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tv   C-SPAN3 Programming  CSPAN  August 11, 2015 6:07pm-8:01pm EDT

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don't want jim to have died in vain. jim was a very optimistic person. he really -- he would have wanted something good to come out of this horrific experience. he just would. i just feel that so strongly. and we do as parents. so we're just trying to look at some of the areas where there are gaps. one of them seems to be certainly the -- there's no one advocating for american hostages in our country that we encountered. let's put it that way. we did meet some good people, but no organizations if you will. so that is one of our priorities. particularly now with the hostage review. we're trying to, you know, partner with hostage u.k., see if we can't learn from them and adapt it somehow to our country
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which isn't easy. our country is a lot bigger and it's different and we know that. that's why we need support for that because it is a daunting -- you know, experience. ford foundation's already, you know, pledged their support. we need other powerful entities within our own country to think this is an important issue. so certainly that is one of the areas we feel there's a huge gap. the other one is we're really hoping american media can find ways to collaborate. certainly in the field, that's so important. jim seemed to feel that freelancers did as a whole, that's all they had is one another so they tended to work together in the field. but we really would love to see if we couldn't do more as american media for colleagues in captivity, if you will. i realize this complex is very competitive here in our country.
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it's not a simple thing. but that's something i think jim would have liked to have seen. you know, some of the hostages mentioned to us once, this really was a big hostage issue. i mean, crisis, if you will. there were 18 western hostages. all held together. and nobody knew about it. i mean, a lot of the journalists knew about it. a lot of people knew but the public didn't know. and in their hopeful moments some of the european freed hostages would say -- said to us that they would -- wouldn't this be cool if all of our countries were really working together to get us out? you know? this would be just awesome. you know, a chance for all of us to come together with our allies and it couldn't have been further from the truth. every country was doing it their own way, all by themselves, you know? so anyway, but i'm sorry, i'm
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getting off track. so we're hoping that we can do some of the things jim would have wanted to do had he had the opportunity to come home. >> tonight on c-span 3 starting in primetime at 8:00 eastern, american artifacts. women in congress. the historian of the house of representatives matthew was knewsky present artifacts and photographs related to the history of women in the u.s. house. beginning with the history of janette rankin. and then history with the u.s. capitol historical society, with paul ryan and cokie roberts whose father hale boggs served on the committee. and then artifacts looking at the russell senate office building. donald richie describes several hearings there, including the
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investigation of world war ii x expenditures and the army mccarthy hearings. with the senate in the august break, we'll feature book tv programming weeknights in primetime on c-span2 starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. here are a few special programs. saturday, august 22, we're live from jackson, mississippi for the inaugural book festival. at 11:30 a.m. eastern with discussions on harper lee. civil rights and the civil war. on saturday, september 5, we're live from our nation's capital for the 15th annual book festival. followed on sunday with our live in depth program. with former second lady and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute lynne cheney. book tv on c-span2. television for serious readers. award winning
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photojournalist robert nickels berg documents for the "time" magazine and he had firsthand exposure to the rise of militant groups in the region including al qaeda. he spoke at the aspen institute in march reviewing the modern history of afghanistan through the photographs. he talked about his career and his book afghanistan a distant war. >> i'm going to give you a brief introduction on how i got to south asia and then begin a rather rapid 60 image presentation starting from 1988 and going up to 2013. in 1987, i moved from bangkok, thailand, where time had a bureau cover southeast asia. when an opportunity opened up in india to cover south asia. having originally started my professional career with time in
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central america, very small countries i never thought i'd end up ten years later in the massive land mass of south asia. if you look at the map, particularly a national geographic map it's quite huge. when i landed it was the end of the cold war. i think one thing that's very important for this evening and for you to understand, a rather complicated subject of afghanistan, is the context of that period of time. it was the end of the cold war. the united states and russia were still tank to tank in europe. we had tank counts back then if you remember. central asia started to break apart from the soviet union. and the russians were willing to withdraw, which is something very difficult for a nation to encounter and deal with. so moving there, india was
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asleep at the time as a story for journalists and i quickly was dumped into pakistan to follow the trail up to afghanistan. and prior to my coming -- the list of my colleagues had already worked with the mujahedeen and disappearing for a month. this was great, but for me working for a weekly i had to deliver film and it had to go from kabul to pakistan to europe to new york within 24 hours. go to the lab and that four-letter word film is something quite foreign today. but it was very manually driven and the challenge was more logistic as well as editorial. so the beginning -- i'm going to book end this conversation tonight with the withdrawal of
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the soviet army, better for us tonight to call them the russians with the 2013 withdrawal of the americans. that way we can kind of compress everything in a similar topic. so here you have an afghan soldier handing a flag of friendship to the departing russians which another element here that i had to quickly deal with was the ambiguity and the gray area. and this is essential for anybody working in the region whether it's africa, southeast asia, china, europe, whatever, you have to embrace ambiguity. keep in mind that the russians at this point had killed a million afghans. they had also -- and they do it quite violently. similar to what you see in the ukraine, carpet bombing, execution style. so context is very important here. so what's this flag of
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friendship all about? in 1989, the cia and pakistan's intelligence agency, isi, interservices intelligence, decided that it was time after the soviets had withdrawn to establish a foothold inside afghanistan. any insurgency needs to establish a foothold. this is the battle of jalalabad. this is the battle outside of the airstrip in jalalabad. in is the rag tag army, mainly pashtuns. you can see the rag tag quality of this and particularly this captured russian fur hat. he had obviously gotten that from a garrison they had already overrun. this is about a three-hour drive from the pakistan border in the
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kaber pass. keep in mind in the image, i kind of knew it, but the arabs, bin laden in particular was about two miles away over this ridge here. they were also at the airport which was the front line. the battle of jalalabad failed, 8,000 killed. and it was a slap in the face to pakistan as well as the cia. that wasn't going to stop them though. this is what carpet bombing looks like. these are refugees fleeing the same battle along the same road. a series of bomb explosions all along the line. they were obviously using this highway as a marker. but luckily, i had my feet in the great mountain stream, boots off and i was caught totally unaware. but that's what carpet bombing -- that's about as close to carpet bombing as you want to get. visas became available for journalists in 1988 for the withdrawl and that was a new chapter in coverage.
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that meant we had official access to the city which had been cut off prior to this. you had to go in over the mountains but now the page was turned and we could go into the city and document in particular this was interesting. this is the military academy. you can see here the discipline, the espree decor and these are all members whose families are probably without doubt having been members of the afghan communist party. so as the mujahedeen got closer and closer to the capital, most of these people had to flee for their lives and ended up in pakistan, india or europe. compare that to this. institutionally the whole foundation of afghanistan began to implode and that's what we got in 2001. this is the old britain can tonement area in kabul. very interesting area.
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so eventually in 1991, this is april in southeastern afghanistan in host province, they were able to establish a foothold inside the country. this is pakistan right here, you can see the importance of borders and geography. it will be a recurring theme. this is when they're finally successful in taking over a province and that spelled basically doom for the government in kabul. scud missiles were being used. they would fall inaccurately, but that was the weapon of choice from the government that the soviets had left behind. but you can see these are mostly agricultural guys living from the country side who had been pushed across the border in pakistan. this is the main conduit for the cia and isi throughout the ten
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years war. remember charlie wilson's war, the book and the movie, this is with unof -- one of the main areas they'd come to visit. this is acehny, his men and he tribes. very important. pashtun. very well educated. he's basically the godfather of global jihad. in the early 1980s he went to mecca on a regular basis to raise money for his training camps. he was encouraged by the cia and the pakistanis and given a lot of money. hundreds of millions of dollars went to his area. and he was also the one who befriended osama bin laden. i went there in 1990. to ask him with a reporter if he was training cashmereries. he was. and that was the lead and that was the beginning of the conflict in india in 1989. he had them there, we saw them but he was also very hospitable.
