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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Crashed, All 157 Passengers Killed; David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme, Interviewed About Ethiopian Flight 302 Crash. Boeing Model 737 MAX 8 Second Crash; Mary Schiavo, Former Inspector General, U.S. Transportation Department, About Boeing Model 373 MAX 8. Dave Eggers, Author, "The Parade", Interviewed About His New Book, "The Parade." Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 11, 2019 - 14:00 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.
A devastating crash in Ethiopia kills all on board, among the more than 20 United Nations workers. David Beasley, head of the U.N. World Food Program
joins us from the capital, Addis Ababa.
Plus, it's the second Boeing crash in 5 months. Should passengers be nervous?
And the complicated morality of international development in war-torn countries. I speak with the novelist, Dave Eggers, about his new book,
Plus, this isn't Hollywood CGI. Director of the stunning new documentary, "Apollo 11," Todd Douglas Miller, sits down with our Hari Sreenivasan.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Just six minutes after takeoff, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed into the ground and killed all 157 people on board. Bound for Nairobi, Kenya,
its passengers hailed from at least 35 different countries. Investigators now have the black box and they're looking into similarities with an
Indonesian plane crash last October, that was the same Boeing model as this airliner, and we'll have more on that in a moment.
But first, among those killed in Sunday's crash were 21 employees of the United Nations. The route is so frequented by them that it's been dubbed
the U.N. shuffle and some of them were headed to an environmental summit in Nairobi where colleagues today held this moment of silence in their honor.
Seven of the dead worked for the World Food Program, the U.N. agency tasked with feeding the world's most desperate people. Its chief is David
Beasley, he's the former governor of South Carolina and he flew to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. And moments before we spoke, he had received
a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence expressing his condolences on behalf of President Trump and the American people.
Governor Beasley, welcome to the program. And we just want to offer us sincere condolences. The U.N. has lost so many people.
What is it like for you as one of the U.N. chiefs to be out there processing and probably repatriating victims?
DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Christiane, it's devastating, it's heartbreaking. You know, we lose people out on the
field, the of battle fields, natural disasters almost every single day but we don't expect something like this. And, you know, the U.N. system, we've
lost over 20 people, at the World Food Program we lost seven, it's just devastating. But I'm here down in Ethiopia and Addis Ababa meeting with
our staff and it is really just so, so sad.
AMANPOUR: How are they dealing with it? Because it is just a catastrophe for all of you to have lost so many people doing such hard work in so many
difficult places in the world. How are your staff dealing with it?
BEASLEY: Well, you know, our staff, they're tough. All over the world, they're dealing with war and tragedies and devastation and hunger and
poverty. But this hits home in such a way that you just can't imagine when seven of your friends, your brothers, your sisters, your colleagues, go
down in a crash like this, it's an irony because we don't expect this to happen.
And today, as I was meeting with our staff, hundreds together here in Addis Ababa, there wasn't a dry eye, there were tears drops and weeping and then
hugging and it's just hard to believe.
And so, our people are putting their lives on the line every day for others. But today, they were coming together to really try to comfort one
another. And I'll tell you, the support that we've been receiving from all over the world is truly been remarkable, even from the prime minister here
in Ethiopia. I met with him today and president and other leaders that are calling in, it's been a remarkable, the amount of comfort that we're
getting from leaders all over the world.
AMANPOUR: Governor Beasley, you tweeted that in Addis Ababa today in solidarity with the prime minister mourning the lives lost yesterday and
pledging our full support together for the families, our hearts are broken at the loss. What can you do? Why have you flown from headquarters in
Rome there? What's the best you can do under the circumstances right now?
BEASLEY: You know, yesterday when I got this first phone call, you can imagine it's probably one of the darkest days of my life. And then the
secretary general of the United Nations called, another started calling and immediately, we said, "What can we do?" Words can only go so far. And so,
we jumped on a plane and headed down to Ethiopia to be here where the accident took place, where the deficit tool place to comfort those.
And I think, you know, words can only do so much. But I think just being here with the friends, being here with the team and our teams in Rome as
well because we lost colleagues that operate out of their own headquarters.
But, Christiane, I'm -- I want to say this because the World Food Programme, we were just one of the many organizations that lost some brave,
brave individuals. And somebody asked me earlier, he said, "What were these people like?" And I said, you know, "One way there were just average
people. Truly trying to make the world a better place. But the other side, they're my superheroes. They lay their lives down every day."
And so, to come down here to just be with them, to hug with them, I don't know what else we could do other just let them know we love them. And
honestly, I think every one of those brave souls that died on that plane, they would want every one of our people to continue on because we're on a
campaign to end hunger around the world, we're on the campaign to help people all over the world, and I don't think they want to stop doing.
And so, we want to continue that spirit, that kindred spirit of loving our neighbor, taking care of one another, being brothers and sisters to one
another. So, it's a tough time but we'll get through it.
