27/01/2017 Newsnight


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The world has had a week to get used to President Trump. From the


inauguration last Friday to today's press conference with Theresa May.


Everybody knew there would have to take him seriously. Is it now we


also took him literally? I think a lot of the voters who voted for


Trump take him seriously, but not literally. It is going to be only


America first. America first. People took him seriously, the press never


did. You know, the essence of what he was about was, I'm going to


change. Whether it was building a wall, which he really... You know,


I'm not so sure that is really going to happen. It will begin immediate


construction, a border wall. Supporters took him seriously, but


not literally. Does it work? Does torture work? The answer is, yes,


absolutely. Tonight, a specially extended


Newsnight exploring the first seven days of Donald


Trump's presidency and what they Just over 12 months ago,


the British Parliament debated banning Donald Trump from this


country in response to the perceived toxicity


of his electioneering rhetoric. Today, the British Prime Minister -


who, as Home Secretary described some of that rhetoric as "divisive,


unhelpful and wrong" - arrived in Washington


and invited him to come Indeed, at a joint press


conference a few hours ago, both were keen to portray


the beginning But she mentioned the so-called


special relationship eight times in a speech to Republican


politicians yesterday, while today Trump's White House


managed to misspell her name three So just how special is that


relationship and just how much of a political risk is Theresa May


taking by swallowing any personal distaste and hoping that a President


who delights in bellowing "America First" might somehow be


persuaded to put Britain second? Newsnight's David


Grossman was watching. How presidents and prime ministers


interact matters. A great deal of effort goes into making sure they


hit it off. Some relationships, however, barely register. Others


become central to both. Into which category this latest iteration will


fall, well, today we began to find out. Nothing was allowed to get in


the way, not even the oval office lamp. An executive order, and it was


gone. Back in the room, the bust of Churchill. This is the original.


After a private meeting in the Oval Office, a press conference, where


the complement is really flowed. Today, the United States renews our


deep bond with Britain, military, financial, cultural and political.


One of the great bonds. We pledge our lasting support to this most


special relationship. I am delighted to be able to congratulate you on


what was a stunning election victory. As you say, the invitation


is an indication of the strength and importance of the special


relationship. The relationship that exists between our countries, based


on the bonds of history, family, kinship and common interests. The


positivity was rather interrupted by the questions from reporters. Two


picked by the President, two by Theresa May. You have said before


that torture works, you have praised Russia, you have said you want to


ban some most -- Muslims from coming to America. You have suggested there


should be punishment for abortions. This was your choice for a question?


There goes this relationship! It is 205 years since the British set fire


to the White House. Theresa May had been advised to do something similar


today. Instead, her softer approach appears to have achieved results,


reassurance on the key military alliance. On defence and security


Corporation, we are united in the reclamation of Nato as the Bill


Walker of our defence, and we have confirmed our commitment to this


Alliance. You have confirmed you are 100% behind Nato. Mr Trump also said


it was too early to talk about dropping sanctions on Russia. On


torture, Mr Trump is on record as saying he thinks it works.


Crucially, he says his new Defence Secretary does not. I don't


necessarily agree, but I would tell you that he would override, because


I am giving him that power. He is an expert, he is highly respected, he


is the general's general. There was the inevitable question of personal


chemistry. The hard-working daughter of a vicar, the brush TV extrovert,


have you found anything in common? I am not as brash as you might think,


I think we are going to get along very well. It is interesting, I am a


people person, I think you are all so. I can often tell how I get along


with some of the very early, and I believe we will have a fantastic


relationship. The President's people judging powers let him down when he


tried to hold the Prime Minister's hand as he walked her to her car.


Aside from a little awkwardness, both sides would have been happy


with today. Our political editor,


Nick Watt was watching that He joins me now. Will they be having


a small glass of sherry in Theresa May's camp? They are ecstatic, this


visit was fraught with risks for Theresa May. Many Tories said she


was rushing over to Washington to soon after the inauguration. In


Number 10, they are pointing to two big games, in the first place, that


commitment, according to Theresa May, that Donald Trump is 100%


behind Nato. Only a few weeks ago he said Nato is obsolete in its current


form. Crucially, she said that Nato will have to meet concerns,


everybody has to pay their fair share and it has to be reconfigured


to tackle terrorism. The second big gain they are taking his big support


for a UK - US free trade agreement. Interestingly, those two were voiced


by Theresa May, and not by Donald Trump. Her tactics have done the job


in the short-term, but necessarily delivering in the long term? Theresa


May is essentially doing what every UK Prime Minister since Harold


Wilson and Jim Callaghan has done, get close to the US President. She


says she's doing it in her way and giving herself some wriggle room.


