tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC February 16, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST
good morning, and welcome to "this week." weather wallop. >> cars around me were just spinning. >> monster storms, devastating droughts. why the extreme weather, how to cope with the consequences and the cost? >> this is a lost opportunity for america. >> the speaker clears the decks, but is his latest surrender setting up gop gains some november? >> i'm an openly proud gay man. >> will the nfl accept michael sam? our powerhouse roundtable and experts take it all on. plus -- >> i have no patience for useless things. >> "house of cards" is back. and we have kevin spacey live. all right here this sunday morning.
hello, a lot to get to this sunday morning. most of us are begging for spring. so much of the country battered by the record-breaking winter. and u.s. this weekend, yet another blizzard in the northeast. and out west, an epic drought. what's behind the weird weather, what can be done about it, and abc meteorologist ginger zee starts us off. >> reporter: most of the nation is in a state of meteorology exhaustion. the coldest winter in minnesota in 33 years. the great lakes, almost 90% frozen. normally it would be just over 30. and new york city, buried. now in their top ten snowiest seasons. snowfall totals from north carolina up to indianapolis between two and three times their normal. 75,000 flights cancelled since december 1st. that's an all-time record. and pennsylvania, they've been in the heart of the misery, a
giant pile up on friday. abc's linn swree janice was right there. >> reporter: the sun was shining, the roads mostly clear, but there was one problem, temperatures plummeted overnight and turned this pennsylvania turnpike into a sheet of ice. >> reporter: causing this five-mile long chain reaction pileup. more than a hundred cars, dozens injured. almost all of this weather can be related to a single pattern locked in place. all winter, it's been stuck. every time in the weather center, we see the same thing, the jet stream cutting the nation in half. on the east, the coldest in decades to come as far south as the deep south, the gulf, really. and the jet stream in the right place, that moisture rides along it, snowstorm after snowstorm from the great lakes to the northeast. but that's also creating an extreme in the west. that big ridge gives record drought and heat. california last year, the driest year on record. president obama traveled west
friday to see the drought up close. >> what happens here matters to every working american. >> reporter: wayne friedman from abc 7 in san francisco visited a hay farm that's seen barely a sprout this year. >> what this drought is doing in california is unprecedented in five generations of living memory. >> reporter: he says the it will affect everything from food prices to hydro electric power. >> we could see brownouts from less water. for small agricultural towns, we are seeing the effects. some of them have 50% unemployment. bottom line, in california, a way of living could be ending. >> reporter: but are the extremes of one year related to climate change? stanford's noah has been working through that very thorny link. he says man-made change does exacerbate the extreme weather events, meaning more intense storms, floods, tornados and droughts to come.
dr. judith curry of georgia tech says climate models aren't there yet. just not up to the task of distinguishing what has caused an individual extreme weather event. for "this week," ginger zee, abc news, new york. >> let's go now to north carolina governor, pat mccrory, los angeles mayor, eric garcetti, abc's chief important rebecca jarvis. and dr. heidi cullen, author of the weather of the future. and week after week after week of these storms, the economy taking a hit. >> absolutely, george. we're seeing it on multiple levels. there's lost wages, there's the increasing costs of heating homes. some estimates say as much as $4.5 billion will go into heating bills this winter. then you have businesses. the airlines have suffered massively under this, 75,000 flight cancellations. united saying it's an $80 million cost.
