tv PBS News Hour PBS January 7, 2022 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
♪ judy: good evening. tonight, challenging the mandate, the supreme court hears arguments on whether the federal government can require vaccinations. then, chaos in kazakhstan. the country's leader valves to crush protests -- vows to crush protests. >> the coiled spring has been unleashed after 30 years. judy: it is friday. way forward, after remembering the assault on the u.s. capitol.
>> fostering inform communities. more online. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions. ♪ >> and friends of the newshour. ♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ judy: the u.s. supreme court today heard lengthy arguments challenging the biden administration's vaccine and testing requirements in the workplace. the cases could have significant implications for 100 million workers. john has the story. correspondent: the rules being
challenged are at the heart of the biden administration's pandemic response that would require big employers to make sure workers are either vaccinated were tested at least once a week, the other requires vaccinations for health care workers in facilities that treat medicare and medicaid patients. as with all things surrounding the pandemic and vaccines these days, these rules are sparking strong opinions. we asked viewers for some of their opinions. >> my name is robert, 27 years old, and i work in public programming at a local museum in miami, florida. as of october 1 of last year, my workplace required all staff be fully vaccinated. >> my name is kayla, 27 years old, i am a nurse at a hospital. >> i am tommy, board-certified physian for the past 30 years. when the mandates came out, it was get the vaccine oface
termination. i had concerns about the safety of the vaccines and the efficacy of the vaccines, and for this reason, i elected not to get the vaccine. i was terminated. >> my name is rebecca lawson, 35 years old, from spokane county, washington. the governor in washington state put out a mandate for vaccines for particular sectors. at the time the mandate was put into effect, i was pregnant. when i got my first shot to keep my employment, it was a situation where i wanted to get it on my own terms but to keep my employment i needed to get it on the timeline that was required by the state. >> my hospital job mandated the implementation of the vaccine for all staff. if anything was declined, it was a time issue, but in terms of the burden on people not in traditional roles such as
myself. >> eiffel he support the mandate from osha and hope it passes and that it can help -- i fully support the mandate from osha and hope it passes and that it can help the state and federal response to the pandemic. as someone who has loved ones and family in california and new hampshire in florida, i think it is a shame that the response has been so uneven. >> my feelings on a federal mandate for vaccination is that it is the responsibility of a person, family, and community to make the best decisions for them . it is a deeply personal decision , and fear is a very powerful motivator. >> being terminated after devoting my entire professional coupled with the fact that just one year earlier, we were being touted as heroes, at the end of the evening coming you would hear the car horns honking and
people celebrating the things we were doing, and to go from that to say, ok, we appreciate your service and you are a hero i'm a bit now if you don't do what we tell you to do, we will terminate you. we don't need you anymore. that felt like a form of betrayal. >> i do think that since people have made it clear that it is their right to have the vcine, they need to understand clearly that it is a company's right to not employer if they want you to be vaccinated. correspondent: the arguments today were not about whether the mandates are legal, but if they can take effect while they're being challenged in lower courts are chief washington correspondent -- lower courts. we heard some divergent views from the justices today in the oral argument, so let's start by playing some of that.
