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French President Macros Announces New Lockdown as Country Battles Second Wave of Coronavirus; 60 Minutes Interview that President Trump Cut Short; Nearly Half a Million Tested Positive for COVID in U.S.; Third Time Lucky for Joe Biden?; Evan Osnos, Author, "Joe Biden: The Life, the Run and What Matters Now, is Interviewed About Joe Biden; "Men Who Hate Women," a Book About Everyday Sexism; Laura Bates, Founder, Everyday Sexism Project, is Interviewed About Sexism and Misogyny. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 26, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Biden's starkly different message of unity for a nation divided under Trump. I ask, Evan Osnos, about the new Biden biography and whether
its third time lucky for this Democratic candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA BATES, FOUNDER, EVERYDAY SEXISM PROJECT: We are talking about a very serious offline threat in terms of the number of women who have been killed
by these men.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Not just everyday sexism, but radicalized misogyny. I talk to activist and writer, Laura Bates, about her new book, "Men Who Hate Women."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN ZIRINSKY, SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CBC NEWS: We're at the press sis of one of the most important elections of our time. No one knows how
this race is going to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Our Walter Isaacson speaks to the only female network news chief, Susan Zirinsky of CBS, about getting ready for a very different kind
of election least night.
Welcome to the program, everyone, I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
President Trump's closing argument to voters, we're ending the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an actual press release from the White House office of
science and technology policy. And it reads a little like president George W. Bush declaring mission accomplished in Iraq back in 2003, which the
former president came to bitterly regret, not least because the nation is still at war and U.S. forces are still there.
It's a lesson in politics versus reality, as the pandemic rages on. Nearly 230,000 Americans are dead and a record nearly half a million have tested
positive for COVID in the last week alone. Leaving the Unites States with the highest casualty level in the world. The magnitude of which President
Trump continues to deny, with falsehoods and misinformation at his rallies, like in Wisconsin, where he claimed the Unites States is doing well paired
to other nations. This also is not true. Although Europe is confronting a vicious second wave.
And Americans from all sides are taking note. With just a week to go to election day, they are voting early in record numbers. Could it be third
time lucky for the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden? Few have covered him as intensively as my first guest tonight, Evan Osnos is a
journalist and staff writer at "The New Yorker" and his new biography, "Joe Biden," is an intimate look at the tragedies, the dashed hopes and all the
life experience that have shaped the man behind the public persona. Evan Osnos is joining us now from Washington, D.C.
And welcome to the program.
I mean, your book really does go through his life and we'll get to it, but he has, you know, got there and then not decided to make the run. What do
you think it is about now that makes him the candidate poised to potentially win, but certainly to be the Democratic presidential hopeful?
EVAN OSNOS, AUTHOR, "JOE BIDEN: THE LIFE, THE RUN AND WHAT MATTERS NOW: Well, Christiane, you know, I was as interested as his failures in life,
frankly, his disappointments, his setbacks, as I am in his achievements.
And one of his friends said to me at one point, if you ask me who the unluckiest person I know is, it's Joe Biden. If you ask me who the luckiest
person I know is, it's Joe Biden. And in many ways, you have to understand that combination of wins and losses to understand what shaped him, what
makes his mind work, how he thinks about things.
And I mean, to give you an example, if you go back, there are pieces of his story we don't often talk about that are quite telling, actually. If you go
back to his early year in the Senate, when he got there in 1973, he was one of the youngest members ever, he was only 29 when he was elected. 30 when
he joins the Congress. And people didn't take him all that seriously. And he got up in an early speech, talked about a subject he didn't really know
well. Oil wells, it turned out. And somebody challenged him. They said, Senator Biden, do you know anything about oil wells? And that experience
sort of changed him. He went back to his staff, and he said, I never want to be embarrassed like that again. I never want to be caught out talking
about something that I don't understand. And he became known for this kind of furious level of preparation and he started to study up.
And another congressman, the late Stephen Solarz, has once mentioned that he came to the Senate late one night, everybody had gone home and he heard
somebody talking in the well of the Senate. He was holding the fort like he was in the Roman coliseum, though nobody was there, and he said it was Joe
Biden and he was, as Solarz said, practicing it like a tennis pro.
And I think there is, in Joe Biden's story, a kind of, what I would call a sort of productive insecurity, wanting to learn more, wanting to correct
his own mistakes.
AMANPOUR: And, Evan, what then keeps him in the arena? All of this, you said, we'll drill down on some of it in a second, but, you know, he's 77
and it wasn't obvious, he wasn't an immediate to be a candidate who presented himself for the Democratic primaries, I think he was quite late
getting into that. What keeps him in the arena?
OSNOS: You know, he didn't think he was going to run for president again. At the end of 2016, his son, Beau, had died, Barack Obama had given his
support in effect to Hillary Clinton to become the first woman president, a pathbreaker much like Obama had been. And Biden was in retirement. And he
saw Donald Trump say about those white supremacists in Charlottesville that they were very fine people on both sides. And from Biden's perspective, it
was a kind of moral emergency.
This was not a hard question. He was convinced that he had a strong candidacy if he chose to step forward and he was worried that other
Democrats couldn't do it. He looked at the Democratic field, it was distributed across a broad spectrum and he was afraid about the possibility
of four more years of Donald Trump. And so, he put his name in the ring.