AMANPOUR: Governor, you rightly said that there are U.N. workers from other agencies there. There's yours, the World Food Programme, who are
really helping feed the starving around the world and the hungry around the world in warzones, there are people who were associated with the High
Commission for Refugees, there are people who were in the Migration Department to the U.N.
And as you said, I just want to spotlight, one of them was Mick Ryan who is the global deputy chief engineer for World Food Programme. He is an Irish
citizen. And we have some video of him when he was in Bangladesh trying to set up the refugee camp for the desperately needed Rohingyas. And the
prime minister of Ireland has tweeted, "Our thoughts are with families of those lost in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, including the Irish engineer,
Michael Ryan. Michael was doing life changing work in Africa with the World Food Programme. Deepest sympathies to family, colleagues and
So, this really touches every nation. Can -- do you remember Michael? What do you remember about Michael's work?
BEASLEY: Well, you know, Mick as we call him. He was an engineer and we had legit logisticians and accountants and you name it, every walk of life.
And Mick was amazing. And I can honestly say, because I've been at Cox's Bazar, which has been some of the most difficult places in the world and
the most -- I mean, people literally would be dead right now if it weren't for people like Mick who go there and take their expertise and put their
lives on the line like he did and others, like Maria and (INAUDIBLE), I can go on and on.
Mick represented the best of the best. But in my opinion, he is The World Food Programme. Men and women like Mick, every day putting their lives
literally on the line. And this is what -- not just the World Food Programme but UNACR and other agencies that are out there doing this every
And we lose almost a person every single day out there, whether it's a war zone or conflict or natural disaster or kidnappings or whatever the case
may be. And so, we're used to tragedy but this comes in an ironic -- this comes in a way there's a little bit of irony to it as we would say.
AMANPOUR: Well, how do you think the work of the organization as a whole, the U.N., will be impacted by the sudden loss of these people?
BEASLEY: I think the mood of the World Food Programme, the United Nations, its solidarity. It brings everybody together. What this tragedy has done
has brought us together with a spirit that I think will rekindle our fire to go out there and continue to fight for people all over the world, to do
what's right, to do what's good no matter the circumstances, no matter where, no matter how far. That's the World Food Programme, and that's the
commitment of the humanitarians.
And so, I don't think it'll dampen our spirit. I think, in fact, it will bring us together in such a way that it will rekindle our spirit to do even
AMANPOUR: Governor David Beasley, thank you for being with us. Head of the World Food Programme on this very, very difficult day.
BEASLEY: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: A real tragedy for the U.N. workers and the families of 157 people who were killed when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down. It
was a new plane, a Boeing model known as the 737 MAX 8. And that's important because it's the same model as an Indonesian plane that crashed
in October, also just minutes after takeoff. So, should passengers on these jets be worried?
Mary Schiavo is former inspector general of the Department of Transportation in the United States and she's joining me now from South
Carolina. She's also a lawyer who represents crash victims and has current litigation pending against Boeing.
Mary Schiavo, welcome to the program.
MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, you can imagine everybody around the world is focused on this because of not only the tragedy but because it bears so many
similarities to what happened in Indonesia five months ago. What went through your mind when you heard that this model went down in Ethiopia?
SCHIAVO: Oh, no, not again. And I think that's what's going through the mind of passengers around the world and airlines around the world. And
it's the uncertainty that so problematic and that's why passengers are worried and the internet is literally lighting up with people saying, "How
can I find out if I'm booked on this model of airplane?"
So, the worry is real and it will not subside until they download the data from the black boxes, which they got today. And I think they'll have
answers very soon.
AMANPOUR: Obviously, you know, experts and professionals have to get the evidence before you can start speculating. But we did have and we have a
soundbite of an eyewitness from the ground who actually saw what happened as the plane came down. Let's just listen to this and see if it matches
with some of the thoughts we may have about the crash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GADISA BENTI, WITNESSED ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH (through translator): When it was hovering, fire was coming from its tail, then it tried to lift
its nose. But when it couldn't, it was leaning side to side. And finally, when it passed over our house, the nose pointed down and the tail raised
up. It went straight into the ground with its nose. It then exploded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's quite descriptive. He's quite careful, this gentleman, about what he's saying. And I don't know, Mary, whether you
found this important, but he said when it was hovering, fire was --
AMANPOUR: -- coming out of its tail.
SCHIAVO: That's extremely important now. Air crash investigators often are, you know, a suspect of eyewitness and ear witness reports because
sometimes there are problems with what they report and what happened. But here, this is inconsistent with a problem with the flight controls, a
problem with the -- for example, like in Lion Air, it was the angle of tach indicator, here the initial thoughts were the airspeed indicator.
If in fact, there were flames coming from the aircraft and if in fact, there was smoke and it was a experiencing this problem because of a smoke
and flame incident, then that doesn't at all sound like Lion Air. But up until the point of this, it did sound like Lion Air, same point in flight,
same airspeed, same part of the flight on takeoff, pilot reports a problem and is heading back to the airport, those are all so very similar to Lion
But if this eyewitness is correct, this is hugely important, it changes the way people will look at this, if it's borne out on the black boxes and the
cockpit voice recording.
