tv PBS News Hour PBS January 31, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a tense moment-- the united nations security council convenes to discuss ukraine as tens of thousands of russian troops remain positioned along its border. then, an alarming launch-- the united states calls for direct negotiation with north korea over its weapons programs following a test of a missile that could reach guam. and, thin ice-- unpredictable weather patterns worsened by climate change threaten the longstanding traditions of outdoor hockey and skating. >> the biggest thing that causes us anxiety ery year is really the weather conditions. we've had 40 below, we've had 40 above. it's just been incredibly unpredictable. >> woodruff: all that and more
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>> woodruff: the standoff between russia and the west over ukraine has sparked a stormy debate today at the united nations. russia accused the u.s. of bringing nazis to power in kiev. the united states saidt's moscow that's guilty of aggressive moves. stephanie sy reports. >> sy: in the united nations security counciloday, a fractious discussion over the crisis in ukraine. russia accused the u.s., which called the meeting, of inciting panic, and attempted to shut it down. >> the open format for discussion proposed byhe u.s. on this extremely sensitive topic, is making this a classic example of megaphone diplomacy. >> sy: but the meeting continued, with russia in the hot seat. the u.s. pushed the kremlin to de-escalate its military build- up along its border with ukraine >> this is the largest, hear me clearly, mobilization of troops in eure in decades.
and as we speak, russia is sending even more forces and arms to join them. >> sy: diplomats from around the world urged russia to stand down, or face consequences. >> in the best case scenario, the scale of the russian forces assembled on three sides of ukraine is deeply destablizing. in the worst case, it is preparations for military invasion of sovereign country. >> sy: but the russian envoy again denied plans to attack ukraine, charging the u.s. with escalating tensions. >> the discussions about a threat of war is provocative in and of itself. you are almost calling for this, you want it to happen, you are >> sy: the u.s. and its nato allies have rejected moscow's demands nato pull back troops from eastern europe and ban ukraine from ever joining the alliance. ukrainian officials today said they had the right to decide their own treaties and
allices, and did not believe at the white house, president biden called the security council meeting a critical step against russia's military posture. >> today at the united nations, we continue to urge diplomacy as the best way forward. but with russia continuing its buildup of its forces around ukraine, we are ready no mter what happens. >> sy: for weeks, russia has massedore than 100,000 troops along ukraine's borders, and has now begun joint military drills in neighboring belarus. in ukraine's east, ukrainian forces continue military drills. meanwhile, volunteers in kyiv have begun self-defense training. for the pbs newshour, i'm stephanie sy. >> woodruff: the united states called again today for north korea to stop firing missiles, after its most powerful weapons test since 2017. on sunday, pyongyang launched a missile that can reach guam, a u.s. territory some 2,100 miles
away from north korea. we'll return to this, after the news summary. the united arab emirates says it intercepted a missile today that was fired by rebels in yemen. it was the third such attack in three weeks. u.a.e. defense video showed warplanes destroying the missile launcher afterward. but the rebels claimed success anyway. u.a.e. forces are fighting in yemen against the rebels, who are backed by iran. on the pandemic, the u.s. food and drug administration gave full approval today to moderna's vaccine against covid-19. it's been administered so far under an emergency authorization. pfizer's vaccine won full approval last august. britain's prime minister boris johnson has apologized again for office parties during the covid lockdown in 2020. an investigation report today found what it called "failures of leadership and judgment". johnson told the housef commons, that he accepts the
findings, and he said, "i get it and i will fix it." >> it isn't enough to say sorry. this is a moment when we must look ourselves in the mirror and we must learn. this does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded. that is why we are making changes now in the way that downing street and the cabinet office run. >> woodruff: at the same time, the prime minister again dismissed calls that he step down. northern europe is reeling after powerful winter storms killed four people and did widespread damage over the weekend. winds of 100 miles an hour and driving rain blasted scotland and the scandinavian countries, toppling trees and destroying homes. thousands were still without electricity today. back in this country, new england and parts of the northeast spent another day digging out from a weekend blizzard. in the boston suburbs,
temperatures rose slightly as plows and shovelers returned to streets. some parts of massachusetts saw more than 2.5 feet of snow a federal judge in georgia today rejected a hate crimes agreement in the ahmad arbery killing last year. travis mcmichael and his father are now doing life in state prison, for chasing and murdering arbery. the hate crimes deal would send them to federal prison, where conditions are better, for 30 years. but, arbery's parents denounced the agreement. >> we want 100% justice, not no half justice. because you have the think, if an average american man killed a white man like that, they would kill him on the spot. we want 100% justice. >> woodruff: the >> woodruff: the mcmichaels have until friday to decide their next move. a third man convicted in the arbery murder is not party to the plea agreement.
