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Future of the Republican Party?; Interview With Economist Mariana Mazzucato; Interview With Father of Daniel Pearl. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 28, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The court has ordered that all four of them, all four accused be released forthwith in Pakistan.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In Pakistan the man convicted of beheading American journalist Daniel Pearl after 9/11 are set to walk free.
I talk to Pearl's father about justice and a family's grief.
Then: As President Biden continues rolling out his Build Back Better agenda, I speak with the economist Mariana Mazzucato about the moonshot
model for tackling the biggest issues of the day.
And internal strife for the GOP. To support or not to support Trump? Former Republican strategist Stuart Stevens joins me.
Plus, Michel Martin talks with Grammy-nominated artist Jon Batiste about music, activism and his new album, "We Are."
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
And we start with shocking news out of Pakistan tonight. The country's Supreme Court has ruled that the four men convicted in the murder of
American journalist Daniel Pearl can go free. You may recall that Pearl was a reporter for "The Wall Street Journal" investigating Islamic militants in
Pakistan following the September 11 attacks.
In 2002, the 38-year-old was kidnapped in Karachi and then beheaded. Video of the brutal killing was delivered to the U.S. consulate, and then
appeared online designed his propaganda to sow terror and inspire other such militant murders.
Indeed, al Qaeda in Iraq and later ISIS followed suit with gruesome filmed beheadings of journalists like James Foley and many more.
We should know, the jailed men have not yet been released in Pakistan. The process can take several days. Pearl's family says they are in complete
shock. And they are asking both the Pakistani courts and the U.S. government to take action to correct this injustice.
With me now is Daniel Pearl's father, Judea.
And welcome to the program. Welcome back from Los Angeles.
This must be just an awful day for you and for Ruth and your family. Just tell me your reaction when you heard this terrible news out of Pakistan.
JUDEA PEARL, FATHER OF DANIEL PEARL: We were in shock, in total disbelief.
We didn't expect this kind of outcome. All indications were that the sentiments of the Supreme Court, as well as the public, is for justice and
for keeping murderers in jail. But, somehow, there was an unexpected turn of events that shocked us.
We can't believe how a country can afford such a move. You know...
PEARL: Go ahead.
AMANPOUR: I was just going -- yes, you go ahead, Judea.
PEARL: When a killer is behind bars, the responsibility and guilt are focused on the face of that killer.
But when he is let free, then society as a whole takes responsibility for the crime. And what the Supreme Court of Pakistan has done ends up with
handing an indictment over the entire nation for one of the most horrific crimes in the 21st century, a crime against humanity, against journalism,
against the core of our civilization.
So, we are very shocked. And we hope that some steps will be taken to correct for this injustice. Especially, we are hoping...
PEARL: Yes, go ahead.
AMANPOUR: Judea, I just want to ask you what you plan to do to try to correct this injustice, as you say, because I know that you're appealing to
the U.S. government to intercede.
What do you think the Biden administration can do? What are you asking your country to do?
PEARL: We are asking that the State Department, as well as the Department of Justice, will pursue vigorously a request for extraditing Omar Sheikh
for this crime, as well as other crimes that he has committed against U.S. citizens.
And we hope that the Pakistani court and government will respond positively to such a request and deliver Omar Sheikh for -- to stand trial in the U.S.
AMANPOUR: So, I just want to explain for viewers who might not know.
We are seeing a picture of Omar Sheikh. Now, he is a British national and he was accused and convicted in Pakistan, along with others, of murdering
Afterwards, in this what is an acquittal now from the Supreme Court, apparently, in legal terms, in Pakistan, they said that his role was less
central than had been believed, that he was fundamental to the abduction of your son, but not to the murder of your son, and that he has spent
something like 18 years in jail already.
What is your answer to that, to the Pakistani Supreme Court?
PEARL: Well, first, there is a question of legality.
According to Pakistani law, abductions that lead to murder is punishable by death, potentially. So, that is a question of legality. And then it's a
question of morality.
Apparently, the assessment of the Supreme Court was that his responsibility was not as estimated earlier, which is, in essence, sending a message of
impunity for would-be terrorists or would-be abductors. And there are many such potential abductors around the world, as you and I know.
PEARL: It is a message of impunity, which I don't believe society can stomach at this point.
AMANPOUR: And, as I said introducing you and introducing this terrible story, Danny's brutal murder and the publicity and the publication of it
was designed to sow terror, and did actually launch and inspire a whole load of other similar murders of journalists and nongovernmental people,
NGO, aid workers, and the like.
What -- you said that you believed that the Pakistani Supreme Court would come to a different decision. What did you hope? And, apparently, it was a
2-1 decision. What indications had you got? Why do you think they have freed them, they are going to free them?
PEARL: I can't speculate on that.
