tv After Words CSPAN November 23, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
experience at cbs and the summit is not at all specific. i attended investigative reporting conferences and other investigative reporters on the friends, local news reporters and it seems as though there were common themes that signal of trouble as far as i was concerned into but be interesting if not insightful or people to read. >> what is the trouble you talk about the journalists and soldiers insults not wanting to deal with the stress of taking on the corporations and government. >> at the ground level there is a great deal of desire on the part of many reporters and producers to another great original and investigative stories. that's what we do. that is what every reporter likes to do but that i noticed in the past couple of years and other reporters have observed less of a desire on the part of some of the gatekeepers and managers to take on those issues whether they perceive them to be political issues or even topics
that go after certain interests protected for one reason or another or even incorporated chris so all of that i argue in the book resulted in what i see as a narrow slice of what they want to put on the news at night and then you have these newscasts that is very much the same month because they are only ten story is going on in the whole planet on a given night but i argue that similar decision-making processes are used to decide what should be in the news and what doesn't get in the news. >> host: i would imagine by decision-making process has to do with the viewer and ratings so how does the viewer play into that, would you rather see a story i think you used the word
whether. so there's that the viewer or the network, how does that relationship playoff? >> certainly the type of story i was doing for 20 years i was encouraged to do with the waste reporting has proven to be the long-standing poll. the only thing the public likes less about the news media that's one thing they see as contributing something of value so the idea that they didn't seem to want those stories at least for me the last couple of years to me and my producer is there was something other than just viewer interest of play. also when i saw there were some of these hot button issues we were investigating but at first sight and managers liked the stories and they wouldn't want to them. the stories we knew however were possible among a large part of the viewers and i was told when i would take the stories to the website if they couldn't get on television they would dominate.
so i don't think they were made exclusively to what they thought the viewers wanted to see. i think there were other factors at play. >> host: is there a difference in your mind in the investigative reports versus what the networks do wax >> i can't say that i know a lot about the print world with my colleagues at the investigative conferences and some of my acquaintances and friends and they described similar pressures and trends. so i've concluded that there is something happening cultural in the industry. it doesn't mean that there is no investigative reporting that most reporters will tell you the stories are harper fought to get on television. many of them don't. one line i use in the book is that people think a lot of effort goes into putting stories
on television and they would be surprised to know how much goes into keeping them off. that is the story that i'm trying to tell. >> host: you talk about the early part of your career. talk about how you got the book to the investigative journalism because that is a special breed of person to do this kind of work. >> it begins as everybody doing the beach report that as many reporters do i have that extra three on sunday instead of leaving the story at the end of the day i always have another question or two. if you poll on the thread you often find a more interesting story people don't often have. so i was never really assigned to be an investigative reporter it was just an outgrowth of the natural reporting that i did that i think i fell into it. >> host: and you covered this book largely is about what you've done under obama's tenure but you also covered controversies under the administration as well.
