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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  November 25, 2009 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> no discussion about the will of the media and elections. the bipartisan policy center hosted this discussion in new orleans with a panel of
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republican and democratic strategist. it is about one hour. -- coming to new orleans. we appreciate that very much. we need to have the spotlight on the ongoing recovery efforts. so, thank you. from all of us, thank you to all of our friends that not only came but came to play, suited up, great job all around. [inaudible] as joe trippy did it, understanding not just these issues but that coastal restoration and the sooner refocus on that -- it is a bipartisan issue that we discussed at lunch.
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i hope we can make this an annual event. if there is one thing, we are happy partisans. we have been warned for a long time with some stability in our private sessions. one thing partisans can agree upon is that really the bad guy in all of this is the media. when i was first knowing james and his friends in the first clinton white house, it was said that he needed psychiatric treatment and we bonded on the spot. when i was first working in the 1992 campaign, and i was dating james, in my bosses came in and said they wanted to talk to me about my relationship.
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i went in to defend my man and my honor and they said, james carville -- who is he? we care about your relationship with the "the washington post" a postnnreporter. there has always been that tension, this love-paid, because we need the media to do what we need to do -- there has been this love-hate relationship. most recently, the cheney fight with "the new york times" was i wanted to put somebody on the plane in air force two, and i said if we don't, we will get a bad start. he said, we will get a war story if i throw them out at 35,000 feet. -- will get a worse story. [inaudible] within three questions, and hilary rosen pointed this out.
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i am sorry. it is the media. how soon we got to issues dealing with the media and the present to which we receive our political information -./ were steady not just how we deal with them but how they are regurgitating the information that we need to get out. everybody here has dealt with them. it is what they do in addition to what they are supposed to be doing, organizing a turnout. everybody has to be engaged in getting the message out and campaign, for a candidate or four issues. it is critical we understand if it is bifurcated or in different levels, how do we deal with it? when our founders were putting this country together, they were concerned about two things -- [inaudible]
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that would be necessary for a free democracy. the first was virtuous leaders. the second was a free press. to have a free press -- for a democracy, you need informed citizens who could only be informed to a free press. the notion of a bipartisan press is a new phenomenon. where we get confused it is where we don't know. there are lots of issues relative to the media and politics -- i will turn it over to jeff who does work for the premiere leader, or has been the leader -- there has been competition with "the new york times", but it has been a leader in driving where the nets go, where everybody follows. i do not share of my conservative friends say. you can compete with them but you cannot make them go away.
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it is not a good or bad thing. he is working for the best. he is the best. we keep saying what a great panel this is, but they absolutely are and they have done it on the front lines for lots of years and lots of issues in front of us relative to how we go forward, keeping our citizenry as informed as they need to be to fulfill our founder's mission of the free state. jeff, it is yours. >> mary, thank you very much. given the financial pressures of the news business, we hope we will not go away. some days we wonder. most of you have seen our panelists at a different time. beginning on our left, pat devine. she now has eight new website --
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it is called zowatics. also, one of the leading democratic strategists of our time. she worked on the clinton credit -- presidential campaign in 2008. he has worked on both sides of the media, on the broadcast cited abc and cnn as well as standing behind the podium at the white house. he just got back from a chart with president clinton to europe. mark mckenna, and he has worked for george w. bush, john mccain and in richards. he is the -- the only person who has done that -- and work for anne richards. steve schmidt has worked from coast to coast and for john mccain. and david winston, a longtime republican consultant who has worked in house and senate races
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and advised the house and senate leadership. he has been involved in a rare fact -- he worked with house republicans in 2002 to get their approval ratings over 50%, which almost never happens in congress. they could use you now, both sides could use you now. i think it is the perfect time to be holding this discussion because we still have last year's presidential campaign fresh in our minds and we can see the next one right around the corner. let's talk about those. what is the most significant change that you have seen it in the last three presidential campaigns, beginning with 2000 through 20008 in terms of media? how you deal with the media, how the media has changed, and what lessons can be drawn from the most recent campaign for the next one? >> i think it is technology.
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in 2004, there was no youtube. this time, youtube was a tremendous for to get information out. -- forum to get information out. things are moving so fast. i remember in my first presidential campaign, we had a facts machine. and you could send the documents -- a fax machine. now we are in an instantaneous age, where everybody with a cell phone can walk into a fund raiser and san francisco and take a presidential candidate. suddenly, two weeks of the campaign is whether or not people are better or not. that is why they turned to god and guns. technology is making things happen so fast and you have to try to keep up with it. >> how do you deal with that type of technology? >> a lot of the time is fine.
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the media, up from the advertising. point of view, you're able to share video images without paying for. -- paying for it. from the other point of view, you have this power for asias pn in new sources so that it is completely different getting information out that it was 10 years ago. the other problem is the diversity of all these different websites, news organizations. it is harder to get critical mass to tell any one story. i am talking about in a presidential campaign, because those of us who work in congressional races, it is the opposite problem. instead of too much information and trying to amass a critical amount of information for one
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story line, often in a senate race or governor's race, especially with the death of so many newspapers, we are fighting to get stories covered, even with websites out there. >> how have things changed since when you were in the white house press room, for good or bad? >> i think even as recently as 10 years ago that communication experts were people who were trying to manipulate and work the filter. there was a filter between the public and the president or an aspiring politician. and that was things like "the new york times", the television networks and radio. the filter has become so diffuse that it is almost gone. i remember feeling this as i was leaving the white house. communications people are now what network television programmers used to be. you look at the 24 hour day and your program for the morning, afternoon, evening, each with
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slightly different messages. use every channel available. you are no longer trying to convince 15 people of your case so that they will tell everyone. you are telling everyone directly. it is more interesting. but it is very different from even eight years ago how communications people handle the politics. >> a lot has changed in the 22 years since i changed a cubicle with mandy in new york. -- our shared a to vote -- a cubicle with mandy. >> i am still a democrat. >> the role that we played it as a producer of a 38 or 60-second broadcast television is almost irrelevant in presidential races. there is a distinction between statewide and presidential. the presidential races are about what we call an met ed meredith. people get tons of information
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-- a meta narrative. the role of the 30-second spot is a tiny drop in the ocean. what we are trying to do is not persuade people through what is going to end up on television and we are putting 2000 points behind it and that will persuade them, what we are doing increasingly is to drive the news coverage of the race. let me be specific about what that has meant strategically and tech -- tactically and i will pose a question. in the last presidential -- in the mccain campaign. we got to the point at the end of the campaign where we were producing spots. we would get up at 6:00, we would see something in the news. we would produce a spot today to drive the coverage. and we would put out a script, put it out at 6:30 to everyone on the wire.
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we would get coverage so everybody would call your campaign. two hours later, we scrambled some spot. at one point in the campaign, we would put it on air once somewhere so it was legitimate. by the end, spots were not going on here but we were driving the coverage. this is a question for you guys. as we are doing is, where do you draw the line and what is legitimate to cover? >> i think the first question that those new but -- news organizations ask is is there any money behind this advertisement? there is a 24-hour cycle, so it will pop up there. is that a waste of time? at the other side, at the same time, the other side is doing it. your communication shop has to respond. who wins in that? it -- or is it neutral? >> i think it is a fight to
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control the dialogue on cable television. in a country of 300 million people, when you combine all of the audiences on these cable channels, it is maybe 7 million people. so there is a fight that takes place and the campaigns tactically are putting advertisements out there that are going to get attention of the media, that they are going to get the attention of the other campaign. the campaign response. campaigns have to fill that cable news vacuum. i think it is very -- i agree with what joe said. you are a television programmer. you need to put on a show on a daily basis. you need to communicate through all of the social media today and all of those other aspects of how to communicate outside of
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the filter which is gone. it does not exist anymore. the cell phone camera and a blog has the ability to impacted presidential race. -- in exactly the same way that the front page "the new york times" story would impact arise. >> how did you deal with that in the mccain campaign? did you have people that were assigned it to doing these fake advertisements or monitoring the social networking site and other people dealing with the mainstream media or is it all one now and without a sense of what is more important? >> i think you have to view it holistic lee. -- wholistically. it is embedded in the communications operation. it is a stream of information that never ceases.
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it moves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. you are constantly trying to control the flow of that stream that is most advantageous to your side. >> given all these changes, where our voters in this? are they getting more information, less information? is it harder to find the information? >> finding the information is a dynamic that for everybody up here is the problem in terms of if you are trying to drive a message. there are a couple key things that emerged. one, this new technology is nationalized politics and the discord surrounding it. it is really this national exchange. even though you may be looking at somebody from california or florida. they are hearing the same thing. going back to the 2004 race, bush was out in utah and did
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some statements. yes, but it was on cable. you do not do something just in utah and assume it will stay there. it goes everywhere. the second thing that has been a surprise to a lot of folks has been met and main idea of when the story hits, it really permeates. when you take a look at supreme court nominees, all week into their nomination process, their name recognition is in the mid- 80's. and the third thing is that paid me get used to be your delivery system and used to be where you emphasize the message. i think you have now seen at moved to earn media. you're director of communications is a critical personal. >> how has the process of
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placing a story or shaping a story changed in all this? where does the story began it, if you have it -- the beginning on a blog now? do you begin it in print? does it matter? how does that change the front end of this? >> i think it used to be a direct process. you pick up a phone and you call somebody. exchange information and decide where you wanted to go. -- wanted to go. there are a lot of different places to go now. there are these blogs -- the druge redge report. the big difference is that if you get a story you want to deliver, you have to have the goods and deliver the goods as well. the goods would mean the film of someone saying or doing
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something, the tape recording or some other technological advantage that you have. if you get that, it adds credibility and makes it something more interesting, not just for the tv but for the print press as well. >> if you don't have the goods, is it easier now to get the idea of a story out there than it used to be? >> let somebody else put that together you mentioned -- you mentioned drudge. that is the biggest platform. it was a fascinating development when i began to see "the new york times" leaking their stories on drudge. everybody gets the >> live, local, and late-breaking,. -- everybody gets the drill now. how deep -- >> how do you leak a story to drudge? >> i don't know. >> i would walk out of meetings
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and see it 30 seconds later. was there someone in your shop who handled that kind of thing? >> absolutely. >> how do you do it? >> i am not allowed to tell. absolutely. i think today, whether it is drudge, another critically important part of this is the segregators. in the 2004 campaign, the most important agar gaidar was mark halpern -- aggragator was mark halpern. now it is a and it begins to shape today's story. it has an impact on cable producers, and impact on what
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people are going to talk about that day. you are in the business of placing information out there and places that people are going to see it, where it will get the most amount of attention, where you will get your opponent's attention. and shape the field you are playing on. >> drudge is the most mysterious, weird guy ever. >> he wears a hat. >> that is why i wear a hat. i think obama or somebody on, maybe the greatest premium is -- on any campaign is someone who has a line into drudge. >> it is not just one or two people. there is a point in time where matt drudge because he was new held a premium position.
