tv Democracy Now PBS April 10, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
04/10/18 04/10/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: we are making a decision as tohat we do with respect to the horrible attack , andwas made your damascus it will be met and it will be met forcefully. amy: president trump has vowed to take action against syria days after an alleged chemical attack killed dozens in the rebel held city of douma, syria. but that was not the only attack president trump condemned on monday. pres.ce.
country.attack on our it is an attack on what will stand for. amy: those were the words of the president after news broke that the fbi had raided the offices and home of his personal attorney michael colin. we will be the latest on syria in the fbi raid, plus as mark zuckerberg on capitol hill, we will look at the controversy over the social media giant's role in society from the 2016 election to europe and personal privacy. denver were the staff of the "denver post" is an open rebellion against its owner , a hedge fund which has decimated newspapers across the country. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. fbi agents have raided the home office and park avenue hotel room of president trump's
longtime personal lawyer michael cohen. during the monday morning raid, of his apartment, offices, and his hotel, the fbi seized business records, emails and documents, including documents related to a $130,000 payment to adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels. cohen has admitted to personally paying clifford to keep her quiet about an alleged 2007 affair she had with donald trump. the payment, only days before the 2016 election, may violate federal election law. it was carried out by the interim u.s. attorney for the southern district of your, who was appointed by president trump . it came after referral by special counsel robert mueller, and president trump reacted angrily to news of the raid on monday. pres. trump: i just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, a good man. it is a disgraceful situation. it is a total witch hunt.
amy: we will have more after headlines. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg is set to testify today on capitol hill amithe burgeoning scandal about how the voter-profiling company cambridge analytica harvested the data of more than -- up to facebook users, without 87 million their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support president donald trump. on monday, zuckerberg met with leaders of the senate commerce committee and senate judiciary committee to express his regrets about facebook's mishandling of user data. the company has also unveiled new privacy tools ahead of zuckerberg's testimony today. we'll have more on facebook later in the broadcast. president trump has threatened a forceful response to the alleged chemical gas attack in syria that killed at least 40 people and injured as many as 1000 and douma outside the capital damascus. pres. trump: we're making decision as to what we do and result of the horrible attack .hat was made your damascus
and it will be met and it will be met forcefully. when, i will not say, because i do not like talking about timing, but we are developing the greatest force that we've ever had. " washington has blame the assad government for the attack but russia claims there's no evidence an attack even took place. meanwhile, the lawyers for the family of journalist marie colvin, who was killed in syria in 2012, have sued the syrian government in washington, d.c., courtroom, accusing the assad regime of having assassinated the war correspondent for the "sunday times of london." the wrongful death lawsuit is the first war crimes-related case against the syrian government to reach court. her family's lawyers have submitted thousands of pages of documents that they say reveal how colvin was surveilled in lebanon, tracked as she crossed into syria, and then killed in an artillery strike on the baba amr media center in homs as part of the assad government's deliberate policy to eliminate journalists.
after the killing, according to a syrian military defector, the intelligence officer responsible for ordering the artillery strike said -- "marie colvin was a dog and now she's dead." we'll have more on syria after headlines. in gaza, palestinians are continuing to pay tribute to the life of yasser murtaja, the palestinian journalist who was shot and killed by an israeli sniper while covering the palestinian's nonviolent protest on friday at the israeli-gaza border. israeli snipers shot and killed murtaja while he was wearing a jacket clearly marked press. on monday, palestinians carved his name into the sand of gaza's shore, surrounded by angel's wings. also on monday, the family of the murdered teenager hussein madi gathered to mark what would have been his 14th birthday. he was the youngest palestinian killed on friday, when israeli soldiers opened fire on the nonviolent protest dubbed "the great march of return," killing
at least nine people. the israeli army has killed at least 31 palestinians in total over the last two weeks. british labor leader jeremy corbyn is calling for britain to review its weapon sales to israel in the wake of the israeli army's killings of protesters and the journalist. in the united states, jewish activists with the group if not now staged protests in multiple cities monday, including in new york where seven activists were arrested at new york democratic senator chuck schumer's office, demanding he speak out about the israeli army's killing of palestinian protesters. eight activists were also arrested in boston protesting at the israeli consulate. in germany, hundreds of flights have been canceled after workers tonched a one-day strike demand a 6% pay raise for all public sector workers across germany. this is frank bsirske, head of the labor union coordinating the strike. >> i made it very clear that we need wage increases well above what we have achieved in
