Return to Transcripts main page
Desperation in Indonesia, At Least 1,200 Dead; Rebecca Traister's New Book, "Good and Mad"; Venezuelan Refugees Surge Across Columbia. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 2, 2018 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
Desperation in Indonesia, where a massive earthquake and tsunami have killed at least 1,200 people and likely many more. Reporter Matt Rivers
from Palu ground zero.
Plus, "Good and Mad," Allah's (ph) author and journalist Rebecca Traister, will women's anger be a powerful political weapon. And a manmade
humanitarian crisis in Latin America as more than a million refugees surge across the border from Venezuela, the Colombian President, Ivan Duque,
tells me how his country is handling this influx.
Also, tonight, "The New York Times" fights back. Our Walter Isaacson speaks to Executive Editor, Dean Baquet.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It has been five days since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. And now, the big question is, where is that desperately needed
aid? Survivors are still without clean water, electricity or enough to eat. With more than 1,200 people dead, a number that is sure to rise, and
over 61,000 people displaced.
The government is being blamed for being too slow and compounding the disastrous aftereffects, with a tragically disorganized relief response.
And this in a country that's seen more than its fair share of earthquakes and tsunamis.
Meanwhile, crews on the ground still struggle to keep up as search and rescue teams continue their grim work.
Correspondent Matt Rivers join me from the thick of it, Palu, Indonesia. The region that's been hit hardest by these rolling disasters, and I spoke
to him about what he has seen.
Matt Rivers, you have been there on the ground for few days now. What are you noticing regarding the r rescue effort and, of course, the bodies do
keep piling up?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's absolute right. I mean, this is a place, Christiane, that did not have the infrastructure to withstand
an earthquake, let alone a tsunami on top of that. And so, as you might imagine, the damage has been absolutely devastating.
And you know, it's stuff like this behind that really is the visual part to all of this, it's what you associate with this kind of events but it's the
human toll that we kind of really tried to explore that really is what has hurt the most here. And so, we've spent the last couple of days going
around and talking to those people that have been most affected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Rescuers think there's a body in here and believe it should be found. They don't mind crashing through the rubble to search because the
house was already gone. Around the corner, another search, a tarp laid in case they find someone, they don't, but these guys did, to add to a
climbing death toll after a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami flatten this part of Sulawesi.
If you lived here, you'd be lucky if you weren't hurt, even if you lost everything you own. That's what happened too many of these people, airport
refugees awaiting a government evacuation. Most trying to leave because they've got nothing left. Even some with homes intact get out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are trying to stuff from my house. So, I need to get the kids out of here.
RIVERS: People are looting?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are stealing things. They are trying to rob us.
RIVERS: For those that remain behind, the conditions are horrific. We visited a hospital that set up an outdoor ward because post-quake, patients
were scared to go back inside. The injured filled beds soaked in sweat, covered in flies, is where we meet Puteri Pratiwi.
She was riding a motorbike with her cousin, her best friend, when the tsunami hit. She lived, her cousin didn't.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
RIVERS: At first, I shouted, she says, "Eta, Eta (ph), where are you?" She didn't respond. In the beginning I thought she would survive but then
family found out she was dead.
The stories of trauma are as common as they are awful. We meet this bandaged seven-year-old a few minutes later, he was with his mom and little
brother when the wave hit, they were swept away and haven't been seen since.
He says he sees a black shadow, that's what he said. I think it's him remembering his mother and brother.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
RIVERS: Officially, they're missing. In all likelihood they're gone. So, what does a poor town do when the bodies keep piling up and there nowhere
to put them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Oh, man. It's so sad and so reminiscent of the tsunami that I covered back in 2005, that wave that we saw, those little kids who were
separated from their parents and so many people dead and the bodied mounting.
So, to answer you own question, what does a small town do at this precise moment? What is the government doing?
RIVERS: Well, you know, there's a lot of criticism right now of the government, both locally and at the national level, Christiane, for lack of
response, a slow response.
We spent the whole day today walking through different homeless camps, basically, places that people have gone and there is a lack of electricity,
a lack of water, food, health care, hygiene and everyone keeps saying, "Where is the government? I can't even get fuel to run my generator."
And, you know, you feel for them because we've been here for a couple days and there isn't a heavy government presence. We don't know where the
government is. The military can and should be doing more and it doesn't appear that they are. So, you understand this frustration.
So, to answer the question, it -- what should they be doing? They should be everywhere giving aid. What are they doing? Well, they've been very
slow to respond. And this is a country that has dealt with this kind of issue before, Christiane, as you know from your own reporting. And yet, as
of now, it doesn't seem like they're learning the lessons of the past.
AMANPOUR: So, just to be clear. Often in these humanitarian disaster areas, natural disaster areas, you see planeloads of help, landing at
whatever airstrip they can, helicopters, airdrop, this and that. Is there a problem with the airport? Why is it that the government or aid countries
unable to land?
RIVERS: Well, there was a problem with the airport at first. There was a big crack in the runway and that was a big issue. But thatw as one of the
first things that they repaired. And so, there isn't a problem with the airport anymore. Now, granted the aircraft, air traffic control tower was
damaged, but planes can still be landing here. So, why they're not landing with more frequency, why more international health hasn't been accepted by
the Indonesian government, we're just not sure.
There's rumors at this point that the president is going to make another appearance here. We can't confirm that at this point. But there's rumors
that he's going to be here and try and show that the government is on top of things. But that's the question that people are asking here that we
don't have a ready answer to is where is the massive government response, the call for international aid and the reception of international aid? And
we don't know the answer as to why they're not here.