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he told an important position, but now you have to have the story and multiple ways to tell the story. there was a time in which i think our republican colleagues had cornered the market on talk with you. that was very influential and as a way of bypassing the washington establishment and bringing the story from the ground up. now there are many, multiple ways birkhe. by the time a group like us figures it out, we are on to something else. social media has the potential to dwarf the kinds of things we know how to do, if it is that 30-second spot. the main thing now is you have to feed your narrative in so many different ways, and there is no one stop. getting something placed prominently on drudge does not get to all the way there. it is just one piece.
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>> it also depends upon what you are placing. we are assuming that what we are talking about placing is nasty stuff and opposition stuff. and some of the sites we have talked about are a perfect place to do such things. but there are other -- it may be "the new york times" occasionally. it is a positive story you want to place. mary and i go back to the 1992 campaign, when we put president clinton, then governor clinton on all kinds of tv shows like "larry king." people thought it was crazy. now choosing to announce something on "jay leno," amay be another platform. the whole point is there is not just one place you do anything. we have many platforms to deal
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with. some minutes is a blog, the next it is "the new york times", and you have to have a good idea of which one. you need to do a lot to get maximum impact. i do not think it is a coincidence that when the president wanted to get control of the health care issue, he flooded as much media as possible, because it is hard to change a narrative because of all of the different sources of information people have. if you want to change in narrative, you cannot just go to one place. >> and that is an important development. the narrative's they got established in 1980's and 1990's, you were hoping someone would catch it on an advertisement. then there is, once they emerge and are -- are clear and sustainable. i will go back to the 2006 election -- i will go to one
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that is going on right now. one of the difficult concepts is [unintelligible] it is being driven through the media. once you have a narrative established, you are fighting over something and engage in something that i think is a lot easier to engage in then in the 1980's when you needed significant sums of money to go in one direction or the other. >> back to "the view." how did you make your decisions in the democratic presidential primary campaign with senator clinton who had an array of shows to go on. he would show up on "island to geellen degeners." how do the gender roles played in to what shows to place them on? were you ever hesitant to put
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senator clinton on a softer show? if you were advising a male candidate, would you be concerned about putting him on a hard or soft show? what is your advice? >> it depends at that moment what kind of platform you are looking for. when we did all of this stuff with bill clinton it is because people knew nothing of his biography and we could not afford advertising and if he went on a meet the press, they would not ask you about your childhood in arkansas. we were looking for softer forms. for secretary clinton, almost every show was a good format for her. we were not scared of the softer ones. the only thing i was worried about where things where i thought good humor -- the tumor might be a little edgy. -- the humor would be edgy. >> what is an example? >> she want she -- she wound up
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doing the daily show. "colbert" was the one that i was most worried about. but it wound up working really well. she is pretty straight ahead, and her sense of humor -- he had an edgy sense of humor. >> how you talk about candidate into appearing on "snl" and other things? >> the first thing you don't do is do it by satellite. doing anything by satellite is difficult. doing humor is impossible. it is difficult, because it is dangerous territory. there are not clear rules and elected officials like clear rules. it takes a particular kind of -- mccain was pretty good that because it was spontaneous. but for george bush, that was not a natural environment. >> the feedback you get when you
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do those shows, you realize instantly you are tapping into a different audience. for hillary clinton, partially through her daughter and france, when she would do "saturday night live," she had fun. she knew she was reaching new people. >> that shows that are not "meet the press," and sunday shows have a much greater chance of changing the narrative then the establishment shows. one of the times that that narrative changed in the primaries was off of 8"saturday night live," skit about how the press was fawning over president obama. that change the dialogue or the narrative for weeks. most people who have been doing this for awhile are trained a certain way, which is "the new
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york times" and "meet the press." if you do find their, you will win. they are important, but so is "the daily show." >> speaking more tha -- speaking of "snl". when did you first realize that this tina fey thing was as big as it was? >> sarah palin wanted to do it, so she did it. >> she went rogue. >> did you want her to do it? >> i think a tina fey thing-- most people i have worked with in politics and people i have met in both parties have a pretty good sense of humor. i enjoy watching "the daily show and "colbert" and i think this
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stuff is hilarious. when you seek tina fey. i was "30 rock." and then you see that for the first time and you say, oh, god. you know it is going to impact. in the same way, i saw "saturday night live," impacted the 2004 election with senator john kerry. it impacts in a profound way that makes a narrative. i think a lot of people who do what we do, we rank the shows in importance. "meet the press" is more important than a late-night comedy show. that is not how people in their living rooms process the shows. they get impressions of a politician off of "loudoun," in
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the same way they do all of a news show -- off of "letterman." you are a content provider. you have to provide content to a lot of different outlets. >> one follow-up. was there ever any point that you thought that " snl" impersonations could help her, could help you with tina fey, because she was taking this to such great extremes? >> i did not view it as a helpful thing. [laughter] >> did you try and talk her out of going o >> huh? >> i think that is a yes, for the record. >> that is a classic example of reinforcing the point that i was going to make which is that more than any other format, the late-
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night comedy format really drives to the simplest narrative. you talk to the riders on the show's -- the writers -- that was why obama was kind of confounding. they can never get that simple, what is the most fundamental common denominator that what people will get? and they can set it. once it is said, it is hard to undo it. >> when i hear about -- think about all hold tina fey thing. sarah palin did an interview with katie couric. a lot of people saw. 15 million people saw tina fey. -- being sarah palin. i think that is where it is going right now. we have to understand there's so much opportunity to communicate now than the way we use to, which was through traditional
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media. if we find ways to get people interested, we can have profound consequences. >> we use to make decisions about some of the shows are based on the size of the audience. you would say it only has 2 million people. i don't know if we should take a candidate's time. but with youtube and at thousand -- and cable shows repeating the clips from it, something that was originally viewed by two or 3 million people gets viewed by 15 million people and it is a different calculation when you are making the decision of do i take three or 10 hours of the canada's time and bought them on that show -- of the can of its's time and book them on that show. -- of the candidate's time. >> you are trying to drive as much raw content to them as possible. it is a scary world out there. you are throwing all lot of stuff out. you do not know what will stick.
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when you are doing to a 30- second advertisement, you know precisely what you are doing. you know how they will react. >> it is challenging to the kids. we are asking so much more of them now. they have to beat circus performers now -- the candidates. >> we know what shows are hot right now. one of them is glenn beck. how should republicans deal with these kinds of shows? we have seen several examples where they have apologized for being on the other side. is it absolutely deadly for a republican to be on the other side of glenn beck? >> you are getting to econoa dynamic, in terms of both sides, it is driving an
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unfortunate discourse. it is forcing people to have the discourse of contradiction. we get invited onto a show and then you ask, what is your position? if it is not contradictory, then you get a callback. we found someone else. in terms of this, what you are seeing is a push toward contradiction as opposed to political argument. political argument is we argue a position and get a chance to establish a different set up a points to set a different proposition. contradiction, given this new technology, is where we are headed. that is your responsibility and how to you stop campaigns from simply contradicting each other and get them into a political discourse that matters to the electorate? >> joe and i had "hot soup," which was this exercise in the
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political landscape, a bipartisan dialogue. it is all about conflict. the press is interested in driving conflict. i did a show as a representative of this gang, an unnamed cable show, and we were getting along with whatever the county park was, amby-- counterpart was, mae it was joe, and then we went to the break-in and the host said, can you cut the bipartisan crap? >> that is steve. >> that is to another interesting dynamic. the pressure is on political campaigns and political candidates. their content has to get better. you cannot contradict. to establish a narrative, it has to be done to some sort of
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content. that puts more pressure on the campaigns to come up with something, an idea that will stick. as opposed to, that is a nice response but it does not have credibility with the audience. >> when you saw that the west wing of the white house decided to enact their fox strategy, what did you think about that in a moment? smart decision? what are they doing? and how has it worked out? >> i don't necessarily understand the thinking behind it, except for sometimes you get mad. when you get mad, you strike out. one of the things you learn early on and the white house is when you say something from inside the grounds of 1600 pennsylvania avenue, it carries a lot of weight. you are speaking for the president. i personally -- personally believe it is the last thing you want to do. you are just legitimizing the upon it.
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the white house does not mean fox -- not need fox. they need to work harder on the reporters who are following fox. you do not ignore them in the sense that what they do does not matter, because it does contribute. but taking them on frontally is like going into battle ill- equiped. it is going into a battlefield where all the -- the other side has all the advantages. it has only helped fox legitimize what they are doing. it is not done severe damage, but it was a fight not worth having in that way. in a public way. >> de you agree with -- ? >> you need to deal with almost all media outlets. i think they will get back to the business of dealing with fox. that does not mean putting the president on the glenn beck
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show. they are a partisan news organization but they are still a news organization. >> i would agree with that. you have to pick your vendors. it is illustrative of what is happening with the media. when i first started doing this, it was more of our reporting media. events what happened, it would get reported. it is out there. then it became more of interpreting media. i think what we are having now, and maybe fox is an example, a rush limbaugh and others, the media is becoming an impact of media. -- impactful media. whether it is to raise money for a conservative candidate in new york and have him user to republican as a result. i think the impact media is becoming a big force. i suppose the white house is seen at and is trying to fight the impact media by basically shutting them down.
