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Interview With Tina Brown; Interview With Former White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer; Interview with OnPoint NYC Executive Director Sam Rivera. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 08, 2022 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
ZENETA EVERHART, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back, and another on his left leg,
caused by an exploding bullet from an AR-15.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Back-to-back blockbuster hearings, as Congress tackles gun violence and the January 6 insurrection.
Former Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on America's point of no return and battling the big lie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't plan to leave. But I decided to leave because the situation is getting more and more dangerous.
AMANPOUR: As Russia pummels Eastern Ukraine, families make the agonizing decision whether to stay or flee.
And deep uncertainty ahead for the U.K.'s head of government and the head of state. A bruised Boris Johnson survives a vote of confidence, as
Britain's monarchy prepares for transition.
Tina Brown reigned over "Vanity Fair" and "The New Yorker"'s golden years. She joins me in the studio on her new book, "The Palace Papers."
SAM RIVERA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ONPOINT NYC: The war on drugs is really about a war on the individuals who use drugs. They're the ones paying for
AMANPOUR: With fatal drug overdoses at a record high in the United States. Hari Sreenivasan talks to advocate Sam Rivera about his controversial
approach to people struggling with addiction.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It's now or never. That is the bottom line confronting Americans, as gun violence stalks people of all ages at schools, grocery stores, churches,
And with midterm elections just months away, time is running out to find out what really happened to American democracy that day, January 6.
Starting today, Congress is holding landmark hearings on both topics. It's a one-two punch designed to jolt the public into action.
Among those offering wrenching firsthand testimony on gun violence is 11- year-old schoolgirl Miah Cerrillo. She survived last month's mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIAH CERRILLO, 11-YEAR-OLD SURVIVOR OF UVALDE MASS SHOOTING: He shot my friend that was next to me.
And I thought he was going to come back to the room, so I grabbed her blood and I put it all over me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do then, when you put the blood on yourself?
CERRILLO: To stay quiet. And then I got my teacher's phone and called 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did you tell 911?
CERRILLO: I told her that we need help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Devastating testimony.
And the actor Matthew McConaughey, who's from Uvalde, came to the White House and delivered an impassioned call for gun reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals.
These regulations are not a step back. They're a step forward for a civil society and, and the Second Amendment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And it's not just guns.
Add in the sputtering responses to COVID and climate change, and my first guest says that one thing becomes clear: The United States is standing on
Dan Pfeiffer traces many of the ills of American society today back to one thing, disinformation campaigns waged by the right wing. He was a senior
adviser to President Obama. He's the co-host of the popular podcast "Pod Save America." He's also the author of the new book "Battling the Big Lie:
How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America."
And he's joining me now from Washington.
Dan Pfeiffer, welcome. Welcome back to the program.
We have discussed these issues over the years. And now you have written a book trying to hone in on the actual problem here. Let me first ask. You
just heard that wrenching testimony from an 11-year-old girl who had to smear herself in blood to try to deter this killer coming back.
Yet we have in Congress still only sputtering and maybe only small moves to do something about it, perhaps trying to enhance school security, perhaps
prodding some states into some red flag laws, perhaps supporting more mental health awareness and treatment.
Is that enough, do you think? Should the Democrats take what they can, or hold out for something more serious in terms of reform?
DAN PFEIFFER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Oh, I mean, it is a fraction of what we need to do.
We're not even talking about the most important things, like an assault weapons ban, like universal background checks. But I think, in this
situation, at a time where there has been no progress on gun safety for 20 years in this country, you have to take what you can get, because even if
you can save just one life, it's worth doing.
AMANPOUR: And what sort of -- I mean, do you think that they will be able to do that? As you watch these negotiations, do you think something
actually will come out of these hearings?
PFEIFFER: I mean, I never bet on the Republican Party doing the right thing on guns.
But I think that there seems to be an awareness that maybe the political incentives for the Republican Party to actually do something have changed
since Uvalde. And so we may be able to get something done.
It is small. It's a fraction of what we need to do, but it would be progress. And maybe progress can beget some more progress over time.
AMANPOUR: And, as we know, and we said every time there's something like this, the vast majority of the American people do actually support sensible
gun control laws.
Here's testimony in these hearings in Congress. This one is a pediatrician from Uvalde. He's trying to persuade some change. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROY GUERRERO, UVALDE PEDIATRICIAN: In this case, you are the doctors, and our country is the patient. We are lying on the operating table,
riddled with bullets like the children of Robb Elementary and so many other schools.
We are bleeding out and you are not there. My oath as a doctor means that I signed up to save lives. I do my job. And I guess it turns out that I am
here to plead, to beg, to please, please do yours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You know, Dan, we hear these impassioned pleas from professionals all the time after these kinds of things take place.
And, as I said, the polls are very, very clear. You, in your book, "The Big Lie," and we're going to get more into it, but you do talk about an altered
reality. It's not just both different parties have different views of different -- of the same kind of issue, but they have different realities.
Explain what you mean.
I write the book to lay out how the right wing in this country over a many- decade period, with the funding of a lot of billionaires, built up this massive operation to create a hermetically sealed information bubble, where
you could communicate different -- a different reality and alternate set of facts.
And we're already seeing it in what happened in Uvalde. There are conspiracy theories spreading online, this was a false flag, similar things
about the shooting in Buffalo that was just a week before.
And what it -- and you mentioned in your -- you mentioned the popularity of these gun control measures. And that is true. They're incredibly popular.
