« Commentary Magazine Podcast

Let's All Go to the Mall—Sometime

2020-04-13 | 🔗
COMMENTARY's daily podcasters are joined by the inimitable Andrew Ferguson for a wide-ranging consideration of this question: Will we go to the mall? Can we go to the mall? What will it be like when we go to the mall? Also, we hear about Andy's decision to stop doing television, why I left government and how Noah Rothman may have convinced Jaoquin Castro to grow a beard. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary daily Part Cast today- is Monday IPL thirteen, twenty twenty. I am John Pub Words the editor of commentary with me, as always senior editor, a remote high Abe. I jump senior rather Christine Rosen High, Christine Hygiene, other nor Rossman high Noah I got and joining us again are repeat guest Andrew Ferguson, lanthorn high, Andy hello, John, so everybody
We have now entered into our for some of us at the fifth week of. Are you know me no foreign locked down but how do we want a slice it and we here in New York are seeing this phenomenon again, which is that the current death toll is horrific and and deep, but the but the curve, his flat unambiguously and the number of emerging
He remembered missions for covered nineteen are, are going down from their high and will continue to every indication as they will can see where the plateau and they work that will continue to start going down in a bit. So that leads to the question is raised here. Every five minutes by by certain people, which is when is this over and we existed a reality where, and maybe we can talk about what this means innovation, we, where the real question that was raised for some of us is, is there a risk level that the country is willing to accept to reopen, by which
I mean the country reopens, and people understand that after the country opens, people are still going to get infected, workplaces are still going to have people in them, get infected and that and that people are either going to be willing to take their chances. Though, the restaurants and go to bars and go to move these and go to movies, or what were we? we no longer live in a world where that is even thinkable. Exactly the problem with that is that there is no way to get the risk level two zero. Until there is a vaccine, so we are therefore looking at a mindset that that doesn't leave. The national consciousness for a year, apparently, unless the fact that every great mind in the world is gonna be working on this
problem in this problem alone could lead to some methodological breakthroughs that make it so that the virus that the vaccine doesn't take a year baby and take six months or something. I don't know any as I am as it is a moral historian. Like this. Do we, arrogance and twenty twenty, or indeed in a work, people of the world and in the twenty first century too. We have the emotional capacity to assume that level at any level of existential risk of this sort. Did you say existential? I wasn't that good. I could go with them. You know well,
someone once said: that's when I reach for my revolver in Sweden has a huge legal protection, especially ass. Well, you know that I think it's a really tricky question, obviously, because you have to reach a consensus of some. Because everybody's going to have differing views on it and I think the only sort of public, gums or governmental response to it is My libertarian side during out is going to be maximum freedom for business owners aboard. People who run churches in sporting events and things like that people are going to have to decide that for themselves in You know whether they want their employees to come back into work space where they want to have their came out playing on a field in the lead spectators in
and then there are the sort of the market will will reply and will say: no people are not are not comfortable enough yet to go, see a baseball game or they're. Not they don't want to sit next to their co worker. No one ever those various conclusions are and My worry is that I'm in this whole, this whole idea. You know Trump saying it in and the press going along with him. You know I'm going to reopen Wade In closing I mean you know he can't just he does think he's got, and so it is impressive. Yes so he's gonna like what this is about decision. I have too much
say whatever the early once nobody's going to do it simply because he says so yet so that some mean a little access stanch. All at least this story about this document as before the cameras are, there might start started rolling. Is this port processing plant that has closed is really interesting tail? So this is a poor processing facilities, major one in South Dakota, two hundred and forty employees got the disease. They couldn't maintain operations and more they had to shut down, is to set. This is an essential facade
the cuts between forty five percent of the nation's pork supply know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is it's: it's like eighteen million servings of pork per day off the roof off line after the supply chain. Now so how'd it. How do you navigate environment, for it is clearly being open, is an incredible risk to the people who are working its clear being clothes is an incredible risk, everyone whose not having to navigate this device and wild catch? Twenty two I mean like I could see, I could at least envision small towns, rural communities sort of getting to the point where they can live with numbers that are JANET only low and go on about their lives very hard to see this- that set this sense of risk taking. That would be involved for big cities, salary or even think in terms of schools, radio
have a large number of parents who say yeah, you know what we know the risks. We understand them, but we want to get our kids back to school in the fall. It really only takes one litigious parent suing school district because their kid got sick for that really to become opera for the school district of the people who have to make these decisions. I mean you do we are fairly litigious people, and I wonder I mean if I'm in the position of of looking at the. Legal risk to my small business or to mice institution. That's gonna have to be weighed in either that you're gonna have to have people signed The same waiver, you sign basically, when you get a hot pizza like if I get burned out who who sue you, I mean but be layers in layers of that sort of protective paperwork that are gonna have to be in place in a look for a lot of business ownership for peace of mind or for to satisfy the requirements of their ensures that this point right, because this is a
Paul New set of risks that we are able to yet know the end of until there's a vaccine. So I mean If I was an insurance company ensuring small businesses, I would probably say you can reopen, but in Europe that young people who come through your door have to waive all you know acknowledge the risk. Ok. So I think it is fair to say that if the, if we'd be the consensus, that consensus at the moment is for the country shut down the despite if you're a reader on twitter- and you see, people you know you are you watch on Hannity or something like that, because you know there are these pole numbers link Gavin Newsome has. Eighty three percent Paul approval rating, and yet only eighty percent of the country thinks we ve done the right thing so far and all that so people seem to be basically in national agreement about what's happened so far, and some of us are getting it
start a picture of this reading social media and being serve in the among the elite of the okay. When are we? What when are we going to reopen? What are we going to reopen when are they real? But so it may well be that this is a misreading or a misunderstanding of how this is how this works, that people are getting frantic or it's a it's a species of unit living where the shutdown really started a month ago, which isn't most of the country. Actually and so for the parts of the country where the shutdown has really happened. Yet sure aren't you know or schools, rather the massive inconvenience out on me now, but it's not sheltering in place and that sort of thing but even in the places where people are sheltering in place of my senses, that people want more draconian, rather less draconian measures or accepting of them, because they are afraid of the they're afraid of the virus.