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>> one of the hardest things to deal with in campaigns is the opposite of partisan media which is of falsely equal media. were you have a story you want written about your opponent and the reporter as saying, but there must be some story on the other side. you are looking at me like i have done that to you. sometimes there is a reason to write about both candidates financial disclosures or both candidates education policy. sometimes there is just a story to write about the opponent. the faults equivalency comes from the belief that the media is completely impartial. it is easier to deal with a fox. we know what they are. they know who they are. use them or you don't. >> on the republican side, is there too much whining from this white house or sanctimony? there are not the -- it is not
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as if there are not any other channels on the other side of the spectrum. >> i think people find a speech this argument that there is only one network out there. everybody recognizes that. -- it is sort of a specious argumen.t t./ the obama administration has very able communicators. it is surprising that your axelrod on fox. if they are not on their, you get caricatured. [unintelligible] that is why i love seeingkarl on television because se it --eing kar seeing karl on television. you can disarm your critics by getting out there. >> i think part of the problem that the administration has is
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that perception of most people is that he has received the most fun the media coverage in the history of western civilization -- the most fawning media. when they go out and complain about an outlet, it is very diminishing. i think it is a big mistake. i think they will get off that sooner rather than later prec. the tv networks are in the business of making money. the way they make money is by selling advertisements. and the way those rates are determines are by audience share. we lived in a world with 350 channels. the audience for politics -- that four, five, 6 million people -- if what they want to see is conflict, that is what they are going to get veryso th/
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they are in business to make money. the way you make money with that audience share is to have conflict. >> news use to be a money- loser, a public service. it evolves into conflict sold. now we have gone past that. we have specialized stations. there is not a lot of conflict on fox. just like there is not a lot of conflict on msnbc. they have made up their mind. the people who tune in our people who already believe that into an inn in to have their reinforced. -- and two-minute to have their reinforced. -- ammdnd tune int to have that reinforced. the problem is how do the other news organizations respond? take fox. fox starts pushing t. parties and all the other media covers it is that there was not another
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media organization behind it. they have reached 3 million or 4 million people a day. it is not hard to start a movement with that platform. then you have others -- this is now happening -- you have to make a decision. is this news? inevitably, people cover what people are talking about as opposed to really pulling back and reporting on how did this get started? >> speaking about what people are talking about, we should open it up to questions from the audience. let's call this the lightning round. >> i just want to connect to the conversation with the previous panel. we have been talking about the tremendous amount of information available to people now. the first panel, the feeling was that the most volatile components of the electric tend to be down-scale, men in
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particular who are alienated from both parties and are pretty hard to reach with information. i remember one of your colleagues saying to me that the great frustration of being a consultant is the people with the most influence are those with the least access or desire for information. is there a disparity between trying to reach those voters as being the most volatile right now and in general? >> who wants to take it? >> i will take it. first of all, for somebody who has made it television advertisements for a living, that is why we love those people. we have to saturate the airwaves in order to get through to them. second, we have to make sure we achieve message discipline so those people heroes. the people who follow things closely will be bored stiff. we are trying to get to the people who will ultimately
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decide that thing. we want to figure out -- have to figure out what they want us to talk about. if we don't, they will not listen. if we repeat the message often, that is the only way we can be heard. >> i think we have two different types of voters. we have this corrected as -- information activists who are more interested and engaged in any time i can remember and have more ways, through the internet, to find information. and they are doing it. they enjoy being engaged. it is a very grassroots, bott om-up way of finding out information. most of those people are not undecided. you still have what you are talking about -- the pass of undecided or independent voter. not all undecideds are
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independent voters. that is the difficulty of trying to reach those voters. in the middle of all this active information gathering, television is one way. you go to them. you don't ask them to come to you. >> the candidate or the president's schedule -- during a clinton ministration, we call them swing two voters. the number one publication that they read is "people magazine." it was in the white house once a week. the president was in it six or seven times a year. it was not a policy. you look at this presidency, if you go back and count, he has set down as many times with an espn anger as he has with a network anchor. reaching people that they cannot
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get through the more traditional political tomes. >> the elites have information they can get to, but we have more refined ways of getting to those voters. we know where they live and what they read and what they drive. we are targeting marker data now. we can isolate those people and talk to them -- target microdata. >> when you overlay the voter file against consumer information, you begin it down to a level that the most democratic vehicle on the road is a subaru and the most republican is safegmc yukon. . -- a gmc yukon. with technology, there were almost be an individual profile of voters that allow for customized information to them from their neighbors and
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friends in the media, on the internet advertisements. we are migrating in that direction. the other thing i will tell you -- for people who worked for president clinton. president clinton announced for president in october of 1991. so these campaigns to date never stop. outside of the audience is watching the political shows, most normal people in this country are taking their kids to the ball game or to ice-cream or they're working or they are doing whatever. they are not tuned into partisan fighting 3.5 years before the next presidential election. how do you communicate to people? it is a function of timing. a lot of people in this country do not pay attention to this stuff until it becomes time to make a decision. and that is traditionally what used to be that election space.
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for all of us, it never stops. the next presidential campaign begins the day after the last one. >> final word? >> i think they are consuming a huge amount of information that is going under the radar and a lot of political people don't see that. when unemployment is at 10%, trust me, there is a lot of interest. i am concerned about it. i may lose my job. i am having difficulty with health care. the reason belittled -- political people are not seeing that is because the message does not have to do it -- there is a disconnect. my issue does not register a very high. what that means is that the quality of the content being driven by the political operation has nothing to do with individual lives. independent consumers consume a huge amount of information.
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this is an example of political thought that wants to categorize independents. i see them consuming a huge amount of information per >> i do not think it is a monolithic thing. >> i am a student here. my question comes from opening statements. the statement was to the effect of an educated public is important for our democracy. a lot of this discussion at what i have noticed as it has centered around creating a narrative and talking about who you are talking to and how you say it. maybe this -- maybe this is my utopian view of how the vote -- i wish the future would be, i would like to see the media that educates the public and talks about the issues and focuses on
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the content, not necessarily the people involved, but what is affecting our country on a greater level. what is the media's role in that? how can it serve to educate the public as opposed to presenting an argument they want to reinforce what they already believe or create an unnecessary contradiction it? what is the media's role in that? >> that is a great topic pre. one from each side. >> that is a great question. journalism and a free enterprise system response to the market and the more demand there is for your kind of thinking, the more the market will respond. i think it is starting to respond. journalism is going to a revolution and they are trying to figure out where they will land. this last week, something started in "the texas to be an," which is a non-profit, online
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politco-like site that is very substantive. we will increasingly see the media responding to your desires. if there is demand, the market will respond. >> if you are depending on the media to solve this for you, you will be disappointed. we have evolved to a place where people need to have the ability to educate themselves. the media will do -- even saying the word does not mean anything anymore. what does that mean? you cannot compare what jeff as to what a eighthblogger does -- - a blogger does. they both produce content. what has happened through this evolution is the responsibility has moved to the voter, and i think the good news is that the
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tools are now available to the voter to go and be an educated consumer. that was not true 20 years ago. he did not have the ability to do that. i look at my daughter doing research for school. i think what it had not been easier if i had goal in high- school or college -- if i had google? if you are depending on nbc, "the new york times", or "time magazine," to solve this, you will be disappointed. >> there is information on all of those websites and the campaign websites. >> how about a question from that side? >> thank you. as you said, campaigns last basically forever. i am an iowan. i think i am involved in the campaign just as much as most of you are. why do campaigns last so long
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now? the clinton campaign is over a year, but this last clinton campaign was multiple years. >> it is because of a iowa, which we love. is there ever a point where this reaches its shipping point -- a tipping point? >> it is money. if you look at the obama campaign, it raised seven under $50 million. -- $750 million. these are substantial companies. one of the problems we had in the main king campaign is because he came back from being -- in the mccain campaign, because he came back from being in last place, the day he became the nominee, the were 38 people and the headquarters. it was an infrastructure that was something that we wrestled
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with for the rest of the campaign. you do not have time to scale it up. if you have to put together a campaign, and this next campaign will be the -- the first billion dollar presidential campaign, on both sides, if you are going to put together a billion dollar campaign, you cannot do it starting in october of 1991, like president clinton. no one will ever take public money again in a campaign. it takes years to put that structure together and to execute the business plan. that is the reason for it. >> the democratic response? >> i agree with that. i think it is the demand for money. i work a lot of the country. in our land we have a
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parliamentary system. we call an election. -- in ireland. >> we will take one final question. monica, we will bring you a microphone. >> you say you get your information out more and more by blogs. journalists are bound by the ethics of their five resources. i would like to talk about that. -- verifiable resources. blogs are not verifiable. >> i think we are in the middle of the revolution, and there's no real governance at this point. it got to the point where there were stories that had datelines that were traveling around the web that were wholly fabricated
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about somebody being investigated. and then the mainstream media go chasing their tail. then we realized it was fabricated. over time, there will be an out that information that people will start to migrate towards either conventional or sources of media that they know have governance, editors, fact checkers. i think over time, and it may be mainstream media orblogger blogs who killed the credibility -- i think there will be a migration towards quality. >> it is a real problem. there were ridiculous stories about president of a lobama thak hold on the internet and forever
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were. we dealt with that in hillary's campaign. you have to have a cold team spending time at swatting these towns, -- a whole team spending time swatting knees down. -- swatting these down. we talked about al franken's campaign. we had a situation where there was a story written about blog from "harper's." . .
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>> the next time you have some newspaper editors here, it is a very relevant question for them. the hard part is not when something gets put out, but when you decide what to do with the of permission. i may know it is true but not the right way, the way that we gather news. and for a long way -- time, there's been a standard of coming from blog but people are talking about two members of congress jump up and down on the house floor, and that is normally work. -- and that does not normally work. you can get anything into the dialogue. it is a good question for editors. jeff, maybe you have some sense of that. it seems to me that as the code
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comes from the established media deals with the new media. >> one real-life example of how this works. in 2004, one of the debates, a story circulating in the blogs that president boris had a transmitter under his coat -- that president bush at present -- transmitter under his coat. the campaign was secretly transmitting responses. >> you mean that was not true? >> if it was, we really screwed up. [laughter] >> it was one of those debates. [unintelligible] dollars and by 2008, technology had tromped those concerns. it was not an issue. >> it was absurd on its face. but i had a response, so i said
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no. that was not sufficient and the story went on for days and days, until i got a call from my good friend, one of your colleagues at the "new york times." he calls so embarrassed that he had to call. mark, i hate to ask you this. my editors are telling me i have to ask. note. -- no. i don't know how else to say appeared >> -- i don't know how it's to say it. >> i don't think there was anything active from the kerrey campaign but it had its own power. it is not even the dirty tricks of one side or the strategy. it gets to the point where if you are an editor, is a difficult decision. everyone is talking about this.
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in the radio station or any starbucks, people are talking about it. >> once it is out there, i believe there was a story written and the attempt was to put an end to it. you cannot ignore what is out there, but you can do a fact check on it. that is the end of our time. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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>> the house judiciary committee holds a hearing on head injuries suffered by national football league players. george mitchell announces a deal reached with israel on west bank settlements. and the group single payer action makes recommendations on health care policy. eight weeks ago, army general stanley mcchrystal requested an additional 40,000 troops be sent to afghanistan. a white house says the president has now made the decision on the afghanistan strategy, and will announce it on tuesday night. you can watch it live on the c-
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span networks and our web site,, with the simulcast on c-span radio. president obama speech from west point begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. dollars this thanksgiving holiday, we have four days of booktv on2 on, beginning thursday morning with featured book on history, public policy, and politics. you can see taylor branch on his newest book, and here from little rock novelist. why should these authors discuss their new book. and learn about government contract and your you also hear mom-and-pop or its for from the recent miami book festival. watch booktv on c-span23 to get the full schedule, go to the web site. you can also follow it on twitter. happy thanksgiving. dollars now hearing examining head injuries in the national
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football league. medical professionals and former players testified about long- term effects of such injuries, and the extent of disability benefits players receive from the league retirement plan for former nfl players tiki barber and others are among the witnesses. this runs under two hours. >> welcome to our second panel, and i am delighted, dr. perfetto, for you to begin our discussion. >> thank you for inviting me to speak today. my name is dr. allan r. perfetto, and i'm up armistice -- and i am a pharmacist with a ph.d. degree in public health concentrating in health policy and epidemiology. i wear two hats today. predominantly as a black and
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caregiver, but also one of the health researcher. the topic of this hearing is very important to me and has been for almost 15 years. i wanted to you about my personal experience and provide suggestion about urgent actions that need to be taken by the nfl to help disabled this -- disabled and retired players and children involved in sports today. over 20 years after retiring from the nfl, my husband began having symptoms -- depression, anxiety, losing things. today we recognize the symptoms as resulting from cte. in the years following, route suburb of obvious memory loss and conclusion -- route suffered obvious memory loss and included it -- ralph suffered obvious memory loss and and was
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diagnosed. he has lost the ability to work, drive, play golf, reid, cook, and enjoy a glass of wine. he can no longer dress, bathe, or feed themselves. he lost his senses humor. he lost his personality. he lost his dignity. he lost it all. almost three years ago, i had to place him in an assisted living facility for dementia patients and he presides there today. frankly, my has been no longer has a wife wrote -- like -- my husband no longer has a life. we have been through many of its and downs. you have a spouse becomes aloof and may be hostile and you do not know why it. the diagnosis is frightening but it is also a relief. you finally understand why these things are happening. it is not you, it is not him, is an illness.
