tv [untitled] CSPAN June 5, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
caught up at the time it happens it's very hard to tell them that there is a higher priority than giving them a meal, shelter, potential job, place to return and it becomes a very significant issue for any country whether it is china, india or other countries we have seen both real some terrific catastrophic disasters and it is just a matter of time until some of these predictions have been and by but like to say that we are ready but i am telling you we are not in any number of places that we have heard today. thank you. i think we will call the hearing to a close and again the record will remain open for 15 days and we urge anyone either here or listening to submit any data that will be helpful to our committee and we thank you very much.
media. >> i am frank bond. we are in the night studio located on pennsylvania in washington d.c. where each week we bring students face to face with current events and the workings of government and of the press. our students generate most of the questions and comments in the discussion. this week our audience consists of students from the close-up academy and the washington center as well. let's meet some of them now. welcome to close-up at the newseum. tell us you are and where you are from. >> i am stotland kester from crofton nebraska. >> what has been the highlight of this week in washington? >> basically being in washington dc. being from a town of 700 people we don't get an opportunity to come to a place like this, the national capital. >> did you get to spend time on capitol hill? did you visit your congressional what is on their minds? >> we ask them questions, a lot about agriculture since that is a big part of nebraska and stuff
like that. >> tell me something, how does the recession manifest itself in the lives of a typical high-school student there in nebraska where you live? >> in nebraska we kind of make our own living with farming and everything and i guess it has hit hard with gas prices and stuff. they have gone down considerably but nebraska has not been hit that hard i guess. i have not been changed. >> a senior this year? >> next year. >> you have got one more year of highschool. what are you looking forward to most for your senior year? >> just sports and getting through it. figuring out where i want to go to school. >> what sports do play? >> football, basketball and track. >> got to play football. you are from nebraska. i hope to hear more from you as our program goes on for the right now we are going to meet one of your colleagues from the washington center. hello and welcome to close-up of the newseum.
>> my name is molly. >> tell us about washington's center. >> it is a center for academic and internships, so we are brought into the washington center, the program and then they actually send this out to do other internships as well. >> are you interested in government, media or both? >> my major is in communication and my mizener is in government but i did end up dead xm radio, which is great but all of the experience i'm getting at the washington center is exciting. >> what kind of aspirations are you nurturing now? >> at this point i am feeling that out. i really enjoyed the communications side. but i also, since moving to this area i am interested on the government side. >> where are you from originally? >> san diego. >> big naval installment out there obviously but tell me something. how is the recession make itself felt in san diego? where are you noticing it more
in life styles? >> actually i'm not there anymore. i am a local now. my husband is working in the city so i live in maryland. >> so you only hear about san diego. >> from grandma. >> thank you and welcome and we hope to hear more from you as the program goes on. hello, welcome to close-up at the newseum. >> my name is gwenette and i am from evanson alberga candidate. >> welcome to the states. i understand you spent some time as a journalist. >> i don't know if it would be called journalism because i'm writing mostly arts and entertainment. >> if you are writing it with a journalistic discipline then yes, if it is about the culturated impacts politics and i'm sure bob would agree with that. so, tell me what you bring to arts and entertainment. print? >> in print but i have also done a radio. i was an international student where i did an english-language
program for international students. i just saw like stories and i love talking to people so that is the ideal ellig and i love little facts and getting to talk to people. >> give me a thumbnail of your most memorable stories you have covered so far. >> i usually get to talk to musicians who are very colorful characters especially over the phone and they always have pretty interesting anecdotes about their high jinks on to our. there is one especially where someone said they were walking into a church where they were giving a concert and they were going to go set up and instead of walking into the rehearsal space then walked into an alcoholics anonymous meeting with a big bottle of alcohol. [laughter] i had to edit that for the paper to make that sound less incendiary but it was very memorable. >> thank you so much for sharing and we hope to hear more from you as the program goes on. today we are going to be talking with bob schieffer and getting
