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tv   Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey She Said  CSPAN  November 11, 2019 12:00pm-1:32pm EST

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this election has been crazy again and i hope we're not more divided next year after the election. i fear whoever wins, weare going to be more divided . >> perish the thought but i do remember at least one governor and maybe there were more either he or his wife would leave the governor's mansion after losing the election. >> ..
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on behalf of everybody all the folks here at sixth & i, welcome. thank you. thank you very much for coming. we at pmp always enjoy joining forces with sixth & i to put on author events. this synagogue and cultural center is now 15 years old and its founders and separately deserve a lot of credit. [applause]
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the deserve a lot of credit for transforming displaced into the vibrant community institution that it is today. we are delighted to be hosting jodi kantor and megan twohey. [applause] they are of course the "new york times" reporters revealed to the world harvey weinstein's extensive sexual abuse. their book, unite tonight is the riveting revealing account of how they develop their blockbuster story and its consequences in spurring the #me too movement. as they note in their preface in the wake of the weinstein exposé, which broke in october 2017, it wasn't as if i damned law had come down -- wall. many, many women not just in this country but around the world spilled forward to tell their own stories of this treatment. in addition to the pivotal impact that jodi and megan
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reporting it, the way they went about confirming a story that others before them had tried to nail, provides a terrific case study of what goes into first great investigative journalism. people often think such scoops just fall into the laps of reporters. in reality, what's involved if a lot of painstaking reporting. raising all sorts of leaves, running into dead ends, hoaxing details out of reluctant sources sources, ferreting out documents, substantiating information dealing with skeptical impatient editors, all while enduring of often intense efforts by the subjects of the investigation to fort and even sometimes to threaten -- fort. examples of top and exacting journalism and the effect this can reporting can have stands as a powerful counterargument to
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the skepticism about an denigration of news media today. both jodi and megan brought to the task years of experience. jodi adjoined the times 15 years ago spent a while as a liquid portable a book about barack and michelle obama taking out and 2012. recently reporting is focus on the workplace, particularly the treatment of women. megan has contoured her attention on the treatment of women and children. in 2014 as reported with reuters she was a finalist for the pulitzer for investigative reporting for exposing an underground network where parents gave away adopted children they no longer wanted, to strangers met on the internet. megan and jodi is work on the weinstein story led to the nearw york times" along with the new yorker running the pulitzer for public service last year. [applause]
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>> susan and review of "she said" in the "new york times," remark the book reads a bit like a feminist all the president's men. so it's particularly getting that jodi and megan will be in conversation here this evening with bob woodward. [applause] bob of course has been observing and reporting on major developments in washington for nearly half a century. yet shared into nick kosir prices for for coverage of the watergate scandal, the second 2003 as three as a lead reporter of the "washington post" coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. but the prizes alone hardly begin to reflect his enormous journalistic legacy. fear is debiting look inside the trump presidency came out last year, his 19th book, all have
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national bestsellers and i wouldn't bet against another one coming out in the not-too-distant future. [laughing] please join me in welcoming jodi kantor, megan twohey, and bob woodward. [cheers and applause] >> thanthank you, brad. it's great to be here. let's get right to it, and first of all, this book is a masterpiece, a landmark -- [applause] of journalism, but as people who were not journalists should read it because it's about how you sort out information, test it,
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decide to publish and share it with others. i loved it. i have my marked up copy here. the first question is, what was the origin of the collaboration between you two? >> well listen, we would just like to start by thanking everybody. this is the launch of our book tour, so we are just so -- [applause] we are so thrilled to be here tonight starting right here, and we also grateful we have gotten that only some friends and family but also some sources in the audience tonight, so we want to thank them for being here, too. [applause] >> okay so introduce your family. will they stand up? >> i mean, i think we can come
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when it comes to the question and answer period back there may be people if they want to get up and identify themselves, i think we will be happy to do that. that's a good question. the truth is that in 2017 the "new york times" sort of more broadly the newsroom decided that it wanted to dive into reporting on sexual harassment. so the weinstein story, the weinstein investigation was one of actually many reporting projects that started that year. silicon valley in the restaurant industry and the comedy industry, in auto plants, in chicago. we were really moved by the work of our colleagues, emily steel and mike schmidt had done something remarkable in earlier that year, they broken the bill o'reilly story and showed how he and fox it paid out millions to silence women who have come forward with allegations, sexual
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misconduct against -- >> let's pretend it's a movie. is this in the newsroom of the "new york times" where you kind of, did you know each other? >> we had been acquainted. macon was very new at the paper and a small this woman like in 2016 who i could tell was pretty fermentable because she was doing is really difficult trump stories, and also i saw her belly going like this, like as the stories, difficult, like this is what was happening to her body. i had to make it at the time and a new issues doing was not easy what we really did that know each other well. we met a couple of times, and megan was on maternity leave in the spring of 2017 when i started working on the weinstein story. it was part of the attitudes question that the editors asked, are the other powerful men in american life who have perhaps abuse women and covered it up? i was trying very hard to get
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people on the phone and engage them. i mean, getting these actors numbers was an indication unto itself. there's a question of once you have them on the phone, what do you do to earn trust? sometimes in that first 45 seconds as you know, and so i called megan for advice and she was like, she was full on maternity leave, just put the baby down for a nap. she was telling me about some of the reporting shed done on allegations by women against donald trump. she was saying the argument she often made to them was, look, i can't change what happened to you in the past, but together if we work arm in arm we may vehicle to take your pain and put it to some constructive purpose. >> this was the standard line you used in the book, the outreach line. >> right. that's right. this is our first real
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conversation that jodi and i had while i was on maternity leave. i have been reporting also in sex crimes. i started my career first in wisconsin and then chicago bears something i found that this was come listen to what reason is woman had to open up about -- >> when did you know you are a team of when you know, or even more important, when did the editors think of you as speaking? >> it's funny because when my editor told me to call megan, i didn't think that much of it but now i realize she sort of works in gateways and understand the newsroom. i understand she was like feeling out a potential partnership. >> you were kind of tricked into this. >> literally when megan said that bind on the phone, like something in me changed. look, i did not want to get off the phone with her an and i of course wanted as to the same effect on sources. but megan still had another couple of weeks for maternity leave and she had some choice in
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terms of what she is going to cover when she came back. >> go back to covering trump or join jodi on the weinstein investigation. i'd take a day to think about it. [laughing] i have been covering trump up until having this baby, and i watched for four months as i saw at a party investigative work sort of land with a thud and not have an impact. this is the real question, whether not as investigative journalist, you not just outright interesting stories. you want to write stories that will have an impact. >> why weinstein? matzo people had never, never heard of him. >> i myself had -- >> you may be famous. >> i barely knew who he was and have confessed i myself had doubts. i wondered, and when jodi started joe me about some of the allegations shared, the stories of ashley judd and gwyneth paltrow, i had a hard time conceiving of these famous actresses as victims and to really comprehend.