Oh. I don't know that there will never be consensus in part because of that of the trouble making aspect of social media, by which I mean. Let's give example this may we can shift to this Why is the liberal meet wired, liberal media so intent I'm getting Trump to fire Anthony found? She is I don't see any other way to read this effort to stir up as much dissension between found she and Trump. This is a species of journalists asking questions press conference pushing lives, pushing that and knowing the trump if they can make the cased trump. Somehow that found she, is disloyal or just so you know we're bored bad or, as you know, that that'll push his buttons and he'll do they want. They want him to fire fat I mean I by the way I M kind of agnostic. I fancy in the sandwiches.
I love listening to him. I like his voice and all of that from what I can tell he's, mostly being a pr person. Now he seems to be you no talking to the press three to five hours a day and that is that he's not running his agency, exactly he's being earth is being us or public spokesmen about viruses, inequity the ideology and all of that and much less you now being Ends on manager of the crisis, so I don't know, maybe it would mean if you were fired a word fired, but it just seems like a bizarre masochistic, aggressive, anti trump psychosis to be pushing this as that implicitly or an esoteric really pushing. This is as a narrative, but it's not, I think it's masochistic ethic they want. They wanted to firefox that to them they could say. Look what a jerk trumpet
But why do they want to be more rules, while it's the same impulse that we set the goal that we get the times it is story, interesting story about the early warnings that were ignored? These stories come out every time they were tons of m after nine eleven there to any time, there's any sort of national crisis and an in I'm with the caveat that this actually is the job of reporters to go back and look and sift through couldn't find you what went wrong, and hopefully we learn from that, but there is a kind of zeal with which and speed with which this is being done in real time with this virus rights.
We're going back to January in the warnings internally that the Trump ignored or downplayed, which argues worthy in the sense that Trump is now arguing that he didn't ignore them and didn't dump ladys things like so he's giving press conferences where he says. Oh, I was aware I was on top of things from day one while he wasn't but there, but the tone of all of these sorry strikes me, as is being almost lascivious in its effort to should prove that its trumps fall right and mean that there is a kind of tone there that that separate from the facts that are being a crude and that I think it's it's that tone to which unfortunately, Trump responds in a series of insane Easter tweeds, which are totally unhelpful and, as our you know, his is extemporaneous remarks during his press conferences. But there is a it's difficult for me when I read those stories to separate the tone from the facts, I'm reading about the factory useful and it's good to know what we should have seen it had a time and what not, but the speculation tends to err on the side of you know again blamed trampling trembling trump now
and he doesn't deserve some blame, but I mean maybe I'm over reading these stories that you guys read this one in the times over the weekend. It's getting a lot of attention yet so to speak, story. So from what I gathered, there was an email, the reserve there was a sort of chat. Email grew red on Red, John, that, like same of this, this could be really bad end, and so, therefore, that proves that we should have set the country down in January, and so I mention this the other week, Roberta walls, debtors book on an unparalleled harbour which lays out the fact that, yes, everybody knew that. Maybe the Japanese were then aggressive Military power in in the late nineteenth varies that words are taking over China and that there were these bits of data that indicated that they might attack us, but that absent the attack on us. The idea that the bill
I proceed could actually achieve a level of readiness to retard the attack were a fight back or somewhere. That is hot, is is hindsight, is like insane hindsight like this is the problem I cite, is you assume the emotional understanding that happens after something happens and then projected backward? So it's like when Bush gets a report on August six, two thousand one saying all kind of determined to attack inside the Eu S. We should have gone on high. We should have gone to deaf com. What is the highest f five or one. I can't even remember the one should learn to DEFCON One, but it didn't say when it didn't say where didn't say what method it didn't say. Anything except all the chatter suggest there determined to attack the U S and yet, if you, if its politically convenient for you, you can then use that
to say: Bush was a Bush was a failure, and I mean I think this is exactly the same sort of who I am and also in these things, to have cut off the such threats or early enough when it would have made a difference, would weaken Our policies for which there was there would have been zero political will at the top right, more evidence or evidentiary data to support that conclusion. There is also a lot of effort to absolve the W h show of its role in this thing and witches. I can understand that at all, except for the fact that Trump is that the better target here, if your approval report Anthony found she himself said, I believe, on January, twenty ninth- that there was no evidence of human human transition in China, but that was at the end of January that this was theirs. I left the Chinese were telling him right
I believe it is doing that saying that everything and we ve put aside from some, do and appropriate suspicion of chinese data. There's no evidence to suggest that we should have questioned that evidence because they hadn't been this opaque in past respiratory outbreak was the only reason. The only reason to doubt the evidence was that they quarantine seven hundred and fifty million people for it for a disease that didn't go from here. Do you mean that that that figure that data that something where you can entirely? We didn't know that they weren't caught? Classifying people who tested who didn't test send symptomatic were untested, are false negatives, warping included network that we didn't know that, but, as is, As late as early and MID February, we don't know any February. There were public officials who are still public officials and health experts and industry people in the medical community, who are saying, looked up the thing to worry about here. It is seasonal flu, including the sainted Andrew Cuomo, who had as much in
the second week of February. Well, there's a lot of memory. Holing right! That's the interesting, though Trump wisdom, memory whole his in attentiveness. Something by saying no, I put the travel ban on China and I did this and I did that and Well that and then you have like the public officials in New York, like this guy Mark Levine, who is the chairman of the Health Committee of the New York City Council, which is to say, he's the jerk of the jerk body, who was a jerk who, on February ninth, was telling everybody to go to the Chinese New Year Parade and then in in in March his leg. You know everybody dig a hole and get in the hole and get get oxygen for six years. You know it's like. No, I am sorry, you know tweets live forever. You said everybody should coat. The Chinese do your parade, which is obviously was probably one of the sources of the New York City outbreak.
