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U.N. Chief Nears the End of 10 Years in Office; Turkish Journalist Honored at Press Freedom Awards; Amanpour: Journalism Faces an Existential Crisis. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired November 25, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:15] ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, I'm Zain Asher and this is CNN "News Now." ISIS says a deadly bombing in Iraq, Thursday,
was retaliation for the government's military offensive to retake Mosul. The bombing killed at least 80 people south of Baghdad. Most of them
Iranian pilgrims coming from Karbala. ISIS threat in similar violence in the Iraqi capital as well as Karbala and Najaf as well.
The fight against Israel's wildfires is now an international effort. Airplanes have been called in from several countries to help douse the
flames. Some of the fires in Northern Israel have been brought under control. Investigators suspect arson in some cases and have detained at
least 12 people.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has two new hires. He has tapped K.T. McFarland who worked in three Republican administrations as deputy national
security adviser. Campaign finance lawyer Don McGahn will be the White House counsel. Trump will interview eight candidates for cabinet-level
positions on Monday.
And iconic TV mom Florence Henderson has now passed away. She is best known for her role as Carol Brady, the mother on the '70s TV show "The Brady
Bunch." Henderson died Thursday of heart failure. Her manager said she hadn't been sick and her death was a complete shock. Henderson was 82
All right, that is your CNN "News Now." AMANPOUR is up next. You're watching CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAN KI-MOON, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: It has been a great privilege and honor for me to serve this great organization, but it has
been quite tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: An outgoing U.N. secretary-general and an incoming U.S. president. Ban Ki-moon on clashes of cooperation ahead. My
interview with him from the United Nations in New York.
Also ahead, freedom of the press in the post-truth era. Defending the press at home and abroad. Turkish reporter Can Dundar on his country's
crackdown on the media.
Good evening, everybody, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour inside the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York. The world body
that deals with the toughest global issues like the ongoing war in Syria, like the historic refugee crisis, but also successes like the U.N. Climate
Change Accord and the Iran nuclear deal.
But now world leaders who usually fill these seats are wondering whether a new U.S. president, Donald Trump, will continue America's global leadership
role. And if not, how might a new world order take shape?
Who better to ask than the outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in this exclusive exit interview just before his decade long tenure ends at
the end of this year.
AMANPOUR: Secretary-general, welcome to the program.
MOON: It's a great pleasure to see you. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Ten years you've been in this office now. The first ever secretary-general told his successor, welcome to the most impossible job in
Do you agree?
MOON: I agree, but you may remember what I said at the beginning of my term, I will make this job mission impossible, mission possible. It has
been a great privilege and honor for me to serve this great organization, but it has been quite tough.
AMANPOUR: What would you say has been the very toughest? I mean, let's dive right in. Syria is perhaps -- could it be what you've become best
known for? What the world becomes best known for? The failure to deal with this terrible war right now?
MOON: It's really heartbreaking and it's very regrettable that we still see so many people, children and women are dying needlessly because of the
lack of political leadership and vision and humanity by the leaders of Syria. Then this may be recorded as one of the failures of the United
Nations, but it is sort of a collective failure.
AMANPOUR: If you could sum up, how will history judge the political leaders who make up this United Nations for the failure in Syria?
MOON: I'm afraid to say that they will judge the political leaders, they fail.
[14:05:10] AMANPOUR: We're talking, as you end your term, a new American president will take office in the White House. There is a lot of
uncertainty about how he views America's role in the world. Have you spoken to him yet? And do you have a sense of how he views American
leadership continuing forward?
MOON: I had a good telephone talks with President-elect Donald Trump just three days after his election. And I have explained all the major issues
of the United Nations.
The United States and United Nations share the same goals and ideas enshrined in the charter of the United Nations. The United States is one
of the most important founding members of the United Nations, therefore, the United Nations -- the United States leadership working together, or
with the United Nations is crucially important. I'm confident that the President-elect Donald Trump will all be fully engaged with the United
AMANPOUR: Well, you say that, but obviously there's looming clashes ahead. Most notably on one of your signature achievement and your pride and joy
and that is the eventual signing in Paris of the climate accords, which have come into effect.