cities are experiencing it. they're paying more to clear the snow. chicago came out and said we expected to spend $20 million on snow removal this winter, now it's $25 million and we're not even finished with the winter. and a number of economists are looking at it as cutting into gdp growth. it's a .3% hit on gdp growth. and just the lost spending that consumers aren't doing because they are staying inside. $15 billion not going to restaurants, the movies, that is not going come back. >> the snow days add up and snow pictures out of your state this week. it's clearer this morning, but how much will this set you back? >> it's a big impact. the last two weeks has been extremely stunning and tough on the state. not as tough as the first episode of "house of cards," but it's been tough on all of us. our budget is at the maximum regarding snow removal. and that doesn't include the
cities and small towns. we had six major metropolitan areas hit with a major snowstorm twice in two weeks. it's a hit on the budget and a hit on the economy, because people haven't been spending money for the last four or five days. >> i'm sure kevin spacey appreciated that shout youtout. we will talk to him. and in california, this is affecting everything in the state of california, even changing the way of life. >> absolutely. this was the driest year on record. but, you know, it's coming at an immense cost, wildfires, changing how we get water, but governors and mayors, we don't have the luxury of debating the issue. i think it's clear human beings have had an impact on creating the problem, but we have to solve it now. we're dealing with that in los angeles, we are conserving water, change out the landscaping, strengthen the building codes. but it's not a question of this happening every so often, it's the new status quo.
>> and the question of why, heidi, one of the big points you make is all extreme weather is connected. the drought in the west connected to the blizzard in the east. >> ginger did a great job setting it up. the cold we're seeing here is very much connected to the broader pattern. and really in context, climate change, burning fossil fuels, means that we're going to see more of these very expensive extreme weather events. specifically the kinds of extremes we can expect. heat waves, droughts, floods. we're seeing those. this winter certainly doesn't disprove global warming. every time we have a really cold winter, we ask ourselves over again, is global warming real or not? cold winter doesn't mean global warming is gone. and looking at the big picture, we have actually been globally incredibly warm. january is going to be one of the top three warmest on record. and, you know, the ten warmest years have all happened since
1998. >> but your key point on these intense weather systems, they are made more intense by climate change. >> that's right. when you warm up the planet, you have more moisture in the atmosphere. when it rains, it's heavier. and you can also evaporate for. that means that the tendency for drought is going to get worse. so the kinds of droughts that we have been seeing in texas, out in california, right now, we know that climate change makes them worse. it's like cigarette smoking and lung cancer, increases the likelihood of that risk. and we have looked at the texas drought in 2011, we know that climate change made that drought 20 time mrs. likely. >> in the past you have said you believe that the whole issue of climate change is in god's hands. >> i believe there is climate change. i'm not sure you can call it climate warming, especially in the carolinas. the big debate is how much is man-made and how much will
naturally happen as the earth evolves. and the question then is what do we do about it and how much will it cost the consumer? i concentrate on cleaning the environment. i think that's where our argument should be. cleaning our air, cleaning our water and cleaning the ground. and we're at a brown fields area in charlotte where we cleaned up the ground right here, and cleaned up old brown fields and now we have great new development. but the issue of cleaning the environment is what we should talk about more than getting the debate from the left and the right about climate change or global warming. it's about cleaning the environment and having a good quality of life for not only now, but future generation s. >> what to you make of that argument, mayor? >> i agree. the evidence is clear, we have had a role. people have recognized we lost the first few skirmishes with climate change. we are strengthening the defenses in los angeles. we consume the same amount of water as 30 years ago with a million more residents. we're americans. we adapt, we innovate, we're
good at doing those sorts of things. whether it's in indiana changing out intersections and making them roundabouts to take global warming co 3 emissions out of the air, or mayor becker in salt lake city making sure the buildings built in a green way. mayors, tribal leaders, governors are taking action because we can't deal with the consequences. >> and mayor made the point, we have to get ahead of this because these patterns are not going to be reversed. >> we have to get ahead of it. when it comes to dealing with the environment, one of the things we're seeing, burning fossil fuels puts greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. cleaning up the atmosphere is part of cleaning up our environment. it's all inter-connected. >> and what are businesses doing? >> it's innovate or die. and a lot of businesses are. especially when you look at the food service businesses and the clothing businesses which rely so heavily on that supply which is very much up in the air when
you have these extreme weather patterns. levi strauss worked with farmers to come up with new, less-water sbernsive ways to get the cotton make their denim. caring, which owns gucci they're working on sustainable ways to bring the product to market and working with the suppliers to get the actual supplies in the clothing to make it more sustainable. whether it's going crazy or normal, they can deal with it and make the product and not be up in the air. are doing the same thing.ing the same >> what's the single most important thing business and government and all of us can do together? >> first of all, talk about it, and then really look at the opportunities presented to us to use energy smarter, to grow our food smarter, to treat our water resources with great care and converse. across the board, come together
and stop treating it like a partisan issue. it isn't. work on. >> thank you very much. up next, the roundtable takes on the week's politics, from the strike to the papers and the collapse of the syrian peace talks. and kevin spacey is here live. we're back in just two minutes. [ male announcer ] we all think about life insurance. but when we start worrying about tomorrow, we miss out on the things that matter today. ♪ at axa, we offer advice and help you break down your insurance goals into small, manageable steps. because when you plan for tomorrow, it helps you live for today. can we help you take a small step? for advice, retirement, and life insurance, connect with axa. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up.
