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Maltese PM Denounces Journalist's Killing; Tech Firms "The Most Powerful Gatekeepers" in History; Documentary Interviews Vietnamese Fighters; Chasing Down Misogyny aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired October 20, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMANPOUR: This week the war on journalists ramps up. Malta's most prominent investigative reporter is assassinated. The country's prime
minister, often her target, pledges to make her killers pay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH MUSCAT, PRIME MINISTER OF MALTA: There will be absolutely no immunity for anyone. This is a country where rule of law reigns supreme.
I will make sure that justice is done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Also ahead, can we ever switch off from our digital addiction? The author Franklin Foer says big tech is robbing us of our own decision-
Plus, historian Ken Burns on his epic Vietnam documentary which casts new light on an old war.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to our weekend review where we highlight the top stories. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Around the world, journalists are coming under fire like never before. The now daily attacks on both free speech and the mainstream media are even
starting to put reporter lives at risk.
That was brutally lay bare this week by the assassination of well-known investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. An island in the
middle of the Mediterranean. The EU's smallest member state.
Galizia was killed by a car bomb as she drove away from her house on Monday. She was a popular and widely read blogger for fearlessly going
where few dare to thread.
She was a relentless investigative reporter, diving deep into allegations of corruption within Malta's political circles in both the opposition and
ruling parties, even alleging that the prime minister and his wife had hidden off shore bank accounts which they strongly deny.
As the nation poured into the streets to mourn her, I asked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat about the allegations against him and his government, and
whether he would hunt and hold Galizia's killers and make them truly accountable.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Muscat, welcome to the program.
MUSCAT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Daphne Galizia was an equal opportunity fierce crusader. She didn't spare the government, she didn't spare the opposition, she was
determined to get to the bottom.
She also tried to get to the bottom of allegations against you, against your wife, against you chief of staff.
She died 30 minutes after publishing a blog post accusing your chief of staff of corruption yet again and her last words were quote, "There are
crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate."
You know, it pretty a harsh thing to say and then be killed 30 minutes after that.
[14:05:00] MUSCAT: Well I think she said even harsher things before against myself, against my collaborators, against other people in
government and from other parties so I don't think it's fair to associate that particular post to the fact.
Look, she was a very harsh critic of mine. I think the harshest I ever had. She has been writing about me, against me for the past decade or so.
And, we, you know -- we are living in a free world. That's something we've always tolerated in the sense that it's obviously her right to write these
things. It's obviously my right to protect myself if I feel at grief in court. And that's how it always happened. This is why this is shocking
for us because this is simple not on.
I will not point fingers because I think it's extremely premature to say it was these guys who did it or it was this motive. I think right now what I
am here to say is that this country stands for rule of law and this country does not accept such things and this comes from one of her main targets
politically, but I can never accept such -- such an action. It's not what we stand for as a country.
What she wrote about me some time ago and I found exception on one particular thing that she wrote and I went to court where I asked for an
independent inquiry and I said if something is found what she wrote is true, I would resign immediately. And, you know, that's how things are
done in a democracy so this is completely out of this world for us. This is simply not on.
AMANPOUR: So let's just be clear. I believe you're talking about a report a couple of months ago where she found a whistle blower allegedly who told
her that you were the owner of a company that was still involved in corruption and payoffs.
You say as you just said, you went to court and you asked for independent magistrate. Is that case on going?
MUSCAT: Yes it's still on going. And I believe that -- I believe I'm sure that she gave her -- the position to the magistrate so any evidence that
this so called whistle blower, the credentials of whom had been put in doubt might have given her are there. And I stand by my word where it's
not only whether - it's proven, it's whether there's an indication that whatever was written in that story is true I would resign immediately.
So definitely it's a situation where we cannot really understand and we cannot really fathom the way in which this was carried out and the fact
that someone decided to kill a person because of something that she might have written or something she might have wanted to write in the future.
AMANPOUR: Well she was as I said and as you all know better than I do a crusading anti-corruption journalist, a dedicated investigator even despite
the threats and the dangers.