The Marty. Grub thing Orleans was the source there. So there's a lot of and quabos memory holding. You know also There is also a notion that the only people who didn't want this are per political officials high tied down, who are just beholden to political sentiment, while all the experts in the world were warning about how this is gonna be exactly what it is today, and it is simply not true- and I wrote about this- for for the magazine is theirs and there was an industry survey conduct released rather on February thirteenth, that showed among medical professionals that nine percent of those surveyed were very concerned quote very concerned about this situation when all of them to up to most of them at least said and gave quotes in this story. Sang look as seasonal influenza is the bigger threat here. He should have decent really have to worry about the sort of thing does nobody. Whaley was all that worried about. It is ever a couple of civilization as conservatives
and you know what people who studied collapse of civilization and just as it is I hobby and those people who were real bad, didn't like the blacks one is here. Yes, I thought I mean. I know that there were a couple is that this is the whole question of like who really had the interest in finding out about this, except as an intellectual exercise before body start coming? Who who actually made a serious study of this early, and that is like of somebody. I know at a successful hedge fund ah with tens of billions of dollars under management. Starting in Intimate January, I said this is like: let's put our research department on this and watch this on an hourly basis and by like February first was like everybody Bay. Contingency, plan everybody who work here find another place because they're going to New York City is going to get shut down. You know New York City in
and the other, an ancillary flat like I'm gonna, get shot down any second, now self we're find other ways to work. We have to do this. We have to do that. We need to show we need to hedge our risk because why do we tell the rest of us have happened because, like you also have a billion dollars and a baby, that's life yet, but I'd be a part of this. Was this you know that was his abundance of caution, but I'm just saying like he. This firm they had a you know. This was it This was an extinction level event for them. If they, if they were or were conversely, something that they could, whether better than other places if they got on it right. The abundance of caution is if it doesn't work out, they they had enough assets so that it wasn't all that costly
to make all these contingency plans, but where you have there is a direct financial interest in making sure that this was the case, whereas in the governing, though you have all these conflicting pressures writes that governments go through. Like you know, one inconvenience people you have labour contracts I mean that's part of the funny thing about all this talk about schools and distance learning arose during learning. All this is that nobody has taken account of the fact how much decision making is going on because of union power in municipal and state governments in in blue stakes. You know to shut the school system down. No, because you know you have union contracts to fulfil what how do you handle this? It's not all just you know. We need to make sure that the children are fine. You know their bare lots of different kinds of pressures of at play. Well, that goes
AIDS point which seems to me with all I'm really. I can't tell you how much I hate all this fine say journalism mean there will be a great time to do that when People can speak more freely and all of that sort of thing that a bedtime story was just from what I could tell it was just one disgruntled or buck, passing employee or civil servant after another credit, traded, titillate New York Times your borders, but the idea that there was ever any kind of political interests. For anyone to have wit when you ve got no twelve people dead and you say: ok, we're gonna shut the country down its absurd on its face. It never would have happened. She was trying to say this yesterday, we had this brow beating interview with still tapir here. And you know it
said well, there was a lot of pushed back from Essen. It I found himself seem to be very self aware that here is the disease guy he's the germ virus die and the press. There is a difference different role. You know, and the civil servants have a different role and its the president, who has to make all these decisions, but he has to listen to a whole bunch of other people. Then then Doktor found she and Do you know they there's gotta, be she somebody's got to shoulder humility here in but when there, when they're looking at trumps performance, I mean obviously eased he's not doing that great of a job. We didn't do a great job, but Jesus Christ. Got a great job good point, because for all of the criticism of Trump trying, mean authoritarian, strong man, the deed media responds often seems to be low, king foreign authoritarian, strong men, who is in trouble to tell us what to do, and we can all trust
where he said: Gretchen winners, extremely excessive lockdown on innovation, essential items for purchase, including seeds, for your garden, an infant car seats. So you can't take your child home from the new care center of union. Just had a baby, a boost who's going out against that. Besides the right, what you know you have to be a positive, you just have to be an android to look at these massive lines of cars outside of food banks where people are saying we need the National Guard to help us maintain this, that the amount of outflow that we're having here causes can last for two more weeks whose whose freak out about that, besides the right, certainly
breast right now I will say that there is one aspect of this that I find I found humorous, which is that at the guy in the White House who wrote something in January, saying there's a pandemic. We have to prepare for. Is this protectionists, Peter Navarro? You know who is, I guess you would call him and economies on professional economists, but he saw the trade he's like that here. Like the Trade WAR guy Peter tomorrow, so he wrote, some members were had some memo, written forum or whatever saying this in the end. January, but we only found out about Peter Navarro View, because there was a story about how he started yelling at found. She in a White House meeting like in the last week of bar. About how found she was shutting the economy down any needed to reopen. So what's the story
Are you and then, and then somehow Navarro managed it managed to come out that Navarro had written this memo, because he look bad in this fight with voucher? Who was then you know the God? So so in January, though, what Navarro saw was a political advantage, which was he wants to be tough on China. He wanted Trump to put trade restrictions and a travel ban on China. So he said China's, kill us all. Ok, so that's his view in January and then come March, though the though right view had shifted to We're overreacting were over reacting. This is an overreaction, so the same guy who said there's a pandemic coming, we need to basically shut down, are released from two months later is a Anthony of.