I just believe it is a matter of public pressure, pressure by a certain extreme element in the Pakistani society to ascertain their independence of
the West, ascertain the sovereignty, to express their grievances, whatever grievances they have currently, against the West.
And they have apparently succeeded in applying this pressure on the Supreme Court. But this is just speculation.
AMANPOUR: As we know, the Pakistani government does not agree with this. It also tried to make this not happen.
It was involved with you in trying to make sure that these people didn't walk free.
But, Judea, I wanted to ask you a question, because...
PEARL: Very mildly so. Yes, very mildly so.
AMANPOUR: OK. OK.
PEARL: I don't think the case as presented by the prosecutor was fought with the intensity that it deserves.
AMANPOUR: So, you are asking for the Pakistani government to step up its action as well in this case.
PEARL: Of course.
At this point, I don't know what they can do legally, with the exception of responding positively to U.S. request for extradition.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about the role of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed? He is the accused mastermind of 9/11.
And he allegedly said that -- it was decided and discovered, rather, that he was the one who actually physically murdered your son. Asra Nomani and
others, colleagues of Danny's and friends, have done incredible investigation with law enforcement and others.
And it seems that he was the one. Do you -- is that what you accept? Do you accept that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the actual murderer? And, if so what
role, do you give to Omar Sheikh and the others who are now being released?
PEARL: According to the FBI report that we received, they cannot rule out the possibility that it was his hand in the picture.
So, of course, he is the actual executor of the scheme and design that was planned by Omar Sheikh. And that makes Omar Sheikh not only complicit by --
but the main instigator of the entire abduction that led to a murder.
AMANPOUR: I just want to give you a chance to also remind us of who Danny is and what he did. And he has got a son who now is heading to university,
a son that he never met who was born after his brutal murder.
Danny was our colleague and a friend to many of us. And it's been a terrible, terrible time since he died for all of us in our profession to
see how many of our professionals have been murdered brutally like he was.
And I just want you to -- just maybe a few words about your son.
PEARL: Well, he -- his friend tells me that he had only one religion, the religion of truth.
But I think he had several. Friendship, dialogue were part of his everyday practice.
I will tell you only one anecdote. When friends asked him, "Do you believe in the afterlife, Danny?" he said: "I don't know. I have many questions --
more questions than answers, but I sure wish Gabriel likes my music."
That was Danny.
AMANPOUR: Ooh, the angel Gabriel. That's nice.
PEARL: Yes, angel Gabriel.
AMANPOUR: That is a beautiful story. That is a beautiful story.
And we all remember him always.
Judea Pearl, thank you so much. And everybody is thinking about you and your wife and your family at this time.
It has been a full week of executive actions and speeches by President Biden, who is laying out his agenda. Today, he tackles health care,
reforming and reinforcing the Obamacare Affordable Care Act.
Equity underlines all of the president's executive actions, including battling the climate crisis and structural racism. And the efforts come at
a critical time. 2020 was the worst year for economic growth in the United States since the Second World War.
My next guest, the economist, Mariana Mazzucato, believes moonshot thinking will help meet these big challenges. Her new book is called "Mission
Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism."
And she is joining me now from here in London.
Mariana Mazzucato, welcome back to the program.
MARIANA MAZZUCATO, AUTHOR, "MISSION ECONOMY: A MOONSHOT GUIDE TO CHANGING CAPITALISM": Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Your book comes out at an amazing time, obviously, just as a new administration is trying to grapple with all of these issues, and, of
course, Europe and the rest of the world.
Talk to us about "Mission Economy" and the overriding, overarching framing that you have in the moonshot model.
Well, thank you, first of all, for talking about the book.
So, really, this is about refocusing government on its purpose. You know, when people say there is not enough money to do something, they sometimes
forget that there is huge amounts of money being disbursed in all sorts of different ways.
For example, every government department all over the world has a procurement budget, right, government as also purchaser. It also might give
out loans. It gives out grants. So, the idea is, how do we bring purpose and missions at the center of this interface between the public sector and
the private sector?
And what the moon landing did 15 years ago and, of course, that was more of a technological mission. And, today, we have much more kind of societal
ones that are much more wicked in terms of the behavioral and political challenges that they embody.
But, still, what it did was, it was a massive collaborative effort between a public entity, the national space agency, and lots of different private
firms, from Honeywell, Motorola, General Electric, and also smaller firms.
And, today well, actually, this week, we have the World Economic Forum happening. and there's all this talk about stakeholder capitalism, but
that's often just a discussion about corporate governance, right, companies having to look at the long term, not just maximizing shares.