>> i contrasted the reception and even the republican stories got. i wanted an investigative report and we did a story for the freshmen fund raising and the hypocrisy that they wouldn't operate the business as usual in washington and yet we caught them down in key largo with our undercover cameras. the stories when i do them are well received. no one calls me a liberal mouthpiece when i do the story and no one accuses me of being h. wolf nancy pelosi or whoever. but if it is presented after the other side all of the forces come out to claim that i am therefore now a conservative all of a sudden and i've got these ideological things going on. and i think that to me reveals the unintended bias the fact
that they can see the first author is a record that shows it covered both political pretties and often no political party results but the idea that they have to put a label or they think that only a conservative with dig deeply into the controversy of this administration i think that says something about how they feel. >> you've been asked about that whether you are angling for the role by a conservative but you've also -- this book has done very well. it's on "the new york times" bestseller list. congratulations on that. what is it like now to be sort of a conservative store if you will? >> guest: when i was called liberal in the past helps people put that label on me if that is what they want to do it doesn't bother me. it's not true that people think my reporting is conservative but
if it makes them feel better but it doesn't matter to me so i don't mind at all. i would point out i've been on cnn, msnbc, c-span, al jazeera and only they ask in my angling for a job at fox which is a silly question. nobody asks then are you angling for a job on msnbc, and again i think that reveals the question that they assume if you do the reporting that target is this administration you have to be conservative because who would do such a thing. >> host: if you look back at the years when obama was first running, what do you think there is a liberal leaning strain among the folks that are reporters what you think that has been for the coverage over the last six years? >> guest: i didn't argue the points may be that exists but i didn't detect over the course most of my 20 years ago problem
with that. i had was that i knew were liberal leaning but great bosses are able to keep their personal opinion out of their judgment which is what we have to do and i think that most do that quite well. the problem is when you have a few gatekeepers and i think we had the last couple of years and i wasn't the last one that thought this. they can't keep their ideologies out of the decision and they can give the whole look of a newscast is when the ground-level producers and reporters were trying very hard to put original stories on television that are fair and that was happening at cbs. >> host: in the establishment if you or the corporate interest? >> guest: all i can tell you is that i detected less of a desire than i have ever seen to go after the powers that be no that matter who they are because when they sensed they didn't want certain stories they
perceived to be going after certain political interests we offer the stories that had nothing to do with politics. we offered investigations that have to do with taxpayer issues, watchdog issues, tierney is accused of wrongdoing from a consumer fraud, consumer fraud stories, business fraud stories come at the end of the day they didn't want any of them from us, so we felt like we were at a loggerhead with broadcasts but didn't want to take on anything that we offered unless it was a controversy that was kind of being covered by anybody else. a phone call and you probably know what i'm talking about in the e-mails that say "the new york times" wrote a story to you imagine the huffingtonpost says this. it's sometimes legitimate reports to look at. they are as good as "the new
york the new "new york times" if not better but the bosses told him to and copied the paper and we all hate that. >> i felt like my job -- it added value. i wanted to take a value to anything they assigned me to her brought to the table. >> host: this book is about the obama white house would have the interactions then like. this again is an administration and the president that came in really promising and unprecedented and transparent
and what has it been like in terms of -- >> guest: things will be better and more transparent and i don't think that they are more transparent if anything they were probably a little worse. freedom of information requests are to be answered hearing on the side of providing information and not with holding. it's been very disappointing wherever you stand politically as a journalist to see that there is a great help me for the ability to have more tools to do our jobs better and then to find i think that there is a general agreement because reporters have said so from "the new york times," "washington post," washington correspondents, we all agree that this is the most difficult administration for transparency and a certain press issues than we have built within recent years. so, that is the foundation for
what i'm about to say. but i would just tell you that there was some push back which always existed. every administration has its own trying to stop the stories but it is aggressive and perhaps aggressively addressed to me and other reporters that do this but it's a dalia thing and i believe they must have meetings because of the way. they will e-mail me and my bosses and colleagues. they will print their talking points and they will do social media campaigns before you know if there is a movement trying to controversial as any story they don't like and the reporters that are covering it and even if they were once loyal obama administration employees they are marginalized and it's just a
very aggressive campaign. >> as as the as he laid out and clinton promised a fair amount of transparency in the fact that there isn't an obviously sets up a sort of pattern for what comes next. >> guest: i have heard heard of the reporters say the same thing we are in the same mindset. it's going to be tighter than the list and it doesn't matter who's in charge. the federal bureaucracy and politicians for better reason to get more powerful they forget and they act that you're asking to see some sort of a corporate proprietary secret and i think that it's our job as the press to provide the attention that doesn't let that get out of balance. we are supposed to say now that is our information. here's our freedom of information act request and lawsuit because you didn't answer it.