his take on politics and the media. we might ask him about our ten entertainment saying is he is both. he served as chief washington correspondent and pose the face the nation. he has covered washington for a cbs news for 40 years. bob has written four books about his career in journalism. his most recent is bob schieffer's america. please join me in welcoming bob schieffer. [applause] before we talk with bob and our students our associate producer, daniel panetta at students about their perception of the news business. >> hi frank, this is daniel. i am at the digital news exhibit where we are asking highschool students, is the state of the news business getting better or worse? here is what they had to say. >> i think some news channels are becoming more biased in certain directions at different
times and when i am watching the news, on line or auntie via i'd like to switch channels and a lot so i will have a good mix of liberal, conservative whatever. >> even with the rise in the popularity with the internet being used for news i still believe the tv is strong and becoming stronger because people will still want that personal touch and the thought of having that person in their home telling them what is going on in the world will always remain a big thing. >> there you have it frank. back to you in the studio. >> thank you dannette. the state of broadcast journalism in the 21st century. bob, one of the students had a nerve there. so many outlets now. aidid no longer the big screen networks carving the pauline 2/3. what kinds of pressures does that exert on broadcasting? >> well, i think those of us in the mainstream media see our world as being the place where people can come where perhaps they have one point of view or
another point of view but we are the place we hope where people can agree on the facts. and accurate summation of what the news actually is and from that, all of the analysis, all the commentary grows. i thought one of the students had on a very good point. there are so many of points of you out there on radio, on television, on the internet that the question then every time i have addressed an audience somebody brings up the question, is the media bias? it has almost become an irrelevant question because there are so many points of view out there. we are almost that as it was during the time of lincoln when there was no such thing as subjectivity, when you have liberal papers, republican papers, everybody had a point of view. nobody expected an objective view. the whole idea of objectivity is a fairly new one. i thought the other student in
that interview made a very good point. he said, i like to switch around. that is what an informed person has to do and should do now. you should not depend on one source for news. get a variety of sources and then come to your conclusions. >> you had a recent interview with former vice president dick cheney that made news, particularly on his assertion that talk-show host rush limbaugh was the better republican and former secretary of state colin powell. your reaction to the response of that exchange. >> well, it was an amazing response and when i give lectures to journalism classes, i always say the greatest mistake that young reporters make is, they assume they know what somebody is going to answer when they ask them a question and a lot of times they won't ask the question because they say, i know what he is going to say. i don't need to ask that question.
that is a reporters worst enemy, assumption. you never assumed. i would not in my wildest dreams have imagined that former vice president cheney would say that he would pick rush limbaugh over colin powell when it came to republicans, but that is what he said and that is where the news was. so, you know i always tell young reporters, there are no bad questions. there are just that answers. a lot of young reporters assume, they feel like well if i ask that question they will think i'm dumb because they think i should know the answer. reporters are there to ask the other person in question, not to give their views, so don't be afraid to ask the question. asked the obvious questions first. every once in awhile he will get lucky like that and as a result of that comment, people wrote and follow the up for literally two weeks and then when i had colin powell on the broadcast two weeks later to see what he
thought about that, we had another two weeks of information. it was a very important story though because what it was, it was the story about the soul of the republican party, where is the republican party, what does it want to be and where is it going to be? that is really what that was all about so i was very proud of that. >> let's go to a student right away. welcome to close-up at the newseum. >> my name is sarah. i am from nebraska. my question is what issue news media concerns to the most? >> right now is how are newspapers going to find some sort of a business model to allow them to continue to exist? it is very expensive to plant and operate a newspaper. bill keller, who was the editor of "the new york times" told me that, when the iraq war was at its height to the times were spending $2 million a year just for the security to keep its baghdad bureau opened and to be
able to report the news. at one point during the war the times had 100 reporters in iraq. one blogger, one blogger is not going to be able to go to our bracken spend that kind of money, and nor can one blogger b of the kind of information coming at that bureau. >> whether papers are printed on paper or whether we are going to read them on the internet is almost beside the point. if it is going to be on the internet, as yet, no news organization has found out how you can develop a business model where you can make enough money off of display ads on the internet to support the kind of news organization that it takes to do what our mainstream papers are doing now, so that is the problem that i think. the problem, there are problems with the journalism at the main