previous years. the economic environment shows it. there is talk of holiday mood in the german economy, gold and times for the german economy, for the shareholders, record figures of 46.5 billion euros were distributed. the municipalities made a surplus of 10.7 billion euros last year. when, if not now, can there be a significant increase for all workers, including those in the civil service? amy: in oklahoma, thousands of teachers have entered their second week of a strike demanding better pay and increased funding for their schools. on monday, thousands of teachers packed the state capitol to demand lawmakers approve a new revenue package to fund the schools. public schools in oklahoma city and tulsa remain closed today, as the strike continues. in florida, students at the miami northwestern senior high school held a walk-out on monday to protest gun violence and to mourn the deaths of a current and former student killed over the weekend in a shooting in liberty city. 17-year-old kimson green and 18-year-old rickey dixon were both killed. two others were wounded. liberty city is about 40 miles
south of parkland, florida, the site of the valentine's day massacre at the marjory stoneman douglas high school, which killed 17 people, 14 students and three faculty. "the denver post" has launched a revolt against its owner new , york-based hedge-fund alden global capital. on sunday, the "denver post's" editorial board published a lead editorial headlined "as vultures circle, the denver post must be saved." inhe piece, editorial page editor chuck plunkett writes -- "ialden isn'willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the post to owners who will." the move came after the "denver post" announced in march that it would cut another 30 jobs from an already depleted newsroom. we'll have more on this story later in the broadcast. a new analysis by the congressional budget office projects the federal government's annual budget deficit is expected to top $1 trillion by 2020 and that the national debt is expected to balloon to $33 trillion by 2028. the analysis says president trump's tax overhaul, which showered corporations and the
richest americans with tax breaks, will contribute significantly to the grower -- growing deficits. the energy department has admitted that dozens of workers have inhaled or ingested radioactive particles over the last year as they've been working to demolish the hanford nuclear reservation, a plutonium processing plant in oregon. the federal government has halted the plant's demolition following the admission that at least 42 workers have been contaminated with the radioactive particles. to see our ongoing coverage of the hanford nuclear site, go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. fbi agents have raided the home office and park avenue hotel room a president from's longtime personal lawyer michael cohen. during the monday morning raid,
the fbi seized a slew of business records to mean males, and documents. "the washington post" reports cohen is under investigation from bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations. agents also reportedly seized documents related to the $130,000 payment cohen major adult film star stephanie clifford come also known as stormy daniels. cohen has admitted to personally paying clifford to keep quite about an alleged 2007 affair she had with donald trump. the payment, only days before the 2016 election, may have violated federal election laws. amy: the raid was carried out by ,he u.s. attorney of new york that is jeffrey berman, who was handpicked by president trump after trump fired the previous attorney. his a former law partner of rudolph giuliani. monday's raid came after referral by special counsel robert mueller, president trump reacted angrily to news of the raid on monday. pres. trump: so i just heard
that they broke into the office attorneys,y personal good man. it is a disgraceful situation. it is a total witch hide. i wanted to keep it down. i believe we have given over one million pages of documents to the special counsel. they continue to just go forward and here we are talking about syria. we're talking a lot about serious things. i have this witchhunt constantly going on for over 12 months now. axa, much more than that. you could say was right after i won the nomination it started. it is a disgrace. frankly, it is a real disgrace. it is an attack on our country. it is an attack on what we all stand for. amy: that was president trump. he went on minutes as he sat next to his in national security adviser john bolton, talking
about possibly attacking syria and maybe whitening the scope talking about taking on a rent and russia. we're going to talk about those issues in a moment. but right now we go to michigan where we're joined by marcy wheeler, investigative journalist who runs the website emptywheel.net. this is an incredible development, marcy. of theing -- the raiding office, the home, and a hotel room because his home is being renovated, of president trump's personal attorney. is he personal attorney or his fixer? and that goes to what kind of information they can take. what is happening here, marcy? or come he'six also involved in the republican fund-raising operation, so he has got many hats. he is also kind of a business maker. getting approval for this kind of raid is pretty burdensome.
