tv The Newseum Presents the 2017 Free Expression Awards CSPAN May 14, 2017 1:42am-2:53am EDT
possible impeachment proceedings against president trump. thefrom the atlantic, possible impact of late-night comedy. be sure to watch "washington journal." join the discussion. museum -- newseum presents its awards. one of the recipients this year is apple ceo tim cook. this is one hour and 10 minutes. [applause]
>> we are honored to have you with us tonight. standard speaker protocol calls for me to make a joke at this point. [laughter] >> to relax the room, bring us together and let me move on to more serious subjects. david bradley, a wonderful support here tonight, is genius of this. the problem is, i don't know any jokes about the first amendment unless i go all george carlin on you. [laughter] >> and we have to keep this dinner pg. so i did what a modern person would do, i googled. i mean i asked alexa, i mean i asked siri. [laughter] >> about jokes about the first amendment. not much luck there. not due to the technology. of course. there are many stories about
someone making a joke of the first amendment and countless stories about whether the first amendment does or does not cover jokes about mothers in law, police or various ethnic and racial minorities. the answer by the way is yes, yes, and yes. i have found some possible material from lenny bruce, but i figured we had that angle covered already. seriously, i can't remember a time in my life when the freedom s of the first amendment were more at the forefront of the national conversation or more threatened. later this week we'll release our first quarterly report on the state of the first amendment. we created a panel of 15 scholars from across the political spectrum to grade how are we doing on each of the 5 freedoms. the composite grade they give us
right now is c plus. freedom of the press is doing the worst with a c. freedom of assembly and petition, the forgotten freedoms , are doing fair at b minus. we clearly need help as a society, as there are some significant doubts about how we're faring with our fundamental freedoms. that's why tonight is so special. the six amazing individuals we honor tonight have been on the forefront of the battle to defend free expression and the rights of the first amendment. they have reported from war zones, challenged the federal government in court, battled censorship, confronted the fbi over americans' right to privacy and in a case of our lifetime achievement winner, risked his very life marching for civil rights for all americans. [applause]
>> before we get to the winners, i would like to thank the trustees for their unwavering dedication to the newseum. the trustee's commitment is long standing. in fact, in one of the scheduling miracles that could never be planned, today is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first newseum in rosalyn. [applause] >> it was opened by then vice president al gore. i'd also like to thank our sponsors for their support of the first amendment, free expression awards dinner. this evening would not be possible without your wonderful support. i would also like to thank some other people in the room and commend them for their work. actually, i'd like to thank all
400 of you, but that won't be possible. williams, our host committee chair, has always been a great source of support and council. the president of the knight foundation and former board chair is here tonight. where are you? there is alberto. [applause] >> his own leadership and the knight's foundation support has been absolutely essential to the newseum. i would also like to welcome our friends from the charles koch institute and from the aclu. not many organizations can say that. [laughter] >> and marty baron is in the house. [applause] >> the freedom forum will honor marty with the al newhart excellence in the media award in june in this room. congratulations, marty. [applause]
>> the newseum mission statement is the 45 words engraved in a 75 foot marble tablet in the front of our building. we welcome more than 800,000 people a year who visited us annually to learn about the courageous sacrifices made throughout history to uphold our fundamental rights. our permanent exhibits including the berlin wall, the 9/11 memorial and the pulitzer prize gallery have become part of washington's cultural landscape. our newest temporary exhibit, : rock, powerwords and politics," produced in partnership with the cleveland ,ock 'n roll hall of fame explores how popular musicians
pushed the boundaries of free expression over the last half century. on friday, because our energetic staff just needs something else to do, will have a program on louder than words with deejay yella of nwa and little easy e. ask your kids if you don't understand what i'm saying. rap in particularappe has helped free expression from compton to d.c. in the last year, we held more than 50 public programs to explore critical first amendment issues. just this past weekend, members of the asian-american band the slants were here to discuss the landmark supreme court case against the u.s. patent and trademark office over their band's name. quick update in case you weren't following, the band is suing the office for its failure to allow the name to be trademarked because it may disparage people. we'll wait to see how the case is decided, but the case is
already given the band a great name for its third album, the band who must not be named. harry potter reference for the millennials, under control. [laughter] >> the newseum institute religious freedom center brought together scores of religious and civic leaders to help them navigate the intersection of religious and public life so they can train communities across america how to live together despite deep differences. we developed the first sweep of in class and digital courses to teach clergy and lay and civic leaders about religious freedom. finally, our museum education program reaches more than 7 million students in this country and 152 countries across the world and provides them with digital course material about the evolution of freedom and media literacy. for instance, we heard this fall
from teachers that they wanted to teach about the election, had to teach about the election, and had no idea what to say. you may have experienced that also from time to time. so we quickly released our digital collection, "election stumped," which provided teachers with digital artifacts from our collection and course plans on how to teach about a contentious electoral contest. we're also doing a great deal to help students manage and overcome the tsunami of fake news that they, like all americans, encounter every single day, including our summer institute media literacy and fake news. last wednesday, we held a symposium on the president and the press, the first amendment and the first 100 days.
