tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg June 25, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin this evening with the latest revelations of overseas -- by the national security agencies, documents published by wikileaks show that the n.s.a. eavesdropped on the presidents and senior leaders of france. the white house released a statement saying there was currently no surveillance on the french presidents conversations. hollande summoned the country's ambassador to the united states and called two emergency meetings. the white house says that president obama spoke to his counterpart on the phone today. earlier, the president announced a change in the administration's
policy regarding ransom payments for hostages. family members want a longer be prosecuted for attempting to pay captors ransoms. president obama: our top priority is the safe and rapid recovery of american hostages. to do so we will use all elements of our national power. i am reaffirming that the united states government will not make concessions such as paying ransom to terrorist groups holding american hostages. charlie: joining me now from washington is david ignatius a foreign-policy columnist for "the washington post." david, let me begin with the significance of this, because there is some kind of conventional wisdom that all countries spy on other countries, including friends. where do you put this? david: well this conventional wisdom, i guess is usually the case, is basically correct. the united states and france spy
on each other, spy on most of the countries around them. there was a big flap during the 1990's about what the u.s. -- was french industrial espionage involving a french diplomat in houston, and u.s. high tech companies. that episode past. when the snowden revelations first appeared in 2013, and it was claerear that united states through the n.s.a. had spied on branch officials, french president hollande said this was on acceptable. now we have the new wikileaks revelations that three different french presidents. or spied on you look at the documents that wikileaks released, they are not very surprising or clearly sensitive issues -- the greek financial crisis the euro french middle east policy.
the united states is conducting espionage. it was interesting to me that president obama this time around immediately try to put out the fire and called the french president today. he told him if this had taken place in the past and thate latest wiki-leaks document was in 2012, it was not taking place now. it is over. there is no attempt to walk us back as quickly as possible. charlie: the french prime minister has said the u.s. must do everything it can to repair the damage. i assume the president calling francois hollande is the first effort. david: the deeper issue for the french as they would like to have the kind of status with the united states on intelligence issues that britain and the ot her so-called five eyes english speaking countries, close allies to the united states, like the relationship they have. the french have talked in one of
the cables that was released there is discussion about french concerns about u.s. intelligence policy. germany has expressed the same desire for a no-spy pact. i think that is the subtext here. the discussions continue. even president obama in his desire to make friends with a key ally has not been willing to go as far as either the french or the germans want in that formal pledge not to undertake espionage. charlie: and what was done here how is it different from what was alleged to have been done against chancellor chancellor merkel of germany? david: the only difference i can see from the documents is that in this case, we are talking about intelligence report that are top secret, which is not the highest classification. they seem to have been normal intercepts of exchanges.
in the case of german chancellor merkel, that was her personal cell phone. those were in many cases personal calls. part of why she was offended and wounded. i have not seen evidence that hollande's personal calls were targeted in this latest set of leaks. that personal target is precisely what president obama says the u.s. is not doing any more. with friends. charlie: france is part of p5 plus one. the french have been involved in africa in anti-terrorism. what is the national security relationship between france and the united states? david: today, it is very close. when i ask u.s. administration officials who is really working closely with you in counterterrorism efforts in syria, in iraq, in north, the answer immediately comes back -- france. sometimes france is cited above
great britain. the french have been quite active and forward leaning in dealing with terrorist groups in the french-speaking areas of north africa and central africa and have been a key partner. they are deeply, historically involved in lebanon and syria. that is a relationship that is a very important to the u.s. as it tries to deal with the isis problem. it is another reason that president obama was so quick to try to get this back in the box, because the u.s. needs and depends on france as part of the coalition. charlie: what do you make of the president changing sort of the unofficial policy with respect to hostages? david: well if you try to put yourself in the mind of one of these hostage families, desperately worried about their loved ones, feeling the u.s. government is not doing everything it could, the idea that if you decided to pay
