tv PBS News Hour PBS January 17, 2022 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newsho productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, m.l.k. day. as the nation honors martin luther king jr., the civil rights lder's son makes the case for why new federal voting rights legislation is key to >> this is fundamental to our democracy in terms of saving our democracy. it shouldn't be about making it harder for people to vote. it should be making it easier and expanding and protecting. >> woodruff: then, searching for answers. authorities in the u.s. and the u.k. investigate why a british citizen held a rabbi and congregants hostage at a texas synagogue. and safety measures: as new covid cases drop in some parts of the country but spike in
others, we ask a doctor to spell out best practices for masking and testing. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: he why fidelity advisors are here to create a wealth plan. a plan with tax sensitive investing strategies, planning focused on tomorrow while you focus on today. that's the planning effect from fidelity >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson.
>> this program was made possible by e corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: this has been a day for the annual remembrance of dr. martin luther king, junior. but also, this year, a day of calls to action on voting rights. in chicago, a car ravan rolled through streets in support of voting rights legislation now stalled in the u.s. senate. in washington, vice president harris helped out at a food >> today, we must not be complacent or complicit; we must nt give up; and we must not give in. to truly honor the legacy of the man we celebrate today, we must continue to fight for the freedom to vote, for freedom for
all. >> woodruff: martin luther king . the civil rights leader's son martin luther king 3rd is chairman of the drum major institute and i spoke with him a short time ago. >> martin luther king the third, thank you very much for joining us, you have been observing your father's birthday for virtually your entire life. you've been speaking about the commitment that he had to voting rights, to civil rights. how is this year different? >> what make this year different is we are specifically focused on delivering for voting rights. we have seen since 20-- 2021 after the insurrection, 19 states with 34 pieces of legislation that have created
suppressive voting rights legislation. so our goal is to get the john lewis bill and the for the people voting rights act done and i think that normally we're looking at issues. but this is fundamental to our democracy in terms of saving our desm october see. it shouldn't be about making it harder for people vote. it should be making it easier and expanding and protecting. and that's why we need the united states senate to vote on these bills. >> i want to play for you right now something your father said in 1965. you mentioned the senate. he was talking about the filibuster, the rule that is at issue today. let's listen. >> i think the tragedy is that we have a congress with a senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting. they won't let the majority senators vote. and certainly they wouldn't want the majority of people to vote
because they know they do not represent the majority of the american people. that was all those years ago. what do you think he would be saying about what is going on right now? >> well, i think first he would be greatly disappointed in the current leadership. in the senate. particularly, and i don't know about particularly one side or the other because the reality is there are enough senators there to get this done around protecting, preserving and expanding votes rights but he would be very disappointed that the leadership has chosen so far not to dwet this done. >> one of the minds you are trying to change in the senate is that of arizona democrat, senator kirsten sinema. i'm shire you know on the floor of the senate last week she said yes, she is for voting rights reform but she is more concerned about the political divide in this country and deepening those divisions, what would you say to her about that? >> well, i need her to explain
why she was willing to go around that provision to raise just a few weeks ago the debt ceiling, to make sure the full faith and credit of our country didn't go in the tubes which is very important, by the way, but she was willing to forego it then, she was willing to create a scenario where health care was good in 2010 but when it domes to protecting the rights. the most fundamental right we have, the right to vote, it is perplexing to me. you can't say you are for something, in my judgment, and not have a pathway to make it happen. >> woodruff: you are referring of course to the senate rule, the filibuster. you are focusing a lot of your attention on those two democratic holdouts, senator sinema and senator manchin but we know republicans are opposing these changes en masse and we heard yesterday senator romney say and i'm going to quote. he said, es speak being advocates for change, he said
they feel that instead of it being run at the state level, it should really be managed and run at the federal level but the founders didn't have that vision in mind. what would you say to that? >> well, the fact of the matter is when states are making it harder and restricting people's right to vote and embracing what we feel is like a jim crow mentality, this is jim crow 2.0 is what they are doing, then it st, the federal government is what we always turn to get relief. there used to be a preclearance provision in the voting rights act. we need that preclearance provision again so the states will not mistreat people, that everyone is treated the same way. and again we should be expanding the right to vote. and you know, quite frankly, i'm going to go so far and say you know, i'm disappointed to hear some of the things. i know that senator romney had said that he was concerned in