first up is chief justice john roberts questioning a person who is the attorney for the biden administration. chief justice john roberts: it seems to me that government is trying to work across the waterfront and going agency by agency. >> what we are trying to do and what osha did is rely on its authority to provide protection to america's workforce from grave dangers like this one. chief justice john roberts: it seems to me that the more mandates that pop up in different agencies, i wonder if it is not fair to look at it as a general exercise of power by the federal government and ask what is the congress saying and why is this the primary responsibility of the states? >> judgments on the public health side, the economic side, how those ought to be balanced against each other, so we decide? should it be the agency feel that expert policymakers, and
completely politically accountable to the president? on the other hand, courts can decide. courts are not politically accountable, have not been elected, have no epidemiological expertise, why would courts decide this question? >> congress, states, and governors wielding emergency powers are the ones that have the power, and we acknowledge that, over vaccines. the idea that osha uld be the agency and the federal government that is not under the department of health and human servic that does not have expertise over communicable diseases, like the fda or cdc. that would be an odd place for congress to lodge such a sweeping power over the american people. correspondent: justice kagan questioning scott keller, representing the trade groups opposing the osha rule. what is the significance of what
we just heard? >> the bottom line is that there is a very deep divide on the court on how it is looking at the vaccine mandates and the authority of the federal agencies that are trying to implement the mandates, whether they have that authority. the chief justice was increasingly skeptical as the arguments went on and was wondering if, he pointed out several times, ok, there is a workplace mandate, the medicaid/medicare mandate, the federal contractor mandate, and he said, you know, really, this looks like it is almost an attempt to work around the limits of authority of the executive branch, and that concerned about how abroad some of the agencies are using thei authority was echoed by other justices, such as justice gorsuch and others.
they wondered where are the limits on agency authority. that is something conservatives on the court have been concerned about for many years. on the other hand, you have justice kagan whos basically saying this is really how government works, congress delegates set a certain amount authority to federal agencies to make decisions, rules, regulations, based on their special expertise, expertise that a congress cannot have every time an issue comes up that has to be addressed by the national government. and so, she is saying, you know, who would you rather make this decision, the courts or the agency with the expertise? her view also was also echoed in a different way by justices breyer and justice sotomayor, but justice breyer is the
reigning pragmatist. he is very concerned about the consequences of delaying the mandates. he gave the statistics that we are all seeing and reading now about the number of infections, the number of hospitalizations, and he worri that each day of delay would cause more deaths, more burdens on the hospitals trying to deal with the growing number of infections. so there is a deep divide. it is not to say the justices on the left are not also concerned that the agencies exercise the proper authority here, but they are seeing it through different lens. correspondent: was there the same divide, skepticism from the conservative justices when it came to the health care worker vaccine mandate? >> not so much, john, in fact, the arguments were limited. i don't know if it was because
the justice were exhausted after two hours of arguments on the workplace mandate, but i think they saw, and the chief justice did point this out, that there seemed to be a much tighter fit between the vaccine mandate for health care workers and the statutes that govern the centers for medicare and medicaid services in the department of health and human services, which are charged with being responsible for the health and safety of the patients in those facilities, so i think that that mandate will have an easier road was the justices to down. as you pointed out, this was not an argument on the merits of the mandates. they are looking at whether injunctions should be issued to delay these mandates. and when they do that, they have a whole series of factors they look at, and one of the factors
is of course the likelihood of success on the merits of the challenge to the mandate, and also the public interest. what are the public equities on each side and what is more important, public health, or as stat have demonstrated, some serious consequences from the mandates in terms of job losses? so, it is not the easiest decision for some of them. justice alito pointed out this raises complex issues, and maybe even though the states want an immediate halt to the mandates, maybe the court should have what they call an administrative state to give them a couple of days to think it through. i'm not sure what the court will do at this point, but i have the feeling they'll act fairly quickly. correspondent: thank you very much. >> my pleasure. ♪
stephanie: this is newshour west. we will return to the program after the headlines. the number of children under five hospitalized in the u.s. and test positive for cobbett is rising sharply -- for covid is rising sharply. the pandemic has hit highs, as over all infections top 600,000 today. president biden offered an optimistic forecast today. >> having covid in the environment and in the world is probably here to stay but as we are dealing with it now, the covid is not here to stay. the new normal does not have to be. we have tools that we continue to develop that can contain covid and other strains of covid. stephanie: also, the fda cut the wait time for getting the booster shot from the
moderna mr. schott, and at the same for pfizer last week. the u.s. unemployment rate is at the lowest since the pandemic began. the labor department today reported the rate dipped to 3.9% in december, down from 4.2% in november, and far below the pandemic peak of nearly 15%. at the same time, employers reported a net game of 199,000 jobs, well short of expectations. three white men convicted of chasing and murdering ahmaud arbery in georgia were sentenced today to life in prison. the father and son, greg and travis mcmichael, who initiated the chase, got life without parole. william bryant, who video the confrontation, he will have a chance at parole after serving 30 years. before the sentencing, ahmaud arbery's mother said they killed her son for being black, and asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence. >> they chose to target my son
because they did not want him in their community. they chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community. and when they could not sufficiently scare him or intimidate him, they killed him. ephanie: the defense attorneys say theplan to appeal the convictions. in michigan, a judge refused to lower the bond penalty for the parents of a teenager who allegedly killed four students at his high school. james and jennifer crumbley are charged with involuntary manslaughter for giving their son a gun and failing to intervene after seeing his violent drawings. they are now being held on a $500,000 bond. a winter storm has dropped more than one foot of snow across the northeast. plows in boston labored to keep up today, and declared an emergency.