ransom you would then be subject to u.s. legal prosecution was obviously an indignity that upset the families deeply. so the president is backing off. even as he says the government will not pay ransom. it is alleged that some european and other governments do pay ransom directly. the u.s. has always felt it only increases the value of hostages and makes more kidnappings likely. in this case we will have to see what -- the pressure on families, of people who were taken to pay up will be enormous. charlie: i've always assumed that come june 30 they would have an agreement between iran and p5 plus one and somehow they would be able to wrap it up and make it happen. then i see today and yesterday where the ayatollah came out strongly. does that change the likelihood and the perception of the united states as to what might be
possible? david: i think there was a lot of concern about the ayatollah's comments in which he seemed to be rejecting the basic framework for inspection which u.s. officials feel is the critical remaining part of this agreement to be pinned down. i think the dilemma for the u.s., if the iranians went ahead and signed an agreement with the basic framework that secretary kerry outlined in the fact sheet, the lausanne negotiations finished at the same time the supreme leader has publicly rejected those conditions, you have iran in effect going into directions at once. that presents a really tricky question for u.s. policymakers. i think they are really struggling with it. i'm sure they will seek public clarification that the ayatollah's comments are not decisive. i do not know how you can get that, given he is the supreme leader. charlie: david ignatius from
economist for the world bank. he wrote a column on the urgent moment facing europe a's before greece's bailout aid is set to expire at the right's "financial historians may look back at the events of next week and wonder how europe'ss financial unraveling was permitted. creditors demanding sweeping changes to greece's proposed plan, adding a sense of skepticism as to whether a default will be averted. i'm pleased to have larry summers back at this table. welcome. larry: good to be with you charlie. charlie: so is it likely they will avert the kind of crisis you suggest by making a deal that creditors and the greek government can accept? larry: charlie we have been in the last hour for about a mouth now. so it's hard to be certain of anything. my guess is in the end it will work out, but both sides are playing it very much to the
hilt. they both from their perspectives are really in a legitimate place. three greeks feel very correctly they have had austerity imposed on them for five years, that their economy has substantially collapsed, that theyfy fired 30% of their employees, more than anybody else, and they do not need more of the same. that is legitimate perspective. the central europeans, the germans and others in europe, feel that it's all been money in to greece and there has not been money out. the greeks have not lived up to all their commitments. there is merit in that position as well. so, it's a moment when you need to, when they need to find a compromise. no one will gain if a deal is
not struck. without continued participation in the euro and without continued relations with the imf greece will have more austerity than anybody else is asking for. if greece leaves, it will be a grievous blow to the european union project. if greece leaves, it will be a major national security issue for europe as russia takes advantage of that opportunity. so both sides are going to get more of what they fear if they are not able to reach a deal. charlie: dean rusk famously said, they were eyeball to eyeball and the other guy blank. meaning kennedy and khrushchev. khrushchev blinked. who has to blink? larry: i think both sides have
to recognize they cannot have everything that they want. i am not prepared to regard thisas as somebody has got to blink and give way to somebody else. i think that is the kind of zero sum thinking that has gotten us to where we are. charlie: then both sides have to blink. larry: both sides have to turn away from confrontation. charlie: tell me what it is each side has to give up that they are demanding? in your judgment. larry: i have no authority over this but i've seen these kinds of movies a number of times before. umm, the, the greeks have to be prepared to accept they need to make budget adjustments so that exclusive of any interest payments, even if they pay no interest, they pay no printable back, that they are not needing stillmore money from europe.
greeks have to be prepared to accept that level of adjustment with perhaps a bit of extra margin. they do not have to pay interest. they do not have to pay most of their interest they do not have to pay principle, but they have to be in a position where they are paying a little bit of principle back. they have to take steps necessary to spur growth by making their economy more flexible, by making more in the private sector. europe needs the remainder of europe needs to recognize that greece is not in any remotely plausible scenario going to able to pay back all it has borrowed. and needs to create an apartment in which greece has a chance to succeed by being prepared to provide further financial support and by being prepared to relieve debt.