AMANPOUR: Well, of course people are going to to ask, if the president can land why can't aid land as well?
But obviously key in these kinds of situations is clean water. You basically can't survive without clean water. As you know, you can survive
for days, potentially, without food. But we're being told that there's almost no water trucks and the Red Cross is saying it might take another
several days before they can get enough water trucks and it's already been three-plus days in this situation.
RIVERS: Yes. And that's exactly what we're hearing on the ground. We interviewed a woman earlier today who has infant, maybe the baby is two
months old, and if they had formula, which they don't at the moment because all the formula was destroyed in their house, but even if they had formula,
the camp coordinators are telling them that there's not enough water to go around for everyone.
So, the number one issue at this camp that we were at today with hundreds of people there is, we don't have enough water. Water is being rationed.
We brought in all of our own water. We were lucky enough to bring in, you know, crates of water to ourselves. We've given some bottles away to
people. But clearly, there is an issue on the ground here of not having enough water. It's something that is universal. Media people who live
here, government officials, everyone is trying to source water and it's difficult for everyone.
AMANPOUR: And, Matt, lastly, you know, as you alluded to in the report we saw, the bodies are piling up and the initial death toll was relatively
low, it's mounting and it's bound to get higher.
RIVERS: Yes, without question. I mean, and it seems like this behind me, you know, they're still going through the rubble to find more people. I
mean, we saw firsthand how inconclusive the death toll is. We were here for about 30 minutes or so, Christiane. We were driving along the road and
saw these three guys pull the body out of rubble. They had put it in a body bag and they were trying to get an ambulance to stop and pick up the
body. And four different ambulances drove and just went right past.
And so, you now, the fact that that person we know in that moment was not part of the official death toll. And that was just our experience. How
many times did that get repeated over and over and over again throughout this area, 2.4 million people affected. So, that happened over and over
again. That's why this death toll keeps going up and it will continue to go up over the next several days and even weeks.
AMANPOUR: Well, Matt, you keep bringing us the story because it's really important that the world knows what's going on there. Thanks so much.
So, we've also been inundated recently with images that speak volumes about how men and women express their anger in our culture. As we saw the quiet,
precise yet determined tone of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, which was very effective but contrasted with the angry and also effective,
so far, emotional outburst of the Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
It's a reminder that while women have been taught to control their anger, men's anger is embraced and encouraged.
But a new book argues that women's rage, in fact, can be a forceful catalyst for social change. It's called "Good and Mad: The Revolutionary
Power of Women's Anger." And the author, journalist and social critic, Rebecca Traister is joining me now from New York.
Rebecca, welcome to the program.
REBECCA TRAISTER, AUTHOR, "GOOD AND MAD: THE REVOLUTIONARY POWER OF WOMEN'S ANGER": Thanks for having me, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Well, listen, you're taking on one of the crucial aspects, right, women are not allowed to be angry. What made you want to even take
this on way before we've even seen these hearings and this crucial moment that's underway right now?
TRAISTER: Well, I decided I was going to write the book in the months just after the 2016 election. And it's not exactly that my anger was sudden.
I've been a feminist journalist for over a decade and a lot of my work has been grounded in anger.
But I've also been conscious of the ways that I have worked to obscure it, to make it softer and more palatable for my readers so that -- I understood
that a woman expressing anger unapologetically, that anger often works to undermine her own point because she's heard as hysterical or emotional, as
illegitimate or infantile or theatrical.
And so, I've done a lot of work, as I think a lot of women who speak and argue in public to control and temper that anger.
And in the months after the 2016 election, I found my head just clouded. I was trying to make sense of what my work was and what my job was going to
be during the Trump administration, and I said to my husband, "I just can't even think straight because I'm so angry." And he said, "Well, that's what
you write about."
And so, this book is not about my own anger. Rather, it's about -- as soon as he said it, I was like, "Oh, my God. This is the story that's so -- it
stretches back throughout history. I think it's part of what takes us forward and it's about the way that women's -- women are discouraged from
voicing their anger and do all kinds of work around controlling it and modulating it so as not to undermine themselves.
And at the same time, how in the instances when they have expressed anger, it has often been catalytic to social and political movements that have
transformed the nation.
AMANPOUR: So, I definitely want to get to the history of women's anger and what it has actually done, as you say. But let's just sort of refer right
now to the Kavanaugh hearings, which is the latest, you know, Exhibit A, of all of this.
So, how do you assess and attribute the feelings by the two protagonists, the anger or the quiet emotion?
TRAISTER: Well, it was very clear. As soon as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford began to speak, that she understood what many of us understand, which is
that anger, which she had every reason to feel if you believe her story, and anger not only about her alleged -- the alleged assault, but also about
the was that her name was brought forward against her will, the treatment she's received in the public sphere since her name has been public. She
had all kinds of things she might reasonably have been angry about.
But we all know instinctively that she -- if she had appeared in that hearing room yelling and pointing, it would have gravely imperiled her
position. She would have been read as playing a victim or as being unhinged in some way.
And so, she, understanding of a very narrow range of expression that women are permitted if they're to be taken seriously, expressed herself
solicitously. She even said many times, "I'm just trying to be collegial." She asked for permission, she joked about how she's like a cup of caffeine,
all while telling this incredibly traumatic story, about not only the assault but its aftermath in her life. She was just so measured and polite
And then, of cours -- and it worked, it worked. This is, in fact, how women are trained to express themselves and it was -- she was, by many
measures, a perfect storyteller.