ears glided through central park, but public schools stayed open. hundreds of others school districts closed as the snowfall broke records in the south on thursday. meanwhile, on the west coast, heavy rain cause severe flooding near washington, closing a 20 mile stretch of interstate five. president biden got a firsthand look at wildfire damage near denver and boulder, colorado. he met with people affected by the fire that destroyed nearly 1100 homes. biden promised federal assistance while sounding an alarm about climate change. pres. biden: the situation is a blinking code red for our nation , because the combination of extreme drought, the driest period from june to december ever recorded, ever recorded, unusually high winds, no snow on the ground to start, he created a tinderbox. stephanie: two passings of note tonight, a groundbreaking actor, cindy pointy eight -- sydney
pointy eight has died at 94. we will look at his life and work later in the program. a harvard law professor passed away in boston. in 1993, president clinton chose her to lead civil rights enforcement and the justice department. he withdrew the nomination after republicans attacked her views. he was 71 years old. still come on the newshour, our correspondents share memories of the day the u.s. capitol was attacked d reflect on the times since. david brooks and jonathan capehart on vexing mandates and the messages of january 6. how the late sydney -- paper way for black actors and much more. announcer: this is the pbs newshour in washington, om the walter cronkite school of journalism from arizona state university. judy: as stands president
promised to shoot to kill protesters after week of demonstrations. as as extend lies at the crossroads of russia, china, and central asia and has large energy reserves, with billions invested by american companies. despite that wealth, many because x live in poverty. -- many people live in poverty, and frustrations are boiling over in demands to upend the country's authoritarian politics. correspondent: in western because like a stand -- kasatkina stan come a protest, processors challenging the old man outcome 81-year-old, the person who has held power since independence 30 years ago. it is the symbol of a corrupt elite, and demonstrators tried to topple it. they rallied to target a system they say in political cronies and neglects the people. >> [speaking in foreign language] tranator: you have to
understand what has happened, the quilt spring has been unleashed after 30 years. >> kazakhstans listed as a lower middle income country in the day-to-day incomes of the majority of the population is really quite low. correspondent: a former ambassador tickets asked and is now at a policy institute. -- ambassador to kazakhstan is now at a policy institute. the president stepped down in 2019, but as the so-called father of the nation installed the current president as his successor. he recently increased the price of fuel, sparking protest in western kazakhstan early this week, and igniting a political flame. in the capital, they strong government buildings.