relationship to some of the things the president has said. and he hadn't been reached out to. but yet senator kaine said they reached out across the aisle and not one republican other than, maybe the senator from alaska had expressed some interest. but everyone else, all of them, so they are on the side, they are on the wrong side of history in my judgment. >> i want to did you about esident biden. as you know he's pleaded for voting rights over the last several weeks but ame bishop reginald jackson is arguing that the president was late to this game. and i'm quoting him. but south carolina representative james clyburn said yesterday that given covid that the president's priorities have been in the right place. who is-- who's right here? >> yeah, they are both right. i mean that sounds strange, in other words the president has had a number of priorities as it
relates to covid. there is nothing probably more important an the health and safety of our nation. but there also is nothing more important than the right to vote for everyone, in an unincome berred way for our nation. so i think in a real sense both things, both areas are right, congressman clyburn is right and bishop jackson. >> well, bishop jackson went on to say he thinks the president needs to, as he put it, draw a line in the sand. he said if they are not going to support the top priority the president needs to make it clear democracy is going to come first before their own special projict, interest and priority. in other words he is talking about some kind of punishment of senators who don't go along. >> well, i think what bishop jackson was saying is that those who are not willing to engage in the process of democracy in fairness for all people, in terms of right to vote, then when it comes to election time again, they may not get the
support that they, his might have gotten in the past. and i think that's very real. i think that's a realistic perception. >> and just to follow on that, i know you say you are very focused on this coming vote but what does-- what do you believe it's going to mean for this year's elections if voting rights reform does not pass. >> well, you know, that's i think the biggest issue is there are a myriad of issues on the table right now. and the reason voting rights needs to shall-- i mean voting rights protection needs to pass are to ensure that the maximum number of people can participate in the process. but if the maximumnumber of people are not allowed to participate in the process, it do be certainly kiss as trus. i mean the president could lose the majority in both houses. some conventional wisdom might
say that already the house is lost. but the senate could be lost as well. so you know, we-- none of us know any of that right now. we'rlooking at conventional wisdom this day but a number of things could change. >> martin luther king the third, thank you very much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for the opportunity . >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the covid-19 death toll in the united states has passed 850,000, with average daily deaths climbing sharply in the last two weeks. meanwhile, china has eased its lockdown measures in xian, about 75 miles from beijing. but beijing also reported its first case of omicron, with the winter olympics less than three weeks away. major u.s. airlines and cargo lines warned today of a crisis when at&t and verizon deploy new
5g service on wednesday. delta, united and southwest said they need federal clearance to keep major airports operating, or air travel could be sharply reduced. there are concerns that 5g signals could interfere with airliner instruments used in bad a major winter storm has dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the u.s. northeast, knocked out power for thousands, and canceled flights. plows were out in force overnight in ohio. parts of the state reported more than two feet of snow. residents in rochester, new york, today had to dig their way out. the storm had migrated north after blanketing parts of the southeast, causing two deaths.
in the vaik of an enormous undersea volcano on saturday, communication remains largely cut off with the south island. >> a blast so massive it it it was seen from space, satellite imagery caught the explosion and a ball of ash bill o owing above and beyond the tongan island. before the blast thick plume shoot up 12 miles above sea level. the tsunami arrived quickly, communications are completely down and the death toll unknown, one won firmed dead. her brother spoke in the u.k. >> i can't describe how we're feeling at the moment. >> the explosion caused waves around the world. the pacific in california harbors flooded. in japan, fisherman looked on as their boats sank. and in peru coastal areas flooded and two women drowned
after waves swept them away. in total around the world the explosion affected 11 countries and territories. >> it's a rare explosion that reaches the stratosphere and that is what got everyone's attention twns the senior researcher with the smithsonian volcanism program, he says it comes from a chamber of magna-- magazine ma forcing through rock. >> just like a bottle of soda, the gas that is contained in that liquid magazine ma starts to ex-- magma starts to expand so it reaches the sur facial, fragments of magma and erupteds and when if hits the water, the water expands and create its creates its own explosion. >> it is believed to it be the largest in three decades. for the pbs newshour i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: remarkable >> woodruff: in sudan, this has been one of the deadliest days since october's military coup. security forces in khartoum again opened fire on protesters, killing seven and wounding
