need to have an honest conversation. I think that's very important again. This is not my typical podcast but you have a wide ranging mind obviously and also are not an expert on any except nine say on education but so leave that you were on the nine eleven commission. Yeah you're not okay okay I got a few questions about nine eleven and the commission okay or not the commission but what the commission discovered I've always wondered about Kondia Rice and a a couple things first of all the bin Laden Determined to strike in us. That was another memo right right. Look I think the environment at that time. was you know this isn't that we're not really that afraid of al Qaeda I mean we all the way back to ninety three you know Ramzi Yousef is a nephew of Kelly Shekh Muhammad so many tried to knock down the World Trade Center in Nineteen ninety-three but I wanNA ask about Condie Condoleeza Rice yes. She said we had never envisioned. Airplanes being used as weapons but as as I recall there was some kind of like g seven or g whatever they had then meeting in Genoa of a a year or so before where they got Bush out of there because they had been warned that there might be planes winds coming in and crashing into the is this part of the report. That's in the report right so if that's the case. How is it possible that she did not know? This was potentially this. She said we did not know so again. I think altogether too easy to do say okay. Now we know they knocked down the World Trade Centre with no they killed three thousand people. We know they got that done. How's it possible possible? I I see a plane in a previous memo. They're going to attack. I mean you're seeing these metrics. In a previous mammal. They got the president out of their understand but I think her her statement that nobody could have imagined as a little broad but there wasn't a general conversation going on about this I mean we didn't we the national security adviser. Everyone's going like you know what we're going to move the president but look because we're worried about plans coming in you. Have a few people in the public were having conversations about Bin Laden al Qaeda in the nineteen nineties but it wasn't regarded. It should have been regarded. We're wasn't just Condoleeza Rice main one of the most important things we did in the nine eleven commission was we we said we're not gonNA minority reports or dissenting views. We're GONNA WE'RE NOT GONNA you know I can attack Bill Clinton and not gonNA attack George Bush there. There was a failure across the board and as a consequence we were enormously vulnerable and was she apart yes but was Bill Clinton apart of it and and all the other yes yes sir. All apart was part of it. I was on the Intelligence Committee at the time as well. I wasn't out there beating the drums I so all the things all the documents you're talking about and I didn't put it all together. Arrive Carrying Damn you damn you Bob Carey my God that is so pathetic attic I y you you had a red meat thing. You thought we were going to get down in the mud wrestle so anyway. Thanks a lot it's all I can say okay now. You talked about them hitting the World Trade Center Ninety three so this is another thing. That's been bothering me for a while. Giuliani put the Crisis Response Center in the World Trade Center my right. That's correct. Why would you do that if terrorists had tried to take down the World Trade Center? Why would you put the the Crisis Response Center in what you know is one of their targets remember they they? They didn't take down the World Trade Center. I understand that they tried well but the presumption was the chairman of my board at the new school John Tishman. You'd ask him before nine. Eleven is a possible bring that building down by hit number two planes. He'd say absolutely not so. It wasn't like we were sitting there saying we better move everything as far away from the World Trade Center quite the opposite it appeared to be of an almost an invulnerable talk it. That's what made it so shocking collapse yeah yeah okay so oh two planes will go in there and then the crisis center will continue to do their job now thought yeah no I made. I did not envision. The two points is what you're saying. They didn't even with two planes. They didn't invasion to planet didn't envision that was possibility the two planes hitting the World Trade Center would cause structural damage it would bring that building down not even the the guy who built that building thought that was possible member the movie titanic it was a big big movie. Remember that on the bow singing the song yeah or their King of the world right and that they go the dinner with the fancy people right and the designer of the ship is there of titanic and Somebody Buddy makes a toast to him because he is built the unsinkable ship you remember the scene they toast to the unsinkable bullshit to the single shift congratulations. You've built the unsinkable ship okay so now later in the damn movie they hit the iceberg the designer of the ship the guy who's built the unsinkable. I'm shipping goes to the captain. You remember this and he explains. It's GonNa sink because it's going to go into this compartment in this compartment Rogo think and and the captain doesn't go remember the toast whatever happened to fear syncopal ship remember who the unsinkable ship Jesus. He's a man we had this house. I'm telling you are a test case for the reason we should legalize allies medical marijuana right now maybe just a little bit of THC in the conversation changes. I don't know why the captain didn't just go doughnuts on the guy instead the cap goes well okay. I guess if you've written the script I'll be dead soon and if you had written that script would have been better movie okay so okay that's nine eleven. We've covered nine eleven titanic and the I'm I'm just saying putting in response center in the World Trade Center I do not think and also with the radio frequencies between the fire and the police and by the way we tried to get Congress to make changes that would allow that piece of the bandwidth to be used by them. We couldn't get it done so it's yeah it's there were lots of commission. Yeah lots of you know trying to get Congress to do lots of the commission tried to Congress after at a port right and and and Congress wouldn't do it. No yeah the bandwidth pretty valuable to the big guys. I didn't want to give it up anyway so you've been you've identified mistakes that made they contributed to it. I'm Pharma worried about mistakes. were making now then. All this go into mistakes are making now yeah. That's perfect transition. Do you think trump might be making some mistakes now. Yes do you think that the way he is sort of organized as foreign policy team of of might make us more vulnerable to mistakes. Yes do you think that were less engaged. with the people who've been our allies the countries that have been our allies since the end of award to yes I'll get annot give me think he's handling anything right. I don't think he's wrong about the the way the Chinese have taken advantage of are allowing them to go into the WTO and in two thousand no I don't I think he's wrong about that at all. I think he was right to put sanctions on Iran. The problem is we've got on a run on the problem is we're. We're you know we've been we've been backing up the Saudis and in their war in Yemen I would hit hit them with a ten thousand dollar drone I mean fifteen thousand dollar drawn and that's a that's CISA and we can't blame that on Iran. We're the ones that the trump administration's ones at refused to cough support to this audience and their war in Yemen take me and Chris Murphy and Rand Paul who started that and Mike Lee the four of us said we should stop doing the variety and the guy's a shame about their anyway okay on China though it seems that we are not using our allies so we had Austin Goolsbee on this and he was saying that in the past when like what they're doing with their currency you got the whole world the whole rest of of of the Western world saying you gotta you gotTa change this and they did but what he's doing is just I mean this title over. They change a little bit. They did a little better evaluation but they didn't do that much. I mean really and I the the tactic and going hard against China is the right tactic and because that's the only thing the only thing that's GonNa move do I think it'd be better if we if we had not gotten out of the TPP and we we had a group of people were were coming at China with the same message yes but it's not uncommon for the United States of America. Don't densify somebody in the world. It's been behaving badly and China's behaving badly. He's he's not telling the truth saying that China's paying for the sheriff's not worthy it's it it does put our own economy at risk at some point but he isn't wrong that they're behaving badly and I think the the if you ask me my greatest fear we're China is a possibility that a deal gets gets cut and basically then that gives Xi Jingping a basically a green light to go in and and use what military force he's got lined up to shut down the protests in Hong the Hong Kong it'd be better to to come in and get some kind of an agreement with the Chinese oftentimes you. It's accurate to say that a new agreement interested temporary interruption the negotiations so whatever you get it isn't going to be forever we had rules from from nineteen forty forty six to nineteen ninety-one you want another question is what do we do after that. The Cold War ends in Nineteen ninety-one and we assume that all the parts of the Cold War. We're going to start a bang international rules also and it's much harder to do than just to say it so I think the presumption should be. We're going to have a set of rules. If you participate in the global economy. You've got to agree to abide by those schools. I don't think he's completely wrong on NATO. I mean we are NATO for God's sakes without the United States of America. There is no NATO. I think it's important organizations. I think we've been constructive attractive in that organization talking about the amount of resources that our allies in NATO spend that's exactly right so we're being chums. uh-huh why is he jumps a little strong I mean I know they'll get a rally on their feet. That's done that. I'm not very good at playing the populist card personally but I do think there's there's a fair case. If you're working in the United States of America that says you you don't mind defending gear up you don't mind NATO and US taking the elite in but you you want fair trade with Germany and you want fair trade with Japan and you want fairtrade those those countries who are benefiting from our military efforts okay this Afghanistan thing that the the had the Taliban Camp David right before nine eleven. It seems very unfortunate that yeah the timing was Put a mildly bad but we're saying that look we we Afghanistan's exceptionally difficult and I have people say it's the war that without end well. The Cold War was a war without in. What point do we say okay? We've done enough in south South Korea. We're GONNA pull the plug and get out. I mean I do think that if we were to precipitously leave Afghanistan isn't just about the Taliban isis. It's another coming back and using it as a sanctuary. It's how do you feel about the suffering of Women GonNa GonNa come to women and in Kabul and north of cobbles story about you know Medical Center just north of Kabul that women go to because it's you know they have better. It's a it's an Italian organization that runs it. I mean it's you you gotta gotTa answer the Question Okay now. We're GonNa what what happens then. Are you willing to tolerate that consequence. I'm not I think a precipitous which all is a terrible mistake. and I think doc the negotiation that were was going on you know put the Afghan government a substantial disadvantage because we were going to go shooting with and they were not in the talks they were not in talks and we're not going to be in the toxins and they're killing us for God's sakes. It's not like they agreed to a ceasefire. That'd be one thing that okay. We're GONNA WE'RE GONNA stop killing civilians in Afghanistan dennison's and killing Afghan police force and military officers. We're going to stop that hope. We'll get into an agreement. No they what they're trying to do is kill as many eight people as possible putting pressure on us to to want to get out to cut and run yeah I think cutting and running is I don't know how parallel it is to you completely leaving Iraq and Isis coming in but feel somewhat parallel and so and you yeah you were talking about Isis and and think of someone peril yeah yeah the dividing line between myself and the president just understand is is actually dividing to myself and Steve Bannon. I am a globalist. I'm a secularist. I believe that the United States of America is special and we can have an impact on the rest of the world we don't we are exporting forty democracy but we have values and those values matter. It's a unique construct. The United States is going to have a conversation about the electoral college and problems with the Congress Congress and so forth but it's unique construct it gives individuals a tremendous amount of freedom and back to the criticism of our educational system close the visual windows. I mean we have a comparative advantage in higher education for all the flaws that we have in our education system. The rest of the world wants to come here. We have a unique role to play in the world and on so I come and say I don't WanNa cut the number of refugees that we're taking back if anything we ought increase it this country is in the not taking refugees from Syria is a sin sinn new. It's wrong That's doing something wrong as a sin well. If you're this person and your bureau by doing I mean I think it's all I need say I see I think it's wrong. I don't think you using sin literally truly as a religious thing well. Let's see what it is religious word okay that might be true but I didn't mean it that way in the question. I guess I think it's wrong in this country is not one of the great things we did after the Vietnam Non War we've done a lot. I've been involved in a bipartisan effort since Nineteen ninety-one off in ninety five when we normalize relations Vietnam helping them build an McCain was a big for there ain't as a part of the John Kerry's part of it but but it started with Herbert Walker Bush at continue with Bill Clinton it continued with with George W Bush continues today with with Donald Trump it's gone it's gone over four administration Republican and Democrat but the most important thing that we did after that war and it was it was ten people know we changed the law Ted Kennedy did it. We let a million Vietnamese come in and remember people's. Oh God it's going to be terrible is Vietnamese coming in here. They're going to you know going to be bad for the country country. They've been just the opposite just the opposite and I think one of the one of the things I'm saying that Democrats and particularly do is answer this question. How do we make globalism mark? If you're if you believe in globalism if you if you want to act locally and think globally the question is what what are our trade rules. What what is what? What do we need to put in place for safety-net? That's GONNA work. How do we organize educational system so it actually does produce people that have a fighting chance to get a job and back on the safety net? I mean you've seen the decline of defined benefit pensions. You know you're you're basically left 401k accounts. We've got to figure out a way to reward work and have a different set of rules. If we expect expect to be able to win an argument that we figured out how to make globalism work because otherwise all you're doing it seems to me is fighting a losing battle. You Know Oh you sound a lot like who's a trump. I dislike the idea of putting three words together that make any sense at all aw so do you worry about trump winning and you have to say I mean I don't want him to be reelected. I have a case against I mean it's mostly his policy and then I think he's behavior savior bad the one of the things that Republicans done is just as good as sort of it's what Joe Dunford the chairman of the joint says that if you walked by something sub-standard Standard and you don't do anything about it that's the new standard and they've lowered the standard for behavior. They've lowered the standard for telling the truth okay. Let's talk about the Senate since he left these Republican senators are not pushing back on him at all. It seems well no they they are but you know what it's like. You you served under democratic presidents. That'll it it is harder for a Democrat to criticize a democratic critic president. I got a few times and engage in arguments with President Clinton and and I remember how the Democrats have got mad at me for doing it and so likewise with Republican. It's not easy to do it and he is a dominant force on twitter he has a he has a loyal following people who want to shake things up and as you know you've been down there. The place does need to be shaken up he again. He's not he's Unfortunately swamps gotten bigger under him than it was before but we just our last podcast was that it was just of corruption during administration look if I if you tell me that tomorrow I've got a I've got to get in a ring and fight Mike Tyson yeah. I'M NOT GONNA sit here and say well. I'm going to make fun of his Tattoo on his face Acer. His behavior in the I got I know I'm going to get in ring was a formidable opponent and he's a formidable opponent. He will not eat. He will not be easy to feed in two thousand twenty. I wanted to feed him. I don't want him to have former years. I think his environmental policies are terrible and you social policies of charitable. I think economic policies are not good there many arguments that I would use against that particularly on issues like climate it may be his worst legacy. Maybe the thing that he's going to be remembered for the most all the backtracking tracking is occurring on environmental policies. I think are going to add up to a disastrous some point down the road so I have plenty of reasons to hope that he does not get reelected but that hope doesn't begin to me saying he's he's foolish and silly and he's going to be easy to be. He will not be easy to be very very concerned about because has another four years. Climate is one of them. Immigration is another you're talking about the Vietnamese coming in after immigration is another on and you're talking about social security yeah so I if if we're GONNA make social scary anywhere near solvent we need people coming younger people I know and by the way it you're not going to do immigration. You're not GONNA do security. I can do Medicare. You're not going to do the big ones unless unless somehow you can put a group of Republican Democrats together you you were you were there and immigration you know hard and and but the house wouldn't take it up yeah yeah but it's it. You're going to get criticized on the laughing at you. Criticize them the right if you do if you put together a coalition of people that'll support comprehensive immigration we I. I know that boy that would have been a good thing if we had done it yeah yeah and we got sixty eight votes in the Senate. That's pretty good. Is there anything you want to know from me before so I can. I tell the boss joy. Oh Gosh she asked me all we need thank you this will not be easy for you because you're GONNA have to remain silent while I'll tell you why I want to hear your version of the Milo version story is far better than whatever version you've gotten rolling around in that bone. It'll head of year so I'm watching C. Span one morning I was still in the Senate and and you are on it and I think it was two thousand euro campaigning for a variety different be no no no no no. I'm sorry because I wanNA hear your you don't hear it is no credit. It doesn't matter did read the listens care but there's promoting rush limbaugh McFadden idiot and other ups. So what year was it nineteen ninety-five okay okay so it's but but you're also out campaigning for other candidates. Yes yes anyway so I don't know if they still have it. They have a democratic line and Republican line calls come into the democratic line and a call came into the Republican line and this woman just burned to the ground. I hate everything you've said. Had this morning I disagree with everything that you've done and earlier in the conversation the moderate the interviewer had said to you is campaign for an awful lot of people have had any regrets. You know somebody gets elected you you you you upset you afterwards yeah only one Paul Pot now knowing that you're very few your listeners know who Paul was. He was the man responsible for genocide in Cambodia so at the end the said of this woman was anything that you like about what I said here this afternoon and she said Yeah. I like that Paul Paul Pot joke that is true. One of the things is I had a book out rush limbaugh's a big fat idiot and other observations evasions and this was the first interview I did on the book and it was one of these morning c-span shows and you know I ah I did not understand that these c-span hosts have strict strict rules of not ah to laugh at it yeah because it's show what you laugh at US shows a bias so she'd say like tell me about you know the title of the Book and I'd say well. I thought of it because rush limbaugh is a very very fat. He's huge huge fat obese man very very very fat and she she's like I can see that she thinks it's funny and she's trying to hold it not break not break up and so the whole thing and she did the poll you know regretting but yes pol pot we went out and we did something for him in Cambodia and really that you remind me of that almost every time we talk a good moment so you just use it. You just use the verb that I heard you when you were interviewing Dana which is break. The comedian is doing a skit. breaks out laughing that well the comic actor becoming I apologize to comic actor is a difference in the comic actor and comedian yeah because a comedian you think of doing a stand up stand up can break that's okay break break means laughing breaking down and laughing and we had the first five years of SNL. We just had a lauren hated hated it when we act when when the cast would break up and he didn't and he basically said there'll we know break. That's that's very Carol Burnett this what he that's what he would say and then as show now the show's forty five years ah they do more of the breaking and people you know the audience goes oh they're breaks and that's why Carol Burnett design. It's just oh we're watching a moment where the actor break-up excited excited well. I'm GONNA break now. Okay really good to see you doing great well. I I hope you enjoyed listening. Beautiful Music is by Liel cocky. The Great Leo Cardi I WanNa thank Peter Osborne for are

president United States Donald Trump World Trade Center America President Clinton Bob Carey Vietnam trump Senate Iran Congress George W Bush NATO Va
 Fmr. Facebook Exec Tim Kendall on How Social Media is Destroying the World