generously sponsored by the knight foundation and the covler , that brought together members of the administration , kellyanneean spicer conway and journalists from axios, cnn, brightbart, msnbc. again, you won't hear that pairing everywhere. "the new york times" and many other platforms to discuss relations between the media and the administration and how perhaps we might do better. david farenthold of the host and bob sheefer, one of the wise men of washington journalism gave a wonderful conclusion. we were covered by more than a dozen networks and hundreds of thousands of people viewed our symposium online. our handle #trumpinthepress was
a leading topic on twitter, thoroughly crushing #nationalgrilledcheese day. [laughter] >> as you can tell, one of the things i'm most proud of about the newseum is our nonpartisan approach to the contentious issues of the day. in a polarized city in a hyper partisan town, it is hard to be vehemently nonpartisan. many organizations, frankly, face the temptation to drift ses and right as the basi funding move further from the center. however, we believe that the only way to advocate rights for all americans is to show favor to none and work with all. [applause] >> we believe the moment is now
for the critical work we do here at the newseum. we will continue to preserve and protect these essentials today. and for future generations. to begin tonight's awards ceremony, i'd like to welcome abc news president james goldton to the stage to present the free press award. thank you so very much and welcome to the newseum. [applause] >> thank you jeffrey. good evening, everyone. martha raddatz -- it seems only fitting, here we are. i will tell you a little story, and exhausting story about martha. today martha got off a plane, 14 hours on the plane from seoul. just enough time to get the lipstick on, get here. this is what she's done the last 4 days.
on thursday, she was in washington reporting on north korea. she got on a plane that day, landed in south korea. she persuaded the generals on the ground to give her exclusive access to the oson air base. just miles from the most militarized border in the world. she appeared in every single abc news platform. then she interviewed the national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster. made a bunch of news there as well. just par for the course for martha. she does this all the time. she was saying she actually hasn't had a day off since the election, for which i feel some responsibility. i feel a little bad about that. [laughter] >> she had to invent a new word. there was a profile of martha and they invented a new word for
her courage and toughness, her unflinching dedication. that phrase is called bad-assery. that is martha. [applause] >> she has moderated four debates. i am sure you have seen them. she did it with such vigor and directness that on all four occasions, the phrase martha raddatz for president trended on twitter. one of the things i admire most about martha, and that the reason she does has the trust she does in the military community is her passion for our troops and her commitment to what happens to them when they come home from war. she stays in touch with those who have been grievously wounded. she comforts families that have
lost loved ones in battle. her best-selling book "the long road home," which details a terrible today firefight in the city in which cavalry division soldiers were killed. she is still in touch with every single person she spoke to in that book. that book is a poignant example of her commitment to remind us all of the sacrifices our troops make every day to protect this country. now, our american democracy depends on reporters willing to pursue the truth even the most dangerous circumstances. it depends on people who will ask the toughest questions, who won't rest until they understand what happened and why it happened. it depends on people like martha who is unwavering in her commitment to bring the stories to life. let's take a quick look at martha in action. ♪ >> one of the things i love about you as a journalist is
that you go everywhere and you, you're getting ready to go where again? >> i'm getting ready to go back into the war zone into iraq. ♪ >> we are east of mosul, american soldiers moved in here just about three days ago. ♪ how they fight. >> just over to the right is russia. >> you do your job to press for answers. >> there are two issues entirely missing from your website. can we stick to gun control? answer the question. >> please explain whether or not the muslim ban still stands. ♪ >> i love my job because i learn something every day and i share it. it's important for us to be a voice for the american public.
