tv [untitled] CSPAN June 20, 2009 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
you can click on the viewer input tab and e-mail us, tell us what you are reading and what you think of our programs. >> in 2002, journalist and documentary filmmaker, jon ronson was a guest on booknotes, where he examined the world of political cultural and religious extremists. in his book, "them" he recounts his experiences with religious fundamentalists in great britain, texas and cameron. white supremacists and arkansas, michigan and idaho, and new world order conspiracy chasers in portugal and california. the program is an hour. c-span: jon ronson, the book is called "them: adventures with extremists." where did you get this idea? >> guest: i spent a year with an islamic fundamentalist leader in london called omar bakhri mohammed. and it was just going
to be a newspaper article, actually. and he was so unlike one's mental picture of a muslim extremist. he was kind of buffoonish and silly and burlesque. i thought, "that's so interesting. he's not like -- he's not the one-dimensional demon we're -- we're led to believe." i thought -- i wondered if other extremists would be like that. so then i spent a lot of time with a klan leader who was giving his klan an image makeover. he kind of figured that the klan had a bad image, so he wanted to, you know, ban the "n" word and ban the robes and the hoods and the cross-burnings and -- and replace those things with personality seminars, teaching -- teaching their klansmen to be -- you know, to work out whether they're melancholics or sanguines, and so on. so again, he was very unlike my mental picture of a -- of a ku klux klan leader, this guy. he was nebbishy. he reminded me of woody allen. and i thought there was an irony there. so then i figured, well, maybe there's a -- there's a whole book in these unexpected portraits of extremist leaders,
and i thought it would be funny and -- and there'd be an interesting narrative. and i thought that maybe it would be an interesting way of trying to see our world through their eyes because all the extremists in the book are people who are living among us. they're trying to overthrow our way of life from within. so i thought maybe -- maybe the "them" could be us, as well as them. c-span: where else did you go, before we get into the individual stories? >> guest: kind of all around the world. maybe 50 percent of the book is set in the states. there's a couple of british chapters. c-span: but in the states, who did you visit with? >> guest: ok. well, here in d.c., i spent a little time with big jim tucker, who's a grizzled newsman who's made it his life's mission to track down the shadowy and sinister bilderberg group, who he says is the group that's secretly ruling the world. this is the thing that all the extremists share, that there are these cabals out there. so i hung out with jim
tucker as he tracked down the meeting of this fabled bilderberg group and went with him to try and -- to try and shimmy up the drainpipes and get in and catch them red-handed going about their covert wickedness. so that was jim in d.c. there was tom robb, the klan leader in arkansas, who's giving his klan a positive spin. then there's the weaver family. i spent a lot of time with randy weaver and his -- one of his daughters, rachel. and i re-tell the ruby ridge story in what i believe is a more accurate way. i think it was spun. i think it benefited everybody to spin the story as white supremacists pretty much getting what they deserved, and ok, the government made a mistake, but they were white supremacists, so it was basically ok. so i've re-told that story in a more, i think, humanist way. who else did i see in the states? c-span: about the bohemian grove. >> guest: oh, yeah! you see, this is...
