November 14, 2012 - Tony Kushner

  • Episode: 09025
  • (0)

"America Again" offends Canadians, Wall Street chucks its weakest link, Christopher Steiner reviews computer trading, and screenwriter Tony Kushner talks "Lincoln."

>> Stephen: TONIGHT, HOW IS TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTIONIZING WALL STREET?

NOW YOU CAN LOSE YOUR LIFE SAVINGS IN HI DEF.

(LAUGHTER) AND MY GUEST, WRITER TONY KUSHNER PENNED THE SCREENPLAY TO THE MOVIE "LINCOLN."

NO ONE TELL ME HOW IT ENDS.

(LAUGHTER) AN OIL PAINTING ON BOB BARKER IS ON EBAY FOR $3.5 MILLION.

I BID ONE DOLLAR.

(LAUGHTER)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Stephen: GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US!

(AUDIENCE CHANTING "STEPHEN") (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THANK YOU SO MUCH, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

YOU KNOW I MEAN THAT.

WELCOME TO THE "REPORT." I'VE GOT TO THANK YOU PEOPLE FOR STANDING WITH ME AND STANDING BY

ME AND STANDING BEHIND ME BECAUSE FOR SEVEN YEARS RUNNING THE "REPORT" HAS BEEN THE NUMBER

ONE CABLE NEWS SHOW ON THIS NETWORK AT 11:30.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) IT'S OFFICIAL.

I JUST FOUND THAT OUT.

FOLKS, YOU DON'T GET TO THE TOP WITHOUT MAKING A FEW ENEMIES.

SO ONCE AGAIN IT'S TIME FOR "WHO'S ATTACKING ME NOW?" (LAUGHTER) TONIGHT I AM ONCE AGAIN IN THE

CROSS HAIRS OF THE CANADIAN PRESS.

(BOOS) IT SEEMS THAT THE MAPLE STREAM MEDIA HAVE THEIR MITTENS IN A BUNCH OVER SOMETHING I SAID IN

MY NEW BOOK "AMERICA AGAIN: REBECOMING THE GREATNESS WE NEVER WEREN'T." (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THIS THING MAKES A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR WHEREVER CANADIAN PRIS MASS IS.

HERE IT'S DECEMBER 25, THE I KNOW EVERYTHING IS METRIC UP THERE SO I'M GOING TO SAY THE

57.2 EIGHTH OF KILOVEMBER.

ACCORDING TO THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, FOX IN CANADA ARE OOTRANGED ABOUT MY

CHAPTER OF ENERGY WHERE I SAY "BEFORE WE CAN HARNESS GEOTHERMAL POWER WE HAVE TO TAKE

THE PLANET'S TEMPERATURE WITH A GEOTHERMOMETER AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THE EARTH'S RECTUM

IS." (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) AND THE FOOTNOTE READS "WINDSOR, CANADA." (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OKAY, NOW DON'T GET THEM A TWIST CANUCKS.

THAT'S A MISQUOTE.

THE FOOTNOTE ACTUALLY READS "WINDSOR, CANADA?" QUESTION MARK!

IT'S A QUESTION.

AS A JOURNALIST, IT'S MY JOB TO ASK THESE PROBING QUESTIONS.

COULD THE EARTH'S RECTUM BE WINDSOR?

I DON'T KNOW.

IT COULD JUST AS EASILY BE WINNIPEG.

(LAUGHTER) BESIDES, OKAY, THIS COULD BE A NET POSITIVE FOR WINDSOR.

JUST LOOK AT THIS ACTUAL POLL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION'S ARTICLE.

"IS STEPHEN COLBERT'S DESCRIPTION OF WINDSOR AS THE EARTH'S RECTUM GOOD OR BAD FOR

THE CITY?" (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) THIS IS TRUE.

AS OF THIS TAPING THE RESULTS ARE 76.64% GOOD AND 23% BAD.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) APPARENTLY THE EARTH'S RECTUM IS AN IMPROVEMENT OVER WINDSOR'S

PREVIOUS REPUTATION SO YOU'RE WELCOME, WINDSOR.

YOU JUST GOT THE COLBERT BUMP.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) DO YOU AGREE TO MAKE THIS YOUR NEW CITY FLAG AND CHANGE YOURTORYIST SIGNS.