Then, Brett Kavanaugh came in. And from the first moment, he blustered, enraged and snarled and his face contorted with anger and he wept furious
tears, and that also ties into a history of how powerful White men have been encouraged to express themselves if they want to be taken seriously
and understood as strong and also as having been grievously injured in some way.
The rate -- the publicly expressed rage of a White powerful man about how he has been done an injustice is one that is written into our national DNA
in the United States. It goes back to the founding and the anger of the America's revolutionary founders, who were saying, "Give me liberty or give
me death. Live free or die," in their break from England.
And Brett Kavanaugh knew that he had that in his arsenal, that he could be anger on his own behalf and that it might be persuasive for some serious
number of Americans and certainly, for the other powerful White men sitting on that Senate Judiciary Committee.
AMANPOUR: Well --
TRAISTER: And I think in the immediate reaction, it was persuasive to those men.
AMANPOUR: It was. And as you say, even many of the men were, at least, they gave lip service to saying how persuasive also Christine Blasey Ford
was. They just had issue about who it was that she was accusing.
So, having said that, and you mentioned powerful White men, this is what Tarana Burke told me yesterday about this precise situation about
Kavanaugh's testimony and the anger issue. Of course, she is the original founder of the original #MeToo movement. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TARANA BURKE, FOUNDER, #METOO MOVEMENT: She can come to that hearing and be poise and fully present and not angry and not, you know, overly
emotional in ways that Kavanaugh was and then we have to put up with him who is in an interview for the highest court in the land, not being able
control his emotions, would he allow anybody to come in his courtroom and act the way he acted? So, we have to give him some leeway? That is the
epidemy of White male privilege.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I guess you agree with that. Where, does one go then with this anger thing?
TRAISTER: Well, I think we have to think about why women's anger is discouraged, why we are offered such a narrow window of rhetorical options.
And in part -- part of the argument I make in the book is that one of the reasons that a power structure writes off the angry dissent of those who
are offered less power within it, is because they understand the expression of anger to be communicative tool and a way for people to, in fact, form
So that if somebody yells, if a woman yells, and there are actually many examples of this in our contemporary politics. In the United States, White
suburban women who have been in kind of conservative districts and have always kept quiet because they knew that to be angry about their own
democratic politics would make them disruptive and unpleasant, they would be unpopular in their social circles.
After the 2016 election, we're so mad that they couldn't hold it in and they yelled. And what happened, they became audible to each other and then
they started organizing, they join groups, they started canvassing, volunteering, some of them running for office. Anger works amongst people
who are in some way subjugated or oppressed. The expression of anger helps to connect them to each other. And that's one of the reasons that a power
structure discourages those expressions of anger.
And so, notably, after the Kavanaugh hearings, after what we saw in the chamber. What did we see outside of the chamber? There were masses of
protestors, the women who were being openly angry, who were yelling, who are holding signs. And two women who went into an elevator with Jeff
Flake, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, and yelled at him, pointed their fingers in the face of a powerful man, insisted that he look them in
the eye. And that expression of anger was immediately powerful, it was resonant, it connected to millions of women around the country who felt
their anger expressed by those two women.
And there is -- we don't know that it had an impact on Jeff Flake's decision to then ask for an investigation, but it may well have.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's play just a little snippet, because everybody has seen this so many times and it has riveted the nation and the world. But
he did actually imply that it did actually make a difference and we can certainly see his discomfort or, at least, his avoidance by his facial
expression. But just a quick little snippet from one of the women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA GALLAGHER: Look at me when I'm talking to you. You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter, that what happened to me doesn't matter,
and that you're going to let people do these things into power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, that was angry and anguish, other woman was just as angry, maybe more angry, and it did actually make a difference. I mean, whether
or not Jeff Flake admits out not. I mean, he said something about it during his 60 minutes interview, and it really did -- it was a clarifying
moment on social media that went viral that would have been hard to ignore.
So, would you say that's maybe the launchpad for anger as a political weapon at this precise moment?
TRAISTER: I think we will look back on that moment in the elevator as one of the sort of catalytic moments of whatever is to come next. And one of
the hard things, especially for those of us in news media, is we always want to evaluate how things are going sort of every second. Was this a win
or a loss? Was this is a win or a loss?
And when it comes especially to movements for social change and objections to power abuses, which is, of course, what we're in the midst of, not just
around the Kavanaugh hearings but around #MeToo, the Women's March, the objections by many women, protestors, the repeal of health care in the
United States, the teacher strikes that happened in several states here over the past two years. We are I a moment where protest often led by
women has been just efflorescent.
And it's very hard to tell simply, is this going to work, is it not going to work? Brett Kavanaugh may well be appointed to the Supreme Court. I
would not be at all surprised if he confirmed to the Supreme Court, and that is a loss. However, moments like that, moment in the elevator, I
feel, based on looking at history, are quite likely to make the kind of communicative connections and resonate for masses of women who may then be
more likely to participate, to protest, to become politically involved in a way that can have an impact way down the road. And I think we saw that
after Anita Hill.
That was a loss. Clarence Thomas was appointed to the court. And yet, the fury that people felt about Anita Hill's poor treatment in front of that
Senate Judiciary Committee 27 years ago led women run for an win elected office in record numbers. I think it's the antecedent to the #MeToo
Movement. We have -- we are in the midst of right now. These things have very long-term impact that we can't just predict today.
AMANPOUR: And obviously, the Anita Hill moment, as you've just said, was the big moment for women running. And now, exponentially, I mean, hundreds
and hundreds, nearly 500 women are running in this next election. So, that is a sort of a cause and effect. And a lot of anger is being expressed.
As you mentioned, the Women's March and there's all sorts of marches and journalists fighting back and all the rest of it in their own profession.
