tv Amanpour on PBS PBS July 27, 2018 12:00am-12:31am PDT
>> welcome to amanpour on pbs. tonight an alternative universe in the age of trump. on truth, lies, and 1984. plus, is this a turning point for pakistan? khan goes from cricket hero to in waiting in a contentious election. my conversation with a member of khan's party and hussein hakani, the former ambassador to the united states. welcome to the program,
everyone. truth and lies separate democracies from dictatorships. in the land of the free press, the home of the first amendment, a war between the executive and the fourth ex-estate. the white house barred her from a major rose garden event on wednesday for presuming to do her job, the very routine tradition of asking the president questions during an oval office photo op. journalists stood as one. fox news said they are in strong solidarity with cnn, calling for a free and unfettered press. the white house wants the coverage feddered and has done since the first days of this administration. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. both in person and around the globe. >> shaun spicer our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. >> cnn is fake news. i don't take questions from cnn.
just remember what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening. >> so that's the contest. of course the last quote, president trump flat out rejecting what's out there in black and white. this sends many of us back to the pages of george orwell's 1984 with the subversion of truth. remember this exchange between the protagonist and antagonist? how can i help seeing what is in front of my eyes. two and two are four. sometimes there are five. sometimes there are three. sometimes they are all of them at once. are we back to an orwellian future? are we? >> that's a real danger of it. when actually the executive power decide what is is real and what is not, what is truth and what are lies. the thing about or well's book,
it came out in 1949 and he died in 1950. the crucial thing so soon after the war was that everybody felt the bad guys, the nazis or star led that they made their bad work through violence and through war. through concentration camps. or well's life was about the power of words and politics. they knew the destruction of language was at least as powerful as concentration camp guards and barbed wire. his major point when he described how a big brother and that dictatorship achieved that power was to talk about the narrowing and diminishment of language until it could be controlled by government. >> i wonder whether you equated or heard the resounding
similarity between what president trump said and the precise words that or well used in 1984. he said the party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. president trump saying don't believe what you see and read. it was the final command. if all others accepted the light, if all records told the same tale, the lie passed into history and became the truth. >> yes, it's also a very important mark. they said who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? there is a sense really in which or well said something very powerful. they wrote in a similar way in 1951 in the origins of totalitarianism, said if the enablers subscribed to the lies, two things happen. one is that they are tied by a feeling of guilt and shame to keep on repeating the lie until
it is legitimate for themselves that makes them feel kind of morally and politically okay. secondly, if the lie is found out, it's like oh, the head of the boy scouts did not phone me and i did tell don jr. what to say, then people will shrug their shoulders and say all politicians do that. cynicism works in favor of the liar in chief. >> so do you think that that is what's happening now? there is an extraordinary moment. the tape that cnn played, which to be frank the tape that he was angry about between michael cohen and himself led to the canning of kaitlan collins from the ceremony. he was very angry. the tape is out there. words are out there for everybody to see, yet he is teflon don. it doesn't stick. >> i know. what we don't know is because, you know, maybe we will find out.
it won't stick with the cult devotees. we don't know how many there are. a quarter or a 30 of the country that he said i could go out on fifth avenue and shoot someone and have no consequences. maybe they are more interested in loyalty tow the supreme leader than they are in the first amendment. they are in truth. the complicated homework-like idea that the imperishable legacy of our constitution and what the founding fathers gave us depends on their being a clear lie between fact and fiction. there will be a lot of people who don't care about that. the issue for the life of the democracy is whether the majority of citizens repudiate that. >> i want to ask you, we take our job incredibly seriously and seek truth and facts as our motto. he is not the first to go to war with the press.
bill clinton called it the purveyors of division. he would constantly spar with sam donaldson. linta johnson with the dishonesty over what was going on with vietnam. grover cleveland wouldn't allow reporters into the white house. let's not forget president nixon, let us play the sound byte. >> i have never heard or seen such outrageous reporting in 27 years of public life. >> i mean, he didn't like the press. >> no. he goes back to so far we haven't if we want to cheer ourselves up. it's hard these days. we are not at the point of president john adam, the second president who made opposition a punishable crime. that's where we are in turkey and in other places. >> russia. >> absolutely. exactly. we are nowhere near that and
oddly we feel those of us really, the lib tards feel upset about all that and feel the president and the right wing live in their own echo chamber. it's heartening. fox news and some of the best things that happened for a while, it did actually ex-tress solidarity. the modern world of social media allows all the people to live in an echo chamber and it does not allow the president really to have so much control or potential control over the press as might have been the case before the disbursal effect on social media. >> the former president of fox news is now deputy communications director of the white house. i wanted to play you a sound byte from a businessman and friend of the president's and channels the president for the press, explaining his outbursts and feelings. have a quick listen.