The Al Franken Podcast

53:50 min | 2 d ago

Fmr. Facebook Exec Tim Kendall on How Social Media is Destroying the World

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Podcast everybody i got one today with the guest. You're going to find really interesting on an intriguing subject that's covered in a way which is edifying enjoyable and with a few laughs. You know for a change. I've decided to mix things up. My guess is tim. Kendall who as one of the top executives at facebook early on was in charge of monetization facebook in other words he was the guy that zuckerberg put in charge of figuring out the business model for facebook to maximize the amount of money that the company would make and wouldn't even know it at least from the standpoint of that goal making the company. You know a going concern. He really a commendable job on the other hand it turns out there's been kind of a dark downside to the success of this business model which is essentially treating facebook's users not so much as their customers but as their product meaning that advertisers would pay facebook for access to its users to advertise them. And the really really tech savvy. Programmers at facebook developed this artificial intelligence these algorithms to keep track of every facebook user. And what they light and what kept them on the platform and eventually the algorithm they develop new more about each user and what kept him or her Engaged and How to maximize that for their the advertisers and develop these bells and whistles that kept people on the platform and learn what worked and it turned out that it would be addictive and effect Folks mental health and particularly adolescence and facebook understood the some people are invested in in politics. And of course would feed them stuff that confirmed their their biases and the algorithm discovered that some people became addicted to more and more extreme versions of the xenophobic messages. That they were drawn to. And we're conspiracy theories and stuff about political enemies being pedophile. Who drank the blood of of children that were kept in the basement of a pizza parlor and each of the two point. Four billion or so human beings on facebook had their own a i curated feed and the russians in two thousand sixteen working both sides and did everything they could to divide americans and undermine hillary who they assume would win just undermine americans faith in her and government and just our democracy and it worked out so much better than they possibly could have imagined or hoped for and and This cycle because our intelligence services Were onto them. They didn't even bother to create a lot of false narratives. They just repeated and amplified the ones that americans were putting out so now we have a president who is actively completing the task of undermining our democracy and pretty much every republican in congress is going along with it because they're afraid of trump and his base and They want to be in office and they want to go to the caucus lunch. And it's a disgrace. So there's this film on netflix. Social dilemma about all this and over forty million folks have have watched this on that flex and a number of former facebook and google another silicon valley folks are in film. They sound the alarm and one of them is tim. Kendall and tim is my guest. And i think you're gonna find this. One fascinating informative and dare i say very enjoyable for a change. When did you work at facebook Two thousand six to two thousand ten thousand six two thousand ten okay. I watched the the movie social dilemma and said that you were in charge of developing the monetization of facebook. Is that correct. So you're to blame gotta guess impart that's true in part really just in part wasn't the only one there know but you were charging the monetization. You could have gone like you know how we're going to monetize it People use it and then sending contributions that's true we did. We looked at that. You look at that okay. And how fast did you cross that off. Will we looked at that. And we looked at doing market research so we built a polling product allowed so researchers to pull users on various topics We built a classified service. We built a virtual gifts virtual goods service to try to mimic some of the behavior. That was taking off in asia. In i think at the end of the day. It's a media company you know. In in media companies basically for the entire history of media have monetize through advertising by and large so a media company now that sounds different than a platform. Well i think it's semantics in the sense that like ooh but aren't isn't that important. Semantic difference is not one that that facebook sort of. listen. I thanks for being on the show but that one guy's hide behind a little absolutely bristled the idea of being company. There i hit. I hit a nerve right away. Not your nerves. The brisk people bristle people. Bristle been google bristles when you call them a media company but ultimately these businesses are aimed at getting your attention in getting more of your attention. And you know it's not unlike you they're gonna be people who listen to this podcast and the reason that you want it to be compelling apart from influencing the world is you want them to come back for the next one and the reason you want them to come back the next one. Is you want influence and presumably Are you add supported absolutely right but you know behind what i do is. I'm trying to have people come back. Because you know they learn stuff that maybe every once in a while they get a chuckle two or two by the way i mean i'm not aligned with this entirely but i think facebook would argue. They're doing a lot of good in the world to have done a lot of good. Did you see social dilemma. Did you did i did. Okay would you say the takeaway from the movie. Was you know buying large. Facebook does a hell of a lot of good and then. There's a bit of a downside. Is that what the sort of the message of the movie was. You think no. I don't think that's i don't i absolutely not the message of the movie. I think that it is a commentary on a business model. Gone wrong likely. The selection of probably the wrong business model gone wrong. So when you're in charge of monetization what does that mean. You're in charge of monetization. Where you like. Tim's coming out with monetization ideas right. Zakaria is gonna go i. Yep no no no no no yup yup yup yup no or are you going like is he going to go ahead tim. You figure it out and that's what we'll do. It's absolutely more the more the former and it's not just mark Cheryl's involved in this in a whole group of people including engineers an ambitious business folks and the ideas like look. What's with prototype in other words. Let's build small little examples of these different businesses. We can be in and see how they work and see what how users like them and and if of users love them or hate them and then at the end of the day we chose advertising as a collective as a group Not unlike yacht who chose advertising and google chose advertising. Cbs chose advertising al franken. Podcast chose advertising. It's a good way to take user attention in turn it into a business one of the differences between facebook and the al franken podcast is. I believe facebook reaches more people probably. Yeah but also. I'm i think. I am responsible for what i put out there and facebook just notoriously is not let me. Let's go to the premises movie for those who haven't seen the movie. The basically is that this has had a unbelievably pernicious effect. Which is that. The purpose of these algorithms is to keep people on facebook right. And that's what the algorithms are tuned to and the main things that are tuned to is Keep the keep you engaged is sometimes to get activated. It's found that these algorithms fine that people who get like little pissed off and agitated they stay on longer cry. That's one way. Anyway as you watched this movie and i can get your critique of the movie but movies basically saying is this is destroying humanity. Now that's that's that's pretty negative and that You know and it goes to the Myanmar and The ranga being slaughtered and that is probably extreme example. But if you look at the two information universes americans for example or in and you have this people on you know who following cunanan and people who are believe trump won and this was stolen. There's that kind the universe that the makers of this movie would argue that facebook has helped make. Is that a correct. Yes interpretation of the. And actually i i. I agree with that. I agree with that view. I wouldn't narrow just to facebook. I would say that a big social in big social. I call big social. Because it's i think it's as pernicious big tobacco or big sugar is responsible for this in big social is is facebook and it's an instagram which is owned by facebook in its youtube which is owned by google and twitter right all these platforms are incredibly harmful at the end of the day in the reason with are incredibly harmful is that it combines an attention extraction based business model with an algorithm all doing algorithm that knows ask better than we know ourselves in by the way it gets smarter and smarter every day. Now this is a i right. That's what the algorithm is artificial intelligence. So this is really really bringing people have created a I and a i get smarter. Yes i mean this is this is a i wanna one. If it's unsupervised. I mean to use the term the terminology of unsupervised. It really does it. As the term implies by itself to what extent is the a. i. That creates these algorithms supervisor unsupervised at facebook. I mean. I haven't been there for ten years so i couldn't comment to the specifics of it but i would suspect is unsupervised in the best example that that proves this is that it's pretty clear that the election in two thousand sixteen was tipped by virtue of these algorithms in facebook. Didn't really understand. That didn't get its arms around that for effectively as far as we can tell based on public records for two years while a month after the election. He says that's preposterous that we had to do with the election and then two years later. He's apologizing in front of the house and he's contrite about the fact that they should have done more in that in fact they were big factor. Now part of it and i was there. When the chief legal counsel there testified. And that's when it turned out that the russians had put adds a lot of ads on facebook. They did other things of course on facebook other things that i think you're describing as well but they did buy ads. Yes and I don't know you watch this as hearings and judiciary committee in the senate We had the the guy from Facebook i pointed out that their ads bought in rubles right and I said you guys like or supposed to have like all the date in the world. That's what silicon valley's brags about. We have every we have all the data in the world and our data expands doubles every year data. We have and that's that's silicon valley. You couldn't put rubles and the russians together and evidently he said no we could and so i said well. Could you at least pledge not to take any ads in the future political ads. They're paid for in rubles. The general council says No we can't pledged to do that. And i go really why not. Well you know we. We just can't finally he said well you know it's easy to convert one currency to another very easy and i said okay. Why would anyone convert currency to rubles to buy ads on facebook. And he. he didn't answer that one. So i didn't feel he's actually operating complete good faith. Is that possible. Someone facebook acting complete good faith. I think that a lot of folks at facebook in look i would include myself among them when i worked there ten years ago. Everybody there in this part of the reason. I think they've been successful. Is i think subject to confirmation bias. In specifically what i mean by that is i think they're there especially the leaders. There are especially good and then the employees are follow along in pointing out the good that they do in the world. Right they bring. They bring lost family members together. They helped bring cancer survivors together in community so that they can support one another The arab spring really happened because of these platforms. So there are a whole set of things that you can always point to even now that can convince someone that oh yes. There are some bad things that are happening. But that's really just a mere on the world. that's not facebook shoe and look at all these things that we are causally. Impacting that are positive. So there's no adjustment to keep the the good stuff and try to prevent the bad stuff. That's my view in. that's what i've seen. I think that's what i didn't get. What the film sort of suggests right is. There's a lot of bad stuff in. If you go back to the beginning of facebook or beginning ish and i testified in front of the house in noted this from the very beginning the service was if i put him pejorative term. It was preying upon human weakness. It just started in the social conference so prayed on our vulnerability to comparison. It prayed our vulnerability to popularity. It preyed on our vulnerability to vanity. It preyed on vulnerability to voyeurism. Did that right. And then how. I sort of see the arc. Is that over time as the service require more and more attention from each and every one of us it moved on to more incendiary Topics not that. It abandoned those other ones but it it added to the mix right. It's toolkit expanded to misinformation to a conspiracy theories To you know hate speech up these things all so prey on human weakness right. They go into the part of our brain that that just gets a our instincts in in you noted this earlier right. It's when i'm angry and upset. There's an addictive poll. That's associated with that in that in. That sucks me into the service. And so i think through through the life of these services. There's there's been an arc of attention extraction and i'd say in the early days. That attention extraction probably led to on the margin maybe even more on the margin impact on our mental health and now we know from the data that absolutely impacts our mental health in a negative way particularly teenagers. But now because we moved into these new categories that have societal ramifications the services now are now wreaking havoc on our society in terms of disrupting our democracy and i think really disrupting in twisting. What truth is roger. Mcnamee in the film. I think does a nice job of saying we don't have. We no longer have shared version of truth shared version of truth right now in this country on. Who's won the election. Yeah let's be clear. That really what i get on my facebook feed if i did have facebook fee that i paid attention to verses. What any any other person has is different right. Every individual has a different feet. Okay and your feed gets adjusted to what you're paying attention to. Yes and the algorithms are incredibly incredibly sophisticated at figuring that out and it's based on more data than anybody's ever collected about anything before the whole purpose of it is to keep you on the platform that's the whole purpose right. yes and that's monetize by advertising. Yes so keeping you on as long as possible so jaren. I'm sorry what's jared's last. Name linear yes jaron. Lanier in peace is basically proselytizing that this roy humanity that people are losing their minds and that This is just a human crisis. That's going in one direction. Do you think he has something there i do. I said in the film. I'm concerned about civil war in this country or in elsewhere because we've seen it elsewhere actually write anywhere the interesting thing about this business model. That is so is that in the end. The i is that it's not just about taking out in in making him. Frustrated and angry was actually really good. Business is if i'm on the right. Tim's on the right house on the left. What's really good business the. Ai has figured out. No person said hey. Go do this. This is going to work. Well it figured it out on. Its own if i can walk out all more to the left tomorrow in tim. More to the right and i can do that in an imperceptible. Way each and every day. Wow at the end of the year. They are each other in After that maybe maybe wanna go to protest and That has both sides. So there's there's a potential for violence in class and facebook. Did this during the sixteen election would send people on the left to protest in people with the right to protest in the same place. Now the russians did that right. The russians use facebook to do that. I think facebook did that. But but i think it's the idea though but face was used as a platform to do that was done by the russian group at a at saint petersburg where they would have a rally or against hillary and rally for hillary at the same place and just to get things going even without them meddling. The same thing does and could happen right. Why think this time. I think in this election in two thousand and twenty that our intelligence services and everybody was so onto the russians. They said well. You know what the american people by now can do it to themselves so there are there like yeah we. We planted the seed and sixteen and now g. We don't need to do a damn thing. And and actually some of the things that the russians put out this time generated here like they just went. Oh that's a really good one. Let's amplify that. Wow yeah we got the. We got nut cases in the united states. Doing this four us. They're doing it better than we can. Do right yeah. Congratulations stem giving you shit. By the end of this. You'll look fine came. We're going to be right back with tim. Kendall after these words welcome back were We're talking to and by we're talking. I'm talking to tim. Kendall jozy Former head of monetization at facebook and he is one of the silicon valley. Folks that are in this This really interesting. Really great film Social dilemma that over forty million folks have watched on netflix flicks. How many kids you got to two kids and you don't let them on facebook right. Well they're foreign sex so they're they're not they're not on facebook. See now. your kids aren't cooped up in an apartment with a single mom. You're making the exact right point. Oh i like that but repeat that. Repeat that for second. Well i just. I just think look. My kids are not first of all. I'm i'm married. My wife is is is is what she's working to. But but we can in the midst of this of this quarantine we can tag team a little bit and we're not cooped up in a in apartment. Where in a suburb with yard. And we have internet connectivity. That's reliable way you worked at facebook for how long i worked there for for five years and then i was at pinterest. Six years fiber said. Don't you have another place got another place where you can go and the kids can run around right. We have a yard here. I didn't answer my question. Have another place in like a beautiful spa or we. We have like a few a few hours north of here. Okay yeah yeah so you can get away during this terrible time. Which which by the way underscores your point even more right. It's it's like the single mom or dad in an apartment in an urban area doesn't have first of all has a fulltime job. Maybe they're working two jobs and they just don't they don't have the same degrees of freedom about making choices on behalf of their kids while being on a lot of dimensions and part of it is being online keeps you occupied and For single mom with kids for anybody with kids. That's very tempting very tempting. Let them have screen time. And that's a big issue among parents. My kids generation which is how much screen time do we allow them. What kind of screen. Time what. Okay tell me what you think how we can get out of this horrible dilemma. Will i think that big socials business model is broken. And i think that we basically just established that and i think films That so if. I had a magic wand. What i think needs to happen is i think there needs to be a tremendous effort on the part of know three constituents really the leaders of these companies governments and then consumers and ideally these groups. The leaders of each of these groups would come together. Put the facts on the table. Establish shared truth in. I think that shared truth. Is that the business. Model is corrupting our mental health in its corrosive to our society and by the way all three of these constituents have have been complicit in this. The consumers have been willing participants. Admittedly they may have not had all the facts out. You know in terms of how corrosive these things were but they were participants. They're probably the least guilty but they weren't thinking about the stuff that wasn't really their job to think about the effect of all of this. I don't think they just were going. Wow this is great and Kind of didn't understand the forces that were at play right today. There's there's enough information out there. That i think in part you know consumers continue to do things that you know may not be the best for them in the best for society. Yeah but where do they get their information. I was asking a question. I thought was almost ironically. Funny where do they get their information another. Okay it was but it had to be. I had identified. It was ironically funny. The whole problem is that the south. They're getting their information correct. So it it it. It little is vicious circle here there in terms of their responsibility consumers. Okay you know the fact that social the social dilemma. The film was viewed. It's one of the most popular documentaries. I think ever on netflix. In that is in part because of our earth mc a i in the network sovereign people like right they saw. And so guess what you know. Now people don't on their cable. You know i don. I still do that. I still turn on cable and just browse the guide. Must people just turn on netflix. And they don't even know exactly what they're gonna watch and pop you know. Social dilemma comes up in loan. Behold you know forty fifty million people have seen it so we were able to leverage these forces for good arguably wasn't like netflix. It was like netflix said algorithm. Do your work in the same way. The fate you know. Facebook doesn't say you know disrupt democracy in netflix's case. There are a little more contrite than than facebook about what they're actually doing you know they famously set earnings call. Maybe two years ago that someone asked him about competition. And you're thinking that they would comment on apple disney year. You know whoever else is competing streaming services in this we. Don't we really think about. Our competition is our consumers sleep in their relationships in other words. That's what competes with your time net flicks so they they would rather you sleep a little less and have fewer relation mean. This is where the one of the most helpful explanations of of how corrosive the business models are. Attention extraction is corrosive because it is at odds with the users best interests because if netflix gets their way or facebook gets their way. I sleep less. I don't look after my relationships. What if your relationships are based on discussing. What you watch on netflix. With your friends Boy i think we should spend the rest of our time trying to sort through that no any well. That's that's sort of what this the whole movie kind of describes as that the algorithm this guy basically does not have the health of the american people. The mental health emotional health and physical american people at it has almost the opposite interest. So so again. What what do we do. What do we do. How do we fix that again. You got us into this. Mess is what i'm saying. He did monetization for facebook. This a is the is what you do to monetize the damn thing. That's the most effective way to congratulations. Thank you congratulations. Now get us outta this. I think a couple of things need to happen. I think that the company leaders in government so sure starting to us but this is going to have to happen globally needed to get together and co create a path out of this in. It's not fundamentally different. Although i'm i'm advocating that be more collaborative than what happened with big auto or energy. But we have unforced taking too long but we have started to craft a path to get us out of fossil fuel reliance in putschist to clean energy. Yes to hopefully slow down or prevent that catastrophe. Correct okay so now. This can catch similar tasks trophy on the horizon. And i think what we need to do sort of acknowledge that so we got to get around the table understand. Hey we're headed towards we're headed off a cliff and in order for us to avoid that we actually need to find the clean energy equivalent business model for big social your mr business model. So tell me what the business model for that is. That's what you said. You gotta find a business model to get out of this. What is that well. I think it's i think it's a couple things. Let's let's just take for the moment. An example which is they could charge users right charge users for the service. Give him a charge. A monthly fee. Let's take example. That would probably mean that the business would take a while for facebook to build up equivalent amount revenue subscription. You know zuckerberg and have to take might take a little bit of a trim. At that point how much i mean. What is he this zero point which goes like maybe just reached enough money. People say that. I don't think that's what's motivating mark. Okay and what is. I actually think that in his heart of hearts mark wants to many original mission of the company was to make the world more opening connected in. How's that going not well okay and this mark have any understanding of that. He's smart he's smart and i think he's troubled by that and i think he is trying to in a in a first principles type way figure out without making some sort of near term course correction. That's the creates more problems than we already have today. He's trying to figure out a way out. I don't think there's sufficient safety. And i think he's negligent for that. But i will say having worked with him closely now. I haven't spoken to him for years but having worked with him. Close to a do not think he has mallon ten. Do not think this is about more money for mark. Okay well that. I i could. I can buy both those. I can think that there is a way to fool yourself. Agree and i think there you go. This is the kool aid that i think. A lot of these companies leaders drink. I do think they've deluded themselves through confirmation bias that their platforms are doing more good than harm. And i think that the film makes pretty clear that the balances has pretty starkly shifted towards harm. Could they think to themselves. You know what. Maybe i could shift it toward even more good and less harm. Yeah i think. That's i think that's absolutely right. You think you think he'd be open to that absolutely. And why haven't we heard anything from him in that regard so i mean i look i i. Don't i think we have heard from him. I just think it's been slower than than acceptable. It's fascinating just on this point album. The wall street journal this morning is wrapped in an ad from facebook. There literally is like a piece of paper. That's wrapped around the print wall street journal in its facebook at in. It says we support updated. Internet regulations We continue to take critical steps to improve and platforms da da. We think that there should be regulations that make us accountable on issues including combating election interference protecting people's privacy data enabling safe and easy data portability between platforms. The that doesn't seem to even really address. The central thesis of social dilemma doesn't know it doesn't i mean i think that i think ultimately we need to change the business model. I think the way. We've gotta do that as we've got to create. I don't think you can't shut these businesses down. I guess you could. You create a lot of economic destruction that would be. I think problematic in different ways so so i think the trick is how do you get these businesses off of the fossil fuel right off of advertising in onto the equivalent of clean energy. And i think you gotta come up with. We'll hear all of our here. All these examples of clean energy models subscription possibly advertising with lots of constraints and controls around with it. And here's the path this is gonna take five years. This is gonna take ten years in governments. We're gonna come up with incentives probably tax incentives to allow this to happen in a orderly way. The doesn't destroy ton of economic value and penalties. If it doesn't happen fast enough. I i'm trying to wrap my head around what you just said. It's what is happening. Unfortunately too slowly with energy. It's it's not the easiest analogy for me to to grasp. And i i apologize. I listen you develop the the business model this and now you're trying to unravel it and so you're maybe at a higher plane. I don't think it's your your acumen tax so auto. Automobiles have been relying on fossil fuels and now there is a half whereby those automobiles need to be zero emissions by certain point we kind of developed technology to do that which is electric cars that are batteries are ultimately powered by solar and wind so that's-that's at model that's a little more comprehensible and concrete than The kind of thing was trying to understand. I'm saying alex the same thing with big social. I understand the analogy understand. I sense analogous. Let's fix this like that was fixed. But i don't understand I understand how you get to zero carbon cars or nearly zero. I don't understand how you get to. Let's just take subscription. let's just take the users paint. Okay well that is because obviously when You know the you're not their customer. You're the product that's the whole thing when you don't pay so that does turn things around. That's that's that's a framework that i can understand okay. So why don't we start from there. What does that mean them. That means that if you wanna use facebook you gotta pay ten dollars a month for it and that would make certain people unhappy like everyone uses. Facebook yeah i think maybe that's right. I mean i think it's but i think they've seen this film unless it team the film and then they might be happy to because they're so scared about the fact that big socials incentives are so misaligned with there's in see the downstream ramifications. I mean this is. This is in part in. This is what we hoped the film would be. We hoped it would be inconvenient. Truth moment for big social. In the same way that inconvenient truth i think changed hearts and minds about the environment and about climate change so we could actually require this to be taught in schools. Yes and in fact. The filmmakers credit jeff orlowski. He is creating frameworks and programs whereby this film will be screened. It is interesting that we have so little civics education. We have so that has been we. We've just had so many problems in in our educational system in terms of teaching people about democracy in about being citizens and and also about personal finance. And there's office attrition and we've got a lot of a lot of stuff to fix. And i think biden will be able to do it. Once he gets access to the information during the transition. So yeah okay so You're basically saying change the business model so you have to be a subscriber and you have to pay something that's one i think that's one. Maybe the best option you know. Perhaps and is there. Are there constitutional problems with that. There's got to be all kinds of How long will that be court. Why would there be constitutional problems with with charging subscribers. Well because let's say facebook doesn't want to do it. I think there's gotta be happening. That happens and i think this film is the very very beginning of that. Which is you know. The the leaders of these companies acknowledging bet of business model compared with the ai. Leads us to a very bad place. So you're saying dr. Berg seized the film zuckerberg sees the film goes. You know when you're right. You're right okay. we're gonna go to a subscription model that. I don't necessarily see that i. I don't know another path. I know what i'm saying. The constitutional issues are or the. Maybe there are constitutional legal. I don't know what the difference ultimately would be. It'd be this would be fought. yes i would think. Then there is a the ultimately supreme court would decide if it were if it was determined. These were constitutional issues. Which is what the platform you know. What's the content provider. What is the commercial issues regarding who can do. What right. those are the constitutional issues. And i think if we're going to go down that path more adversarial path which is which is fine and that may be where we end up. And i think we're going to have to talk about section two thirty which is which we alluded to at the beginning of this which is just this notion that al franken is responsible for the content on his show. And there's some liability around legal liability. There's none because of section two thirty four facebook the platforms and that probably needs to change. Because they're probably. There needs to be penalties in order for them to change behavior that i testified on section to the house last month. You testified on want you explain to the audience. Exactly what section to thirty is and what the issues are there. What the change that they believe. is needed. And what you believe. How's that so Sexually thirty was created twenty four years ago and it was created with the intent during the clinton administration with the intent of allowing platforms really these internet bulletin boards to scale and grow without being accountable for the content that was ana in having any sort of liability in the same way that a traditional media company out liability and that's a different thing being platform and the content provider cracks in it worked as intended. We've now big socials. Basically been spawned out of section two thirty in its in its dominance at its scale. There appears to be bipartisan agreement. That without amending to thirty big social continues to run amok in. There's no accountability for anything on the platform. They don't have to do anything about hate speech they don't have to do anything about content that incites violence. They don't have to anything about things. That are absolutely disruptive to to democracy in their from my testimony that hearing there appeared to actually be general agreement that something needs to happen in section two-thirty needs to be amended dramatically In a way that big social actually starts to bear some of the load responsibility that traditional content provider. We didn't get into specifics. During the hearing. I think basically you need to do the same thing with section two thirty that the government did with privacy. Which is you just. You need really onerous penalties and there needs to be accountability in liability associated with with with content on the platform. that creates arps Really even hard to change some sections of theory stuff for example online just advertising a prostitution advertising underage women or girls for prostitution. I mean there's a big fight to try to get some control of that. You know there was a big fight with privacy in the ftc. Basically threatened for years that they were gonna go after facebook for leaking data losing data users not having control and then finally in two thousand nineteen said. Look you're going to pay a five billion dollars. Fine and here the penalties this is serious they had signed a consent decree right correct and the consent decree they violated it right. Yes so and couldn't the ftc of just said okay we'd like One hundred billion dollars locker in that five billion was too low although they got their act together and privacy in privacy issues since they pay that fine. It really is interesting. You know. I i did radio right so that's broadcast right. This is what. I was doing. Air america and at the time we were live. And i'm like a lot of americans like some american. I'm not proud of this. But i'll use the f. Word every once in a while something like that right. I could have gotten find a million dollars if i'd done that on. Live radio and i didn't. Maybe that was why it didn't but you could lie. All you want it you can just lie like y sean hannity. Nothing but lie as an air america. I didn't lie. We knowingly ever say dispense information. It wasn't true this guy that's all he did. That's all he did. But i was the one that he get fined for. Using one of george carlin's seven words and i thought like why why couldn't they. Fcc just say oh if you lie but if someone flags it and says okay sean. Hannity said this specific lie fcc telling me can't say this specific lie again or gets fine. What's wrong with that. Why can't you do that. Just seems like we're all fucked up in terms of how we regulate communications in this country. There i've said okay So you're saying i think section two-thirty is what we're talking about then Yeah you remember. When i earlier in this discussion i said constitutional issues. Yes and you kind of said. Well why i actually kind of think that if this were done right and we're done in effective way there would be. I just see the nine members supreme court. It often getting before them. I think that's probably right. Although i don't know i don't know i don't know how you craft insert we out of my depth in terms of the specifics. But i certainly can speak to the harms because of seeing them like you know like a lot of people as the film explains the harms are pretty clear but you know the solution is tricky and and i think again. The fact that you're out of your death is not. Your problem is my problem. I asked you to solve all this. Yes yes. It's a massive tricky. Boil boy this just. I got more questions now than when i started. Its heady i know. Most most of the time. I like to have guests on the by the end of the podcast. I don't we've solved it. Yeah well i think this is. This is a little bit of the dilemma of the film. The film was called social dilemma. If you read the reviews of this film the consensus criticism is like what's the solution. Thanks for laying out the problem which it does a great job of him in. I think that the filmmaker would say well look we had to get to share truths. That was my job. That was my objective. Yeah yeah no no no the film. The film is a great service. It's it's a huge jumping off point for addressing this. But i don't know exactly what the answer to this one is an but we will continue to explore it and thank you for being with us and thank you for doing during the phil and sorry. You did what you did in your your job. We what we didn't cover ousted. I now have a company. That's focused on building solutions. That help people with this. I've been working on it. We'll tell us about that. For god's sakes let's let's end up. Let's end on something future looking optimistic. So the company that i run is called moment and we build a series of of apps. Ironically that help people really understand how they use their phones and give them ways to use it more deliberately because that is a problem as shown in the movie that people just just react react react react the algorithms point to give them triggers to do things they don't even really realize they're doing de addictive stuff so moment is is an app. Yes it helps you go like i see. Yeah i'm using my time poorly yup and they're we've had eight million people use the app so quite a few people and it really the people who stay engaged with it. Basically tell us that you know when they reduce the amount of time they spend on their phone. Most people spend four or five hours a day with moment. They're able to reduce that to two or three hours a day and when people do that they are more present They better relationships than they feel. Happier okay. Well there you go now. Thanks so much for having me appreciated well. I hope you enjoyed listening. Beautiful music is by leo. Cocky the great leo cocky. I wanna thank peter. Burn for producing this podcast. We'll talk again.

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149 - w/ Jon Ronson "Porn Stars, Psychopaths, Cancel Culture"

The Fifth Column

1:04:29 hr | 1 year ago

149 - w/ Jon Ronson "Porn Stars, Psychopaths, Cancel Culture"