But what I want to ask you, because you -- you know, you do refer back to history. Just remind us, give us some historical, you know, notes about
how this anger and maybe a backlash. Like you write about the Reagan era where women's movements collided with sort of the so-called moral majority,
the religious revival as well.
TRAISTER: Yes. One of the things I point out in the book is that women's anger isn't always progressive, it isn't always born out of a left
politics. It is often anger that is deployed on behalf of a white patriarchy and on behalf of fundamentally conservative politics.
One of the clearest examples of that is the crusade led by Phyllis Schlafly, and she was marshalling the anger of women who were furious about
the disruptions of the second wave feminist movement of the 1970 and the way that is altered gender relationships and gendered power relationships.
And she took that anger and marshalled it to lead a crusade that ended with the defeat or the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. She succeeded in
stopping the ratification of that constitutional amendment and dealt the women's movement of the 1970s. Really, I think it's biggest and most
deboning symbolic defeat.
So, we can't -- I don't mean to suggest that every movement that women lead or is born of their anger is necessarily progressive rather than women's
anger can often be potent, and I don't think we take it seriously enough as politically consequential.
AMANPOUR: And we clearly don't celebrate it in terms of the way women are portrayed. I mean, you now, Rosa Parks, for instance, is always portray as
a demure young woman. Yes, with a core -- a woman with a core (INAUDIBLE) but very demure, her statute, the way she's talked about.
But you talk about her anger, and of course, go back all the way to the (INAUDIBLE) and the anger at not being allowed to vote. Women's anger,
sort of it raised from history, you write.
TRAISTER: It is. And you have to look on two levels. If you go back -- in the United States, nearly every transformative social or political
movement, abolition, suffrage, the Labor Movement, the Civil Rights, the Gay Rights Movement and, of course, the Women's Movement, all have angry
women at their starts. But those women, first of all, have often been erased from view as in the Labor Movement, which we think of as kind of
White men's movement, coal miners. But in fact, it was garment industry workers as early as the 1830s in Lowell, Massachusetts, young women
organizing one of the first unions in the county. And then the garment industry workers in New York City in 1909 leading the big shirtwaist
In -- within the Civil Rights Movement, there are women like Rosa Parks who are acknowledged as being catalytic but they are presented to us in somehow
palatable forms that she was demure, stoic, exhausted. In fact, Rosa Parks was a lifelong furious political activist and a fighter against Jim Crow
South. She was an investigator for the NAACP who investigated the gang rapes of White women -- of Black women by White men and the accusations of
sexual misconduct against Black men me by White women.
Rosa Parks was unapologetic in many ways about her fury. And yet, in order for her to be digestible and celebrated, she was preseted to us as quiet,
polite, within that same narrow range of expression that we deem OK and respectable and women that we were talking about with regard to Dr
Christine Blasey Ford.
TRAISTER: And so, not only do we have to find the women at the beginning of these movements, when we find them, we then have to look kind of hard to
see that there was also anger that motivated their civic and political engagement.
AMANPOUR: So, today, of course, even something like allegations of sexual abuse have been reduced to the state of a political football, it is
incredible. And I'm wondering -- you know, let's just talk about the last poll on who believes who depending on what party they are from and what
level of education.
The latest survey, 61 percent of college educate White women say they believe Ford over Kavanaugh. 58 percent of such well educate women said
the Sane should reject his nomination. But, just over half of White women without degrees said they believe Kavanaugh and the Senate should confirm
So, as predicted, I mean, these are the kinds of figures we've been seeing on a range of issues for a long time since this whole populist sort of
tribal wave that we've been living under the last couple years. But, I want to play this for you. The Right-Wing have their own sort of views on
Rush Limbaugh said something completely predictable. I'm going to play it. And then, I'm going to read it something that Steve Bannon said, and he is
considered the MNRs (INAUDIBLE) of realpolitik today. Let's play Rush Limbaugh first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Militant feminism? It's irrational. These women are angry. Something has happened to them in their lives, and
their rage and anger, they take it out now on the country or on all men or men in the powerful majority, which is White Christian men and so forth.
And how do you deal with psychological disorders?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Dear oh dear, pool old Rush. Well, he's be sorry to know that the -- as I've said, the sort of the lion of populist politics and
nationalism, Steve Bannon, had a quite different view of #MeToo Movement. He saw it for, perhaps, what it was. He said, "I think it's going to
unfold like the tea party only bigger. It's not #MeToo, it's not just sexual harassment, it's anti-patriarchy movement. Time's up on 10,000
years of recorded history. This is coming. This is real." And he said that in February. And he knows a thing or two about the political waves.
It's interesting, isn't it, to hear him say that.
TRAISTER: It is interesting. I mean, he's correct. I have strong suspicions that his saying, and this is just my interpretation, is actually
probably not so totally divorced from what Rush Limbaugh was saying. In that, any time there is this kind of angry resistance to the power abuses
within a power structure like a white capitalist patriarchy, that white capitalist patriarchy is going to fight back.
And that by pointing out that there is a potential insurrection of women, which is what Bannon was doing, using language that was officially
respected that insurgency and was accurate, I think there is also a degree to which he's stirring a base. Because if you -- this is why women talking
about #MeToo are referred to as sort of witch hunters, that this is a witch hunt or mob justice. Any time that subjugated or oppressed masses resist
their subjugation or oppression, they are cast as the threat --
TRAISTER: -- as the potential threat.