what we do is try to find things out for you. [applause] >> martha, thank you for your fearless commitment to a free press. we are honored to recognize your superlative work. join me in celebrating tonight's free press award recipient, martha raddatz. [applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] >> congratulations. >> thank you so much. thank you. cheering and applause] >> thank you. i don't think i have ever gotten a standing ovation. i could get used to that. thank you so much, i love being in this beautiful building. thanks to the museum and the
institute for this award. i am truly honored. and i know i am preaching to the choir here tonight. a free press is a unique cornerstone of any democracy. i stand here tonight on behalf of so many brave colleagues and friends in washington and around the world. i owe a big thanks to abc news me, --support and facing and faith in me, especially our president and vice president, our washington bureau chief and above all my tireless global affairs team, especially ellie brown, lewis martinez and my debate team. a special thanks to conor finnigan. husband, who is a shining example of a journalist who makes a difference. [applause] >> it is no secret that we live in a moment when the free press
is threatened around the world. when strongmen celebrate crashing down on journalists, when terror groups he had beheadists -- journalists rather than let them expose the truth, when we are viewed as the opposition party by some and when our competition is not just another network or newspaper but partisan voices and conspiracy theorists on line or on the air. while we are very lucky in this country to have a robust tradition of free press, nothing is guaranteed. what we value today can become a threat tomorrow. it's part of our job to remind people why they should value a free press. a free press is also not enough. it's part of a contract, a bond with our fellow citizens, and it comes with responsibilities. it has to be free but it also must be fair, fair to those who are maligned, those whose stories are ignored, those who who are not fair to us.
citizens must take responsibility as well. challenges and in fact because of them, it's a great time to be a journalist, because it's such an important time. and so many have risen to the occasion. i must salute my colleagues at abc and elsewhere, but we have to be vigilant and remain independent. don't take the bait and don't waste time on the trivial or shallow, focus on the issues, ask the uncomfortable questions, mine for the truth, study the details. in a word, elucidate. despite the threats. in the face of power, on behalf of the people. it's what a free press it does. it's what is required of journalists. it is what a democracy needs and humbly, it is what i hope i have done in my career and will continue to do. thank you so much for this honor. [applause]
>> please welcome to the stage our next presenter, dr. robert franklin, professor of leadership at emory university. [applause] >> christina ariaga is the daughter of cuban refugees who left everything behind to flee the oppressive regime of fidel castro in 1961. she's never forgotten the lesson her parents taught her, if we have freedom, we have everything. she's made it her life's work to defend america's first freedom, religious freedom. as executive director of beckett , a nonprofit law firm which has been nicknamed god's aclu for his work on all faiths from
anglicans to zoroastrians. truly a to tz. she is also a fierce defender of refugees. in 1992, as director of the villaderes foundation, the human rights group, she helped a cuban defector secure an airplane for a do or die rescue of his wife and children in cuba. the rescue was successful. her success in the courtroom has oared.tore in 2014, her firm won a landmark supreme court ruling, exempting hobby lobby and other companies from providing or control to their employees in violation of their religious beliefs. in 2016, arriaga led beckett in protecting a muslim inmate in an arkansas prison to grow a beard as an expression of his faith.