She believes Tony Blair perhaps appeared to write a blank check for


George Bush after 9/11. On Russia, she made it clear she disagrees with


Donald Trump and thinks that sanctions should remain in place. He


was noncommittal on that. Kelly and Conway was saying maybe the US would


be lifting sanctions. Think what she got on Nato. Essentially, Donald


Trump has given that commitment and she can say to EU partners and Nato


partners in Europe, who have doubts about the UK heading off to the US,


she is able to say she got a commitment that he is 100% behind


it. You may do well on the substance, but in the end it is


decided, often come on the optics, and what will be the abiding memory


of the visit? The handshake, the holding hands.


Dr Leslie Vinjamuri is an expert in the transatlantic partnership.


Professionally, this must be a fraught time for you. What is the


transatlantic partnership? It has been an interesting visit today. It


was a meeting that could have gone very badly. But I think it is


exactly right to say the optics, the symbolism of the visit have so far


seemed to be very important. The transatlantic relationship, what is


it? Historically, it has been a commitment by the US and the United


Kingdom to promote and secure the Liberal International order. This is


what everybody has been worried about that Donald Trump is walking


back, in very significant and dramatic ways, from the liberal into


-- international order. Theresa May seemed to be talking about


globalism, of holding the liberal international order, when Donald


Trump seemed to be running away from that at a rate of knots? Not only


was the press conference interesting, but last night, when


she spoke to the Republicans, she made a point of saying the United


States and the United Kingdom would work together to promote democracy.


They would not do it by intervening in the internal affairs of other


states. It was a global agenda, a liberal agenda. It was, in one


sense, in another sense, the American media seemed a lot keener


to ask questions about Mexico and Russia than they did about the other


half of the so-called special relationship? That is right. There


are all sorts of issues. The question now that we need to


remember is that Donald Trump was very respectful, but there is a


sense in which you always think that maybe he is humouring whoever he is


speaking to. The rubber hits the road in the days and weeks to come.


Will the special relationship really mean much to Donald Trump? Very hard


to know. In the great scheme of things, for all of his Scottish


ancestry and what have you, how high up on his to-do list will be giving


Britain something? You know, I do think that Donald Trump is committed


to a US- UK bilateral trade deal. What amounts to is minuscule


compared to what Theresa May needs to secure from European partners. At


the end of the day, Donald Trump as a set of priorities and very few of


them have a lot to do with the UK, right? So, we have to watch this


space. Thank you very much indeed. The Conservative MEP -


and arch-Brexiteer - You get described as that all the


time. This wasn't really in the script, all of these wonderful new


freedoms, the liberation that follows from shrugging off the


shackles of Brussels, the first thing the Prime Minister does is


break bread with a self-proclaimed protectionist? Well, with a view to


getting a trade deal between the largest and fifth-largest economy is


on the planet, which will be of huge benefit to both. 1 million Brits


turn up to work for American companies every day, we are the


single biggest investor there, they are the single biggest investor


here. The only thing that has not followed up has been the trade,


because it has been controlled by Brussels instead of us. That can now


change. As far as I can see, there are almost no losers, and a lot of


winners, including European allies. Glass three quarters full for you?


Are you worried about some of the less savoury elements of the


election campaign, seeing the British Prime Minister essentially,


post-Brexit, having to go there and make friendly noises? I was not a


Trump supporter. Are you now? Seems to me that the only proper attitude


for a friend of America and a friend of American democracy is to say you


have made your decision and this remains a powerful alliance. Whoever


is in the White House? As long as America remains committed to the


values of the West, this is our one key alliance. It has since 1941. You


mentioned 1941, it seems, and we haven't got the detail of the


executive order, it looks like it might have signed a ban on refugees


on Holocaust Remembrance Day. How does that play with Western values?