AMANPOUR: And as you say, you know, the way he launched, he ended as well here. Here are the two soundbites. I mean, he launched in April 2019, kind
of late, as you said, and just recently, he said the same thing. Let's just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wrote at the time that we're in the battle for the soul of this nation. Well, that's even more true today.
We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.
I started this campaign saying we're in the battle for the soul of the nation. I believe that even more deeply today. Who we are, what we stand
for, maybe most importantly, who we're going to be, it's all at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, he's sticking to that message. Do you think that is going to be the closing argument for the American people, the battle for the soul of
the nation or is it COVID, is it the deaths that they're seeing mounting up, is it the sheer fear of this virus that has been mishandled?
OSNOS: I'd say it's two-fold. Some of that message remains as true today as it was the day he launched. He fundamentally believes that this is a
choice for the American people, do we want to go down a road that is about divisiveness, this kind of toxic politics which Donald Trump has, of
course, ridden to victory, or do we want to return to something or perhaps move forward into something that is basically, to use a clear word, about
Frankly, just about the fundamental idea that politics does not need to be blood sport. That there may be a ground for common -- for collaboration,
for consensus. But there's another piece of this, which is that since Donald Trump -- sorry, since Biden entered the race, this has also become a
campaign about competence, about the basic ability to use the Unites States government to protect the lives of its people. And Joe Biden didn't get
into this race saying that he saw it as a transformative moment in order to make fundamental change, but in some ways, those circumstances have been
thrust upon him and he now sees it as a chance to say, look, we need to remind people that government is not only a force for good if it's done
right, but it's a most basic level of protection that we have as citizens. And right now, this president, as Biden would say, is failing us.
AMANPOUR: Evan, you know, you can see, I mean, Biden does empathy really well. That's almost his calling card and everybody talks about it. He
clearly comes from all the tragedies he's had in his life, not only that, his own near-death experience. You write and you start the book with
something that hasn't got a huge amount of attention, at least not now, the aneurysm he suffered in 1988, that fact that he was delivered the last
rites, he's a Roman Catholic, on his hospital bed in Delaware.
Obviously, the tragedy of his family, his wife and young family, you know, being killed in the car crash. Beau, his death. That has shaped him,
presumably, brought him to this moment, when the whole nation is in grief, not to mention the whole world with this pandemic.
OSNOS: It really has. You know, I have to say, Christiane, you and I, people who pay attention to politics, we sometimes tend to write off things
like empathy. It sounds like the kind of soft prop that a politician uses to try to connect with voters. Joe Biden's life is frankly just very
different than other people at the top of American politics. Most people who get to the Senate or they get to the presidency have had, in one form
or another, a series of unimpeded steps of progress. Joe Biden has not. He has suffered this very personal acquaintance with loss. And it becomes
almost a metaphor for where the country is.
We are a people that are literally grieving right now. And to have somebody in the presidency perhaps who understands what that means is more than just
an abstract political gambit. It is actually an indication of how he thinks about the ability to help people and whether or not it's even worth trying.
You know, over and over, as I went about the research for this book, I would encounter people on all sides of the aisle, not his friends
necessarily, often times Republicans, who would tell me stories about the time that he picked up the phone to call their mother after the death of
their father or something like that. There are these tiny little moments of behind the scenes political, just humanity, that has been a part of his
background, and it explains part of the reason, ultimately, I think, why Democrats coalesced around him. Because a lot of Democratic leaders, even
if they disagree with him on policy, they agree with him as just on the basis of being a decent human being.
AMANPOUR: And you write something that is really affecting. You got his personal note, his diary, after Beau died, Biden wrote, it happened. My
God, my boy. My beautiful boy. You know, I think every human being can relate to that kind of simple heartbreak. And I just wonder whether that is
also part of what charges him on right now.
You write about how much he changed after the death of Beau, that it wasn't, you know, just a career, it wasn't just, you know, politics
anymore, it was something much deeper than that.
OSNOS: Yes, this is -- you know, in many ways, this book is a character study. It's a study of this character, Joe Biden, and, of course,
implicitly, of his opponent. And the death of Beau Biden was really an extraordinary moment. Joe Biden and Beau Biden were more than just father
and son, they were extraordinarily close. Biden used to tell friends that his son, Beau, had all of his best qualities and none of his worse. I mean,
their friends would call Beau Biden Joe Biden 2.0.
His son, of course, was the attorney general of Delaware and then died of a brain tumor leaving behind a family. Somebody who has worked with them, who
is close to Joe Biden said to me, frankly, Beau Biden's death killed off the arrogant side of Joe Biden. And it's a bit of a harsh way to describe
it but I think it's a true statement. It quieted him. As this person said, it made him a more reflective person. More of a listener. Less of a talker.
And I think you see that today. He is a person who is prepared to meet this moment in the sense that he sees where the country is. And he is trying, in
a very serious way, to meet that moment.
And that's the word, Christiane, that leaps to the surface with me. He is a serious man at this point in his life. He hasn't always been. And he has
sort of matured into that.