AMANPOUR: I just want to play a soundbite from Emma Gonzalez. It's very short. I wonder whether this anger is the future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMA GONZALEZ, PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence, we call BS. They say a good guy
with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Angry and obviously after the Parkland shooting. In 30 seconds, Rebecca, sum up her power and whether that is the future of this movement
you're talking about.
TRAISTER: She and the other Parkland students, some of the women have just not been marinated for as long as the rest of us, and these ideas about
what's acceptable and what's allowed and what you're allowed to voice anger about. And her anger has been righteous and it is also connected her
issue, gun control, with racism, sexism, environmental abuse. That movement is effortlessly intersectional at the moment. It acknowledges the
interlocking of oppression. And it is potentially the future of angry resistance in this country led by women and women of color.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, Rebecca, anger, don't fear it embrace it. Thank you so much.
As American women surge into the political fray this fall, Columbia, which is America's closest ally in South America can now boast full gender
equality in the government's cabinet. It is led by the new President, Ivan Duque.
Nonetheless, Columbia is a country under pressure from all fronts. From the east, almost a million Venezuelan people have poured into the country
for basic food, water and medicine, as their nation continuous its slow downward spiral to total economic collapse. While their President, Nicolas
Maduro, calls this humanitarian crisis their fake news.
From the north, Columbia faces the United States pressuring it to crack down on cocaine production, which has surge by more than 200 percent in the
past five years. And from within the (INAUDIBLE) steel that ended --
AMANPOUR: North Colombia faces the United States pressuring it to crack down on cocaine production, which has surged by more than 200 percent in
the past five years. And from within, the FARC peace deal that ended decades of war is on shaky ground.
The country's conservative new president, Ivan Duque, ran a campaign that criticized the peace deal that had been sealed by his predecessor. But
when he sat down with me on the side lines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he told me that he wants to tweak it, not tear it up.
President Duque, welcome to the program.
IVAN DUQUE, PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA: Thank you so much, Christiane. It's a great pleasure to be here.
AMANPOUR: You are a young leader. You're one of a crop of young leaders around the world right now, and there's a lot of promise and potential
being transferred to your shoulders, and most of all, about the peace deal in Colombia.
I think what everybody wants to know is, even thought you don't necessarily agree with all of the parameters of the peace deal, are you going to stick
to it, the one with the FARC predecessor (ph)?
DUQUE: Absolutely. I have said it publically, we want to fulfill the world of the - the word of the Colombian state. For people who are making
the transition to legality, we will fulfill the world. We will help them succeed. But people who want to remain in criminal activities will be
brought to justice.
We want to bring investment to the places where violence was present before, and we want to create alternative development for people who have
been in illegal business, like legal corps, like coca (ph). So yes, the answer is yes. But the thing is. The only way to succeed is with
legality. So if there's somebody who wants to go back to criminal activities, they will face a punishment.
AMANPOUR: What about the fact that your mentor, the previous president of your party, President Uribe, doesn't like this deal and feels that it
should be opened up and renegotiated, if at all, with a lot more weight on victims and a lot less weight on some of the deals that were offered to the
DUQUE: We said, publically, that we didn't want to - to derail the agreement, but we wanted to introduce some corrections for the things that
were not going well. One of the things that is not going well, Christiane, is that illegal corps have been growing exponentially.
AMANPOUR: Cocaine you're talking about? A massive influx (ph).
DUQUE: Yes. A coca - coca group from 50,000 hectares, six years ago, to more than 200,000. So if we want to have a lasting peace, we definitely
need to better in substitution, eradication and alternative development.
We also want people that haven't turned on their weapons or assets (ph) to do it, for the sake of the victims. And the last thing is that, people
that have committed crimes against humanity, those people should leave Congress if they face a punishment and the party can replace them.
Now we cannot have people that have committed crimes against humanity standing in the Colombian Congress. Those are essential points that many
people voted for in the election.
AMANPOUR: So as I - as you mentioned and as I said, I think there's some figure of a percentage of the increase of the cocaine production. I mean
really, really big. Some people say even bigger than under the sort of Narcos, Pablo Escobar's time. What is it that is causing this to balloon
again? Is what you're saying?
DUQUE: Well, I think there were many mistakes that were made. I think putting an end to aerial spray was a mistake. I think not putting enough
pressure to the emerging cartels was a mistake. So that's why, in the last seven weeks I have been in office, I have created a plan called the
"Diamond Plan." We have confiscated tons of cocaine.
We have also dismantled some of those groups. We have chased (ph) some of those cartels. And I'm asking - I'm asking to have a better coordinated
action with other countries so that we can be effective in interdiction.
AMANPOUR: You talked about, you know, spraying, but of course, the previous administration stopped the spraying because it was a health
hazard. The civilians in the areas were complaining of a serious damage to their health.
DUQUE: Well, that's - that's - that's a very interesting question. Where's (inaudible) from? It comes from North America, from Europe, even
from the region, and even in our country, consumption is growing. We have now more than 800,000 consumers, so that's why I'm also taking a stand. We
don't want to see more drugs in the streets being easily accessible to kids, but we also need to do better on prevention.
So we want to have the internal (ph) work, that's issue number one. And the second part of your question is, aerial spray is one of the tools. It
cannot the only one. It has to be part of the - of the strategies. We can be more effective with new tools. There are drones being tried as
mechanisms. There are other mechanisms of more precision.
AMANPOUR: How much of a problem - and I think it is a problem - is the enclosure (ph) of Venezuela on your border and the - I think more than a
million people who've sought help and refuge and just food and medicine by crossing into your country?
