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John Bolton in London for Post Brexit Trade Deal; Trump Administration Wants Britain to Align with U.S. on Iran; Lewis Lukens Former Acting U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., is Interviewed About Trade Deals with China and U.K.; How White Nationalism are Groomed in This Digital Age; Alt-Right Videos in YouTube; Caleb Cain, Radicalized by Alt-Right Videos, and Kevin Roose, New York Times Tech Columnist, are Interviewed About White Nationalism. Aired 1-2 p ET
Aired August 13, 2019 - 13:00 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.
U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, comes to Britain and promises an unprecedented special relationship post Brexit. But what`s Washington`s
big ask? I`ll ask America`s former acting ambassador here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALEB CAIN, RADICALIZED BY ALT-RIGHT VIDEOS: It feels like you`re going into the deep cave to discover hidden knowledge, expect at the bottom of
the cave is Nazi gold, not some, you know, universal truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How YouTube drives young men down the rabbit hole of extremism. A former radical, Caleb Cain and "New York Times" reporter, Kevin Roose,
dissects the anatomy of online grooming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s my death. Don`t tell me what I have to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Taking control of the end of your life. A new HBO documentary looks at new ways to die in America.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I`m Christiane Amanpour in London.
Tensions between protesters and police flared briefly again at the Hong Kong airport and flights were disrupted for a second straight day.
President Trump said that he hopes no one gets hurt and that it is all working out for liberty. He also says he`s hoping for a trade deal with
Meanwhile, his national security adviser, John Bolton, is here in London to dangle the offer of a trade deal for post Brexit Britain. Bolton is the
highest level American official to meet with the new British prime minister, Boris Johnson. And while Britain is barred from opening trade
talks before its October divorce is final, Bolton says President Trump wants to be the first in line for a trade deal with the U.K. But even John
Bolton acknowledges there are devils lurking in the details of any future agreements.
The Trump administration wants Britain to align itself more closely with the U.S. on Iran, which could drive a wedge between the U.K. and its
Lewis Lukens is an old hand at U.K./U.S. diplomacy. He was the deputy chief of mission in American embassy here in London and served as acting
ambassador under President Trump. And he`s joining me now.
Welcome to the program.
LEWIS LUKENS, FORMER ACTING U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.K.: Thank you, Christiane. It`s great to be here.
AMANPOUR: So, two rather big things happening at the same time. I mean, the massive power of China on one hand and then, you know, America`s
probably closest transatlantic ally, the U.K., and all sort of showing a little bit of the sort of transactional nature of the Trump administration.
You heard what we just reported about President Trump saying he hopes no one gets hurt. He hopes that all works out even for China. What is he
trying to say? What needle is he trying to thread when it comes to the Hong Kong protests?
LUKENS: Well, I think what he`s trying to do is not agitate China and President Xi. I think he`s very keen to strike some kind of trade deal,
certainly before next year`s election. And I think he`s very wary of crossing the line. I think former presidents and administrations might
have been more outspoken on human rights and the protection of civilians in Hong Kong but the president, I think, is more focused on the transactional
and the trade side of things clearly than on the human rights angle.
AMANPOUR: So, we heard that also from a young protester who we spoke to yesterday, Joshua Wong, and in a moment, I`ll play something that he told
me about what he hopes from the United States. But the big worry, of course, is that China might do a Tiananmen 2.0. That`s what a lot of
people worry. Other people say there is just no way. They`re aware now that the whole world is watching. Xi is not the leaders of 30 or 40 years
ago. What do you think the U.S. should be saying to China even as President Trump is hoping for a trade deal?
LUKENS: Well, I think President Trump could hope for the trade deal and could also at the same time speak more strongly for -- in support of human
rights and the democratic right of the Hong Kong citizens to protest. That`s where I think he`s falling down a little bit. I think he feels it`s
either one or the other, but I think he could do both and I think, you know, one can have trade negotiations with a country like China while at
the same time standing up for values that you believe in as a country.
AMANPOUR: So, these are pictures of protests at the Hong Kong airport. And for a while, everybody was very, very anxious because busloads of
police came down. They said they weren`t there to disperse the crowds and there was an injured passenger. In any event, they took him out and
apparently, they then left. However, the standoff is still tense and the chief executive today, again, addressed this issue and talked about Chinese
officials, particularly those with responsibility for Hong Kong. Just listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: As we have all heard from the spokesman of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, the central government
is still confident that I myself as the government of Hong Kong, SAR, together with the police force that we are still capable of resolving this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, that`s a pretty important statement from the chief executive. She is saying, "Back off, everybody. China is not sending its
troops over the bridge," or wherever they would send them, "and we can still control this." How do you read the significance of what she just
LUKENS: Well, look, I mean, I think China has a clear interest in these protests not getting out of hand. And I think China is watching this very,
very carefully and doesn`t want to give an example to citizens in China proper, not in Hong Kong but in China, to start demonstrating and
protesting against the government. So, China -- she may say they can handle this and they will handle it, but I think China is watching very
closely and would not hesitate to send in troops if they need to to calm the situation down.
AMANPOUR: Meantime, we spoke to, as I said, the young protester, Joshua Wong, who is one of the main leaders. And he had a bit of a warning for
the United States. I mean, you know, you mentioned perhaps previous presidents would have double down much harder on the democracy aspect of
it, on the human rights aspect of it. And he`s actually taking the U.S. -- or at least this administration`s trade context. So, just listen to what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA WONG, PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: If economic freedom of Hong Kong might be eroded and damaged by Beijing, it would not only threaten the
daily life of the Hong Kong people but also affect the business interests of American`s company in the Hong Kong. That`s why I hope U.S. politician,
they should take a more active role to support Hong Kong democratization to ensure the interest of U.S. citizen in Hong Kong might be protected and the
political and economic freedom in Hong Kong can still be guaranteed in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Pretty savvy. Pretty savvy for a very young protest leader who wants freedom and democracy and human rights.