(laughter) >> guest: how could i forget that? this is -- this is a group -- again, all the conspiracy theorists said that not only is this -- is there this shadowy cabal, but once a year they go to a clearing in a forest in northern california and undertake an owl-burning ceremony, where men like henry kissinger attend this berobed torchlight procession which culminates in a human effigy being thrown into the fiery belly of a giant owl. so i kind of figured, "well, that can't be true." you know, "i'm going to have to somehow infiltrate bohemian grove and find out if this is true." so my plan was to -- was -- it was an ill-thought-out plan. i was going to shimmy up a mountain and find it, you know, find it amongst the redwoods. and then i was told, well, if i did that, i'd get myself killed and -- not, i should add, by the bohemians but by the terrain. and someone told me that the way to infiltrate bohemian grove is to pretend to be a grover, to go to eddie bauer and get some
chinos, you know, some cashmere sweaters, and just walk up the drive, giving the security guard an "i rule the world" kind of wave, which is what i did. and sure enough, i infiltrated the -- the camp and witnessed this owl-burning ceremony. c-span: where is the bohemian grove? >> guest: it's halfway between occidental and monteria, which is just above napa valley in northern california. c-span: and where was the ku klux klan meeting with tom robb? >> guest: that was in harrison, arkansas, in the ozarks, the kind of foothills of the arkansas ozarks. c-span: where was the bilderberg meeting? >> guest: oh, at the caesar park hotel and golfing resort in central portugal. see, the bilderberg, as the conspiracy theorists always told me, always meet once a year in a five-star hotel with golfing facilities. but there -- they may play golf when they're there, but they're not there to play golf, i was told. c-span: you spent some time with ian paisley. who is he? >> guest: ian paisley is the man
who -- many people say, is the man who you could pinpoint as being most responsible for keeping the troubles in northern ireland going these past 30 years. he's a fiery, brimstone preacher and politician. he leads the dup, the democratic unionist party, in northern ireland. "say no. say no to" -- he's the -- he's the man who says no. and when the good friday agreement was being mooted around the table at stormont castle, ian paisley showed his opposition to it by going to cameroon to preach the -- preach to the sinners. that's what he did. and i -- and i went with him. so -- so that was an odd week in cameroon, where ian paisley basically bullied everybody to make us like him more. c-span: and when you traveled with him, how many others were with you? >> guest: there was -- there was, i think, three of us. there was his translator, joseph, his driver, david mcilvaine, who's
kind of the smithers to ian paisley's mr. burns, and -- and me. and it was an interesting -- i think it's an interesting look at how a fiery leader remains at the top of his pile. it's -- you know, how he pulls us in, offers us affection and pushes us out again. it's -- it's -- it's an exercise in mind-play, which i think i've analyzed in the book. c-span: who is david icke? >> guest: it's actually david icke. c-span: icke? oh. >> guest: yeah. c-span: looked like icke. >> guest: he could -- you could pronounce it icke. c-span: i-c-k-e. >> guest: uh-huh. he was a bbc sports personality. c-span: really was? >> guest: uh-huh. oh, household name in britain. and he announced in 1991 that he was the son of god. and this had never happened before, so it became a... c-span: where -- where did he announce this? >> guest: oh, on the terry wogan chat show on the bbc. c-span: just one day said, "i am the son of god." >> guest: yeah. and in britain, this was a big splash. it's kind
of like geraldo suddenly announcing he's the son of god. it would become a big deal. c-span: do you know anything we don't know? is it -- is that an announcement coming? (laughter) >> guest: i'm not sure! but david icke said, "not only am i the son of god, but the world is about to be destroyed by cataclysmic earthquakes and tidal waves and floods." and what i thought was interesting back in the '90s is that, ok, we were amazed and laughing. but a little bit of us thought, "maybe he is the son of god. maybe he's right." so he went on this chat show, and the whole nation watched and -- and he made these predictions and said that he was the son of god. and the audience was laughing nervously. and i think the nation kind of looked to terry wogan, the presenter, for guidance because part of us thought "maybe this guy is a soothsayer." and terry wogan just said, you know, "they're laughing at you. they're not laughing with you." and there was a huge sigh of relief from the nation. it was ok to laugh at this guy. anyway, he kind of vanished and then returned a couple of years with his new theory, which is