There were all sorts of aspects of his platform... Just focus on that


one? As I say, I would not have voted for him. But Theresa May's job


is not to go and lecture him and what her finger, her job is to get


the best deal for us, and, by implication, the best deal for the


broader community of Western countries. I think she did that


today. She came out with a commitment on Nato, which would have


delighted the Europeans. She slightly softened his position on


the issue of sanctions on Russia. She has not just gone and played a


subordinate role at all, it is clear there is give and take. She has


established her own vision of what the special relationship can be and


she has made relationships, by the way, not just with him. The US is a


system with a divided government. An awful lot, in a very short press


conference! That she has also been meeting, you know, the other leaders


in Congress. This will be a key relationship, bigger than any two


leaders. Do you buy this conflation that is so broad now of Brexit, with


Trump, that without Brexit there would be no tramp? Given your


established rejection of much of what he said and stood for in the


election campaign, do you feel, as the arch Brexiteer, a degree of


responsible to? I think the parallel has been greatly overdone. A big


part of Donald Trump's appeal, as I understand it, was that he did not


want free trade with China. A big part of Vote Leave's agenda was that


we do. Brexit has a globalist and internationalist flavour that I


don't think was there. The one thing that they have in common, I will


concede this, was anger against what was perceived to be a failed


governing class. I think it would be a mistake to see Brexit as being


nativist or protectionist, it is much more about re-engagement with


the wider world. Do you think they should have been a bit of finger


wagging, that said? I have no idea what happened behind closed doors. I


can only infer from what was said in front of those doors afterwards. The


issues that people have concerns about, Nato, Russia sanctions and so


on, he seems to have slightly softened his position on. I accept


you are not as enthusiastic about drawing the two together some other


Brexiteers, do you think the world is a safer place now Donald Trump is


in the White House? He was not my preferred candidate. I think the


world is a safer place when English-speaking democracies were


together for the rule of law. English-speaking democracies? The


alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States has been a far


greater guarantor of human happiness than anybody likes to admit for the


last 100 years. Imagine a world without it. We think of these


universal values of free speech, equality for women, democracy, there


would have been nothing universal about them if the Second World War


ended differently, or the Cold War ended differently. We should


remember the value of that alliance and what it has done, not just for


us, but the other countries. But the alliance that was already extant? I


just wanted to direct your view towards continental Europe. The


candidate for the French presidency said that Britain lives in


equilibrium with Europe, but now it is becoming the junior partner of


the United States? On from being a big player... The absurdity of that


is that the European Union is that political integration. It is about


turning countries into something bigger, a political union. No


country in the world is more jealous of its sovereignty than the United


States. The idea that this could be anything other than an alliance of


democracies, and I have one that goes wider, bringing in other


friendly countries, that we would be drawn into a political union...


English-speaking, or would we allow others? All friendly countries.


There are so much virtue signalling, including from some British


politicians, who are indulging themselves by signalling their


distaste for this or that aspect of Donald Trump's domestic policy. They


might just feel displaced. But if they were Prime Minister and not


engaging with the will's largest economy, and our most important


military ally, it would be a serious dereliction of duty.


It would seem that the spokespeople and cheerleaders who spent much


of last year insisting that Trump should be taken seriously but not


literally, or that we should stop listening to his actual words


and focus instead on what was in his heart are going to need


Within days of assuming office Trump has signed executive orders


addressing inter alia, pre-election pledges about banning


all refugees from some Muslim countries and building that wall


Newsnight's diplomatic editor Mark Urban has been considering just


how significant those signatures will prove to be.


The speech followed by a dispute over how many had attended heralded


something loud and clear. From early morning tweets to abuse, President


Trump is no different from campaign trail Trump. The idea of repealing


Obamacare, the affordable care act, has been counted many times on the


trail. And it is somewhere where the president and Republican lawmakers


can agree in principle. But signing off on his first executive order,


Trump could not scrap Obamacare in one stroke. That would lead the Mac


relieved 20 million Americans uncovered. Republicans have thought


about the alternative for some time but they have not necessarily agreed


on what the policy is so I think there would have to be some


agreement around policy and then the timing and sequencing has to come


into play. I have thought this would be a several month process. In some


areas, for example on resuming water boarding, the news has not been


quite what it seems. When Isis is doing things people have not heard


of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about water boarding?