AMANPOUR: Again, what you've just said is very significant, we have to wait for the actual voice recordings and the other data on those black
But is this model, based on what's just happened with these two crashes, is it particularly susceptible to malfunction?
SCHIAVO: Well, I think two instances of a malfunction on a brand-new plane takes it past the thought of those as susceptible, it's been shown.
Because in a new model aircraft, ordinarily what newer models do is they bring better safety statistics. To have two fatal whole losses in less
than six months means that you've got a problem. Maybe it's not the same problem on each flight but, absolutely, Boeing will have to go back, they
will have to go back to engineering, not just correcting the flight manuals, not just saying pilots need additional training.
If this is yet another problem on this model, they're going to have to go back and ask their engineers and literally, take it back to when they
decided to make these changes on the plane because the changes stemmed from changing the engines.
The 737 has been around since 1967 and it's a workhorse. But something, if this is now a second and different problem yet to boot, that only, I think,
raises more concerns about what they need to do and they did go back to engineering.
AMANPOUR: So, let me just ask you about Boeing and what it said in the immediate aftermath of this, that they are not issuing new guidance. Does
that surprise you? Here's the statement that they are saying, "Safety is our number one priority. The investigation is in its early stages. But at
this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators." Is that -- I mean, is that right or
should they be more cautious even now?
SCHIAVO: Well, to me, that suggests two things. First and foremost, they don't know. So, whatever information they have so far, be it messages from
the plane, the ACARS systems were functional, whatever information they have, it doesn't seem to fit with something that they already know about
the airplane. So, they can issue new guidance.
I really don't doubt that if Boeing had an idea that, "Oh, my gosh. Lion Air has happened again and these pilots are not -- you know, they haven't
had the training or this hasn't fixed the problem," I can believe that they would not issue immediate guidance. But to me that suggests that they know
it's not the same, something else is wrong here and we have to figure out what this is, and that's very, you know, disconcerting but, obviously, they
wouldn't want to issue the wrong guidance and have them do something that causes even more difficulties, maybe even another loss of a plane.
AMANPOUR: Again, you're saying it may not be the same and you said that after heard this eyewitness talking about the flames.
SCHIAVO: Yes. And there was one mention yesterday of someone who said smoke. So, this would be the second mention. But this makes it very
different from Lion Air if that's correct. And I go back to TWA 800, it happened way back in 1996. And there, dozen, scores of witnesses swore
that they saw a missile strike the plane. A missile did not strike the plane. The center fuel tank exploded.
So, eyewitnesses can sometimes see things that look differently and perhaps, it could have been fire and smoke from the explosion. I don't
know. No one knows at this point. But if this is true and it was on fire in the sky, this is a totally different scenario than Lion Air.
AMANPOUR: All right. So, let's just park that for a moment and wait until we know much more evidence. However, given the fact that this has now
happened twice, for whatever reasons, do you think those in charge, whatever authorities they are, whether it's the FAA in the United States,
whether it's the Europeans counterpart over here, should they be grounding the planes? I know we've already said Boeing is not issuing new guidance.
AMANPOUR: But should others? Because as we know, China, Indonesia, Ethiopia and I think the Cayman Islands have all grounded these planes.
SCHIAVO: Right. Well, I think they should because there's just too much unknown here. Until they know what happened, obviously, this is terribly
alarming for passengers, for pilots, for operators. Until you know what has happened, it's just this very, you know, scary situation where you have
two planes that have fallen from the sky and they're brand-new planes, that just doesn't happen statistically speaking. So, I think that a grounding
is in order.
The way that it often works, for example, with the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America, they don't do it until they
have more evidence. For example, on the 787 that had the lithium ion battery problem, they had several instances before they took action. On
the grounding of the Douglas Aircraft 10 way back in the 70s, it took many weeks before that was grounded. And really, a public outcry.
So, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration really is reticent to do that and they require a lot of evidence. And in this case, they're following
the rest of the world, which is unfortunate, but I do think until they figure out what happened here, they should be grounded, but that doesn't
mean that the FAA will do that without more evidence, they usually don't.
AMANPOUR: I mean, China, obviously, has a lot of these planes. I mean, that's a lot of planes to ground. And clearly, that would have a big
business impact on Boeing.
SCHIAVO: Right. And that's what's so interesting about who has grounded the planes. For example, Lion Air that last one in October, they have, I
think, 25 of these. This is a large part of their fleet, but they're grounded there. And for an airline like Southwest, which has a great
number. Southwest has a huge number of 740 or 737 and you would think that that wouldn't be such a big impact on their schedule.
So, for some of the countries and airlines that have grounded them, that is a huge part of their fleet and they have made a huge commitment, which to
me says that they are concerned and rightly so I think. So, yes, I mean, I think on Boeing, this is -- has a tremendous impact, which is why I have
just got to believe that they don't think it is the same thing. Because if it was, I would have thought they would have issued immediate guidance and
said, "Get those pilots trained and, you know, let's get this under control," and they haven't done that. So, that, to me, says they don't
AMANPOUR: So, Mary Schiavo, what does that mean, get those pilots trained? I mean, what is so different about this plane? I realize that there are
differences. But on the other hand -- well, just on the other hand, 4,500 or so have been purchased, they're the biggest and best selling of the
Boeing models, I think in Boeing's history, they have a fuel efficiency capacity.