problem for newspapers today and also for television stations to a certain extent is not the journalism. it is funding the business model that can support these very expensive enterprises. we have to have accurate information in a democracy. accura information gathered by independent source is as critical to a democracy as the right to vote. and, i can't myself imagine today when we don't have newspapers in this country, but it is not the newspaper supplied. it is, will there be some independent source of news that people can read and compare to the government's version of the fence and then make their decision as a citizen on what they want their government to do. that is the problem. >> hi mr. schieffer. i am mitch from crofton high school. i am that history and government teacher there and it is apparent to me as a history teacher that
the media has a big influence in shaping the legacy of a president. my question to you in light of the recent election of our first african-american president is, do you see the legacy of lyndon baines johnson and his involvement in the civil-rights movement. of course you have first-hand experience with that, reexamined currently? >> i think in the end history will look more favorably on lyndon johnson then perhaps it does even now, because this was a remarkable achievement-- a lot of people, my brother, who used to be an ambassador and he used to have history courses for the young foreign service officers in his embassy. he had a class of 20 of them. now, these are grown people, foreign service officers and in that group only three understood it was lyndon johnson who passed the 1964 and 1965 civil-rights
act. they all thought john kennedy had done that and of course kennedy had said that a motion but that was something johnson did. i think in fact johnson will be looked on more favorably. i would just say this about what you say the media has a tremendous impact on a presidents legacy. to some extent, but not entirely. and i would say that in this way. good public relations, a good press, never trounce a bad policy. and bad policy never tromps a good press. as an example of that i would cite the nixon administration. richard nixon did some awful things then history will remember him for those things but he also did some good things. the opening to china, the arms control agreements made with the soviet union. these were magnificent achievements. we remember them as just that, even though he got really bad press for what he did with
watergate. so, in the and good policy-- could presidents are remembered for their good deeds. some tate man's it takes time for that to unfold but in the and it happens. >> and if you could just bend a brief moment, because legacy, is interesting that is a function of history which does take time and sometimes we like to rush to judgment on things. even with lbj in historical times, wasn't that long ago. >> well, i think that is exactly right and i have a personal rule and i got to this rules your personal experiences. that is, i think you ought to wait at least five years before you try to make even a preliminary judgment on the presidency and i say that, and i'm kind of learning it the hard way. in 1989 i wrote my first book. it came out, ronald reagan had just left office than it was a book called the acting president. everything in that book is
accurate, and it is still accurate and i am proud of it but it is not exactly true. i say that-- this is what i mean. when ronald reagan left office we didn't know if the soviet union was going to collapse. i am not saying ronald reagan gets sole incomplete credit for the collapse of the soviet union but the fact of the matter is some of the policies he put in place did contribute to the yunus-- united states basically winning the cold war and the collapse of the soviet union. you could not know that in 19881-ish tup the book, so if i had written the book five years later i would have taken a slightly different tack on that. i think that is true and all presidencies. you know, if iraq winds up being a stable, successful democracy in the middle of the melodies,
where only israel is now a democracy, we may come to have a kinder view of george bush then we have right now, but we don't know the answer to that question right now. >> during the program we are going to pull students from the close-up academy and the washington center, get their reaction to some of the issues being raised on the program. our first poll program is this. is the influence of the news media at on our society good or bad? this is one of those questions. how many of you feel the media influence generally speaking good on society? let's see bishop hands? how many feel right now we are going for a period where the media influence on society is negative? that is a smaller number. let's find out from the mic which of you feel it is the negative influence? if you could introduce yourself and articulate your position. >> i am from washington state
university. i feel that the media is typically a negative influence because it really creates a fear, like society, that it really appeals to is a very short attention span, and the stories that are reported and things like that are very, very quick, there is something that people can watch and forget or if it is fearful, and stays in their minds. i feel that it has created-- our society today, a lot of people are very edgy. people think there's a lot more crime then there was in the past but that is not necessarily the case. ifill overall it is a very negative impact. >> i am tawny from arizona state university. i would say that overall the media has a very positive impacting keeping our society informed. that is pretty much the linchpin of democracy, citizens knowing the issues.