You've heard what Donald Trump has said, that, you know, climate change is a hoax, that he would want to, you know, extract America from its
obligations under the treaty. Tell me how you feel.
You've just come back from a major conference on climate in Marrakech.
MOON: We have heard a lot of things have been talked, whether it is constructive or not constructive, during the electoral process. Having
said that, now that the election is over, he is now elected as future president of the United States.
As you said I'm just back from Marrakech, a very important meeting. We discuss a lot. What would be the implications of the U.S. administration
on climate change? Without any exception, including United States, there is a wholehearted support that this climate change agreement which was done
with the wholehearted support of the whole international community must be preserved, must be implemented. Now it's not only the government. The
people on the ground, civil society, faith humanity and also business communities, they demand it.
AMANPOUR: Another area of clash between the new U.S. administration and the United Nations could be the Iran deal. President-elect Trump has
called it the worst deal ever. And, obviously, there are people urging him to try to renegotiate or pull out.
MOON: Objectively speaking as the secretary-general, who has been really working hard to help the Iranian nuclear development issues resolved. I
believe that this agreement done by P5+1 Germany, that was a robust agreement. Then we have to respect this agreement.
I've been discussing this matter with Iranian authorities and they were also concerned that having agreed to this agreement, if there's any changes
or disruptive processes of this agreement, then it will take much, much longer time, during that time, who knows whether they happen again, then
I'm urging the world leaders to be committed to this agreement.
AMANPOUR: If the U.N. distinguished itself in anything, it is in the caring for refugees. It is an international obligation to care for war
refugees and we have seen over the last several years this rise of hatred towards refugees.
We've seen refugees and migrants being demonize in political campaign in Europe and the United States. It's the worst time in the world for
refugees right now.
Where do you see that going? And that could, again, be another clash between the new U.S. administration and the United Nations?
MOON: We have, first, more than 65 million people who are dispersed internally and refugees is the highest number of -- refugees and displaced
persons since the end of the Second World War.
[14:10:04] It will be a strong commitment for humanity and the respect to all refugees as a human being with full integrity. We have to reject
xenophobia, discrimination, whatsoever. They are the same human beings. They are most vulnerable group of people. We have to protect their human
rights and human dignity. That's a basic principle.
And I appreciate President Obama who has also taken an initiative by convening some meeting on the margins of the United Nations General
Assembly on September 10th, where I participated with European Union and United States and United Nations working together. I think we can solve
AMANPOUR: One of the things that has been achieved here since you've been secretary-general is enshrining respect for LBGT rights, all sorts of
sexual orientations rights.
I heard a story about how you came to this issue, that you were petitioned by human rights groups and you told them, look, I'm a middle-aged Asian
man, this is uncomfortable for me.
Tell me then how you came to actually speaking about it in a speech and now enshrining those rights in the United Nations?
MOON: As you said and as you know, I have been raised in a very conservative society in Korea and most of the Asian countries having
influence to (INAUDIBLE) and very conservative.
Now having become secretary-general of the United Nations whose charter takes human rights and dignity as one of the most important pillars with
the security and the peace and development, this LBGT, whatever sexual orientation one may have, they are the same human being. Their human
rights and human dignity, and social, and political, and economic opportunity should be respected as equally as other people. That's a
simple fact. Simple fact.
Some people regard me as how come you have changed. But it's not that I have changed. I am solely committed to human rights principle.
AMANPOUR: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, thank you very much indeed.
MOON: Thank you very much. It has been a great pleasure.
AMANPOUR: Next, press freedom under clear and present danger. I talk to a fellow journalist who was sentenced to six years in jail and almost killed
in an assassination attempt just for doing his job. That is after this.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. This year more than ever, it seems that freedom of the press is under attack. Particularly in Turkey, which
has become one of the world's biggest jailers of journalists according to the "Committee to Protect Journalists."