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score! team usa wins. >> t.j. oshie dominates a thrilling shootout to give team usa a win over russia. more on that high point of the winter olympics coming up. but first, the big news out of the capital. a big reversal by house speaker john boehner. we weigh in on that after a roundup from rick klein. >> reporter: it's another battle in the gop civil war. >> i am disappointed to say the least.
>> reporter: speaker john boehner letting democrats provide the vast majority of votes to raise the debt ceiling, no strings attached. the same formula would have worked in the senate, until senator ted cruz spoke up. >> i insist a 60-vote threshold instead. i think it's an irresponsible course of conduct to keep giving president obama a blank check. >> reporter: that set up an extraordinary scene, a roll call open an hour, forcing the republicans to vote politically tough on the debt ceiling increase. the vote will resonate throughout 2014. starting with republican primaries where tea party groups view it as surrender. and 2016 is top of mind too. chris christie, once the republican front-runner, back on offense this week. >> our party's priority should be on winning. not winning the argument. winning the election. >> reporter: a taste of the old christie, and for hillary clinton, a reminder from her past. the diaries of an old friend,
diane blair, revealing her unvarnished thoughts about the affair with monica lewinsky. it was a lapse, blair writes, but she says to his credit, he tries to break it off, pull away. tried to manage someone who was clearly a narcissistic alony toon. rand paul trying to do keep them from fading. >> democrats say we're the great defenders of women's rights, when the leading fundraiser was bill clinton, a perpetrator of that kind of harassment. >> thanks for that. and the roundtable. jonathan karl, and alicia menendez, and katrina vanden heuvel, and peggy noonan. katri katrina, let me begin with you. and what happened in the house this week. john boehner allowing a clean debt limit to go through. exactly what the president wanted. but probably shrewd for boehner too.
clears the decks in a year where he thinks they can pick up a lot of seats in november. >> the failure of the shutdown concentrated the mind, and the hostage takers left the scene. we have seen manufactured crisis by a party which has eroded business confidence, hurt the economy, hurt families, and i think as 2014 approaches, the republican party decided they needed to pull up their bootstraps and get in place to pose any real challenge. with ted cruz, you have to -- he is an anti-establishment figure. but when we talk anti-establishment, that the tea party is a corporate-hugging, well-funded lobby. and you saw in ted cruz the possibility for our country moving forward, is that the delusional is no longer marginal when you look at cruz. for the moment he's marginalized. we need to refocus. the real conversation should be creating jobs and investing in this country, not manufactured crisis.
>> you're taking notes. >> wrote down the word bait. look, i think the republican leadership on the hill didn't take the bait and have a big fight. and -- and cause a bit of a disturbance over the debt ceiling and the closing of government. i think it was wise. but i think as usual, mr. cruz, the senator from texas, decided he was going to go his own way and cause some trouble. i think it is a reflection of what we all know. either a basic split or maybe basic splits in the republican party, part of which one split of which has to do with those who are on the ground, have a lot of numbers, are impatient, don't want business as usual, don't understand why things can't be moved forward in washington. it's a big -- >> this was a pivotal moment. the white house might say the fever has broken. the use of the debt ceiling for
hostage, as the white house put it, is over. you had the entire republican leadership vote for this in the house, pretty much, boehner, kantor, mccarthy, in the senate, mcconnell, cornyn, all top leaders voted for it and all the rank and file against it. so the question, the fever broke, will the patient survive. >> i thought the new york times had an excellent analysis of this whole dynamic when they talked about the vote no, hope yes caucus. john karl's right, the leadership voted for this, but only 28 republicans voted for this. when they know it must and believe it should pass. it's a sign of dysfunction. >> which makes it the fewest members of a majority to vote for a piece of legislation since 1991 when we have the first record filing. this is huge. how does it play out in the mid-term elections? right?
