tv Book TV CSPAN December 5, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
most importantly of all, and they can meet other people like them, and it's done as a site for people with mostly vsfs but everybody's heard about it and people started coming in and pouring in. we had the oldest member with vsfs has about 40-years-old. >> quinn bradlee, thank you very much. headlines on c-span radio. host: joining us from new york is the father of judicial watch and freedom watch, larry klayman who has a new book out called "whores: how and why i came to fight the establishment." thanks for joining us this morning in new york at our
studios. we will read a couple of quotes from this book this morning. starting off, you write that i am never engaged in the services of a prostitute, but i encountered a lot of course in my career. why isn't the media a watchdog on the three branches of government, in your view? guest: it should be treated we just had two garrido -- journalist diane the last month, bill safire and robert novak. these two were icons and understood how washington works. it is ironic that most people who write about washington and the media do not really un >> guest: you know, i believe that i do understand that. i spent time in government at the justice department, the international trade commissioner private practice. i've, unfortunately, learned the
seedy underbelly of washington, and this book is really my life story. it's what i learned along the way, how we got into the crisis that we're in today. it's a combination of three successive administrations that have failed the american people, and we're now in a severe economic depression, i believe it is a depression, and internationally, the world's in chaos. so it's clear that something's gone wrong, and what's gone wrong is the club in washington has not served the american people. it's, it's served itself. and that's what this book is about. >> host: why hasn't the club in washington, to use your term, changed through elections and such? >> guest: you know, the book people think i'm talking about prostitutes, and the book opens up with a little vignette about the washington police about 10-15 years ago rounding up the prostitutes on 14th street and herding them over to virginia only to have them come back. but the reason is they do come back, and it's about money, it's about power, it's about
self-aggrandizement. it's not about the american people. and that's where the word comes from. even in the bible it's an age-old question, the tarnished city arose from the faithful city. god calls upon the counselors and the lawyers to restore that city because the city has become aer who. everybody's taking a bribe, everyone is abandoning the orphans and the widows. so this is an age-old problem. it's like going to the gym, you have to stay in shape. and to stay in shape you need a strong government that is able to enforce the rules of ethics. we saw what happened here in wall street in new york today. there was no oversight. and you need strong organizations like judicial watch and freedom watch that i founded to be able to serve as watch dogs to reveal what's going on, to demand training and to bring lawsuits where necessary and to try to make a peaceful second american revolution. i don't think anybody can dispute that we are in a severe
crisis today. >> host: you write in your book a good deal about transparency or lack of in the government, the administration, the obama administration has been, has made a big deal out of transparency in government. what would that, ideally, look like to you? rate this administration, how are they doing so far on that issue in particular? >> guest: not very well. i mean, every administration whether it was clinton or whether it was bush or whether it's obama, they all come in and say we want transparency in government. the obama administration's no more transparent from the other two. from day one, and this is a little bit off the cuff, but they've been throwing parties every week. we saw information on how much they were spending on these parties. stevie wonder, movie stars, you name it. it was like "the beverly hillbillies" back in the white house carrying on, and we wanted to find out what was being spent in this period of economic crisis, and we can't get that information from the obama administration. it's not the only thing.
the flyover of new york, they held back information where people got scared, they thought it was another 9/11. so they all talk about that, but very few administrations -- in fact, i don't know of any in my lifetime, have come forward with information. and certainly the bush administration stonewalled almost completely any information, and the clinton administration, as you'll see in my book, they just simply destroyed the documents. so using one method or another, we don't get to transparency. >> host: you were initially supportive of the bush administration. what turned you sour against them? >> guest: i was never, you know, really supportive of the bush administration. i was always very hesitant, and i'm talking from a personal standpoint, now, not as head of freedom watch, to vote for president bush. i didn't think, frankly, he was up for the job. i thought he was put up much like obama's been put up today as kind of a trojan horse for other interests that wanted to pursue their agenda. right out of the box i challenged the bush administration on the cheney
energy task force. the case went all the way to the supreme court, and, of course, we remember the famous duck hunting trip by dick cheney where he went with antonin scalia that struck down the federal advisory committee act denying us information about what was going on at that energy task force. lo and behold years later, we can surmise what they were doing was dividing up oil interests in iraq in large part, among other things, because there certainly wasn't the reason that they stated for invading iraq as we later learned. so i've never been a supporter of the bush administration. i was personally a republican. i'm no longer a republican. i think both political parties have disserved this country, and the present administration has all the same clinton people back, you know? the whores are back in power, and you've got obama sitting on top of that with an agenda. he's got a complete -- he ran the house in terms of the deck
of cards. he's trying to push through a far left socialist agenda which is even further left than what europe thinks should be done. europe, ironically, has mostly conservative governments these days. so we have a situation not just with regard to transparency, but with regard to pushing political agendas quickly and the american people don't know the facts behind those agendas, and this has been the case under the last three administrations, mostly bush and now obama. clinton was so preoccupied with scandal, he didn't have time to pursue any real agenda. >> host: larry klayman, we have calls lined up for you. birmingham, alabama, republican caller, you're first. go ahead. >> caller: hi. it's so frustrating as an american citizen to see the way government works to serve their individual interests. and in my opinion, this administration has its foot firmly planted on the american economy. with all of their agendas that
they seem to want to ram through, what can we do? i mean, 2010 can't come soon enough. to be able to change our votes. >> guest: well, you know, one of the things that margaret thatcher talked about is that you don't have a healthy economy unless you have a legal system that works that protects the rights of the american people. and my book talks about that, how our legal system has, frankly, broken down. it's become a cesspool. judges not making decisions on the merits, but on the basis of feathering the nests of those who got them their jobs, you've got lawyers who don't tell the truth. you have to have a good legal system to be able to invest money in the system. and, of course, we have president obama and congress who comes up with a trillion dollar bailout. nobody's seen that money, not even the left, and i live in los angeles, california, for the most part now, and i can tell you even the left in hollywood is getting very concerned, if not agitated, at the inability