you can't keep us out of the public building and you don't get to choose which reporters cover your story which they do. the more we give up as the press and however you want to call it the harder it is i think for us to get those rights back. those are hard hard-fought and once lost i don't know how you go back. there have been these letters resubmitted in 2013, complaints about photos prays and when the white house has events in the oval office and they don't like to put reports in how is it in the weeds for the average joe to have sympathy with reporters who began do not hold in very high regard? >> guest: people do care.
i've heard a lot from the people that consider themselves to be obama supporters and people who don't. the overall do believe the press has a role to play whoever the powers that be are and that we are supposed to question authority and instead to be dynamic has been turned into question those that question authority. if the reporter reports something you don't like it if a whistleblower blows the whistle, discredit the whistleblower and instead of the attention and skepticism is being turned on the wrong side and that is part of i think what has been so successful. >> host: in this book you lay out a number of controversy and incidences that you covered. several times in the book when you talk about bees he made the argument that perhaps reporters didn't want to engage as much because whatever reasons.
talk about how you came to the fact of the scandal and what it was and what the reaction was from the white house and from cbs. >> guest: it was just an anonymous letter sent to my producer. a copy of the letter with senator grassley that deals with whistleblowers sent to the department of justice asking whether the program by federal agents were actually helping to facilitate the delivery of assault rifles and others into the hands of the mexican drug cartels. they were asking if this is true and i could tell by the time of his tone of his letter and having been familiar with how he works he had whistleblowers telling him this on the wrong side. now piqued our interest. he wouldn't return my calls back then so i was stuck with a letter and no context with my producer and i began getting online finding the context. one thing led to another and we were able to talk to enough people that we believe this to be true and the story took off.
the first story had nobody on camera by name became the allegations, but we had plenty of reliable sources. so after the first story which was quite an important story and the news producer at the time which is unusual and they let it go something like five minutes he's minutes easy to write the story the way that it needs to be written. it could never have been done that way. after that story, there was an incredible reaction on the pushback as we call it from the administration. all my reporting was wrong which we all know now but there was a kind of pushback that always tells me i may be onto something because i knew my sources were good. they were in trouble sources that somebody leaked with government officials from atf e-mailing other other public relations officials inside saying think that there's nobody
else is picking up on the story and let's turn now to some positive press to drown out the story which also told me again that perhaps we were onto something. so we were on a roll for a little while and i finally got a very grave federal agent to blow the whistle on camera by names which became irrefutable and undeniable after that. the after a couple of weeks when it looked like a story, and i never thought that would lead to the attorney general of the white house. it seemed like a phoenix arizona story at the time. but it looked as though it was going higher end of the delegates believe the allegations said the department of justice had wiretaps in the case and knew about it and perhaps it was white house knowledge, interest in the story at cbs stopped among the people that would decide what to put on television. the story kept going and we kept digging up a lot of information before the story. there was way more to be uncovered the interest fell off
and that was a pattern that we described whereby he initially the stories were very welcomed and a plodded internally and then as i said a light switch goes off. >> host: it is just an investigative report at one point and then -- >> you have darrell issa bringing to the attorney general before the congress and there are these hearings and he is held in contempt. is that part of the reason? >> guest: it doesn't become partisan, how would you not call the attorney general in for a hearing if he doesn't answer the subpoena how do you not consider contempt why he is a partisan automatically? me as if seen as partisan i argue in the book but it's a
it's as fun as partisan as the campaign not that it wouldn't be seen to some degree in that way there's a deliberate campaign in my opinion to these stories and a negative in a negative way and the reporter's controversial lives. the whistleblower is controversy over. if you can discredit all those things you don't have to answer the facts of the story that are damaging and acknowledge they gave false information to congress. all of that stuff is true. they stepped in with executive privilege. why if this was a story that wasn't important? to some degree it was successful including the managers to either sometimes had an ideological issue that they couldn't deal with properly on their own in my opinion or they had other reasons they wanted to avoid the story. but i can tell having been in the business we know when something is up.
dutch reject rate of a story like that doesn't follow its natural trajectory stated by the facts alone. >> host: you talk about katie couric e-mails you or asks you whether or not you've got in an interview with eric holder and can she try to get an interview and apparently she's friends with him and his wife and that doesn't happen but after that it disappears. >> guest: there were important interviews and she contacted me and asked and i said yes he wasn't going to do one and she asked and i said terrific maybe he will do an interview with her but she didn't do the interview and after that one was cut entirely and that's the one that they did cut down drastically.
