tv Charlie Rose PBS April 18, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
good adult basell story, d i've beewanting toor a long time. i' written two ftball books. i've written other kinds of books, and i want a nonlegal thriller, sort of a diversion. you have to wait on the story. several years ago i got the first idea of the story. >> we conclude with one of the creators of the "huffington post and buzzfeed. >> i think the shift from the google-centric world view where everything is about key words and information to the facebook world view where everything is about sharing and emotion and human interaction is going to hit lots of industries and take five, 10 years for it to play out and we're just at the beginning oit. u know, that is rlly the theme at iee going across a whole bunch of different companies and a whole bunch of different areas and the people who are going to be able to lead that charge and can thrive in
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with the debate that is at the center of our politics and economic future. it is about deficits and debt, taxes and spending. president obama and the republicans have presented dramatically opposing plans. the blueprint offered by house budget committee chairman paul ryan in essence represents the republican position.
president obama has denounced the ryan proposal and argue for taxing the wealthy and investments in our future. presumptive g.o.p. nominee mitt romney has sharply criticized the president's economic performance. >> the president came here yesterday and railed against arguments no one is is making. and criticizing policies no one is proposing. it's one of his favorite strategies-- setting up straw men to distract us from his record, and while i understand the president doesn't want to run on his record, he can't run from his record, either. w i've sid mytimes before, the president did not cause the economic crisis but he did make it worse. he delayed the recovery. and he made is anemic. when he took office, millions of americans looked to him to turn around the economy, and to lead us back to full employment. he failed these americans. >> rose: a bipartisan compromise seems elusive.
the bowles-simpson proposal has become the idea a whole lot of people in both parties love to love but nobody was to vote for. they negotiated for weeks to find a grand bargain but failed. here is what speaker boehner said to me yesterday. >> the president knows that we had an agreement, and they can try to peddle the story any way they want, but we had an agreement until the president decided to violate the agreement and ask for $400 billion in higher taxes. it wasn't about my members. it wasn't about the votes. i was willing to risk my speakership to make this happen because i thought it was the right thing for the country. and i would do-- and i wod go to the table and go at this again because america cannot continue to go down this path of this spiraling debt crisis that-- it's almost like a wet blanket that's hanging over the economy. >> rose: the next political showdown will not be far away.
we have a presidential election in november. the bush tax cuts expire december 31. the temporary payroll tax cut will end, automatic spending cuts kick in soon thereafter. will political disfunction. as thestakes get large expert consequences of failure to find common ground become more devastating? i spoke with house speaker boehner about all of these issues on tuesday afternoon for cbs news. sheer a part of that conversation. we began with speaker boehner's endorsement of mitt romney yesterday. mr. speak ethank you for doing this. >> happy to do it. >> rose: you endorsed mitt romney today. how much damage did the primary campaign do to his election that he faces? >> i don't think the was any real dama done. it got messy, just like the race four years ago between barack obama and hillary clinton. it went on until june of 2008. charlie, this election is going
to be a referendum on the president's economic policies. they have not only not helped the economy. they've actually made it worse. and i think mitt romney's record as a business person, as a former governor, i think his policies up against the president will put him in a very strong position. >> rose: the president would say to you this is going to be a referendum on the ryan budget, cause t speaker's even said it's a vision of what we want to do. >> the president's going to try to make the election about anything other than his failed economic policies. because he can't respect on his record. and so they're going to-- they're going to pull out every bogeyman they can. >> rose: many people say you and the republican party have to face up to the fact that we're going to need additional revenue and that the president has to face up to the fact that they're going to have to take a serious look and take cuts in entitlement. why cannot two oplewho a friends come to some understanding on this grand
bargain and make it happen because of the american people want it to happen? >> i sat for months with the president. he wanted revenue. i said, "mr. president, i'll put revenue on the table that we can achieve it at fixing our tax code, but the only way i'll do that is if if you're willing to have real fundamental reform of our entitlement programs." and the fact iswe had an agreement and two days later the presint dide wand $400 billion of more revenue which was in effect a $400 billion tax increase. >> rose: so the speaker of the house with his own members was prepared to say we'll give you additional revenue if you'll cut entitlements. >> absolutely. he knows it. i know it. and everybody in the room knows it. >> here's what matt buy said, in the end both leaders had profound reservations about a
grandgreement. obama managed to persuade his closestllie to si off on what he wanted them to do, and speaker boehner didn't or couldn't. is that simply wrong? >> the president knows that we had an agreement, and they can try to peddle the story any way they want but we had an agreement until the president decided to violate the agreement ask ask for $400 billion in higher taxes. it wasn't about my members. it wasn't about the votes. i was willing to risk my speakership to make this happen because i thought it was the right thing for the country. and i would do and i uld go to the table and go at this again because america cannot continue to go down this path of this spiraling debt crisis that's-- it's almost like a wet blanket that's hanging over the economy. >> rose: jim baker who you know on my program recently said if we don't do something about director we'll be greece. >> that's exactly right.
