Question: When you read the newspaper or watch the news, what issues stand out for you?
Tom Freston: Well I look at the international news . . . I mean a lot. I mean it’s a big world. We’re only a small part of it. So anybody in the international news business out there, we could use a little more of it. But you know I’d like to see what’s going on. I’ve had a particular focus of late, and I have had a great interest, because I lived for many years in India. I lived in Afghanistan. And I have this sort of a great interest in what’s going on in the underdeveloped world, the third world, whatever terminology they’re using it in. And so much of the population in the world today lives in these areas. And problems, and opportunities, and changes there are most acute, and they have a huge impact on us if you just look at the emerging powers of China and India and what that means for us for the next 30, 40 years – pretty remarkable. I mean you know you got one-third of the world’s population contained in those two countries, and they’re both developing, although on separate roads, towards sort of this middle class, materialistic lifestyle that we’ve enjoyed. That puts, you know, a huge amount of forces into play not only in their own countries, but for the rest of the world. So I look at, you know, sort of the issues with the Islamic world towards the western world. I mean they’re hard to avoid these days. And you know you wonder where that sort of thing is gonna go, and what kind of thinking will impact policy on both sides of the fences. There’s a . . . But I think the original question was what do I look at when I look at the newspaper, so I look a lot at that. Of course it’s hard, you know, not to read, you know, information about the arts or gossip and some of the . . . the other stuff that’s put so much in front of us these days.
Recorded On: 7/6/07