at least six historically black universities scrambled to deal with bomb threats today, for the second time this month. several of the schools locked down their campuses for a time. there was no indication of any bombs being found. california is moving to dismantle its death row, the nation's largest, within two years. it's now located at san quentin state prison. governor gavin newsom outlined plans today to transfer condemned inmates to other sites, and merge them into the general prison population. on wall street, major stock indexes scored gains of one to three percent. the dow jones industrial average added 406 points to close near 35,132. the nasdaq rose 469 points. the s&p 500 added 83. but for the month, the s&p fell 5%. the nasdaq plunged 9%. the dow dropped 3%. and, willie o'ree, the fir black player in the national
hockey league, will receive the congressional gold medal. president biden signed a bill today, awarding him the nation's highest civilian honor. o'ree broke the n.h.l.'s color barrier in 1958 and played two seasons with the boston bruins. he still serves as a league ambassador for diversity. still to come on the newshour: spotify agrees to add content advisories to podcasts to combat covid-19 misinformation. nurses nationwide continue to struggle with the latest surge of covid patients. actor javier bardem discusses portraying tv icon desi arnaz in "being the ricardos." plus much more. >> woodruff: over the weekend, north korea tested a missile
that flies so far, it could have reached the u.s. territory guam, in the south pacific. it is north korea's longest range test since 2017, and seventh such test this month, the most launched so closely together in the 10 years of leader kim jong un's rule. nick schifrin picks up the story from here. >> schifrin: judy, this weekend's test was of an intermediate range ballistic missile. north korean media showed photos of the hwasong 12 launching, and entering space. south korean and u.s. officials believe its range is more than 2,000 miles. this test is the most aggressive step in a series of moves that began in september, including multiple short range missile tests in the last few weeks kim jong un's first visit to a munitions factory in years, and repeated tests of missiles designed to improve survivability, such as train launched ballistic missiles. many of these tests break u.n. security council resolutions. but none, so far, has broken kim's 2017 promise not to test another nuclear device, or
intercontinental ballistic missile. but north korea has warned its future priorities include larger nuclear weapons, and bigger missiles. what's the implication for u.s. policy? for that we get two views: anthony ruggiero is a senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracies and was the national security council senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense during the trump administration. and jenny town is a senior fellow at the stimson center and the director of its analysis site, 38 north. >> schifrin: welcome both of you back to newshour. anthony ruggiero, let me start with you. why do you believe now for this intermediate range test? kim is looking to test to make sure these missiles work. so there is a technical reason and also a political reason. as you noted, noted they've been testing missiles sense september 2021, and there is no consequences for. only one set of sanctions which came earlier this
month. so kim may have thought these missile tests were okay during the biden administration. >> schifrin: jenny, do you think this is a lack of consequences or north korea doing what it said it would do a year ago, which is going through a list of tests, including this one. >> i think there is a list of conditions for this. they set the goals for the economy and the missile program. the economic goals are not being met, and the military side is one area in which they can control and get some successes gens the plan, ahead of some big political meetings coming up. >> schifrin: i asked the senior official yesterday if they had the right policy, and they said, quote, "we believe we have the right approach," calling talks without pre-conditions. is that the right way to do that? >> certainly talks without pre-conditions is the right message, but it was the wrong message after an intercontinental ballistic missile test. biden's policy in 2021 was
essentially engagement only. we know that didn't work. d now he needs to combine both engagement and pressure, and he needs to rebuild the diplomatic pressure, too. last week secretary blinken talked do his chinese counterpart. and north korea missile launches wasn't even mentioned in the readout. that's an unforced error. >> schifrin: jenny? >> certainly pressure is not going to change north korea's calculus. it is clear they're moving forward with their technical cables, and they're willing to accept the consequences. especially right now when china and russia are not in agreement that these measures rise to the level of unified international response. i think it really calls for how do we get back to negotiations? how do we get back to a place and create incent incentie for no north korea to make
different decisions. because leaning on them is only continuing this development. >> schifrin: anthony, what about that? >> we know the incentive later track does not lead to response. north korea response to pressure, and china responds to pressure, and the sanctions the biden administration put in plays earlier this month was interesting because it targeted individuals in russia and in china. we know that north korea responds to pressure. they did it for the trump administration. they did it for the bush administration. we know that works. that leads to negotiations. >> schifrin: haven't we seen this before, north korea escalating, in oer not only to improve its weapons, but to try to gt concessions. it hasn't work in the past, right? >>we have to look at the bigger picture. the more pressure we applied in 2017, the more