>> guest: the inspector general investigated and that's what i see as a tactic. this isn't about can you prove the the president of the united states knew it were a recorder, the first they knew everything and then it's not a story. it's how the press treated it. they were found guilty by the inspector general's office and mismanagement and other proper behaviors are operating under the obama administration and on behalf of eric holder under the president of the united states it's still important whether a recorder ran his briefings on it or not.
i don't remember reading the briefings. some of the press bought into the idea that you have to prove a certain level or else it is a nonstory. >> host: there was a screening of fast and furious by folks in the liberal press but said it really started under bush. that's something you heard. >> guest: i learned the operation wide receiver had been tried and abandoned because it was so controversial that in other words the bush administration and the
department of the attorney's office according to my sources solve this as potentially careless because they didn't want to bring the cases to trial. so it was a smaller operation at the same idea and one of the same officials working in the phoenix office the same as bush and obama when this happened under the two different administrations. then when president obama came into office they were apparently looking for gun cases to bring and they picked that one up and asserted to prosecute it and in the process they learned they had been locked in in this inappropriate fashion and discussed so even they were telling congress that never happened under any administration there were internal memos that showed they were talking about gun walking and how people in the public understand this if it comes to light. succumbing yes there was in a lot of that in the bush administration which i reported and i think what is interesting about that is i had a manager that was on my side of fast and furious should be getting more attention to them and he advised
me whenever you try to pitch the stories mention every time and maybe they will run more of the stories into that was the mentality he knew the people that were keeping it off the air would be happier and anxious to go after. and they give money to these green energy companies. and i are a by her member romney pointing to a particular business that went belly up with the load guarantees they went bankrupt. talk to me about the story and the investment in these green
energy companies and what you found out. >> host: i didn't cover someone drive and it is pretty well covered and i'm not worrying about that. but if the networks brings me in on this i start taking. green energy i can't remember how i ran across after solyndra it seemed to be wasteful spending that we didn't know in advance that the money was going to go down to a. of his $90 billion in the stimulus money that had given prior to that which i looked at a little bit as well. much had gone to these green initiatives. i haven't seen any of these stories as four or against. it had nothing to do with it. i think everybody wants green energy to work. i don't think that is a question. i saw this as a taxpayer issue.
it's low on money and you can point to these areas. and these companies got a lot of tax dollars and was shocked at what they showed a dad with the company's report to tell the truth is completely different in the press release being issued by them and the government on their behalf anyway. i went down that road and started reporting on the green energy issues that was so much to report and be uncovered on many different levels. it was again very well received and everybody all the way down. that was it, you know, there was incredible pushback and they were horribly sensitive about it, overly sensitive about it.
>> postcode this was the time when obama was touring some of the factories with battery operated cars and trying to tout the success of this investment in the use cars and a solar panel that got changed in the economy and changed the dependence on fuel and things like that. >> guest: in the book i call it a substitution. i argue if you have had bush and cheney instead of obama and biden. it'd be going by the hundreds of millions of dollars after getting the taxpayer funding you would have seen all of the news clips of bush saying this factory is going to be full of a thousand workers making cars and then you do the empty factory
and show the contrast fair enough but nobody was doing that. in these stark and obvious examples. i was digging into that because i thought that it was a great story. they would never say we don't like the story it's conservative we don't like you. it was proven rightfully so that one of the main gatekeepers. i thought the money was being wasted and that seemed to be
confirmed by the manager that overheard a conversation in new york. and this is how it was told it to me they run the stories and i was sending notes around because they were pretty incredible stories. what's the matter don't you support green energy energy and that's at all to me. she couldn't get outside of her head and understand these were stories about green energy and you have to trust the public to make up their own mind. you don't censor a story or topic this is my view. were there instances because you mentioned this with the gunrunning stories. >> guest: i refuse to do that. i mention it since then.