But what would it look like if we bring stakeholder governance and purpose at the center of the interface between public and private, as the moon
landing did? But, also, that means paying a lot of attention, as NASA did, to the contracts, to the procurement contracts, to the way that we actually
And I don't think there's any other time like COVID that makes this an incredibly urgent point, because even something like the vaccine, there's
collaboration. Of course, there's public and private money, but if we don't govern it with a purpose, we really risk doing it in a problematic, not a
symbiotic and mutualistic way, but a way that, unfortunately, has also been characterized in different sectors, when government kind of misses the plot
of what its real role is in terms of focusing on the lives of the citizens that it serves.
AMANPOUR: So, can I ask you, then, because, obviously, COVID and the vaccine is right in the news right now because of the apparent problems
with suppliers, the fighting not just between the poor and the rich world, but within the rich world, this sort of vaccine nationalism that has
suddenly just raised its ugly head.
And you talk about solidarity and symbiosis between the public and the private sector. I just want to read you this quote that's quoted in "The
Times" today. Robert Yates, head of the global health policy at Chatham House, here says: "Science is succeeding, and solidarity is failing."
So, how does your mission economy paradigm, how should it be used to make this vaccine actually do what everybody told us it was going to be doing,
being equally shared around the world?
And we should always remember -- I mean, one of the reasons I look at the moon landing is also because there was huge amounts of innovation and risk-
taking across many different sectors. It wasn't just aeronautics. It was also nutrition, textiles, materials, electronics. The whole software
industry, in some ways, was a spillover of that.
So, even right now, with COVID, all the different problems we're facing -- and I will get to your vaccine point in a second, I promise -- they do
require lots of different sectors to work together in new ways, but how?
So, the vaccine, what it teaches us is that how we actually govern that particular mission -- and don't forget that the mission has to be that
everyone globally has access to it, right? So, universality and accessibility are fundamental. We are only as healthy as our neighbor.
Had this crisis, this COVID crisis began in some African countries that have a much, much weaker health system than China, we would all globally be
worse off. And that's really also why we have to have solidarity just economically, not just socially.
So, one of the issues is, with this vaccine, if you listen to what Dr. Tedros has been saying -- he's the head of the World Health Organization.
For some months, he's been talking about a people's vaccine. He's been talking about the need to pool the patents.
Instead of allowing patents, intellectual property rights to cause kind of the privatization of science, in this case, he says, we have to be very
careful to really foster what he calls collective intelligence. It's a word I love, by the way.
And so how do you govern collective intelligence? You have to be very careful in terms of, again, coming back to this issue that public and
private, yes, they can be collaborating, but are they collaborating in such a way that actually allows us to fulfill a particular mission?
And this is a global mission. Some missions can be national, and we can talk about those. But the big international missions, for example, getting
the plastic out of our oceans, right, that's not going to work if one country thinks about it on its own. And this vaccine, because it has to do
with a global epidemic, we cannot afford to have nationalism. It has to be, by definition, because of what we're trying to do with it, it has to be a
And the fact that the rich countries have already hoarded something like 80 percent of the dosages is just a scandal. It's leading to what, again, Dr.
Tedros calls vaccine apartheid, or a catastrophic moral failure.
And this is why we need to go back to actually have a framework. And what the mission concept does is, it provides a different framework on how to
collaborate for a public purpose. And it does have to do with the contracts.
I'm not a fan of talking to lawyers, but I actually do think that we need to go back, especially with intellectual property rights, but also
procurement contracts, and all sorts of different international agreements. We have to really bring solidarity to the core of those. Otherwise, we're
really missing the opportunity right now to stop this crisis before it gets much worse.
AMANPOUR: And, Mariana, when you when you say that, do you have any ideas about how one can get back to this solidarity?
Because I remember very distinctly when all this amazing progress was being made. I mean, look, it's taken less than a year to develop a vaccine for
this thing, several vaccines. And, almost immediately, solidarity has disappeared.
Is there a way to enforce that and enforce the promises that the world leaders made to the world and to all of us? And is there an issue -- and
I'm not sure whether it's applicable here. But, in general,governments often outsource things to private entities.
AMANPOUR: And they think that's the most efficient and best way to do it. And I don't know whether these two are connected.
MAZZUCATO: Well, that's really interesting.
I mean, I think -- I have written a lot about the outsourcing problem. And I was really interested when Lord Agnew here in the U.K. talked about
government becoming infantilized by this overreliance on consulting companies, both, by the way, with Brexit and with COVID, and all sorts of
other areas, which the problem is not outsourcing, per se.
But if you do it too much, and you start outsourcing your actual brain, I would actually argue that, in some ways, the NSA problem in the U.S. came
about partially at least from the over-outsourcing of the I.T. technology away from government to the private sector, and then kind of not governing
it again for the public good.
And so what we really need to think about is the capacity on the ground in both the public sector. It needs to be capable to actually roll out the PPE
for the front-line workers, to roll out the vaccines, the testing.