all we have to do is look at what's going on in europe to understand we're next. unless we deal with our long-term fiscal crisis. >> rose: wil anything happen between now andhe ecti? >> would hope so upon. but i'm not optimistic. the president checked out last labor day. all he's done is campaign full time for the last six months. he's not been engaged in the legislative process at all. there have been no effort at trying to work with democrats and republicans to address this issue at all. and it's shameful. the president is out there carrying on about this buffet tax. he's talking about tax increases. we're over here working on tax cuts for small biness people. >> ros what's going to hapen theuff rule? >> it's a gimmick. even the president admits it's a gimmick. here we've got big challenges facing america, and the president's talking about these little budget -- >> is fairness an issue for you, though, in terms of the taxation and-- >> the top 1% pay almost 40% of
the income taxes to our government. this gimmick would amount to almost-- not even $5 billion a year. it won't amount to anything. why not deal with the bigrisi tht's cing -- a $16 trillion national debt, a $1.3 trillion budget deficit this year alone. this path is unsustainable. >> rose: what happens in january 2013? >> well, house republicans will move to extend the current tax rates for at least another year. we'll deal -- >> for the middle class-- >> we'll deal with replacing the sequester that will go into effect in january. we'll move our appropriation bills. i'm not sure what will happen in the senate. but it's also pretty clear that me time late this yar or rly next ar, geargto have to deal with increase in the debt limit again. we have major issues facing our country and the president's running around the country campaigning, talking about a
budget gimmick. >> rose: how do you see simpson-bowles as a way out. >> the simpson-bowles commission that the president set up -- >> bipartisan. >> was basically the menu the president and i worked on for months. the same menu that the super committee worked off of. we know what the options are in terms of howe addss our entitlement crisis. >> rose: meaning you know what the bargain ought to be. >> we know what the menu looks like. all we have to do is to have real leadership and real courage. >> rose: you know, it's often said that when ronald reagan was president and tip o'neill was speaker, sitting in your office, that they could get together, that at the end of the day, they could have a drink or have dinner. do you have dinner with the president? >> we don't have dinner but we've had drinks together before. we've had lots of conversations -- >> so it's not a problem of relationship? >> oh, no. theresident a i understand each othe prty well. >> rose: how do you understand him? >> well... i'm the most open
person in the world. and so what you see is what you get. i'm pretty easy to get along with -- >> and him? >> and the president, we get along fine. it's just that we disagree. but even though we disagree on some major issues, the american people expect us to find enough common ground to move the ball down the field to address america's challenges. and i-- and i told the president, anyime that i thi that there's an idea whether it's his idea or my idea, that would be good for our country, i'd be there to support it. >> rose: the catholic bishops today said that the ryan budget fails to meet moral criteria in dizz proportionately cuts programs that serve the poor and vulnerable which sounds like the president. >> i understand. listen, when you look at the budget choices that we have to make, it's time that congress and washington and the predent
qui kicking e can down the roaand dress our challenges. i don't believe that our budget will hurt the poor in any way. i don't think it the hurt the safety net in any way. but we can't continue to spend money that we do not have. >> rose: but this is a conference of bishops which also attacked the president because of things he wanted to do earlier and created a firestorm about what he intended to recommend about. >> i understand. >> rose: when you look at this election, what's the bait going to be? >> it's going be over the presint's ecomic policies, re and simple. they've made matters worse. america should be doing a lot better today but when you look at his calls for higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in washington out of control, they've scared every business person and investor in america, that's why you see record amounts of cash in these
businesses, in banks because they don't know what tomorrow is going to look like. >> rose: and how do you think voters will look at this? will they say the it economic ecovy isnder way d, erere, feelhe trends are right? >> it's going to be about the economy, and i think most americans believe that the policies that come out of this administration are have not helped. i would argue they've made them worse. and i think mitt romney can outline an economic agenda from his background as a business person that will affect the american people. >> rose: no one doubts you're not in touch. you're that kind of guy. is mitt romney that kind of guy? he's had a very different lifestyle from you. >> we're alldiffent, have ffert peonalies >> rose: can he be in touch? does he have to figure out a way to have the same kind of visceral appeal? >> i think he's done a good job in the republican primary under some very difficult circumstances. and i think he's prepared for this general election. and will appeal to more than
half of america. >> rose: does he need to sort of reset his campaign? >> that's pretty hard to do. but after any primary, there's always a little retooling. always some adjustments in terms of now you have a different opponent. and so i think you'llee some n things out of thisampgn. >> ros like what? >> a real focus on what the election's going to be about. >> rose: well, you know-- >> economics, economics, economics. >> rose: you think barack obama is simply, as david brooks said today, a pragmatic liberal? is that how you would see him? >> no, i think the president-- i think he's very liberal. i think he believes in the power of government. >> rose: yet, at the same time, the two of you came to an agreement in your mind that was acceptable. >> until he lost his courage. >> re: lost his courage? >> heost his courage. rose: heouldt fe what? >> why did he blow the deal up? >> rose: what did he tell you? >> he need more revenue, needed more revenue. he lost his courage. >> rose: does that make it hard to deal with him then?