you do have high-level approval, would of had approval from debbie attorney general rosenstein because he is the one who said go dump it into the manhattan u.s. attorney's lap. leadt does require some time. it requires a great ill probable cause evidence that there is a crime that you will get evidence of a crime being committed. and then to raid a person's attorney, you generally have to have evidence that there is what is called the crime product -- meaning the person in question, and here we're probably talking donald trump, meaning that the person in question is using their attorney to commit a crime. the attorney is not providing the legal advice so much as helping them to commit a crime. of thearcy, in terms relationship, if any, of this particular raid to the ongoing robert mueller investigation -- clearly, muller decided this is
outside of his scope. but your sense of what possible connection there might end up being between the two? >> mueller's team did interview an unnamed business associate of cohen, possibly lastly, possibly even a grand jury appearance friday. this is a recent report from mcclatchy. that person have been involved dealsrump organization with michael cohen. so that is something that may be trump-related and may have been in the works long enough to get approval for this raid. in addition, as was mentioned in the headlines, on friday, trump basically disavowed any involvement in the health to stormy daniels. and that i suspect put his relationship with cohen on the stormy daniels payment a different footing because by saying he did not know anything about it, he basically was saying that cohen had not been advising him personally for the payoff. and that either meant that they
were lying, which is probably the case in any case, but also any it sort of disavowed attorney relationship on behalf of cohen for that payoff. so while that came too late to be the primary cause of the raid in which the way this was conducted, probably did not help trump at all because it probably put cohen in a different legal footing for that particular part of the raid. post" and "the new york times" both say it is clearly stormy daniels plus some other things. amy: what happened here is quite unbelievable. it must be jarring for many whenever there put -- whatever their political persuasion. going after the home, the office, hotel apartment of this lawyer. so what they set up for these -- these teamsain what are? it is not just three teams
moving into three places, it is at least six teams because each has to have a parallel team. >> it is possible that one reason they moved this to the manhattan u.s. attorney is to use that person as a taint team. is a group of fbi agents and involved with the case in chief. they wl go and look at thatnce and make sure nobody actually prosecuting the target -- in this case cohen and eventually trump -- looks at stuff that is not included in the warrant. in other words, if cohen was legitimately advising trump, this is a you investigation, this is when you fire mueller, this is your you should hire to do with the information, that would be covered by attorney-client privilege. and the fbi agents in searching through the turtles that they were looking at, say at the hotel room, within put that aside and know from mueller steam would be able to look at
it. so in other words, it might be, as you said, there are six teams. it might be that there is one reason debbie attorney general rosenstein referred this to this southern district, the manhattan u.s. attorney, is so that none of the agents likely doing the search were involved in a mueller investigation. there's one other thing, amy. mueller summit a filing last week in the paul manafort case. it explained basically how his authority works. while most of the filing was targeted at manafort's challenge, there was language in there that mueller specifically called out saying, we are allowed to go prosecute somebody, to investigate somebody for a crime with the intent of getting them to flip. in other words, yes, stormy daniels is interesting, but it may be that mueller is investigating it as a crime that they can use to get cohen to
turn evidence, to flip on donald russiand testify to the investigation stuff. that is something that -- it is widely believed the filing in the manafort case will be broadly approved by the judge there, so manafort's challenge to mueller's authority will in mueller'sapproving ilitto go after other crimes get tarts to flip. juan one of the claims that cohen h made priously is e ney pai to stormy daniels came from a crit line on his home. is there any potential forhose recordn terms of what was the financing of the $130,000 a part of this raid? >> absutely. the banks involved in th payoff have smit of what are called suspicious actity reports. so those banks have already
said, we don't know what was going with this payoff. there's no legimate use for . so thoseecords are almost -- sulylrea in vement hand there muste more. i n't think mller and the fbi and dould carut ts id in this manner ju for the stmy daniels payment. .hersurely is mor and maybe her kinds of bank fraud. again, cohen, on top of everythinglse, is closely invoed a waslose involved with me business deals with an entity called the silk road to build up -- set of buildings in the former soviet union. those might be of interest as well. it is unclear what happen with the negotiations of that deal. that kind of thing may be -- the longer-term interestor mueller --the stormdaniels thing
the sexier story, if you will, the more pertinent storyiven wh we have seen in the press recently. amy: his rant that went on as he was talking about possibly attacking syria -- and we will talk about that in a mute -- he talked about the democrats going after him and the republicans who had worked for obama. he talks about the special counsel's office. but here it was led by jeffrey berman. you write jeffrey berman is a symbol of trump's abuse. explain. >> sure. among the people that trump fired -- he fired all of the u.s. attorneys in spring of last year. that is fairly normal. but the way in which he did it, particularly with regards to et, led people to believe he was firing him because preet was investigating him. he then, rather than nominating some of the elsto take his
place, he first of all interviewed both jeffrey berman ,nd a candidate for brooklyn the brooklyn u.s. attorney's investigating jared kushner, which does not happen. for the president to persuade interview a u.s. attorney candidate suggests far too much personal involvement in a position. but jeffrey berman has that you have been nominated. he is basically serving as an interim position. he does not have senate confirmation. the district court can remove him in a couple of weeks, actual, if they find his appoint it was inappropriate and name somebody else. they could name preet again. his position, particularly in what is the biggest or one of the biggest u.s. attorneys offices in the country, it is just not done. who is not an ordinary u.s. attorney.