As far as I am concerned, we have to fight while with fire. In an ABC


interview President Trump said it is clear torture works. But it is clear


he the CIA director opposes it. I think he's communicating what voters


feel and what he feels himself. At the same time that is different from


the US government establishing a policy. We had the opposite from the


Defence Secretary, Jim Mattis saying he has more success with a can of


beer and a pack of cigarettes than anyone would using enhanced


interrogation. That is uncertain, what about the Mexican wall? It is a


key campaign promise but paying for it is proving entirely contentious.


First the American president cancelled a planned visit, then


President Trump talked about using a 20% import tariffs but legislation


looks inevitable. It cannot be done simply by executive order. The issue


now is can he rule by executive order and I think there are real and


straights on that. The first constraint is obviously Congress


itself which can actually legislate to stop him using executive orders


if it wants, but anything Donald Trump sits in his office and signs,


Congress will have the power to either fund or not fund. And then


there is the government machine. Draft executive orders have already


leaked, White House staff have badmouthed each other and civil


servants have been tweeting subversively. I'm sure that in the


federal workforce there are a lot of people who are very unhappy about


Trump's collection, and will provide some kind of passive resistance to


his leadership or active resistance. I re-hope people don't do that and


get over it. It is everyone's DTE to try and make the administration that


you're working for as successful as possible for the good of the


country. For the moment, just one weekend, Trump still has plenty of


political momentum, but with so many executive orders, uncertainty over


how they will work, and fewer appointees in place, the


complications have already started to multiply.


In a moment we'll be talking to the foreign affairs expert,


But first joining me now from Florida is the veteran


republican political strategist Roger Stone, who is a long term


Mr Stone, everyone was waiting for a pivot, they were waiting for the old


phrase we campaign in poetry and govern in prose, but there isn't


going to be one, is there? No, nor is there going to be any honeymoon.


Donald Trump is exactly who he appears to be. He is his own man.


He's not going to fit into some structure designed by others, and I


believe that as long as he continues to implement his agenda, and make


progress on the big issues, these small kerfuffle over his Twitter


feed and the of the press and his correct in my view criticism of the


media will not matter. What matters to the American people are results.


Let me pick you up on that first point about him being his own man


who is not going to try and fit into anybody else's worldview, how does


that square with what he said about torture and fitting into James


Mattis's worldview? I could not understand your question. You said


he will be his own man and not be moulded by anyone else's views but


the first thing he said in a press Conference today is he has allowed


James Mattis to remould the attitude on torture. He will follow the lead


of his Defence Secretary. First of all he has to do what is both legal


and constitutional, regardless of what his personal views are. I


understand his disgust at the tactics of Isis and I think he is


trying to signal that he will do everything he can to crush Isis. At


the same time, he like every other president has to follow the law.


General Mattis is a good man, he knows what he is doing. I think he


is wise to follow his lead. Will they be torture under a Trump


Administration, knowing what you know of Donald Trump? I think he


will push the limits legally and constitutionally. He wants to get


tough on Isis as he can but at the end of the day he still has to abide


by the law. You are a veteran of the dark arts of politicking, you seem


to revel in the rascal -ish nature of the profession, so when you put


it out that Ted Cruz' father was involved in the assassination of


John F. Kennedy, one imagines you doing it with a wry smile and a


thumbs up to the gallery. Donald Trump has a different view. When he


spoke about being in Scotland the day before Brexit, the calendar in


his own Twitter reveals he did not go there until the day after. Does


he believe all of this himself even though the evidence contradicts him?


I think there is some poetic licence there, but I am committed to the


truth. And the issue about the Russians and the elections which is


unproven... That is why I have not asked you about that. When he says


he was in Scotland the day before the result came in and he predicted


it all and his own Twitter account reveals he landed in Scotland the


day after, does he believe it when he says it? Perhaps he was mistaken.


Do you think any voter really cares? Identifying daycare. -- identity


they care. When he says it was not raining during the inauguration but


people could feel the raindrops landing on their head, it does he


put himself in a position where he has persuaded himself that what he


wants to be true is true? Well, having gone to the inauguration,


having taken the occasion to find and where a morning suit, something


I have wanted to do my entire life, I have to tell you it did not rain.