"Warning this program typically features respectful nuance commentary strong language skier pop culture references in serious allegations no new method of Attack Ladies and Gentlemen Boys and Girls Comrex Burroughs v calmness. It's Michael winner voiceless tonight's national courts. Is that what I think <hes> yes it again because the reaction been strong and I really really appreciate all the emails <hes> Andrew Messages and all that stuff on instagram on twitter the rest of it but this is another special dispatch and we're trying to squeeze more of these in this weird kind of summer schedule and it's tough to get Matt Welsh and Camille Foster and myself in the same room <hes> so today as you saw when you downloaded this episode third we had a really really good one and if anybody if you guys out there are paying attention to journalism to radio to film film to podcast. You definitely know Jon Ronson. He's our guest. Today is a Welsh journalist who lives here in New York City and you know he's written books that I'm sure you know psychopath tasks which was huge <hes> the men who stare at goats which became a George Clooney movie and you know recently recently to terrific. Oh I should say also so you've been publicly shamed which is how I know John Because the first couple of chapters of that book involve me well you know precipitating published. I didn't actually publicly shame anyone so that's how I met John and we've become friends and I admire oh him greatly and his staff has been because of its has the greater and most recently he's done to podcasts which I think are both available widely now on on spotify and things like that these two behind a paywall but both are about the porn industry and both are terrific. The first one is called the butterfly effects and the second one he he just released called the last days of August just released probably six months ago about the death of a porn star suicide of a porn star name August Ames and John does a pretty in depth investigation into that <hes> because the initial assumption was that she was publicly shamed and ended up taking her life off as a result so we had an amazing we do preambles sort of after we record them so I can address anything that comes up but there's nothing really needs to address beyond the fact. I got forty five minutes to sleep last night. Why is sending Your Business? You don't need to know that but I didn't get much sweep last night and so I came in here a little shaky. John didn't have a ton of time and said to me after that he would have stayed longer longer because we have these conversations but we did have a pretty pretty indepth conversation which we'd spend more time in the porn stuff because you know we had other great conversations about Oh cancelled culture twitter mobs Alex Jones. It's a pretty good star studded podcast mentions of stars. They don't come on the the podcast so it. I'm happy with it because I thought it was a really fun interview and I think that you'll be happy with it too. If you're not happy with it I don't care. Don't tell me because my feelings and that'll be shamming me. If you do like it. Send me message so now listen to me Michael Moynihan speaking to Jon Ronson Jon Ronson. Thank you Mike for Joining. I've wanted to do this for some time. I don't think we've ever actually talked. Publicly publicly together about there was one time we were both guests on the podcast I'm across Katainen and she mandy Mandy Statler Yeah and until we talked briefly as we were at the same time not yeah yeah but I live sort of intersected over the years in you know unusual way yeah. You emailed me well. Let's get back to. I want to start with your background. You have a very he's odd mancunian accent despite being from Cardiff yes your English yet. We're your manque. When I'm Welsh I left Cardiff when I was about seventeen and moved to eighteen and moved to London for few years and then moved to Manchester and for some reason I guess is to do with some sort of psychology? I adopted the Manchester axe to survive in mantis either survival. Maybe even Falfield. Maybe it was actually alongside. which is the next village? Probably villages have sure would I was I was in Falfield and burn age right <hes> which I think we're the gallaghers are from Bernard too they were. I don't know making move there to be a musician. Yes when I was living in London I met Matt these two bands. I'm frank side bottom who never took off and I'm an Indie band called the man from del Monte and they both expressed interest in the <hes> <hes> Muffin demonte to manage them managing them. If You keep you behind the curtain I'm with Fred Seinfeld I was I was just keyboard player in his agent booking agent and ultimately somebody who wrote a film about him. Yes I co wrote the film frank with destroy the sort of fairy tale version of drags out but I think it's still available on Netflix. Is that correct take it off Oh i. I hope it's still yeah. I don't know I haven't checked so so that road. It's kind of a weird winding road from being the Keyboard Franks I bought him. You become a journalist now. Yes what it was quite simple. Actually I was I was clearly not cut out for the music industry. The man for Del Monte were <hes> should have made it and I think the only reason why they didn't was because I was their manager English shut name to and also they they they were kind of slightly out of time. They were perceived to be middle class at a time when working class bands were were popular. Let's turn roses and yeah <hes> terrible manager. I was kind of okay agent but then again you just fold up veneer that skillful when you our lower levels you save that right after you confess to being terrible at it by the way so perhaps it's not just calling up the venue. Is this a little more to it than that well yeah and I'm as a keyboard player. I could just play Jay which happened to be the three notes that you needed to know how to play to be infanticide buttons but a dish Maine that I couldn't other bands steph out you I kind of break out. Book is them which is about twelve years later <hes> twelve years later period where you're just sort of working for the Guardian and right place in making some TV documentary T._v.. Stuff documentary co Tottenham Ayatollah which was about my you're hanging out with open back read. Yes must've militant Islamists and you are Jewish. Yes howdy outed me out to be a to G. We had training camp. Oh really a scout hut nick outlook airports and Said told the trade as he said look at me with the infidel John who is a junior would really yes and I said I said surely it's better to do than an atheist and I know the other thing about that story that I am an atheist. I told her what fucker decided to to sit proudly since despite Jewish life and I think they probably think of Judaism Moore's a racial thing <hes> than there is a religious beliefs but yet and he whatever what became of him Oh he's now in solitary confinement and in Beirut for the rest of his life he he what happened was in about two thousand five two thousand six six. There was some Islamist terrorist attacks in prison then he went to visit his mother in Lebanon and had been a lot about publicity about him inspiring terrorism when he was out of the country he was banned from returning and so he was like stuck in Beirut and then he got arrested and he's been in jail for decades with trial my own without that. I don't know his charge was the same charge that people were doing in Brisbane which was inspiring centers. What is it about? I mean we get to this but I mean what is it about your precious about crazy people right. He became rather notorious and famous James Your first book you are wandering around the woods with a kind of not yet bloated but very crazy public access has host from Austin Texas who is now we know as Alex Jones yes and this is what year this was ninety. I'd say ninety nine ninety ninety nine yeah and what was his I mean how did you get him. How is he on your radar at that time? Well okay so I had to internet presence at the time. Oh Yeah who's shortwave people thought he was funny at the time. 'cause I mean he's in you know linked to Richard Linklater Movies Yeah Yeah Waking Life Life another all scanner darkly. He was definitely Austin famous because I remember we went into to get a Tuxedo. He was going to some big fancy event and in the in the Tuxedo stored the guy said you know Scottish quite sheepishly said like I listen to you every night Alex but he wasn't like I could tell the guy in the store wasn't like a conspiracy theorist. He was somebody who listen to Alex like entertainment yeah. What was he at that point when you met him? was He as crazy as his today he he was less well. He was definitely as charismatic and is clearly going. Places says this is why like I'd love to say that I was a soothsayer but he was he was obviously going places. The first time I met him he just it was at Waco is up. David Crushes Place at Waco and Alex Hood rebuilt it with listener donations and so we went I went and Randy Weaver for you know who've assure them ruby rich mean Randy Weaver drove to Waco also by the way Nancy yes and you're still Jewish at this point yes so definitely definitely a bit softer. There is after they did go to a couple of those training camps and like <hes>. What was it Arianna nation old guy that ran that Bush the Turner Diaries Yeah Yeah but yeah so I I mean there are still on the Nazi spectrum? Definitely I've been say you should probably avoid people that are in any way associated with nonsense N._F._l.. I always felt pretty safe around. Weavers Randy's mainly because these daughter rate show was just like a door. She's delightful she. She was like seventy befriends within London like art student who happen to be heavily armed because she came from about family but you keep in touch with what happens like. What am I regrets you know I've tried to? I've tried to get back in touch. Rachel Weaver often happens with the Phelps family and these things that people you know there is those Neo Nazi. Let's see a blonde twins Prussian blue the Panzer Division whatever call and they've since become sort of lefty hippy hippy types of Phelps Phelps and yeah I mean a lot of these people and I wonder if the weavers US I've I've often wondered about it was it was one of my happiest this journalistic experiences doing that show 'cause they were in Li- There in Montana and Idaho not never been the Pacific northwest and I loved it and we just got on like a like. A House got on really well uh-huh yeah. What would the doors within H._R.? Randy was crazed yeah but I guess the question is and I I suffer from this problem a little bit you know as a journalist I tend to fall in love with everybody I tend to I mean it's your job to be able to relate to everyone October chameleon into situations which I see journalists I can't do that and it's you know it's like you're not getting the things they shouldn't think that you love them. I told the story I think once and this is just podcast when I was with somebody and I hope you didn't listening because it was a <hes> a producer we went into bar. God it was like basically in somebody's house and I ordered like a high highlight for something and he was <hes> I heard him at the the bar talking to the moon about trying to explain what was this is not how you do it. You didn't ask for an IVA and the woman was like. I don't know what that what I know what an e._p._a.. fucking budweiser just come on fit in but I find often that I ended up liking these people despite the fact that I find their views a porn yeah yeah me too I mean I liked richler. At the beginning. I liked Alex so I should explain just to finish close to many fascinating characters hairdresser. Yeah we went to wake. I think it was my idea because obviously in so many people's minds the burning of David Crushes Church of the shootings weavers are so kind connected randy just happened to mention to me that he'd never been to to to Waco so I say go trip so we weren't we we weren't road trip to to David crushes place and they were just finishing off rebuilding. The church folk rights was there Oh wow perennial all presidential candidates legendary militia yeah I know is this young guy. Twenty six zero two looks forty six. I'm I I know it's him. 'cause randy weaver was like like a star-struck child is like Oh my God this Alex Jones in one thousand nine hundred yeah because in militia and sort of white separatist circles he was already Eh Star but on an Austin sick too but other than that completely unknown so randy was like Oh my God I listened to you. I'm such a fan and so I started talking to Alex accent. Straightaway Alex was <hes> you know clearly very good at what he does and you say that you know back when you were friends with him. I mean and it's only only recently that because I I remember when I was in his studio in Austin shooting there and I think we're texting yes and I it was really funny and I hope you don't mind me saying this and if you can kind of that but I remember us saying like you know he's mad at me for this kindle kindle single or whatever it was called at the time that you did and you were explaining yourself to me to pass onto him and I was like he's even moderate it'd be now you went full bore. I did it this American Life Story About him which I think he hates and that was about his high school yeah yeah which just you know kind of some of the the key to what he became. What did you like your time with him? You enter Bohemian Grove with him and I should. It's hard for people to understand you weren't really around in the ninety. S A coma Baccari to there was like this was before they done anything particularly bad and there were warnings. I In <hes> in which Lynch movie You'd see in Houston confused you know he didn't he wasn't at that point hounding the parents of children or or being Islamophobic Surpa Colli like that stuff came later in the politics at the time. Were not really they was he political times more just like bizarre conspiracies it it was sort of. I suppose the politics which I guess is a kind of libertarian anti-globalists sort of thing but it was kind of it all felt so pretty vague they can siphon who would have figured that that would end up in the white cheese from from hanging out in the woods. I've some barrel chested lunatic. I couldn't believe it I was I was at the gym twenty years later and I just happened to put my headphones just as somebody said to trump like you okay back on Q. and A. at a campaign rally like you're going back on the Alex Jones Show Alex Jones Guy Yeah I I was I was stunned. It is stunning and when I was with him he was two thousand seventeen maybe sixteen and he was talking about you can never tell with. Jones is that he was saying you know what I want to talk to the President Michael I tell you it's and it's like you talk to them. Do you actually have 'cause he overstates his influence in so many anyway as Roger Stone does the same thing and I mean the question that everybody asked me and I'm sure everybody's asked you when I came back was. Is it an act right. I'm happy happiness acoustic obsessed with this yeah. I'M GONNA ask that question a million times and I've changed my answer used to say I think I like. It's not an act act but I think there's assertive element of exaggeration to and the reason why I always thought that was because we're human grove soon after we left Baheen Grove Alex started announcing that he had overheard these two old men Bahamian Grove whisper to each other like you said he was walking along one of the one of bylanes opinion grove already saw these two men episode of the Simpsons any overheard one side to the other yeah. We're going to get that dialect it which is exactly exactly what Alex Jones would want but he would be absolutely right and it's funny because I was there. The day that the the Russia's ambassador to Turkey was murdered remember that in the art gallery and and he went on the air and he was talking about how NATO NATO is responsible for it and Blah Blah Blah and the globalist and so we had to sit down interview and it's it's it's foolish to debate a conspiracy theorist because they just make take things up right. I mean there's no way of debate like sort of rebutting these things and at this point it was like I said Alex.. This has happened six hours ago my sources on in this and I was like you don't have sources in fucking Turkey. It's not going to tell you the man from NATO. It's like this is not a real. I mean you can't debate yeah yeah exactly exactly but in that moment later on I gotTa Cross with Alex I was on the phone and I said to monarchs. You know it's really irresponsible few few to to be like making up lies about things that we didn't see it but he mean grove and he said what what what are you talking about and. I said like you know you saying that you ever heard to Ottoman going. I'm going to get him elected. I said you either and I swear to God. I mean it's twenty years ago and memories play tricks on people but my strong memory at that moment Alex said today. I'm we know that I didn't overhear them. Say That but I'm not gonNA tell my listeners that yeah you know which which obviously was an admission admission. So when did it change for you and you realize Oh. He actually believes much later that was like my evidence for probably twenty years or eighteen years. Yes whenever anybody asked I said the I think he's faking it because I would tell that story but much later I got this call so I'm at the Republican convention in Twenty Sixteen. Yeah and Alec like there's a guy who's working for Alex as a cameraman and he's he's spending quite a lot of time with me like hiking. I just noticed these like standing next to me. There was little mini riot and me and Josh will huddle together and vaguely thank you. This is kind of weird. Alex Jones is come around is like bodied spend more time with me than with Alex.. I didn't quite get it and he he started texting may like if you stand at this corner this time you'll see Alex Jones and Roger Stern Alex's meeting Roger Stone there have at this time so I think this is really nice and then after the convention was over School Josh again he started texting me and saying when you know I've I'm very conflicted. I've worked Alex fears and I'm conflicted and do you want to meet some time so it was he wanted to be like Alex Jones whistle blower so so we met in a hotel in DC and and it became clear he didn't have anything specific to whistle blow. He just wanted to vent his frustrations ends about about his biggest frustration. was that like he'd come to realize that. Pepsi doesn't use aborted human tissue flavored streams so trump rallies like go up to people at least they look. I want to know that a lot of videos on true you. You're saying that yeah. He was saying this to light people trump rallies and he said to me that people would say about okay what you say. I know it's true yeah and he would say but I'm the one making the videos that are wrong. It doesn't matter it doesn't matter yeah so <hes> so then Josh said to me that he hit the secret from Alex's childhood <hes> which is what I ended up making the second show about but another thing that he said to me I said to it's fake right lie and I told him that story about the telephone call twenty years earlier and he looked really baffled and said look. I spent every day with Alex.. It's it's not fake it the way the Alex is on on cameras exactly the way that he is in his office. Yeah I thought when the cameras went off the volume went down maybe from attend to eight and it becomes quite godless and yeah and you know like I was saying before you know he was fun. He was like Meghan Kelly does interview in. Was You know brutalized for you no no even talking to him putting him on the air and I was offended that nobody brutalized me but yeah I think it's her Fox News background. They hate her yeah. I have plus. She's she's lied mainstream evening yes yeah and she was getting seventy million dollars for from N._B._C. Z. or something but yeah and I ask those questions to and he kind of I have to go look at the tape he walked back the school shooting stuff uh newtown stuff and you could tell that he was and I was pushing him and he got up and said he had to go to the bathroom was clue it he didn't he just went to the room and he was because I was pushing. Calm Down Yeah Yeah Yeah. I mean he's when it's on specific things he I mean the things that he says and I left. I actually made them leave it on the PS because it was just a breath from him and I interrupt him and he's like you know says he's not going to Hillary. Clinton and he's like these people doing this. I don't know the Satan. Satan Satan is talking about and it's so natural to him that is just flavors the conversation and when you stop him and ask him. He's almost baffled by it. You don't you you don't know that this and I'm like no. I don't live in your world at and it's a very strange thing but you know so. You've done obviously Alex Jones. You got got you went from there and again. This is not sort of linear time wise psychopaths and minister goats and other books. Let's get to the one on this sort of still relevant today and the one that one that starts with with you with me. I am in that book. The book is called <hes> so you've been publicly shamed. Tell the genesis of that because again you were before anyone else in this and it was just like people are online and then you saw sort of a trend in this something sinister about it yeah. You know I think like I don't buy any of this in the book because it so like solid cystic but honestly I think the real genesis was that I just just moved to New York from London on moving to a new city. Got was quite a sort of nonplus in for me. I was very happy in London. Somebody's nose now living in New York. I figured out that weather from decided to and so my so I lost I kinda lost my confidence and for for the first year of living in New York and this is why when police in Kosovo subsystem explanation but I'd see people getting publicly shamed on twitter and because I felt like I was like flailing around in my own life having moved to this new city and not knowing what I was doing I found myself empathizing more with the recipients of the shaming a little bit then the I would have done when I was living in London in front of confidence in that despite their crime real or or <hes> well for me. It's a similar thing like I fall in love. Everyone that horrible views is an sympathizing with people the ones that even I have you've taken down and and of course I mean we talked about this. Well we felt bad. Legitimately felt bad about that. First I interview I gave after that because I told you when he was calling me and calling me and calling and calling me nonstop and he finally picked up because I told them and I think he put this number. I said this is bordering on harassment and he said to me. The only question is are you going to talk to the media in. I'm such a dope. I was like I I don't. I mean what I wrote is what I wrote. I don't think anyone's GonNa WanNa talk about this and then two weeks later. I think that's the lesson of your other two but the first one I did was at the New York observer the Guy Right and I it was probably two hours later and it was I didn't I didn't even know his recording and it was just like a transcript of me talking about how bad what I felt about the whole yeah and it's kind of I mean the way I think that's why content to do because of the neoconservative pace because I realized it was sort of forming but I to realize I was going to buy a book about public shaming and I wanted to start it with a big setpiece and I thought the but I wasn't like judgment in later stories like with justine eighteen psycho. I felt that I was defending her because I felt she'd been unfairly treated. She was the tweet woman yeah but with you and into in for the listeners who don't remember this choose the one who's a nobody from in like H._r.. Or something yeah certainty to it a fall and she's <hes> who's going to start arrogance that go into Africa hope. I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white which obviously is a terrible combination of words but it doesn't take long to figure out what you're saying yeah. She's she's doing like a bit like Randy. Newman bitter talk yeah making fun of herself yeah like we're I.. I mean it's a it's a sort of joke about her privilege exactly and yeah everyone that night was like you know we need to destroy this monster and particularly <hes> crazy example because by the time she landed in South Africa the whole the whole thing unfolded while she was asleep on a plane and the Hashtag was <hes> has justin landed yet. Somebody had figured out what flight she was linked to a flat tracker websites. Everybody could watch the fly a nobody ever miss thinking. This is hilarious. I think it that was the first great shaming so I think a lot of people thought you remember sort of like contemporaneous was happening. Oh Yeah Yeah I think it was my first thought as it as it. US have tweet. I popped up on my twitter. Feed was oh somebody's Fox and then but ten seconds later twenty seconds later. I was like this is all fucked up. 'cause it's clear it's clear that the joke she was trying to make him and she didn't tell the joke well but on contextual really it was troublesome kind of obvious what she was trying to do that and everyone's like as far as I could tell all bunch people wilfully misunderstanding it because they just enjoyed the drama. They enjoyed shopping ideology shelters even though she didn't want it I mean these people in the book who deserve it and people who don't mm Sako had intended that joke as people wanted it to be yeah. Oh do you think that I wouldn't look if she was a a kind of enthusiastic racist. Yeah I wouldn't but what if she was just somebody who was not enthused as racist sort sort of casually unaware of her racial bias he's or something is was the punishment commensurate with the crime if it because has the punishments this is the thing that's interesting to me is that they're so harsh. I mean even reading. Jane Mares piece on Al Franken. Al Franken is of course a big public figure. You know this is a eight women that accused thing. No one's accused him of sexual assault. Everyone's accused him to sort of being uncomfortable and awkward and of course John Maher starts the peace with him like shuffling around his apartment and his socks and the the the blinds are drawn and he's like despondent and depressed and they have we gone too far well I can. I can personally vouch for that because I see Al Franken Al Franken's. Kids live close to me so I've seen him two or three times. <hes> I've met him <hes>. I I interviewed him interviewed me for Air America when the minister came out at a have a slightly bad memory of that moment which I've never told the stove I'll Italian justice because it's sort of something Jane Mayer said because in the Jane Mayer Peace. They said he's got a reputation for something a bit. Broosk yes so I was other trade from D._C.. He to New York <hes> watching very drake. The Mike Leigh Film abortion is not the most miserable film you possibly it is. What should the film betrayed. Luckily more and more like leak despondent. I got off the China went straight to America and that's sort of joke. I said to Al Franken like I was sat down with. The Sun was just finishing. He was about to interview me and I said you know I just I said. I just watched out. Just watch drake on the train coming here and you know road and it's maybe it was a bad idea to that suppressing movie before doing. Just you know doing this comedic interview and he kind of well. What would you do that was. What would you do that and then finished him any. Why would you watch the film yeah. Why would I watch. Why would I watch it depressing film before during the comedic interview. I said it's like a little funny thing to essay and Al Franken I in a way I thought about it. Initially is that the Jane Mayer is not doing great job here because I mean he sounds like a complete astle and then I realized has it. Maybe that's the point is that he's not yet pervert. He's an asshole right and those are two different. Things yeah okay so that's how. I met him years later. I was listening to giant scientist. The Senate is his book Sanish really sad because if not if none of this happened he could be he could be in the race me absolutely and and he walked past me in on in Riverside Park. We gave each other big smiles and then a couple of weeks later the whole thing happened and then I've seen him about twice since then then on on both occasions. He just looks broken. Yeah and it's really sad I mean you know. This is why people keep shouting at him. You shouldn't have quit the Senate because because every time anybody sees Al Franken as far as I can tell you is to in my situation is that he looks like a broken man I i.. I'm not sure I always I always feel bad about. It's like I guess comics do their their routines every night and people here at twice but I always feel bad that maybe feel heard this before in the show. I don't remember upset but I was. About ten feet from Al Franken when he was told Oh yeah that's a picture of me walking and there's Al Franken getting up from the committee is described as PS and he he's he's walking up at the beginning of the committee meeting and he doesn't attend that's him walking out the end of his career. I was standing right there and Al Franken's there and the guy comes in whispers <unk> prison his ear and we were shooting a piece Senator Blumenthal. WHO's on the Judiciary Committee? We got there early Franken's the first person in there I mean others Al Franken Guy we're sitting there guy whispers in his ear and he gets up and walks out but twenty minutes later alert comes on the phone and says Al Franken's career is over you know does the punishment fit the crime. Was it <music>. I'm an because there's so much more has happened since he wrote this book <hes> and I think I remember you talking twitter. I'm doing an appendix or something or or a new forward or preference offers and what recent versions of this should I do yeah and I got like a million. I mean they're having every day yeah and and it's got a now. It's turned into what they call. Come so coach. Yes which I find the thing I find most offensive about that is I think I presume that. Most of the people who are who are canceling people were a young. I'm they don't understand how important workers they don't have both both in in terms of providing for for yourself in fear family but also your you know my my whole psychological. Wellbeing is is is linked to in my work. I mean it's your identity in Sofa bunch of fucking teenagers to decide that that person shouldn't have a lively on it is just chilling. It's chilling in it so you know you're doing this from ignorance you doing this because you haven't. You haven't lived long enough. I interviewed attributed Guy Pieces online the guy who the guy from the feminist t shirt company mail owner feminist t-shirt company WHO and this is the difference in time. This is the difference when you wrote the book and what happened now. He started this company and wrote a facebook post around the time he started at two thousand twelve thirteen or something like that and he he confessed to being a bit of a creep. Nothing like nothing violent or anything like that the worst I think was you know he put a woman's hand on his subpoenas while she was sleeping and she pulled away and that was according to him and this is why I'm starting this so you know now five years later six years later staff with a bunch of twenty one year olds twenty two year olds and he's he's very diligent about trans employees. Women of color is a very very serve you talked to him and he's like so steeped in the language and everything from that Universe and somebody found the post and in the past confessing to that was a badge of honor. It was like I have I have evolved as a person and then it's like Oh my you did this. We're going to destroy you and they went to him. They say you have to give us the company. It's our company now and he said no and then he fired them. So of course the headline is male owner of feminist t shirt company who confesses to sexual assault fires feminists and we're for him and when I talked to them and this was you know Henry Kissinger on the Iran Iraq war. It's too bad they both couldn't lose this. These people were ever it was awful in it and one of the women was saying I said. Can he ever come back do you. I think you should ever and she said no and I said never and she said no absolutely it should be the end of it. He's he's he's they call him a sexual assailant <hes> which is interesting language and so a little later it was a very interesting kind of a rough neighborhood in Philadelphia and I imagine a kid around here pulls a gun on somebody robs a store when you're seventeen seventeen eighteen nineteen goes to prison for five six ten years gets out and you know he's a young minority. Kids had a tough background the rest of it. Would you hire him yeah. Of course I would the guy who is the rubbing. Maybe he's a creep yeah. nope the guy who is potentially you know pull shot somebody but he pulled the gun. Whatever that's fine? It's very strange. Yeah that disciplines I noticed on twitter right from the beginning when you when we will watch making a merger sure we'll <hes> identified the contacted defense attorneys but give us the power of Justice and we purchased yeah absolutely and it's not how we see ourselves but it's what we they do now. Do you think that like so here's a question that you're not gonna like because I mean I would say that you're broadly broadly Amanda the left you've come from the left that sort of Guardian ad in fact if anything I failed lately since trump got elected I myself moving further and further to them. I think a lot of people I think that you know any I mean to get run screaming away from that stuff. I mean it's a lot of my friends. I mean I completely understand it to AH. This is something that is happening. I would say with more frequency on the left. I mean there are definitely conservative versions of this. There's conservative speech each policing cancelled culture in their own way sort of McCarthyism that grips these people they don't want certain people speak on campus et Cetera they want people canceled fired from on their jobs for wanting flags burned cabinet kind of thing but it seems to me that it's kind of on that side of the aisle more yeah more good. Why do you think that it maybe historically public shaming is is one of the few weapons of the of the dispossessed and I noticed that criticism when you've been publicly shamed came up people people said Johnson's attacked Social Johnson's attacked public shaming public shaming is one of the few weapons marginalized people have so Jon Ronson must be attacking marginalized people which is which was bullshit but I think in that is probably why you you get more shaving on the left than there on the rights and she do you think is a problem because I think it's tied Colloton culture and I think there's a huge backlash against this on the left? I mean today's story in New York magazine about this podcast <hes> red scare owns owns three young Bernie Sanders supporting women who are really anti and they just they're like the Santa's of the anti left basically and they're hardcore Sanders <hes> Social Social Democrats and they're like this stuff is crazy. Look bad you know the alienates the working class right yes. I've noticed that backlash clash too and I'm and I'm I'm happy for it. I've not one one way that all of this is really burning heart at the moment is particularly imprison with the Trans Schramm's versus what what the transpeople call turfs exclusion radical feminists and this is the thing that's happening both from different factions on the list. If it's it's insane I mean the Guy Graham from Father Ted known twenty-five yeah <hes> and who by the way prior to this stuff I when I size two hundred feet I was like this guy is I mean he. This should be you know in the daily worker or something I mean he's a lefty guy. Yeah hardcore left. He and I really liked him for a long time but he's become you know he's become like a leader of of a of I've got my words. Catholic be shows 'cause they just destroy trump you know if they perceived that you've hit them. They about ten times harder to the extent that they will say things like <hes>. Do you only see about this person the book us out onto the DMZ rope. If you know anything about this person I've seen it happened to a couple of particularly want John's thing yeah yeah yeah and one of them has been a guest on this show <hes> Jesse's in Gaul rights for a New York magazine Yeah he's become persona non grata because of this trend stuff and I don't think he's getting it from the side because he's more critical. If the transit yeah I mean he's I understand the debate and I don't want to because if I do understand that then I'll decide to wait in and just decide what I did and on on it was like a like a suicide you you yes well yeah because what happened was well. I I've got some so fire left Beauvais left-wing friends and they would say to me fucking Graham Leonard Her and they would sort of say. Why don't you say something you know you've no grow grow twenty five years Gregson or this to be the oldest harm to transpeople? Why didn't you say something and I was like Oh yeah so so I resist it for a couple of saying anything but I was kind of year yeah maybe a year then Graham went off to my friend Maeve and I realize I noticed that I did not speak out? I was not a little bit of we felt bad about. It and you're gonNA Niemoeller moment. Are you broadly you know. Do you disagree with him. Oh Yeah Yeah yeah yeah it feels it seems to me like watch Donna like the I'm not an encyclopedic knowledge of it but I can tell you know what they do is they'll take an isolated incident and go on and on and on about it so there was an occasion where either Trans Women of somebody acclaimed H._B._O.. Trans woman were said to a women's prison and rate to women in prison and you know they they use that all the time but as far as I can tell you yeah that's happened so it feels like that I mean you can argue on the merits pretty easily right. They can say this but it seems that the counter-arguments I don't even resemble arguments anymore they resemble again mobs and destroy this yeah crazy if you attack them because what they're saying saying. Is You know trump's. Women are women that men are if your supportive of the of these men than you'll men's rights activists who who wants women to be unsafe in their sex spaces that argument yeah I take on this this very strange thing as the woman who's <hes> feminist woman who is banned from twitter Canadian woman. WHO said you know if you have a penis man you can't be woman right and she was banned for that and it's both yeah it's I'm crazy on? Both sides say my sympathy because well so what happened was I was I was speaking toward May and just as I was drifting off to sleep. I saw somebody tweet tweet Graham Likewise Donaldson following you and this has happened a few times like trans people will tweet me. I notice you still follow Gremlin. Does that mean you're also so we're transphobic and I would like message them back to say. Look you know I've known grain flat twenty five years. I don't agree with anything he's saying but I'm not GonNa follow him just because some strange on the Internet tells me to do you respond to that stranger because you're afraid of them because it's a crank right if a crank said to you and John Your opinion about the Cavanaugh hearings hearings your opinion about free trade is bullshit. You would go about your day yes so I don't know why but a couple of times I did respond -tations. It's pretty yeah pretty strong but so so my my years zero and all of this was not using ground zero <hes> was drifting off to sleep separately tweets Graham was some folio so I quickly look. I'm drifting off to sleep. Please leave me out of this. I mean I fell asleep and then the next morning I woke up in Ingraham tweeted. Something like Jon. Ronson follows me because he thinks you all Aso's meaning you know fellow travelers so I just thought Oh man fuck you know and that's sort of been wanting to say something so so because he went off to Mermaids and people were saying to me. You know what you're a coward for not grams Graham stewing damage. He's putting people at risk ideas that the thing about this is a good question to ask you and your experience with this is it I always find data really disingenuous argument like I would. I would defend my friend as as I think you did and I sympathize with anyone who's attacked by a mob trolls but I think that the harm argument is where it starts breaking down because there isn't tangible examples I mean I think one of the eye has anyone been killed because all I hear all the time is deference death having a death-ray and there's like an egg account who says you should fucking die or something something and then they have police protection and it's like they're a martyr but I think it's being used oftentimes to limit speech and saying please don't when he stopped doing this because you're putting this person harm. It's like no I'm having a debate about something and the person might be wrong about it but I I'm. I'm not in <hes> because I <hes> you know I've I've had all of those thoughts and I agree with you like I haven't <hes> <hes> 'cause I've looked around a little bit too to see if if there's any links between violence against transpeople and on that particular faction of anti-trumps people and the SF <hes> I've found anything yeah I mean it's even when people say that I've gotten hate tweets oftentimes. I can't find them when I look for yeah so so no so I do I do agree with you but nonetheless I I said to Graham Latu something like you know Graham. You know it's not you know it's not right to say that I think that you critics assholes because I don't and I think you take isolated instances museum to smooth community anyway after I tweeted that the gates of Hell Opens Graham just over and over and over again and was like basically rallying people yeah. Even we've been friends for decades. I mean do you think in your book. Did you see examples of this. Is that do people we'll do that when they themselves have been victims of the mob and I victims unused that sort of broadly is that you know he has been attacked pretty ruthlessly people who who say you hate transpeople you WanNa see us dead and then in a response to that is not to be contrite or to explain is to is to have your own flying monkey plus grams been very open about being being politics a child and so I think you know I think it's probably some some of that. Twitter is just bad for everybody isn't so bad yeah. I should get off you know went down near the wake and it was fucking. It was amazing. It was Simpson's so everyone goes when she kind of. Did you anticipate this when you wrote that trending this direction yeah yeah yeah. It's why I wanted to write the book. I thought something in really you know this is really except it's only GonNa get worse but I didn't anticipate trump getting elected. I do think if you read say even came to his was published published in two thousand fifteen and I think I'm gonNA sound like I'm too much in love with myself but but I think <hes> imbedded you know in in the same way that them came out just before nine eleven my extremism and conspiracy theories and when you read in the light of nine eleven okay you could fail failed some things bubbling with shamed to I think he can sort of fail. You know what trump is is the twitter president and feel. I suppose what I'm getting at is I would notice just in soccer for instance Breitbart in for wars. You know <hes> <hes> they would. They were propagandizing Faca of the justin soccer. Incident Lewis started by Gawker yeah but I mean the right. Were like saying just that they're doing now <hes> with the squad. It's like here's a weakness. Let's fucking exploited this weakness. Here's the left acting in a way that we think is weak. Let's get them so the fact is bright by an Mm Fish Yeah. I mean it is I the more I talked to trump voters. It was always this idea of like. I can't believe people call me a racist they everything racist and they attack attack everybody in this way and there's these mobs come after us if we speak our mind yeah and they were voting for Bernie in the primary in voting for trump <hes> in the election and there are a lot of people that I talked to like that but you know I mean the thing is is that this am. I probably wrong about this. I'm just I'm taking a total leap here. Is this the book that Changed Your Life More than any other. Actually the cheese and any other was minister. Go because George Clooney made oh that's right yeah Geico you get a lot of money. Full wasn't like an amazing but it was enough to move. You're playing fucking keyboards and mentioned you know in Russia ashore. Everything's a windfall lock exactly but I mean the one that change in the sense that like what are we ought to be honest so you've been published. I'm definitely maybe like this kind of cultural fake but straight away I felt uncomfortable and resistant and cut I retreated as quickly as possible but people come to right and that's when when you said Al Franken I immediately asked. Has He come to as he talked. He has this half and you know I became friends. We're we're talking this before. I became friends with Amanda Knox through you you brought her to dinner that has contacted you yeah because she had been shamed in in Italy you become I'm good friends with Monica Lewinsky. Who is God? I mean that's the knee Plus Ultra like ninety shaming and who you quite enjoys a person yeah life and so this I mean you become this person like so. I know you have to go in a sec so let me just go to this. I said to somebody who who had shaming thing they wanNA talk about. You should talk to Jon Ronson and I don't know if it was me that did this but it resulted in in some way again. It's not because me and my maybe have this idea zone and you reached out to a guy named Kevin Moore. Yes and Kevin Moore is a porn producer whose wife August aims James committed suicide in you fantastic <hes> audible <hes> you know it's like I guess it's a podcast. It's like well now. You can get it online regular popcorn so it's the only time unfortunately it's your west birthday happy birthday Mrs Johnson so I can't get into this but it was the only time I actually disagree with a couple of things with listening to it. I was like John. I'm GONNA send you an email about this and i. I didn't actually do it but it's it's a terrific. I recommend take time to say the same age okay I I loved it and I I recommend everybody but you've done to talk about the porn world and how how the fuck did you get. There is is it because you're a PERV and you're like I want to know more about this. No IT's British people end up there. Martin Amos's ends up you end up the what I think it was actually there's a connection for me connection between Justine Sacco the AIDS tweet woman. I'm the porn community. I'm the connection is there I think on both occasions the the bullied at its legitimized bullying. You defend them pretty pretty strenuously yeah. That's what it it's like. I Li- I like finding for one of a better phrase like my marginalized pillow or people pushed out of society who other people haven't the thought of <hes> just in soccer is one of those people are the people haven't thought of like she was. She was the victim of you know of of bullying but nobody saw her as a bullet person first and they sort of as an aggressor. I'm with the Porn Community people what I noticed that people just don't want to think about them because if they think about them and think about their lives they're not going to be able to Surkov to them. So there's this huge amount of distance I I met this woman. This young woman called Dacoota who is a church school in New Orleans and she was telling me about Oh her phone her habit and I said did you ever learn their names and she said No. I never learned their names. It's like when you kill a deer you don't name it because then you can't eat it and I am not ready stayed with me and I think that line is why I wanted to make her mixing stories about porn because I wanted to name I mean there's there's something of a you you kind of mystery in the in the Aug teams the yeah which I you know I won't reveal and people should listen to it and I also have feelings about the last days of August to be honest so they might be the same feelings. I have one Jimmy Johns okay I okay. I got mad at you for one thing. I what's going on the subway platform waiting for the train. I don't know why I remember this and you talked about Kevin and who's the husband of August committed suicide. <hes> Kevin Even said that it was because of bullying <hes> and there have been theories out there <hes> the he was involved yeah and you talked about that for a little you bet and I didn't think he should have talked about it because there is no evidence whatsoever and I didn't think it was widespread enough out on the Internet itself <hes> to give it any because I thought I talked to someone who is listening my my friend billy as a producer who absolutely loves you and she was listening to it and she was like do you think Kevin is the last thing I wanted to narrative insect. I know that that wasn't your intention because it didn't pop up elsewhere in the thing but when I heard that I was I don't know I don't know about them. Yeah you know I've I. I also feel uneasy about it. <hes> I think the reason why we put that in in the end was this because for several months of last year that that was consuming us like you know because it where we're consuming us like is Kevin telling us the truth if he's not why not and we were consumed by an and so the industry parts of the industry honestly you know the what the other parts what's the last days of August when we find out other things that happen to August that Kevin wasn't involved with like this really bad shoot that she didn't Las Vegas and her relationship internship with their family which was very problematic and so on. I you know I feel happy with <hes> so yeah so you know I've agonized about that. Did you hear have you heard from him saying Yeah Tote to a couple of times since the show was angry with you know <hes> no no he wasn't now. I was wondering if you'd be didn't sound good chat and so don't put words in his mouth but <hes> I'll tell you why you should listen to. This book is beyond the fact that it's that is really really brilliant. Work is the only time I have ever heard Johnson. Get angry and hang up on someone. WHO's calling it a delighted? I'll just I'll leave that dangling. They could get through to that point of the 'cause. It's terrific. I mean when you let you after this but at the end of that the butterfly effect which was which was different it was kind of the economics and the technology aspects of porn and how it's changed everything this one was more about which I think is definitely I mean of course the people are huge. The characters are huge in butterflies like to but there's I mean this is like a painful one to listen to because these people are so fucked up so many of them yeah in one is your relationship with that community like now and you know it's good. Thank God I could I was he's pretty much. Everyone feels that even as as you know dark and terrible is the last days of August is it's still it's still true in fact his August one into this industry. She was let down by a lot of pain or nine in the end. It'll go got too much when she took alive so I think I think the industry in general and said the strikes the butterfly effect more because it's such a positive story about the industry but I think in defending them against people that are stealing money from them. Yeah yeah absolutely protect grows. If there are villains in the butterfly fat villains is a big word. You know it's the Tech Bros.. Not The problem people so I love the Butterfly Fatai turn on on its head what people normally consider reputable in disreputable pro although these nice people really think of tech pros is that people know the things you say you say a dark and awful yeah is that because the industry three is awful because you seem to have a positive yet have in some sense much more so than most people I want. You know what I want to feel really positive though industry because I because my my sort of rose tinted view is it's a community of outsiders who can kind of make it in society you know supporting each other and and if they've got troubles it's because of things that happen to them outside of the industry. I've got this romantic view of the industry but I suppose as the months it's progress. I started to think well maybe it is a pity you know your mind is changed a little bit a little bit. I suppose it's it's it's children. I mean it's it's it's full of children. I mean the problem with the industry and I think Kevin would be the first to admit this too is that it's basically this is going to sound like a some people can allow roller is what I'm about to say I think if you had to sum up kind of what psychologically wrong with the industry mystery it's like and let me caveat this by saying a lot of people go into the industry and it's fine like sex positive people who've grown up with Paul and herb that feel no shame about sex about having sex on camera they go into the industry. Nothing bad happens. They represented by Mark Doc speak Llama. WHO's like the super agent? Everybody says it's a lovely guy. I've never heard anything bad about him. And then they leave their own accord and nothing bad happens those stories ready a to exist important and I think it's really important to who go on to mainstream success to yeah Sasha Grey and I think it's so important to say that because otherwise you're just tarring the whole industry with audiology you know which which I hate I hate doing that but I think you've got other people. Who've had some you know issues choose growing up some you know abuse they enter the industry as a kind of <hes> you know a place to try and make their way in the world? Maybe some of them are you know important because they're somehow dealing with some issues apt to them when they were younger they see did they find these older men <hes> on the kind of latch onto them because they they need to sort of responsible figuring their lives but I'm these automated commence overseen to be responsible and sensible but because he's a manager onto the porn industry. They'll fucking kids themselves. Why do you want to spend your life in porn with dating a a bunch of eighteen point says if you didn't if you want yourself emotionally stunted so you've got these kids were looking for responsible older people but the people themselves and and and so nobody's those looking is that everybody wants it to be a community where everybody's looking after each other and being supportive but there isn't enough emotional snow maturity sometimes to make that a reality and I think I think that supposedly industry so listen to those two podcasts butterfly effect and then the last days is an August you got you got something? Even ashamed is going to be on BBC radio four yeah. They've just put it out like a bridge A._B._C.. Sounds thing I've gone. I've sort of come to ground bare and I'm not really. I'm figuring out next what I'm writing. I'm writing the show of sounded N._D._A.. So I can't talk about it. I just telling a television show no live show. It's a live show yeah and are you. Are you onstage and no okay well. I still do that because I needed the tour irving winds and in fact I was talking on stage about my uneasy feelings about making the last days of August which which you too early I so I've been thinking so I've sort of my my stage. Show is is kind of grappling with that stuff so now you're down writing. Yeah I pretty much got that garlic two or three London nothing eminence coming out and probably won't be a year so but that's we can't expect a book or anything so I really want to. I love to start writing a book but you have some finger mind sewed so cloudy. I always think like people Karai is like I can't write another book because I've got to the end of my thought. Process process of saving publicly shamed fell at the end of authority says this is always a challenge to kind of knew him because you've put everything you've got into the last one well I went. Uh I gotta go back and look at the book I remember reading it because I think Adam Davidson gave me a galley of it and I thought and and I don't think I had one objection I think until then I tell you something what was it I can't remember I think it was this the kind of juxtaposition of me and Joan as me like Oh yeah sloppy but forgotten amazing neighborhood yeah it was okay. It was good then but uh be I would have been better if I lived in Crown Heights or something yeah yeah some shootings and there's no that I think that was my my via over the tough objects at when you see yourself betrayed and I am kind of a I'm coming across as kind of you know shitty like disheveled journalists. He's never going to really make it and I also this was a very notable thing about back. Then which was there you know your your talent level was was above your success level so so you were combated by that but I actually I'd say rightly so it's like you should have been doing better and the fact that he had them better ever since and you've achieved your this shows the you had a right to be sort of enraged. Do you know that's the first time anyone on this show has ever said anything nice about me so I appreciate that and I appreciate vitiated comes from somebody. I respect so much so Jon. Thank you for joining us. I know you have to run and we won't anticipate anything now. Sweater just even much that all right don't fucking Auntie transpeople enough to leave yeah yeah. It's always gonNA be somebody because I remember after the book came out your shamed for something. He was in a galley copy so it's always it's always something uncorrected one. It has happened to you a few times

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A Conversation with Chris Rock

