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Interview With Kosovan President Vjosa Osmani; Interview With Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI); Interview With "She Came To Me" Writer And Director Rebecca Miller; Interview With "Mass Supervision" Author And NYC Department Of Corrections Former Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 03, 2023 - 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, welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
The United States is watching Serbian troops on the Kosovo border, while also pressing Kosovo to fulfill its commitment on normalizing this volatile
Balkan relationship. Tonight, Kosovo's president joins me for an exclusive interview.
And despite no support from the right-wing of the Republican Party, President Biden look set to approve more funding for Ukraine. Democratic
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin joins me on congressional showdown, shutdowns and general dysfunction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm in love.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just admit that I had magic effect on you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The imagination came up with the story. My talent wrote the music. I mean, you don't kill men and eat them, do you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I haven't yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- a romantic comedy with a twist, and a starry cast. I speak to Emmy nominated writer and director Rebecca Miller about her new film "She
Came to Me."
Also, ahead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VINCENT SCHIRALDI, AUTHOR, "MASS SUPERVISION": There's twice as many people on probation and parole in America as they are in prisons and jails.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- "Mass Supervision: Probation, Parole and the Illusion of Safety and Freedom." Michel Martin talks to author Vincent Schiraldi about
why he thinks America should abolish both probation and parole.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
This week, we're devoting time to the worst flare-up of violence in the Balkans in decades, as an uneasy piece between Serbia and Kosovo appears
resistant to efforts by the United States and E.U. to de-escalate and normalize the situation.
This goes back to the 1990s when the United States and its allies helped liberate Kosovo, a province of Serbia, after decades when its Muslim
majority were literally under the boot and the gun of the minority Serbian population.
The latest trigger came after Serbia moved thousands of troops to the joint border last week, following a shoot-out that killed both Serbs and
Kosovars. Last night on this program, we hosted the Serbian president for an exclusive interview. And Aleksandar Vucic told me they don't want war.
They don't want to invade Kosovo and they're moving forces back from the border as the U.S. demanded. So far though, Washington says it can't
confirm that withdrawal.
Vucic also told me that he would hold the instigator to account. And today, Belgrade announced that they detained the Kosovo Serb politician who
admitted that he planned and took part in the incident. But the U.S. and the E.U. also want Kosovo to do its part to normalize their volatile Balkan
region. So, tonight, my exclusive guest is Kosovo's president Vjosa Osmani. President Osmani, welcome back to our program.
VJOSA OSMANI, KOSOVAN PRESIDENT: Thank you very much for having me, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: I want you to start by asking you whether you have seen, whether your reports, intelligence or the like can confirm what President Vucic
told me last night that troops have been moved back from the border following your complaints and obviously following E.U. and U.S. demands?
OSMANI: There's no confirmation yet of that happening and we're working very closely with our allies and partners of the Transatlantic community to
confirm that. But it is very important to point out that as we speak, Kosovo is facing unprecedented challenges, security challenges that are
stemming from Serbia's act of aggression that took place on the 24th of September.
It was a clear act of regression ordered by the decisionmakers, by the state apparatus of Serbia carried out by terrorists and paramilitary
groups. But this act of aggression did not happen just at once, it was well-planned, well-structured and prepared with the sole purpose of a
Crimea style annexation of the north of Kosovo.
Thankfully, the Kosovo police with the support of international partners stopped this plan from being exercised. However, what followed, as you
rightly pointed out at the beginning, was an unprecedented build-up of Serbia's military forces, both army and artillery, around the border with
Kosovo but not just in the north, but also in the entire almost 400- kilometer border, which shows that they want to continue escalating. They want to continue their plan for destabilizing the Western Balkans, and
through which -- through this impact to allow Putin to open a new front against the West in the Western Balkans.
We are working with allies and partners, and we will not let that happen. However, it is extremely important to stop that by punishing Serbia, by
sanctioning Serbia. Otherwise, if there are no sanctions and no harsh measures against Serbia after this act of aggression, they will be
emboldened and encouraged to use violence after violence --
OSMANI: -- and not just against Kosovo but also against the rest of the region.
AMANPOUR: Well, the E.U. has specifically demanded a stand down of forces and the United States and the E.U. has also demanded that the instigator be
held accountable. Now, you are correct that the United States found your evidence compelling of the huge weapons cache that was discovered in that
area and the incredibly sophisticated and major weapon systems that were discovered.
Obviously, President Vucic denies that this was a state operation. And he told me that he would hold accountable and apprehend the instigator, which
they say they have done today. That surely is a positive sign.
OSMANI: This is exactly straight out of the playbook of the '90s that Milosevic used and straight out of Putin's playbook from 2014. The words, I
had nothing to do with it, well, we've heard them before. But every single evidence points to the direct connection of Serbia's leadership with what
criminals like Radoicic and others have exercised in practice in the ground in the north of Kosovo.
First of all, there's clear video evidence when it comes to the trainings that have been taking place within Serbia, in the military bases of Serbia,
organized by the army of Serbia for these terrorist groups. Secondly, the weapons that we have confiscated show that they have been introduced as
recent as six weeks ago in the military bases of Serbia. So, these are not the kind of weapons that are used by ordinary citizens but only by the
state, only by the army.