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as investigative journalist we looking to give voice to the voiceless. i had a hard time wrapping my head around hollywood the jodi said the fact this is happen to these women, allegedly, suggests nobody is immune. if we can crack this story, we really might be able to help make a difference. >> when was the first real breakthrough? in your book, you have the chronology and so many characters and so forth. when is the moment when you said aha, this is different, this is something that has legs, as we say in th the news business. >> we had a breakthrough early on the left is i in a bad positn because three really prominent actresses, rose mcgowan, ashley judd, gwyneth paltrow, not into medication with one another, barely knew each other,
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totally separately tell us these terrible weinstein hotel stories speeders at this point there were not on the record. >> they were so far from on the record. so that's what led -- >> really far off the record. >> that's what left us in a bad position. it immediately created -- on the one hand, there's wow, these are high-value sources and their stories are very convincing and their stories match. but on the other hand, none of them are ready to go on the record. what do we do? >> what did you do? >> what we basically realize is the story would have to be broken with evidence and not just with -- look, we had this theory that maybe we can persuade actresses to all hold hands and jump together and there are safety in numbers. but because we could tell any of actresses who else we're talking to was there hard to get them to do that.
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also if we did that it may stuff created like a traditional he said/she said dynamic where the story just what a smart a debate about what weinstein -- >> so what wound up into making this different or making disprovable because that we circle? >> we realized right away we would need records and evidence and that went beyond these accounts we were hearing. and so this is one of the ways in which we also turned to emily steele and mike schmidt to a broken the bill o'reilly story. and then something remarkable. they basically help teach us how to basically try to track down the secret settlements that have been paid. >> so the key here is a settlement or some sort of agreement to be silent, ndaa? >> right. there were women over the elected to tell us their
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experiences with weinstein. the also women, at least eight, who are legally prohibited from telling us what it happened because weinstein had forced secrets limits on the pick this is something that happens not just in the case of weinstein but in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault across the country. women are often told their best option in these cases is to basically accept money in exchange for silence. >> what do you think of that? it seems your big breakthrough is rose mcgowan where she had $100,000 settlement. that was concrete. weinstein, or the company, had paid her, right? >> were able to come will basically able into course of our reporting to show that we were able to trace the financial trail of payoffs that of a mate. he secret settlements that have been used to basically hide the
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truth to allow people like weinstein to cover his tracks, we realize if we could basically unearth the fact of the settlements had been paid over the years, that that would be evidence unto itself. we were actually able to track down settlements at a stretch in 1990-2015, and there were a a variety of ways in which are able to document. rose mcgowan was one of many. >> you have among the wonderful lines in the book, you say, knowing about documents is good. having seen documents is excellent. it actually having copies is a celebration. >> right. you know what that feels like. [laughing] >> when was the first time you actually got or saw documents showed women have been paid off to be quiet? >> so i go to london that summer to meet with zelda perkinson was
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a former miramax assisted who had a settlement, and megan is like basically emoji texting as a lead for the plaintiff you will see the papers, jodi. you go get the. you will see the papers. >> so she's the coach? >> i mean, even in the scenes in the book what it's really one of us sort of doing something, we're both really there because we are preparing beforehand, strategizing, et cetera. when i laid eyes on these papers, the clauses were so shocking, bob. they went the kind a standard settlement agreement. these very young women were, in this case they were really legally overpowered and they were essentially prohibited from talking about their own life experiences. and they wanted to tell a
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therapist they need special permission to if they want to talk to an account, they needed special permission. they could come one of these women could not tell her future husband about what did happen to her. the women were not even allowed to retain copies of the settlement papers, though perkins had cleverly attached some of them together the but imagine being told that you have to abide by an agreement, that you cannot even have your own copy of. >> so how do you break that? >> well, zelda was very brave because we basically, you know, she was from the beginning she was thinking of just breaking her settlement, which was a courageous thing to do because it would have exposed her to potential legal and financial liability. and i felt that i couldn't push her into that because it was such a big risk. remember that we act now like me
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to was kind of inevitable, but it was not for ordained at all any of this played out the way it did. we thought we might be publishing a really controversial story and that our sources might be developed a lot of attack. what we basically said is look, zelda, even if you can't go on the record there are so many of the people who know about the settlement. there are other people at miramax to know you disappeared, and know that you got money. there are lawyers, lots the people he can talk to. what if we just write about this and document everything we can that happened, and you don't go on the record? that's what she agreed to. >> and did you ever use the argument, if you're silent, you are enabling this -- >> i think the truth is that for women who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual sel assault, they have already undergone so much pain in allies. we don't want to bully anybody
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into doing, to sort of coming forward. that's not -- would've think that's an effective strategy of don't think that's just the right thing to do. it's worth noting that are women who have -- [applause] that there are women who have entered the settlements is still have not gone of the record who are still terrified. it's one thing to be asking a source to store to speak about something that is painful from the pastor it's another thing to be asking them to break something which a legally binding document, an in which weinstein can come after them for serious money. >> but now don't you think they are liberated from that? >> weinstein has much, he's preparing to go on trial for criminal charges so he's got, i think he's paying attention to other issues right now. he's busy. he is being sued by victims for
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seeking financial compensation for what they've gone through. he hasn't gone after anybody but i think anyone would be mistaken to think it's not a serious risk. >> you say there are 80 women who have charges against weinstein. how many of those are public now and how many of them are off the record for the next volume? >> i believe that's the public care. there are a few other women who we write about in this book will not come for about weinstein. the really key think remember especially as the child comes up is that the accusations really vary. some of them are accusations of rape and assault that fall within the purview of the criminal justice system, or should, but a lot of them are charges sexual-harassment and that's illegal but it's a civil violation. the sort of restitution for that is a lawsuit. you can too for that but you can't have somebody arrested.