And my next guest was sentenced to six years in prison after his newspaper published "Cumhuriyet" published photos purported to show that the Turkish
government was sending weapons to Syria. The CPJ honored Can Dundar and his words received a resounding standing ovation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:15:10] CAN DUNDAR, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CUMHURIYET: Thank you. As this headline says, we will never give up. We will never give up. Thank
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Can Dundar, welcome to the program.
DUNDAR: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So you were awarded last night. What does it feel like to be free and rewarded here in the United States? It's a different experience
than you have at home.
DUNDAR: Of course. But at the same time I'm upset because my friends in jail, so I was there on behalf of them, you know, defending their rights
and our rights, of course.
But at the same time of course it's a big support and, you know, backing by our colleagues here.
AMANPOUR: Let's get to your case because it was about a story that you had written on the front page of your newspaper about Turkish arms going to the
rebels in Syria and you broke that story and obviously the government didn't like it.
When I asked President Erdogan about your case, he told me that you could be a spy. He told me that you could have done illegal things. What was
your response? And what did the court say?
DUNDAR: Court say the other thing. You know, they said it's not an act of terrorism. It's an act of journalism. That's why we were released by the
decision of the constitutional court.
I watched that video. And I don't know how can a president blame a journalist being a spy without any evidence in it. So, I mean, what we had
AMANPOUR: In response to the EU saying it has a red line on press freedom when it comes to Turkey's accession, the prime minister yesterday said,
"Brother, we don't care about your red line. It's the people who draw the red line. What importance does your line have?"
That's your prime minister about press freedom.
DUNDAR: Unfortunately so. Yes. I mean, they don't see any red line anymore and they don't care about the reaction of the EU anymore. In fact,
this is the -- partly the result of the EU's policy towards Turkey. Unfortunately they were not that enthusiastic to criticize the government
from the beginning because of the refugee deal. And the deal was, I mean, Erdogan keeps the refugees in Turkish soil and didn't send them to Europe.
And in return, they bought their silence, I guess. And they didn't -- they were not vocal in that sense.
AMANPOUR: So you think this is coming back to bite Europe in the back side?
DUNDAR: Exactly. And now another danger, that's they're pushing Turkey, kind of isolation, which is another danger because it won't be a punishment
for Erdogan, who is not a believer of European values. But it would be a punishment for the modern side of Turkey who was, you know, believe in the
AMANPOUR: What about the new president of the United States? Here we are in America, Donald Trump, president-elect, he's naming his Cabinet. One of
the people who we know he's named is Michael Flynn, retired general for national security who has said some pretty explosive things about Muslims.
Fear of Muslims is rational. Islam is -- what did he say? Islamism is a --
DUNDAR: Islamism is a disease?
AMANPOUR: Is a disease.
AMANPOUR: How is that going to reverberate with President Erdogan who quite welcomed Trump's victory?
DUNDAR: Yes, he did so. And he was very, he seems very happy with the election. But I don't think that the new administration would be very
welcoming the Islamic tendencies in the government. I don't think that Islamism is a disease. But, you know, invading countries like Iraq and
Afghanistan, you know, created if there's a disease. So I mean, this is not the way that we can solve the problems.
AMANPOUR: Let's go back to your personal situation. So you're accused, you were put on trial. They even tried -- a gunman tried to assassinate
DUNDAR: That's right, yes.
AMANPOUR: Tell me about that, and I think your wife sort of batted him away.
DUNDAR: Yes. Exactly. We were waiting for the decision of the court. And that very moment we were in front of the court and someone, you know,
approached us and told me, shouted at me like traitor.
DUNDAR: Traitor. Yes. That was the word the president used for us. So I mean --
AMANPOUR: So that incites that kind of violence.
DUNDAR: Yes, he was inspired by those, you know, accusations, I guess. But he was trying to shoot me, but my wife jumped on him and, you know,
protect my life. You know, she saved my life. But you know what, he's free now and can travel outside Turkey. But my wife is not allowed to go
AMANPOUR: She's not allowed to leave Turkey. Why?
DUNDAR: They confiscated her passport while she was trying to get out of Turkey.