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he didn't care that i was an american. he didn't care what passport i had. he also didn't care what he told me. he was very much matter of fact, yes, i'm in favor of global jihad. anyone who wants to take it up can come here and train with me. he's also the one who befriended osama bin laden. and these camps still remain. he's rumored to be in a nursing home in pakistan, but his sons continue to maintain the network. that's a captured russian tank. this is the backside you can see how well it's folded into the draws of that terrain. very difficult to see from above and very difficult for a scud missile to land in. these are two al qaeda representatives, training four afghans in the same area. a dry river bed.
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right across the boarder from what is -- the border from what is called pakistan and the northwest province. with good connections you could get in there and now the only way to get in there is with a drone. these camps are still active. one of the more interesting ethnic groups i came across were the uighurs. we didn't want access to the training camps, but there was a big compound and fortunately enough the reporter i was working with, tony davis, who spoke fluent mandarin, he grew up in singapore, he came across -- they're obviously learning how to strip down an ak-47 and put it back together again and tony said watch this when i go and talk to them. so he was barking at them in mandarin. they freaked out. they didn't want to engage us and they said as to why they were there, their parents had a chinese restaurant in lahore,
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pakistan, they were only there for the weekend. the legacy of this is that the uighurs are still there in this training camp. they're still creating trouble for the chinese in northwestern china and they're under a lot of pressure back home. back to the city in kabul where you did need a visa. this trip here, no visa was required. just good contacts here. you have to apply through the soviet embassy in new delhi, wait a while, you'd eventually get in. but the daily life is what i was interested in as a photojournalist and you have the traditional dance known as the atan and these are all almond trees. a lovely situation and it takes place every friday, their day of rest, with the players off on the right. as the things got closer and closer to 1992, this is also
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from 1992. daily life went on, but rocketing was also going on. here you have the one and only daily newspaper being hawked by this young kid. again, the whole context here and content in the photograph is one man who can read, reading the newspaper to everyone who can't. this was in march of 1992. and knowing that the government was tottering, quickly get a visa, and i managed to stay for about a month. the "time" magazine insisting that we do stay. actually i volunteered to stay and it was one of the best things about working in this region because they couldn't find you. new york had no way of contacting you other than with a telex machine. a fabulous situation. april 18, 1992. one week before the government collapsed. this was something i had never -- i actually thought about, but dreamed of, seeing
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how a -- an attack on the government is carried out. this is essentially what afghanistan looks like ethnically and if you learn to read faces, you can see all the major groups here except the pashtuns. it's a nation of tribe, clans and ethnic groups. it's not a formal country in my opinion. but here you have the recently defected minister of defense. he had just defected from the government and pretty much that signals you that the government is going to collapse. he's uzbek from northwestern afghanistan. these are shiia sect. one, two, three. again, faces, more central asian looking. and the very charismatic leader
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of which we have a gentleman here wearing one of their hats. persian, tadjik group and not in the good graces of the cia or the pakistanis who favored the pashtuns. here they announced the takeover of kabul which ministries they're going to attack and which intersections they'll go for. but again the whole competition here versus the pashtuns. one week later, you've got these fearless uzbek fighters, blocking an intersection and who are they blocking but the pashtuns coming in under the leadership, and also favored by the saudis. look closely, no shoes. they are fearless fellows. we also thought their blood might be green. they were just mad and they loved to fight.
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they fight for loot and narcotics. the victory celebration lasted about 24 hours and immediately we're going to dip into the civil war. 1993, the onus of any civil war falls on the civilians and here you have a man who went out early morning to get probably milk and eggs or vegetables, caught in the cross fire, injured, his back side being carried back across by a policeman. a typical scene in kabul in 1993. this is the river that runs through the city. this is the ministry of defense that all the rocketing, devastating. some of you may know the phrase katyusha rockets. awful armament, but that's daily life for everybody. this was a typical stand aside the puddle as the tank goes through scene. again, back to the civilians and how they suffered in downtown
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kabul. different ethnic groups are fighting over western kabul. shiia sunni. government, nongovernment, deals are being made all the time, but mortars -- mortar tubes were aimed essentially straight up. artillery battles and gun battles. this is one typical family leaving quickly. if you have five seconds, 30 seconds or two minutes what do you take? it became very evident to me this was a serious move to get out of town or just move aside quickly. a bicycle. a teacup. a chicken. and a bag of food. the daughter-in-law and the mother combined household. and no men are fighting age. eventually they got to go back two or three days later but they were called in the cross fire on a hillside in downtown kabul.
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heckmantar was not a generous fellow, he cut gasoline across the kieber pass. so when gas became unavailable you had to buy it on the black market, including us and taxis. this is what it looks like if you have to take a taxi in the morn going to work. 1993. there were about 25 people on this car. it's a russian vol ga. you can see how low to the ground it is. it's actually -- it could be called the clown car but it's not really. this is the way you got to work because buses and taxis weren't running. again, the families suffer and here a family of six without a breadwinner. a woman here whose husband had been killed in 1992. had a ration book for food worth about $15 a month. squatting in an apartment in kabul.
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downtown kabul in 1994. this is the main business district. the front line is right here. no-man's-land and down in this basically the center of the picture is our al qaeda fighters, pakistanis and the members of the group. these are government water boys during a lull in the activity. during one of the lulls in the activity i went down with the british reporter to talk to these people at a round about. when all of a sudden, another group of five come up to them and challenge them and accuse this group of stealing their television. essentially you live on very little money, but a lot of loot. why anyone would want to fight over a television where there's no electricity is beyond me, but how do they solve this argument? by filling this guy's stomach
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with bullets. so they came flying over here wanting to take our taxi. this is the fellow that was yelling for the driver. you can see it's rare that they have bayonets. that meant it was a little bit serious. we had to listen to them. and this is how you learn to work with the best afghans, either translators, fixers, drivers. and in particular this driver was renowned for his fearlessness, but he was very clever. he had a cutoff switch underneath the dashboard. a switch. so when he said, no, the car is not working right he would turn it over and it would whine and make a lot of noise. and they said, okay, we're out of here. they put the mortally wounded one in a wheelbarrow and wheeled him off. but these are the drivers and relationships that as journalists you need to make. they save you. i never thought he had a cutoff switch underneath. walking around kabul in 1993-94,
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you'd be amazed at what you came across. i can't find the other journalists i worked with, but i came across the shiia. behind a clinic, remember the family that was fleeing the battle is over here. this area now is totally built up. but it was a cemetery and a clinic. in the foreground here. these men had been shot and dumped, probably from another area. this is primarily a shiia neighborhood. so the whole thing of sunni, shiia was more of an issue than it is today. it was a tit for tat thing. we moved from 1993 when complete chaos and civil war and roughly 85% of the country is involved in civil war to september of 1996 when the taliban had come up from kandahar city and
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eventually encircled kabul. all the militia groups that were fighting to keep them away drew a truce with them and these are two taliban firing 107 millimeter rocket at the fleeing government of the minister of defense and the president north of the city. it's an interesting scene, particularly you can see the rudimentary ignition system. a magneto. and their high end boots. flip-flops. in october of 1996, essentially the government of the taliban came in to kabul. and this is reading out the riot act to the population. there's no radio station, there's no television station. there are no newspapers at this point. everything had collapsed. but in relief of the civil war ending, what you know had to deal with was grow your beards for men.
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no women will be educated. no women will be allowed out of the house unless accompanied by a relative. schools will be limited to only men. shops will close during prayer time, men must pray during these hours. grow a beard. no loud music, no singing canaries was one of the jokes going on because afghans love birds. but they do have a sense of humor. that could go over a lot of people's heads, but this is the way they established control over afghanistan. on the top of a vehicle with a megaphone. yes, the civil war had ended but these are the new rules of enga engagement. this is what they did to the university of science lab outside kandahar. 1997, essentially 80% control over afghanistan. we're back to the uzbek pashtun
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rivalry here. look at this picture very closely. the ministry of the interior, pashtun, big burly beard, the uzbeks unable to grow beards. a deal had been cut with the taliban to give his city, al sharif, to give it over to the taliban control. in return to allow him to be the leader. within 36 hours this treaty collapsed and as journalists we knew this would not be a marriage made in heaven. uzbeks do not get along with pashtuns. we managed from pakistan to get one of the last flights in to al sharif. you can see the descendants of genghis khan and the pashtuns, darker complexed and able to grow beards.
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very few turbans with the uzbeks, a lot with the taliban and they tie them in a significant way. so within 36 hours, this is what happened. we'll end up with 800 dead taliban. this was the battle, i got very bored with a journalist at a press conference and we could hear this blinking going on a mile away. going across we realized this was a trap set up to sucker in taliban and all along the rooftops they were being sniped and eventually somebody walked in our path and opened fire on this fellow. this is the moment of impact. you can see the brass casing. he's just been hit. thrown back. and these are all the taliban that were caught including us, the three journalists. he's going down. down.
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i had moved from this position. this fellow here was about to fire an rpg, rocket propelled grenade into this doorway. this man had the look of death. he carries his friend away after firing the rocket. and then all hell broke loose. 36 hours later, this was what remained. every single taliban was killed. they had no language in common. they're hated. one of the -- one of the most strange things the taliban could have done was to ask the men to turn in their weapons and that they were never going to agree to that. so this treaty collapsed, 1997. these are red cross workers. rcrc. it's in may so it's about 100 degrees. the bodies did start to smell. in 1998 the taliban went back
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into al sharif and killed the locals so revenge is very important. it continues to this day. that's how arguments are often decided or the reasons for these arguments and the way they conclude. in 2001 in february, now we're getting closer to 9/11, so everything is heating up. the environment is not very pleasant for the taliban. only three countries in the world recognize them. saudi arabia, the emirates and pakistan. so in this case, we had a bad drought in the northwestern part of the country, and the taliban had cut off unicef aid. no food, clothing or shelter. materials were allowed in and this is a baby from one of the refugees that had died due to exposure. this is the father of the baby, and this is the entourage to the cemetery. every 50 feet, every 100 feet, another person would come and offer to carry the baby to the gravesite.
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so we're seven months away from 9/11. context is very important here. in may of 2001, the same journalist anthony davis and i managed to get through taliban and al qaeda lines to visit amasooud. he had the remaining 10% of the country under his control. 90% of the country was controlled by al qaeda and taliban. the arab fighters mixed in were about 40 miles away in a very precarious geographic area they were barely able to hold them back. in this area of the province, it's south of tajikistan along the oxus river. geography is very important here and the story -- how he and the
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rag tag force was able to maintain a defense. he has the only operating mine in the world, goes back a thousand years. he has two emerald mines. of course he allowed his men to grow opium because that was the only way they could get cash and that was smuggled across to pakistan. but he knew in may, this is four months away from 9/11 that something was going on in kandahar with bin laden. something he heard was up through his contacts. now, he is tajik, so he has a difficult time infiltrating a pashtun mafia for lack of a better word and particularly for the arabs who would be very suspicious of somebody with a different dialect, even if they spoke pashtun. so at this point, gary shroyer from the cia had started to make contact with him because the cia rarely gave any money to the pan cherry valley fighters.
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the tajiks were not favored by pakistan or cia. but who was giving him money on the side and supplies? russia. iran, a shiia country, offering money to a sunni. and india. pakistan's biggest rival. so we have a three dimensional game going on for control of the last 10% of the country. in this building on september 9th, amasooud agreed to be interviewed by two arabs who had come into the region as journalists carrying moroccan and belgium journalists. but just as he was mic'd up, one of them had been packed full of c-4 explosives and it killed him. september 9th. so 100% control of afghanistan goes to al qaeda and the taliban.
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everything folded in the last 10%. he was a very charismatic leader. spoke fluent french. he was educated in a french -- in downtown kabul and the son of a military officer. very interesting fellow. great chess player, could quote poetry all night long and had a lot of respect in the area. he was not favored by the united states nor the saudis. for two days they had 100% control of afghanistan. if the world trade center and this is a theory that i enjoy speaking about, would -- if the world trade center and the pentagon attacks had been foiled, which i think they could have been, this is not hindsight now, what would the americans have done? about afghanistan. just think about it. we move ahead to the end of
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november of 2001. i was lucky enough to get a visa by the taliban who had withdrawn from kabul to their home base in kandahar. you can see the look of amazement of the kandahari population who had been bombed for the last two weeks by american and french jets. seeing ten foreigners and ten pakistani journalists. we had our own security. we got out of there pretty quickly. they were not a happy bunch. but you can see the interesting turbans here. taliban. what the taliban really wanted to show us was a village about 17, 20 miles outside of kandahar that had been bombed by either americans or french and killing civilians. now the americans claim they saw lights at night in this area where there was no electricity in a very rural part of kandahar where often people would take
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refuge from the bombings. they figured they must be al qaeda, who else would have vehicles and a generator? so they bombed the city. or a small town. this is the rubble from the explosions and the bombing. and this is the shepherd calling in his children who are out in the field to bring in the goats and the sheep. that gives you an idea of the terrain. not very forgiving, not very fertile. but it also gives you the idea that life goes on, no matter what. so we did see 17 graves. we have no idea who is in there. it was interesting to have the taliban show us a violation of human rights. four pakistanis captured in december of 2001, and if you live in the region long enough you immediately know that they're pakistani and that they are punjabis. in particular, in punjab, there's a very strong
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interesting madrasas religious school there and these are the guys that came out of that isi training. sent across to fight, captured and will probably be traded back to pakistan for some afghans that might be in jail there. or interrogated by the americans. in december, you may remember tora bora. this is december 17th. bin laden had successfully escaped over a 10,000 foot pass and then behind in his retreat, he was covered by 12 to 15 arabs left behind to cover his retreat and withdrawal. this is also the time that tommy franks denied the marines access. we had battalion and a half waiting off i believe in the indian ocean, waiting to parachute in to chase bin laden, but tommy franks god bless him said no. we'll let the locals handle it.
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and if i start to sound a little cynical, it was -- it is because i am. this is during ramadan. do you think the locals who fast all day long when it's 32 degrees and they don't eat all day long are going to go chase a fellow up a mountain to 12,000 feet? it was impossible. so they eventually put about 150 to 200 special forces in there. there's no way you can acclimatize and chase up a mountain and catch somebody who is already on the other side. but the face here told me he's probably yemeni or saudi and probably one of the first visitors to guantanamo. these are two afghan pashtuns. and here's another one in violation of the geneva convention to display prisoners of war. but try to tell that to an afghan. so he was probably sold to the americans.
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in march of 2002, this represents the american commitment. this is a soldier from tenth mountain division at 5,500 feet with a dead taliban here and one interesting thing if you look closely, and this something you learn as a photojournalist is to try to include as much detail into a picture as possible. i went down on one knee because his head had started to decompose. there's no way i could include that in the picture but i noticed two sets of rubber gloves. what was that doing there? and his fingertips had been glued with ink. so fingerprinted and a forensic team had come through and gone. so the whole database is beginning on tracking who these people might be. interesting. another aspect and theme i tried to include in editing the book was influence of pakistan and surrounding countries. it's a difficult task to do
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that. physically not very good security in border areas. but here it is in the provincial capital of western pakistan. taliban taking refuge. now the pakistanis had all along denied they were giving refuge to any taliban but here they are. you can see it. you know the faces, at least i do. they're in pashtun abad, which was a known neighborhood that -- where they had sanctuary. their turbans and notice their dress. very short salafi/wahhabi look. they just came out of a mosque. i couldn't disguise the fact that they knew i was an american. they could tell on their face. they didn't want anything to do with me. the interpreter i hired got a
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knock on the door from the intelligence agency, asking him, to imploring him to stop bringing the foreigners to pashtunabad. so we had been followed. 2008 in a very remote province of nur us stan, one of the most difficult as far as terrain, these are wounded tenth mountain division soldiers being flown out because they had been ambushed resupplying a base at the top of this mountain. a four-hour walk i had made the day before and i didn't have the legs the following day. i missed an ambush, yes, but i don't think i could have made the trip actually. but why on earth you would put a base at the bottom of a canyon when you can be picked off like the british encountered in the 19th century, this is a major river. the americans were eventually overrun in this base and the base was given over to the
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talib taliban. they escaped two years later. these men were not seriously injured. some of the personalities in afghanistan. some of you may know who this is. an to georgetown, became part of the neo conservatives. here we have some history, 1952. the americans paid for and built the cand luhar airport. wouldn't you know it, but he's back with his escorts. to have a ribbon cutting opening of a road project that the americans supported outside cand har. the terrain. very important in this story, book, conquest, this invasion in the whole battlefield look at the terrain and how
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insurmountable it really is. this is a u.s. marine coming up to a command outpost in the province of kunar. it's still occupied by a few americans. but a lot of the bases -- i'll show you a better picture of this later. this is the hindu cush. very similarity to the rockies. not very forgiving terrain. president karzai in 2009 at a press conference in the palace. 2009, i went out with "the new york times" to a central afghan pruvenchulate capital to see what was going on in part of the province that's 80% controlled by the taliban. in the picture it's not clear here, but over in the left you've got a brand-new ford pickup truck the united states had given them. these are the british designed barriers which are collapsible burlap or meshlike items with
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wire. fill them up with dirt and you have pretty much instant barricades. the afghan flag. the roof top to a pickup truck. a broken chair, a traffic cone tipped over dirty socks. interesting gutter here, and two very innocent but scared out of their mind afghan national policemen inviting me in for breakfast. the take away from this is, this is a brand-new ford pickup, has no gasoline. the gasoline that leaves kabul in an 18 wheel truck would be diverted, the gasoline would be unloaded and sold on the black market. they had no gasoline for their brand-new pickup trucks. this is the legacy of what we'll leave the afghans. it's an infrastructure that is very new to them to be able to take care of themselves.
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again, the encounters between -- this is a tenth mountain soldier two hours outside of kabul. greeting a teenager. and an old trench from the mujahideen days of the 80s. the americans established base at a strategic point there. down to zero sea level. this is over 5,000 feet, we go down to zero. a group of marines having an after action report where they meet after a four hour patrol. it's 125 degrees. you're dehydrated. really, just wiped out. this is about 5:00 in the afternoon. this picture ran in the "new york times." i think it's a good indication on the disconnect between the pentagon and members in the field. they were reprimanded by a
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regimental sergeant major for being out of uniform. even though he never mentioned congratulations our men on the front page of the "new york times." he wanted these men punished. it'sç because they're wearing rags. wa it's the only way to keep sweat from pouring out of your head. if it's 125 degrees, you're basically wearing a waffle iron. it's difficult terrain at zero sea level. this is a 16th century fort. one of the southern most outposts of the u.s. army and marines. back to seven to 10,000 feet, this is really the challenge of any occupying army, including alexander the great who went through the region. one road into this. can you imagine being in a humvee going up this?
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ambush alley. but smartly, general petraeus and general mcchrystal decided to give up all of the small outposts that rimmed here. and a very interesting documentary made by sebastian younger was filmed up here. this is a valley. back to zero. 16th century mud fort. prime opium territory. ied disposal team looking for fertilizer diesel and ball bearings. they didn't find it. marines. 2013 i returned to cover the withdrawal of the u.s. military and nato. i was very surprised to get permission to photograph a drone being launched. it's not an armed drone, but a recognizance one. it reached 80 miles an hour off of the ramp. very interesting to watch and see the pictures.
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the clarity, theop optics are amazing. 14 foot wing span. the technology is old. they didn't have a problem with a camera on it. this is where the vehicles were collected. this is 15 ton vehicles, ambush protected and well-air conditioned armored vehicles. $750,000 a piece. this man looking for stray bullets which may have fallen into crevasses before their transported to the middle east, europe or back to the united states. made by oshkosh. daily life, we need to cover. with security since 2001 when the city gained its freedom so to speak. the afghans tried to emulate
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architecture in dubai. it's interesting to see kabul at night now. western kabul gives you an idea of the density and how this as an urban area, the farmland will disappear as real estate increases in value. this is the kabul river that runs through. and this used to be the front line, this main road. this was the russian embassy, cultural center which became a destination for a lot of journalists to see what was left of the former soviet occupation. that's kabul university, here this nice green square in western kabul. on my last day in kabul recolletwo suvs
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were ambushed by a vehicle born device. a suicide bomber waited for them along the route. obviously they had made the route before on their way to an afghan base where they were going to train afghan army soldiers. six americans were killed and ten afghans. this is the best example -- whatever i had at my disposal to indicate the american withdrawal. to show a withdrawal is similar to showing a retreat. the army did not want to see that kind of spin given to journalists, nor did they want to project they were going to withdraw. physically, they could talk about it, but they were reluctant to show it. here you have men, army leaving the air base. it gives you an idea of the -- it's twice the size of o'hare or jfk. it's one of the bases that will not be given up, at least in my
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opinion. these are troops coming in to finish their deployment carrying no rifles or helmets but an interesting gesture given to me which i saw later on, not through the viewfinder. that wasn't hello. if you're in an urban environment you have access to clinics, schools and access to what you think are government institutions, which may function for you. but girls' schools have been restructed in kabul. girls are going to school. but it's limited in the urban areas. particularly in the remote areas where security is tenuous at best, very rare would you find a teacher willing to teach young men, much less young women and
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not see the threat of a night letter tacked on their door from the taliban. the traditions are serious and very much ingrained. and it's a very difficult argument on why women are not educated when you have traditional marriages, arranged marriages the norm and the status quo for afghan society. this is the last slide and this is really how i want to end my 25 years of images, but this is really what afghans want in life. is a free, open market chaos, but the ability to go and shop on their own free of any kind of conflict. you notice the main police -- traffic police outpost totally useless. there's dust, noise, chaos, gridlock. but this is really a great view
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of afghanistan and really what they aspire to. remember, most of the city was rubble in the mid 90s. so they will come back if there is security. but -- tonight starting on primetime at 8:00, american artifacts. women in congress. the historian of the house of representatives present frfs with the women in the u.s. house. the house way and means committee history with the historical society hosting committee chair paul ryan. ranking member sandra leaven. and just after 10:00, another american artifacts looking at the senate caucus room russell senate office building. historian donald ritchie describes several hearings held
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there including the truman investigation of world war 2 expenditures. and the 1954 army mccarthy hearings. tonight on c span the security threat posed by isis. its recruiting efforts and use of social media. here is attorney general for national security, john carline. >> they are accessed by the largest population as possible. they then bum bard it with thousands and thousands of messages every day of their propaganda. and the messages run across the board. so we're all familiar with the shocking images and despicable what they'll show of public
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executions. what they're also doing is they're bum barding that same audience with targeted microtargeted messages, the same way that advertisers do. what they'll do is they'll show a handsome actor in one video he's literally handing out candy to children. in the corner will be the brand isil. the same way it might be for some other television show or brand. in another video they'll show the armed terrorist with a gun in one hand, but in the other hand he's holding a kitten. in other messages, you have candy to children. they'll show images of bucolic life here in the caliphate. and they'll look to see whether or not they can with this large scale bombardment of images can they get someone on the hook and start to dangle them in. >> the security forum features
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threats to europe. you can watch the program at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. a look at investigative journalism. the digital age. experts discuss the law on the rapidly changing technology challenges. the consumer federation of america hosted this event. >> i think we're going to begin. we're going to move quickly through the program. my name is jack gillis and i'm the director for consumer affairs for the federation and welcome to today's panel on investigative -- investigative reporting.