The Al Franken Podcast

49:18 min | 1 year ago

A Conversation with Chris Rock

"Al Franken podcast. We got a great one today for a change range. Our guest is Chris Rock Chris. Thank you for doing this great no problem yeah doing doing what we're just talking. Do I do a lot of research for these things S. Okay what I find. The best way to research sure someone I'm interviewing is to Google them and then put in quotes and go to their quotes. I found one which was one about basically you have your own demons and stuff and and and the reason I ask this is not I don't WanNa go. I don't WanNa know anything about that. I WanNa know a damn. Thing right is just like where the hell did that. fucking quote comfort visit was that one of these. I don't know what's the quote I have my own demons and als- and are not may sometimes it's like Chris Tucker occur or write that Robert Townsend said that but but I have the feeling that there are these kinds of profiles where they ask you that right. I guess I haven't done these things in a while but you you stop doing some things that you used to do because you don't have to partly out and a half to is the Great Lorne Michaels. What said you can't make an entrance if you never leave. That's good so yeah so you have to leave everyone. You gotTA leave. GotTa leave. You want people to well. That's what I've just causa really. That's what I boy did I do that in a spectacular was way and one that wow lauren if you're listening. I took your advice okay. Let's talk about the show with that's where we met the show Sarah. SNL Thera live. I've been there a while when we were founding member as you're like in the original impatience gotta Yes. Are there any temptations. When you see the temptations I think the guy with the really basic voices still in it Otis or whatever Tavis wow okay. Let me ask you something you might not know the original members of America you don't know and one of my favorite things you have done in many many of those but one of my favorite things was when you're at the Oscars went to Magic Johnson Theater Yeah and because it was so crystallizing because you went to the Magic Johnson Theater and no one there had ever heard of any of the Oscar movies. They do that at a lot of theaters well. That was partly point. Dow You can do that. Maybe wasn't in just I mean you went to John. The Theater neighborhood that was a black neighborhood. You could do that in most white. Neighborhoods people would not know what I'm Lee is right. If you went to most white theaters and start on what did you like match point or crimes and misdemeanors derivative on the upper west side of New York. Yeah that'd be a heated discussion but that's a small slither her of New York so I think you're put out a couple of things one which is at the Oscar Oscar picks. I mean they're trying to pick the best. Our best film artistically right is that that's what I guess yeah I guess and so Americans taste doesn't necessarily Ali whether you're in Tara hold or whether you're at a magic Johnson Theater in. La doesn't tend toward the nomination and I think especially so at the Magic Johnson theater well and especially so with the old academy especially so with the old academy yes and so the new academy some in the New Academies Still Heavily Academy. It's just they let some new people in but I I don't care what are we are. We talking in code. we'll this. I mean it's not like there's a black academies. You know let let some people in but no I know but yeah they they have is a new academy. Now okay hosting the Oscars yes intimidating or not. It's intimidating. Don't get me wrong. I mean it's still harder to host any episode of Sat. Live then hosted the Oscars where you have to do less you have to do less and host the Oscars and you have to in one thing is coming to your hosted. SNL hosted SNL twice and hosted the Oscars twice and the Oscars are way easier now yeah because you monologue and that's that's it right right and by the way your monologue August held to a standard of the other Oscar host Billy Crystal and Steve Martin or you know some of funniest guys that ever grace the earth but on most days I can be funnier than you jack days most days most days some days he kicks biogas but most days so SNL yeah. How long were you with Allison. SNL three years researchers races and then you went to in living color color right away and then that got canceled. Yes entering There's I'm so smart well I think I think you've been smart but I think that very often. When I see you you know you bring him. Carbon Carbon caught for us. We've Guy Great Hall of Fame Catcher MVP one year really I can tell us you and tell stories stories well. They get okay. This is we we're in on a Monday before the five o'clock meeting right right where in the where they have read through table present around with thrown around a few ideas before the meeting with the host the first meeting of the week and you say hey. I'm you know I'm cool. I killed on Saturday. I killed and you're like really you just said I don't I have no pressure on me at all. I'm fine. I don't have to think anything and I said Chris and I know you'll a baseball the ball I just read an article by Tim Carver Catcher for for the cardinals and he said that there were some batters. There's in the league that if they got a hit early in the game they knew they're easier to get out it later in the game name and that this was the kicker that the pitcher knew it he no and after two out nobody on early in the game. They'd let they give them a hip. Essentially I'm assuming this is not a power hitter. They give a Guy just put her right over the mail and then they knew when it came up later in the game he would relax and they could get get them out easier and the reason I bring this up is that you bring up so often to me and I'm raising it because it makes makes me look great first and foremost but also I think you you work incredibly hard I do work incredibly couldn't have been that can't be the turning point where a light bulb went off and said. I don't WanNa be that guy. No one wants wants to be. I WanNa be that guy but you know I'll say this would it was we have this the culture now so we're no one thinks they deserve the job they have because. I can't believe I'm on this show. I can't I'm so grateful to be here and I see a lot of that young so I used to have that same head was like I was so lucky to be at s Adele as opposed to like hey I deserve to be here and make the most of this oh so it got me out of the ahead of I'm so happy to be here disgraced legacy. I can't believe Lorne michaels speaks to all of that shit. had the gone okay okay and I had to act like somebody who's actually in the league. Wow that's deeper than I thought it was. You know what I mean and you know. It's still it's not a black. It's not a minority thing but that does happen with a lot of minorities I would imagine or women. Men are just people that feel anybody that aren't white men are why that you feel like. I'm so lucky to be here and that's it's not the most conducive attitude to greatness what's interesting. You said I you know I think most people think undeserved to be here and I'm a white man and I don't know anybody yeah. I think that you're lucky to be there and that's just a bad attitude to have yes data. It's just not an attitude that I think conducive gratitude for gratitude absolutely is very important income life. Having gratitude is very very very two different things but you should also you know Michael Jordan Hasta no he's Michael Michael Jordan I think he did. I did a piece on that. I did smalley in which Stuart didn't know who he he was and doing an affirmation Michael. I know there must be a lot of pressure for you to play very well. L. And I can imagine that a night before a game. You must lie awake thinking. I'm not good enough. everybody's better than a A. I'm not gonNA score any point. I have no business playing this game. Well Not really Michael. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. When he hosted the show? It was the first time they ended allowed. NBA Bras in the Olympics and I just I was in his dressing room and I just went. So how do you think that's going to go and go oh. It's nothing we're GONNA clobber everybody and they did and they did. He was a great guy. He wasn't arrogant but he did not have a confidence problem. Also I would say that if you're talking about the people of Color in a profession. I don't think black guys are going. I am so lucky to be here her in the same league that Bob Cousy comedians. You said all the time good. Here's okay might as well go with it. WHO's a comedian or as. I don't want to call anybody out. Definitely the people that you know are capable of greatness but are just their minds are fixated on survival. Oh you're so beyond survival on it. I got her. You don't even understand how good you are. I think what the event that established your greatness we'd be. HBO Stanton My wrong. Be Wrong for me to sit here and go great okay. Let's I I'm sorry I won't say that right. That'd be on record go. Yes I was great then dubbed. Love did my okay well. The thing that the event that elevated your career the most significantly yes it captured what I did and what I was meant to do and you really they had people hadn't seen it before for people hadn't seen it. I mean I was just you know when I got to s really young. I was really young. I'd never been I didn't know second city the existed. I didn't know what Improv clubs. I didn't know what any of that stuff was but when you start are doing standard that was probably doing stand up about six seven years when I got us at all. I just didn't know what I was doing. I was just like shoved into this thing. I I remember that actually that I was young. I'd never I'd never had a job like you know. I hadn't really had a job and I was like shoved into it. I was the first black cast number nine years since Damon. Damon was fired. Oh yeah and really he wasn't on that long so I was more or less the black guy after Eddie Murphy which Kinda ended up put a little pressure on me because that he was very young as well as the best ever did it so it's just like wow so when you did that what what happened what happened what happened happened. How do I get good see what happens. I quit show business essentially like I'd been on. SNL been on living color. I I was movie New Jack City. I remember I lose a movie see before I had done a lot of stuff and people pretty much assume they knew me and I was like no one was calling me for anything. The DEF comedy jam had come out and I knew my career was in the shitter because it was February and I had no gigs now. If you're a black comedian in February you play college. It's black history month. You can't you put that together yeah. There's like there's just too much work in February so like an an Irish musician on Saint Patrick's not getting again yes so like I haven't guinea pigs in February. I'm in trouble what the fuck is going on a metric. It's a metric so I just made a conscious decision to just just kind of put my head down and just go to comedy clubs and just do stand up at a ridiculous rates of you know this so some clubs a night every night every Rhode Gig I could possibly take. I just worked more than everybody and not just working more than everybody I. I didn't think anybody was gonNA give me a job in show business so I was never really trying to get a job. I was saying what was in my heart so that was really yeah. What did that caused. It was a it was there was an enormous difference in the subject matter in the tone in were I'd grown. I was just and there. You talked a lot about raise. It burn in relationships since uh-huh standup comedy is not music with the exception of Eddie Murphy. There is no justin beaver of stand up. Comedy is this is like are you're saying you can't sing the same song. No one is ever broken in their twenties. It just hasn't that this never happens. You can be Kinda funny. You can be you know Pete Davidson and work or whatever but no one listens to as as a comedian really listens to a unified. I'm trying to think through this. It's wrong but it can't. I was always a kid when I was on acid. Oh I see what you're saying. I was never trying to be a grown man so I got good but part of it was I was growing as a person and my dad died and I was in a relationship up and I had a mortgage. You know what I mean like you. Were actually becoming actually becoming an adult that you know so you're an adult you weren't being listened to a little bit but it it seem like you're talking about not just talking about slightly heavier of your topics but that you were incredibly insightful about them in ways that people hadn't heard not just from MMU but from anyone I hey if that's how they feel fine him I I learned. I learned a lot from you guys. I one thing I did learn at. SNL was how to write. Just just because something's funny doesn't mean it's good sometime. I try to explain that because people laughing like this different qualities of humor. You know just because it's funny doesn't mean you should say it. You know site did learn that and learned from you and I learned from Oden Kirk and I learned from Conan and Downey down a and I will. I'm very curious about your grandfather. My my grandfather was a preacher Allen Rock. Yes preacher. Yes and I read somewhere that you hang with him. When he wrote his sermons well. He drove a cab. One great thing about my grandfather killed him in Ab is totally justified right well as the preacher so a preacher so yes preachers no no. I don't know rabbi freelancers that I know don't on kill people. Preachers are you know known to be a little Hansie. do you take me to a Baptist Church and I'll plain clean out a kid in the congregation. That looks a little too much like the preacher my grandfather allegedly liked to sleep around so people that cheap one of you know one thing about cheaters. They're jealous so my grandfather thought what my grandmother was sleeping with the guy next door so he confronts the guy next door and goes. If you step another foot my art. I'll kill you yourself another foot my arm. I'll blow. La and the guy took one step at my show called now degraded spend some time spent some time in jail. I believe it got knocked down to a manslaughter. which is you know six seven years not how we're WE'RE WALKING? We walked by people that commit bad slaughter every day. Okay what is this. This is Brooklyn Bedside. This was the heart of bed stuy but yeah. My grandfather gets out of jail so that's very different than where I grew up a little bit. I grew up in Saint Louis Park. Right which is a a suburb of Minneapolis and it was about twenty percent Jewish. It was the Jewish suburb Tom Friedman the Cohen brothers and you know a lot of people think like Fargo was the Cohn brothers just making fun of gentiles and that's exactly what it was any. My grandfather used to drive a school. You know back when you know there was a real labor movement. They'd be strikes quite often like back when the worker had power sure yeah that'd be strikes occasionally and you know sometimes the school bus drivers go on strike anyway my grandfather would drive us to school and he'd be riding his sermons all week and I would watch him doodle his sermon and then he then I'd have to go to church on Sunday and I just kind of noticed that he never wrote the sermon. Was this always like these talking points that he would write down and put his why is it had a flow hello and sounded yeah yeah yeah. You know it was music. It was almost miss. It was almost music and yeah the his pad was kind of guardrails just to make sure you didn't go too crazy off the thing so I I guess I kind of went from a guy trying to write jokes to like more of that like okay. This is probably a better style for me more of a conversational will we are okay and how do you develop that in other words. I mean you're saying you go to club. What's the club you gotTA GOTTA get on stage at all the time and you also techtronic confidence. 'cause you gotta like the average stand up but it was it you get a laugh every eight seconds or ten seconds or whatever but the good standups can go minutes and minutes hits without getting any laughs zounds yeah. It sounds backwards but the good guys the logger you you would think the loan you know ooh the most laughs you get per. Minute is the best comedian Garner as those are one liners and yeah this one lines but the people that can delay it just like in life if you can delay the gratitude. It's so much bigger. Chapelle is really good at it right now dislike. I have no idea where is going but I'm very captivated. I you know he right. Now can get away with pretty much anything and he's got the courage to do that. I'll alley alley say it's only controversial if your audience finds a controversial like if the people that like you like it then what's the problem if people that don't necessarily like you don't like something what okay so. I'm only worried when I offend people. That like me really is is in a world for a while there where you had to get a majority of people to at least vote for you. Yes yes measure different show Biz different now. Just you have your congregation and you can try to get more people. That wasn't show business that I was in that part of my life. You weren't show business. I you don't think it was show man. Yeah Yeah. I think that's why I was good at it. WHO's the President United States a guy who was in the number one. I I found that having been a performer was incredibly useful aw in hearings yeah no just any crowd work is and I just love the turnpike. Okay just we've brought Chris Rock and of the caucus tell us how to do when I never Ramon power. I won't out anybody but all the biggest preachers in the country my shows of course and they always I come to the back always find some slow key way of getting into theater without anybody saying them and you know we talk about crowd work tuck. We just talk about performing okay. What is crowd. I'm saying this working crowd. Just we just talk talk about performing. Nobo- if if I was talking to Pope Right now we would talk about working in audience getting an audience grabbing them when you know you're losing them. How do you get them back. Okay average is how those of walk us through through walk us through some of that I. DJ before I was a comedian. I was a DJ play block parties and House parties and stuff. I was really young but the guys I worked with. Were all like five ten years older than me but able they like cocaine like to get hide so I was like this kid that was relatively straight that they knew once. They were really fucked up. I could man the boards you're the designated board operator spin records and they just knew I it could be counted on right right but I remember one night. I don't know if you know rap music just starting out and it's late and I probably played like five hardcore rap records in a row and one of the guys older guys the snap out of his high goes fuckers our you're trying to get his killed. 'cause you couldn't play you can't play five up temple records in a row especially in urban crowd. You like you have to calm the crowd down. really yeah you have to communist and this is any even a festival. It's like okay. We gotta come. We gotta calm crowd so dangerous. You have to come down and I even learned that with jokes like okay. They can handle four these. Let me take it down a notch draw four. I get to this other material. Can you think of something from last special where you had for of some kind of thing in a row and then when I better I'm you know even like racial things. It's like okay I can get white people to laugh at two with with these okay but the one this is going to be a riot. Some Guy's GonNa Curse me. There's GonNa be a fight and you know ushers. They're going to have to come and whatever how yeah your audiences. I know you play different places prices but your audiences out of these mixed depends on if I'm in Minnesota. There's a bunch of white people if I'm in Atlanta. There's a bunch of black people. It's you know it it varies near in Biloxi Mississippi better. Watch yourself kind of like you think. There'd be a lot of black people. They're kind of white people that are there okay. I can take to itys but you know okay. I'm just thinking of a white person who comes to your show in block. See you think is going like you don't know who's dragged agd by the girlfriend or whatever no crowd smarter than another crowd. Okay okay mobster MOMS mobs. I awesome. I don't care who's their brain. If you're at rikers island or in front of a bunch of senators you have the ability ability magazine these people a bunch of senators acting kind of like a mob yeah. It's literally crowds you get the smartest a person and you divide the Iq by the number of people in the place. Did this dumber dumber and by the way is respectfully if breath. I can tell smarter jokes playing the Beacon Theater then I can playing Madison Square Garden Society Icy. I like when you play Madison Square Garden. When you're in front of twenty thousand people nuance goes out the window? Is there anything to do with the coup sticks. Some of its did coup sticks but there's something about the mood. It's so easy to lose twenty thousand people. You know you can't go okay well. What are we gonNA talk about now. Hecklers Star like like you have to be on it in every way in front of twenty thousand people where you Kinda you can kinda think in front of you know play the Apollo. Even all black audience is hard. You can thank you. Can you know you'd think wow you can think out loud with you right yeah so twenty th so you've played twenty thousand. Yes Gosh that must be something when it's working and when it's worth these amazing yeah it's amazing yeah. It's great unbelievable. It's great now. You're doing fargo coming that I am doing. Fargo start that about three weeks. What are you playing. Fargo play mob boss we're in Saint Louis Okay Saint Louis. Yeah 'cause originally Fargo Argo Minnesota thing but now it become they change every year. What the kind of change every year. It's a whole new show every year this one is in Saint Louis I mean I guess we'll make it. The far of red light three scripts at some point we'll be in Minnesota but Fargo course is in North Dakota North Dakota sorry about that. No I represented Minnesota so I know Fargo. It's Fargo Moorhead Moorhead as the other side of the Red River. I didn't go to fancy schools. Red River of the north traffic offic occasionally. My GD flares up. You know how you got the school school boss I didn't. Let's go to the boss now and then we'll because that came up in the debates it came up but it's like hasn't been an issue. What for that even bus in. I guess I see school buses with their school buses. Yes we're still school who'll buses but the aren't integrating. I thought we stopped that. I thought that was just well. There's a number of reasons. The one people hated it right including you right. I hit it. Yeah I mean I I was bus. I've said this before it. was you know it's like an hour from my house. You're at school competing with kids. That got got an hour more sleep than you know. That's your school okay. They got an hour more sleep than you. They have really gotten two hours more sleep because he had an hour back right. They have ten more free hours a week than you because you're gonNA foot like they have a whole day not a whole day to do homework mark whatever that you don't have right. You can't socialize because you have to get on a frequent bus in oh not today. Buddy wanted socialize with me. I well tell me about that aspect of it welcome with open arms black `boy in my grade. I was horrible but hey made me who I am. You know any kids asked me to like come back to their house in whatever whatever would be called a play date nowadays in Melena get on another how many okay so second third fourth fifth six seven eight nine like in nine years yeah and nine years as of like white schools. How many times was I invited to anything you go to a birthday party on the weekend or you think I was invited. I guess guess say ten because it'd be more than one a year once once only once and who was that Davey Moskowitz four do I remember how could I forget Osgood's. They Moskowitz Bad ed invited me junior high so we were taking city buses at that point and I went back to his house and we played Rackham sock them robots or some sub. Shit I forget and we had sandwiches and it was great. I remember his father coming in and doing a double. Take of me and the living room but otherwise it's fine but literally one kid. I never got invited to anything. That's why I thought that that whole thing in that debate was just weird because Senator Harris is not does not support federal bussing now no one really does. I don't think I don't think so so all Biden saying you got oh. You got a phone call because it takes Scott Rudin. Oh yes just put him on Put Him on speaker so yeah. Oh one of the biggest I sure producers dollywood calling yeah yeah the creator of the British the credit very British version. He said he had a falling out with you but I said that everybody that's African laughing. Yeah yeah all right okay. looks like I'm doing a movie. Yeah Greg you know I I just want the audience to know the you've heard one side of a real re-live Hollywood showbiz call right Scott Rudin while the biggest producers in in in the movies right in the history of movies. I would say the risk of you so good. Can you can't say oh. I understand that it's big I it could be. I mean it's show business so no one understands is ninety. Seven percent of things don't happen right so we we have to have a lot of benefit right got to have a lot of plates spitting so a successful person in show business is a person that bats one eighteen gene. It's like Oh my God. He's always got stuff happening. Say nothing ever happens but I remember remember when when Tom and I Tom Davis and I got the SNL and this is before the show started right and by the time that it was cast with breath you know Garrison Chevy and blue she and Aykroyd and Jane Lorena and Gilda and the writers around us that we had and I remember saying to Tom this show is going to be an enormous hit and I was twenty four years old and I did not know that there is never enormous than that this thing for anyone to say thirty pilots air and maybe want to hit every three years like nothing works but ah I was right because I was so ignorant. Ignorance worked in your favor yeah I was. I was previously competent. If if you had any idea the real odds it would have actually affected your mind might have but I said Tom don't you see this is the first time our generation has been allowed oude to write and beyond. This is a counter cultural show this is this is going to be huge and Tom. Who's Marvin the me when Yeah Oh Tom Yeah okay we we we were talking about bounds. I said about Fargo so far can't get any artsy. We're talking about the show. Fargo Scott Rudin costs highbrow. That's what I'm trying to say. We're in highbrow. This is a high brow movie. When you're talking about Hussein yeah everything's High Right now. Far those pretty highbrow show pretty good. Oh yeah go is very highbrow highbrow but but with the movie that you're just talking with Rudin about be seen at a Magic Johnson theatre yes it would be yes it would be seen on alleges hundreds era okay so it's highbrow and being a magic. Johnson theatre so it really sounds. That's me that's my bread. If do you know if brands not you know it can be such an obnoxious word but yeah that's me now. He said that he had a falling out with you but with somebody in this is everybody has a falling out with Scott. That's that's onset. Scott so I wanted this story. I heard once a friend of mine. Screenwriter is at his office and it's right before Cannes the Cannes Film Festival and there is insistent analysis of that Rudin has among long a number of assistance and he gets a hotel room for like a huge star can who couldn't get a hotel room and he said Oh you know what it just fell into my lap. You know Y- you're welcome but honestly it just happened the falling lap but you know it's. I'm glad we were able to do that for you and they hangs up so written goes to the kid and says is. Don't you ever tell anyone that it was easy to get him a room. You tell him you work your ass off to get it right absolutely okay and this kid is kids martyr for that. Kim Now runs Disney yet works out stuck in a Jay Z one time Jay Z. Famously doesn't right he comes up at the top of his head to goes in the in the studio so so you know Timberland or Ferrall who plays him a beep any kind of comes up with the wraps kind of on top of his head. Kinda kind of goes into the studio goes into booth has on headphones like us right now and I mean he'll wrap over a record several times until it feels right to him ed but he always and he likes to tell people he doesn't right and I was like just me v an idiot trying to say no one wants to hear that we didn't work the state. You want to go to a restaurant yeah. We don't really cook this at all. We just throw it on your plate no you we make good up. Even if even if we well he's writing. He's writing when he's doing that. He likes to tell you how easy it cubs to thank. You know what's the feeling that's supposed to give. You not sure inadequacy. See maybe that whatever and I'm telling you yes so I like I believe yeah. Don't tell anybody yeah so easy. I don't know him. He's a great guy. I've had a really good relationship ship mentors. What movies of his have you done what we did a play the first time I worked. We did a play the motherfucker with the hat on Broadway MHM me Annabelle Skill Aura bobby kind of all legal Vasquez Rodriguez whatever was nominated for Tony that year for best play several nominations since we did the movie top five that are directed years ago namedrop bill. I was having lunch with Mamat David David mammoth the playwright screenwriter. We're talking about doing a play for man and scheduling whatever didn't work out but Mamat. I've had other guests former energy secretary remo knees did play with mammoth Hugo. We go Let's go anyway. Ma'am it gave me a script to read. It was a take on a cure showers high and low okay and I read it and I I liked it but I had notes but I don't WanNa give Babbit notes and Greg like who am I to give David Manet's as good as as they come right so I was neat with Scott about something else and I gave him the notes because I knew he was working. Okay what Mamat Scott likes my notes so much that he fires Mamat Kinda so I guess Mike Nichols was supposed to direct it and he goes lunch. I get a call three weeks later. We'll have lunch with me and Mike Nichols have lunch with the guy a graduate why not and lots of other lots of other things and they sit me down offer me. This writing gig based restored my notes. I gave the Scott and I it's to this day. It's the only writing Gig I've ever taken but I figured I'd get some some lunches with Mike Nichols out of it which I absolutely got. It was the thing made no. It was not made my died I don't know where when twenty I don't yeah. I don't know where it's at now but as you say Saudi way that very few things happen very happened. Mike died that that movie didn't happen. I was supposed to do Robert Altman's last movie and yeah he was. We ever see the documentary hands on hard body. No there's a weird competition in some parts of Texas in the competitions. But how long can you keep your hand on this. Cadillac talking people hand how hard it is to keep your hand on a Cadillac for sixteen hours or twenty. I like people fall out. It's the where you should watch the documentary. You get the Cadillac you give you. I'll get like ten grand or whatever how many people are doing. It's I don't know six seven people uh-huh anyway. You should see the document. It's so fascinating. Robert Altman was doing a script scripted version of this great documentary and I remember talking to him a lot about my character. In one day died the movie didn't happen so you got to maybe Sir soot work with younger writers or directors so both both of them really great guys so Scott maroons been really instrumental Chris. Thank you for doing this. Hey Al Tim Macabre Story. I'm in your debt. you owe every- well and you know it. David Moskowitz. I just remember everyone. That was nice to me in life. Fill your this one from at least from your classmates this this Av Moscow. Have you gotten touch yeah yeah of course okay toured. He lives in Arizona. David Moskowitz escorts is the motherfucking man. He's got you want Chris Rock tickets. Davey Moskowitz is your guy. I bless him. God bless them well this. This is the show goes out to Davy Moskowitz. Yeah good guy sounds sounds Jewish yes. I think it's safe to say yeah okay so the only one I got no problem was that you always the nicest dummy Rudin Bruton. Hey Joe I. I got no on Michael's Ju. I know so you're welcome. I'm on behalf of of people have been very good to me chosen people. I played Israel Asher two years ago. How did that go really good yeah. I gotta say I gotTa gotTa say an hour. They they must have been very familiar with. I've played like a hockey arena. Some big arena was wearing tel-aviv yeah yeah. It wasn't like a little place. It was pretty played a couple of shows. Did you do any special material for Israel. You have at Jeff Ross on the road with me uh-huh. Yes sure so I right now. I don't even remember what my open he open. He opened the he'll while they're near got your yeah. He opened the show but I I can't even remember what I said but he told me okay. If you say this very short to the Sadler's Sadler's whatever he told me to say I said it forbade written at the lip of the stage just big laugh every night and I just go to I'm Ed Jeff Rossi's Bryant Roses as are you my friend. I land and thank you thank you. Let's get out of here well. I hope you enjoyed listening. Beautiful for music is by Leo cocky greatly. Oh Karki I WANNA thank Capirossi burn for producing this. We'll talk again next week.

Oscars Scott Rudin Fargo SNL Michael Michael Jordan Mamat Scott Lorne Michaels Minnesota Magic Johnson Theater Chris Rock La Eddie Murphy New York Davey Moskowitz Chris Chris Tucker Al Franken Mike Nichols Google Cadillac
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt

The Al Franken Podcast

54:02 min | 1 year ago

A Conversation with Andy Slavitt

"Lord buddy welcome to the the al franken podcast. We have <hes> andy slab of it again. When i return gas and he's going to be talking about the democratic candidates <hes> healthcare plans and really how both and i think that we should do a little bit more to emphasize <hes> trump's horrible record on in healthcare. We'll get to that in a moment. <hes> we recorded this on on sunday before the <hes> the shootings in n._l. El paso and dayton and <hes> we've all seen a lot of these. I was in the senate after sandy hook and i remember those votes going down. We did not i. I couldn't believe lebron. I thought twenty five year old kids how and i just i remember coming to the floor. I had signed onto the assault weapons ban right away and ran in the ted cruz aw and cruz said to me anybody for the assault weapons. Ban is engaged in sophistry. Now sophistry is carmen s._a._t. Word i guess but it's also a lawyer word and it means like a phony kind of debate so i guess it's a debate. The it's an argument that's meant to mislead people dishonest argument so i said <hes> how am i engaged in sophistry office three and he said well the clinton administration's own justice department put out a report in one thousand nine hundred six two two years after the assault weapons ban of ninety four was passed and said it didn't work and i said no it didn't oh actually it said it reduced murders with assault weapons by about six percent <music> but there wasn't enough data to say that that was significant so they said they didn't say it didn't work. They said they can't can't conclude from this lesson to your study that it does work instead. You just read the report art and i said well i have but i i'll do it again. So i go back to my office subway back to my office. First saffir i find is <hes> josh riley my judiciary <hes> staffer. He went to harvard law said to him. Ted cruz just said that that anybody's for the assault weapons ban is engaged in sophistry. Josh says what sophistry i tell them and then he goes what no what why do you say that <hes> and then i said well he said clinton's own justice department blah blah and he goes no no the in the report and any repeats exactly what i said so i said well. I'll tell you what just go to the report. Get the language language put in a memo. I'll carry carry it with me and next time i see cruz. I'll i'll show it to go okay so josh does a day or two later. I'm on the floor. I see cruz and i said well. I guess you owe me an apology and he says why and i said well you told me that anyone who is for the assault weapons ban and is engaged in sophistry and he said no. I didn't you know there. There's such a thing as kind of a bad guy and unfortunately a lot of bad guys are sitting around doing nothing refusing to do something about assault weapons about background checks. Wow oh how these insane people kill kill people way way way too often <hes> okay again. We have andy slavic. Andy was the <hes> administrator during last part of the obama administration for medicare and medicaid and <hes> he he was on one of our first shows and we really did the whole thing on the sort of the whole span of the history of a._c._a. Today we're doing something much narrower narrower. Which is we're gonna be talking about in in the debates the democratic debates. There's been a lot of discussion about insurance about the private insurance <hes> there's there's every democrat wants to get to universal health care <hes> some wanna go to single payer and there's been this argument focused on whether or not to allow private insurance <hes> in in single payer and <hes>. That's what we're going to talk about <hes>. I think you'll enjoy this discussion. Hey everybody we have. I repeat yes on the al franken podcast. They failed the first time no it means people just fucking loved you. That's what it means. Let's great great thank you that's nice and you're back because we've been through a couple rounds of these democratic debates and <hes> sort of in the last round healthcare healthcare took up a lot of of the debate and it got sort of contentious <hes> a number of times on whether to to have single payer with no private insurance or single payer with the ability get some private insurance and and <hes> every other country every developed country in the world does have some form of universal care right correct their various forms of that and bernie sanders sanders will point in both debates he's been in. He says i live in vermont and just by north is a country recall canada and in canada they have single payer and canadians pay half of what we pay for prescription prescription drugs and they up single payer right and then he's in detroit and he was five miles from here. There is a country called canada canada and they have single payer and they cover everybody and they get insulin insulin for one tenth of what we pay here in the united states they do have private healthcare insurance usually paid for by the employer. I've read anywhere from two thirds of three quarters of canadians uh-huh use some kind of supplemental that doesn't mean a country couldn't have single payer and no private insurance <hes> no one's done it yet. I mean great. Britain is socialized medicine but you can get private supplemental insurance. I am not taking the position here. I'm not i. I want to kind of stay out of this. I wanna stay out of who who who should be our nominee and here's why i vote for any of them right because the other the guy is donald trump and he is scary so i realize that every one of our candidates candidates wants to win. They wouldn't have gotten unless they want to win. Was they believed that they would make the best president of the united states not just in the field but in the country right <hes> either people with confidence i'd say but that doesn't make them malignant narcissists and they're also democrats and they also all want universal care right now. We talked before four and we both agree that democrats win on healthcare. That was the case until eighteen. We picked up forty thirty house. Seats the number one issue in exit polls by far was healthcare it. It actually was a higher than the next two combined that's right and if anything it's gotten worse on their side because trump trump has signed onto the his justice department to this lawsuit is going to go to the supreme court if the lawsuit succeeds in the supreme court poof there goes the a._c._a. Completely therefore i think you and i had the the same reaction into the debate which is okay. I know this is incredibly important. Precisely what are planning is is very important i bought but is it really. I think every democrat knows that if any one one of these candidates on the democratic side wins that they would sign any bill that any one the other other candidates would be able to pass through <hes> the house and the senate even say if we got the senate back which is not at all sure at all and we're not going to get rid of the filibuster filibuster. I don't think if we have fifty one so andy slab it was i'd give him two distinctions one saved the healthcare dot gov website the one that crashed and saved the obama presidency that could be argued argued. Yeah yeah yeah and look at it not for nothing. <hes> people like yourself who had invested a lot in getting this to where it was <hes> to be able to say at the end of the first year that at that point seven million people have signed up for insurance on the exchange by when you got it right was was a really important thing to be able to otherwise i think people who already have reason to have not a lot of faith in government <hes> would have had even less than so it was good and that we were able to make at least good on what you guys had started. We talked a lot about that. Last time you're on then we talked about just really the whole arc of the a._c._a. And what's next so he had really broad conversation today. We're gonna have a narrower conversation which is to basically look at what's being debated now and what the different plans are of the candidates democrat candidates who have plans hands what trump's plan i guess is he will be introducing a plan supposedly in september supposedly oh that's that's right. You don't necessarily count on him to do everything he does. Yeah yeah okay so <hes> you know contrast contrast what he's been doing and saying with our our plans which is what you and i both think we should be doing in these debates you. I think you've got it right which is not that the distinctions on how to cover every american earn important they are and and in some part primaries are about drawing out those distinctions but you know i worry that they are off course and lost the plot a little bit when in four debates they don't mention once that the president currently is in cahoots with eighteen state republican attorney general to essentially get rid of the entire e._c._a. All of pre existing condition protections requirement that prescription drugs are covered the ability for millions and millions of americans to afford healthcare subsidy the whole rupture and you would think that that was worth pointing out and even as an end look. I think there we we we should step back and understand is with their into an argument is about not. What do we all believe because you. She said they all believe that everybody in the country to be able to afford to take their family when they're sick barton on every one of them with arguing about is how so the conversation about how is one one that is a little bit interesting and certainly important directionally but as you said earlier the reality is the question we need to understand is is will they push for and sign legislation that will indeed help every american take care of their families when they get sick and if the answer there is yes and i think it's universally yes possibly sanders might might only sign something that looks more like what what he's put forward based on some of the things he said right but i think the sanders supporters are saying that any kind of for profit or private even if it isn't for profit <hes> which is there's like minnesota's almost only not for profit that they put fat into the system and we pay more because of that now. I think one thing that bernie would say is that my plan covers everything everything yeah so so <hes> you know part of the <hes> supplemental private insurance in canada is for glasses or for vision you for dental hearing aids. Maybe hearings right so everything will be covered but here's the one thing i knows. It doesn't uncover face-lifts <hes>. Here's the thing i don't understand is who covers people for plastic surgery anyway. I guess there is a market there but i mean if a fifty year old guy i comes in and he's looking a little jowly. He says i'd like some plastic surgery insurance. Why would you give plastic surgery and this is just something i think about yeah no. It's that said it's a darn good question at me because there really is i really is no such thing as jowl insurance. I don't think yeah like mcconnell. Donal will have the line of college freshmen. Were you couldn't get covered for that. Here's a a- another thing when i see plastic surgery where you go like man that man that woman has had work done i the thought of a practice for a plastic surgeon called the minimalist okay and when he does is he <hes> puts the the patient under and <hes> does nothing absolutely nothing after a while wraps the person's face in in some kind of gauze and tape with slits for the eyes and <hes> then when they go into a spa for like a two three weeks of of recovering at the spa they <hes> <hes> get massages and <hes> great diet just a really really healthy diet some exercise lots and lots of rest and just fun activities and then after the two or three weeks he unwraps the gauze and and <hes> she looks great for he looks great because you would write like the the minimalist. I can't see the work. I that's that's amazing. You can barely tell anything was done yeah so that's my next scam. The point is is is that <hes> the bernie plan would would replace any need for supplemental private insurance because the plan itself his plan itself would cover everything except faceless. I'd only suggest that as a practical matter save some oxygen for the fact that there were arguing over how one person thinks that sky-blue is better than powder blue. One person thinks that royal blue is better than powder blue when the other side is dark dark dark gray and we have to make sure we save enough oxygen to say hey wait a minute while we are talking about things. Let's recognize these distinctions. We talked earlier about if this were in a conversation in about global warming. This'll be the equivalent of having a knockdown drag out our long fight obsessing and taking over around whether natural natural gas is a proper transition right fuel. Everybody on the stage would resign the paris accords now. Some of them aren't favor of the green new deal some of them may like parts of the green deal and otherwise but our choices going to be between those distinctions are choices going to be between trump's environmental environmental policy and there's and so we need to get a little bit back to the general election mindset and <hes> recognizing you you've been in these situations you gotta to fight the primary and maybe you would say it'd be curious what your thoughts are. Can you fight a primary and still keep poop and hope to win and silky. People focused focused on the contrast in the general election. Yeah i think you can do that. It's just got to keep the balance a little bit more toward the differences between the the democrats and trump rather than the differences between how to get to universal or how to do single payer the prime distinction and let's let's take a step back definitely because people did leave those debates confused so what what what are the candidates agree on what i want to talk so they every candidate that that that <hes> is both from what they've said it will as some of the primary knowledge we have a believes leaves that everybody should have available to them a plan offered by the government that they should have available to them no matter what <hes> what they disagree on is whether or not if they have something through the private sector whether it's something like medicare advantage or it's something through their employer <hes> or something thing that takes care of a special need that they have because maybe they have a disabled child or something <hes> whether or not they should still be able to keep that plan says nothing about whether that absolutely available and as you pointed out earlier that most of the other countries in the world <hes> provide you some role for the public and private sector because of the fact that they do depend upon one another and mash together now when bernie is saying thing and i think he principal person saying we should really not have a role for the public sector for the private sector he tapping into something real which is the anger the the the right the rightful anger at people who have been putting profits over really caring for people in this country for too long you know the <hes> pharmaceutical sector makes sixty nine billion dollars in profits last year <hes> and they charge ten times for insulin or close to ten times for insulin what what's charge in other countries entries and just in general at last time your hair you say europe pays about thirty to forty percent of what we do right for farmers great good good example. It costs about fifteen dollars to produce a vial of insulin. If you're being generous about actually you could produce and this is something that's been around for how long insulin but around on forever and in nineteen ninety six that fifteen dollar violet insulin sold for about fifteen dollars costs a little bit less to make it than in the u._s. Today that fifteen dollar bible of insulin if you were to take inflation and just grow inflation approximately you'd get to thirty nine dollars and thirty nine dollars is what you can buy insulin foreign canada that same exact vial of insulin from the same factor in the u._s. cost two hundred and forty dollars and that is causing causing people to ration their own insulin and there's been deaths and the pharmaceutical industry spends about four hundred million dollars a year just from one lobby to prevent any progress in bringing the the cost of drugs down. There is a lot of anger appropriately for the fact that our system caters to the private sector at the expense of real people. I think the sanders sanders supporters are calling more attention to this and better than anybody has in the past with they're asking for for is something that really reshapes a how that works now he is using the brand for this is medicare for all other people bull and this is where it starts get confusing also saying their plan has medicare for all so maybe a ticket step back and say what is medicare so medicare is a program passed passed in nineteen sixty five and it covers two groups of people people over sixty five and people living with disabilities. It has a very antiquated benefit. That's called party in part b. and part d that covers hospital stays and it covers doctor visits covers some drugs if you buy the party what bernie sanders is offering really doesn't look a lot like that for one. It doesn't have a party party and party structure. It creates a different set of benefits that look more like the a._c._a. A._c._a. Secondly medicare uses something called the medicare trust fund which is a bunch of money. That's been reserved to pay for medicare claims he's not talking about tapping typing into that <hes> necessarily and this comes from just income tax revenue it it comes from payroll tax <hes> okay yep okay specific diffic- line item on your payroll tax. That's what it does now yes his would would come out of the general fund of frederick that's right so any document raising taxes on the wealthy and a couple of other things to to try to compensate so would he also said they'll be a tax increase for middle class but their healthcare will be free. You know <hes>. I don't see where like elizabeth warren was asked a few times in that debate will the middle class people be paying more on their taxes and she said they'll be less out of pocket for them right. I'd like to see the math on that. <hes> for some people it might be less out of pocket. <hes> at the same income thinks. Let's say somebody just doesn't is young doesn't get sick right and and that's fine. I'm trying to make a very simple point which is for all your helping me. Make it and maybe i have made well but my point is the medicare for all isn't like the current medicare program really the only thing about it that re- that references medicare is it pays a network work it would pay in a very similar way to medicare but it is it is medicare is a is a word choice at the brand choice that sanders and others have chosen into us but it's not the medicare program. The reason that is in my opinion is because medicare is an extremely popular program. It has about eighty eight percent sent popularity what it means to people's a guarantee when you're sixty five. You're guaranteed right but medicare program today. It's as about a two-thirds public sector one-third private sector so it went it implies to people that it only comes from the government <hes> that's actually not how medicare works today and and so when other people say as you heard senator harris in the debate say the cheese in favor of medicare for all but she would include an option for that to be provided by the private sector or the public sector depending on people's choices and she is chain sure stance a little bit on that from the beginning of the candidate the word would be clarified. Yes okay yes. Yes i think she i think she has said she's for medicare for all and i think to be fair to her. She said <hes> this is what i mean by it. I think she was a little bit <hes> while she was asked yes shoot women ate all private insurance and she raised her hand and she said yes no right. She said yes and then the next day she said no. <hes> that's what i consider changing finishing. Yes definite right right and i look. I think these are complicated. Issues complicated questions but the most important point is like they'd be sure but i i see the distinctions that are meaningful however for most americans. What do they want. They want it to work that means that someone in their family gets sick. They wanna be able to afford to take care of them and they don't really necessarily care how it works. As much as that it works they just don't want anybody. Whether it's the president of the united states congress their insurance companies fine print to be able to take something away from them at a moment of need what but i would say is all of the democratic candidates want that there are distinctions that matter and that could certainly cause you wanna say candidate better than kennedy in this position position however those distinctions are so fine in my opinion relative to where where trump is that we we. This is where we are losing the plot and i think we'd be wiser to say. We all want the same thing. We are arguing over how to get there not to take anything away from those distinctions but by god. This is a position that in the main that's going to be determined by the congress how we get there. I i just want your vote because i want to get to this place. It's very very different from donald trump. Okay i wanna say <hes> two things here. One part of the way you argue what you say we should be focusing on is you'll remember the trump said that he would replace obamacare with something terrific and when it turned out that's something terrific twenty three twenty two twenty three million americans americans with lose coverage right now it costs more for many of them right and there wouldn't be guarantees of protection for people with preexisting conditions and on and on that's why we had the election we had in two thousand eighteen where we picked up forty seats in the house right and there's no reason to believe no matter what he says is between now and the election that he's going to do. He lies all the time. He doesn't know what he's talking about. All the talk member when he said who knew healthy ear was complicated right well. Here's the danger sign. I talked to somebody from the white house last week. Who said that trump believes he can win on healthcare and you know a believes he can win and healthcare is just simply not to run on his record and if he wanted to not run on his record then the last several debates were just music ears. Yes we have to emphasize that. He has been a disaster even with maintaining the a._c._a. Because of you've stuff they've done smaller enrollment period less <hes> people helping you sign up <hes> less payments. The people who have high needs low income in the last two and a half years seven million americans have lost insurance coverage under president trump and that's when when he failed to get the policy wanted through congress so imagine what will happen when he succeeds in getting those policy through through congress and let me i'd say one more thing before we go any further and this may sound a little self serving and it is. I guess there was one provision in the affordable. Oh care act that checked. Put a check on how much prophet insurance companies could make and that was called that was called. The medical loss ratio okay who authored that. I don't wanna say they don't want to say. I think you could confirm this. I think it was senator al franken yes yes. I recall now now. Now what the medical loss ratio basically said that insurance companies <hes> small pool insurance companies had disbanded vandalise eighty percent of the premiums because if the insurance company didn't meet the eighty or eighty five percent the medical loss ratio in other words didn't spend eighty five percent of the large group on healthcare but spent it in on c._e._o. Salaries or marketing or administrative costs if they didn't do that. You gotta check back so people and they become more more efficient now. Actually thanks to the millar. He's junk plans now. The trump's approved are back in the forty forty five fifty percents on and you would think that if you're giving insurance company a dollar the least you could ask for would be can you spend most of it back on the medical expenses that we need the thing it is be interesting and i think we're you there now. I think we would be talking about legislation leases. Why not increase the medical ratio one percent every year require that the more efficient required them to be more efficient and reduce costs every year but just to take a step back and just take a look at what you said in the importance of what that did is you know we are suspicious of of oil and gas companies polluting the environment where suspicious of automobile manufacturers making cars arza don't that don't comply with with religion. We'll we don't do necessarily as only option is to get rid of all oil and gas companies and get rid of all automobile manufacturers picture. What we do say is let pass regulations which require that these actors meet our standards or they're breaking the law and can't exist exist and those works so well that that's one of the problems the oil and gas companies. I mean i is they have captured the congress ah to accent and that's the argument that the bernie people will make us at the insurance. It's a it's a fair. That's a it's a fair argument. The point is that regulation particularly securely of highly consolidated industries is a tool that we don't use enough and that i think the medical loss ratio was one of the first and best examples. Where are we said fine. You're going to serve this market. You're going to play by a set of the rules much like pre existing conditions are and so when we had a different <hes> president resident different congress. We said hey auto mobile manufacturers need to get certain miles per gallon in their vehicles and is it turns out. Everybody's better off when you do that when you do that intelligently and so there's no question people's <hes> animosity that the private sector is well earned by the private sector and in israel and i'd also say twenty eighteen with a first danton the armor to say that voters and grassroots actually matters more at the end of the day eh than the money and politics but there is still an overwhelming influence of money and politics and there's no love lost between the american public and these these companies so. I don't think it's actually that anybody on that. Stage is fearful of insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies or special interests <hes> <hes> i wouldn't say that as a blanket statement but i would say as a rule i think those guys are losing power pretty rapidly what i think they're scared of and why they would say <hes> <hes> maybe i shouldn't rush into an of getting rid of the option that people can buy employer-based coverage or some private sector coverage is because the reality is you've got one hundred fifty million people today who are employed to whom their employer pays seventy percent of their coverage and they fear that if they take take that away that they're not going to see that money now at the same time new jobs that are created today in the new economy most of them don't come with health benefits fits. Most of the new jobs are <hes> very very different today than they were when those jobs were put together so we can't stand pat. Nobody wants is interesting avenue. This is completely off topic and i'll get through right away. The yang talked about a._i. And you know five years ten years from now we're gonna be. Who's that guy talking about a._i. Because boy was he right. We're not going to need truck drivers as certain point or anywhere near as many well. We're going to need more therapists. We're gonna have to start training people for you know other kinds of jobs yeah the human side okay so let's talk about how many candidates have a very specific plan for healthcare. How may have served just in general parameters. I'd say that there are four or five of them that have released their own unique plans with their own unique features all of them though all of the people on both stages have declared one way or the other what they support when it comes to covering everybody so it's real easy to know that they all want to cover everybody but a few of them sanders harris michael bennett <hes> joe biden <hes> have released their own plans may be missing one one or two and then there's a few more that are going to release some that are working on <hes>. Some of the unique plans included judge them right. I'm wondering is basically going to be public. Public option with <hes> repeat says is medicare for all the one at and that is another way of saying the public option option. Let's talk by harris because that's i guess the most recent and also it has some features to it that i'd like to look at <hes> like a ten year transition now. I think you've been saying all along the creating a single pair and her thing isn't single payer's is medicare for all either through government medicare program or a private sector medicare provider. I think okay right by people have now like people now but the ten year window you've been saying this is much more complicated indicated to go from the healthcare system. We have now to a single payer system. You compare it more to city planning thing then just flipping a switch right. That's right what we're about ten years out from when the e._c._a. Was passed and there was a five year window before it was mostly implemented <hes> i would tell you that it's it's very very hard. It's not necessarily that we need five years or ten years ears <hes> but i think the idea of saying we're going to do certain things in stages. <hes> makes a certain amount of sense. What is what is important. Though as she begins many of the changes immediately she doesn't wait ten years to make coverage available to everyone just and i i don't think the listener has to think hard through each one of these but the kind of choices you would have to make when you're setting setting up a single payer plan what would you this is the city planning analogy got. I'll give you four big decisions that you really need to make any plan you choose <hes> and assuming in all these plans you're going to cover everybody with his high quality care as possible for as low cost as possible awesome. That's the aim you gotta make decisions. The first is how do you pay hospitals and doctors and that's important because if you pay see them what the medicare program pays them today and they no longer able to receive the payments that they get from commercial insurance companies they would make a lot l._s. and that would have implications for the availability of care for people going into medicine for for those sort when we saw the republican plan and <hes> seventeen eighteen they were gonna essentially get rid of medicaid expansion which freaked out everybody in rural minnesota right in rural america and america because when we did the a._c._a. We expanded medicaid and that meant for rural hospitals goals they would get paid when someone came in the emergency room instead of someone that had no insurance the uncompensated care and because of all the compensated care they were able to get more doctors. Get more nurses get more technicians. Better machines get better food all of that right and became the highest employer in the county case. That's right and in states that didn't expand medicaid. It's been a disaster for hospitals. There's just a report. It just came out on that. There's no question we have to control costs but how we pay providers is important and it's not just a level or the amount we pay providers. It's what do we pay them for. Is there an opportunity to pay them based upon the outcomes that they achieve how good a job they do keeping people healthy. There's a whole set of questions that are there under that under that question the second question that has to be entered as what is the patient responsibility from a financial perspective. What should it be sanders. Sanders would say it should be zero. No co pays no deductibles which obviously sounds attractive to people you know the republican ideal is that they have a ten in two thousand dollars deductible and you give people a spending account for those that have enough money to invest their money in and save. It's not my fault that they ate terribly the and drank all the time and you know we're lazy well. Is it your fault that you're born with health with a heart defect right. You can't blame you can't blame kids at the very least and that's an these plans that have that have really discriminate in that direction so what what is there in between what sanders is where this sort of republican nirvana is is. There's a lot for one. I believe that deductibles are really not necessary. Deductible officials say if you get sick in january. It's gonna cost you a lot more than if you get sick in december and it doesn't seem to make i don't get that because every year your your plan starts over january first alright deductible and so the first is on but there but there are sensible ways of saying that there should be some amount of responsibility ability borne by individuals based on their income the you know there's a lot of studies out which say you know if if as long as people are paying less at the end of the day less than seven or eight percent senator income if they make over one hundred hundred fifty thousand two hundred thousand dollars in medical expenses that it's affordable and so there's some affordability criteria for for individuals and you know there are things that are if you go to the emergency room. Maybe you should have gone to you could have gone to the urgent care clinic. Maybe it should cost you a little bit more. There's a lot of different room to maneuver and i'm not i'm not advocating as much as i'm saying what are the four types of decisions that need to the second one is. How do you think about what amount that an individual family has to pay and i think all of the democratic candidates would say it should be income graded and people with low and fixed incomes should pay nothing very very very little and then above that <hes> there should be some <hes> some some amount that that can be figured in the third medicare does which medicare does breath the third question is what should be the role of the employer providing coverage if they want to provide coverage should they have to will they be allowed to ooh right. Should they be forced to <hes> which is which is an employer mandate <hes> should they enforced to above a certain size. How do you create equality between people who don't don't work for a regular don't work. People aren't a lot of people working for general electric or ford motor anymore. How do you make sure that people who work for the company or work doc on farms <hes> or work multiple jobs are driving uber get treated exactly the same way as someone from a large employer and right now the tax system mm-hmm gives a big benefit to people who get their insurance through their employer and if a simpler gets to implore gets deducted so we have we'd spent two ended discount discount world war two where the system all the origins and the railroads in world war two and kaiser permanent day was kind of how the employer lawyer piece started but this deduction you point to it's really interesting. It's not a small amount of money. We taxpayers spend we spend two hundred fifty billion dollars a year on allowing employers to give tax free insurance to their employees and we don't spend it on people we don't give the same tax tax break to everybody who gets insurance on their own and so given that most jobs these days my kids jobs and every you know all all of our younger generations that are growing up are are not necessarily going to get access to that tax break. It really is a tax break for people were fortunate enough to work for these large companies. We have to figure out how to address that fairly and one person's version and sanders version that means doing away with the employer system in a of insurance entirely <hes> in some other people system that means gradually moving away from it that's kind of where harris and in some people's version like biden's it means employer wants to do this and make it a benefit of working there and they do pay for a large part of your coverage. Let's let's let them do that and the another wrinkle that ryan brought up union unions unions trade off salary salary or pay for healthcare right and so it look it's not as if these details don't matter to the public they do matter to the public but again the the the end of the day they're all different ways of accomplishing the same thing and furthermore to your point. The senate and the house are not going going to give the president exactly what their plan look like. They're going to give them what they think makes sense. I told you there were four without trying it out. I'll give you the the fourth decision is is <hes> what should be the role of private insurance and the private sector and this is not a yes or no answer because in some cases in some countries the insurance is used as a supplement and some cases. It's used as a substitute in some cases. It's used to provide things above love basic level in some cases. It's used as an alternative in very few cases that i can think of is almost no role for the private sector. Even in canada ended a in the united kingdom where you have a very prominent government system. There are a lot of people if they want to get something from <hes> the private sector and so and usually it's through their employer right but there's a point here that standards makes and others make that's important to address which is about the inefficiency of having many many many many different health plans who all send a claim forms to their <hes> <hes> doctors different ways in all do things differently and they don't share data and they have higher administrative costs. How do you make healthcare system more efficient. How do you deal with unnecessary users prophets and so forth and again the answer could be anything from do away with them entirely to regulate the hell out of them. Which is i think along. The lines of the medical loss ratio. We talked about earlier out or <hes> or or or something but that's an issue that needs to be addressed. You know when you you a run last time when you did this last time you talked a lot about physicians burning out and i think that these insurance forms are part of that right right now. There are two things remember a few thing about how physician would do under medicare for all plan if they were all reimbursed only at the medicare rate they'll be getting being paid a lot less money now to compensate for that at least somewhat <hes> it might be easier and they would certainly make their job more satisfying <hes> if they didn't have to deal with all the insurance forms and regulations but there's also an income effect as well that we can forget right yeah because you think of doctors. There's a lot of doctors making a lot of money and this would if the government ran this you become a doctor for a different reason. I would think yeah well well. I think we should think about doctors and a few different categories. <hes> you know there's primary care doctors and mental health professionals and people in that nature whose job the object is to keep people healthy and they don't get paid nearly enough as it is. Most of. 'em and there's not nearly enough of them. There's not nearly enough right. I'm in the places that need them and so you wouldn't do anything in good policy to discourage primary care doctors family medicine physicians in fact. We've been trying to find ways of mike paying off loans and all that kind of stuff to encourage people blue app because we do have a shortage. That's right now. They're they're. They're specialists and make a lot of money there. There are many many other types of institutions from hospitals nursing homes to you know to rehab facilities and and everybody else <hes> and you know a lot of them are very inefficient. Some of them are left to however the only game in town in the small town that they're in and they're just getting by a hanging by a thread so this is a very diverse country with a lot of different situations. The city planning analogy may not be perfect but it's important that we get these details right we get the payments to providers right we figure out how to do this in a way that encourages the kinds of physicians and healthcare professionals that we want the rewards people who are taking care of people and keeping them healthy that we don't do anything <hes> that causes people people to lose access to care because we stop <hes> hospitals in whether it's inner cities or in rural communities being able to get by and we have to start to ask those questions at the detailed level of these plans and in many respects those are the details that are probably too much for a primary but it brings me back again to to the overall point that there are a lot of details to work out. Let's make sure as democratic candidates. You don't lose sight of the fact that you don't get to deal with those details if the current president wins again the current president wins again. You have a situation that will look a lot like everybody's worst fears in my opinion opinion well. I think that's a great summary of where we are now or at least our viewpoint of it. I would like to see in the debates going forward. I still think each candidate is entitled to talk about what she or he wants to talk. Talk about of course of course and <hes> to try to win but we also need to remind people what the contrast is and the contrast is. This is a good contrast. This says where you're running against someone who is very underwater in terms of the american public and for very very very good reason right look the battleground states as we know them today wisconsin michigan pennsylvania north carolina <hes> minnesota minnesota florida these are places where the president's healthcare record is extremely unpopular <hes> in in fact a generic democrat on healthcare even in areas that are favorable to trump generally in those battleground states democrats are nine points more favorable than trump on healthcare and running on health that healthcare record reminding people of what the last two and a half years have been unlike while trump will say pretty much in the debates we can assume he'll say whatever he wants but at least people be fact checking him and they'll make a big difference silly they'll be fact checking him but if he characterizes the you know what he thinks healthcare the healthcare debate is about the democrats democrats need to be very clear in my view very strong in their view does that the general election is about trump's record versus what what therefore which which i think will not be this debate about those intricate four questions about how people are getting paid whether or not an employer cantor can't offer coverage wjr though those questions will be not the right questions to focus on <hes> if they indeed wanna win and in fact indeed want to govern successfully so i think we both agree that that these are fine distinctions to make as long as they keep it in check and keep some oxygen for the fact that the country is rapidly and scared in a very scary way taking healthcare coverage away from millions of people and again. This is just our opinion you you were head of medicare medicaid for the obama administration for the last part of that and saved. Let's face ace it <hes> the and the the obama presidency well that i don't know if you've saved the presidency but i i do think that it's given me opportunity to voice my opinion publicly and i would say <hes> that like you. I am very much looking forward it to voting for the candidate for any one of them everyone anyone anyone. I think i might had a made news there anyway but for any of them okay there you have it. <hes> thank thank you <hes> return guests for the first time. Thanks for having me back back. Okay keep listening everybody <hes> this says <hes> al franken al franken.

medicare president donald trump democrats bernie sanders al franken assault senate united states sanders congress canada senator harris obama Ted cruz josh riley
Sara Silverman and Al Talk About Comedy and Politics