SCHIAVO: You have hit it exactly on the head. I think this is a watershed event. I think this is one of those sea chains in aviation. Because now,
we have an aircraft that says, "You pilot, we're not even going to tell you about this." Before Lion Air, they weren't told, "We're going to program
this plane so it overrides the pilot." We're not talking about a drone aircraft here, we're talking about a 737 and we put our trust in the hands
of the pilots.
And we expect them to be able to fly the plane, I mean, take it off of autopilot, take off the commands and put your hands on the yoke or the
stick and the rudder and do it in an emergency. And this model now says, No, we didn't think it was necessary before Lion Air even to tell you and
the plane will override you." We've entered a new era of aviation where the pilot, (INAUDIBLE) says what this is saying to me, might be secondary
in the future and this is probably the crossroads.
AMANPOUR: Well, this is a really important moment in that case because everybody, as you say --
AMANPOUR: -- has it safe in the pilot's ability to override the automations when necessary. Mary Schiavo, thank you very much indeed.
We're no doubt going to be hearing a lot more, obviously, about this in the coming days.
Now, overall, air travel remains the safest way to go, it is remarkably safe and an extraordinary feat of engineering. And in a moment, we get a
look at what might be humankind's most impressive engineering marvel, which was landing on the moon. It is the subject of an incredible new
But first, the novelist, Dave Eggers, has gained a reputation for chronicling the most important societal upheavals of our time, whether the
rise of Silicon Valley or the power of Middle East oil states or Hurricane Katrina.
His latest book takes on a different moral ambiguity, what happens when foreigners drop in to work and help in developing countries which are
ravaged by war. This novel set in just such an unnamed country is the parade. And of course, it comes as our conversation comes right in the
wake of this crash. Eggers tells me that it was inspired by some real- world personal experiences.
Dave Eggers, welcome to the program.
DAVE EGGERS, AUTHOR, "THE PARADE": Thank you. Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: So, let's talk about your latest book. And it's actually a continuation almost of some of the books you've written, which you look
like a sort of exploration around the world. This one is really interesting, short but it's about two contractors who are building a road
to connect a rural south to an urban north after a war and there's meant to be a parade to celebrate the completion of this road, but it doesn't all go
to plan. Give us the sort of bones of the story without being a spoiler.
EGGERS: Well, these are two workers. They're just pavers, they're contractors that are doing the work as the same way they would anywhere in
the world, they drop in without passports, without known identities and they're there to do a job but they take drastically different views on
their work and they approach it differently. One just wants to do the work and go home and get the job done and his a veteran of this kind of work,
and the other sees it as an adventure and an invitation to engage deeply in the local culture. But both approaches are fraught and have their own
AMANPOUR: Well, interestingly, you know, you don't name them. Certainly, you don't name what country they come from but you don't actually give them
names, they're called Nine and Four.
EGGERS: Well, I -- you know, I wanted them to be nameless and countryless because I think, at least, here in the U.S. we assume that characters like
this are representative of American adventurers or interventions abroad. And this kind of work is not at all exclusive to the U.S. And
particularly, right now, all over the world and in particular in Africa, the Chinese are doing all kinds of road building, port building, railway
And so -- and, you know, years ago in South Sudan, I saw a Swedish team building a road in rural South Sudan and I thought it's -- I was interested
in what the Swedish team parachuted into rural South Sudan was thinking and what was -- what did they gather or ruminate on in terms of the
implications of their work and sort of where they were, did they know the history, did they know the impact and the possible consequences of that
And so, I wanted them to be kind of nameless because you could insert any sort of industrialized country into sort of the work of these two guys.
AMANPOUR: So, let me just -- let me dig down into that. Because I do find it interesting that you are posing that question about what is the ethics,
what is the morality of intervention, even when it looks like intervention to help.
And, you know, the -- one of the reviews said that, "Eggers ably weaves in a host of ethical questions, over one man's responsibility to the other,
what makes help transactional versus simply kind and whether the road, in this case itself, will truly bring safety and progress to the provinces at
70 miles an hour. And Eggers is determined to counter the notion that social and economic improvement work hand in hand." Do you agree with
EGGERS: Yes. That's well said. I hadn't seen that. I -- yes. You know, I don't think that -- I want to make it clear that neither one of these men
is at fault. There isn't a villain, at least, immediately apparent here. And really, they are such small players in a game that's just -- that they
are, again, replaceable in, they are just tools used by -- in a machine that, you know, is far larger than just their work and just their job.
But within that, you see these two different approaches, where one man says, "It's not for us to intervene, to help, to aid in any way with the
people along the roadside that might need our help. We are there to do one job and leave." So, he, who is called Four, is just actually not even
looking left and right, he's looking straight down to the finish line, the end of their work.