>> no, but it's-- it's going to make it more difficult to ever get to an agreement. >> rose: if the election is not a referendum on the president, will he win? if he's able to change the emphasis to the future or to the ryan plan or to governor romney, will he win if he prevent it from being a refendum-- >> the american people vote with their wallets. they have for the history of our country, and it's not going to change. >> rose: you're a golfer. what pro do you-- >> no mulligans, no mulligans. >> he's not the president that wants to take a mulligan. >> no, no, no. he and i were partners. >> rose: yeah. >> and we played by the rules. >> rose: and how about biden, did they play by the rules? >> they played by the rules, too. >> rose: have you played presidents that don't play by the rules? >> maybe. >> rose: wha dst an for you to do this, to have a chance to play a role in this country?
>> it's an opportunity. and i never thought i'd have this opportunity. i thought if i could it have a small business and grow my small business, i thought that was going to be my entire career. but as i tell high school students, college student, when you come to that fork in the road and you go this way or this way, you begin to start down a new path and never in my wildest dreams did i ever think i'd be in the congress, much less the eakr. but i have n doubts i'm doing exactly what god has in mind for me to do. >> rose: what gods in mind for me to go. >> oh, yes. >> rose: how do you know that? >> the preparation i got growing up is all the tools i need to do this job. growing up in a big family, learning to get along with each other, getting things done as a family, growing up around a bar, month floors, doing dishes, waiting takes tending bar. and learning to deal with every character that walked in the
or. l the skills i learned growi up. that i need to do my job. >> rose: mr. speak ethank you very much. i hope we'll have a chance to do this again. it's a pleasure to talk to you. >> rose: john grisham is here. his name is synonymous with the more than legal their. he has sold more than 275 million books worldwide. he remains one of publish's greatest success stories. he is also a baseball enthusiast, a former little league coach and a lifelong st. louis cardinals fan. now more than two decesas a published author he's written his first baseball novel called "calico joe." i'm happy to have you back at the table. >> thank you. >> rose: it carolina did not get there. >> i thought we were talking baseball and you jumped into tarheel basketball. >> i had tickets to new orleans,
my daughter say tarheel, and once my daughter graduated from u.n.c., my wife went back to college-- u.n.c.. >> rose: rely? >> e was bornn raleigh. it's an old tar heel family and i have two tar heels in the family and they gave me an honorary degree which i didn't do any work to get. >> rose: i was born there-- >> you went to the other school. >> i have an honorary degree from u.n.c. pembroke. they gave you an honorary degree. >> my son went to u.v.a., so it's a diverse group. we were going to new orleans. we had tickets. we had hotel rooms and all that. just doesn't quite make it. that's basketball. that'smah madness. ro:ou dn't go t in the first round, did you? >> i saw that game, i saw lehigh, tough loss. >> rose: you have barns going to the prose. >> they're all pros. it's crazy. they'll change rules. >> rose: should you, really? i would change the rules.