Serbia Hysteric over the economy, because his political interests had changed from January to March, which I think is a kind of the of its like the reverse version of Mark Levine of the New York City Council, saying go into as many giant crowded situations as possible at lick other people's faces. That's how you show the Trump is wrong about this terrible travel ban. To you now run for your lives. It I'll take your nine year old grandmother and put her out. I slow for her own sake. Be that's another thing that has been memory hold. Is the notion that the left wasn't attacking trumps, very permeable travel ban on nationals from China, which is not really a travel ban, but was theatrical and
to get a free, Buddy excised about it and they W H, show came down on em. Every one in New York City came down on him and public office. Have the media came down on him? I mean, if you missed it, you just weren't. Looking and I was capital is travel back. You know it was permeable enough to assuage me, because it allows for these kind of contacts that you need. An information sharing to effectively address the sort of a situation, but a full travel ban would have been ultimately counter. Active they didn't even do it right, so let me take up and go ahead while I was that that's just a part of the same. Debate, I mean how on earth are you going to tell american citizens who were in China that they can come back to their own country
and away when you don't when you don't have a crisis right in splendid right out. There was a repatriation products and also that the State Department, another carrying the coal mine, the State Department, evacuated everybody from handling the minute. This whole thing happened right, so a guy's limitless take a break, and let me talk to you about today's advertiser nets. We look. There's enough uncertainty to go around that right now and net sweet reduces it by giving you visibility and control with so many decisions to make so many critical decisions to make. You need the right numbers and you need them right now. So, let's talk about nets. We play Oracle. The world's number one club doesn't system with nets. We give you financials cashflow peril, inventory and more all in one place, so you have clear visibility and total control of your business, that's my customers have the flexibility to work from anywhere with immediate clarity and critical information right, their fingertips, no more guess No more waiting makes smarter decisions with confidence because you, but
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dollars and this somehow it was to prove that this is a vital to their terrible circumstance, Is there going to be a presidential campaign? Alexander. That all depends on whether you know Trump reopened. The country, if you want to do You know that's the thing about the money. I it's it's a m. We all You know there's so little news in politics in general. Even when there is not a pandemic going on that. Better people grasp for metrics in one of the great ones is how much money people have east and it matters early on in primary some things before the general election is likely to make any difference at all, nobody is not going to know Joe Biden there's, nobody is not going to know what he wants to do when he gets elected.
President, so all that stuff his system, you know I had there's gotta, be a lot of better things. People can do with six hundred and fifty million dollars and spend it on advertisements for Donald Trump. I can't help if you like this advantage. This whole situation advantages Joe Biden, despite the money, because the notion that will have a conventional presidential campaign in the summer in the fall seems remote at this point and did bindings desire to run essentially a front porch campaign which he doesn't have to do. A lot of travelling doesn't have to speak. Next, have very often Donald Trump lives on audiences, see thrives in an audience environment. He can read a room like no one else, Sony absence of an audience for rallies.