>> host: because you felt like it was -- >> guest: when appropriate, yes. for the sake of green energy i can't think of a way they would have accepted. in fact one of the stories that i turned down might have been perfect. my producer found this story and i won't tell the whole thing except to say that unions -- this is a story some democrats would like because money had gone from the stimulus companies that were actually owned by koreans who brought in by workers and i believe it was in michigan instead of hiring the locals that said this is supposed to be helping our economy and our workers for the local union subject if they wrote a letter to democratic congresspeople and the president and they were worried about this and we got undercover video working in the factories. it was a turkic story. they didn't want that but i thought that was good from the
sense that it's not democrats versus republicans. they can't call it a republican story it's actually some democrats raising issues with other democrats. but they didn't want that story either. >> what is their reaction? it seems to be no comment. >> i forgot the reporters have told me that they are just saying disparaging things about me but i kind of expected about and i don't think that everybody's doing that. i think if you keep people are. i got quite a lot of support from people but to what i see is true and some of them are included in the book and i got a really nice e-mail just this week from somebody that i didn't know very well who said he thought that it was good something positive was coming from the ugliness as he called it so i'm pretty pleased overall with a reaction. the reaction. i thought that it would be a bumpy ride. >> another thing that you cover in the book is in benghazi in
this incident or to the americans were killed, one of whom is an ambassador and this is on september 8 of them, 2012. right in the middle of a presidential campaign it becomes a topic of debate and fights in some ways over the wording of there or not he called its prism. talk to me about benghazi and your experiences there and also the world of cbs seemed to play in having this information and something that obama said as not doing with it. >> guest: four americans were killed and again that wasn't a story that i dove in for myself but about three three weeks then they asked me to start digging around. a lot of reporters were not covering it so as a team we started digging and we got a lot of advances and it was clear
almost immediately that the administration was hiding information because they wouldn't answer straight simple questions like when did the event and and we thought there was one but there were two. like the other stories that i described, cbs was very receptive and pleased with several weeks of stories that we did that were digging deeply starting to get at the heart of fighting to getting some answers to questions, but every step i think it made the administration responsible course. us as we were doing a better and better job of getting more sources i was using democratic sources inside of the administration in spite of the administration at document funding in the administration it wasn't a phony republican scandal. in some cases they were lifelong democrats giving administration because they'd gone drastically wrong. but again the lights went off. it got to be more and more sense
of history as the election got closer and the pushback was stronger and a phony scandal and conservative reporting. they really didn't want more of the stories even though i thought much more had to be done on the story. so i published a lot on the web. i didn't stop investigating and i published and kept going. >> host: is the idea that there is a presidential election going on and we don't want to put our thumb on the scale in any way? >> guest: i don't know what conversations they said. he never said anything like that they just said they thought that the story had been so well covered and what else was there left to say. they never said anything like that. maybe they had discussions among themselves like that and told themselves that on the but on the other hand they took other actions i would argue that it put their thumb on the scale and you refer to one of them we had unbeknownst to me at the time when i was covering benghazi we have a clip inside of cbs from
the 60 minutes correspondent who conducted an interview next day september 13 of september 12 with president obama in the rose garden we never aired the clip but in the clip the president said something like mr. president, today today you've avoided using the word terrorism or terrorist act. the president said right and he said why is that if the president says it's too early to tell and they put aside the fact that already we now know in the documents they did tell the trigger for some in the response to president is already getting a different story but at the time it isn't so much a question of what was used. that was used later. they said you didn't even call this a terrorist attack implying there was a cover-up and the president said yes i did check