SEEN NOTHING YET." (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) FOLKS, WALL STREET IS TAKING A LOT OF HEAT LATELY.

YOU DESTROY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY ONCE AND EVERYONE FORGETS ALL THE TIMES YOU DIDN'T DESTROY IT.

(LAUGHTER) PLUS OUR FINANCE SECTOR IS MUCH SAFER NOW BECAUSE WALL STREET HAS REMOVED THE WEAKEST LINK-- MAN.

>> FOR 150 YEARS, THE FLOOR OF 2 T CHANGE WAS THE CENTER OF THE FINANCIAL WORLD.

BUT LESS THAN 30% OF THE TRADING IS CONDUCTED HERE NOW AND THE SPECIALISTS IN THE NOISE OF THE

FLOOR IS BEING REPLACED BY THE SPEED AND QUIET EFFICIENCY OF COMPUTERS.

>> Stephen: THOUGH HUMANS STILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE-- AS SEEN HERE AS GOLDMAN SACHS.

(LAUGHTER) NOW, FOLKS, SUPERFAST COMPUTERS ARE NECESSARY FOR SOMETHING CALLED HIGH FREQUENCY TRADING OR

H.F.T. OR HFT" THE SOUND OF YOUR PENSION EVAPORATING.

COMPUTERS CAN MOVE MILLIONS OF SHARES AROUND IN MINUTES EARNING A TENTH OF A PENNY OFF EACH SHARE.

THAT ADDS UP TO SERIOUS MONEY WHEN THEY FINALLY TAKE IT DOWN TO THE WALL STREET COINSTAR.

(LAUGHTER) AND ONCE THE COMPUTER HAS A TRADING STRATEGY OR ALGORITHM IT MAKES MONEY JUST BY CHURNING THE

SAME FORMULA OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

LIKE MAROON 5.

(LAUGHTER) (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) AND EVEN SIMPLE ALGORITHM CANS DRAMATICALLY INFLUENCE THE MARKET.

EARLIER THIS FALL A SINGLE MYSTERIOUS COMPUTER PROGRAM THAT PLACED ORDERS AND SUBSEQUENTLY

CANCELED THEM MADE UP 4% OF ALL QUOTE TRAFFIC IN THE U.S. STOCK MARKET.

THAT'S RIGHT.

ONE ALGORITHM IS 4% OF ALL TRADES.

THE OTHER 96% WERE PEOPLE DUMPING FACEBOOK STOCK.

(LAUGHTER) AND THE SOURCE OF THAT MYSTERIOUS ALGORITHM IS UNKNOWN BUT EXPERTS SUSPECT IT WAS

DESIGNED TO GUM UP THE SYSTEM SO IT SLOWS DOWN OTHERS AND ALLOWS THE COMPUTER TRADERS TO GAIN A

MONEY-MAKING OPPORTUNITY.

IN OTHER WORDS, NOT ONLY WAS HE FAST, HE MADE EVERYONE ELSE SLOWER.

LIKE IF INSTEAD OF JUST DOPING LANCE ARMSTRONG ALSO MADE

(LAUGHTER) NOW SOME SAY -- (APPLAUSE) SOME SAY ALL THIS -- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THEY STILL LOVE YOU, LANCE.

NOW, SOME SAY ALL THIS COMPUTER TRADING IS DANGEROUS BUT I SAY IT'S ACTUALLY SAFER BECAUSE IF

THE STOCK MARKET EVER CRASHES AGAIN, INSTEAD OF BROKERS JUMPING OUT OF WINDOWS IN A

PANIC THEY'LL SIMPLY TURN ON THEIR COMPUTER AND SEE THE SOOTHING MESSAGE "ERROR 404,

ECONOMY NOT FOUND." (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) BECAUSE, REALLY, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

HERE TO TELL US THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN IS THE AUTHOR OF "AUTOMATE THIS: HOW ALGORITHMS

CAME TO RULE THE WORLD." PLEASE WELCOME CHRISTOPHER STEINER.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NICE TO MEET YOU.

OKAY.

NOW WE HAVE THE BOOK HERE "AUTOMATE THIS: HOW COMPUTERS CAME TO RULE THE WORLD."

