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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Conservatives on Trump and the RNC; Play-by-Play of the Russian Doping Scheme; Race Relations in America; Female Leaders Around the World. Aired 10-11a Et
Aired July 24, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:16] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
ZAKARIA: Today's show will tackle this week's main event of course. The GOP convention in Cleveland. The Republican hope was to unify the party behind one man, Donald J. Trump. We have a panel of distinguished conservative pundits to tell us whether they succeeded.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
ZAKARIA: Then we will take you inside Russia's doping deception. How in the world did they do it? How did they fool the world? Fascinating story.
Also, the terrible violence of recent weeks reminds us yet again of the fraught relationship between African-Americans and the criminal justice system. Civil rights lawyer Brian Stevenson says that problems will continue until the nation addresses the root cause.
BRIAN STEVENSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: We made up this ideology of white supremacy in America and we haven't confronted it.
ZAKARIA: But first here's my take. Donald Trump set a reported on Thursday for the longest speech delivered by the nominee at a convention in decades. If one were able to go back and measure the decibel levels from the past, I'm sure he would win that prize as well.
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TRUMP: We are going to build a great border wall.
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ZAKARIA: The speech was screamed more than spoken, but the medium matched the message. Trump painted a picture of America that was darker and more dystopian than any candidate in modern memory.
There have been parallels drawn to Richard Nixon's speech at the 1968 Republican convention, but that was positively sunny by comparison. Can you imagine Donald Trump saying as Nixon did this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, 37TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We shall work towards the goal of an open world, open sky, open cities, open hearts, open minds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Or this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIXON: Let us increase the wealth of America so that we can provide more generously for the aged and for the needy and for all those who cannot help themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And of course 1968 was a time of genuine international and national crisis. The Soviet Union and America were locked in a nuclear arms race, producing ever more dangerous weapons, proxy wars between the two superpowers' clans were ongoing around the world.
The United States had half a million troops in Vietnam, with more than 300 dying every week on average in a war that was going badly. Just months apart in 1968 two of the country's most respected leaders, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., had been assassinated, the latter producing race riots in more than 100 American cities. Crime was rising dramatically.
The reality of America today is to put it mildly very different. The United States has emerged from the Great Recession of 2009 better than any of the world's major economies. It has produced more than 14 million jobs since 2010. More than the 35 other advanced economies combined as PolitiFact has noted.
For example, auto sales when Barack Obama took office were 9.6 million on an annualized basis. Last month they reached 16.6 million. Over the last eight years, America has become the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia. And unemployment is now below 5 percent.
Let me try to present the broader trends to you in a series of graphs produced by Harvard's Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack published in Slate. If you're terrified by the massive rise in terrorism you hear about, here is the chart detailing mass killings and genocides which includes all Islamic terror. Since 1945 as you can see it is a stunning decline, with a small uptick which is almost entirely countries like Syria, Iraq and Nigeria.
We have data on civilians killed since 1988. And here's what that chart looks like. There are some other charts worth looking at on the decline in homicides in America and the world. On the victimization of children, a huge drop. On the decline of rape in America. And one more chart this time from Pew, the net migration from Mexico to America since the Great Recession has been zero. Yes, zero.
[10:05:01] I know that fed on a diet of hype, hysteria and relentless attacks, people don't feel this way, but it is time to point out that doesn't make it true. Facts are facts. There is no golden age to go back to. What America do we want to return to? The 1950s when marginal tax rates were 91 percent and in many states women couldn't become doctors and lawyers, and African-Americans couldn't sit at the same lunch counters as whites. The 1960s when the country was consumed by war and crises. The 1970s with stagflation robbed the ordinary American of income and opportunity?
America is great. A country of openness, diversity, tolerance, and innovation. Of course it has problems, as do all countries. Of course it can be greater still, but not if it succumbs to anger, division, hate and despair.
For more go to CNN.com and read my column this week. Let's get started.
Well, you've heard my take and let us bring in four distinguished conservative intellectuals to offer their takes. David Frum was a speechwriter for George W. Bush, now a senior editor at the "Atlantic." Danielle Pletka is a senior vice president for foreign and defense studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Bret Stephens is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the "Wall Street Journal," a member of the "Journal's" editor board, and Stephen Moore is an economic adviser to the Trump campaign and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
Bret, let me start with you. You are a solid conservative but you have written critically about Donald Trump. What did you see at the convention and did it change your mind?
