In this age where the terms “fake news” and “alternative facts” have become part of the daily lexicon, Christiane Amanpour is bullish on the state of journalism today.
“I think a lot of journalism has found itself energized over the last 18 months,” the longtime PBS and CNN reporter and anchor explains. “Because look, there is such a thing as fake news. But that's lies; fake news is lies. Fake news is not something that a journalist says that a leader may not like. That's not fake news, that's just stuff you don't like. But there is something called lies and there are organizations and areas that are peddling fake news and those are bad, there's no doubt about it. It just doesn't happen to be us.”
This week, the veteran correspondent and TV host endeavors to give PBS viewers a 360 degree view of our country and the world when her new late-night public affairs series “Amanpour and Company” premieres today.
Similar to the 30-minute “Amanpour” that she hosts on CNN International, this hourlong offering features Amanpour leading in-depth discussions with global thought leaders and cultural influencers on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, science, sports and the arts, assisted by contributors and journalists Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Alicia Menendez and Hari Sreenivasan.
As someone who has covered stories and crises from all over the globe in her 35-year career, Amanpour has long been fascinated with how the world views the United States, especially at this pivotal point in its history. And it's something that she says will be an integral element of the new show.
“It is true that America is a great point of fascination for the rest of the world,” she says. “It's very new what's coming out of the United States right now. People are being used to the United States leading the world and now they're seeing in many instances the new administration wanting to retrench but at the same time wanting to make America first. ... And to be honest, it's been 18 months of this administration and the rest of the world is beginning to factor in what's happening here, whether it's a whole tweet storm.
“So I'll ask a world leader 'What did you think of the President's tweet on that?' – whatever it might be, the tweet of the day,” she continues. “And they always say two things, first 'The American people elected the president. We have to work with this administration. We have to respect the American democracy.' And then they say 'We've learned to listen to the tweets, park the tweets and see how it goes in our interpersonal, intergovernmental relations.'
“So I think that's really interesting that that's what's happening.”