And thirdly, Radoicic, the criminal who was arrested today, of course, if we look at his connection with Serbia's president, Vucic, he has been his
closest partner in destabilizing the rest of the Western Balkans for quite some time. He is a guy that is in the blacklist of the United States and
the United Kingdom, but he participates in meetings of the National Security Council of Serbia, sitting on the right-hand side of the President
So, now, they are hiding behind Radoicic in a cowardly way. But we have very clear evidence, which will be published in the days to come off direct
orders coming from Vucic.
OSMANI: So, yes. He will use the Milosevic narrative, I had nothing to do with it, but he had everything to do with it. And of course, Radoicic
carried out a plan that was in quite some time being planned in Serbia's institutions. And of course, there was also a massive campaign that
preceded this aggression act against Kosovo that was being published in the days before the actual act of aggression happened.
AMANPOUR: OK. OK. So, you've made a lot of accusations. Obviously, Aleksandar Vucic made a lot of accusations on this program last night. What
I would like to ask you is about the E.U. format, the dialogue for normalization.
We know that the Serbian president has not signed it. He also said to me pieces of priority that he's to open dialogue now. So, here's what he told
me and we'll talk about it in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEKSANDAR VUCIC, SERBIAN PRESIDENT: Yes. We were very ready and we are always very ready to negotiate. And we were very constructive and we will
remain so. But you need to understand, there is something that everybody in European Union already realized, Pristina is not ready to create
association of Serb municipalities. That is the biggest obstacle. And they want to continue with gradual ethnic cleansing of Serbs, particularly in
But anyway, I'm always available, always at disposal to our interlockers, to our European friends, American friends, all the others. And we'll be
ready to discuss all the issues. And as I said at our last meeting, form the association of Serb municipalities, we'll deliver on everything that we
have promised. And I believe that peace is the best interest of Serbia, the best interest of an entire region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Madam President, I'm sure you will push back on his accusations. But I do need to ask you the following, because even the United States has
urged you to press ahead with forming the association, the municipalities in the north, and complete the E.U. broker deal.
There is apparently a modality, a timing to this deal. Will you do that? Will Kosovo do that to enable what you want, and that is the recognition of
passports and all sorts of other, you know, support or at least not hindrance of your international participation?
OSMANI: Christiane, Kosovo is under attack. Kosovo is a victim of an act of aggression that happened just a week ago. Of course, the very first thing
that we want is to have Radoicic and other terrorists handed over to the Republic of Kosovo so that real justice can be delivered. Serbia does not
have a good track record when it comes to delivering justice. There hasn't been a single case where the criminals that have committed war crimes and
genocide in Kosovo and Bosnia actually were put in front of justice.
Secondly, there is only one constructive party in that dialogue, and that has been the Republic of Kosovo, which has implemented over 99 percent of
its obligations from these 12 years. It's exactly the opposite what Vucic has been doing. As he stated in your interview, he says, I'm ready to
negotiate. But in fact, he never implements, he never walks the talk. There's a very long list of obligations that he has taken aboard as Serbia
since 2011, you've mentioned diplomacy, you've mentioned the rest.
In 2013, Serbia committed to dissolve all illegal structures, parallel structures in the north. What happened in that they got strengthened and
turned into a gang. A Transatlantic criminal group that is now committing terrorist actions in an act of aggression in Kosovo by the order of Serbia.
When it comes to the Republic of Kosovo, what we have undertaken in the Brussels Agreement back in February of this year, what we have undertaken
in the annex of Orrit (ph) in March of this year, Kosovo has committed to implement and Kosovo will implement its obligations stemming from this
AMANPOUR: Right. That means the municipalities, correct?
OSMANI: We are not getting away from -- that means what Article 7 of that agreement provides, which is self-management for the Serbs and that means
also the rest of the articles. But let's not forget what Kosovo is asking for is very straightforward and simple, we want balance, we want fairness
in that dialogue, which unfortunately we did not get.
AMANPOUR: All right.
OSMANI: And that lack of balance and lack of fairness in the process also encouraged Vucic to act as he did on Sunday to commit an act of aggression,
because he believes he can get away with it. His criminal groups have attacked 93 K4 (ph) soldiers back in May. There have been no
accountability. Now, they thought they can get away. They attacked Kosovo. There must be accountability.
AMANPOUR: Well --
OSMANI: There should be no impunity for the act -- criminal acts that Vucic has been committed against Kosovo.
AMANPOUR: As I say -- Mrs. President -- Madam President --
OSMANI: We cannot (INAUDIBLE) business as usual any longer.
AMANPOUR: Madam President, you have made your point. I need to ask you something else, and that is that this tension, obviously, we all know has
been existing since the '90s. Your self-declared independence is recognized by half the General Assembly, more than half. Serbia hasn't yet recognized
it. And so, there's a lot of tension.
But there's another thing that the E.U. says, and it sounds nitpicky to an international audience, but it's about the driver's licenses and the
dispute over the driver's licenses. E.U. official told us that, you know, Kosovo and particularly the Kurti government, your prime minister's
government, has not contributed yet to a constructive atmosphere of the dialogue, which they're trying, you know, to undermine from the start of
Kurti's term in officer.
Everybody, the United States and E.U., all your allies are telling you all, and Serbia, there is no way forward but the E.U. facilitated dialogue. Why
is it impossible to you, the Kosovars, the Kosovo government, to implement the driving license agreements that you've had?
OSMANI: It is not impossible. In fact, we have listened to the advice of our allies and the compromise solutions that we have put forward. But the
issue is even simpler than that. We're talking about Milosevic time issued driver's license and we're simply -- and of course, license plates and
we're simply asking to use the ones that now Republic of Kosovo recognizes.