one another important religious liberty case when supreme court unanimously ruled that little sisters of the poor catholic charity would not have to pay $70 million in annual fines for refusing to provide employees for the control coverage as required by the affordable care act, returning the case to the lower court to resolve the conflict over contraception and conscience. another case forced the federal government to give back ceremonial eagle feathers that had been seized from a native american pastor by the department of the interior. ariaga has also worked for the u.s. commission on civil rights, and in 2016, she was named to the u.s. commission on international religious freedom. christina a look at
ariaga's work, defending america's first freedom. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the faith of the little sisters is the faith of every american, particularly americans that believe in minority religions, americans who adhere to minority beliefs. >> i love that in this country you can still have a robust exchange of ideas and religious diversity. ,e stand for religious liberty edition not be a preference for any of them in this country. >> christina, she has got the personality you cannot help but love. >> religious liberty is not about who god is. it's about who we are. the government has no role. they should not tell you what to believe, they should not tell you what to do. they understand religious liberty is not the eccentric uncle of the human rights family. fight back, don't let anyone
silence you or shame you or say your identity is not valid because they disagree with you. ♪ >> we are meant to defend each other in this country. we're meant to have a robust debate. in this country of ours, nobody gets to touch what's in our hearts or our minds. no one. ♪ [applause] >> please join me in celebrating tonight's religious freedom award recipient, christina ariaga. [applause] >> thank you very much. i know i speak to the choir when i say do not let anyone silence you, not ever. not government, not culture, not
so-called educational institutions, never. it is your birthright to be able to live according to your deeply held convictions. and it is your duty to defend and protect that right for everyone, particularly for people with whom you disagree. religious liberty is not for conservatives. religious liberty is not only for liberals. it is not the eccentric uncle of the human rights family. it's the ability to live according to what's in your core. and that's the only way to live without regrets. people around the world die for that freedom. they die to exercise the ability to do that. here in the united states, we have it pretty easy. but sometimes even when we do the right thing, we get kicked in the stomach. be courageous. be courageous.
don't let the life with regrets, the big regrets. of course you'll have little regrets like not losing 10 pounds before an award ceremony. [laughter] >> that's hypothetical, of course. [laughter] >> i'm very humbled by this award, but i know it's not mine alone. i would like to thank the people at beckett law, who 24/7 pro bono defend the right of religious freedom for everyone, a to z. many of them are here tonight. i'd also like to take the opportunity to thank my family. my husband of 23 years. salty marine. [applause] >> thank you. that salty marine has been to some pretty dark places in the world defending our freedoms,
but he has also endured for 23 years a guana americana human rights fighter. [laughter] [applause] >> i'd like to thank my children , julio, max, and john. they're here tonight. they endure the same household. it's your turn. fight for it. don't let anyone silence you. only your mom once in a while. [laughter] >> my sister patricia is here with me tonight. she is representing my large and incredibly loud cuban family. it is not a coincidence that she is the only one that knew this was available to the public. [laughter] >> finally, i would like to thank the newseum institute, nate welker for his erudite
defense of religious freedom. and charles hanes. your work is needed now more than ever. thank you, thank you. [applause] >> to present the arts and entertainment award this evening please welcome former president of the aclu, nadine strassund. [applause] >> thank you very much, thank you very much. --h in hafner has championed hefner has fought for individual freedom and the first amendment for more than 60 years, fighting against the 1950s straitlaced attitudes about sex. --founded "playboy" magazine.
"playboy" ushered in the sexual revolution while celebrating great authors, artists and journalists. when his magazine was blacklisted, hefner published their work in his magazine. when segregation ruled the american south, hefner's clubs welcomed black guests as well as black entertainers. when few tv shows depicted integrated musical acts in the late 1950s, hef featured them on his late-night tv variety show , "playboy penthouse." daughter70's, his establishedoy and hefner first
amendment award. in 1988, kristy stepped in as md transformed the company into a global multimedia powerhouse with an extensive online presence. she also used her considerable clout to promote causes close to her heart. pay equity, the equal rights amendment, gay rights and abortion rights. she established a freedom of expression award at the sundance film festival highlighting documentaries that address social problems. throughout their careers, the hefners have forcefully fought censorship and controversy over the magazine's depiction of women powerfully exercising and defending freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
says hugh, "i want to live in a society in which people can voice unpopular opinions because, as a result, a society grows and matures." hef and kristy have promoted all of our fundamental freedoms, recognizing that freedom of speech, women's rights and sexual freedom are mutually reinforcing. they have led the resistance to across the ideological spectrum, from cultural conservatives to radical feminists. they have fought and won lawsuits that have established key free speech protections, given major financial support to anti-censorship organizations and donated their invaluable time and expertise to numerous organizations, i will list them in alphabetical order. the aclu, the columbia
journalism review, the creative coalition and the nation institute. here is a look at two true champions of first amendment freedoms of speech and of the press, hugh and kristy hefner. ♪ hugh: the first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of press and you cannot have a free society if you do not have both. the tworprise about sides of hefner, the funny and caring side, the politically conscious side. hugh: you want to suppress and eliminate the things in society. in terms of ideas and the exchange of ideas. you are going to far. i want to live in a society in which people can voice unpopular opinions, because i know that as a result of that, a society grows and matures.
