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tv   History of Air Force One  CSPAN  June 24, 2012 1:00am-1:35am EDT

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arrangements with libraries to do character recognition so they could be discovered. the purpose was to allow computers to find the books that have information that you were looking for. it was not necessarily to make the book available that way. it was to make it discoverable. so libraries could conceivably help, but they will face the same argument that we have had to cope with. copyright in its current form is way too restrictive. we should be thinking more about how to allow officers to choose how they want to share information and not be confined to current copyright issues. but the other problem we have run into is that books that are
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no longer in print are very difficult to identify the owner of rights to books that are no longer in print anymore. they're not registered. it says basically any time you create something, you have instant rights to it, even though nobody knows that. we need to fix some of if that is registered, it would make it somewhat easier to find the party that is to be compensated if they wish to be compensated. >> we have just a few minutes remaining.
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we have a question from somebody in our audience. as a high-school teacher, what is the most important thing that i should be teaching my high- school students about the digital internet world? >> critical thinking to begin with. the other thing is to realize that specific content is much less relevant than the ability to acquire knowledge and interpret college. part of critical thinking is being able to make some sense of it and to be a producer. go out there and set up your own blog. create a school blog. whatever it takes, be an active player in this revolution.
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you can have the media inside the question so that it is not related to outside of the classroom and don't check out. just because you think the kids are more tech savvy, you have some wisdom. >> what do you see on the horizon? >> three things. first of all, more mobility, higher speed access, more use of artificial intelligence for translation. and then the fourth thing, going off the planet. there is an interplanetary internet already in operation. the next step is interstellar. [laughter]
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>> top that, arianna. [laughter] >> that is a perfect segue. we need to remember to look at them and we need to remember not to be distracted by the glow of the internet. >> machine-to-machine communication. instead of telling the machine what to do, it will just do it for you. >> it is only just beginning. thank you all so much. [applause] our wonderful audience. as always, the panetta institute.
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[captioning performed by >> how the approach book interviews differently from news reporting interviews? >> i think of book reporting as a gathering history. i think of interviewing, when i am working for the news side, as gathering contemporary and permission. >> how difficult is it to remain impartial? >> i am going to try to, as best as i can, give people as full an understanding of what is happening in this campaign. it is not that difficult to put your biases to the side. >> how does social media change your line of work, in terms of reporting? >> twitter is now a primary new source for anybody who covers politics. twitter did not exist four years
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ago, for all practical purposes. >> an interview about the newspaper business, covering presidential elections, what is newsworthy, and the rise of social media. >> also on sunday, "newsmakers." the minnesota congressman talks about the divisions in congress -- divisions in congress over student loans and job training. both democrats and republicans say they want to take action before student loan interest rates double, but cannot agree on how to do so. and this weekend, a look at president obama's reelection campaign, and political and media strategy. we will talk with chief strategist david axelrod and the press secretary about targeting key voters in battleground
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states. we will take you inside chicago headquarters. that is sunday. coming up, they look at the history, use, and cost of air force one, followed by a discussion with women leaders on the conservative movement. later, president obama at a campaign event in tampa, florida. take a look at our "your money" segment, looking at how taxpayer money is spent. k at air force one. joining us to talk about air force one is ken walsh. he is also the author of of a " air force one, the history of presidents and their planes." what are we talking about? guest: it is the call sign for
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the play in the president is on. a lot of people think it means it is a specific plan. it is not. president bush was on the aircraft carrier. he was on a navy jet. that became navy one. since the president flies mostly on air force jets, that is the name for it. it started when president eisenhower was on his own aircraft flying to florida. it was briefly confused with a commercial jet because the tail numbers were the same. the air force never wanted that to happen again. they decided whenever the president is aboard a plane, the call sign is air force one. nobody confuses it. host: tell us about the history of air force one. guest: it has become the most famous airplane in the world. it has a mystique about it. franklin roosevelt was the first
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president to fly back in 1943 when he was going to meet winston churchill and they were going to cause a block of to plan the enormity invasion -- going to casablanca to plan the normandy invasion. he decided he was going to fly by plane. there was a fear of there were too many not see -- too many nazi submarines. he flew. it was an interesting experience. he moved secretly by train to florida from washington. then he got on what they called a flying boat. it was an airplane that took off from the water along the coast of south america, a coast of
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africa. it took about 42 hours each way. today that flight would take about eight hours. roosevelt enjoyed flying. he was not wild about it, but felt it was the transportation of the future. as an innovator, he stayed with it and flew a couple more times. roosevelt started it all. host: ken walsh is the chief white house correspondent at "u.s. news and world report." in your book, you say you started covering the white house in 1986 and have traveled on air force one within 200 tons, visited all 50 states, and 60 countries. how do journalists get on board? how are you part of the travelling road show? what is it like? guest: i have been on board even
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more terms. i have been on board about 300 times. transportation is rotated within the press corps. the wire services are always a board. television networks rotate within their world with a camera person and sound person. there is a seat for a newspaper reporter, print reporter, radio, and so on. everybody gets a turn. that is the idea. there is a press cabin in the back of the plane. that is where the press ends up. we do not have tremendous success. we're in that gallery and cannot get out unless someone comes and gives us. i would not say it is uncomfortable because it can be very comfortable. you are in there for long periods of time. you hope to get a sense of the present time the scene.