>> think it comes out of emotion which is he is very angry about the press treatment. you guys haven't given him a moment to breathe since he was elected. people on this network and msnbc were calling for impeachment before he took the oath of office. >> so he has a fair point, right? >> no snow flake. what kind of business does he think he is in? somebody else said, i think it was probably press secretary huckabee who explained about disrespect. disrespect is the oxygen of freedom. thomas jefferson who was responsible for much of the first amendment complained bitterly about the pollution of newspapers, but he said if i had to choose between a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, i would unhesitatingly choose the latter. you expect disrespect to come with the job. that is absolutely the
difference between a healthy, robust, electorally alive republic and the sense of the decor um must rule all. >> you saw the mash up at the beginning. the first sound byte came from shaun spicer from day one. he is now pedalling his memoire and he was on television being interviewed by emily majors and it got a little fiery. >> it was the start of the most corrosive culture. you led us down a dangerous path. you corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with the lies. >> i'm sorry, emily. you act as though everything began and ended with that. you are taking no accountability for the many false narratives and false stories that the media perpetrated. >> he shouts fake news when he doesn't like something. >> there are no such things as
alternative facts. that's an oxymoron. >> the feel fake news that was in macedonia. >> the president as emily said, whenever he sees or hears something he doesn't like, he describes it as false news. sean spicer's point, basically representing the president, whether you represent his fantasies or represent not just his opinion and donald trump often when pinned down said two things. we'll see or there are people out there who really believe this. >> now, what is the push back? there are people who believe it. we know that. polls show that many of the base
believe what he says about whatever it is. russia and trade wars. this and that. he does change a lot. n't want any tariffs. now we his base is hurting over tariffs. it does affect politics and it turns things upside down. what is the mechanism for protecting the truth and getting the truth out there in a way that's not viewed as a political weapon? >> there are two things. one, it may be impossible to ask for, but i think the opposition and the democratic party need to have a kind of somebody who is not the senate minority leader or the house spokesman for the democrats. they are regarded as institutionally dull and some way part of the problem. we actually need a leader in the opposition and a rhetorical tribute. cicero would recognize that. it might be someone who volunteers himself to be an upcoming candidate or not. there needs to be, for example, if you want to say the difference between lies and
truth is one of the issues of the upcoming election as much as health care and the treatment of immigrants and as much as a trillion dollar deficit. secondly, which is not a matter of words, and we will see what is clearly happening in the united states on both the right and the left is an extraordinary mobilization of engagement. that is happening on the streets. it's happening in churches. it's happening in parent-teacher associations. you can't live in america and not feel this electricity happening, but the electricity has to deliver votes. you know, it is whether they can do that that will change everything. >> it's fascinating and a really important moment in history. thank you for giving us the perspective. if any nation has used more double-talk to confound allies and adversaries, it is modern day pakistan. are they pro or anti-american? are they working against terrorism or do islamic
militants secretly serve some interests and will it herald a new dawn in a key part of the world? pakistan's hero claimed victory in yesterday's hotly contested vote. his pass to prime minister would be highly unusual, leading pakistan to world cup triumph in 1992 before transforming into a flamboyant socializing and sex symbol. khan styles himself as a pius reformer against corruption and poverty, up ending decades of status quo. he is heavily marred by fraud and violence. they killed at least 31 people injuring dozens more. khan inspired mix feelings and we heard from a member of khan's pti party and the former chief whip. she is joining me from islamabad. welcome to the program. tell us how you think a prime
minister is going to change pakistan, change the politics. >> well, first i justme want to make a little correction. it's not that they are anti-or pro the u.s. a lot of double-talk has come from the u.s. first let's do more and they can't do without us if they want peace. i think it works both ways. pakistan will change because khan does what he says he will do. he does not indulge in double speak. he doesn't say one thing and do another. we have proven that in the government which we won for first time. khan set out to do exactly what he had committed which was revamp the governance system, especially the police. make it a professional force and remove it from political
influence and the environmental policy has been appreciated across the globe. for the first time coming into government in a province lived up to what he committed to. that i think will be the big difference. the second major issue is he will -- an agenda is anti-corruption and human development. that is something that no leader in pakistan has focused on. and the point that khan made today in his speech after being elected as the majority party, he said we want peace in our neighborhood, but peace through conflict resolution and dialogue. >> okay. so i want to pick up on a few things. you know and you had to fend off the accusations and so is he, there have been a lot of complaints about the book that pakistan commissioners call at
this time dirtiest vote in a long time. there were allegations that they saw as a pliable and convenient candidate for them. people are very, very concerned about what that might mean for the future. >> the previous prime minister was arrested and he was off the playing field. that gave him the kind of traction he hadn't had before. >> the fact of the matter is the ex-prime minister was found guilty of money laundering and corruption. if he has broken the law and he has been convicted, then i'm afraid he has to go to prison like any other convict. let's get that clear. the second issue is, if the military designed and managed the election, please look at the figures of the seats that the party has won, including in pun