Debates. Maybe I mean that's a sort of thing that would disadvantage him. You would have to thank because you think too, how Joe Biden performed in the last debate against Bernie Sanders, where there was no one else in the room. It was probably his best debate because he just didn't have that pressure on them to think so fast. I think I just told him at least helps Joe Biden and Laura loneliness Aden abetted now by media establishment that will come behind him. Many had this, this completely anodyne up ad in the times over the weekend, Judo sort of here, if I were present, here's what I'd be doing, none of which was particularly I mean just was synthesizing. Whenever ones already been saying for weeks. There is nothing new there. There is something, but he was given a lot of space to make his case and, at the same time, will see how much digging and dirt dating they'll, be on him in going forward from the media. I think them unanimously Trump is gonna throw it we will stick to the wall at him, but he's not likely take too to be scrutinised carefully,
media establishment why I was so. There were two stories as we can write one of the worshippers. While the New York Times about this allegation, Am I talking about it, but you were the reason I want to bring up the different and I was not as a second one of the Senate. All the same woman now so not hurried terrorism, actress Page was in sharp knife. He was here you might actually what's in charge NATO Certainly, the finest moment on Twitter was the night when everybody was life: tweeting sharp NATO, not them together that nation s but I know her name is carried by
hurry up your lover. He aiming at an ok. So the point about these stories was that they were written from the aspect of the bunker ie and to be fair. They were, they were quite rigorously done. They checked everything. You know, there's no evidence, there's no contemporaneous evidence. It's her brother says he told her. You know. She's Sanderson, order, whatever okay so, but what was interesting, of course was that she has a little more evidence that Brett Kavanaugh ever had that then then the then Brett Kavanaugh's accuser ever had and of course that was entirely correct. That was entirely taking it at face value and and the New York Times the Washington Post have done this story. Through the bucket effectively. Although again, I think the stories are sufficiently honest and honest answer that I take her out yeah the time starting. Wasn't that honest, because they did they had this amazing data they tweeted and then retracted, and then changed. The story
about memory holding in real time where they had said you know there have been no other allegations about. You know. There's no evidence at Biden has ever done this to anyone else, except for the many women they said they felt uncomfortable with how you are getting sniffing gets enough that they have actually obviously paper like not great for the brand at rife, but the story itself does not mean all the story says. Is that there have been no allegation of specific wrong doing and and and account is, and then she went to the cops to issue some kind of fantaisie yes empty seat. The issue, some kind of a allegation, but didn't My work and she found a place report, throw please support without naming Biden, because of course, when she names, but he can counter sewer work. You know like in store for US under which I think is the likely as thing is the chief slandering him and of course this proves that if you want to make Really disturbing allegation against somebody
without evidence, ensure that our public empty, because the beer, because there will be a lot of credulous about it. But in that sense you know, vitamins So the thing that gets me is that we cut its it's always a reversion to priors right, which is money who had Trump has all this money? Oh my god. Is that all this money remember like the whole point about trumps campaign is that he spent half of what the Republican were of what his challengers challengers meant. I believe together nomination twenty sixty job we spent a hundred and thirty five million dollars mark ruthless one hundred twenty million dollars. Tat grew spent about a hundred and forty million dollars. He spent something like seventy million, so he didn't need the money I mean. You know obviously need money to build some infrastructure and facebooking and whatever
The hell Elsie did, but I saw you know it's like. Are we really going to go through this again? We have to go through this again every it's like thirty years of this nonsense about how money controls everything that money is like Plato's cave in politics, because it scares people who are in the cave. Right it's like well, I can't run. I don't have any money or you know, people to judge dropped out cuz. He didn't have any money. Well, you know people to just call Ed caught fire. He ate might have gotten money we wouldn't have needed them. I began would have had all our media and he wouldn't have needed money. You know, that's why you had to drop out, even though he one one of the first three primaries. Money, money, money, money re all throughout this thing is I, oh, my god, what a great day Amy Club, which our rate six million dollars. She got all this money after a debate. Performance and pick
and then Brighton, who had less money than anybody else, did one ran away with the nomination and Bernie Sanders was play, something like five. Six hundred million dollars over the last four years managed to get forty thousand people to vote form him in Nevada and had you know I do now. People vote for him in in Iowa. I can't remember that number and that's what he got for six hundred billion dollars. I mean so it's tiresome, but it it's never going to end. Well, it's one of those states that it's a it's a demand side problem which afflicts all political journalism, which is there to many reporters chasing too little loose ends. You know, as I said, you just grab out anything at all. We hear that figure here, two dollars figure for maybe Cobler club charm. Come you know. Listen today we have a story, you know
It is a story. I don't mean that its. I don't mean that involve everything's store any medicines, but I mean it's: it's not it's because no significance, aside from from other donors matter as a measure of public support. Yes, that's a fairly new phenomena are needed, but but again Andrews had ten zillion low dollar donors and, as you know, and that didn't mean that he didn't lose by thirty points in South Carolina once there was an actual primary with a lot of people voting the other interesting story by the way, in terms of the o. The virus killed off his chances and all that is the term. He lost Alaska by ten points over the weekend, Andrea yeah abide. One less go by ten points is an all male in election, which means that people might have been voting a month ago and- and it was his second best state after remained in twenty. Sixteen-
so the idea that Sanders didn't collapse even where he had done well is, is now I don't have how many more times it has to be disproved probably probably doesn't really have to be. This proved it's now fun to watch these sanders rump trying to destroy them. Man I'm a bad name. I call it what you put their name upset about turn right and so are the democratic also of America. You know which was that remember when every said o socialism is back because the democratic Social America, which was started by Michael Harrington as an offshoot of the Socialist Party, because social. I was taken over by the Elsie. I oh and therefore was bad, not new, left enough. So Democrats who had had this, like
surge in membership, because a Bernie Sanders too, like fifty thousand nationwide. If ever tell they bow announced, they were not going to endorse Joe Biden. I mean she Drugs are not not Manderson Joe Biden and then Biden, Spress Secretary Brianna. Not like the Santer stressing our Brianna Joy grit, what it! What did she do? She liked listed all the allegations Terry's allegations against the all the things it ain't that they sell. Virtuously, didn't talk about, when, when burning with saw in the race, but now, of course she had bereavement. Nonetheless, to I mean it basically read like from Turkey and in all honesty, thirty, I was away the game when you're saying you know we did we decline to mitigate this allegation of sexual abuse, because it was it would have been just to uncouth was on jangling, reckon I'd just just to go a little larger for a second on the question of abiden. Here I think
It does have a significant challenge right now, which is that is their room for him in all of this, you know like what what does he say and what's his justification? If, if he was, the guy Biden was going to return the country to a sense of order. Insanity that is now not gonna happen with her. Without but right I mean that everything is turned on its head anyway. He keeps simply cannot promise too bring us back to normal right that a fair point of view, but also I mean that I did to his advantage again to not have to be anything to anyone. Just completely withdraw from the situation exists as a hypothetical alternative
and then leave you leave you to make your mind up there at the second. He starts putting me on those bonds. Is you don't know what he's talking about the letter? He does the better. I just don't think matters. I'm in this election was about Trump Trump had Trump, how the hope of making me- Actually about bite in the way that Obama successfully kind of maybe election about Romney and twenty twelve on in his re election, but the elections are not binding. There's led by Biden, will rise to the level of being a subject of the. Could you really trust Biden with something like the virus when you know by you know I've been unless the, the handling of the virus here- and it is a triumph of logistics wonderment, you know- mean to preserve the country at a minimum is gonna think that he didn't do the job.