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that's part of why the question whether weinstein will essentially faced any accountability at all is so fraught because the criminal trial is the question mark in the sort of combine civil lawsuit of these women is also still a big question. >> this is an important question. you two experts on interviewing and going down really explaining people's experience here all of your work, did you find any women who actually made up allegations? >> in the case of come in the course of a report on weinstein we have not come across any fabricated allegations. what i can tell you -- >> it's very important. >> right. it's important it is also -- >> we ought to treat that to donald trump. [laughing] [applause] >> as you know our book actor
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starts with the reporting i did on trump in 2016 and the many women who came forth with allegations against him. while the haven't come across fabricated allegations can also include in the book some of the instances in which we didn't report allegations because, not because we didn't believe the person but because we have not been able to obtain corroboration. there was one woman a former beauty pageant contestant who told me a story about being sexually harassed and groped by donald trump when she was in the miss universe pageant. she had provided some, steered me towards some potential corroboration that didn't materialize. and so it did mean i didn't believe her but it just meant that it wasn't, we will he go to details to describe all of the due diligence that we do moving we move forward when publishing a story like this. >> talk about rebecca corbin who was your role up the sleeves
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editor. because there's a marvelous scene in the book where she takes you to a quiet bar, as you describe it, and tell us what she said to you. >> so this is in the summer of 2017. we've been reporting for weeks and weeks and we know so many things. we had spoken to several actresses who is very convincing accounts. we do some of the corroboration of some of those accounts. wwe know about whole bunch of silence. at that point we have talked to miramax lisa said yes, this was a terrible problem, i have some knowledge of it at the time. >> so you're fairly good at the bar? >> wwe're feeling nervous and feeling this terrible feeling of -- >> tell what she had to say. >> we are feeling nervous because we had a feeling of responsibility and we want to know if we can run the story. she listens to everything we have, and she says is any of it on the record?
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we said no. she said, you do not have publishable story. >> how did you feel? >> we felt pretty devastated. i was one of the more memorable moments from one of the ones we worked so hard, her so much goes on, a lot of drama in the pages in articles on wednesday came out but there's also so much drama that played out behind the scenes. we were grateful to finally be able to show readers what it's like in your not just working with sources but also in the newsroom when your editor sally jewell wake up, you don't have story. >> so what's the strategy for getting out of the whole? she is saying not publishable, and as we all know in the news business, that's what counts. that's the job. so how do navigate out? >> we kept calling former miramax and weinstein company employees, and we finally called
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this guy and we figure -- >> talk about him. he was very important. >> one thing never know in journalism is who's going to end up helping and who isn't. it's also possible to predict i find at the outside of the story. >> there's lots of surprises in this book, the people up to expose the truth and also the people who helped conceal it. this is surprising hero figure. >> soper one has essentially been harvey weinstein's company accountant for 30 years. he has done the books on all of these famous movies we have seen. he's a relatively unassuming guy. he's short. he's in his late 50s, he has an outer borough accent, and he was describing as like kind of this rough loyalist. i thought he was very unlikely to help. finally someone he said to me, or one writer hates harvey weinstein. [laughing] and that was our opening.
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>> did you tell that to rebecca, did you say -- >> yesterday granted by the collar sky. i call this guy and he gets -- >> does that also make nervous though, that somebody -- [applause] i'm sorry, did hear what was -- >> well, here's what i was nervous about. i was worried that he could be a spy. as you know to get information you have to give usually at least a look at of information of information at least in terms of what you're writing about. i worried that he was a setup to try to come we now know a lot about what harvey weinstein listing to try to stop this story but at this point megan and i are kind of imagining it. one of the things weinstein could have done is he could have positioned the company insider to sort of plate a source but actually us by. >> or even worse, give us fake
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information industry which would've been the most devastating thing at all. so irwin reiter gets off the public but gives me his e-mail address and we start corresponding. even just the fact he's writing back and we're sort of communicating over e-mail, he said he's going to take the weekend to decide. i kept, this is in the book by he and i kept e-mailing and since were in a seneca, maybe i should say that erwin is a child of holocaust survivors and on the grandchild of holocaust survivors, and it turns out we grew up in the same places and her families even spent summers in sort of the same modest catskill bungalow colonies. [laughing] where holocaust survivors who did have any money spent their summers. so does anyone know the word -- in yiddish? he and i were kind of -- so we
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were sort of bantering over the weekend and i'm waiting to see if he's willing to meet in person. so lo and behold, he says he's willing to meet on a monday or tuesday night. we had our first -- >> december is great case for supporters. it's not the end of the week. i've always found the best time which you did is the knock on the door strategy without an appointment at 8:17 on a tuesday night is about the best. [laughing] >> we'll keep that in mind. >> it is. >> so to answer your question, i started asking reiter but all these that happened in the '90s and he looks like it'll bit of information but not that much and he finally said, why are you not asking me about more
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recent offenses? so i'm like, recent offenses? and it turns out that unbeknownst -- only a tiny part of this have become public for two years within the weinstein company in 2014 and 2015. there was a series of problems that had become more and more visible to the company leadership. i didn't know it with reiter but i was talking to somebody who had tried to stop thinks internally and failed. so as you know that is sort of the best kind of whistleblower because they feel they of already taken action and that it hasn't come to fruition. so talking to the press becomes a kind of last resort but i think a very principled decision on their part. >> okay, talk about the editor of the times. because he has a very thin bradley like the parents in about three of four scenes in
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the book. >> we were so glad that we had an opportunity to show what like a true team effort this project was. dean from the beginning, executive editor at the time, et cetera step in his office and basically said, he had had some extent with weinstein and pass and the saddest and basically said, like watch out. this guy will come at you. expect him to put private detectives on your children we didn't expect they would be former israeli spies who were promised $300,000 that they could put a stop to our investigation. that came out later company was basically, he really was useful and had spent with them and able to help us sort of spell out some serious ground rules. once we were being followed and to be very careful about how we handle ourselves, everything step of the way but also make sure we didn't have any, we did have any conversations with weinstein off the record.