you can't do one year and out. you have to do at least three. the carolina boys are doing three years. austin rivers may leave duke after one year. i don't like those rules. >> rose: s you'velway wanted t writhe seball book. you didn't have the story. how did you find the story? >> how do you ever find a story? i wanted to write two books about baseball, a baseball book for kids air, smart one, and a good adult baseball story, and i've been wanting to for a long time. i've written two football books. i've written other kinds of books, and i wanted a nonlegal thriller. it's sort of a diversion. you have to wait on the story. and several years ago, i got the first idea for the story, and a couple years a, i read an article about a pitcher who hit tonyica nig liar oh, the great-- and i loved tony c. when he
played for the red sox. he was headed straight for the hall of fame. he was the youngest player at the history of the game at the age of 19, accumulate 100 home runs. he loved fenway park. he could hit because out forever. he was truly grate, and his career ended -- >> a future ted williams. >> oh, ye. he was one of my favorite plays. i'll never forget the cover of scituate sports illustrate where is where they had the picture of him with his eye after he had been hit, it was just ground beef. and he actually came back. he made a decent comeback. a couple of years later, but he was losing his vision, and he-- and he couldn't play. he had a heart attack when he was, like, 35, and died very young. terrible tragedy. well, the -- >> there's an idea, an of a guy-- a booming star. >> a phenom. >> rose: a phenom. got hit in the head and his career is over. >> his career is over, career i over. >> rose: and the guy who threw that pitch, jack ham son,
pitched for the angels at the time. it was not a beanball. it was nost intentional. there were some allegations. hamilton was not that kind of pitcher. he didn't throw at batters. >> tony c., on the other hand, was known to get over the plate. he didn't yield anything. pitchers don't like you getting too close to the plate. you get the inside, they get the outside, but don't try to get the whole plate, and tone-- tony c. was famous and he got hit a lot. hamilton threw the pitch, it hit ny, and kew that story, known it my whole life. there was an article about hamilton as he is today-- he's retired, living somewhere -- and i just remember one thing. he said he never talked to tony about that one pitch. and i thought that's kind of-- wouldn't it be greata if they could have talked. of course tony died when he was 45. the idea was born about the beanball, the pitch, the ruined career, a pitch that actually ruins more than one career, and affects a lot of people. and the pitcher, the hitter, and then 30 years later, could they
get together and ta about it? could they-- what would it take to get them back togetherring? >> rose: it would take a son to get them back together. >> it would take a son. >> rose: and we have to have a son, don't we? and the son happens to be the son of the-- >> the pitcher. the pimper of the fictional player was the lesser of the four, fictional player, tough guy, hard drink ago. >> rose: womanizing. >> not a good guy at all. and he was aging out of baseball. he was 34 when suddenly in july of 1973, calico joe shows up and he's a phenom like has never been seen before in the game of baseball. he breaks two or three records in his first couple of games-- the first game he's the first player to ever hit three home runs in his first three at-bats. one player hit two in 1951. a bunch of players homered in their first at-bats. of the 46 or 40 eye get the
numbers all run together-- players that homered in their first at-bat never homered again. you get to the major lesion, you hit a home run and think this is going to be easy and they never homer again. nobody has ever done the first three at bats. >> rose: calico joe was one hell of a player and comes to bat. >> he plays 38 games for the cubs. they're on fire. they're in first place. wrigley field goes nuts. the cubs are going to finally win the world series, and after 38 games, he finally comes to shea stadium, the cubs roll into town. and paul, our 11-year-old narator, whose father pitches for the me, he idolizes joe. his father is his father, even though it's difficult, and he knows at some point his father is going to face joe at the plate and he's torn between this confrontation, and when it final let's chances, it's a very tragic event that affects, again, many lives but especially paul tracy at the age of 11.
and 30 years later, his father is dying. he has no relationship with his father. he has no relationship whiz father. -- but he knows there's unfinished business. >> rose: calico joe,hings have toneell. >> he played his last game at shea stadium, and it his dream is to get his father and joe together one last time. >> rose: do you think that will happen? >> i'm not going to tell you. that's the end of the book. don't ruin the ending. >> rose: what do you think might happen if they get together. >> that's the story. that's when the story came together, was the idea of these two old-- well, not old guys, but 50 years later. joe is-- joe is 51, and warren tracy, the pitcher, is 64, something like that. and they-- they sit down d talk. >> rose: why did the cardinals play no role in this book? >> well, that's a good question. i was just-- i just captured by
the idea of the cubs. the cardinals don't hate the cubs. all the rest do, but i don't. i grew -- >> george will said if you were from illinois you were a cardinal fan or cub fan. somewhere there was a is divide. >> i'm from arkansas, and i can like both teams. we would pick up the game in arkansas. >>ose: pick it up in florida. >> yeah. yeah, very strong but i'd love to see a world series at wrigley field. so would every cub fan but there hasn't been one in 100 years. i've always liked the cubs, and just the setting, i thought -- >> the cubs are easy to write, you have history and everything else. >> i'll do the cardinals one day, probably. not another baseball book, not right now. >> i'm halfwayhrough the next legal thrler that comesut in nomber. i'm on delio finish -- >> you'll be back here in november. >> i'll be back here in november with another book.