The Al Franken Podcast

56:45 min | 1 year ago

Sara Silverman and Al Talk About Comedy and Politics

"This is the Al Franken show on Sirius. Xm Progress one twenty-seven. Hey everybody we got a great one for a change That's because they were replaying my interview with Sarah Silverman and she's just wonderful. You'll really enjoy this. It's really great and the reason we're we're doing that is. We're taking a little holiday break holiday holiday break and I don't mean to offend people by calling a holiday break because I know how -fensive that is To some people people. I don't WanNa say Christmas break because there are some people aren't don't celebrate crew Christmas and I don't WanNa say Hanukkah break because Most people don't celebrate Hannukah most people in this country and the world are there just aren't many of us so I use holiday break break to include everybody and I'm sorry if I'm including everybody I know that's offensive. So here we go. Here's my interview with By friend Sarah Silverman. This is your podcast right now. Do you have a name for it yet. Al Franken podcast. They okay now yeah. I thought I'd do that. You know and people are free to give me ideas. I just I do hooper just you can you know send in ideas but do not send in Frankencense and Mirth Eh. Whatever thing you name it people are going to call it? The Al Franken podcast. That's what I thank in my guest. Today is a funny principled. Brave versatile sensible adorable happy great comedian and and friend Sarah. So that's so nice. What is all true? Every word of it we met A Saturday night live. You only did one year. The right yes. Why did you do that? Why didn't you kidding me? What do you just left? I thought you just left because that'd be like something you would do for some reason. Yeah oh well okay. They made some mistakes. I don't have any ill will towards it. I think they did the right thing. Well you're fine. I mean he did fine. Okay worked out. It worked out great workout great when I say versatile you do so much. You're obviously a standup. I mean I like this and then I can talk like this. Now that's versatility. I WanNa talk about Some things that I know about you there relate to your father other you love tremendously. Yes swears all the time right. Yeah when I was a toddler my I had one of those dads. What's that thought? It was hilarious to teach. Your you know little kids swear words so he just told me he taught me swears. And then you know like a party trick you you can save them when you can say bits bastard Damn Shit Okay and then I learned yell at in places. uh-huh uh-huh and grown-ups would give me immense amounts of approval despite themselves. You take your two years old. You're getting laughs. Yeah and it does make sense because like that element of shock and you you really love and getting that the laughs arms it with Glee. What was the first show you ever did or get up on a stage Williams if I could have been a stage? When I was seventeen I went to summer school at Boston University and I I was in Boston? That was the big city. So I get your from New Hampshire. Yeah and I did Open MIC get stitches. So that's the first time you performed armistead. You didn't do it in school and I did. All the school plays and all that okay you did all all the musicals and then in the spring was the nonmusical the play and I did lights I was lucky enough to go to a like a prep school. My last three years of high school. My Dad made me good at this prep school. Then I ended up loving it and it was like cool to be smart and was it a co Ed. They would let me. There was assemblies EMBA lease every Friday and they'd let me have like two or three minutes. Your sister is a rabbi in Israel suzy now I went to Israel on a trip and a rabbi who lives in Israel she acknowledged as rabbis in Israel. Right she's a reform rabbi. Yeah we went to a service together. Yeah probably went to see who sang a lot. He did get all my weed from him he was my we'd connection and he's the rabbi the Rabbi at the temple there was funny I I'm reformed so services are much more in English right in Hebrew when you're reform so I'm go to this reform perform service in Jerusalem I'm going. Oh good the service will mainly be in English but I forgot your in Israel. Oh I'm in Israel and so and it took me a moment going. Why are they doing it in Hebrew the Big Jerusalem or something I was there for a Gig and to like it and to see a family there and everything and so is there with this girl? How did you go over in Israel I I had never been in Israel before and I was like Whoa? I wonder if people know who I am in Israel. I'm famous in Israel. Turns out I mean I'm not like are they Jewish centric is that part of the reason. Now you're not religious. I know the the religion of Judaism. But you really Julie. Yeah like I'm so Julie it's so weird. Identify your culture cultural very a very Jewish and that comes from again but like a New England you like a Messy Ju Ju that has stains. There's different kinds of Jews. You know what I mean. I think you're talking about kind of a class differential. May maybe yeah like you know I think your Dad Dad Really was a little class-conscious was he. Yeah no he hates rich people. He's been punched in the face. We've both been punched in the face three times. Okay let's follow up on that you've been punched in the face three times. Yeah but for. How many were Jimmy Kimmel zero? Uh No one was in a movie where I was getting beat up in. This poor actor completely made contact. Knocked me off my feet. I had a huge huge egg on my jaw. And probably it's called the way of the gun it's before even the credits opening credits. I'm just I'm in like the cold hold open. CNN Vet and Ryan Phillipi beat the shit out of me and on the last. I must've leaned in or I don't know what they come totally connected and when I came to like when I opened my eyes I probably would have cried but he was already crying and I was like to go right into like it's okay. Go Out. He definitely not me off my feet on the ground and so but I didn't. I wasn't unconscious like another time. I was punched in the face completely. This was when I was I think it was twenty by then for two years. Here's IO cashed out flyers on the corner of McDougal and third and curry just a drunk could guy just completely punched me square in the temple. Bowl knocked me unconscious. That's two and then the third one oh was at comic con. This was on. I had this. There's this one was really this poor guy. He was nerd who he there was all like a line to take pictures with Mesa. Okay so by now. I'm I'm famous bit COMECON and He had not a fist but they had the orange ones. For the thing. You know the hulk fest that he punched goes know your audience might or their kids or their grandkids. I'm sure but many But majority of Americans know what you're talking big all the thing fest on his hand and then he's the next in line and I go hi and he looks at me and it's like he didn't know what to do with all his feelings and then he just punched me with it and it just knocked me back like a step up. And by the time I got my bearings. He was being dragged away by two giant guys with like this ferrier remorseful look on his face and I felt bad. He just didn't didn't know what to do with his all his feelings. But my dad really asks for it. Yeah you get sponge by rich people people. Yeah He. He sits at bucks. And that's Your Hampshire accident and it is Kinda you're the guy comes up in a Bentley and daddy go good for you. You need a Bentley. That could probably feed eighty thousand people in India. But good for you need a Bentley down. Your Rolex might timex thirty bucks and I can swim in it. Here's my timer. LOVES HIS TIMEX works. Yeah I go dad just lead. You're like lead by example show. You're happy you know modest life. But he's a reverse SNOB. So let me ask you about taste taste and and how you approach what you do because first of all you do a a lot of blue humor you do a lot of dark humor. Yeah and you get away with it for a number of reasons. I think mainly because you've established that your intention is always good as offensive as some of the language use and as Iran. If it's ironic right It'll be on its face maybe offensive but your audience now knows that you don't mean that and you're getting away from the irony I think more and more I'm getting I'm different than you know. My first specialist spoofs pretty problematic but I feel like if you don't look back on old stuff and cringe than you're not necessarily growing wildly but but I that's one one of the things I admire about us that you are growing you always growing. I love being fundamentally changed. You know I think People Liebler afraid of it and I doesn't feel at all brave I think is just like a dipping your tone the water and Oh yeah. It's not a big deal. I hope we get to a place where we fall. Feel safe enough to mess around and have that kind of freedom and opportunity to make mistakes and figure things out it's hard. I think we're getting to. There's something wrong right now. I wanted to comment graces. PC culture. I WANNA learn your pronouns. I wanted to learn the new things. And how you know but I do think that this the disingenuous Sir framing of of things you said at one point or something you know what I mean to invert something. Someone said ten years ago it before it's it can be very dangerous and I think it's it's uncool isn't the word but it's a dangerous thing when you know there's the meme that goes around in far right you know cyberspace that is of me a picture of me. oftentimes it's a picture of me from the DNC and the quote says. I'm glad the Jews killed. Jesus I do it again and and that was a joke from my first special. That is part in between two like it's a whole character thing you sure the whole specials in character they made a mean that makes it look like I said this in earnest. Sure I've I've had those people death not just death threats from but there's a preacher in a church video of a preacher at Church saying I should be killed someone should know if someone knocks my teeth out and kills me. It will be God's work work a preacher a preacher in Florida's it's on videotape. This comedian Sarah Silverman. Because no I'm talking about she brags about it. I'd do it again. Listen she is a witch. She is a jazz abell. She is a God hating Hor of Zionism. I hope the God breaks her teeth out and she dies. She is a wicked acheived person. And she is she is like the perfect representation of Religious Judaism she is Satan scarver and she is there to take the world and make them laugh often. This Jesus try to take away the respect for Jesus and listen. We have to be on guard. We have to be vigilant against these type of people. I pray that God would give give her untimely death and it would be evident that it's at the hand of God will be obvious that God would judge her. I pray for the day. I'm wondering that's charge someone for that. But anyway he's GonNa you know like I understand if I get myself killed. But like this guy's that's GonNa get me killed so I've gotten you know trouble for Jokes in the past and I went into new politics for a reason which I wanted to get things done and help people and and I during my first campaign I had and they put everything I'd ever said through the dehumanize. Oh yeah I read that in your last book so brilliant and Thank you and sell there. Were things like I had this bit that I did. which was the Republicans were trying to cut performing offers? They were trying to cut Medicare and the space program so I had an idea which is to shoot the elderly. I mean that's an old brilliant. Well thank but the Republicans use it against me as if he joked about shooting the elderly in the space. Well because well. I don't want to categorically talk about the republic you know Asan them or but there are some people that career about the spirit of the thing and other people that care about words Thomasson my daughter she so l. loves you and quotes quotes your stuff all the time. I love her eaten by grasshopper as one of her. She told me that I because once I do a special everything goes out of my brain. Texas was only Moore's the third state but then a judge put the Kabosh on it. You guys should know this. And I'm not blaming you for not knowing about this law because we've been an atrocity after atrocity has been coming at us every day but you're not gonNA believe this. It's true we're them law. Where if you get an abortion in those states or have a miscarriage you are responsible for paying for a funeral for the fetal tissue crazy and heinous and I want to speak at those funerals? He died the way he lived the size of a sesame seed with no discernible brain function. You'll we'll be returned now to the soil where he will get eaten by a cricket. Maybe the thing with with Comedians. When they do specials is they go out and they work up an hour or whatever it is right and that takes a while it takes a long time? I Oh really slow. Homeowner Yeah I'm amazed that someone like Jim. Gaffe again yeah. Who does he doesn't unlike and he's always working then writing and his wife is his co writer so they they're both always generating stuff it's amazing? He's just hilarious. I love him and you know I had this thought and it's kind of an observation. Trump's wall was his hot pockets. Be Because He. That's hot pockets. Rockets fitted since signature looking at a box hot pockets able warning printed on this morning unified. Hot Bax curb your drunk or heading home to a trailer you hillbilly enjoy the next NASCAR. Obama trump has a talent of going out there and talking for an hour hour ham as it's an excellent extemporaneous talker. Yeah depends it depends. What you yes? He's terrible on prompter you can tell when he's reading because he says the AW as he says the and He says a while he's reading it you can tell he's reading for a number of reasons. Yeah you know But what he did what his whole cycle last cycle was member. How he he said that Everybody else's low energy and he was high energy and so all he did was his rallies that's re- and then heated debates but I mean all. He did parties for himself. He so and as you know showing up and performing to thousands of people doesn't take energy gives you energy right. I mean it does take a little energy but gives you a tremendous mendes amount of it. So here's what he did last campaign he gets picked up at trump tower. And you know some form of limbo. So he gets driven to Peterborough in New Jersey. Gets on the trump plane flies to a city has another limo. Pick them up goes to the venue maybe drink something eat something goes on stage. Aged fifteen thousand people worshipping him and and he's trying new stuff Alec Comedian and early on. He says we're going to build a wall on southern border between the United States Mexico. And it's GonNa and and Mexico's GonNa pay for it and there. They go nuts and and he goes. Well I'M GONNA keep that that in that's like a joke because that's hot pockets and so we had the government shutdown because of his hot pockets. I mean that was. It worked the origin of that was he. Couldn't remember to talk about immigration. Uh and stopping immigration. So they gave him. It wasn't a pneumonic but it was okay. Just say you're going to build a wall and he did that and killed and we shut the government down and now I've been with a national emergency. Did everything go okay. attacked at the. We still still have the damn emergency by people begging us for help me still being attacked by the people begging us for help. I Had Maria Maria Theresa Kumar on. WHO's president of Voto Latino and My God the things that we are doing. She taught. She talked about an eight year old. This really really an eight year old. Who what he wants? It was in detention action camper and what he wanted to know is were there any coffee plantations thereby because he's a really good picker he's eight years old anyone he he came there to work. I just I would like like a lot of people to go to jail for crimes against humanity for this one fish when she said she says we need to prosecute the the third in parliament and they're making money from this of course of course this for profit prisons for babies obvious. Yeah and there's a for profit Prisons for profit Profit and know enforcement by devos in terms of enforcement or brothers. The Guy Brothers the guy who makes money from work. Well he's not the Guy uh-huh he's one of the guys we're GonNa take a break for moment we'll be right back and those of you who listen to the podcast by definition you. You are You know that we often have have a great guests who are doing great things For example Maria trae Sukumar the founder and president of Voto Latino Did a wonderful show on immigration and voter suppression and after hearing her interview. A listener listener gave Voto Latino one hundred thousand dollars because voter Latino is in the trenches Registering Latinos UH across America to vote and Fighting Republican efforts to suppress the Latino vote. Now I'm not asking you for one hundred thousand dollars unless unless you've you know you've got that kind of money but please consider giving to this unbelievably great organization at www dot voto voto Latino dot org. That's Voto Latino Dot Org and by the way they didn't pay for for this. I just wanted to do this and that way. You don't have to do backslash Al This country isn't divided because we're so insanely different. Were being separated half the the country is being told that Democrats wanted to kill babies after birth. Half the country's being told take this and so much more and much much more. And it's these there lies is basically Fox News this is now just the trump's governments mouthpiece state and people watch that and they believe and this is a a guy who is a pathological liar or is he just smart. I know he's I think he's a pathological liar. I think think could be a path logical wire end smart. I mean smart in in other words Owl's he is skills. He has a gift. You you know it gets. It was something he learned or practiced or honed or that went into an area. Then the no one else has exploded for which is the always lying violating the law not paying taxes being crooked every step of the way the valuing property when you're paying taxes on it overvaluing when you want to say you're rich. He has chosen rosen away to go and no one else. I don't think he's run for. President is live the life completely like this He. I think this is how he has. Survived live in his very sad life and he. He's not. He has no sense of ethics affects. Our I mean it seems silly to even say it so as you say is very sad life and I kind of think you're right I he's hardly listen if he wasn't really hurting. And in some cases killing people in their quality of life I would my heart would break for around I said this in. DC But. I believe that many people in this country and in the world suffer at the hands of of powerful people who are living unexamined lives and in fact they became powerful because of those unexamined lives because those fucked up survival skills. Get them there. It's not happiness. It's not success in my opinion but it does control other people which is what they we need. And they're making choices based on unexamined lives based on daddy issues that they haven't looked at figured out wondered about it's all that I think America those last psychoanalyzing of the president. I hope this election in this coming election won't be about the daily trump shiny object was. That's part of his hell take it. It's attention Dan. That's the the kid who would also heard that bad. Attention is just as good. It's actually a distraction right. So it's a distraction from what we should really be looking at so we should really be looking at healthcare. We should really be looking at climate. We should really be looking at wealth inequality inequality we. We didn't discuss any of that in the two thousand sixteen election it was just trump circus and Hillary's emails New York Times. Ames's guilty of that for God's sakes all the all the quote Unquote Liberal Hollywood elite Jew media or whatever you WANNA call it is guilty. The of giving trump was raised dollars worth of for ratings it was rating so CNN would just go to a trump rally and stay there as long as trump is out there as long as people alert addicted to money and see money a success less invest goes. Oh Oh I shouldn't give them so much coverage but it such good ratings during the election. Let me ask you what Comedians you admire and and To help me out there new ones that I probably don't know and because I have not really been in The comedy scene required. While I'm I I know less popular culture as when I'm serving the Senate than I I ever knew and I'm big. I'm catching up a little bit. So who should I be be wou Lou Tig Notaro I know her. I know her work not an yes. There's a woman named Kate. Bur lapped a find very exciting comic called Beth stelling now now. The she have Netflix special order. She have he was in the net flicks cluster of specials called. I think the specials where it was like four half hours of the half a half hour set. Yeah that's what you guys call it right right. She's great a set. Yeah thank you really good set. Yeah I know I know the WINCO. I'm lost it. Who else do I like so many comics? Todd glasses like one of my all time favorites and I have the feeling that Some my listeners. Just don't up. I was was just Scott excited about time glass. Some of my favorite jokes autonomous joke to talking about changing with the Times uh-huh and we care about a lot of same things. People are just so afraid to change with the Times. Just fight it at every turn and then he's you know he's the guy goes have you. What does this peanut allergies? We didn't have peanut allergies when I was growing up. And he goes. Yeah they were called unexplained De. Yeah and yeah. He has such brilliant. He has a brilliant show What is it about crow? We can't see Merry Christmas anymore anymore. Kissing Christmas anymore. Yes you can. I think we're just saying that. Not everyone celebrates Christmas like you can say happy. Holidays include clued. Everybody like people who are like that are like people who say oh. I can't say hi Glenn Terry I mean Everyone's name is len. You don't think anyone would mind. I heard this story about David. David Pryor was running for governor of Arkansas and he was also Sarah and Iran guy was like really all I said. How old are you? I'm ninety three years old cool and he's a well. You must have seen a lot of changes your. I've been again every one of them. Yeah I mean sometimes I do feel like well. That's why I always think it's odd with progress. And so often Republicans conservatives fight progress and then ultimately the progress happens and then they're used to it and they're okay with it and they don't see that they don't see their own pattern and go. Oh maybe I should be open to this because it's going to be the way once in a while I mean we do things don't work My belief is you experiment with things and things aren't working working. You try to improve them but sometimes they don't work and people are people are skeptical and This is the part of republicanism awesome. That I understand pretty well which is a few get a government controlling everything that maybe then then It's the elites that control the government. And I never really understood that fear until trump was elected and and then when I had that fear like he was elected and suddenly I was like I need to stock up on canned goods and learn how to fire a gun and you know and I went. Oh that's that's how other people have felt you know during Obama. I can at least relate to that. I draw emotion of this now. I understand that this this scandal school admissions where parents were paying hundreds as a foul or in some cases I think millions of dollars to get there to falsify things for tape their their kids kids head on a crew. You Know Photoshop it and Priya what am I you well but but but I think A lot of people in this country. Look at that and go these the damn elites. I know that was what I thought I go. They're going to say it's the Hollywood elite meanwhile meanwhile residents are I mean. There's no way trump dad didn't buy his way into work. And my favorite thing that I heard and and the Cohen yeah was That he intimidated the schools that trump went to not to to release his grades. Yeah he had Coen threaten them to actresses and their husbands is or whatever. But it's like forty people and they're all over. Yeah but it. It's a crime and it's GONNA be interesting. CNN there were several but yard who else women who fudged where they live to get their kids kids into decent school systems that are serving six year sentences. Yeah I didn't know that so the you know. They're they're being punished too just because they are at a disadvantage and trying to get the best for their kids. These are rich people who have dumb kids. Yeah and maybe not that dumb They wanted to get into an elite school where they're planning smart kids who go to schools. Aren't that elite. And who you end up going to graduate school at the elite schools because they turn out there actually really really smart and in colleges college no it is it is us and and I had on my staff. People who undergraduate went to some school you never heard of and then graduate school went went to you know. Harvard Law Arielle Law. Because they're just brilliant and they're brilliant at it. I would like to tell parents. It doesn't make that much difference. It where where could go. What makes the difference is? Are they engaged. Yeah well I went to Nyu for one year. And I had a small all scholarships. My Dad paid the rest and I say dad was rich and I. I couldn't believe how much this school was filled with rich kids. Who didn't give a shit about learning? I mean I think also because I came from this high like like I I got into learning you know and it just it. It really disgusted me. I buy my books because I just had the rich kids by the books and then I read them. Read them for them and get a little. What happened in class? And what would happen and you got your books for free because of that. Yeah it's kind of a fair trade. But they were the losers in that weren't they one hundred percent. Yeah so well. Let's graduated I didn't you know but I even even when I left. I stole classes. I always tell people steal classes. I mean not steal but you audited classes not officially okay. But I went to big lecture classes that I was interested in and then just didn't pass in papers or anything but you went to the university and I think you're not you're allowed to go to lectures. No no after I went for one year and then I was no longer there and then you lived in the area and just went. Yeah all my. It's like like you know when your friends you know. I went that one year and then all my friends went all four years and I stayed in the village and everything and stand stand up and and where did you work there at the Boston. Comedy Club in New York. Yes yes that's in New York City not anymore. It was on third street between Sullivan and Thompson. And I pass out flyers on third street and macdougal Google and I made ten dollars an hour one hundred dollars a day I worked from four PM to two. Am Jesus but then you did set. You did. Yeah I get I. It meant that I could do open mic without bringing to people. I say a- and what did you do. Then what when you were starting. What was your act like pretty terrible? I remember the joke. I mean I couldn't even pretend to I don't I don't even know what's funny about this joke anymore. I don't understand this okay. At one point was funny view. So this would you say if you see something that rhymes by accident. I'm a poet and I don't even know it but what if you see something free verse by accident I said what do you say. Oh a poet in nine never realized or something like that I did. That's that is a joke. Technically uh-huh terrible. There is a difference between the joke in a good joke. I read a joke and I have my notebooks my comedy notebook since at the beginning and I read a joke and one of my notebooks from one of his nineteen th so go. I don't know why my fish died. I put it in a tank Doc. Top Wow that's bad. Yeah Wow and then I think before tank top I put in my notebook pause. Well you were studious and look where this tank at. I think that's the lesson there because you bomb bomb bomb and if you're still doing it I think bombing is very helpful. Makes you resilient right. Yes breath and resilience is to me when we were talking about the rich kids who sail through everything. Because they're they're wealthy wealthy Some extent they don't build that resilience. Yeah and the kids have to come through something. Not that you and I really had no. I was wanted for nothing. There's a lot to grit and determination curiosity and those those things which which you do okay we have to. We have to break for commercial and here. It is Those of you who listen to the podcast very often. We have Guests who are Doing something good for people Jason Cantor who ran and for the Senate in Missouri in two thousand sixteen in barely lost in a landslide for trump in that state he lost by three percent sent. He is very involved with some called the veterans community project. And it's what it does. Is it It it helps homeless the vets. And they do this by building. What are called tiny homes events and as you know the number one one solution to homelessness is a home? These tiny homes are in a community of other tiny home. So there's a community not there. They also provide services but these tiny homes have a kitchen. They have a bedroom and bathroom in basically they're called tiny hones owns but an apartment this size in Manhattan would go for two million easy you know in the village three million And also the as I said they give services To these fats as well may remember. Jason was running for mayor of Kansas City and then he was going to win and he he announced he was quitting the race because he felt he had to take care of his. PTSD from his service in Afghanistan and he is just This organization is is just wonderful. Doing Great Great Work Veterans Community Project. And if you would like I would love for you to make a contribution to veterans community project and here is where you go. WWW DOT veterans community project dot. Org that's veterans community the project DOT ORG so Thank you and by the way they're not paying for this. They're not paying for this. So you don't have to do backslash Al I was not really I hope people are still being raised to Not Lie and not cheat you know and Eight oh it's so odd because the the people that were told are successful all in this country in this world are are liars and cheaters. Who just foul way to win a lot of money? You and I picked strange strange businesses in order to avoid lies and this is a rough town. I mean in terms of working with agents and stuff like that nothing. I'm I've really hard time biting my lip because I just I hate win. Everyone knows like a truth in a room. No one saying. Do you still go to your therapist. Yeah has your therapist said that a lot of people come in about trump. Oh well the day after the election I I left you know He. He doesn't pick up his mind. Left a message. I said I can't imagine you're getting a lot of phone calls today. But I think that It's really made people feel unsafe and anxious anxious on all sides. There's you know there's not. It's not just just the Democrats are just the Republicans and everyone in between. It's everyone unsafe. And they for some reasons they were not being attacked buyers on our southern border Democrats aren't trying to kill born born babies. Let's try to end this by making people feel better about themselves and life and this is the end of democracy. Chrissy as we know it. It's something that needed to be protected and we didn't and the end of days so you know. Make peace with your God. I want to thank you the joining us. You know I take comfort in something. That sounds nihilistic but really nothing matters Oh no not that no matter who we are what our we as humans different different than bees pollinating plants. And don't know what the fuck why they're doing it so different. Caterpillars were serving Eh Cocoons and going what am I doing. They're not they're asking they're just doing we're here for a reason to build robots and then we're going to be extinct. No we are Now you're getting into questions for your sister. Rabbi because this is now you're talking `bout anarchists way of like who cares nothing matters. Don't love each other. I'm saying the opposite in a way it's just like I don't think we're here for one life and we have to love each other and find our happiness. I I believe that and what I think is is that you have done that. And that's one of the things I admire about you and that I see in you. which is that? You are open to change Enj- When I love America was about you going and visiting trump supporters. And you know seeing them as as is people and they're seeing you as as a person I didn't meet any crazy. Republicans that they didn't leave they're loving so in your first I episode of I love America And you had one of the Phelps yes daughter of the Phelps Phelps Roeper yeah on the show and she had she had changed but I have been picketed by the Phelps as I spoke at Kansas State. I was in my dressing room. They there's a demonstration against you so I say well who are they and they say well there this Westboro Westboro Baptist. Church group that that pickets of funerals of of gay people died and I said well. Let's meet them. went out there and it had the thank God hates fags stuff and I remember saying to one of the guys hold no signs I said. Do you really think God hates. Yeah and he said it is one of his finest qualities. It's so funny. I had a similar grants where there's a little seven year old girl not really thank. God hates exactly. It was like that and she goes he aids you. That's a better answer I think. Well no it's one of his finest Megan was probably. There is more than six years ago long long time ago but then and I had A. I tried to have a reasonable conversation with them. And I really. You couldn't but I tried and and an actually you know didn't get hostile or anything like that. Yeah they it's crazy the awful. They're awful awful awful. They totally believe believe what they're doing. They're nonviolent now. What they do is discuss disgusting? They just happened to be nonviolent. So the Megan. Yeah she's brilliant. She's amazing amazing. I love people who have been changed. I'm no different than the Westboro Baptist Church people all in that. They're just the product of how they're raised. I was raised by a couple super liberal bleeding heart liberal Jews and now I am one. It's the no great eight feet you know. I'd love to think I would get here on my own but I can't say that would be necessarily true and they're they're the same you know you can love people all there isn't anyone you couldn't love once you've heard their story. Hitler said that no woman Hitler said every demand has a price. What's amazing is how low it is? He's not did Hitler say that. Oh that's so like Kurt. Vonnegut Ish Mark Twain Initiative him he was also a vegetarian. You know people don't talk about the good thing I once was on Bill Maher's This is when it was politically correct and had Michael Reagan on. He's Oh yes yeah and he was just talking. It was couldn't stop talking dominating the thing Bill tried to interrupt them and is one of these times where it was like should we kill Saddam so he just kill Saddam and we have this law that we can't kill foreign leaders and I said well people asked us like. Should we have have killed Hitler but you know there could have been someone a lot worse than Hitler and Michael Reagan because he wants to talk goes Outright and then he goes so God so no no one's listening but you know who is Alexa and Siri. They're getting a lot of data and all we do l.. It is output okay. This did not cheer people. I can end on a good thing. Okay good good. I- ah ways that I like big things I've learned from talking to people. I interviewed Christian Pizza. Leany who's a was a Nazi Nazi skinhead Neo Nazi skinhead and now he helps get people out of hate groups and I asked him. You know what he would say what advice he said Find someone who doesn't deserve your compassion and give it to them anyway because that's what happened to him and he was changed and I think about it all the time because I go. I want to do that but then I go. Well if I met DOC and Nazi would I go well. This is just someone who before they're changed. I don't know I hope so but it's hard it's not your people who deserve compassion who getting so expensive that you can't wasted on people. No no but I mean I. It's like the Jesse smollet thing I'm sorry Q.. Unlike the I'm like Michael Reagan over here. No no tell me about the the Jesse well you know that the the right. It's so funny that the aftermath that was a hoax. It's so odd that the right. Was this gleeful that we we gave compassion to this person who is putting one over on us and then the left was like sorrowful folks that he didn't have a hate crime happens under the whole blind has guided missed. We didn't waste anything by immediately believing in him and giving him compassion. If every thirty years it turns out to be a hoax. Who fucking cares if every year is? You know we'd happens so often. And what does it waist or hurt to believe someone give them compassion because it is is an opportunity to say liberals Blah Blah Blah. It's odd I know but they don't miss an opportunity to do that. Both men were not cheering people up in conclusion. The truth is I love you you. Oh love is cheap may sound Corny Does you have to accept yourself. It's not always easy. You deserve love if you can hear my voice you a hundred percent any schmuck. I'm a street deserves love. You know at tig excess demand it like. I don't know where she heard it. But it's changed me totally okay. I was sitting on myself for whatever reason who move this sir. Whatever she goes? Don't talk about my friend like that. So great so much. Thank you all right. We're GONNA get some NEAT and then I'll go to fifteen minutes Well after our our interview was over we went out to dinner and after dinner we went to Largo which is a a club comedy club in in West Hollywood where A lot of comedians work out new material in other words. They're they're trying to work upset. Maybe for like an hour show for net flicks or something like that or just working up. Their Act for for touring. And it's a safe place to do that it. I saw a number of Comedians at night and they were all great. Sarah she said. Why don't you get up? Oh I've been up in in in years so that Oh come on come on come on and so I said I'll what the Hell Am I. Did she introduce me. It was very gratifying. The welcome I got and I did get an old piece. Placenta Helper Tom Davis had written censored In nineteen seventy five so this is a very very very old piece. It was just to women who are pregnant meat and Grocery store they know each other and wants his by the way. Do you plan to eat the placenta and the other one says you're kidding. You mean the after birth yes. It's very nutritious. And a hundred percent natural. Okay but is there enough placenta Go Round for me and my family. Well now if your husband has a hearty appetite like mine and that's why you need placenta helper beside a helper. Lets you stretch your placenta into a tasty casserole like placenta romanoff a zesty blend of cheeses makes for Z.. Sauce Russian czars commanded at palace. Look you can only get your placenta. Once every nine months why not make a rare occasion a rare occasion anyway. It went pretty well. That was very gratifying. That beautiful music. You're listening to. Who is from Leo Cocky? I asked him to do this. It's it's from a hook from a song called Julie's house a beautiful beautiful song and I just think it's beautiful. I also WANNA thank Peter. Osborne who is our producer. And I want to thank you for listening and I might get a little bit of shoutout to myself I'm I'm the guy doing the work. So I'll see you next time on this audio media

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Mental Health and Criminal Justice