europe needs to recognize that, while hundreds of aliens of dollars have been poured into greece most of that money has flowed right back out of greece tyoo p ay european banks back who made imprudent loans. given that, they need to make sure the greeks debt position can get to sustainable place. if we can have those two things, sustainable debt reduction and meaningful policy adjustment and that's what -- where we need to be moving to have a chance with respect to greece. and obviously, it would be better if it was embedded in a stronger european growth strategy than we have seen so far. that does not rely entirely on the central bank and governor mario draghi. charlie: you point out in your
piece that sometimes you do not see the consequences when you are making decisions. lehman brothers, for example, did not see the consequences of not rescuing lehman brothers. long-term capital. was that official title? larry: capital management. hedge fund. charlie: didn't see the consequences. larry: some didn't. many thought coming out, small hedge fund to how big a deal could it be? it turned out to be a very big deal. charlie: my point is, is this one of those circumstances where they'd better recognizes what the consequences are of greece needing the eurozone? because if not, you have a failed state. larry: charlie i can go, the way i would put it is this -- i could go wandering around with my eyes closed unlike can avenue. -- on lexington avenue. and most likely the cars would see me and it would be ok. but it would not be a good
experiment. in the same way, my best guess is that if greece leaves it will be a catastrophe for greece . it will be a serious security event. my best guest is it won't be a grand financial disaster, but there is a chance that i'm wrong, just like the people who were wrong about lehman brothers and just like the people were wrong about ltcm and people were wrong in thinking that subprime was a small problem. so there are some experiments you just do not want to run. charlie: the risk is too great. larry: and i think that that, that would be, for me, the controlling reality. look, of course, in any negotiation, you have a problem which says if you -- which is if you cannot live without a deal you do not get a very good deal. and that is why there is a lot of posturing going on. but i think all of us on the outside should very much wants to see this thing reach a
conclusion. as you were just getting to in your question, not just for economic and financial reasons but greece is europe's exposed to southern flank. greece is a member of nato. greece is one of the 28 members of the european union, which on many questions like sanctions of russia, acts on the basis of unanimity. charlie: as you know, paul krugman has weighed in to it he said, i think it is worth putting up need not happen, the failure of greece. what summers seems to portray is a snare in which greek banks collapse and take down the economy. but what if greece issues its own currency to keep cash flowing? there would be shocked evaluation which would lead to a spike in inflation, but what hyperinflation follow? remember greece is running a l
arge cyclically adjusted surplus, and that even given economic recovery, it would not need to roll the printing presses to pay its bills." larry: well, as paul well knows the deficit you have is the deficit you have not the cyclically adjusted deficit you have. the cyclically adjusted deficit you have is an economist's concept. the deficit you have is what controls your pressure for printing money. and perhaps, there would be a way of executing rapid switch to a drachma with a substantial devaluation that increased competitiveness that performed provided a basis for stronger exports and led things in a positive direction. that's conceivable. but given the difficulty that
the greek government has had to date in executing much similar tasks, like the basic task of collecting taxes my suspicion is that, an attempt in that direction would lead to very substantial hoarding of euros, would lead to immensely rapid turnover of drachmas because no one would really rely on them as secure would involve a complete collapse of credit as the greek banking system became much less able to function, and that a far weaker economy would mean a far larger deficit. and some substantial kind of disintegration. we've seen versions of this movie before. this is not unlike what happened
in argentina in 2001 and has happened in other latin american countries at other junctures. and it does not tend to be a healthy kind of picture at all. things may come come to that -- come to that and prudence involves recognizing that disasters are not forever. but it seems to me that a situation in which greece lur ched into a drachma wouuld be very, very likely to be a situation that involves substantially more economic pain for a significant interval than what we have now. and we don't know where that is going to go politically.