AMANPOUR: He`s talking directly to President Trump.
LUKENS: Yes. No, I mean, he`s absolutely right. Hong Kong is a very important economic and financial hub for American companies. And he`s
right, he`s speaking Donald Trump`s language. But, you know, I think for Donald Trump you have to compare -- he`s comparing, I think, Hong Kong
versus China which looms much larger on his screen than Hong Kong.
AMANPOUR: It does. And interestingly, the president also said today that he is not going to put the latest round of tariffs on for a while because
he doesn`t want to hurt consumers in America over Christmas. So, I thought that was an interesting move back from that confrontational cliff.
LUKENS: Well, he`s not going to put the tariffs on until December on some of the items. Some of them will go into effect, I think, probably in
September. So, you`re right, he`s walking back some of the more popular consumer items leading up to the Christmas season to not to affect
Americans, I think, as much. But there will be other items, I think, up for which the sanctions will go into place first.
AMANPOUR: So, constantly wanting this trade deal, saying that he`s optimistic about it even though this doesn`t seem to be any major
breakthroughs, fast forward to John Bolton who has been here and he, national security adviser, is talking trade deals with the Boris Johnson
government. Is that the normal purview of the national security adviser?
LUKENS: Well, the national security adviser can kind of define his scope of interest and trade certainly falls into national security, I think.
It`s very much of a charm offensive, he strikes me as. He`s -- I mean, Dominic Raab and Liz Truss were in Washington last week --
AMANPOUR: So, Dominic Raab is the foreign minister?
LUKENS: Sorry. The foreign secretary and the international trade secretary. And so, it`s interesting to have our national security adviser
come to London so quickly after those visits, meeting with the prime minister and meeting with other top-level government officials. And I
think saying -- sending a message of, "We want a hard Brexit. The president and I, John Bolton, support a very hard Brexit and we are with
you after that happens and we want to do everything we can to ensure a strong trading relationship after Brexit."
AMANPOUR: OK. So, also, apparently, the vice president is going to come here next month. So, we`ve had the president a couple of months ago, now
John Bolton --
AMANPOUR: -- and then the vice president. What do they want them from Britain? First of all, why do they want a hard Brexit, deal or no deal?
LUKENS: Well, I mean, Bolton said, "Donald Trump and I were leavers before you were leavers." So, I`m not sure why. I think the president
instinctively does not like multilateral institutions and he doesn`t like the European Union. So, I think he`s happy to see the U.K. leave the
I believe that the president and John Bolton think that with the U.K. out of the European Union, the U.K. will be more aligned or they can convince
the U.K. to be more aligned with the U.S. on policy issues, on things like China and Huawei and Iran. Where up until now, the United Kingdom is very
closely aligned with its European allies.
AMANPOUR: So, the transactional nature again comes out.
AMANPOUR: So, let`s just take Huawei, staying on the China theme. What does the U.S. want the U.K. to do regarding Huawei?
LUKENS: Well, I think the U.S. wants the U.K. to be in lock step with U.S. policy, which is still a little bit influx but seems to be saying no 5G
technology from Huawei in our country and the U.K. should not have it either. Now, the previous U.K. [13:10:00] administration reached a
conclusion that it was acceptable to have some level of Huawei investment in the infrastructure here, and I think the president and John Bolton would
like to see that pushed back a little bit.
AMANPOUR: And then, as I said, what is -- what else is it that this administration wants? It seems that it`s not an accident that John Bolton
is here because Iran is perhaps even a bigger issue for them than Huawei. And we know that John Bolton is a real hard liner.
AMANPOUR: And in fact, we think that there`s perhaps even, you know, daylight between the national security adviser and the president on this
AMANPOUR: At least, how militarily to proceed. What do they want? What are they going to extract from Boris Johnson in order to promise a best
preferential fantastic speedy super-duper trade deal?
LUKENS: Well, I think what the president and John Bolton would love to see is the United Kingdom pull out of the nuclear deal, bottom line. The
president has always hated that deal, John Bolton has always hated that deal. We pulled out about a year ago. Up until now, the British
government has stayed very closely aligned with the French and the German governments to stay in the deal, and I think the president would love to
see the U.K. pull out.
AMANPOUR: I`m going to play a little bit of an interview I had with the former prime minister, Gordon Brown, regarding the tug and pull and push
that Johnson is undergoing now with the United States on this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Clearly, he has to get a deal on Brexit or try to get a deal on Brexit or get a resolution of Brexit.
But obviously, the American relationship is incredibly important and he has got to work out in which areas is he going to agree with President Trump,
in which areas is he going to be at odds with him.
And clearly, the British policy has been while wanting a good relationship with America to stick with the Europeans on Iran and I hope that that will
be the position that he takes to try to press the Americans that we must try and find a way forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, you know a lot about U.K./U.S. relations. You have been here as deputy chief of mission and acting ambassador for a period of
years. How is this going to play out do you think? I mean, Boris Johnson, some people say, you know, when he was foreign secretary, he stood up for
the Iran nuclear deal even in the face of disapproval and withdrawal by the United States.
Now, he`s the prime minister some worry he might do more to ingratiate himself with the United States than for what`s good for Britain in terms of
LUKENS: Well, this Boris Johnson certainly is going to have some tough choices to make and I think he will get pressure from the president and I`m
sure he got pressure from John Bolton yesterday on this Iran thing.