chavez that made any comments about firing him. that is one of the reasons i think it is pretty shrewd of rosenstein to have referred this raid to him because he is ultimately the want to blame. ultimately signoff on the rate. he is the one whose prosecutors got it approved by judges in new york. he is a symptom of the corruption, but by having him do the raid, he is in some ways protection for mueller and rosenstein because it is the closest u.s. attorney in the entire system to trump who bought off on this raid, approved this raid. amy: mueller has just made clear trump is not a criminal target, places ofwyers, three existence, his home, hotel room, and has office at 30 rock, amazingly enough, have just been rated. -- raided. a sitng not clear
esident cod ever ba targ. you may be saying because trump is still president, i cannot indict him. it is also easy to move from being a subject to a target. tohink that statement trump's attorneys, defense attorneys -- it was a month ago, basically. that statement has been overblown. you can become a target very quickly, particularly if the republicans encompassed decide to get rid of him. amy: marcy wheeler, thank you for being with us investigative , journalist who runs the website emptywheel.net. as president trump granted next tuesday national security adviser yesterday, for many minutes, that what has taken place, he also talked about deciding in the next 24 to 48 hours whether he will take out, whether he will take on syria and perhaps also make russia and iran paid a price, he said. we will see what that means in a minute with phyllis bennis. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. president trump has threatened to force the response this weakens alleged chemical gas attack in syria that killed at least 40 people and injured as many as 1000 and the rebel held town of douma. during a meeting with military officials monday, trump vowed to take action. trunk or would like to begin by condemning the heinous attack on innocent syrians with band chemical weapons. it was an atrocious attack. it was horrible. we are studying that situation extremely closely. we're meeting with our military and everybody else. we will be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours. syriais russia, is it is come if it is iran, if it is all of them together, we will figure it out.
we will know the answers quite soon. so we're looking at that very, very strongly and very seriously. juan: washington and its chief allies at the united nations have blame the assad government for the chemical attack, but russia claims there's no evidence and it that took place. iran has acknowledged seven iranians died in an israeli airstrike on syrian base early on monday. amy: to talk about the escalating tension in syria and the debate at the united nations, we're joined by phyllis bennis fellow at the institute , for policy studies. she's written several books, including most recently "understanding isis and the new global war on terror." her latest piece for in these times is "it's john bolton's first day in the white house. we must stop him from escalating war in syria." let's start there. there was how president trump sitting next to john bolton, who has talked about a primitive strike ainst northea and iran, and he is clearly extremely unsettled, president
trump, by the raid he has just learned about in all of the premises of his personal lawyer. and it is at this point that he said he is deciding within 24 to 48 hours what to do about attacking syria and possibly broadening it to iran and russia. talk about this. >> this is a very dangerous moment, amy. on the one hand, we are going into the situation with his new adviser on his first day yesterday, john bolton, as you mention, who, of course, does not need senate confirmation for this position. he is just appointed and he comes to work. he is now, as the national security adviser, the person who has the first and last words into the president's ear all day long. officially, he is supposed to be the one who pulls together all of the different reports and positions of the 16 separate u.s. intelligence agencies and provides them to the president in a way that is coherent and sensible and whatever.