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that he's going to smear your sources, he's going to engage in a lot of the dirty tricks. >> he said asked as if every conversation is being secretly taped. >> that's right. so not only -- >> did that surprise you? >> in investigations, the "new york times", we and our colleagues are working on kind of secret investigations of powerful figures and institutions all the time. we were not surprised by that but it was really useful to us
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to like what we shared was like you would have to make sure the reporters and editors can even all the way up through the publisher because weinstein was trying to call the publisher of the "new york times" to make his case, important man, important man, everybody from the stop guys would basically say talk to the reporters. they really didn't given any opportunity to come in the back door and try to intimidate or bullet us out of the stories. >> it's now at the time i get asked this question. tell us about the biggest fight you two had. [laughing] >> we, we never had the big fight over the course of speed is a disagreement than. >> i'll tell you about a big conceptual -- wasn't even so much a disagreement as the worry, which is like in august of 2017, two months before we published the story, megan finds
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out about this really a regular series of transactions that weinstein has had with an far, this eighth jury could have been very involved in for many years. things look really questionable to her. i'll tell you something about my partner, like when you really get into something, you don't really let go. [laughing] like very quickly there was the suggestion which turned out to be true that weinstein had improperly used a fancy aids charity auction and that the money that does not they're giving aids was really going to help weinstein in the business capacity. and so, like this was like waving red in front of megan. and the disagreement we had is i certainly thought that was interesting, but on the other hand, these women are telling us
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he stories about the hotel room and the settlements, and also you have to remember at this point in the investigation we are getting a new tip a day. there are so many rumors that are coming at us. we are hearing, a lot of these things turned out to be true. angelina jolie has a story but we can't nail it down. you have to talk to selma hayek because she has a story and you can't nail it down. so the story in the sense already felt too big for only two reporters, but megan couldn't pull herself away from looking at this age charity. >> i also found it was an investigation by the new york attorney general's office and that weinstein and all his people were trying to cover it up. [laughing] >> so it worked out in the way we never could have anticipated, which is that megan did take some time to go ahead and do her age story. it ended up being -- aids story.
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-- ended up squaring off with weinstein. the stuff he said was extremely surprising. second of all, it became sort of a guide to his playbook that weinstein was very successful in creating his own reality, in getting a lot of fancy prestigious people to march behind him when he wanted to do something. >> but he's a complex -- >> and also megan really nailed what happened in the story and published that before the investigation about the women was published. it was like laying down a marker of were going to hold you to account. >> and showing our sources that there was a sense if we were onto biz and weinstein had come into the "new york times" and the gates with us about it, that we had to basically show our sources and the people and his company that we meant business. we were going to report the
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truth when we found it and we would not be bolded or intimidated. >> but as used in all this time on him, you have to ask the question, which you really don't address in the book, and that is why he behaved this way. i know you're not psychiatrists or psychologists, but share with us the why. what is driving him? there's so many strange things he does. he comes to the "new york times," and at one point he says to you, you think i'm bad. i'm worse. it's almost like he's waving red flag or there's a fatalism almost, like you're going to catch me. so talk -- >> i think that's a good question. we could spend, we could've spent days or weeks or even months trying to get to the bottom of his psychology. >> give us the two minute
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version. >> what was more born with psychology of people around who got glimpses of his alleged misconduct and what were they thinking and how did they respond, and what do you do when you get a glimpse of wrongdoing? especially his brother, bob weinstein, who was his only sibling. this is somebody who would been in business with them. they had run two companies for decades been the time he was involved in this alleged predatory behavior. we came out of that verse story one he to know what that bob no? when did he know and what did he do about it? he finally opened up to us in a series of interviews for this book. it's an interesting psychology that we saw time and time again. >> harvey hit him. >> yes. >> my reading is that was the turning point, that he crossed a line and so there's that long letter from bob weinstein sent to harvey in which he really lays out the parade of portables. >> what was done over the course
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of her interviews of them in this letter he provided to us that it sent to his brother, his pleading letter in 2015, two is before the truth told out into public turkey basically said i was one of allegation of sexual misconduct against my brother going back to the '90s. in two case i provided money that was used to silence women but i like a lot of the people in his orbit chose to believe him when he said these were attempted shakedowns and his only engaged in extramarital activity, like i am bad as in i cheat on my wife, but indicates of bob weinstein, he was come he had a rationale that was rude in his own battles with sexual abuse but he believed -- >> you are artfully dodging the question of -- >> okay. >> why? i mean, there is something -- >> all tell you what we know, which is his story is an x-ray into power, and how power works.