OSMANI: It's like asking people in Poland after the Second World War to use driver's licenses or license plates issued by Hitler. Of course, these are
AMANPOUR: OK. Madam President. Madam President, that's very inflammatory. That's very inflammatory. I covered your region. I know the pain. I know
the history. I'm trying to figure out whether there's any way between you and your neighbor, Serbia, to take some responsibility on both sides and
actually move this beyond perpetual tension, violence and the threat of war in the region?
I just want you to know whether you are willing and your side is willing to do what everybody is asking the Serbs to do as well?
OSMANI: We have taken every single step to be the constructive party in that table. We have proposed a sequencing plan for the implementation of
the Brussels Agreements, Serbia has not proposed its own yet. We acted on advice of our allies. The misunderstandings we have had have all been
OSMANI: Now, we are in full -- not just agreement but also coordination with international allies.
OSMANI: But what is important right now is to point out that Kosovo is under attack. There has been an act of aggression. It is acts of aggression
that kill innocent people like our police officers that are inflammatory, not self-defense against these acts of aggression.
I wish Serbia would have implemented --
AMANPOUR: OK, Madam President.
OSMANI: -- its side of the obligations and these past 12 years or so because that would have truly contributed to a dialogue that is principled
and in good faith.
AMANPOUR: Let us hope.
OSMANI: But -- one side, of course, we have --
AMANPOUR: Let us hope. Let us hope.
OSMANI: -- Vucic who talk about peace --
AMANPOUR: Let us hope.
OSMANI: -- and in the other side. Of course, we have his 48th forward military bases around the border with Kosovo.
AMANPOUR: All right. Let us hope that both of you can resolve these issues.
OSMANI: -- forward military bases.
AMANPOUR: Let us hope that both of you can resolve this issue according to the E.U.
OSMANI: There's no both sides --
AMANPOUR: Nobody does and I certainly do not, but everybody has obligations. And we're all trying to figure out whether all sides, because
all side have to, actually commit to their obligations. So, I asked you a very simple question about licenses and municipalities. You've answered me.
And now, we will move on. And we thank you for your interview. President Vjosa Osmani, thank you very much, indeed.
Now, in the United States, this matter is, of course, of the utmost concern. And it comes amid a sense of retreat by the far right-wing of the
Republican Party, which has already held aid for Ukraine hostage through a short-term deal to stop a government shutdown. This raises questions in
Ukraine, Europe and elsewhere as to whether the U.S. commitment is waning, especially if Former President Trump gets back into office. This week, he's
again back in court. This time facing a fraud lawsuit in New York.
Meantime, his longest serving White House chief of staff, John Kelly, is offering some harsh criticism of his former boss about a number of damming
statements Trump made about U.S. service members and veterans.
Now, Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, Elissa Slotkin, is joining me from Washington. Congresswoman Slotkin, can I just first ask you, I don't
know whether you heard the conversation, but the United States is very, very concerned about what happens along the Kosovo Serbian border. What
would you recommend? Obviously, there's no both siderism, but what would you recommend to both parties that actually have to comply with the only,
you know, normalization dialogue that exists?
REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): Yes. I mean, look, Michigan, the state that I'm from, we have a huge Albanian American population. So, we are very focused
on what's been going on recent events. And, I mean, look, we want both sides to come to the table. I am really concerned with some of the Serbian
activities in the past couple of weeks. I put out a statement to that effect, and it's obviously, you know, no one want to be rehashing history
in that part of the world given our history there.
But you know, it is the process. And I -- for my perspective, the Serbia side of the equation needs to step up and live up to international
standards when it comes to a real negotiation.
AMANPOUR: As just heard that from the Kosovar president telling us that as well. Now, what about Ukraine aid? Because it seems to have basically been
held hostage, as I said, to averting the government shutdown. But even as we speak, there may be a vote that eliminates the current speaker, Kevin
McCarthy. So, talk to me about how dangerous this idea of the survivability of American aid to Ukraine's fight. As you heard President Osmani brought
up, you know, Russia's aggression as threatening everywhere in the region, including theirs.
SLOTKIN: Yes. I mean, I think, look, we were disappointed by the chain of events that happened last week that led us to leaving out Ukraine aid in
order to keep our government running. That was our obligation. I voted for that bill as did a lot of bipartisan members of the House.
I think the thing that we are looking to now is what are our other options in the next weeks and months to have another conversation about getting
that aid in, especially since the U.S. Senate, in a very bipartisan way, has supported that aid. And I think the thing that's hard for people to
sometimes understand because Ukraine is very far away, sometimes from our lives here in the United States is, you know, it is a lot of money, it is a
lot of weapons, it is a lot that we're investing in Ukraine, but it's nothing compared to the blood and treasure we would invest if we let Russia
roll over Ukraine, win back a bunch of the gains that the Ukrainians have made and then look to the next place in Europe, the next NATO country, the
next thing that they're going to invade.
So, it's -- it is -- it's hard to explain to people who are legitimately dealing with inflation and a lot of things in their own pocketbooks on how
to make that case for Ukraine. But I'm a big believer that you pay now or pay a lot more later, and that's the case I'm trying to make.