around 100 others. that makes at least 71 people killed so far, in the near-daily protests. the u.s. and asian allies today condemned north korea's fourth firing of ballistic missiles this month. the south korean military says they were short-range weapons that flew not quite 240 miles, landing in the sea. the north has rejected new talks on its nuclear program until the u.s. drops sanctions. china reports its economy grew 8% for all of last year, but slowed to only half that rate in the fourth quarter. the drop-off came as beijing cracked down on the real estate industry's surging debt. that, in turn, triggered a slump in construction. and, back in this country, charles mcgee, a tuskegee airman who flew combat missions in three wars, died sunday at his home in bethesda, maryland. in both military and cilian life, he faced segregation and
racism. but, he was highly decorated, and in 2020 he received a standing ovation during president trump's state of the union address. charles mcgee was 102-years-old. still to come on the "newshour," the contentious debate over changing the senate filibuster. a doctor's take on best practices for covid testing and masking. how a new museum celebrates and critiques the history of filmmaking. and much more. >> woodruff: this weekend's events in texas where four people were taken hostage at a synagogue has renewed concerns again about potential targeting of groups and the threats of anti-semitism. amna nawaz has our coverage. >> nawaz: after surviving more
than 11 hours on saturday held at gunpoint in his texas synagogue, rabbi charlie cytron-walker spoke today with "cbs mornings." >> it was terrifying, it was overwhelming. >> nawaz: sharing for the first time h and he and other hostages escaped. >> the exit wasn't too far away, i threw a chair at the gunman, and i headed for the door. and all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired. >> nawaz: the f.b..i has identified the hostage-taker as malik faisal akram, a 44-year-old british citizen. on saturday morning, akram entered congregation beth israel in the fort worth suburb of colleyville, taking the rabbi and three congregants hostage, during a livestreamed sabbath service. more than 200 local, state, and federal law enforcement quickly converged on the site, and hostage negotiators engaged with akram, reportedly heard on the livestream demanding the release of dr. aafia siddiqui, a pakistani neuroscientist convicted in 2010 of trying to kill american soldiers in afghanistan.
currently serving an 86-year sentence in a fort worth federal prison, siddiqui has become a cause celebre for islamist extremists. the synagogue standoff stretched on for hours. around 5:00 p.m. saturday, an elderly hostage was released unharmed. around 9:00 p.m., the others managed to escape. law enforcement reportedly approached the building. shots were fired, and akram was left dead. it's unclear how he died. later that night, the f.b.i. provided an update. >> we obviously are investigating, we will continue to investigate the hostage taker, we are investigating his contacts, our investigation will have global reach. >> nawaz: on sunday, in northwestern england, british police detained two teenagers for questioning as part of the probe. back in the u.s., in a sunday night statement, the f.b.i. called the attack “a terrorism- related matter, in which the jewish community was targeted.” according to the anti-defamation
league, more than 2,000 antisemitic incidents were reported in 2020, the third highest year on record. in recent years, jewish institutions nationwide have ramped up security, including training for their community. in a sunday statement, rabbi cytron-walker said those trainings at congregation beth israel saved their lives, writing, "in the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening. without the instruction we received, we would not have been prepared tact and flee when the situation presented itself”" in the aftermath, and as a precaution, an increase in security at jewish institutions across america. >> nawaz: we're going to look at and 9 state of hate more broadly i'm joined by jonathan greenblatt, the c.e.o. of the anti-defamation league and author of a new book called
"it could happen here, why america is tipping from hate to the unthinkable and how we can stop it." jonathan, welcome back to the newshour, thank you for being here. the rabbi is saying that the only reason they all made it out alive was because of training. of the idea that they had prepared or something that could potentially happen to them was just one of the most revealing moments in the last day or so. and i have to ask you, how widespread is that fear, that fear in the jewish community that it could happen to them too. >> well, amna, i will start out by saying how grateful we are that the rabbi and other hostages were rescued safely. his heroism clearly, you know, saved the day as well as the brave work of law enforcement, particularly the frk bish. that being said i was also humbled that the rabbi mentioned specifically that training from the frk bi and the adl helped save their lives. jews across the country are terrified of this moment, as you and i have talked about before on this program. we have seen jews attacked at
jcc'ss, synagogues, kosher supermarkets, again, you know, what happened just this eck wuld end. they are alarmed and there is so much anxiety right now to see our sacred spaces under seein this way. the reality is as the rabbi said indeed, clergy across the country who want to study tora end up having to thrern tactical maneuvers because of evil people with anti-semitic ideas who are willing to tbring violence into our communities. the data doesn't lie. despite the fact that jews are less than two percent of the population, 60 percent of the faith-oriented hate crimes target jewish communities across the country. so they are feeling vulnerable right now to strie lens. they are worried. and so all of us are in a state of shock. >> nawaz: you and i have talked about these rising numbers before, a number of people have reported on them again and again and yet there are a lot of people don't believe this is happening.
your publication wrote about the reaction online in very extremist circles ranging from islamic extreatmentists hailing this. but also a bunch of people denying that it happened it tor calling it a staged or fake attack that they say jewish people are using just to get sympathy. how, where does that come from and also that kind of denial been getting worse? >> it's stunning and sinking but not surprising. if you were to ask me why are we living in this moment, i think social media which has brought an up fettered flow of sewage into the mainstream has a lot to do with it. the demonization of jews, of israel, of zionism, makes all jews feel literally vulnerable and under a kind of seige. and the failure of the big platforms to do anything. but also honestly, the people in public life speak out clearly d consistently on both siesd of the aisle. people on the left, people on
the right. they weaponnized these claisms and honestly jews get caught in the middle. so i do i this as our country's most polarizing that it has been in literally generationsk you are seeing this play out more and more. where anti-sem nism-- anti-semitism is amplified and all kinds of hated son the rise. and unfortunately there is simply a real history, and there is real world violence that occurs in this kind of rhetoric just explodes all over our platforms into public conversation. >> which brings moo he to your book title because that is a worry i think a lot of people have. the idea of tipping from hate to you will the unthinkable. what are you worried we are heading towards and how do twe keep from going there? >> well looking, the unthinkable is i would go to-- on saturday morning and end upheld hostage for 12 hours, the unthinkable is my wife could go to a kosher supermarket and be killed by an
evil. >> the unthinkable that a college town like charlottesville could be marched upon by white supremacists out in the open. i am the grandson of a holocaust survivor from germany who never could imagine the only country he ever knew could turn on him, destroy everything he ever laed and slaughter all family and friends. i'm the husband of a political refugee from iran whose family the only country they ever know had turned on them after the islamic revolution destroye- destroyed everything they love and fled for their lives so when we have to center the kind of security at our synagogues that you associate with fort knox, we are moving toward the unthinkable and st time all of us realize this anti-semitism, is not a jewish problem, it is an american problem. this is a failure of our democracy and we need to take it that seriously. >> jonathan greenblatt, c.e.o. of the anti-defamation league, thank you for speaking with such
clarity. we really appreciate you being with us today. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: as the senate returns tomorrow to take up legislation on voting rights, there's one major roadblock for democrats: majority leader chuck schumer doesn't have the votes to pass it in an evenly-divided chamber. that's led to renewed talk of reforming the senate's rules. lisa desjardins picks it up from there. >> desjardins: judy, it's called the filibuster, the right of senators to derail votes, in theory, with infinite debate. and it's why there is a 60-vote threshold for most senate bills. long speeches have always been part of the senate, but requiring a super majority vote to end them, that came in 1917, and it has defined the modern senate. it has changed some, with a lower threshold and 160
workarounds in its first 100 years. today, all 50 senate democrats agree on voting rights reforms, but they do not agree on whether to change the senate's rules to pass them. for more on the debate over the filibuster, we turn to adam jentson, the executive director of battle born collective, a progressive communications firm, and former adviser to democratic senate majority leader harry reid; and brian darling, senior advisor to navigators global, a conservative communications firm, and former adviser to republican senator rand paul. gentlemen, thank you. let me just jump right into this fornt debate, 5d and-- adam, why should the filibuster change. >> the filibuster lisa as you said has changed a lot over the years. and in today's senate has come from what most americans think of when they think of the filibuster, perhaps jimmy stewart standing on the senate floor giving a long speech into a more refined tool of obstruction that allows a minority of senators who who may
represent as little as a quarter of the population to block the majority from acting on centrist, common sense policy. so if the filibuster ever served a useful purpose, it has mutated far beyond what the framers ever envisionednd become a tool purely for obstruction. that is what you are skiing in the senate today and why it needs to be reformed or gotten rid of all together. >> to adam's point there, the filibuster, the supermajority is no not in the constitution. why should it stand. >> the senate served a very important function. it was created by our founders to represent the state. and we live in a republic, a democratic republic. over the years the senate has had a tradition of extended debate, something called the filibuster. it serves to keep the senate and its function as a deliberative body, a body that promotes independence and moderation and free speech and as you know, democrats and republicans have both shifted talking points on