There was a nanosecond when there was a sprinkling of raindrops, it


was over in less than two minutes. I know because my wife did not want to


get drenched, so I think on this occasion he was right. But not on


the dates for arriving in Scotland. Congratulations on the morning suit.


I am joined now by Anne Applebaum from the Washington Post. IU as


upbeat about Donald Trump? Funnily enough I thought Mr Trump sounded


less upbeat than I thought he was. I am holding fire. I will wait to see


what happens. What would be good news, what would reassure you? What


would reassure me, unfortunately, would be if Trump had announced he


had thought it through, he had listened to his cabinet, he had


spoken to experts, he had talked to people in the State Department, he


had talked people in other departments and he had decided that


the Liberal International order and the rule of law, and the rules based


order that Theresa May spoke about, that these are things worth


preserving and he has decided to preserve them. That would reassure


me. And at that point his core support goes nuts? I am not sure


because I am not sure what his core supporters were voting for him for?


The wall and the ban on Muslims. It was not clear how much it matters.


They clearly that is to some people but everybody, I am not sure. Is


there a danger now that everybody is hearing what they want to hear and


in fact he does move around quite a lot and possibly even today we may


have seen evidence that his opinion can be in some way changed by the


last person who made an impression on him. Theresa May very keen to


come out and talk about Nato and Russian sanctions, if he is in a


room with someone more hawkish tomorrow or more protectionist, he


may switch again? As many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the


contrary, "no". One of the techniques he used to win the


election, you can look at the way they used Facebook and his team used


the Internet, they would put at dozens of different messages. People


heard what they wanted to hear and they screamed out what they didn't


want to hear. You and I are not used to it. We are confused by it and we


find it contradictory. It was an election and it did help him get


elected. The question is, can it help him rule? The statements he


made about the wall and making Mexico pay for the wall, what has


happened, he has destroyed relationships with one of America's


most important allies and trading partnerships, the peso has crashed,


people believe the border may come back, Nafta may be regulated which


means hundreds and hundreds of businesses will be in trouble. They


all heard some messages that he was sending to some people and those


have now had a defect in real life. Now that he is president, that meant


that instead of strewing messages out there and letting them sink into


where they might, that will have effects in the real world. Do you


believe Theresa May had much choice in trying to get to the front of the


queue? Her visit to Washington was a real indication of how much more


restricted Britain's choices are and how much less sovereignty Britain


has been used to. Britain has no choice. She politically needs


somewhere she can go when Britain leads the EU. She needs someone she


can point to as a partner. I had worried that one of her partners


might be Russia or China or Turkey... She is in Turkey next! She


would need somebody out of the periphery. She might go to the anti


democratic world. And Trump as a blessing from the sky has given her


this opportunity. But almost everything she said in her speech


yesterday, and everything she said about global Britain in the last few


days, contradicts directly what Trump has said. But they held hands.


Anne Applebaum thank you. We have, inevitably,


been viewing the nascent Trump Presidency and the new world


order many believe it will presage Let's have a little look


now at how it appears What I see is America becoming more


protectionist, becoming more nationalist, that they are


withdrawing from global trade and global agreements, and, at the same


time, China taking up that position. The President was at Davos to give a


speech, stating China's desire to take a leadership on global trade,


which will be for the prosperity and peace of the world, and also taking


the lead on climate change. If it is business deals,


renegotiating trade deals, cancelling them, amending them, that


is one thing. If it's going to be a projection of military power, again,


that is going to be very dangerous. But, of course, from Mr Trump's


first utterances, it appears he realises those dangers. The European


partners are very much in doubt whether the United States will


continue to be a trustful ally in Nato. Then, fundamentally, I think


it is important to emphasise that in his inauguration speech, he hasn't


emphasised the value of human rights, democracy, of liberal order,


which is really another fundamental the global order, as we have built


that, together with the United States. His brief comments on


torture just prove that he is ready to really question fundamental


principles. The historian Simon Schama is here,


alongside Ted Malloch, who is widely tipped for a role


in the Trump administration - possibly as Ambassador


to the European Union. You don't have any news for us?