there is merit to the argument about political bias in reporting and possibly dumbing down shortening attention spans with a short 32nd blurb of media stories but if you look at societies where there isn't a large media presence or a government controlled media presence, the societies are not free necessarily. their citizens are not informed. the government as a free hand to do whatever it wants, and i don't think that is a good situation for anyone to be in. >> i was just out to washington state and it is a wonderful school but i have got to say, i have got to go with arizona state on this one. [laughter] but me just ask you this. close your eyes. as bad as the media is, imagine this country with no news except what you got from the government. what kind of a society do you think we would have? >> not one that i would want to live in, so i also agree. i see both arguments very
clearly. i think the impact is negative and positive so it is kind of like two sides. >> if you remember nothing except this from this, you can agree or not but just remember it. the difference between a totalitarian society, as you pointed out, and a democracy is in a totalitarian society there is only one source of the news and that is the government. in a democracy, citizens have a choice, because they also get a second source of information and that is the information that is provided by a free press. they can take with the press gives them on this hand and what the government gives them on this hand and decide which version they want to believe. i think that there is no other reason for a free, independent press, that is the reason. you have that second source of information about the government and what it is doing and what it
is doing with your money and with your life. that is a reason that it democracies simply cannot exist without a free and open press. >> bob, something we talk about often and i think our society is still grappling with a bit, with their 24-hour news cycle there was a time not that long ago when walter cronkite would say, and that's the way it is. that is what we talked about. that group collective understanding of the state of the world until the next news cycle and now is being continuously refreshed. >> you know, there is a mission statement here at the newseum that i think is one of the most important statements anyone has written about america or democracy. it said that a free press must have, and i don't know the wording exactly, but a free press must provide the means for people to be outrageous, but it
also has the responsibility to provide fairness, something of that nature. if you go in this newseum-- newseum there is a section of the berlin wall, which tells you all you need to know about societies and how they ought to be run. this section is about as wide as the studio and you walk in there and you walk in on one side, the western side in here on this wall is graffiti. some of it is obscene, some of it is funny, some of that is silly, but it is just covered with all of this graffiti. that was the western side of the wall. you walk on the other side of the wall, it is absolutely clean. there is not a speck, nobody has been allowed to write anything, nobody said anything and that tells you all you need to know. on one side of that wall, people were free to speak out and say what they thought about things
even if it was outrageous, even if it was wrong. they have the right to go up there and do it. you go on the other side of that wall and there is nothing there. it is a sign of a sterile society where everything including a person's right to speak his control. >> hello, welcome to close-up of the newseum. >> hi, i am from miami florida and i was wondering what you thought about the coverage that president bush received a route his reign? [laughter] >> i thought it very. i think it's pretty much reflected what we saw. when president bush was governor of texas, and i am from texas, he was very well liked. he worked well with the democrats and republicans. he had kind of a bipartisan kind of approach to things. he ran his campaign for president in much the same way
until we got to new hampshire, where he was surprised by the being soundly defeated by john mccain. they thought the bush people thought they were going to win new hampshire and win big. just the opposite happened. and, they made a decision that the way they have operated as governor, the way they had campaigned as governor and the way they campaigned up until that point was apparently not going to work and they decided instead of going for votes in the center, going for the moderates, they would turn to the right and try to energize the base of the party. they did that, and it really change the character of the campaign. they went on to win. i have always argued that they would have won anyway, that john mccain did not have the money to sustain his campaign. he had to win every single primary, they didn't.
that was the decision. the campaign turned bright, they won narrowly, narrowly. they continue to govern from the right. i think the fact that he won by such a small margin had a great impact on his presidency and the success or lack of that we saw after that. i think had there been a solid win, if he had won by a certain margin, that he would have been much more successful because what happened, a lot of people did not consider his presidency legitimate, and i think that was a problem. i think that was a problem for george bush and i think the coverage reflected the problem, not the other way around. >> bob, give us a moment because a lot of people lose sight of the fact, the transition the press test to go through covering won administration to
the next. when we went from the clinton white house to the bush white house pre-9/11, the press remarked that if they press conference says it is going to start it to a clock and it starts to a club and does not run all afternoon. there was a different style. of course 9/11 events overtakes style. the obama administration comes in and events, there are so many of them that it is the offence driving the coverage. what is it like being in a press corps that has to make those kinds of transitions? >> every administration brings its own trademarks and its own ways of dealing, especially with the press and a lot of that, pretty much what you get in the campaign is what you can expect during the, at least the first month of any administration. barack obama brand one of the smartest campaigns that anybody has run in my, in my time here
in washington and i have been here 40 years. this was a model campaign and i'm not just talking about the general election campaign but i am talking about the campaign they brand during the primaries, when he defeated hillary clinton. he had the right strategy and she didn't their idea was, we will win the big states, we will wrap it up early on super tuesday, we will create this era of inevitability and then we go from there. he went for the small states. he ran a nationwide campaign and in the and his strategy for a failed. you can't agree or disagree with their ideology, they are very good politicians and i think you are saying that. but now of course the river has set the road. we have these enormous problems and whether they are going to be able to solve that, this financial crisis we have gone through, the sums of money that they have had to devote to
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