And in the U.K., by the way, a very interesting kind of feature is that, recently, the vaccine rollout has been much more successful than the
testing rollout. And the testing really was actually almost purely outsourced. There wasn't really a trust almost placed on the public health
system, whereas the public health system today, through G.P.s and other public entities, are rolling out the vaccine.
And they are really tied to the local community. They have trust, they have relationships with people. And so we shouldn't make it kind of private vs.
public. But this is the whole point, again, of the moonshot and mission- oriented thinking, how to collaborate between public and private to actually meet the kind of goals we have.
And when you're just outsourcing everything to the private sector, you also, unfortunately, along the way don't become too intelligent.
But coming back to your point about solidarity, this is also -- we shouldn't forget that the February before the March last year, when COVID
really struck globally, you will remember that, on television, what we were looking at was not COVID problems, but the floods in Venice, right? So the
climate change problem is there alive and well.
And I think it's really interesting that the Biden administration, one of the first things it's doing, the two first things it's doing is rejoining
the COPs and rejoining WHO.
And the fact that these are two interrelated crises is fundamental. And we cannot keep just going from crisis to crisis. We need to be able to govern
proactively our ability to actually not just -- well, first of all, to prevent the next crisis, but also when they come to really govern them
quickly, ably, capably, and with the common good at the center.
And that's the whole point of really getting concrete on, what do we mean by things like collective intelligence?
Because there's no point, by the way, to talk about at the World Economic Forum or anywhere else purpose or stakeholder capitalism if Pfizer, for
example, which is one of the large pharmaceutical companies, which is very much wed to maximizing shareholder value, engaging in massive share
buybacks, for example, as are some other companies, unlikely -- sorry -- unlike maybe others who have for a long time been talking about stakeholder
value in terms of how the profits are actually being reinvested back into the work force production in the long run, and not getting overly
This is really the moment for Pfizer to walk the talk of stakeholder value, both in terms of how it cooperates globally, on how it actually prices the
vaccine. You will know that the AstraZeneca vaccine and Oxford is much cheaper. And they have said that they're not trying to make billions from
They want to actually make sure that it's actually serving the public good. But we will have to see also in that case whether that's true. But this is
the time to walk the talk of stakeholder value.
AMANPOUR: I just want to ask you a final quick question, because you mentioned climate. And President Biden seems to be laying out a huge and
maybe it is a moonshot-y, mission economy, as you described -- and he's made climate front.
But he also has to have people's buy-in, workers, American workers' buy-in. And there's been so much propaganda, so much disinformation about the
This is what John Kerry, his international envoy, said about it yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: Workers have been Fed a false narrative -- no surprise -- right, for the last few years.
They have been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No, it's not.
What President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people who go to
work to make the solar panels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Mariana, I heard an experts say that if these kinds of workers and the middle class continue to see their fortunes rolled back,
continue to see a lack of social mobility and wages keeping up with the times, who will they vote for? What will happen to democracy?
This is all tied up in that as well, right?
MAZZUCATO: Well, absolutely.
But let's just focus on climate for a minute, which is, when we talk about climate, what we're really talking about is a massive green transition of
our entire economy. That means investing. That means innovating, right?
So, if you have an old sector, like the steel sector, if it starts to become more green, for example, lowering its material content, that
requires workers within the steel sector not to be fired, but to be retrained around all sorts of new methods around repurpose, reuse, and
recycle technology across the entire value chain of steel production.
That's, by the way, what happened in Germany. When the German steel industry asked to get bailed out by the government, as steel is asking
globally for government help, the condition that was set by the German government was that they had to lower the material content.
And they are today one of the most innovative, modern, sustainable, semi- green kind of steel sectors. So, workers will benefit with a green transformation, as long as we have strong conditions attached that the
workers in these sectors evolve along the way and their own human resources are invested in.
And this is what we mean by a just transition. This has to be central to any sort of climate policy. But we shouldn't forget that Biden is coming in
after a period where Trump really had a mercantilist policy. It was all about exchange rates and walls and trade agreements.
What Biden really needs to do is to bring back investment and innovation at the center of making America great. He will have his own terminology. But
that has to have a direction. Investment, innovation and growth don't just have a rate. They also have a direction. And the green direction for the
entire economy is what we need to do.
And China, by the way, is spending $1.7 trillion in greening its economy. And this isn't just about renewable energy. It also means energy-friendly
technologies, again, investment, innovation, jobs, and skills in that area.
And that will help all workers as long as they're part of that project.
AMANPOUR: All right.
AMANPOUR: And I'm going to put some of that to my next guest, actually. He is perfectly placed to follow up on that.
Mariana Mazzucato, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.