can boehner prove that taking a moderate chance, showing they can get things done, is what they need to secure the votes they need to take back the senate? >> and ted cruz does this thing. the republicans in the senate have this set. this was going to pass with only democratic votes. he says i'm going to filibuster, need 60 votes. ted cruz is so hated among the republicans. more so than the shutdown, the tuesday lunch they have, he's going to need a food taster. he had tough votes -- >> he does have a high tolerance for personal pain. >> to step back for a moment, these are games inside the beltway. they are important, but this is a manufactured crisis. i come back to it. look at the top republican leadership. they voted 19 times, collectively, to pass the debt limit when george w. was president. and they passed an increased pro forma, with the tax cuts, $350 billion for the richest. it's a game that americans look at and wonder what's going on
inside of a city which is supposed to represent what we care about? we need a different conversation. the debt ceiling has held up conversations about rebuilding the middle class, rebuilding and the recovery. >> and there's a conversation about health care. we saw a bunch of headlines on this, somewhat contradictory headlines. number one on tuesday, we saw that the president putting off the health law mandate again on businesses between 50 and 100 workers, yet at the same time, later in the week, news that showed that the enrollments are picking up. just a little bit over a million added to the rolls in the past month. peggy noonan, is sets up what this is going to mean come november. as well it does seem that the enrollments are taking hold. not going to reach the goal of 7 million by the deadline. might get within a million. hard to take that away once people have it. >> yeah, i think there's so much doubt at this point and so much questioning about the hhs
numbers as put forward semi-regularly. i'm not sure they're compelling. what i think is compelling is the amount of difficulty people are having with the aca, trying make it work in their lives. i think that's what 2014 is going to be about. obamacare, but i think 2016 is going to be the about the split in the republican party and which way are they going to go as they choose their president. >> first of all, this has been an important week or month for obamacare. rough patches, but working. 1.1 million enrolled, higher proportion of young people, premiums are down, insurance companies can't deny pre-existing coverage. what we're going to see in 2014 and what we're seeing now are republicans lying. scaring people, actually keeping people from health care coverage. the governors, scott, jindal, perry, that's cruel. i think what we need to focus on is to say the broad mass of
americans, not interested in repeal. fix it, embrace it. and what's the republican plan? vote for me, i won't give you health care. now that's compelling. >> the plan a few months ago, look, this isn't going to work. delay this part, work with us, mr. president. he said we can't change this, i'll veto anything. and he changed new through executive fiat is making the changes. he's not changing his own program because it's a great success. he's changing it because he knows it is surrounded by failure. hikes in costs were deductibles. >> he's working to fix it. >> there's a slight uptick in the millennials, the key to the future. but not the levels they need it to be. >> they need it at 35%. now amended those numbers, 30%, we're happy. but you know if you look -- >> they're short of that. >> but getting closer, especially in the last month. look at romneycare in massachusetts. young people sign up as close to the deadline as possible.
you're going to continue to see these numbers push up. the idea with the young invincibles is we must sign up because we are young and healthy, we make it work. you saw yesterday, a national youth enrollment day. the administration knows they have a lot of work to do. >> here's why it matters, october 1st, the premiums for next year. if you don't have the high proportion of young people, premiums are going up right before the election. >> there's a conventional wisdom in 2014, that it's going to hurt the president. i take issue with the conventional wisdom. i think a day politics is a lifetime. the numbers are going to get better. and a lot of people will come out in a mid-term. and the gop implosion over immigration is going seal their fate with latinos heading into 2016 as well. >> maybe in 2016, but maybe not in 2014.