AMANPOUR: So, that's really interesting. And, you know, you talk about how all the other Democrats, pretty much dropped out pretty quickly and
embraced him after South Carolina, obviously he went into a really serious, you know, meeting of policy, a little bit, with Bernie Sanders, he reached
out, they drafted, you know, some major policy that might appeal to both wings of the Democratic Party. And weirdly, I guess, counter intuitively,
he campaigned for the primaries as a moderate but he's moved more to the progressive side.
Do you think that is also genuine? Is he really understanding that people don't want to see that, you know, repeat of that crime bill of 1994, that
they want to see progress on climate, they want their health care, they want, you know, more civility and more, you know, bipartisan bipartisanship
OSNOS: You know, I was contending with an interesting question. I think one that you're posing, a lot of us wonder, which is, if Joe Biden began
this candidacy as a centrist and then later started to talk about himself in the spirit of FDR, well, which is it? Which was -- which is the man
here? And I, for the book, I spoke to Barack Obama about Biden and I asked Obama that, I said, how is it that he has taken this turn to the left? And
he said, it's not that Joe Biden has changed. It's that the circumstances have changed in such a dramatic way. The combination of COVID and the sheer
catastrophe that the economy is contending with, have brought Joe Biden, in a sense, to the point of recognizing that this is the moment for ambitious
Now, I think what has not changed is that his approach to governing is fundamentally the same. He is, to the core, a believer in the idea that you
can fashion some sort of compromise. Now, compromise is a bad word for some people these days. Not in Joe Biden's political vocabulary and not in
Barack Obama's political vocabulary. That's what they believe in.
AMANPOUR: So, I mean, you paint this portrait of a very decent man, motivated by all the right things. But this is America, it's a deeply
partisan, poisonous political environment. You've got a Supreme Court now which is 6-3 tilted towards the conservatives. You know, who knows what's
going to happen on election day, even if Biden wins the presidency. Is there any real hope that he could try to knit the country back together? I
mean, is that even possible or is it now two different countries?
OSNOS: Well, I think that, look, he is calling for unity, which is a bit of, sort of ordinary politics. If he finds himself in the role of
governing, he faces, obviously, a much more polarized environment than FDR ever faced. But the truth is that he is also not naive. He didn't get to
this point and his advisers did not get to this point on being on the cusp of history by having a naive conception of politics. And the way they
described it to me is, look, our hope is that some Republicans, once we banish Trump from the scene, will begin to reimagine their own interests.
They'll see where things are going. That even Republicans backed away from this president and that they begin to find a new path.
But if they don't, well, then they will use, as one adviser put it to me, the scorched earth approach. And that is quite a seasoned playbook. They
know how to use reconciliation, how to get things done, and, of course, they are prepared, if necessary, to get rid of the filibuster. But before
they say they're going to, they are willing to try to meet on common ground, and they hope to.
AMANPOUR: Evan Osnos, thank you very much, indeed. Joe Biden.
Now, one group that propelled Donald Trump to victory in 2016 were white men. Many of whom argue that they've been ignored and disenfranchised. And
around the world, the issue of gender equality and male victimhood is being weaponized in both politics and public life.
Laura Bates is a writer and a feminist who is studying the impact of this toxic masculinity up close. Following up on her important work which
documents everyday sexism, her new book, "Men Who Hate Women," takes audiences behind the curtain of gender warfare to expose communities of
extreme misogyny in which man are being taught to both hate and punish women. I spoke to Laura from her home in London. And a warning to viewers
that this conversation deals with difficult subjects, including violence and rape.
Laura Bates, welcome to the program.
LAURA BATES, FOUNDER, EVERYDAY SEXISM PROJECT: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Laura, the title of your book is really quite worrying and actually frightening. I mean, it's called "Men Who Hate Women." There's no
ifs, ands or buts about it, no qualifiers. What made you write that book and what is the nut graph, so to speak, in what you are trying to impart?
BATES: Well, I suppose it's important that the book is called "Men Who Hate Women" and not "Men Hate Women." So, we are talking about a very
specific small group of men. Of course, this isn't about all men. I started writing the book because I was aware of extremist communities of what you
might call male supremacists online as a feminist writer and researcher.
But for me, I started to recognize the impact they were having on young people on my school visits. As part of my work, I talk to young people in
schools across the country around the world. And over the last couple of years, I started to notice that I was coming into contact with more and
more teenage boys who had been radicalized online with very hate-fueled ideas about women, really extreme misogyny, who had been taught to believe,
for example, that there is an epidemic of false rape accusations raging, that there is a feminist conspiracy at the heart of government designed to
topple white men from their jobs.
And I realized that by any other name, we would call this grooming or radicalization, if it were another group propagating hatred amongst young
people, but very few people know about these groups, even though they actually take their ideology offline and commit real life atrocities in the
name of this extremist misogyny.
AMANPOUR: You know what, all I have to do is swap ISIS for what you're talking about and I think you're talking about grooming, radicalizing, you
know, young men or vulnerable youth, for some kind of war against the demographic. And in a way, that's what you're saying.