you've got to write the things. you have to crank them out. >> rose: that takes six months out of the year for you. >> sometimes seven. >> rose: and working-- >> i don't work as hard as you do. >> of course you don't. >> you have two full-time jobs. >> rose: i have to catch up with you. you have to make ends meet in this business. what else are you doing? are you involved in the obama campaign? you very much supported the president -- >> not much-- i'm kind of tired of politics. >> rose: as iememb,ou were ch mre in favor of hillary-- gimy wife was a super delegate for hillary and campaigned for hillary in four, the the feist states, went to the convention. it was all great fun, but the last couple, three years, i'm really turned off by politics and washington -- >> because it's dysfunctional? >> they're so dysfunctional, and the rancor and partisanship. i don't want to listen to it? >> i could see you as a senator from the virginia. theit the could see the the that the the the >> i wouldn't serve in the u.s. senate if somebody gave me a seat unopposed, free of charge,
and guarantee me a reelection. i would not ser. >>ose: you wod not want to go to washington. you could commute from charlottesville. >> i know some of those guns. you cannot get anything done. you have a few crucial votes every year -- >> as soon as they get elected they think about whether they can run for president. what would do you if you were a writer and did not practice law which you never quite got off the ground. >> i never made any money practicing law. i did it for 10 years and couldn't wait to quit. i henot it thought beyond lawyer. i didn't like practicing law. i love writing books. i'm going to stick with it. >> rose: the exoneration project is going along, the innocence project. >> i do a lot of work there, really enjoy that, and have an interest in the other book about wrongful convictions. the judicial system is something, you know, i watch and i'm concerned about, and that's kind of where my interest is. >> rose: also you're looking
at how you can set up the system of the use of forensic evidence and d.n.a. and all of that so that re people wl have cess to it and i will bore acpted and more efficient. >> yeah, and trying to keep as much junk science out of the courtroom. there's a lot of bad forensics in courtrooms that lead to a lot of bad convictions. almost every wrongful conviction can be prevented and save a ton of money and put the real people in prison. we're still making these mistakes, and there are a lot of innocent people in prison that we're trying to get out so we can put the real people-- it's gratifying work. it's also terribly frustrating because the changes could be so easy. >> rose: i remember a story you once told me, you were in fact hanging around the courtroom, and there was this fascinating trial going on. you were rivetted. you said this is better than any book i've ever read. and it-- so you decided to write about that particular trial which became "a time to kill." >> i had never written a word of
fiction, anything, short stories, never -- >> this young woman talked about being raped. >> this 12-year-old girl. it played out in front of me. i i was noses, like a lot of lawyers in small towns, and i wanted to watch it. i had no way to know it was going to change my life and i created "a time to kill." >> rose: do you think the gifts you had were natural giftes of storytelling or did you work hard and study the process of storytelling and creating a page turner. >> it's hard to study and learn it. i think reading a lot helps. i've always enjoyed reading a lot of suspension, and we all like to read great authors, favorite writers, and i do at. don tryo learn from them. you can't help but be inspired when you read a great book. i don't think you can really teach it. i never learned. i never studied it.
>> rose: you never went to classes. >> i never took a writing class. i guess it's a god-given talent to be able to tell a story. >> rose: i think that's what it is. that makes for good lawyering, too. >> that's where i give the credit. it came late in life. it just dawned on me one day to start writing this story. i was 30 years old -- >> i don't think of that as late in life. >> i kw, i just -- >> the book is called "calico joe." it's a baseball story. one of america's favorite storytellers, john grisham proud writer from charlottesville, virginia, having hung out at oxford, mississippi for a while and loves baseball and, therefore, "calico joe." back in a moment. stay with us. the digital revolution has entered a new era for the media industry. it's a time of growing opportunies d unown.
there's a widespread sharing of online content, redefined value for advertisers and how will technology continue to affect the way we communicate and make decisions. joining me is jonah perety, the founder and c.e.o. of buzz feed. the web site provides a mix of entertainment, news reporting, and most notably content that is shareable. he is also one of the founders of the huffingtonpost. the "new york tis" described h as viral marketing hot dog i am pleased to have jonah perety at this table. >> thanks for having me. >> rose: what did david carr mean? >> he meant i spend a lot of time thinking about why things spread, how ideas spread, and sometimes it applies to marketing, but more broadly, it applies to how ideas spread, why things are shared, why some things that seem awesome don't go anywhere, and other things that seem kind of silly spread everywhere. >> rose: that's exactly what he meant. what is it you know that none of