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i cared for route at home for over seven years and i learned, living wills, guardianships, home care, psychiatric admissions, long-term care, etc., etc. -- similar to anyone caring for someone with dementia. but there are nuances when caring for an nfl player. i also learned that our current infrastructure is based on providing services for your grandmother, not for a very large man. the staff at these facilities are afraid and intimidated. i had to buy a full-sized bed because the facilities provided a twin bed much too small for him. my husband was lucky in one way. he has a wife who is educated, who works in health care, the one who fell out the forms and has a good job with the company that offers excellent health care benefits and also happens to be one very pushy broad. he appeared well because he has
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a strong advocate. but there are many in the same situation and they need help. i speak with family members readily -- regularly and help them find doctors and other services. i simply sometimes just talk to distraught women and help them get through it. they turned to me because they have no place to go and they are finding they will -- finding their way. what do i want to see come out of this? i have four things. the first is that the nfl must opt its denial of the relationship between brain trauma and brain disease and become a proactive organization. the evidence is there. the denial is disrespectful of the players and the family suffering, and it endangers current players and children. the nfl must do more to protect current players and children said they are not faced with this travesty later in life. the nfl as an upright position to advocate for prevention and it is a moral imperative. my third ask is that the nfl go beyond the 88 plan, which is for
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players diagnosed. players and families suffer from many years before the diagnosis come. the nfl must find players with early signs of symptoms to provide support for the families and better manage the ordeal before then. this is not an academic exercise. this is something that the nfl should be doing for all of the players, not a handful or a group that participated in steady. former players like mike webster, the diagnosis came too late. lastly i mentioned earlier that i will wear a second half as a researcher for it might force ask is that you examine carefully the studies but before you. some will say that it should be disregarded or misreported or they have been exaggerated. i encourage you to talk with third-party experts about the quality of the studies. there are different kinds of bias. there is an appliance of opinion. i have to buy as with my husband being where he is today.
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-- i have a bias, but there are other methodological by a cs. i encourage you to listen to other experts about these kinds of things and the issues of statistical power. i provided more details and examples in my written testimony. i know that you are not doctors or scientists. but i know and i have the confidence that you are able to understand clear information provided to you in the status, especially with the excesses of third-party methodologies to to make this very clear. and i thank you for letting me be here today. >> we are grateful to you for your presentation and some relation of your experience. your very personal experience. we're going to take a careful could as a raiders -- into careful consideration. alex use you now because you know of your previous commitment.
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-- i will excuse you now because i know of your previous commitment. but thank you very much. we now turn to the former running back for the new york jets. tiki barber, who sat virtually every career offensive record for the giants, being voted three times nfl, pro bowl, all- time records with the giants for a number of things. we're lucky to get this perspective, because here is a person that retired at relatively young age, and he is now a correspondent for the today show. welcome, mr. barbour. >> thank you and i appreciate you being here -- i appreciate
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being here. mr. goode led, is good to see. it is a privilege and honor and a source of entertainment to hear some of the tangible conservation discussing the and brain injury. one asked of this committee. i will get to it shortly. i had exactly two concussions, both of which i came from in the same game. i was not affected. i retired for quality of life decision, so that i did not lose my knees or my cognitive abilities, and i lead a productive life. my other hat is with the today show. nbc news, and a story i have been working on recently involves new helmet technology and the troubles that high school kids have with concussion. in the course of our research and our studies, we met with one
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person who is here, the creation -- the creator of a new element -- helmet. what he told me that troubled me most about high school athletics is that less of half -- less than half of high school teams have access to an athletic trainer. you can all understand why that can be dangerous. in the national football league, as much as you hear the anecdotal evidence and the bile that comes from people who think that the nfl is not addressing the issue, at the end of the day it is the players' choice. when we get concussions or injuries, ultimately that doctors give its advice but it is our choice to go back into the football game. at a high school level, it is not so much so. they do not have the advice. mike asked -- my ask is that
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you legislate that every high school program has access to a doctor they can diagnose and treat concussion so that children trying to be like me or players like the nfl know the danger of playing the sport that we all love. i think you for your time. >> of very important aspect that blends into our next witness, dick benson, who as a result of the tragedy in his family has a texas law named after his son. it goes to the same point that has been raised, the hundreds of teenagers who had been seriously
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injured, some killed because of their lack of information about concussions. welcome, mr. bentsen, to our hearings and you may proceed. dollars thank you, mr. chairman and members of the committee, for the honor to testify in front of you. i have a short story to tell about the untimely death of my 17-year-old son. excuse me. he died of a hemorrhage he received in a football game. this football team had trainers and doctors and is an elite high school that had the access to the best of everything that was not effectively employed. we had a team doctor, for example, but as is common in texas and maybe the rest of the country, the team doctor was an
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orthopedic surgeon. for all i know, he may have been the best orthopedic surgeon in austin. but he admitted later under oath that he did not know how to diagnose a concussion, and yet he was the team doctor of our team. these kids die of head, neck, hard, he, an asthma-related injuries. that is what kills them. they do not die of orthopedic injuries. now with orthopedic doctors want to be team doctors, if it is a franchise that is commercially or morally valuable to them, i think that is great. i simply ask that they get the training in emergency sports medicine that will enable them to be qualified handle these kinds of injuries. additionally the law named after my son requires that the
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trainers, the coaches, the sponsors of any competitive activity in public schools in texas get that training. that includes a ban directors. -- band directors. we have hundred degree temperatures in august when the band is working out. we have had heat-related injuries on the part of band directors. they need to have the same kind of training. what we have asked for and frankly i am sorry to say the most uncertain i am about the legal compliance is the training for the kids. we have a concept in our society called informed consent. i did not think anybody can make the argument that a 16-year-old or 17-year-old kid, no matter how intelligent or emotionally mature, can give informed consent unless he has gotten the
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information -- unless he has gotten the affirmation. we require that in the law, and i'm not completely sure if it has been delivered. the gentleman on my left, mr. nowinski, has written an outstanding book on the injury. i refer to all of you and i challenge you to read it and not come back with the moral sense of necessity for action. there has been some earlier objection that maybe the congress should not be making these roles, maybe the nfl and the players' union should be making those roles. this speaks for the 2 million young people -- who speak for
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the two men -- who speaks for the 2 million young people have been at that? nobody. you should make some rules because you can, and if you do not want to, i would like to see your list of who you think is going to step then. getting will's bill passed -- it was very difficult. it took two professional lobbyist. it took four years. it took a lot of money and phone calls. received virtually no public opposition and massive private opposition from that huge slice of texas culture that is concerned with the ball. i do not know if you know or not, but in small-town texas -- and i would include some
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affluent suburbs in big towns in this particular definition -- the most important man is the football coach. if you are running for public office on a statewide basis, you make your business to try to get every football coach you can to be an enforcer of your campaign, because they have so much to say about the future of the children. so football is part of texas culture, and based on my observation beyond that, it is a cult as well. and like most americans, we all love not to be told what to do. simultaneously we like to tell other people what to do. i am sure that describes me as well as it does the fault of culture. -- the football culture. but we made progress because we made a breakthrough with a male coach who was at the head of the girls' coaches association in texas. he came in and persuaded the
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boy's football coaches and they persuaded our public entity responsible for all of this. and we finally achieved and we have broad bipartisan support and it was signed by the republican governor of texas, gov. rick perry, in 2007. so my one request is -- don't let it happen again, please. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. benson.
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chris nowinski is a professional wrestler who turned his background as a harvard football star into one of the most entertaining and probably hated characters on television. he debuted on the world wrestling entertainment flagship program in 2002 when he was named newcomer of the year, and was the youngest male hardcourt champion in history before his career was ended by 2003 concussion. he began the quest to better
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understand his condition, and his relentless effort has resulted in a lot of educational work. he specializes in commercial strategy licensing, and that i am not mistaken, he has also published a book on the subject. we're very pleased to have you here, mr. nowinski. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, i thank you for the invitation to testify today on an issue that has become my life's work. i am a co-director of the center for the study of traumatic encephalopathy at the boston university school of medicine and co-founder and ceo of the nonce a profit institute dedicated to solving this crisis. when it comes to my personal identity, i'll always see myself as a former harvard football
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player. i hope to provide a unique perspective as a survivor. i realize that you do not need to hear my personal story. i also lost my career as a professional wrestler and then lost the next five years of my life to post-concussion syndrome, all because i ignorantly tried to push through it concussions. after the damage was done, i was lucky enough to find dr. robert cantu. he taught me for the first time that it could lead to a cumulative damage. he told me that had i rested after concussions, i would have limited the damage. but it seems strange to me as a 24-year-old and a harvard degree and 11 years of brain trauma, i had no idea of the risk was taking or how to protect myself. as i asked around, i learned that no one had told them either. six years ago, i decided to
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dedicate my life to this issue. i am certain that radical measures are needed for football to continue safely. cte is an ugly disease that slowly kills brain cells in connection. i do not know what i have cte right now because we cannot diagnose it while someone is alive. but it does not matter if i know because we cannot treat it and we cannot cure it. today we can only prevent it. but we have to dig deep and find the well because this friday night in towns across america you can be sure that we are creating it. this friday night, over 1 million kids will take to the football field. one in eight boys in america plays football. thousands will suffer concussions. one fictional boy will take a
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hit to the head no. 1003 this will make and bill stunned and confused and he will see double and forget where he is. he will begin walking toward the wrong side line, a clear indication of concussive. we will think that he got a little thing. the referee will notice that he will know if it is his place to say something. sometimes an athletic trainer might notice, but mike's high school is one of the 50 percent without one. -- 58% without one. all of the other guys in the hall will see that he is concussed but that happens all the time. ted of calling time out, they keep telling him to play over and over. the teammates do not know that by playing, mike is exposing him to further brain damage.