I just want to read something that you say in the book. We do not use the word terrorism when describing a crime of mass murder committed by a white
man with the explicit intention of creating terror and spreading hatred against a specific demographic group, even though that is the definition of
terrorism. If the demographic in question is women, the man is just disturbed, deranged, a lone wolf. Are you basically saying the authorities
should be looking into this in a serious a manner they do in terms of terrorist recruitment?
BATES: Absolutely, because it meets every international definition to be described as such. I'm talking here about massacres like Elliot Rodgers,
Santa Barbara massacre, where six people were killed and 14 injured, or Alek Minassian, the Toronto van attacker who drove a speeding rental van
into crowds, killing 10 people and injuring 16, the majority of them women. These are attacks that have been explicitly carried out, their attackers
have made very clear in the name of an extremist hatred of women, but we don't consider them terrorism, although we would for another form of attack
carried out for similar motives.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, you have referred to two incidents which go into that category of Incels. So, Incels, I think, are involuntary celibates,
describe -- we've heard about them, but describe who, what they are and how big of a phenomenon they are.
BATES: That's right. So, these are men who describe themselves as men who want to be having sex, but aren't, and who blame women as a group for that,
and as a result hate and despise women. They repeatedly encourage others to rise up on what they call a day of retribution, when they envision women
being massacred on masse.
And although I have given you two real life examples, in the book, I trace these extremist male supremacist ideologies to the murder of serious injury
of over 100 people in the last 10 years alone. For example, earlier this year, in Canada, a 17-year-old boy walked into a massage parlor with a
machete and killed a woman in the name of this ideology. Here in the U.K., three women were stabbed in attempted murders by a boy, again, explicitly
with an ideology of an extreme hatred of women.
So, we are talking about a phenomenon that sounds very extreme and it would be easy to think that we must be talking about a very small number of
people, but when investigating this phenomenon for my book, I actually infiltrated and uncovered an online network in the hundreds of thousands.
Some of the people who make video blogs, for example, on YouTube, in the names of these ideologies have almost 100 million followers apiece, just
BATES: We are talking about some individual networks where there are over 100,000 members. We're talking about millions of views of posts, of
comments, of forums and discussion groups where these ideas are actively spread and they are deliberately targeting and grooming young boys in
places like body building forums or online gaming livestreams, to try and groom them into this ideology.
AMANPOUR: Who is the they and why? I mean, what purpose does this serve?
BATES: We're talking about a number of different groups, Incels being one of them, but there are other related groups that form the same kind of
online ecosystem and they are also very closely related to white supremacists and neo-Nazis to the far right. In fact, there are many far
right groups who see these online extremist misogynistic ideologies as a kind of slip (ph) group to recruiting people to the far right, as well.
So, they tend to have a variety of different motives. Some of them want to see a government mandated redistribution of sex that would see the
government forcing women to have sex with men. Many of them want to see laws repealed that give women rights, citizenship, the right to vote, any
kind of control over their own bodies, their own choices and decisions, and many of them actively want to see more people going out and deliberately
shooting and killing as many women as possible in the manner of people like Elliot Rodger and Alek Minassian who they very much revere as saints and
encourage others to go and carry out similar atrocities.
AMANPOUR: Now, some people listening will say, despite all the numbers that you just -- and the stats that you just gave, well, these are just
outliers, you know, it's not like that in sufficient and harmful numbers, but you said, you went undercover, I think, as a man, pretending to be a
man called Alex, to explore something called the manosphere. Something -- maybe you coin that term, but tell me about that.
BATES: That isn't my term, in fact, but it is the term that is given to loosely describe this community of different online movements and groups.
In fact, I think it does risk trivializing the issue, because it makes it sound like a bit of a joke. And what I would say, I think, to that argument
that, if there's a big enough threat for us to take seriously, is that we have government reports, internationally, I'm talking about some U.S.
bodies, as well, producing reports, examining the ways in which our governments deal with extremist ideologies and threats, and they are
tracking and tracing other forms of extremist.
For example, extremist animal rights groups or people with extreme views on abortion, even though often in the period these reports have produced,
nobody has been killed in the name of those ideologies. And yet, those reports often cover periods during which dozens of women have died at the
hands of these men but they aren't being considered or even on the radar of the people supposedly dealing with these issues around extremism and
AMANPOUR: Let me just read some of the stats, which are shocking, about abuse against women. This is the United Nations, in its 2017 global study,
estimating that 87,000 women were intentionally killed. 58 percent of those were killed by intimate partners or family members. And that means that 137
women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day. That's globally, similar to here in the U.K., approximately 90 percent
of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offense.
Now, I don't know whether these figures and these instances fall into what you're talking about, because this perhaps looks like domestic violence and
domestic abuse. Is that what you are tracking, as well?
BATES: There is certainly some overlap, absolutely. We aren't just talking about a so-called Incels, there are also other groups that I investigated
in the book and pickup artistry is a good example of this. Groups that are on the face of it, certainly perceived in our society to be sort of lovable
buffoons, think for example, the character of Barney Stinson in "How I Met Your Mother" who are portrayed as sad men just trying to make conversation
But actually, if you look deeper, we're talking there about a million dollar global industry, some of it who is leading lights are men who have
themselves admitted rape or advocated for rape to be legalized, who are essentially training thousands of other men and you can -- or before the
pandemic, you could, on almost any weekend, in almost any major city in the world, pay thousands of pounds to be taken out in a so-called boot camp by
these men, essentially training other men how to sexually harass and in some cases even sexually assault women.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, this is really troubling, obviously, but also because you, as you said, you know, spend a lot of your time going around to
schools and you have been doing so for years, because you started with everyday sexism and that's what really, you know, put you on the map in
this field of exploration and social investigation.