the rest of us kn? >> for 10 years i'vebeen thinking about why things spread, and i still am pretty humble about answering the-- that question of why-- of why they spread. even if you're good at it, your batting average is going to be low. most things don't go viral. most things aren't passed around everywhere on facebook. if they were it would be a very different world. through time, you can start to learn more and more of some of the characteristics that cause things to spread. >> rose: like? >> like things that have an emotional resonance. people like to share an experience with friends. why does humor spread so well on facebook and twter. >> rose: it's a visceral connection. >> up to the laugh with your friend. up to the share an experience with your friend. why do cute kittens spread on the internet, because you say ah. and that's a fun thing to do with your friends. >> rose: what's the business, buzz media we started nobody wanted to write about buzislamic feed. nobody cared about what we were
doing. i think you're seeing a huge shift in the media industry. i've always been obsessed with why people share things and that used to be about silly iernet humor andnteriningontt. b increasingly, that's everything. people are-- social has become the new starting point. >> rose: meaning? >> meaning people are starting on their facebook news feed and starting their twitter stream and that's where they're finding news. that's where they're finding substantive content, breaking news, cute kittens, news about their friends -- >> it starts and ends with social media, doesn't it? >> it's the way people find content and ias now. all the media companie tt exist have stared with the premise that people are coming to their front page or people are coming through google or people are coming through the portal and getting to their content, and i think what we've seen is a shift from the portal to the search to social, and that shift is changing how you have to organize your media
business. and i think that's breaking really fast right now, which is why there's so much interest in what we're doing at buzz feed. we're a social publisher building a site from the ground up to be for the social web, and that's true now. it wa't true a yearor two a that, that's what the industry was focused on. >> rose: explain to me how a company might use it, though, take the ideas you have. if that's what-- how would they go about, let's say, introducing a product? >> so, the first shift i i think we've seen is happening with editorial content. we have reporters, we have editors creating things that people find worthy of sharing. and that's a higher bar than something you find in a search engine or something you click. you're sharing it with your friends. that'she fst sft wve seen with the editorial content. now we're seeing brands, also seeing the value of branded content and social content, and now brands are jumping in saying, "i don't want to just
interrupt people with my television commercial. i want to make something that people see and share with their friends because that's a much more meaningful way. >> rose: and they do that in which way? >> they create their own page on buzz feed and put interesting comment about their brand up there. we have g.e. putting ideas for echo imagination, weave pisbury withith recipe where you can learn different recipes for crescent rolls, and tons of media companies that put clips from their shows or trailers or content for people. it's almost like a content gift. you see it and think this is interesting. i'm going to share it and pass it along to the friend. instead of getting the audience you paid for, you get the audience you paid for, plus the extra lift from social. >> rose: are you a serial entrepreneur? >> for a while i was a parallel entrepreneur doing huffington post and buz feed dow i'm able to fcu on one company. >> rose: what is going to
happen to huffington post and aol? >> i think that-- you know, it's a big company, and they have a lot of legacy things they have to deal with from aol and the dial-up and all the history. and i think that ariana is a force of nature and i'm rooting for them, and think if anyone can turn the company around and do -- >> you think she might end up running the whole damn thing? >> it wouldn't shock me. but you never know. >> rose: what else are you seeing that interests you byond what you're doing at bz fe, in terms of phenomenon, ideas? >> well, i think you can look -- >> social media. >> i think you can look at almost any industry and say what happens this industry becomes social. and that is-- you know, you see-- you see is people doing it
with commerce. i think t shift from the google-centric world view where everything is about key words and information to the facebook world view where everything is about sharing and emotion and human interaction is going to hit lots of industries and take five, 10 years for it to play out, and we're just at the beginning of it. when i-- you know, that is really the theme they see going across a whole bunch of different companies and a whole bunch of different areas, and the people who are going to be able to lead that charge and can thrive in the it facebook world view instead of the google world view are going to have a lot of success in the next w ars. >> rose: doesame b definition what you just said in the great race, the four horsemen or something, google, amazon, apple and facebook. and then it "fortune" did a cover story saying there's a giant race between google and facebook. is what you just said mean facebook wins? >> i think facebook has a big opportunity ahead of it.
google -- >> become the next apple? >> facebook could be gigantic as a company. i'm bullish on facebook. >> se: aple defin gigantic. >> now apple does, yeah. it's scary to think how big apple could become. it's amazing what apple has done. but i think when you look at the amount people use search engines is pretty flat. and you know, when i-- i have always been interested in why people share things. and when you look at-- but i also got very focused on google, how google works. partly that's how we got a lot of traffic at huffington post is understanding how google works and making contenthat would surfacin gooe and rank highly in google. the problem with that -- >> and everybody else learned that later. >> and other people are trying to learn it. >> and huff post is good at it. the problem with that is you're thinking from the perspective how does an algorithm work, not from the perspective of how does