And Nine sees it as a way, you know, "We have things that these people might need. I have a duty to intervene where there -- where I might be
able to help." And he's incredibly naive but it comes from an inherent sort of openness and goodness almost. But both approaches have some
EGGERS: And, of course, their work in the end, collectively, has consequences far beyond what they saw.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I can see you struggling over not wanting to do a spoiler on your own.
AMANPOUR: On your own book. Look, the last book you wrote was about a coffee grower caught up in the Civil War, the terrible war, in Yemen, which
actually is not so much a civil war as one of the outside intervention by big powers.
AMANPOUR: And I just, you know, keep thinking also about the previous one you wrote, "The Circle," which was such a huge bestseller, which was, you
know, ahead of its time warning about a sort of Google like campus and the whole sort of intrusion into people's privacy and how this technology and
A.I. can start to control the environment and control human behavior. Explain what you're seeing and where you try to examine the interface
between humans and their environment.
EGGERS: Well, I'm also interested in the workers who individually think that they might be doing good, who are unaware of the larger design, and
that was definitely the case in "The Circle." Individually, each one of those people working at this, you know, presumably idealistic tech campus
think that they are improving him an idea and connecting people but they don't realize that the larger design is, you know, surveillance, capitalism
and sort of an effort to, you know, create a monopoly, to aggregate power and wealth through, you know, one narrow technological conduit.
And so, in all of those cases, yes, I'm interested in the people that are part of the machinery and really feel like day-to-day that they are helping
but sometimes they don't -- they aren't aware of either the unintended consequences or the consequences that have been preordained or planned but
without their --
EGGERS: -- knowledge.
AMANPOUR: I mean I wonder whether you even imagined that after you had written "The Circle" and after it was such a best seller, all this has come
out about all the tech companies and whatever Facebook, Google, all of the sort of machinations that are going on.
And then people are really worried about what this is going to do to the species, to addiction, to as you say monopolies and control.
I wonder whether you had imagined that it would come true and I guess as a corollary to that, would you support democratic presidential candidates
Senator Elizabeth Warren who said she will want to break up these big tech monopolies.
EGGERS: Yes, I support what she's saying, absolutely. I think it's -- they are monopolies and they're acting in a monopolistic way. And so, we
have laws that are meant -- anti-trust laws that are meant to combat that because it's not good a democratic society and it's not good for a
And so, I do support her in that. And I thought it was very bold of her to propose it. It has to be part of the 2020 conversation. And I had a dim
view of this went I wrote the book five years ago. I thought things were trending one way. They have gotten far worse.
But the one thing I'm gratified by or encouraged by is that when I wrote it, most people were still trusting I think of the motivations and business
practices of a lot of these -- the larger tech companies. And right now, I think most people are highly suspicious and highly wary and very open to
more regulation and examination--
AMANPOUR: Right. You--
EGGERS: That's at least gratifying.
AMANPOUR: Well, and last year you came back to this topic. You did a lecture in which you called for sort of a digital human rights. And you
have said and spoken a lot about it.
Here you said talking about the complicity here, "digital tools generally degrade us, specifically they make us in to needy maniacs, and the tech
companies that we distrust act no better and no worse than we ourselves act with these tools.
Our complicity in the rise of these companies and in their increasing power is impossible to avoid or deny. Every bit of power these companies have is
power that we have given them."
So, basically you are there saying that it's not the smart phone or Apple or Zuckerberg that's involved, it's us who involved. Is that what you're
EGGERS: Well the odd thing is, is that we don't have to use Facebook. There are no laws that require us to use a platform that we inherently
distrust and has been proven again and again to abuse and to have distained for the privacy of all of its users.
And so, there are so many ways to connect with each other online and share photos and all these other things that we want to do. These wonderful
things that we can do without having to empower a very bad actor.
And so, and that's what's funny to -- and frustrating I guess is that all this power, all this wealth, the aggregation of so much data, it's all data
that we have given them for the most part. And so, we do have choices. Consumers really have power.
And I feel like if collectively we said well, this company, Facebook I think is the worst actor of all of them. If we said we no longer trust
you, we're not going to participate in your plan. We're opting out. And we're going to a platform like Neewee (ph) which is a nonprofit version of
AMANPOUR: I mean it strikes me as pretty gulling when I have read now in retrospect that a lot of the great geniuses, the great innovators of this
tech and of these devices we're told didn't even allow their own children to use them until a certain age.
And here now we're talking about the responsibility of citizens. But citizens who have become addicted, I mean this is lie being on a drug. How
do you get off it?
EGGERS: Yes. I can't count the number of tech inventors and innovators and very powerful people who send their kids to (inaudible) schools, which
ban all technology at school and in the home.
And so they know something that a lot of users don't know, which is the highly addictive and (inaudible) sort of consequences of these tools,
especially in the hands of very young kids. They know best.
And I think that so many parents feel like they have to give their kids devices at a young age to keep them up with societal expectations or
educational demands. And this just isn't the case. Sometimes these tools are way too powerful to be given to very young kids.