Maybe next week. Simon, you have taken to social media and coined the


Rhine Theresa the appeaser. Anything to appease your fears today? Not


particularly. The spectacle of them holding hands, actually, doesn't in


any rational way speak to your question, it did turn my stomach


somewhat. We don't know that it didn't turn hers. The fear that she


is cosying up to a regime that may prove to be, as an historian, may


stand comparison with other 20th-century horrors, are you


stepping back? I think scary authoritarian regimes, not to


inaccurately paraphrase, are scary and authoritarian each in their own


way. I think this is starting to look incredibly scary and


authoritarian. Particularly, actually, banning the possibility of


the Environmental Protection Agency delivering data to the public. All


sorts of things, I think, are serious. But the most worrying part


of all, which does not speak to the authoritarian issue, but something


more loopy, is his lack of contact with reality. Today, he doubled down


on the extraordinary assertion that between three million and 5 million


illegal immigrant votes were cast. It is absolutely, this was actually


delivered to a reception in which, the first reception he had with


congressional leaders, there were treated to being harangued on this


fantastic story, with no evidence whatsoever. He is starting an


investigation into an election he won! This is beyond absurd. There


are three objectives there that I will pick up on, absurd, scary and


authoritarian. Do you recognise what he describes? Nonobvious above.


Where would you like me to start? -- none of the above. The voter fraud


allegations, the Democrats swung 3 million illegal votes, but not put


them anywhere that would win an election? Well, let's have an


investigation, if somebody has evidence... The evidence comes from


Greg Phillips! You have the investigation and come to the


conclusions afterwards. We have an investigation into Russian hacking


and find out the truth. Hopefully we have imperial evidence, rather than


dismissing them out of hand. Why not look at them? Even on the liberal


left, we are willing to look at actual facts. Empirical evidence,


obviously... A social scientist. So climate change is on the table?


People have different points of view. We are talking about empirical


data? 10% of hard scientists have some questions. Let me draw the


conversation out, if I may, and look at whether or not you feel, as


somebody that clearly Donald Trump holds in high regard, that we are at


a pivotal point in Western history? I think we are at a turn in Western


history. Obviously we have had a change from one regime to another


regime, so you have that. But you also have a more national orientated


and more populist orientated political caste. Not just in the


United States, in many countries around the world. Maybe a new order


is beginning to appear. Nationalist, populist, they are not new ideas?


Well, in this form, this time, yes. Frankly, are there any new ideas


since Plato? We could have that debate. Nationalism and populism


rarely lead to harmony. Lead to harmony? Well, there are different


kinds of nationalism, different kinds of populism. America first,


let's take that slogan. Do you know who used the term first? Well,


Wilson? But it was reprehensible when he used it. Maybe when


Lindbergh used it it was more reprehensible. Lindbergh was an


appeaser. He was soft on the Nazis. It is an irony that Trump has moved


Churchill back into his office, who detested everything about the slogan


and what America first stood for. But he needed America to help save


Britain at a certain point in time. Trump is not intellectually


connected with that wonderful litany of intellectual history. He is


interested in literally putting America first, re-establishing


America's place in the world, America's economy. That is the thing


to underscore. He got elected on a platform that said the middle class


has suffered for at least 15 years. Not just the last eight years, but


it has suffered and it needs to come back. Why is he proposing a tax cut


that will benefit, hugely and disproportionally, the top 1%? You


know about supply-side economics, it has worked before. It hasn't. At


work for John Kennedy, it worked for Ronald Reagan and it could work this


time. In four years we could have a balanced budget. We had a balanced


budget under Bill Clinton. Newt Gingrich was the head of Congress


and they did it together. I'm interested in the distinction


between literally and seriously. It has been a recurring theme. You


taken seriously, but not literally. You have always taken him literally?


I think you could taking either way and people obviously have. He's


President now, he is not campaigning. That is true. There


should be some difference, you know. Have you seen any yet? In five days,


I think we are beginning to... I think we saw some of it today, in


the meeting under the summit with Theresa May. Thank you both. Are you


seeing any cause for cautious optimism, or a delusion of


pessimism? No. Thank you very much indeed. Let's look at the papers. No


surprise for guessing what is on the front pages. I will keep you in


suspense. There is a prize for guessing.


It was 1974, on a struggling local American TV channel.