by thursday, the mayor's office, presidential residence, both burned down. authorities turned violent. police said they liquidated more than two dozen processes -- protesters. demonstrators attacked please, burn police cars, and killed morehan 18 cops, one by beheading. the president called protesters foreign terrorists, cut off the internet, and told police to shoot to kill. >> [speaking in foreign language] translator: the fight must be pursued until the end here at whoever does not rescind surrender will be destroyed. -- it does not surrender will be destroyed. correspondent: now, russian troops. today, antony blinken questioned the need for russia's presence. >> the autrities and government certainly have the capacity to deal appropriately with protests, to do so in a way that respects the rights of
protesters, while maintaining law and order. once russians are in your house it is sometimes difficult to get them to leave. correspondent: a have maintained partnership with the u.s. is in part through oil, but russia's influence is greater, and president of russia may increase troop deployments. >> what he is probably doing is making sure that a new western looking generation of leadership is not coming to power immediately in kazakhstan. they will stay with people who understand russia and who are partners with russia, and russia gets a leg up that way. correspondent: it looks like the leaders will try to keep their power and target their own citizens. ♪
judy: as we end this week of remembrance of the attack on the u.s. capitol, we returned to our own correspondence on duty covering the events of january 6. one who was inside the capital, another who was outside the building as the crowd gathered, and another at the white house. the four of us spoke last year in the days following the insurrection for our podcast, america interrupted. we came together again earlier this week i'm talked about how the country has changed in the year since. lisa, let me start with you. you are inside the capital. i remember vividly as the rioters broke through the glass. you were eyewitness to the worst attack on the u.s. capitol in 200 years. from a political standpoint, it looks like a much more partisan place. what does it feel like from the
inside? lisa: i did not think the capital could get more partisan than after the election ended in 2020, but it has. i have to say a year ago, we all felt these palpable emotions from all makers right after january 6. thought they would continue, february, march, april. democrats were seething with anger. they don't usually expresses kind of anger, that they could not look at republicans and get in the elevator with some republicans who objected to the eltion, i was sure that would wane by the end of the summer, and i have to say it did not here to continue through the fall. we saw some republicans increase the rhetoric on the other side. this one holiday break, this past holiday break, i have headphone calls with lawmakers, i have sensed breathing and relaxing of that anger, but i
don't know what happens wn they return to washington. judy interesting. and you, you were at the white house, on the lawn as this was unfolding at the u.s. capitol and trying to st in contact with the trump administration officials on the inside. how has our understanding of what then-president trump was doing during all of this, how has that evolved and changed over the last year? >> i remember standing on the white house lawn and watch people break into the u.s. capitol. the president was watching it unfold on tv like some any other americans, and he was both enjoying the idea that his supporters had taken his lie about the election being stolen so seriously that they were breaking into the u.s. capitol to defend his line, his idea of what should be happening in this moment, but h was fearful, because there was real violence happening. the president lie has metastasized and grown across the gop, and now you have gop
lawmakers and elected officials who refers outreach and telling me the president had gone too far, they have now fallen in line. the president and former president have continued to lie about the election and say the election was stolen, and the power that seem to be teetering and coming to an end, it has only grown and grown. judy: and you were outside the capitol, talking to the protesters and others outside, watching us all of this unfolded. recollect for us some of the language you are hearing from them and how that has evolved in the year since. >> in terms of everyone we talked to outside that day, one thing everything had in common, they believed the election live. they believe that election had been stolen. beyond that, in terms of rhetoric, it was a mishmash. there were conspiracy theorists waving qanon facts, anti-vaxxers, covid deniers,
harassing us for wearing mas far right extremist, white nationalists m extremist, wearing the insignia of these groups and walking around, and it was this overlapping, this toxic brew of ideological beliefs and personal grievances that really caught people by surprise and caught a lot of national security and counterterrorism experts by surprise. they had not seen it before. how much has that changed? not much, if anything. it has gotten worse. you know the potency of that election lie the people still believe. we know where we are with anti-vaxxers and covid deniers. we know where we are with the larger threat to the u.s. from some of those groups, those blending of police, that experts say is more volatile than ever, the top two legal threats domestic rats to the u.s. today are violent white supremacist and antigovernment extremists. those remain the top concerns for counterterrorism officials. judy: in terms of holding people