So, one thing that really, really just blew me away was when you have been talking about going to a school and you heard about a case in which a 14-
year-old raped a fellow student. And the teacher said to this 14-year-old, well, when she started crying, why didn't you stop? And you write, well, he
looked really bewildered and he said, but all girls cry when they have sex. I mean, what's going on in school, in people's families, in what conditions
some people like this to believe or think like this?
BATES: So, as shocking as it sounds, that kind of conversation is not at all uncommon. It's very common in schools for me to hear young people say
things like rape is a compliment, really, it's not rape if she enjoys it, to have this idea that foreplay, that for girls, crying is part of
foreplay, that's another comment, a direct quote from a young teenager.
I think there are two things going on here that really kind of combine to create a perfect storm. One is the fact that we know that many young people
are accessing from a very young really quite extreme and misogynistic online pornography. In the U.K., for example, we know that 60 percent of
young people have seen it by the age of 14 and a quarter 12 or younger when they first see it. I would imagine those statistics are similar in the
And within very mainstream readily accessible online pornography, there is often depiction of women being hurt, humiliated and degraded and very much
the sense that sex is something violent, that men do to women, whether with or without their consent. The second problem, I think, that combines with
that, is a lack of safe, healthy, age appropriate conversations about issues like sexual consent and healthy relationships in our schools and in
We are still fighting for young people to have the education that they deserve that gives them a space to have very simple conversations about
understanding their rights to their own body, understanding what sexual consent is and how to form a healthy relationship. As much as those are
universal human experiences, we don't train and prepare them at school for those experiences, as we do for other similar parts of daily life, like
learning to count, to make change in a shop or reading a map to find out where you're going.
AMANPOUR: To that end, I want to ask you about Peggy Orenstein, who you know has written the book "Boys & Sex" and I interviewed her and is
basically studying more than 100 American boys age 16 to 22 about masculinity and intimacy. And she had some quite interesting observations
about what, at least these young boys, were subject to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEGGY ORENSTEIN, AUTHOR, "BOYS & SEX": Right now, boys face a lot of mixed messages that are telling them on one hand to be scrupulous about consent
and then on the other hand, that they should, you know, hook up with as many girls as possible. They were really egalitarian in the classroom. They
felt girls were deserving of their place in leadership and professional and academic opportunities. But then, I would ask, what's the ideal guy? I
always ask that. You know, it was like they were channeling 1955.
So, it was all the old stuff. Aggression, being dominating, being athletic, sexual conquest and especially emotional suppression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Laura, I wonder how you react to that, especially study here in the U.K., just this July, I think it's called HOPE not Hate, the charity,
but found that amongst young boys, not the more progressive views amongst older, but younger men, some 50 percent of them believe feminism has, "gone
too far." There seems to be a backlash against Me Too, and what they call political correctness and all of that.
LAURA BATES, AUTHOR, "MEN WHO HATE WOMEN": Yes, I think there is a backlash and I think it's been facilitated by the mainstream media. We have had some
of our most famous media commentators on some of our flagship programs asking questions like, isn't Me Too really a witch hunt?
And of course, that plays right into the hands of online extremists looking to convince boys that they are under threat and under attack. But I
absolutely agree that boys are experiencing confusing mixed messages. And for me, the solution to that is to support them, to support them with
conversations in the classroom about healthy relationships, about gender stereotypes, and how they are affected by them. But also to give them
mental health support, you know, a lot of this feeds into the male mental health crisis and the fact that the male suicide rate is three times higher
than it is for women.
We know that boys at University are far less likely to access counseling, support their female peers, we are still bringing boys up in a world that
tells them boys don't cry, that it's not tough or manly to talk about your feelings. So a lot of this actually comes back to tackling outdated gender
stereotypes that have a negative impact on all of us.
The great irony is that the extremist online communities that I've looked at in this book are the ones who double down the hardest on those exact
masculine tough guy stereotypes that are actually so damaging, the men that often end up ensnared in their web. They aren't talking about male mental
health, they aren't talking about supporting men. They're encouraging those outdated ideas that the only way to be a man is to be a tough guy who's in
control of his woman. And of course, that is partly what's killing men.
AMANPOUR: Just quickly, how long is this phenomenon being so acutely present? Is it about behavior modeling? I think you and others have
suggested that when you have world leaders like President Trump, with those famous tapes, just before he got elected the first time, the anti-political
correctness as he, you know, constantly berates political correctness the way he talks about women. Behavior modeling, is that a problem? Or is that
just incidental to this phenomenon that exists anyway?
BATES: I think there is certainly an issue there. There's a symbiotic relationship whereby Trump and other prominent people are able to throw out
these kind of dog whistles to these extremist, racist and misogynistic online ideologies. And we know that people respond.