>> there are probably a lot of people today out there enjoying freedoms who have no idea that hugh hafner was the pioneer and got all the arrows. >> i fell in love with the politics of playboy. the company had strong words in individual freedoms. >> our values are remarkably the same. they have been from the beginning. she is a feminist. >> for me feminism was a movement of liberation, social justice, respect for the individual, personal freedom, humanism. those are the values i believe in. >> and abiding commitment to the first amendment, and the freedoms enshrined in the amendment, the cornerstone of a robust democracy we all cherish. it's important to be a trailblazer but it's more important to be a trail maker. if you're a trail maker, others go with you down that trail.
they come behind you and lead on beyond you. ♪ [applause] >> i just want to say officially thank you for celebrating kristy and hugh hefner, tonight's arts and entertainment awards recipient. [applause] >> to put it mildly, i am deeply honored to be receiving this award in this company in this place and in these times. while i am the only one accepting it tonight, it is due in great measure to the work of
onfather, who turned 91 april 9. [applause] >> while he's actually in quite good health, as i can attest based on his backgammon playing prowess on his birthday, a very bad back over many years makes it almost impossible for him to travel. but i speak for him when i say that whatever his personal battles for freedom of expression, what underlies all of it is his deeply felt belief that the principles of the first amendment are the most essential principles of our democracy and they are what allows our society to continue to evolve. i want to thank the friends and family and fellow fighters of freedom of expression for taking the time to share this evening with me. a special shoutout to my brother david, who traveled all the way from california.
[applause] >> and whose being here makes this evening immeasurably more special. to nadine, who is finishing a book and not accepting invitations to speak. [laughter] >> thank you for making this the exception and for making this evening that much more exceptional. i also want to say, because she is both a friend and a hero, that there are some other people who fall into that category that out outwant to shut tonight. to michael keegan, who runs the extraordinarily important and impactful people for the american way, to greg luciano who heads the foundation for individual rights in education, who is fighting so hard to keep diverse voices on campus. [applause] revere, our lead
counsel in the successful case before the supreme court. , rexrevious award winners armstrong who traveled from oregon and when he was a young lawyer used the state constitution to establish precedence for broader freedom of expression than granted through the u.s. supreme court, and dennis berry, who when he was the embattled head of the contemporary art museum in cincinnati, displayed maplethorpe's photographs. and lastly jim risen, who last year won the award here and two years ago won an hmh award and who for so many years has fought for press freedoms against the government. [applause] >> as far as this place is concerned, we've twice held our awards here and for me it's not just the repository of culture
and history but a beacon for the values that i hold most special. and as for these times, well, the accuracy and trust in the media have never been at a lower point. we are being considered -- pinchered by people on the right who feel that the media is a propagator of fake news and an enemy of the people, and at the same time by those on the left who feel the press has not been harsh enough or tough enough on donald trump, and yet this is the very moment we are most in need of a strong and independent press. a press that tells us who is to believed and who is not, what is important and what is not, what is the reality of the time that we're living in. but if we are dependent on the press, then democracy is dependant on civic engagment.
we need a voice of america in america, and that depends on all of us. thank you. [applause] announcer: to present tonight's award,e achievement please welcome civil rights activist rip patton. [applause] good evening. before i begin what i'm up here to do, i just have one announcement i'd like to make. have you ever received a phone call and you look at the number, you didn't recognize it, so you say, should i or should i not answer the phone? [laughter] >> well i had one of those just a few days ago and i decided to answer. and when i did, i heard the voice on the other side call my name.