There are two reasons they do not pass. One is there's a minority with extreme, out-of-touch views on guns in this country. But because of the
U.S. political system, the Senate, the Electoral College, that minority has a disproportionate amount of political power.
They can veto anything in the Senate. The second thing is that there is a difference between popular issues and powerful issues. And the power, the
political energy still -- and I think this is changing, which is maybe why Republicans are open to doing something small. The power has been on
opposition to gun safety measures, not be for.
That brings Republican voters to the polls, and it has been in their political interest to oppose these things, even when it means the slaughter
of their innocent constituents.
AMANPOUR: So let's talk a little bit about how you address these, as you say, different realities.
We have got the gun -- sorry -- the January 6 hearings that are going to start tomorrow in Congress. And all networks and cable stations are going
to take it, except for FOX News. They plan to put it somewhere over on the much less-rated FOX Business Channel, but not on FOX News. And they're
touting and certainly the Trump wing of the party is touting vigorous counterprogramming.
OK, let that be as it may. But if that's the case, you still have this notion of preaching to the converted, not reaching those whose minds you
might want to change.
PFEIFFER: That's exactly right.
And it's not surprising that FOX has decided not to air it, for two reasons. One, it is good business for them, because the last time they did
something they kind of made Donald Trump kind of mad, they fell to third place in the ratings.
And then the other reason is, is that FOX is actually a participant in this story. They are the ones who spread the big lie that led to what happened
at the Capitol. And so it's particularly awkward for them to cove. They are not observers. They're participants.
Yes, it is true that there is a problem of preaching to the converted, but each person that hears about what happens because they chose to tune in --
and many of those people who tune in have already made decisions about who was responsible on January 6 -- but they each know people in all -- in
their life, in their social media feeds who are not the converted, who are persuadable.
And what I argue in the book is that Democrats need to find ways to give tools and strategies to every -- should treat every single person out there
as someone who can carry our message to their networks, because one thing we know from research is that people -- that how much trust people put in a
piece of information is not based on who wrote the information, what outlet it's from, whether it's "The Wall Street Journal" or CNN or "New York
Times." It's who shared that information with them.
And so if you can -- we convince people to share information on what they heard in these hearings with people on the network, we might be able to
persuade some people. We're not going to get everyone, of course not. But we can get some people. And that's what we need to do.
AMANPOUR: Let's get to the nitty-gritty. And it really is quite a sensitive topic, because you're naming names, and it's about actual
disinformation, and the stars of the disinformation channels, whether they're on main channels or they their own platform, these right-wing media
people who you mentioned in your book, people like Candace Owens, Dan Bongino, Ben Shapiro.
Why does it matter? Or put into context how much reach they have, compared to a right-wing channel, for instance?
PFEIFFER: Well, so think about Tucker Carlson, who has the most watched show on cable news. He reaches between four and five million people on a
North of 160 million people have voted in the last election. So four million people is a drop in the bucket to in terms of the overall
electorate. On Facebook, think about it this way; 70 percent of Americans are on Facebook -- of U.S. adults are on Facebook; 50 percent of those 70
percent visit the site multiple times a day, and four in 10 of them go -- consider the site a primary source of news.
If you go to Facebook, the personalities with the largest reach and the most engagement on a daily basis are right-wing media personalities with a
history of spreading disinformation about the election, about COVID vaccines, about guns.
And that is a huge problem. So think about it. Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire or Dan has several times the reach on Facebook of "The New York Times," "The
Washington Post" and any other mainstream media outlet.
AMANPOUR: Then there's something even worse. And that is a really interesting article that I read by Paul Farhi recently after the Buffalo
massacre, where the shooter's manifesto talks about this fake notion of a Great Replacement Theory...
AMANPOUR: ... and also claiming that he was radicalized on one of these things, 4chan, during what he called the boring days of the early pandemic.
And these fears about these demographic changes are not real, but they have entered the mainstream, and, as you mentioned, Tucker Carlson.
AMANPOUR: They're really, really, really popular, believed by about one- third of the country.
Again, where do you draw any hope when you see that these fundamental issues on which Congress is holding hearings right now are believed by such
a vast majority of the country?
PFEIFFER: I mean, there is a long history in this country of believing conspiracy theories.
The problem we have now is twofold. One, social media has allowed those conspiracy theories to spread at hyperspeed, and then to use those
algorithms like Facebook and YouTube to find the people based on all the data they have sucked up most likely to believe those conspiracy theories
and serve them that content because it's good business for them.
Then the second problem is -- and this is one that's really started in the last six years or so -- is that leaders in the Republican Party, in the
right-wing movement, whether it's Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson, are spreading these conspiracy theories with their very large platforms.
The reason that I have hope, because there's really no other option than having hope than giving up, but is -- as I saw this as I was researching
that book is that there are a lot of people who are thinking really creatively about how we break into these information ecosystems, how we can
turn every single person of good faith who cares about democracy with a smartphone into someone who can amplify the message, who can push back on
these conspiracy theories.
And so there are reasons for hope. There are smart people doing smart things. There's a lot of work to do. And from the perspective of someone
who cares about electing Democrats, which has been my job for my entire adult life, we have to start doing the work now, because if we don't start
now, there's no way we're going to make up any ground between now and the next presidential election.
AMANPOUR: So two questions about Democrats. Number one, is there an equal, but opposite force that the left wing, Democrats or whatever use to spread
their own information that may not match reality?
PFEIFFER: No. No.
AMANPOUR: So that's a no.
PFEIFFER: That is -- there is a -- there has been a progressive media. I'm part of it with "Pod Save America" and Crooked Media, that has been growing
But in terms of reach, in size, in participants, it is a fraction of what the conservatives have built, because they built it up over decades,
starting back in the '70s.
AMANPOUR: And, presumably, it doesn't traffic in disinformation?
PFEIFFER: It does not.
I mean, no one is perfect on their best day, but it is a very different ecosystem with a different set of values.
AMANPOUR: Then the other the thing is, do you think -- and you -- this is where you were really involved.
I mean, it happened. The -- I guess the major one was the birther, the Trump-inspired birther lie against Obama. And you worked for him.
AMANPOUR: Do you think you all took it seriously enough at the beginning in the...
PFEIFFER: As I wrote in the book,-- as I wrote the book, we did not take it seriously enough.
We did -- in the sort of standard communications playbook, political playbook, is, you don't -- you don't give attention to crazy rumors,
conspiracy theories, because of the Streisand effect. More people will know about it. That would -- the responsible press who are not covering the
things we will be forced to cover if the Democratic nominee talks about it.
The one thing we did in the 2008 campaign was we gave people who called our campaign who had questions about it Barack Obama's birth certificate. We
put it online. But even doing that did not solve the problem. People wanted his -- quote, unquote -- "long-form birth certificate," which is like his
birth certificate, just longer.
And, eventually, after Donald Trump started bringing this up and started becoming a real burr in our saddle and distracting from important events,
President Obama went to the Briefing Room, handed out his long-form birth certificate, addressed the whole matter.
And then that really sort of put it to bed as a sort of a political issue in the short term. But then, in 2015, a poll came out that showed a
majority of Republicans, despite that fact, still believed that Barack Obama was an illegitimate president because he was born in Kenya.
And so I think there are lessons to be learned from that. We -- sometimes, we came to those slowly. We had some good ideas that were ahead of their
time, but we have to do more. And I think the reason I wrote the book was I wrote -- it's a wakeup call and a call to arms to Democrats that we have to
aggressively engage against this disinformation weapon the Republicans have built.
AMANPOUR: Well, you do write in the book: "America stands on a precipice. We're nearing the point of no return. If Democrats and the press do not
fight back against the right-wing media machine bent on division and destruction, democracy has no chance of surviving. This is the tipping
So that is the point, right? All of this is about damaging and maybe destroying the idea of American democracy.
So, to the hearings about the January 6, we know, because of a recent poll by CBS, 70 percent of Americans say it's at least somewhat important for
the country to find out actually what did happen on that day, but a majority of Republicans -- that's 52 percent -- disagree. They say it's not
that important to find the truth.
So, if that's the case, what is the point of these hearings, in terms of beyond a rigorous committee, in -- just in situ? In terms of ripple effect,
what's the point?
PFEIFFER: Well, certainly, there is a constitutional and moral obligation to find out what happened and lay it out for the world to see.
But I think, from a political perspective -- and political persuasion is clearly a point of these hearings. That's why they're holding them in prime
time. It is -- I think it is a deeply depressing and demoralizing idea that 52 percent of Republicans have the opinion you said.
But the other way to think about it is, 48 percent of Republicans are open to the idea that Donald Trump and his allies were responsible for this. And
Trump -- that is -- almost every one of those people, based on the polling from 2020, voted for Donald Trump.
So there is a significant swathe of Republicans who may have supported Trump in 2016 and 2020 who are potentially persuadable if these hearings
can go successful, and we can actually get the information in front of those people.
AMANPOUR: So, finally, there are, as I said, these blockbuster hearings on guns and on democracy.
Do you think the fact that they are being taken so seriously, and, as you say, played in prime time, at least the January 6, that there will be some
incremental move that -- or move towards a bit more of a bipartisanship on these issues?
PFEIFFER: It's hard.
I think there is a possibility of bipartisanship on guns. The January 6 Committee is bipartisan. I know the Republicans have decided they no longer
consider Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger one of their own, but they are rock- ribbed Republicans, right?
Dick Cheney's daughter is on the committee. And so there is bipartisan support in the committees and in Congress. And, also, I think it's just
important to note, for all the talk about how divided the country is, there is bipartisan support for -- bipartisan concern about January 6, bipartisan
concern about the larger criminal conspiracy to overturn the election, and bipartisan support for guns.
And that should give people hope that, if we can just get the right information in front of enough people, there is a chance for progress. But
we -- to do that, we got the start -- the work done now.
AMANPOUR: It's so important, the right information.
Dan Pfeiffer, thank you so much for joining us.
PFEIFFER: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: The United States, of course, is also not ignoring the dire situation in Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is already warning of the most difficult winter in decades, as Putin's invasion inflicts the threat of an energy
crisis. And from the air out to the streets, Russian forces are intensifying their assault in the Donbass.
So, if this war were raging in your community, would you stay or would you flee?
Correspondent Ben Wedeman met up with families in Eastern Ukraine having to make that impossible choice.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 3 years old, Ivan doesn't know war rages around him.
"He doesn't really understand it yet," says his father, Igor. "For him, it's just boom-boom. We try to explain it's only a loud car passing by."
Ivan's mother, Kesenya, shows where they live. Neighbors who left the city of Slovyansk let them move into their ground floor apartment because it's
safer. The hallway is full of bottled water. The bathtub is full.
As the air raid siren blares, those who remain behind wait for food supplies at a distribution center.
"We're staying," says Zanaida. "My neighbor has a well. I have dogs and two cats. My husband has diabetes."
Sixty-four-year-old Nikolai shrugs off the danger of staying put.
"Where can I go if they bomb everywhere?" he asks me. "You can't escape your fate."
Galina fled her village nearby on the front lines. "It was very hard there," she says. "There was a lot of shelling. Half the village
disappeared." Her son-in-law and her daughter are taking her away.
Every day, people gather for buses out of Slovyansk. The war, now into its fourth month, has seen millions flee their homes. With no end in sight, a
sense of resignation and exhaustion has set in. Some who leave may never return.
Katya's mother and father have come to say goodbye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I didn't plan to leave, but I decided to leave because the situation is getting more and more dangerous.
WEDEMAN: Her parents will stay behind, even as a part of them leaves.
AMANPOUR: And blessing dirt daughter's journey there with the sign of the cross.
Ben Wedeman reporting.
President Zelenskyy has found a strong ally in the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, who survived a vote of no confidence this week. Zelenskyy
said he was very happy with the result, calling Johnson a true friend.
But here at home, the prime minister's circle of friends seems to be shrinking; 41 percent of his own party voted to oust him. And history
suggest that his days at Number 10 Downing Street could be numbered. The political turmoil comes as that other great British institution, the
monarchy, charts its future beyond Queen Elizabeth.
Here to unpack it all is Tina Brown, the former editor of "Vanity Fair" and "The New Yorker" and founding editor of The Daily Beast. She is also author
of the new book "The Palace Papers," and joins me now here on set.
Welcome back to our program.
TINA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, THE DAILY BEAST: Delighted to be here, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you, because we're in the midst, not just of the post-jubilee celebrations, but the post vote of confidence and the crisis
in the government.
I guess the question is not so much on the political front, but does the monarchy, do you think, play a stabilizing role in a situation where the
government is in such turmoil, I mean, historically, and in the way you have been researching?
BROWN: I think 100 percent.
I mean, if ever there was an argument to keep a monarchy, it feels like it's now, right? And also there is something kind of grotesquely kind of
apposite in the way the public has been just expressing its love, its respect for the queen, which is also really sort of valediction to her kind
of values as, in a way, epitomized by the prime minister.
I mean, on the one hand, you have this woman of rectitude, of service, of tremendous public duty, on the other hand, someone who's proved himself to
be utterly sort of shiftless, mendacious, and kind of completely out of control.
So there's a kind of unbelievable duality to the situation at the moment.
AMANPOUR: What do you make of the celebrations over the weekend? We might have talked before, because your book came out before, but it's interesting
that we're chatting afterwards, because I'm not sure what people thought.
We didn't know how much the queen would actually take part, and not much, but at important points. We didn't know how popular it would be, how many
people would troop down to Buckingham Palace, what the concerts and the pageants would evoke.
Were you surprised?
BROWN: Well, I wasn't actually, because, having written this book, each time there's been a jubilee, there's been a kind of, well, is anybody going
to really care this year? Monarchy is like getting old in terms of the concept of it. Who's going to really mind this time?
Each time, it's underestimated, every time, the golden jubilee, the diamond jubilee, and now the platinum jubilee, perhaps even more so this time,
because there is that poignant edge, knowing it is the last jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to say, because I noticed there was quite a lot of sadness, even verbalized, although I think people stay away from
predicting when the monarch may no longer be here, but that this could be the end and one of the last times we probably see her in this kind of role,
not just a jubilee, but just in public, and that Prince Charles, the crown prince, may take over anytime soon.
BROWN: Well, we're undoubtedly in the glide path now to the reign of Charles III. We are. And everyone knows it. They don't really want to say
it out loud, obviously.
But we're in the middle of a handover essentially now. And each time the queen appears now, there is something sort of to be treasured about it. The
sense we didn't know whether she was going to be able to come back at the end, and the huge kind of public relief and joy, really, when she appeared
in her green outfit, and there she was, how dependable that imagery has always been, and how reassuring that imagery has always been.
Particularly after the two-year pandemic, the disruption, the political confusion, the whole kind of wretchedness, essentially, inflation, of the
last two years, she has been that figure of stability, and a sense that we're going to be saying goodbye to it sort of soon is something I think
people have found very difficult to take.
AMANPOUR: And then, on a slightly bigger picture, she has been described as the last of the global monarchs, that her reign extends not just beyond
the U.K. and the Commonwealth, but the impact, the ripples extend all over the world.
You have lived in the United States a lot. You have done a lot of your work in the United States. And she does have a massive impact on the democratic
world, people who are republicans, I mean, in that sense, and still admire her.
Why do you think that is?
BROWN: Well, of course, she's -- the rings of history surrounding Elizabeth II.
I mean, her first prime minister was Winston Churchill. So she's seen out 14 prime ministers, and I don't know how many presidents, but certainly in
that number. And so she's -- she has come essentially to sort of epitomize Britain. I mean, you could ask, well, how do we even know how to be British
anymore without the imagery of Queen Elizabeth II?
That's certainly how Americans feel about her, that she literally -- that's why Donald Trump was literally, his tongue hanging out, on his hands and
knees to be photographed at Buckingham Palace with the queen. He didn't feel that he'd been validated until he could get into that picture,
essentially, with her.
Once she's out of the frame, it will be a question as how much the monarchy will have that kind of global impact. And I -- for Prince Charles, it is
going to be a big challenge to have that.
But I mean, I hope -- I like to feel that the sort of gravitas of the monarchy will kind of enwrap him when he takes over, but no one's going to
have her history and no one's going to have her mystery, because she never spoke, right?
AMANPOUR: Well, that's the thing. I mean, I was going to ask you about that, because she never sat for an interview with any journalist.
And Paul McCartney even, way back in I think the 1960s wrote a song, she's a wonderful lady, but she doesn't say much, et cetera.
BROWN: Well, that's right.
And how sagacious that turns out to have been, right? I mean, each time a member the royal family has sat down to do a sort of long one-on-one, it's
always proved a disaster. I mean, we saw Prince Andrew sort of strap on a suicide vest and sit down with Emily Maitlis.
Diana's Bashir interview has -- 25 years later, the eruptions around that. The Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry was just wildly disruptive in
every way. And I think that -- and the first one, Charles talking to Dimbleby, I think that if you ask any one of them now, they would probably
say they regretted it.
AMANPOUR: And, actually, even Prince Philip.
You remember, many decades ago, they were told or they thought they needed to sort of humanize the monarchy. And Prince Philip commissioned a
documentary. And they were barbecuing, and they were doing this and that. Now you can't find it. They thought they went too far.
BROWN: That's right. They did regret it.
They always have regretted it, amazingly. Don't let daylight into magic. I mean, they came to feel that each time they let the daylight in, it didn't
help. But, of course, we already know an enormous amount about Prince Charles of what he thinks.
I mean, he has not been the mysterious monarch in waiting. He's always let his views be known, essentially. We know a lot about him. We know so much
about him. So he's going to have to be a different kind of monarch. He's not going to have that -- the enigmatic representational power that the
queen has had.
So, I'm going to get to -- you lead me to this poll. I mean, basically, you say the magic. Yes, for a certain generation and certain people -- and we
have seen even "The Crown" gets massive -- the Netflix series that's practically in 10 seasons already, massive ratings.
But there are a lot of people, even in this country, certainly in other parts of the former empire, the Commonwealth, who just don't like it. Who
think that they haven't actually addressed the ills of the past, the slavery, the domination. And look at this poll, the Queen is popular, 81
percent in the latest YouGov. But Charles is at 19 percent.
BROWN: That's a bad poll.
AMANPOUR: It's a bad poll but is it also a bit unreal, the fact to have this kind of a monarchy still and --
BROWN: Well --
AMANPOUR: -- this hagiography around it?
BROWN: Yes, I think that we're not going to see the same kind of monarchy that's been the Queen. I mean, I think Charles's task is simply to be this
transitional figure who paved the way for William and Kate, who are going to have to be much more, sort of, modern figures.
And, you know, there will be more of a resemblance to the European monarchies, which are far less about this -- the tradition and the pomp and
circumstance and the, you know, the massive sort of -- you know, global footprint. Certainly, it won't be as big as the Queen. But I still think
that he can play a big role as a convener, you know. I think that that's the only power, really, that the monarchy has which is --
AMANPOUR: Charles has are good issues as they highlighted.
AMANPOUR: The extraordinary, to me, I mean, it's a bit of a political, social issue they brought up at the concert. I mean, the climate was huge.
BROWN: Yes, huge.
BROWN: Well, Charles has turned out to be -- not, almost more than prescient, actually visionary, you know, in things that he's cared about
for decades have been, you know, organic farming and, you know, climate change. And I mean, he really has been ahead of the curve enormously. He
was mocked, greatly mocked for it. And now, of course, he's in tune with what most people, you know, that makes sense, think.
AMANPOUR: In most young people.
BROWN: And most young people think, too. So, he's never going to have the excitement around him, obviously, for the younger generation. The question
is, will William and Kate be able to keep that kindle. So, there's a lot of pressure on them.
AMANPOUR: Well, look, your book has all the women on it. The -- certain accident that you're focusing on the women. The Queen is obviously a woman.
And then you've got Charles, Camilla. You've got -- who else do you have there?
BROWN: Meghan and Kate.
AMANPOUR: You have Kate and Meghan. All females.
AMANPOUR: You -- it's been said, and I could say it you, your very hard on the Sussexes, Harry and Meghan. But you put into context Kate and William.
I just want to know what you think about the undue pressures that women in the royalty, whether it's British royalty, even the Japanese royalty, I
mean the women there have had such a difficult time, the females there.
BROWN: Well, I think it's -- there's huge pressure. And they have to go through the most enormously, kind of, misogynistic press. All of them. The
case of Meghan, she did have a racist press. There's no question about it. And the constant misogyny for all of them. And they're just supposed to
sort of smile and bear it. I have to say that women turned out to be very good at this role. We've had Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth
II. I'm sorry, but women are really good at this job.
You know, Bill Clinton famously said that Hillary has the responsibility gene, and he should know it being the most irresponsible man in the world.
But there is something about women just deciding to just bite this off and do it well. And you've seen this, you know, really with -- you've seen it
with Camilla since she's been married to Charles. You know, the pariah Camilla, now the mistress for so long once, you know, she's married to
Charles and she really hasn't been a foot wrong. She's been, you know, discreet. She's been dutiful. She's done everything she's supposed to do.
Same thing with Kate.
And actually, I mean, Meghan was a great success as the Duchess of Sussex when she was here. Terrific, I mean, no one can complain about how
brilliantly she did her role. She just hated every second of it. But, you know, she was certainly talented at it.
AMANPOUR: You know, it's funny you say that women have been so successful. The ones who mentioned, of course, have been. Prince Harry, to give him his
due, actually went to war in Afghanistan.
AMANPOUR: He tried to do his duty.
BROWN: Yes, yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: He tried to serve, as the Queen always says, I'm here to serve. Then he was outed and they had to pull him out of Afghanistan.
BROWN: Yes, it's a real tragedy, that, actually. Because, you know, William -- Harry actually did show that he was a real leader of men.
BROWN: He was adored by his men. He was very brave. And I do think that his Invictus initiative is probably the most successful royal initiative
since the Duke of Edinburgh's awards game. I mean, you know, it's human. It's real --
AMANPOUR: That is really important.
BROWN: Really important.
AMANPOUR: Wounded veterans.
BROWN: And he has authenticity talking about it as a veteran.
AMANPOUR: So, I would like to -- you here as well, to celebrate and have a wonderful memorial for your late husband, Harry Evans, who's one of the
greatest newspaper editors and investigative leaders of all time of all journalists. And you dedicate your book to Harry.
So, I'd like to play for you a little snippet of an interview we did together, the three of us, back in 2009. We're talking about the amazing
groundbreaking cover that you did with Demi Moore that Annie Leibovitz took the picture of a pregnant Demi Moore. And it leads to a very lovely
conversation between the two of you.
BROWN: All right. Let's see this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: That was a wonderful breakthrough cover. No one had shown a pregnant woman's stomach on a cover before with a celebrity. I was pregnant
at the time, and I felt rebellious. I felt, I'm tired of, you know, dressing in maternity clothes. Let's just let it all hang out. That was a
blow for women.
HARRY EVANS, BRITISH-AMERICAN JOURNALIST: That was my fault.
BROWN: I'm very, very proud of that cover.
EVANS: That's my fault.
AMANPOUR: You -- your -- you -- in your book, you say you fell in love with Tina because of what?
EVANS: Well, first of all, she was quite brilliant, of course. And she made me laugh, like, a lot like she did when she writes today. She can make
people laugh. And she was very brave and very passionate about journalism. About wanting to write things. And that made me --
BRONW: I also stopped him.
AMANPOUR: You stopped him?
EVANS: She did.
BROWN: Yes, I mean, Harry was such a glamorous journalist. I mean, I was in love with journalism from the age of 12. So, for me to see Harry in
action, when Harry was doing the "Front Page", I first saw -- walked in and saw Harry laying out the "Front Page" at the "Sunday Times". I mean, it was
like watching t Nijinsky dance, as far as I was concerned in terms of newspapers. And I've always -- my biggest regret, really, was that I
haven't been, you know, able to work for him on a newspaper in America.
EVANS: Well, I'd like to work with you on "The Beast". Please take me on "The Beast".
BROWN: I would've worked for him in the heartbeat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Tina, what an equal relationship.
BROWN: It makes me sad. Yes, I mean, he was my soulmate, you know, absolutely my soulmate. My -- I mean, I -- there was nobody more dashing,
chivalrous, glamorous, warm, funny, lovely, you know, than my husband. So, life is very empty without my husband, I have to say. So, I'm trying to get
used to that. There's a horrible new thing I have to do called making plans, right? Very hard to make plans. Harry -- with Harry and I, the best
plans were the ones that were canceled, right? Because we could just hang out together. So, that's hard.
But we're going to be having a great wonderful memorial for him tomorrow. And we're going to be announcing a big investigative journalism fellowship
in his name, which I partnered with Thomson Reuters and Durham University. And we're going to announce tomorrow, this news that we're going to have.
We've raised a great -- a lot of money, actually, nearly $6 million actually so far, to be able to underwrite this fellowship which will be --
AMANPOUR: That is amazing.
BROWN: -- a young Harry of tomorrow. Every year we'll be able to be mentored at Reuters.
AMANPOUR: Well, so that is really, really good news. And in that interview, we talked about how less and less resources are going to the
kind of investigative journalism that he pioneered. So, to do that again would be fabulous in his name.
BROWN: It's wonderful. I'm very, very excited about it. And hoping that we're going to have, you know, an army of young Harry's and, you know, by
10 years in. And we have to mentor these journalists --
BROWN: -- because there's not many places now where you can have that kind of training that Harry was able to offer people at the "Sunday Times".
AMANPOUR: Tina Brown, thank you so much indeed.
BROWN: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: "The Palace Papers".
BROWN: Thank you, too.
AMANPOUR: Harry, too. Harry Evans.
Over 107,000 people died of a drug overdose in the United States in 2021. That is one overdose death every five minutes for a full year. One man
attempting to change that is Sam Rivera. Executive director of OnPoint NYC. The organization tries to prevent drug-related deaths by providing safe
spaces where people can use illegal drugs under staff supervision. New York City is the first to allow such centers but under federal law, they remain
illegal. Sam Rivera joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the life-saving work taking place at OnPoint.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Sam Rivera, thanks for joining us. So, Sam, tell me -- for someone who doesn't
know it OnPoint does, what is it?
SAM RIVERA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ONPOINT NYC: So, we're a full-fledged harm reduction organization who provides, you know, who really work with people,
specific people, at a time in their lives when there's little left. People who've been dehumanized. People who are judged for what they do and not who
they are. And most people who are really self-medicating trauma and traumatic pain and mental health conditions.
Oftentimes not even knowing that's what they're doing. Because when I asked them, who are you? They're identified by the names people call them. You
know, I'm a loser. I'm a junkie. I'm lazy. And when I -- when we get the opportunity to talk about what the roof of that pain and why they're using
drugs, we see a change. And in these, coming up on six months, I've watched some of those beautiful people change their lives and stay alive.
Because we opened the safe -- the overdose prevention program, safe consumption programs, people want -- people tend to focus on that only.
Now, that's one element of what we do. What we know is, it's important to have that program that is really, really crucial to have services
collocate. So, we have medical services collocated.
Case management, food and nutrition program, holistic health, acupuncture, acupressure, self-therapy, healing opportunities for our folks who have
never, truly never had the opportunity.
We not only offer that to the participants who come here. It's also an offer we make to the community in general because we have to be a part of
the community to be a part of this answer.
SREENIVASAN: Give me an idea of who is coming to your centers and what kinds of people are walking in there?
RIVERA: Yes, we're getting folks who are active users. They're not learning here. These are people who have been using a while. Most of our
folks have been using for many years. And we have younger folks, a younger population who's really starting to come in more often. People use a
variety of drugs. And then in the other program, in Harlem, we have this older crowd who's been around for a while.
The people who come to our program have all, 100 percent of them, have been in treatment in the past, have tried detox in the past. 100 percent of
them. So, you know, when people say, Sam, just send them to treatments. What are you doing? They've all tried it. And when I say, it doesn't work.
What we know is that most people do not stop using their first try or their fifth try. It takes work. It takes time. It takes love and compassion.
Which is what we're offering them in the interim.
The other amazing thing happening which has shocked me a little, our drug treatment providers coming in and working with us. We changed the way we
work. Our treatment providers are changing the way they work. Our medical providers are changing the way they work. It's really coming to this
beautiful place where we're meeting for what it really is, which is this lifesaving health dimension.
SREENIVASAN: I think people might be familiar with needle exchanges or harm reduction programs that maybe don't go as far as you do. I want, for
our audience to understand, how do you prevent overdoses? Walk me through.
SREENIVASAN: If somebody comes into your facility and they're carrying drugs. What happens?
RIVERA: So, what happens is this -- so, someone comes in and they're going to come use drugs that they bring in themselves We don't provide.
Oftentimes, the perception is, when you walk in and open the door, there's just a bunch of people using drugs and this space, and that's what it is.
It isn't at all. It's a very structured program.
When you come into the facility, you're walking into our drop-in center. You're going to see people using a computer, having a meal, watching a
movie. That's what's happening when you enter our drop-in center. Maybe 100 people sitting around, supporting each other. A mental health service
provider, one of our mental health providers, sitting with them, talking to them about mental health conditions. Maybe waiting to see a medical staff
or going up to our holistic program.
Someone who comes into use drugs says, I'm here. This is what I'm here for. They receive a -- if it's their first time, they go to a full intake, which
could be pretty long. So, we try to go through it as quickly as possible, but the data matters. Getting that information is crucial. We meet with
them. We ask them what they're using, how much, how, et cetera. We ask them if they weren't here, where would they be? It's a key question. Because
what we know is before we opened, and even in many parts of the city and in this country, people use in hiding. They use in alleys. They use parks.
They use some places also where the communities are impacted.
And then we say, did you have any police contact? What was that like? We go through a process. And then they go to the back of the room, which is where
they would meet yet with another person who, before they enter the room. At that point, the staff is screening them again. What are they using, how, or
anything else? And then they enter the actual OVC, the safe consumption room. They go to the rear, wash their hands, et cetera. Pick up the
paraphernalia they're going to use whatever drug they're using and how. How it's being administered. We check in, if they're OK, fine.
If we see nod and we walk over and see -- shoulders fall, now we check in a lot quicker on what's going on? At that point, if their overdose is kicking
in, we go into action. And we're only using Narcan about 15 percent of the time. So, it's kind of like, what are these people doing. So, we go to
agitation. First, body movement and then we go to oxygen barrier. We use oxygen in every overdose or actually known as removing the opioid from the
brain. Taking that off the brain so that person can come back, basically to life, and breathe on their own. But we're monitoring them throughout that
process. Five times, only five times, I'm proud of it, we called an ambulance for assistance. And of those five times, only two people, I
believe, one or two actually left with the ambulance.
SREENIVASAN: So, how many times? You've only been open about six months now. How many times have you prevented someone from overdosing and dying?
RIVERA: We're coming up on 300 times. 300.
SREENIVASAN: And those would be 300 dead people if you are not there?
RIVERA: Yes. 300 times in a city where we see 2,000 deaths. I think we're having an impact. What we know is, anyone who dies of an overdose don't
have to. They just don't. Yesterday, our region and public safety team was returning from a park from doing their work in the community because we
also clean the community, we clean syringes, we pick up syringes, we monitor folks in the street as well. They were returning, stopped a Burger
King to use the restroom, and a man was laid out for 20 minutes.
The security person at Burger King said he's dead. Tongue out, blue. And this amazing team brought him back to life. You know, it's -- to have staff
who are willing to step in like that, you know, come in and -- I'm praising them and giving them this credit and they're like proud to have been in
that moment. It's just -- it's painful to think that this guy, this was a well-dressed man, healthy, who, we what understand went in there to take a
quick -- what we call a quick bump of cocaine, and it had fentanyl. He would've gone home to his family that night.
You know, this was a man who had a job nearby. Just decided to run in their very quickly. You know, the reason isn't important. What's important is if
he had access to a place, then we would've been in that room with him that he would've have gotten to basically die and come back to life.
I'm proud of what we are doing. I'm proud of the -- you know, the courage we have to do it, the way we are doing it. I have to say too, very
important, the City Health Department, our previous mayor, our current mayor, have stepped up, has stepped up. Our state officials have stepped
up. And it's important because if they don't, I hold them accountable. When they do, I really want to acknowledge that.
Harm reduction in this world have been amazing and we just know, people don't have to die if someone is there with them with the appropriate skills
or NARCAN to respond to the overdose.
SREENIVASAN: Are these operations technically legal? I mean, isn't there a law, at least, in federal books, that says, you can't be doing this?
ROKER: Yes. So, technically, these services are illegal, federally. There's something called a crack house statute. When you take cocaine and
call it crack, you make it a black and brown (INAUDIBLE) issue. For me, that's intentional.
We have a president who proudly, in the past, has probably talked about creating the crack house statute. What I remind the president often, I'm
trying to get it to him, is we're blessed to live in America, the land of second chances. And we want to see him basically get rid of the crack house
statute. It is preventing hundreds, thousands of lives, how about 107,000 of lives from being saved.
The crack house statute prevents us from running this program federally. The crack house statute prevents us from receiving funds. I am running
these two programs from unrestricted funds, from donations. We've got a few people to step up and donate money because they know this is the right
thing. We've had people step up to donate money because they lost loved ones.
And so, yes, federally, it's illegal. It's a risk that I'm willing to take. It's a risk my board is willing to take. And what I mean by that is, we can
be arrested for running this program, which is a shame. It's really a shame. So, I look forward to Rahul Gupta, the head of ONDCP and Joe Biden,
our president, to step up and make this change. They know it's right. They know it's working. They have peeped in. And we are going to stand. We're
going to stand continue to provide these lifesaving services.
SREENIVASAN: Sam, the -- when I hear about how your people are coming into this and what they are doing in terms of the types of drugs that they are
using, I hear automatically one of the sorts of baked in critiques, that you're essentially enabling someone to continue, perhaps even push the
limits of that drug because they know that, guess what, I'm not going to die. So, I can do this at this facility. What do you say to that?
RIVERA: We're enabling people to stay alive. That's what we are doing. People who us, will use until they are ready to stop. The reason why they
come in here is because there's a level of safety, there is a level of compassion and support. There is a community building for them.
People who use in the street are hiding, are treated differently, are physically abused. Women who use in the street are often attacked sexually
and physically abused as well. So, creating the safe environment for them to use -- if we close tomorrow, they are going to keep continue using.
Please, I tell people often, talk to people who you know use drugs or have used drugs, it's not about what we can do necessarily to stop that, it's
really about them experiencing life in a very different way, in a very loving, compassionate, supportive way. That's really what it is.
And when someone is ready, we want to be, and we are ready to take them to this next place. So, it's -- I understand that. I will say this, if I
wasn't the one running it, I would probably have similar questions.
SREENIVASAN: You know, setting up the center like this often provokes a little bit of, not in my backyard backlash. And how has the reception been?
Here you are into neighborhoods in six months. What has changed?
RIVERA: Yes. So, initially there was backlash. There was a lot of as well. We got grouped into concerns regarding an oversaturation of programs in
certain neighborhoods, and specifically in Harlem. And we had to remind people, we've been here 22 years and we've been doing this work as an
organization for 30. So, we weren't new to the community. So, people were like, we don't want any new programs. We're like, we are not new. What we
are is improved, not a new.
The other thing was really to give people access. So, once people came and were concerned -- and I get it. I get it. This is -- you know, this is from
30,000 feet away, from 20 feet away. It's like what is really going on? This doesn't -- this sounds way out there. It's radical. No, it's
righteous. This is righteous. This is healing -- this is a healing community. Good medicine, as we say in the native community.
So, we brought people in. We have walked them through. We introduced them to how we are doing it. We got rid of the perceptions of what it looks
like. And now, the very people -- and this is another problem, the very people who are questioning us are partnering with us. The police department
are our partners. They asked us to create a card that they could give to someone when they see them using and say to them, we're not going to arrest
you. Please come inside and use here. Use that OnPoint NYC where they can take care of you and protect you.
So, people who questioned us, we have politicians who questioned us, and now, believe in us, they are our partners. So, it's really about embracing
the concerns, acknowledging their concerns are legit, 100 percent. And then, introducing them to the process.
And so, really, exposure is a big one, opening our doors and being as transparent as possible is what helped us and got us through really through
SREENIVASAN: Look at five years, 10 years, what's your best-case scenario?
RIVERA: So, the war on drugs is really about a war on the individuals who use drugs. They are the ones paying for it through drug use, being
criminalized, having to go to prison because of that. Having to be forced into treatment and then, believing the system, believing it worked well for
them because they stopped using while they were treatment when the alternative is, if you don't complete this treatment, you are going to
prison. That's being held over their heads.
So, yes, I definitely -- this country needs many more of this immediately. And in my dream world, we will have to close them, that service, not all
the other services. But in my dream world, we wouldn't need them. We wouldn't need them.
SREENIVASAN: Sam Rivera, executive director of OnPoint NYC, thank you so much for joining us.
RIVERA: Thank you. Appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And sometimes, it does take radical moves to try to push the lines and achieve some kind of results in difficult situations, like the
one Sam is talking about.
And finally, tonight, remember the Fonz?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY WINKLER, ACTOR, HAPPY DAYS: Hey, let me tell you something, everybody gets scared. You're going to survive in this world, you just
can't show it all the time. That's all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you never get scared.
WINKLER: I know, that's why I'm the Fonz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: He's the uber cool (INAUDIBLE) and fan favorite from "Happy Days," played, of course, by Henry Winkler. And tomorrow, he joins us on
this. Tune in then for our conversation about that iconic role, his latest series, "Barry," and everything in between.
That's it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. And on your screen right now
is a QR code. All you need to do is pick up your phone and scan it with your camera. You can also find it at cnn.com/podcast and are on all major
platforms, just search Amanpour.
And remember, you can always catch us online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.