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and that -- [applause] >> that's what the evidence says. >> it's also about sex, isn't it. >> was that it's not about sex in the sense -- what i would say that part of the way that it's about power is that it's about work. these women, whether they were actresses perform assistance, they showed up, some of them on the first day of work, there are so many women in this book who are allegedly harassed or assaulted really on their first day of work for the first day they met weinstein. they show up with ambitions and their aspirations and their hopes and dreams, and what you see again and again according to these allegations is weinstein is able to turn those against them. i think it's about whether these women are going to have shot at
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achieving what they want to in the workplace, and whether those hotel room stories, they are a kind of bait and switch with women go in expecting one thing and then are shown another. >> i understand but there's some perverted sexual drive addie had, no? >> listen, i think one of the things we realized was in 1990 when we were able to identify who we consider to almost be a patient zero of the weinstein investigation, this was a woman who is going to work for miramax straight out of college and was allegedly sexually assaulted by him on the job, and silence to one of these settlements. when we were able to start to report out what it happened around that instance we found out john schmidt was the chief financial officer at the company, he was aware of this. this was 1990 and harvey
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weinstein into his office and said i had done something horrible, i promise it won't happen again. it was just remarkable to realize this was not somebody who, time again he was basically confronted with his behavior, and even like 27 years before our investigation had claimed to have knowledge of what it done was wrong and promises to chan change. >> so why? i'm sorry i want to pursue something on this. what is driving him? because not to go too far into -- okay. that's really important to understand at least for you in your search for what his behavior and what was likely. it obviously was a compulsion, but why rex i mean, if we had
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him here on sodium in the fall, the truth serum, it now might take a lot of the drug, and we asked what's this about for you, i don't think you say -- [inaudible] but go ahead. >> as a movie producer and a part of what you see in the story is the way he weaponized so many everyday aspects of the workplace in pursuit of this alleged predation. i'm good to say something totally gross but it's an important part of our reporting, which is especially in the later years he would have assistance, female assistance, procure supplies of this kind of penile erection drug, sort of like viagra but it's injected directly into the penis, and these assistance, more than one
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of them in more than one country tell stories of having to keep supplies, especially with one of them who were in new york, hand them out to him more than once a day. this was a prestigious company. this was a company that was making movies that we all saw. what's remarkable to us is the way he was able to deploy so many elements of this company, its contracts, its assistance, his lawyers, sometimes offices in pursuit of whatever, whatever this thing he wanted was. >> and what was it? what was, what is rosebud for harvey weinstein? >> i mean, i just -- >> i'm sorry, it's some kind of weird foreplay to, well, i'll just inject this in my penis and -- isn't it?
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>> i think it's just beyond the limits of our knowledge and beyond -- >> okay. >> and beyond the limits of -- [talking over each other] >> as investigative reporters we thought the big questions we wanted to tackle him our reporting and in this book were not the sort of psychology weinstein who it engaged in such a long pattern of predatory behavior, such as against actresses but women who work and his companies, but we wanted to tackle the questions of complicity, how is that individuals and companies can become put in that -- and see them as enablers. [applause] >> right. >> and i think those are some of things that we are all wrestling with now, like how did lisa bloom one of the most prominent feminist attorneys in the country cross over to the other side to work with weinstein in 2016 and 2017 to evade scrutiny? >> that's great. i understand your dodging that
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question, and what's really important is the behavior and the impact on these women, time and time again. tell me a little bit about the lawyers in this. how did the lawyers come out as -- go ahead. >> i think lisa bloom is a great, i will pause on lisa bloom for a second, but this was, this was, the were a bright of high-powered attorneys who came into weinstein orbit -- weinstein's orbit and help them conceal and spin and evade scrutiny. lisa bloom, we knew she had worked for weinstein. we encounter in the course of our reporting and towards the end. she said she went to go work for you because she was only aware that it made inappropriate comments towards women and she wanted to help him apologize. in the course of reporting this
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book we were able to obtain confidential records that showed the ship much deeper knowledge of very serious allegations against him, and that she played a much darker role. we obtained this memo that we reproduced in its entirety in the book so people can read for themselves what this boy was saying to weinstein in 2016 in which she spelled out all the underhanded tactic she's going to use to help them undermine rose mcgowan, one of his accusers. it basically is like a playbook and how she will harness all of her experience working with victims to help them work against them. we also update your billing record which are an hour our accounting shows sessions working with like the former israeli intelligence officials who are hired to stop a spirit you was working she was working with david moyes also one of the most prominent attorneys in the country come somebody would want the case of gay marriage, helped when the case of gay marriage before the supreme court. yet also been one of harvey's
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biggest defenders over the course of 15 years. we thought it was important to illuminate the figures that these lawyers played. >> what do you think of these reputation managers, like lanny davis, the lawyer in town? what are my favorite lines in the book is when dean baquet says i'm tired of this shit. >> you know, weinstein hired so many high-priced attorneys and spanners and pr people, and it was actually sort of, as we got to the final showdown with weinstein, it was almost confusing to do with because it was like who is representing you? iq do we even call if you want a straight answer? it was clear they didn't all agree but i think our expense is that the lesson for us was all of the high-powered legal help and pr help in the world does
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not really do anything when you have the resources, we have a lot of facts that you have documented, when you got 25 years of allegations, and when you have great institution for 220 to stand up for the vulnerable. [applause] >> it didn't help him because he was the tipoff, wasn't it? >> when lanny davis shows up? you're in trouble. >> as you know, the best pr people of people who help journalists, and lanny did end up helping us in some ways. i mean, he was also pretty open from the beginning about the fact that his client was really difficult. [laughing] >> now, you asked the really
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potent question, and that is, where we are now in the #me too movement. you asked, you say, has there been too much change, or not enough, in what is your answer? >> i think that's right. we did want to stop with the publishing of the weinstein story. we wanted to push through interview that follow as the #me too movement took off in earnest. we write actually, we were grateful enough to have the opportunity to report behind the scenes as christine blasey ford and are path to testfired washington which become one of the more controversial sort of moments. >> use in the book, you interviewed her. >> we did. >> dozens of hours. >> yes, that's right. >> do you believe her? >> what i can tell he is that christine blasey ford is probably the most like precise and like diligent of source,
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subject, that certainly i've ever reported on. in re-creating for the readers what was happening for her by the behind the scenes she was on a way to washington and even the day before she testified when she had some of her advisers trying to coach her for going before the senate judiciary committee, and she refused to be coached. she knew the answer to the questions and she even was obsessively writing and rewriting to make sure shared the language just right. all i can tell you is that in the telling of her account and her experience, i have not really encountered somebody who appears to be as precise and obsessed with getting the truth right. [cheers and applause] >> she didn't have some precise memory on when this happened or
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exactly where and so forth. that has been used to undermine what she testified to and said, at a think the interesting question now, of all that's available about christine blasey ford and that allegation and cavanaugh, if he were just, say, a judge here in the district of columbia and somebody gave you all that information, is it enough to publish a story? do you find it -- [shouting] >> okay. was it sufficient? what it have met your standard at the new times to publish that? >> i think the reason your question is so interesting is that it is your paper, the "washington post", that did publish what really was exactly that story.