The Al Franken Podcast

56:45 min | 8 months ago

Mental Health and Criminal Justice

"Now more than ever teams must come together and work together to solve big challenges and Trello is here to help trello part of Atlassian collaborative sweet is an APP with an easy to understand visual format plus tons of features that make working with your team functional and fun with Trello. You can work with your team wherever you are. Whether it's at home or in office keeper workflow going from wherever you are with Trello try. Trello for free and learn more at TRELLO DOT com. That's T. R. E. L. DOT COM. Hey everybody we gotta just a a great one today and You know for a change and and and this time I mean it actually look I i. I don't WanNa dwell on on trump. But you know. Recently he said I'm a cheerleader for The American people as a way of excusing the two months of stuff. He said like No I'm not worry about a pandemic at all we've got it all under control or you know we only have five people who are sick and it's going to be zero pretty soon and we all we had under control and also we have it on the control and we have it under control and anyone who wants to test yet a test and it's all under control and it's going to disappear in April when it gets warmer and so he said he said about that. Well you know. I'm a cheerleader. I was. I'm a cheerleader. For the American people and the thing is I I've never seen Cheerleaders at You know any sport. Turn around and fire. Ak47's into the crowd just from not not seen that I've never seen them put down their pompoms and start scolding the crowd for not cheering loud. Enough you're a disgrace. You're never gonNA make it as a fan and then the other thing this crazy thing about. It isn't the role of the federal government to actually run this thing to help the states and they're on their own. That's really the role of the federal government you know. Our founders wrote a constitution that basically gave all the power to the states and that constitution was called the articles of confederation and it did not work so they scrapped that and they wrote another constitution the framers call now called the constitution and that constitution created federalism and that put the federal government in charge of a lot of stuff and I guess Trump who I know is just racist reader of history just must've skipped it must go. He must have read the articles of confederation and just went. This is good. This is good now. I know my roles president. Okay My guest today include norm Ornstein. A norm is a widely respected political scientist and commentator. He did one of these podcasts. While back on the erosion of norms in our politics and government Tracing back to Gingrich and Limbaugh and through the tea party and a m McConnell very importantly and trump We call it norm on norms. it was a great one. You know for a change and I'd recommend that you go back and listen to it Norm has also been more than a scholar in his decades in DC. He's been a bipartisan activists. For years on good government he worked with John McCain and Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform a lot just a lot of stuff like that. He's worked in scrupulously. Bipartisan way until a few years ago when it just became ridiculous nor has been one of my best friends for years. Our families have been very close for a couple of decades We vacation together On the Outer Banks of North Carolina one summer Franken Labrador Kirby came along and he had never been in the ocean before so he ran in and he drank a lot of it. He's a lab and later that evening. the seawater came shooting out of both orifices In the living room it was in the living room sharing And I cleaned that up. I did my job and later that night. We played a board game taboo a lot of fun and norm son. Matthew had US laughing so hard that night he would keep repeating this phrase in the game of Taboo and It made us all laugh. I had gone to Matthews Bar Mitzvah Danny's to Matthew was Bryant. He was a national. Champion debater Went to Princeton and In his mid twenties he had a psychological break and he remained an incredibly sweet guy but his mental illness was incredibly painful For for him and for Norman. Judy and Danny and We Lost Matthew. Few years ago in it's hard to describe as like an accidental association. Since then I've watch a norm and judy turn their grief into something. Really really good and One of those is the subject of today's podcast. My other guests is judged Steve Life men who is a remarkable judge. Who's done a remarkable thing in Miami Dade County? He has completely changed the way. The criminal justice system deals with mentally. Ill in Miami. This is been a real interest of mine It was something I worked on when I was in the Senate. Prison has become a defacto mental health system in in the United States. And it is a disservice to pretty much. Everyone and twenty years ago judge life than started a prison diversion program in Miami where instead of arresting people with mental health problems and putting them in prison. He gets medication and treatment and housing and jobs and this prison diversion. Program has been incredibly successful It has transformed a lot of lies. And it saved Miami a crapload of money and Pbs is airing a documentary about the program The DOC is titled The definition of Insanity and It was produced by the Matthew Harris Ornstein Foundation and that is going to be on PBS. Tuesday April Fourteenth Check your local listings but after it airs is going to be on the PBS website. This movie's incredibly moving in really uplifting way and as it so happens it it touches on an aspect of Krahn virus pandemic which I have been wanting to talk about which is how this crisis is affecting the most vulnerable people in our society this week. We learned that there has been an outbreak of Covet nineteen in the Cook County jail in Chicago Social distancing is hard in jail and it's also hard if you're homeless Whether you're on the street or in a shelter and it's hard for people at the bottom of the economic ladder. There are people who've died because they needed to work in a job where they're exposed to a lot of people If you go to a grocery store please thank the folks or working there. You know it's one thing to put yourself at risk if you're on the front lines of treating people who are sick with the virus it's another put yourself at risk because you desperately need the hours working at the supermarket. So Union family Can Eat your cells. There has been a significant uptick in domestic violence at something that Judge Life Men Does a test to in this interview. I been doing an online fundraiser for a shelter in in Saint Paul Minnesota Women's advocates and they've been providing housing for victims of domestic violence. Since one thousand nine hundred seventy four and usually they do a lot of fund raising in the spring at House parties and the House Party circuit is not doing very well right now so this is by the way my fundraising mechanism here. It's a fun raffle. I have posted a of me drawing a map of the United States. All fifty states from memory. You can watch the video it's fast. You'll be astounded by this. This is something I can do. I can draw all fifty states from memory. I kinda teach you how to do it but I do it fast. So you don't. It's not a thorough lesson but if you're sheltered at home my God. This is a productive activity to learn or your kids students in learn to do this. And if you enter the raffle you have a chance. Not a great chance but a chance to win the map. I draw with a personalized autographed to you. Or who ever you want me to personalize it to now. I gotTa tell you I'm really good at this I. I'm really good at this. I have demonstrated this before On weekend update on Saturday night. Live did this on David Letterman At Minnesota State Fair. There's video me doing that but don't see that one go this one. Now you can go to Al Franken DOT COM. That's right the Al Franken podcast and Al Franken DOT COM. Pardon the system but You can go there and see this and If you like also donate to women's advocates. Which is unbelievably great. Shelter for The victims of domestic violence for them and their and their kids And I talked to a still The executive director of women's advocates and We start talking about mental health and what Americans are going through right now and she said that a lot of Americans are feeling very vulnerable and afraid and trapped and she said that's how women with abusive partners feel everyday everyday So this is been just a horrible horrible time and you know I had been hoping that it wouldn't lose a friend and I did a few days ago a couple of days ago. How Wilner how wilner work at? Snl Four since nineteen eighty and how he was a music producer and on the show he basically had the job of scoring the sketches. There's a lot of music in sketches. He also scores films. He does the aures a music director of the film or whatever that is he he knows pieces of music. So how Was Music Director. Sco Evers did the scoring for Finding Forrester. I don't know if you remember that movie. It's basically Sean Connery is Is J D Salinger? He's a recluse and somehow becomes friends with this student at Prep School in New York and who is really worships him and it wants to be a writer is sixteen year old kid and he's a black kid at this basically almost all white school toity private school and he gets in trouble because he has too much integrity. The kid and he doesn't out. Sean Connery and So now he's GonNa get kicked out of school. What's going to happen? And Sean Connery comes to the school. This is a recluse. He doesn't do this kind of thing and he asked to read something at this contest. There's a contest and school for like the best writer and he gets up and it's like in this very very. It's almost like chapel. But it's a library. I guess and he reads this speech and the speech is he doesn't tell everybody but it's this kid wrote this. He writes this piece of writing and so this is sort of climax in the movie the scene and the scene is about this speech and they could not write it. You know how long it takes to do a film they forever and ever and ever. They had a chance to write this in speech that was so inspiring that it was the climax of the movie. They couldn't write it. They couldn't write it so instead he starts the speech and then they fade them down pretty quickly and the rest of the scene. Is this piece of music and close up. Shots of people being inspired losing family. Losing family obliged us to find our family not always the family. That is our blood but the family that can become a block and should we have the wisdom to open our door to the new. Finally we will that the wishes be one child for the father once guided us During this whole thing is just shots of students and teachers being inspired and it worked. It's crazy it worked and what happened is I. I heard this and I asked. How can you get me that piece of music because I give a lot of commencement speeches and I want to queue that music When at a certain point in my my speech I think it'll be funny and so it took a long time to get his hands on this and let me read from an email. Sent me dear. Al Hope this finds you in a good place I and everyone. I still talk to miss you immensely. So the piece of music. I've been promising you for a decade. Anyway he he tracks down and sends me an attachment to it says an in caps and I do want to invite you to something. This is the fifty fifth anniversary of Bob. Dylan's historical town hall concert the year when he walked off the ED Sullivan show for not letting him do the John Birch Society Blues and Preceded the march on Washington. Where Dylan shared the platform with King and Belafonte so the townhall people ask me To do one of my multi artist things celebrating that night with different people. Doing everything deal and Did that night. So mixing all types of music and spoken word. Laurie Anderson Maybe Patti Smith and Chuck D is soon may twenty. Four th Dylan's birthday. He probably will not show or be in disguise in the balcony. So I wanted to invite you to be an unannounced guest to read a lyric Perhaps with atmospheric music or not. I know It may not be possible but I'm asking just in case it would be a great imperfect and this audience would go dot dot dot ape. Shit is the word if it is in the cards. Let me know. This was an act of friendship his by me. This is a tough time for me and this really Resonated through the whole Snl COMMUNITY. He worked there from nineteen eighty on a wonderful wonderful guy and I wanted to at least two degrees separation until hell. I had been so anyway as you can tell my mental health. He could be better and I'm sure yours too. And so this is a special interview with this Guy And with norm He what he's done with this program is is really remarkable and it's it's just very inspiring and he's one of the one of the guys doing something great so Got a great one today and you know for a change and this time I mean working remotely can be a challenge especially for teams. That are new to it. How do you deal with your work? Environment being the same as home while staying connected and productive and then there's your newest co worker the cat well your friends at Trello have been powering remote teams globally for almost a decade at a time when teams most come together more than ever to solve big challenges. Trello IS HERE TO HELP. Trillo part of Atlassian collaborative sweet is an APP with an easy to understand visual format plus tons of features that make working with your team functional and Just Plain Fun Trello keeps everyone organized and on the same page helping teams communicate focus and connect teams of all shapes and sizes at companies like Google Fender Costco. And likely your favorite neighborhood. Coffee Shop. All Use Trello to collaborate and get work done. Try Trello for free and learn more at TRELLO DOT com. That's T. R. E. L. L. O. DOT COM TRELLO DOT COM checking in. How's your skin microbiome? Your skin's ecosystem. Did you know that healthy skin needs a balance of bacteria just like your gut does so when your skin microbiome gets out of balance your skin gets unhappy which can lead to bigger problems. Like eggs Zima. In fact scientists found that four out of five people with ECZEMA have an imbalanced skin microbiome. That's why we created glad. Skin ECZEMA cream with micro balance sadly steroids and traditional creams and lotions. Don't we balance the skin microbiome worse yet? Almost all of them contain preservatives. Which kill the good bacteria along with the bad without good bacteria? Your skin is weaker and more vulnerable. Gluskin makes your skin happier by restoring balance to the skin microbiome and proven to reduce exit which and readiness while it moisturizes glad skin is steroid-free and preservative free. It's backed with our gladness guarantee. So if you don't love it we will refund your order go to Gladsden Dot Com and get twenty percents off with pod. Twenty a judge Steve Life. When you're county judge in in Miami Dade County right correct and you have Started this program started twenty years ago right. That's right. It's basically a program where you take people who are mentally ill who've been arrested and instead of Putting them in jail which right now I guess is pretty much where we put most of our our people who are who have mental illnesses is that right. That's correct belt. Forty percent of all people with mental illnesses at some point will come into contact with the criminal justice system last year. There were about two million arrests involving people with serious illnesses. And instead of that you you have this jail diversion program moves at. That's kind of what you call right. Yeah and it. And it's both pre and post so we've also done a lot of training of our law enforcement to educate them about these illnesses so they actually stopped making arrests upfront as well and that's crisis intervention training. That's correct okay. I think as norm knows and you might Might have told you I've been a big champion of crisis intervention training. So why don't you explain? Judge? What what that is sure. It's a forty hour training program where we teach law enforcement officers had to identify people with mental illnesses had a de escalate the situation so no a deadly force needed and then we're to take someone as opposed to arresting them and for us. We have thirty six police departments. So we've been able to train all thirty six Departments of over seventy five hundred officers now trained and what we had not anticipated was the level of PTSD on law enforcement officers now. This crisis intervention training teaches Police recognize When they're in a situation that involves mental illness But it does the crisis. Intervention Training has also Reveal that a lot of them. A lot of police have a mental health difficulties themselves in last year. Sadly more law enforcement officers died from suicide than in the line of duty. I'm you have a lot of returning vets with. Ptsd you have officers that get PTSD on the job. It's a physiological reaction and they get what we call an overdose a quarter zoning it just makes their life miserable and they have a lot of symptoms from it in there in a profession. That really does not encourage treatment. And so we've actually set up a treatment program for them outside. The police department which has helped tremendously also made them incredibly empathetic to what we're doing and they've really for. The most part have stopped arresting people in like community with serious mental illness. So what your program is to take people who very often or on the street and they get into a situation where policemen normally would arrest them and said arrest them. Bring them in to see a judge? And you put them in a program if they want to That's a year long program and and you get him medication and you get him everything. I mean what we realize which was interesting Individuals by the time they do get end up getting arrested with a serious mental. They often suffer from serious depression on top of their serious mental illness because the system is really beating the heck out of him and so we do everything they need for recovery. We ASSIGN THEM APPEAR. We get them transportation. Get them close. We get them food. We get the medication. Give them educational opportunities. We do this for both All of our misdemeanor charges and for a non violent felony charges. And so if it's a misdemeanor I'm it's usually about six months and we'll drop the charges but we will continue to work with them for up to a year and for the felony population on. They're usually in the program for a year and upon successful completion. We dropped the charges as well So you get them treatment and jobs and housing so let's talk about housing and what we're going through now. I cannot imagine what it's like for homeless people and I know a lot. A high percentage of homeless people do have some mental health issues. What it must be like for them now in terms of exposure to the virus and what that looks like for people going homeless shelters. I don't know how you create any kind of social distance in homeless shelter. It is a very serious in difficult challenge in its on all kinds of levels because not only are doctors at the hospitals having difficulties getting protective equipment the frontline folks at a mental health facility getting none and so we're having a real problem with staff even showing up to our providers and in the facilities. We've had a couple of situations already where someone has tested. Positive there florally psychotic. They are not self quarantining themselves than we've had a put some protocols in place to try to get them treated hospitalized if needed but the only good thing I can say is because we are so coordinated here that we have steps that we can take and special officers that we can call in the hospital in advance so that we prepare everybody as we move someone through it. But you're right. It's very difficult for everybody involved. Particularly those suffering with these mises and You're diverting them from jail. What is it like in jail? What is it like in prison? We actually released a lot of extra people over the last few weeks to try to keep them out particularly those that might have underlying health issues. I'm in a lot of this. Population unfortunately has diabetes sometimes from the medication so we really did our best to release people on are doing. Our best are amazing staff. That's why this is so successful. And they are keeping in touch with them on a daily basis and then reporting and then we're working on some hearings With the CORDY VIRTUALLY. Are we have one here in a day at the courthouse that we can report if we need to intervene at some point? We're trying to do that but it's very hard so you've been doing this for twenty years. Is there a common origin story? There is You know as a judge twenty years ago. We had no training in this area. I actually had a case where the defendant turned out to be a Harvard educated psychiatrist. Who had a late onset of schizophrenia? And he didn't show up to work one day and it turned out. He had cashed in his life insurance policy. He was having religious. Heidi ations and you decided you need to to get Israel. So he jumped on a plane and flew to Israel within a few weeks. The Israelis deported him back to me because he was running around naked in the Orthodox sections of Jerusalem and he was at risk and he returned to. Miami is a homeless man and he ended up in my courtroom honor. Nothing you know county ordinance violation and he ended up having a full blown psychotic episode. Because I wasn't training we didn't have anything in place and the situation really for me was kind of a window into everything that was wrong with our system. And whether you're judge or any type of professional you never WanNa be in a situation where you're contributing to the problem and as a result of this case We put together a summit twenty years ago. We brought all the stakeholders to a two-day meeting and we decided that we were the problem. Not The people with the illnesses and we needed to change what we're were doing and so we began this amazing journey where we decided we needed to structurally changed the entire system and each year. We've made it a little bit better a little bit more comprehensive and we're at the point now where we're halfway done building the first of its kind mental health diversion facility that will be the most acutely ill that we haven't been able to help enough that we can have a one stop shop where we can offer them the services they need and you're able to pay for that savings of not putting people in in jail. Who Don't need to be in jail if you do the right thing. You not only improve public. Say you save a ton of money when hang on? Let me write that down. Otherwise I'll forget it. Sure shoot and do the right thing and what you will improve your public safety. Save a ton of money and help people get into recovery. It's not rocket science and wavell. Whoa WHOA WHOA. You're saying win win win this thing. Amazing Yes. It is a win. Win Situation. You know what? I go to norm now because I trust norm norm. Our family is your friends with your family and you. This has touched you matthew Who are family loved Bryant Bryant and Hilarious by the way and kind sweet and had a had a break in his twenties right. Yeah exactly so and You Know Matthew was a brilliant young man and he was a national champion. High school debater went to Princeton was out in Hollywood and having some success in a twenty four at a psychotic break believed that God had come for him Steve talked about The religious idea which is a common thing in these kinds of psychotic illnesses. He thought God had come from him and had taken his soul but not his body. He didn't know why and he had to find a way to get his soul. Back and part of his illness was what's called Anisette. Nossa which is a part of the brain disease then. Hit Save very substantial. Share of those with a serious illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Where you have no insight into your own illness and if you're over eighteen and you don't think you're ill and you think the people including your loved ones to try to get you help or actually a taking you in a direction. That would be shattering to you others. Nothing that can be done in a broken system after ten years of horrible pain and struggle for him and for us and for all the people who are close to him including you and your family And your daughter. Thomason and Matthew were particularly close. He died accidentally in a motel room of carbon monoxide poisoning driven by the lack of insight that he had in his own behavior and illness. And We created this foundation. The Matthew Harris Ornstein memorial foundation to try and do something that would be a defrays. The Joe Biden has used a trying to turn your horrible tragedy Into something good. Yeah you have really dedicated yourself and in fact Matthew Horne. Seen Foundation is the finance produced the film. The film that were it's going to be on. Pbs On April fourteenth. Check your local listings for the definition of insanity and I watched this film and Was One heartened in many ways but also in tears tears very often just being moved by great stuff you do and Justin Justin Volpi. Who is someone who went through your program and is now? That's that's what he does he. What do you call is a pair of specialists? The knee is a remarkable young man. My goodness this guy with a very serious mental illness. A Co occurring disorder was a real mass when we got to him but because he was young and he had not been sick for a Lotta years cognitively was still well and we were able to get him turned around. I performed his wedding. Maradi as a kid. He works full time for us. He owns a house and he was in the kind of shape. You just could not imagine that people you see on the street that we walk past every day Discarding them like they don't matter in when you see someone like Justin comeback and contribute and have fulfiling life. It is the most inspiring thing and gives us all tears. Am six eight and others like him. He's kind of for people who watch this. He's kind of like the greatest person you've ever met so cool he's sharp. Yes insight now. The point is is that you see. This is a program in which you took somebody who was mentally. Ill arrested alcoholic drug addict complete mass. And he's become baby. The greatest person in the world. I agree I would say and so you know. First of all norm. You know the takes a lot to get me to cry right. I will say when I performed. The Ceremony Morales Daughter's wedding. I said that the over under on how long it would take him to cry when he got up with three seconds. I was part of the ceremony that you conducted and I think the over under was three words and it was and it was under two. I started crying. That's just the way I've always been and I'm not ashamed of it. This is a beautiful beautiful movie. And Look we have so many people in this country who are vulnerable and right now especially? I think I hope that during this time this horrible horrible time that we're GONNA come out the other side of it understanding what's important in life and what's important in life is our families what's important in life is the way you treat your fellow man. We've seen unbelievable. Courage unbelievable compassion during this. I'm hoping I'm not betting I'm hoping that as a nation we emerged from this better in the way that you quoted former Vice President Biden and I know that I mean obviously he has suffered losses tremendous losses. I know too that when Matthew with Matthew Pass he called you and spoke to you. A great length isn't amazingly empathetic man. Who suffered more than anybody should And he called when he was vice. President this was January. Two Thousand Fifteen and spent an hour on the phone with me with Judy. My wife and Matthew's mother with Danny Matthews brother and Followed up with a handwritten letter in many ways. The quality that makes Biden standout from so many others There is a genuine empathy for people who suffered tragedies of any sort. I think we're also going to a huge uptick in serious mental illness. After the pandemic for two reasons one is if you look at the research from the nineteen eighteen pandemic there was a huge spike in. Ptsd as a result of all the trauma people are going through. And then if you look at some of the interesting research after every viral in flu epidemic in the US. There's usually a spike in schizophrenia. One of the theories is that Viruses may contribute to the triggering of schizophrenia. And so with the number of people getting affected we actually may see a major increase. Okay Okay Stop Saab. I wanted to play more compassionate. Not more depressed. Okay but the point. Is We better start? Jesus judge about developing better systems of care. Or we're going to overwhelm our system now on as people come through this while yes. I've heard trump said the same thing. Sorry sorry the pandemic itself hits the most vulnerable among US harder than almost anybody else and that includes the homeless population in the prison population which can't practice social distancing and if you combine that with the large numbers who have a mental illness to begin with. We have a big problem That we need to do something about immediately. We're going to have this additional Surge in cases of people with serious mental illness. I think it's maybe the virus it may also be a so much of this can be triggered by stress and there's going to be a lot of stress out there if you think about younger people. The danger is greatest among those of between seventeen and twenty five when the prefrontal. Cortex of the brain is just developing all of those who don't know whether their college careers are going to be affected. Who missed out on a major events of who have to worry about jobs and then of course just people who lose their jobs who are going to have other kinds of mental illness. And if we're not prepared to deal with it and that means an infusion of resources and I hope Expansion of programs like judge lifelines. The society is going to suffer even more of a ripple effect here. That's going to be tough. I think is more important to give One hundred and seventy billion dollar tax break to people in the real estate business who well the cruise lines especially. Yeah you are families took a cruise together. We liked it. Okay so let's not not. The cruise industry hit their So but also I mean I am. It's also the domestic violence And there has been an uptick in that yes we are seeing that I covered what we call bond hearings a few days ago and we almost three times the number of cases. There's going to be a lot of needs. We'll be right back and take a break. We'll be right back with Judge Steve Life men and norm Ornstein after this message. Those of you Listened to the podcast by definition you. You are You know that we often have a great guests who are doing great things For example Maria trae Sukumar the founder and president of Voto Latino Did a wonderful show on Immigration and voter suppression and after hearing her interview. A A listener gave Voto Latino one hundred thousand dollars. Because voter. Latino is in the trenches Registering Latinos across America devote and Fighting Republican efforts to suppress the Latino vote. Now I'm not asking you for one hundred thousand dollars unless you you know. You've got that kind of money but please consider giving this unbelievably great organization at. Www dot voto Latino dot org. That's Voto Latino Dot Org and by the way they didn't pay for this. I just wanted to do this and that way. You don't have to do backslash Al. Let's talk a little bit about crisis intervention training which is a training police To recognize What looks like whoo when they're encountering situation that is fueled by mental illness. I was a champion of this. I got funding for this. I passed legislation to fund it. It's been around for a while. I was renewing a a program that was underfunded and I went around MINNESOTA Find out about crisis intervention training and I went to Columbia Heights a suburb of twin cities and They had all had crisis intervention training. I went to sheriff's office and ask them how crisis intervention training. He had helped them. And the sheriff couldn't be there that day. He was something else but the his the county attorney said that. Oh well the sheriff wanted to say that the day after he took it. He didn't kill a guy he would have killed so. I said okay. Can I get more garden? Variety instance here and so a policewoman. said okay Well Couple of months ago I was out on the street and I heard a woman screaming and I thought it must be a domestic dispute or something and I went to see and she was alone and I approached her and she went and started hanging from a railing over this dropped to a playground where she probably wouldn't have died but she would have gotten very badly hurt and because my training I was able to talk her off the railing and back and I asked her what what happened and she said she'd been sexually abused when she was young. And the abuser had left town and now it come back the town the COP said I think I know where you help and she connected where the local mental health services and she said then like a couple of days ago I was working a street fair and this woman came up to me and said you saved my life so garden variety. That's the garden variety story. And she said well you know I probably I may never holster my gun as a cop but I use this all the time. When you're trained to be a long officer you were taught that if someone becomes aggressive the best way to control. The situation is to become more aggressive. Well that may work fine in some cases but if the person has a serious mental illness they're paranoid by definition your increased aggression is going to turn the situation into a terrible outcome and just by talking to people and we teach them how what words and the distance and the eye contact makes all the difference in the world. And it's a right. It's a program that started several years ago in Memphis. By a Sergeant Cochran has now major Cochran and there's now an international organization cit international that trains law enforcement officers and all over the country and in jails and it really makes a huge difference are shootings went from two a month when we started to about five or six in the last eight or nine years and and keep a lot of data and you can see the number of police injuries versus no arrest. And we can see that. You're now the Cool Cop Miami Dade if you get hit or pushed by somebody with mental illness in don't make the arrest you're kind of the WIMP if you pay can arrest of somebody with a mental illness and the whole culture's changed over that it and they understand it and they feel better. You know I wanNA get into a race issue. And and sometimes that's a contributing factor but I think police officers P. T. S. D. is part of the biggest reason that they often shoot because they get scared and so by teaching them the skills in giving them some insight into their own issues that may be going on its head a wonderful impact on their own lives and the way that they're operating as place office the most stunning statistic in many ways. I mean the shooting. One is an amazing one. But Steve's program has been able to cut the number of arrests in half and as a consequence because you know if they don't shoot somebody they might take them or simply home in for resisting arrest. He's been able to close a county jail. One of the three in the county and saved the county and tax payers twelve million dollars a year. Now six years seven is it's seven years. Eighty four million dollars in savings not to mention the incredible savings from the wrongful death. Or You know. Wrongful assault suits brought against the county. And if you close a jail now having one fewer jail in so many fewer people in jail means that Miami. Dade is going to have fewer people in prisons including the guards and others who will contract the corona virus. Yeah I mean it made it a lot easier for us you know. We went from about seven thousand daily Jail Audit to about four thousand. I mean it was a lot easier to do it. We're dealing with this crisis with lower population but out of like ninety two thousand mental health calls on our police that we track only did one hundred only made one hundred fifty to arrest the number rest in Dade went from about one hundred eighteen thousand a year when we started to fifty three thousand this year. It really is remarkable is interesting because when I was getting the funding renewed funding for this and I had a fight with Republicans who were well. That's you know. I don't know that you know three hundred million dollars. That's a lot of money you know. It's like okay. I'M GONNA put a hold on it. I'M GONNA make sure this doesn't pass unless we cut it down to two hundred million former mayor of Miami many is came up to me. One Point said Steve. I went to New York to get our bond rating reviewed and this is in the middle of great expansion downtown for three hours. I told him how great our economic expansion want nieces. After three hours the bond reviewers had one question. How did you get your police shootings down so significantly? They were spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on lawsuits. Every time there was a shooting so they actually got their bond rain improve. Save the taxpayers. Another God only knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars by better rates by doing again the right thing and and so it. Just keep doing the right thing for the right reason in this project. You're gonNA stay amazing outcomes. Okay guys right. If that's your story stick with it I guess or second with it. You know it's it's also important to note that it's partly just the resistance of anti-government people to spending money on anything. Even if the spending is going to result in savings the other end the challenge of just getting people out of the usual ways which they do business one of the miraculous things that's happened and it's just in part because of the dynamism of judge life man of prosecutors are geared up to prosecute and if you're an elected prosecutor you know the number of trophies you have on the wall for rescue is a big indicator. You're a defense attorney. You want to get somebody off. And you know Steve was talking about that first case that he had with this young man was the Harvard Educated Psychiatrist. He had to let this young man go because the defense lawyer pointed out that he had no power to with this person into a long term program. I will bet you. That lawyer was exultant. She won but she won freedom for somebody who's disappeared and almost twenty years later. We have no idea if they're dead or alive. But Steve has been able to the prosecutors and the defenders together in common purpose and the other judges to go along and see a part of their role as redemption of for individuals who come in and see the people coming before them as human beings in a way that isn't necessarily natural but to get others to move from their normal behaviors to get people who allocate the money elected officials. Who Know that they're going to have to take the money out of one pot and put it into another in. The ultimate savings will come but they may not get credit for that and they're going to get the owner of having used taxpayer money. Miraculous is this program is. It's GonNa be a dogfight to get adopted in a lot of other places. I you know watching the lawyers. Watching individual comeback in recovery is just fascinating because they get a much greater sense going off with norms talking about you know. They think they win when they win their case. But they win at a much greater level than they see somebody get healthy again and in it reinforces why we do this. Every time someone comes back to us that's in a much healthier state and you just know that you know they're just people who happened to be ill and there's just no reason that a criminal justice system should have to be doing this when we should be doing this in a civil system and helping people get their lives back to my listeners if you are little sick of you know watching trump. Maybe maybe you're not but this is actually a feel good movie The definition of insanity. This is not a lot of laughs. Shall I say but I really was moved by it and move by the work. You do Judge and I have been moved by the dedication. Norm that you have put into your work on mental health and You know the urban debate league is stunning. What you've done there. Because Matthew was a champion debater and he started this urban debate. League here in In DC and see these kids the first kid who won that these are very you know At risk I hate that term. Actually I don't like at risk what what's what's a better term. You know therefore one school which means that they don't have the resources to be able to get ahead in life that others do and so I've gone to the debate camp and it's these kids discovering debate and they love the bait and the kid who won the first year and up going Harvard. He's Actually he's now he's still up there. They have them sheltered of the universities. Actually done a very good job with People who didn't have an easy way to get back home but this is a remarkable young man named Jonathan Collins from working class. Family and Prince George's County Maryland. Who's been able to really see the natural talents that he had in the drive that he had channeled in a way that would not have occurred. Otherwise because of debate. And the life skills that you learn and You know that has been extraordinarily gratifying thing. when we do it we were. GonNa do three weeks this year. We'll have to see whether we have to do a virtual debate camp with over two hundred kids from fifth grade through high school and every year at the end we do a tournament in an award ceremony and we got five or six hundred. People families come with a siblings with parents with grandparents So proud of what these kids have accomplished. And I say that you know I really do believe. Equal opportunity is a bedrock of a free society. But it's not equal when some people started twenty five yards ahead of the starting blocks and other twenty five yards behind. Okay Okay Okay stop with proselytizing you know all I can say to you guys get a job okay. Thank you guys Honor knowing you both thanks for giving us the attention it needs. It's really appreciate it. Yeah well thank you for for your work and thank you norm. Thanks again well. I hope you enjoyed Listening that beautiful music is by Leo. Cotte the Okada E. I WANNA thank Peter Osborne. For producing this podcast. We'll talk again next week.

Steve Life Matthew Miami United States PTSD Trello federal government Judy Atlassian Pbs norm Ornstein Joe Biden DC Princeton Trump Sean Connery Danny Matthews Al Franken
Michael Lewis On How Trumps Handling of Covid-19 Has Proven His Book, The Fifth Risk, Tragically Prophetic.

The Al Franken Podcast

56:59 min | 8 months ago

Michael Lewis On How Trumps Handling of Covid-19 Has Proven His Book, The Fifth Risk, Tragically Prophetic.