but historical experience with the bottom falling out from a situation that is already in a deep valley is not encouraging as to the political reaction and parties that wait behind syria -- this area are not very attractive. charlie: let's talk trade for the president seems to be rebounding from the defeat he had from democrats in congress. nancy pelosi included. your position is you support the tpp, the transpacific partnership. jeff -- was on this program, the ceo of g.e. this is catastrophic if we do not have this. democrats worry about loss of jobs and other considerations. elizabeth warren, nancy pelosi, and others. why is this essential? larry: i think people are
worried about trade are right to be worried about trade. the mistake is to carryth a worry about trade into a worry about trade agreements. the truth is the american market is open. completely open to these countries right now. so, the question -- with or without the trade agreement, they are here. so the question is whether we will avail ourselves of the opportunity to open their market for the benefit of our producers. now, i have sympathy with the people who are concerned that we're using too much of this to we're using too much political capital to gain influence for companies who are going to be producing there rather than here. that we are using too much influence to reduce regulation in these countries rather than simply to reduce tariffs and q
uoteasas. i think those are legit and the conference. we will have to fully evaluate them when we see the text. but on balance, i think you have to remember our market is open and theirs is close right now. and you also have to remember and that is why i think in the end there was really no other viable choice, that the united states has declared itself to be rebalancing towards asia and it has declared that the major nonmilitary component of that was this trade and economic integration bill. and if we had failed to carry through on an ability to do that, it would have been devastating for our credit ability. and so, i think -- i think it is a good agreement, the right thing to be doing. but i also think that in a
sense, the ship las lefhas left. and given our partners have been involved with this for years, one would have to have an extraordinarily powerful argument to put the united states in the position once again of not carrying through on a commitment. charlie: don't you think elizabeth for? --elizabeth warren knows that? they understand the commitment. larry: yes. they can articulate -- elizabeth warren and many others who opposed it can articulate, they can be the ones who articulate their argument. i think it's hard to trace. i think -- i understand their frustration, because
economists some economists many government officials have denied the concern about trade at all. have denied any kind of concern about globalization. i think that is wrong. so i understand why people are angry. i just think this is the wrong hostage to kill. that is where i come down on it. i do think we need -- and this is the other part of my column -- we do need to think very hard about our international economic strategy going forward. and rather than more trade agreements i'd rather see emphasis shift towards making sure we fund international organizations so we don't get caught in the kind of situation we just did with the chinese have to start their own in for structure bank,-- their own infrastructure bank. then have them be embarrassed as all our friends join china's infrastructure bank.
we need to be generous to international organizations. and we also need to be fostering cooperation in other areas, like making sure corporations cannot -- escape taxation. charlie: basically you're saying that we should not have been put in an embarrassing position where we urged britain and france and nobody else to support it. and they said, to hell with you. we are going to go ahead with this and we believe it is ok to do this. . you are suggesting the wiser thing would have been to fund it and led the charge -- larry: to have funded the reforms that enhanced china's precipitation -- participation in the imf five years ago. to be prepared to support an expansion in the world bank and the asian developer and bank, so there was no felt need for an institution we could not be part of. if we were strong supporters of
those organizations, if we were strong supporters of international cooperation in other dimensions, dimensions that involve regulating and taxing highly mobile capital, then our globalization agenda would seem like an agenda that was pro-middle-class rather than a globalization agenda that seems like it is for cosmopolitans, for companies like g.e., for people like jeff and melt -- imelt. but it does seem to be focused on the interests of most americans. so it seems to me that that's where our work on global integration needs to function, on questions related to tech sectio -- taxxation and questions relating to regulation. when i was treasury secretary years ago, i expressed concerns about what i called the dark side of capitalization. money, laundering, regulatory
evasion, tax evasions of various kinds. and that's where an international economic cooperation agenda needs to go. and i think the people see that they will understand some of the trade stuff more. but when the focus is all trade, it is understandable why people find that so frustrating. charlie: i hear you. two quick questions. china. is the infrastructure bank one more sense that china as it continues economic growth, even though it plateaued in some ways in terms of, and they have huge challenges, but at the same time their economy will be larger than our economy soon. they are beginning to flex their muscle about the size of their economy and to leverage it. will there be a double reserve currency and things like that, so it is not just the dollar?