a human behave? what i love about social is for the first time you can get a lot of traffic-- you know, we have a post that's getting in two daze over two million views. and the majority of it from it facebook because youmake mething popleee >>hat s t post? >> this was 13 thing to get you through a rough day. instead of thinking how do i make something that will surface in the google algorithm, which is creating content for a robot, you're congressing how do i make something that inspires someone, makes someone laugh, make someone feel better about their day or tell someone something new, which is why i think news scoops are such an important part of social media, and that's i think a better endeavor to spend your time thinking about the content company. >>rose: u have a special definition for viral content. what's that? >> the way i sort of define it mathematically? >> rose: right. >> there's a lot of people in silicon valley talk about viral
coefficients and they track things like the way hot mail grew or paypal or-- less pays paul but hot mail and skype, and some of the sites that grew exponentially, where every user grew more than one user. sometimes you create a piece of content, link to it, send 1,000 people there and those 1,000 peoplehare with other 500 people and you end up with 1500 people seeing that instead of 1,000. which is nice. sometimes you send something with 1,000 people and they share with 2,000 and they share with four, 000 and they share with 8,000 and it takes off and grows exponentially. with the technology at buzz feed we measure in realtime how people interact with content on our site and see how much do people like the content and want to share it and then show things people are likely to share. >> announcer: told you a story about a friend of ours whois a vegan, and you said you tried it. this says something about you
because you at that time bet on the high side of a cholesterol level-- can i tell this story? >> yeah, sure, go ahead. >> rose: you said i thought i'd try it. and you tried it for a month. for a month-- >> four months. >> rose: for four months you said i'll try it, right? >> yes. >> rose: you said i'll eat no meat, a little fish and that's it. mostly plant-based food. >> yup. no dairy. >> rose: no dairy at all. and you did that simply because you wanted to see if in fact your cholester level would go dow naturally. >> y. ros andt did. >> and it did. >> rose: what does that say about you, if anything? >> well, my friend was shocked because this is a friend-- his name is omar, and he is a professor, and not in nutrition, but he's interested in these things, and he eats a totally plant-based diet and he tells everyone that he eats with that he eats a plant-based diet and tells everybody the benefit of
it >> so he's proselyzing. >> ye and i had dinner and told him my cholesterol is 208, and it's too high but it's not high enough to go on pills and i have young kids and i want to have a healthy heart. so i said, okay, i think it's probably mostly genetic, but i'll go on this diet and see. and i did for four months and my cholesterol ending up at 172. it dropped, and i told my friend omar, hey, you're right. you won the bet. but i won my health. >> rose: you had better health. >> and he said i talked to 10 people a day and tell them these benefits and no one has done it. >> rose: first of all, it shows he was right. >> i was his first convert. they hear it and say that sounds rational but nobody changes their diet. >> rose: that's miquestion. what was about you that said i have the will power to do this to see if it works? >> i don't know. but part of it was that-- part of what appealed to me about it was that it was an experiment. it was like i have a number upon
i can do this experiment. i can see how it results. that's what we do at buzz feed all the time. we constantly try new formats nd ideas, and we are able, unlike most media companies we are able to deploy to 5% of our audience and see how the change in the site affects 5% of the audience, and if it works we can push it out to the rest of the audience. so there's a kind of experimental approach to everything that makes things fun and makes things like a game but also can get really good results. >> rose: take a look at this. i want to show what you do and we will be able to show you. these are some of the things that have shown powerful resonance and people wanted to share. first, the 45ost powerf imag of 2011. the 45 most-- why 45? >> people love numbers. >> rose: yeah, like the top 10. >> the editor who created that post obsesses over what the right number is. >> rose: so good. >> and i'll say, i think 23 is
enough. why 45? and he's like, "no, it doesn't feel substantial enough." and "there might not be enough that you love in there." >> rose: why 13 simple steps to get through a rough day. why 13 rather than 17? >> he was trying something new with that one, and that one was steps. so each point had under items. one of the steps was look at these pictures of these dogs. and it was a bunch of cute dogs, ask there were maybe 15 opener eight dogs in the step so each step was more meatier in that case. >> rose: take a look. these are some of the entries of the 45 most powerful images of 2011. go. there you go. this is number one. now that's a picture, isn't it? >> yes. >> rose: members of the national security team. this is a famous picture. at the time of the killing of osama bin laden.