in practice, we know from john bolton's history that is not his intention at all. his intention is to push forward any forces within the intelligence community -- whichever agencies or agency it may be -- who are pushing for war, rather than diplomacy. this is someone who scorned diplomacy, who disdains the united nations or international law, who is never met in international issue or challenge or crisis that did not require a u.s. military solution. so that is one part of the danger. on top of that, you have this in norman's need for distraction -- enormous need for distraction. with the headlines today all focused on the raid on terms private lawyer, he is one to want to turn attention away from that. what better way to do that historically but to go to war somewhere. it is a very dangerous moment. it could mean a small scale, essentially symbolic response against this alleged chemical
weapons attack. we should be clear despite the fact in the second that you just played in the run-up of trump saying "we are still finding out about it, we're talking about a," within moments of him being informed there were claims that there had been a chemical weapons attack, trump himself immediately went on twitter and said "this was carried out by the animal assad backed by russia and iran." you medially targeted who he wants -- he immediately targeted who he wants to hold responsible for this, threatened immediate military action -- which again, could be small-scale symbolic of a few missile strikes on an air base it could be far greater than that. if an attack, as did the one yesterday, shortly after the allegations of the chemical attack emerged, there was an attack on a syrian military base where there were, among other things, some iranian troops. 14 people were killed, four iranians. karen indicated they believed
israel was responsible for it. israel has not and responsibility. no one has. the u.s. specifically denied it, as did the french. the question of what will go forward is a very dangerous one because we know despite the fact that any military strike at this point would be absolutely illegal and the vantage point of the u.s. domestic law, and our constitution that says ray clearly that congress another president is the force that is supposed to declare war. we know in the united nation nii haley has been out there using language virtually identical -- you will remember in the run-up to the war in iraq in 2002, 2003, we consistently in the uniteds nations, sometimes from john bolton and others saying "regardless of whether the united nations approves or not, we are going ahead."
ominousa very reference. very ominous. it is designed to be. when nikki haley says the secret counsel must decide to use force and if they don't we will -- which is essentially what she is saying -- she is saying we will violate international law. we will violate the u.n. charter. and we will violate our own laws at home in order to carry out an illegal military assault on syria, claiming that it somehow revenge for an alleged chemical attack -- which may or may not have been committed by the regime at all. juan: you mentioned before the this kind of situation, the second gulf war. going back, or a lot of people don't remember the first gulf war. about theic stories invasion force of saddam hussein in kuwait, marching into a ,ospital and killing babies
newborn babies in their incubators. a complete hoax, but it horrified the amerco people and made it easier to justify going to war in the full -- first gulf war as well. it is not just the weapons of mass destruction testimony of secretary powell at the united nations for the second gulf war. it is not unusual that we have these -- the media, of course, fix up on them and continues to spread the information without real fact checking as to whether this is accurate or not. >> that is right. at the time we stick all of the cnn factor. now we would probably call it the twitter factor. it is the same phenomenon. in many cases, you are real, horrific event. i am certainly not saying this event did not occur. but i think there have been so many horrific attacks on syrian civilians by all sides in this war, by the syrian regime, by the russians and iranians, by the united states, by u.s. qatar.-- saudi arabia,
there are no good guys. there been atrocities carried in against syrian civilians the set of proxy wars going on across syria, and that example of what we have seen before, the call about the babies being pulled out of their thank you baiters -- which turned out to be the testimony of the daughter of the kuwaiti ambassador put together by a washington-based pr company. it was purely made up. but it did the job was dubbed john bolton has been part of those kinds of campaigns in the past. in 2002, it was john bolton who realized that the campaign he was undertaken could convince people in this country that iraq had weapons of mass distraction, saddam hussein had chemical weapons, maybe nuclear weapons. he was talking about the yellowcake uranium from niger that turned out to be complete hoax. at the time, the head of the organization for the prevention of chemical weapons, the u.n. agency responsible for dealing
with chemical weapons, was in a desperate effort to negotiate with saddam hussein's government to try to get them to join that agency, to become a member of the organization for the prevention of chemical weapons. if they had, they would had to allow in incredibly intrusive inspectors. and bolton knew if they were likely to find there were in fact no pieces of evidence, there was no chemical weapons program in iraq. in order to prevent that, he arranged the firing of the chief of that organization. it was a brazilian diplomat. he went to the man's office and said, you have 24 hours to resign, even threatened his children. he said, i have been reelected to a second term by the 145 members of this organization, i'm not going anywhere. at that point, bolton went out and within days, he orchestrated enough bribes and threats and punishments of those governments that they managed to get bustani
fired and replaced him with the u.s.who would toe line it would not move to get a diplomatic solution. this is someone who wants war and not diplomacy. it is a very dangerous moment. amy: phyllis bennett what do think has to happen in syria right now to end this horrific suffering of the civilian population? >> are has to be a far more sustainedcreative, kind of diplomacy. it is not going to be quick to stop it is not going to be easy. it is not one to be telegenic. it is not going to be good on "fox & friends." congress is going to have to prevent further escalation of the u.s. war there. if the u.s. goes in -- u.s. forces in u.s. air strikes in syria have article between 3600 and 5600 syrian civilians, along
with thousands of others killed on all sides. syrian civilians are paying the price for these wars. the united states military is a big part of the problem. we have to start in this country by getting congress to prohibit the illegal use of u.s. military force in syria. the authorization for the use of military force does not cover it. it is in goal under u.s. law -- illegal under u.s. law and the constitution. it is a violation of international law. john bolton should not be allowed to tell the president that he is every right to go -- amy: speaking of violation of international law, i would return to gaza. they killing of dozens of palestinians, peaceful palestinians on the gaza-israel border. the latest last friday, a journalist. they have carved his name in the center remember him as he wore a press id, not to mention the civilians that have been killed before him. what needs to happen there right now?