And as you know, there was a lot of concern certainly in the European parliament. You were grilled many times including not just by Maltese
MEP's, but by other Europeans amid four at the time ongoing corruption probes.
I mean that is why you had to call a snap election, so it's really -- I mean there's a lot there.
MUSCAT: Yes, but I don't know what you're implying because I wanted election and I wanted to a larger majority so if you're implying that there
was something in government for doing this or the government mandated this or the government has anything to do with this, I fail to connect the dots.
What I'm saying is that the government and as the Prime Minister and as a person responsible and democratically elected, I need to make sure that
everyone has in our country, as we have, the right to say and write whatever we want. We actually removed the institution of criminal libel
during our 10 year in office.
We have made whatever we could and we will continue doing whatever we can to make sure that there is freedom of speak so I refuse your allegation. I
see where you're coming from. I could just play politics and say, look, the last things that she wrote was about the opposition party and she got
threats from there she said.
But you know, I don't think that interests your audience.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, as you know I would never ever make any allegations. I was merely describing what you were facing and the kind of
pressure you were coming under.
But I do want to ask you this, in this highly charged atmosphere.
One of Daphne's sons Matthew who himself heard the explosion ran out to try to see what had happened, described the most abominable scene.
[14:10:07] He wrote on Facebook this morning "A culture of impunity has been allowed to flourish by the government in Malta. It is of little
comfort for the Prime Minister of this country to say that he will, quote, "not rest" until the perpetrators are found when he heads a government that
encouraged that same impunity."
And he goes on to say "My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it like many strong
What do you say to that as Prime Minister?
MUSCAT: Well, I see and read the words of a son who has just found his mother dead in pieces so I think I would be insensitive to take acception
to anything he says.
I think I would have written or said worse things if I found my mother dead in an exploded car.
So I at this point in time, I think out of respect I will just say that I understand what he means, but that's my role as Prime Minister is to make
sure that people are brought to justice. And whoever it might be that commissioned and executed this barbaric act is actually brought to justice
as soon as possible.
AMANPOUR: Do you believe then at this point that you will get to the bottom of this and if it turns out that even the highest level are found to
be complicit, guilty, whatever the legal term is that there will be no impunity?
MUSCAT: There will be absolutely no impunity for anyone. This is a country where rule of law reigns supreme. I will make sure that justice is
done and there will be absolutely no impunity for anyone be it form any part of the political spectrum if there is politics involved in this or
from any other sector.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, thank you for joining me on this very difficult day.
MUSCAT: Thank you, Christiane. Thank you for understanding.
AMANPOUR: While danger and threats against journalists continue their alarming rise, another kind of dangerous threat is coming at you through
Facebook and other social media.
Russia has been infiltrating and pushing its own political agenda on an unsuspecting public in Western democracies.
Author Franklin Foer has written a scathing polemic against the so called big four tech giants -- Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.
His new book is "World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech."
It's about the incredible influence that technology and social media have on our lives.
AMANPOUR: Franklin Foer, welcome to the program.
FRANKLIN FOER, AUTHOR OF "WORLD WITHOUT MIND: THE EXISTENTIAL TREAT OF BIG TECH": Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: So taking on the big tech giants. What is your aim? What are you trying to warn us about?
FOER: They play this outsized role in our lives. We see it with our phone, which we feel physiologically separated from in another room we feel
like a piece of our body is missing. And they've come to play this outsized role in the way that we perceive reality. They stand between us
and news and they play massive roles in shaping markets and shaping democracy and conversation and shaping our future as a species.
So I want to make sure that as we ease into this future, that we do so with intention and that we ask the hard questions of these companies.
AMANPOUR: The big thing that we've all noticed and being you know rocked by is the dramatic effect on our Western Democracies by Russia and the way
they're using Facebook and others, the gatekeepers.
So give me your view on -- can they be responsible gatekeepers, these platforms?
FOER: Well, they could be more responsible gatekeepers, but the problem is, so much power is now concentrated in them. They are the most powerful
gatekeepers in the history of humanity. And so I think that rather than try to make them behave more responsibility, our bigger picture goal should
be to diversify the marketplace and to protect our privacy, which is the core thing that they exploit.