HOW DID THEY COME TO RULE THE WORLD?

HOW MUCH TRADING ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

JUST A LITTLE BIT, RIGHT?

>> SURE, SURE.

AT LEAST HALF EVERYDAY.

SOME DAYS AS MUCH AS 70%.

WHEN THIS STARTED, THOUGH, IT WAS KIND OF A GOOD THING.

IT WAS A DEMOCRATIZING MOVEMENT IN THE STOCK MARKET.

IT USED TO BE IN THE EARLY '90s IF YOU WANTED TO MAKE A TRADE YOU HAD TO CALL UP A BROKER AND

MAYBE YOUR TRADE WOULD GET EXECUTED IN A COUPLE HOURS.

NOW YOU CAN SIT AT YOUR KITCHEN TABLE AND BAM, $7, YOU MAKE A TRADE.

WELL, WE HAVE THAT ABILITY AND THAT MESSAGE --.

>> Stephen: THAT MESSAGE GOES TO A TALKING BABY.

(LAUGHTER)

>> YES.

WE HAD THAT TEN YEARS AGO BUT THINGS HAVE GOTTEN SO OUT OF CONTROL THAT THE THING LIMITING

THESE ALGORITHMS NOW IS THE SPEED OF LIGHT.

IT'S TOO SLOW.

SO THEY'RE NOW USING MICROWAVES-- WHICH IS ALSO THE SPEED OF LIGHT-- TO TRADE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND NEW YORK.

A LOT OF THESE TRADES BOUNCE BACK BETWEEN CHICAGO AND NEW YORK.

BEFORE THEY USED MICROWAVES A BUNCH OF GUYS --.

>> Stephen: MICROWAVES, LIKE HEAT UP YOUR COFFEE MICROWAVE?

>> IT'S A RADIO SIGNAL THAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT MOVING MOUNTAINS FOR SO THEY CAN GET A

STRAIGHT LINE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND NEW YORK.

>> Stephen: IN OTHER WORDS THEY WANT TO MAKE THESE TRADES SO FAST THAT THE ULTIMATE SPEED OF

THE UNIVERSE, THE SPEED OF LIGHT, IS NOT FAST ENOUGH?

>> IT'S NOT FAST ENOUGH.

SO THERE ARE NOW SHIFTS THAT EXECUTE TRADES IN NANO SECONDS.

AND DURING A NANO SECOND THE SPEED OF LIGHT TRAVELS 13 INCHES.

SO THAT -- YOU CAN'T GO ANYWHERE IN THREE NANO SECONDS SO NOW THEY PUT THE COMPUTERS FOR THESE

TRADERS AT THE EXCHANGES.

>> Stephen: SO THEY'RE TRYING TO PUT THE COMPUTERS LITERALLY 13 INCHES FROM THE EXCHANGE?

>> IT'S GOT TO BE AT THE EXCHANGE.

SO THE EXCHANGES NOW CHARGE THESE HIGH SPEED TRADEERS MONEY TO PUT THEIR COMPUTERS THERE.

SO THIS IS A BIG SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR THE EXCHANGES SO THEY ARE TETHERED TO THIS THIS

SOURCE OF REVENUE.

SINCE THEY DON'T WANT TO STOP WHAT HAS BECOME A VERY DANGEROUS THING IN THAT WE CAN LOSE A

TRILLION DOLLARS IN TEN MINUTES-- WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENED ON THE FLASH CRASH.

>> Stephen: THE FLASH CRASH IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED IN --

>> 2010.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

2010.

THE MARKET AN ENORMOUS DIVE AND THEN IT RECOVERED AND NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT CAUSED IT, RIGHT?

>> YOU KNOW, THE S.E.C. BLAMED SOME GUY OUT IN KANSAS BUT -- YOU KNOW, I -- WHAT DOES KANSAS

HAVE TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS, RIGHT?

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: I DON'T KNOW!

IT'S YOUR FAULT.

I DON'T KNOW.

>> THEY BLAMED A MUTUAL THAT USED AN ALGORITHM THAT DUMPED FUTURES ON THE EXCHANGE IN

CHICAGO TOO QUICKLY.