AMANPOUR: So, Daria Kaleniuk, who's been a frequent guest on this program, she's the executive director, as you know, of the Anti-Corruption Action
Center in Ukraine. She said to the "Washington Post" recently, congressmen, she said men, are deciding to throw Ukraine under the bus while aid to
Ukraine is probably the best in history return on investment of U.S. foreign policy. Do you agree with that?
SLOTKIN: Well, look, I mean, I think we have to decide in 2023 whether it's ok for an autocratic leader like Putin to just roll over a democracy on his
borders. Like, is that OK? Are we going to become a world where that just becomes normal and the resto of the world, the democratic world just stands
by and says, sure, take another country, it doesn't matter to me?
I don't believe that that's a safe world. I don't believe that avoiding and pretending there's not a problem in Ukraine is going to result in, you
know, peace and happiness in the world. I don't believe that because I'm a pragmatist.
So, I think that there is important return on investment. It's always important to make sure given Ukraine's real corruption problems in the past
that we have accountability on that, but American sons and daughters are not fighting there right now, it's our arms, it's our money. And for me,
that's a whole heck of a lot different than the wars I served in, you know, in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I think that that's on the cheap in any ways
AMANPOUR: Yes. And you did serve, which is why I often go to you to ask these really important questions. So, let me ask you this. The firebrand
wing of the Republican Party, especially Matt Gaetz of Florida, is, as we know, pushing to oust the current speaker who entered into this deal to
temporarily keep the government open.
The House minority leader, Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, today tweeted, House Democrats will continue to put people over politics. So, does that mean you
would vote to keep Kevin McCarthy in his position? How is it going to work?
SLOTKIN: Well, we're about to find out here in the better part of an hour. I mean, the truth is, you know, Kevin McCarthy set up the rules so that one
solitary member of Congress could call a vote on him and kicking him out. He set that up when he wanted to be speaker so bad that he made deals with
the right-wing of his party. And they are now -- you know, the chickens have come home to roost.
We have one member who is calling for this vote, and all it takes is five Republicans to vote against McCarthy and he's gone. I think the
quintessential question here is, who does the Republican Party want to be?
SLOTKIN: You know, do they want to be, you know, the party that gets back to, you know, having strong views but debates things like fiscal
conservativism or do they want to be extreme and be beholden to this extremist wing?
AMANPOUR: Right. But also, who does the Democrats want as house speaker right now? I mean, I guess you get a vote, right? So, is it in your
interest to vote for McCarthy or allow this one firebrand, as you say, to decide, you know, for his own particular political purposes to change the
SLOTKIN: You should have this conversation with the Republicans. It is not my job as a Democrat to fix the Republican Party. Only they know do that.
Kevin McCarthy has broken his promises to us so many times. And for me, the big one that changed me forever on him was when he came outright after
In this building where I'm standing, he came out against the violence and the insurrection that happened. And then, two weeks later, reversed himself
and supported extremists.
AMANPOUR: Right, right.
SLOTKIN: So, integrity still has to mean something. It does. And I refuse to just say, well, my choice is him or something worse, and I have to save
him. That's not the way this works. Save yourselves, fix your party.
AMANPOUR: Elissa Slotkin, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.
SLOTKIN: You bet.
AMANPOUR: And we're turning now to a quirky romantic comedy filled with familiar faces, from Anne Hathaway, to Peter Dinklage. "She Came to Me"
tells a story of a composer struggling with writer's block who with a shove out the door from his psychologist's wife finds inspiration in an unlikely
place. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER DINKLAGE, ACTOR, "SHE CAME TO ME": I bet every one of these people has a story for an opera in the (INAUDIBLE).
What do you do?
MARISA TOMEI, ACTRESS, "SHE CAME TO ME": I operate a tugboat. In the wrong hands, this tug is a deadly weapon.
I'm addicted to romance.
DINKLAGE: Isn't everybody?
TOMEI: I've been arrested for stalking. I had to go to rehab. And not supposed to be doing this.
DINKLAGE: I can't believe that actually happened. I mean, she seduced me, right? She's a witch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The demented tugboat captain who lures men to her tugboat and kills and eats them. I loved it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Writer and director Rebecca Miller joins me now from New York. This was amazing film. I got to see a screening of it and it was really,
really engaging. And I mean, all -- I'm just using my hands to demonstrate all the interlocking relationships, the love, the dysfunction, the mental
health. How did you come up with this story idea? You wrote it
REBECCA MILLER, WRITER/DIRECTOR: Yes. And you're right, that it is kind of like a puzzle that interlocks at the end. You sort of see how it's all
going to fit together. It took a while. I had a short story, called "She Came to Me" that I had written in Ireland. And about a man who is a
novelist who is blocked and meets a woman in a bar, an American woman in a bar that changes -- you know, that unblocks him as a writer.
But as time went on, I thought, well, what if he's an opera composer and what if she's a tugboat captain? What if it's in New York? And then -- you
know, and then I had the other story strands, which is the young lovers and then the Anne Hathaway character. And so, that's how the whole thing. And
then, it was a question of doing the kind of story math, you know.
AMANPOUR: It really is remarkable because there are so many levels and layers. And obviously, we don't want do spoiler alert. But I'm going to
just play another clip. And this is the sort of clip that launches the husband, the composer with writer's block, launches his journey. This is
his wife essentially suggesting he get out there and get a breath of fresh air, so to speak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNE HATHAWAY, ACTRESS, "SHE CAME TO ME": Come one. Come on, boy. I know what I'm doing. All right.
DINKLAGE: Well, how about I wait and then you can come with me?