I was in meetings where Boris Johnson, as foreign secretary, was very passionately defending the Iran nuclear agreement and making very strong
arguments for keeping it in place. So, it will be interesting to see whether he has a change of heart.
I mean, he has to balance, as Gordon Brown said, U.K.`s interest but also this very important relationship with the United States. And there`s
always give and take in these relationships. And the question will be, how much does he give and how much does he take?
AMANPOUR: What do you think? What`s your instinct?
LUKENS: My instinct is that the U.K. pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal.
LUKENS: Yes. That`s just my guess. But yes, that`s where I see this going.
AMANPOUR: In return for perhaps maybe getting a great trade deal with the U.S.?
LUKENS: I mean, not necessarily an explicit tit for tat. But yes, I think, this prospect of a quick trade agreement, as John Bolton said, a
sector by sector or a modular trade agreement to make it go faster. Although, it`s unclear that the president can do that without Congress
coming on board. I think it`s actually a little bit more complicate and more difficult than John Bolton is making it out to be. But I think they
are dangling -- I mean, when the U.K. leaves the E.U., Boris Johnson is -- been always very passionate about this notion of a global Britain. And if
they`re leaving the E.U. behind, he`s going to have pivot to the United States, I think. And that`s where that alliance is going to be so
AMANPOUR: So, you said -- you mentioned Congress, you know, does he -- does this Boris Johnson administration kind of get it, that it`s just, you
know, quite hard, because Congress is a major player despite what the president or national security adviser promised.
And actually, I spoke to the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, about this very issue when she was visiting Ireland. And Ireland, which the Brexiters
hate, this back-stop thing, is very important to the U.S., obviously. Let`s listen to what she told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: It`s very hard to pass a trade agreement in Congress, very, very hard. And at one -- a U.S./U.K. trade agreement
that would be a reward for weakening the Good Friday Accords is just not a possibility. But maybe they can accomplish it without doing that. We just
wanted to make sure they understood that as a consolation for leaving the E.U. they are not getting the U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, that`s pretty clear.
LUKENS: It`s very clear.
AMANPOUR: It`s pretty clear.
And interestingly, even today after meeting with John Bolton, guess what Boris Johnson says? That the most important priority [13:15:00] for his
administration and for this country is to do a deal with who, the European Union.
LUKENS: Yes. But we can`t even talk about a U.S./U.K. trade agreement until we, the U.S., sees what the U.K.`s relationship with the E.U. will
be. Because it`s all going to have to do with how closely aligned the U.K. remains on regulatory issues. So, it`s great to talk about a trade
agreement and it`s good that they are starting to lay the groundwork. But the devil is in the details, as they said. And, you know, the details
won`t be even started -- we won`t even start to negotiate the details until Brexit is clear and we know what that relationship is going to be like.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let`s go back to the Iran deal. If the Brits pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, what does that actually mean? What does it mean
for the deal? What does it mean for Britain? I mean, I think it doesn`t really change America`s position does it or does it? Does it give --
LUKENS: It doesn`t change America`s position. I think the president is out of the deal and there`s zero chance that he would rejoin the deal.
What it means for the deal, I think, is that it just further weakens it. It`s already been weakened by the U.S. pulling out and I think having the
U.K. pull out -- I mean, thus far, all the other partners of the deal have stayed in it. But if the U.K. pulls out, I think it`s a real, you know,
kink in the armor of that deal.
AMANPOUR: Which means?
LUKENS: Which means I think the deal ends. I think that Iran -- you know, then it depends how Iran reacts to that, but they haven`t reacted well so
far to the U.S. pulling out. They have been fairly restrained. The economic sanctions are starting to really hurt. I think it leads to the
increased level of tension and risk of conflict in the Gulf.
AMANPOUR: I just want to perhaps end by asking you, just recently a State Department career Foreign Service officer, Chuck Park, resigned in protest
against President Trump`s foreign policy agenda. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK PARK, FORMER U.S. FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER: If you`re a concerned American and you`re hoping that some elected official somewhere or a cabal
of a civil servant somewhere will resist this president and fight his policies from within the government, then you will be disappointed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, he resigned in protest. What is he trying to say about the policies? I mean -- and do you think that view is shared by a significant
number of people in the career foreign service?
LUKENS: Well, I think what he`s -- one of the points he`s trying to make is there`s no deep state. There`s this notion amongst people in this
administration that the civil servants, the Foreign Service and the State Department and other agencies are actively seeking to undermine the
president`s agenda, that`s not the case. The people I work with in the MC here, about a thousand people here are all dedicated civil service and
Foreign Service officers who are really committed to carrying out the president`s agenda, the administration`s agenda.
And we`ve all worked -- I`ve worked for five presidents. We all work across the administrations. So, I think the point he`s trying to make is
this notion that there`s a deep state is just not true. It`s just civil servants that are toiling along. And, you know, it`s a difficult decision
for someone like him resign from the Foreign Service and I think he`s making a point, it`s a very personal decision.
AMANPOUR: Yes. But he`s making the point, I think, correct me if I`m wrong, that there seems to be a shift away from traditional American
foreign policy. Now, some people might say what the president is doing about China is the right thing to do, and I don`t know what you think. But
in terms of multilateralism, you know, believing that allies and alliances are important rather than pesky restraints.
LUKENS: Yes. No, there`s been a shift in this administration, I mean, away from multilateral institutions, away from some of the core values that
we used to promote as Foreign Service officers, things like democracy and human rights. I mean, this president doesn`t seem to really care about
that. He`s very transactional and very focused on trade and the bottom line.
But administrations come and go and they all have their own tone and their own interests. And I think what we`re trained to do as civil servants is
to really do the best we can to carry out with some level of continuity the policies of our country.