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it is rare that happens, but it does happen sometimes. host: here are the numbers to call. let's talk about the cost, how much it costs taxpayers, how much it costs one the president takes a trip. $179,000 an hour. that number comes to us from the congressional research service. guest: the 89th airlift wing operates the plane and takes care of it. they came up with that number. about $180,000 an hour. that is a lot of money. a lot of people get upset at any president because of the cost. that only reflects a small portion. that is just to run the plane. that is not including the cost of the pilots, the crew, transportation.
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it is very expensive. no matter who the president is or the party, the out party always criticizes the president for spending too much on air force one traveling around a country. in april, president obama was asked about it during an interview. he said it is not his choice to fly on air force one. he would rather go more cheaply, but this is the security requirements of the modern age. wherever he goes, he has to use air force one. i think that is reasonable. americans do not begrudge the president protection even though it is a posh experience. it is when the president seems to overdo it that he gets into trouble. the out party always makes a case that the president is overdoing it. host: here is a story from "usa today." consider the cost of air force one. it costs of the air force
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nearly $180,000 per hour to operate. what happens when the president incorporates a campaign stop in to what is otherwise official business? guest: big criticism and controversy no matter who the president is. when the president travels on official business, the taxpayers pay for the trip. when the president goes on a political trip, which is supposed to have been is that the president charges it to his campaign or the party. it gets more dicey than that. how do you allocate or parade -- prorate a trip where the president mixes business? they tried to put as much official travel in the billing as they can so the campaign does not have to pay for it when they go on political trips.
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president obama is doing the same thing. he is doing trips the white house say our official trips to explain policy. critics say he is making trips and the political context. it is difficult to give a precise estimate and standard. every white house is saying, trust us, we will do it right. the critics do not agree. it is very hard to get that the 10 out of the white house. host: let's go to the phones and hear from rolf in denver. . let's go to the phones and hear from ralph in denver. caller: i am a 72-year old ex- democrat and now independent. i am concerned about president
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obama. how does he stacked up against other presidents? it seems he has wiped out the budget on this thing. i could be wrong. i watch this carefully. it is very expensive, as you have indicated. unofficial guest: trips and vacation trips -- guest: on official trips and vacation trips, president obama is not among the high spenders. president bush, the son, would go to his ranch in texas. ghali. he was one of the most frequent travelers to a vacation spot of any president. he felt if you went to the grant, it would refresh him and he could do his job better. -- he felt if he went down to the ranch, it would refresh him and he could do his job better. president obama has gotten a lot of publicity for his vacations that have tended to be more
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glitzy. president bush went to the ranch. president obama has gone to worry. there is more attention repress obama has gone to hawaii. there is more attention on that. president bush went to martha's vineyard more than president obama house. -- has, especially in the second term. president reagan did not particularly like to fight. he had a phobia about it early in his life that he got over. he never really liked to fly. he was a president that did not travel as much as others. bill clinton traveled all lot -- a lot. i think it was the record. we will have to see how obamas stacks up. he has done a lot of foreign travel and is not showing any
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sign of cutting down. i would say president obama is not in the top tier, but he gets a lot of criticism because his trips tend to draw more attention. host: here is a look back in the past. extra costs add up quickly. guest: i remember the africa trip. that was one of the most expensive trips. president clinton went on the trip. everybody wanted to go. it was an exciting place. not only did a lot of people in the white house want to go, a lot of people in congress wanted to go. it cost an incredible amount of money. the other thing i would mention
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is it is not just air force one. i am not sure people realize what it takes to get a president around. that is why the costs are so incredible. every step the president makes, the secret service wants to walk through it and protect the president, literally every step they can. when you see a motorcade or helicopter, that has to be documented. we do not have hidden cac hes of helicopters or cars. they have to be transported. they have giant cargo planes that precede the president and station these vehicles all over the world. the staff has to get there. there are hotel expenses and so on. you can imagine the logistical challenge to the president around, in addition to the cost. i have come to respect the president.
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the people the move the president around. it is a tremendous challenge. they do a tremendous job. it is extremely complicated. host: ken walsh is the author of five books including one about air force one. we're talking about how your money is spent. the focus is on the president's travel through air force one. we have independent caller joining us from gainesville, virginia. go ahead. caller: ken, you said you do not think we realize it. what planet are you on? he said the american people do not realize how much it costs. we recognize how much it costs. it is appalling. stay home and give the money to the poor. host: his anger and name calling
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aside, why not stay home? guest: they will argue that the present house to represent america around the world. he needs to get around the united states to different people. there is a public relations part, explaining his policies. a lot of critics will say he overdoes it. any president will get that criticism. what is the alternative? how much is too much? do we want the president to be stuck in the white house and not leave? do we want the president to get out among the people and around the world? there has to be in median. it does cause a lot of emotions and anger. i do think most americans do not understand how much it costs.
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some people who follow these things do. i am not sure most americans follow it, but they get upset when they know a trip may cost $40 million. i think that is what triggers people to ask if the president is overdoing it. every president will argue they have to get out and explain their policies and meet people present -- personally to the extent they can. host: why not take a corporate jet? much cheaper and still safe. guest: not still safe. the interesting thing about air force one is how it is protected. the corporate jet is not nearly as protected as air force one. even the fuel in air force one is monitored to make something -- make sure something does not get in there. the fuel is monitored in the
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united states and around the world. the airplane is currently protected. the upkeep is unbelievable. it is not just the spit and polish, but the engines. these planes have been online for a long time. they have to be maintained carefully. the corporate jets tend to be smaller. where do you put the secret service agents? i do not think people would begrudge the president security and protection on air force one. there are some interesting benchmarks. one of the most important benchmark was when president bush, the son, was on air force one during 911 -- 9/11. to me, is that was the most important day in the history of air force one. he was in florida giving a talk to an elementary school. he was told the first airplane
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hit the tower in new york. he was before the group. his chief of staff told him on camera that a second airplane hit the second tower, america is under attack. from that moment on, it became a real crisis for our country. the question was, should president bush returned to washington immediately? he decided not to. he boarded air force one. the question was, could air force one provide safety and command and control in a crisis? it did pass the test. that is what everyone in military was hoping for. it provided a secure communication and safety. he made to the steps coming back to washington. a lot of people think that was a very important moment in air force one's history. it showed the aircraft could do the job in a crisis. host: this says it is capable of refueling in mid-air.
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it has unlimited range and can carry the president wherever he needs travel. the on board electronics are protected against electromagnetic pulse. guest: there are two jets we think of as air force one. a primary and an alternate. when they were constructive, president reagan ordered the construction of the two planes. he never rode on them because it was delayed for what you just mentioned. constructing the skin on the plane to ward off electromagnetic pulses and the communications took a lot longer than thought. the plane was delayed for a number of months. it was president bush the father who to control over. by then, reagan was out of office. host: let's go to jim, an independent scholar -- caller.
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caller: president obama has been president for three years as opposed to eight years for the bushes and clinton. he went to new york, the world trade center on taxpayer money. he had multiple fund raisers for his campaign. he combined that trip with an hour or so trip to the trade center so we would be paying for the trip as opposed to the millions of dollars he collected on his campaign. also, the trips his wife took separately, which i understand it is also part of taxpayer money. trips where they could have traveled together and did not, that was a waste of our money. do you agree? guest: these are good points. you put your finger on areas where presidents are most
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honorable. that is when they mix personal trips with official business or political trips with official business. it does get people angry and upset. president obama went to new york on a date with mrs. obama. a lot of people like the idea that their clothes and went on a date together. a lot of people raised the question of whether the taxpayers should be paying for the trip to new york when the president goes to new york to take his wife to show. that is when you could argue it may be excessive and he should stay in washington. it will come up more this year. it has already been raised at the white house by the media and others of how much he is spending taxpayer money on political events. when he gives a speech with an argument on his policies, is he entitled to do that and have the taxpayers do that? is it something purely political
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that he should pay for with his campaign? i am not saying this just about obama. every president i have covered has done the same thing during reelection campaign trying to mix personal and policy. it is something the other side always gets riled up about and the media focuses on. host: on twitter -- ken walsh, our last caller talked about the first lady. how does her travel fall under the mantle of air force one and do they traveled together? guest: they often travel together. people ask how it is different. presidents and first ladies often traveled together. on air force one, the president pays more attention to the first lady and may not be doing as
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much official business. we used to travel with president reagan. when nancy reagan was with him, he paid complete attention to her. they would be in the state room and not come out very often. when he was by himself, he would be telling stories and me going. we would always get a sense of whether nancy reagan was aboard the plane. they chose a new face of the president is going to have. if it was broiled fish and vegetables and fruit, we knew nancy was there because she took close care of his diet. when it was meat loaf with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate pie, we knew he was on the airplane by himself. when president and first lady's travel separately, the first
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lady is entitled to protection. that is the big complication. do we want to put the first lady on a commercial plane? some first ladies have done that. president nixon did that a couple of times, flew commercial. it caused such a huge bust. people had to be bumped from the plane to get secret service agents on. it got to be a real hassle to put the air. -- it got to be a real hassle to the president on a private airplane. they did not want people to know it so it had to be a last-minute thing. that would cause problems with passengers getting bumped and so on. the obamas have been criticized when she has traveled separately adding to the cost. other first ladies have done that. it is nothing new. it raises a legitimate question about saving money. part of its it is security and
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protection. host: ken walsh, we're talking about your money being spent on air force one. ron a republican caller from stillwater, florida. go ahead. caller: i remember my uncle who used to work for boeing in kansas telling me about working on air force one and the number of times they had to strip everything out of the plane and start from scratch because somebody decided to change what they were going to put in the plane. if i remember correctly, he said it took two years. it should have only taken six months to complete the work, because of all the changes. guest: i was trying to get into that before. that is the same kind of information i have. that is why it took so long to get the plane completed.
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there were two problems in the building of the planes. you mentioned the idea they kept changing their minds. they were constantly upgrading security and communications. they would build it one way and then decide they have to upgrade it. they lay. all of these security precautions. -- they laird at -- layered all of the security precautions and countermeasures. there are counter measures designed to ward off heat seeking missiles that might be attracted to the engines. we know they are there. the question as to what extent they are there. we know that kind of protection is on the plane. that is another thing they were working on. that is why it took so long to have the plane constructed. a lot of people ask me about
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security and if there are fighter escorts that go with air force one. rarely does that happen, particularly in domestic travel. a number of reasons. when air force one travels, they cut a swath in the sky around it and along its path so no other planes are near it. you can imagine how disruptive that is to commercial aircraft. if they put fighter jets along the plane, that widens the swath of protection and makes it even more disruptive. the feeling is if something went wrong, they could scramble jets. day of air bases on alert wherever the president. they have air bases on alert wherever the president is going. i remember seeing on 9/11, i have seen film on this. the jets came very close with
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air force one. president bush said he could look out the window and see the pilots in the cockpits of their planes. the planes would to their wings in honor of the president. that was a very unusual day. they did have fighter escorts that they. all commercial flights had been grounded to protect the president and the country from terrorism and hijacking. in the construction of the plane, there were a lot of complications and changes. that is why it took so long. host: how do we cap the president? ken walsh started his career in denver with the associated press and became a correspondent for "the denver post" in washgt


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