there will be alternatives, so that our economic power in the world will decline as china gr ows? larry: i think our, i think it's very likely that our relative economic strength is probably not going to be what it was. to share of all the world's output we have been, that is probably going to go down. though the fact we have gained so much relative to europe and japan actually makes that not obvious. i do not think we have got anything to fear from the renminbi. i think that we should be supportive and cooperative with respect to china joining the so-called special drawing right, the combination of major global currencies that the imf is in charge of, i think we have got
nothing to fear from that. china continues to maintain all kinds of controls on being able to take money in, being able to take money out. as long as that is true and i think some measure of those controls will be there for a while, i do not anticipate that the renminbi would be a substantial threat to the dollar. and even if it was i don't think u.s. strength derives from the number of people who hold the dollar. i think it derives from the fundamental strength of our economy, which goes back to getting our economy moving again. charlie: a culture of innovation. larry: where i would be focused as the united states is on accelerating the growth rate. if we do that, i think a variety of the international economic issues will take care of themselves. charlie: we will see a growth rate of 4% gdp anytime soon?
larry: no time soon on the current trajectory. breakthrough on immigration, massive increase in infrastructure investment serious tax reform serious attempt at enabling everybody in the labor force to participate with basic labor for supports like family leave, you do -- you doo all those things, and you could see substantially faster growth rate than the one that is -- for the united states on the current policy path. 4% is a big lift, in a world -- this is the important thing -- it used to be that the adult labor force was growing at 2% a year because the baby boom was coming-of-age, because more and more women were working. we are going to be lucky if the
charlie: michael wolff is an author and journalist. he has made a career out of biting the hand that feeds him and taking on media power players. his books include "burn rate." his latest is called "television is the new television." it challenges conventional wisdom about old versus new media. i am pleased to have michael wolff at this table. welcome. the title of this is "television is the new television," which comes as a surprise to some. conventional wisdom is that the future is with digital media, and digital media is beginning to take all the profit and make it very hard for traditional media. explain to me why that is not true. michael: this book really has two stories. in the first story is about a remarkable staying power of television that television is not only powerful but it has improved its product and changed its business model. and to affect of enormous
profit. charlie: and the hardware has gotten better, too. michael: everything. at the same time, digital media, which we have been inundated with, with promises that it was going to be the future in every way, has been relatively speaking a disappointment. sometimes rather a serious disappointed. charlie: so why decent television as we know it has had sustainability and digital media has not leapt to the riches we expected it would. alix: michael: number one because it does what we've always thought -- sought after. it tells the story. thebeginning, middle and end. a structure we want. we just sink into. but also, at the same time, it
has been a better business. fundamentally, it has done the one thing that digital, the opposite of what digital media has done. it's cut down how it's dependence on advertising. so, basically right now, the television business -- remember we grew up with television. it was completely free, ad supported. charlie: it's created new resources. michael: now television is usually expensive for all of us and for itself much more profitable. charlie: what are these other revenue sources? michael: cable. we all pay a cable bill. we are all paying directly for -- charlie: cable pays television to rebroadcast. michael: exactly. in sum, that's it. then there are obviously the new -- netflix. the netflix revenue stream netflix says it is the disrupter of television, but at the same time, it is pain television $2
billion in licensing fees. charlie: netflix seems to have 35 percent or a larger percentage of all the online downloading going on after 7:00? michael: huge activity. charlie: is that hugely profitable? they get a big subscription and they have a got a lot of members. michael: it is the comparison between hbo saand netflix is a very dramatic one because they have the same numbers. they make the same amount of money. they have the same costs, but hbo makes a $2 billion profit, netflix makes no profit. what is the difference? the difference is actually in cable television in the relationship with the cable provider. hbo, as we all know, it is hard to get rid of your hbo subscription. it is very easy to get rid of your netflix subsumption. in that churn that netflix