AMANPOUR: OK. A yes or no answer. Can the institutions that you talk about survive eight years of the Trump administration?
LUKENS: I`m not sure. I think what we are seeing here is the talent drain and people who can`t do it anymore and leaving, and I think that does
weaken the institutions. If it`s six more years of Trump, I think we lose a lot more people.
AMANPOUR: Lewis Lukens, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
LUKENS: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now, it`s been two years since right-wing extremists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia in what became the largest eruption of white
supremist violence in a generation. Today, questions remain over why young people around the world are adopting far-right ideologies.
After dropping out of college, Caleb Cain, embraced white nationalism to find direction. But his journey into alt-right America did not happen at
rallies or protests, it took place in his bed room watching YouTube.
"New York Times" journalist, Kevin Roose, has been exploring the alt-right universe online and reporting on how people like Caleb are groomed. And
the two sat down with our Hari Sreenivasan to explain what it takes to embrace and then [13:20:00] to reject extremism in this digital age.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HARI SREENIVASAN, ANCHOR, PBS NEWSHOUR: Kevin Roose, Caleb Cain, thank you both for joining us. Kevin, you wrote an article about the making of a
YouTube radical that featured Caleb. And, Caleb, for people who haven`t read that article I kind of want to start with the basics. Where were you
in life when this all started?
CALEB CAIN, RADICALIZED BY ALT-RIGHT VIDEOS: Yes. So, I had a lot of depression. I wasn`t going to class. Dropped out of school. Ended up
back at home in West Virginia. And really was like beaten up and depressed about that. I felt like I had failed.
And I went to YouTube, a place that was comfortable for me, because I was spending a lot of time just lying in bed and watching stuff on the
internet. And I eventually found self-help videos and videos about psychology and neuroscience on YouTube and I went down this rabbit hole of
self-help and it led me to someone named Stefan Molyneux. And Stef`s videos were like a spark to kind of jolt me out of that. What I didn`t
realize was all the ideology that came with that.
SREENIVASAN: I want to just get an explanation. Who is Stefan for viewers who may not know him?
CAIN: Yes. So, Stefan Molyneux is a Canadian YouTuber and broadcaster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEFAN MOLYNEUX, CANADIAN BROADCAST AND YOUTUBER: The only thing that stands between the left and its takeover and subsequent horrors in the West
are white males, which is, of course -- which is why white males must be so demonized.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAIN: And he made his money back in the `90s, I think, with a tech company. And basically, he transitioned from that world into doing a
philosophy radio show.
CAIN: And it was a show -- a mixture of him giving therapy lessons and also inducting people into libertarian ideology. And his transition has
been very interesting. You know, we talk -- I talk a lot about the libertarian to alt-right pipeline, right. And he followed that trajectory,
you know, whether he radicalized himself or he`s just chasing a fan base that`s been pulled to the right. And so, he`s got a whole career, a whole
empire built on this philosophy show which is really just a propaganda outlet for, you know, right-wing beliefs, far-right beliefs in my opinion.
SREENIVASAN: So, is that something that you see? You`ve talked to a lot of people like him. What are the kind of common ingredients that these
individuals have before they get into the rabbit hole?
KEVIN ROOSE, NEW YORK TIMES TECH COLUMNIST: Yes. I think that -- I have talked to a lot of people who I would categorize as extremists, people who
have sort of far-right ideology. And I`d say like 75 percent of them easily got started on YouTube. And they were -- there are some patterns.
You see people who are sort of young, who, you know, are not super comfortable where they`re living, geographically, they don`t have a ton of
friends where they are. They`re spending a lot of time on the internet. Maybe things aren`t going so well for them economically or in their life.
And there`s this whole sort of network of YouTube creators who have gotten very good and very savvy at speaking to those people.
SREENIVASAN: So, you`re personally struggling and you`re looking to YouTube for self-help, which is admirable, right? You wanted to try to
improve your situation. But what was it about these characters that you found online that resonated with you?
CAIN: I grew up around a lot of racists, you know, people that would openly say slurs and have ideas about people. But I always I fought
against that. And so, it was strange to me how I fell into these beliefs. What really gravitated me towards it and what a lot of, as you were saying,
as Kevin was saying, what a lot of these people have in common, these YouTube content creators, is they set themselves up as authority figures
and more importantly, they set themselves up as father figures. And a lot of people looked up to these people.
Stef was a father figure to me. It`s something that I was actually kind of conscious of during this whole period. Jordan Peterson, you know, I
wouldn`t put Jordan Peterson the camp of the far-right, but Jordan Peterson is another figure like that. Even Jared Taylor and David Duke have this
kind of old uncle vibe to them and I think people are drawn to that, a lot of young men that find themselves kind of distraught and lost in life. And
they look for something to structure themselves.
And they feel like in today`s society, they don`t have that. We don`t have a lot of organized religion, we don`t have a lot of, you know, bonds in our
society. And so, they turn to people online that offer that to them through rhetoric and ideology.
SREENIVASAN: So, we`ve got two of those ingredients here, a kid that`s lonely and looking for help, you got these personalities that are
compelling and offer them structure and then comes YouTube. And really the algorithm that suggests the next video you should watch.
ROOSE: Yes. I think people have an idea that YouTube is just a place that hosts videos. But the core of YouTube is really this kind of
recommendations algorithm that shows people videos that, you know, you might also like. If you`re watching this video you might like these five
other ones and then it auto plays after the video you`re watching finishes.
And that single algorithm is responsible for something like 70 percent of the time that people spend on YouTube. So, that`s really the heart of
[13:25:00] YouTube, is this algorithm. And it`s been through a lot of changes. So, it started off just sort of basically, you know, if you are
watching one basketball video it will show you another basketball video.