Now, as we say, a lot of this will require action from the U.S. Congress. While the Democrats now control both houses, the Republican Party is at a
crossroads, even perhaps at war with itself over whether the former one- term President Donald Trump and his movement represent the party's future.
For instance, after mildly criticizing the president over the appalling election insurrection, the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, is
hedging his bets with a trip to Mar-a-Lago for an audience with Trump himself.
My next guest is Stuart Stevens, a veteran political consultant and a strategist for past Republican campaigns like George W. Bush and Mitt
And he is joining me now from West Yellowstone in Montana.
Stuart Stevens, welcome back to the program.
I want to get to this idea of investment and innovation and workers in the United States in a moment, because you will have a lot to say about that.
But, first, I want to ask you, whither your party? What do you think Kevin McCarthy is doing? And how much of a significant move is that, given people
were saying as Trump left?
STUART STEVENS, THE LINCOLN PROJECT: Look, when I hear this talk of civil war in the Republican Party, I wish that was the case.
I don't really see it's much of a war. I think, with a few exceptions. Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, the Republican Party is very content being a Trump
party. We have to remember, you go back to the platform at their convention in 2020. Instead of these horrific platform fights we used to have over
policy, there really wasn't any policy, except to support what Donald Trump wanted.
STEVENS: And I think that's where the party is and where the party is content being.
AMANPOUR: OK, but as you saw with your own eyes and the whole world saw, that lost them the White House, it lost them -- or kept the House in
Democratic hands, and it lost them the Senate.
What's good about it? And let me, just to your point, reiterate some of this; 86 percent of Republicans consider Donald Trump's presidency a
success; 79 percent of Republicans still have a favorable opinion; 75 percent do not believe that Biden legitimately won the election.
And 88 percent oppose Trump's removal from office. Obviously, that was before he left and while they were talking about impeachment.
So, you've got that and then you've got what I correctly laid out about how the Republicans have lost in this cycle. What do they not get, Stuart
STEVENS: Well, that is a profound and great question. I think that we shouldn't assume that political parties always act in their best interests.
I think political parties, history shows us, is getting a downward spiral and until it sort of burns itself out, that spiral will continue.
In any logical sense, you're absolutely right. The Republican Party should look at what happened in Georgia, for instance. Losing two Senate seats in
Georgia is extraordinary. And then the next day, their own capitol is invaded by Republican terrorists really. But that doesn't seem to have been
enough to shake the party. I think it is going to take more. I think they're going to have to lose more and I think only the realization that
there is no future going down this path will nudge the party to change.
AMANPOUR: OK. So that's where strategists like you come in. Will they lose more or will they right the ship? Because, you know, you see -- I mean,
they've got two years, right, until the midterms. The Democrats hold all the levers of executive and legislative power and control right now. Do you
see a way for them to -- for the Republicans, to lose more or actually to make up ground?
STEVENS: I think that the long-term trend is very bad for the Republican Party. Like all trend lines, I don't think it is going to go straight down.
But to me, the future of the Republican Party nationally is foretold by what happened to the Republican Party in California.
It wasn't long ago that the Republican Party in California was the beating heart of the party. It was the electoral citadel. Ronald Reagan would
always carry California. Now, the party is hovering at third place. Not even second place. And I think that's the future of the party. Unless the
party decides it wants to change. And right now, there is no desire to change. Now, they may have a good off year election but the long-term
prospects I think are very bleak.
AMANPOUR: So, that's interesting. Because there were just a few Republicans who dared put their head up above the parapet and condemn the
president and his, you know, fanatical supporters for what happened on January 6th in the capitol and then, everybody started to go sort of back
into their lanes. And now, there does not seem to be any likelihood that impeachment will take place or rather conviction will take place in the
And I just want to play this soundbite from one of the Republican congressmen, Adam Kinzinger, who has been quite loud about his complaints
of what the Republican leadership including the president has been doing. And this is what he said. He might -- you know, he is reconsidering his
position as a Republican. Let's just play what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): This is not the party I joined. This is not the party, you know, that really is for conservative principles. So, how do
I feel about it? I don't know. I just know this. I know as a party we need to restore the integrity and really work to rebuild the trust of the
American people that I think we lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, we've sort of talked a little bit about that. Do you think there will be more Kinzingers or is Kinzinger and his ilk, you know, on the
way to being prime reed (ph) and basically run out of office?
STEVENS: Listen, I'd like to think that that was the future of the party and that he would be the future of the party and Congresswoman Cheney, who
courageously stood up and called for the impeachment of Trump. But I just can't see it.
I think the party has decided that it is going to go down this path. And something is going to have to intervene, which I think will be some years
of minority status to get it to change. There is no desire inside the Republican Party. Your numbers that you read out tell the story. I mean,
we're in a very dangerous place in America that we really haven't been here since 1860. Where you have a huge percentage of America that no longer
believes it lives in a democracy. And you take a heavily armed country like America with a history of revolution, I think it foretells very bad days
ahead for the country.
