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tv   Washington Ideas Forum Day 1 Afternoon Session  CSPAN  January 2, 2015 12:43am-1:05am EST

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answer -- asked me the unanswerable question. i would tell kids the facts. everybody is whining about what is going to wipe us out. is it bird flu, terrorism? there is no shortage of technical crises about to consume us. i would tell these kids that most adults have not figured that out yet. so they each have their pet concern. but whether it is your philanthropy or anybody wants to focus on this or health care or energy or environment or food or water is treating a symptom. i would tell kids you have to go after the cause. education. the world is in an accelerating race between technology and confidence between the seven or eight billion people.
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get the best education you possibly can. whatever the problem is you are going to face, we have not thought of what that is yet. the people we are talking about will solve them. you have to be prepared for a highly diverse and ever-changing set of issues. the best thing we should convince kids to do today is stop playing games as kids and get back to the business of focusing on getting a great education, particularly math science, engineering. and work ethic. learn to love what they can do. and learn how to make a great career for themselves as they create a sustainable future for the world. [applause] >> thank you. >> our final portion from the washington ideas or in features vice ceo shane smith and press secretary jay carney. they discuss the state of
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politics in washington and the future of news media. this is about 20 minutes. [applause] >> i thought i was the moderator. >> they told me i was the moderator. >> who is interviewing whom? >> i'm going to interview you. >> you get started. >> so obama gets elected. [applause] [laughter] i was in new york city. union square. joyous triumphant. people hugging crying. a real feeling that the world is going to change. and now, you know, the mood is different. >> sure. >> you know, the feeling -- i do not know, you can give your two cents -- the perception is that
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a lot of stuff has failed and have not worked. what happened? >> two things. a lot did happen. policies -- economy growing, unemployment rate is down. we have near universal health care access. a process 100 years in the making. a lot has happened. what you have tapped into is when president obama was elected, there was a sense of indoor miss possibility. as yet promised, the tone could change in washington. the partisan superficiality could be transcended and the country would benefit. there is no question that that goal has never come close to being met. it has gotten worse. the president would be the first to admit that and regret his own inability to make that go way. what i think it tells us as
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citizens is that no individual no president, can do that. we have to do it. the last three presidents have run on a promise to change the tone in washington. bill clinton, george bush, and barack obama. it is most associated with obama, but the other two previous sentence -- presidents has had the same thing. and washington has become more acrimonious and more gridlocked. this is why we need political reform. our system is broken. i think a lot of people in this town and auditorium would agree with me that the gerrymandering of our house district is a principal cause of the kind of nonsense that we all have to suffer through. the inability of congress to get anything done. probably political reform is not exciting. >> but they cannot get anything done. how do they reform?
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>> congress is not going to do it. we have seen some action out in the states. it has to be state-by-state because they control how the district are written and drawn. but the only way anything happens is that has to be popular momentum behind it. most people say they want political reform when asked. but nobody votes on political reform. that is why politicians -- if there was a pale to -- payoff to campaigning on, they would campaign on. >> the payoff would be they get kicked out. [laughter] >> the other guy would win. the other candidate would wouldn't -- win. there are presently motivated by other issues. >> since we are here to talk about media you have this polarizing issue happening in washington. do you think -- how much of that is fueled by media?
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to have fox news on this side, which is talk radio, op ed stuff. on the left, basically comedy, pointing fingers at the fat guy at fox. [laughter] not all guys, because i am a fat, young that. it is basically entertainment. therefore, whatever is the craziest wins. so you have no one saying let's reform this. because that is boring. but if you had a ted cruz that plays well into your area -- >> i think what has happened is self identified conservatives or liberals go with news that affirms what they already believe. that is obviously damaging to the cause we are talking about. the media itself is suffering from systemic failure.
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and i think what is refreshing about -- and note the transition here -- about new media ventures we have seen is there is a return to real news. news without -- not seem for the political lens that news is so often seen. especially in major channels you talked about. what vice is doing, looking at the documentaries and news channel, it is unvarnished reportage. what xox -- vox is doing -- >> similar, but not as good. [laughter] >> it is providing information in a way that can be hard to
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find in traditional media. >> to go back to me being the moderator, you have this sort of polarization happening in media and politics. one of the things i am personally passionate about and i also think is a tremendously confusing issue in america is sea level rise, global warming. i was talking to mayor bloomberg about this the other night. he was saying it is a media issue. i was saying, well, go to texas. where they have a three-year drought. all the cows are gone. rick perry is like, it is not happy. -- happening. when you look at this issue and it is one of the only countries in the world where we are debating it is an issue at all when you have 93% consensus
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which never happens in the scientific community why is it that 40% of this country does not believe it is happening? why is it that politicians will not go out there and -- by the way, what is happening is interesting, because republicans who have been very anti-are not going to get elected. now all of a sudden, it is changing. so what the hell is going on with climate change denial in this country? >> a couple things. qc politicians realizing that they cannot be in denial permanently. it will be a political cost. that is what will motivate politicians to act to do something about it. the problem is if you wait for the majority to feel like they have an immediate self interest to address by taking care of climate change, we may wait too long to get something done. the problem is instant gratification that politicians