We know for example, that Cambridge analytical whistleblower Christopher Wiley said that Steve Bannon deliberately quoted the votes of in sales
during President Trump's first election campaign. So there is benefit in it for these figures. But there is also great benefit for the online
communities. Because if we have prominent public figures voicing these extreme ideas, then it makes it even more extreme rhetoric, perhaps being
voiced online to new recruits to teenage boys seem that little bit more acceptable and believable.
AMANPOUR: And finally, you know, you talked about education, mental health, awareness, and all the rest of it. But apart from that, what about law
enforcement? Have you ever taken this?
All your studies, all your, you know, investigations to either the police or child protection, whoever is, you know, meant to be dealing with this?
BATES: So during the course of researching the book, I had conversations with several very high level organizations of that nature, counter terror
organizations, for example, during which there would often be a long pause at the other end of the phone and a request to repeat myself or to spell
the word incel (ph). There is very much a sense that this just isn't on the radar of counter terror organizations, of law enforcement that it simply
isn't taken seriously until it's too late. So there certainly is a great deal more that we could see policymakers and the justice system doing to
And of course, there is also a plot for social media platforms to play in tackling extremism and deliberate incitement to violence that is being
spread and galvanized by the use of social media.
AMANPOUR: And what has happened to you for bringing this to light?
BATES: There is certainly been an upswing of rape threats, of death threats, of attempts to find me, to hack into my e-mails. On a bad day I
will have several hundred messages from people detailing in extreme graphic detail which knives they would use to disavow me with, what kind of
internal injuries they'd like to give me, exactly how they'll rape and murder me and put the video on the internet. And I think it just goes to
show the real coordinated nature of these communities that they are able to arrange those kinds of mass attacks for you to receive hundreds and
hundreds of those messages in a single day.
AMANPOUR: Laura Bates, it's really scary. There are some solutions in your book and certainly a huge amount of awareness raising. Thank you very much
indeed for joining us.
BATES: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: And shining such valuable light on that terrible, terrible situation.
But we turn back now to the dramatic surge in the COVID story and developments here in Europe.
France, President Emmanuel Macron has announced the country will go into a national lockdown again. Also the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said
We're going to join Correspondent Jim Bittermann in Paris.
Jim, what are the boundaries around this lockdown? Is it the same as it was at the beginning at the height?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's close to that Cristiane, but it's not exactly the same. There's a little bit of
relaxed rules, but the rules are going to be tough nonetheless, basically, President Macron looking very, very sober tonight addressing the nation
basically outlining the program saying that the coronavirus is spreading far faster than anybody would have imagined. And that apparently that cold
weather has brought out a more variable and also a quicker spread of the disease.
In any case, he outlined the problem, said that the number of ICU beds for example is set to double by the middle of next month, middle of November,
and there's just not going to be enough personnel, their training up more personnel trying to find more beds.
So, in any case, he's going to go into the second lockdown. Essential businesses can remain open but not essential businesses will be closed bars
and restaurants will be closed.
Schools will be remaining open up through high school, but the upper level education will be a close, be forced to use tele conferencing in order to
conduct their classes.
And all about it measures that he hopes will turn around things. The curfew did not help at all, according to Macron.
AMANPOUR: Jim Bittermann, thank you so much. And we'll be following these dramatic moves.
Now our next guest is a veteran of political and election battles. Susan Zirinsky is the first President and Senior Executive producer of CBS News.
I mean, the first woman in that role.
Her career already spans more than four decades at CBS beginning right after the Watergate scandal. And yes, she was also the inspiration for
Holly Hunter's character in the 1987 film broadcast news.
Here she is now speaking to our Walter Isaacson about the backstory on that famous "60 Minutes" interview with President Trump and the challenges of
covering this election.
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN CHAIR AND CEO: Thank you, Christiane. And Susan Zirinsky. Hey, welcome to the show.
SUSAN ZIRINSKY, PRESIDENT, CBS NEWS: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
ISAACSON: Well, so "60 Minutes", your CBS show, not only covering the news, but made news in the past week, because Trump walked off of an interview
with Lesley Stahl got very upset. What happened? And what happened when you got called by your producers by Lesley Stahl? What was it like?
ZIRINSKY: Well, you know, the dynamic of the race is at a fever pitch. So, and the interviews were happening at a point -- at the precipice of what
really is a dynamic complex election. So, we knew it wasn't going to be just a normal interview. But we're prepared.
And Lesley had interviewed Trump several times before, and they had a very good report with tough questions. And he was in the game, he was in it with
her, it never was fractured. But from the get go, this interview became a kind of permanent sparring for the duration of the interview.
So, when I get called, you know, I get called after the fact. I'm not there, Bill Owens is there. And he said to me, well, this didn't quite go
as planned. And I said, OK, what do you mean? And he said, well, there was a certain point at in the interview where there was a stop to discuss how
much time was left.
And at that point, the President turns to his deputy Hope Hicks and says, I think this -- I think we've had enough. I think we've got plenty of this
interview and proceeded to get up and everybody's kind of quiet.
And Lesley says to the President, as he -- could have seen and it's been on tape, as he's walking out through the maze of light, be careful scrounge. I
think what ends up happening next is we're not quite sure is he going to come back?