accountable, we have seen over 700 people arrested, charged in connection with the assault on the u.s. capitol. lisa, you had a firsthand connection with all of this, two of the people who were following you inside the capital had been sentenced in the last week or so. >> that's righ i did not know i was being followed until the justice department concted me that we see on video that two rioters followed you for significant distance. those two men from the venue were sentenced this week, and both attorneys were asking they be even no more than one day in jail, the first offense for both of them, neither of them harmed anyone in the building. they did pick up some congressional papers at some point and put them down, and that is one of the things the judge says was seris. the judge gave him 30 days in jail, which is a disappointment to their attorneys, but the judge said it's not enough to
say you wondered into t building or you did not mean to be there or you wish you could've left and that you regret it. the judge was very strong and said this was an attack on our democracy and i cannot condone this kind of mob violence. judy: some kind of the language we heard from these rioters that they, clearly there were racist elements to it. we have talked over the past year about how that language has persisted and played into what was already a fraught conflict in our nation, across our nation over racial justice. how do you see that coming together? >> a year later, the language we saw used at this attack on the capital has spread and deepened across our country. we have seen and evolving of the conversation on race where we saw the murder of george floyd
and the swelling of this idea that america needed to be better when it came to policing americans in the way we talk about justice and race and there has been a big backlash to that movement. we have seen that january 6 was not the end of something, but the beginning of this ugly phase. we see a lot of people twisting the idea and pushing for racial equality in this country, and making excuses for the people broke into the u.s. capitol, and that has been detrimental to our democracy, and that continues to be the case. judy: i want you to pick up on that. this notion of how we use language with racist overtones, and just arguments over what word to use abouthat happened on january 6, the words to use, whether white supremacy, insurrection versus a coup. all of these things have not only at they filtered out into the public discourse, but things journalists have had to think about. >> that's right.
it is important to point out that some of those forces that we confronted face-to-face that they on the u.s. capitol grounds have always represented some of the biggest threats to people of color and marginalize people in this country. it was a mostly white crowd who openly talked about bringing violence to the u.s. capitol that they, who authorities did not see as a threat, who felt entitled to storm a federal property and try to overturn a democratic process because they were angry. we know what the response would have been if that had been a crowd of all black or brown people were all muslim people were all immigrants. this kind of organized direction laid bare what so many of us have long known and lived, which is quite anger is seen differently here. judy: i want to close by asking each one of you to think about what stays with you. what sticks in your mind as you go back and think about that
day, lisa? four this will sound corny, but there are two things. it is the walking away from the capital that not -- u.s. capitol that night. it was so important to stay there. i just have that image sorry. it was just, i have such faith. sorry, i get emotional. judy: one year later. >> it is a beautiful place, and walking away from the u.s. capitol that not come looking at it, i remember that feeling of faith in our constitution and in that building, and one more thing, someone loaned me a phone charger at a critical moment, and that is something i will hold onto. it is my lucky phone charger. judy: for you, what memory stays most for you? >> the memory that sticks with
me is watching the u.s. capitol being attacked, that sense of entitlement, that these white protesters had to break in, and i kept picturing what it might have been like had these people been the protesters i covered so closely in ferguson, the black people demanding justice. it is easy to see those people shot dead on the steps of the u.s. capitol because they were black or brown or immigrants, and to see some of the white protesters walking away with their lives, it is something that sticks with me, because it taught a lesson that who could be outraged, who could break into the capital, and who are the people who stand peacefully on the street and demand justice , they might die just for asking peacefully for respect. judy: and finally, what stays with you? >> as you know, i spent years as a war correspondent and conflict reporter, parachuting in and out of places were frankly things like this were expected.
