Mark Leibovich

  • Aired:  07/29/13
  •  | Views: 9,559

"This Town" author Mark Leibovich suggests that America's low opinion of Washington D.C. might still be too high. (5:43)

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> John: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THE CHIEF

NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE

"NEW YORK TIMES" MAGAZINE AND

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED "THIS

TOWN."

PLEASE WELCOME MARK LIEBOVITZ.

( APPLAUSE )

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> YES!

John: SO THIS BOOK IS FUNNY.

IT'S INTERESTING.

AND IT IS DEMORALIZING.

>> THANK YOU.

John: I MEAN I GUESS PEOPLE

GENERALLY HAVE QUITE A LOW

OPINION OF WASHINGTON.

AND THIS BOOK SEEMS TO POINT OUT

THAT THAT LOW OPINION MAY BE TOO

HIGH.

IT PROVES IT OVER 370 DISGUSTING

PAGES.

>> THANK YOU.

DID YOU GET TO THE MISERY

SECTION?

>> John: I MEAN, YOU TALK ABOUT

HOW EARLY ON IN THIS BOOK YOU

TALK ABOUT HOW D.C. REWARDS MORE

THAN ANYTHING SELF-PER PET

IATION.

>> IT DOES.

John: BOY, OH, BOY, IS THAT

TRUE.

>> A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE FOCUSED

ON THE NUGGETS AND THE GOSSIP OF

THIS BOOK.

WOW, EVERYONE IS FREAKING OUT.

THERE'S A BIG POINT HERE WHICH

IS THAT WASHINGTON HAS BECOME A

PLACE THAT PEOPLE DON'T LEAVE.

IT IS IS THIS CULTURE THAT IS IS

A PERMANENT FUEL CLASS IN THE

WORDS OF TOM COBURN WHO IS A

SENATOR.

IT JUST KEEPS SUSTAINING ITSELF.

IT'S THE WEALTHIEST COMMUNITY IN

THE UNITED STATES.

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY HAS

STRUGGLEDDED IN CONCERT WITH IT.

IT'S JUST BEEN THIS TIPPING

POINT OF SELF-CELEBRATION THAT I

WANTED TO CHRONICLE.

>> John: AS IRRITATING AS THE

SPINE OF THE ARGUMENT OF THIS

BOOK IS, THE WAY IT'S BEING

REVIEWED HAS IRRITATED ME EVEN

MORE.

LOTS OF PEOPLE SAY, OH, YEAH,

THAT'S A FUNNY STORY ABOUT

VALERIE JARRETT.

THERE IS A BLACK HEART AT THE

CENTER OF THIS.

>> THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK

YOU.

GREAT.

>> John: FEEL FREE TO PUT THAT

ON THE NEXT BOOK.

THERE'S A BLACK HEART IN THE

CENTER OF THIS BOOK.

ENJOY.

LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT

THE REVOLVING DOOR.

>> SURE

John: THROUGH D.C. BECAUSE

YOU MENTION THE ATLANTIC POINTS

OUT IN 1974, 3% OF RETIRING

MEMBERS BECAME LOBBYISTS.

NOW 50% OF SENATORS.

>> 50% OF SENATORS, 42% OF

CONGRESSMEN.

>> John: THAT IS A PROBLEM, IS

IS IT NOT?

>> YOU WOULD THINK.

PEOPLE COME TO WASHINGTON.

THEY RAN AGAINST WASHINGTON AS

THIS SWAMP.

THEY SAY I'M GOING TO DRAIN THE

SWAMP.

THEN THEY SETTLE INTO THE PLACE

LIKE A WARM BATH.

IT'S A VERY MONEYED AND VERY

EASY AND VERY COMFORTABLE PLACE.

FRANKLY I MEAN I TRIED TO

ILLUSTRATE THIS CARNIVAL IT HAS

ALWAYS BECOME

>> Reporter: THE IDEA THAT THERE

WAS A PAY-OFF TO PUBLIC SERVICE

IS CANCEROUS IN TERMS OF

GOVERNMENT.

>> YOU WOULD THINK.

I MEAN THIS IS SUPPOSEDLY A CITY

BUILT ON PUBLIC SERVICE.

I MEAN, YES, IT'S HOLLYWOOD FOR

UGLY PEOPLE IT IS SAID.

THAT'S THE CLICHE.

BUT IN FACT HOLLYWOOD IS

FANTASY, RIGHT?

I MEAN THERE'S BIG MONEY THERE

AND EGOS THERE.

WASHINGTON IS FOR KEEPS.