DUQUE: Christiane, this is a big problem. I mean this is the - this is the most horrible migration crisis Latin America has seen its history,
It's one of the most terrifying humanitarian crisis. There's a dictatorship that has destructed all the economy, that has a annihilated
(ph) liberty, that has destroyed independent powers.
And people are all just running -- so I have decided that we're not going to close the boarder, we have to give them support. The source of the
problem is the dictatorship and I think all countries in the international community must isolate the dictatorship and open the group for the return
AMANPOUR: Well, it's no secret that you and President Maduro do not particularly have a high opinion of each other, you don't think that he's
the right person, you've just said and he has been personally some-what insulting to you. Let me just play what President Maduro said.
NICOLAS MADURO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Ivan Duque with his little angelic face, is a devil. He puts on an angelic face, but he is a devil, and he
walks around with his little angelic hand asking for money. Ivan Duque is afraid of me, and I challenge him to a public debate, whenever and wherever
AMANPOUR: So I don't know how you respond to that rhetoric, but also they have accused Colombian diplomats as well as from Chile and Mexico of being
behind the attempted assassination on Nicolas Maduro.
DUQUE: Oh, he accused my predecessor and he accused the past administration and he was supposed to be very close to them. That's what
he said in the past, I'm not going to get in to a personal discussion with Maduro. I mean, my predecessor, is because they're (inaudible).
There's a dictatorship, there's alienation (ph) of all the economic apparatus and there's a humanitarian and migration crisis that is evident
in the eyes of the world. So my call is for international community to do something. The absence of an action in the last years, has made that
dictatorship stronger. Now we need to isolate it and make the Venezuelan people return to liberties and have a vibrant (ph) democracy.
AMANPOUR: Does that something include a military intervention? You saw the New York Times had some exclusive report just this month about Rebels,
people opposing Maduro, talking to the United States about a potential intervention and a potential plot to overthrow Maduro. You know, I want to
know what you say about that but particularly because right here, President Trump talked about it in his meeting with you. Can I just play that? OK,
first tell me --
DUQUE: The thing is I have never gave a favorable opinion to a military action because that's what the dictator wants. He wants to create a demon
so that he can use patriotism in order to remain in office.
That's not a solution, the solution should be a stronger diplomatic, and economic isolation of their regime, so that people are more empowered to
push him out. But not a military intervention because that's all Maduro wants in order to get legitimacy and remain himself in office (ph).
AMANPOUR: So let me play what President Trump said on this issue when he was sitting with you.
DONALD TRUMP: It's a regime that frankly could be toppled very quickly by the military, if the military decides to do that. And you saw how the
military spread as soon as they heard a bomb go off way above their head. That military was running for cover.
AMANPOUR: I mean, "it could be toppled very quickly," if anybody decided to do that.
DUQUE: If you look at what he announced in the Assembly, President Trump, he announced stronger sanctions against Maduro and his closest circle. And
I applaud that because it's a way of putting sanctions where the necessary action has to be focused. Not against the people, has to go against the
ones who are running the regime. So I value that. But at the same time we need to have better diplomatic coordination.
AMANPOUR: OK. I want to ask you one last, personal question.
AMANPOUR: Were you in a rock band when you were younger?
DUQUE: I was, I was in the 90's. I had a rock band and enjoyed it a lot.
AMANPOUR: And how did it set you up for being a President for today?
DUQUE: Well you know, I still have music. I have my electric guitar in my office, and not too often, but maybe sometimes when I have a little bit of
stress I just play a little bit and sing. So I enjoyed rock and roll, and those were good moments of my life that I want to keep always in my
AMANPOUR: Great. President Ivan Duque --
DUQUE: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: Thank you very much for joining me.
DUQUE: It has been a pleasure for me to be here.
AMANPOUR: A stress buster in these difficult times, turning now to our next guest whose job it is to get all of that kind of news down in print,
Dean Baquet is the Executive Editor of the "New York Times".
His roots are in Louisiana and four years ago he became the first black American to head up the paper of record, and for the past two years this
must seem like a thankless task (ph), as that paper is the president's favorite punching bag. On second thought though, does the president have a
love-hate relationship with it?
Listen to this from Trump's U.N. press conference last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, all my life I've had very few stories, but I've had some on the front page of the New York
Times. Now I think I average about three or four a day, right?
And up to three or four, they're all negative. No matter what I do, they're negative. But you know what? That's OK. I still love the paper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: He loves it. In the thick of this unholy war though, our Walter Isaacson sat down with Baquet to discuss the current state of journalism,
reporting me too and that anonymous op-ed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CEO, CNN: Dean, welcome to the show.
DEAN BAQUET, EDITOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you, it's good to be here.
ISAACSON: You grew up in New Orleans in a distinguished, large, you know, black, Creole family. What was that like in terms of your concepts of race
BAQUET: Yes, you know, it's interesting. I - my whole world as a kid was - was black New Orleans. I mean I went to a - I grew up in a black
neighborhood in Shermay (ph). I went to a black Catholic grammar school, I went to a black Catholic high school.
In fact the only - the only people who weren't black that we were exposed to were nuns and priests in grammar school and high school. My first
experience in a - sort of a larger world in terms of race was going away to college.
ISAACSON: I think you though had a great, great grandfather, famous musician George Baquet and Achille Baquet's father, well (ph) Achille even
passed for white when he went to Los Angeles.
BAQUET: Achille Baquet actually played in Jimmy Durante's jazz band. If you go online, there's a picture of him in the band.
BAQUET: And he passed for white. That was - that was pretty common.
ISAACSON: It was called en passant back then.
BAQUET: That's right, that's right.