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in our political system seek and our political system rewards. if you are in florida and a longtime challenge of climate change means your state is sinking, that is not a problem that marco rubio or any other politician in florida have to worry about today or next tuesday or the tuesday of november in 2016. there is not a compelling interest to address it. what i do think in traditional media -- there are not enough voices of authority calling bs on it is a matter of debate. i think there is a tendency -- not uniformly so, but there is a tendency to maintain objectivity by simply saying he said this, she said that. instead of claiming what he said is patently false. i think the ebola situation has a similar aspect to it on the
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issue of how you could contract ebola. whether or not he could go airborne. i heard all editions say, we do not know. some experts say it could be airborne. no, they do not. >> of phillip morris do -- a phillip morris dude. [laughter] >> the response of the media the authoritative media, needs to call out that kind of nonsense. >> i will. [laughter] >> but here is the fundamental problem. as you know, i was an old-school reporter from traditional media time magazine for 20 years. >> this is where you make fun of me. >> no, i look to you for
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answers. there has been an amount of them -- economic pressure on traditional media. that has come at a price. you are organizations have foreign bureaus. you are have domestic bureaus. the reason there is a sense that all power is concentrated in the white house is every reporter does every story from the front lawn of the white house. there are not any other reporters were paid by those organizations. so how come you seem to have faith that there is an economic model in producing news that is sustainable when all these other organizations that have a long history of doing it are struggling so much? >> as we're making a lot of money. >> are you keeping the formula to yourself? there is a public good that could be done. >> it is not rocket science. it is basically -- there is a
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changing of the guard every generation in media. we are the changing of the guard for jen -- gen y. it is a different way of shooting and cutting. in the beginning, vice was the kid brother. look at those crazy kids. as a started getting bigger and bigger it was, they cannot be journalist because they had tattoos or are from williams are -- williamsburg. and then it was you are not journalist because you do not do it the way we do it. >> right. >> i think you have to look at why is fox doomed. why is the new york times doomed? they are doomed because fox is fox news. they are sort of angry, afraid
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old people. old people do not buy anything except for drugs. [laughter] >> they vote. it is a problem. [laughter] at least in this cycle right? [applause] >> so you look at that. i love the new york times. we have our fights. the problem is, they are galvanized into inactivity. we could do this. video? video is hard. quite frankly, you have to start from scratch. it has to be organic. it cannot be created in a boardroom. when people at fox say, what should we do to get gen y? they have been number one for 40 quarters.
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but i say you should enjoy it. get the gold watch and your pension. and enjoy your terms. it is over. [laughter] >> in your view, there is no model where traditional media is trying to make that transition and succeed? in the long-term. there's a lot of good product at the new york times. >> sure. >> but to succeed in this environment -- >> what the new york times does is amazing, but newspapers will continue to shrink. it is all mobile, right? if you do not have a mobile solution, you should not show up to the gate. unless you have been investing in technology, unless you have all of your people who have grown up only having mobile devices, again, you should not come to the gate. my dad will read the new york times as a newspaper.
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great. digital -- you should enjoy the time where people do that. time the biggest magazine of the world, was the forecast for time? >> is definitely a struggle. it was becoming one when i left. folks at that organization and others, who have continued to fight to maintain relevancy and maintain a prophet, he gets harder and harder. >> but for me, you say -- if the product is fox news or msnbc, i do not want that product. >> is a lot cheaper to produce. it is just a lot of hot air often. [laughter] going out and getting the news, embedding someone with isis. sending someone to liberia and report on ebola, that is an expensive proposition.
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people who are still partly tied to traditional media look at something like vice and others and say, are you willing to make the necessary editorial investments for -- to maintain levels of editorial standards that have become expensive to maintain? or is do-it-yourself journalism kind of viewer beware? >> i think it has changed. when you look at our coverage of isis or ebola or -- a lot of what we do is live streaming. everyone is saying something but we are just showing it to you with no commentary. i think the day of the voice of god, an hour and night telling
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you what you are watching and what it means and what you should think, is over. and that is good. the most sophisticated media cohort of all time, very smart, very savvy they can tune into something and watch it. we do in immersion is nism. the story evolves. it's not like, get me to pictures -- two pictures. that whole year a -- era you have to understand, gen-y grew up with weapons of mass destruction, with saddam hussein harboring al qaeda even though anyone with half a brain knew they were natural enemies -- the irony is now you see us going into iraq to get out al qaeda and then we create isis, which
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is what makes al qaeda look like a tea party. you have to understand, young people see that. when you say well, are you going to have the same standards and practices? if that is the gold standard, everyone knew what was happening, and if that is the gold standard of integrity, you can have it. [applause] >> that is a great point. old people are clapping, too. when you talk about your core audience and the disillusionment that the generation has developed in the wake of the failure to change everything wrong with washington, does that translate into a withdrawal from political activism in your mind?
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people were already saying into any 12 -- saying in 2012, there is no way obama can disappoint so many people, he is never going to have that same electoral model including the record-setting levels of the youth vote that he had in 2008. young people voted even more in 2012. have we really screw them up now? >> what i would be worried about, i will finish with a slight note -- with this light note, we spend a lot of time embedded in all the groups in the middle east. arab spring's was a youth revolution. with the socialists and anarchists and here we embed
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with occupy wall street. i will say you have a whole generation that is just getting back on its feet. they have been disenfranchised economically, disenfranchised politically, dissatisfied with the media, young, which is dangerous, and they are pissed off. and god help us when the next economic downturn comes because you are going to see europe explode, southeast asia explode, the middle east explode. and if america hasn't forgotten its revolutionary past, america is going to explode, as well. >> you heard it here first. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you. >> next, a series of discussions on space travel. we will hear from what cunningham on the space


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