HATHAWAY: Good boy. Oh, if I come, I'll make all the decisions. Good boy. If you feel like turning left, you can turn left. If you feel like turning
right, you turn right. I will be here with my phone on in case of an emergency. And it's good. You need this. Have fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Anne Hathaway is really great, so is Peter Dinklage, obviously. But, I mean, she really does come across, obviously, as the
power in the power couple. And she demonstrates all sorts of OCD behavior during the film and a spiritual crisis. What were you -- tell me, you know,
how you envisioned her? What was that character all about?
MILLER: Well, I think originally, I was just interested in what happens when a woman lives in a really secular society with a really secular job
and suddenly, really kind of inside becomes a kind of mystic and overpowered by interest in, you know, a faith and it kind of pulls her
apart. But then, when I gave it -- when Anne Hathaway became part of it, she took on the part, she really kind of gave her a very special quality.
She made her, in a way, more pure, I think, and more appealing than I think my original character was. And I think had so much empathy for her. She
really advocated for her character, which is what all great actors do, they're -- like they're advocates.
AMANPOUR: And the storyline -- well, the facts of their marriage is that he, the character played by Peter Dinklage, the composer, had a massive
sort of mental breakdown after his last great work and then a block and he goes to this therapist, Anne Hathaway, who then he marries. So, that's
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you, does knowledge about writer's block, which you write with such, you know, clarity and feeling and depth, is that personal?
I mean, have you had too?
MILLER: Yes. I've had terrible writer's block, but it was quite a long time ago that I had a really bad episode of writer's block that lasted months.
And the only way I got out of it was by volunteering in a women's center, as it happens, in Dublin, which then paradoxically led to my next thing
that I could write about, which was one of the stories in "Personal Velocity" and led to that collection.
But at the time, I was just trying to do something, because I was desperate. It's like being buried alive almost. It's really a desperate
AMANPOUR: And again, in this film, you see, you know, the explosion of creativity and love resolution. So, in a way, it's a really happy ending --
spoiler alert -- in your film. I'm not going to say who and how. But look, I mean, everybody knows that you are the daughter of a prodigious writer,
Arthur Miller. And you talked about, you know, "Personal Velocity." It was incredibly well acclaimed, your film. But you've also did a documentary.
You directed one on HBO about your father called "Arthur Miller: Writer."
So, I want to look at a clip from the trailer. We're going to play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: My father was a national icon decades before I was born.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giant of the American theater, Arthur Miller.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was nothing more important than a great play.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he felt, oh, my god. That's me.
MILLER: Early on, I recognized that his public persona was so different from the man I knew.
ARTHUR MILLER, PLAYWRIGHT: Why not cut up this here chicken?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How was the public persona, you know, different from the father figure?
MILLER: Well, I think that he had a kind of stentorious quality in public interviews and I think that, you know, in real-life he was very, very funny
and had great humility and he was just a very funny person. His humor was the main thing. And he was very loose as a person. You know, he didn't have
any of the tightness that you think he sometimes got when he was in an interview situation.
AMANPOUR: And you also have written that -- with "The New York Times" and interviews, you said that you lucked out with your father by being his
daughter instead of his son. I find that really interesting. You said, I got under the radar because I was female. But had I been male, I have a
feeling we would have had much different more difficult relationship. How is that?
MILLER: Yes. Well, I think that, you know, some men are -- don't want to be metaphorically murdered, you know, Oedipus (ph). And I think my father was
one of those people. You know, I think it was much easier for him with daughters, in a way. I think it was all very unconscious. And I think
that's true a lot of time, that in some ways it's -- it can be a difficult relationship, the son and the father.
And I think, for me -- I also think -- I don't know. I mean, in some ways I guess we were quite alike in terms of how we viewed our work and how we
approached things. I don't know. There was an understanding between us anyway. And I don't really know what it would have like, of course, just
AMANPOUR: And of course, you're the daughter of an incredibly talented mother as well, Inge Morath. Well-known artist. She had been a magnum
photographer. She was known for her work in Russia and China and all over the world.
What is the pressure then of being the daughter as opposed to the son of two such iconic people? Because generally, you'd expect maybe pressure to
be on the son to follow in at least somebody's footsteps. Did you feel any pressure or expectations?
MILLER: I wouldn't say I felt pressure, accepting that I wasn't good at anything but making art from the very early age. So, I knew that in some
way, in the end, it was storytelling that I settled on, you know, in one form or another.
But I just -- it was kind of like I was just built to do that. I was raised to do that. And I think that I have a good ability to be -- go for a denial
in a way. I just put one foot in front of the other and I tell my stories, and that's it.
AMANPOUR: You're also famously a mentor to other women in the business, and you're very generous with your time and your advice. And I think one of the
young directors at the time, Gret Gerwig, when she appeared in your film, "Maggie's Plan," you encouraged her to pursue directing. And now, as we all
know, she's probably the most famous box office generating director of practically all time.
"Barbie," more than a billion dollars worldwide. The highest grossing film ever for Warner Brothers, which is our parent company. Were you surprised?
What did you think of "Barbi"? What's your reaction?
MILLER: Well, I just loved "Barbie." I think it's a surrealist masterpiece. And I think that I'm just so happy for Greta. But it was always going to
happen. You know, it was a question -- I think she was inspired by seeing me do it in that moment, but it would have happened sooner or later because
she's had been writing for a long time and she's a natural director.