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after two more plays, he appears better. he has a raging headache it does not tell anyone about three the concussion is never diagnosed. what happens to mike? i do not know. he might be fined or he might be laying on the ground with cte. our next week he might get another concussion. if that does not kill him, the post-concussion syndrome might be so great that he becomes unmotivated. his promising light becomes permanently derailed. all the discussion of concussion crisis has primarily been focused on professional game, the focus needs to be elsewhere. we know how to solve this crisis. remember that 95% of players are under the age of 18 and under the age of consent. the idea that we know we're getting down to is erroneous. we're not eating giving the kids a chance to protect themselves. the all source of information for most kids is coming out of the of a " new york times." there is no formal education for
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kids. when i think of the immense scope of the problem, i am reminded that football is not always played as it is today. the roosevelt summoned the people to washington to figure out how to play the game better. it is important to realize that football has evolved into something that was never intended to be. i read believe that the cte research shows is that it is time for new change and may be a new committee like roosevelt potts, except one to save football. because it cannot in good conscience allow this scenario to continue. if we agreed that the game is broken, and needs to be fixed. we can develop a solution. it may be easier than we think. today the members of my institute along with other doctors posted a 10-point plan at our web site which i would like to enter into the record. >> without objection, it will
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be. >> it highlights 10 different proposals for a safer game and everything is on the table, from rule changes to mandatory education. reevaluate how we practice, which could cut the number of blows to the head in half. the plan as a whole could indicate 75% of brain trauma and concussions without a fundamental change in football. is simply a question of leadership. so much of this crisis reflects on the crisis of tobacco. if you could create all the smoking laws and awareness we have today back in the 1950's when the first conclusive pathological research was done linking smoking to let concert, which you save those millions of people who smoked without understanding the risks? as you listen to the doctors describe the disease been battered brains of former football players, think of that has hearing the first cases of pathological lung cancer from
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smoking. but the choice that these men made to play football was when they were children. and then think of what you were willing to do to in sure the safety of future generations. maybe it's time for another committee, a committee to save football. let's not let this opportunity pass by. >> i thank you, mr. nowinski. >> i have a paper written by the man who wrote the -- who invented his senate -- zenith football helmet. with your permission, i would like to introduce it into evidence. dollars we would be happy to except that paper. thank you. dr. ann mckee has a lot of
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medical experience. she is the assistant professor of neuropathology at harvard medical school, and then became the associate professor of neurology and -- at boston university school of medicine. she served as the director of of the neuropathology corp. of boston university she has conducted groundbreaking research on cte. she is the chief neuropathologist, and is also has the same title for the boston-based veterans administration medical centers, and for the sports legacy institute. we're so pleased that you could join us this afternoon.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. it is a pleasure to be here and i am glad to speak on an issue that i think is extremely important. my name is dr. ann mckee, and i'm associate professor of neurology of pathology at boston university medical school. i received my medical degree in 1979, and i am board certified in both urology and neuropathology. i come at this issue with a slightly different perspective. i examined the brains of individuals after death. for the past 23 years, i have examined the brains of thousands of people from all walks of life and from individuals who live to be well over the age of 100. for chris nowinski's efforts in early 2008, at the first opportunity to examine the brain of a retired professional football player. it was a former linebacker for the houston oilers who had died of an accidental gunshot wound while cleaning his gun at the
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age of 45. according to his wife, he was concussed 3 times during his college career in 8 times during his nfl career. he began showing changes in his behavior and cognitive decline at the age of 40. he developed difficulties in short-term memory, organization, planning, problem-solving, and the ability to juggle more than one task at a time. he was asked their roots -- he would ask to rent a movie that he had already seen. he had trouble understanding television. he developed a shorter and shorter fuse and a become angry and verbally aggressive over seemingly trivial issues. when i looked at his brain on post-mortem examination, i found a massive buildup of tau protein, distributed in a unique pattern not found in any other near it genitive -- any other
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near regenerative syndrome except cte. it prevents them from making other connections with normal nerve cells. in this man's brain, there were massive numbers of these, you could see the abnormalities on the glass slides without the use of a microscope. as you can see in the middle panel of the ticket that is being presented. there is tremendous accumulation of tau protein which appears as a brown pigment. all the brown pigment that you see is abnormal. compare what you see in the middle panel the nfl players brain, to the brain of a normal man where you see absolutely no brown pigment. all of these slides were prepared in the same way. this 45-year-old husband and father, at the prime of his
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life, showed profound changes from cte. in john's brain, there were striking changes in the region that controls personality and behavior. extreme changes in areas controlling wage behavior. there were severe changes in areas that are also responsible for memory, such as the hippocampus. in a normal 45-year-old, absolutely none of these changes would be found for you would not find these changes in a normal 65-year-old, 85 year -- 85-year- old, or 110-year-old. the next examined brain also the same distinctive changes of chronic traumatic a encephalopathy, including the brain of thomas mchale, all former tampa bay buccaneer. the seventh brain of former nfl player i analyzed was that of a former offensive lineman for the
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detroit lions and an eight time--- eight-time pro bowler. he was famous for suffering at least 13 broken noses. beginning at the age of 58, he showed it increasing cognitive and behavioral did not tell -- difficulties. it included an outburst of anger and aggression. he was a member of the nfl plan 88. he died from complications of dementia at the age of 82. the brands showed extensive damage occurred there were widespread nft's in the unique pattern found in cte. there was no evidence of alzheimer's disease or any other near a degenerative disorder. the findings indicated that if he had not sustained repetitive head trauma during the play of football, he would be alive and well today, enjoying his family and grandchildren. i also have examined the brain
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of a high school player who suffered several concussions and died at the age of 18. the brain from an 18-year-old man should be perfect. there should be no abnormalities anywhere. but in the brain of this young man, at the age of 18, there are already spots of extreme damage. and you can see the areas of damage looking at the slide, it just with your naked eye in the red boxes. those are areas of extreme damage found in an 18-year-old football player. these are changes -- the earliest changes of cte. had he lived longer, he certainly would have developed the same full blown cte that we have found in college and professional football players. i've now examined the brains of 7 former nfl players and four college players. i found the profound changes of cte and all of them.
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and the earliest changes were in a high school football player. i realize that this is only a handful of cases. so what can you say about that? what about only 11 cases? what i can say is that for the past 23 years, i have looked at literally thousands of brains. from individuals of all walks of life, of all ages, and i have only seen this unique pattern of change with this severity in individuals with a history of repetitive head trauma, and that is included football as well as boxing. none of my colleagues has never seen a case of cte without history of head trauma. and no documented case of cte in the medical literature that did not occur without head trauma. the changes that we have seen today are dramatically not normal. there is no way that these padlock -- this pathological
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changes could be seen as normal under a bell shaped curve. we have seen these changes that have come into the cte -- cte laboratory. i've never seen this elsewhere in 20 years. i've shown this to other doctors, independently examine these brains, and they've come up with the same diagnosis -- cte. i know the argument is often made that there are a hundreds of thousands of former football players, including professional players, with no signs of cognitive deadline or memory loss or personality change. what i do not understand is why we're expecting that exposure to repetitive head trauma will cause disease in 100% of the individuals who suffer the trauma. do we expect 100% of cigarette smokers to develop lung cancer? 100% of children who play with matches or even with chain saws to get hurt?
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no, even if the percentage of affected individuals is 20%, or 10%, or high%, there are still thousands of kids and adults out there right now played football at all levels who will eventually come down with this devastating and debilitating disorder. and as a doctor and as a mother, i think this calls for immediate action. we need to take radical steps to change the way football is played, and changes today. -- and change it today. >> that is so much for your testimony. dollars i want to introduce a paper that we've written for your consideration. >> we will accept it into the record. dr. joseph marrooon, clinical professor of neurological surgery at the university of pennsylvania -- university of
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pittsburgh medical center, vice- chairman of the department and the high hills dollar in neuroscience -- and a scholar and neuroscience. he has worked with your psychologists -- and neuropsychologitssts, developing the first computerized system for severity and the timing for return to contact sports. it is now the standard of care for concussion management in the football league, the hockey league, major league baseball,
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nascar, and is used in over 2.5000 colleges and high schools in in as a spirit he has been team doctor for the pittsburgh steelers for over 20 years, and honored by surgical societies around the world. he has been honored and more than one holophane, in addition. we are delighted and honored you would be with us today, dr. maroon. you are invited to proceed. [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm here first as a neurosurgeon from the university of pittsburgh medical center with a career-long interest in preventing head and neck injuries in sports, and in particular football.
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i am also here as a former collegiate football player myself. i went to indiana university on a football scholarship. it was good and bad. i went there and had a concussion like mr. nowinski, a very significant concussion, that erased about three weeks from my mind. it also forced me to quit football and apply to medical school. i probably would not be here if it were not for the concussion. thirdly, i'm here as the team doctor for the pittsburgh steelers. i have been very honored and pleased to work with three super bowl coaches, charles and old, bill howard, and might tomlin. at no time in my 25 years of professional career with that sports organization have i ever felt any pressure, any coercion, or any suggestion that i should modify my dying -- my decision making for any particular
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individual. i must challenge dr. culverhouse in that regard in suggesting or implementing -- or implying that most professional team doctors are in the pocket of the team owners, or would compromise their own scientific and medical integrity for the team. i do not think that is the case now. in days gone by, there may have been some of that. but at the present time, i would strongly dispute that. in addition, however challenged once by cuts in old when i sold him that his starting quarterback could not go back to play against the dallas cowboys the next week because he had a concussion. he asked me why can he? i said, the guidelines say such and such. he said, who wrote the guidelines? and then he said, look, maroon, if you want me to keep a player out of football, show me
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objective data showing that he is -- there's something wrong with its cognitive data. i called under a psychologist and we went to the medical literature and i'd designed to test called impact, which measures concentration, the ability to focus, and memory, and also reaction time to 1/1 hundredth of a second. they then allow us to do the whole pittsburgh team. subsequently there have been over 75 papers validating the test in confirming that it is a narrow cognitive tests that is baseline. if there is a concussion, we testing to assess cognitive function, an extremely important aspect that all the panelists have spoken to at this point. and i'm also here as part of the mtbi committee of the nfl.
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one thing, concussions are serious problems. i know personally. they have the potential for long-term neurological damage. at the university of pittsburgh, pa receive 150 athletes of week. i will say that again, 150 athletes a week. post concussion syndrome. this is a very upset -- this is a very serious entity, one that we need to work to prevent. i'm here to tell yet prevention is essential. the first responsibility of a position is to prevent illness. it that is impossible, cure it. unfortunately we do not have any chores, as mr. nowinski said, for this entity of post-dramatic problem. third, i am here to tell you that from my experience, the nfl is a model and concussion management.