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, and there is something extraordinary happening as well. You mentioned Liz Cheney one of the grand dames of certainly the
Cheney family of the Republican Party. She was third in line and she is facing censure and a lot of others are as well in their states. And yet,
this lunatic QAnon conspiracy seems to be producing an elected official who herself has really, really out their ideas.
Apparently, she endorsed -- she liked and endorsed a proposition that Nancy Pelosi should be executed, Barack Obama, we've seen video of her chasing
down a survivor from the Parkland massacre and harassing him and claiming the massacre was a fake false flag operation. This is what -- and she has
been given a committee seat apparently or it's being considered. Education. This is what Nancy Pelosi said about it today
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): -- turnabout is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, who was willing to overlook, ignore those
statements assigning her to the Education Committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. When she has
mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What could they be thinking or is thinking too
generous a word for what they might be doing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Stuart Stevens, very, very quickly, you know, this would not be allowed I don't think in any other western democracy, somebody who actually
backs, you know, violent threats against members of Congress is allowed into the building. Do you think she should be censured, expelled? What is
the answer to this? Should she be made an example of?
STEVENS: There is no question she ought to be expelled. There is no question that Donald Trump should be impeached. That the Senate should
convict. He has been impeached but the Senate should convict. I mean, we have to watch here is what the Republican Party is doing not just what it
is saying. They have the ability to expel her. They should. They're not.
What does that say about the party? They have the ability to convict Donald Trump. They should. They're not. What does that say about the party? That's
what we should look at. Not things that they say to try to make their donors feel better. It's what they're doing that matters and it's what
they're going to be remembered for.
AMANPOUR: Well, we thank you for your perspective. And obviously, we will continue to follow what they're doing and not just what they're saying.
Thank you very much for being with us.
Now, let's change directions slightly. Disney's Pixar, the latest movie, "Soul," was an instant hit offering up a dose of jazz and positivity for
both young and old. Our next guest, Jon Batiste, is the man behind that music and the story is even inspired by his life as a composer, singer and
pianist. He is also band leader, of course, for the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and he's a Grammy nominated musician who recently dawned yet
another hat in his "We Are" campaign which is a series of protests that explored civil justice through music and community.
And here is our Michel Martin speaking to him about how his activism and his new album intersect.
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Christiane. Thank you, Mr. Jon Batiste. It's so good to see you.
Yes indeed. Good to be seen and good to see you.
JON BATISTE, RECORDING ARTIST AND ACTIVIST: Yes, indeed. It's good be seen and good to see you.
MARTIN: Well, thank you for that. Of course, we've all been seeing you. What have you been doing during COVID? I mean, your life is so public. You
spend so much of your time on stage and performing and being the energy source for other people. And I just wonder if there is anything about this
period that has made you shift the way you think about your work and about yourself and who you are in this.
BATISTE: It is making me evaluate my choices in life. What did I accumulate? Do I like the people I'm around? Do I like the decisions that
I've made and the rhythm of my life? Do I want to go back to that afterwards? And of course, all of that influences, the art that you create.
Because then you start to take stock of what you're putting out there and what do you want to put out there and you know you have a limited amount of
time and nothing is promised in.
We're losing loved ones. We are losing summers. We're losing so much. And a real consideration as an artist, what do I want to go back to and what do I
want to put out there once we get back to some semblance of normality?
MARTIN: How did the "We Are" protest start? I mean, I have to saw that for folks who followed your career know this, but you've always been kind of a
public performer in the sense that -- of even when you were in Julliar, you were performing in the subways and in the, you know, streets and so forth
with your (INAUDIBLE). Like how did you decide to get involved in the protests? That had to have been -- that is not the easiest decision
particularly at a time of COVID when we do have a global health crisis.
BATISTE: Well, the truth is, it was a question that I asked myself. Am I really about all the things that I've been about and said I've been about
publicly and then have represented over the course of my career? Am I really about love, joy and community? Am I really about this art and this
culture and representing black excellence and representing what brings people together in that tradition of black excellence? All of our super
powers? Am I really about that?
And if I am, I'll do what the ancestors did who would be in a similar situation. They would put themselves on the line. They would go out there
and they would represent it just like they did in all the other times when things weren't as bad. So, that's it. It was really testing my mettle. Am I
really about what I say I'm about?
MARTIN: We got to play some of it. Can we play a little bit of "We Are"?
MARTIN: You know, everything about this song is like it makes you want to move. It's like a chant. It is like a call and response. It does so many
things. How did it come to you?