AMANPOUR: And it says -- what does it say -- I mean, your take on what it says about women and men and the Ken figure and everything? Because, you
know, the views of it, as far as I know anyway, kind of split between the genders.
MILLER: Well, you know, everybody knows that we do live still in a patriarchy. And I think that she chose to look at something serious through
a comic lens, which I also do in "She Came to Me." I mean, these things, you can make a serious movie about a certain thing and you can make a more
comic movie about a certain thing. And it's true that my film is -- has a more of a balance of pathos and comedy than something like "Barbie," which
is a very different kind of film, but I really -- I think she did a beautiful job of it.
AMANPOUR: And just to finish up, because, you know, we know that there's been this strike, obviously, and the actors are still on strike. You've had
a carve-out and understanding from SAG after it to be able to talk and promote your film. The WGA, the writers' strike has lifted. And it appears,
from everything that's been written, that really the writers got a lot, if not all of what they wanted, but more than that, regarding A.I. and the
like have set sort of precedence that could be very, very useful for all of us in the creative space. What do you know about and how satisfied are you
as a writer, certainly?
MILLER: Well, I'll just quickly say that I'm grateful to both guilds, the Screen Actors Guild has created something called an interim agreement which
they've given certain independent films that are not being made by and distributed by non-struck companies so that we can kind of sign the interim
agreement and say, we agree to all of these terms. Why can't then the streamers and why can't some of these AMPTP companies? So, we're kind of
like carrying the flag. And that's the reason that they give them out for us.
In terms of SAG -- I mean, in terms of writer's guild, I mean, it was a historic leadership, I think, on their part. And, you know, in terms of
A.I., I don't know every single granular detail of the deal, but I can say that -- you know, that writers are not machines to be -- have our
imaginations harvested and replicated.
MILLER: We are human beings that should be valued as artists. And the best -- of course, the best revenge against A.I. is originality, I still
AMANPOUR: Thank you so much, indeed, Rebecca Miller. "She Came to Me." Thank you so much.
And next, to the U.S. justice system and the problem with parole meanwhile concerns around went -- concerns abound when it comes to American prisons,
it's not usually focused on people serving time outside. According to our next guest, the situation there is so dire that some would rather stay in
prison than deal with parole. Vincent Schiraldi is the secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, with a new book, "Mass
Supervision: Probation, Parole and the Illusion of Safety and Freedom." And now, joins Michel Martin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED: Thanks, Christiane. Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for talking with us.
VINCENT SCHIRALDI, AUTHOR: Thank you for having me, Michel.
MARTIN: So, your book called "Mass Supervision." I think a lot of people have heard by now -- they've heard the term mass incarceration. But what's
mass supervision and why did you write a whole book about it?
SCHIRALDI: Yes. It's kind of interesting, like probation and parole fly under the radar of criminal justice reform, research, philanthropy, media,
there's twice as many people on probation and parole in America as there are in prisons and jails. And about a quarter of everybody entering prison
every year enters not because they committed a new crime, but because they violated some technical term of their probation or parole, staying out past
curfew, associating with someone with a felony record, getting a credit card when you're not supposed to, things like that. But (INAUDIBLE) for the
rest of us but -- can land them in jail and do quite a bit.
MARTIN: So, how did you become acquainted with this as a problem that needs to be faced, or at least something that needs to be talked about? Because
it's just -- it's kind of invisible to the rest of us unless you're related to somebody who is affected by it or you are yourself.
SCHIRALDI: That's exactly right. So, one of the things I often ask people is, what's your favorite probation movie? Because most people can name
their favorite prison movie, but we don't really kind of have a mental picture of parole or probation supervision.
So, I got this job from Mayor Bloomberg in 2010. He was recruited me. I wasn't -- I was going to be done with government for a while, but he
recruited me. And I didn't -- I had never worked in probation or parole before. And so, what I did was I started with a 19-session listening tour
and, you know, I talked to my staff that were probation officers and they were miserable in their jobs, and many of them had committed suicide with
the service weapons that my predecessor had supplied them with. You know, moral was just in the toilet.
And what it was, was largely a staff full of people, of color, African- American, Latino folks imprisoning for taking tack fouls another group of black and Latino folks, and there was a lot of strain around that. And they
straight up said, we lock these people up because you make us do so.
We feel like if we think somebody deserves a second chance, we don't want to give it to them because if that goes foul, you're going to throw us
under the bus. And that was pretty sobering. And then I went into court, you know, I was visiting the different offices and the five boroughs in New
York City. I went into court twice, I saw people voluntarily tell a judge, send me to Rikers Island, one of the most violent jails in the country. I'm
done being under parole.
I saw this one woman convulsed in tears because she was a single mom, we wouldn't let her bring her daughter to her meetings with the probation
officer and she just -- she didn't have the money to hire a babysitter and was running out of favors with her relatives and friends. So, she said, I
can't do it anymore. My mother is going to take care of my daughter. Send me to Rikers for six months and I'll be done with all of this.
And I'm thinking, what do most people think we get out of this? What do most politicians think we get out of this? I think we get rehabilitation. I
think we get diversion from incarceration. And what I saw was we get (INAUDIBLE) them in jail.
MARTIN: Why though? Why though? Because one of the points you make in the book is that it's hugely expensive.
MARTIN: I mean, this is like a whole bureaucracy. Like the money that you spend, you know, chasing people down or locking them up, it's hugely
expensive. So -- but -- so, why do you think it's persisted to this extent?