that the bilderberg group exists, and they're also genetically descended from 12-foot lizards. so is george bush. so's henry kissinger. so's kris kristofferson and boxcar willie. i didn't quite understand where they fitted into it. c-span: you mean boxcar willie is equated with president bush? >> guest: yeah. you see, david icke does people's genealogies to work out whether or not they're genetically descended from these malevolent lizards. and what confuses me is how he actually even decided to do boxcar willie's genealogy. i asked him once if he'd done dennis healy's genealogy, who is the founder member of the bilderberg group, and he said no. and i said, "so you haven't done his genealogy, but you've done kris kristofferson's genealogy?" c-span: the lizards were how big, by the way? >> guest: roughly 12 foot. c-span: and when he made these presentations in the public square or forum, people said, "yeah, right. they're from lizards." >> guest: a lot of people agreed with the lizards. some david icke supporters said, "ok, i don't necessarily agree with the lizards, but i respect his right
to believe in lizards." and then you had a large anti-racist coalition form kind of all over the world -- in america, in canada, in england -- who are convinced that when david icke said giant lizards ruled the world, he was using code, and what he actually meant was that jews ruled the world. and david icke said, "no, no." david icke said, "no, i really do mean lizards." say, "oh, no, no, no. when you say you really mean lizards, what you actually mean is that you mean jews." so i thought this was a very funny, again burlesque way of examining the kind of burgeoning cold war of paranoia. the crazier the extremists get, perhaps the crazier the response is towards them. c-span: you tell us all through the book that you at some point are discovered in the midst of all these people as being jewish. >> guest: i was kind of out -- i was outed as a jew at a jihad training camp in south london. it wasn't... c-span: jihad training camp? >> guest: not -- not the best place in the world to be outed as a jew. c-span: who outed you? >> guest: omar bakhri, bin
laden's man in great britain, as he used to call himself until september the 11th. c-span: you mean, he did actually pin that on himself before the september 11th... >> guest: and then on september the 12th, he phoned me up and said, "why is everybody calling me bin laden's man in great britain?" i said, "omar." anyway, i've spent a year with omar, and it culminated in him inviting me to his jihad training camp. this was in about 1997, i think. and it turned out to be in a place called crowley, which is a very incongruous location for a jihad training camp. it's kind of near gatwick airport. so we were driven there... c-span: near london. >> guest: yeah, near london. we were driven there, and it was -- it turned out to be a scout hut in a forestry center, with maybe 40 or 50 young jihad trainees beating punch bags, and so on. still -- i mean, no guns, but still not -- not the most comfortable place to be. and omar suddenly hushed the crowd and said, "look at me with an infidel. look at me with jon,
who is a jew." and the whole room went, "oh!" and they all-... c-span: how did -- how did he find out? did you tell him? >> guest: well, he -- no, i'd never told him. i'd hidden that from him. he said he knew all along. he could see it in my eyes. i don't know when he discovered i was a jew, but he -- it wasn't the best place to reveal it. c-span: now, how old were you then? was that '97, did you say? >> guest: yeah, around '97. c-span: how old were you then? >> guest: i'm 34 now -- about 30 -- 29, 30. c-span: and what -- where were you from, originally? >> guest: i was from cardiff in wales. c-span: about how far away from london is that? >> guest: about 200 miles. c-span: and you grew up in what kind of a family? >> guest: sort of lower-middle to middle class. my dad was a wholesaler. i always thought that my father was -- i always knew it was imports and exports, and as a -- and as a young boy, i got really excited thinking it was, you know, guns or something, but it turned out to be cutlery. so -- yes, so he was a wholesaler. my mother was a social worker. now they run a bed and breakfast.
c-span: and how long did you live in -- in cardiff? >> guest: for 17 years. in fact, my great-grandfather was on his way -- he came from lithuania, and he escaped during the pogroms, and he was on his way to new york, but he ran out of money in cardiff and that's how i ended up being welsh. c-span: where'd you go after 17 years? >> guest: i moved to london. c-span: why? >> guest: it was the place to be. cardiff was a dead kind of town, and london was -- london was -- was london. c-span: what'd you do when you got there? >> guest: i did -- i did a year at college in london and flunked out. and then, as we say in england, university life met. c-span: and then what? that'd be about 18 or 19, then. >> guest: yeah. i moved up to manchester, in the north of england, and started writing for little newspapers and working with pop groups, none of whom made it. in fact, i played keyboards with a -- with a -- with a man who wore a huge papier -- a giant papier mache head. his name was frank sidebottom. we once supported the teen group ross wembley,
which was our -- our finest moment. but we got bustled off stage after about 10 minutes. c-span: why? >> guest: well, we weren't very good, essentially. he wore a huge papier mache head, and he talked like this, and we'd do cover versions of pop hits very cover versions of pop hits very badly. we really weren't all cover versions of pop hits very badly. we really weren't all vo: the coronation begins.