really fails to make a significant profit. charlie: but more and poor people say they get their news online. increasing percentage of people say that. michael: absolutely. that is clearly true. charlie: what are the implications for that? newspapers are suffering. michael: yeah. for print, and i think it is very important to draw the difference between television and print. print gave its entire product away for free. everybody want online. it was free. it escaped, similar to music. television was always if you want our product you have to pay for it. so in the news business, it has gotten even worse. not only is everything for free but everybody has access to the same news and they are reprocessing it. so they're, everybody is rewriting everybody else, so that everybody is essentially offering the same products. charlie: and people like facebook and companies like that
or something aggregating what is out there. michael: they are just the supplier of traffic. in the end, they win because everybody comes to them and they take a little toll off of everybody using digital meeting. digital media doesn't win. charlie: what do you make of the purchase by verizon of aol? michael: i think it is a curious purchase. i think they want to be in the advertising business. let's put this another way -- they want to be in the traffic business. they want to do what facebook and google are doing. they control large amounts of traffic. what they are saying is we would like to take pennies find a way to take even more, a greater number of pennies off of that traffic than we are now. charlie: then there is a big story about comcast going to buy time warner, and being denied? then john malone and charter
coming in and looking like they will get it. michael: and it does seem like they will get it, yes. and i think that is indicative of what i might even characterize as a war to control video. it is so valuable. and i think everybody is in this game. charlie: define video in this case? michael: television. television basically. but the words become hard because we no longer watch television on the television. we watch television on all of the other screens. charlie: but that is the crucial point, how we receive -- that old media companies or something content companies. that is what they are, content companies. therefore, how they distributed, traditional or through new media, they still generate revenue. what do think a president and net neutrality? michael: i think that neutrality
is one of those other issues in which the smoke hasn't cleared. iw would say that when it clears, the digital guys will be surprised because what they have done is digital has always been an unregulated business. by creating this the net neutrality laws, they suddenly become regulated. and regulation then becomes a game of who has the best lawyers. and i'm going to tell you -- charlie: and lobbyists. michael: i'm going to tell you the media companies have been doing this for an awfully long time. charlie: but at the same time everybody is getting everybody's business, too. michael: i would even put it in a different way. everybody wants to be in the television business. charlie: but do you mean everybody was to be in the video business? michael: yes. charlie: not so much they want to own television stations or
networks, they want to be in a new definition of the videogame. michael: they want to be involved in the business of getting you what i think we can call and understand television shows. charlie: that is what i have a hard time understanding. if everything is now video, and that is the content everybody wants, and it is a premium content, too. it is no longer cats -- michael: premium content for it i heard a new term. premium content and then there was premium plus. now there is premium plus plus plus. charlie: premium triple plus. michael: what that describes to me is the kinds of productions netflix is doing. "house of cards," which is, again, very traditional television product. they go to hollywood to get this made, of course. charlie: somehow in your life you convinced rupert murdoch to let you do a biography of him. michael: especially. charlie:-- in explictcably.
charlie: i want to know how you convinced him. because he regrets it deeply. i think he would argue you betrayed him. michael: i think he does. charlie: i'm just saying, the question is, how did you convince them to let you do this? what charm did you prevail? show me -- what did you do to -- share everything with me. i will do book about you nobody has ever seen. what was it you said? michael: the truth was it was all a mistake and a misunderstanding. i think, i said -- charlie: this is different from a lie. michael: probably. i went in and said and rupert and i have known each other. and i like him. he does like me because he likes to talk about media life. and here i'm talking about it
and i said, he just succeeded in taking over "the wall street journal " i said i would like to write a book about this. charlie: he thought it was about the " wall street journal"? michael: i would like to write a book about you and the takeover of "the wall street journal." he said -- argh. charlie: was that the truth? did you really intend to make this a book about -- michael: i said it was about your life, how this came about that this was the ultimate -- and that is what the book is about. charlie: the ultimate acquisition for him. michael: he said fine. come in. and that was it. charlie: did the family tell him it was a good idea? everybody was -- no. nobody tell them anything. i go in and sit down and we talked for an hour and a half. charlie: before the deal was made? michael: i had sold the book. so i am off and running.