And so bill describes the scene as calm, but a little confused. We talked to the White House aide's bill and the producers on hand. We were told he
wasn't coming back. And the reality was Pence was next.
We were supposed to do a walk and talk that wasn't going to happen. Pence walks in, sits down.
Something else that we didn't play with them at the beginning was, Trump was tweeting very directly, that she was not wearing a mask in the White
House. And they put out a couple of pictures.
Lesley entered the White House wearing a mask. When she greeted the President, she was wearing a mask. She took it off, as the interview was
about to begin in the socially distance, interview position and took her mask off.
When Trump walked out. She did get up and talk to the producers, all of whom had tested negative that day before the day of. But they were constant
-- there were a lot of tweets about Lesley wasn't wearing a mask.
We did not -- we decided we weren't going to play tit for tat, you know? What was the purpose, cat and mouse game? Irrelevant. Our purpose was to
provide the American people with a smart, textured, contextualized interview.
And so in the story, we did show her with the mask, greeting the President, elbow bumps, sitting down, taking the mask off.
ISAACSON: The President says that she just interrupted over and over again. And she did, she was very tough. A lot of interruptions.
Do you think that perhaps she was too aggressive? I mean, a lot of people said, you know, she was coming on real strong.
ZIRINSKY: Look, I think in an interview it is a very different style if you're doing a live interview, if you're doing a taped interview. When you
are in a taped interview, there is a little bit more flexibility.
But when Leslie was aggressive or continued to press on some of these really important issues. There was never a moment where she lost respect
for President Trump or the office of the presidency. It was constantly President Trump, Mr. Trump, can I interrupt you? It was extremely
aggressive. It was extremely respectful.
ISAACSON: Do you have to make sure that when you do President Trump and then Vice President Biden that you aren't looking as if you're being softer
on Biden the way Trump said you were?
ZIRINSKY: You know, this was a very important point for us. Because his criticism and others often say that Biden isn't asked the same tough
questions. The Biden interview was tough. Our interview with Kamala Harris was tough.
And here's how you know you did your job. We got an equal amount of people writing us and saying you were really too tough on President Trump. And the
other half of those comments on Twitter and on social media, you were really hard on former Vice President Biden and Kamala Harris.
So you know what, we did our job because the equal critique of both sides meant OK.
ISAACSON: By tweeting out as much as he did about Lesley Stahl and being pretty brutal in his comments about Lesley Stahl afterwards. Do you think
that was appropriate? I mean, some people have said that it's even caused her to have security issues. Do you think it's dangerous for the President
to be doing stuff like that?
ZIRINSKY: Look, we're at the precipice of one of the most important elections of our time. No one knows how this race is going to go.
And I, you know, I think he is -- he felt he was being too tough. He answered that call.
I don't think there's a single rally he does, where he's really -- he knows how to play the crowd. And in his mind, playing to the crowd and this even
though it was a one on one interview, was he knew it would be edited. He knew it would be out there.
I, you know, look, I think that he -- you can't determine how anyone will react. In a tough interview, you can predict how Donald Trump will react in
the tough interview, because it's always the same. And it does seem to take on a little bit of a different character when it's with a woman and a man.
ISAACSON: What are you going to do differently on election night because of the nature of this election?
ZIRINSKY: We developed what we call the battleground tracker. We have never, and at least in my history in this company, or ever, sold unique CBS
polls in 50 states. We will, by Election Day, have talked to 100,000 people, some of them more than once.
We are also working with several consortiums that go state by state. So we will know how many mail in ballots were requested. What's Republican,
what's Democrat? We're talking to those people.
Early voting on in polls. We are talking the exit polls exist for that. So, our data base, our proprietary information flow is really based on a lot of
And so I think that this election, we are prepared because of the dynamic nature of this election with a database that will help us in our
You know, every hour, every half hour, we are going to -- as the polls close, we really are going to characterize these votes.
But what's really important in this election with this much pressure on us and accuracy is we have to be very transparent. We have to be -- we are
going to be saying, this is what we know right now. I do not think that there is a single person in this country that has not been touched in some
way by COVID, systemic racism, social injustice, economic fall on it. I really think that our coverage will reflect the historic nature of this
And, look, we're continuing to, you know, really embrace and run with some of the critical issues running up to the election. It's voter integrity.
It's disinformation. And these are things that we'll carry with us into election night.
You know, we have to really be mindful. Will misinformation be aimed at influencing the electric and can we spot it? Can we spot it?
ISAACSON: So how does everything you said affect the way you cover a president that calls the press the enemy of the people?
ZIRINSKY: When I took this job, it was a very-- I thought it might -- I might be the shortest lived president of any news division. Norah
O'Donnell's first night of anchoring. And it was the weekend after the President had talked about the group of four on Capitol Hill and said, go
back to where you came from. And I literally, I was not in the job very long. And there was a very heated discussion among the senior staff that we
should call the President racist.
And I, several of us just went back and forth. And we said, I don't know what was in the President's mind. But I walked away and I came back to my
office and I, actually, because we were working on another project, I had very accessible to me, some of the Edward R. Murrow hearings with McCarthy.