>> yao ming, dwight howard, lebron james, derek rose. >> it's every cavaliers fan's worst nightmare and a dream come true for every new yorker from lynn brook to little fallses. lebron in a knicks uniform. the franchise has made no bones about shedding cap room on the 2010 free agent class of which lebron is valedictorian. with a preview of the entire atlantic division, here's mat
winer, avery rose and jalen. >> the celtics couldn't deliver on another world championship thanks to kevin garnett's injury in part. the knicks will select eighth in the draft. what are they looking for in >> the new york knicks need a lot of help in all positions but mainly at the point guard spot. the knicks are definitely looking for a quarterback in this draft to start moving forward. also they need help at the five spot. you know, they need help with a big guy that can post up, get some points in the paint for him. the knicks are looking at the point guard spot and the five position. >> the raptors will select one spot after the knicks. what's on their to do list? >> shooting guard. you want a player on the win that's not om a scorer from outside but also a defender, helps take pressure off your other guards and small forward. also sign and trade sean
maryann. or get value for him and resign chris, it would help your domino effect for your roster. >> the nets scored last summer with the brook lopez pick. now what. >> that was a great pickup. they need help at two positions. vince carter needs to be moved over to the three spot, now great young two guy that's a shooter that can spread the floor, give devon harris more room to operate, give brook lopez more room to pretty and also vince carter. and also the four spot. they can use a rugged big fours they a rebounder >> last summer the 76ers picked up elton brand. this year they made a deal to bring jason capone owe in. now what are they looking for? >> a surprising exciting team. andre mill ser a free agent at
the point guard position. they may lock to draft a point guard. you never hurt adding depth to a team that's already young, athletic and like to get up and down the court. they'll be looking for depth, guys able to come off the bench. >> finally, the minnesota tim der wolves hold the celtics first round pick so they don't have a pick there. they think kevin garnett is coming back healthy. what are they looking for this summer?^ >> they still have to look at the four spot. garnett has some injury concerns now with his surgery. baby davis and leon, restricted free agents. garnett's getting older. maybe look at getting a four man and i don't think they ever replaced james posey. two or three guy that can be athletic, play defense and get a point guard that can score. >> it will all play out on espn, draft night, june 25th.
coverage starts at 7 eastern time. >> espn.com, nba insider chad ford sees blake griffin going number one. also sneaking into the top ten stephen curry. >> kevin o'neal is back coaching in the pac 10. he was hired at head coach of usc. tim floyd vacated the position amid scandal less than two weeks ago. o'neal brings 13 years of collegiate and nba coaching experience to the men of troy. and in 19 3 he led them to their first ncaa tournament berth in ten years. last year he served as assistant coach and spes assistant to the gm with the grizzlies last season.
>> forthe first time since 2002, a wimbledon title will now defend his title. >> i was slightly prepared he wouldn't play. it doesn't come as such a big surprise. of course it's very disappointing for the tournament and also for myself. we've been at the top pore the very long time. when you talk about golf, you talk about tiger. when you talk about tennis, you talk about me. it's something similar there, our mindset, our approach, we're very driven and try to not only just play well but we try to dominate if we can. there are many similarities in this regard. i feel like i'm ready to go. i'm definitely missing those big pressure moments of having to face break points and all these kind of things.
you get similar feelings in practice. >> roger federer was already the favorite to win wimbledon before nadal withdrew. the odds have double in favor of federer. >> saved and saves the rebound attempt as well. but just seconds later spain on the attack. via, no saving this one. kicks the corner flag for good measure. not quite sure why. there's the save of the penalty
kick. but then again seconds later another look at the dynamite goal by via. spain win it is by a final of 2-0. however, south africa also advances to the semis for finishing second. >> iraq taking on new zealand. glen moss with the great save. here's what's interesting about the save. way to use your head, your face
actually. both teams are eliminated. >> let's stay current on espnews. scott burnside and pierre la brunn report the mole son family has agreed to buy the canadiens. >> tiger woods had four birdies. the problem is he countered with three bogeys. how we worked on sam adams light... for over two years. the whole brewery staff was dedicated. sam adams light doesn't look, smell or taste... like other light beers. to win in germany is a pretty good accomplishment. i'm proud that i was involved in it.