AMAPOUR: I want to read you this that Mark Zuckerburg recently said. Of course, Yom Kippur recently and he did the famous Atonement quote.
AMAPOUR: Where he says, "Tonight concludes Yom Kippur. For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask
forgiveness and I will work to do better."
I want you to comment on that in the context of all the money these groups are now paying to lobby in Washington.
FOER: Right. Well so they're no longer the challengers, they're no longer the start-ups. They're the incumbents and they're investing and protecting
themselves and they're investing in ways that are entirely conventional, which means that they're massively increasing their lobbying efforts in the
capitals of the world that could dent them and that they're spending gobs of money on public relations because they need it. There's suddenly a
backlash that's emerged.
[14:15:05] The election of Donald Trump transformed the way that Facebook is perceived as a company and it's now on the defensive.
AMAPOUR: But isn't that just exactly typical, that they're just addressing the perception and not the reality.
What do you think they're going to have to do to address the reality?
FOER: I think the quibble I would kick with the premise of that question is that the onus is on Facebook.
FOER: Really the onus needs to be on democracies to come up with a way to make sure that Facebook can exist in a robust public debate where not that
-- where citizens aren't reliant on just one gatekeeper, where there's a pluralism of gatekeepers.
AMAPOUR: And how does that happen in our world?
FOER: So right now they're -- we're in the process of having our old anti- monopoly laws taken off the shelves and there's renewed interest in anti-
But also, in the United States and in the large parts of the western world, there are not laws that protect people's data.
Data is the source of Facebook's riches and they act as if our data is their own, but I think we need an entirely new paradigm where we allow
citizens to take control back of their data.
AMAPOUR: Without a doubt.
AMAPOUR: Franklin Foer, thank you so much for joining us.
FOER: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: A look at the daily battles we face in our fast-paced, ever- changing tech world.
Up next, we turn to a battle of old, the Vietnam wars through the eyes of celebrated film makers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick when we come back.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
50 years ago this week, 100,000 Vietnam protestors marched on the Pentagon. A half a century later, the subject of the war remains fraud. Still
difficult to discuss. But that didn't stop the acclaimed film makers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick from tackling it.
The two dove right in, interviewing about 100 ordinary people who lived it. U.S. veterans, Vietnamese fighters and journalists and ultimately they
delivered a haunting, human and epic story. A full 18 hours long.
They joined me from Washington after screening part of their documentary, "The Vietnam War" at the Pentagon.
It is going to be released in 50 countries around the world.
AMANPOUR: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, welcome to the program.
KEN BURNS, FILMMAKER, "THE VIETNAM WAR": Thanks for having us.
LYNN NOVICK, FILMMAKER, "THE VIETNAM WAR": Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you first because this is such an epic.
Ken, it's 18 hours of documentary. It's taken you 10 years, the two of you. You've looked at I think, 1,500 hours of footage, 24,000 photos -- I
mean, this is massive.
BURNS: Well, we wanted to get it right. This is a very contentious subject. It's not settled here in the United States. It's not settled in
Vietnam and we wanted to at least be slaves to the facts and then figure out how to then weave together the personal testimony of nearly 80 human
beings from North Vietnamese soldiers to American draft resisters and tell the whole arch of a very complicated story that isn't just a 10-year period
for Americans, but a much longer period, 30 years for Americans that we would suggest a much longer period for the whole world including the French
AMANPOUR: Well, it's interesting that you talk about the different perspectives.
[14:20:00] Lynn, I think you fought the good fight to bring in many more Vietnamese voices and also it's notable that the "usual suspects" are
NOVICK: Yes, but we found it was very important first of all to not make the mistake that Americans often make when talking about the Vietnam War,
which is only to talk about ourselves and that if we wanted to understand this extraordinarily important event as Ken was saying, we had to go to
We had to speak to Vietnamese-Americans in this country as well and we came to understand the war as Ken said, complicated and unsettled there.