i set it on the day and it is still true, i never expected to see that scene unfold in my home country and on the steps of the u.s. capitol. i think witthe last year has shown me is that while america is absolutely unique as a nation, it's democracy, it is not immune from a lot of those same forces that can tear away and eat away at the foundational parts of our democracy, and that includes journalism right, a free and fair press. what stickwith me is really just this sense of duty to report on everything we see and to bear witness, but also to remind people what is at stake. judy: the three of you were absolutely essential to the newshour's reporting on that historic, tragic and historic day in america, so we cannot thank you enough for what you did on that day in the reporting
ever since, and of course a right up until right now, so i want to thank you. this is your last program is a newshour correspondent, white house correspondent. you are leaving to go to nbc news. we wish you the best. we will miss you. you contributed so much to the work of this program, but we will miss you and we thank you. all three. >> thank you so much. it has been an honor to work and report with you in so many others on this program. judy: thank you. thank you all. ♪ with the one-year anniversary of the u.s. capitol insurrection and a renewed push on voting rights and the vaccine mandates getting their day in court, it has been a full week.
to consider at all, we are joined by brooks and capehart, david brooks and jonathan capehart, columnist for the washington post. good to see both of you, even though you are not here in the studio. i was going to start with something else, but i have to begin with january 6, jonathan, listening to our correspondence and thinking about what president biden said yesterday, taking it right to his predecessor, saying that former president trump was holding a dagger at the throat of our democracy. that is a stunning statement. what do we make of that? jonathan: it is a stunning statement, and it is a true statement. the thing to keep in mind about president biden is since the campaign, he has never been more clear, focused, direct, passionate, and determined than when he is talking about american democracy, or has he
call that, the soul of america, and the damage and danger that donald trump was the both. -- to both. he started his campaign talking about charlottesville, ny that made him jump into the race, and -- and why that made him jump into the race, and then in statuary hall, the clear and present danger of donald trump and what he did as president, and what he could do down the road if he decides to run for president in 2024. i think the president after only a year in office of getting legislative wins under his belt decided the annirsary of the most dangerous moment in history for congress, that that wathe timeo say clearly and forcefully that what happened in that building was a travesty,
and that he will do everything he possibly can to ensure that it does not happen again, and the first step in that is talking about it, naming names, and trying to hold them publicly accountable for what they did. judy: david, what do you make of president biden using this stark imagery, holding a dagger? david: i thought the president was right to not talk about trump directly for most of this past year, because there was the hope that trump would fade away. on january 7 last year, i thought the events of genuine six were so horrific and disgusting that people would look at the trump era as something lamentable and terrible. i was wrong. if anything, donald trump is stronger in the party. if he's not going to fade away, you might as well tell the truth, go after the rep, go after him -- the threat, go
after him with passion, and who mentioned yesterday that the rotunda is where abraham lincoln sat. that is a few feet down the hallway, john f. kennedy, the other hallway, tip o'neill, so this american history, something joe biden devoted his life to, so there has to be strong emotions, and i'm glad he expressed those emotions. judy: this is a turn for president biden. he has not wanted or spent a lot of time talking directly about the former president, but now he is going after him. is there a risk in that? jonathan: there are risks in everything, but the president and the white house have made the calculation that if he going to take any kind of risk, if the risk is defending american democracy, it is a risk worth taking. i think the president, the speech yesterday was terrifc,
it was what the nation needed to hear, but it can't be the last step. it has to be the first step of many to remind people about what happened, who did it, and also to remind people that even though the focus right now is on donald trump, what donald trump unleashed will survive donald trump, whether he runs for president or not, and that is the big danger that i think a lot of people might be getting themselves into by focusing so in deadly on donald trump and the damage he did to this country that they are not paying attention to the forces that he unleashed that cannot be put back in the bottle now that they have been unleashed. judy: david, pick up on that. is it a gamble for president biden to be taking this tact right now in his presidency? david: i don't think so.
