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tv   Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey She Said  CSPAN  December 28, 2019 6:27am-8:01am EST

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>> jodi kantor and megan discussed the need to movement in their investigation of sexual harassment allegations against harvey weinstein. they were interviewed and hosted by politics to washington d.c. >> good evening, everybody. on behalf of everybody, thank you very much for coming. enjoy joining forces upon author events at this cultural center, 15 years old and it founder and staff deserve a lot of credit.
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[applause] it's a vibrant community today. jodi kantor and megan tooley. [cheering] they revealed to the world harvey weinstein's reviews. there book is the reviewing account of how they developed their blockbuster story. the "me too" movement. as i note in the wake of the weinstein exposé which broke in october 2017, it wasn't as if allah had come down. women not just in this country but around the world to tell their own stories of mistreatment.
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in addition to the pivotal impact their reporting is have, they went about confirming a story at others before them had tried to now but by a terrific case study, it goes into investigative journalism. people often think it just falls into the laps of the reporters. in reality, what's involved is a lot of painstaking reporting for all sorts of leads, running into dead ends, coaxing details on of reluctant sources. substantiating information, dealing with skeptical new patient editors, all while enduring intense efforts by the subjects of the investigation to even threaten. this example of tough journalism and the effect this kind of
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reporting can have stands as a powerful counterargument to skepticism about news media today. jodi and megan brought to their past years of experience. she joined the times 15 years ago, spent time as a reporter and work a book about barack and michelle obama that came out in 2012. recently, her work is focused on the treatment of women. megan concentrated on the treatment of women and children. 2014, a reporter, she is a investigative reporting exposing an underground network that gave away adopted children they no longer wanted to strangers they met on the internet. megan and jodi's work on the weinstein story led to the new york times along with the new yorker, public service last year. [cheering]
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[applause] their review remarked that the book reads a bit like a femini feminist. [laughter] is particularly fitting that they will be in conversation this evening with bob woodward. [cheering and applauding] he's been observing and reporting major development for nearly half a century. he shared into surprises, first uncovering the larger scandal, the second 2003, coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. he hardly begins to reflect his enormous journalistic legacy. fear is devastating the trump presidency, came out last year
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and it was his 19th book, all caps on national bestsellers and i wouldn't bet against another one coming out in the not-too-distant future. [laughter] joined me in welcoming megan twohey and bob woodward and jodi kantor. [cheering and applauding] >> thank you, it's great to be here. let's get right to it. first of all, this book is a massive piece. a landmark. [applause] journalism and people who were not journalists, it's about how
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you sort out information, publish and share with others. i loved it, i have my copy here. the first question is, what was the origin of the collaboration between you two? >> we would like to start by thanking everybody, this is the launch of our book tour. [cheering and applauding] we are grateful we have not only friends and family but also the sources in the audience tonight. we want to thank them for being here, too.
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>> i think when it comes to question and answers, there may be people if they want to get up and identify themselves. that's a good question. the truth is, in 2017, the new york times decided it wanted to diving reporting on sexual harassment. so the weinstein story, the investigation was one of many reporting projects that started that year, silicon valley and restaurant industry and auto plants in chicago and we were really moved by the work of our colleagues, emily and mike schmidt had done something remarkable earlier that year. they had broken the bill o'reilly story and they paid out millions of dollars to silence
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women who came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him. >> let's pretend it's a movie. is it in the newsroom of the new york times where you kind of, did you know each other? >> megan was very new at the paper and i saw this woman like in 2016, who i could tell was very submitted book because she was doing these difficult trump stories and as the stories were difficult, this was what was happening and i had two kids at the time and i knew what she was doing was not easy. but we didn't know each other well. we had only met a couple of times. megan was on maternity leave in the spring of 2017 when i started working on the weinstein story. as part of this question of the editors asked, are there other powerful men in american life who have perhaps abused women
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and covered it up? i was trying very hard to get people on the phone and engage them. getting these actresses phone numbers was like an investigation in itself. then there's the question of what you have them on the phone, what you actually do to earn the trust? and at first 40s five seconds that you know. i called megan for advice and she was in full on maternity leave. she had just set the baby down for a nap. she was telling me about the reporting she had done on allegations of women against donald trump. stressing the argument she often think to them was look, i can't change what happened to you in the past but together, if we work arm in arm, we may be able to take your pain and put it up
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for constructive process. >> this was the standard line to use. the outreach line. >> right. this is the first real conversation jodi and i had while on maternity leave. i had been reporting on sex crimes. it was something i found, what reasons does a woman have to open up about this? >> when did you know you were a team or even when did the editors think of you that way? >> rebecca corbin, might editor told me to call megan. i didn't think that much of it but now i realized she sort of understands the newsroom and i understand she was feeling out a potential -- >> you are kind of tricked into it? >> when megan said that on the phone, something in me changed. i did not want to get off the phone with her. i wanted to have the same sources but megan still had
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another couple of weeks of maternity leave and she had twice in terms of what she was going to cover when she came back. >> on the weinstein investigation, i had to take a day to think about it. [laughter] have been covering trump until having this baby and i watched the fourth month as i saw investigative work and not have an impact. so this is a real question, whether or not, you're not just right interesting stories, you want stories that have an impact. >> and weinstein, lots of people haven't heard that. we look i myself -- >> you made him famous. >> i myself had doubts. i wondered, jodi started to talk to me about some of the allegations she heard, i had a hard time conceiving of these