BATISTE: I wanted to have a song that felt appropriate played in the club and also played at a protest march. And to have those two things on that
axis is something that I really subconsciously roped and the time came for it to actually be put into action this past summer.
But the song, we wrote the song in August of 2019. This album, it feels so prescient in so many ways because we wrote a lot of the music prior to the
events in the world leaning toward the subject matter of the music. And that's really something that happens when an artist goes so deeply internal
and deals with themes that are timeless. Themes that are recurring. You find that a lot of things start to become prophetic because the deeper you
go inside the more you realize, oh, we've been grappling with a lot of the same issues for many, many centuries.
MARTIN: I want to point out that you started this in 2019. I mean, obviously, there are things happening then. I mean, you know, Trayvon
Martin had been killed, you know, years before. Tamir Rice had been killed sort of years before. So, all these things were sort of percolating in you.
Was there -- I'm sort of wondering what was that period like for you? You know, like the pilot light in the boiler stays on. OK? You don't
necessarily see it until you have to go deal with it. But was that what that was like for you, this sort of just waiting for its moment to be seen?
BATISTE: Well, absolutely. We deal with this day in and day out. This isn't something that happens only when there is a national event. This is
our life. You know, the lyric even thinking about the ghetto is full of stars. Shine from afar. On days when it's hard. And always. That is us.
Even if they don't say, it's trendy to say black lives matter or put your fist in the air. It's trendy to say that, you know, represent black
businesses and representation matters. When it's not trendy, we still are stars. We're still royalty. That is still a fact. And that's what I was
writing the song from.
MARTIN: And I don't want to give people the wrong impression of this album because it is filled with joy. It is filled with joy. And I want to talk
about that. I mean, have you -- you are known as a joy giver. I mean, anybody who kind of sees you perform and, you know, you got, you know, a
world class smile that, you know, just like, you know -- and have you felt like a tension in yourself between being a truthteller and a joy giver?
BATISTE: Michel, you speaking. That's it. I think that that is a -- the practice of being a joy giver and bringing people that sense of catharsis
and release is a spiritual practice for me. And the only way that it can be as powerful as it -- as powerful and profound as it can be is if I face the
truth and if we face the truth collectively.
I think art is really a way to point to the truth, shine a light on the truth. Art is a window to the truth. And there's joy in knowing, even if
the truth is painful, even if the truth has things about it that we don't want to accept and are not willing to accept.
The only way that we're going to continue to be able to fight it and move forward is if we know the truth and if we can have moments where we release
is why -- when were enslaved we sung spirituals and hymns and songs of freedom. It's why when Jon Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. were on the
Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were singing spirituals. That's why we have the music.
MARTIN: Speaking of pure joy, how about "I Need You?"
MARTIN: I love everything about it. I mean, I love the -- there's the kind of the little flirtatious with the cute girl who, you know, letting you
know you're paying attention to all that's around you. It's just so interesting because there has been this kind of tension in the African-
American kind of tradition of the fight between kind of the secular and the sacred, you know?
BATISTE: Oh, yeah.
MARTIN: And that swing music and lifestyle, well, a lot of people thought that was like music of the devil. You know, a lot of people weren't going
to be allow to that kind of music. I was just curious where that song came from or that whole vibe, like that whole vibe.
BATISTE: Oh, yes. I love thinking about things on those axis's like sacred and secular. You know, Saturday night into Sunday morning. I'm thinking of
this song in the same way in the sense of it's something that you would hear on -- Little Richard playing in the Chitlin' Circuit in the south or
you could hear it on contemporary pop radio. And it's all of those things at the same time. It's really a 12-ball blues form, which is one of the
And in the video, my dance partner and I and all of the ensemble of dancers are doing a version of the lindy hop and the jitterbug but contemporized.
And we're in an art gallery in this painting from the '30s comes to life. And when it comes to life, the dancers jump out of the painting and we have
basically the juke joint happening in the art gallery.
And to me, that's a real, real quest for me as a musical archeologist to dig up things from the past but then instead of presenting them in a museum
in that kind of way I take them and I make something brand new out of it. So, people will hear it and they may not even know the depth of how, oh,
this is a style of dance from the '30s that was originated in Harlem by black dancers and this is a style of music that you may hear in the
Chitlin' Circuit in the '30s and '40s in Little Richard and in Fats Domino, all these people would play. But at the same time, I just -- it makes me
feel so good.
After 2020, we can't forget about fun. We can't forget to have fun. A part of us remaining human and our humanity being asserted is us having fun and
having joy in our life. We can't be sad all the time. And we have to have some sort of release of the pain and the tension that we felt.