we hardly see mention of this in the u.s. media. >> 31 civilians were killed, seven of them were journalists. only one not the shot. they were also wearing jackets saying press. is was a massacre. these were not clashes. the press is doing a huge disservice talking about clashes, confrontations to people. confrontations did not kill people, snipers kill people. it is a complete violation of international law, human rights law, and international humanitarian law. again, this is something the united nations states to take up. the united states, again, has used its veto and threatened to use its veto over and over again to prevent any action by the security council, prevent, for example, what needs to happen is for the security council to
recommend the international criminal court take up a full investigation of political leaders, the prime minister who said all 30,000 protesters are targets that are legitimate targets. those were his words, legitimate targets. that is chilling. it is also illegal. it is a complete violation to target civilians in that way. this was a nonviolent protest. it is going to go on for more weeks. it will be up to international civil society to keep up the pressure that will enable the united nations to do anything to stop it. amy: tha you for bei with us, phyllis bennis fellow at the , institute fopolicy studies. when we come back, the ceo of facebook, zuckerberg, before congress today. we will talk about facebook and then we will go to denver to talk about the open rebellion at the "denver post" against its later owner, a new york hedge fund. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
burgeoning scandal about how the voter-profiling company cambridge analytica harvested the data of more than 50 million -- 87 million facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support president donald trump. in his prepared testimony for today, zuckerberg says -- "we didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. it was my mistake, and i'm sorry. i started facebook, i run it, and i'm responsible for what happens here." this is zuckerberg speaking on cnn last month. >> this was a major breach of trust. i am really sorry that this happened. we have a basic responsibility to protect people's data. if we can't do that, then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. so our responsibility now is to make sure this does not happen again. amy: the company has also unveiled new privacy tools at of
zuckerberg's testimony today. for more, we go to los angeles, telephone it, where we're joined by david dayen, a contributor to the intercept. his recent piece is titled, "the u.s. government is finally scrambling to regulate facebook." dayen is also the author of the award winning book"chainf title: how three ordinary americans uncovered wall street's great foreclosure fraud." talk about the significance of, well, you have read he has who released a statement, mark zuckerberg, what has happened of facebook and what needs to be done. >> it is very significant that mark zuckerberg is a can before congress today. this is the first time he has done so. congress has really not kept up with the revolution happening andne as far social media these companies are concerned. they have sort of given over the playing field of regulation to facebook, companies like facebook, which have become
really almost private governments that are making these monumental decisions based on their business model that have wide-ranging effects for elections, the viability of for the vast problems that we see in places like irma in the philippines -- in the philippines. it is consequential. what was he today is congress trying to sort of catch up to where they should be and should of been for a long time, seeing these companies are incredibly powerful, incredibly large, and require a democratic impulse to step in and make some changes. juan: david, you heard zuckerberg talk aut how ts is a mistake, terrible mistake. thethe reality is, this is model. this is the way that facebook makes money, being able to
monetize the activity of the people on our network. failurele issue of the of congressional leaders to adequately regulate the development of the internet the way they did television, the way that they did other forms of , and basically, thelteleone privatization of the most important means of communication that we have in the world today. what was the responsibility of congress that should have been earlier on tackling this problem? >> conga absolutely should have stepped in much sooner than now when we have are ready seen this problem. honestly, as you mentioned, facebook and google and other social media sites make money off of exploiting the data of their users. their users are not really the
customers, they are the product -- as is often said. for has implications privacy laws. it has implications for antidiscrimination laws. it obviously has implications for our elections. these are always in which the government needs to get involved and come up with some real standards to protect people. in their absence, facebook has sort of done this on their own whim -- al come on the whim of mark zuckerberg. amy: on thursday, savannah guthrie interviewed facebook coo sheryl sandberg. let's go to a clip. >> could you come up with a jeweled said, i do i facebook do some personal profile data to target me for advertising? could you have an opt out butt on? >> we have different forms of opt out. we do not at the highest level. that would be a paid product. , respond toayen