"Everybody here at the Al Franken podcast. We decided to backup taken accused President and having a staff party. Hey Alexis she's Sound engineer hate him. Oh He's our folks are nice food awry. Yeah we're back at full force here at the Al Franken podcast okay. That was a fun party. Good to have the whole gang here in studio a little crowded actually I. I did not know half the people who were there and got a little wild Peter my producer had too much to drink and Threw up on Moya who actually Wrote this monologue and I had had the fire anyway. We've got a great one today. You know For a change and this time I mean it is a return visit from Michael Lewis. Because he's just so great. Unlike many of my guess You know let's face it Michael of course As a great journalist author many New York Times Bestsellers Liar's poker moneyball big short and last time we talked We did about his latest fifth risk which turns out was pro fabric The book looked at the transition between the Obama and trump administration's and is a scathing indictment of trump and his complete lack of interest in how the federal government works about how he populated. His government was just incompetent craven and just plain Venal people who had no idea how the federal government worked. The title of the fifth. Risk is about the catastrophe that the government should be focusing on and and isn't and In our first interview about nine months ago Michael noted that trump had gotten rid of the Pandemic Response Office within the National Security Council in office at the Obama Administration established and since I had been in the Senate during a bowl I commented on. Just how bad an idea that was. Point is that turns out that the trump administration has given Michael a lot of material for his paper back. And I think you'll find our conversation fund edifying you know for change a couple of things to talk about I though The twelve hundred dollar. Check that Seventy million Americans are supposed to get this week as you probably know It's been delayed a few days by the president's insistence that his name appear on the memo line of the check so that you know that Donald Trump gave you twelve hundred bucks. It turns out that millions of checks are going to be delayed a few days longer. They're trying to figure out how this happened. The president's named was misspelled on about forty percent of the checks. Evidently it was Spelled with two M's for some reason. jared Kushner had been in charge of getting those checks out and He's been looking into what went wrong here. Plenary finding is that a guy named Gus made a mistake. That's that's what we're hearing. Not only that. But six percent of the checks. The name Jared Kushner appeared on the memo. Line there and So they've taken jared off fat and putting him back in charge of the Israeli Palestinian peace process My friend David Mandel with him. We did a gas and who was executive producer of veep for three seasons posted. An interesting question online. He asks if the President's name is going to be on the death certificates as well I'm in a bad mood. I suppose that was bound to happen sooner. Or later watching The president's press conferences has done a number on my mental health A few days ago I woke up with with a migraine migraine's. I don't usually wake up with them by medication. Didn't work that usually works and I had a full blown migraine. I started to feel Flushed and Kinda Dizzy nauseous. And I was convinced I had. I had the virus a covert nineteen Franny suggested. I go to the minute clinic across the street and Went there that the. Cbs and I went in talked to nurse practitioner. A man's minute clinic and she said PF make an appointment. And I only an hour later. I went back home and started contemplating My death I was just very convinced that this was it and I was very sad very very sad because I wanna see my grandchildren grow up and I plan the live for another twenty five years or so but I was resigned to it and I My when my and She took my temperature's ninety eight point six and check my lungs and everything and at the end but she said you have a Migraine. He'll migraine and I went. Oh okay I'm watching too much news so I been trying to watch a little less but you know. My Job's Kinda to watch it and salad hard Few other items Governor South Dakota Christine gnome is still refusing to put a standing place order in her state. Despite having a covert nineteen hotspot in in Sioux falls over five hundred employees of the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux falls have tested positive. In over one hundred. People they've come in contact have tested positive as well. I don't know how many of you have ever been a to a pork processing plant I have a Minnesota's second largest producer of hogs. Now I went to Hog Processing plant very close to Sioux falls south western Minnesota. And I'll tell you about it. I'll tell you about it because I doubt many of you had this opportunity. I went In reverse and let me explain that. The first thing I saw was the pork packaged for the supermarket. So the first thing I honed in on Wor The Saint Louis cut spare ribs. Because I love sparrow jobs and I got hungry I was immediately entered this poor processing factor and the first thing I get hungry then I stopped getting hungry and I go in reverse and One of the things I see is Cleaning the intestines. And they do that. And they send The intestines To China where they use it for sausage casing and they gotta clean it because that was not pleasant anyway go backward. The final thing I see is the first part of it. Which is I see the hogs lined up to go in and They all look exactly the same like clones of each other. And that's that's what you call. Finishing they finish these hogs to specification this. Why all those Saint Louis cut spare ribs. Were almost exactly the same. So these hogs come in they walking out and let in and They get into an elevator. Elevator door opens. They get put in the elevator and the elevator goes down and at the bomb the elevator. They're they're dead. They've been a sixty aided and then they take them by their feet. Hang them upside down. Slit their throats and they bleed out and this guy. This last thing I'm saying and I turn the the manager of the plant had Take on this tour. I said Oh boy. I'm so glad that they fix him for. They do that and he said yeah they make us do that. And it's a lot better when hearts beating 'cause they bleed out faster so that was my. That was my tour of pork. You get to do those things when you're center and These are hard working people and these are people. Don't get paid a lot and I know the one has died and I hope the governor reverses her her stance and I know that the the mayor of Sioux falls has put a shelter in place order out wisely. Okay let's go to my conversation. Michael Lewis. It's a great one you know for a change and this time. Okay I WANNA talk to you about simply safe. What is simply safe? It's a home. Security system is what it is and I have to tell you that one my daughter learn the simply safe was sponsoring the podcast. She just sat me down and sang their praises because they they had a different security system before they've gotten simply safe and they love it and I live two blocks from them. I have two grandchildren. They're joe six who also why system he understands it avery. Three she has no clue. She has just clueless but they have like these A glass break. Sensors of someone breaks in a window. You know about it and it's attached to your phone. They have outdoor cameras and Doorbell. Alerts to anyone approaching your home. Oh also I use it all the time. Because sometimes they go on vacation. I checked on the House and go in and the goes off and then I have a certain amount of seconds to type in the code. Put in the code. Then the alarm goes often the people on the other end. Go like okay. It's not an emergency and I'm not going to tell you the code okay because that that would destroy the whole reason for the code okay. It's six eight four three. I'm it's not that now. You know it's not that anyway simply safe is a two time winner of the c Net. Editor's Choice Award and it the verge call simply safe the best home security system and it's only fifty cents a day with no contracts so to get simplisafe go to simplisafe DOT COM slash. Franken today. And let me tell you. It's simply safe is S. I. M. P. L. I. Safe Okay though. Y In this thing. It's the is there where we're normally you would have the Y. And simply so it's simplisafe dot com slash. Franken you'll get free shipping and a sixty day risk-free trial. You really have nothing to lose if you do this today. Bomb either tomorrow so go now says and be sure to go to simplisafe dot com slash. Franken that simply safe dot com slash. Franken and again. That's with an eye simply. Okay got it okay? Last year here. we've discussed your New York Times bestseller the fifth risk and I've noticed that you're very good at explaining things. So why don't you tell us what the book is about and explain the title? The fifth risk sure the book looked at the trump total indifference to running the federal government which started with him firing his entire transition team. So no one ever got any kind of briefings about how the various agencies ran and it makes her frame the whole thing as a risk management enterprise which is what it is among other things. The federal government has this big portfolio of existential risks that it manages most of which the American public doesn't have to think about because they've got experts in the government of thinking about it for them like say a pandemic. The idea for the book came when I walk into the first agency that I visited was the Department of Energy and found. There was this character who was known as the chief risk officer named John McWilliams. And he'd be coming out of the financial sector he worked at Goldman Sachs. He'd been an investor in in the energy sector and his job had been to come in so frame the risks that just the Energy Department one department and a dozen or so had to deal with any covered with one hundred thirty eight of these things so I said to him look look. No-one had ever talked to him. He'd spent spent the previous four years. They're doing this and and had real fact on what they were doing in the place but no one from the trump administration bothered to call him and this is an apartment that was among other things like managing the nuclear arsenal. Yeah I'm sure it was. One of the risks is a loose nuke getting in our loose nuclear material. But it was this was so I mean it was a year after trump took office. I could walk in and talk to someone who managed the nuclear arsenal and be the first person he briefed because no one had bothered to get the briefings and so anyway John McWilliams. I said look I have time for all your risks. Give your best five. And he said let me think what the top five would be and he said loose nukes nuclear a nuclear bomb going off when it shouldn't was actually the first one and the Second. The second one was an attack interesting that attack on the electric grid he said sentence going on Chinese North Koreans et Cetera. Or have been trying to fill with our electric grid and if the power goes out and you know the northeast for a month it is catastrophe three was the Iran nuclear deal falling apart It will hide and he said you know that it would. Just it would just ratchet up the probability of nuclear war and four he said these missiles that the North Koreans are launching into the sea. That everybody thinks is the joke actually. They've got some Ukrainian new Ukrainian scientists. Who moved there. And they're just testing and is getting better and better and better and were were monitoring that in our national labs measuring what they're doing so I said what's the fifth any pause for a long time and I thought there's my story. The story is the risk yet. You're not thinking about Because there's so many of them you can't keep in mind so it's basically about the risk that the federal government isn't preparing for properly and let me ask you this Do you think you have enough material for the paperback the paperbacks out I think I have enough material for another book. And in fact it's going to be a different sort of book but I think that it's very hard not to write about what's going on because it's interesting in so many ways if you look at the way. The trump administration has responded to the corona virus. I mean it's appalling. They've been really bad for the first couple of months in in their response. But it isn't just this I. There are a number of things that might have happened. They were equally unprepared for that will never know about because they didn't happen. This just happens to be the thing that happened. And what you're seeing is a little portrait of the trump administration's management ability. You know just being written by the pandemic as opposed to. I don't know an attack on the electric grid or terrorist attacks or threats to the water supply or whatever else it is that that they were supposedly managing and not managing a. Have you been studying this one in particular? Yes because I remember watching it closely and talking to doctors epidemiologists and people in the government who or who were in the government who were in a position to mend manage a response to the pandemic and you can see that there was an early warning system that had been built and a management system that had been built going back to the Bush administration. There's a document that was written in two thousand five and it was just like preparing for pandemic influenza. It really is sort of the playbook and updated by the Obama Administration in addition to that then the Obama Administration put in a pandemic response team on the National Security Council that reported directly it was in the White House. The National Security Advisor does not have to be confirmed by the Senate the NFC is the president's deal and the person that person can call the president. There are lots of different agencies that come into play when a a disease is threatening to break out in the United States is not just the Center for Disease Control. It's health and services. It's the State Department the Department of Transportation Lots of different agencies evolve and the idea. Was you need someone to manage this whole thing so so for example when the Center for Disease Control Swears? It has a test that works and can get it out in time. You have a check on them. You aren't just trusting the Center for Disease Control as they did and trump fired this entire pandemic response team on the NFC on the NFC. He abolished this office. That's right to respond to pandemics. Because he has of course blamed Obama as he does for pretty much everything when he was asked about. Disbanding this office. He said he didn't know about it. You know that's convenient right I mean he's no no is that good. I mean is that is that like you see. I didn't know about it. I didn't know about the pandemic group that we get rid of spent just a little bit of the time that he spends tapping on his phone in the mornings and at night. Paying attention to this enterprise. He's meant to have been managing you. Meyer saying he has a bad leadership style. You think I for the presidency that way. Is that what you're saying? That's one of the things I'm saying. It's worse than just a leadership style is character is ill-suited to leadership there things about him especially re leadership at a crisis that make him really bad at this. Is that the narcissism. Well one of them is like he doesn't want bad news. He just he wants all everything to be good news especially about him and so anybody who brings to his attention a mistake he might have made or a mistake. His administration made and needs to be corrected is likely to get their heads lopped off. So what does that mean? Nobody's willing to go tell him that. He made a mistake or his administration made a mistake so when they make a mistake. It doesn't get fixed. It festers he has thing and I think I mean there are different ways of putting it but it's been interesting to me. This even predates his presence. He's just like who he is his whole life. He's had this capacity this tendency to retail whatever happened never mind the FACS in a way. That's flattering to himself. So what's happened? He's developed this habit of. He doesn't really care what happens. It's sort of like what happens. Is what he spins it. As after and I think that means that he creates a set of psychological incentive not to pay very much attention to what happens. Because he's thinking all the time which the story I'm going to tell that's what it feels like. It's like it's a reality show and we're living the reality. The American people are living the reality of this but he can go pretty much the first two months and say there's no problem right and think about what that means because what he did was he abdicated. The responsibility of taking charge of this thing and left it to local leaders to do things like close the school systems and much much harder to do. When you don't have the federal government giving you any kind of cover if you don't have the president standing up and saying this is the right thing to do when it is clearly the right thing to do. And it's actually in the playbook but instead sort hedging it so that look if everybody's angry about the schools being closed. They won't blame him. They'll Beim the local leader. Who who was brave enough to do it if it ends up working and And everybody's sort of kind of says I'll look not as many people as we thought he can. He can say but we're irritated. How much was closed down? He can say I didn't want to close it down in the first place. That's what he's thinking but If we'RE GONNA move ahead to the at you know say November. Are People in November? Going to really by what? He's been saying I know. A certain percentage do but as we see this horror. I can't see that sustaining. I don't know I mean you never know what's going to happen and you'd never know which way this thing's GonNa Bounce but it's kind of hard to imagine with the sums of money that they're going to be thrown at the election by the likes of Michael Bloomberg and the video evidence of his mismanagement. It's kind of hard to believe people won't be reminded of it enough so the question is the people who support him. Have they back themselves into such a corner that changing their mind is like a a tantamount to changing their identity? And they just don't want to do that and I just don't know. Are you talking really about what on inside the mind? Somebody's supported him so far. Well I know that the senators who've supported him thus far probably not changing and true. You think that's true. You mean in the back of their minds of those people you know those people you think that those senators There's any part of him thinks men I'm I'm on. The same team is the guy who's responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans maybe ought to think about my. Oh Yeah Yeah Yeah. They're they're thinking they're just not saying it publicly at all and they're not saying privately to me. I have some friends who I thought. Were morally serious people but when they did not vote for witnesses during the impeachment trial. I had to think twice about that so I just don't know and nobody knows what's going to happen in November. I know nobody do you do you? You know because you know everything Which is why you need guests just for kind of like a springboard for your own thoughts but nobody else knows. I don't know okay. I don't know I admit it for big man to admit he doesn't know everything. And what do you think this whole thing about his view of the federal government? How insane is that you know? There are lots of little anecdotes that were thrown at me. When I was working on the book and one of its tech in my mind was how shocked. Jared Kushner was when all the people who were in the White House had left when they turned up he thought everybody. Kinda stayed he didn't realize how much rite aid realize. How much how much there was to do if you think about the the way. Trump talks about the government's always just the deep state right. It's not it's not this precious tool. That is the only tool for dealing with a crisis like this or an enterprise filled with people who are giving blood sweat and tears to their country because they love it it's this deep state it resonates obviously with his audience. But but because I see as you know the strange thing about our democracy is how shallow the state is that you have. When you're president four thousand plus people to appoint Many of whom you need to get confirmed by the Senate in order to run the government. You run the government you put your people in and it's not this this body that sort of alien to you. You have no control over much more. So this is much more true of our government than say the British government the French government where there is a civil service it sort of stays in place running things from administration to administration and so he has far more control over this than the typical democratically elected leader does over his date and yet he seems to regard it as basically not his problem and running. It is no big deal. Speaking of jared jared became part of the task force right or was an adjunct to it. And I I've read that He was kind of a distraction. They had to answer questions that Jerry had but I remember when he came out in the press conference and basically contradicted. What some doctor had said some mere? Yeah we're like what what the Tony Voucher you'd said. I think it was cheer. Or what the models. He doubted the models. They're using Reagan's thing the the nine most terrifying words in the English language are. I'm from the government and I'm here to help. I think the eight most terrifying words in English language are I'm Jared Kushner and I'm here to help. Donald Trump is actually made the Reagan line. Kinda true right he himself anyway. This dangerous to the American people he gets up and he offers medical advice. Take this drug. People are dying because he said take this drug. You know the. I don't know if you there was a couple in Arizona and went took the drug and died there people who need the drug for other things. I think it wasn't a part of some fish fish. Tank yes okay. It's not. That's not totally on him. That's on a little on the couple and I hate to be rough. I'm with you on that but okay but as a general rule when doctors are skeptical of a drug as useful in a particular illness. The president shouldn't be getting up at a press conference telling everybody take it and he shouldn't be cutting foul she off when he's asked about it. You know one of the patterns. In the trump administration in jared being in any way involved in the response to the pandemic is in illustration of it is that you're because trump only appointed people who he was sure were totally loyal to him respective of their qualifications for whatever job he was giving them. There were lots and lots of people in extraordinary number of people in this happens in any administration businessman station. It was off the charts an extraordinary number of people who were totally ill-suited for the jobs they were given what surprised me. If I'm a person like I don't Know Rick. Perry who's called for the abolishment of the Energy Department without knowing anything about what goes on inside the Energy Department and then Donald Trump offers me the chance to run the Energy Department. I think my response if he offers me that is to say no is a patriotic American. I can't do that because not only do. I really not know anything about it. I showed everybody I know anything about it. It's it would be an embarrassment. And a jared. Kushner's offered the chance to run some sort of pandemic response unit. Then you should do say i. I don't know you know there are other people who no I didn't say. Trump is basically kind of insane in some way and he will. He will offer people these jobs. I'm just amazed how many people take the jobs because these are people who are not completely insane and you would think they'd say Look Daddy Daddy Law POPs There are other things I could do. Put me in charge of. I don't know Rebuilding the ranger huts in input national parks. I Know Building. But don't don't make me the head of the pandemic response. He really know buildings. I don't know he knows something right. Put me in charge of the swimsuit acquisition policy. There's something he knows or something he's qualified for. I mean your life. People must have come to you and they've come to me offering me jobs that I knew I just had no business taking and I just said no right. I mean yeah right. Well you don't want one. You know what you're capable of and what you're not and you don't want to embarrass yourself. That's the big thing you don't want embarrass yourself. Yeah or kill people or People Daily that but and that's embarrassing. That is embarrassing. Killing being responsible for the deaths of tens of not hundreds of thousands of people but trump doesn't seem to be embarrassed no I mean that's a peculiar mind at work. I mean people want to put words a word to it. But it really is is really worth describing. What's going on in their the the business of telling story after the fact and that being the only thing that matters so he's looking constantly for that material rather than whatever the reality is how can reality be distorted in plausible enough way and it's all on display and we all have to see it now that he's got the two hour press conference that's like ten hours a week just onstage. So I I have not. I have not watched one minute of those press conferences and I suppose you have. It's a I shouldn't but it's like watching not watching a train wreck. It's it's much more interesting than that. I I find it fascinating. How sick is actually had an idea? I was gonNA write something about. I WAS GONNA. Watch them all back to back starting back in early January. I'm just curious if you've noticed differences in his demeanor as we've witnessed the descent. Well he wasn't doing them in January January he was just every once in a while being quoted saying It's under control. There's only eleven but People but now it's five or it's only one is one Guy From China there was at that point or anyone who wants to test can get a test and the tests are perfect. I you know I've been reading a lot about how all this went. Awry one of the my favorite things is as coming to him and he told associates that the president said he was alarmist. This is early fairly early on and that the president was mine was really on was flavored. Vaping yes. He was wondering when the flavored vaping would start again right. That's what he wanted right because Gottlieb and I think that's got we left the FDA because vaping and why why? Why would anyone before flavored vaping well? And and and actually care about it. The short answer is some financial interest. Got To him right. I mean that's what happens is someone who's got a flavored vaping company. Gee I wonder who that could be. Someone from Joel Calls Him. What's more curious is why get rid of the pandemic response unit in the NFC? Because there's nobody there's no pro pandemic business interest. I mean maybe there is you know. Maybe some people will benefit. But nobody's thinking that way. There's no one in his ear saying let. Let's let's let's get rid of this safeguard So we can have a pandemic him abbot so we can make lots of money so you can't explain that act of mismanagement in the same way. You can explain the interest in flavored vaping product. That's why he denied it for two months is that he just didn't want it to be real and they're you know he wanted to do various things and Mnuchin was against them because they would hurt the economy and a lot of the reason. I think he was saying. It's going to be fine. Was he thought if he told the truth that it would hurt the economy that would hurt the stock market? That's right. He was playing the stock market for a while. How did that work out? It hasn't worked out so well yet but you know you never know what I wonder. I wonder how many people have privileged information to which way he's going to jump from moment to moment and are using it to trade the stock market. Because it's really not that hard to do. If he comes out in tweets I gotTA deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia. And we're going to sort out these oil prices. You know what's going to happen in the stock market. You buy some you. You buy some call options on all the oil companies and you make a fortune We're we're GONNA take a quick break and we'll be right back those of you who listen to the podcast by definition you you. Are you know that we often have a great guests? Who are doing. Great Things For example Maria trae Sukumar the founder and president of Voto Latino Did a wonderful show on Immigration and voter suppression and after hearing her interview. A listener gave Voto Latino one hundred thousand dollars because voter. Latino is in the trenches Registering Latinos across America vote and and Fighting Republican efforts to suppress the Latino vote. Now I'm not asking you for a hundred thousand dollars unless you you know. You've got that kind of money but please consider giving to this unbelievably great organization at. Www dot voto Latino dot org. That's Voto Latino Dot Org and by the way they didn't pay for this. I just wanted to do this and the that way. You don't have to backslash Al I WANNA ask you about is that he keeps going like well. The cupboard was bear you know who he says that thing and first of all I think he hasn't even president for three years present for three years. Don't you if you've noticed that? The cupboards are bare. Don't you fill them and were they bear? Well we know there was a blueprint for how to deal with exactly this sort of virus and we know that local leaders eventually internalize this and took the lead on responding to it and we know that he ignored it We know that he made a big mistake in thinking that his his center for Disease Control how to test for it when they didn't we know that he made a probably a really big mistake in eliminating a program. Two hundred million dollar program that was designed to predict outbreaks in foreign countries particularly animals under the CDC The predict program I think was in the health and Human Services Department but cut. Cdc's funding cut CDC. He's not the only one who did that. But yes he he cut. Cdc Funding but the prediction program. I mean in a different world we would have never seen this virus. It was designed specifically to like be there when the first Chinese person got out. Got The virus and see how deadly it was going to be or how easily it was transmitted now hard it was contained and help the Chinese government contained it on the spot. That's the other side of this thing is. I've not seen anybody. I'm sure someone will unravel the trouble that was caused by trump's inability to communicate with honestly with the Chinese leaders. I mean He. He was complimenting she during this period right and when they were withholding all this I mean they wouldn't give us the virus so we could make the tests. I mean the lot of this is on NAM. Yes but it's partly on us to know they're lying to us right that's knowable not that hard know actually because you've got evidence that the thing is much worse than they're saying when in fact there were people there were Americans who were in there on the ground who had good information and it just never got to the White House you know back to your original question about is he the right leader for the moment. I can't think of anybody WHO's the. Ob a worse leader for the moment. Can I ask you a couple questions? If you were president. How would you handle it right now? Never mind what was done. Let's just forget about all this. I put you in there right now. What do you do? Why US all my authority? I would Get all these corporations who can make things. Make them okay. That's a good make what make what we need. I would do everything I could to get the testing up. I mean the fact that the disaster here was our failure to get a test and We still have only tested a little over a million people as of when we're recording this which is absurd so I would be and I don't know how to do that but I think I would ask people who do know how I certainly would not have These press conferences. I would have people like faculty and Burkes in forming people. I think that just those. Those press conferences have created a tremendous amount of harm and You'd have the you'd have the press conference you just wouldn't be there. Yeah no I wouldn't be there and But what I'm saying is I think that people don't have confidence in him. I don't know how you could have confidence in him. So maybe I would give an address every once in a while I mean. Fdr would do the fireside chats on radio but he would space them out by months and he'd worked Conham he'd work on them the spend days writing them and I wil and he. He rallied people and he inspired people. Would you get out in front of this shelter in place idea and say say to the governors? Who still aren't doing it. You GotTa do it absolutely absolutely and I mean that costs lives not doing that now. We that does cost lives not not doing it How would you respond to all the people who were screaming at you that you are overreacting and you're destroying the economy? I would say Just look at what's happening and you're you can see that I'm not overreacting. The I don't think we'd be. We wouldn't be in the in the the horrific nightmare that we're in we're going to have a pandemic no matter what but now we have an out of control pandemic because of this president and because of his leadership style that you wrote about in the fifth risk. I mean there there is a story you tell about him with Christie Chris Christie who led the transition Up to until he won and then he fired him on jared's insistence but he said to Christie. Tell me if I got this right. He said that. Christie you and I could take an hour away from the Victory Party and plan the government. Yes and about right. He said know. We take an hour from the Victorian. Learn everything we need to know about the government that we don't need all these people to go in and figure out what the government's doing I think that says a whole bunch About what's happened. This is so tragic. I don't I don't know if you're watching what I'm watching. I mean. I don't know why I do this to myself. I watched a couple of specials one on CNN ONE ON MSNBC on on one was on the emergency room a mercy ruin Brooklyn and one was mercy room in Italy horrify. These doctors and nurses are they are heroes. But it's like it's worse than war. I think we should never have put them in this position and And why they should have the I mean. How can you send them there without masks? And and what's happening is is that you know when the started. They would do what you're supposed to do which was replaced your mask after each patient. Now they're making the mass last all day and then they're putting their masks in paper bags and these people risking their lives yet. No the the trick. The management trick in trump's mind that leads him to say that kind of thing Kristie. It's never going to be my responsibility. He's basically saying anything that goes wrong. Is someone else's fault always so I don't. He never took responsibility for the government. You know we never talked about this a question. I wished you'd ask me is. How on Earth did you end up writing this book in the first place because it was it was a weird book to write right who was to read about. The federal government is nothing. It's like nothing I've ever written before. It is not sexy duwamish. Ask it now. Don't you come to write this book in the first place that the day he walked up the White House steps see? I knew something about this dude. I read the stupid books. He'd written review them. I watched him in New York and I walked out anybody who had anything to do with him. Thought very little of him you know I had some sense of who he was and as he was walking up the White House steps remember when the Obamas are waiting to let him into the medium and hand them the keys of the White House. I was in bed having recovering from surgery. And I had opioids in me and I hated him. I mean I just like I was vomiting and I just didn't. I was in a miserable state of mind and the thought that crossed my mind was. How's he going to kill me? I feel this existential. Dread the risk that I feel is a risk in my life that did not exist before and I don't understand why everybody's not feeling that and I also thought at the same time. What point is there to me saying or writing anything about this because all the people who I would like to hear it will just ignore it his supporters. Nobody's speaking anybody else. So I thought the way to express. This is not with the book. First thing I wasn't going to do was write a book. The first thing I thought was we will make a calculation. A running calculation of the number of Americans never mind the foreigners but the number of Americans who die because Donald Trump was president. We'll have some statisticians. Come in and say well so and so many people have died with obamacare. And now he's getting rid of it. So and so you know we would actually have some intellectually respectable exercise. And I thought what we'll do is we'll get that number and will create the trump death clock that will put in Time Square. And it will scroll and you're in bed with O- on opioids at this. Yeah just sit in a drugged up. It's an insane idea okay. It's an insane idea but I was thinking of the debt clock. Remember the old debt clock that used. Yes a nuclear clock to gets people closer to midnight where it gets. It gets people's attention and I thought it'll scrawl and they'll be a little stories of people whose lives were lost because Donald trump mismanaged the government. And I still was kind of locked out for about a week and in that week I hobbled into the office of Tom. Star and said would you pay for this and he said it's a great idea figuring out how to do it. We'll do it and I then sat down with really smart people who do the stats and they said you know. There's just no way to do this. you it's never going to be really intellectually respectable. So I gave up and wrote the book but right now you could put the death clock up. And it would be intellectually respectable. You could calculate how many Americans die because of his response to this by comparing it to a country where they managed the thing properly South Korea or yeah the I talked today told a really great writer for the New York. Times won't say who he is because The order sand. So I said I was interviewing you and he said I've always been jealous of Michael Lewis. How did he think of writing the fifth risk? He always does. He did it with moneyball with big short. Liar's poker. He he always does this and so you. I mean that's why I said. Do you have enough material for their neighbor. Back was out but you y hit a vein here that is Is the insight into this. The fifth risk is. It's just appalling. The clock wouldn't have made sense until this. Yes that's true because he hasn't Santa's to war gotta give them credit for that he's You know of eleven thousand. Kurds died instead of us because they fought isis and then he just completely abandoned them and so now we'll never be able to get allies again. Our place in the world and we are not you know we're supposed to be the essential nation. The world seems to be unraveling in the way. This was handled. Don't you think our place? In the world has been unraveling for a bit. The financial crisis didn't help. Either we sort of exported a lot of that but he is. He's not been good for our place in the world but he didn't care about that either right. I would've thought when you're sitting in the Senate that you would see instantly the risks. He poses to the society. Because you are budgeting the federal government. You're seeing where the money's going and where he doesn't want to give money out of thought it'd be no one in Congress who was not alive to the risks. He was presenting to the society. No when I was watching was the Republican Party being the Republican Party and try to dismantle the ACA which would cost a lot of lives. There's been an assault on it and number people covered under his has gone down. I saw them suddenly not care about the deficit when there's a democratic President Republicans in Congress. Just they really care about the deficit and the debt but soon as Republican becomes president. They CUT TAXES. They cut taxes. They forget all about the deficit completely. Yeah completely and I was on the floor saying to the managers Republican managers that Bill. You know this is going to cause a trillion dollars increase in the national debt. No on You know increase economic activity it will pay for itself. I go no. It never does never. Does you know it you know it. You guys are just dishonest. Those aren't the ones that are that I said earlier in this were my friends right. Those are the people that pissed me off and I just did you ever. Did you ever get into a fight? No never got that way. I thought it would get that way. I mean you know it's not that I haven't fantasize beating the shit out of them No I have never been in a fight and I've stood up to people. I've put myself in situations where someone was doing something that he needed to be confronted and I wrestle off and I just felt stupidly. Maybe that as long as guy doesn't have a gun or knife. I'm in good shape. You know but no I never never did away my sound like I'm bragging. I think I am. That's bad this band. I led you to this. So it's totally. It's totally okay. That you yeah. That's what I'll say. No no no. It's totally okay. Say included now. You include it. Yeah it was my question but I would have thought given the stakes. I thought things would get very hot in the Senate I would have thought there would be more almost fights. I yelled member. Simpson Bowles and they're gonNA try to bring down the deficit and by you know cutting so social security doing all kinds of things right and we're in a meeting a bipartisan meeting. And at a certain point I just exploded and I said you guys don't really care about this at all you want the economy. The tank. 'cause YOU WANNA be Obama and I made. I just went off on on everybody. I got reprimanded by the Democrat. Who was running that bipartisan group? But I just had enough but I would never you know I would cain someone yeah when I first got to the Senate right I I just said I told this is as bad as it gets is never been worse and I said never an end Carl. Levin said well actually was worse once I said why and he said eighteen fifty six and I said sumner getting caned and he said yes. That funny is funny. I I. It was serious. It was like no. It's been worse. I mean just given how quickly Americans default to violence. It's just surprising to me. There isn't more violence in places where it really matters like the Senate Ida thought it would just get hostile very quickly over these things because because so many in the Senate no in the house in that even they would. They would come to fisticuffs in the house but not in the Senate the upper house but even in the house. They don't do that anymore. I think they're I think while I've been there. There were a couple. Oh really yeah. There were a couple altercations that didn't get out of hand but there were a couple almost fights. I can't remember. No no no. I think there were like some shoving and stuff right. Yeah no yeah but not a flat out fight right. How did we get into the sorry? I'm sorry I'm sorry I I'm sorry I just the so. What do you know any specifics? You there are all these articles about moments where the ball was real. Just dropped and Do you know any from your research every scoop so no. I don't have any scoop on hand. Unf- pandemics I tell you I I I left the the CDC then. Why are you here? I asked you this very question. I asked you this question. It's your fault the CDC and the health and Human Services ended up on my cutting room floor. But because I thought it was too obvious I thought there's no of all the risks not to mismanage thought pandemic was about out of the top. And I tell you why I thought he dishes to you know it's it's almost happened. A bunch in the last fifteen years. So it's kind of on on people's mind a bit. When I was writing about Obama. I spent six months with Obama at the end of his first term writing a big profile and I asked him like what keeps you up at night and the first thing he said was pandemic so I just thought this is not something the government they are going to under invest in. I thought you know this is. It's it's just not. That's not the place to look because the premise of my book was. It's the it's the risk you're not thinking of an and Lo and behold pandemic became one of the risks that the trump administration wasn't thinking of well. I you know I think your take on this was so prescient that I knew that this will be fun. Interview housing all right all right. Well good talking to you. Thanks Michael Well. I hope you enjoyed Listening that beautiful music is by Leo cocky greatly. Oh Cardi I wanNA thank Peter Osborne for producing this. We'll talk again next week.

President Donald Trump federal government Senate Jared Kushner White House jared jared Obama Michael Lewis Al Franken president Cdc Sioux falls Energy Department New York Times Obama Administration migraine Peter Osborne National Security Council Cbs
315 Teaser - Air America: Origins

Chapo Trap House

02:50 min | 1 year ago

315 Teaser - Air America: Origins

"The literacy, Janine Garoppolo was the only person who was allowed on television to say we shouldn't go to a war with Iraq, because they wouldn't let anyone else on it. So she was recruited by this organization win without war because she was the only person they would let on, and they would do that, because they'd invite her on desperate davir on because she was great ratings particularly on FOX because they love to see, you know, young women who are, you know, uppity. Yeah, get attacked that is like catnip for them. And so they invite are on in the first question would be like, how dare you come on here as an actress insen tell us why we shouldn't go to war, so air America launches with Al Franken, Rachel, Maddow, and Liz Winstead, and Chuck d how to show in the morning. And Marc Maron had a show in the early morning with a couple of other folks Al Franken, and then Randy Rhoads, who was a, a left wing talker from Florida, but just all local. It was newly there was there was definitely local. Yeah. It was local. The problem was it was started by a guy who told everyone that he had had a brain tumor. And that he had had a revelation that he needed to do something to get, you know, we were losing the messaging war because there was no messenger at all. And just literally no commercial media. This is like a Felix started a company. I have a brain tumor. I can't be alone right now, will you and your comedian friends come to my house and record a daily radio program. It was it was very much like that it was insanity. And it turns out the guy was. Lying about how much money he had raised in took a while to find this out, basically came to a head and people can watch this element of the of the period of, of air America. There was a, there was a documentary called maybe I think it was left of the dial or something like that on HBO. My understanding is that a lot of us had not gotten paid. But I was come from the sitcom world. And I was like I don't really care like I mean I thought I was just going to do. We're rolling in the Gary Busey money. And we were just like we need to do something for the next six months before this election. And so a lot of us had had checks that we're bounced, and they would just say, like, well, there was some confusion and Bubba and it all came to a head when Franken who had not been paid for longtime. The guy sent him a sentence considerably Ari with a big envelope that supposedly had all the receipts for the checks. They in the opened it up, and it was just newspaper random newspaper clip.

Al Franken America Janine Garoppolo Marc Maron FOX Iraq Gary Busey Randy Rhoads Bubba HBO Ari Florida Felix Liz Winstead Chuck d Maddow Rachel six months