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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS

Interview with Bob Woodward; Remembering the 2008 Economic Crisis, and Should We Expect Another?; Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal Discussed. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 16, 2018 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:13] 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.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: Today on the show, Bob Woodward, the Trump administration and "Fear." How does the Trump White House compare to the eight others he has written about? What is the, quote, "big problem" Trump's top aides talk about constantly? And why do so many people tell Bob Woodward so much?

Also, it's 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Since the financial meltdown, we haven't had a crisis or a crash. Are we overdue for one? And more importantly, are we ready for it? I'll bring you the troubling truth.

And Pope Francis, the Vatican and child sex abuse. Can the church heal? Can it survive as is? I'll talk to "The New York Times'" Ross Douthat who has a new book out on Pope Francis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take. For several years now, scholars have argued that the world is experiencing a democratic recession. They also note a general hollowing out of democracy in the advanced industrial world. When we think about this problem, inevitably, rightly, we worry about Donald Trump, his attacks on judges, the free press, his own Justice Department. But there is also a worrying erosion of a core Democratic norm taking place on the left.

It has become commonplace now to hear cries on the left to deny controversial figures on the right a platform to express their views. Colleges have disinvited conservative speakers like Condoleezza Rice and Charles Murray. Other campuses were unwilling or unable to allow conservatives because to actually speak with protests overwhelming the events.

A similar controversy now involves Steve Bannon who in recent months has been making the rounds on the air waves and in print, including an interview I did with him on CNN. Some have claimed that Bannon since leaving the administration is simply unimportant, irrelevant and, thus, shouldn't be given a microphone. But if that were the case, surely the media, which is after all a for-profit industry, would notice the lack of public interest and stop inviting him.

The reality is that the people running the "Economists," the "Financial Times," "60 Minutes," the "New Yorker," and many others who have recently featured Bannon or invited him know that he is an intelligent and influential ideologist. A man who built the largest media platform for the new right, ran Trump's successful campaign, served briefly in the White House as his chief strategist and continues to articulate and energize the populism that's been on the rise throughout the Western world.

He might be getting his 15 minutes of fame that will peter out, but for now, he remains a compelling figure. The real fear that many on the left have is not that Bannon is dull and uninteresting, but the opposite. That his ideas will prove seductive and persuasive to too many people. Hence the solution, don't give him a platform and hope that this will make the ideas go away.

But they won't. In fact by trying to suppress Bannon and others on the right, liberals are likely to make those ideas seem more potent. Did the efforts of communist countries to muzzle capitalist ideas work?

We've been here before. In 1974, William Shockley, the Nobel Prize- winning scientist, who in many ways was the father of the computer revolution, was invited to by Yale students to attempt to defend his abhorrent views that blacks were a genetically inferior race who should be voluntarily sterilized. He was to debate Roy Innis, the African-American leader of the Congress of Racial Equality. The debate was Innis's idea.

A campus uproar ensued and the event was canceled. It was later rescheduled with another opponent and that was disrupted. The difference from today is that Yale recognized that it had failed in not ensuring that Shockley could speak. It commissioned a report on free speech that remains a landmark declaration of the duty of universities to encourage debate and dissent.

The report flatly states that a college cannot make its primary and dominant value the fostering of friendship, solidarity, harmony, civility or mutual respect. It will never let these values override its central purpose. We value freedom of expression precisely because it provides a forum for the new, the provocative, the disturbing and the unorthodox.

The report added, "We take a chance as the First Amendment takes a chance when we commit ourselves to the idea that the results of free expression are to the general benefit in the long run, however unpleasant they may appear at the time."

[10:05:09] It is on this bet for the long run, a bet on freedom of thought, belief, expression and action that liberal democracy rests.

For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. Let's get started.

Forty-six years ago this summer, two young reporters at "The Washington Post" were assigned to report on an unusual event. A break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Much of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's reporting relied heavily on confidential sources. Most famously the man who came to be called Deep Throat. Their work eventually helped bring down President Richard Nixon, forcing him to resign.

Woodward has now written books about every president in almost half a century. But none like his latest. "Fear" tells an extraordinary story about the Trump administration.

Bob Woodward, pleasure to have you on.

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, "FEAR: TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE": Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Let's first explain why you began all those years ago when reporting on the Watergate break-in. To use what was then a fairly unconventional technique, which was these confidential sources, sometimes called anonymous sources.