this, but i think that most people who have served in the senate and represent the senate love the idea of extending, they like the idea of having senators have the opportunity to slow the whole process down and let the american people get involved in the legislative process. >> adam, what about brian's point there that this preserves the senate as a place of thoughtful, meaningful debate. >> i think that is a nice theory but in practice that is not how it works at all, if anybody were to turn on krrk spanny day of the week, they would see that is not what happened. knob is ever on the floor he can gate-- debating or having ideas, you see an empi-- empty paralyzed chamber because of the filibuster. if it ever did serve a useful purpose it was to foster that debate and that is why i refer to the talking filibuster, which are actually senators on the floor. but what the framers intended about the senate being a place to protect minority input they did believe it shd be a place to protect minority input also also
there was a careful balance between protecting input and allowing minorities to block the majori all together. they were very clear in no uncertain terms they did not believe a minority of senators should have the ability to block the majority. they thought the minority should be able to he can bait, have int, to bring the public into the discussion and that could about on for days, weeks, even months sometimes but when push came to shove at the end. day, the issue at hand is supposed to come up for a simple majority vote as it did for 200 years in the senate and that is what the framer believe. today we have a filibuster stiped from deliberation to disfunction. that is why we need to go back to the traditions of the past where you have senators actually debating instead of just allowing a minority of senators to block whatever the majority wants to do with barely with even raising a finger dcertainlo debate the issue. >> brian, i want to get to that idea of how the senate functions, really how our whole government functions and the filibuster. let's look at a graphic over how
the filibuster has been used. measured by votes, its use has exploded in the past couple of debate-- decades but at that same time so has partisanship, the increased use of the filibuster hasn't made people be more bipartisan. how do you answer that idea that the senate is digs functional and that the filibuster as a political tool is part of it it. >> well, i think we all a imree that there is disfunction in the senate, there is disfunction in congss as a whole. and i don't think changing the rules is going to solve that problem. you lookt the biden admistration, actually passed significant legislation. they passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill. they passed a covid relief package early in the biden presidency. and they also hiked the debt limit. they have passed significant pieces of legislation. they have extended funding for the government through a continuing resolution. so we can say that the senate is broken but i think the problem is that many want to put through
legislation into very controversial, highly partisan, like this voting reform bill, and that is something that even it doesn't appear that all democrats are on board with changing the rules to do that. >> brian, it seems like everyone here agrees that there is a problem in how congress is working, that it is broken. i know you feel that way. but would you support something like a talking filibuster that ad is talking about, some kind of reform? >> i think that if senators were to take the floor and be forced to give speeches and hold the flr, i might support that. but i don't support it being done the way it's being done now. but it should be a bipartisan change. it it shouldn't be done by throwing the rules out the window and claim theg are unconstitutional. >> one quick last question for you, adam. democrats are nervous if you do this, democrats will actually be harmed when republicans, as often hands, when republicans take over, as it often has.
>> imifer enthe history here, mitch mcconnell when he was majority leader under president trump was quick to do a away with tge filibuster to confirm supreme court nominees, he did away with it with a flick of his wrist, mitch mcconnell as some may recall also lead the fight toned the filibuster under president george w. bush in 2005 so i think relying on mitch mcconnell and senate republicans to keep the fill buster in place when it's no longer serves their advantage is not a smart strat imee por democrats. >> adam jentleson, brian darling, good thoughts from both of you. thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: with or without the filibuster, there's no clear path to passing voting rights in the senate, with the battle lines between democrats and republicans firmly drawn.
here to assess the politics on both sides of the debate, our potics monday team: amy walter of "the cook political report with amy walter," and tamara keith of npr. thank you for joining us. amy, i'm going to start with you, we just heard lisa's discussion just now of the filibuster debate abt it. however you look at it the prospects don't look good. i think to put it mildly on voting rights. with the filibuster, or without the filibuster. you, people are asking and people are asking why go ahead with this to the democrats when the rospect looks so dim. yesterday we heard congressman jim clyburn of south carolina say on one of the sunday shows, on several of the sunday shows, the reason we need to go ahead is we need to know where you stand. are you with us or are you against us. what about that line of thinking on the part of the democrats,
amy? >> well, that's right. judy, there has been so much for these last few months, democrats just seem to be running in place. and the issue isn't much about trying to do work within their own party, rather than trying to get a bipartisan coalition together. joe manchin has been at the center of a lot of this but so has kirsten sinema the senator from arizona who took to the senate floor to say no, i'm not going to support overturning the filibuster as it it stands right now. and so putting people on the record rkz judy, you're right, it's in some way keeps the focus on the interparty fighting which is democrats can't seem sto get their act together and they didn't pass it in part because democrats couldn't agree. but it st also allows democrats to move forward, to stay we're going to take a vote. we get people lined up on that vote, and then we go and everybody knows where everybody stands and we see where we can get later on, which at this
point even though it doesn't seem like these bills are going to pass, reporting coming out, suggesting that there may be some bipartisan agreement on changing this electoral account act of 1887 which would prevent something like a vice president being able to say, go in, and say that he has authority to overturn electoral votes. >> so tam, pretty of the same question. you have, there is an alternative out there, but most democrats are saying that is a distraction. we need to focus first on voting rights. but they don't have the votes. the argument, you know, ask as we heard from jim clyburn, we need to know whors side you are on, which side are you on, that is the democrats calculus but there's risk in that. >> certainly, and vice president harris today was asked about this as well. and essentially said there are a hundred senators in the senate
and i'm not letting any of them off the hook but in particular kirsten sinema and joe manchin. part of what is going on here is that democrats are under incredible pressure from key parts of their base too do something about this. when president biden and vice president harris went to georgia to give remarks, to push for this voting rights legislation, activists, voting rights activists who are a huge, you know, have a stronghold in georgia and are very significant in georgia, refused to show up, many of them, saying that words weren't enough. they needed a plan. and the challenge though is that it's really hard to have a plan when president biden has said with 50 senators, with 50 democratic senators, every single within of them is a president. every single one of them has the power to tank the agenda or tank what the president wants.
and so it's, the mass is just a real problem for president biden, for key parts of his base. and for many democrats who want to do this. >> and for democrats, for those democrats who are in swing states or swing districts, if you a congressman, if you are a member of the senate, and you are in a tough race, this vote is one that will be remembered. >> that's exactly where i was going is to arizona, we talk so much about senator sin el-- sinema but there is somebody else in arizona, another democrat, mark kelley, he is up for re-election this year. he has been very quiet about the filibuster and what he would do if that were brought up for a vote. now he has a very difficult choice in front of him. if he doesn't go along with sinema's perspective on the filibuster, he votes to overturn the filibuster for this voting
rights bill, republicans in the state are going to make the case in this election that this guy isn't so independent. he says he is an independent, he went against our democratic senator, kirsten sinema and sided with the liberals in washington. you can already hear the campaign ad, if he chooses to side with sinema then to pam's point the progress ich community, both the energy and the money coming to him are going to get cut off, so he's probably the one in the toughest position right now to center this vote on the record. >> tam, this is one-- this is a year when it's all about the election. >> yeah, yes, because guess what, it is 2022 now. we are officially in the mid term election year. and you know, you have senator kelly who has a very difficult choice. you have senate majority leader chuck schumer who doesn't want a primary either.
so you have a lot of competing interests and you also have from democrats a legitimate concern that anything they don't get done this year and relatively early this year is going to get completely overtaken by election year politics and then if they lose the house or you know, certainly if they lose the house it seems likely given all of the retirements that have been announced, then they're not going to it be able to do it again in 2023. >> and just quickly, speaking of arizona, amy and speaking of elections, former president trump was in arizona over the weekend talking to his ns, thousands of them, repeating the same mistruths about the election, saying he won. and amy, a lot of conspiracy theories thrown around, people in the crowd talking about john f. kennedy coming back. john f. kennedy, jr. i mean it gets to fantasy land, doesn't it? >> well, it does.