north korea doubled down on its development. it didn't bring them to the table. they went all the way to the end a declared victory first. i think we need to think about the message wer sending on diplomatic side, and remembering there is consequences for failed diplomacy on the north korean side and be rey to come up with more concrete proposals, not just an open call for negotiations. >> schifrin: anthony, during the trump administration, you tried something different, high-level direct diplomacy between kim and president trump. there were letters and statements. there was, we fell in love from president trump. it did not work. why not? >> it didn't work because north korea continued proliferation, and they continued these programs, and the pressure waned. i agree with jenny is that the bottom line is we had maximum pressure, and then that brought kim back to the table, and then kim ran out the clock, as he and his father and his
grandfather have done before. now the issue here is how do you combine engagement and pressure? that's the real question here. biden tried engagement only in 2021. that doesn't work. and trump tried early on just pressure. how do we combine the two for a better policy? >> schifrin: j jenny, does the international community need to resign itself to a nuclear north korea? >> the north koreans have agreed to deescalation, but what is the expectation. it is not going to happen overnight. it will come at a cost. and the longer it takes even the first step down a de-nuclearization path means the price is going to get higher every time. there is a course of reasons why they're doing this. i disagree it was pressure that brought north korea back to the table in 2018. it was a diplomatic opening for south koreans
that there were incentives on the table for them to take up, and it crted a different opportunity for them to change course. >> schifrin: anthony, north korea is going through a check list that wapublished last year. on that list i a larger capacity nuclear warhead and a 9,000 mile range missile. do you fear those tests are next? >> yeah. i think those are coming. i think he has a list that he is going through. if you look at the reactions to the seven rounds of tests here in january, i think, again, he is getting the message there is very little consequences. >> schifrin: jenny, do you fear this is only going to escalate further towards nuclear tests and bigger warhead tests? >> north korea has been very cautious so far over the past couple of years. to stay below that threshold, knowing that back what we saw in 2017 was icbm nuclear tests that unified the international community against them. i think they've been very
careful to sequence this in a way to really ensure that they still have some buffer, especially while the country is still under lockdown and the domestic situation is in crisis. >> schifrin: jenny town, anthony ruggiero, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the popular audio streaming service spotify has come under fire for hosting the podcaster joe rogan, who has spread covid misinformation to millions. after two high profile musicians took their music off spotify in protest, the platform has announced reforms. william brangham has our report. >> brangham: "the joe rogan experience" is spotify's most popular podcast, reaching at least ten million people per show, far more than the most popular cable tv hosts. while the stand up comic and former reality tv star often
talks with mainstream voices, like astrophysicist neil de grasse tyson or writer michael pollan, he's also lent his ear to a slew of covid-conspiracy- spreaders. rogan himself has repeatedly sown doubt about the effectiveness of covid vaccines. >> if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, ¡should i get vaccinated?' i'll go ¡no.' >> brangham: after over 200 medical professionals wrote a letter to spotify criticizing his work, neil young, and then joni mitchell both pulled their music off spotify to protest rogan. last night, rogan offered something of a mea culpa, saying he'll try and do better. >> i'm not a doctor, i'm not a scientist. i'm just a person who sits down with people and has a conversation with them. do i get things wrong? absolutely. >> brangham: and spotify itself, while not mentioning rogan directly, said it'll link any podcasts dealing with the pandemic to reliable sources of information. so how should a company, or a
society more broadly deal with controversial, and many would argue, harmful, information? for more im joined by sam woolley, a professor in the school of journalism at the university of texas and author of "the reality game: how the next wave of technology will break the truth." have you on the newshour. as we just heard, in his defense, joe rogan just says, look, i'm just talking to a plethora of voices. and he pointed out that he has talked with other people who are supportive and vaccines, people like sanjay gpta, all of whom have been on the newshour, and he is just hearing from a diversity of voices and what's the problem? what do you make of that argument? >> joe rogan, he tends to cast himself as a man of the people. he does this thing when he says, i speak to everybody. itwant to appeal to people who are critical thinkers
and who are open-minded. part of the issue here is, yes, he does host recent voices on his podcast, he also hosts extremists and people that spread misinformation. and that misinformation can be very harmful, particularly during a pandemic, when you have millions of people listening to it, thinking they're getting open-minded contender or critical content, which can be quite skewed. >> there is money to be made in misinformation and dismotivation and the outrage that it sparks. >> that is true. in my book, we talk about this concept of manufacturing consensus, creating the illusion of popularity for content, through algorithms on social media that has content that is more sensational or does what we call rage farming in