ROOSE: But then Google started improving it using artificial intelligence and really put some engineering muscle behind it and really made it quite
good at discovering how to keep people on YouTube for longer.
SREENIVASAN: Because the longer they stay the more ads they get to show you and that means the company makes money.
ROOSE: Exactly. So, they make more money the longer people watch. And in an effort to get people to stay on the site more, they started directing
people through this algorithm down kind of these rabbit holes that were filled with long, you know, emotionally intense videos. They were driven
by conflict and sort of ideological, you know, conversation and news. And so, they never meant to do this. This was not programmed into the
algorithm but it was a huge boost to people like Stefan Molineaux and some of the others creators that Caleb started watching. They were getting
millions of views through this algorithm that learned to kind of detect what could keep watching for the longest amount of time.
SREENIVASAN: So, as a creator, they could basically game it so that they understood what was valued and what would give them more views, so they
start creating more contents that way and then just kind of feeds on itself.
ROOSE: Yes. Exactly. They learn that conflict sells on YouTube. They learn that certain ideologies are attractive to people on YouTube and they
learn how to sort of talk about the things that people want to hear about. They are very smart at this. And they don`t have a lot of competition
because there aren`t many people turning out, you know, hours and hours` worth of YouTube content every day.
And for someone like Caleb who, you know, I think probably watched -- at some point, you know, you were watching, what, six, seven, eight hours of
YouTube a day?
CAIN: More than that.
ROOSE: So, somebody has to start of fill that bucket and these people were more than willing to do that.
SREENIVASAN: So, for his story, you laid out your entire YouTube history over a period of years for him.
CAIN: That was very brave.
ROOSE: It is, right.
SREENIVASAN: You literally had an idea and a look into every single video that you watched.
SREENIVASAN: Didn`t your family, your friends start to say, "Hey, man, what`s going on? You`re spending more time on your laptop than hanging out
CAIN: I mean, with my family, I`m disconnected from a lot of them and with my friends, I mean, the friends that I was talking to at the time, I have
some -- you know, you have internet friends and you have your -- you know, your real life friends. And both of those mixtures were people that kind
of shared my beliefs.
So, when we would talk about stuff like it didn`t seem weird that, oh, you know, that I watched a lot of YouTube or that I had these beliefs. And
even the people -- you know, the person I was dating at the time, I don`t think that she was very fully aware of like what I was really, you know,
watching and how much of it I was watching. So, no, nobody ever stopped and said, "Hey, like you`re watching a lot of YouTube."
SREENIVASAN: But what`s the message that was piercing through to you? What made you connect to somebody there and say, "Yes, I want to see more
of what this person has to say?"
CAIN: So, there`s this concept of the red pill. And it`s taken from the movie "The Matrix" where Neo lives in a fantasy world, a simulated computer
simulation. And he is offered the red pill to basically wake him up from the false reality and to see the world for what it really is. So, when you
start -- the way these ideas are presented to you is that these are the uncomfortable truths that you`re not willing to deal with.
The fact that there are racial disparities, there are income disparities, crime disparities and IQ disparities between races and that`s it`s in an
hierarchy, this is, you know, an objective truth that you have to deal with. Never mind all the -- you know, the ways that people are, you know,
kind of trained in to things, you know, socialized into things, never mind economics and all that stuff. Something like race realism is explained to
you that this is biology, this is the way it is, the differences are genetic and if you want to be in line with reality, an objective truth,
then you have to deal with the truth. You can`t live off in liberal fantasy land.
SREENIVASAN: So, they`re exposing you to the secret or a reality you haven`t --
SREENIVASAN: -- been privy to yet but they`re showing you the light.
CAIN: It`s a hidden knowledge and that`s exactly what it feels like. It feels like you`re going into this deep cave to discover hidden knowledge,
except at the bottom of the cave is Nazi gold, not some, you know, universal truth. What`s at the bottom of the rabbit hole is literally Nazi
ideology but it`s not that packaged that way. It`s a slow drip. They slowly drip feed you these ideologies and they tell all along the way that
you`re doing the right thing, you`re being objective, you`re being logical. And it`s a mixture of using narrative and rhetoric to slowly bring you to
do white nationalism.
SREENIVASAN: By the end of it, what was the most dangerous thing you were casually believing?
CAIN: Well, I would say the race realism was one of the more intense things. I believe that there is a feminist plot that feminism, whether
guided or unguided, was a plot to emasculate men.
I thought the transgender movement or however you want to describe it was a plot to emasculate men. I thought that Muslims were invading Europe
through the 2015migrant crisis, that they were coming in en masse to invade the country and demographically replace people.
At the bottom of it, I was listening to people like Jared Taylor who I later learned that guy goes back decades of promoting you know white
nationalist and white supremacist propaganda. So that was like the bottom of the barrel for me from my experience.
SREENIVASAN: So Kevin, YouTube is going to say, "You know what, we are not in the business of picking winners and losers, we don`t sit there and say
let`s amp up this video and let`s vote this video down." Is that accurate?
ROOSE: It is accurate to say that I don`t think anyone is accusing YouTube of programming into their algorithm, you know, boost this Nazi video. I
don`t think anyone feels like that`s what`s going on behind the scenes.
But what is going on behind the scenes is that the algorithm is learning what people want and what people will watch, if you put it in front of
them. And what we`re learning is that that doesn`t always bring out the best in people.
People, you know, they want this sort of secret knowledge. If you tell them -- if you give them a choice between two videos and one of them says
the moon landing happened and one of them says here`s why the moon landing didn`t happen, which one do you think they`re going to click on?