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the things that they are doing, and i go into that in just a second, are exactly what should be passed on to a youth football. merril hodge this morning, which i will say after evaluating him, i advised him to quit football based on his narrow cognitive test and examination. i suggested that this is not good for his brain proportionately he listened. -- for his brain. fortunately he listened. there are 50,000 college athletes, and all of these need to have the same protective, preventive measures in place that are used for our professional athletes. i'll go farther and say that what congressman the task will set back our troops in afghanistan iraq, they should have the same benefits as our nfl quarterbacks in terms of when they should return to
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combat. finally, what is the nfl doing? you've heard of the nfl committee that was formed 15 years ago, so they have not had their head in the sand. there's not been denial about the effects of concussion. they have published many papers and done research. they also educated the players, the coaches, and the trainers on the significance of concussion, long-term effects, and the dangers. that is not an idle. the institute mandatory -- they had instituted mandatory testing, strict return to play guidelines, fines for hits to the head, and there is a whistleblower program predict any player feeling that he had been coerced to go back prematurely following a concussion, he can call a hotline and immediately have assistance in this. fourth, there is continued research going on. also please today when the commissioner stated that the nfl
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is going to make a joint effort to participate in the cte programs looking at this in terms of the research going on. i'd continue mr. chairman in your committee for bringing everything together and putting the national spotlight on this problem. it can have a positive effect on the millions of kids who are not playing professional football. thank you. >> we are indebted to you and look for to our discussion as soon as we finish up with dr. julian bailes, chairman of the university of west virginia medical school of medicine department of neurosurgery. during his career, he was a finalist in the national association of emergency medical physicians resuscitation
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program competition. he has been given the excellence award for his work there. he has received research grants for nearly reached $27 million and amount, and has investigated had injuries -- head injuries in numerous football players, has publications -- several that are mentioned here that will be put in the record. thank you, dr. bailes, for joining us here. >> good afternoon, mr. chairman. and ranking members met, and members of the committee. i appreciate being able to meet with you. my background is as a former player for 10 years, a sideline
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doctor at the nfl or ncaa division i level for the last 20 years, someone who runs the neurological center of the busiest hospital, and a laboratory researcher. i am also the father of five children. wholesale front that i think football is the greatest sport in america, the one that i love the most. i've worked extensively at the brain injury research institute following the first pathologists who discovered cte and the former hall of famer, mike webster, in 2002. by car profession is professor and chairman ed west virginia university. in 2000, the executive director of the nflpa has been set up a center to test -- to study the
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health of retired players. we put it at the university of north carolina-chapel hill. i remained the medical director. with all sorts of health issues of retired players. we found expected occurrence of heart problems and spine problems and arthritis. but what surprised us way back then was out of this big funnel data in the issue that these guys work cognitively impaired, the mental problems that they were having. that was a way more than we expected or that you expect for the population matched controls. the only risk factor we found for them having cte is analyzing all of their past medical history, three or more concussions. if they had had three or more concussions during their career, they had up five times
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increased chance of being diagnosed with that. cognitive impairment is not good, because when a decade, the vast majority of those people go on to be diagnosed as having alzheimer's. we publish that four years ago. two years ago, we published a second study that said once again if you have three or more concussions, you had a triple incidents of having depression diagnosed when you're tired. both of these are not good. -- when you retire. both of these are not good. if the study of current retired players with great detailed mri scans and psychological testing. we expect a steady to be completed next spring. we were in 2000 and remain today the only center that was ever in
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addition to study the health of players once they retire. with special staining methods for detecting alzheimer's, we have gone to examine the brains of 17 modern contact sport athletes. as you can see from the slide, and normal plan on the left, and on the right, a slide of the first case of cte of mike webster, who played 17 years. you can see the brown spots, similar to what was shown before representing that neurons -- the dead neurons, and tau proteins, which act as a sludge and the brain cannot cleric. -- clear it. in every case of similar
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psychological problems, such as personality change, business -- memory loss, business failure, depression, and suicide, found -- we've found an abnormal collection of this tau protein. many continue to say that we will continue studying this. it is my scientific and medical opinion that we now have enough indisputable research from examination of the brains of did players -- dad players to the lives of retired players -- dead players to the lives of reality -- of retired players to confirm the reality of cte. this goes all the way down go all levels of play. we heard about all changes in what that have been made and are going to be made and i think that that is great.
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i believe that the velocity of head and packs today are one of the biggest differences. the velocity of hits and the hits to the head are a big part of the problem. i also think that there is an emerging concept of subconcussive injuries. all our energy and work has been toward the diagnosis of the player who had concussion. what about the players -- and we have autopsied several linemen, none of them had a history of concussion, who had extensive tau protein accumulation, all dine with cte-related problems. -- all diene with cte-related problems. -- all dying with cte-related problems. it is a complex issue.
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and response to dr. culverhouse's comments, i will tell you that 20 years at the nfl level with the rooney family and the steelers and the coaches, and 10 years at the ncaa division i know, i have -- i never had one occasion of a coach trying to influence my medical decision. i respectfully disagree. i do not think the problem lies there. i think it lies in improving roles, all is improving helmets, and realizing about velocity. .
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>> from duke university, prof. of neurology. has run the clinical neurological service at duke and is medical director of the neuroscience clinical service unit at duke hospital. and he is also connected with the committee that works with the national football league on the same subject. we welcome you, and we appreciate your patience with us. it has been a long day, but i think it has been more than worthwhile, i could say, on behalf of the members of the committee. -- for all of you to give us this very and valuable time. >> thank you, chairman conyers, members of the committee.
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i was contacted three years ago by the medical director of the nfl players association and was asked to consider joining the committee on mild traumatic injury -- brain injury. it was very clear that i was interested in helping with the committee's work on player safety. i am a neurologist. all concussions are to be avoided. a one of dr. paul meant to understand my vantage point. -- i wanted dr. pellman to understand my vantage point. i feel it is important for the members of the judiciary committee to hear that in my three years that i participated in this work, i feel that all of my ideas and those of other committee members have been heard and discussed fairly.
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the support for our work has passed the mtbi committee to the commissioner's office. i have been privy to no hidden agenda during my work. those that i have worked with have focused on player safety. our hope is that lessons learned will help with injuries beyond the realm of professional football, but the nfl players are our central concern. the issues of the committee's work include injured professors -- prevention, player education, return to play decisions and evaluations of late effects of concussion. during the years i have been on the committee, we have communicated directly with players and families about the symptoms of concussion. we have held several conferences in the field of head injury and sports concussion. with the commissioner's support, we instituted a rule to not return any player with loss of consciousness to the same game.
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each team is now required to having your psychology consulted and baseline and cognitive testing for each player. we work with manufacturers of comets and other equipment on improvements targeted towards -- manufacturers of hollis and other equipment and improvements targeted towards players dictate -- manufacturers of helmets. in my opinion, the area of sports concussion is behind many areas in urology in the amount of prospective data on injury and recovery -- many areas in neurology and the amount of perspective data on injury and recovery. at this time, it is not possible to specifically determine the long-term risk of a single repeated concussions. for the return of play decision, it is recommended the player ba- symptomatic both at rest and with exercise. the medical evaluation it rests partly on the player's report. over the past several years,
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more players with a concussion are now returning to play on the same day. our committees has worked with team physicians and trainers to update our report forms for the purposes of improving data collection and looking for clinical keys to player outcomes. members of the committee are concerned about reports of pepco logic brain findings in retired nfl players and other athletes -- reports of traumatic brain findings and retired nfl players and other athletes. it is significantly different than other near a degenerative diseases. -- neuro degenerative diseases. if the majority of players sustain concussions during their career, then why are only certain players affected with cte? the majority of players sleep cognitively normal lives after football. what is different about these
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subjects that expose them to this? we know that from alzheimer's literature, environmental factors advance of cognitive decline in some patients. we do not know the effects of other medical factors including illness and exposures that might have an impact. we now reports of high school and college athletes with that logic changes of the brain consisted with cte. might there be a particular ticket -- age of injury? all of these questions are very important and need to be sorted out in order to determine the actual risk of brain injury from context boards. in one attempt to get more information, the committee sponsored the retired players study we have been talking about. this study is an attempt to get more information about middle- aged retired players, comparing players with different nfl career duration. we use player examinations with
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state of the art mri studies, genetic screening and their psychological tests. neuro radiology and consultants independent of the committee had been involved in this study, and will be involved in the publication. we held data from this study will add further information concerning the risk of players and improve future player evaluation and testing. i feel that this work you have been hearing about is important and know that those involved plan to continue. players with no history of cognitive complaints are currently being recruited as controls. the future prospective studies following a cohort of young players may be particularly helpful. these studies should include medical -- medical histories and your imaging studies. many researchers are interested in these areas.
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more information should be forthcoming. i hope my testimony has been helpful to the committee, and i would be willing to answer any questions you may have. >> it has been very helpful. all of your testimonies have left us with a cold new and important prospective -- a whole new and important perspective. mr. bentsen, i would like to to think with me about two considerations that lead me to discuss with everybody here -- the first is what dr. maroon described so eloquently is very important. except for the fact that many
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of, if not most of the high school, middle school kids that are in football don't have that kind of people around with the talent and medical expertise to accomplish the excellent kind of results that he has reported. professional football -- i am assuming pro football does, but i don't even do that with any sincere degree of certainty, but i know when you go down, when you get out into the little leaguers, they don't have an orthopedic surgeon who doesn't know concussion if it hit him in
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the face. they don't have anybody. they don't have -- they don't even have a doctor of any kind. they train parents at the school. they give them a few things about health. there is one problem, isn't it? but i want to get the other one out, so we can all talk about this together. the other question is that, i find, i have had a little experience listening -- i am disturbed that dr. culverhouse seems to be the only one that sees something
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that many people have commented critically on. now, is it that she doesn't have any experience about football, or she is not -- to put it in a more colloquial way, what is your problem? -- what is her problem? how does she get so distraught about something that nobody else can put a finger on? what does that tell the chairman of this august minute -- committee. ? one thing it could tell me is
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that she may be on to something that nobody else wants to break the news to all of us federal legislators. i will now yield to mr. bentsen to help me feel better as this things comes to an end. maybe we can rationalize this a bit better. >> mr. chairman, it is obviously true that the younger players in the younger league's don't have adequate medical care, and i would argue that is mostly true through high school. in texas, until the passage of the recent bill, there was no requirement of team doctors, whether they are an orthopedist, a psychiatrist, a dentist or would ever willing volunteer to
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learn the technology of the injuries that are potentially catastrophic. that is what we are looking at. the purpose of will's bill was to treat catastrophic injuries, those that cause daeth, permanent or long-term disability. i personally -- i am not enthusiastic about their young football leagues. i think maybe it is fun for the kids, when you turn a blind eye to the potential cost. you turn a blind eye to the fact they are more susceptible to a concussion and less likely to report it. and they experience the conditions longer. i don't like that. i would not let my children engage in that league. >> thank you for the question, mr. chairman. i will answer the second one
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first. i do believe the stories of dr. maroon. i am guessing the steelers have been fined for a while, but i will tell you that i know of plenty of stories of guys have been mistreated. a lot of those guys coming board in telling stories has created the awareness we have. one example is ted johnson, a linebacker for the patriots for 10 years. he got a concussion in a game, two days later showed up to practice, had not seen a doctor. should not have been able to practice. in the middle of practice, and assisting came up and said, but this full-contact jersey on. no medical person intervene. he was allowed to go back in, he took another concussion and that derailed his life and his career. that was a very obvious example of mismanaged medicine.