of this administration to affect the economy having sold everyone a bill of goods the and not told the truth and not had transparency to get back to the original question of what their motivation was. so we are in a crisis. this book shows what that crisis is, it gives examples of how we can remove ourself from that crisis. but the biggest problem are the people who are running our government who are not serving us well. and while i cannot advocate who to vote for as head of freedom watch, as a personal matter i can tell you the people should look carefully at who they're voting for, that we should bring lawsuits as i have to uncover why the t.a.r.p. monies went to big banks but not medium-sized banks and that's why you can't get mortgages, why the trillion dollar bailout has gone to help president obama's friends, not the little people in the street, and why our international relations resulted in a war where thousands of american lives were lost, where we had a
situation that it's going to deteriorate once we leave just like vietnam, and the rest of the world went to heck. iran, afghanistan, pakistan, north korea, this government run by democrats and republicans has not told the truth to the american people. it has sold the american people out. for their own interests. and there's a little story in my book, i can relate it. i was in an office right after 9/11 with arlen specter, the senator from pennsylvania who i know quite well who recently had a miraculous conversion from republicanism to democrattism. and i was, i was there on behalf of an fbi agent who had information on how the fbi had dropped the ball and not done its job in protecting the american people leading up to 9/11. the fbi had retaliated against this agent because the agent wanted to come forward and had filed internal complaints against him drumming up phony
charges of sexual harassment. so i said to the senator, we need your help. we need you to intervene at the fbi. we want this fbi to testify in front of congress, and what did he say to me? larry, i like your suit. and i said, what do you mean, you like my suit? what lute are you talking about? >> he said, i like your suit. >> i said, is it the case we have for special agent robert wright? he says, no, i like the suit you're wearing, where'd you get it? i said, i got it down in brazil when i was down there visiting peter paul, another subject in my book. it tells you what they're doing up there on capitol hill -- and i wish i was in washington today, i'll be there in the next few days to tell them to their face -- and that is it's self-aggrandizement. it's senate cuff links. it's suits. it's hairdos, it's hair dye. it's status. it's power. but it's not the american people, and it's not the people
of the world. >> host: you're -- >> guest: and that's where this book cuts right to the chase. >> host: you're right, after 9/11 you write we mounted our own antiterrorism effort of sorts and filed lawsuits against osama bin laden, the taliban, saddam hussein, the country of iraq, fidel castro and hugo chavez. how did any of these suits pan out? >> guest: well, we got a $1.8 million judgment against fidel castro. the other suits are continuing on. we got default judgments against many of these dictators. it certainly is difficult to collect because frequently the u.s. government comes in and protects the dictators, if you can believe that, and doesn't allow you to attach the assets. so it's a fight every step of the way. but the reason we did it and the reason i wrote a prior book called fatal neglect with my
colleagues was because i wanted to show how the american government had sat there, basically, you know, twiddling their thumbs when all the information was publicly available that we were going to be hit again, this time with a bigger terrorist attack at the world trade center just down the street from where i am today. the american government was more preoccupied on itself and reestablishing the blush administration -- bush administration and pumping its chest than actually running what was a national security briefing on president bush's desk which predicted 9/11. and that was a national disgrace. >> host: i have calls waiting for you, steve is in atlanta, georgia, on our independents line. hi there. >> caller: hey. >> host: go ahead. >> guest: go ahead, steve. >> caller: you need a fourth line called fed up. i agree with larry, i was just wondering, do you have solution for this? either in your book or --
>> guest: well, i make several concrete suggestions on how we can try to change the system. for instance, i'll give you just a little bit. i won't reveal the whole book so you guys will go out and buy it, and gals, because it is important that you read my life story on how i got to do what i did, how i got fed up. that would be the biggest line at c-span, for sure. one of the things we need to do with our legal system is to have judges nominated and chosen on the basis of merit, and i have a five-part program, having them go to judge school, having them a psychologically tested. many of our judges are not well balanced, i'm sure you probably have seen that. [laughter] term limits. they think they're above the law and they can do what they want. having limited liability. when judges do what they want for or vested special interests, little guys can't appeal. so there should be arbitration panels and insurance to
compensate the victims. and why is the legal system so important? because what i said before is that without a legal system you can't hold this powerful elite of corrupt public officials accountable to the american people. that's where it starts and that's where it ends. campaign finance. the first amendment basically says that we should be able to express ourselves as we wish, give as much money as you want. but have a campaign finance bank. you pay the money into the bank, and the bank then pays it over to the candidate. the candidate doesn't know where it's coming from so you can't bribe the candidate through campaign contribution. and if it's revealed who gave the money, have strong criminal penalties like 12b5 and the securities laws, insider trading, to punish those individuals. let's have an independent justice department, a fourth branch of government. that'll take a constitutional amendment. so the justice department is not the lackey of the president as it was under president clinton, as it was under president bush, and it now is under president
obama and has been under all presidents. >> host: we have mesa, arizona, standing by, here's drew. go ahead on our democrats' line. >> caller: hi, mr. klayman, how are you? >> caller: hi, drew, nice to hear from you. >> caller: it sounds like your book is something every american should be reading about now. my question is regarding the supreme court just following your current line of reasoning, seems to me that there's a lot of people in the republican party who'd like to hijack the supreme court, turn it into a strictly constructionist-based organization subject to the will of congress. how do you feel about that and how it relates to your, your ideas? >> guest: there's so much hypocrisy at the supreme court, we don't get the best and the brightest. we get people on the supreme court who have been spoon fed for that from birth, from the crib. [laughter] and they are very careful never to say or do the wrong thing, in their own words.