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>> but it was in the midst of a supreme court nomination. i'm asking a different question. in other words, in terms of, go through your book and i really mean this. i teach a journalism seminar and i'm going to assign it as a manual about going through a really difficult case. the cavanaugh case as it unfolded was very, very difficult work i wonder whether everything we know, the precision, and it is some precision but there's imprecision and there are not the cooperating witnesses that you wanted in your work on weinstein. i'm asking, would you publish that in the "new york times"? >> i think that was part of why we wanted to write about it. because the weinstein sort into debt being a case in which there was so much overwhelming proof that we felt that we had to --
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we had to sort of take on a much harder case. the first thing i would say in answer to your question is that i don't think the fact that christine blasey ford doesn't remember everything about that night is the site of lack of credibility. i would say the opposite. [applause] when somebody, so when somebody -- >> so speedy i'm going to get to the answer to your question. when somebody is willing to acknowledge what they don't remember, we generally see that as a strength. but i think the reason we were so drawn to this is that there are basically three big questions about #me too that are totally unresolved and very controversial, which are that, number one, what's the scope of behavior under scrutiny? are only talking about sort of
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classic sexual assault? is it also sort of lesser offensive like verbal abuse? i think included in the question about scope, which is how far back are we going? it's very powerful to go back for a long time but the further back you go, the harder it is because it's harder to ascertain the truth with the passage of time. number two, how do we get to the bottom of what happened, especially when it's this sort of-era incident from many years ago. number three, what does the candidate it look like? what is the punishment for this kind of behavior? >> you would be disappointed in me though if i didn't press you on answering -- >> i'm getting, i'm getting, and getting to the answer to your question, which is from the first moment we found out about the ford allegation, it was so newsworthy. this is a potential supreme court justice who is about to be appointed. this is a woman who's a research scientist whose business is
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precision. so we are not the editors of the newark times. we would not have made that final call bu but i tell you tht we tried very hard to speak to christine blasey ford, and to beat your newspaper even before this became a political storm because we did feel that we -- >> you would leave it up to the editors of the "new york times" to decide whether to publish. >> is what we can tell you is, christine blasey ford did not come forward with her allegation when kavanaugh was a lower court judge. it was really when he was being considered for one of the most powerful jobs in the entire country that she felt like shedy civic duty to report that. i think so this questions about the kind of news judgment in terms of news organizations and what they publish stories and allegations and why. in some cases you're looking at a pattern of predatory behavior. you worry that person is still
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going on and if you don't report the truth about them, they will keep hurting other people. you almost think that it's a public safety issue, and then there are other considerations when it is somebody in a in a position like the supreme court. >> you post this question in your book which i think is very interesting. would she have been better off staying quiet? in her own life. and you pose the question and you don't answer it. >> right. we know that kavanaugh after these like wrenching testimonies on both sides, that he is now on the supreme court and christine blasey ford is back in california. so he's going to continue to be a visible public figure and will be able to trace what happens to him. but i think it's worth people across the country continue to ponder how she is doing and in our experience this --
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[applause] with i obtained the first interview of her in all alto months after that, she was living in hiding. she was still come should not, she did not yet feel like her secured advisor did not if you like it was safe enough for her to go out. >> you also post the question about whether come she was trying to retain control of her own story, and obviously she was unable to, is that correct? >> yeah, i think she became a vehicle. in the many hours we spent interviewing her, it was clear this is that somebody with any interest in catapulting us up in the center of a national scandal or to become a major figure in the #me too movement, and yet another reason we wanted to write about her is that she did become this vehicle, some people came to see her as a hero and of the people came to see her as a villain and the vehicle for the backlash. we want readers to see this is actually a very real person and that the behind the scenes to do
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so much more complicated. >> the last chapter of the book is the gathering, when you've got a dozen of your sources and actresses, ashley judd and gwyneth paltrow together. i think it's a fascinating discussion, and i would ask from that, because you were there. you did all this work. he wrote the book. what did you learn about yourselves in the course of this? ..
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i believe in the journalistic process. the tools we describe in this book are the tools the journalists across the country and across the world use every single day. if you follow the process and you use good judgment, they really, really, really do work. megan and i, certainly, are happy are happy about certain decisions we made. i feel, fundamentally -- >> that is a brilliant answer. the answer is, you pick the right profession. >> what did you learn about your self? >> i think i learned, i know i have been a reporter for 20 years and i have spent a variety
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of stories, i think for me, one of the things that i learned, jody and i from from that first phone call when i was on maternity leave and i did not even know jodi, my first day back, that was two and a half years ago. one of the things that has been in addition to the subject matter and the journalism, there has been an incredible partnership that has formed. for me, learning to work so closely with a fellow journalisf the most unexpected and fantastic treats over doing this work. [applause] >> okay. we go to questions now. gordon has provided a microphone old enough to remember who he is
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>> people hopefully coming to the microphone. i think we would be remiss if we did not ask you a question or two given what is going on in washington. [cheering and applause] i have a hypothetical for you. you are the investigative assignment editor in the universe. what is it that you most want to know about how trump and other foreign leaderships, what do you think most needs to be investigated? what do you think we don't understand at this point? >> we have to remember that the ukrainian story, a lot of attention given to, and rightly so, looking through the keyhole.
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there is much more to look at. i will send a copy. i hope you will sign it to adam schiff who is running the investigation. this is how to run an investigation. you cannot do it in two weeks. you cannot do it in two months. we found three women that were assaulted or harassed. you have to look at the total universe. that is the obligation. that is what you did in this case. hopefully in this internet age, there is a way to slow down for everyone. including trump and the people that work for him.