we have our hour and a half discussion. at the end, he says, do you have enough? and i said, i actually don't. i need to see you again. then, so he brings out his book and he writes it in. charlie: his address book. michael: a week allater, i come back, and we go to the same thing again. do you have enough? this goes on pretty much like this for every meeting for nine months. charlie: so, he is trying to be as good as the country of. michael: hs ise is. he was accommodating. i think he liked the discussion. in the end, -- i remember when they saw the book, his guy gary ginsberg -- charlie: worked for time warner. michael: his chief handler, p.r. guy. he said the book is all about
rubert. and i said, it is a biography. then he said but it's so personal. charlie: because it was supposed to be about the deal. michael: i realize these guys do not read a lot of books. when i saw a rupert's mother she said, so interesting that he -- charlie: she was 104? michael: he's doing this book with you because he has never read one. and i think there is an aspect of that that they really did not know what to expect in terms of a modern piracy. charlie: did he ask roger ailes about this? michael: i am sure he probably did not because actually one of the because there is always fights within that company. and one of the things i had to agree to was not to speak to roger ailes. charlie: explain that to me.
you had to agree not to speak? michael: partly because of gary ginsberg, who was always having a fight with roger. so i do not think they wanted roger to weedle, to find his way into the story of this book. anyway, i agree to that. i only reluctantly did because i actually like roger a great d eal. charlie: did he find his way into the book? michael: only from rupert who said unkind things about roger. that let roger go back to rupert and yell at him and get more money. charlie: roger yells at rupert. michael: yelling is overstated. he goes -- i don't know. charlie: i don't think so. michael: they come to, they have their way of negotiating. charlie: and so the book was
published. everybody gets a chance to read it. was it a bestseller? i don't remember. michael: yes. charlie: and they were angry because it was too personal. they felt it was a book about "the wall street journal" and it turned out to be a book about rupert. michael: yes. charlie: and the relationship today between you and rupert? michael: terrible. i ran into them in newscorp. i came down in the elevator. the elevator was empty. the doors opened and rupert and i were standing as far from each other as you and i are now and we looked at each other and we had no idea what to do, the both of us just frozen. and then i finally put out my h and, and i said hello, rupert. he threw up his arms and bolted by me into the elevator so he
would not have to shake my head. charlie: did you write things he ought to be angry about? michael:n o. no. i would say it it is an incredibly respectful portrait. charlie: forget the misunderstanding, characterize him as a dominant media figure of his time. michael: his the -- he is the shpaeraper and the maker of media in our age. there is nobody more important. there is nobody more central often nobody more brilliant. charlie: and his genius is he knows what? michael: i think his geniuses the ability to take risks the willingness to follow his own nose a kind of remarkable fearlessness to try this and try that, and try what works.
charlie: brian williams a friend of everybody who does what i do. people admire him. is now going to msnbc, we think. you wrote a column saying this is good for brian. this is good for everybody. michael: win-win. i think they have to for trade as lose-lose, but i think everybody understands it as win-win. charlie: because? michael: because msnbc is so important from a news business standpoint. msnbc -- charlie: because it makes as much money as foxnews does it will be a huge contributor to the bottom line. but it doesn't now. michael: even now it makes a lot of money for the network. it makes more money than nbc new s. so, it is a reality and illusion issue here. everybody still thinks nbc nightly news is the prestige appointment.
i suppose because people think it it is. but the truth is that the future of the television news business and the financial interests of nbc and its parent comcast are all with msnbc. so brian williams moving there is much more valuable to the network and to comcast then he is at nbc nightly news. charlie: because he can make it better? because he is of worcestershire -- he's a superstar and he can make it stronger, bigger and better? michael: totally. msnbc has a problem and is drifting and whatever its positioning was, it has lost. charlie: how is ccnn doing? michael: cnn does financially very well. for the basic reason that if you are a cable provider and you
carry fox you have to balance it with cnn. that means lots of revenues. the fact that literally nobody, the audience of the primetime audience of cnn has dwindled to a shadow of its former self does not really have a financial impact. charlie: the book is called "television is the new television." the unexpected triumph of old media in the digital world. michael wolff is obsessed by this. therefore, what he says is always interesting. thank you. thank for joining us. see you next time. ♪
betty: dish network founder charlie ergen. for the first time on bloomberg television, bergen weighs in on a seismic shift taking place in television. his plans for becoming the next big wireless company and why you might looking to merge with that guy john ledger. charlie: they have done it for testing job in being the upstart company. that did: he faces questions about his management style. charlie: we have high expectations. betty: