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tv   Covering Foreign Conflicts  CSPAN  November 12, 2011 10:30pm-11:50pm EST

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>> i don't want you to panic when you see there are a half- dozen amis left -- emmys left. we do not know -- those there do not know how many of them are ties. none of them are in great except for larry king. -- engraved except for larry king. the voice you have been hearing as a presenter, steve cramer. [applause] i asked if they would let me introduce the next presenter.
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it is for the category, the best documentary. sheila, who is the head of documentary at hbo, is one of the most remarkable people. in 2005 she received a lifetime achievement herself. she has been the overseer of a 500 documentaries. she has been the recipient of two dozen news and documentary emmys and another 10 or so awards like eight oscars. [laughter] she is the first lady of television documentaries. it is my pleasure to bring her in. [applause]
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>> thank you. there have been so many men in suits tonight and so many sad story. i thought i would think my gynecologist. [laughter] anyway, the best documentary. the nominations, please. >> client 9, the rise and fall of elliott spitzer. a small acts, hbo documentary films. food in, pbs. presumed guilty, pbs. the oath, pbs. restrepo, national geographic channel. >> the winner is, food inc. [applause] accepting the emmy, >> -- >>
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accepting the emmy, robert. >> the fast-food industry fought against giving you the calorie information. if there is trans fat in it. they prevented country of origin labeling. they fought not to label genetically modified food. 70% a processed food has a some genetically modified ingredient. [applause] >> wow. well, i am a lucky man. for many reasons. one is, there are so many wonderful film makers who are in this category. it is such a great profession to be in. i am lucky to be part of this world.
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and you get to work with some many wonderful people. i am honored to be here among all of you. hopefully we can go out and keep making the world a better place. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome the chairman of the national academy of arts and sciences, -- >> thank you. you must be happy to see me because i am the final act. i want to congratulate the winners and everybody have a safe trip home. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> cbs news chief foreign correspondent lara logan on reporting in war zones. another chance to see the ceremony for news and documentary. later, president obama's remarks to business leaders in china and japan. at a business conference in honolulu, hawaii. tomorrow, the potential impact of the deficit-reduction committee. with frank gaffney. then a look at the future of education policy with dennis van roekel. and the president of the alzheimer's association hairy john's talks about a new report on the disease. that is at 7:00 a.m. on c-span.
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sunday, newsmakers, with grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform of the deficit reduction debate. at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on c-span. >> this c-span home pages now easier to use. it features 11 video choices making it easier for you to watch today's events. there is a section to access our most popular series like washington journal, book tv, and the contenders. and we have a channel finder so you can find work to watch our networks on cable or satellite systems. at the all new >> 60 minutes contributor lara logan talks about reporting in war zones, u.s. involvement, and
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her salt earlier this year in egypt. she is interviewed by marvin kalb. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> hello and welcome. i am marvin kalb. our guest is lara logan. to state that she has enjoyed a meteoric career is to state the obvious. after working for a few newspapers in south africa, she
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joined reuters before freelancing for fox and cnn. in 2002, after reporting for cbs radio news, she joined the network itself, cbs news, and her career has skyrocketed. first reporting on the war in iraq for the cbs evening news and 60 minutes ii. \ four years later, she was chief foreign correspondent for cbs and a regular contributor to 60 minutes. during the egyptian revolution in 2011, she was brutally assaulted and beaten while covering the story. but she bounced back and won many prizes and the admiration and respect of her colleagues. lara logan, welcome. it is a pleasure to have you here.
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tell us about the beginning of the lara logan story, journalism, your parents. >> the first thing i was filled with even before i understood was a sense of the injustice of apartheid. that was probably in still than me. -- instilled in me. >> apartheid was the official policy of the south african government. separating whites from blacks. >> treating black people as second-class citizens. as a young child, i remember standing in the grocery store. my dad would take is to get candy. there was a black man at the counter with a handful of pennies. i remember asking my father was white. when we got to the front, he would not let us pay for the
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candy until the shopkeeper's served this gentleman. it taught me there was something wrong. i think it was the values instilled in me that taught me to stand up for what is wrong. at 17 i got a job at a local newspaper. i did all of the silly stories. i used to go with the photographers. at night or the daytime or the weekends. when the other kids were at the beach, i was up the newspaper. i went into the army after that because i knew there was a world. i ended up on the front lines in afghanistan for a british tv station. people noticed me because no one else was reporting from the front line. all of these articles were written about -- i spent months
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in an kola living with the soldiers with nothing. >> you have been associated in the public mind with being a war correspondent. in your mind, how would you define it being a war correspondent? what are the qualities you need? >> there is something true to all people who do the work that i do. the story is bigger than you. if you're motivated by being on television, and you are not there. you are not the one that is on on edge, on the razor's edge the true side of the war. not just those people who went into baghdad when the city fell. those who were there when the city was under attack. we are motivated by the same thing.
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a passion and a belief in being an observer to history. it witness to our times. one of the of fundamental tenants of any democracy, how can you go when the war if you are not there to witness it and then decide where you stand. >> you feel you are there as a sin in -- sit in for the people of the united states? >> i would spend time with people in angola. nobody cared about that war. who was recording it if we were not there? reuters going in a few months would have been the only time. people were being tortured. most people do not care about that but i cared. i never did it because it was going to make me famous. -- was it ever in your
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mind who you looked up to? >> i respected people but never wanted to be somebody else. i wanted to be my own person. i did not grow up in the arms of the american media. a respected cnn in beijing when the first goal for happen. i wanted to be there. the people that i respected most were the ones in the trenches with me who taught me everything i know. >> the other reporters? >> people side-by-side. the reporters. in south africa, it was not like the media is in a lot of places. people care about the story. people believed apartheid was wrong. if we could expose what was happening, it was track -- change.
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great people from all over the world would come there to work. that is to talk me my craft, even down to the black guy who did not have an education but could find a way to get your take in and out of that township and would risk everything. we would hide them in our mattresses from the police. there was a bond of something great and noble. >> as the chief correspondent for cbs, you have been called upon to cover stories that not only mean war but some injury or diplomacy. gobbledygook. >> otherwise non us politics. >> to you find yourself more comfortable doing the war? >> without question. it requires more of you.
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it asks you what is truly important. i would give up a toilet and a hot meal and a bed and the day for a story that is real. i cannot stand to dabble in things it did not mean anything. -- that do not mean anything. it does not bring a fire in new the way of doing something that is the difference between life and death. >> could it be argued that the president of this country making a decision about war and peace are doing something that is a burning issue? >> no question. it just does not burn in me. it is painfully boring sometimes. i cannot stand people who lie to you and some less diplomatic speech that you spend hours trying to work out what the hell they just told you.
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i prefer people letter straight talking. >> you think the military are street hawkers? >> not always. i have become adept at sorting out the talking points. over the years, i have acquired a reputation for having some depth of knowledge so they are nervous about serving me up a plate of -- uhm. this is recorded, right? >> those people do not mind when they call you out on it. they kind of expected. when you call a politician, they do not appreciate it. embedded tok about journalism. you have been imbedded with american forces any number of times. you have spoken about the "unwritten rules." >> that is not just apply to
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embedded journalism. it was that context. i am expanding my quote. >> and white to do you think are those on written rules of journalism? >> the same that apply to anything. integrity. that is what we're talking about. if you are a crime reporter, there are certain trusts that to develop in those situations. if a lawyer or policeman says, do not report on this because you would jeopardize that case. reporters make those judgment calls. what i meant when i was talking about that is i think that when i spend a week on and with soldiers, one they are talking about personal things, i don't think they think i'm going to put that in the media. there is a bond of trust that
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develops. i do not mean that that you compromise your paternalistic integrity. if i give my word that i am not going to report something, i need a compelling reason to shift. your word is your bond. i have to be able to live with myself before anything else. i have never encountered a story that was more important than my integrity. >> a blogger, he referred to a u.s. the pentagon's favored journalists. why do you think he said it? >> probably because when the -- when the general was relieved after the rolling stone magazine article i said something stinks
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here. i do not get it. i did not fall into line and say this is horrendous. that is partly because i know the man that he is. i did not have anything invested in saying what i said but i know when something feels wrong. that waselieve accurate of the situation. i do not think what was described was presented in the right context. michael hastings said they invited me to see them in the most open situation. i think what the general has you at an event which is his wedding anniversary where he has not seen his wife, that is an personal environment. there was never any mention that he was drinking but the impression you were left with was that it was a party.
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i do not know if there was a distinct -- i think there was something dishonest about the article. i do not care what rolling stone magazine says. and if we were not on television, i would tell them what they can do with themselves. [laughter] >> i gather you think journalists ought to share their personal opinions with the public. 2009, you said, every true journalist wants to change the world. it is game playing to say reporters should not give their informed opinions. that has been a function of a journalism forever. i could argue with you but i will not. do you give your opinions and reporting? >> you are talking about -- i was on an internet show and i was asked for my opinion.
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i was not reporting. i was there as a guest to offer my opinion. when i said that in turn must have given their opinion, i was talking about the editorial pages. an op-ed page. i do not think those things should be confused. it is important that those lines remained strong. my job is not to give my opinion. my job is to be a true journalist and reporter and stray -- stay true to the facts. >> you have a reputation -- i'm going to ask your opinion. you have a reputation of being outspoken. what is your opinion about the quality of american television coverage of the wars and iraq and afghanistan?
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>> it varies. it is hard to paint it all with one brush. i do not like here academics who are talking from washington, d.c. and have spent very little time on the ground and to have a controlled experience. there shepherded from meeting to meeting. if you have had not time to taste the dirt with afghan people, if you have not had time to bleed in that dirt, you can never have a true understanding. i do not like shows where listen to academics debating policy. i don't think they know what they're talking about. fore's a lot to be said reporters who spent time on the ground. i have worked to soldier to soldier -- shoulder to shoulder
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with many great to journalists. richard has done great work. i do not always agree with his analysis but he has an incredible work. other journalists from four networks. and the cbs people who have spent time out there. of course, i am sitting here because i have been asked to do more for the network. if i did not have a family, a husband, i would be in afghanistan. you would need and armored division to dislodge me. i don't believe you would see some reporting you are not seeing. that does not mean i have the answer to everything. there is a lack of commitment. this idea that war turns people off is nonsense. 60 minutes as reported on the
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war and our ratings have never suffered. >> you once said that if i watch the news in the united states, i would blow my brains out. it would drive me nuts. >> i stand by that. [laughter] >> take one step back and go from comments about the media to comments about policy. the invasion of iraq in 2003. >> a terrible idea. it was based on lies. first and foremost. we never went into iraq to help the iraqi people. more than that, because it was never set to achieve anything good. you could argue if you were a shi-ite, that something could
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came from a. but i'm talking about from an american perspective. i really mean from a western perspective. the world has been quick to divide of the fight into american and non-american. i do not believe in that division. it is between western or non- western. it is for people who believe in the way of life that we believe in. it goes back centuries into a very dark time. i think that it has been an abject failure. the true depth of the failure has never been honestly and openly talked about. >> what is missing? >> we like to pretend that to general petraeus save to the day. what he did was stop the bloodletting. but not because of the surge. he made an agreement with the sunnis.
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it was not until there was so much blood, that it cannot be supported politically that we finally had the will to make that kind of an agreement it prevented all of them from being massacred by the iraqi government. they wanted them dead. every last one of them. i went on grades like this. the sunni were giving them the weapons. this is the guy the want to shut down. in terms of strategy, national security, the invasion of iraq was a failure. it empowered iran and did nothing to serve american interests. not to mention, a it depends which side of the line you came from in iraq. many have benefited from the invasion. >> let me ask you about
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afghanistan. i recently did a book called morning legacy about the effect of the vietnam war on presidential policy-making. when we talk to people at the embassy did, they told us that american policy right now could be defined as a good enough if they could come up with some kind of formula that is politically acceptable to the american people. you i'm wondering is did hear the same kind of thing from and to see people and did you feel that good enough is good enough? >> that is an indictment. i expect nothing more from politicians and from that embassy. he most to destroy u.s. policy when he was general and he set
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about destroying what was left of it. the fact -- what is good enough? what is good enough for the american soldiers? has anyone seen what that debris of this war looks like? i was shocked. i am used to believe -- being on the battlefield and seeing soldiers wounded. as long as you hear they're going to make use the previous high of relief. it is not close to ok. i do not think that is a policy that is good enough for anybody. if you do not believe it can be one, -- won, everyone has a different definition. what we -- it was not an invasion. the afghans were the ones that
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took to the taliban with u.s. help. there were several personnel on the ground. the original aim was to defeat al qaeda and the taliban and to ensure there were never able to threaten the interests of the united states again. when you are avoiding the hypocrisy of not putting them on the terror list because you want to negotiate with them and they will bring out every academic who will tell you that every insurgency in history has been won through negotiation, you do not win it on the battlefield, for me, people think when i say this that i am advocating war. i am not. if you're going to go to war, go to war and win. if not, then get the hell out.
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you have no right to ask people to fight in your name. you are lying to them. my best analogy, what you're doing to troops, line up all of those troops and handcuffed them behind their backs and send them into the guns. that is what you're doing. the enemy is not in afghanistan. the expendable people are in afghanistan. the real enemy is across the board in pakistan. there are 1000 things you can do to address that. as long as you are not going after the command and control, and we have the capacity to do that but have not, then you have no business being in the fight. when people say that he is not a strategic partner and is corrupt, really? 30 or 40 guys will strap on bombs and attack the united states because they are passed give me a break.
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this is not about corruption. this is an excuse. >> cut it down to the chase. what do you think is at the heart of the american effort in afghanistan? >> get the hell out. that is what we care about. it is costing too much. we do not think the afghans are worth the fight, it is their problem, and we want to get out of here. >> at this point if the u.s. were to work out a way to get out, without having accomplished its original purpose, it sounds like you think it is a waste? >> yes. it has been a waste. you do not have to go in there. if you have their phone numbers, as we have had for years, you do not need to go across the border.
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>> what do you do? >> you take them off the same way you took out a al-awlaki, and all the others killed that way. [laughter] >> well -- >> used car did not just them, but the network -- you target not just them, but then not work, and you send a message that putting american bodies in arlington cemetery is not an acceptable form of foreign policy. >> [laughter] [applause] let's take a brief moment for that -- audiences that this is "the kalb report." , and i am kalb talking to lara logan. let me raise what is probably difficult subject for you. early on in the egyptian revolution in tahrir square, you were sexually assaulted, beaten, and for a time you could notyou're not back full time.
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-- you are now back full-time. i'm wondering if that experience has effected you as a -- affected usa -- you as a journalist. i have a comment you made in an interview. "i have a fear now in me that i have never had before. i do not want to let it stop me, but it is going to be difficult." explain that. >> i think all of us have with us this idea that it is not going to beat me. then, one day, it is you. you cannot lie to yourself anymore is the best way to describe it. i am afraid of things i was not afraid of before. i have lived with afghan soldiers on their front line for three months, with no one with a, just two afghans who did not even speak english. what i do that again? a think the thing that is most difficult is the it reminds you
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of the price that the people who love have to pay for what you do. i could do this for me. if it was just me, i would have gone back to libya. i would be testing myself. it is not just me. when you come that close to dying, and that does not really even describe it, because i have said i was in the process of dying. hilos already half-dead before it stopped, -- i was already half-dead, before it stopped. i was somehow able to live. i looked at my children, and my husband, and i think "how could i do that to them?" journalism is the same. i believe in the work as much as i ever have, but i am conscious of how selfish that decision is and the price that the people i love pay, and that makes you afraid. i do not know the been afraid -- i do not know that being afraid
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enables you to do the things that i have done. i mean, i just went back to afghanistan, so it is not like i'm chained to the desk. >> of course. i was a little puzzled. a couple of days before you went back and faced that awful experience, i believe you were on "the charlie rose" program, and you told him they you and -- you felt that you hand your crew were targeted, you said. felt that you are not safe. the week before. >> right. my point is feeling that you were targeted, having been arrested, you still went back. what is it about lara logan that can face something that is obvious, let's slow down, but you went back anyway? anarchists set heart. we do not like to be told what to do. even if it is by the egyptian
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government. by a producer looks like he works for the state department. he drives us all crazy because we could be in the desert and he looks like he just rolled out of washington. we were sitting in this room, in this intelligence facility in egypt, and i was on a trip because i -- drip because i'm had been sick. i started vomiting before the interrogation began. i do not think they're used to having people and starting out the interrogation with thata bench with a stuck -- eventually they stopped me in my arm, and left me in a filthy room. when i woke up my producer and cameraman was with me. my cameraman wanted to get out
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of there, but my producer said screw these guys. i'm not going to the airport. who are they to tell me what to do? you do not want to be stupid about it but this is a major story. we are talking about one of the most fundamental shift in the strategic map of the world that we have ever seen in our lifetimes. so there is part of youth that has the adrenaline, that things you need to be there to witness it. my husband and i talked about it and we took that decision to get there. i did not make that decision on my own. if you tell me up not to go, i will not, and he did not. >> did you have spoken openly about that. -- but you have spoken openly about that experience a few times, and i do not want to belabor the point. i have a larger question in mind that is more than a larger logan.
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-- lara logan. >> if it frames the environment in which your working. women are good for a particular role, but it takes a long time for women to be taken seriously on the same playing field, like for example, in war. >> but i have to tell you, many young women as you know very well are now covering the war. >> now, but not 10 years ago. >> right. >> and now when i was coming up to their ranks. and you are expected to be manly if you did, not allowed to wear makeup or be feminine. you had that bill of -- you have to fill a certain image of what
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a female war correspondent would look like. it was never in my dna to be something else for somebody else so i never tried. and i was told repeatedly that i would never make it. and that someone with my hair, i thought about cutting my hair for three seconds after that interview, and that is how long it lasted. it is harder for men to speak about it than for women. it is not just women who are raped in horrible prisons around the world. it is man, too. i think that women live with a degree of sexual harassment, not just in your picture personal life. -- in your work but in your personal life. if i came out of the afghan war and told you that that the afghan soldiers were taking
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kabul, and someone would come out of the crowd and grab my breasts in a general interview, and they had to this guy down and brought him to my feet and put a gun to his head and they said just say yes -- that is all the people would have talked about. so i did not hide it. but for the first time i talked about it, the big headlines in britain, i thought, oh, boy. that is not what i wanted to be remembered for. there were a lot of things that -- i did not wind about every respect to a car how close it was about how high it was. you shut up and you take if you do your job. in afghanistan, everyone complained about what a terrible war that was to cover. as compared to the golan, that was fairly luxurious. >> say you're not saying that it is more difficult for women in
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war. >> no, i'm not. there's a certain risk that women face, but when the "new york times" journalists were arrested, there were things that happened to this man that no one talked about of a sexual nature. men are just as much risk as women. >> there are a lot of things that you have said and what people said about you and i come away with the impression that a lot of people seem more fascinated by your personal life, what kind of person is laura load and region -- lara logan to in? >> i really do not have a good answer debt question. one thing that i will say, i have no idea until the happen that there were so many of my
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colleagues that were interested in the work that i do and respected. the gut so used to covering your back in this business and waiting for the next night that you forget about that aspect of it. a mother-in-law said that people do not say those nice things about you until you're dead. [laughter] lucky, and if said, really? i am not filling so lucky right now. didn't you think that the industry is loaded with people who go for your back and want to do you harm? do you live in that environment? >> not in the more than a lot of journalists. i think that as a part of the nature of the industry. i want to write a book that would set people against each other. i think there are a lot of people were subjected to it. >> let's talk about foreign reporting for a few minutes.
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i had the impression lately that in terms of our and reporting -- far and reporting, aside from reporters who are death living somewhere and covering that environment, a big shot journalist will fly and, do a couple of interviews, and then leave, go back home. i am wondering secure courier is very much in the ascendancy, that you'll find yourself almost inevitably in the situation where you go into your best instincts and you want to stay somewhere and set it up and then you say, but you've got to be back on friday because on sunday you are going on the air. what you think about the inevitability lara logan doing what producers tell her to do because she is a big shot and she will be on television and
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draw many more eyes to the network? how will you deal with that,, three spare lara logan it? >> sometimes i will give in and sometimes i will p. iss i am more inclined to come back and seeing my babies rather than be on the air on monday. i was living in baghdad and we get these pro constant pressures. we saw how many soldiers were dying in hamadi you physical. it could not go out because it was so dangerous. i called up one of my producers and said, do not ask any questions, get on a plan, we're going to ramadi. off we went, and we just disappeared for three weeks. i remembered coming back at one
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point in ramadi, there is someone from new york trying to reach you. so every journalist knows we are adept at disappearing when we need to. there is something very uncomfortable about that reality, that really bothers me, that so much of your truly good reporting comes from your got and if you have not had time on a grand, if you have not had time to really grow that innate sense of what something is. i know afghan people because i've spent so much time with them but when someone tells me something in washington that does not fit, i know it does not fit. i do not have to read so much or refer to anybody else. i know appear that it does not fit. i do not want become one of those people that parachutes and and parachutes out. there are ways around that. nothing can substitute for the
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five years i spent living in baghdad ior in afghanistan. that is one of those things that i have to deal with as it comes. and when i go to afghanistan, i do not go for three days. i just beg to 0.5 weeks there and that is nothing compared to the months i've spent on trips. but it is not three days. hopefully i will find a way around that. >> i keep wondering how that is going to happen. >> i am not driven by my hours and minutes on there. i really am not. that has never been the motivation for me. of course if you do a story you wanted to be out there and you want people to be watching. but if it means i do what you less pieces a year or i'm not as famous as i could become i do not care. >> 60 minutes is run by
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journalists. it is not run by corporate executives are business people. >> but is still has to make money. >> it does. he knows what is important. if i stay in afghanistan for three weeks, it will be really important, he says fine, make it work. he does i say he will make it work for you. but make it work, if that is the decision you're going to make, make it work. and then god help you, you make it work for you do not have a job. >> how you prepare for a store for 60 minutes? >> it really depends. i think cramming for exams has been migrated preparation for 60 minutes. i have a good short-term memory because higher -- and made to my
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academic career remembering everything that i study. i use the same thing at 60 minutes. hold to a five-hour interview and never let a piece of paper. we just won the emmy for best interview. we never had a single suggested question for that piece. i never thought about it and to my producer said, not a single written question. if you read everything that moves, you try to go to beyond that to the people who are experts in their field. you really have to master an extraordinary amount of detail. you have to know much more than ever comes out in the story. it is tough. i did 360 minutes pieces in three days and i had to be a medical expert one day, apollo expert another day, and an economic expert on another day.
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and i still had to be mom. >> you want to soak up everything. >> i do. but there is a difference there between when you really immerse yourself in a level of detail that you need to do is strong 60 minutes interview. that is different to talking on a 24 hour channel. you really are just reading a wire and you have no idea if that is correct and not. >> tell me, when you run out of force to cover, what will you be doing? >> i just found a profile with aerosmith and canada. and i just did a piece with michael buble. i know more about polo than i ever cared enough. 60 minutes is a magazine program.
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it is about the richness of life, not just about war. i smiled to myself because i condescendingly get the things about, she should do something other than war. of course i can do something other than war. what you think, i never read a book? i never been to a museum and admired a beautiful painting? i have never been to the movies? come on. if you can interview a president and prime minister ends sleep on the streets of and go up with the street kids to know what they're going through, you can do those fans. people want to know what are you made up. that is what experiences. mike wallace and ed bradley, why people love to watch them? because they could see what they were made of. they did not hide and they were good people. i am still try to walk in the issues. >> and they are big shoes. they are big shoes. but you're also the foreign
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affairs correspondent for cbs. you seem to be spending -- am i wrong, correct me -- most of your times during 60 minutes pieces. >> i am spending most of my times during 60 minutes. >> to you find yourself -- windy you find you're still having something to do for the evening news? >> i will get a contact resource and i will find something to go to the evening news that leads to something. >> but it is not a day to day sense of responsibility that you have. >> no, because fortunately scott understands what it takes to do 1260 minutes pieces a year. and my boss understands that your because people think it is easy. they do not understand, if every one of these pieces is like giving birth to triplets. it really is. and sometimes that is pleasant in comparison to review realize everything not thousand, million times, if you fight with each other, you hate each other, you
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love each other, you go without sleep, and i remember when i was 8.5 months pregnant working on my two-part piece and the young producer staggering and saying, our complaint about tighter i am but she is a months pregnant. and you are real tame. you work to those hard nights together. it is tough but it is rewarding. >> you mentioned a moment ago about reading books. i do not want to put you on the spot. what are the kinds of books that you enjoy reading? are you a mystery reader? or a history reading? >> i do like mysteries, but most of my life is occupied by reading things that will help me do a better job. i am reading a book now called "the story," a fascinating story that i am working on. this is one of the best medical stories, and diagnose diseases
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and what it is like. one of the people i interviewed for this, boy, she took my breath away. a beautiful woman sitting there telling me but for the last 26 years, she had been tortured and no one could different answer. -- give her an answer. most of the time i am reading for my work. reading a book about the wars on afghanistan. so it usually is books like that. i do not like trashy novels because i do not have the time to spend on them. but i just read another book by journalist that i got in chicago when i was there, it was all about his mother, a holocaust survivor, and how he discovered after his father died. >> you do not do much fiction. >> know. i love fiction, though.
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>> you do not have the time for. >> but there's nothing greater than being transported by a new novel. nothing greater. that is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. and i was inspired by paul boehner, when he wrote "as i lay dying," my dream as a girl was to write a book that you could read over and over and never have the same understanding twice. the shortage chapter he ever wrote was "my mother is a fish." his mother had just died and he was fishing at the time. that is how he related it understood it. that was his attempt to grapple with the concept of death. every chapter was written to the eyes of somebody else. it took me reading the first 40 pages about 16 times before i understood where i was. how great to write a novel like
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that. that is something i still want to do. >> but can you imagine being finished working on television? >> yes, i can. >> -- what sort of life you see yourself leading? >> and i hope my husband and i do not hate each other by then. and we have our like to share. for me, i've always had a restless soul. i do not pretend to know the meaning of life. or have any grand ideas about the universe or the world of television and where it is going. i'd just know that when my husband and i had at children and had a family, to see yourself moving in shifting all the time was the first time i really had that peace and i found the meaning of my life. that is much more important to me and television. as long as i can do work that means something to me, rather written or in television or anything else, that is all that i care about. you have to feel when you go to bed at the end of the day like
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you did something that meant something that date. otherwise, what is the point? >> is that something you feel every day, once a week, once a month? what would satisfy you? >> i tried to feel that every day. because i am true to myself. >> what is it -- that you have learned something new in the course of the day for your help someone in the course of the day, that you have disappointed people in the course of the day? what is it that carries you forward? >> i am always trying to do better. the thing about journalism is that i could work and i'm very frequently do work from 7:00 in the morning through 5:00 in the morning. day after day after day, christmas, easter, birthdays, what ever it was. and i did not do it for the promotion. i did not do it for the company or anyone but myself. the greatest experience you could ever have of life is in
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that job for their ask you to experience everything about life. and to try to understand and communicate something that means something. it is the same with my children. if i can get to the end of the day and feel like i was the best, could be and i did everything i want the -- that was expected of me that day, i do not care if i'm staggering into bed at 11:00 at night. i know my son has gone to bed with that feeling of absolute love and those moments that we had before he closed his eyes, there's nothing compare with that. >> that is marvelous. there are many young journalists in the audience. we've got just a couple of minutes left. i am wondering what kind of advice would you give them. they face a journalism that has enormous uncertainty ran out, -- right now, finding its way forward with difficulty.
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what would you tell them? >> i would say that i have to believe that the one thing that will endure about journalism is that people want to know the trick. whatever people think about the journalism profession, however skating they are about it, at the end of the day, our society functions on the flow of information. if you believe in that and the first amendment, if you believe in what you're doing, then i would not worry too much about where it is going. find your niche and give everything you have to that. do not expect someone to do it for you. do not say i am i going to do this or that. you have to be prepared to do everything. i just found, i trocars, i did satellite, i did everything. i did everything. and that is why have the certainty. i know what i believe in and who i am. i did not get that a corporation. there's no greater honor and my life to work for 60 minutes, but
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it does not define my work. i try to live up to a standard of journalism there but it does not make me who i am. i will be who i am with their without any job that i have. and i think that is very important. do not take yourself too seriously. do not stop thinking -- the moment i start thinking i am as important as 60 minutes, come on. the worst journalism is when the journalists things seem matters more than the store. there no illusions about my place in the world. no illusions whatsoever. for me, if it is a woman in the middle of the bush and africa and i have told her story and nobody watches it, of course, what have they changed and affected? but there is a record of history that now exists. do not take no for an answer. do not listen to the people that tell you have to do it this way it that way are you cannot do it that way. you can only do it on your own merit. and the harder you work and the
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more you understand about what you are doing, people cannot take that away from you. they cannot make you insecure when they read stories that she just got here because of her looks our whatever routes. when they say that publicly are behind your back, it cannot make you insecure because i'd do know that no one did me any favors. no one took me under their wing. i do not have any aversion to slugging my guts out even now. we all do it. 60 minutes would not make the air if we did not slug our guts out for every store. people told me that i did not have the right color of skin to be hard for a newspaper in south africa, so i went to television. i worked for nothing. i work for what they were prepared to pay for me. i interviewed for jobs i had done for two years. i ate humble pie.
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i never did it for anybody but myself. and you know, one of the president's at cbs told me that the biggest problem of what phase is staying true to myself. and i smiled inwardly, because, that is not going to be my heart problem. mine will be keeping my mouth shut. [laughter] being my -- being who i am is the problem because i don't know anything else to be. when i say that, i've never -- my mother said, if you have to choose the hard road every single time. the hard road. >> why? >> i could never shut up and say yes, mom, i am going to drive carefully not speed i said, no, mom, i'm going to put my foot down and head for the first wall i could find. of course i am going to drive carefully. for me it was an injustice that
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she would think it would do anything other than drive carefully. that was what was expected of me. i try to do what is expected to make of me and tried to the right thing. and that is not always popular. a lot of people did not like what i said about coverage of the iraq war. a lot of people did not like what i said about that. and it really is not about me. i did not want opinion to overshadow the word. the work is really what matters. i think that people who want to be on television, if that is your aim, do not be a journalist. that is not the right job for you. you're never going to be the journalists that you think you want to be. >> lara i am really sorry that our time is up. i want to thank you for sitting here and enjoying this. and of course i want you attack
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-- to thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience and for keeping alive the flame of a free and vigorous press. the best guarantor of a free and vigorous society. but our time is up. good night and good luck, as edward r. murrow used said. [applause] >> now we have two microphones, one there and one there. you can get to the microphone and ask your question. i'm going to insist that it is a question and not a speech. [laughter] and now will probably cut you off it is -- if it is a speech. >> i'm from the george
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washington university and a cut to the school of media and public sector. you offered pointed criticisms of our role in iraq and afghanistan. i am curious how you feel about our involvement in libya. >> libya is interesting. the only reason we went after them because we knew we could get away with a politically. it does not mean that what he was doing was wrong. in the real question for me is what we doing about syria. we have a different relationship much more interwoven and complicated. libya was easier in terms of our war or to our friends in the war and terror. of course there was some hypocrisy in libya. not surprising. we've been waiting for a chance to get rid of him. the real tragedy of the middle east is the fact that so many people are dying in syria. so little has been done about it.
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if i did not have my situation, that is what i would be trying to be, on the border in lebanon, and we're still trying to find a way. there are inroads into the society. the contract access them from the outside. -- you can try and access them from the outside. but as people not just a focus on libya, but look at the context of syria. maybe that would be the story i would push every day. >> would you imagine the u.s. involvement militarily in surly -- in syria question are >> because of the relationship with iran, it will be different. no indication that they have any indication of doing that. i think it is extremely unlikely. can you ever rule anything else? no, you cannot rule it out. >> i our producer here in this story. -- in the city. congratulations on the medal of
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honor, and january 2007, it was heavy for you. on a number of levels. a lot of people might not know the story, but could you unpacked interview a little and a lot of what you learn from hyper street? >> what i learned from hyper street was really quite interesting. i for st. was an earlier part of baghdad where al qaeda had been entrenched. the u.s. military kept advancing campaigns to clean up hyper street in it was just the iraqi government making a deal to attacked so that the violence would go down. and it appeared to have cleaned out hyper street. none of those deals ever worked out. and then what happened in january 2007, he was a major push to go back into hyper streets. the iraqi army unit devastation on hyper street systematically
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raped, tortured, and murdered the people there. punish them for having al qaeda in their midst. and they returned and slaughtered as many of the iraqi army as they wanted to. we were living on hyper street. we could see the battle to yen and day out. i was contacted one spike -- i cannot remember how it came to me. i met with george bush and he was so lovely man. there is a family on-street begging for help. was trying to get the u.s. military to help them. i actually found out from friends that the ambassador was meeting with iraqi president. i arranged with the interview with the iraqi president at the same time. when i bumped into the ambassador, i ask that they would help me with this family. i knew once he publicly gave his word like that, he would be screwed.
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[laughter] so we ended up going down on hyper street with an iraqi in a. they were asking me where the family was, and i had never been there. i just knew that there was a family eating dog food. they were living in the showers. everything, it was a terrific source chelation to be in. i did what i could. i use the leverage that i had and went with the unit down hyper street and they arrested them, and i am still in contact with them. you're probably referring to the report that i did which had very graphic images showing both sides of the violence. i had so many people on high for st. -- on hyper street talking about the rates in the torture. cbs news at the time did not want to air the report because they thought was too graphic.
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so and my wonderful, night- incoming e-mail everyone i knew and said, looking for people who are desperate for anything, and they said they would put it on, and then i asked them to look at the report. and what they thought about it and let cbs know. that was used by the left-wing media first to show what a terrible place cbs news was, how they were censoring the coverage of the war for their own agenda. for a right-wing agenda. and ever some reason the right wing decided they hated me to. how was used as a political football for the rights for how the left was try to skew the image of the war. and all that was nonsense. had nothing to do with any of that. i really resented being used as a political football by everybody, but it goes with the territory. i was not trying to say that cbs was censoring the war. it was an innocent decision prepare really thought those
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images were too graphic and i thought strongly that they should be seen. that is my job as a reporter. i am not the editor at cbs news and never will be. i will report on the ground. i wanted it out there. cbs had been extremely good to me. and they have let me go to the furthest points in the world and say what i actually think about it time and time again. and there is no dr. evil sitting there guiding cbs policy in one direction or the other. the disciplines are real journalism. -- it is a place of real journalism appeared that is one of the battles that did not go away. i do not think all liver send a mass e-mail again. >> thank you for being here tonight. my question is, as a journalist
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had difficulty to be emotionally ?nvested in the story >> i am mostly invested in everything. i live with the iraqi people for five years and i was very invested with them. is important to be invested. i had one journalist tell me in mozambicans, we were doing a story 30 children that had been lost from their parents. i remember coming out of that building and crying. he said, for god's sake of me think that is bad? you're never going to make it in this business if you cry all the time. and i thought, how you cope with everything that you've been through? confronted, not tonight. i i think very much about what i
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did. i owe the people that i tend to honesty and integrity. there's a huge responsibility and i'm not here to wave the flag on your behalf. i have a responsibility to you but i have a responsibility to the iraqi people whose lives are affected, to the iraqi government coming to the u.s. government, to a whole lot of different people when i do my work. i think it is important to be invested in an. i am very invested in an emotionally and i did not try to hide that. i do not try to hold back on that. to give everything to it. and the only thing you have to give someone sometimes is of yourself. you give them respect. you give them understanding. you give them a chance to tell it to you in their words, in their way. people think that i'm a big talker and not a listener. one of the biggest mistakes that you may. i'm a very, very, very good listener. i really pay attention.
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when i sit down with you, you have everything that i have appeared to have all of me. i think that you know that to people. -- u zero people that. -- owe people that. you have to be moved by this to understand it. >> yes, placed [applause] . -- yes, please. thank you for your presence in your example. you spoke about the experts and academics who left just talk to someone in the white house and pentagon and then come on the air. i wonder if you could tell us as listeners and viewers more about how to identify the funny experts. it used to be that the good- londes were easy to
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spot and then you and lesley stahl came along. how could we spot the people who have credentials but are just repeating wire reports? >> it is tough. not every expert is funny. for slidell is one of the best voices. ruce li is oned goodell is. you have to pay attention to the voice. does this institution sit on the left of the right? what is their motivation? you evaluate someone's motivations for why they would be saying that. why would they think that?
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if you do not have firsthand experience and knowledge, it is very hard to know when someone is slipping and academia and it is easy to be intimidated by the fear they often know a lot more about something that you have no idea about. i do not have an easy answer for you. journalists at the time are lazy. " if you keep spotting a guy on cnn that annoys the holy crap attitude, there's probably a good reason for it. if you see what someone says about iraq and then the truth emerges eventually, as it usually does come out, even though it takes time, if you are paying attention, you remember that. just take it with a grain of salt at the time. and actually a lot of the institutions are very clearly aligned with different administrations. so you just have to be aware.
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but it is tough. do not think it is an easy thing. that is why they get away with it. schoola freshman at the media and public affairs. you describe the graphic images you saw in iraq. in the case of libya or the death of bin laden, is best -- in the case of bin laden, do you think the public should see these pictures as graphic as they are of someone's dead body? t think that is important? >> yes and no. people will say they did not see the body so it did not happen. come on. i know this administration made that decision because they were afraid it would inspire lone wolf attacks. the people sitting on the fans, to prevent someone who would be motivated to go out and open up with a machine gun in times square. i think that is a decision made out of weakness and fear. if that is your basic part.
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i am i really sure but i am not a counter-terrorism expert, i am not sure that is the strongest base. does the world need to see a picture of bin laden dead? i know that he married his wife when she was 14 years old, and no one is calling them a pedophile. people are focusing on not being able to see his body? that is the most important thing to come out of it? what does serve to see bin laden as body? there is an argument -- that is what seeing the body means. i am not really sure if you have a right to see his body? does it serve a greater purpose? you ask yourself those questions when you do this work. what is the greater purpose that i am serving in doing this. and my making a name for myself?
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will there be a story that goes and ruins people's lives? i do not even have a good answer for you on that. i did not need to see his body. knowing that he was dead was a not. >> our last question, please. >> i am presently with cnn. or reporting has been with this country since the earliest days. everett r. murrow was the first to bring it to us live. -- war reporting has been with this country since the earliest days. edward r. murrow has been the first to bring it to a slide. you can see how -- bring it to us live. have you found to be a hindrance in any way? does it become harder for people to be connected with your story is when there is some much information brought to them at any given point?
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>> cnn does not play to my strengths. being an instant expert, rushing off everywhere, it was not a place i was very comfortable. i knew what happened in the falkland islands, but northern thailand is a minefield. you say a name and it means one thing on one side of the border and something else on the other side. it has huge implications. i did not feel comfortable reporting seven like that and reading something off the wires this on the -- the moment something it. there is a huge downside to the technology in the sense that it does 90 view even a day -- even if they can be fast when you're on the deadline. but at the same time, there is something great about what the technology is. that instant news is change the world. change politics and national security policy. it's dangerous to get change the strategic relationships, everything about how we lead. everything about how we lead.


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