having that come up in this election. i want to move to syria. it was a horrific week in syria. we see the images from the region right now. u.n. ambassador samantha power called it the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation. james clapper says it's an apocalyptic disaster. and john mccain saying these i believes haunt me. what haunts me more is we will continue to do nothing. we saw the peace talks collapse yesterday. the u.n. had to apologize to the people of syria for the collapse. putting pressure on president obama to come up with a change in approach. >> no question. and the white house made it clear, the president's not initiating a review now. if there were to be a new review. the options are incredibly limited. one is you could have air strikes to hit the -- kind of the assets that are doing the killing for assad. for instance, these barrel bombs is what we're seeing now. dropped out of helicopters. some are asking why don't we
go with air strikes and take out his helicopters? >> the military is against it. >> military saying then what? what's the next step? arming the opposition is almost a time who's gone. we sus spepended aid to the reb because some of it was getting into the hands of al-qaeda. the opposition is a mess. it's limited. one person who is haunted is samantha power, who's ambassador to the u.n., who's whole career was about making an argument to protect when you have a crisis like this. and she's saying the biggest in a generation, and the united states is effectively doing nothing. >> the humanitarian crisis is horrific. but don't forget the diplomatic success enforcing syria to dismantle its chemical weapons. i think we have to push -- we have to push for humanitarian roots to be open. i'm sure there are back channel discussions, russia, tougher than we are seeing.
the u.n. security council. a tough diplomacy, a negotiated settlement is going to be key to a true humanitarian resolution. militarization of this is a disaster. and don't forget something which was controversial but true, many of the killings of civilians are being done by the militant insurgents, some with links to al-qaeda. bring aid, but don't forget diplomacy. >> she brings up one of the scariest parts of this. it's a breeding ground for a whole new generation of al-qaeda terrorists. >> it has. assad is not going to be negotiated out. assad feels he is fighting for his life. i think the biggest thing america could do is help with the refugee situation. that'll take financial aid, that will take people too. but sometimes that's what you can do. >> right. >> and i think it is the refugee thing that is something that at least quickly we could be
helpful on. and that is also strategically a wise move. >> but you can't have these political negotiations until they change the game on the ground. even if we all believe in diplomacy and humanitarian aid, there's the reality he has no reason to leave. >> he does not. >> he has a backer in russia. >> what you want to change on the ground is double down on the assist tans to refugees, hum humanitarian assistance. this is a civil war. this is going to play out in the end at a bargaining diplomatic table. >> but in the three weeks we have been at the table -- it's -- >> but again -- >> of the entire conflict. the last three weeks have been as bad as its been. >> the options are limited. but people like john mccain are shockingly delusional if you can pump in weapons and not hurt more civilians. that's not a reasonable outcome. >> one more thing. you had a column about the
papers we saw from hillary clinton from her friend, diane blair, university of arkansas professor. they are notes and diaries of the conversations are hillary through the 1990s. it wasn't a lot of new news to close watchers of hillary clinton, but revealing. >> i think so. it reminded me of the intensity of the personal drama going on in the white house. some white houses are relatively free of profound personal drama. that one was not. >> i had a little ptsd. >> you did. so that was all pretty interesting. i also thought there was a similarity between the clintons and the obamas. the clintons, according to the blair papers, clearly experienced themselves to be faces an unprecedented personal, vicious onslaught from the washington establishment when they started. the obamas too.