There's many different points of view and perspectives about what happened and what it means and whether it was worth the cost and whether the country
has fully unified and you know, frankly, how terrible the war was for the Vietnamese.
AMANPOUR: Let us play one of the sound-bytes, one of the segments of the interview.
This is a Vietcong fighter and he's talking about essentially a shared humanity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It is remarkable. I mean, he's talking about seeing the suffering on the other side and realizing that actually, we are all human.
BURNS: Exactly. The war is essentially obviously dehumanizing. It's necessary to fight the war to make your enemy kind of one dimensional and
that happens on their side about us and on our side about us and on our side about them, but what's so interesting is that time and time again, the
North Vietnamese soldiers or the Vietcong guerrillas sound exactly like our US marine and Army fighters that we've also interviewed.
And when you get to that space, which is combat, the battle line, the front, you're talking about individuals experiencing the exact same thing.
AMANPOUR: You've spent years about World War II, about the Civil War, now the Vietnam War, what do you think is the lesson both of you for what we
see today in our increasingly polarized society especially in the US?
BURNS: Well, you know, I think, Christiane, you've hit the nail on the head here. I think a good deal of the seeds of the disunion and the hyper-
partisanship that we experience today had its beginnings in the Vietnam War.
When we made this film, we started in 2006, we weren't thinking, "Oh, demonstrations against the President. Asymmetrical warfare. President
accusing the press of lying. Accusations that a political campaign reached out during the time of a national election to influence that."
But when we finished the film, before by the way the Iowa caucuses, we suddenly realized we had a film that resonated rhymed in the present the
way every single film we've made has done and then it becomes incumbent upon us as viewers and as citizens and as you know, people in the world to
begin to understand the gift that a historical story can help you understand the present.
And I think there are so many parallels and similarities here. It might very instrumental in helping us sort of pull up the fuel rods of this
disunion that we experience right now.
One of the things is that that Vietnam isn't talked about very much in the United States because everybody is in their own hardened silos with their
own certain opinions, but they're opinions, not facts and if you spend 10 years trying to get those facts right, you have the opportunity to perhaps
melt the certainty of people left, right or wherever and begin to have the kind of conversation we've had.
Now, the film has been out in the United States. Broadcast has been done for a couple of weeks and the response has been extraordinary.
I don't mean high ratings, which we got. People are coming up to us on the street and saying, "My dad never talked about it. Now he is."
AMANPOUR: And amazingly timely and important right now, particularly the idea of understanding and hearing the story of the other.
Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, thank you so much for joining us.
BURNS: Thank you.
NOVICK: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, as one politician once memorably said, "Never let a major crisis go to waste."
Imagine the silver lining emerging from the horrendous sexual abuse scandal rocking Hollywood. The Weinstein Effect, next.
[14:26:06] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, Hollywood is heaving under the weight of alarming and mounting accusations against Harvey Weinstein and
others, and at least half a million women all over the world in all professions have jumped on the social media platform to say, "Me too," and
the tweets keep mounting up.
So imagine a world where the times, they are changing and hopefully for the better. The abuse once an open secret is now just becoming open and women
along with some men are working to disinfect this poison in the workplace.
Lucasfilm's Studio boss, Kathleen Kennedy, proposed a zero tolerance policy for her industry saying that, "Predators much come to feel that they cannot
count on power or wealth or fame to shield them."
At around the very same time, after shouts and whispers surrounding the Amazon Studios' chief, Roy Price, he is now resigned under fire for
allegations of sexual harassment.
And in France, their own take on the "Me, Too" hashtag has taken off.
"Balance ton porc" or dump your pig has gone viral. And the French government is also upping the ante debating legislation to combat
harassment of women on the streets.
The government wants to make cat calls or yelling crudities at women in public a finable offense. Zero tolerance is suddenly going viral. It's
been a long time coming and there's still a long way to go in every profession. There have been many before them in Hollywood, but Harvey
Weinstein has opened the floodgates.
That is it for our program tonight and remember you can listen to our podcast at any time. You can always see us online at Amanpour.com and
follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.