democrats criticizing donald trump is not a new thing a risky thing for democrats. the democrats will try to win and keep their majorities in 2022. joe biden will try to keep the presidency or have a democrat. his approval ratings are not high enough to do that on the basis of his accomplishments. frankly, people love joe biden, he won because people disliked donald trump, or raising the saliency of donald trump is probably the smart thing to do. there are clear limits to that, we learned in the virginia governor torres, when the democrats tried to tie youngki to donald trump, and it didn't work. it isn't the only thing he could do, bu it is a key part. judy: we are seeing the president and vice president heading to atlanta next week to make a major statement on voting rights, a big push for
legislation they have not been able to get through congress. meantime, some republicans, and you talked about this last week, meantime, republicans are saying let's look at electoral vote count reform. i asked vice president harris about that when i had a chance to talk to her yesterday. here is what she had to say about out of think about these things. vice president harris: it is not a solution to the problem at hand, which is right now in the united states of america, we need federal laws that guarantee the freedom and right of every american to have access to the ballot to be able to vote. the john lewis voting rights act, the freedom to vote back, address that issue, and those are issues that are present, imminent. judy: jonathan, she is saying voting rights have to come before anything. jonathan: as she was saying,
what is happening in the states is happening because of suppressing the boat, keeping people from voting, and now the prospect that once people have voted, boards of elections that have been taken over by state legislatures are having their boats tossed out, so that is why there is this big push for the john lewis voting rights advancement back in the freedom to vote back -- act to be passed. it is not an either or. both of these things have to be done. when it comes to the electoral count act, a member of the january 6 select committee writes in his new book, unthinkable, about how they saw months for may of 2020, the electoral counts act was the way
donald trump would try to mess with the election, so the electoral count act must be reformed, but doing that instead of passing the john lewis voting rights advancement accra freedom to vote act, that is not a solution to the near-term danger that faces the right to vote right now. judy: david, how do you see movement on these two things, or not? david: we probably need to do both, but i think the democrats have to revamp their approach that. there are three elements to an election, casting and accounting, and certifying results. we do not have a crisis in casting votes. we just have the highest voter turnout in american history in 2020. we don't have a problem counting the votes. we counted the votes without
fraud in error in 2020. we have a complete crisis >> we have a complete crisis the certification of the vote. the third thing. state legislatures are politicizing the vote to kitchen or they are attacking the people who bravely stood up to donald trump. republicans are using this as nefarious ends. we have a massive assault on our democracy. the freedom to vote act is about the first two elements. the democrats need to focus on the certification and protecting the people who are not partisan. the democrats need to get much more active locally for judge elections. they're not doing that. the republicans are far outpacing on the ground and on
the grassroots. then we can do the other voting rights. >> what about that? >> i agree with david that the house is on fire. david mentioned this at least three times so there is no am i the vote is not being suppressed. there are a lot of democratic and progressive activists and actual voters who would disagree with that especially those standing in line for hours and hours at multiple locations and multiple states in order to vote. all of these things we are talking about need to be addressed. the only problem is we don't live in a monarchy and we don't live in a dictatorship. president biden, kicked people
away and say this shall be done. with the senate needs to do is to take action to ensure whoever wants to register to vote can vote. the person who registers to vote is able to vote. has convenience in it. when they do vote their vote actually counted in the voice is actually heard. by not having a state board overturned the voice of the people at the ballot box. that has to be done. that can only be done at this point if the united states senate rallies around and gets it done. we have spent a lot of time talking about two senators. one in particular who still, even though the house is on fire is refilling to be a part of the solution to put out the fire. >> david put the button on this. why is that not the priority?