request number two. there you go. number three is a boy looks it at a picture of steve jobs and the flowers laid next to it in hong kong. number four, arab spring. protesters holds a card board poster that says facebook. five, a university of california davis policeman pepper sprays students during a sit-in. we remember that. and sir, a woman jumped from a burning building during the london riots in august. wow. how high up is she? it's not very far. the next thing, let's show you the 13 steps. these are 13 simple steps to get you through it a rough day. number eight, step eight. be happy that are you not one of these people. this is a man running away from an otrich with an arrow and a caption, "not you." next one, be happy that you are
not one of these people. that's great. see, it make uz laugh. >> yeah. >> rose: the next one is dogs that look like a mad man character. it it this is so good. this is really good. next one is peggy oltont plate by the elizabeth moss, look likes a beating theelt. the this is the great. itt. >> the 45 most powerful images of the year were a lot of substantive, serious things that happened in the world. but it made everyone who saw that feel like they were part of a momentous year and it made people feels and made people feel like they're part of something bigger. and that has over 11 million views from people primarily sharing it across facebook. but then you also see things
that make you laugh and that are pernal and don'- and are more entertaining content, but there's an emotional resonance to it or humor to it that cause people to spread. and i think that's how content will spread, whether it's a serious content or a substantive content reporting or whether it's entertaining content, things spread through social channels now and that's how people find things. >> rose: when you look at the great success stories on the web, and-- what is it they have? is it they're firstnd good? is it more important to be first, or is it more important to come in good, no matter when you start? >> i don't think being first-- i mean, facebook wasn't the first social network and google wasn't the first search engine, and you know, i think sometimes it can help. e-bay was pretty-- got a good first advantage and was pretty unique at the time. and -- >> amazon was first but at the same time has dominated its
business. >> yeah. so being first doesn't guarantee success, and being best doesn't guarantee sex, and there's a lot of luck in it it as well. and i think it helps if you are part of a larger shift that's happening in the world. we is have had a lot of success at buzz feed but we don't take success for all of it. the world shifted in a way favorable to us. sharing became a way that people found their news and content. it wasn't even a few years ago, and the shift helped us a lot, and i think if you're working on a project or company where the shifts-- the macro shifts happening in the wod benefit you, you kind of get luy and that hps you gro >> rose: didn't you teach a course at n.y.u.? >> i did. >> rose: and you assigned the students the challenge of building the best viral web site, yes? >> yeah, so the students broke into small groups, and-- well, first before the class got going, we looked at all these examples of things that had been
viral and spread across the web, and then we broke into small groups, and can everybody had to create something. >> rose: was there a project that won bigger than anybody else? >> it was cread by someo named paul berry, called dog island. it was a hoax web site that looked like an island where you would send your dog to live free. you love your dog more than anything, and it's the hardest thing you ever have to do but you send it to live at dog island, and it looked like the official web site of a place called dog island, and dog lovers were outraged, and was the controversy, the biggest paper in australia wrote it up as these crazy americans have this thing called dog island. it was hugely successful. >> and hired paul berry to be c.t.o. of huffington post, and we are still partners on things today and he was the tech genius behind it a lot of the things on
huffington post. >> rose: what is your ambition? >> i'm not that ambitious. i always want to figure out how things work, and the goal of building companies that get bigger and bigger is that it's interesting to see how things work at scale. you can do more when you're bigger. when you have millions of people, 20 million-plus people coming to a site you have more data and more opportunity and morehingsyou can experiment with. really, i want to build a defining social publishing site. >> rose: "i want to build the defining social publishing site?" >> rose: yup. >> rose: how far away are you from that? >> i think we're in the immediate. >> rose: and i think it will be a big market. >> rose: i will be checking that one. >> and that site has to have advertising that works for the social web, too. >> rose: is that happening with buzz feed. we don't take the standard bner ads. wdon't ink they work. that's from the portal era, and
one step before the search era so all of our brands use social advertising products we're developing. we're developing our own custom advertising, c.m.s., our own platform for publishing. our own data. but it's because we're in a new market and we need to invent all this stuff because it doesn't exist yet. >> rose: before we go, tell us the concept of l.o.l. >> laughing out loud? >> rose: yes. >> so when we started the site, we realized that social content isn't bren up by the normal content vertical, like business and sports and-- you know. the things that spread often spread for an emotional reason. so we added these buttons to the bottom of our content weapon with long click you could say something is l.o.l., o.m.g., cute. so all of those shorthand, internet shorthands for reactions are emotionally based and tu share something because it's l.o.l. and cute. we had a post-- pictures of bast hundreds of thousands running. that's a piece of content that
is l.o.l., because their face go like that, and it's cu becau they're cute. those two things together combine to make something people want to share. and with two clicks you can quickly express your emotion. >> rose: is what we're talking about going to change the world? >> i think the world is it already changing because we're all connected. i've been a student of sociology and social psychology from the 70s and 80s, where the concept of six degrees of separation and small world were intellectual curiosities in the 70s and 80s. they were cool ideas but didn't matter d now wit the internet we're all connected to each other. th feboowe're all connected to each other. and the ideas of small world and six degrees of separation can be put into practice and you can use the same concepts to spread things to millions of people across the world so those things matter now. >> rose: a time in which people will say who is going to be the more powerful, twitter or facebook? >> it's possible. facebook is definitely in the stronger position right now. >> rose: right now.
>> yeah. and i think twitter could be more influential. you could argue that among an elite group of ople, twitter has more mind share pgh >> naoko: >> celebrities and powerful people and public figures. the people who come on your show probably care more about twitter. >> rose: i didn't know how to quantify that. >> and i think that's what it is. also, twit ser more intraspace. as we at buzz feed start to launch categories -- we have a tech section and a women's section and other sections, twitter is becoming more and more important to us because people organize by interest on twitter. >> rose: joh perety, founderrer and e.o. of buzz feed and one of the founders of it huffington post. both of which have done enormously well. thank you. >> thank you, pfs fun.
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