BRET STEPHENS, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I felt like I was watching a Monty Python skit of the Nuremberg rally. It was a convention that's sort of mixed, low comedy with real demagoguery and moments in which I felt more deeply alienated from the Republican Party than I ever have in my life, most of all by Mr. Trump's relentlessly negative appeals to fear and loathing in his address on Thursday night.
I cannot remember a more consistently hate-filled speech of any -- certainly never mind the Republican Party, any major presidential address. This sounded like Richard Nixon without the charm and self- effacement.
ZAKARIA: Stephen, you are advising Trump, and you're a very staunch free marketeer. And I was wondering what you made of Trump's relentless attacks on fair trade, the reaching out to Bernie Sanders and making common course, and he understands trade issues? Did that make you rethink your support for Donald Trump? STEPHEN MOORE, ECONOMIC ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: No, let me make a
broader point first, which is I think the reason that Trump speech was so effective is that what Trump had to do was basically convince the American people that he could be president, that he was presidential. And notwithstanding what Bret just said, I thought he came across as a kind of commanding presence, someone who was in charged, who could play the role as president, just as Ronald Reagan did so effectively in 1980, Hollywood actor. And he sort of showed the American people, look, I can do this, I can do this job. And that's one of the reasons I think that the public -- you know, the polls showed that it was overwhelmingly approved of, that speech.
Now you mentioned the one area where I disagree with Donald Trump. I'm a free trader. I'm uneasy with some of the things that he's saying about trade because I think obviously trade is good for the world economy. But look, renegotiating some of these trade deals so they're more on the interests of Americans and forcing China to play by the rules and stop cheating and stealing from us, I think that's something as a free market guy I can support.
ZAKARIA: Danielle, commander-in-chief. You noted that before the speech, he said some things about NATO that worried you. Did he come across as a commander-in-chief to you?
DANIELLE PLETKA, SR. VICE PRESIDENT FOR FOREIGN AND DEFENSE STUDIES, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Well, yes, unfortunately, he came across as the commander-in-chief of Russia. Not the United States. You know, what he said about NATO in the interview that he gave on Wednesday to the "New York Times" was so troubling, for many of us who care about national security, and who care intensely about our allies and the countries that we saved from Soviet domination, that we took into our embrace in NATO, what Donald Trump said about not being willing to protect our NATO, our treaty allies, was just downright frightening.
And the fact that someone like Paul Manafort, his adviser who has been in the pocket of Putin and Putin cronies could actually affect the candidate in this way, could affect the Republican platform in that way, is just totally troubling to anybody who believes in a democracy.
[10:10:16] ZAKARIA: David Frum, what about the people who weren't there? Of the five former nominees of the Republican Party, only one, the 93-year-old Robert Dole, was there. Most conservative intellectuals, as is apparent from this panel, still oppose Trump. Does that matter? Is this the new Republican Party?
DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: And the governor of Ohio was not there, which is an arresting fact. I think a lot of politicians sense a catastrophe to come, and they're right of course about that, and the task ahead is to work backwards from where we're going to be after voting day in November.
One of the things that I think you have to appeal to Republican elected officials is to say how do you prevent the coming wreck of -- of Donald Trump's candidacy from being the wreck of the Republican Party? How do we recover and rebuild? He's going the lose, he deserves to lose, and the question is, how do we make sure that he doesn't drag better men, better women down after him?
ZAKARIA: Up next, stay with us. I will ask Stephen Moore of course if he thinks Trump will lose and by the way, what should the Democrats do next week. When we come back.
[10:15:52] ZAKARIA: We are back with David Frum, Danielle Pletka, Bret Stevens and Stephen Moore.
Stephen, I want you to pick up on something David Frum was talking about, which is what does the new Republican Party look like? Because at the end of the day, you may not like it, but the core of Trump's message is really about stopping trade, stopping immigration, the things that got the weakest response at the convention were Paul Ryan's message of economic conservatism, deregulation, tax cuts, even when Trump talked about tax cuts, like a bunch of people noted, very little applause for that. So what you have out there are these voters who seem to be protectionists, populist, anti-immigration. Is that the new Republican Party?