jab. what happened is that the religious parties have lost out in a big way in pakistan. the old corrupt suspected leadership of different parties has lost out in a big way. karachi is a prime example. the pti made a lot of gains because the parties in power did not deliver. bhutto became number three and was regarded as a people's party strong war. people have risen in pakistan and had enough corruption and that is what is given the support and the votes that he needs to bring about change. >> so address what is in the rest of the world. that is khan saying he would reject u.s. aid perceived as being too pro-taliban and i say that as a code, but, too, you
know, wanting to talk to them. he has been, you know, very much disputing. he talks about the blasphemy laws. these are very controversial, religious issues here. >> he has clarified and let's be very clear. the u.s. would like to talk to the taliban because they know they are without the taliban coming to the dialogue table. they can't have peace. a substandard peace. what he was saying before the u.s., it took the u.s. many more years. many more deaths, many more terror attacks to come to the conclusion at the end of the day that they can't win peace through war. they have to dialogue with the taliban and the unity government in afghanistan. the other issue is the first speech made very clear that he will establish a pakistan where all minorities, all the down
trodden are given the due rights according to the constitution of pakistan. and that the main point is to have justice and equality for all under the rule of law. the rich and the powerful cannot be above the law. >> okay. we will see how the final vote shakes out. from the pti party, thank you for joining us. we are going to turn next to hussein hakani who is pakistan's former ambassador to the united states and he is joining me from rome. you heard from the pti party member. first and foremost, as a former ambassador to the united states, what do you think relations, where do you think they are headed under a khan prime ministership? >> let me begin by saying khan has been trying to be pakistan's
for 20 years. now that it's within his reach, i don't want to rain on his parade, but pakistan will not change significantly because all power, all modes of power are in the hands of the pakistani military. we just heard talking points given by the pakistani interservices intelligence. in that situation, all that will change is that he will speak more about corruption. ending corruption. he has already taken many, many people he previously accused of corruption and the other two major parties and he took them in his party. i think we will have a lot of rhetoric on everything, including relations with the united states, the fundamential issue of pakistan acting against terrorists and not being a terrorist safe haven and it will not be address and therefore u.s.-pakistan relations will continue on the up, down trajectory they had for many,
many years. >> why do you think because of those who hurled the accusations at him of being managed by the military or being the preferred candidate, why would he be in their interest? >> well, look. let's start off by acknowledging one thing. khan has been consistently speaking out against corruption and corruption is a real problem in pakistani politics. that said, another bigger problem in pakistan's politics has been the military's meddling in politics. we had four coops since the country came into being and ousters of governments. you covered some of them and military dictators who were amongst the first to congratulate him on his election. the reason why it's in their interest is the same reason they supported shareef in his career. they always want someone to bat for them. mr. khan has a lot of experience
of batting in cricket and now he is willing to bat for the pakistani military. he will give them so they can go to the international community and say pakistan had elections. we have an elected leader talk to him while they ton go behind the scenes. they don't want peace with india with the dispute that is unrealistic in my humble continue. they don't want that contrary to their wishes. they want the veto and they want the taliban to have the event by them that they deserve on the basis of their strength. they certainly have been responsible for spoiling pakistan's relations with three of the four neighbors and pakistan is right now facing a major financial crisis. khan seems to have no plan for it. how will pakistan pay its debt? certainly not by retrieving money that he says --
>> it is the most complex place in the world and yet it is one of the most important parts of the world. in the et post 9/11 world. khan said he wants to reject u.s. aid into pakistan and exit the war on terror and reduce u.s. influence in domestic affairs. let's play a little bit of what he said today. >> translator: i want a relationship, a good beneficial relationship with america. beneficial for everybody. unfortunately, they have been unwilling at the moment. >> he said they have been way at the moment, but president trump said they have been way at the moment, but from the opposite way. you know, he said the u.s. has given pakistan $30 billion in aid and they have given nothing
but lies and does deceit back. in afghanistan with little help. no more. that has been a complaint of successive u.s. leaders. >> it is and i have written a book on the subject going back to the 1950s. here's the problem. pakistan inherited from the british 17% of british indian resources and 33% of its army. pakistan propertied its army as the lucrative attraction for the united states. we will help you against communism and help you fight the soviets in afghanistan. the pakistan army has become virtually synonymous with pakistan and they do not see it in their interest now to do what the americans want them to do, hence this push back that you know what, this relationship is not beneficial to us as it's not beneficial to you. we want a good relationship be but we can't do what you want us to do. very frankly, i think it might
be a good thing for pakistan to try to find out if it can do on its own without the large influx of american money. pakistan exports only $22 billion worth of goods every year where as it imports double that amount. it has to depend on aid if somebody reduces dependency on aid, that would be a good thing. >> thank you for joining us. we invited khan to speak with us and we hope he will when the results become final. that is it for our program. thanks for watching amanpour on pbs. join us tomorrow night.
katty: you're watching "beyond 100 days" on pbs. the white house faces a deadline to reunite families separated at the southern border. christian: the trouble is hundreds of parents have already been deported leaving children stuck alone in the united states. katty: that means on the mexican border the deadline has come and gone for some children who may never be reunited with their parents. it started with a kiss. has donald trump anddone enough to avoid a trade jean-claude juncker war? christian: today imran khan became the next prime minister of pakistan. relations wi