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kyle turlehey was telling stories left and right. had it bad concussion and was locked in a room, left their unchecked for hours. my best friend tells me, a team to team is very different. he was with the seahawks and they did it well. she went to another team, he was on the sideline -- they have a neurological expert in the skybox. he could not smell the smelling salts, and she could not see st. traight, and it wanted to put him back in. there are holes in the system. in terms of the huge issue, i think you are absolutely right. there -- in terms of the youth issue.
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there is something strange about that telling the coaches or the kids about one of the most serious injuries they can get. the idea that we cannot we did we do not tell them about concussions or tell them how to take care of it, and not providing medical staff seems to be a mistake. >> before i turn to bob goodlick, could any of your way weigh in on my final two questions? anybody else have they thought about this? please, help me feel better as we bring this to an end. >> in the past, i thiknk one of the speakers this morning said that his management of concussions and injuries and the last 5 to 10 years is different
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from the way we manage to injuries before. i think in terms of the comments of dr. culberhouse, in this 1970's and the 1980's -- in the 1960's, the culture was different. what i am seeing now is a major cultural change and a culture shift in the appreciation of the players as well as the administrating physicians and trainers in handling of injuries. there have been errors of the past in judgment. but as chris said, there are holes in the system, but it is our responsibility to patch those holes as quickly as possible for the benefit of the athletes. >> bobo? ? >> i want to thank you for
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holding this hearing. this is not an ordinary topic for the judiciary to cover, but it has been a very enlightening one for all of us who have participated. it is my hope that those people who are able to view this on the streaming, on the internet, or it will be rebroadcast on c- span, that if there are just some parents b.c. this and hear this, -- who see this and hear this, they will be better informed about the decisions made by their children, whether or not they play football, but more importantly, many are going to decide to play football and make an advocate for better conditions under which they play. i have the greatest concern for those young people. i am concerned about anybody who sustains the kinds of concussions we talked about today, the life-impairing injuries they could sustain. mr. benson, i think you have
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done at the right way in getting that passed through the texas legislature. i have to say, given that considerations of the commerce clause of the u.s. constitution, it would be difficult for the congress to extend the long arm of the federal government down to a high school football games and be able to enact the kind of regulations that you and mr. hodge and mr. barber and others have referred to. the awareness that you brought, that we have been able to facilitate, is a good thing. i would like -- i would like to ask mr. barbour. he has excited a lot of fans and my home town of roanoke, virginia. and then playing for the new york giants. i would like to ask dr. maroon, as a team physician and maybe doctors bailes as well.
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this problem at the nfl level, that you have a multi-billion dollar industry. players with multi-million dollar contracts. fans that pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket to see the game. the hundreds of millions that watch it on tv. we all know what an advertisement goes for 30 seconds on the super bowl. there are lots of resources available to address this. is the risk reduced by that, or is it just as great because, while you have more equipment and better positions on the ground, -- physicians on the ground, you have stronger, faster, more aggressive -- you are playing at the top of this game. is that more likely to result in those kinds of concussions? or is the risk of greater for
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high-school and college teams that don't have those same resources, especially at the high school level? they are faced with making a different set of decisions. is the problem the same or is it different at the high school level? >> i appreciate the question. i think on the high-school level the danger is because of ill- fitting helmets. they are not specifically structured for a young athlete's head. in the nfl, things get better because they are custom made. we have to remember that helmet's were originally made to prevent skull fractures. we used to play with leather helmets. when people started hitting each other very hard, skulls were cracking. the original designs were not to protect us from concussions. they were to prevent our brains from cracking open. it is about the individuals to
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play the game. what i mean by that is, from the very young age, if you are an athlete, you were ushered along. you were fed meals. you are taking care of medically. so that when you get to that point in college and high school, you do not know how to think for yourself the empowerment of individuals to build their own bodies, to make their own decisions is the most paramount thing we need to focus on. when you get a concussion, as i did in 1997, or when you break your arm, and iowa decided to play in both cases, it was my aunt -- and i decided to play in both cases, it was an informed decision with the input from my coaches. a lot of athletes are not informed because they listen to what is told to them. if there is one thing that i could change and in power and
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inform fellow athletes is to learn yourself. don't trust what everybody else tells you. learned yourself. >> thank you. >> that was an excellent question, sir. you started with the financial aspect of it, relative to high- school sources the professional teams. tikki had an excellent point that the testing requirements up until recently have been to prevent fatal head injuries and the penetrating experiences through the skull and the head, to protect the outer shell. recently, the nfl, and ongoing is evaluating five different helmet manufacturers and their helmets. in the past, if you go to the equipment manager of the pittsburgh steelers, the various
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companies would come in and make assertions that my helmet is better than this helmet and can reduce concussions by a percentage with no good data to substantiate that. what the nfl has done is they invited all the manufacturers to submit models of their helmets for 23 separate individual tests that have evolved from the video analysis -- that has been ongoing with the nfl. they are being tested now for their ability to prevent a sub- concuss a blow and the concussions. what are we doing to prevent sub-concussive blows? we are making progress.
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dr. bailes mentioned the formula of force is equal to mass times a acceleration. in the nfl, we have a big masses -- 350-pound individuals going at a high velocity. mass times velocity equals force. if you ask what is acceleration? it is the delta, the change in velocity overtime. if you are driving home on the washington parkway in to come to a bifurcation in the road, instead of hitting a quarter with eight -- the corner with a concrete embankment, the highway department now has a telescopic, water-filled cushions that absorb the velocity. it takes longer. the time is increased, thus,
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reducing the velocity and the force. this new helmet technology that is evolving is actually here. the problem of cost is definitely a significant one. these helmets are in the range of $300 a peace. the older helmets, which 40% to 50% of nfl players use are in the $180 range. how to bring that to the high school level, i don't know. >> dr. bailes? >> the high schools and the lower levels of play have less of everything -- less education, less medical advice, less medical trainers, less a good head gear. they just have a lot less. they also have a brain that is probably more vulnerable at a younger age.
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the nfl, you ask about that, the issue is that they have a much bigger and faster player, and they also have a much higher velocity impact. they have also accrued more years of exposure. i think it both the highest levels and the lower levels, i think you have different factors of play. >> the chairman has indicated that we will not to another round of questions. he has given me leave to ask one more question. i would like to direct it to dr. mickey. -- dr. mckee. a lot of discussion analogizing head injuries in football to cigarette smoking and cancer. one big difference is that if you ask anybody on this panel, we would tell somebody who was considering smokying, don't do
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it. and the discussion. on the other hand, if you ask most members of this panel whether or not we should tell everybody not to play football, there would be may be much stronger on the other side saying, no, we will not tell people not to play football. given your concerns, are you advocating that people not play football? where do see a need down in addressing this problem? -- where do you come down in addressing this problem? the resources are not there to make this board as safe as you or i would like to be for high- school students. yet, it is something very popular, not only with players but with a large population and almost community -- almost every community in america. >> in terms of the difference
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between high school and pro sports, there was a study that came out this summer that showed that the average force in the head of a high-school player was actually higher per collision then a college player. with the theory being that high school players and weaker next and they use their helmets more because they need to. the problem is that the lower level. the question being, should people be playing? the problem i had when i got in this situation i was in as a pro wrestler was that i didn't know -- i never had a choice in my outcome. the fact that i had to deal with five years of headaches and depression in short-term memory problems and could not go back to work, i was very frustrated that i did not know any better. rule number one is to make sure that every parent who signs up their kid to play football understands the risks. will number two is to make sure that everybody who plays
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understands the risks and understands how to minimize it. i do not want to see football go away. i don't want to see it go away. what i do want to see is this whole idea of the 10-point plan. if we are committed to assessing everything and saying, these 11 brains we have looked at, these are the canaries in the coal mine. the game was involved in something we did not understand. it is nobody's fault. but it is something that week -- that should not be. let's change it. if the commitment doesn't show, then parents have to make up their own minds. i want to see a change. >> i would completely agree with everything that he has said. i do believe the game can be changed.
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i, too, am a huge football fan. i think it can be changed. i don't play football so i will not be able to elucidate all the ways we can minimize injury during the play of the game, but chris has come up with his 10th point plan, reducing contact during practice, reducing scrimmage. i think we need to do these things immediately. football is an american sport. everyone loves it. i certainly would never want a bad foot -- to ban football. i think we can play it smarter. there are a lot of risks that may be very great for the young player. we should consider when kids start playing and we need to consider what kinds of support we would allow for football to be played. do certain things have to be in place for football to take place at the high school level? maybe that does been that we cannot play football unless there are resources there to support it.
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in the case of the pro player, i think that football can go on, but we need to adequately inform the players about their risks. we did not ban cigarette smoking. people smoke. they make that choice. the need to make an informed decision. they need to understand the risks. it needs to be out there if they want to pay attention to what the risks are. >> i agree with your analysis. i hope we can make progress in finding ways to make football as safe as possible and still keep this a very popular national pastime. mr. chairman, thank you again. i have to say in terms of education, this has been a great hearing. i feel that congress should not beat -- inject itself into the negotiation between the nfl and its players, and as this pertains to improving the safety of football, we can promote research and promote education.