He can still wear there's no way to project out too far, but if you believe the experts in so far as it can, then there's gonna be the sort of a false sense of normalcy. Returning in the Middle EAST summer, which will be fleeting and then disappear as the weather gets cold according to what means, if anybody believes the notion that this thing is temperature sensitive, then at least the amount of people outside be outside, will arrest some of its spread and then come right back in the fall. So I'd still long and laborious today will prevail. Then I just understand what kind of normalcy will prove it will not be normal. There will not be baseball the summer. There will be no baseball this summer. It is likely that the NFL will cancel its season or shifted or say they can't start until December, or something like that
many of the hot there's not going to be a democratic convention. There will likely not be. Publican convention There is no Olympics, which is not here, but you know all of that. There will not be July. Fourth parades there will not be July. Fourth, mass picnics there will not be the Sturgis, recycle rally driving of everything that happens in American the summer, so either there's normalcy in the sense that some restaurants reopen movement The others are not going to reopen. It is unlikely that movie theaters. Will you open in? and in at least you now have the country, if even if they can open the other half, there will be not gonna be normal. I don't work I agree agreed like be normal, but I think you might be selling the sites scientists a little short, because you know we're talking for five months from now. You ve got,
every smart person in the world trained not just to figure out new kinds of tests, but also treatments. It's not just about its, not just an antidote that they're looking for you could have it? You could have a cup of very effective treatments. You'll love if you're doing a lot more testing you'll be able to isolate the essential people have to be isolated people with diabetes and so on older people, so it might not be quite as weird, as you're saying I mean there might be some kind of resemblance to normalcy. If you ve got serious treatments and you ve got really good testing going on right and I'm still saying, let's say it even achieves seventy five percent of normality to that twenty five percent is a killer,
ah at justice, Trump didn't set the country down and he can't open it up. The question is what what will lead people to go to a mall. What will lead people to go to a? What would people to go to my window and Malta Morrow. I dont know Joe I'm not getting. I don't want anything opens up around me. I am competently nothing capable enough to navigate my environment safely and they go out of you make that conclusion. The one thing If the public health officials say all you need to do, is where a mask and keep six feet apart. That's what you need to do and where mass keeps its we depart. Maybe are gloves? Okay, that's what you need to do. You can go to the mall. You can go shopping to do whatever you want. Just keep, wear, mask and and keep six week apart, That might be very reassuring to people, but then you are in a mall in someone's three feet from you and you're
and your and your apparently person anyway and then then you turn around starts shrieking at the person for being three feet from you and then a fight breaks out and then a hobble comes over ends tries to break you up. I then you say, don't touch me your and someone hasn't self hammer out and shows it and then no one goes to a mall again, I'm just saying it's like I that's why I say is it could be a simulacra of normal
that isn't normal in any way, shape or form. Not not only that my fear- and I think I see this happening in real time Now- is that the longer this goes on, the less confident people are in their abilities to do it. No, it just described to two to go out there and use their own judgement to avoid this. I think two weeks ago, if you you had said regardless of the conditions, if, if, if you had said ok, you can go out there just where mask and use good judgment, it would have made a kind of sense to a large proportion of the population, and today I think, big be caught like any rut. The longer this goes on, the harder it is to get out of it, psychological. I think you, don't you? U real. Despite the sacrifice,
it is in the border in the tedium and money in their view, the at least you feel ok, there's a kind of protection in this that I don't want to give up in lockdown. Well I ain't I so I find I keep contrasting. The constant comparison here in New York is to nine eleven and where it is different and where this is an eerie and discomfited moment is that you're after nine eleven solo in New York is attacked, three thousand people die. We thought it was like twenty thousand people in the first week we can have It turned out not to be that, thank God, but there was the sense like everybody was in shock and everyone. But everybody looked at everybody else and smiled like there was a kind of you know. It's like where living through this gather your wonderful, I'm wonderful, America's wonderful! You know this is just a tear. Horrible thing that's been done to us, you know let eight o you basin, hugged anybody.