the place of actually hosting scientific content or good quality content that helps people to understand what is actually going on from experts. >> so what spotify has said in response to this is, okay, if you listen to any podcasts on our platform that touch on the pandemic in any way, we'll also link you to smart, sound, fact-checked information. what do you make of their reaction to all of this? >> i think it is not nearly enough. look, i'm not advocating for censorship. i'm not advocating for spotify to kick joe rogan off of their platform. but i think spotify gives joe rogan undo attention to millions of people. when you go on to spotify and log in, you'll see joe rogan's podcast right there front and center. and oftentimes the algorithms will boost it because it is more popular. so spotify has to do more
to its algorithms to make sure it isn't reaching more people than scientific people or medical people who actually understand this in scientific terms. >> there are a lot of people who are calling for spotify to kick him off. it seems that is what neil young was, in essence, arguing. if joe joe rogan were kicked off, won't he just take his audience and go outside the checks and balances that, as you put it, spotify is pro vietd videing? >> oftentimes groups liej like the f.c.c. is monitoring what people do, and that's not censorship. that is checking people. if joe rogan were to go to a more popular radio station or another platform, he would probably be regulated or held in check in some way,
check, or form. spotify gives him a massive platform. we're talking over 10 million people reached during his episodes. >> so moving beyond joe rogan and spotify, how does a society deal with this issue when you've got misinformation and disinformation out there, and it's lucrative, and everyone is carrying around these little broadcast devices in our pockets every day. how do we reckon with that? >> i alluded to this concept some people call rage farming. one of the things to do is not respond with anger when you see people posting things that are deliberately provocative, especially when it is influencers. recently for instance the texas g.o.p. spread concept that tied waiting in line for covid to the necessity ofaiting in line for elections. that was deliberately placed to get people to click on it, comment on it, and raise it up to be
more popular. one of the things people can do is simply not engage. and there are ways to counterchange, rather than an aggravated or hateful conversation. >> sam woolley of the university of texas, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll, with the united states averaging more than 2,500 deaths per day. in mississippi, where just 50% of the population is fully vaccinated, hospitalizations have soared, intensive care beds are scarce and there are simply not enough nurses on hand. lisa desjardins has the story. >> desjardins: kelly comebest is the nurse manager in the emergency room at the singing river health system in pascagoula, mississippi, there on our gulf coast.
kelly, take us right into the e.r. what does it look and feel like right now? >> well, today is a great example, we are congested and clogged up as the phrase is lots of patients that are admitted that should be upstairs in the hospital and are still staying in the e.r. and it just slows everything down and it gets can be chaotic. >> desjardins: what does that mean, exactly how long are these patients who are waiting for a bed somewhere else? how longre they in the e.r.? >> averaging about 24 to 36 hours. we have some longer, but we are very much the exception in mississippi. most of the hospitals in mississippi have a several day wait to get their patients out of the e.r. >> desjardins: so help our viewers understand what's going on here. can you talk about your staff shortage and where you are? how short staffed are you at this point? what's going on? >> we have multiple closed units at all of our campuses,
multiple, multiple closed i.c.u. beds, medicines, beds. we need staff. i have less than half of my allotted full time positions filled. i have contract staff filling in a good portion of what's missing. so we're working with about i personally am working with about 75% of my shifts covered, and that's with forced overtime on pretty much everybody. so we're working very short and then we're taking care of more patients for longer hours than we should. so it's a very bad scenario. >> desjardins: what about vaccination rates? i know mississip is among the three states with the lowest vaccination rates right now. what does that mean in your emergency room? how is that affecting you? >> it keeps our-- it keeps our patit visits up. you know, the overall numbers of patients that are sick is higher. the number of patients that are positive is higher. and you know, it's frustrating
because you could have less ill patients to take care of or fewer of them. and you don't. >> desjardins: i mean, i hope that this round of covid is peaking for you guys soon, at least. >> it it's honestly, it's the covid, it's not bad, it's really >> desjardins: that's so interesting, so it's a staffing issue, it's not a covid issue as much. >> it's absolutely a staffing issue. i mean, covid's very mild. there are some illnesses and there are some deaths, and it is terrible. we're going to have we're ing we're going to see that more detriment was done because of staff shortages than what covid is doing right now back in the summer is a different story. but this right now this is very much a staffing crisis and patients are doing worse because of a lack of staff. >> desjardins:o i happen to be a prd daughter of a retired nurse, and that is one reason i know that to be a good nurse, you have to have some tough skin.