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famous actresses as victims and to start to comprehend, giving voice to the voiceless. i had a hard time wrapping my head around hollywood but jodi said fact that this is happened, suggest that no one is immune and if we can cracks these stories, we might be able to make a difference. >> when was the first real breakthrough? your book you got the chronology and so many characters and so forth, in the moment where you set off, this is different, this is something? >> three really prominent actresses, ashley judd, not in
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communication with one another, totally separately, they tell us these terrible weinstein storie- >> they were not on the record? >> so far from the record. >> far off the record. >> it put us in a bad position because it immediately created this on the one hand, while, these are high valued sources and their stories are very convincing and their stories match. on the other hand, none of them are ready to go on the record. so what do we do? >> what do you do do? >> we realized the story would have to be with evidence and not just -- we have this theory that maybe we can persuade actresses to hold hands and time together and their safeties in numbers but because of the actresses who we were talking to, it's very
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hard to get them to do that. also, it created what the traditional he said "she said" dynamic with a story would have sparked a debate. >> so what about went into making this difference? >> we realized right away we would need records and evidence that went beyond these accounts we were hearing. this is one of the ways in which we turn in allie and mike, they had done something remarkable there. they basically helped teach us how to try to track down these secret settlements that have been paid. >> the key here is settlements? some sort of agreement to be signed. >> there were women who were
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reluctant to tell us their experiences with weinstein. there were also women, at least eight who were legally prohibited from telling us what happened because weinstein forced secret settlements on them. this was not the case up weinstein but in cases of sexual harassment and assault across the country. women are often told their best option is to accept money in exchange for silence but -- >> what you think about? it seems your big breakthrough is mccullen where she had $100,000 settlement. that was concrete. weinstein or the company had paid her. right? >> we were basically able, in the course of our reporting to chuck that we were able to trace the financial trail of payoffs made. these secret settlements used to
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basically hide the truth to allow people to cover their tracks, we realized we could basically unearth the fact that these settlements had been paid, that would be evidence in itself. we were able to track down settlements that stretched from 1990 to 2015 and there were varieties of ways to document that. i was just one of many. >> among the wonderful lines in the book, you say knowing about documents is good, having seen documents is excellent. but actually having copies is a celebration. >> you know that one. [laughter] >> when was the first time i actually got or saw documents that showed women had been paid off to be quite?
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>> i go to london at summer to meet with a former assistant who had a settlement. megan is basically emoji texting me as i leave for the plane. she's like, you're going to see the papers. >> so she's a culture? >> well i mean even in the scenes in the book words really one of us, something we are both really there because we are preparing beforehand, strategizing, etc. so when we laid eyes on these papers, it was so shocking. they went beyond standard settlement agreement. these very young women were easily overpowered if they were essentially prohibited from
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talking about their own life experiences. if they wanted to tell a therapist, they needed special permission. they wanted to talk to an accountant, they need to special permission. one of these women could not tell her future husband about what happened to her. the women were not even allowed to retain copies of these settlement papers, he casually put them together but imagine being told have to abide by an agreement, that you cannot even have your own copy of. >> or you break that? >> very brave because from the beginning, she was thinking of just breaking her settlement which is a courageous thing to do because it exposed her to potential liability. i felt i couldn't push her into that because it wasn't a big
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risk and remember that we act now like me to was inevitable but it was not or deemed idle, any of this played out the way it did. without it may publish a controversial story and they might be vulnerable so what we basically said is, even if you can't go on the record, there are so many other people who know about this settlement. there other people who know you've disappeared, no you got money. there are lawyers, lots of people we can talk to. what if we just write about this in the document everything we can that happened and you don't go on the record? that's what she agreed to. >> did you ever use the argument if you're silent, you're enabling? >> i think the truth is that for women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault, they've already undergone so much pain in their life that we
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are not trying to bully anyone into doing, we know coming forward, we don't think that's an effective strategy and we don't think it's the right thing to do. it's worth noting the women -- [applause] that there are women who have entered these settlement who still have not gone on the record, they are still terrified. it's one thing to ask a source to speak about something painful from the past but it's another thing to ask to break something in which a legally binding document in which weinstein can come after them for serious money. >> don't think they are liberated from? >> weinstein is preparing to go on trial for criminal charges. so he's got other issues right now.
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they are seeking financial compensation hasn't gone after everybody but they would be mistaken. >> you say they are women who have charges against weinstein, how many of those are public now and how many of them are off the record or the next volume? >> i believe there are women including a few we read about in the book who have not come forward about weinstein. but the key thing to remember, especially as this trial comes up, the accusations vary. some of them are accusations of rape and assault, assault within the purview of the criminal justice system or should a lot of them are charged with sexual harassment. that's illegal but it's a civil violation. this restitution for that is
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lawsuit. you can sue for that but they can't be rested. as part of the question whether they will have any accountability at all. the criminal trial is a big? and a combined civil lawsuit is also a big question. >> this is an important question. you two are experts on interviewing and going down explaining people's experience and all of your work, did you find anyone who made up allegations? >> 's in the course of our reporting in weinstein, we have not come across any fabricated allegations but -- >> that's very important. >> writes. >> the tweet said to donald trump.
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[laughter] >> our book starts with the reporting i did on trump in 2016 and the many men who came forward with allegations against him. while we hadn't come across fabricated allegations, we include in the book some of the instances in which we didn't report allegations because not because we didn't believe but because we hadn't been able to obtain cooperation. there's one foreman, a former beauty pageant contestant who told me a story about being sexually harassed and groped by donald trump when she was in the pageant and provided, steered me toward potential cooperation that didn't materialize. i didn't mean i didn't believe her but it meant we go to pain staking details to describe all the due diligence do to move forward with publishing on strike. >> talk about rebecca hartman,
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roll up the sleeves editor because an article is seen in the book where he takes you to a quiet barr and tell us what "she said" to year. >> this is the summer of 2017, we been reporting for weeks and weeks and we know so many things. we've spoken to several actresses were convincing. don cooperation of the accounts. we know about a whole bunch of settlement. employees have said this was a terrible problem. i had some knowledge of it at the time. >> so if you are feeling good? >> we are feeling nervous. >> what she have to say? >> we were nervous because we had this feeling of response ability and we want to know if we can plant this story. she listens to everything we
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have and she says, is any on the record? we said no. "she said" you do not have a publishable story. >> how did you feel? >> we felt devastated. it was one of the more memorable moments. one of the ones we worked so hard author so much that goes on. there's a lot of trauma on the stories and also drama behind the scenes. we will grateful to finally be able to show readers what it's like not just working with sources but also in the newsroom. we don't have a story. >> was the strategy for getting out of the hole? saying not publishable and as we all know in the news business, that's what counts. that is the job. so how do you navigate out? >> we kept calling weinstein
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company employees and finally got a hold of the sky and -- >> talk about him. he was very important. >> one thank you never know in journalism, who will end up helping and who isn't. it's almost impossible and there's a lot of surprises in this for those who helped reveal and conceal. he has essentially been harvey weinstein company accounted for 30 years. he's done the books on all of these famous movies we've seen. is a relatively unassuming guy. he short, in his late 50s. he has been outer exit. he describes to me as kind of a graph loyalist. i thought he was unlikely to help but finally, somebody said to me, he hates harvey
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weinstein. [laughter] that was our opening. >> did you tell it to rebecca? >> yes. i called the sky -- >> doesn't also make you nervous? [laughter] i'm sorry. >> well, here's what i was nervous about. i was worried he could be a spy. as you know, to get information, you have to give at least a little information, at least in terms of what you are writing about. i worried he was a set up, we now know a lot about what highbury weinstein was doing but megan and i are imagining it. one thing he could have done this position the company insider to play a source and be a spy.
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or even worse, keep information in the story which would've been the most devastating thing of all. so he gets off the phone quickly and gets me his e-mail address and we start corresponding and even the fact that he's writing back and we are gathering over e-mails and he said he would take the weekend to decide so this is the book but we kept e-mailing and since we are in a synagogue, maybe i should say irwin is the brainchild and it turns out we grew up in the same places in our families even spent summers in the same bungalow colonies. [laughter] does anybody know the word
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klansman? we were cantering over the weekend and i'm waiting to see if he's willing to meet in person so low and behold, he says he's willing to meet and on the monday or tuesday, we had our first -- >> a great day for reporters. it's monday were everyone is running around, what you did is the knock on the door strategy. without an appointment, 8:17 p.m. on a tuesday night is about the end. >> yeah. so to answer your question, i started asking about all these things that happened in the 90s and he looked like he had
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a little information but not that much and he finally said, why aren't you asking about more recent events? it turns out unbeknownst -- it becomes public for two years within the weinstein company in 2014 and 15. there was a series of problems that have become more and more visible to the company leadership. i didn't know it then i was actually talking to somebody who tried to stop things internally and failed. so let us the best kind of whistleblower because they feel like they've already taken action and hasn't come to fruition stop talking to the press becomes a last resort. >> talk about the editor, he has
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an appearance in about three or four scenes in the book. >> we were so glad we had an opportunity to show a true team effort. it's been the executive editor, had really been in his office and it said he had exchanges with weinstein in the past and he basically said walkout. the sky welcome out you. expect private detectives on your tail. we didn't expect them to be former israeli spies. and it is useful and had experience to help spell out some serious ground rules.
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and and we didn't have any conversations with weinstein. and no conversations. >> until we were ready. he said don't engage them off the record. when we go to him, when you are ready to go to him with your findings that has to be on the record conversation because of he goes off the record and does his i am an important man routine and and share the real truth, he will smear your sources, engage in a lot of dirty -- >> ask is if every conversation is being secretly taped.
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did you say well? >> investigations the new york times we and our colleagues are working on secret investigations of powerful figures and institutions so we weren't surprised by that but it was useful to us. you have to make sure the reporters and editors even on the way up to the publisher, weinstein was trying to call the publisher of the new york times to make his case and everybody would say talk to the reporters so they didn't give him any opportunity to come in the back door and try to intimidate or bully us out of this story. >> tell us about the biggest fight you two had. >> we never had a big fight. >> a big disagreement. >> i will tell you about a big conceptual -- wasn't so much a disagreement as a worry which is that in august 2017 two
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months before we published the story megan finds out about this really irregular series of transactions weinstein had with this aid charity had been involved in for years and things looks really questionable to her and i will tell you something about my partner. when you really get into something you don't really let go and the suggestion which turned out to be true that weinstein had improperly used a fancy aids charity auction and the money donors thought they were giving to aids was really going to help weinstein in a business capacity and this was like waving red in front of megan and the disagreement we
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had is that i certainly thought that was interesting but on the other hand these women are telling us these stories about the hotel room and the settlements and you have to remember it this point in the weinstein investigation we are getting a new tip a day, so many rumors are coming at us, and a lot of these things turned out to be true. angelina jolie as a story but we can't nail it down and you have to talk to salma hayek because she has a story and you can't nail it down. the story already felt too big for only two reporters but megan couldn't pull herself away from looking at these aids charity. >> i also found it was under investigation by the new york attorney general office and weinstein was trying to cover it up.
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>> so it works out in a way we never could have anticipated which is that megan took some time to go ahead and do her aids story and it ended up being a way of first of all squaring off with weinstein in person. i won't ruin the scene in the book for you but the stuff he says in that meeting was extremely surprising and second of all it became sort of a guide to his playbook, weinstein was very successful in creating his own reality, in getting a lot of fancy procedures people to march behind him when he wanted to do something. and megan really nailed what happened in that story and published that before the investigation about the women was published so it was laying down a marker of we are going to hold you to account. >> and showing our sources, that if we were on to this and weinstein came to the new york times and engaged us about it
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we had to show our sources and the people in his company that we meant business, we weren't going to be bullied, we weren't going to be -- >> as you spent all this time on him you have to ask the question which you really don't address in the book which is why he behaved this way. i know you are not psychiatrists or psychologists but share with us the why. what is driving him because there are so many strange things he does. he comes to the new york times and at one point he says to you you think i am bad, it is worse. almost like he is waving a red flag or there is a fatalism, you are going to catch me. >> good question. we could have spent days or
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months trying to get to the bottom of his psychology. >> more important, people who got glimpses of his alleged misconduct, what were they thinking, how do they respond and what do you do when you get a glimpse of wrongdoing and his brother bob weinstein who was his only sibling. they had run two companies for decades when he was involved in his alleged predatory behavior and we came out of that story wondering when did bob know about it and what did he do and he finally opened up to us in a series of interviews for this book and it is interesting psychology we saw. >> harvey hid him at one point. >> my reading is that was the turning point. he crossed a line and there's
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that long letter bob weinstein sent to harvey in which he really lays out the parade of horribles. >> what we learned in the course of our interviews and the letter he provided was that he sent to his brother, this pleading letter two years before the troops build out to the public, he basically said i was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct against my brother going back to the 90s. in two cases i provided money was used to silence women but i, like a lot of other people in weinstein absorber chose to believe him when he said these were tempted shakedowns and he was only engaged in extramarital activities like i am bad is and i cheat on my wife but in the case of bob weinstein he had a rationale that was rooted in his own battles, but chose to believe his brother was a sex addict. >> you are artfully dodging the question of harvey. there is something --
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>> i will tell you what we know. because this story is an x-ray into power and how power works. [applause] >> abuse of power. that is what the evidence says. >> it is also about sex, isn't it? >> but it is not about sex in the romantic sense. i would say part of the way it is about power is it is about work. these women whether they were actresses or former assistants they showed up, some of them on their first day of work, so many women in this book were allegedly harassed or assaulted on their first day of work or the first day they met weinstein and they show up with their ambitions and aspirations
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and hopes and dreams and what you see again and again according to these allegations is that weinstein is able to turn as against them and so i think it is about whether these women are going to have a shot at achieving what they want to in the workplace and whether those hotel rooms stories, they are kind of bait and switch where the women go in expecting one thing and are shown another. >> i understand but there is some perverted sexual drive that he had, no? >> one of the things we realized is in 1990 we sort of identified who we considered patient 0 of the weinstein investigation, a woman who had gone to miramax and allegedly sexually assaulted by him on the job and silenced through one of these settlements and when we started to report what happened around that incident
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we found out john schmidt was chief financial officer of the company, he was aware of this, this was 1990 and harvey weinstein went into his office and said i've done something horrible. i promise it won't happen again and it was remarkable for us to realize this was not -- time and again, confronted with his behavior and even 27 years before investigation claimed to have knowledge that what he had done was wrong and promises to change. >> so why, i'm sorry, i want to pursue this. what is driving him? not to go too far, that is really important to understand, at least for you in your search
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for his behavior and what was likely and obviously was a compulsion but why? if we had him here on sodium penta fall, the truth serum it might take a lot of the drug, and we ask what is this about for you i don't think he is going to say power but go ahead. >> his power was as a movie producer and part of what you see in the story is the way he weapon eyes to so many everyday aspects of the workplace in pursuit of this alleged predation. i will say something totally gross but it is an important part of our reporting which is especially in the later years he would have assistants, female assistants procure
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supplies of this kind of penile erection drug sort of like viagra but injected directly into the penis and these assistants, more than one of them in more than one country tell stories of having to keep supplies, especially one of them who worked in new york hand them out to him more than once a day. this was the prestigious company, a company that was making movies we all saw and what was remarkable to us is the way he was able to deploy so many elements of this company, its contract, it's assistants, its lawyers, sometimes it's offices in pursuit of whatever this thing he wanted was. >> and what was it? what is rosebud for harvey weinstein? i am sorry, it is some sort of weird foreplay. i will inject this in my penis
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-- is it business? >> i think it is beyond the limits of our knowledge. >> as investigative reporters we thought the big questions we wanted to tackle in our reporting of this book were not the psychology of weinstein who engaged in such a long pattern of predatory behavior, we wanted to tackle the questions of complicity. how is it individuals and companies - these are the enablers. [applause] >> those are some of the things we are wrestling with like how did lisa bloom, one of the most prominent finished attorneys in the country crossover to the other side to work with weinstein in 2016-17 to evade
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scrutiny? >> i understand you dodging that question. what is really important is the behavior and the impact on these women time and time again. tell me a little bit about the lawyers. how did the lawyers come out? >> the - lisa bloom, i will pause on lisa bloom for a second but this, there were a variety of high-powered attorneys who came into weinstein absorber and helped him conceal and spin and evade scrutiny.
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we knew lisa had worked for weinstein. we encountered her in the course of our reporting and towards the end and she says she went to work for him because she was only aware he had made inappropriate comments towards women and she wanted to help him apologize. in the course of reporting this book we were able to obtain confidential records that showed that she had much deeper knowledge of serious allegations against him and she played a much darker role and we obtained this memo we reproduce in its entirety in the book so people can read for themselves what this lawyer was saying to weinstein in 2016, all the underhanded tactics she's going to use to help him undermine rose mcgowan, one of his accusers and it is like a playbook and how she's going to harness all her experience working with victims to help him work against them and we obtained her billing records which are an hour by hour accounting that shows how she was working like black you former intelligence officials hired to stop us, she was working with them, she was working with david boyd, one of the most prominent attorneys in the country, somebody to won the case of gay marriage before
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the supreme court. he had been one of harvey's biggest offenders over the course of 15 years. so these, we really thought it was important to eliminate the figures the lawyers played and the circle that helped enable him. >> what do you think of these reputation managers like lanny davis, the lawyer in town was one of my favorite lines in the book is when he says lanny, i am tired of this --. >> weinstein hired so many high-priced attorneys and spinners and pr people and we got to the final showdown with weinstein it was almost confusing to deal with because who is representing you? who do we even call if we want a straight answer and it was clear they didn't all this -- agree with each other but our
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experience was the lesson for us was all of our high-powered legal help and pr help in the world does not do anything when you have brave sources, a lot of facts you have documented, 25 years of allegations and a brave institution that is willing to stand up for the vulnerable. [applause] >> it didn't help him because the tipoff was -- >> when lanny davis - in trouble. >> as you know the best pr people are the people who help journalists and lanny did end up helping us in some ways. he was also pretty open from the beginning about the fact
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that his client was really difficult. >> you asked the really potent question which is where we are now in the me too movement. and you say has there been too much change or not enough? what is your answer? >> we didn't want to stop with the publishing of the weinstein story, we wanted to push through into the year that followed as the me too movement took off in earnest. we were grateful enough to have the opportunity to report behind-the-scenes of christine ford and her private path to testify in washington which became one of the more controversial moments. >> you say in the book you interviewed her dozens of hours. do you believe her?
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>> i can tell you christine ford is probably the most precise, diligent source, subject i have ever reported on and we, in re-creating for the readers what was happening for her behind-the-scenes as she was on her way to washington and even the day before she testified when she had some of her advisors trying to coach her for going before the senate judiciary committee and she refused to be coached, she knew the answers to the questions and she even was objectively writing and rewriting to make sure she had the language just right. all i can tell you is in the telling of her account and her experience i haven't encountered somebody who appears to be as precise and obsessed with getting the truth right. [applause]
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>> she didn't have some precise memory on when this happened or exactly where and so forth and that has been used to undermine what she testified to and said and the interesting question now if all is available about christine ford and that allegation in brett kavanaugh, if he were just, say, a judge in the district of columbia and somebody gave you that information is it enough to publish a story? do you find -- >> all women deserve to be heard! >> okay. was it sufficient? would it have met your standard at the new york times to
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publish that. >> i think the reason your question is so interesting is it is your paper, the washington post that did publish what really was exactly that story. >> in the was in the midst of a supreme court nomination. i'm asking a different question. in terms of go through your book and i mean this, i teach a journalism seminar and i'm going to assign that as a manual about going through a really difficult case, the brett cavanagh case as it unfolded was very very difficult. i wonder whether everything we know, the precision and there is some precision but there is in precision and there are not the corroborating witnesses that you wanted in your work on weinstein. i am asking, would you have
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published that? >> that was part of why we wanted to write about it, the weinstein story and it being a case in which there was so much overwhelming proof that we felt we had to take on a much harder case. the first thing i would say in answer to your question is i don't think the fact that christine ford doesn't remember everything about that night is lack of credibility. i would say the opposite. when somebody - i'm going to get to the answer to your question. i think when somebody is willing to acknowledge what they don't remember we generally see that as a strength. the reason we were drawn to this is there were 3 questions about me too that are unresolved and controversial
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which are that number one, what is the scope of behavior under scrutiny, and any lesser offenses, and included in that question about soap which is how far back are we going? it is powerful to go back for a long time but the further back you go the harder it is because it is harder to ascertain the truth with the passage of time. number 2 how do we get to the bottom of what happened especially when it is a high school era incident from many years ago and number 3, what does accountability look like, what is the punishment for this kind of behavior. >> you would be disappointed in me if i didn't press you on answering. >> i'm getting to the answer to
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your question which is the first moment we found out about the ford allegation it was so newsworthy, this is a potential supreme court justice who is about to be appointed, this is a woman who is a research scientist whose business is precision. we are not the editors of the new york times, we wouldn't have made the final call but we tried very hard to speak to christine ford and to beat your newspaper before this became a political storm because we did feel we needed to know more about the story. >> you would leave the duck to the editors of the new york times to decide whether to publish? >> we can tell you that christine ford did not come forward with her allegation when brett cavanagh was a lower court judge. it was when he was being considered for one of the most powerful jobs in the entire country that she felt she had a
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civic duty to report that so there are questions about the news judgment in terms of news organizations and when we publish stories and allegations and why and in some cases you are looking a pattern of predatory behavior and you worry that person is still going on it if you don't report the truth they will keep hurting other people, you almost think you -- it is a public safety issue and then there are other considerations when it is somebody in a position like the supreme court. >> you pose this question in your book that i think is very interesting. would she have been better off staying quiet, in her own life? you pose the question, you don't answer it. >> we know that brett kavanaugh after these wrenching testimonies on both sides, he's now on the supreme court and christine ford is back in california. he will continue to be a visible public figure and we can trace what happens to him but i think it is people across
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the country continuing to ponder how she is doing and in our experience this is -- when i conducted the first interview with her in palo alto months after that she was still living in hiding, she had not -- she did not feel their security advisors to not feel it was safe enough. >> you pose the question about, she was trying to retain control of her own story and not be a slave, she was unable to. is that correct? >> he became a vehicle in the many hours we spent interviewing her it was clear this was not somebody who had any interest in catapulting herself to the center of a national scandal or to become a major figure in the me too movement and yet another reason we wanted to write about her is
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she did become this vehicle, some people came to see her as a hero and other people came to see her as a villain and a vehicle for the backlash and we want readers to see that this is a very real person and behind-the-scenes story is so much more complicated. >> the last chapter of the book is the gathering where you got a dozen of your sources, ashley judd and so forth together, it is a fascinating discussion and i would ask from that since you were there, you did all this work, you wrote the book, what did you learn about yourselves in the course of this? >> that is the hardest question you have asked us. you are going to tell me i'm not answering your question but i really am.
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i believe in the journalistic process. it is so not about megan or me or you. we've been fortunate to do these gigantic stories, nobody more so than you but the tools that we describe in this book are the tools that journalists across the country and across the world use every single day and if you follow the process and use good judgment they really do work and that is what made -- megan and i are happy about certain decisions we made but fundamentally that -- >> that is a brilliant answer because the answer is you picked the right profession. >> that is right. >> what did you learn about yourself? >> i had been a reporter for 20
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years and i have done a variety of stories. one of the things i learned in the course of my reporting is when i was on maternity leave and i didn't even know jodi kantor, to my first day back from maternity leave, for me, one of the things in addition to the subject matter in journalism there has been an incredible partnership and for me, learning to work so closely with a fellow journalist that has been probably one of the most unexpected and fantastic treats about this work. >> great answers. gordon has provided microphones
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to ask questions. if you are old enough to remember who gordon libby is. >> people hopefully come to the microphone can come. we would be remiss if we did not ask you a question or two given what is going on in washington. a hypothetical for you which is you are the investigative assignment editor of the universe in this scenario, what is it as an investigative journalist that you most want to know about how trump used his office, the ukrainian leadership and other foreign leadership, what do you think most needs to be investigated? >> there is so much, the ukrainian story which there has been a lot of attention given
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to, looking through the keyhole, there is a lot to look at and i will send a copy and i hope you will sign it, to adam schiff who is running the investigation. because this is how to run an investigation. [applause] >> you can't do it in two weeks, you can't do it in two month, you can't say we found three women who were assaulted or harassed. you have to look at the total universe and that is the obligation and that is what you did in this case, and hopefully in this internet age of impatience and speed there is a way to slow down for everyone, including trump and the people
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who work for him, they were entitled to a full investigation of listening, of what you did, knocking on doors, crosschecking the ups and downs, you two went on one of the most wonderful toboggan rides that anyone ever had. >> i don't think you are answering my question. [applause] >> what do you most want to know about what trump did or didn't do? >> part of the question is why, why do you do this, one of the big issues with trump is, i've written books on nine presidents from nixon to trump and that is 20% of the presidents we have had.
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i'm went to a junior high school for a friend and one of the students raised her hand and said what was calvin coolidge like? i missed cal but all presidents are isolated and trump may be the most isolated president. he has, because he had no political office, he had no government experience, he has experienced a self validation that no one here does. he made it to the top, to the presidency, he did it on his own and you see this confidence that he shows publicly and in private when he meets in the oval office with advisors, people can have advice and
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ideas and he is i am here, you are here because of me, i did it all by myself so as far as he is concerned he is in control and what happens, this is unfortunate for him and the country, it is what george cannon, the father of the containment doctrine called the treacherous curtain of difference. it comes down, yes, mister president, we agree with you and the reality that is out there doesn't get in enough. that is why he hates the
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washington post and the new york times so much, because we are bringing reality into that bubble he has constructed. >> you want to know what he did acting out of all that self-confidence that was not stopped due to the difference of other people. >> i want to know what we are facing, a governing crisis, the major issues in the middle east. i have all kinds of information in my book about the tariffs in china, 99 out of 100 economists will say this makes no sense at all, the north korean policy, he almost got us into a war with north korea. all of the basic economic and foreign policy issues, how did we get there, what is the impact and what might be the outcome of some of this? my wife and i were in south
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korea last weekend you talked to people in south korea and they are next to the nuclear weapons. we went to south korea with a certain amount of trepidation and they are worried, what is going on? what is the strategy? not to dwell on this but the issue, in one of these meetings trump has which i recount from national security council notes, when he is honesty hard about what are we spending all this money on allies, with nato, we are suckers, we would be so rich if we didn't do this, the secretary of defense says to the president mister president we are doing all of these things to prevent world
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war iii. the president has to be told this is why we have these alliances, this is why we have this defense system, that is one of my chilling moments as a reporter first learning. >> i look forward to finding out what else you find out. [applause] >> thank you. i finish that book i will come here in you and megan can interview me. >> you got it. >> thanks. i really appreciate your journalism, thank you for what you have contributed.
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if you want to look at what happens to stand up to supreme court justices you have a longitudinal study and anita hill and i want to know, we saw what happened with juanita hill and christine ford. using three times is the charm, what will happen if we face this again? >> i think one of the things that was worth pointing to is when christine ford did come forward, when she was, her allegation was made public and there was a determination there would be a hearing that anita hill actually wrote this incredible opinion piece, when they were trying to negotiate what the rules of that hearing would be and she noted that so many years after her experience of coming forward and having to testify, this committee had not come up with a protocol on how to handle the allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault. what did that say not only so many years after she had come forward but one year into me
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too and what is clear is you are tracking cultural attitudes, no question that anita hill, we think while clarence thomas was ultimately confirmed and is on the supreme court, she did play a huge role in helping to shift cultural attitudes towards sexual harassment and we are going to be watching to see the impact of christine ford. meanwhile how about the senate judiciary committee get some protocols in place if this does happen next time. >> over here. >> thank you for all the work you have done and mister woodward, you're one of the legends of the profession but hearing you repeatedly attract these women all night has been one of the more frustrating experiences of my life.
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on your assumptions the what they were about to say and miss cancer was about to respond directly to a question with some discussion of judge kaczynski and you assume she was going to say something about brett cavanagh and wouldn't let her finish. that was frustrating. in any event i am interested in hearing in your experiences as women doing this work how you emotionally dealt with information you have been receiving, when i looked through the brett kavanaugh hearings i couldn't breathe for three weeks and statistically we know that one or both of you have been victims of sexual assault or harassment. what has it been for you as women living through this? >> we have a firm rule, we never discussed what has a hasn't happened to us personally and that is because it is all about our sources. we went to be blank slates for the women we talk to and we want to be doing our jobs when
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we talk to them which is a very unique relationship. we are not there friends, we are not there therapists, we are journalists who are trying to bring these stories too late. when you are doing that work you are trying to be very steady. it is our belief that victims want to feel compassion but also feel that they are infirm steady hands. if i were in that situation i would not want to speak to a reporter who was an emotional mess, who was falling apart and we have a lot of feelings and reaction to doing this work but we try to hold them in reserve and it is what is so valuable about having each other as partners because we can be very professional in interviews and turn around and call each other and of my god. >> we tend to trade off the emotions was when they i'm doing well and jodi kantor is struggling so we are lucky enough to trade off emotions and help each other behind-the-scenes.
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>> my final answer to your question is doing this reporting has ultimately been empowering. there was material during the weinstein investigation that was very very difficult and you can't feel your standing in a river of pain as you are doing this reporting but we felt such responsibility and such sort of force of desire to air these stories that always felt like it was sort of moving in the right direction so somebody recently asked me if it was fun and i would say fun would not be the right word given the level of pain we are dealing with but it was galvanizing and that helped. >> over here. >> i am a journalist from india. i was part of the team on my newspaper, me too stories were
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coming out of the movie industry and reporting about it. the change that happened then was previously our editors, we still have this thing that if there is a report we were right about this but later we started reporting and reporting stories about it but we would discuss a lot because of things that happen to us, how do you draw the line when reporting about sexual harassment and secondly now that you opened the door and so much reporting where do you see the future of reporting about sexual harassment? >> congratulations to you and your reporting.
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we would love to hear, maybe we will have a chance to hear more about that specific reporting you did in india and what i can tell you is we at the new york times after we broke the weinstein story, our email accounts and phones were flooded with tips and women coming forward with accounts of what happened to them and we had to come up with a triage system in the newsroom to figure out how to field all these tips and stories that were coming to us and it became a group project across the newsroom. the sports department was involved, the culture desk was involved and we were doing brownbag sessions to explain the techniques we had used in the course of doing that so it was one thing to watch it spread across the news organizations across the country and around the world has been so exciting and we
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can't be sure of where everything is headed and what will happen next. is journalists we can't enact policy reform, we can't change hr departments, we can't change the law but to know there are news organizations, not only for us to know that but for companies and bad guys to know that there is now this group project across journalism tackling this issue it makes me sleep better at night. i think that is fulfilling to watch. [applause] >> i would like to thank you for all your years and decades of searching for the truth and when i knew i was coming here, i pulled out from my basement my favorite front page of the washington post.