So the algorithm in some ways is training itself on the biases of humans which are toward conflict, which are toward conspiracy. But there were
signs early on that the company chose not to act on that people like Alex Jones, people like Stefan Molyneux, people who are in this more extreme
camp, were being amplified through this algorithm and they didn`t act on it until very recently.
SREENIVASAN: So what did they do?
ROOSE: So they`ve said that they`ve changed the recommendations, algorithm slightly so that it`s not recommending as many conspiracy theories. They
have taken a lot of sort of blatant white nationalism off the platform so they`re trying to clean themselves up.
But even as recently as this year, they have been making changes to the algorithm that are sort of refining it further. They`re becoming better at
determining what will keep people on YouTube for longer because ultimately, that`s the way they make money.
SREENIVASAN: But Caleb, what`s the advantage that the far-right has that the far left doesn`t? Why has that ideology spread so quickly and taken a
route in these places where the counterweight hasn`t gotten up and challenged it?
CAIN: I think like what the far left -- like when you start -- at least with a lot of leftists that I talked to, we`re talking past liberals at
this point, further left than not obviously, it`s not an easy sell. It`s not a message that you can sell so easily.
The thing with the far right is it`s dominating a certain sub-sec of society right now, right. It`s usually a straight white guy, young.
They`re 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. And usually, most of them operate within that range of Generation Z to Millennials.
And I think that you have a lot of compounding factors. You had the 2008 financial crisis hit. You`ve -- we have had a lot of cultural changes and
what the far right does that the far left doesn`t do is the far right gives you something to strive towards.
It gives you like this golden ideal in your head of self-improvement, of fixing your society, of having this, you know, grand vision for the future.
Whereas the far left is more focused on deconstructing the problems we`re facing right now. It doesn`t have the same sort of narrative that I think
pulls people into the far right.
ROOSE: I think one thing that I have sort of learned through talking to Caleb is the extent to which like the right has sort of captured this kind
of countercultural idea. One thing that really stuck out to me about your story is that when you were in high school, before this sort of YouTube
thing hit, you were really into sort of punk and, you know, Michael Moore documentaries and sort of like going against the grain of your high school.
And I think, you know, that was during the Obama years. And now I think during the Trump years like there`s this movement of people that have come
to see being very conservative, being far-right as sort of punk and edgy. It attracts the part of I think a lot of young men you know who see the
establishment, you know, [13:35:00] doing one thing and wants to do the exact opposite.
SREENIVASAN: What was the final straw that made you realize you have gone too far and this is not for you?
CAIN: There wasn`t one moment. Deradicalization is a process, but there were moments along the way. You know, one moment I remember is when I
watched Natalie win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NATALIE: I live in constant fear and fear is what freedom is all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAIN: The creator of the YouTube page Counterpoints, she did a video Deconstructing the Alt-Right or Decrypting the Alt-Right. And when she
explained to me that cultural Marxism, a belief that I had held that communists were subverting our institutions, they were invading Hollywood
and invading academia to transform America into a communist country, when I learned that that was just a repackaged Nazi conspiracy theory, that it was
the Jewish conspiracy that Jews controlled the world, that was a watershed moment for me.
ROOSE: If you got through his YouTube history and watch 12,000 -- I did, I sifted through 12,000 of your YouTube videos. You can see that the thing
that brought him out is not that, you know, some teacher, you know, from his school intervened or, you know, an adult in his life or a friend.
It was people who understood the language and the culture of YouTube, who were getting into his algorithm by making videos on the same subjects with
the same sort.
CAIN: Yes. Yes. There`s no direction to the ideologies on YouTube. You can get pulled out of it just as easily as you could get pushed into it.
It`s all about chance. And that`s kind of what freaks me about it is it`s pretty random.
SREENIVASAN: When you see events like the one that just happened in El Paso, how does something like that fit into what you have just been
CAIN: It`s just showing the ultimate manifestation of this stuff. It`s showing the logical conclusion.
If you believe in the great replacement, if you believe that white people are being displaced in their societies, and that brown people coming in are
invaders, what`s the logical conclusion of that? This is a conspiratorial way of thinking that I think that a massacre is like the logical conclusion
or conspiracy theorist.
SREENIVASAN: And is it working in that way?
ROOSE: Yes. I think there`s a real danger here. I think for a long time the things that happened online were not taken as seriously because they
were happening online. It was sort of like, that`s just the Internet.
And so for years now, these movements have been building traction, have been building support, have been ramping up their rhetoric and their
ideology. And we`re just now kind of looking and seeing like oh, maybe we should have paid attention to that when it was smaller when it was gaining
steam. Because now, it`s now a pattern where you see these young men who have been radicalized online going out and committing acts of mass
SREENIVASAN: How do we fix this?
CAIN: We can game algorithms. We can demonetize and deplatform. We can do these things all day long but white nationalism stems from problems in
our society, problems that are deeply embedded in our society.
Yes, racism is a thing that we have to fix, but it`s also it comes down to material things. It comes down to we need an economy that helps everyone.
It`s no coincidence that I was from West Virginia, in a disenfranchised community and I fell into this. People gravitate to these things because
they`re searching for something.
They`re searching for identity. They`re searching for comfortability. They`re searching community.
And you have to offer that to people. I don`t know how we offer that exactly but I at least know that you can give people health care. You can
give people education. You can give people access to opportunities so that they don`t spend all their time behind a computer screen and they get
sucked into it.
If these people had things in their lives, opportunities in their lives that they were out in the world working and building a future for
themselves and they felt like they had a future to look forward to, I don`t think that they would need white nationalism.
SREENIVASAN: Caleb Cain, Kevin Roose, thank you both.
ROOSE: Thank you for having us.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: So there`s Caleb talking from experience about some of the issues that are at stake here. And we`ll continue to monitor this
phenomenon and look for deterrence to this white nationalism outbreak.