BUT THE FACT IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, THE 4% OF THOSE TRADES, MOST OF

THOSE TRADES WERE FAKE, RIGHT?

THEY WERE FAKE.

SO WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE FLASH CRASH IS THE PIPES TO THESE EXCHANGES WERE SO FULL OF FAKE

TRADES THAT THE WHOLE THING SLOWED DOWN.

NO ONE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON UNTIL TEN MINUTES PASSED.

>> Stephen: LET'S TAKE ONE STEP BACK HERE.

I ALREADY EXPLAINED TO THE RUBES IN THE AUDIENCE WHAT AN ALGORITHM IS, OKAY?

BUT WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM?

(LAUGHTER) WHAT ARE THESE THINGS THAT ARE DOING THIS THING?

>> AN ALGORITHM IS VERY SIMPLE, REALLY.

JUST A SET OF INSTRUCTIONS THAT TELLS THE COMPUTER WHAT TO DO WITH A PIECE OF INFORMATION.

SO INFORMATION GOES IN, OUTPUT COMES OUT.

A SIMPLE ALGORITHM WOULD BE ONE THAT PLAYS TIC-TAC-TOE.

THE INPUT ARE THE THE MOVES THAT THE HUMAN, THE OUTPUTS ARE THE MOVE OF THE COMPUTER.

>> I KNOW A CHICKEN IN CHINA THOOUN CAN DO THAT, TOO.

(LAUGHTER)

>> SO THE ALGORITHMS ON WALL STREET ARE SIMILAR.

>> THEY'RE LIKE REALLY BIG CHICKENS?

>> REALLY BIG CHICKENS THAT MAKE COMPLICATED TRADES.

BUT THEY DO IT SO QUICKLY THAT YOU CAN LOSE CONTROL OF THE STOCK MARKET IN LITERALLY 30 SECONDS.

>> Stephen: IT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S A GREAT THING FOR BIG INVESTORS OR HUGE INVESTORS OR GARGANTUAN INVESTORS.

WHAT ABOUT THE AVERAGE INVESTOR?

SHOULD WE EVEN BE IN THERE ANYMORE?

CAN WE COMPETE?

CAN WE GET OUR OWN ALGORITHM?

IS THERE AN APP FAR?

(LAUGHTER)

>> WELL, THE PROBLEM IS THE APPS ARE SO EXPENSIVE BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR COMPUTER AT THE

EXCHANGE AND YOU HAVE TO BUY THESE GIANT DATA FEEDS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE CANNOT RUN THESE.

>> SO IF I'VE GOT MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET AND I'M JUST AN AVERAGE GUY-- LIKE I AM, AN

AVERAGE JOE-- SHOULD BY PULLING IT OUT AND DOING SOMETHING SAFER WITH IT, LIKE PUTTING IT ON

BLACK AT A ROULETTE WHEEL OR STUFFING IT INTO A SOCK AND THROWING IT INTO THE OCEAN?

(LAUGHTER)

>> THE PROBLEM IS THAT THIS PROBLEM -- IT EXISTS FOR BOTH THE BIGGEST INVESTORS AND THE

SMALLEST INVESTORS BECAUSE THEY'RE ONE IN THE SAME A LOT OF TIMES.

THEY'RE ALL IN MUTUAL FUNDS AND WHEN A MUTUAL FUND WANTS TO MAKE A MOVE, IT'S A VERY BIG MOVE.

IT'S USUALLY LET'S BUY A MILLION SHARES OF I.B.M. OR WHATEVER IT IS AND ALL THESE ALGORITHMS ARE

OUT THERE SNIFFING AROUND FOR THESE BIG ORDERS.

>> Stephen: ARE THEY SELF-AWARE?

IS THIS "THE MATRIX"?

(LAUGHTER) ARE YOU KEANU REEVES?

DO YOU KNOW KUNG FU?

>> I WISH I DID.

>> Stephen: WELL, THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME.

CHRISTOPHER STEINER.

THE BOOK IS "AUTOMATE THIS." WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BLACK, EVERYBODY!

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A PULITZER PRIZE PLAY WRIGHT.

TONY KUSHNER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN, THANKS FOR COMING ON.

ALL RIGHT EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU.