the tape and so on. the rose garden ceremony. >> guest: i'm been announced to me at the time cut the president and his own emission was wrong because he said he did avoid using the term. i didn't know that it existed until weeks later when they talked about it before the election. what's worse, not only did we not reveal that clip, i and another correspondent in different kinds and covering benghazi were directed by the new york managers to use a different part of the interview that we were provided in part to context we were told to use that gave the opposite impression that the president actually said the opposite of what we now know he said in a concentrated story. but i thought that we have been a party had been a party to directing a narrative in a specific direction intentionally giving the impression that something had happened that had not happened at all to read and sat on the cliff that is directly relevant to the news
again shooting ourselves in the foot because that is something we could have given value added to the viewer something we had was directly relevant to the campaign but for whatever reason we didn't use. >> host: in those moments you see this going on at cbs news has not commented on what you see in the book but in those moments, what do you do? are you nervous about being a troublemaker and what is your sort of interaction? >> guest: i'm not worried about being labeled a troublemaker but i wasn't alone so when we found out what the cliff said. several of us got together and contacted our managers and worked with them and they
immediately agreed it was really bad and nobody denied that and we'll just try to figure out how to publish it quickly so that if we published prior to the election. >> host: in many ways may be too little too late because all of this has already gone on. >> guest: i thought i would work most of my career and i did have the protection in mind we would have to ask as soon as this came to our attention we took the proper actions to rectify some it must be published quickly and before the election because i thought if the president wins and it comes up afterwards come assuredly it was because people are talking about in spite of cbs it would
look as though we had affected the outcome of the election but if we published it before, it would be harder to say we had some sort of outcome on the important issue. so we did get it published and i felt good that we did. it was awkward for us to talk about something like this. we remember it didn't go well for the white house at all. first talk about the general coverage and then talk about your own coverage. >> guest: i think the press was asleep at the switch. i even include myself when it was being developed because when i finally did start looking into it like the other stories three weeks and they came to me and said please start taking a look when i started looking back there were so many warning signals there were congressional hearings hearings, there was testimony evidence, security
tests that didn't get conducted via there were so many red flags we didn't report on and we get positive stories. >> host: why do you think that happened why is there a blind spot is so much else is going on and it's too technical in the website hell hard is it to build a website? i don't know, i think again, we took the administration's word for it. >> guest: i argue in the book there is this trend and i don't understand it that we are taking from the corporation or the government whatever administration they issue something and it used to be the most to say okay that's what they want us to report about but to verify it and look for the facts to make sure it's true and i started hearing the last couple of years more often than i ever had a manager or colleague would say the government says this or let's see what the government says and
does the final word and that was to be the truth that be expected. and i think that by and large people want to read work and think of care should be changed in this country. >> host: or there wasn't a sense that was entity part of this website. maybe it would was massive in terms of the different states. although again there were signals we signals we need to look to back out in hindsight and maybe if we had been looking closer who knows but maybe we wouldn't have caught that but certainly in the three weeks and there was a recognition we needed to do stronger reporting. i think all the networks got on it and there were some good reporting was done and then the light switch went off so we have almost done -- i haven't carefully monitored the network since it after a certain point of no i matter how important i thought the stories were that we continued to dig up, we didn't want it then and there were some
i think -- >> host: the disaster website picked three after the website was to -- was fixed something like 4 million people were losing their insurance. you remember the controversy over that. it was a big deal. but then when i went back to them and said i found evidence for the help of people that supported obamacare and insiders that pointed out to me that it was in the ceo projections into the government objections that something like 13 million, not formally about 13 million were going to get him off of their work in sure i said this is at least as important and of a sodomy were alike let's wait until that happens. wait until it happens? so we went off and we discovered that it was already happening. so we went back and said we have examples on the record that it has already happened.