I MEAN WASHINGTON IS PAID FOR BY

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

WASHINGTON IS SUPPOSEDLY, YOU

KNOW, A LAND OF A HIGHER OR A

CITY OF A HIGHER CALLING.

THAT'S JUST BEEN TOTALLY TIPPED

ON ITS HEAD

>> John: THIS IDEA THAT YOU

MENTIONED IN HERE OF IT'S FINE

FOR POLITICIANS TO LEAVE

WASHINGTON AND FINE FOR PEOPLE

TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AND SAY

WASHINGTON NEEDS CHANGING.

WASHINGTON WILL NOT HOLD THAT

AGAINST YOU BECAUSE THEY KNOW

THAT EITHER YOU'RE LYING OR,

TWO, THEY'LL GET YOU.

>> THEY WILL.

I MEAN, LOOK.

IT IS A VERY, VERY EASY CULTURE

TO BE CO-OPED INTO.

I THINK THE OBAMA CHANGE BRIGADE

OF 2008 IS IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE

OF IT.

I DON'T WANT TO SAY THAT THAT

WAS INSENIOR.

IT WAS A VERY GOOD MARKETING

STRATEGY IN 200 BUT IF YOU LOOK

AT WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THE OBAMA

PROMISES AND THE IDEALS OF WE'RE

NOT NOT GOING TO OPT OUT OF THE

CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM, WE'RE

NOT GOING TO WORK WITH THE SUPER

PACs IN 2012 AND ALL THE

NEVER-MINDS THEY'VE DONE IT IS

SOMEWHAT DEMORALIZING EVEN AS A

JOURNALIST

>> John: IT'S FASHIONABLE TO SAY

WASHINGTON IS ROTTEN TO THE

CORE.

BUT IT'S NOT.

BECAUSE TO SAY IT'S ROTTEN TO

THE CORE WOULD BE TO IMPLY THAT

IT WAS ON THE EDGE OF

COLLAPSING.

THIS IS SOME STRUCTURAL SOUND

BULL [BLEEP] THAT IS BUILT

THERE, JUST BUILT ON NUGGETS OF

SELF-INTEREST EVERYWHERE.

IT WORKS GREAT.

D.C. IS MAKING [BLEEP] TON OF

MONEY.

>> YES, IT IS.

ONE OF THE DIRTY LITTLE SEE

DECREES ABOUT WASHINGTON IS

EVERYONE FOCUSES ON HOW

HOPELESSLY DIVIDED WASHINGTON

IS.

WASHINGTON IS HOPELESSLY

INTERCONNECTED.

THERE'S A MAX I AM THERE,

THERE'S NO SUCH THINGS AS

DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS.

ONLY MILLIONAIRES.

THE DYSFUNCTION THAT YOU SEE ON,

YOU KNOW, IN CABLE SETS ON THE

FLOORS OF CONGRESS, THINGS NOT

GETTING DONE, THAT'S VERY GOOD

FOR BUSINESS IN WASHINGTON.

A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE, YOU KNOW,

WASHINGTON AGAIN, A LOT OF

PEOPLE ARE GETTING RICH IN

WASHINGTON WHILE THE REST OF THE

COUNTRY SUFFERS

>> John: EVEN WITH THIS

ADMINISTRATION, YOU LOOK AT

SOMEONE LIKE JAKE, TOP OBAMA

TREASURY OFFICIAL.

HAD TO COMBAT GOLDMAN SACHS THE

WHOLE TIME HE WAS THERE.

THE ABSOLUTE CENTER OF THE SUB

PRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS.

HE LEAVES TO BECOME HEAD OF

GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS FOR GUESS

WHO, GOLDMAN SACHS.

>> RIGHT.

John: A SENIOR WHITE HOUSE

OFFICIAL IN THIS BOOK SAYS WE

ARE LAPSING INTO SELF-PARODY.

>> THEY MIGHT GET SPANKED FOR A

DAY OR SO BUT THERE'S NO PRICE

TO PLACE.

THE LEVEL OF SHAME IN WASHINGTON

IS VERY, VERY LOW.

THE LEVEL OF SELF-AWARENESS IN

WASHINGTON IS VERY, VERY LOW.

FRANKLY THERE'S NO INCENTIVE TO

STOP.

>> John: CAN YOU STICK AROUND TO

TALK BECAUSE I NEED TO TALK SOME

OF THIS POISON OUT OF MY SYSTEM.

>> HAPPY TO HELP.

John: "THIS TOWN" IS ON THE

BOOK SHELVES NOW.

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