And I think that we just have to examine that as parents, as educators, schools, everybody really has to slow down a bit and say really what's best
for the development of young minds and can we just sort of not channel all of our kids education through screens.
AMANPOUR: One of the most adapt users of social media in all of this is the president of the United States. I mean he is a real master of this
art. You have followed him for awhile. I mean you've been to rallies in Texas and the rest. And you've come about -- come away with some really
interesting observations. Notably perhaps that you know, Donald Trump could win again.
You write, we in the media have long seen Trump as a racist buffoon and a threat but his supporters see him as a man who gets things done, who speaks
candidly, who's engineered an economic boom, the envy of the world, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Just give me some, you know, eye witness accounts of your reporting to what makes you lead to your conclusion.
EGGERS: I'm here in San Francisco. We're in a bubble and we make certain assumptions including that he's very vulnerable and will be relatively easy
to beat in 2020. Then I went to that rally in El Paso where he rallied on one side of the street and Beto O'Rourke was on the other.
And I was shocked to see over the course of the day about 17,000 people line up to go to his rally. Across the street may three, 4,000 people that
go to Beto O'Rourke's rally. And the people at the Trump rally were a very diverse audience. El Paso is a very diverse city.
You know about 80 percent Latino and -- and it was reflected in the audience. And I interviewed so many people who were so just rational in
their support and why they supported him and they ignore so much of the tweeting and so much of the madness that we see in the president's behavior
because the economic results over the last few years they value and they see their 401k going up.
They see employment opportunities available. They see relatives who are in the military coming home. They see all these sort of practical effects of
the president's policies and they're -- they're giving him a real -- he's - - it makes him formidable for 2020.
So I came away thinking, all right, it's important to go out and actually interview people and not make assumptions or not get your information third
hand from a couch in San Francisco.
AMANPOUR: Exactly. Well -- well -- well put.
EGGERS: So I think he'll be hard to beat.
AMANPOUR: Well put. Dave Eggers, thank you so much for joining us.
EGGERS: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: Now, where were you when man first stepped on the moon? Everybody who watched has their own searing memory and they're own story.
Neil Armstrong setting foot out there and declaring, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," is the stuff movies and dreams are made
But this very real heroic feat is the subject of a new documentary. Showing us that moment 50 years ago, this July in a whole new light. And
here's a clip from the trailer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole Apollo Program was designed to get two Americans to the lunar surface and back again to earth safely. The
enormity of this event is something that only history will be able to judge.
AMANPOUR: Todd Douglas Miller is the director of Apollo 11. He's been speaking with our Hari Sreenivasan about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNNI HOST: You know never before seen footage is often used as a marketing gimmick. But in this case it completely changed the
composition of your film.
TODD DOUGLAS MILLER, DIRECTOR OF APOLLO 11: Yes, I mean initially -- and this was the tail end of 2016, we cast a very wide net within the spider
web network of NASA facilities and also the National Archives.
And three or four months into the project we get this email from the National Archives, our contact there, our archivist (ph) who said that they
had -- had this collection of large format material that was previously, you know, uncataloged.
They didn't really know exactly what was on it. They had -- it did have written on some of the reels, Apollo 11. Some of the dates ended around
the launch, which was July 16th of 1969. So that began the process of discovering exactly what these were.
SREENIVASAN: How much footage are we talking about?
MILLER: So hundreds of reels. And it just wasn't in National Archives. We also had access to another 100 reels of engineering 70 millimeter
footage. So that's all the great slow motion, you know, rocket -- of the rocket taking off. We had a ton of that stuff to go through. And then if
that wasn't enough, we were also alerted to over 11,000 hours of mission control audio that was uncovered by NASA.
SREENIVASAN: How do you get 11,000 hours? I mean, what is - what are they recording for that long?
MILLER: So it was really unique. It was one inch tape. If you could imagine, if you're sitting in mission control, you have 30 flight
controllers. Each one of those guys that's on a headset is recorded on a track in the back.
SREENIVASAN: So really, every word that was uttered in mission control had been recorded and sitting, gathering dust?
MILLER: Yes, and not only that. The backroom, each flight controller had an entire backroom full of other light controllers. So they were all on
loops. So it was really, in essence, about 60 tracks that all needed to be synched up.
SREENIVASAN: But why take this on? I mean, at this point, we probably have a memory of seeing that black and white footage. Why - why do this as
MILLER: You know, it really started as an editing exercise, you know, with my archive producer Stephen Slater who's based in the U.K. He had been
synching up a lot of mission control footage with audio because when they originally shot it, it didn't have any sound on it.
So, you know, it gets addictive, you know, to try to figure out what these guys are saying at what times because they really shot it with no regard
for if, you know, there was going to be any audio. They were just kind of getting beauty shots of these guys working and documenting them for
MILLER: And once the large format stuff came into our purview, it felt like, you know, it - we were all, you know, wanting to work on something
like this. So we were kind of - it was the perfect team for this to land on.