i have no time in that for the program. it was really stunning to me that you could bring them important issues. more people are paying attention according to the polls for healthcare .gov during this time for coke are just the website but the whole issue. we were not covering any of the developments once the light switch went off on this. >> host: it's different than fox news and msnbc because you have 30 minutes every night, right? i guess you have the morning show as well but that's 30 minutes of tightly edited to read it is still your saying -- >> guest: i have this in my book the same day the poll showed how many people were interested, the huge percentage of americans and american public
were putting on stories, largely the same stories the networks had nothing to do not even mentioning important hearings with development on healthcare .gov. i'm not saying you have to view the story one way or another. they just were not reporting on it at any time even when it remained a major issue in the eyes of most americans. >> guest: "-begin-double-quote a harrowing experience that may be but that may be too fine of a point area but we are were creepy. if you are having these odd occurrences with your phone and you suspect maybe you were being spied on and somebody is tapping the phone with the verizon folks you seem to have a lot of space to help you. talk about that and this is how you begin the book.
>> guest: i never thought i was being surveyed were monitored by the government. >> guest: things were happening that i didn't think that was connected to a surveillance effort. the only reason i thought of it at all is because people came to me in the fall of 2012 people connected whether they were familiar with government practices and said your reporting is pretty close to home, pretty good guy keep it up but you are probably being monitored because of it. these are not crazy people, these are decent sources so i was like what do you mean. and over time one of them in this period were able to connect me to a same-sex expert. any expert can't just look at your computer and find these highly sophisticated effort but a frantic expert was able to look at the computer and identify a long-term of the monitoring surveillance that has gone on a laptop computer that included the activation so that
they could look at the audio. they were looking at my benghazi ideals. >> host: the computer turned on by itself. >> guest: they think that this may be why during the night time coming yes my computers were turning on and people are starting to warn the maybe you are being surveyed. i thought that it is a was a normal thing but again they said no amount what you are describing is not the normal updates and handshakes to the computers do. this is something computer lately different. on thing led to another and ultimately i have three separate computer for in six exams. each one confirmed not just in my laptop, but in my home computer, highly sophisticated that was going on for quite some time. >> host: some critics say she hasn't been fully opened about this with names to say this is
what happened into these are my experts and this is what they say is that something is criticized -- >> there is some of that. but no of course while the investigation is going on there will not be reports following my attorney's advice. but i am really not doing this to prove to the critics that will never be convinced of anything. even if they see someone signing a confession i am doing this and people can believe me if they want or not. i'm telling you my observations and experiences, and the separate level i want to be sure who did this does not simply go off into the night unnoticed. they now know that i know and i know what they did, whoever that is. and i want to expose it and again if people want to disregard your free two. i just simply tell what i know and what i think and what of her and said as much as i can in the book and you are free to delete it or just say that it never
happened. >> host: this is part of of a government surveillance of everyone, right but also further study is studies the white house interaction with journalists and investigating leaks. talk about that because this is part of the book as well. >> guest: again for those that think how crazy it is to think the government could be on your computer i might mention was the first computer forensic examiners concluded it was software that was proprietary to the government agency that is is is the greatest that specifically but for anybody that thinks it is still the hasn't been paying attention to the news because now we have a context that we had during my initial incident since then we know that as you now the government has overreached in my opinion pretty far in its handling of the press and the government has acknowledged perhaps it's overreached in the surveillance of private citizens just as my sources said when
they originally came to me. i think the very serious matter when you have people worried about making phone calls and communicating on e-mail with me ask you this if you don't mind the uk did assume your communications could be monitored whether it is the phone or the computer? >> host: if it is the government or my bosses at work. >> guest: that is kind of what was in the back of my mind that the idea that now the government to just kind of does i will tell you i have conversations with members of congress who will tommy on the phone they don't want to say certain things. the members of their staff into the intelligence community, where does it end if they start being afraid of almost reminds me of russia or something if they are afraid everything they say is something that could be monitored or used against them could be found out against that changes the whole tone of how
you can report. >> host: that is coming as people are free to post all sorts of things online on facebook and twitter and be very open about their private lives. >> guest: i think that is one reason why a lot of people have told me this has been revealed. they are not so worried and i see that in the book people say i have no secrets. i haven't broken any law i don't care if the government looks at me. it doesn't matter if you've done anything wrong. do you trust who is going to be in charge tomorrow or that nobody outside of the government will have access to your information and do you trust to know that you have done nothing wrong and there couldn't be someone that would make an effort to make you look as if you have done something wrong? again it's the culture today were so many people give up the culture of their privacy a are not as worried as i think they ought to be and i do think the journalists are concerned.