i hear that in your voice. i know you've got to have a very particular kind of inner strength. so i want to ask you, how is that strength holding up against all of this for yourself and for your fellow nurses? >> it's getting thin, it gets thinner, that inner strength gets, gets very shallow and there's less and less to pull from. requires your team to get tighter and be more cohesive. but the worst part of it is the stress level that comes with not being able to give as good a care as you want to give. and the nurses that are that i work with it are the best are the ones that are really, really concerned about their quality of what they do. and those are the ones that take the biggest emotional toll whenever they can't do everything that they want to do. we still give as good a cares we physically can, and most days it is as good as it's going to get anywhere. we are a very good system where health system we based ourselves on quality we always have.
but whenever you run out of people and you run out of situations and time, then you know the resources just aren't there to do things. and so your quality can take a hit and that emotionally hits the best of them the hardest. >> desjardins: this is a question of nurses staying and where they stay. and i want to wrap up by asking you, why do you stay? >> i was born here. my parents are here, my in-laws are here, my kids go to school here. this is my family. this is my community. this is where i'm from. i know so many people, both my parents are products of this town, and this is this is where i get my life from. so this is what i'm giving back to, and that is honestly why i'm still here is for the other people that are here because life would be easier making, you know, for me, even three or four times my net somewhere else, it would make my personal life maybe a little bit easier, but it's not the right thing to do. >> desjardins: well, i know our viewers are glad that you were here with us today. kelly cumbest from the emergency
room, the nurse manager there in pascagoula, mississippi. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: with the start of the 2022 beijing olympic games just days away, there's renewed attention around the relationship between climate change and winter sports. as the planet warms, beloved pastimes that rely on the snow and ice face a growing threat. among them: outdoor skating. john yang reports. >> yang: as the sun rises over south minneapolis, the sounds of hockey echo through the biting cold. skates slicinghrough the ice, sticks slapping for the opening face-off, pucks ringing off the boards. on this day, 200-acre lake nokomis is the gathering spot not for beach goers or boaters,
but for the “rink rats” of the u.s. pond ckey championships. now in its 17th year, the two- weekend event draws thousands of players from around the world to minnesota, the self proclaimed "state of hockey," where outdoor skating is practically a way of life. >> it's sothing that's just embedded with us in this area and in our lives, especially if you experience it once, you don't want to stop. >> i can't feel my toes, my hands. i don'know what's happening up here on my head. yeah, so very cold. but honestly, once you get out there and you get moving with the boys, it's a lot of fun. don't really even think about it. >> yang: it is cold. it's noon and the temperature's only broken zero degrees fahrenheit. that's just about perfect conditions for good, skateable ice. but even in minnesota, in mid january, that's no longer a sure thing. jim dahline is the commissior of the u.s. pond hockey championships. >> the biggest thing that causes
us anxiety every year is really the weather conditions, and we've seen it all in nine years. we've had 40 below, we've had 40 above. it's just been incredibly unpredictable. >> yang: in 2016, the event was postponed due to warm temperatures. and even when it was rescheduled, the ice was so soft that some players didn't skate across it, they trudged. >> those types of events are scary and disappointing for the conditions of what we could have around us if we, you know, if things don't change a little bit for what we remember of winter being like. >> the number of high quality outdoor skating days has been declining, especially in the last 20 or 30 years. >> yang: robert mcleman is a professor of geography and environmental studies at wilfrid laurier university in canada, where outdoor skating is so ingrained in the culture that an image of pond hockey was once on the $5 dollar bill. >> two things that canadians love to talk about are the weather and hockey or skating. and so we thought, well, if we could come up with an environmental science project
that links those two things to a broader understanding of climate change, then we'd have something. >> yang: so in 2013, mcleman and his colleagues launched rinkwatch.org, a site where people across north america can submit information about conditions at their local pond or backyard rink. they used that data to examine skateability trends in the original six cities of the national hockey league: boston, chicago, detroit, montreal, new york and toronto. in all of them, the number of good skating days has fallen since the 1940s. the drop was most pronounced in toronto. in the early 1940s, the city had almost 60 high quality skating days. two years ago, there were only about 20. and mcleman's resear projects things will be even worse by the end of the century. if these seasons get shorter, what's the impact? what's the effect? >> i would liken it to for example, if you lived in a beach community and the water became pouted and you can no longer go swimming.