TURN AUTHOR OF "THE PLAYWRIGHT OF ANGELS IN AMERICA." YOU ALSO WROTE THE SCREENPLAY TO

"MUNICH" WITH STEPHEN SPIELBERG NOW YOU ARE THE SCREEN WRITEER FOR THE KNEW MOVIE "LINCOLN."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) WERE YOU DAUNTED AT ALL APPROACHING A FIGURE THIS ICONIC?

SOMEONE SO HUGE IN OUR MINDS?

SOMEONE WE ALL THINK OF AS OLD.

OLD UNCLE PENNY FACE?

(LAUGHTER)

>> NEVER OCCURRED TO ME TO THINK OF HIM AS OLDS UNCLE PENNY FACE.

IT WAS SCARY.

I DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT ORIGINAL BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE POSSIBLE.

>> Stephen: DID SPIELBERG HAVE SOMETHING ON YOU?

DID HE BLACKMAIL YOU?

>> WELL, DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN WHO'S BEEN ON THE SHOW.

>> Stephen: FRIEND OF THE SHOW.

>> SHE WAS A VERY PERSUASIVE AND LOVELY PERSON AND GREAT WRITER AND SHE TALKED ME INTO IT AND I

LOVED WORKING WITH STEVEN ON "MUNICH" SO I FIGURED IT WAS A GOOD THING TO TRY.

>> Stephen: WHEN DORIS WAS ON SHE SAID SOMETHING I HADN'T HEARD BEFORE.

SHE SAID -- SHE LOOKED AT "LINCOLN" AND SHE SAID "ISN'T HE SEXY?" SHE SAID SHE'S BEEN SAYING FOR

YEARS LINCOLN IS SEXY AND PEOPLE THINK SHE'S CRAZY.

YOU MUST HAVE -- YOU MUST HAVE GOT TO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THE MAN AS YOU WERE RESEARCHING HIM.

>> SURE.

>> Stephen: IS HE SEXY?

>> YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

HE HAD HUGE FEET.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> WELL, HE WAS A KENTUCKY RAIL SPLITTER.

(LAUGHTER)

>> YEAH, I FELT THAT HE WAS -- I FELT THAT HE WAS VERY PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE MAN AND --

(LAUGHTER) AND CLEARLY AN ENORMOUSLY CHARMING PERSON.

>> Stephen: AND DANIEL DAY-LEWIS' PORTRAYAL.

I SAW THE SHOW THIS WEEKEND BECAUSE I'M SUPERSPECIAL AND -- (LAUGHTER) -- IT'S AN INCREDIBLE MOVIE.

FIRST OF ALL, IT'S ESSENTIALLY ABOUT PASSING A PIECE OF LEGISLATION.

IT'S ABOUT PASSING THE 13th AMENDMENT WHICH OUTLAWS SLAVERY, MAKES IT UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH MAKING -- PASSING A PIECE OF LEGISLATION, PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE, EXCITING.

(LAUGHTER) DID YOU SUCCEED?

>> THANKS.

I'M GLAD YOU LIKE IT.

IT'S A LITTLE BIT LIKE A STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT MOVIE.

YOU KNOW THE LITTLE TEAM IS GOING TO WIN THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.

SO YOU KNOW THE ENDING ALREADY BUT IT'S STILL EXCITING BECAUSE IT'S -- YOU'RE ROOTING FOR THEM

AND IF IT'S A CLOSE CALL YOU -- YOUR ENGINE GETS GOING.

SO THIS WAS A SQUEAKER.

THE HOUSE PASSED IT BY ONLY TWO VOTES.

>> Stephen: RIGHT AT THE BUZZER.

>> RIGHT AT THE BUZZER, ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE THE CIVIL WAR IS ABOUT TO END.

>> THE CIVIL WAR WAS A FEW MONTHS AWAY FROM ENDING.

LINCOLN KNEW IT WAS GOING TO COME TO AN END AS SOON AS SPRING ARRIVED AND THE ARMY STARTED

FIGHTING AGAIN.

>> Stephen: RIGHT.

OR IF THE WAR ENDED, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE "LET'S END SLAVERY WHILE WE'RE FIGHTING TO END SLAVERY."

BUT IF THE WAR ENDS AND WE STILL HAVE SLAVES SCREW 'EM.