ISAACSON: He dropped out of college to do it (ph), went to the (inaudible) where I worked as well with you. And what did you learn there?
BAQUET: I learned parts of the city I didn't know before. I learned - I mean I made a lot of mistakes as a journalist. I learned how to - I
learned how to be truthful. I got exposed to cops, I got exposed to a whole different world than I had grown up in.
ISAACSON: Donald Trump slams you almost daily, the failing New York Times, the fake news. Because Trump is so different, does that affect how you
have to cover him?
BAQUET: Yes. You have - you have - there was a script to covering a president. And the script was if the president said something, that was
news. He was likely to do it or to try to do it.
This is a very different president, first off, you know, he obfuscates, he used a different word, he's not always truthful, he doesn't always carry
out what he says, he shoots from the hip.
There's tremendous turmoil in this administration. We had a debate during the campaign whether or not to say he - to use the word lie, which I
decided to do, and I can't imagine another executive editor of the New York Times ever had to decide whether or not to call a nominee and possible
president of the United States a liar on the front page.
I think that was a - I mean that just shows how much he's changed the game.
ISAACSON: Have you ever talked to Trump? Has he ever called you?
BAQUET: He has called me, he's called me. I'm reluctant to - he's called me to complain, and I've listened to him. And he has been to the New York
Times a couple times.
ISAACSON: But at times, like when the publisher of the New York Times has a meeting with him, you decline to go because you don't feel like attending
off the record meetings?
BAQUET: I don't think the executive editor is supposed to be in off the record meetings with heads of state. That's a personal issue. When I was
a Washington bureau chief, I never met Barack Obama, because I didn't think the Washington bureau chief should talk off the record to the president.
My view is whatever the president wants to say, my readers should - should know. So I felt - I mean a lot of my staff disagrees with me, by the way.
I think the publisher is a different job, but I wouldn't meet off the record with the president.
ISAACSON: Are you saying that the Times is a little too liberal?
BAQUET: You know, it's funny, I actually don't. You looked startled when I said that. The editorial page is liberal. The New York Times is made up
of a lot of stuff. I would make the case that our business section carries with it - the fact that we have a business section carries with it the
view, the obvious view that capitalism is an important part of the life of the country.
I mean a lot of people would say having a business section and covering Wall Street and covering winners and losers is not a very liberal thing to
do. I actually don't.
ISAACSON: We're in the middle of almost a category five swirl in the MeToo movement, and this latest wave of it was pretty much started when the New
York Times did - began doing its stories and then eventually culminated with the Harvey Weinstein story.
Did you have trouble -- did you get a lot of pressure on the Harvey Weinstein story? Are there two sides to that, or was it just gung-ho?
BAQUET: You know, Harvey Weinstein, who I had met once or twice, he said - - nobody ever says he was one of our biggest advertisers. When we started working on the story -- and I was deeply involved in the story -- when he
called and he wanted -- come back to earlier (ph) (inaudible), he wanted to talk off the record. And -- and I said we don't -- I don't talk off the
record with -- first off, I don't talk to people that are the subjects of stories without a reporter in the room. That's the first thing.
The second thing, I don't talk off the record to people who are the subjects of investigative stories. He was upset, he lobbied a lot of
people but -- but -- and it was interesting, but there was never any -- any thought about not pursuing the story.
ISAACSON: But you had to pause before you published it until you finally felt you had nailed it. What happened then?
BAQUET: The moment -- the moment -- we had a really debate in the newsroom. We heard -- just as we were nearing the end of it, we heard that
the New Yorker was working on a story.
ISAACSON: Here's (ph) Ronan Farrow and --
BAQUET: No, it was Ronan alone (ph) that was before Jane Mayer (ph) joined him. And we got anxious. I don't like getting beat. I called the
reporters and their editor in and I said we got to do this now. They argues -- they said look, I know we have the story, but we think it's
important to name a couple of movie stars in the story. We had movie stars, but they were off the record. I said, wrongly, that's ridiculous,
let's just do the story.
Rebecca Corbett, who was the editor, said no, if we name stars it will have much bigger impact. Me, being somebody who doesn't go to a lot of movies,
didn't get that. I said I'm not going to get beat on this story. I kept pushing. And then there was this wonderful moment where one of the
reporters walked in, Jodi Kantor, tears in her eyes as I remember it, and said that Ashley Judd had agreed to be on the record. And they were right.
The reason these stories had so much impact, I think -- and this may be unfortunate, but I think it's true -- is because these are people who
people could identify with. Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow. I think the readers read those names and they resonated -- unfortunately, but they did
resonate a lot more than the women, for instance, who were in the stories we did about Donald Trump.
ISAACSON: Did you -- was there ever a point you said to yourself this is a big deal in America, sexual harassment, aggression, let's make this our big
BAQUET: Yes, but I didn't know it was going to be this. I had assigned -- I had remembered a case in which Bill O'Reilly had been accused of
something years and years before and nothing had come of it. So after the election, after we had done the Trump stories about Trump and the
allegations of -- of harassment I assigned a couple of reporters to go back and look at that case. And it ended -- it led to the stories that led to
Bill O'Reilly being forced out.
And then me and other editors said we need to put together a team, this is a real issue I the country. And I said find out if there are other cases
like this, and Harvey Weinstein ended up coming from reporters that way. I did not know this was going to be the moment that it was in the life of the
country. I had no -- I -- I had no idea.
ISAACSON: And (ph) every now and then you have to say OK, I'm not going to publish something. I think you did that with Deborah Ramirez, who might be
BAQUET: Yes. Yes.
ISAACSON: -- the third person to accuse Brett Kavanaugh.