this and talk about what happened with cambridge analytica harvesting -- now they are telling us 87 million facebook users, could have been prevented. >> absolutely. amy: and talk about her saying this would be a paid product. >> sheryl sandberg says you normally have to be able to pay if you're opting out completely of advertising. this is seemingly ridiculous. facebook has 2 billion members of an audience. if a television station or ready a station had that kind of massive audience, i think it would figure out a way to make money with advertising without harvesting the data of a reasonable person. inwent through many decades this country without targeted advertising. i think we can go back to that. the idea of an off doubt button is a similar to what the regime that is being constructed in europe called the gdp article the general data protection regulation, and it would require
affirmative consent from people to have their data collected and sold to advertisers were used in the targeting of advertising. there are more and more people in washington are saying that as a viable method to protect citizens. however, it is very consent-based. we could do something stronger and just opt out and certainly get rid of this idea that if one of your friends on facebook tas a quiz, that company that put the quiz together gets access to all of your profile exactly what is happened in the cambridge analytica situation. only about 270,000 facebook users took that quiz, but because they got the derivative data of all of the friends of those people, 87 million, at least, that is the number they're using now, 87 million users have their david a -- data
harvested equities and political targeting. we need to get a handle on this. i don't think facebook has a handle on it necessarily. and millions of advertisers. they don't know what anyone advertiser is doing from one moment to the next. this is a problem of the company that is really too big to manage. government needs to step in with -- clear roles around what is allowable. juan: specifically on the issue of all of the profiles that were harvested as a result of -- cles voluntary quiz by only a few hundred thousand people, are there legal questions there as byor potential lawsuits those people whose data was harvested without their participating at all in any kind of a survey? >> lawsuits have already been filed. i think they're a consumer lawsuits, class-action lawsuits. we will see how they work their way through the courts.
there are certainly violations involved in a lot of this kind see.rgeting that we there is a lawsuit right now being put forward by housing advocates showing advertisers used facebook tools to create housing and employment advertisements that necessarily avoided african-americans and hispanics from seeing the ads. and that seemingly violates fair housing, fair employment laws. there are all sorts of applications that you can use when you can get down to that granular level and no practically -- and no practically everything about the individuals to whom you're serving that ad, it has all sorts of legal implications. that is why, i mean, what we're going to see today in congress is a lot of grandstanding but i think behind the scenes, there are people really seriously thinking through this and trying
to come up with a way of dealing with these companies that have gotten so large that such large troves of data that, you know, most inheny insecure that offer so many tools to advertisers -- what are the implications of that? it is a place government needs to be involved. otherwise, we're regulation by facebook, a private government, that is only really concerned with their own financial interests. amy: should facebook be nationalized? >> that is something that has been brought up by commentators. i think it is an interesting way to go about it. to think about it, to regulate it as a public utility. there are ideas of things like interoperability were you would be able to take your sort of social media graph to any competing site. this is what was done with aol instant messenger way back in the turn of the century. messaging toxt
sort of migrating away from this one site. right now we have the situation where facebook owns instagram, what'sapp. anytime there's a competitor to facebook, they buy it or ape the technology used within it like they did with snapchat. this is an antitrust problem that i think require solutions around that. i also think the news to be very broad privacy regulations that understand that individuals that come to a site do not consent or they do not have the expectation that everything that they have ever written,very eing they've ever put on that site is going to be used in targeting them. this is the kind of things -- amy: david dayen, they can for being with us contributor to the , intercept.