And now walking through the park yesterday with my daughter and you walk and like people are looking at you as though you are typhoid Mary, I mean they're. Looking at you with fear and anxiety, or maybe it's just I'm reading that because you're not sing anybody's fate. You just seeing these eyes often because the masks and that you can read anything into an expression like that. You know I I was I was. I was busy. I had exactly the opposite experience. Running out in front of my house in Arlington Virginia, was like a Easter Day parade of people. Knowing the beautiful weather and everybody would be rob behaving responsibly in keeping your distance, but they were all
extremely friendly with each other in greeting each other. In all that sort of thing, that's it. I think that you will be one thing that we have to avoid here, and this is going to be a big problem with the media is to New York defy this, which is not to acknowledge that New York's experience in Colombo, has been trying to emphasize is what you are saying here today is going to be you, and three weeks later we can say with pretty I confidence that that's not true, right. I'd have to also agree with that, and I'm only forty five minutes outside the city. In the suburbs we ve we have experienced as much community as you can make in this situation and to the extent that I'm out it said grocery stores and costly
and everybody says- is very friendly and very warm and has is that everybody is everybody wearing a mask not entirely focused panoply? There are quite a few workers of these places that that are and are not using protective near, but you know you can also just take it down for a minute and like a conversation, Annie Route was everybody wearing a mask. Now I'd say less than that's. Ok, so I'm telling you like almost everyone, wearing a mask your now, and it has a different. You cannot have sherbet, but that's not gonna meet. My point is that the experience of the rest of the country now I'm not acting as I'm on, I don't. I don't get it, although I'm sorry, but that they, the key courting to my friend the doktor, who is involved in the covert response here in New York. What they will say is absolutely go out reopen everything, but you have to wear a mask and
Oh three hundred million people may end up wearing masks like it could be just the price of, and not three hundred million, let's say two hundred million You'll see what it's like when everybody is wearing screen. You up the street, and you know it is This is my life. Now, I'm ever everybody who, as you know, who's, not exposing themselves on a daily basis to the second seem to have given up, is wearing mass, is wearing gloves, is standing in line to get into places and there is no social discord yet so help this dollar. It's I'm not talking about discord, theirs of discord and Fort Bragg part, because it so unpleasant to talk. When you have the mask on your face, would you prefer to be silent, which is part of which also creates a certain element of discord? I'm not
honestly, I'm only saying this, because it is a different kind of solidarity, because the solidarity is based in part on we're. Having this terrible, shared experience, except you could make me sick like how does it feel that is efficient, yet it there's a suspicion. Have to kind of be wary and suspicious in a way that you didn't. You didn't in posts. Nine eleven New York, unless perhaps you were, you, know, muslim worried that I would be some backlash right. I just don't know. I just think it some if that, if the national Syn, Is that you don't we we reopen by wearing masks? Then The countries can be walking around in masks, and it's it's not nice. It's like it's, not something. That's easy to get used to
I don't know what it's like in the countries where they get out of the way it's like in Hong Kong or Japan, where they got used to doing this a lot more or what those cultures are like ordinarily. Really so- and you know it's not as though new yorkers- new Yorkers rose. You know much more much friendlier than people give them credit for being and also much more informal, then, on a lot of other places. And there is a poses, a kind of formality. That is itself very weird in a place like me, your well at, whereas in Japan it's pretty you, we will frequently at pen without a pandemic, incite see people wearing mass consider polite to wear it. If you have any sort of called you wear a mask to protect others, immunity, us a lot of farm there, but there's so much more formality built into the structure of their social interactions. Anyway, or Andy as any version as a social historian,
turning to you in your role as a social presidential, cultural existential anymore more and more and more or its right like them, which book of yours should people read during their quarantine? marketing historian, yeah yeah yeah. I wouldn't know where to begin answers only three of them right. You can't miss basically Do what I say there either funding the wrong answer to that question? I guess that's what it's funny that so I was walking with my daughter. Yes, they who is intense grade and said to me. I was done it's a dumb question. I want to ask you some questions and I, and I said we ve got nothing but time. Ask him a question. A question is downright something, and she said you know that alleged tours like how did they work were happy,
Do it. How do you do a college tour tat? You know how to how does it function and was like crazy. You a book book on what what is your supper? One man's quest together, suddenly college yeah, yes, I do. I got one got it around somewhere anyway, so so I'm gonna have to go back and in our eyes like well, you know you make an appointment and you go in there, but, like I that was a very hard one chapter. I had to do so many those cultures, but any most parents do people in our situation and so that their there was it there was blood on every page, but there's blood, Andy, let's go
there's blood on every page when you re you're through Europe and is there any is a sufferer any separate part. I must suffering historian he's gotta suffering historian of suffering aspects. Now Christine is actually a historian. This site, you have your dying of aids in history that stirs russian gas and I've up. I've ever be a political science, and so you know I could talk about anything with absolutely no expertise whatsoever generalist as an under appreciated role. I agree with that. Yes, not everybody can just
talk extemporaneous lean on any subject. Why you that's? Why you're cable news contributor to think big you very much. Can I want to say one other thing but Andy before we go. What is the greatest things and Andy ever did this is like twenty years ago or twenty five twenty to twenty three years ago, so You may remember that in the year of Lewinsky, which started J Rave. Ninety ninety eight. There were three cable news channels as they are. Really maybe fork cnbc- was more of a cable news channel. So you had Amazon, CNN Fox, and so they talked about nothing but words for nine months and they d shows its own. Basically, if you were somebody who wrote an article somewhere in the last forty years, they call you five times a week
A clean also pays you in those days, yet they something for it. It had in some of them didn't write, but they would pay than you would go out. What's it say they gave me a good boy baby. They didnt pay enough, because this is the storing them, tell her you so they say go on and then it was like the brainy bunch or were Hollywood squares. There were like six or nine people in a grid like zoom Nine people in a grid with the hosted the centre, and then everybody was somehow supposed to talk when they could for life. And you would go on any, but the Viking this grid for five minutes. Are you drive to the studio you put up make up? wait for half an hour. Forty five minutes ago on for three minutes in this grid of eight people, and then you would leave.