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some of the tough decisions that have been advocated for have been made -- have to be made at the state and local level because of the way our system of government works. thank you very much for holding this hearing. >> thanks for those two excellent questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to acknowledge the great work that is happening at a university in boston -- boston university. professor cantu is here. and dr. anna mckee. i ha dposed posed a question toe first panel, and no one had an answer. i think the point that goes to the issue of the individual, or
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in the case of those live now attained maturity, their parents should be well informed. from my cursory reading of the reality that oftentimes inditia of problems occur decades later, is there -- and it would appear that the protein tau, as was shown on the slides earlier, is a red flag. and that seems to be indisputable. is there a tool that can measure cte, while an individual is
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alive? or is this always done in the course of an autopsy? >> well, no. right now we have no way to diagnose cte during life. it is then a huge battle for us to recognize the cte is an issue. we have had to wait until these players died and the added post- mortem diagnosis to recognize that condition. >> it would appear, however, according what seems to be more than a consensus, a unanimous opinion, that cte is -- indicative, is without doubt a factor. , that if we had awareness of, could be a prognosticator in terms of what could have been particularly to young people to
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dissipating and football later in life. >> i think there are tremendous things we need to learn. we can learn them first from these autopsies. we have learned where the disease affects the brain the most. we did not know that three years ago. there has been an explosion of knowledge concerning this disorder -- >> i do not have too much time. is there research being done now that would provide a diagnostic tool, so that if i happen to have sons and i was concerned that i could refer them to your shop or some hospital to and for me -- to inform me as to whether there would be future risk? >> we are setting up logic to the studies of players and looking for their way to diagnose it during life or to take what we have learned from the post-mortem exam and apply
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it to living people. we don't have that technique yet. we always need more funding. we have just the beginnings of funding. >> what i think we have is an epidemic. and i dare say, given the autopsies performed on deceased nfl players, i mean, how many players at any given time and the national football league -- it is minuscule when compared to the universe of 5 million participants in any given year in football. and we hear, in terms of people in high school, obviously they don't have the same physical capacities and strengths that someone would in professional sports. there could very well be -- i could put this out as a premise
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-- it very well could be much of our concerns about depression, about alzheimer's, about the coal whole array of symptoms associated with the function of the brain could be as a result of post-concussion syndrome. and i in the ballpark -- ball park or an my way up? >> i am in it -- i think you're in the ballpark. cte could be playing a much bigger role than we have presently realized. cte may be responsible for the depression we are seeing in retired players. may be irresponsible for cognitive impairment. there are lots of people fled suffered head injuries, -- have
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suffered head injuries and have psychological problems. this is an untapped concern that i am short our knowledge needs to expand dramatically into. don't forget the soldiers. i get calls and e-mails from soldiers every day talking about memory concerns, how they had an ied. this has she legs, and we are scratching this ha-- this has l, and we are scratching the surface. >> i am talking about the kind of funding that would be necessary to deal with this. the costs that would be associated with depression, memory loss, dementia, alzheimer's are costing society far more than the funding that will hopefully result in a diagnostic tool for us to have the kind of informed patient
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were informed parents to make a decision. with that, if anyone else wants to comment? >> i think you're absolutely right. we have a logic togiola -- "washington journal" study right now of 175 athletes -- a longtiditudinal study of 175 athletes. look at the head injury rate in the prison population. one example is my former colleague wwe, chris benoit, he had a very serious case of this disease at 40 years old. he killed his wife and his child and then himself. >> thank you for your line of inquiry.
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>> we are talking about disorders that cause cognitive disorders. we are not just talking about alzheimer's and maybe we are not just talking about law sat scores. we are talking about impulse control and emotional control that can show up as huge distractions and disorders throughout life. and every year, there is some kind of behavior on behalf of football players and i am forced to wonder what is the true cause. could they have had impulse control loss due to a football injury? >> sheila jackson-lee, texas. >> thank you very much we are in and out because we are overlapping hearings and meetings. i cannot articulate at the level
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of importance that this hearing i believe is for the congress but also for the american people. i disagree with my colleague, and i do believe that labor negotiations are vibrant and vital, and i think they are what they should be -- adversaries or maybe even people who agree with each other working out responsible rights for both management and players. but as i have listened to the witnesses and listened to mr. bentsen who hails from my home state, i know from which he speaks. no politician sets up an event on friday night football unless you are sitting in the stadium watching football in texas. i know how intimately this game is for those who live in many
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places and it certainly texas. as i listened, i do not see any way to handle this holistically, unless it rises to the level of the national game. it is a national game. it is america's pastime. it raises to the level of a congressional response. as i said, not in a punitive manner, but in a collaborative manner. in a manner that says, we want the sport to last. we would like there to be more boys playing. and we also have girls football. and we want more people playing and more people lasting. mr. barbour, let me thank you for all that you have given to the people who watch you. do you think the structure of the nfl contracts are contributor to players shielding their symptoms and is there
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anything to change that culture? >> i will answer that question. come i. ifit comes down to pride. i hated seeing someone else do my job. i think my contracts were not incentivized based on playing time, but for me, it was a sense of pride because i loved doing my job. >> can we balance the pride with ways -- i was going to refer to playing times and incentives -- >> you balance that with education. if you give players the knowledge of their injuries and the potential dangers of their injuries and have them take control of it as opposed to relying solely on dr. input or
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trainer and put our culture -- coach's input, they are much more likely to create -- to make the correct decision. >> we need to support them by educating trainers and coaches so they do not get the evil eye when they do decide to see me out because they do have cte. mr. benson, let me offer to you my sympathy. you said something very important. mr. chairman, i am hoping this testimony might be on the judiciary committee website in indicate to parents across america and spend some time reading the outstanding testimony this panel has given. your bill, in particular, and i have many cases in my own congressional district. in fact, one summer, we had three or four of those kinds of incidences on the field where people were dehydrated. you believe we should include the high school player, is that
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not correct? >> do you want to ask it again? >> do you believe we should include high school football and our assessment of improving safety and insuring safety on the field? >> absolutely. this summer you are referring to may be this summer that my own some -- my own son died. seven players died that summer. >> your own bill in texas deals with that kind of inattention and requires more attention to these young men? >> absolutely. >> i want to get a copy of the bill. i want to go to mr nowinski. tell us about the wrestler that no one could explain what was going on. do you have documented evidence that that was cte victim? >> it was summer of 2007.
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chris wrestled for 22 years and was known as a guy who would not take a day off. he was a physical wrestler. she once confided to me about a year before the incident that he had more concussions that he could count. he seemed interested in my work. i think he knew something was wrong with him. in talking to wrestlers who knew him, he stopped calling wrestling message beat -- matches before hand. he started acting emotionally bizarre. he was keeping a strange journal. the media jumped on it is a steroid incident. for what he told me and what i had known in these other cases of committing suicide, i thought otherwise. we looked at his brain and it was at this time the most damaged brain, more damage than watters and webster's. >> you were able to look at the brain and found the evidence. so if we take both of these, the
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wrestlers do not wear helmets. i have listened to dr. bailes. i am looking at the testimony as i came into the room. talk about the new technology, which i do not understand that we can land people into space, we cannot do better on technology. do you wear helmets? >> no. we were talking about that. the new medical chair for the w. w. e. the contact is always accidental, it is a question of risk management. >> what we have overall is a curable entity. it may mean we look at the nfl in terms of legislation or some intervention that is not punitive but helpful. and then we look at high school football. weaker? in high school students at using the helmets -- for weaker necks.
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and the last point is, what is this about being in the circle and know you have a concussion but just going in and playing? how do we break that, for the high school and college players? >> i will echo tikki. it is always going to be hard to sell to diagnose and take yourself out. -- self-diagnose and take yourself out. if your teammates know, they will -- many incidents now in the last year or two where players will tell the coach, get him out of there. get him evaluated. if everybody knows, the coaches, the parents and the players, this would not happen. >> and then you work with getting the technology investment to make a helmet that is the fitting of a nation that travels into space and has an international space station.
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wouldn't that work? mr. chairman, let me to why it for allowing this line of questioning. this is something we cannot overlook and we can find ways of solving it. i hope the education is for the whole structure, because players being educated and parents -- being frightened and intimidated, i don't want my son to be the one on the bench and miss these opportunities and my coach and trainers do not understand. i think it has to be in infrastructure change if we are going to get the best results. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you 3. . maxine waters, you are now the person who will end our discussion. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for your interest in this subject.
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this is not the first hearing we have held. -- basically focusing someone on the nfl and focusing on various aspects of the problems with football and the nfl in particular. today, this focus is on brain injury. i would like to first thank, aside from thanking you, secondly, i would like to thank mr. benson. i thank you for coming to this committee to relive the pain and trauma of your child's death. that is not easy and i understand met and i respect you for coming here and sharing with us today what happened to your job. -- to your child. i thank all of the persons on both of the panels. i did not have the opportunity to hear it all because we are between committees.
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i did your dr. culberhouse. thank you so very much, not only for actually stepping out of the box and telling it like this, but here it come from a woman is so pleasing to note that not only were you president of tampa bay but that you dare to say what a lot of others don't dare to say. a lot of people in here today were protecting the nfl. all lot of people here today on the payroll of the nfl and hoping that somehow they would look good enough to get a pay raise because they came here and performed for them today. as you know, i don't take a back seat per -- on these issues. i respect everything that is being done to try and prevent these head injuries.
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i have heard everything that was said about what we know, what we don't know, about how we should do a better job of educating and advising. i have heard what was said about helmets and other equipment, but in the final analysis, if you play football, and other sports, some other sports, there will be head injuries. i am told that simply by the movement of the brain inside the head that you are going to have people that are going to end up with injuries. the reason that i come in here today is not so much that i need to be told that the study is correct or not so correct. i have common sense as most of us have.
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we know that hard hits an people hitting their heads will do something. you will not be the same. we do know that there are people who love had concussions, players who were sent back out on the field. my husband was a football player. he told me about the times that people were knocked out and put back. it happened more than it happened -- it happened more than it happens now. i am concerned about children and football players. but for the nfl, that is $8 billion strong, i am concerned about what they are going to do to compensate these players and their families after it is now owned that they have dementia or that they have received this serious injury and a half to end up fighting, i mean fighting with the nfl to try to get support for their families. i have not been involved with brain injuries, but i have been
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involved with assisting other football players to happen to be friends of ours, two of whom have died, who fought with the nfl for support. today, as we sit here and talk about this, the nfl is in negotiations. and asked if, in fact, they were entertaining anything in those bargaining sessions about head injuries. of course i did not get an answer, because it is not happening. so, mr. chairman, while in fact i know that you wanted to take a look at the steady today and to learn exactly what is going on that would be helpful in preventing these injuries and what could be done to prevent them, we must keep our eye on the ball. we must understand that the nfl
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has an antitrust exemption, and that that is a huge b. if we ever want them to get to do the -- to do the right thing, we have to know and understand that we are going after that anti-trust exemption. they cannot continue to enjoy making the money that they are making and not being willing to compensate these injured players and these family -- their families who are dying on the street and dying in alleys, broke, with dementia, and they are not the stars that they were when they played. i am committed to the proposition that we have the authority to take away that exemption, and we need to start down the road to do that in order to get compensation for injuries that are going to continue to have been no matter
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what anybody says. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you so much pe. i am going to insert the "the new york times" article by allen schwartz in today's "the new york times" -- nfl players with head injuries find a voice. i cannot thank all the witnesses enough. without objection, we will have five days for members to submit additional testimony. we will also have five days for other witnesses to submit any materials for additional comments to their own statements. and i will submit a statement, received from brent boyd, a
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retired nfl player, who suffers from conative problems resulting from football head injuries. i thank mr. goodlatte and ms. waters for their tenacity and staying power. and this hearing is adjourned. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> tonight on c-span, middle en eastvoy goerges missile -- envoy george mitchell announces a deal reached on the west bank settlements. for medicare administrator
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explains the medicare prescription drug -- drug benefit. and the center for american progress post a discussion about the obama administration's education policy with michael bloomberg and education secretary arne duncan. >> on tomorrow's "washington journal", the world institute president david beckman discusses their new study showing an increase in world hunger. jane hamsher will talk about afghanistan. craig shirley is the author of "rendezvous with destiny," about reagan's presidential campaign. beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. thanksgiving day on c-span -- at 10:00 eastern, bill clinton presents steven spielberg with this year's liberty medal from


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