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history repeats itself. [applause] >> you have a question for them? >> now but i want to thank you. thank you. >> over here. >> i have a question for you. i wanted to say it was like a thriller except -- i was waiting for the punch line but i am look forward to reading the book and i am definitely putting both of you on my list of gutsy women but i wanted to talk about the gutsy women who were the sources of your book and i read an interesting article i'm sure you read, wrote about all of the women. christine ford was a high profile case who had protection
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but there are a number of women who have lost their jobs, run out of money, separated from their children and i am wondering, we are igniting a movement to uncover these cases i'm hoping that there is some part of the movement that protects like we have with the whistleblower protection program, these are witnesses to big trials across the world and if that is something i know is a journalist it is hard to take on everything but how do we build that into the movement? >> i think what you're pinning her finger on has been frustrating about the discussion about whether some of these accused men will come back or not? will mark hauser come back? you are putting your finger on the more interesting question which is what is going to happen to these women. some of them suffered severe
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consequences whether workplace consequences or psychological consequences from this happening in the first place and i can tell you the women we wrote about in this book did not do anything to get harassed or get assaulted. they were doing the equivalent of walking down the street as it happened to them. they were going to their jobs etc. etc.. there is something very unfair about this kind of reporting because why is it women's work to have to tell these stories, why does it - [applause] >> why is it the women who have to undergo this messy painful process of being tortured about whether to go on the record or not, it can have a high impact, you can never know what the cost will be, so it is something we had to think about a lot. megan right to the book about there were women in 2016 with allegations against donald trump, she convinced some of them to go on the record.
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them had written to the times and seemed pretty willing but this is what we do for a living, we tell people that telling the truth is a public service. we make the argument that it will hopefully help other people in some way and megan has to watch as some of those women are attacked severely and megan went back -- >> trump threatened to sue them, threatened to sue us and it was a tough conversation. at the end of the day we can't go to court on their behalf and there are things outside our control, tough calculations that women make. >> the last chapter in the book is a gathering of women who have come forward and their experiences are so varied, some of them were treated like heroes and some paid a significant price. the thing that is so torturous about it is you never really know what the effects will be until you do it.
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>> i'm sorry to say we are over on time. >> two more questions. >> i wrote my question on my phone so please excuse me. as a survivor, college campus advocate and huge fan of everybody on stage, the sentiment echoed throughout this room, this book and article changed my life, everybody else, i went to a small liberal arts school in kentucky, that school is very different because of the me too movement and harvey weinstein scandal and everything. do you have anything to say to the future, the young survivors, the advocates,
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activists, those sitting in two male-dominated fields, those facing harassment, - >> thank you. >> thank you for coming to the microphone, we appreciate that and good for you, sounds - working towards collective strength, hats off to you for that. [applause] >> one of the things, we had a talk last weekend there was an 11-year-old girl who got up and asked what things would be like for her generation moving forward. we can't look into a crystal
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ball, we don't have predictions. how a story was published, we turn to each other at 1:00 in the morning, and make sure the story was airtight, do you think anybody will read this story, it was a sign, and in the year that followed and beyond. there were a lot of people we encountered. and and and when christine ford came away from testifying.
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and if they told the story with integrity, it to be easy for young generations to come forward. >> one of the people who worked that case closely is here, lisa banks, one of christine ford's editorial assistants. [applause] >> lisa quotes in the book, that was almost a year ago today to the date that everybody was living through that and so much of what lisa and her partner were talking about at the time even as they dealt with this very stressful set of hearings was that hope, me being annoying and asking questions as they were going about their work. from that moment everybody was
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conscious about what this legacy is going to leave for people like you. >> thank you all, i am asking for a nervous friend, and what do you learn from it. [applause] >> every reader means the world to us. everybody in this room has notions, every person in this country is not healthy right now in the idea of readers committing to a book, 1000 words of this complicated material means so much to us. and thank those who join us on a journey. [applause]
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>> do you introduce family? >> when they are here - [applause] >> i have one more, david lieber is here. >> my nearest and dearest and oldest friends, i am excited to see them afterwords. >> real quick final question, alternative titles. what else might you have called this, a couple times you referred to the reckoning that there has been a reckoning on this and indeed there has been
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>> there were no other -- on the title. >> you quote ashley judd saying a nice quote, we only tackle you when you are carrying the ball. >> christine ford. >> from the guidelines, you two carry the ball and over the finish line, we owe you a standing ovation. >> thanks so much. thank you. [applause]
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>> let's go. >> thank you for joining us. if you would like to have your book signed. use the main lobby or corner lobby to your right. >> university of washington history professor margaret o'mara discusses silicon valley and the remaking of america. >> the biggest of big government programs, the space race, what eisenhower labeled the military-industrial complex. that becomes the foundation for this entrepreneurial flywheel of incredible creation and innovation and private wealth
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creation and industry that considers itself an industry that built itself on its own, the government has become almost invisible to people in silicon valley. that is part of the magic. >> sunday night at 8:00 pm eastern on c-span's q&a. >> my name is adam cook, the 2008 c-span student cam winner and i'm here to encourage you to continue to wrap up this competition is the deadline is getting close but you still have time. this is the time i started filming my documentary the first year i entered it. i'm in the dc offices right now and i will tell you c-span gave me an incredible opportunity to express my thoughts and views
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about the political climate and connect with locals and state leaders in political office. i'm extremely excited that you are interested in this and are pursuing this because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and i'm excited you are taking it. >> there is still time to enter the student cam video competition. you have until january 20th, explores an issue you want a presidential candidate to address during campaign 2020, giving away a total of $1000 of cash prizes, a grand prize of $5000, go to our website, >> c-span has provided unfiltered coverage of congress. public policy events from washington dc around the country. you can make up your own mind,
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created by cable in 1979. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider, c-span, your unfiltered view of government. .. >> this weekend on our author interassume program9 "after words", new york magazine contributor thomas chatterton williams talks race and ethnicity. also today and tomorrow, michael car insurance and aaron ross. and doug wead. check your program guide or for a complete schedule of all the programs airing this weekend. now, uc-berkeley computer science professor stuart russell weighs in


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