>> adulting the answer is in washington. democrats need to rally people in state capitals and work on state legislators. they need to make it painful for anyone to politicize this election results. the focus on washington as a raw focus. republicans know this. they're doing something about it and democrats are not. >> david jonathan, thank you both on this friday night. thank you so much. >> thanks. >> thank you. as we reported tonight oscar-winning actor sidney poirier has died at the age of 94. throughout his life the star carved a path for generations of black actors. jeff bennett has a remembrance. >> reporter: sydnee portcc
transformed black characters portrayed on screen indicating the first black actor to win an academy award for best lead performance. for more on his life i am joined by jaclyn stewart, the chief artistic and programming officer for the new academy museum of motion pictures in l.a. she's a professor of film and media studies at the university of chicago. the host of silent sunday nights on turner classic movies. it's great to have you. >> sidney poirier was dignified and regal and elegant. before we talk about his cinematic legacy help us understand his journey to stardom. he was born in the bahamas before moving to harlem and facing the hardscrabble life of an actor. >> you really did struggle to become an actor. it wasn't something obvious given his impoverished background in the bahamas. it is gratifying to see the ways he took all those hardships he faced working odd
jobs in new york trying to find a way he would receive his professional vision. it's a miraculous story at the level of how he entered the theater and then became such an important film star. >> he was the embodiment of a proud and dignified black perspective and the american conversation about race. during the civil rights movement and the by 1967 he was hollywood's top earning leading man. he played a philadelphia detective fighting bigotry in mississippi. fertile tips in the heat of the night. a man righteous enough to slap in return the white petition who slapped him. >> was mr. colbert ever in the screen house? last night around midnight? ? don't ask me. you saw it.
>> i saw it. what are you gonna do about it? >> i don't know. >> how did that resonate in the moment? a black man slapping back the white man who slapped him? >> it was incredibly powerful. i would say was an important moment not just for white audiences but for black audiences. one of the things i think is so important about that scene is we see gillespie, rod steiger's reaction to the slap. his visual reaction and then his expression. i don't know what to do. it's a moment where white supremacy is being questioned and challenged. that was tremendously significant people. this idea that, for some of you folks people think of sidney poirier as this harbinger of a kind of simulation and accommodation point of view. that demonstrated he was also
someone representing this fury that was raging in some of black communities. in this tipping point we are not going to take it anymore. so that was hugely important to audiences across the racial spectrum. >> then there was the role and guess who's coming to dinner as dr. john prentice. he was half of this interracial couple. he had to tell his disapproving father at times have really changed. >> i love you, son. but you think of yourself as a colored man. i think of myself as a man. >> doan asked me about the scrutiny face. he was often hailed as this noble symbol of his race who took these sanitized roles. which drew criticism from some that he took these roles that were pandering to white audiences. you hear him say there, i don't think of myself as a colored man. there are lots of black folks
who would say, that is a choice not available to me. >> that's right. i think what's important is to really look at the nuanced aspect of what he was doing across his career. he was so selective with the roles that he took. he understood the limitations for black actors in hollywood at that time and it seems to me he was always trying to squeeze out as much, dignity and respect and adding aspects to these performances that i don't think many audiences really understood whether they were cheapening him or criticizing him. when he says you think of yourself as a colored man ima that is a generational thing he is pointing to that his father is from another time. he's not saying i'm not a black man, which is not the same thing as being a colored man. i think part of what the point of that scene is opening up the space for black people to think about themselves in ways beyond
the white limitations that have been placed on them. and i think now we look back at a scene like that we can see there is something more complex going on than some simple rejection of his racial identity. >> how would you capture his contributions to the culture? >> he was hugely influential. he change the minds of many white people about black people. of seeing black people as complex human beings. he was a figure who paved the way for some of the generations of black actors to follow. there were very few models for him but he has been the model for denzel washington and some of the others were followed. >> thank you so much for joining us as we remember the life in many contributions of sydnee portcgc >> my pleasure. >> sidney poirier no one like him. that is the news over for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online in here monday evening from all of us at the
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>> tonight on a kqed newsroom. how to handle the omicron wave of covid-19 infections and when it will be over. the latest from stanford epidemiologist dr. yvonne malta model. our specialist tonight is the meta made headlines when he was elected mayor of stockton. michael tubbs talks about is the one more and what he is doing now to tackle poverty in california. how bay area lawmakers marked the anniversary of the january 6th riots. and look at head of the political stories brewing in the new year. co