MOORE: Well, it is a new Republican Party. And what you saw this week in Cleveland was the passing of the baton from the Bush era, to a new Trump era, and it will be a new party with a new message. Yes, we are going to require NATO countries to pay for their own defense, I have no problem with that. I think it makes sense. You know, we're running trillion dollar deficits, why can't Europe pay more for -- you know, Germany and France and Italy pay more of their own?
And these conservative ideas that he's not conservative enough, look, we're going to have the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan. We're going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a choice based health care system, much like what the American Enterprise Institute has argued for, and Heritage. We're going to deregulate the economy. We're going to have a pro-American energy policy. It's going to create millions of jobs in our oil, and coal and natural gas industries.
I mean, those are big ideas that will appeal to middle class -- working class folks all over the country, and I'd simply say to my friend David Frum, I'll bet you that you're wrong on this. Trump is going to win this election. He's going to win because he's going to win in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in Michigan, in Iowa and Wisconsin. Those kind of blue-collar industrial states, David, where Republicans haven't done very well in the last 20 or 30 years.
ZAKARIA: David, are Stephen's ideas conservative enough for you?
FRUM: Look, I am probably the least conservative member of this panel. I have long urged the Republican Party to make peace on health care. I have long urged for a more cautious approach on immigration. The middle class economic message is crucial. The problem is that it can't be advocated by a person who is as reckless and divisive as Donald Trump and who is going to repel so much of the traditional Republican Party. You know, not everybody in America is an unemployed steelworker. And
this is not a country of catastrophe. This is a country of growth where we all carry in our pockets computers with access to all the world's knowledge. We don't want to be in a situation as Republicans and conservatives, where we draw at everyone's who's optimistic about the future of America into the Democratic Party, and say everyone who thinks we're living in a "Mad Max" post-apocalyptic hell state, you come on and be Republicans. How do you build a party of enterprise with people who don't believe in enterprise?
ZAKARIA: Danielle, what do you think the Democrats should do, watching this convention?
PLETKA: You know, Donald Trump really set up Hillary Clinton beautifully because somebody contrasted Trump with Reagan favorably and suggested that somehow this was going to be -- this was going to be a rebirth. Let me tell you, in 1980, Ronald Reagan talked about morning in America. He brought a message of hope and optimism, of belief in the American people, of a set of principles, American global leadership.
Last night was bleak and dark. People analogized it to "Batman and the Dark Night Rises," I think it was a perfect analogy. And what Hillary Clinton needs to do next week is she needs to be positive. She needs to be hopeful. Now I'm not going to vote for her and I'm not going to vote for him either. But there are people who are choosing and they are going to be faced with a choice between a dark vision of an America afraid of foreigners, losing their jobs, looking at their last days of greatness and an America in which we have confidence, we can grow again, and we can have a better economy. And that people who lost their jobs actually can be offered a lifeline and hope.
[10:20:04] ZAKARIA: Bret, would you -- would you counsel Hillary Clinton to do that or would you say, do the 1964 campaign that is when Lyndon Johnson painted Goldwater as just too dangerous to become president?
STEPHENS: No. I think Hillary should make a real bid for people in the center, people who are afraid of Trump. And she should present herself as a sober, dignified, thoughtful candidate who's going to turn the Democratic Party into a party of inclusion and a party that appeals to the center much like her husband's party did in the 1990s.
And those Republicans, I would add, who think that Donald Trump is just an empty vessel in which you will pour the sweet wine of deregulation and the Ryan -- the Paul Ryan agenda, I think you're fooling yourselves in a very dangerous way. Donald Trump has been a protectionist for a long time. He's been a nativist for a long time. He's been an isolationist for a long time.
The America first theme in foreign policy is not an accident and the reputational damage this will do to every single Republican who has aligned himself prominently with Trump I think will last for the rest of their careers after November.
ZAKARIA: Stephen, I have to give you the last word, briefly, but because you're outnumbered three to one.
MOORE: Look, I think that -- look, the country is in bad shape right now. I just disagree with the rest of my colleagues. I mean, we've got police being murdered on the streets of our major cities. We got murder rates in my home city of Chicago that are just atrocious. We've got an economy that is not working creating good jobs. We've got terrorism here and around the world. Yes, it was a bit bleak, but you know what, for a lot of Americans, it's a bleak situation in this country.
I agree what Trump is going to have to do next and say, look, I've got real solutions that are going to bring morning to America and make America great again. And by the way, stand by, guys, because we're going to present that in the weeks ahead.
ZAKARIA: We will all stand by. Thank you all. Fascinating, fascinating conversation. Thank you.
When we come back, the fascinating inside story of the Russian doping scandal. You don't want to miss this.
[10:26:14] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. Perhaps better titled, "How in the world" for today. You've heard all about the Russian Olympic doping scandal and the reaction of various sporting organizations and committee and other governments. But just how did it all happen?
It is an amazing story. To explain we invited a reporter who has broken many aspects of the story for the "New York Times," Rebecca Ruiz.
REBECCA R. RUIZ, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Glad to be with you.
ZAKARIA: So your source is the director of the lab, the Russian lab that was in charge of all this. How did you get to him? How did he get to you?
RUIZ: It's an excellent question. The World Anti-Doping Agency commissioned an investigation last year into allegations of widespread doping in Russia. And that investigation wound up accusing the country of government ordered cheating, of a government run doping program focused on track and field athletes. And it named the director of Russia's National Anti-Doping laboratory as a key figure in that scheme.
He did not really cooperate with that inquiry and after he was accused, he fled to the United States, to Los Angeles, and months later, this past May, we spoke with him for the first time. He has not spoken since, nor had he spoken prior to that.
ZAKARIA: And what he describes is really an extraordinary -- extraordinarily thorough detailed account. So, you know, take us through it. He would get lists around midnight every day. This is in Sochi, in the laboratory where they were meant to be testing for doping.
RUIZ: Exactly. He detailed schemes that dated back years and he said that when Russia was hosting the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, the country saw it as an opportunity, he said, to control the lab and the results and to dope throughout competition. And so he said Russia's top Olympians, their medal contenders, were on this mixture of steroids throughout Sochi.
He said he received spreadsheets from the Sports Ministry that detailed who was on the doping program, when their competition dates were going to be, informing when exactly he needed to swap out their steroid laced urine for clean urine. And it was an elaborate scheme in which, he said, every night he would receive a text message with a list of athletes names and the seven-digit code that corresponded with the urine sample they had given earlier that day. It's supposed to be anonymous.
ZAKARIA: And then he would go to room 125 which was the place where the sample were all bring stored.
RUIZ: They were adjacent to room 125 which was the storage closet.
ZAKARIA: Right. Right.
RUIZ: He would be sure to leave the light on in his office on the fourth floor to give the impression he was still working. He would go to room 125, changing out of his lab coat into a Russian national team sweatshirt, he said, and he would work there for hours with the help of Russia's intelligence service, to -- through a hand-sized hole in the wall, which he provided us pictures of, and which subsequent investigation probing his account confirmed the existence of, pass through these bottles that are really key to his story, which have been thought to be tamper proof.
They are the standard at international sports competition. They've been used at the Olympics since the year 2000, since the Sidney Olympics. And whenever the bottle is opened, the cap is supposed to have been broken and show signs of tampering.
ZAKARIA: And yet in these ones, it didn't.
RUIZ: He said with the help of Russia's intelligence service, he broke into these bottles reliably every night and was able to surreptitiously dump out the steroid laced urine and swap in the clean urine of those very same athletes which the DNA profiles match.
[10:30:02] And that urine had been stockpiled in the months leading up to Sochi.
ZAKARIA: And just to be clear, this entire doping program was being done by the head of Russia's anti-doping lab?
RUIZ: So he was the orchestrator. You're right. And you picked up on a fantastic contradiction and irony there. But, additionally, he said that he was acting at the behest of the sports ministry. So what the lab director said is, "Yes, I was a key executor of this scheme, but I was very much acting on direct orders from the government to win at any cost."
ZAKARIA: Fascinating. Thank you so much.
RUIZ: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, a series of events in America have brought back to the fore an issue that just doesn't go away, the struggle between African-Americans and law enforcement. My next guest says it is because the United States is a post-genocidal society that has not come to terms with its past -- strong words, but worth listening to.
ZAKARIA: It has been a rough few weeks in the United States for relations between African-Americans and the police. Lives have been lost on both sides of the conflict. The police feel unsupported and the series of caught-on-tape shootings of black suspects have once again raised the uncomfortable question, is the criminal justice system rigged against African-Americans?
To help us understand, I recently talked to a man who fights hard to reform that system and has written a heartbreaking book about it, "Just Mercy." Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and a law professor at NYU. For his work, Stevenson has won a MacArthur genius grant, amongst many other honors. Listen in.
ZAKARIA: Bryan, pleasure to have you on.
BRYAN STEVENSON, PROFESSOR, NYU: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: I want you to tell the story of really what got you involved in this -- in this crusade that you are on. You're a young lawyer and you decide to get involved in the case of a guy, Walter McMillian, who was wrongly accused of murder and on death row when you met him, in a town that ironically was the town that is supposed to be the place where "To Kill a Mockingbird" was set, right...
ZAKARIA: Harper Lee's birth town?
STEVENSON: That's right. Well, I think it was that disconnect that really got my attention. When I finished law school, I was shocked to know that there were people on death row literally dying for legal assistance. We don't provide lawyers to even condemned prisoners.
And I met Walter McMillian in Alabama. He was convicted of a crime that took place in Monroeville, the very community where Harper Lee grew up and write "To Kill a Mockingbird." And that community loves the story. They romanticize it. They celebrate it. They put on plays about it. And yet they were completely indifferent to the plight of a black man wrongly accused of killing a young white woman, convicted in a trial that lasted a day and a half. The jury returned a verdict of life, but judges in Alabama, elected judges in Alabama, have the authority to override jury verdicts of life and impose the death penalty. And so the judge, whose name was Robert E. Lee Key, overrode the jury's verdict, imposed the death penalty, for a crime this man did not commit.
And it was a challenging case, because he was with many people when the crime took place. The entire black community knew he was innocent. But because they were there with him, they felt convicted; they felt condemned.
And I think what we have done in this country with mass incarceration, with excessive punishment, is not just incarcerate a lot of people, convict a lot of people, condemn a lot of people, but we have marginalized whole communities; we have demoralized whole communities.
And Walter McMillian's case tells that story. We fought for six years to win his freedom. Ultimately the evidence came forward and he walked out free.
ZAKARIA: And you point out that, in 1972, American incarceration rates compared to European countries -- it looks pretty normal.
ZAKARIA: And then it just skyrockets.
STEVENSON: Yes. That's right. Throughout most of the 20th Century, our level of incarceration was relatively steady. We averaged somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people. But in the late '70s, when this war on drugs kicked in that had been declared by Richard Nixon, we see the beginning of an era which has defined us as a society that is one of the most punitive in human history.
We now have the highest rate of incarceration in the world. We went from 300,000 people in jails and prisons to 2.3 million people in jails and prisons. We have 5 percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's imprisoned, 6 million people on probation or parole, 70 million Americans with criminal arrests.
ZAKARIA: And the -- the racial component of this is real. So you point out a Department of Justice study just came out. Tell us what it says.
STEVENSON: Yes. Well, the race statistics are the most dispiriting. The Bureau of Justice now predicts that one in three black male babies born in this county is expected to go to jail or prison. The statistic for Latino boys is one in six. And that's a shameful realty that was not true in the 20th century.
ZAKARIA: So when you look at those videos that we have all seen in the last year of police officers seemingly entirely unjustifiably shooting, killing, arresting young black men, you're not surprised?
STEVENSON: No, I think there is a narrative of racial difference in this country that we have never confronted. You know, I think we live with a kind of smog in the air. Our history of racial inequality is a kind of pollution, and we haven't done the things you need to do to effect a different, healthier environment. We've just not had conversations that you need to have. We're a post-genocidal society, and we haven't done the things you're supposed to do to recover from a genocide.
There were millions of native people on this continent who were slaughtered by white settlers when this country was formed, and we haven't talked about that. And it made us indifferent to the victimization of African people who were enslaved. And I don't think the great evil of American slavery was involuntary servitude. I think the great evil of American slavery was the narrative of racial difference that we created to legitimate it. We made up this ideology of white supremacy in America, and we haven't confronted it.
In South Africa, they recognized, to recover from apartheid, there had to be truth and reconciliation. In Rwanda, people will tell you they can't recover from the genocide without talking about all of the damage. In Germany, if you go to that nation, you see a landscape where there are markers and monuments at the homes of Jewish families that were abducted during the Holocaust. The Germans actually want you to go to Auschwitz and Birkenau and reflect soberly on that history. And because of that, we have a different relationship with Germany than we would have if they refused to own up or talk about the Holocaust.
But we do the opposite in America. It's the 21st Century. There's not a single place in this country where you can have an honest engagement with the history of lynching. There are hardly any places where you can deal honestly with the legacy of slavery. We have this landscape that is littered with the iconography of the Confederacy, which we romanticize. In my state of Alabama, they celebrate Jefferson Davis's birthday as a state holiday. Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday. We don't even have Martin Luther King Day in Alabama. It's Martin Luther King/Robert E. Lee Day. And this disconnect has got to be challenged if we're going to actually become a society where that presumption of dangerousness and guilt doesn't undermine the aspirations of so many people.
ZAKARIA: Bryan Stevenson, it's good to have you on.
STEVENSON: Thank you very much.
ZAKARIA: From race to gender, up next on GPS, Hillary Clinton will officially become the first woman to be a major party presidential nominee in American history. But what about the rest of women in the working world? How much gender bias still remains? And what can be done about it? A lot, it turns out.
ZAKARIA: Next week in Philadelphia, the Democratic Party will make it official. Hillary Rodham Clinton will become its nominee. It's a big crack in what is perhaps the tallest glass ceiling anywhere in the world. Does that mean gender bias is a thing of the past?
Not quite, my next guest will tell you. There's bias against women all over the working world. Iris Bohnet is a behavioral economist at Harvard University who has made gender bias and how to get rid of it her life's study. The results are fascinating and eye-opening. Listen in.
ZAKARIA: Pleasure to have you on.
IRIS BOHNET, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Thanks so much, Fareed, for having me.
ZAKARIA: So first explain -- what we're trying to understand is the nature of gender bias; that is, you know -- and to people who aren't aware or aren't sure that it exists, there's lots of data that suggest there's still a great deal of unconscious gender bias in the workplace, right?
BOHNET: Seeing really is believing, and if you don't see male kindergarten teachers, or female CEOs, for that matter, you don't naturally associate those jobs with men and women, respectively. And that's where bias comes from.
We really see it everywhere, not just in business but also in politics. It does affect how we hire, how we evaluate job candidates, how we think about promotions, how we assign jobs. In all of those areas it can matter.
ZAKARIA: And what I like about your work is that you focus, really, on the solution. So one of the examples you give is that Google found they were losing a lot of women, and they decided to investigate further. And what did they find?
BOHNET: Yeah. So I think Google is really exemplary in its use of data, and that is the first important message, that we have to let data inform our thinking, our decision-making, our judgments, and learn from them. And so what Google did was to, kind of, understand, why were these women leaving? And they learned it wasn't women per se; it was primarily young mothers who were leaving. And so they increased not just leave for mothers, but also parental leave, and that took care of the problem, and women are now no more likely than men to leave.
ZAKARIA: Now, when trying to understand gender bias, one of the things you talk about is auditioning for orchestras, which would seem to be a very simple test. But you say that you could find gender bias there and that there was a solution?
BOHNET: There's actually a lot that we can learn from orchestras. In the '70s, many of our major orchestras realized that they only had 5 percent female musicians. And they came up with something quite creative. They introduced screens and had musicians audition behind the screen. It turns out that dramatically increased the fraction of female musicians. We now have almost 40 percent female musicians on our major orchestras. And these screens played an important role in doing so.
ZAKARIA: And this was basically people playing behind a black curtain so that you couldn't tell whether it was a man or a woman, or if somebody was black, white or Asian?
BOHNET: That's exactly right. In some instances, they even asked people to take off their shoes, so that we couldn't hear whether a male or a female was entering the room.
But, importantly, now -- and that, I think, is so exciting -- there's new tools available now, technology, that allows organizations like yours and mine to blind themselves to the demographic characteristics of the job applicants. And we can show that that dramatically increases the fraction of previously underrepresented groups.
ZAKARIA: Now, one part that's really intriguing is you say that there is data that suggests women are more risk-averse than men. What does that mean and what is the fix? Because that tends to mean they're less likely to succeed as dramatically because they're not going to take as many risks?
BOHNET: Yeah, now, that's right. I think, generally, the difference between men and women are probably a bit overblown, but it turns out, in terms of willingness to take risks, we literally have hundreds of studies suggesting that men are more willing to take risk, take risky bets, and women are less willing to do so.
ZAKARIA: So if you want to design an organization where you're taking the best -- making the best use of men and women in various kinds of jobs, what would you do?
BOHNET: Yeah, I think that's exactly the approach that we have to take. You want to benefit from 100 percent of the talent pool and re- think how we advertise and how we evaluate and promote people. And it starts at job advertisements. In fact, that's actually very low- hanging fruit, where we should take a very close look at the language that we use to describe the jobs.
So imagine a school looking for a new teacher. Many schools then use words such as "collaboration" or "support" or "empathy" and "warmth," which normally are associated with women. And research shows that this will actually increase the likelihood that women apply and decrease the likelihood that men apply.
ZAKARIA: And if you were to try to get engineers, what would...
ZAKARIA: What is the job -- what would be the words that are usually used in advertising?
BOHNET: Yeah, they are typically words that we associate with men, so they include competitiveness; they include risk-taking; they include leadership, assertiveness. And so, yes, exactly, the same is true for stereotypically male jobs. We should use more neutral language to be inclusive of women who might want to consider applying for this kind of job.
ZAKARIA: So, now, do you think that women are more likely to be attracted to jobs that talk about warmth and collaboration and empathy; men are more interested in jobs that talk about leadership and, you know, getting ahead -- is this an inherent difference or are you saying just because of socialization, this is how men and women think and let's try to get these biases out?
BOHNET: I fear we'll never have the answer to that question. I think we'll never know what part is nurture and what part is nature. There's certainly evidence suggesting that socialization does play a very important role, in particular if we look at evidence across countries, when we, for example, compare the U.S. and Scandinavian countries, which tend to be much more gender-equal and where we see fewer of those stereotypes. They're not gone, but they're less prevalent.
ZAKARIA: But you say, no matter which, whether it's nurture or nature, through these simple fixes, you can achieve a more equal and productive environment in the workplace for all?
BOHNET: Yeah. That's what I'm saying, and I hope that's also what the data in my book is proving, in fact.
ZAKARIA: Pleasure to have you on.
BOHNET: Thank you very much for having me.
ZAKARIA: This week, Theresa May, Britain's new prime minister, met with Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor. There is now a chance that, as of January 20, 2017, three of the world's most important democracies and largest economies will have female heads of government.
It brings me to my question: In which of the following countries has a woman been head of government the longest over the past half century, Iceland, India, the United Kingdom, or Bangladesh?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is an old favorite that I was reminded of when, finally, I managed to go and see "Hamilton" last week. If you want more of that history, but with a twist, read Gore Vidal's "Burr," a fictional account of early American history as seen through the eyes of the one founding father who lost out. Burr, you might recall, lost the election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson, became vice president, and then killed Hamilton in a duel. It's an incredibly clever, iconoclastic account of the American founding, with devastating portraits of Washington, Jefferson and, yes, Hamilton. It's fiction but based on careful research.
And now for the last look. Being a police officer can be stressful. And the recent murders of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge have surely ratcheted up the anxiety even more. According to experts, all of the pressure and stress involved with being on the beat can contribute to tragic, misguided decisions. But there might be a way to help prevent the stress of police work from leading to tragedy: meditation.
Here police officers are meditating en masse in a Buddhist temple in Ontario, Canada, attempting to find common ground between Zen and the art of policing. It might seem like a strange idea, but encouraging cops to find their center is gaining traction in police forces from Madison, Wisconsin to Manchester, England. Mindfulness and meditation could help reduce needless police aggression, advocates say, because they can help cops to regulate their emotions and better respond to stress.
A pilot study just outside Portland, Oregon, conducted by Pacific University, found that officers participating in a mindfulness and meditation program showed significant improvement in emotional regulation and mental health.
When we're talking about a community that wants to be treated fairly and unbiasedly, program founder Lieutenant Richard Goerling told the Oregonian, "Mindfulness is the path to get there." Maybe one of the most effective tools for police might not be a baton or a gun but a moment of Zen.
The correct answer to the "GPS Challenge" question is D. Women have been the head of government in Bangladesh, one of the most populous Muslim-majority countries in the world, for more than 22 of the past 50 years, according to the latest World Economic Forum Gender Gap report. The current prime minister is Sheikh Hasina, whose recent re- election raised eyebrows, thanks to low voter turnout and a boycott from the opposition.
Overall, the report points out that 50 percent of countries have yet to elect a female head of state.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.