SREENIVASAN: So you find all this video - film and you find all this audio. What do you learn about this?
MILLER: We learned a lot. I mean, probably the greatest part of working on the project was working very closely with NASA's chief historian, Bill
Barry, and his team, obviously, the National Archives as well, and then the families and Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Neil Armstrong's sons, Rick
and Mark, they were one of the first people that we showed this footage to before we even started the process of -
SREENIVASAN: What'd they think?
MILLER: I mean, they were floored like everyone else. You know, just when you thought you'd seen it all, and particularly for them. I mean, they -
you know, they were so gracious with their time in helping us out to, you know, really get the accuracy of not only the mission but also just the
spirit of who their fathers were and the people that worked with them.
SREENIVASAN: But what is it about this moment, I mean - which might not happen ever again, maybe until we set foot on Mars or the aliens come down
and talk to us? It almost seemed to unite the entire planet.
MILLER: Yes. It was not lost on us at any time. I can speak for the entire team. It was just such a unique experience to - to witness the
sheer scope of this. You know, you put yourself back in the `60s and with JFK in this charge to the country to try to drum up support for the space
program, which is very expensive to send someone to another planet or another world.
And all the political strife that was going on, you know, JFK himself, a year after his - his speech in Texas, is assassinated in Texas. His
brother is assassinated. Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated. You have the background of the Vietnam War, but throughout all of that, you have
hundreds of thousands of people that are spread across tens of thousands of companies that all came together to accomplish this one goal of putting a
human on another world. And it was - it's just miraculous.
SREENIVASAN: And you've got a clip of that that I want to show as well. It starts with just kind of a long shot of how many people. It's dizzying,
even to think about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're past the six-minute mark in our countdown for Apollo 11. Now, five minutes 52 seconds and counting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible). Verify go for launch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible). Verify go for launch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible). Verify go for launch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible). Verify go for launch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some 7.6 million pounds of thrust pushing the vehicle upward. The vehicle weighs close to 6.5 million pounds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: That is a lot of people, and that's just a clip from the film to illustrate your point. You know, one of the things that I remembered
and I think most people nowadays, if - when they go to your film, what they'll see is - well, the first shots you had of mission control, it was
almost like it was a uniform. It was all white shirts, half-sleeve, with a tie, and almost all men. There was one woman in the room that really
caught - I was like, "Wait a minute. What's her story?"
MILLER: Yes. I mean, that's the beauty of really doing the research and going deep into the archive with the entire Apollo program. There is one
woman, her name is JoAnn Morgan.
Apollo 11 was the first time that she actually was in the firing room which was the launch control center which was adjacent to the pad down in Florida
what was called Cape Kennedy at the time now, today Cape Canaveral. And before the Saturn V rocket launched, she was just an amazing engineer.
She was there on her own credentials, didn't matter that she was a female. And she ended up having a very long history with NASA. Worked there for 43
years, retired and is still alive today. And it just wasn't her. We had unfortunately and hopefully this ends up on like a Blu-ray or DVD.
There was a 25 year old (inaudible) that was in the back room in mission control. Her name was Poppy Northcutt; she actually on Apollo 13 was in
the front room. But there's a moment after lunar liftoff when they're arguing -- the flight controllers in the front room are arguing over flight
So they consult with the back room. Poppy comes on, and basically just schools these guys in some math. And while their numbers are off and she's
trying to articulate why they're wrong.
MILLER: And it takes about five minutes for her to finally get through to these guys. But it just highlights the great effort of all, just not male,
female, minorities across all races to put this thing together.
SREENIVASAN: One thing that surprised me was relatively speaking how advance the technology in some way was. They were getting near real-time
heart beats of these astronauts. And I had no idea that in 1969 we had the tech and then afterwards I was stunned by how low and how cool they are.
MILLER: Yes, I mean sometimes I have a tough time calling my sister back in Ohio. So, it's just a testament to the technological advances that the
Apollo program did. Certainly, if you listen to the air to ground transmissions, it's scratchy most of th time. It's tough stuff to get
But they did it. And they developed ways to communicate. And that was just one of dozens of new technologies that were invented to put someone on
the surface of the moon.
SREENIVASAN: At one point, at the takeoff I think, Buzz Aldrin's heart beat is around 88. And then on the other end of the spectrum, Neil
Armstrong's heart beat when he's about to land the thing is what, 100--
SREENIVASAN: That is me on a treadmill at a good run, right? I mean that's really exerting ourselves. And here he is, the stress of that
moment, you could see it was in his heart right there.
MILLER: Yes, but when you listen to Neil Armstrong's (inaudible) as they're landing, it never waivers. So, he might've been stressing on the
inside, but on the outside and it goes for all of the mission controllers during that moment. Charley Duke famously says, "Copy Eagle, you got a
bunch of guys ready to turn blue here. We're breathing again."
MILLER: And it just goes to show kind of the nerves of steel. And you have to remember, Buzz and Neil both were Korean War veterans. They flew
missions, dozens and dozens of combat missions. Buzz himself shot down a mig (ph) and then pulled out a camera and photographed the pilot ejecting.