And you just say the same for all. Well, the blue, droughts, birth, dna test Bird City, Blumenthal shouldn't have been held in front of this, and you put this like. May a new said, I'm not doing the same. I bought doing paying me, you don't want. It seemed a lot grander at the time, but you re much more principled about it. I figure like you're, like defaulting into the density. It was just eat out. I wasn't enough, they weren't they didnt pay me enough to be a whore. You were more like this is demeaning. This is the, opposite of anything real or meaningful or good, like I'm contributing to some bad trend in american culture, and you just stop going on tv, Well, you know there actually was a turning point than that,
restoring aha moment I was, and am I guess it was called Hardball. Then, what's his name show this man's Chris Matthews? I think it is just that hell yeah Hardball yet, and I sent some crisis of the century that afternoons and huge revelation and I'm sitting next to him. You know I am a dental smock on because he sprays I'll spit out of his mouth and that, for many of you know they could have been issuing nice little mouth covering in those days too so he turns me any says I Ferguson what is he already thinking about this and, of course the only The simple answer to that is how they how do? I know her highly probable? As we now know, I'd never laid eyes on the woman. I ve never met the woman had, but I really in the back my mind, if I say the obvious, which is Have no freaking idea he's
we're gonna have me back on, and so I heard myself say. Well, Chris, what I am hearing people and then I went on with it and afterwards her soul? Died, thing had gone out of me and I never gonna get it back and that's what I decided It was also they didn t know what I mean I feel warm for you know you have decided on a little hot in here. That's like these story of how I ended up leaving which is that I I worked quite briefly Garvin. I was a speech writer for re. And then, when the Bush administration started. I was a special assistant bill, Bennett and we were setting up. The drugs are office,
and so this office was very shaggy was her bill and John Walters, who is now at the Hudson Institute as his chief of staff and three or four of Us Aids and the office was her slowly staff, and the general tenor was. There was no real work, exactly we're going round talking to various agencies about what they do. When all this so was all just sitting around talking about what we should be doings of courses. Office was ridiculous since created by Joe Biden by the way for the drug ACT, one maybe eight and you have to coordinate our drug policy with no power authority anyway, and so, Oh there with them, and so we go in and out of each other's offices all day and John Walter's, who was the chief staff? His office was certainly the centre office because he was the chief of staff and at some point I walked in
his office, and he was having a meeting with of the military, a dance and the budget. The guide to the budget and I walked in doors offs was closed John said, you know what John John. Can you excuse us for a minute? I can't you should really be in this meeting so I walked out of the office of a closed the door and I felt like I had died, because if I wasn't in this meeting What was I was twenty eight years old, I didn't know what to do. I was like I was crushed. I didn't I I felt devastated and I had just been offered my old job at the Washington Times and I said no, because I wasn't gonna go back and it was the same job right here. When I left him
in the end you know here. I was in this sir, fashionable routine new agency, and I went back to my office feeling like death and I picked up the phone and I call part of the bar graph with offered me the job, and I took it because I thought, if this can make me feel this way. This is not a life that I, this is not the life for me like. I can't I can't allow this to be my emotion as an aid like I'm not cut out, for it. Strengthening I've never really told actually, but it's I'm out old friends, no weapon the drug problem in America only got worse. Now we know who to blame like her, I waited that's no because I suggested that we have a total travel ban from Colombia anyway. So those kinds of stories about like
you know what those moments when you go. You know why this is not for me, or this is not. This is not I should be, but barely went on television after that? Right, it's true, that's true! Just to promote books epoch, so, while no one, I will never be on television. The gas south have had plenty of humiliating moments in my time have haven't. We might bides my my late by most familiar moment was when Joe Scarborough asked me, because I was habit joking on set about just before we went on about having watch the bachelor, the previous night so he's a job, but aren't you watch the bachelor last night? What happened like Joe? You wouldn't believe, and it was so awful because this happened in that habit and then the caption under my name was job onward bachelor
that is a friend of mine like took scream cap and set them to be the right now- and I was you know, and then I could even say look. I only want to kiss my wife likes it, which is trusted. Regular pulled out, that's not gonna, be embarrassed about. It was bad. I'm sorry, I'm sorry The doorbell my worst was during the early part of the campaign, and we were interviewing usually in Castro, and then I had to set up to it to a question for him was big long, set up a red and part of his speech and asked him for a comment on any and graciously inform me that I was quoting his brother who, on any other rough one yearning to set it by the way for him growing the beard. I think,
I did that they could. Do you tell a part of you guys, don't notice, but no one has that that very beard yourself is now. Sport are from our point of view or has a bit Roberto, yeah some guys anybody else have any embarrassed and where we were, we close. The ideas I signed have prevent me from discussing any visible. I share all these stories with the bartender in the lobby. Lloyd. We have very and the leading conversations every night words of wisdom or I'm gonna, miss that girl get makes a great martini does well. You know you have to do you know you have to do. They need to be corrected. Yes, there. There are probably ninety percent of the body of has no idea what work but we're river God, I'd Thea its deep.
Jack Nicholson and the bartender in the shining? That's that was just a little level improv their rest No, I know at me, frustrated actors- and my hair looks like Nicholson's at this point, just pretty much like any Carter Administration official. Just very that is actually not true, but ok. All right so Andy, thank you for joining us again and giving us the benefit of Europe. Social, Borell, cultural, presidential, existential and political, and suffering historian ship yeah, I'm gonna get some more adjectives there by lemme. Guess itself were Christine We back tomorrow perceive a bad Noah Jump. Words, keep the camel.
Transcript generated on 2020-08-04.