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they are entitled to a full investigation of listening, of what you did, knocking on doors, cross checking the ups and downs. you two went on one of the most wonderful rides that anyone ever had. >> i don't think you are answering i question. [cheering and applause] [laughter] what do you most want to know about what trump did and did not do. >> i think part of the question is why. why do you do this? one of the big issues with trump is, i have written books on nine presidents from nixon to trump. since 20% of the presidents we've had, i once went to a junior high school and one of the students raised her hand and
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said what was calvin coolidge like? i miss cal. all presidents are isolated. trump may be the most isolated president. because he had no political office. he had no government experience. he is experiencing a self validation that none of us, no 11 here does. he made it to the top. to the presidency. he did it on his own. you see this confidence that he shows, publicly and in private. when he meets in the oval office with advisors, people can say, whatever, they can have advice and ideas, hey, i'm here, you
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are here because of me. i did it all by myself. as far as he is concerned, he is in control. what happens, and this is unfortunate for him and the country, it is what george can't and the father of the containment doctrine called the treacherous curtain of deference it just calms down, oh, yes, yes, mr. president. we agree with you. the reality that is out there, does not get in enough. that is why he hates the washington post and the new york times so much. we are bringing reality into that bubble. >> you want to know what he did, acting out of all of that self
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confidence that was not stopped due to the deference of other people. >> i want to know, we are facing a governing crisis. the major issues in the middle east. i have all kinds of information in my book about the terrace in china. 99 out of 100 will say this makes no sense at all. north korean policy. he almost got us into a war with north korea. all of the basic economic and foreign policy issues. how did we get there? what is the impact. what might be the outcome of some of this. my wife and i were in south korea last week and you talk to people in south korea and they
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are next to the nuclear weapons. we went to south korea with a certain amount of trepidation, quite frankly. they are worried what's going on. what is the strategy. how do we not over dwell on this , and in one of these meetings trump has from national security council notes, when he is on this jihad about why are we spending all of this money on allies with nato, we are suckers we would be so rich if we did not do this. the secretary of defense says to the president, mr. president, we are doing all of these things to prevent world ward three. the president has two be told
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this is why we have these alliances. this is why we have this defense system. that is one of my pilling moments as a reporter first learning about that. >> i look forward to finding out what else you find out. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you. if i finish that book, i will come here and you and megan can interview me. >> you got it. >> thank you. i really appreciate your journalism. thank you for what you have contributed. looking at what happens to people who stand up to supreme court justices. we saw what happened with hell. we saw what happened with christine blaze e ford. you think three times is a charm
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what happens if we face this again? >> i think one of the things that is worth pointing to, when christine bosley ford did come forward, when her allegation was made public and there was a determination that there would be a hearing, anita hill actually wrote this pretty incredible opinion piece when they were trying to negotiate what the rules of that hearing would be. she noted, so many years after her experience of coming forward and having to testify, this committee still had not come up with a protocol on how to feel the allegation of sexual harassment or sexual assault. what did that say? so many, you know, one year into me too. i think what is clear is you are
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tracking shifts in cultural attitudes. no question that anita hill, i think, while clearance thomas was ultimately confirmed on the supreme court that she did play a huge role in helping the shift of cultural attitudes towards sexual harassment. i think we will be watching to see the impact of christine bosley ford reared meanwhile, how about the senate judiciary has to protocols in place if this does happen next time. [applause] >> okay. overhear. >> thank you for all of the work that you have done. you are one of the legends of the profession. hearing you repeatedly interrupt these woman all night -- it has often been based on your assumptions. miss cantor was about to respond directly to a question with some -- i assume saying something
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about justice kavanaugh and would not let her finish. that was frustrating. in any event, i am really interested in hearing as your experience as women doing this work, how you have emotionally dealt with the information you have been receiving. i know when i kind of lived through the kavanaugh hearings, i could not breathe for three weeks. either one or both of you have been victims of sexual assault, harassment. what has it been like for you as women living through this? >> megan and i have a firm rule. we never discussed what has or has not happened to us personally. that is because it is all about our sources. we want to be blank slates for the women we talk to. we want to be doing our jobs when we talk to them. a very unique relationship. we are not there friends. we are not there therapist. we are journalists trying to bring these stories to light.
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when you are doing that work, you are trying to be very steady. it is hard to believe that victims want to feel compassion, but they also want to believe they are in very firm steady hands. i would not want to speak to a reporter that is an emotional mess. who is falling apart. believe me, we have had a lot of feelings and reaction to doing this work. we try to hold them in reserve. i think that is also what is so valuable about having each other as partners. we can be very professional and interviews and then we can turn around and call each other and say oh my god. we are lucky enough to be able to trade off emotions and be able to help pull each other up the hind the scenes. >> i think my final answer to your question is that, doing
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this reporting has ultimately been in powering. material during the weinstein investigation. very, very difficult. you can feel that you are standing in a river of pain as you are doing this reporting period i think that we felt such responsibility and such force and desire to air these stories that it always felt like it was sort of moving in the right direction. somebody recently asked me if it was fun. i would say fun would not be the right word given the level of pain we are dealing with, but it was not galvanizing, and that helped. [applause] >> i am a journalist from india. i was part of the team in my newspaper.
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the moving industry and reporting about it. the change that happened then, used to put -- [inaudible] this is discussed a lot because things that happen to us, already drawing the line. reporting about sexual harassment and sexual assault. secondly, now that you opened the door. so much reporting worldwide. what does the future look like? >> first of all, congratulations to you and your reporting. we would love to hear. maybe we will have a chance at
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some point to hear about that specific reporting you did in india. we at the new york times, right after we broke the weinstein story, our e-mail accounts and phones were just flooded with tips and women coming forward with their accounts of what it happened to them. we had to kind of come up with a triage system to figure out how to field all of these tips and stories that were coming to us. it really became a group project across the newsroom. the sports department was involved. the business desk was involved. we were even doing brownbag sessions with some of the reporters to explain what we had used in the courses of that. it was one thing to watch it spread across our newsroom, but to watch it spread across news organizations across the country and around the world has been so exciting. we cannot be sure of what is
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going to happen next, as journalists, we cannot enact policy reform. we cannot change hr departments. we cannot change the law. not only for us, but for companies and bad guys to know, that there is now this group project tackling this issue, it makes me sleep better at night. it is really thrilling to watch. >> searching for the truth. >> i pulled out from my basement my favorite page from the washington post. history repeats itself.