(LAUGHTER)

>> THAT WAS CONSIDERED THE ATTITUDE.

>> Stephen: WE'RE GOT TO TAKE A COMMERCIAL BREAK BUT STAY RIGHT THERE, WE'LL BE BACK WITH MORE

TONY KUSHNER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

WE'RE HERE WITH TONY KUSHNER, THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW SCREENPLAY FOR THE MOVIE "LINCOLN."

NOW, TONY, SHOULDN'T THEY JUST MAKE AN OSCAR IN THE SHAPE OF DANIEL DAY-LEWIS AND GIVE IT TO

HIM AT THIS POINT?

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN IT AND THEY WANT TO GIVE IT TO HIM.

LET'S WATCH A CLIP.

THIS IS I BELIEVE LINCOLN AND THE TELEGRAPH OFFICE WITH SOME YOUNG MEN DESCRIBING HIS

DECISION-MAKING PROCESS.

>> RIGHT, HE'S JUST MADE A DECISION TO ASK GRANT TO PUT SOME CONFEDERATE COMMISSIONERS

ON ICE AS WE'RE BRINGING IT INTO WASHINGTON BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO STAY OUT OF THE WAY WHILE HE

GETS THE VOTE FOR THE AMENDMENT ORGANIZED

>> EUCLID'S FIRST COMMON NOTION IS THIS.

THINGS WHICH ARE EQUAL TO THE SAME THING ARE EQUAL TO EACH OTHER.

THAT'S A RULE OF MATHEMATICAL REASONING.

IT'S TRUE BECAUSE IT WORKS.

HAS DONE AND ALWAYS WILL DO.

IN HIS BOOK EUCLID SAID THIS IS SELF-EVIDENT.

YOU SEE, THERE IT IS.

EVEN IN THAT 2000-YEAR-OLD BOOK OF MECHANICAL LAW IT IS A SELF-EVIDENT TRUTH THAT THINGS

WHICH ARE EQUAL TO THE SAME THING ARE EQUAL TO EACH OTHER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: THAT'S LINCOLN.

(APPLAUSE) THAT'S GOING TO BE OUR LINCOLN FROM NOW ON.

>> I THINK SO.

HENRY FONDA WAS REALLY, REALLY GREAT.

72 YEARS AGO, 79 YEARS AGO.

AND I THINK DANIEL IS NOW THE DEFINITIVE.

>> Stephen: NAILED IT, HE NAILED IT.

ONE THING THAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THIS MOVIE IS THAT THAT'S A GREAT PORTRAIT OF LINCOLN AND

IT'S A HEROIC PORTRAIT OF LINCOLN AND, YOU KNOW, SPOILER ALERT, IT ENDS SADLY.

(LAUGHTER) BUT THIS HEROIC PORTRAIT WORRIES ME BECAUSE PEOPLE OFTEN COMPARE OBAMA TO LINCOLN.

DO YOU THINK THERE'S A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TWO?

>> OH, YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: WHAT?

WHAT?

THEY'RE BOTH FROM ILLINOIS?

WHAT?

>> BOTH FROM ILLINOIS.

>> Stephen: SO WAS CAPONE, GO ON.

(LAUGHTER)

>> I FEEL THAT THE CONNECTION IS OBAMA A PROGRESSIVE CENTRIST, AS LINCOLN WAS.

THEY BOTH BELIEVE IN GOVERNMENT.

>> Stephen: LINCOLN WAS A REPUBLICAN, THOUGH.

LINCOLN WAS A REPUBLICAN.

>> A DIFFERENT KIND OF REPUBLICAN.

>> Stephen: STILL, "R" NEXT TO HIS NAME.

>> THAT'S THE CASE.

>> Stephen: AND I DON'T THINK OBAMA COULD PULL OFF THE LOOK.

IN A STOVE PIPE MAT MAYBE, BUT IF HE HAD THAT BEARD HE'D LOOK SO MUCH LIKE THE RENT IS TOO

DAMN HIGH GUY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) TONY, THANK YOU SO FOR JOINING ME.

TONY KUSHNER.

THE MOVIE IS "LINCOLN." GO SEE IT!

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: THAT'S IT FOR THE "REPORT," EVERYBO