they are middle of the road, they're basically yemen. they're -- yes men. let me give you one example. you know, we have roe v. wade and we have gore v. bush. roe v. wade, alan derek wit, the famous professor from harvard who's to the left, says that was a legal decision. and then you have gore v. bush where the republican justices who had the majority basically cooked the decision, said it could never be used as precedent because, frankly, it was an illegal decision. never before had the equal protection clause been used to invalidate an election. so you have this kind of hypocrisy, and i'll give you one more example. antonin and ally ya, not one of my favorites. i'm basically a populist.
scalia says that the death penalty is in the constitution. it's not in the constitution. there's no death penalty there. he gets that mr. the fact that at -- from the fact that at the time the constitution was written, the death penalty was being administered by the states. he reads into the constitution. so what am i saying? the constitution is not a monolithic thing. there's ambiguity in that constitution, and both conservatives and liberals have to understand that you do have judges to interpret things otherwise all we'd need are computers. and there's this fight over strict construction, over what they call judicial activism, and it's really not a fight at all because the constitution is meant to be read as closely to the letter as you can. but there are areas where you do have to make it relevant to the current times. and that's where i differ from many of my colleagues. >> host: what do you think, larry klayman, of the president's pick of sonia
sotomayor for supreme court? >> guest: i thought it was a relatively good pick. i'm a conservative, i'm one of the few that came out and said that. she made a statement at duke university, my alma mater, that was off the cuff, i think she was being cute, but it could have been a lot worse. this is a judge who basically has adhered to the constitution, she's someone that recognizes there are minorities in this country and that there is injustice and bigotry and, frankly, i was very happy because i love the hispanic community. i spent many years in miami and still do, that they now have a justice of their own. so i actually supported the pick, i was one of the few conservative libertarians that did. >> host: we have a couple calls from houston here, first to rick on our republican line, go ahead for larry larry klayman. >> caller: how y'all doing this morning? i got a few comments, but i just want to say that this man is an eagle, and that's what we need. we don't need a bunch of ducks
swirling in the same pond be, crapping in it and eating out of it at the same time. what i want to say to nancy pelosi and dick cheney, the reason i don't like what was going on at guantanamo bay is because it reminded me of how you all used to string black people up, put ropes around their neck, hang 'em naked while you beat with them. this health care bill, the fda is not watching out for us and it's simply a big bailout for the health industry for all these doctors and all this, and the last thing that i want to say is with these illegal aliens here, you can look at this housing crisis, you can look at this health care crisis, and you can look at this school crisis with these kids -- you say you don't want to leave any kids behind, but these schools are so filled up with illegal aliens, look at the grades that the fourth and eighth graders are getting. >> host: larry klayman, a couple of things there. why don't you focus on one of them, and we'll hour your response. >> guest: well, the thing i
focused on is that dick is a patriot, he's someone who represents the way the american people feel today. american people are turned off by both political parties. american people feel betrayed, the american people can't put food on the table, they can barely afford to go to mcdonald's or fast food restaurants, they can't get mortgages. none of this trillion dollars that has been spent by the government that's going to put us in tremendous debt that our kids are going to have to pay back is actually getting to the people. so they're fed up, and the american people do want a second american revolution. we want it peacefully, we want it through the courts, we want it through public opinion, we want it through shows like this that educate the american people. and these politicians really need to be held accountable. i commend dick for being a thinker because the american people, it's time to wake up. we have been disserved, frankly, it's a miracle we're all still alive given the leadership we've had in washington, and that's
why i want people to read this book because i want them to get angry, and i want them to do what needs to be done which is, base basically, take our country back. >> host: another view from houston, liz, independent line. >> caller: thank you. the country's being run by pimps and 40s, we have a legalized bribe system called lobbyists. the candidates can dip into that money and spend it like tom delay down here, $500,000 a year salary to his wife out of campaign finance money. we need to get rid of all group contributions to campaigns. we need to go to a single-payer system where if you give ten cents, you have to identify yourself, and we need to limit those contributions for congressmen from people from that district. if we allow group money to go into the campaign hat and the candidate can spend that money on anything they want to, then we have a legalized bribe system