>> host: where should they be looking now? maybe he will give away too many of your secrets but are there stories out there that you feel like the press is ignoring? >> guest: i think that there is a lot more to be reported and i'm covering that which i think the counterterrorism experts think is coming here in a formal way. i think the immigration story has been well covered, some aspects of it but not others. they might cover the politics of it more than the nitty-gritty on the ground. >> guest: i think that it's been well covered by the positive aspects of the contribution contribution that they've made to the country, and a good part of it is the people that have come here and have become good citizens and made contributions and served in wartime and the unfair things that happened to them i think of those have been well covered
that i don't think that it's been as well covered the perils that come with that and it's not as though we don't want to say that it could be a bad thing or there could be bad repercussions when they are dealing with it and i found a border to do the border to do these things in the border towns and to their credit needed to do a long cover story that had to deal with some of these issues for sunday morning but that is an issue that deserves more credit and then i would just say in general medical stories of huge variety that we have not yet well covered in my opinion. the pharmaceutical industry by so much advertising in the media and i believe so much influence. there is a story in the book about the sales department calling an executive producer that i once worked for and commenting on stories he was having me do about a cholesterol-lowering drug and how that could harm the business because we haven't covered a lot of the pharmaceutical issues we could be covering and those are
important. >> host: and advice for young journalists come it is changing all around us day by day. is there any advice for younger folks? >> host: if you want them to something that isn't quite right will they ever get the same job? it's hard to tell someone what to say or do but i think that there's room for people to follow the story and to a place where it's going, don't leave it, follow it can't try to resist the temptation and let others take you into a place they can tell you where they would like it to go and it makes the argument this is where the story really does. and i think that there's a lot of outlets and it is is as present as thick as some of this may sound and we are not going back to the world we used to have where they got their news from three stations and newspapers. but i do think that something new will be born of it. it has to work itself out so that people can separate what is real and there's plenty of great
reporting to be found in places like if the network is front line and hbo and public and project censored integrity you just have to find it and new ways to find the truth about the issues they care about is not going to be the same as before. >> host: and what is next for you? to >> guest: i'm going to keep going along in the short-term as i have. there's a lot of orphan stories like the story on the federal study on premature babies in which these women have no idea in some cases they were even in a study into the governments own body found at the study with the consent form and as a result some of the babies babies in the study died and were blinded. >> host: where can we find the work? >> guest: they can cross reference anything that i did lose track or.com. i try to chorus reference.
>> host: thank you so much for chatting today. i learned a lot. i hope that the young journalists read this in terms of investigating and good luck to you. >> that was "after words," booktv signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public public policymakers and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on book the tv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. and you can also watch "after words" online. go to the tv.org and click on "after words" in the booktv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> this is the tv coverage of
the 65th annual national book award sponsored by the national book foundation. here in new york city and this evening you will see the red carpet arrivals and you will see the award ceremonies as well. this is the 16th year in a row booktv has covered the national book awards. for four awards are given to authors this evening it is broken down into categories. poetry, young adult fiction and nonfiction and of course being booktv, we focus on the nonfiction. and the finalists chosen from 495 entries include the cartoonist for the new yorker. she's written a graphic novel about taking care of her parents and their older age. john has written a biography of tennessee williams. as an awesome though some age of ambition is about china and his experiences there.