i suddenly went into the twilight zone for about 20 seconds, so since we are all here and we're here with love in our hearts, i understand that there's a gentleman i think at table 27, by the name of john seekenthaler. please, when you call me, and i say this with love, please say john junior. [laughter] [applause] >> i say that because he sounded just like his dad and i just went into a zone, because his father and i were like mutt and jeff, peas and carrots. i loved him and i still love him. thank you. [applause]
>> i stand before you to talk about a brother, a friend, a companion, whatever you can think of, and that is john lewis. and john lewis lived in, was born near troy, alabama, in 21 to sharery croppers. one of the things that john would do would be to listen to the radio at a very young age , and on that radio that he would listen to, he would be listening to the reverend martin luther king, who really influenced him. so, one day john had saved some money, maybe he'd sold some chickens and saved some money. got on a greyhound bus with a
round-trip ticket to montgomery to see the reverend martin luther king to see if he could get him a scholarship to troy state in alabama. dr. king said, i can't get you into troy state but i can get you into the baptist seminary. in 1958, john lewis was a student at american baptist seminary in nashville, tennessee. i met him in 1959 while we were both being tutelaged by the reverend jim lawson in nonviolence. during that time, a year later, 1960, john was very important in making sure that we had a successful first sit-in in nashville on february 13.
he was very instrumental in that. later on, he joined the freedom rides in 1961 with core when they left washington, d.c. may 4, 1961. he was beaten in south carolina and also in montgomery. if you know anything about the freedom rides, you know that core ended the freedom rides in birmingham, alabama, after the burning of the bus in aniston, alabama and the beating of the people in birmingham. the students in nashville called james farmer, who was the director of core, the congress for racial equality, to ask him if we could have permission to restart the freedom ride. of course he said, you saw what happened with the burning of the bus, you saw what happened in birmingham, you're going to get somebody killed. our attitude in nashville was,
we cannot let violence overrule nonviolence. if you give us your permission to restart the freedom rides, we will do that. john was very instrumental in restarting the freedom rides from nashville to birmingham, montgomery and on in to jackson, mississippi. later on, after that in 1963, he was the organizer in the march on washington. he was also one of the key speakers. one of the things that you may not know is that they asked john to tone his speech down, to not give the speech that he had written, so he had to tone his speech down because we as young people, we wanted to say what we wanted to say and not sugarcoat it. so as a result of him being one of the speakers on the march of washington, he is the only one
that is still alive. john also led a peaceful march for voters rights from selma to montgomery in 1965. as you know, he was beaten in that first march by the police. had a fractured skull. personal note, they would always go for the head. he always had a patch on his head, no matter where he was beaten. john later became the leader of the student nonviolent coordinating committee in the height to influence fighting for racial justice from 1963 to 1966. he also led a protest against discrimination in housing, education, employment, and at the ballot box.
he was arrested more than 40 times and i expect him to be arrested a few more times before his time is up. [laughter] >> lewis went on to become the director of the voter education project, which added nearly four million minority citizens to the voting roll. in 1986, he was selected to congress and has served in the u.s. representative of georgia's fifth congressional district ever since. in 2011, lewis was awarded the presidential medal of freedom, the nation's highest citizen's honor. year, as we all know, my man, my man, john led a sit-in
on the house floor to demand actions on gun control. when we were in nashville together and we would have our meetings trying to decide what we would do next, they would wait to get to john last and say john, what should we do? "we should dramatize the issue." [laughter] >> "we should dramatize the issue," that was one of his big things. and that's what we would do. we would dramatize the issue. john has a series of books called "march," and they have brought the civil rights struggle to the light of a new generation and a generation to come. one of the things that we always said, for example, whether it was sit-ins or the freedom rides, that what we did was for our generation and the and thoses to come,
of us who were out there fighting in 1960, 1961 and years after, we're still out on the trail, we're still fighting the battle, talking to young students, whether they be in elementary school, junior high, high school, or college and even talking to some teachers to make sure that they tell the story of our history, the american history, the way it should be. [applause] >> now let's take a look at a video of the life works of my friend, john robert lewis. ♪ we do not want our freedom gradually, we want to be free now. ♪
>> we wanted to see a better day. we wanted to end segregation and end racial discrimination. >> john lewis literally put his life on the line to make this a better country, a fairer country, a country that is more open. ♪ >> you have a right to protest. it's protected by our constitution. you have a right to dissent. dr. king said we have a right to protest for what is right. >> we are in a peaceful, orderly and nonviolent way. >> congressman john lewis pledges to battle on after this week's historic sit-in. >> we are calling on the leadership of the house to bring common sense gun control legislation to the floor. pres. obama: he is known as the conscious of the united states congress, still speaking his
mind on issues of justice and equality. >> we love you. obama: generations from now when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of john lewis will come to mind. [applause] ♪ >> stand up! speak up! when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something, and not be quiet. ♪ [applause] >> john lewis is so popular and in such demand that he is unable to join us this evening. but he was able to send us a film.