But now, we`re turning to an upbeat look at a downbeat subject. Death or more specifically our attitudes towards death and dying.
A new documentary out this week on "HBO" called Alternate Endings, Six New Ways to Die in America introduces us to a group of people nearing death and
to their family members as they choose nontraditional options for navigating the end of life.
It`s an inspiring look of how to take control of what happens when we die and how to [13:40:00] celebrate death for our loved ones and even
ourselves. Filmmakers Perri Peltz and Matthew O`Neill are joining me from New York. And welcome to the program.
PERRI PELTZ, CO-DIRECTOR & CO-PRODUCER, ALTERNATE ENDINGS: Thank you so much and thank you for having us on the program.
AMANPOUR: Well, I`ll tell you, it is an unusual topic.
So Perri, let me ask you first. Why did you choose it? What was happening around you that just even made you focus on this?
PELTZ: You know, it`s a great question and people ask that question a lot. It started actually as a film, a documentary about longevity. And at the
time, Sheila Nevins who was president of the HBO documentary films after a couple of months of looking at longevity as a topic said, "You know what,
we`re taking our eye off the ball. We are all going to die. We`re not talking about dying and the truth is a lot of people are talking about
longevity and the different ways to stay alive."
And that`s how it happened. We made a shift then.
AMANPOUR: And Matthew, let me ask you. What was it about the way people either were not talking about it or their notions, the tradition of how
people die and how families talk about it and deal with it right down to funerals that you focused on?
MATTHEW O`NEILL, CO-DIRECTOR & CO-PRODUCER, ALTERNATE ENDINGS: Well, in so many ways, death is the final taboo. I mean we can talk about almost
anything on television, over the dinner table.
We can talk about sex. We can talk about drugs. But everyone is afraid of death.
And death is something we`re all going to have to deal with and have to embrace because it`s inevitable. And what you see in these six stories
that are shown in the film is individuals who are approaching the end of life with the consciousness and intentionality that really differentiates
them from what I think is the norm.
And it`s people who are thinking about death as a part of life. And when you approach death that way, it`s in some ways more peaceful, easier for I
think the person who is dying and for the people around them.
AMANPOUR: Yes, it`s a bit like flipping a switch I guess. I mean you can choose to look at something one way or another way.
And I was stunned to read that even in New York City apparently there are these things called death cafes where people congregate to talk about these
issues. So you focus as you said on six different stories.
I`m going to play a little clip of a guy called Guadalupe. He`s in a wheelchair.
We see him and he`s talking about a living wake or a living memorial and he`s surrounded by his family. So let`s play the clip and then we`ll chat
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUADALUPE: It`s a wonderful day because I see everybody around me. And I love it when all of my family is around me. Especially I have some
grandkids and great-grandkids.
They`re the most important things in my life. I`m going to feel great. I want to feel like the luckiest person in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bingo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say louder, bingo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bingo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So Perri, what is actually a living wake? I mean what will happen or what is happening right there?
PELTZ: I mean, Christiane, how many times have you been to a funeral and thought oh my gosh, so and so would have loved to have heard what people
were saying. And the idea behind the living wake is an opportunity so that you can say goodbye to your family and to your friends in a way that may
sound morose and morbid but it`s not.
It`s an opportunity to celebrate, celebrate life, and to be able to say goodbye to the people who you love and just to acknowledge the wonderful
Cuevas family. A documentary is really only as good as the stories that you get to tell.
And we are so humbled and privileged by the families whose stories we got to share and the Cuevas were wonderful.
AMANPOUR: And how do the family deal, not just with you, but those children for instance? I don`t know how much they understood about what
was going on but even some of the slightly older members of the family. How do they deal with this?
O`NEILL: Well, I think this is part of a sea change you`re seeing in American culture. And the Cuevas family is deeply religious, Mexican-
American Catholic family and the living wake is actually held in the basement of the parish church that they`ve been members of for decades and
But it is so different than the traditional Catholic traditions around death. And you are seeing that change in the culture because people are
more and more aware of the end of life and to a certain degree with the change in medicine can predict it.
Mr. Cuevas knew that he was dying. His family knew that he was dying. They knew that the end was near.
So and having a [13:45:00] celebration and a moment to take stock and be all together rather than have everyone come in from all around the country
to be there for the funeral, they were able to come in from all around the country and be there for the living wake and actually be there with
AMANPOUR: So look, that`s really interesting and it`s slightly less controversial than another story that you focused on. Dick Shannon who
also is terminally ill and we see a clip with his wife and they talk about end of life medicines and drugs. I mean that`s essentially taking your own
And in many parts of the world, it`s not sanctioned, it`s not allowed. It is very, very rare. I guess in a few states in America you can do that.
But let`s just play this little clip and let`s talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK SHANNON: This is a little box of end of life medications. We have been keeping this up in our closet for safety purposes.
So here`s the recipe, what we should mix, how it`s to be taken. And this is the morphine combination.
When I get to the point where I`m either bedridden, chair ridden, I`ll be able to use this set of medicines to end my life in a way that I choose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It is quite profound. It`s really -- you know, it`s hard I`m sure for a lot of people to see somebody making that choice and that it`s
legal and allowed, sort of like a cocktail of drugs. And I think for a lot of people, it`s controversial.
But you chose to show the entire process. I mean you were with him as he actually died. I mean that`s a pretty rare thing.
How much -- well, how did it go and what kind of conversations do you have to have about whether you can actually show that, Perri?
PELTZ: You know, Christiane, we were with the Shannon`s for more than a year and it was a process and the decision about how we were going to film
or not film his death was an evolving conversation and one that went on for some time.