MARTIN: It's interesting because you've got all these threads in your life. I mean, you're the band leader for the Stephen -- for "The Late Show"
and, you know, you're on television every night, you're in people's houses every night and with a particular kind of vibe. Do you think you would
always have given yourself permission to pull the threads together like this or is there something you had to get to a place where it was OK for
BATISTE: I think I had to get to a place where I felt that I had the authority to lead. I hold myself to such a high standard. I feel like a
perfectionist all the time when I'm working and building the craft and I feel that leaders have to hold themselves to a higher standard.
And if you're in the jazz world, are you in the music world, are you in entertainment or all these different worlds that I'm kind of straddled in,
I feel to really know enough to lead and represent all of these different facets of creativity, took years of study, 33 years of study, from the time
I was born. So -- and to be at this point now where I feel like I've gathered so much information and also understanding of who I am and what I
want to say has taken that amount of time. And now, this is something that I think is also a part of fate and you walk into a calling. I feel like now
with the world being in the place that it's in and the things that I bring to bear, is time to lead, baby. So, let's get out there. Let's go. Can't
hold back no more. You did enough.
MARTIN: And then you've got another, a whole other life in your role in "Soul," the Pixar film, that was just released at Christmas time. I am told
that the character, Joe, is in part based on you. I mean, he's got those long fingers, those long hands. And do you mind just telling us like how
did that come about?
BATISTE: Yes, of course. I was very honored to be a part of "Soul" and the reception across the world has been incredible. I think something like this
is really a way to introduce jazz music in that sacred lineage to a new audience, young people in particular, because Pixar specializes in this
I started working with them as a consultant and as a composer two years ago. And we worked on the film for two years, really trying to nail down
the story and the authenticity of the performances and the music as well as the character of Joe which became a character based partially on my
essence, mainly my hands and different stories of my life that have really become very instrumental in me becoming the artist that I am today.
One in which mirrors what Joe goes through later in his life in the film. He goes to an audition and he is auditioning for the band of Dorothea
Williams who is this matriarchal black woman genius. She is like the tradition Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln who I've performed with, Cassandra
Wilson, Melba Liston, Carmen McRae, I mean, all of these black queens of the music, that she's is an archetype of that.
So, he goes to audition for her and it's -- it mirrors a time when I first met Abbey Lincoln. And I was 16 years old and I just moved to New York City
to go to Julliard and I was there and this was my first gig out of high school. And I go to her apartment. She invites me to her apartment for an
audition, which was set up by her drummer, just like Joe in the film is set up by the drummer. This drummer who I knew from New Orleans was playing in
her band. He says, I set up an audition. Go to see Abbey. I go there. I sit at the piano. She doesn't say a word past hello. Puts one of her most
famous songs on the piano, the sheet music she lays on the piano. She says, OK. Let's go.
She starts singing. And just expects me to follow along. No instruction. No hint as to what to do, what to play. And just to see that played out in the
film, you know, afterwards, you know, she didn't even tell me, you got the gig. I got the gig but she didn't say, great job. You got the gig. Here's
the next -- she's like -- she starts talking about African dance and then she starts giving me books to read. It just becomes -- she starts feeding
me and pouring into me the things she wants to pass on.
And that's the thing. These queens of our music become institutions. And there's numerous things in "Soul" that represent just these little
archetypes or little stories or little historic anecdotes of our music. It's so well done. I'd urge you to see it if you haven't.
MARTIN: Before I let you go, I feel like honor bound, I must ask you, do you have some advice for younger artists who are coming along and kind of
wanting to know which way to go? As a person who does have a foot in all these worlds, who is commercially successful, but who is able to still live
a life as an activist and also, do the kind of art that makes you feel fed, do you have some advice?
BATISTE: Absolutely. When I think about it, the funny thing is, I don't think anyone should follow in my footsteps or in anyone's footsteps. I
think you should gather as much information as you can, which, you know, means reading biographies, studying the work of people who you admire,
anybody who you study, inherently that art and that work becomes a part of you. And anything that you love, the more that you indulge in it, the more
it becomes a part of you and your voice. So, just continue to do that.
But then, at the end of the day when you have all this inspiration, all this information and influence, just find the thing that is calling you and
go after that even if you don't see an example of it and you shouldn't see an example of it because you're the only one that exists. So, that's my
advice. Don't try to be like me or try to be like anybody. Be like you. And that's how you're going to actually figure out something that not only is
just fulfilling for you but is the most meaningful to others.
MARTIN: You said you were nice enough to play a little something for us so how about "I Need You?"
BATISTE: Oh, yes. In this world with a lot of problems, all we need is a little loving. Thank you, thank you. Oh, you make me thank you, thank you
for you for your love.
MARTIN: Well, thank you, Mr. Jon Batiste. It has been a pleasure to speak with you.
BATISTE: Oh, my goodness, like wise. Thank you. Yes indeed.
AMANPOUR: Jon Batiste bringing pure joy. And that's it for now. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.