DUNDAR: Without any reason.
AMANPOUR: Are they just trying to get to you?
[14:20:00] AMANPOUR: The event where you were honored last night showed the threats that many of our colleagues around the world are under, and
yourself included. Does it surprise you that the United States, I mean, the free press in the United States, is having to battle for its rights and
safety with this new president-elect?
DUNDAR: It's so surprising. I just want to say welcome to the club, to you, really.
DUNDAR: Fighting against those kind of oppression in Turkey. And now it's unbelievable to see our, you know, American colleagues, trying to save
And it was a good solidarity message for us, not only for me, but all Turkish journalists in jail. Turkey is the biggest jail for journalists in
the world. So it's really dark times.
So it was a message to them that they're not alone and I guess it was a message to the Turkish government that it's doing wrong.
AMANPOUR: Really difficult times ahead. But challenging ones, and maybe, maybe somewhere a silver lining. We'll see for our profession.
Can, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
DUNDAR: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And from strangling press freedom in Turkey, we look at journalism at risk in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And there are some of them right up there. The world's most dishonest people. The media. Totally dishonest people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Candidate Donald Trump menaced the media throughout the campaign. Will President Trump do the same?
My address in New York to the "Committee to Protect Journalists" on the challenges of a free press in the land of the free. That's after this
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where truth itself is under attack.
You heard earlier about attacks on the press in Turkey. But the recent U.S. election has seen violence and abuse directed at the American press.
This week's on again/off again meeting with the "New York Times" and that combative summons to the TV news media highlights President-elect Donald
Trump's ambivalent and difficult relationship with the press.
I was honored this week to receive the Benjamin Burton Memorial Award from the "Committee to Protect Journalists." And in my acceptance speech, I
raised our very real challenge, as we struggle to survive in the swelling tide of fake news sites which is spread by Facebook and other viral social
media. The very platforms used by many leaders now to bypass our established media organizations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A great America requires a great and free and safe press. And this tonight above all -- so tonight above all it's really an appeal to
protect journalism itself. To recommit to robust, fact-based reporting, without fear and without favor on the issues. Don't stand for being called
or labeled lying or crooked or failing. We have to stand up together because divided, we will fall.
[14:25:00] The historian Simon Schama, who is in the house tonight, told me early on in this campaign that this was not just another election and we
could not treat it as one.
I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth. We have to be prepared to fight especially hard
right now for the truth, because this is a world where the "Oxford" English dictionary just last week announced its word for 2016, and that is "post-
Combined with the most incredible development ever, which is the tsunami of fake news a.k.a. lies. Somehow people could not, would not recognize,
fact-check or disregard these lies. I feel that right now we face an existential crisis. A real threat to the very relevance and youthfulness
of our profession.
Now more than ever, I genuinely believe that we need to recommit to real reporting across a real nation and a real world in which journalism and
democracy are in mortal peril. We, the media, I strongly believe can either contribute to a more functional system or to deepening the political
dysfunction. And which world do we want to live, I keep asking myself? Which world do we want to leave our children?
In the same way that politics here and increasingly around the world has been driven into poisonous partisan and paralyzing corners. Where
political differences are criminalized. Where the zero sum gain means that in order for me to win, you have to be destroyed.
What happened to compromise and common ground? And that same dynamic has infected powerful elements and segments of the American media as well. And
it is doing so overseas as we see here tonight and every year. Like it has in Egypt and Turkey and Russia, where journalists have been pushed
unacceptably into political partisan corners. Delegitimized, accused of being enemies of the states and journalism itself is being weaponize.
As a profession, let's fight for what's right. Let's fight for our values. Bad things as we all know do happen when good people do nothing. And in
the words of the great American civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis, "Young people and people not so young have a moral obligation and a
mission and a mandate to get into good trouble so let's go out there and get into some good trouble." And especially, let's fight to remain
relevant and useful and perhaps, contemplating the long weekend ahead, let's resolve not to be Turkey's voting for Thanksgiving. Happy holidays,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us any time online at Amanpour.com and
follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.