SCHIRALDI: Yes. And when I went inside and I started to meet probation and parole officers -- now, of course, there's going to be some mean ones in
there, but most of them are not that. A lot of church going people, a lot of hard-working people and they basically feel like, from the top, from the
governor, from the mayor is this pressure to never make a mistake.
And so, if you make a mistake and it blows up on your boss, your mayor, your commissioner, your supervisor, then you are going to get thrown under
the bus by those people, even humiliated, you might get fired. In my department, they used to transfer people to very inconvenient locations. If
you lived in Queens, they transferred you to Bronx. If you live in the Bronx, they transfer you to Staten Island just to make your life hard.
There's no upside for you as a probation officer or parole officer to take a chance, because if that person lives a happy and healthy life, you get
nothing for that.
Where is if they reoffend, you're made to be a fool, you might lose your job. And so, while it costs society money, it doesn't cost me as a
probation or parole officer anything. In fact, if you think about it a different way, it's the only way I can with the stroke of a pen spend $50,
$60, $70,000 a year. If I want to get drug treatment, if I want to get this person a job, an apartment, those things I got to beg for. If I want to
send them to prison, all I got to do is violate them.
MARTIN: So, you've talked about how this kind of this terrible feedback loop, how it cost society a lot of money, how it basically creates a really
kind of toxic, dispiriting, you know, environment for people who are actually doing it. What about the people who are affected by this? I mean,
I'm thinking about you've told a number of examples in the book, but one that I think a lot might remember is the hip-hop artist and activist, Meek
Mill. This is the case that came to public attention. So, you just talk a little bit about it?
SCHIRALDI: So, Meek Mill was on probation for a drug gun charge that he committed when he was 19, or he was accused of, the facts, I thin, were
somewhat in doubt and later he won an appeal. But before that happened, he was on probation -- he was supposed to be on a probation for a short period
of time, I think 18 months. But the judge kept on him because he -- she felt he was not completely fulfilling his obligations. So, she kept
extending his probation over and over again.
He was on a probation for 12 years. His whole young life. At the end of which, he was accused of popping a wheelie on a borrowed motorcycle and on
getting in an altercation with a paparazzi at an airport. Both of which cases were dismissed. But you can be incarcerated for dismissed cases if
you're on probation. So, the judge incarcerated him for two to four years in prison.
This guy was a performing artist. He had been out for 12 years without reoffending. He was a philanthropist. He was doing good works. And the
judge just violated him because he stepped out of what she considered out of line. And this just blew up.
And then, Jay-Z, Robert Kraft from the New England Patriots, the owner of the 76er's, Michael Rubin, formed a group called the REFORM Alliance to
bring attention to this and try to essentially reform the system.
MARTIN: So, let's contrast that with another case that got very little attention, it's something you write about in the book, a man named Thomas
Barrett. Tell us about him.
SCHIRALDI: So, Thomas Barrett was a pharmacist down south, down in Georgia. And he stole some drugs from the pharmacy he was at. He became addicted to
them. So, he lost his job and became homeless, lost his family and was in and out of sort of alcohol abuse. Stole a can of beer, $2 can of beer from
a grocery store, got arrested for that. Was fined, was unable to pay the fine. And in some places, they have privatized probation, essentially, it's
a private company that supervises you and the government doesn't pay money for that. You, the person on probation, pay the money.
So, now, he's trying to pay money for a private company. Pays a fine. And also, they start adding things on, like electronic monitoring or drug
testing, all of which comes at a cost. And he was selling his blood to be able to make those payments. And eventually, he just fell so far behind he
ended up paying $1,000 in fines for this $2 can of beer and fees for the company and -- because he couldn't keep up with payments, ended up doing a
year in jail. Again, not because he committed any crime, just because he couldn't make his payments.
MARTIN: What I think I hear you saying is that people basically get locked up for not having money. Is that --
SCHIRALDI: Yes. The system -- so, what happened was, as we created this system of mass incarceration and mass supervision, this happens at the same
time as a major taxpayer revolt in the United States, we start to reduce social services and support, we certainly don't want to raise taxes to pay
for somebody to be on probation, to pay for somebody to go to prison. So, we're trying to do all this tough on crime stuff on the cheap, as elected
And a natural outgrowth of that is to charge people to go to jail, to charge people to have a public defender, to charge court fees and to charge
people to be on probation and parole. So, now, you're taking this group of folks that wasn't really making it all that well to begin with and saying,
you got pull extra money out of your pocket to be able to pay for your probation.
And when I interview probational officers about this, they hate it, right? They hate having to chase people around for money and how much of their
time goes into strategizing, how to get the money out of this person. So, they're doing things like showing up on the days that checks arrive before
the guy's wife and children get a chance at that check.
MARTIN: Are you serious?
SCHIRALDI: For food and rent.
MARTIN: Are you serious? I mean, you're saying --
SCHIRALDI: That's what you have to think about it as a probation officer. Because half of your salary is coming from those fees.
MARTIN: So, now, the question becomes, what's a better way? Because you can see where some people might be listening to our conversation and they will
say, OK, that sounds bad. But if somebody's committed a major crime, somebody's hurt, somebody's killed, somebody's raped, somebody's
burglarized my house, stolen my car, I want somebody following up to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. Is there a
SCHIRALDI: Couple different options I think that are out there. One is, less is more when it comes to this now. Literally, the governor of New York
signed legislation two years ago called The Less Is More Act. And they just trying to a tut (ph) a bunch of nonsense out of New York State's parole
system so that people can be violated for less fewer things. So, for example, staying out past curfew, which is kind of an old school thing.