john is like manure. he's all over the place. [laughter] >> please turn your attention to the screen once again. mr. lewis: hello. thank you so much. i regret that i cannot be with you. with all my friends at the newseum. rip, thank you my friend and my brother for presenting me this great honor. without the first amendment, without the freedom of speech or freedom to dissent, the civil rights movement would've been a bird without wings. we live in an unbelievable country. those rights protected by the constitution. you have a right to stand up, a right to sit down, a right to do
right, as dr. king would say, the time is always right to do right. so as long as i have breath in my body, i will continue to stand up and speak up for the freedoms that are guaranteed and protected by our constitution. i want to thank you again for honoring me. have a good evening. [applause] >> it is truly, truly my honor to accept this award for congressman john robert lewis and to say thank you in his place.
[applause] announcer: to present tonight's final award, please welcome to the stage fred ryan, president and ceo of "the washington post." [applause] >> for five years, now tim cook has been ceo of apple, a company "fortune" has ranked number one on the list of the world's most admired countries for the past ten years. a good part of the reason behind the distinction may very well be the values the company holds an
the way it lives its values. i've gotten to know tim over the past few years. i think something he said last year defines him and his leadership at apple. he said, "some things are hard. some things are right. and some things are both." fewer events represent this kind of principled leadership better than apple's battle with the fbi last year. when the fbi demanded that apple build a back door into its products, tim felt strongly it was his responsibility to say no. not just for apple, but on behalf of customers worldwide who count on the company for security of their data. perhaps more to the point, he objected because he felt the fbi's action would undermine the liberty it is meant to protect. all of us in this room know that challenging one's government is never comfortable. out of respect for everything
our country stands for, tim concluded it was the only option. tim, your actions last year remind me of the courage of someone i know we both admire, katharine graham. in 1971, as publisher of the post," she took a business risk by publishing the pentagon papers over the objections of the united states government. in the end, the supreme court as well as history were on her side. tim has long used his position to fight for what he believes in. especially the rights of americans living on the margins. in 2014, he was named to alabama's academy of honor, a treasured recognition in the state, along with then-nert jeff sessions and the university of alabama football coach nick saban. tim used his remarks to advocate for racial equality, educational opportunities for the underprivileged and acceptance for lgbt citizens. one of the things people respect
most about tim cook is his thoughtfulness. he told an interviewer last week he's never seen much benefit come from not engaging. even when he may disagree or have a different position. so if past is prologue, we'll continue to count on tim to advocate for human rights, immigration reform and equal pay. as tim says, "you want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change. ." let's take a look at some of the ripples tim's created. ♪ >> thank you. thank you. >> we believe that a company that has values and acts on them can really change the world. >> i think it's really important that corporate leaders like tim care about principles like freedom of expression and the
advancement of human rights. ♪ >> it's about finding your values and committing to live by them. >> he takes risks on both the personal and professional level to engage in new ideas. ♪ >> i know tim is a courageous person, a person who has spoken truth to power. >> we are standing up for our customers because protecting them we view as our job. >> when tim cook speaks, folks listen. >> and so we had a choice to either just blindly do what the institution said to do or to fight, and we chose to fight. ♪ >> i think we will all look back in two years and be so incredibly thankful for the very difficult stance that he's taken on topics that every ceo needs to read about and every
political leader needs to hear about. >> tim is a true champion for all people. >> all right! >> it's not just about making money. it's also about making a difference in the world. ♪ >> please join me in celebrating the free speech award winner, tim cook. [applause] >> thank you. i'm the only one with an ipad today. [laughter] >> i hope it works. [laughter]
>> it's a privilege to be here with all of you at this great place that i have such admiration for. i'm very grateful for the award and i accept it tonight on behalf of everyone at apple. it's an honor to be recognized tonight alongside of john lewis, whom i'm very proud to call my friend. john has been an inspiration and a role model for me. he has truly set the standard for moral, physical, and political courage. i'd also like to congratulate the other honorees tonight. martha, who has reported with courage and clarity from the political arena to the war zone. christina, who has been an outspoken advocate for refugees and political prisoners. christie, who has blazed
a trail for women in business and worked hard to defend the very values that we're celebrating this evening. and if you could, tell your dad i was not a frequent reader of "playboy," but when i did, it was really for the articles. [laughter] [applause] it is great to be back at the newseum. at apple, we have a very deep respect for the craft of journalism. we admire the people who were celebrated here for their talent, their service and their sacrifice. their work gives life to the words etched on the face of this building and written in our constitution, the promise we make that congress shall make no
law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. when james madison drafted the first amendment, he probably wasn't imagining a young woman who builds an app to share her passion for poetry. he probably wasn't imagining a hip-hop artist who has something that you just have to say to the world, so he makes a video that has tens of millions of viewers. our founders may not have them in mind, but today we do at apple. art and music, design and performance, opinion, fiction, provocation, these forms of speech are what we work to enable. that fills us with such a sense of pride as well as a deep sense of responsibility. because we know that these freedoms require
protection. not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us. the ones that unnerve and even displease us. they're the ones who need protection the most. unpopular speech, unpopular art, and unpopular ideas. speech that questions the people in power. it's no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the first amendment. they're the foundation of so many of our rights, which means we all have a stake and a role in defending them. this is a responsibility that apple takes very seriously. i see our work to fulfill this responsibility as twofold.