i mean, you're still living at a beach, but suddenly it's not the same sort of relationship with nature, and you lose something as a result of that. >> yang: recently, mcleman's team recruited “rink sentinels” in strategic locations to collect even more detailed data on things like temperature and precipitation. kaija hupila near madison, wisconsin, is one of them. she grew up in northern minnesota and fondly remembers skating on frozen lakes with her family. for the past two winters, she's built a 25 by 50 foot rink in her back yard, hoping to give her children a similar experience. >> it's really hard to feel in your gut what you know, the planet warming a few degrees a century actually means for you. i mean, you know, in your head this is this is bad, but you don't really see t immediate impact of it. but when i think about as i'm entering data into the spreadsheet, you know, if the conclusion of this is that we're going to have a shorter skating season or, you know, potentially
no skating season in my lifetime or my kids lifetimes, that's a really sad prospect to consider. >> yang: as climate change chips away at the outdoor skating season, backyard rink builders aren't the only ones feeling the effects. hockey was born on outdoor rinks and n.h.l. greats like wayne gretzky trace their careers to days skating in their childhood backyards. >> i played hours upon hours, upon hours outside. >> yang: andrew ference spent 16 seasons in the n.h.l. and helped the boston bruins win the 2011 stanley cup. he's long been concerned about the in environnt. as a pro, he convinced hundreds of fellow players to buy carbon credits to offset emissions from their frequent travel. ference now works for the n.h.l. on a number of issues, including sustainability. he says the most important part of the n.h.l. green initiative is what the 32 teams are doing, like improving efficiency at their indoor ice arenas, some located in florida, texas and
nevada. >> is there a tension? i mean, because it's hard to run a business with, you know, very minimal impact, especially if you're trying to keep ice, you know, frozen in a, in a giant rink that has a concert the next day in a basketball game that it's up to us to say, how can we do it better, you know, while still running an 82 game season, you know, and still playing in these cities. and so you look at how do we run the most efficient building, how do we create the least amount of waste, use the least amount of water, have the smallest footprint? >> yang: the n.h.l. was criticized last year for partnering with the maker of an ice refrigerant that has a higher global warming potential than ammonia, which is used to cool many n.h.l. and community rinks. in a letter, the league said the refrigerant “never has been presented as the only solution”" and that the “vast majority” of rinks now using it had previously used refrigerants with an even higher global warming potential. the threat of climate change is about more than just future generations of hockey players like andrew ference. >> the more important part is
the social aspect of what outdoor ice is. it's not it's not about developing n.h.l. players that you're out there and you're just doing your drills and honing your skills so you can make the n.h.l. like you're out there messing around with friends, right? >> yang: back in minnesota, the ospect of life without this pastime is too much to bear. if this were to be lost, if you couldn't have, you know, pond hockey, couldn't skate outdoors... >> you know, i don't, i don't know that that's something i want to think about, to be honest to you. >> yang: so on this day, they'll just enjoy the cold. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang in minneapolis. >> woodruff: more lawmakers are weighing in on who president biden should select to fill the supreme court vacancy, and how the confirmation process should be handled in the evenly divided
senate. those are just some of the issues to discuss in this week's "politics monday." with amy walter of the cook political report with amy walter. and asma khalid of npr. tamara keith is away. >> woodruff: tel hello to both of you. the big story of last week, justice stephen breyer announcing he is going to step down, giving president biden an opportunity to name someone he wants on the court. amy, the president has said this is going to be someone supremely qualified, and it is going to be a black woman. what are the opportunities here for him? and what does he need to be worried about? >> yeah, judy, that's right. he has his opportunity both to make a permanent influence on the court. this is somebody who most likely will be under the age of 60, so able to sit on the court for a good long time.