These guys had been hardened veterans of not only war but they were test pilots. And unlike some of their predecessors in the space program, they
were educated. Neil had a degree in aeronautics. Buzz went to MIT. And they -- his nickname was Dr. Randevu.
Michael Collins was a graduate at West Point and ended up in the air force. So, these guys had been around the block. And it's no -- now you know why
they were chosen to go about this extraordinary mission.
SREENIVASAN: And there was flying required back then. I mean the -- we kind of take it for granted now. But to get these things to connect and
disconnect and really ultimately landing of where the module landed was by hand.
MILLER: Yes. I mean, Neil Armstrong certainly they had very archaic computers compared to now. But to get them to a certain altitude and then
Neil actually -- Neil Armstrong himself guided the lunar lander down to the surface of the moon.
SREENIVASAN: Going through all this footage, what surprised you?
MILLER: I think if you see the suiting up shots that was the most surprising for me. I had seen those images a lot over the decades. But I
had never seen them like that. And just opposed (ph) a real that came shortly after we had that real which from the day of the launch, the
morning of the launch. They're getting suited up to go on this amazing thing -- journey.
There was -- they were doing the same thing a few days before on a dry run. And they were kind of slapping themselves on the back. A bit jovial. You
know they did the same thing. They went into the astrovan, drove out to the pad, got in the elevator, went -- sat on top of the rocket, came back
down and went home.
But on the day of the launch, you just see this look on their faces. There was no joking and you could just see the weight of what they were about to
do written all over it. And it just really snapped into focus, I think for all of us.
Their responsibility that they had to do that and also, you know in a very small way, our responsibility, you know to the imagery that we were luckily
enough to be granted to work with.
SREENIVASAN: I didn't realize one of the first things that happened on the moon was to set up a camera. I mean just like well there's scientific
gear, et cetera, et cetera. Actually he sets up the camera and you can see all of these shots of Buzz Aldrin coming down.
I mean it was just -- there's certainly forethought put in to what they should do and how it should be documented for the entire world to see.
MILLER: Yes, the training was immense. They -- you know they rehearsed down to the second exactly all the moves, choreographed. One of the kind
of humorous things was when they landed they were actually supposed to sleep. They were supposed to have a sleep period.
But of course you land on the moon and I don't think anybody's going -- anybody's going to go to bed. So they requested if they could, you know,
perform their lunar excursion activities, the EVA first. They were granted that.
And some of that imagery that we saw, you know at first, quite frankly the engineers at Goldstone, California weren't ready for it. So that's why the
image is flipped upside down. There wasn't -- you know originally it was supposed to go to Australia and just the way that signal was, you know,
sent to the earth it ended up at California.
So, you know, luckily we do have that imagery and lucky, you know, for me as a film maker, Buzz Aldrin documented with a 16 millimeter camera looking
right down the barrel of the later, Neil's first steps.
SREENIVASAN: Just suppose that capsule with what just happened a little awhile ago, SpaceX sending a capsule up, I mean you look around and every
shot Buzz Aldrin -- the Armstrong, there's just switches and gear and buttons and lights everywhere. And now it's this clean white wall, two LED
I mean it's amazing that these three humans had to know how to work all of that manually.
MILLER: What we've accomplished in 50 years, you know on the technology front, I think is -- is truly amazing and I'm -- I'm actually encouraged
that you know companies like SpaceX working with NASA and all the great, you know, space programs all around the world, it's a very exciting time
for the future of space travel because we're going to have to get out there, you know, at some point.
SREENIVASAN: Why doesn't the government undertake anything like this? Could it? Should it? Is it going to be replaced by private companies and
is that the right way to get going in space?
MILLER: I could speak to the historical context, which is -- you know John F. Kennedy made a charge to the country and -- and -- and went out and
actually sold this. So there was a political will that was established to make this happen. Our legacy of Apollo, I think should be followed up.
You know we're -- as we grow as a population worldwide where we need, you know, new places to go. Whether it happens, you know, a hundred years from
now, a thousand, a million; it's going to happen.
And Apollo 11 serves as a -- the entire program serves as a -- as a primer for us to -- to get back out there.
SREENIVASAN: Is that what you want people to take away from the film?
MILLER: I think so but also just to be reminded that over the decades and as time has evolved, you know we -- we kind of get into our boxes, if you
will, and events like this bring us together. They unite us and they certainly did back then and they certainly can do again.
SREENIVASAN: Thanks so much for joining us.
MILLER: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: Well, I for one can never get enough of Apollo 11 and I'm going to be running, not walking to go and see this film. And as Hari said in a
sign of just how much private industry has taken over the space program, SpaceX just fully tested its dragon capsule, sending it to the
international space station and then back to earth.
The company hopes the capsule will soon carry human astronauts, which would indeed be a landmark achievement for a private enterprise. And that is it
for now. Remember you can always listen to our podcast. You can see us online at amanpour.com and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter and
Instagram. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.