WOODWARD: Well, they're not anonymous to us. I mean that's very important to understand. The reason Carl Bernstein and I used those confidential sources, it's the only way you can get people to tell you the truth. They were not going to go out and if you said, gee, this is on the record, you're going to get the press release version, the official version. Of course in Watergate, there were so many secrets that were buried and hidden.

So how are you going to do that? You have to find people who will be truth tellers where you can establish -- and this is the key -- a relationship of trust where you are going to protect them. You are going to check out the information from other sources. And so you present a version that is authentic and real rather than something that is manufactured. And in the case of the Nixon presidency, just peppered with lies and deceit.

ZAKARIA: And just to explain to people your process. When I was at "Newsweek," I was cautious about anonymous sources because, you know, you don't want to create the opportunity for something that can't be checked. If you say something happened at a meeting and you have a quotation where, say, the president said something or the secretary of Defense said something, how do you arrive at that quotation?

WOODWARD: From somebody who is there, you -- lots of people keep diaries. There are extensive notes. And in many cases, documentations of this. You can find other people in the room, and check it and then go back to the original source. This is the joy of having time so you can maybe work on one meeting or one event and you've done a great number of interviews. And checked it and you get to a point where you have the best obtainable version of the truth.

ZAKARIA: And you have notes on all of this which include the sources, which eventually go into, I think it's Yale University, right, where somebody at some point will be able to figure out from your notes, from your documentation who told you what.

WOODWARD: Yes. And most specifically, I tape recorded these interviews with nearly everyone. I have thousands of pages of documents, hundreds of hours with people who were participants. And the agreement with the sources was, I'm not going to name you, but I'm going to use this information if I can verify it. And so I was able to do that.

And you're exactly right. Somebody is going to be able to go back and do an archaeological dig as they've done on Watergate, Carl Bernstein's and my papers are at the University of Texas. All the notes. All the data. All the story drafts. And people have gone and looked at that.

ZAKARIA: And it's fair to remind people that your most important source, Mark Felt, publicly denied that he had leaked anything to you.

[10:10:07] WOODWARD: Yes, and he was number two in the FBI. And he was quite clever about it because he said, I'm not Deep Throat, and of course if I was Deep Throat, I would deny it. And so he was able to have it both ways for a long time until 33 years later, he came out and identified himself as that source.

ZAKARIA: When I read the book, what I'm struck by is the degree of chaos that you describe. All of which centers around a president who seems, you know, somewhat impulsive to listen to the person who last talked to him. He pits his advisers against each other almost deliberately. How much of that is normal?

WOODWARD: Pitting one adviser against another is absolutely acceptable. Lots of presidents do this. They want to have the debate. What happens in the Trump White House, and I think the book shows in chapter and verse, it's Trump against the facts. And the experts will come in, for instance, I mean, only you could probably write a long paper about the World Trade Organization. But Trump, in one session, says this is the worst organization in the world. We lose all of the fights. This is where we go and make complaints about unfair trade practices.

And the experts, the aides come in and say, oh, 85.7 percent of the cases we win. And Trump says, no, no, that's -- that's wrong. And they say call your trade representative. These are the facts. No. Trump is just -- he closes down. Will not listen. It is the absence of an open mind.

I mean, you know so well that anybody in any business or institution, it's very important that they grow and learn and listen. The capacity to really listen is very important in a leadership decision-making role.

ZAKARIA: Stay with me. Next on GPS, Bob Woodward will tell us why Trump's senior most officials describe something as the big problem with President Trump. What is it? And is there a solution? When we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:17:03] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Bob Woodward, the author of the runaway best-seller "Fear." Bob, you describe Jim Mattis, among others, but Jim Mattis

principally, as saying there is a big problem with Donald Trump. And this -- it recurs through the book. Describe what Mattis and Gary Cohn see as the big problem with Donald Trump.

WOODWARD: What is really important and has not been reported until this book that there was an alliance between the Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Gary Cohn, the chief economic adviser. And they had lunch in the Pentagon, they said we've got to get the president in some environment off site, away from television, away from the chaos of the White House and give him an education about this old world order.

So they call him over to the tank, which is the meeting place of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. What Mattis describes to the president is the great gift of the greatest generation to Americans, and that is this rules-based international order. You have trade. You have the security agreements like NATO and you have the secret intelligence partnerships. And that's the old framework. You can't just ignore it and destroy it.

And Trump wants to do that. And you see everyone fighting him on it. And at the end, Mattis is just depleted. Feels totally frustrated. In the case of Secretary of State Tillerson at that point, this is when, as NBC reported accurately, he calls the president -- said the president was an f'ing moron. This is the big problem, but it doesn't get solved.

ZAKARIA: So is this sort of web of alliances, the trade deals, the NATO, the security relationships that undergirds the stability, creates the open world economy. And Trump, in the book, is constantly lashing out at it because he sees that we're paying too much. Why don't we bring the troops home? Is it your sense that when, for example, on South Korea, when people explain to him, well, if you brought the troops home, you'd still have to pay for them and in fact it would cost more because South Korea subsidizes the cost, unless you intend to disband those troops in South Korea. Is there any indication that he learns in office?

WOODWARD: Well, that's part of the problem. But then he gets -- see, this is, at times, driven by his anger. There is a missile interceptor system called THAAD.

[10:20:03] It costs a billion dollars a year but it's the best in the world and no one has anything like it. And Trump asks about it and they tell him, oh, it's a good deal because we have a 99-year lease. And Trump says, well, who pays for it? And they say, oh, we pay for it. And Trump goes, you know, why are we doing this? Take the f'ing thing out. Put it in Portland. Portland, Oregon. And this makes no military, strategic or intelligence sense.

ZAKARIA: You point out in one very telling anecdote which I assume you got from Steve Bannon that Bannon tries to point out to him that he's going to have a problem running for the primary for the Republican nomination because he really has never voted in a primary. And he says, no, no, I voted for 30 years in every one. And Bannon says to him, no, you haven't. And he says, yes, I have. And then he says, it's a matter of public record. You've only voted once in 1988. And then he says, yes, I guess that's right.

WOODWARD: It's not only Steve Bannon, but it's Dave Bossie who is another campaign aide but he makes all sorts of sweeping declarations. They point out that he's given all this money to Democrats. He said, no, it's not true. They said oh, here are the records and it proves it. Well, that's OK. I'll just power over that essentially, which, of course, is the Trump style. And when you're president in the end I think that there are about two or three moments where you're making really critical decisions.

What are we going to do with the financial crisis in 2008? What's the response going to be? What are we going to do about the 9/11 terrorist attack? And you go to process. Process really matters. I mean, it's almost funny if it didn't make you cry that General Kelly when he comes in as chief of staff last year, he wants to right out certain rules. And one of the rules is you can't make decisions on the fly, by the seat of your pants.

And they say to the president, they right it out. If you're going to make a decision, we have to have a formal decision memo that you will sign and seat of the pants decisions don't count. They're not considered final. And this is a management system which -- and this is why I call it a nervous breakdown of the presidency.

ZAKARIA: Bob Woodward, always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you, sir.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the collapse of the Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers. It was a watershed moment in the global financial crisis. What would happen if a crisis of that magnitude happened today? The news isn't so good. I'll explain when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:27:20] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Wall Street on red alert. Investment banking giant Lehman Brothers saying it will file for bankruptcy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: Yesterday marked the 10-year anniversary of the collapse of one of the largest investment banks in the world. The fall of Lehman Brothers began a global financial crisis and recession. Banks seized up, private borrowing virtually ceased. Global Trade cratered.

Anniversaries tend to inspire reflection and a search for lessons. That exercise is even more important in this case because another one is sure to come. After the 2008 crisis, many condemned the speculation in mortgage-backed securities and believed that it's crucial that we identify and pop such bubbles much earlier. But speculation is part of capitalism.

Recall the South Sea bubble. The Dutch tuna boom. The railroad craze. The dotcom boom. And today the number of people speculating on bitcoin probably well exceeds the number of people who can explain what bitcoin actually is.

There will always be hot markets and people will pile into them. There will be another crisis. The real question is, when and how can we respond to it?

The three architects of the 2008 recovery, Hank Paulson, Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke, raised an alarm in a new op-ed in "The New York Times." They write that the economic crisis was mitigated by emergency powers that the Fed, the FDIC and the Treasury no longer fully possess. The post crisis Dodd-Frank Act limits certain emergency loans or guarantees on assets that agencies can make. In some cases requiring congressional approval.

Their diagnosis is right, but it only hints at the real problem. The political consensus that allowed for Washington's speedy response to the crisis in 2008 has since been destroyed. Look at TARP, the $700 billion bank bailout passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by a Republican administration within three weeks of Lehman's collapse. The level of cross-party coordination to get the thing out reads like a utopian fantasy today.

George Bush, recall, was a deeply unpopular Republican in the waning months of his presidency. At one point his Treasury secretary Hank Paulson got down on one knee and begged the House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi not to blow up the bill. Presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama, bitter rivals on the stump, both lobbied for votes while they were campaigning against each other. On the second try, the bill did clear the House with the votes of 91 Republicans and 172 Democrats.

Through the bailouts, Washington saved the American and perhaps the global economy. But trust in public institutions never recovered. Just ahead of Bush's first term 44 percent of Americans recorded a high level of trust in the federal government. At the height of the financial crisis, that number was 24 percent. Last year, it was down to 18 percent. The crisis gave way to the rise of populism at home and in Europe. In the United States, this translated to a remarkable fraying of the left and a hostile takeover of the right. So when the next financial crisis hits, the real problem will be, any response will require a substantial degree of bipartisan cooperation, and fast.

Does anyone think that is possible in today's Washington?

When we come back, I want to talk about the future of the global economy. Where will the next crisis start? I will be back with Andrew Ross Sorkin and Zanny Minton Beddoes in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAKARIA: So here we are 10 years after the collapse of Lehman precipitated the global financial crisis. We haven't had a crisis since, which means, according to some observers, we're overdue for one. The question is, where will it come from? And what is likely to start this new financial fire?

I've asked two great minds in financial journalism to come together to look into the future. Andrew Ross Sorkin is an editor and columnist at the New York Times and the author of "Too Big to Fail." A new edition of the book has just been published to mark the 10th anniversary. And Zanny Minton Beddoes is the editor-in-chief of The Economist, which just published its 175th anniversary edition -- a real blockbuster.

Zanny, let me start with you. The recovery is either the longest or the second longest in American history. People say these things don't go on forever. What is the state of the American economy? Are we due for a recession?

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, THE ECONOMIST: Well, at some point we will definitely have another recession. But I just want to separate two things, because you started talking about a financial crisis and now you're talking about a recession. And I think it's important to distinguish between those. We will definitely have another recession. And we will at some point definitely have another financial crisis. But we may well, next time, have a recession without a cataclysmic financial crisis.

What could cause a recession? They tend, as you say, not to die of old age. Probably, and usually in recent history, it's had something to do with the Federal Reserve. If the Federal Reserve tightens policy too much, then it could tip the economy into recession, particularly as the sugar rush of the Trump tax cuts wears off. On the other hand, if it moves too slowly and inflation starts rising, then it will have to damp down pretty quick and that could push the economy into recession.

I don't know what will cause it, but like you, I'm pretty sure -- I'm very sure -- that at some point there will be another recession.

ZAKARIA: And the crisis. Andrew, when you look around at the world, what seems to you, kind of, unsustainable? You know, is there something that -- like, there were people saying at the time...

(CROSSTALK)

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, NEW YORK TIMES: I'm less worried today about a classic run-on-the-bank-style crisis like 2008. What I'm much more worried about is the distrust that was -- has been created as a function of that crisis, and not just the distrust in the United States government and institutions and elites and the idea of experts, which unto itself is a problem, but the populism and nationalism that it's created not just here but everywhere.

And so when you think about a financial crisis -- when I wrote "Too Big to Fail," we talked about that in the context of banks. Now we talk about it in the context of municipalities, cities, states, countries. And so when you think about our relationships with our allies, the trade fights we're already starting to see, at some point, do the Chinese say, "You know what; we're not so sure we want to buy your debt at these prices anymore?"

At some point, do our allies say, "We don't trust you in the way we used to?"

And that, to me, is what will -- if there's going to be another big one, it's much more likely that something like that would precipitate it.

ZAKARIA: And, Zanny, that is exactly the kind of thing that you're talking about in your very robust defense of free trade liberalism. You're worried about a world that is moving toward trade wars and worse?

BEDDOES: Yeah. We are -- in our anniversary issue this week, we've written a manifesto for renewing liberalism because we feel that, right now, the credo of liberal democracy, which has done so much to promote prosperity around the world, is really under attack. And it's under attack both domestically, as Andrew says, by the rise of populism and nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic, and also because we see in the form of China a rising economy, the world's biggest economy in the 21st century, which is profoundly illiberal.

ZAKARIA: And, Zanny, is the next crisis, potentially, that you would worry about, you know, a kind of result of that, which would be a conflict between the United States and China?

I mean, certainly the conflict between the two largest economies in the world could easily tip the world, let alone the United States, into a recession?

BEDDOES: Absolutely. That could be cataclysmic. An out-of-control trade war is indeed one of the things that I worry about. I also worry, frankly, about the euro area, which is the one bit of the post- 2008 crisis which hasn't really been fixed. It's massively been papered over.

And the third thing I'd leave you with, perhaps, is the incredible rise in dollar borrowing outside the United States, which has been huge, that increase in the last few years. And in a world where we have less trust, less willingness to work together, that really worries me.

Remember, 10 years ago, in 2008, after the Lehman failure, the world's biggest economies came together. They created something called the G- 20, which was a new club, and a new club essentially designed to bring the world's biggest economies together to work together to get out of the crisis. Can you imagine that happening now?

ZAKARIA: So where does that leave you, Andrew? Does it make you think that the United States -- you know, how should it handle the reality of this world? What is -- you know, if you had a magic wand, or if you had President Trump's ear, either of them, what would you tell them?

SORKIN: I would try desperately to re-establish a sense of trust with these other countries, a sense that we are operating in a responsible way, a sense that we want to be a leader, not just of America and America first, but of a world and to some degree a world order.

And I think that, if we could get that sense of credibility back, I think that it would help us tremendously.

I do want to throw one other crisis that I worry about a lot out. And it's not, again, a classic one. It's the one of cyber. And people don't talk about it enough. But when you think about a true panic, I very much worry about waking up in the morning looking in my bank account and seeing zero. And that's something I think we all have to worry about, given the size and magnitude of these institutions today. People talk about these institutions being too big to fail. That's how they're too big to fail.

ZAKARIA: All right. That is a sobering point to end on. Andrew Ross Sorkin, Zanny Minton Beddoes, pleasure to have both of you on.

SORKIN: Thank you, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," Pope Francis has been a wildly popular Pope. But now he has a big problem, one that threatens to bring down his papacy. I'll talk to the New York Times' Ross Douthat about that, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: The mood seems light in this picture of the Pope as he met with officials from the U.S. Bishops' conference on Thursday, but the topic was heavy. The American contingent traveled to Rome after a one- time Vatican ambassador to the U.S. alleged publicly last month that top Vatican officials knew about sex abuse allegations against former Washington Cardinal McCarrick but didn't act.

The Vatican ambassador says he even told Pope Francis himself about the allegations. Also last month, Pennsylvania released a report that found that more than 300 priests in that state had abused over 1,000 children over the last 70 years. Now many states around the country have announced renewed investigations into the Catholic Church and child sex abuse.

And of course it is not a problem limited to the United States. Earlier this week, Pope Francis ordered the presidents of all of the Catholic Bishop conferences worldwide to come to the Vatican in February for a meeting to discuss, quote, "the protection of minors," unquote.

I wanted to talk about all of this with Ross Douthat. He is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and the author of an important new book "To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism."

So this is good timing with the book, because what you're describing, in a way, is another set of controversies. And it seems like this child abuse controversy, which has flared up, intersects with another one. ROSS DOUTHAT, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, it's, sort of, the two big crises

in the last 50 or 70 years of Catholicism intersecting. And one is the crisis of sex abuse and the other is this long-running conflict about basically how much the Church can change to adapt to modernity, the sexual revolution, modern culture and everything else.

And the two have always been intertwined, in a sense, insofar as arguments about priestly sex abuse have tended to turn into arguments about whether priests should be celibate, whether they should -- whether the church should ordain women or have more women in positions of power, and so on.

But they've converged more sharply now because Pope Francis is seen, accurately, as a liberalizer, as someone who wants the Church to change. And his accusers, including the archbishop you mentioned, who has said, you know, that Cardinal McCarrick was known to be a predator in the Vatican and nobody acted on it, are conservatives.

And so this is being read through the lens of liberal-conservative battles in the Church, as well as the sex abuse crisis.

ZAKARIA: Would it be fair to say that you have conservative critics of Francis who are taking this opportunity to weaken a liberal -- a liberal Pope?

DOUTHAT: Yes. I think it would be fair to say that. But that doesn't get us to the heart of the question, right, which is what Francis knew and when did he know it?

I mean, the truth is, there's, sort of, an impasse.

ZAKARIA: I guess what I mean is these guys have been on the side of, shall we say, inaction and covering up in the past?

DOUTHAT: No, that -- no, so that part, I think, is a misapprehension. Basically, the sex abuse crisis has cut across the lines of liberal and conservative within the church. You have conservative bishops who are cover-up artists and you have liberal bishops who are cover-up artists. You have these two competing theories of what went wrong.

One theory is the church didn't liberalize enough. It should let these men get married; it should do away with celibacy. The other theory is that a kind of laxness, a kind of moral laxness, led to this climate in seminaries and among archbishops that let McCarrick get away with it. And those two -- people who hold those different views can agree on the protection of children. And the reality is that the church in the U.S. has made great strides on the protection of children. But they can't agree on how to deal with what is really now, sort of, a Catholic "metoo" moment, where the subject is on both, sort of, bishops and archbishops who covered things up in the past but also who were predators themselves.

ZAKARIA: How dangerous a moment is this for Pope Francis?

DOUTHAT: I mean, it's pretty dangerous. It's, you know, it's a situation where you have an actual Vatican insider, even though Archbishop Vigano is associated with conservatives and is, sort of, a theological critic of the Pope, he's also in a position to know a lot of things that are, sort of, kept in files deep in the Vatican and in the Nunciature in the U.S.

And so there's a question here of basically how bad is it for Francis?

If it's just that people knew about McCarrick; he was put under some modest sanction by Benedict; and Francis didn't pay enough attention to it, then I think he should simply apologize, fire a bunch of people, and his papacy can continue.

I think the fact that he's refused to answer questions and, sort of, taken a kind of stonewalling and counter-accusatory approach raises the question of, you know, what's really in all of those files that may not come out in the next six months, but, you know, as we know from the Trump era in our own politics, leaks tend to happen over time when scandal is involved.

ZAKARIA: And where do you think the Church is going? Because your book is, in a sense, cautionary. You're not the biggest fan of Pope Francis. You think that he is going -- he is too liberal and making the Church lose sight of what it stands for?

DOUTHAT: I think -- I think there's a danger in Francis' liberalization, yes, that it, sort of, loses touch -- you know, the Church needs to change, but some changes in effect compromise core Christian ideas and teachings.

But my -- you know, when I wrote the book, I ended in, sort of, bafflement and uncertainty about where the Church goes next. And this return of the sex abuse crisis has, in certain ways, only increased that. You have this kind of stalemate between often older theological liberals, younger theological conservatives. The Church has a billion people worldwide. Every context and culture is different. The Papacy is an incredibly difficult job.

And, I mean, I think, you know, obviously in the short term, this further discredits the institutional church in the Western world. But in terms of what happens next and where the church goes, only God really knows.

ZAKARIA: That is the first time somebody has said that on "GPS," Ross Douthat.

(LAUGHTER)

DOUTHAT: The limits of punditry have been reached.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAKARIA: Thank you very much.

DOUTHAT: Thank you, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAKARIA: And now for this week's question. What surprising person or entity won a Creative Arts Emmy Award this week? Was it Facebook, the Department of Homeland Security, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or Kellyanne Conway? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.

My recommendation this week is for a movie, not a book. I caught up a couple of weeks ago with a movie released last year, "Detroit," made by Kathryn Bigelow, the director of "Zero Dark Thirty." It's based on a true story that happened in Detroit in 1968, the year when tensions and rioting erupted in dozens of cities across the United States. It is a totally gripping, harrowing story superbly portrayed on screen that will leave you sadder but wiser.

And now for the last look. This is the world poverty clock. It gives a live countdown of the number of people escaping extreme poverty every single day. For more than two decades, extreme poverty has been declining around the world. The global poverty rate has been cut by more than half since 1990, according to the World Bank. It's one of the few feel-good stories of recent times, but we are now seeing a related statistic move in the opposite direction.

Take a look at this chart from the new U.N. report on global hunger. The number of undernourished people in the world steadily declined from 2005 to 2014, but the trend has now reversed. Why are we seeing this trend worsening?

Well, in addition to wars and economic slowdowns, the report points to another leading cause of global hunger and food insecurity, extreme weather. Severe droughts cause more than 80 percent of losses in agriculture, and an increase in tsunamis and large storms is influencing the fishing industry. Without major changes addressing these challenges, the report warns, the world will struggle to meet the U.N. sustainable development goal of eradicating global hunger by 2030. As the head of food and climate policy for Oxfam Great Britain said, a hotter world is proving to be a hungrier world.

The answer to my "GPS" challenge this week is C. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory won an Emmy award for outstanding original interactive program at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. JPL won for its spell- binding coverage of the Cassini mission's grand finale. After 20 years in space, the NASA's Cassini orbiter was running out of fuel. JPL began a social media campaign to showcase the spacecraft's achievements before its final act, a plunge into Saturn.

During its tenure, Cassini traveled 4.9 billion miles, completed 294 orbits of Saturn, discovered six named moons and took more than 453,000 images, including the final images of Saturn, snapped just before it burned into the atmosphere. Congratulations to all involved.

And thank you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.