also, it allows him, as you pointed out, judy, to make good on his promise he made on the campaign trail to appoint a black woman to this position. the other thing that i'm looking for, though, is how republicans are going to react to this. it was interesting to watch, for example, senator dick durbin come out today d talk to reporters and say, you know what, i've talked to a lot of folks, and there are a lot of republicans potentially interested in supporting biden's nominee, a lot more names than you would have maybe guessed. and it leads to this question about just how much of a fight do republicans want to put up? how contentious do they want this? obviously, you're replacing a more left-leaning justice with another one appointed by a democrat, so it is not going to change the makeup of the court. a lot of folks are looking at what happened with the kavanaugh hearings back in october 2018. at that time, there was a lot of talk about what
this was going to do in the mid-term elections. i think the fact that it happened so close to the election, it was so contentious, it did as much to raise the intensity and enthusiasm of republican voters as it did democratic voters. so if republicans make this a contentious, drawnout process, it could end up backfiring in that it motivates what are now currently not as motivated demoatic voters. >> woodruff: given that, asma, what are you heang about this process and about how concerned the white house about getting any republican votes for the nominee? >> well, look, i will say that to date, the president has been, i think, extraordinarily successful in his judicial appointments. there is one place when you look that there have been over 40 nominees, and throughout. and he really put his stamp on diversifying the judiciary. what that means is this is something that clearly
democrats have shown they're able to do without any republican support. and so do they try to court republicans? what i've heard from different democrats is that this is an added bonus, that they are able to get some republican votes, but it is not necessary. certainly the president wants to do this as quickly as possible. he knows there is a limited timeline. and he said he wants to put that nomination forth by the end of february. tomorrow he'll be having some of the leaders on the judiciary committee over to the white house. so they're moving very quickly. what i'll saying again is i don't think that democrats need republican votes, nor are they going to spend a lot of time trying to seek them. >> woodruff: the president is going to make this decision by the end of february, so everybody is trying to stay on top of this story. i also want to ask the two of you about former president trump. he was, again, out talking about the january 6 insurrection. here he was -- here is a clip owhat he had to say
in texas over the weekend. referring to the insurrectionists who assaulted the united states capitol. >> president trump: if i run and i win, we will treat those people from january 6 fairly. we will treat them fairly. [applause and cheering] >> and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly. >> woodruff: so, amy, this is what he is saying if he is re-elected. and we should say he put out a statement yesterday, last night, pointing out, in his view, that then vice-president pence could have overturned the electoral vote result back a year ago. what are the political consequences of all of this? >> well, the one thing it may do is actually put on a fast-track a real
bipartisan commitment to reforming the electoral count act. that is the act that, in essence, that trump was referring to about pence's ability to -- he literally said over turn the results of the 2020 election. the reform of it would basically make it very, very clear that the vice president has absolutely no role in deciding which slates of lectors to accept or which slates of electors to deny. at the same time, the more that donald trump is in the ne, the more that this -- as we get closer to the mid-term elections, the more that republicans have to talk about dond trump or distance themselves from these false statements he is making about january 6, the better it is politically for democrats. that's the kind of thing that really fires up their base. it alienates independent voters.
and fundamentally, i think that the leadership on the republican side really does want to put this behind them and move forward. and donald trump is making that very, very difficult for them. >> woodruff: asma, how do you see the political calculus at this point for republicans? >> i mean, i agree with amy that really i think this is u putting a lot of pressure on having a bipartisan consensus. it is languishing to some degree in congress because democrats are hoping more transformational voting rights. you have susan collins of maine, mitt romney, who have been pushing for that. it has been, i would argue, more of the progressive democrats, who have been concerned about moving forward with the eelectoral vote. but when donald trump makes comments, as he did
over the weekend, i think it gives some sense of legitimacy that even for these progressive democrats, who maybe don't think it is enough, that they need to do something. i think it gives another sort of lifeline, sort of rejuvenation of this electoral count to get through pretty quickly, i would say ahead of 2024. >> woodruff: no matter how many times we say maybe he is not going to talk about it anymore, he keeps talking about it. and that's what we saw this weekend. quickly to both of you, amy, redistricting, we have been talking about republican legislatures and commissions drawing districts to favor them. but in new york state, we're seeing a new map that heavily favors democrats. >> that's right. judy, this is a state that in 2014 voters approved a ballot measure that took redistricting out of the hands of politicians and put it in the hands of a bipartisan commission. a surprise to no one that bipartisan commission broke down and was