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for consumer advocates and those working with the media, investigative reporter is one of the most critical components in being an effective advocate. today we're going to talk about something near and dear to the hearts of advocates and that is investigative reporting. the traditional and as a result of the internet, the increasingly difficult business challenges facing news outlets, the new types of investigative reporting. we'll look at how this is impacting a key pillar in consumer advocacy. because the media is so critically important to advocates there are new questions being raised that will affect the way we are able to change policy. who is emerging as credible news sources on the internet. do the new news editorials affect internet and what is the emphasis to the internet partners.
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how do news recipients, how do we consumers address the concern that the internet content may not be as edited as daily print content. are blogs real competition to traditional news outlets. and what are the challenges in integrating blogs, social media, user-generated content into organizations like abc, nbc, yahoo, the wall street journal and propublica. who have new and blue chip reputations for unbiassed and carefully researched content. the bottom line is we'll look at where investigative reporting is going in the next five years. as we ask these questions, the news about the news is kind of scary. a recent pugh report discusses that the continued erosion of news reporting resources combined with the new media
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opportunities present growing opportunities in politics, government, and agencies and corporations to take their messages directly to the public without a filter. here is a snapshot from the pugh report. newspaper newsroom cutbacks put the industry down over 30% since 2000. in local tv, sports, weather and traffic now account for an average of 40% of the content. cnn, the cable channel that branded itself around deep reporting has cut story packages in half. across three of the major cable channels, coverage of live events and live reports during the day, which requires expensive crews and staff, have been cut by 30%. here is where it gets interesting. to combat dwindling resources, a growing list of media outlets
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such as forbes magazine uses new technology to produce content by way of algorithm. no human reporting necessary. this adds up to a new industry that is more under-manned and under-prepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones and to question the information put in their hands. in all of this -- and all of this is happening at a time as howard kurtz said that the average consumer can in effect create his own news, picking and choosing from sources he trusts and enjoys rather than being spoon-fed by a handful of baked media conglomerates, of which we have here, the big media conglomerates. for years, almost 20 years, we've had media, and some great participants and this year we are honored to have to be what
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could be the best collection of investigative reporters in the country. so thank you all very much for joining us. so what i would like to do today is just ask a series of questions and encourage the panelists to interact with each other and most importantly, ask you to interrupt, ask questions and be part of this discussion. the first question goes to brian ross. brian is abc news chief investigative correspondent reporting for world news, niteline, good morning america and 20/20. he's began his career prior to nbc, where he was before abc, in waterloo, iowa. while he is a chicago native, he is a graduate of the university of iowa which explains that waterloo, iowa, beginning, which i couldn't understand when i read his bio. he's received many of the most prestigious awards in journalism, including seven
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duponts, six peabodys, 16 emmys and five edward r murro awards and many more. i could spend an hour listing the stories that brian and his team have done to generate these awards. a couple of them are worth noting, however. exposing the dangerous conditions of factories in bangladesh, making clothes for tommy hilfiger and walmart. a toyota report which prompted the largest automobile recalls in history. pay to play grading systems by the better business bureau. and walmart's use of overseas child labor for their by the way america clothing campaign. i was in a walmart recently and there was pictures of him all over the place. do not let this man in. but there are many more stories but it must have been when he was 10 years old, but he broke what we remember as a remember story which is the ab scam story
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so you guess you can be credited with american hustle. in introducing brian, and i have to acknowledge cindy galley, probably one of abc star investigative producers and someone who you know quite well. so cindy, welcome, as well. so brian, one of your award-winning stories was done in cooperation with the center for public integrity, how did that come about and what was the relationship and what do you see as the future for joint investigative reports and if there is a future, what protections do you engage in when selecting a partner to avoid the appearance of bias? >> thank you, jack. it is nice to be here. we partnered for the center for public integrity, an incredible story about what is happening to coalminers applying for benefits under the black lung law.
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and what we discovered walkiork with a great researcher, is that one doctor, became the co-company's go-to doctor. over the course of ten or 15 years, in every single case he failed to find black lung. every single case. he thought it was either some remote sort of bird disease -- he had a lot of explanations but he never found black lung. and what chris hanby did was to go back and compile the medical records of 1,700 or 1,800 cases. and examine the findings. and after some of the people had died, they found they did have black lung. and they came to us at the center and with the producer we worked together to use the incredible research and the research we would not spend a year and a half doing, that is what chris hanby did and we sat
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together with john hopkins and interviewed this doctor. after our report, that program was suspended by hopkins. the department of labor since moved to reopen every single case where miners had been denied and again and again there were many miners who died who had been determined by their own doctors they had black lung after this doctor at hopkins said they did not, the doctor reached out to take back the benefits, some were in debt of $50,000 and so for that for me was one of the most powerful stories we've done in recent times. it led to a number of awards. and led to real changes in how the law was being administered and how that program was being looked at gin by the department of labor. and it was -- partnerships are not without their issues. we all seek to have credit and we try to share the credit as much as possible. there are a number of awards,
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the center won a pulitzer prize. we won the goldsmith award at harvard jointly and a number of other awards for it. and it was one of the more rewarding projects, i think. but frankly, as i said, abc probably would not have spent a year and a half as hanby did to go through every file and he did incredible work and what he did was bring incredible work to shake the story and bring it as broad a broadcast. and it went on every story on abc news. >> and how do you work out the issue of this organization may bring a particular bias that you want to try to avoid? >> well we don't want to work with any group with any bias and i don't think the center came to it with any bias and we worked with pro publica and we made a decision of who we would and not work with.
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that joint effort -- we are prepared to interview with people and do stories about all kinds of groups, and we'll go in the trenches together as journalists and we're very picky. >> next we have mike izzacapt. mike has broken repeated stories for his report on the government's war on terror, u.s. tolsh -- intelligence failures. presidential politics and the coverage of the aftermath of 9/11. what is particularly -- mike is well-known for a couple of major stories. in fact his exclusive reporting on the lewinsky scandal gained him national attention and his coverage of the events actually led to the president bill clinton's impeachment. in doing so, he earned a whole series of awards for news week,
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the national marg -- magazine award, the headline award and the edgar poe award. he's the author of two new york times best-selling books and as a result, both of those books have chronicled much of his reporting. and in 2009 mike, along with brody, who you'll meet in a couple of minutes, was named as one of the 50 best and most influential journalists in the nation's capital. he graduated from wash u and received his degree in journalism from northernwestern. we're familiar with news week. tell us about yahoo's news fl f philosophy and how are they reaching an audience with news?
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>> well, thank you. and actually, this is sort of new unchartered territory for me in the digital space. but -- and it is evolving. yahoo has made a commitment to -- as to be a serious news player. it has invested heavily in recruiting people. katie curic is sort of the chief global anchor. we're hiring other people. and we're trying to basically -- although yahoo is a huge silicon valley player, it is in the news side, it is sort of like working for a start-up because we are inventing it, we are trying to see what works, exploring, experimenting with different ways of delivering news, both written and video.
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but a couple of things stand out. one is, the incredible reach that we have. yahoo has something like 8 million viewers globally. when i write stories for yahoo now, i rarely see numbers. there are people that track these things. but you get a rough gage by looking at comments. i don't -- i never read the comments on my stories. that's a true way to go down a rabbit hole. but i do look at the numbers to give you an idea of what is out there and the numbers of comments on what i do now at yahoo is 10-20 fold greater than anything i would get when i wrote for news week or -- or online for nbc news.
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there is a vast audience out there in the digital space that sees your stuff, that is one reason why a lot of major news organizations have wanted to partner with yahoo. in fact we have a partnership with abc that was just renewed and that was a sort of highly comments -- other networks wanted to partner with yahoo. we chose -- or yahoo chose to continue the abc relationship. and that is because to the extent that more and more people are getting their news digitally and mobile, this is where the audience is increasingly going to be. so in some respects, although in -- in silicon valley yahoo
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has a reputation of somewhat of a legacy company, it was one of the early internet companies, it is, i think, very much a pioneer in the -- in news on the web. and we've got resources and there is a commitment and i'm sort of very excited about the opportunities. >> thanks, mike. so you're famous for the in-depth investigative stories, penn state story comes to mind, you've spent hours and hours. how does that translate to two paragraphs on a yahoo page? >> well, the stories that i'm doing at yahoo are a lot longer than two paragraphs. maybe that is what people might see on their mobile or something. but it is all there. we've been able to do some
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pretty interesting investigative pieces. there is one that got a lot of attention last year. i've done a lot of reporting on the government's war on terror and particularly drone strikes and the effectiveness of those. and we discovered a drone strike in yemen last year that killed a bunch of innocent civilians in a town, caused a huge uproar in that village. anti-u.s. protests and backlash because one of those killed was a anti- -- was an anti-al qaeda imam who spoke out and denounced the violence of al qaeda. a police officer was killed. and this has led -- these sorts of errant drone strikes have led
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to real questions because the whole drone program is cloaked in secrecy. what does the u.s. government do -- what does it do when it kills innocent civilians in a foreign country like this? when the u.s. military inadvertently killed civilians. there are procedures for condolence payments, and they will make compensation to the families. what happens with drone programs have been cloaked in secrecy. we found a guy who was the relative of some of the innocents who were killed who recounted an incredible story, this had been a cia drone strike and we tracked him down in yemen, interviewed him by skype and were able to get a whole bunch of records showing that after the drone strike, and
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after some human rights watch had written about this and human rights group had brought him to washington to meet with members of the white house, he gets called to a -- the national security bureau in yemen, it was still functioning then, they still had a government in yemen then, i'm not sure what would happen now, but basically he was slipped a bagful of $150,000 in cash. greenbacks suskenchally numbered. but no paperwork. the deal is you take this money, take it back to your village, pay the families, but don't say anything about it and they'll be no record of it. fascinating account. we were able to actually get the records showing how the money was ultimately wired to an account in the guy's village, fully corroborating his story. we had others who were able to do it.
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and this was the first window into first the u.s. acknowledging that it was killing innocent civilians in the town of yemen and what it was trying to do to sort of tamp it down. there was a big debate in the village. some people thought it was hush money. they didn't want to take it. they ultimately took it. but it was a fascinating window into what happens in the aftermath of a drone strike that was something that we were able to do on yahoo. we spent a lot of time on it and we had some really gripping video and it got a lot of attention. so that is just an example of the kind of work we can do in this sort of new era of digital news. >> fascinating. so quick question before we go on to larry. >> yeah. >> so you invested all of this time, money and effort into this particular story, which could
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have been anything, including a consumer investigative story. >> right. >> and you put it up on the internet. do you have any concern that other reporters will just grab it after your investment and then repackage it? >> well you always have -- i have that concern. "the washington post," news week, people see your stories and don't give you credit and they run with it. but by and large, people sort of know, you had it first and where it came from. it's hard to take a story like that that took a lot of time and effort and accumulating documents and interviews for somebody to sort of rip it off without it being clear where the story came from. >> let's go on to lawrence roberts.
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a senior editor at pro publica. he was from the huffington post investigative fun. projects editor at the editor car and he began his career in seattle where he started an alternative weekly and became a correspondent for united press international. as an editor, larry was a leader on the teams that received three pulitzer prizes, one for the current investigation into the flaws of the hubble space telescope, another for the investigation of dick cheney and another for exposing the details of the abrhoff scandal. he delivered a series showing how aol misused accounting to fuel the merger with time warner which won the gerald lobe award. he taught journalism at wesleyan university and graduated from franconia college in new hampshire.
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so first of all, pro publica is the hottest discussion among media analysts, among research and polling communities. so what in the world is pro publica, how are you funded who is your audience and what's your overarching mission? >> thanks, jack, appreciate being here with the consumer federation and with the ilalistious panel of reporters. and as an editor i'm sort of the lone man out. pro publica is a nonprofit independent newsroom starting in the midst of the real upheaval in the way the internet was changing the news business. there is a fear of many of us at the time that the traditional news organization, because of the change in the business model, were not going to be able to devote the amount of resources and time to investigative reporting in the
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sense of long-term in depth work that takes reporters months to produce. and at that time, a lot of different kinds of elements of the news eco-system started to spring up. pro publica raised money from foundations, from individuals, and has built over the last six or seven years a newsroom of about 50 people focused only on journalism in the public interest. and that, of course, includes a big swath of reporting on consumers, on how, you know, abuses of unfairness, abuses of trust, fraud, and what pro publica brings to the table is a long-term commitment to working on stories, however long they take to do, a big commitment to
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data collection and analysis, and a feeling that every time we produce a story that is based on a huge amount of data, we try to extend that reporting to local communities by partnering with people across the country who can do their own versions of it. for example, we recently started a series on workers' compensation and took a reporter michael gray bell about a year to produce and he analyzed how workers' comp laws changed in all 50 states showing enormous disparities on how people are treated if they're hurt in oklahoma as opposed to new york. and built this into a big data base and interactive chart. and now we're working with news organizations local and regional around the country where they would do their own versions of
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the story, sort of based on the research that we've produced. and that has been replicated along a number of stories like how pharmaceutical companies pay doctors, which is up until now been sort of a hidden thing. so pro publica is like a couple of other nonprofit news organizations, some of which were mentioned up here before. the center for public integrity which is the one that brian worked with. the center for investigative reporting based in san francisco, as the internet changed things and produced a lot of problems for what we call legacy news organization, it has also opened up opportunities for different kind of news organizations to spring up and we're one of those groups. >> so larry, what -- in your
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reporting, does pro publica see as one of its roles the object to influence and change public policy? >> yes. that is right. as a much more sort of focused way, i mean implicitly in all investigative journalism that is done by anybody from the washington post, "the new york times," the "wall street journal," and there is implicitly this idea if you expose things that doesn't want to be known or abuses of power that may lead to change but we have a more explicit mission that when we tackle a topic we want to take it to the point if people want to act on reform or change, they can do it. so that -- what that mainly means is that in the choice of what we choose to pursue, we're looking for things that could lead to actual action. >> fascinating.
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well next we have brody mullins, an investigative reporter for the "wall street journal." prior to joining "wall street journal," he reported for the national journal and roll call. at the "wall street journal," he first covered tax legislation and then did investigative stories about congress, lobbying and the culture of washington. recently his examination about how wall street mines government for information to trade stocks helped inspire congressional legislation known as the stock act that banned members of congress and their aids from trading in stock based on inside information. in 2010 his series of stories on lawmakers traveling overseas on official government business exposed a series of abuses, prodded congress to cancel plans to spend $500 million on new luxury jets and led to reforms on how congress travelled
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abroad. brody has received the award fon distinguished reports on congress and the best political reporter on age 33. i didn't know they had the age brackets. >> i think it is 34. >> okay. it gets older as you do. he also received the george poke award and a finalist for the gerald lobe award and along with michael is washington -- washington magazine called him one of washington's 50 best reporters. a true d.c. native and graduated from gonzaga and ultimately northwestern university. so brody, as a paper focused on business and business people, for many advocates, the "wall street journal" is somewhat of a mystery. yet much of the investigative reporting done by you and your call eke -- colleagues has resulted in reforms. sort of like the rachel maddow show resulted in less government
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regulation. so it is kind of an oxymoron. but in terms of investigative reporting, how important is it to the fundamental mission of the journal? >> how important is investigative journalism? >> to the gem -- to the general, yeah. >> well i think it is incredibly important because the problem we've had in investigative reporting over all is the decline in media and regional newspapers which created a vacuum or opening for people doing big broad stories about problems in the government or abuses by lawmakers. these type of stories were the bread and butter of the washington post and "new york times" and bloomberg in the journal years ago, as well as dozens of regional newspapers. the regional newspapers don't have the money anymore to invest in these types of stories. the issue is you were talking about putting reporters on -- or all three talked about putting reporters on stories for upwards of a year.
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if a regional reporter went to their boss and said i'm going to work on something for year, they would be laughed out of the building. i would be. so that has created abuse. lawmakers know on a national level nobody is watching them and that is a real problem. >> so do you see the center for integrity or pro publica to be competition to your investigative reporting? >> i certainly do. i think there is enough out there that people can stay in their own lanes. there is enough to cover. i think i know another problem is the people doing this well right now are nonprofits. and the -- you know, we work in businesses. we need to make money. and hopefully over the next -- the next few years, coming years, newspapers and journalism overall will figure out how to make money from these types of stories.
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the problem is you -- if you invest in a reporter to cover a story for a year, you could use the same resources to hire five people to write 500 stories. so the challenge is how do you try to make money in -- by investing in longer term stories. >> i think the wall street journal is somewhat unique in terms of being able to make money. and i guess one of the first and continues to be successful an generating enough revenue from its online subscription to be viable. when you are proposing and developing investigative story, ideas, to your editors, do you ever run into pushback that was often in the local press, where, you know, that's a great story, but i'm not sure our advertisers are going to be comfortable with that. >> i have not dealt with that at "the wall street journal." i'm sure others have.
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regional papers have dealt with that for a long time. i think the journal is big enough and has enough advertisers that they're not dependent on a one or two, you know, individual subscribers to carry the paper. but that is a big problem also. >> so going back to brian, all right, so we have got a million story ideas in this room. how do you decide which story ideas you are going to pursue and what kinds of things are you looking for, from advocates, to get you started on a story. >> i guess i start with am i interested? have i heard of this before? as a tv reporter, to be honest, are the pictures associated with it? are there people getting hurt? do we have some representation of that? what is going to make a story that will work on television is a key part of it. i think part of it -- i think we have done well because we
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figured out a way to make almost any story, you know, visual. it is not easy, but there is -- it is a challenge, part of a craft. but those are the questions -- am i personally interested? do i want to spend the next three months on something that is interesting to me, that hasn't been out there before, that would be -- would have an effect on people? we could have an effect on policy. those are the questions for me. >> the big question many of us get is are there any victims? do you know the victims? where are the victims? i think, larry, this is where you come in. you seem to have the ability to pull together the data and how do you go about pulling together the data that shows that there are victims out there, and that does affect x number of people? >> well, sort of a very methodical process to collect data on a topic where we think there might be something new there. and one of the things i wanted to point out about the internet is that, you know, while it
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initially was seen by us in the news business as something that was disruptive to what we were doing, there is also -- it also presents enormous opportunity to reach people and have a two-way conversation with readers of the news, consumers, advocates and judges and everything else, so once we sort of embark on a story line, we often will put in our stories, hey, if you know more about this or have something to tell us, contact us. that's become an enormous source of, you know, stories, as you say, of victims, individual stories, examples of things that are happening and places that in the old days would have taken a lot more time and effort to reach. >> well, you know, going back to brody, the wall street journal is known for precision, for, you know, its expertise, sort of a
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no nonsense approach. given what larry has said, what do you think about the concept of crowd sourcing for information and somehow testing whether or not that information is real or legitimate? >> it is not something we have done directly, but part of the problem with information that goes out on the internet, news on the internet sometimes, not in these publications, is credibility. and i think that sometimes that's why you need a big name behind some of the information that goes out because i think if we're not there now, we're there soon, where people don't know what to believe. and in the 24-hour cable environment that we live in, there is information, even on television, that turns out not to be true. yesterday there was a big story basically not true. and i think that there are -- i think readers are going to say -- have to look to name brands or brands they trust and say, okay, so and so is saying this, i trust that is true. and that puts a burden on us to make sure we don't try to follow
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a story by 30 seconds and we make sure it is right. >> so that brings me back to you, mike. you are one of the more trusted reporters literally in the world. thinking about this trust, and thinking about yahoo and the internet, what kinds of differences have you experienced, i mean you had amazing experience, "the post," nbc, "newsweek" and yahoo!. was there different editorial policies? were you under different guidelines to avoid -- and how are you going to create this credibility that some people wonder about the internet? >> well, first of all, in terms of guidelines, i mean, the short answer is no. there are standards in our profession, and standards of professionalism, and i pretty much had that in all of these experiences.
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actually my direct editor now at yahoo! danny kleinman, was my editor at "newsweek," former bureau chief and managing editor at "newsweek", the editor is megan lieberman, former editor of "new york times" magazine. so it is the same sort of professional ethos and standards and i think to a large extent, your work speaks for itself. people can read a story, and get a pretty good sense once they start, you know, delving into it, of whether the work is there, whether it is corroborated, whether the sourcing is good, whether the information can be trusted. now, i do think -- and so i think when you do good work, regardless of where it is, people do recognize and if you've got something that people haven't seen elsewhere, it will breakthrough.
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there is a lot out there. and this is -- i think this is true for all of us. there is so many sources of news now, so many, you know, not just the traditional legacy and news organizations, but a whole range of, you know, ranging from nonprofits to blogs to regional news services, to ideologically driven news organizations, that it is -- that there is just a lot of noise. and a lot of stuff can sort of slip through the cracks of the this is my frustration as a reporter trying to keep tabs on everything that is out there, you know, have i missed something? somebody, you know, very often it is just word of mouth, did you see that?
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because then if i missed it on my twitter feed, i may not have seen it at all. brian did a great piece on human rights violations by the iraqi army. i happened to see it on twitter, watched it -- watched the whole video. it was really good. i didn't even know it was on "world news tonight." had to ask him. but that's the way we're getting our news these days. and while in one sense that's good, because i'll see a lot of things like that story that, you know, i wasn't watching "world news tonight" last night, i was traveling at the time, i was able to see it, but it also means that, you know, very often there is so much out there that good stories get lost in that way. >> i think it is very good because it gives huge numbers of new platforms. a story that might not make it on the world news, we will have on twitter, we'll have on facebook. apple tv. we have a whole sort of magazine
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stand there of investigative stories. i think it is a very exciting opportunity for all investigative reporters because there are fewer limits on space and time, and great opportunity. and, you know, in our company, and i think others, we partnered with yahoo! we're racing to be part of the digital future. we can see that's where -- that's where it is going. that's something we embrace. we're not afraid of. >> the other thing too, i think, as all this noise is going on, i think one other trend, i may be a polly anna about this -- that i'm starting to notice, there's a growing sophistication among the audience about what is credible and what isn't. some years ago, it was much more of a free for all where something would pop up and people would believe it for a long time or it wouldn't come from an organization no one ever heard of. now i feel as though there's a coalescing of some sense of what
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a incredible source is and what isn't. i think that's a great tenrend. >> brian said something to me that registered as a former researcher myself. one of my frustrations at nbc, to fit into the nightly news or the today show format, the stories got shorter and shorter and shorter. i mean, two minutes is a like a huge takeout on tv news. i don't labor under the same encumbrances at yahoo. i just got back two weeks ago from cuba. and was able to -- actually, it was a fascinating trip i had the first interviews with the cuban five spies since they had gotten released by obama. we were able to put together a seven minute video than ran on the web that had great stuff. both from the interviews and
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walking the streets of havana with these guys who were celebrated as national heroes down there. if i had to do that for one of the network news, it would have been, you know, if i could have gotten two minutes it would have been a real gift. but, you know, i was able to do something much more in depth, much more. you know, much more satisfying, actually. >> so, brian, is that proliferation of what you're able to expose the public to one of the reasons why abc chooses to make a very large investment in your team? >> i think so. >> if you just had the nightly news maybe you wouldn't -- they wouldn't want to make that investment. >> i'm not sure about that. i know we are urged, we are encouraged almost demanded of us that we, for instance the story about the iraqi army and allegations that they are
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committing war crimes as bad as isis itself, that was not particularly the kind of thing that would be desirable at the breakfast hour as people are having dinner. and we had a shorter piece on world news. that was nine million people watching. a much longer piece that appeared online, facebook, and so that kind of reach, i think, justified the investment that abc makes in its investigative unit. you know, for us, there's no story we can't tell and find place for it. that gives us the opportunity to expand it. you know, in terms of the business, they make more money from television than right now from what's online. that's something that will evolve. we figure if, you know, you do good stories and they're available, people will find them. >> so, brody, following up on larry's comment about the increased -- i'm not sure -- i would agree with this.
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the increased sophistication starting to differentiate on the internet which is a legitimate and illegitimate source. how does wall street journal deal with that? you don't want to go down the rabbit hole about the comments about your reports. that could be hard to hear. how does the wall street journal differentiate from a myriad of trade association magazines that are starting to look like the wall street journal and sound like legitimate news publications as well as the other things that are out there. >> we have a brand name. we've been around for 100 years. people know who the wall street journal journal. they know who we are and make a decision. you can read an editorial and
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say this is coming from a conservative point of view or i don't. it's bunk. on the editorial -- the journalism side of it, as you said earlier, we've written a lot of stories or the journalism side of it, as you said earlier, we've written stories, more pro consumer stories that are intended to or you hope they do effect public policy for good. find and root out wrongdoing and lead to policy changes. i'm glad you mentioned that's our reputation. that's what we would like to have. it sort of goes back to my point about credibility and being careful you don't make mistakes or you're a credible messenger. all you have is your grand name. as soon as you make mistakes, you lose that. you're not going to have the trust of readers. >> all right. so that goes back to you, larry. a lot of people are concerned that much of the information on the internet and internet news
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sources is unfiltered. you're an editor. if it because of folks like you and editors that are starting to clean up some of this information that's increasing its credibility? >> i'm not sure it's a question of starting to clean it up. i think what's happened is the dynamic of the web, there is a quick accountability and dissemination through twitter and other means. so if somebody comes out with something that is not right or wrong or from a source that's questionable, the accountability of that happens much quicker. and i think over time my sense is it's built up that if something comes from, say, the abc news or the journal it's got a stronger bedrock of credibility than if it comes
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from some place no one has ever heard of. because people, through experience, have learned a lot of these reports are, you know, built on very flimsy evidence. >> i would like to open it up to all of you. we have, you know, an incredible opportunity to figure out what it is these four gentlemen are looking for for us. >> yes. speaking about regional publications. >> if you could identify yourself. >> reporter from financial adviser magazine. i was in chicago talk to go investigative reporters over the weekend and they raised the question. the post dispatch, regional paper for ferguson. do you think if they had a strong investigative team there would have been a ferguson?
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>> i don't know enough to answer that. i think they have done some very good work in the wake of what happened. >> i think they just got awarded the national press foundation for the coverage of the matter. >> well, are you talking about prior to the event? >> prior to the event. >> (inaudible). >> that's hard to knowment i think, for instance, the milwaukee journal has done great work. i think it's hard to know whether that would have been the case. i would not be critical of the st. louis post dispatch. they have shown themselves of being very tough on ferguson. >> jonathan harris, commission of consumer protection for the state of connecticut.
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i think you do great work and what you all do, changing lives is part of our democracy. i want to flip that on its head when it comes to some of the regional papers. in one example, in our state there is a regular column that is supposed to be a watch dog of our government. the journalist, he's top notch. he's excellent both in his investigations in general and in his writing. however, the fact that he has to produce every single week, i don't think always gives him the ability to drill down, one. there's a pressure always to have content on a regular basis. and it seems like at times one story that actually might have validity to it keeps on getting sort of twisted around with maybe a different little fact or different angle. and i fear, and i have experienced, that it ends up actually doing the opposite
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anding about mistrust in government where it shouldn't be and something that we don't need now. is that a phenomenon you have seen? how do you deal with it? how does an editor of the hartford current deal with something like that. >> is that the paper? >> perhaps. >> i mean, there's no question when we talk about all the advantages with the internet in terms of people having access to a lot more news and news organizations being able to distribute their news much more widely. that's all true. the down side has been since the beginning, what you say, the 24/7 cycle. any scrap of news or information you have if you don't get it out quickly, somebody else is going to get out there quick and you will feel behind the curve. all those forces are pressing against doing in-depth, thoughtful longer term work. even on a beat reporting level, not just sort of long-term
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investigative work. yes, it's been a problem. and i think that's what happened is that, as i was saying earlier, the eco system has created some of these new kind of organizations to kind of fill some of these gaps. it seems there's an adjustment that going on that will preserve strong accountability and watch dog work but it's still a work in progress. >> i want to chime in. the tension between taking months and months to do the real in-depth investigative piece and -- between that and covering the news when you get it and when you get a nugget that's of interest, putting it out there, is something we all face. i faced it throughout my whole career. you know, i'm not sure the answer is one or the other. i remember having this conversation with an old boss of
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mine, bob woodward, which actually first hired me when i went to work for the "washington post". and, yeah, he reminded me watergate was an incremental story. it didn't take months and months to do a big take on watergate. they covered developments as they uncovered them. and that tended to lead to more tips, more sources, more stories. and so i think, you know, very often covering it as you get it can be just as productive and informative for the reader as spending a long time to do those kind of in-depth pieces. >> hi. jim gordon, president of the consumer federation of california. first of all, it has been very, very interesting for me. i've heard about stories that i've never heard about before, some of them. god bless you on the black lung issue.
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but the panel is the future of investigative journalism, right, investigative reporting. so i'd like to have your take or opinion on what about what i believe many americans now do not believe that the news media in general has much integrity or ethic or whatever. and my examples are that you've got an anchor that tried to make himself an imbedded war hero. you have the far right guy on fox saying that he was in the middle of a combat thing and wasn't even in the falkland islands. and all this kind of crap going on. they make their own news. and then just a follow-up on the ferguson thing. my god, that's been going on for how long and it took the justice
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department to find out they were a cash-generating speed trap in ferguson. and the media never got that. it was the justice department. in that context, what's your take on the integrity of the sources and the people that are presenting the news to us and whatnot? >> in 30 second. >> you know, whatever the shortcomings of individual reporters, certainly nbc news is a place of integrity. it's done great work over the years. i worked there 20 years. you worked there. there are shortcomings. we all make mistakes, myself included. but i think that's not fair to say that it is not a place of integrity. and i think the viewers trust it. we have a new anchorman now. brian williams is on suspension. lester holt is doing a terrific job. their viewers have not abandoned them. i'm not convinced that's the
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case. you know, one flawed person, one flawed story suggested the whole place is bad. i think that's painting with too broad of a brush, to be honest. >> (inaudible). >> well, i don't know the details of what happened there. i'll just say it's a place of integrity to this day, i think. >> up next on american history tv, congressional history. first, a look at artifacts and photographs related to women in the u.s. house, starting with the election of jeannette rankin in 1967. and house ways and means committee. and then several historic hearings that happened in the russell senate officing about. >> each week american history tv american artifacts visits museums and historic place. up next, we takeyo


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