People work night jobs now. I mean, New York City is 24 hours a day.
So, things like that, getting rid of a lot of the technical violations. And also, shortening the amount of time that you're on parole. So, every 30
days you don't get a violation in New York, 30 days you behave, you get 30 days off your parole. So, if you got three years of parole and you never
misbehaved, you're done in a year and a half.
So, a lot of states have done things to sort of strengthen the footprint and punitiveness of probation and parole. Some states like California have
also captured the savings and put that money into the mental health treatment, victim services and things like that in their counties. So,
California reduced the number of people under supervision by 170,000 people and put about $150 to $200 million a year out to their counties to provide
services and supports.
So, those are some things states and counties could do. I also suggest that people consider abolishing supervision for some categories of people. So,
for example, misdemeanors. Some of these states down south that have had these pay to be on probation situations with private companies have
abolished their supervision period and it kind of doesn't make much difference. You could still order a person to go to drug treatment, could
you still order them to get anger management class and then come back every six months to the judge.
You don't actually need to pay a bunch of people to chase them around to catch them doing stuff that you may not care that much about. So, there's
definitely things that people can do. Harder the reason I wrote the book is because a lot of elected officials have no idea about what kind of
contribution this is making to the systems. In New York, for example, it was costing over $800 million a year for technical parole violations. Part
of the reason that Governor Hochul signed the Less Is More Act.
MARTIN: Do you -- but you can see where, for elected officials, you know, that next election comes around, it's like, why did you make it less tough
on criminals? Why did you, you know, defund the Corrections Department? You know, why did you -- you know, your -- it's the classic, you know, you're
soft. How do you argue with that?
SCHIRALDI: You know, I think that it's interesting to think about the system we have now and imagine deploying the resources we put into it in a
different way. So, imagine instead of having a bunch of bureaucrats follow people around and have them pee in a cup and violate them for noncriminal
acts, if we put that into drug treatment or put them into jobs or put them into housing, I think that when you talk to the public about things like
this and even a lot of elected officials, they can see that there could -- it could be a reasonable trade-off here. Not when you just do nothing, but
when you do something but that that something makes more sense.
When I interviewed for my job with Mayor Bloomberg, that's exactly the conversation I had. I said, imagine I came to you with $80 million, which
was my budget, and you know, 30,000 troubled and troubling souls and said, do whatever you want to fix this problem. I'm pretty much what you wouldn't
do is run out and hire a bunch of civil service protected, disinterested bureaucrats to have them meet with them for five minutes, you have a
caseload of 100 people, five minutes would be a lot to meet with them once a week. I'm pretty much you wouldn't do that.
They said, no, I wouldn't do that. I said, well, I'm betting -- I went to your probation department, I'm betting that's what you got right now. And
he looked over at his deputy mayors and they said, that's pretty much what we got. And so, it (INAUDIBLE), it just doesn't make sense. I mean, you get
a few minutes with most elected officials, they're kind of with you on that one. It's different than prison. This is -- and I'm not saying all the
people in prison believe -- need to be there. But in prison, at least you have incapacitation that you're buying. You're not buying that with
probation and parole.
These folks are walking around on the street today without enough resources to make it and we're spending a ton of money on curfew violations. It just
doesn't make sense. And a lot of politicians when they hear it, they believe it.
MARTIN: What's keeping you going? I mean, because it would seem that you've seen a lot. I mean, you've seen the trends go either way. I was just sort
of curious like how you maintain your optimism?
SCHIRALDI: Yes. So, I've been in these 43 years now. I started, you know, 1980 as a house parent at a group home. And for the first, you know, 30
plus years, 37 years of that, the prison population went up every single year. And, you know, you could fill a very small room with the number of
people who really cared about that, other than the people in prison and their family members. Most people would just enthusiastically cheering that
And now, for the last decade plus, the conversations changed a bit. There's been a more nuanced conversation. There's a lot more people. Even young
people. I used to be the weird dad for my kids, right, that I was the guy that worked with all the criminals. Now, I'm kind of cool because I work in
mass incarceration and, you know, my kids friends send me their resumes to help them find jobs.
And you know, I half joke about that, but that's -- there's a difference. There's a difference now that young people at philanthropy, that
researchers, that some elected official actually care about the collateral consequences of this mass incarceration that we built. It's somewhat
unprecedented from a historical standpoint and in a racial sort of disparities and unfairness that goes along with that and its
And the fact that we can even have that conversation today, we really couldn't have it 30 years ago in any serious way. That kind of keeps my
hopeful. It doesn't mean I believe nobody should ever be confined for our safety. I do be some people should be and I know that a lot of people --
you know, some people don't. They think it should all be abolished. I'm not one of them.
But I think that way fewer people should be locked up and I think way fewer and maybe even no people, at least in some groups of people, should be
under supervision. I think we can do better.
MARTIN: Vincent Schiraldi, thank you so much for talking with us.
SCHIRALDI: Thanks for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And finally, tonight, an update on our main story in this program. The United States has now seen "some withdrawal of forces and
material by Serbia along the Kosovo border." That's according to a State Department spokesman who told us.
That's it for n ow. Thank you for watching and to goodbye from London.