polarized, and so it went back to the legislature, which is dominated by democrats. democrats j jerry mandered a very favorable m that would basically cut the republican delegation in half, from 8 to 4, and democrats would have seats that are more democratic, three more seats that are heavily democratic. that is a substantial, substantial redistricting jerrymander there in new york. it doesn't break the letter of the law, it certainly calls into question the spirit of what was supposed to be government f reform, and taking it out of the hands of a republican process. >> woodruff: asma, a reminder both parties of doing this? >> both parties of doing this, exactly. this is just a testament that the independent commissions can be bound sometimes, too. >> woodruff: asma khalid and amy walter, so
thankful to both of you. we'll see you next week. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: academy award- winning actor javier bardem is taking on his latest challenge in the film "being the ricardos" and pushing for broader representation in hollywood. jeffrey brown spoke with him as part of our arts and culture series, canvas. >> brown: in “being the ricardos,” javier bardem plays desi arnaz, the real-life actor, musician, and producer who worked with his real-life wife lucille ball, played here by nicole kidman, on the legendary tv comedy, “i love lucy”. the spanish actor didn't grow up with lucy, but when he watched it later in life, he was hooked. >> i discovered this amazing world, this amazing comedian, the artistry, the characters they created, the physical
comedy that they created. the character of desi, he says, was especially intriguing. >> what i found is this energy of his, of desi, that i profoundly felt attached to. the comedian, the musician, the entertainer, but also combined with the producer. the person who really works hard to be heard, because also he was a foreigner, and he had to make sure that people will respect him. >> brown: the film, written and directed by aaron sorkin, takes several true events, and dramatizes them into one week of the show's production in 1952: a public accusation that lucy was a communist; this amid the height of mccarthy and the red scare. another of desi's philandering, and a very real pregnancy that has implications for a hit tv show. plenty of drama for bardem to
bite into. but it also called for singing, guitar playing, and showmanship. i understand you told aaron sorkin that you could do all those things before you really could. >> i lied, i lied (laughing) >> brown: so you were just faking it. >> yes. i was so much into-- there were so many boxes to check when you play this character that it was kind of overwhelming. but i wanted the part and he was nice enough to trust me. he knew i was lying. and i guess he knew that the moment i will hang up the phone i will put myself to work, which is what i did. i worked, i mean, tirelessly. >> brown: bardem has worked his way to become one of the world's best-known film stars. he won an osr for best supporting actor in 2007 in “no country for old men.” appeared in a variy of english- and spanish-speaking films, including with his wife
and fellow international celebrity penelope cruz in“ everybody knows” in 2018. and he's on quite a roll now with, in addition to “being the ricardos,” “dune” and “the good boss,” a highly acclaimed spanish movie expected to vie for best foreign film at the oscars. but his casting as the cuban- born desi arnaz drew social media criticism from some wanting the part to go to a cuban or other latino, part of an ongoing call for more representation in hollywood. bardem says he sought the part, but was at first put off. >> i was told that they were going first to actors that were from cuba or had cuban roots, which i absolutely understood and supported. but then they, that didn't happen, for different reasons, and they came back to me and i said, of course i'll do it, and i worship the fact that he was from cuba and i'll work hard to earn it. >> brown: director sorkin
defended his choice and told t“" times of london” that criticism is “heartbreaking, and a little chilling to see members of the artistic community resegregating ourselves.” bardem sticks to his decision as well. >> i know what a minority representation is, and i absolutely respect the fact that, of course, they have to be represented. but at the same time if, for whatever reason, let's say the director doesn't want that option and they want to go to another actor that doesn't necessarily isrom the place of origin, the same place of origin that that character, we have to respect that, because that's what we do as an actor. we become different people. we are, we portray people that we're not. brown: bardem recently picked up a screen actors gld nomination for his performance in “being the ricardos," and more accolades may well be coming. this is your family business, right? from several generations? did you ever think of doing anything else? >> well, yeah. i studied for painting. i love painting. but then i guess it was in my
blood, in my d.n.a. to perform. that's what my mother did, my grandparents, did, my great- grandparents did. so i guess it was, i was called to it. and thank god i was because i think it's beautiful craft, it's a beautiful job. and i think it's necessary as well in these times where we are so much, all of us are locked in our houses. the importance of storytelling is huge, as we see. >> brown: finally, i see that you're playing king triton in "the little mermaid" and you just wrapped production on "lyle, lyle crocodile," which i know from the classic children's book. what's going on, are you mellowing? >> no. i like to try different things. i like to put myself in a place where i haven't been before and see how i can cope with that, maneuver through that. and it was fun, it was great. and also the good news is my kids can watch those movies, because most of my work is not kids friendly, so at least they can watch some movies of his father.
>> brown: all right, javier bardem in “being the ricardos." thank you very much. >> thank you very much for your time. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online 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: >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service teaman help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv.
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