and the real worry, judy i think that we all have is not simply that people are discussing these theories, but that in reality, majorities of voters, when an election happens, don't trust the outcome. and that is more problematic. now look, the good news from 2020 was we had thousands and thousands of local elected officials, people's whose names we'll never know who stood there in the breach and said my job is to it be a nonpartisan, i count the votes. i am not here to cheer for one party or another, put a thumb on the scale. they are still there but undermined by this kind of language and it's very, very dangerous. >> tam, we just have a few seconds to put a button on it. >> yeah, well, the former president knows some of their maims now and is ying to get them replaced by people that are loyalists to him. that is part of what that rally was about in arizona rkz was
romoalting candidates who he has endorsed for elections this coming year. >> woodruff: we are going to threef it there. there are a few weeks left to talk about this year's elections. we're going to take advantage of that. tamara keith, amy walter, thank you both. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: a shortage of covid testing has been a major problem across the country. beginning this wednesday, people will be able to order free at-home rapid tests from the government. any individual or family will be able to get four tests by going to the website covidtests.gov. that news is welcome, but many people have concerns about those tests, and other key guidance being given right now. nicole ellis loo at some of those basic questions.
questions around vac even testing and masks. to get some clarity around this i'm joined by dr. patel, an infectio shuses disease professor at the university of i want to start with testing. what is the current c.d.c. guidance around getting tested for covid? >> so, what i would say is there are a couple of tests out there, you've probably heard at this point about antigen versus p.c.r. i think if you can get a hand on either of those tests, and follow the guidance about whether you need to be tested, and most of thtime if you're asking yourself this question, the answer is yes. then i think you can go from there and i wouldn't worry about which one it is, if you can get your hand on a test. >> the bidendministration is promising half a billion at home tests free to americans, but they're also known to be a little less accurate than p.c.r. tests. so, how does it to work together
and what's their purpose? >> now, the antigen test is a little bit different than the p.c.r. test. the that they, kind of, detect infection in your body and the p.c.r. test can be what we call more sensitive. now, at the same time that's a good thing. that can be an interesting thing. if after 14 days, your p.c.r. test is still positive, it's not going to exactly tell you when you got infected. and so, that can sometimes be the difference between the two tests. i will say if you have a positive test at all, would believe it and it's not likely to be a false positive. >> some public health experts say that rapid tests are very good at telling you whether or not you are viral or contagious right now. how accurate is that? and is there a correlation between getting a positive test and whether or not you're contagious? >> what is really difficult about covid is that often, you are the most contagious before you have symptoms.
so, that is part of the reason that we're seeing so much spread of the infection right now. so, keep that in mind. and if you do start having symptoms, i do think it's a good idea to get tested. and we're noticing especially with omicron, some research shows that your first test may be negative. so, it does make sense if you have that test at home to test again, especially if you're having symptoms. now, at the end of when you're, you know, you've had symptoms for five or ten days, you've gotten better, the tests are not going to help you know you're contagious anymore, and that's the hard part of testing. >> the c.d.c. recommends that we wear masks in public indoor spaces, and that cloth masks are can you explain a little bit about why that is? and what we should do? >> yeah, definitely. you know, it's been two years since this all started, and there has been chance for people to start studying, okay, what kind of masks really hold up well against this infection.
and the research really shows that cloth masks are inferior, they're not as good as surgical masks or something higher than that, such as a 95 or a k 94. at the end of the day, what's really important is if you can hold your mask on, keep it on, not take it off, you know, it's comfortable to you, because at so, what i would say is try to get a mask that works for you. if it can be surgical mask or something more infiltrative than that such as a k 95 and 94, that would be best, but at this point it's probably time to put away that cloth masks. >> for two years now, we've been in anticipation of one day not having to worry about this. will that day ever come will we ever be at a point whe we don't have to worry about coronavirus or have to live under these very complicated confusing circumstances? >> what's probably going to happen as more people in the united states and in the world
really get vaccinated, we will start to build up an immunity, and the virus will become less strong, and become one of the viruses in our cadre of millions of viruses that we see. it will take a while, but i think taking it step by step, and that comes with becoming vaccinated can really help how we see things think about the next few months. >> that is dr. patel, an infectious disease physician at the university of michigan. thank you for joining me. >> thanks for having me today. >> woodruff: and you can watch an extended version of nicole's q&a with dr. patel online. that's at pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: the academy of motion pictures is best known as the organization that hands out oscars, and for the controversy in recent years about the lack of diversity in its ranks and awards. now the organization has opened
a new museum in los angeles, said to be the largest in north america devoted to the art of filmmaking. jeffrey brown took a tour with one of its leaders for our arts and culture series, "canvas." >> reporter: it's a museum of the movies, so: orson welles a“" citizen kane," r2d2 from “star wars" and, of course: “the wizard of oz” and dorothy's ruby slippers. but these days, more than a greatest hits approach is required of cultural institutions of all kinds, including this one. film historian jacqueline stewart: >> some people like the term, the "magic of cinema." i prefer the term, the "power of cinema," because i think that's where we can really look at not just what happens to us on an emotional level, but think about that as a kind of cultural power and political power. >> reporter: stewart is author and editor of books exploring film history, a professor at the university of chicago. and since 2019, host of “silent
sunday nights” on the turner classic movies network, presenting and discussing silent films. she's also a newly minted“ macarthur fellow,” the so- called "genius award." her view: you can love an art form through critiquing it, a lesson she learned in r chicago childhood, watching films with an aunt. >> and there were always these moments when, like, a maid would show up, or white people are having a conversation a train and there's a kind of porter on the side, and our eye would go to those people. and then i'd become curious about th actor. not just the character they were playing, but what was it like for them to be on the set in that way? >> reporter: now stewart has a new role that allows her to present some of the stories behind what we see on screen: she's chief artistic and programming officer of the new academy museum of motion pictures in los angeles.