And I listened to them.
And I listened to his verbiage of what he was doing. And I listened to the Edward -- one of the Edward R. Murrow sequences out after that night.
And then I looked at the origin of the expression, both pointed me in the direction of I can't characterize what is in the President's head. But what
I can say is the remarks were racist. And Norah, and I had long conversation about it. And she was comfortable. And that's what we did.
And I will say, we were alone for a couple of days before other people began to do that. You know, we are not the enemy of the people. And a
democracy cannot exist without a free press.
And if you tune out the noise, and you just kind of block the personal attacks, you don't take on the sparring role, you don't take the bait.
What's most important to me, as the president of this organization, what's the question we're asking in any briefing in any press conference that's
important to the American people? I don't care what he's calling us. We have a job. That's the focus.
ISAACSON: When you took over CBS News, it had been roiled by a lot of Me Too scandals and things like that. Subsequently, almost every show you have
is fronted by angered by a woman. Was that a conscious decision or that just happened?
ZIRINSKY: You know what, it wasn't a conscious decision. It was not a conscious decision.
I -- look, when I came in, there was a lot to do. We remade the shows. But I looked for who is the best qualified, who would have the most interesting
insights, who had experience.
And, you know, the Me Too Movement began as something that, you know, I'm very lucky in the sense I had not experienced it. You know, I started
working at CBS while I was in college on the weekends. I was alone in the newsroom the night of the Saturday night massacre, because the desk -- the
man running the desk had gone up the street to get food. There was free cellphone. I feel like a dinosaur.
But the reality was, I began to understand it. I began to understand the lack of respect for women early on. I had to deliver an envelope to Lesley
Stahl's desk. She and Connie Chung were kind of the junior reporters. I couldn't even find their desks. They were like in a back hallway. I felt
like Alice in Wonderland, I fall into the looking glass.
But what I really saw happen, and CBS and the dearly departed Bill Small as the bureau chief was very, very focused on who's the best reporter and he
really gave the Lesley Stahl and Connie Chung's their chance.
But turning the clock forward, I think that the placement of women was not specific. I need a woman in that job. It's, I want to put the best team
together. And hey, look, guess what? We have really smart, qualified women.
Norah O'Donnell, is whip smart. She's covered six presidential campaign. She covered Congress, the White House, the Pentagon. You know, there is a
rich layer of experience among women. And for a long time, they were kind of like the buddies.
They were micro aggressions, which weren't addressed. Same as with the black community. And, you know, we are very aggressive about race and
culture at CBS.
And I think one of the most shocking realizations for me at this company. Here we are, we're reporting on George Floyd. We're reporting on a
movement. We had to turn the mirror on ourselves.
And what I found was pretty shocking. I really, really understood that there wasn't a single person of color at CBS News, who hadn't gone through
something. Race based in their careers at CBS News. That had to change and had to change.
And you know, it's not going to happen overnight. We have formed a race and culture unit that talks to all the shows. We are a different organization.
Are we a we finished? Hell no. I'll be dead before they're finished. But if it my responsibility, which I feel enormous responsibility both right now
for politics, covering this election, and racial sensitivity, race and culture sensitivity and turning that tide around in this organization.
I do anything in the time I have here. Aside from being a good journalist, a fair journalist and unbiased journalist, it's really fixing the
inequities in my own company that have existed for way too long.
ISAACSON: This new media landscape has produced a hurricane of misinformation. How do you deal with that?
ZIRINSKY: This is also where we have to become known as the purveyors of truth. And I think that's reputational.
And I think that -- look, we live in a world where people gravitate towards their point of view, you know, this is their thing. But I think quite
frankly, there has been a shift. And I think people are hungry for something that is straight down the middle, objective. And I think that
that comes from us, advertising it, being there, being out, going to public speaking, putting our message out, that well, who are we.
We are, journalists, we are unbiased, we are seeking the truth. And, you know, you have to compete. And there will be a Darwinian aspect to
surviving in this mega era of just multi channels of noise coming at you.
Don't underestimate people. They're pretty smart. Some people will always gravitate towards the point of view that they want to. But there are some
very smart people in the middle of the country, in the south, in the north, in the West, the Pacific Northwest, in the east, who are really hungry for
information. And I just -- we -- our job is to continue to put it out there and talk about ourselves as this is where we see this. We're not giving you
opinions, unless we tell you we're giving opinions which doesn't really happened.
So, I think it's our job to communicate our position of true journalism, fair and unbiased and transparent.
ISAACSON: Susan Zirinsky, thank you so much for being with us this evening.
ZIRINSKY: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: The inimitable Susan Zirinsky.
And finally, a surprise discovery in Australia is giving scientists hope for the fate of the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers from the Schmidt Ocean
Institute came across this massive detached coral reef off the coast of Queensland in the northeast, and it measures an astonishing 500 meters
making it taller than the Empire State Building in New York and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
Recent studies show that the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral fields because of rising sea temperatures caused by climate change. This
new underwater skyscraper is the first discovery of its kind in 120 years, and it's an important reminder that wild coral reefs are in danger, they
can be regenerated.
And that's it for now. You can always catch us online on our podcast and across social media. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.