in america, and we should not sit home and wonder about what went wrong and why there's plunder. >> guest: that legalized bribe system goes far and wide. it's not just with regard to political campaigns, it's with regard to electing judges, electing commissioners, you know, of our counties and our localities. it's huge. i suggested a different method in my book, but that's for purposes of discussion. the method was campaign finance banks where you can pay in, but the recipient doesn't know where it's coming from, and if it's revealed, there's a criminal penalty. we should be prosecuting individuals for bribes. you know, getting back to the supreme court, they've weakened the laws of bribery. why? because they go on junkets, the supreme court justices. they go, you know, thanks to big corporations and labor unions and other interests on these holiday resorts to learn about the law. they should have learned about the law before. and so they don't like the laws of bribery at the supreme court because, in fact, they're being
bribed. so we do need to crack down, there's no question about it, and read the book "whores." i talk about the chinagate scandal. this is a disgrace, and it's never been addressed. and thanks to monica lewinsky which came along just as we had a judicial watch trigger this scandal which was, perhaps, the biggest scandal in history, along comes monica lewinsky, and the press goes off on sex. this is where the press and the media needs to have greater responsibility because what was important was not monica lewinsky, what was important was the bribery by china of our public officials. >> host: you write about the chapter, "media whores," what is your -- if the chapter title doesn't give it away -- your view of the current state of the news industry? >> guest: well, i think it's great we have a 24/7 news cycle.
i think we ought to have cameras in the courtroom so people can hold judges accountable. but there needs to be greater responsibility. we have cable networks here who have become propaganda tools of political parties on both sides and who play it fast and loose. they have to have a greater responsibility. they're licensed by the fcc to serve the public interest. and i know for myself i can put on a cable station that i agree with more than another, but i don't like what i see because i don't want to be, i don't want to be brainwashed. i don't want to be propagandized. i want the facts straight up, and we don't have that today. so c-span's one of the few examples where you do have it. i'm not patronizing you, that's a fact. but the other cable stations need to be more attentive to reporting the news and not trying to sway public opinion with their own opinions. >> host: next up is laverne, minnesota, david. good morning, democratic caller.
>> caller: good morning, gentlemen. thank you for having me on. one thing i'd like to know is we spent $223 billion so far in afghanistan. we've spent, we've got 779 dead as of october 1st this year over there. why are we keeping the war going? what is the real reason that we can't get out of there? and secondly, how do we do away with this two-party system that we've got here? it's not working, it's gridlock. one fights the other. they won't agree on anything. how do we get, establish a government that's run by individuals rather than parties? that was my question. >> guest: two good questions and let me sidestep the first one a little bit because the problem in afghanistan stems from a bigger problem which is called iran, and i discuss that in the book, "whores." you know, iran holds the key to
peace in the middle east. you've got people in the streets, mostly students and i represent a family who had a very valiant brother who died, was tortured. his lips were scene shut, his eyes were sewn shut and he was killed fighting for freedom. the iranians are pro-american generally. they are contrary to radical arab states, they're persians. they are our natural allies. we put our resources in the wrong place. we put it into iraq. once we leave, it's vietnam all over again. if we could change leadership in iran and have responsible leadership that would end funding of terrorism, hamas, hezbollah, the taliban to a large extent in all of these other countries, that's the key to peace in the middle east. so, yes, we're spending this money elsewhere and losing lives elsewhere because we took off eye off the ball.
if we had a free iran, we would have a safer middle east and a safer world. it's not an answer to get down on our knees faster than monica lewinsky to ahmadinejad in iran. it's not the way to win to appease dictators like hugh georgia chavez. we need to do real hard-core work at the pressure points where we can change the nature of world politics, and iran is where it should be focused as well as venezuela right now with hugo chavez. >> host: here is a republican caller from tallahassee, florida. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i guess we can't use powers of impeachment, the laws on impeachment if we're basically a country of lawlessness, so if we can't use that, i think we're in trouble, and maybe you can come up with some way that we could use those particular laws. and i have a question in reference to the czars and how congress itself, our own senators and representatives,
are giving their power away by allowing this to happen. and i guess they'll just stand up there as foot stools while the czars take care of all the business, and i wonder what your opinion on all that is and why charlie rangel isn't in jail. i know if i cheated my taxes -- well, i got audited, and i made $15,000, and i got audited for it because they didn't believe my son was my son, and i had to go through five months of changes, you know, making $15,000 a year being audited by the irs, and this man's walking away with millions and millions, and i wonder what you think about that and how can we -- i think that the problem is that we are a land of lawlessness anymore. we don't enforce the law, we're a nation of men and not a nation of laws the way that we were designed. what can we do to make a change? >> host: thanks, we'll get a response. >> guest: that's, that was the whole ball of wax. that's in the book, "whores."
what we're talking about is exactly what i wrote about, and that's why i hope people will read that book because, number one, we need competition. i'm going to go back to the last caller, we need another political party, maybe two or three more. we need competition. i'm an old antitrust lawyer, i helped break up at&t as a young lawyer at the justice department. but in terms of where we are with regard to congress and holding them accountable to people like charlie rangel who have, obviously, broken the law, people like geithner who's running the treasury department who didn't pay his taxes, these individuals scratch each other's backs. i mean, watch the state of the union message or anytime you see congress together. watch to see the camaraderie, watch to see what goes on when people think they're not being watched. it's called preserving their own power. and if there's a movie, you know, i'm a comedian sometimes at night, i do a little stand-up
comedy because if i don't laugh, i'll cry. and it doesn't sound like i'm very funny today, but there's a movie called distinguished gentlemen by eddie murphy. i think you ought to buy that. it's a very accurate rendition, and you have a guy who was a con man from miami who decided that he can run under a deceased congressman's name and goes up to washington, d.c. to confront all of these problems. and he realizes that the biggest con is to become a congressman in, on capitol hill. and that's really sad. that's why we, the american people, have to rise up. >> host: on the issue of political parties, some would argue there already are political parties, the green party, there's libertarian parties, why haven't parties like that gotten traction? >> guest: it's called money. you know, when i ran as a republican for the u.s. senate in florida, i was an independent republican.
the bush people were frightened to death, karl rove did everything he could -- it's in my book -- to try to defeat me because i was running against the party. and they cut off the money supply. all the money went to mel martinez who the president wanted in florida to get votes, and i'm very friendly with the latin community too. so it's money. and with money you can be elected even if you're sitting in the bahamas. and that's why we need a system that allows people to compete, and i make recommendations in the book to that effect. we need a new party. maybe we need a freedom party. we need some kind of entity that can serve as a check to the two major parties that, frankly, have become so corrupt and so self-is serving that the american people have lost respect for them. >> host: here's brian in logan's port, indiana. >> caller: thank you for c-span,
and thank you very much for your guest, larry. and, larry, i'm so glad to hear you because i was feeling like an only person with -- and i don't agree with all your views, but, man, you're hitting the nail on the head. with term limits i've thought that forever, and i don't see it happening ever. because these people are elitists. and there is no bigger organized crime unit than our own government, and there are two gangs leading it, that's the republicans and the democrats. and i'm going to get your book. i'm going to read it. and i just thank you for being a guest and being the smart guy that you are.
>> host: thank you, brian. any -- >> guest: thank you. well, the american -- yeah, the american people are very smart, too, and they can't be conned for long. we've reached our limits, and this country if we don't do something quickly and that's why i thank you for getting the book, this country will not exist much longer. and i'm not being alarmist because we reached a point in our history, a turning point, where there are so many problems both domestically and internationally that we need leadership that we can trust and we know is telling us the truth, and we haven't had that in my lifetime. >> host: you write in your book, larry klayman, about your fallout from judicial watch. you write, i had once sued my own mother as a matter of principle involving the health of one of my grandparents, i had sued members of my own political party on matters of principle as well. it was a living, breathing thing. it was my baby, could i really sue my own child?
what happened there? >> guest: what happened is that we had a falling out. i left with a severance agreement that was not honored. that was my other than personal thing -- own personal thing, but then misrepresentations were being made to donors and others, and the direction of the organization went off in areas that we had not originally envisioned it. so my ideas to restore judicial watch and bring it back to its days of glory and power and put it side by side with freedom watch, my current organization. and freedom watch comes from, interestingly enough, west wing. they created a character after me, henry clay pool, and i thought it was a great name. it has a broader expanse than judicial watch, and most of the regional directers are now with me at freedom watch. so freedom watch, you know, is the entity which is really doing what judicial watch used to do. but i do want to restore my little baby. it's something i'm very proud
of, and i'm glad that you mentioned that. >> host: on another matter in your prologue to your book, you write: i will sue harper publishing and rupert murdoch at a time of my own place and choosing as they have damage thed my reputation and defrauded the public. what happened there? >> guest: well, what happened is this book, "whores," was originally signed by judith regan of harpercollins, and judith is a great person. she's a revolutionary, you know, she wanted to publish this book. she loved the book. and when she got into a difference of opinion, to put it mildly, with rupert murdoch over the o.j. simpson book and murdoch actually supported that book, judith was thrown out the door of her own company and branded an anti-semite by murdoch and his people. and judith is no anti-semite, believe me. and she was living in hollywood at the time, and that's like a death sentence. i'm of jewish origin myself,
believe in christ as well, and i can tell you that if you're an anti-semite in hollywood, you're going nowhere. what happened was my book went into never-neverland at that point. and then all of a sudden last year they started advertising on the internet the sale of "whores," that's harpercollins, the parent company that continued on. and when i wrote to them and asked them, you know, when are we doing the book tour, when are we doing the promotion, they said, oh, by the way, your book's canceled. i said, well, how do you sell a book under my name and defraud the american people and not publish it? to this day i don't know of anyone who's gotten their money back. so thank god for new chapter publisher who is publishing this book. the owner is a renaissance man originally from italy, came here about 25 years ago because he loves the united states and the free market, and he's allowing this book to be published. and the bottom line is that
harper didn't want it published because i was critical of fox news, i was critical of a judge that they had a case in front of and, frankly, i had to bring a lawsuit for an employee of news corp. which is owned by murdoch against news corp.. so it was basically a hit. i mean, they killed the book because they couldn't take criticism, and that's ironic of someone who is the biggest media tycoon on the planet. so i will sue them for harming my reputation and, frankly, to get the money back for the people who have paid for my book but never got the book. and if anybody has not gotten it, please write to me, and i'll pay for it myself and make sure you did get a book. >> host: we have a couple of calls left, couple calls left, larry klayman. illinois, bill on our democrats' line. go ahead. >> caller: yeah, good morning. thank you for having me. hey, one of the things that i'm really concerned about is term limits and age limits for congressmen.
and, you know, people have to get up and invoke this. the other thing is a lot of people don't understand we have a lot of congressmen when they reach a certain age, they retire and then go back into work as a congressman drawing their pension, plus being a congressman. there's a lot of things like this that should be exposed to the american people, and the news media should start publishing all these congressmen that are guilty of fraud and neglect and taking bribes, and it should be mandatory for any newspaper with a government section. i'd like to have you -- >> guest: absolutely. and they should do that with judges, too, you know? we've learned about corruption in the sports industry, we've never learned sufficiently about corruption on the bench. you know there's more bribes taken than you know and more corruption than you'll ever find out from the media. but, yes, you know, it's a revolving door in washington, and this is why that women distinguished gentlemen and my book b is so important to read and watch is that the game is
this -- they're political consultants who get congressmen and senators and presidents elected. once elected, these consultants call in the chips. in other words, they then for private interests for big, big money, i mean, you've got kids in washington in their early 30s who are multimillionaires and they never even went to college. they went to high school. but they're multimillionaires because they have gotten the right people in power through political consultant si. then they call in the chips. then the congressmen and senators and presidents serve, and they come out, and they cash in. look at bill clinton who gets $300,000 for each speech but was taking money from the american people for his legal defenses while he was president. he could have por rowed -- borrowed the money, and the bush people and other republicans, they've done the same thing. tom delay did that kind of stuff, i had to file complaints against him. so these are the kinds of things
that really corrupt washington. and then when these congressmen and senators and presidents leave, then they represent private interests with their buddies who are still on capitol hill and elsewhere and rake in even more money. and that's what it's about. you know, washington is undergoing no recession today. it continues to expand. the rest of us don't have enough money to eat. can't buy a car, can't buy a house, can't get health insurance adequately, but the people in washington, they're living high on the hog. and the economy's expanding. there's something wrong when that's the case, seriously wrong, so that's what i'm talking about in "whores." >> host: one more caller standing by, homer in louisiana. >> caller: god bless you, larry, and all you do. my first point, how did sandy berger -- now, just please explain this to me -- i know clinton put him up to it, how did sandy berger go in and steal
all them classified documents? how did he get away with that, and why didn't mark levine that has sold a million copies, his book, get any play? a million copies? and my last point is, i hope all you senior citizens like me are happy that obama's not going to give us our little $20 raise i get at the end of my year on my little social security check, and i cannot figure that out. now he's going to bribe us with a $250 cash to us. see, he's bribing us now. >> host: thank you, dale. larry klayman, last comment. >> guest: sandy berger's the only example of anyone in washington putting something into his pants rather than taking it out. that's how he got the documents out of the national archives, he stuffed them in his pants, believe it or not. and that's a disgrace. and he was covering up for the chinagate scandal where the clinton administration was getting down on its knees to
communist china for campaign contributions, republicans were doing it on the other side of the aisle and that's why those investigations went nowhere, and as far as what we're getting out of the government, forget about that. have you been to the post office lately where there's one and a half employees per post office, and you're sitting there for hours trying to mail your letter? where did all this money go? if we can't even go to the post office and mail our letters, where is the trillion dollars? and that's something that we're looking at at freedom watch and everybody should look at, and look at goldman sachs. they benefited from all this money that went to aig and the others, all these big banks and investment houses are doing tremendously well. and i'm in new york today, so i can attest to that. but yet the little bank, the little bank owned by people throughout this country like the publisher down in sarasota, they're on the ropes because they can't get the money that the big banks that helped elect president obama got.
and i can assure you that in -- if mccain had been predicted to be the winner of the last election, mccain would have gotten the same money that obama got. it makes no difference democrat or republican, they bribe them both. so that's why we are at a state of revolution, and that's why i want you to read the book, "whores," because we need to wage that second revolution or we'll have no country yet. >> host: larry klayman's been our guest, he's been joining us this morning from new york. thanks for being with us. >> guest: you're welcome. thank you, god bless. >> larry klayman is the founder of the public watch dog organizations judicial watch and freedom watch. to find out more, visit freedomwatch.org. >> we're at the national press club's author night, and we're here with jason, author of the new book, "hollywood on the potomac."
jason, you talk about los angeles and the beltway and the connection between presidents and celebrities. do you want to give us a little background on your book? >> sure. washington and hollywood have a love affair going. it's been a long-time love affair between the two cities. one has fame, one has power, and one wants what the other one has. and, you know, when i went into this book, there was a lot of talk about president obama coming to washington and really attracting lots of celebrity attention and having all sorts of people from everyone from jlo to george clooney to the white house, and i found out through this book that, really, this has been going on for a very long time. i have the first photo in the book, actually, is of charlie chaplain from 1918 standing on pennsylvania avenue stumping for world war i moms. so if you start with charlie chaplain, our first film star, and go all the way up to oprah winfrey and obama, you'll find that hollywood and washington have always been involved with
one another in some way, shape, or form. >> we're lucky enough to have a couple photos from the book right here, and this looks like it crosses party line. this goes republican and democrat, and we'll start with richard nixon and sammy davis jr. >> well, absolutely. any photo with richard nixon is comical when you have a hollywood star standing next to richard nixon. he was never really comfortable in front of the camera, and so he had this sort of fascination of being surrounded by celebrities. and this particular picture has got some historic significance because sammy davis jr. was disinvited from kennedy's inauguration by frank sinatra which was very surprising to me, but it was his interracial marriage that was at stake. so politically, they decided that wasn't going to be the best thing for the country to see as an inauguration. >> in your book you say sinatra
declared jfk an honorary member of the rat pack, correct? >> he did do that. jfk was one of our most charismatic presidents. i think you'd have to count him even more than, say, ronald reagan who was an actor. and, you know, he was not only a member of the rat pack, but peter loffard who was in the rat pack and married into the kennedy family and was really considered the first marriage of politics and hollywood. >> i want to go back to the sammy davis jr. very quickly because you said that sammy davis jr. was the first african-american to sleep in the white house, correct? >> well, that's correct. nixon rolled out the red carpet sort of in a way to have a dig at kennedy because he wasn't at kennedy's inaugural. so he invited sammy davis jr. into the white house, set him up in the queen's bedroom and really kind of made it a night to remember. and that became, as far as the research that i pulled up at the
library in the national archives, the first african-american to be a guest at the white house. >> we've got three more here, let's go to the next one, and it's pretty iconic. most folks have seen this one, this is richard nixon and elvis presley. >> sure. again, a great photo of elvis and nixon, the most-requested photo from the national archives which out of -- you think of everything that the national archives keeps in storage, this is the one that people want to see the most over the years. >> is it true that elvis had asked richard nixon to allow him to carry a badge of some sort? i've heard this story many times. >> he did. he rolled into town, into washington, and he was very concerned of the hippie culture at the time and wanted -- actually rolled his limousine right up to the west gate and asked the guard to see nixon and wanted to be made a federal marshal at large to help with the drug problem of young people. of course, he was turned away, but only for a few hours because when the word got to nixon that
this kind of incredible request to take place at the west gate, nixon reconsidered and said, i think, you know, let's do this. he called up his directer of narcotics and had a badge sent over, and that day elvis presley became a federal agent at large. >> let's go to the the next one here. and we have the late michael jackson with ronald reagan and nancy reagan. >> well, you know, this photo in some ways inspired this whole book because when i was 16, i wasn't very interested in watching the news every night, like most 16-year-olds maybe. but i remember one night watching ronald reagan and michael jackson with his sequinned glove walking out of the white house on nbc news, and i was shocked. i thought it was the most bizarre thing i'd ever seen in my life. and i think from that that kind of put an idea in my mind, gee, what is this sort of taking place here when these stars are visiting our elected officials?