It was Dick Shannon`s choice and he very very much wanted the opportunity to share with the American public, the viewing public that this is what it
looks like. This is what it looks like to take these medications.
He felt very strongly that this was his decision, his choice, and that he wanted his life to come to an end at a point that made sense for him and
for his family. He didn`t want to get to the point where he was so sick, that he became a burden to his family and couldn`t do the things that he
Christiane, he was terminally ill. He was going to die. Whether it was that week or that month or several weeks after that. He was very close to
the end of life.
It was a big decision. And obviously being there at such an intimate moment is something that you don`t take lightly. But this was Dick Shannon
and his family`s choice.
AMANPOUR: And neither they and all the camera flinched. So I`m just wondering, Matt, how -- do you know numbers, for instance, how many
Americans are choosing this route and even the route of living memorials, living wakes and things? I mean in other words, is this a growing number?
O`NEILL: So what`s changing in American society right now, just on August 1st, New Jersey became the eighth state where medical aid and dying is
legal. And that means that more than 70 million Americans now live in states or municipalities including the District of Columbia where you can
access medical aid and die.
California passed the legislation two years ago. And to a certain degree as goes California so goes the country.
This is something that`s changing in our society and I think more and more people will avail themselves to it. It`s important -- it`s not taking your
own life as much as it is hastening your death.
And I think that`s really important to understand. In our experience with Dick Shannon, there was no one who wanted to live more than Dick Did and he
fought after he was given a terminal diagnosis for more than two years, exhausting every possibility of what could extend his life. And when he
was facing the very end, that was when he chose to avail himself to medical aid and dying.
AMANPOUR: And really interestingly in the whole sort of sorry to say business angle of death, the whole end of life burial process is changing
as well commercially because it turns out that cremations have now overtaken burials in America. And [13:50:00] how is that affecting -- I`m
afraid to say the death industry or the burial industry, the funeral industry?
PELTZ: The death -- the funeral industry is being disrupted in a very significant way. Christiane, you pointed out that data that last year
cremation surpassed a funeral, a burial in the ground so it is being disrupted.
And Matt and I spent the beginning of the film when you see us actually at the convention which your viewers are looking at now and you can see all of
the different choices. Because people want to be buried now in a way that is more consistent with the way that they lived their lives.
It`s not one-stop shopping, it`s not one size fits all that you die and you go into a coffin and you`re buried in the ground. There are ways --
different ways or alternate endings in which that you can choose to have your burial and to choose the way that you want your life to come to -- or
to be celebrated at the end of life.
So the funeral industry is being disrupted in a very, very significant way. And what we hope is that this film will allow a discussion so that you
don`t wait until the very last minute or after the very last minute so that there`s no choice in the way that you celebrate the end of your life.
AMANPOUR: And I think some of the very uplifting stories, somewhat amusing also, is people are getting much more eco-conscious, ecofriendly in how
they`re buried, ended, funeral, all the rest of it. Tell us a couple of the stories that you profile. You know, like scattering ashes in a certain
place or even making a reef I think out of some of the remains.
O`NEILL: So one of the things that I discovered during this process was that phrase six feet under, right, like the famous HBO show. Six feet
under, your body doesn`t decompose. You`re too deep. You`re not at a level -- if you`re buried in a casket and pumped full of formaldehyde,
you`re not returning to the earth and I always assume that you did.
And what you see in this film is the new trend of green burials and green burials whereas instead of using all of the chemicals and the resources
that go into a traditional ground burial, the body is simply wrapped in a shroud and buried in a shallow grave.
And in the case of Barbara Jean Simon, a tree is planted in the park where she`s buried. The other ecofriendly story in our film is burial reef which
is where you can have your ashes mixed with a reef-building material that`s sunk into the ocean so that you can help rebuild the coral reefs.
And there are these innovative ways that people are giving an extra layer of meaning to the end of life and an extra layer of meaning to the way in
which they`re remembered.
AMANPOUR: Well, listen, you are making me think about how I want to deal with the end and I think these issues are really, really interesting and
attractive. Did you end up both of you changing your opinions, making decisions about end of life or alternate ways as you have called your
PELTZ: It`s a good question. And I think that I can say that both of us don`t plan on dying.
PELTZ: Right, exactly.
AMANPOUR: Hang on. We`ve just said these things happen. We have to be talking about it.
PELTZ: Right, exactly. Exactly. And you`re right, we do.
And I think that at least for me, what has changed is a willingness to have the conversation. And until this point, I was definitely somebody who said
like no no no, we don`t need to talk about this, when it came to discussions with my family members.
And I think that what`s happened to me is that at least the ability to embrace the idea that death is part of life and it is something that`s
happening. And by not talking about it doesn`t make it go away and we can`t just push this to the side.
Having conversations about it is helpful and will lead to more control and a way of being buried and terminating a life in a way that is consistent
with the values in which you lived your life.
AMANPOUR: And in the last few seconds that we have, Matt, just tell us about this little 5-year-old whose parents threw a party after he died,
O`NEILL: Sure. Gary had cancer and when he was dying asked that they didn`t have a funeral but instead a celebration and he asked for bouncy
castles and he asked for superheroes. And as you see in the film, his parents embraced that.
And if there`s one set of circumstances that gives me inspiration in terms of understanding, that we can each choose and do death our own way and the
way that brings the most peace to our loved ones and the most peace to our family, it`s that one. Because his parents are able to embrace that and
teach us all a lesson [13:55:00] about life.
AMANPOUR: Well, it`s indeed very, very thought-provoking. Ultimate endings. Perri, Matt, thank you so much indeed.
And that is it for us tonight. You can always watch us online on amanpour.com and you can always follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks