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Interview With Carole King; Interview With Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto; Interview with The Washington Post Personal Finance Columnist Michelle Singletary. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired July 05, 2022 - 13:00:00 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.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The battle for Lysychansk is only a relatively short distance from here. This is likely to be the front
line very soon.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The last city in the Luhansk region falls into Russian hands just as Sweden and Finland sign on to join NATO, and at the
center of the chessboard, Hungary, Moscow's closest ally in the E.U. I asked Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto about the country's next move.
Plus: She felt the earth move, and she did something about it. Legendary singer and songwriter Carole King tells me about her decades-long crusade
to protect the environment and her extraordinary musical career.
MICHELLE SINGLETARY, PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It's a lesson that a lot of people don't want to hear, but you can get
through this with some strategic moves with your money.
AMANPOUR: How to navigate recession. Our Michel Martin asks personal finance columnist for "The Washington Post" Michelle Singletary for advice.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The last city under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region has fallen. It is both a strategic and symbolic win for Moscow, which vowed to liberate
the Donbass region. That's the eastern part of Ukraine, where the conflict between Kyiv and Russian-backed separatists started back in 2014.
Ukraine's military now says that Russian forces are preparing renewed offensives towards cities in the Donetsk region. That's the other part of
the Donbass, which currently remains controlled by Kyiv.
Russia's tactic during this latest phase of the war has been one of intense and heavy bombardment. And it has so far proved effective, but also slow
and costly and deadly. And as Ukraine's control of that region crumbles, Phil Black reports from Siversk in the Donbass.
BLACK (voice-over): There is no easy, safe way to the most eastern front lines at the Donbass. Russia has cut the highways. So, soldiers, weapons,
locals and aid deliveries must all take the back roads.
This Red Cross operation is to Siversk, the small town closest to the region's most intense fighting. The team unloads and very quickly families
arrive to load up, the noise of war close and loud. No one reacts.
Natalia is collecting food for her husband and two children. She says they can't leave the town because they fear losing their house and the vegetable
garden they rely on to survive.
"Only a fool isn't scared," she says, "but there is no way out. We cannot leave our place."
Lubov arrives with her young children. She says they have stayed as the Russians approach because she doesn't want to risk being separated from her
eldest daughter, who lives in a nearby village.
She says: "I called her once. She told me they're not leaving. Then we lost connection. I don't even know if she's OK."
Lubov agrees to show us the home where she hopes they can safely wait out the war. It's a walk to the other side of town. But we soon realize that
won't be possible. Their neighborhood is under fire, incoming artillery from somewhere close, so close, you hear the artillery piece fire and the
projectiles' flight before impact.
The shells fall within the same tight area again and again. We saw all of this while only a little further to the east Russian forces were claiming
an important when, taking the city of Lysychansk.
Come to us! Good to go?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BLACK (on camera): The battle for Lysychansk is only a relatively short distance from here. This is likely to be the front line very soon, but
already Russia's heavy weapons are falling among these people's homes in this town.
(voice-over): It's not safe to stay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that was close. Hold on.
BLACK: But all of these people remain, scared, confused, hoping beyond reason the violence to come will pass them by.
AMANPOUR: Correspondent Phil Black there.
And Russia's war chest depends heavily on energy, of course, yet the country now faces an unprecedented oil import ban by the European Union,
with few exceptions. Hungary is one of them. Under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary famously proclaimed itself and illiberal democracy, often at
odds with its Western allies and at ease with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Now the country, which opposes further energy sanctions against Moscow, is said to move ahead with plans to expand a nuclear plant with the Russian
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto joins me here in the studio.
So we will get to that a little bit in a moment. But, first, I want to ask you, because you're watching as a foreign minister of a neighboring
country, what you think it means strategically that after now almost five months, Russia is consolidating its gains in the east and may just get more
and more? How do you see the war ending?
PETER SZIJJARTO, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Look, I'm representing a neighboring country to Ukraine.
And our assessment is that every minute spent with the war in Ukraine constitute a security hazard on Hungary, because whenever you have a war in
the neighborhood, you are under security threat as well.
So if there is a country which is 200 percent interested in a very, very quick conclusion of the war and peace to come back to original as soon as
possible, then this is us. Then this is us.
So what we can do now is to hope and pray for the peace to come as soon as possible. Otherwise, Europe is going to face tremendous challenges. And us
in the neighborhood, being so close to the war, it's even more dangerous for us.
AMANPOUR: Can we just be clear? Your threat is from who? Do you feel threatened from Russia or from Ukraine? Who is the aggressor here?
SZIJJARTO: There is a war in the neighborhood. It's obvious.
I mean, we have condemned this war at the very beginning. We have condemned the military aggression against Ukraine at the very beginning. We are
standing besides Ukraine, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.
And we are faced with the direct impacts of the world, number one, the refugee crisis. Up until now, until now, 830,000 refugees have been
received by Hungary, 830,000. And we see this number increasing very, very rapidly. So when I'm asked how quickly this whole thing can be concluded or
come to an end, I would say that, if I look at the number, the growing number of the refugees arriving to us on a daily basis, I think it's not
going to -- it's not going to end too soon, because if there was a hope that it's going to end soon, then we would see a decreasing number of
But this is not the case, unfortunately.
AMANPOUR: So let's talk about Putin's ability to keep waging this war. A lot of it depends on the money and a lot of it depends on his economy and
his ability to pay for it.
There is a big difference between what many European countries feel. You said you're close to the border. Well, you are. You're on the border,
SZIJJARTO: We're on the border.
AMANPOUR: You're on the eastern side of the border.
AMANPOUR: To the West, you have Poland also on the border.
AMANPOUR: You two have very different views of how to prosecute this.
Both of you have lived under USSR domination. Both of you understand, but you have different ways of viewing it.
Let me read the following from a Polish official, because you have been pretty much, I guess, the kind thing would be to say, threading a very
difficult needle, because as you are still buying and you have been exempted from any of the sanctions on Russian oil, which we understand
provides Putin with something like $800 million per day for his war chest.
SZIJJARTO: Yes, but not us, not us. No, no, no. It's not Hungary.
AMANPOUR: No, in general. Yes, but you're part of it.
SZIJJARTO: Yes, it's not Hungary. We are just a very small portion.
AMANPOUR: But you're part of it.
According to "The F.T.," a Polish official has told reporters at a recent E.U. summit about your exemption: "We cannot understand the logic of
profiting from the war, profiting from the blood and sacrifice."
You yourself have recently said Hungary's purchase of Russian energy is -- quote -- "not a political statement."
But how do you reconcile those two? And how do you reconcile the fact that you are contributing to Putin being able to prosecute this war?
SZIJJARTO: Well, we are not. And...
AMANPOUR: But why do you say that?
AMANPOUR: Every dollar in his coffer goes to buying weapons, ammunition, and sustaining it.
SZIJJARTO: Number one, we have a very, very small share when it comes to our European purchase of Russian fossil fuel.
And on the other hand, energy supply is a physical question. It's not philosophical. It's not political. It's not ideological. It is a physical
Why we have asked for the exemption from the oil embargo was the fact that in case we had not asked for it, in case we had not got it, it would be
physically impossible to supply the country with enough oil. It's a matter of mathematics. We have a certain amount of oil we need in order to operate
If the Russian deliveries are being phased out, no physical opportunity to replace it. And I tell you why, not for fun, not by choice. But geography
has determined our house number. Geography has determined the infrastructure. In order to change the massive east-west delivery routes,
to -- north-to-south delivery routes in Central Europe, you need a couple of years, a lot of money, but what is even more important, in this case, a
couple of years, five, six, seven years.
So since it's a physical question, the question is whether you can replace Russian oil or Russian gas in order to operate your own country. Currently,
the answer of ours is no. And it's not -- the answer is not no because we don't want it. The answer is no because, physically, it's impossible.
Physically, it's impossible.
And one thing, one thing we must not allow, I think, and this would be that we would force the Hungarian people to pay for the price of the war,
because it is not the responsibility of the Hungarian people that the war has broken out. We did not want this war. We do not want this war. But we
cannot solve it for tomorrow.
And we cannot solve it to next year either to replace the Russian energy supply by anything else.
AMANPOUR: Everybody is obviously facing the same issue, massive energy prices, massive inflation, food insecurity.
But let's say we take your word. And the European Union has. They have exempted you on a couple of other questions, but...
SZIJJARTO: And other countries as well. So, please don't forget.
AMANPOUR: As I said. And a couple of other countries is what I meant to say.
AMANPOUR: But you have also gone the extra mile. You have said, no, we shouldn't have sanctions against Patriarch Kirill. He is the Russian
patriarch of the Orthodox Church who supports Putin and the soldiers going to kill innocent Ukrainians. You have just said Russia is the aggressor.
You have also decided to break with the rest of your European colleagues and your Americans and all the rest of it. You do not send weapons to
Russia. This is what -- and you know very well, but I think it's still a very poignant and direct message that President Zelenskyy sent to your
prime minister, Viktor Orban, back in March.
Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I was on your shore. I saw this memorial, Shoes on the Danube Bank, about mass
murders. I was with my family.
Listen, Viktor, do you know what's going on in Mariupol? Please, if you can go to your shore, look at those shoes, and you will see how mass killings
can happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So he's talking about a memorial site. And he's trying to say, listen, we're in distress right now. How come you're not going the extra
Of course, I meant sending arms to Ukraine, not Russia.
But how do you answer that kind of moral challenge?
SZIJJARTO: Yes. This is a very unfair statement, number one.
AMANPOUR: But why do you say that?
SZIJJARTO: Because we are carrying out the biggest, largest humanitarian relief ever in the history of our country.
I told you we have received 830,000 refugees from Ukraine. We take good care of them. Tomorrow, there will be another 13,000 to 15,000 because this
is the trend. We will receive them as well. We will take good care of all of them. Whoever stays for a longer period of time, we offer a job.
For the kids, we ensure schooling and kindergarten. And we don't expect anyone to say thank you to the Hungarians while tens of thousands of
Hungarians have joined their forces and work day by day in order to take care of these hundreds of thousands of poor Ukrainians who come to us. We
don't expect them to say thank you.
But one thing we do we expect, not to provocate us, not to accuse us, not to say bad things on us just because we made one decision, and this
decision is the following, that we do not take part in weapon deliveries. Why? Because we are a neighboring country.
For us, the major -- the major goal is not to get involved into this war in any way. And you know that...
AMANPOUR: Who do you want to win?
AMANPOUR: Who do you want to win? Who should win?
SZIJJARTO: Well, of course, the victim has to win. That's not a question.
AMANPOUR: So, the victim needs help.
SZIJJARTO: OK, but -- all right, but we have done -- if you have -- been following the way.
Since we decided not to deliver weapons, the Hungarian and Ukrainian border offers the safest passage when you cross the Ukrainian border from the
west, from their perspective. That's why International Red Cross operates its logistic hub from Hungary to organize their activities in Ukraine. Why?
Because this is a safe border.
Whenever humanitarian deliveries cross there, everybody can be sure it's not weapon, so these deliveries are not being in danger. Number two --
sorry -- just one more sentence, if you don't mind.
I'm not quite sure everybody's aware of the fact that there are 150,000 Hungarians living there in the western part of Ukraine. Now, it's obvious
that, in case we would deliver weapons, then these weapon deliveries would be, let's say, targets of Russians to shoot, right?
Now, we don't want them to shoot into areas where Hungarians are living, because, once again, we would like to -- we would not like to be involved
in this conflict. So we have to take into consideration the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people as well.
AMANPOUR: You have raised the issue of the refugees, and everybody is being very good. Millions of refugees are being accepted all around. But,
of course, that raises another question, because, yes, Ukrainian white Christiane refugees again highlights your issue with not allowing not-so-
white, not-so-Christiane refugees coming in from your southern border.
And that is, I don't know what word to use, but let's just say ethnocentric, ethno-national.
SZIJJARTO: No, but I think it's...
AMANPOUR: How do you account for that difference?
SZIJJARTO: It's an extremely important issue, what you have raised, because I have been faced with this question many times. So thank you for
AMANPOUR: And I have actually asked you before.
SZIJJARTO: Yes, thank you very much for raising it.
So we are under double pressure currently. We can say this, because we have these hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving from Ukraine who will be
definitely allowed to come and take good care of them. But we keep our southern border very strong, which is our border to Serbia, external border
of both European Union and the Schengen area.
We have stopped 110,000 illegal migrants already this year. And this is the major difference. This is, you have refugees and you have illegal migrants.
And why I tell you these are illegal migrants, because you have to look at the international law. What does international law say?
If you have to flee from war, like the poor Ukrainians currently, you are allowed to move to the first safe country. And there you can stay
temporarily and then return whenever the war or whatever was the reason of you fleeing is over.
Now, these people who appear at the southern border of ours cross at least six, seven, eight, or even more safe countries. They have no reason. They
have no reason to violate the border between Serbia and Hungary. They have no reason to violate the southern border of Serbia, because they're not
coming from war, because there's no war in Serbia.
And I have to tell you one thing. These people, these illegal migrants are behaving more and more aggressively. They are carrying weapons. They are
shooting at us, shooting at each other. They attack our policemen, throwing pieces of concrete, bottle, whatever, attacking our police.
Why should we allow such kind of people to enter the territory of Hungary? Why should we allow them to violate our borders? Because this is a border
violation. The Ukrainians are not violating our border. They come. They ask for the opportunity. They come in. They cooperate with us, because they
have the right to do so because there's a war in the neighborhood.
AMANPOUR: It just all fits the picture of what you call an illiberal democracy.
AMANPOUR: So, let's just -- well, it just does. I mean, it just does.
SZIJJARTO: No, it's international law. It's international law.
AMANPOUR: Fine. But we have had these discussions many times before when they were actually fleeing war, and we saw that they were.
SZIJJARTO: Yes, they're not coming from the neighborhood.
AMANPOUR: Fine. Let's just carry on.
The E.U. clearly has a slightly different view. They have held up some of the aid money to you for what they consider to be...
SZIJJARTO: Yes, not some, all of it. All of it.
And Poland as well. There's some -- I mean, they're helping Poland a bit more now because Poland is playing ball on the Ukraine issue, but it's
because they believe that many of your actions actually roll back European standards on democracy, so gay rights.
You know that you have banned adoption by same-sex couples, passed an anti- LGBT law, banning homosexual and transsexual propaganda, et cetera, et cetera.
SZIJJARTO: To children. To children. To children. That's very, very important.
We have banned these kinds of propaganda to children, because this is a law.
AMANPOUR: But you still banned adoption and the rest. So, let's just be...
SZIJJARTO: Yes, like other countries do it. like other countries do it. So please, do not...
AMANPOUR: Not all other countries. No, not all other countries.
SZIJJARTO: Yes, but many of them, in Europe as well.
SZIJJARTO: Oh, no, no, no, but European Union also.
I mean, we have a very clear-cut position on the Constitution.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Let me...
SZIJJARTO: Sorry. Constitution says that, in a family, there must be a mother, a father and children. Mother must be a man -- sorry -- father must
be a man. Mother must be a woman.
This is what our Constitution says. We have to respect that. That's why adoption is not allowed to gay couples, but everything except for marriage
is allowed for them. They can live in a registered partnership.
AMANPOUR: ... in the United States, Conservative Political Action Committee, obviously believes that you are brothers in arms, because they
had their latest convention in Budapest. And I think that was, what, a couple of months ago.
President -- Prime Minister Orban spoke there. "The New Yorker," you probably very familiar with it, you have probably read the article, has dug
deep and has done a big sort of profile.
The headline is, does Hungary offer a glimpse of our authoritarian future? This is America speaking. Details how some Republicans would like to
replicate Orban's model of illiberal democracy.
Are you please, surprised? Is it the gathering of the sort of conservative masses? Where do you think your role is in bolstering America's deeply
conservative wing that has now rolled back women's rights for the first time in American history, that has been rolling back voting rights, that
has challenged the legitimate election of the current president of the United States?
Why do you want to be involved in that?
SZIJJARTO: Look, I'm coming from a Central European landlocked country with less than 10 million inhabitants.
Now, compared to this, it's an honor that we are kind of highlighted as a country which can have an influence on the domestic political situation in
the United States. We understand that, in the U.S., they are being already in a campaign mode. They are preparing for the midterm.
We understand that the Republicans are gaining again political support. We definitely do have a very, very strong cooperation with them. We are in
direct consultation, continuous consultation with them just recently about the global minimum tax, for example, which both of us suppose, I mean, the
Republicans in U.S. and we in Hungary as well.
So, I mean, we are honored if we are being seen like a country which can have an influence on domestic political situation in the U.S. We definitely
cross fingers for the Republicans, and we cooperate with them. That's obvious.
AMANPOUR: You see another great big superpower of illiberal democracy?
SZIJJARTO: If the question was whether we cross fingers for the Republicans, we do.
AMANPOUR: Got it.
I think you answered my question.
SZIJJARTO: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, thank you for joining us.
AMANPOUR: Now, from the front lines of the battle in Ukraine to fighting on the front lines for the environment, Carole King made her mark as one of
the greatest singer and songwriters behind such hits as Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman."
And she famously sang it back to Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015. Take a listen. Such passion. They were the Obamas there, such
energy. But what most people don't know about Carole King is that she has spent decades promoting protections for wildlife and ecosystems in the
Northern Rocky Mountains, tirelessly using Congress to impose -- urging Congress to impose stricter regulations on the logging industry.
And she's joining us now from Ketchum, Idaho.
Carole King, welcome to the program.
CAROLE KING, MUSICIAN: Thank you for having me. And it's good to see you back.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, it's great to be talking to you.
That amazing clip that we played is what kind of almost everybody knows, but nobody really has focused in terms of pop culture or mass culture on
what you did to take off to where you are right now in the '70s and devote so much of your life to the environment.
What prompted you to do that?
KING: Well, I live in Idaho. And I moved to this state in 1977.
And, for 38 years, a forest was my nearest neighbor. So I got involved when I realized that the extent of the logging is much more than people know.
And in this time, when so many people around the world are concerned about climate change, people need to know that logging in the United States
admits an amount of -- emits an amount of carbon comparable to burning coal in the United States.
Its annual -- it's a comparable amount. And logging is really a big problem, and we subsidize it. So when we're asking other countries to stop
deforestation, how can we do that credibly when we're not only allowing it in our national forests, we're subsidizing it?
AMANPOUR: And, Carole King, what reaction have you had when you go to Congress and other official places to try to influence them to actually
Because you're absolutely right. Deforestation is one of the greatest threats to our environment right now.
KING: Well, I have been advocating for a specific bill, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, which does what it says it does. We call
it NREPA by its acronym.
And Congress has been very receptive, but unfortunately, not receptive enough to pass it. At one point, we had 188 bipartisan co-sponsors in the
House. Now there's a bill in the House and the Senate.
But absent this bill, what's going on is that logging is being facilitated by the administration's Forest Service. And that's been over multiple
presidents. And they facilitate logging, to the point where we're told, oh, it's fuel reduction, it slows wildfires, it's vegetation management.
All the euphemisms boil down to leaving clear-cuts. And that's what's happening without this bill. And the logging is also now mechanized, so
it's not even about jobs. They get in a machine called a feller buncher, and the machine grabs a tree and saws through the bottom of the tree, then
takes the tree to where the leaves are stripped. And then it piles the former tree into a pile of logs in just the time it took me to say this.
AMANPOUR: So you must -- I mean, you must feel pretty devastated then by the reason Supreme Court ruling against the EPA, specifically against the
ability to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.
KING: There's actually so much devastating news coming from the Supreme Court lately.
But we have a tool. There's a tool that I mentioned was the NREPA bill, which would protect those lands, if Congress would pass it. But I know
Congress is having a difficult time right now passing a lot of things that should be passed.
But the other thing is, President Biden has the ability and the power. Today, he could sign an executive order stopping logging, pausing it, put a
moratorium, whatever the language, stop logging in our national forests. And that is what's incentivizing the timber companies to log, because we
subsidize it. And that is why they log in our national forests, because we help them pay for it.
If they don't log in our national forests, they still have plantations and private lands that they can use. So we would not be without lumber.
KING: That's what President Biden can do, needs to do.
AMANPOUR: You're obviously clearly so passionate. I mean, and this is not just -- as I said, this is decades that you have been doing this.
You are also, as we just saw, so passionate, in your words, in your music, in your performances. Are you a natural activist? Does it come naturally
from your performance on stage to be able to take this actual fight to the politicians, where it matters?
I guess how does each part of your life and your activities reflect on each other?
KING: Well, the word that you used is passion and creativity and intelligence, are all required to be -- for me anyway, that's what I apply
to being an artist. And to being an activist, those are the same things I apply.
And it was just -- it was a calling. When I saw what was happening, when I walked into a clear-cut, I had those emotions. And I know you want to
transition to the other topic.
And I want to, but I just want to say, I just want to ask people to go to WhiteHouse.gov. Contact us. And let President Biden, he needs to do this
right now, stop logging in our national forests. We are in a climate crisis.
And now, transitioning that passion is the same thing that I write with. I'm passionate about, you know, the things -- when I write about love or
being a friend or even fun songs like feeling the earth move or "Locomotion" wasn't my lyric, it was Gerry Goffin's lyric. "A Natural
Woman," again, was his lyric. We bring a sensibility to our art and our creative writing that it's just -- it's good -- it's an easy transition
when you're passionate about a cause, and you know many artists have causes.
AMANPOUR: And yes. Yes, they absolutely do. And some are not taken as seriously as they would like to be taken. But, I mean, clearly, again, you
have done such a huge amount of work on this issue. I just wonder, in Idaho, do you -- are you still playing the piano? Are you still writing?
Are you writing about this, for instance?
KING: No, I don't. When I was younger, I wrote songs about my love for the environment. Like I have a less well-known song called "Morning Sun" that
talks about the rhythm of the seasons. And I -- you know, I was influenced. There are seasons everywhere, but in Idaho, they are just absolutely so
dramatic. Winter is really winter. And summer, I guess, is -- you know, is where we are now. And right now, it's beautiful. It hasn't been that hot.
So, yes. I'm don't -- I'm not writing now so much. I'm really putting -- the climate crisis is so dire that I just am putting most of my energy into
trying to get people to understand that logging, not just fossil fuels, but logging really is part of the problem. So, that's what I'm doing.
AMANPOUR: So, I want to ask you a question that I'm interested in but I could even, you know, frame it in the -- in your environmental work. You
have reached a certain age, exactly the same age as Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, and they are still performing live.
In 2016, you were here, in London, in Hyde Park, and that was your last live performance. The Brits and everybody who've managed to get tickets
were thrilled. Americans felt a little bit left out. Would you do another live performance? And would you do it to benefit the environment or to
KING: Well, I would never say never. But I am 80 years old. That is right, the same age as Paul McCartney and those guys and God bless them. I feel
like -- I just feel that that was a very high note. And I have performed in America for many, many years. So, you know, I don't think I owe Americans
an apology. But I was really happy to go out on that particular show. And I think that will probably be my last major live performance.
And I am now just so -- like I said, the climate crisis is so dire that I just feel that whatever I can do to influence anybody, if I educate one
person with this appearance on your program, and I'm sure it will be a lot more, and they do something and get in touch with Biden and support the
Northern Rockies, Ecosystem Protection Act, that's a thing I can do. And so, that's why I'm putting in the energy.
AMANPOUR: Well, and you are a legend. And, you know, is actually going to be turned into a big screen movie. Sony wants to take "A Beautiful," which
the musical that played in the United States and in the U.K., and make it, you know, a big musical on the big screen. How do you feel about that? And,
again, I mean, look, it could be used in the service of your great mission right now.
KING: Well, it could be. I mean, the movie industry, I don't understand it. I've been close to it, I worked with people in it but things take
however long they take. I don't know when the movie will be done. It hasn't been filmed yet. And the fact that there was a play and I didn't really
want the play to be made because I'm sort of a private person. And when they made it, they did such a good job that it had a six-year run on
Broadway. And I believe it is still touring in the United States. And I know it toured around the U.K. as well.
AMANPOUR: Indeed, indeed. It is still packing them in. Look, I want to ask you because you mentioned -- well, I asked you about the Supreme Court, and
you said there's a whole lot that has just come out of there that is quite troubling. And I'm assuming you mean, you know, the rollback of women's
rights with the Roe v. Wade decision. I'm just going to throw this in because you have had to stand up for your rights.
You were in something of an abusive marriage, you decided you couldn't talk against abuse and still take it. You had to leave. And I think that
propelled you to go to Idaho and to fall in love with the state you are in right now. Talk to me about women's rights, whether it's in terms of abuse,
whether in terms of reproductive threats.
KING: Well, first of all, I want to clarify that I don't consider that it might have been, but the marriage with Gerry Goffin was not the abuse of
marriage. That one was later and that was -- the man that actually got me to come to Idaho.
I just -- back to the Supreme Court, yes, I am very passionate about those issues as well. Voting rights, you didn't mention, but of course, you know,
they are gutting everything and it's like -- it does seem like the cruelty is the point, you know, just because we are going to show our power and
it's hurting so many people. So, I am political beyond just the environmental work because I have personal knowledge of the forest and I
work with activists, grassroots activists on the ground, that's why I got involved in that. But I am politically active.
And we just -- what I believe is the solution, OK, I'm going to get very 30,000 foot here, but I am 80. So, give me that.
AMANPOUR: You go right ahead.
KING: There are cycles. There are cycles. I mean, we -- history has cycles. We've been through bad times before. I'm not sure they have ever
been this bad in terms of the absolute knocking down of the pillars of our democracy, but I feel that, if everybody, as like one little molecule in
the whole organism that is society, you know, which comprises so many different kinds of people, a lot of people are struggling and don't have
time to think about politics.
But politics is affecting them. And I think shows like yours are so valuable because people watch them and they learn. It's not just, oh,
filling time. You are educating people. And that's what I see my role as, is educating people about issues I know about and get encouraging people to
get involved, to educate themselves for more than one source so that you can make an intelligent decision and get involved and do it in a
knowledgeable way and band with other people, organize and vote. Because that's the foundation on which our future rests.
And the same thing is true about the climate crisis. Act. Take action. Write to the president. Write to the Congress people. Be involved would be
my overarching message to everybody that is as outraged as I am about some of these decisions. And to people on the right who believe they are doing
the right thing, I acknowledge that they believe that, but not everybody is telling you the truth.
AMANPOUR: Carole King, thank you very much. And just to, again, reiterate, you came out and tweeted, don't despair, organize and vote. So, just to
reiterate what you are just saying. Thank you so much for all your work, for music, and indeed for the environment. Thanks.
Now, with record high inflation rates around the world and skyrocketing gas prices, the risk of a recession is on the minds of many people. In a recent
article for The Washington Post, financial columnist, Michelle Singletary offers seven ways to prepare for one. And she is joining Michel Martin to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Michelle Singletary, thank you so much for joining us once again.
MICHELLE SINGLETARY, PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: My pleasure, as always.
MARTIN: So, before we get into kind of what to do, let's start with the what, which is just, you know, how bad is it out here? I mean, how bad is
it for the average consumer right now?
SINGLETARY: I think there is two Americas, really. There are some people who it is stretching them, but they are OK. And then, there are many
Americans where this is the difference between having two meals a day and three meals a day. Or there may be filling their gas tank up halfway,
hoping that will help get them through the week to get to work.
And so, you know -- and because their wages were already low and even our wages have increased, it still didn't increase in a way to keep pace with
this inflation that we have. And so, we still have repercussions from the pandemic, which is why we've got this high inflation and the possibility of
a recession. We're not quite sure yet. And it will be a while before we know for sure if we are in a recession. And so, that side of America's is -
- they are suffering. They were suffering before, and this just compounds it.
MARTIN: I want to ask, you know, why though? I recognize that you're a personal analyst, not an economist. But do you have an opinion about that?
SINGLETARY: You know, I think it's still the pandemic. I mean, we -- economies across the world were shut down. Plants were shut down. People
were sent home. People stayed home so that they could live, literally, in many cases, if they had, you know, secondary illness -- you know, health
issues. And so, now, you know, we've reopened, plants are trying to get back up. People started to buy stuff and they want stuff, and they are out
And so, companies, yes, they are taking advantage of that. But on the back side of that, they have to pay higher fuel costs. People want more wages,
as they should, rightfully so. So, it really is -- it's like everything is sort of happening at once, a tsunami of stuff that is converging to happen
at the same time. And I'm not sure there is any one -- we are trying to find blame because in our human brain we've got to say, somebody is at
fault for this. You've got to figure this out.
But when it came to the stimulus payments at that time, we knew that if we didn't get people money, kids would go hungry. People would be put out --
people would have been put out of their homes. And so, to go back now to say, we shouldn't have given people all this money, I think is not right.
And even the unemployment payments, boosting those for people who couldn't work, we -- and why couldn't they work? Because they didn't want to get
corona virus. They didn't want to give it to somebody else. And I think it's unfair to blame the fact that we tried to help millions of Americans
during one of the most devastating crises in this -- that we have experienced in decades.
MARTIN: And so, now, I think we can turn to what should happen now, like what are some of the moves that people should take to try to cope with
this. I do want to start with the stock market. I want to say, again, if people need to hear us say this, the stock market is not the economy. OK.
MARTIN: It's not. But a lot of people are in the stock market. It's not -- you know, I'm just talking about high rollers and people who, you know,
live off their, you know, clip coupons to use, kind of an antiquated phrase. You're talking about people who have their pension money in the
stock market because that is what their companies directed them to do or people who use the stock market to pay for college tuition and -- what
about people looking at these numbers, they're looking at their 401k or their 401b and they're seeing these numbers shrank, and it feels terrible.
What should they do? What should they do? Let's just start there.
SINGLETARY: You can't do anything for the most part. And I know that sounds counterintuitive. And I try to remind people of the great recession,
when the market was just devastated and people panicked and pulled out and then they lost. On the upside, when there was the recovery, and it was like
two years, and people started to recover. But if you jumped out, you panicked, you lost on that recovery, only about half of America is actually
in the stock market. So, you are right, we cannot gauge on how well we are doing by with the stock market is doing.
And many low-income families are not in the stock market. So, we got to remember that. But if you have got a 401k and you've got time, you're in
your 20s and 30s and 40s, 50s and even 60s, you will be OK. Historically, the market recovers from this and gives back those losses that were on
paper. And if you know that, you can stay steady. And I'm not telling you don't panic, don't scream. Scream if you have to. But don't act on that.
MARTIN: So, people who are in retirement, who were here, pulling that money out for college tuition, what's your message to them?
SINGLETARY: During the two years of the pandemic, from 2020 to really, the end of last year, the market gave extraordinary gains. It's taking some of
that back but you are still ahead. You got to remember that, you are still ahead. And you are right, the risk of investing is that you could lose your
money or you won't get as much of a gain as you hoped for. But there -- what's the alternative? Keep it in your mattress? No. Put it in a savings
account? No. I mean, that's like 1 percent. You are not going to keep pace with inflation. So, that's the risk we have to take. That is the system
that we have.
And because we don't have a great safety net, we've got to pay for our own health care, you know, Social Security is there and it has helped millions
of seniors not live in poverty but just above that. And so, unless we are going to increase Social Security to the point where people don't worry
about investing, this is the system that we have.
And so, what I tell people is that you keep saving in your retirement account, you keep putting that money in, and if you've got time, the market
will recover. If you are in retirement, you are not going to take all your money out because you're not going go use all that money in the few years
that it takes for the economy to recover.
And if you are in your 60s or even 70s, you still could have 20, 30, in some cases 40 more years to live off of that money. And so, that's 20, 30,
40 years for you to get gains that will make you even out for what is happening right now. And so, what you could do is when we come out of this,
the one thing you should do is super say so you won't have -- you want to have savings that can carry you through one or two years of a market
downturn. And that does mean still making some sacrifices. But, you know, have that cash, liquid (ph) over some place and then, you can pull from
that instead of your retirement account when the market goes down. Because guess what? It will go down again.
And you want to have that safety net. And it may mean you don't buy as big a house, you keep your car for longer, maybe -- your kids go to state
school or maybe go to community college and go to -- you know, finish up at a university, these are all strategies if you don't have the money to do
all the things that you want to do, it's a lesson that a lot of people don't want to hear. But you can get through this with some strategic moves
with your money.
MARTIN: So, let's talk about some of those other moves, just apart from the stock market. What are some of other things that you encourage people
to do or to having their brains right now? I mean, I think the first lesson that you are saying is don't panic.
SINGLETARY: Yes. I came from a low-income background. I have more now, but I know what it's like to be hungry, literally. I know what it's like to be
worried about, are you going to make it? And so, I don't want to say to folks, you don't worry, don't panic because it's a natural feeling, you got
to feel what you feel. What you don't do is act on that.
And so, one of the things is, if you are putting money in your retirement, keep doing it. In fact, increase it. If you've got room in your budget,
like, say you are working from home, so you don't have all this commuter cost, take that extra money and actually boost what you are putting into
Right now, the thing -- the key thing is dollar cost averaging. What that means is you put a set amount of money in regularly, which is what you do
with your 401k. If you don't have a 401k that you work, you can still put money in a traditional IRA. So, set that up, go to your local bank or
credit union, they will help you set that up and you could put a regular amount of money.
If you don't have a lot, just start with whatever you have. $25, $100. Just start what you can. And then, be a super saver. It is so hard for me to get
people to save when they actually have money. Because they think their paycheck is always going to be there or the economy is always going to be
OK. And then, they're shocked when it's not. So, save as much as you can. Cut as much as you can to put that money for the times like we have right
MARTIN: What about credit card debt? I mean, one of the things that did happen during the COVID crisis is that a lot of people did pay down credit
SINGLETARY: They sure did.
MARTIN: In order to recover, I think people started to spend again and they were spending (INAUDIBLE). We said, people wanted to travel. People
wanted to see their family members who live across the country. What about credit card debt?
SINGLETARY: I was so pleased to hear that people pay down their debt in the pandemic, because they went shopping, they went places. And now, that
debt is going up and you've got to get control of that. Get rid of it, as much -- I mean, all of it if you can. Because the Fed has already said,
listen, we have to cool inflation and we are going to raise rates. They are telling you that. And that should be your calling card to say, I'm going to
get rid of this debt. Because it is the most expensive debt.
So, you are not just paying higher interest on new stuff, you are paying higher interest on old stuff that you've already purchased and maybe you
don't have any more. Michelle, you know I hate that so much. Here is why. In times like this, the more that you have, the less you can weather the
storm. Because you have already purchased and maybe you don't even have anymore. So, I -- you know, I hate -- you know, Michel, we talked about
this, I hate debt so much. And here's why. Because in times like this, the more debt you have, the less you can weather this storm because you have so
much demand on your income. But if you don't have that debt, you can weather it a little bit longer. Maybe not all of it, but a little bit
MARTIN: What's your take on debt consolidation loans? I'm starting to see more ads for those. What's your take on that?
SINGLETARY: I think it's a strategic move if how -- if the reason that you got in debt is resolved. So, if you were a spend threat, meaning you spend
a lot and you just over did it and you haven't changed that way, what happens is, people who get a debt consolidation, they take all that debt,
put it on that loan, and then they charge up bills (ph) cards again. But if it's because you are out of work, on some medical expenses, then I think a
debt consolidation loan or transferring the money to a 0 percent card for, you know, 12 months or 18 months, is smart if you stick to that plan to pay
And with the consolidation loan, you are seeing that because they -- the companies know people are now spending, because credit card debt is going
up, and they are getting in trouble. But you have to be very careful that you don't just focus on the interest rate in your monthly payments because
you might have -- you know, maybe your credit card debt all comes to $400 or $500, $600 a month and the consolidation loans is always just $100 a
month but it's for like 10 or 15 years.
So, you end up paying actually more than keeping that credit card debt. So, just pay attention to the rate, pay attention to the terms and make sure
that you do the math so that you don't actually end up paying more because you stretched that debt out. Don't focus on just the monthly payments. And
a lot of people do do that. But it is a very strategic move if your habits are in check and you can pretty reasonably assume that you can pay it off
during the time period that they give you, either the consolidation loan or the 0 percent credit card transfer balance.
MARTIN: What about getting more income? I know that that sounds like a ridiculous idea for some people. But what about getting additional income?
Is the economy in a place where that idea is relevant?
SINGLETARY: Well, actually, now is a great time to get a second job if you have the capacity and the time. I mean, unemployment is very low. And if
you have been anywhere, there are help wanted signs all over. A lot of those jobs are service related or lower paying, but if you have the time or
-- you know, and the capacity, because, as you say, some of your job -- some people are working jobs where they just can't take on a second job.
They're just -- it's -- they've got little kids or they are taking care of elderly parents. It's unreasonable.
But there are a lot of people who could take advantage of that. Get a gig job, drive for uber or a lift or, you know, deliver meals. Or if you've got
a skill, you know, you are a teacher, you can tutor maybe or you're great at music, teach some music classes. Or maybe you are great with excel, you
can create some videos online to help people. Like I still need to take, you know, a class in excel. My husband is great at it, I'm not.
So, yes, it definitely. And when you get that job, if you don't have to use that money, stockpile that savings in case the economy gets worse and you
lose your job or there's a disruption in your income within your household, then you can use that savings. Don't use that extra money to elevate your
MARTIN: And what about from a public policy standpoint? I mean, obviously, this is a very polarized political environment. You know, anything you say,
somebody is going to attack you. Anything you do, somebody is going to attack you. But are there things from a policy standpoint that you think
should be considered? For example, the administration is talking about gas tax holiday.
SINGLETARY: Yes. You know --
MARTIN: Which -- some states have already instituted for a limited period of time, waving the collection of the gas tax. Of course, you know, some
people have passed on those savings to consumers, some haven't. But what's your take on that? It's something from a public policy standpoint that you
think should be on the table?
SINGLETARY: And I think -- like, for example, when we did the advanced child tax credit, we found out that it really helped to give people that
advance they were going to get when they file their returns, so that on a monthly basis -- and families use that money for exactly what was intended,
to buy food, to keep -- you know, help with the rent. And doing that, I think -- stretching it out and reupping on that, you know, we had six
months of advanced child tax credits, let's continue to do that. It worked.
The safety net, you know, if we can do something about health care, it's one of the biggest expenses for so many people. So, from a policy point of
view, it's hard to do it while we are in this because everybody is scrambling. But when we come out on the other side, we do need to address
health care, we do need to address how do we help working families, how do -- you know, increase the minimum wage, you know, all those kinds of things
to put them in place before we get to this position.
Social Security, it's going to -- it's not going to have enough money at some point. We've got to address that, so we make sure that the seniors are
taken care of. I mean, we don't want to get to a point where Social Security payments are reduced because Congress didn't act on that.
So, in the middle of this, it's going to be hard to get anything done. Because once we come through this, I think Congress and various state
legislators need to put some things in place to create a safety net for those who are struggling.
And on a personal level, if you have extra, this is the time to help your neighbor. Help your family. If you know somebody is struggling and you've
got extra, help them out until policy catches up to create a system that you don't have to do that.
MARTIN: Michelle Singletary, thank you so much for talking to us once again.
SINGLETARY: You are welcome. Thank you for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Offer that help, that's a really important message there.
And finally, Ukrainian mathematician, Maryna Viazovska, has been awarded a Fields Medal for proving the sphere packing problem in eight and 24
dimensions. Now, that might be double Dutch to all of us laypeople, but what you need to know is that the fields is considered the mathematics
equivalent of the Nobel Prize. And the Ukrainian number theorist is the second woman to win that award, following the footsteps of Maryam
The metal was first presented in 1936, and is awarded every four years to mathematicians under the age of 40. While Maryna now lives in Switzerland,
during the ceremony, she prayed tribute to a young Ukrainian mathematician who was killed by a missile attack in Kharkiv. He had dreamt of teaching
math to kids in Ukraine.
That is it for now. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.