BAQUET: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. In that case, we chose not to publish -- partly (ph) we didn't have an interview with her and The New Yorker did. I
mean, that was the main reason. All we had -- if you didn't have her -- all we had were people who knew her who either couldn't quite support her
account or disagreed with certain aspects of her account. So I felt like I was sitting there with paragraphs 30 through 40 and not paragraphs one
through 29, which would have been the interview with her.
ISAACSON: You've had to deal with it in your own newsroom --
ISAACSON: -- because reporting on it's happened. How did you decide not to fire Glenn Thrush?
BAQUET: It was a really difficult decision. I -- first off, I assigned someone who works for me to look into all the allegations. I put together
a diverse team of women and men and we sat down in my office for two -- in an office next to mine for two days and we debated it. And we debated --
the questions were -- we did believe the women. That wasn't the issue. The question was was this enough to drum him out of the profession forever.
It had not happened while he was working at The New York Times, it had not happened in our news room.
His behavior was awful but in the end the group -- and I -- actually, even though it's my decision, I wanted -- I did not want this to be one I made
alone. The group decided to give him another chance. We took him off the beat that he always dreamed of. Which I think in journalism is no longer
the White House reporter. In journalism, people get that that's a big punishment.
This guy, from the time he was growing up in Long Island wanted to cover the White House. We took it away from him. And we did some other things,
we suspended him, and then we brought him back.
And I get that there are people who disagree with that and it was really hard, but I - maybe it's - maybe it's what's left in my Catholic
upbringing, I still think people deserve another chance sometimes and I thought he did.
ISAACSON: The op-ed page doesn't fall under you.
ISAACSON: It did publish something from anonymous, a person in the Trump administration -
BAQUET: And now I'm going to say who it is. No, I'm not going to.
ISAACSON: Well that's a question I have. Did you sick (ph) reporters and say to your reporters I want you to find out who it is even though your own
op-ed page promised anonymity?
BAQUET: First off, I didn't - I don't - to this day I'm saying this so people can stop grabbing me on the subway, I don't know who it is. I
didn't know -
ISAACSON: But then if you did, you'd publish it, right?
BAQUET: If I did, I'd publish it. But here - but - but I also want to make one thing clear, I did not assign reporters to go nuts to find who
anonymous was. First off, I didn't think it was that important.
It wasn't out of the blue, it was consistent with what people had said in Bob Woodward's book. Finally boy (ph) nothing's trickier than outing an
anonymous source. So it's not like I said let's put together and a team and of all the things in the world we can investigate, let's do this.
ISAACSON: Was the op-ed page then right to publish anonymous?
BAQUET: I would have published it. Whoever wrote that piece actually had something for all of the stories we've published about Trump and inside the
White House and even for all of Woodward's book, there was something different in that piece.
You were actually in the mind of one of the people in the government talking about how they deal with Donald Trump. You've got to - there was a
subtlety. Our anonymous sources and stories state facts, this person was saying here's why I stay, here's how I regard myself, here's why I do what
That was different, I actually found - found it instructive.
ISAACSON: Do Trump and the New York Times meet each other?
BAQUET: I don't - I would go to - I wouldn't - we need good stories, and Donald Trump is one great story.
ISAACSON: And does he need you? He needs a foil?
BAQUET: I don't -
ISAACSON: The guy from Queens who wants respect?
BAQUET: I do think there's part of - part of Donald Trump's psyche, I'm not going to use this to forgive him for beating us up, but I do think
there's part of Donald Trump psyche that is the boy who's - who's family made its money in Queens who wanted to come to Manhattan, who to my mind
made his money, made some more money building apartment buildings for people who could not get into fancy East Side buildings.
Wanted to be accepted by the establishment, we're part of the establishment. I think there's part of that. But I also think there's the
part that he's - that he's doing really destructive stuff to us and to the press.
ISAACSON: We live in a very polarized media environment. "Fox & Friends" is in a different realm than the New York Times or whatever. Is there any
way we can heal that and what could the New York Times do?
They've (ph) made it part of it's mission to sort of heal this polarization, especially in our understanding of the world.
BAQUET: Boy, that's a good question. I should say I think "Fox & Friends" is bad for journalism and bad for the country. I think that you could say
whatever you want to say about the New York Times and the Washington Post, we don't appeal to the polarizing elements of society. We don't.
And they do, I think they - I think it's in their business model to do that. What can we do? I think we can be truthful. The transparency part
is a big deal. It's a big deal. It's important for people to know that not everybody in the New York Times newsroom or the Washington Post
Newsroom is exactly the same.
It's important for people to know what my background is. It's important for people to know - I don't think there's anybody in my top three or four
that has a background that resembles what - what people would expect.
I think it's important - I actually think that helps - that will help with some of it. I travel a lot, I go out in the country and I try to talk to
people. I think seeing (ph) and Maggie Haberman is a parent with kids, I got to believe that people look at that and say boy it's hard to hate that
Boy, maybe I should read what that person has to say. I think all that helps.
ISAACSON: Dean, thank you for being with us, and by the way I hope in a decade or so you come back home to New Orleans.
BAQUET: (Inaudible) we'll talk about it. Thank you, thank you.
ISAACSON: See you later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:55:00] Dean Baquet there on the resurgence of real news and good journalism in these times. Tomorrow I speak to author Michael Lewis. He's
had blockbusters from "The Blind Side" to "The Big Short".
His new book, "The Fifth Risk", documents how the Trump administration is undermining its own government. But for now, that is it for our program.
Thanks for watching.
Remember you can always listen to our podcast. See us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Goodbye from London.