what are they doing, you know, why are they there? and what are they accomplishing, if anything? >> what are they accomplishing? >> well, i think it depends why they're there, but in the end you have celebrities and actors, entertainers who are americans, after all, and they really want to influence policy and decisions or in the case of michael jackson, it was a great pr publicity stunt. >> this last one i really like, and it's totally bizarre. it's andy warhol and president jimmy carter, and it looks like a warhol portrait of carter, correct? >> that's correct. you know, andy warhol painted these portraits of, limited edition port traits of jimmy carter, and the carter presidential campaign basically traded them for political donations around the country. and, you know, it was a wise thing to do at the time politically speaking because the country had just gone through watergate, and really they were very distrustful of anyone from washington or anything that
represented washington. and i don't think that you can get any farther away from washington than andy warhol. so this actually was tremendously effective for carter in raising money. it actually was credited -- he credited it himself as being one of the financial turn arounds of his entire presidential campaign, selling these prints. >> your day job you're a political strategist. do you ever tell your clients to invoke a celebrity endorsement? >> no, i really stay away from that. but, you know, in -- we live sort of in the age where obama and oprah were a team and mike huckabee and chuck norris were a team. so it doesn't matter whether you're democrat or republican, i think both sides are very involved with hollywood and celebrity. >> jason killian, authority of hollywood -- author of hollywood on the potomac. thanks so much. >> senators are continuing their debate of the health care bill through the weekend. our regular booktv schedule will be preempted during these rare senate sessions with
booktv programs resuming after the debate. watch the senate debate on health care live gavel to gavel here on c-span2. the only network with the full debate unedited and commercial-free. to read the senate bill and the house version plus watch video on demand, go online to c-span's health care hub. >> booktv's in depth will air live on our companion network, c-span, on sunday. c-span2 will cover the senate session live to continue debate on health care. you can see the full three-hour interview and call-in with author joy hakim live at noon sunday on c-span. >> richard wolf covered the obama campaign in 2008, he has a book out called renegade, the making of a president. want to tell us a little bit about your following of the president during the 2008 campaign? >> well, i was one of the few who was there from the very beginning to the very end, and
the book came about as the candidate suggested. he thought it would be a great idea for me to write a book, i told him it was a stupid idea until i figured out that there was something about his story that was worth telling, and the way that -- there's something obscured and maybe hidden and reserved about him. and that's how i approached the book. not the story of the campaign, but the story of him as it played out through the campaign. >> had do you read his -- had you read his book prior? >> yeah, i read both of them. by the way, his first book is better than the second book. in a way a tough standard to kind of live up to when you're looking at his story. but you can't let a politician write their own story, and that's how i approached this one. it was one view of someone who moved on to a bigger stage and there were many other aspects of him that weren't featured in his book at all.
>> talked about your early reds vegases about writing this book, what were your preconceptions of the candidate? >> by the time he suggested it, i'd been covering him for a year, so i moved from preconception to real conception. and i do think there was this contradiction, two contradictions in a way. one that someone so public could be unknown, and secondly, that someone who has these unconventional renegade qualities, that's the name of the book, "renegade," which is his secret service code name, someone who could be unconventional could also be cautious and risk-averse in taking the gambles that he took. so there's a tension between the conventional and the unconventional, between the risks and the cautions. >> it was a long campaign, how did it change the president? >> oh, look, he was a terrible candidate in 2007. i mean, he was bad at debates, he hated being in the public
eye. he made lots of mistakes all the way through. he learned as he went, and it was fascinating to watch that process of someone who adapted to events. you know, the one thing you get that i think is beneficial as a journalist or writer covering these long, long campaigns is to see whether they learn, whether these candidates adapt to events either for them or in the current affairs, and that's the only sort of road test of them because you can never replicate what happens that the white house, but you can see if they're adapt bl, do they know something more than their talking points? and that's what i set out to try and figure out. >> the american public when they see the media who travel with the candidates, often times they'll see them on a plane, everyone together and it looks very collegial. is it? >> it's a mixture of
collegiality and intense competition. remember, all the people on that plane are competing with each other. and they're all pretty much on the top of their game. so you're locked in this one room not just with the campaign and their staff, but with the people who are trying to beat you every day, often several times a day. so it's a strange mixture of, you know, i guess in silicon valley they call them friendmies. >> if you want to watch the entire program, you can go to booktv.org. we covered mr. wolffe when the book first came out. since that time and since the book's been published, how have you seen the president change? has he? >> if you talk b to people in the white house, they say he hasn't changed at all. that's the sort of myth of every president. from what i've seen of him up close and at a distance, i just think it's inevitable that you change when your glass of water comes on a silver platter and
people click their heels whenever you ask for something. there is a -- the presidency is a fabulously efficient machine that is built to serve the interests of one person. so, yeah, that affects you just as it affects you if you walk into an arena and 16,000 people are screaming your name. it's subtle, it may not be dramatic, it doesn't affect you fundamentally, but subtly over time i think it does change your outlook, your ability to see your own self in the mirror. >> what did the president think of your book? >> you know, i haven't asked him up front, but i do know that he, he grabbed a copy from an aide on air force one. the aide was reading it out loud enacting some dramatic rendition that involved the aide in the book. he leafed through at least a few pages, but i still don't know
what he thought about it. >> does your book have an index? >> it does. and i paid for it. [laughter] >> the book is "renegade." thanks so much. >> my pleasure. >> coming up next, booktv presents "after words," an hour long program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week steven left visit and stephen dubber in discuss the follow up, super freakonomics. they present facts about the world at large that many consider controversial. they talk with ezra kline who's written several articles about their book. >> host: welcome to c-span2's
"after words." i'm here with steven leavitt and stephen dubner to talk about their book, freakonomics. thank you for being with us. you have in one of the early chapters a bit about the name, but it almost didn't happen. what were the other names? >> guest: oh, they're so bad, they're so embarrassing. the worst one wase reason ray-vision. the idea was being the special power to look through, and there'd have to be some kind of character with a big cape. laugh my favorite that was bad but it was a great bad one was -- we should say linda jines came up with freakonomics, and it was great because we had this book that was about everything and nothing. it was hard to name it proposerly, but her
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