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[inaudible] >> the question for them. >> no. but i want to thank you. >> i have a question for you. thank you. i kept getting interrupted. i kept waiting for the punchlines. i am definitely putting both of you on my list of gutsy women. really interesting article. the road about all of the women. a high profile case who had protection. a number of women that she talked about in this article who had lost their job.
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i am just wondering why they are igniting a movement to uncover these cases. i am hoping that there is some part of the movement that also protects. just like we have with this protection program. these are witnesses to a big trial across the world. i know it is very hard to take on everything, but how do we build that into the movement? >> i think what you are putting your finger on is what has it a little bit frustrating about whether some of these will come back or not. will they come back? you are putting your finger on the more interesting question. what is going to happen to these women. some of them suffered severe consequences. workplace or psychological.
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from this happening in the first place. the women we wrote about in this book did not do anything to get harassed or get assaulted. they were doing the equivalent of walking down the street as this happened to them. there is something very unfair about this kind of reporting. why is it women's work to have to tell these stories? [applause] you know, why is it the women that have to undergo this messy painful process of being tortured. about whether to go on the record or not. on the one hand, it can can be so high-impact. on the other hand, you can never know what the cost will be. something we tend to think about a lot. when there were women in 2016 who had obligations against president trump. she really convince some of them to go on the record. some of them had written for the time so they seemed pretty
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willing. this is what we do for living. we tell people that telling the truth is a public service. we make the argument that it will hopefully help other people in some way. then megan has to watch as some of those women were attacked really severely. >> threatened to sue them. threatened to sue us. it was a tough conversation. at the end of the day, we cannot go to court on their behalf. part of these really tough calculations that women make. >> the last chapter in the book, sort of gathering of women who have all come forward. their experience coming forward are so varied. some of them were treated like heroes. some of them made a really significant price. the thing that is so torturous that you never really know what the effects will be until you do it. >> i am sorry to say we are over on time.
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we will take two more questions. >> two more questions. >> two more. >> hello. i wrote my? my phone. please excuse me. as a survivor, college campus campus advocate and a huge fan of everybody on stage for years, thank you you for everything. i am sure that that sentiment is echoed throughout this room. this book and this article changed my life. as well as obviously everybody else. i went to a small liberal arts school in the middle of the cornfield in kentucky. now, that school school is very different because of the whole me to movement in the harvey weinstein scandal and everything. my question is, do you have anything to say to the future, i guess? to the young survivors, the advocates, advocates, the activists, those in
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male-dominated fields. those facing harassment, whatever it may be? do you have any advice or encouragement? >> thank you. thank you for coming tonight and coming up to the microphone. we appreciate that. good for you, it sounds like to me you are somebody who has turned your private pain into working towards collective strengths. and your advocacy work. hats off to you for that. [applause] one of the things, we had a talk last week. there was an 11-year-old girl that got up and asked what things would be like for her generation moving forward. you know, we obviously cannot look into a crystal ball. we don't have predictions. if you would have told us when
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we were driving home from the new york times two nights before our story published, it was like 1:00 o'clock in the morning and had been so immersed in the reporting and trying to get to the finish line, that we were not even thinking about what the impacts might be. do you think anybody will read this story? i think it was just a sign that we had no idea about the impact of the story. and others like it would have in the year that followed and beyond. while we cannot predict, all we can say is there have been a lot of people that we have encountered. our investigations and our reporting who have been motivated to act because they want to help protect younger generations. that was also something that had come out in interviews. when she came away from testifying, she said, i did not come to washington to try to
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derail a nomination. my hope was if i could get up there and tell my story with integrity, it may make it easier for younger generations to come forward. i just want to add that one of the people that worked that case very closely is here. lisa. [applause] i think lisa's quote is in the book. that was almost a year ago today to the date. everybody was living that. so much of what lisa and her partner were talking about at the time, even as they dealt with this very stressful set of hearings was that hope. it was part of me being annoying and asking them questions that they were trying to go about their work. i think everybody was so conscious of what this legacy is going to leave for people like
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you. >> last question. >> thank you. >> first of all, thank you you all, truly. i am asking for a nervous friends. who do you help read your book? and what do do you hope they learn from it? >> i hope that men read it. [cheering and applause] every reader means the world to us because if anybody in this room has noticed, our information economy in this country is not really healthy right now. the idea of readers committing to a book and 100,000 words of words of this very complicated material means so much to us. thank you to anybody that comes on that journey with us. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you.
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did you want to introduce family? do you have some here? >> sure. >> i have one more. my brother-in-law is here. i will look for it. i am really excited to see them afterwards. [applause] real quick. final questions. alternative titles. i read it a couple of times you referred to the reckoning that there has been a reckoning in this. indeed there has. anyway. title. >> on the table, there was no
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other horses in the running for the title. it just felt -- >> i guess it is ashley judd's saying. they only tackle you when you are carrying the ball. >> gwyneth paltrow. >> okay. just from the sidelines, you two have carried the ball. over the finish line. i think we owe you a standing ovation. >> thank you. thank you so much. [cheering and applause] thank you. thank you. [cheering and applause]
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>> thank you so much for joining us. if you would like to have your book signed, please stay seated for just a few minutes and if you are looking for next it, you can use the main lobby or the corner lobby to my right. thank you. [inaudible conversations] ♪ >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has has been providing america unfiltered of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country. created by cable in 1979. c-span brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span. c-span. your unfiltered view of
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government. >> now on book tv afterwards. fox news legal and political analyst offering his thoughts on the molar report. the investigation of russia's interference of the 2016 election. interviewed by matt. chaired the american conservative union. afterwards, the weekly interview program with relevant guest coast interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> it is my great honor to be here with greg jarratt. my friend and someone who has made me smarter. your most recent bestseller, the witchhunt. a fascinating read that tells us all the details that we have been going through since 2016. this is a follow-on to your best seller the russia hoax which was a new york times number one bestseller. i am sure that this will be as well. >> thank you. >> y a


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