A little known reporter shot herself on live television,


apparently claiming it was a protest against the drive for blood


As with every suicide, the answers to why she did it


are likely more complex and Christine Chubbock had


struggled with longstanding mental health issues.


A new film, Christine, is out today - and charts the days


leading up to that awful moment, captured on live TV.


Katie Razzall went to meet its leading actor, Rebecca Hall.


Broadcast in real-time, live TV is almost old hat


But as a way of recounting world events as they happen,


it can be dramatic, compelling and uncontrollable.


I'm a reporter at WZRB and I'm always on the lookout...


In 1974 in Sarasota, Florida, the worst did, when a local


television reporter who suffered long-term mental health issues shot


herself live on-air, claiming it was a protest


at being asked to sensationalise the journalism she held dear.


She is, in some small sense, famous on the internet,


as being one of the sort of top ten most shocking things that ever


Because she took her life on live TV.


She said, "In keeping with the network's desire for blood


and guts television, here's a first -


It's an act of terrorism, almost, in that sense.


She is making it political, and she is making a comment


on the thing that she very much didn't want to do.


She was someone who was under constant pressure from the higher


ups, in this small network, to create juicy reporting


It's believed only a few hundred people watched


Christine Chubbuck's death live on TV.


The nature of the internet means these days suicides live on Facebook


have been watched by people around the world.


I think if it happened now, I think it would be inescapable.


And that is actually rather disturbing to think about.


I suppose it's true that now people do kill themselves on Facebook Live


and they have difficulties getting the material off, their relatives.


And one shouldn't have access to that footage,


In the film, she says, "can you record this?"


I understand there's a tape, and I also understand


that the family went to court and got it from the station


There's a lot of rumour and speculation about it.


I don't really want to get into that.


I don't think anyone should see that and we should respect the family's


Otherwise it is grisly and sensationalistic


There's a reason this idea is catching fire


They didn't show that, they cut out just before.


They didn't have the guts to show the whole thing.


They could have doubled their ratings.


The equivalent now would be clickbait.


What's the most shocking way you can describe a story so that


someone will click on it and read the article?


Because you get more ratings, or whatever term


I pledge to you tonight, from this office, that I will do


everything in my power to ensure that the guilty are


It's like, the 1970s were, in many respects,


But also, you've got, for the first time, there is extreme


violence in people's homes, on television, because


And it really is, I think there are so many things


that are conflating, and Christine's story sort of


The fact that she asked for her show to be video taped that day indicates


Clearly, is a timely story because not just Hall's Christine,


but another film about Chubbuck debuted at last year's


No, no, not the tape of the suicide, but anything at all...


I always think the thing about any piece of drama that's set in another


time is it says something about the time in which it's set,


but it arguably say something even more significant about the time


And, you know, when I think of 1974 in America, and I have read a lot


around this in preparation for this film, there's a real sense of...


Paranoia and uncertainty about where the world's going.


You're coming out of the 60s with a sense of, you know,


the stakes are life-and-death, where are we going, what's happening


I don't think that audiences right now are going to have a hard time


As you know, I have a running war with the media.


They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.


We need to be vigilant, and the way that we do


that is through the press, and for it to be proper journalism


that delivers us the information that we need in order


I thought she was meant to get some fresh flowers?


Yeah, I told her to, it must have slipped her mind.


Well, I can't think about anything else, sorry,


For better or worse, Christine was a harbinger for a lot


of things that we still, as a society, have a rough


Ultimately, it's quite easy to humanise characters


Even characters who have awful things happen to them,


and are victims of things, but remain essentially good.


It's crucial for artists to humanise people that we'd


rather look away from, or would rather just


You know, put that person in a box and just label it monster,


crazy or whatever, and let's just not think about it.


Katie Razzall there with Rebecca Hall, the star of the new film


Christine which opens at the weekend. There is an outbreak of


unanimity on the picture desk. This will soon be the iconic image of


Donald Trump. It is hard to see who is helping hood down the stairs but


Donald Trump holding hands with Prime Minister Theresa May. The


Daily Mail has gone for the open goal. -- Daily Mirror.


They have some insect photographs showing even more physical warmth


between the two. And then the Guardian has a more sombre headline


but the photograph remains the same. All three papers referring to the


Nato pledge which Theresa May revealed she had prised from the


president. And that is all that we have time for. Good night.


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