first, we defend, we work to defend these freedoms by enabling people around the world to speak up. and second, we do it by speaking up ourselves. because companies can and should have values. we have a perspective on major public issues and we are prepared to take a stand for things that we deeply believe in. let me begin with the first idea, the ways we help customers express themselves. that expression takes many forms, music and movies, articles and books, podcasts and photos. they help us better understand the world, new ideas, and new forms of expression. they can reach wider audiences. they can make a more powerful and more positive impact on our world.
with mobile devices in hand, every day citizens are following john lewis's challenge to all of us, that if you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something about it. through their blog posts and photos and videos, what they're doing about it is contributing to the discourse that drives our democracy, even shining a spotlight on injustice, whether it's the fate faced by refugees or acts of violence in our own neighborhoods. all of this serves to give people more access to more perspectives. we see that as central to our mission at apple. it's part of the reason why two years ago we launched apple news, to give great stories, stories from across the political spectrum, stories on a
ange of topics and interests wider reach. democracy, after all, depends on discourse. for our democracy to work, we are not just free to express ourselves. in a sense, we are obligated to do so. if the public square falls silent, the whole system is at risk. that's why at apple we are not just enabling others to speak up, we are doing so ourselves. hopefully, more and more people are coming around to the view that a company is not some faceless, shapeless thing that exists apart from society. a company is a collection of human beings and part of the fabric of our society. a company like ours has a
culture. it has values, and it has a voice. apple has spoken out and will continue to speak out for what we believe as a company and the positions we take will continue to guide our actions. so we will continue to stand up for environmental protection. we will continue to stand up for inclusion and diversity in all facets of life. and we will continue to stand up for human rights, including the right to privacy. but free speech isn't just about speaking. it's also about listening. whether or not we disagree. if democracy obligates us in a sense to express ourselves, it
also demands that we listen to one another, that we stay informed, we act and we participate. we owe it to ourselves to listen. we need to challenge our own thinking, and in doing so, allow that someone else may just be right. that's the solution we see might not be the best for all of the citizens. we must be open to opposing an alternative points of view, not alternative facts, but alternative opinions, experiences, and arguments. that is why the work of this institution, the newseum and the heroes it celebrates are so very important.
because when we are faithful to the first amendment, when we are all free to express ourselves, to give voice to our valuation -- our values and our views and when we are all willing to listen, to think, even to change our minds, that's how the arc of history bends towards justice. that's how freedom continues its slow, brave march. thank you all for listening and thank you again for this great honor. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. [applause]
>> sunday on "q&a," the comparisons between donald trump in andrew jackson. our guest on his book. >> i don't think he represents the positive values that jackson represented he certainly represents some of the negative values that jackson presented. but i think i would tell president trump that if he wants to be like andrew jackson, he has to put nation in front of his own personhood in his own family, has to put nation in front of his own interest, because that is what jackson did for most of his presidency. >> sunday night on "q&a." >> on wednesday, education secretary of the devos was the commencement speaker at the thin cook when university