ofwill bring you excerpts zuckerberg's testimony tomorrow and commerce and commentary. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: the denver post has owner.d against his on sunday, the post editorial board posted "as vultures circle, the denver post must be saved," editorial page editor chuck plunkett writes -- "we call for action. if alden isn't willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the post to owners who will." since 2010, digital first media has slashed budgets and staff at newspapers across the country, including the open tribune, san jose mercury, and the st. paul pioneer press. amy: is backed by founder and chief of investments randall smith, and president heath freeman. both are known on wall street as
vulture capitalists who make their money investing in distressed businesses and selling them off. for more, we go to denver where we're joined by ricardo baca, the former cannabis editor at the denver post who wrote one of the op-eds, titled, "when a hedge fund tries to kill the newspapers it owns, journalists must fight back." ricardo baca worked at the post for 16 years, and is now the ceo and founder of grasslands: a journalism-minded agency. the denver post in its own pages published this open revolt against its new owners, against this new york-based hedge fund. ricardo baca, what is happening in the newsroom and what is being demanded? >> alden global capital is actually owned opposed and all other media newsgroups for eight years now. they bought into this group in the year 2010. even though we have seen cut after cut, buyout after layoffs
over the years, in my tenure there, i left a year and half ago, these are still hitting will step we found out last month that alden global capital sent the were down the pike that the denver post had to lay off 30 full-time staffers from the newsroom alone. and that was the largest cut by percentage in history of the peace river, which is 100 plus years and it was just devastating. i think even though we're seeing so many cuts over the years and so much devastation, we're never seen anything to this level. i think this editorial page from last sunday is a result of that. juan: i remember when i was president of the national association of hispanic journalists in 2002 and 2004, i spent a lot of time in denver when there were still two pars there were hundreds of reporters between the two. what is the situation right now?
was closed down. what is a situation in terms of the actual numbers of reporters doing reporting in denver right now on paper? >> of course ,juan. i am a former rocky mount to news writer. jointo papers went to a operating system in 2009 when the rocky went out of business. when i started at the post 16 years ago, legitimately there almost 300 journalists in the newsroom. that is copy editors and artists , reporters and editors. but now we're talking between 60 and 70 journalists. the staff has been cut by 4/5. amy: and they will cut 30 from that? >> know, that includes the 30. there were about 90 to 100 and now there are about 60 to 70. amy: i want to go to the lead editorial in the "denver post's" package blasting the paper's hedge-fund owner alden global capital, the editorial board
displayed a striking interactive photo showing the toll staff cuts have taken on the newsroom. if you slide the bar to the right, you see a photo taken in may 2013, in which 142 staffers had gathered to celebrate winning a staff pulitzer prize. when you slide the bar to the left, however you see the same , picture dated april 2018, showing the staffers who are now gone -- more than half -- rendered in black. ricardo baca, what are you calling for? you wrote about how you thought it was odd you as reporters would go outside the paper and actually protest and hold up banners, the kind of thing you were covering years ago with other people in other groups. true.is so i remember that day in 2013 er when we wentz
down to the lobby to shoot that picture. that picture has been hanging in the newsroom as a very stark and real reminder of what has been happening since then. 2016, plusgo, reporters, many editors and other journalistic staff, did take to the streets. we protested on the steps of the newsroom -- which was historic in and of itself. journalists, this is not what we are taught to do in j school. that we felt like we did not have a choice. i think the 2018 now, the most recent cuts in the perspective section dedicated to the subject matter, speaks to the desperate times, desperate measures the staff and us former staffers are willing to take. this is heartbreaking for denver. this is awful news for colorado. the only good news -- this is good news only to crooked ceos and bad news politicians who don't want that oversight
happening, frankly, at the state legislature -- aboutjust speaking crooked ceos, one of the interesting things about this particular tragedy is that the paper, according to the hedge fund that owns you, was making money. but basically, we're talking the second-largest is never chain in america right now. kerley, they're using these newspapers as cash cows to invest in other businesses. could you talk about that yet go clubs that is exactly what is happening. there been multiple published reports saying the denver post alone is making a very healthy profit. we also know this because when i was still at the newspaper in 2016, we got a note from our president at the time, the president of digital first media saying we are profitable, we're doing better than our competitors. and we knew that was not going to stop the hemorrhaging because that is only continued -- has
only continued since then. we knew it was bad news for us from the start. i think this is just where we are. it is a dire place to be. as a journalist, because we are not taught to organize, because we are taught to stay in the background and keep a nonpublic presence, this was the only thing we knew how to do. we did not know how to organize, but we know how to write a put together a section. i could not be prouder of the doingial page editor for what he did. amy: we want to ask you to stay for part two and post it as a web exclusive at democracynow.org to talk about alden's owners and talk about how iortantocaledia is in journalism across the country. ricardo baca is the ceo and founder of grasslands. he was the cannabis editor for the denver post when he resigned in 2016 after 16 years. we will eat your piece -- we will link to your piece "when a hedge fund tries to kill the newspapers it owns, journalists must fight back."