outside: a design by architect renzo piano that encompasses the former may company building, itself considered an architectural landmark from 1939. inside: four floors of permanent and temporary exhibitions: with rooms dedicated to filmmakers like pedro almodóvar and spike lee. one on early cinema history, and special emphasis on the various movie crafts-- costumes, animation, editing and more: the labor that goes into a film, and is so important to stewart. >> i used to gt really annoyed with my students when they would leave a class screening as the credits were rolling because, to me, that was, kind of, a slap in the face of all these people who had worked on the film. it's typical! we walk out of the movie while the credits are rolling. >> reporter:ometimes the lights go on. >> yes, the movie is over, but i think there is something absolutely essential about recognizing people's labor. that's not just true of filmmaking, it's true of
everything that we d and so, part of what this museum is doing is it's exposing creative labor. >> reporter: it's also aiming to expose something else: what's been missing from the picture. in at least one case, not on view in a room of oscar statues, literally missing. in 1940, hattie mcdaniel became the first african-american to win an oscar, for her role as mammy in “gone with the wind.” later, though, her plaque, as they were then for supporting roles, went missing. the museum presents an empty case. and what is it showing to you? >> the way she was treated at the oscars ceremony. she was segregated in that space. the way that she was treated on the set of "gone with the wind." the way that so many black actors were relegated to servant roles or minimal roles, unrealistic roles. this for me, i think for of us at the museum, is a way of recognizing not just hattie mcdaniel's experience, but all
of the absences in film history that are based on racial segregation. >> reporter: “gone with the wind,” of course, was controversial then and now for its romanticizing of slavery in the south. in 2020, stewart provided an introduction to a new release of the film. >> through the lens of nostalgia >> she argues for recontextualizing such films rather than taking them out of circulation. the academy museum takes that approach as well. it adds to the canon in places, highlighting the work of oscar micheaux, an early successful black filmmaker. >> makeup cases that are marked as “black minstrel,” “light egyptian,” “chinese." >> reporter: it also displays
make-up kits from the era of "blackface." >> this for us is a really powerful way of recognizing that, you know, the industry itself knew what it was doing, and that it wasn't incidental or lighthearted, but actually these tools were crafted. >> reporter: in more recent years, the academy of motion pictures has been the target of the #oscarsowhite campaign, and criticized for the lack of diversity in its membership. jacqueline stewart thinks the new museum has a role to play. >> as much as i'm excited about young people coming to this museum and being inspired, and as much as i'm excited about people who feel that they haven't been represented in museums or represented in films can come here and see themselves reflected in various way, i'm also excited about filmmakers, about academy members coming here. you know, to think about how to diversify their fields, how to be mentors to people who are not historically represented in these areas. i think that would be a real
achievement. and i do think that there is a really strong desire among many academy members that this museum can do that kind of work. >> reporter: stewart sees the macarthur grant as recognition of her own work to study, critique and change how we watch the movies. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown the academy museum of motion pictures in los angeles. >> woodruff: on the newshour online, a potential eviction crisis looms in new orleans, where renters have already been hit hard by the pandemic and hurricane ida. read that storat pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us on-line and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> pediatric surgeon. volunteer.
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