not this is the way it is. >> you're the youngest person on the panel by a long shot, so this is all ancient history to you and a whole generation of voters. do you think they'll care if she runs? >> no, especially because it's been litigated. right? there's nothing new in the papers. there's a real debate to have over whether or not hillary clinton should be the democratic nominee. i think there's a real debate to be had over whether or not she should be president of the united states. i don't think that's in relitigating the past. you're right. >> amen. i agree. news that hillary clinton is tough, disciplined and smart? no. what this country deserves is to learn about what she stands for. does she stand for elizabeth warren's idea of expanding social security security? where does she stand on surveillance or trade? that's what people to want know. >> that's where we're going to be looking for. out of time on this one right now. up next, michael sam comes out. is the nfl ready for him? is he ready for the nfl. and before the break, test the roundtable with the "powerhouse
puzzler." this is from alex. are you ready? which president's inauguration had to be held inside the senate chambers thanks to a blizzard? quite timely there. back with the answers in two minutes. e answers in two minutes. or how ornate the halls are. tall the building is, it doesn't matter if there are granite statues, or big mahogany desks. when working with an investment firm,
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okay, so how did you do with the puzzler? how did everyone here do? which president's inauguration was held in the senate chambers because of a blizzard? peggy noonan. ronald reagan. >> calling my father to get answers. >> that's the smart thing to do. >> reagan? >> i'm so debilitated -- >> i believe henry harrison. >> he died several days later. reagan was cold, but that wasn't the one. william howard taft. >> that was going to be my second guess! >> reagan's second inaugural was moved inside the capital. it was. because of the snowstorm. >> not the senate chamber. >> that part. >> well, we have to do a little more work on that. thank you, guys. kevin spacey coming up. and the expert panel on whether the nfl is ready for the first openly gay player. gay player.
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go national. go like a pro. there is michael sam getting a standing in ing ovation at au basketball game last night. the all-american from missouri looking to become the nfl's first openly gay player. his announcement on "outside the lines" months before he was going to be drafted. we have a panel of experts to discuss what it means for his career and the league. first the back story. >> i came to tell the world i'm an openly proud gay man. >> reporter: with that announcement, michael sam made history. >> i understand how big this is, it's a big deal. i know what i want to be. and i want to be in the -- snapping in the nfl. >> reporter: sam's decision to put his sexuality front and
center faces a test, the nfl draft. the missouri defensive end is considered a top contender. >> michael sam is doing the right thing. and i hope the national football league does the right thing and gets this kid a chance to play. >> reporter: david has some idea what sam is going through. he played for the 49ers and the packers in the 60s and 70s, and then rights after he retired, made an announcement of his own. >> december 9th, 1975. >> reporter: you remember the exact date? >> absolutely. >> reporter: he was the first retired nfl player to come out as gay 40 years ago. the lot has changed, and plenty of other professional athletes followed suit. last year, basketball's jason collins and soccer's robby rogerss declared they're gay. but football is another order of magnitude altogether. >> in the american psyche, football is where our gladiators play, okay? it's the roughest, macho sport. and jon stewart had this funny
thing. >> who is this gay football player? oh, probably a kicker, huh? am i right? you know, a kicker, a gay kicker. >> reporter: at 6'2", 260 pounds, university of missouri defensive lineman, michael sam, used skill and strength to lead the s.e.c. in sacks last year. >> he's a hell of a football player. that's what i'm trying to get people to focus on. >> reporter: pr guru, an abc news consultant worked with michael sam ahead of the announcement. the reaction, including the cover of "sports illustrates," overwhelmingly positive. one dallas sports anchor's commentary went viral. >> you beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs pulling her hair out by the roots, you're the fourth guy taken in the nfl draft. you lie to police trying to cover up a murder, we're okay with that. love another man, that's too far. >> reporter: and the president of the golden state warriors is the highest-ranking executive
in pro sports who is openly gay. >> he's put it back in the teams of the nfl to make a decision. and make it decision that becomes a very public one. >> reporter: the nfl is grappling with what can be an abusive locker room culture. bullying one another. jurist th just this week, the nfl released a scathing report. confirming a pattern of abuse and he know phobia in the miami dolphins. some of michael sam's potential teammates did not exactly welcome the idea of an openly gay player sharing the locker room. some of them calling the whole thing a distraction. but robby rogers says it's been no big deal. >> in our locker room, the guys are very respectful. we make jokes. >> reporter: what kind of jokes? >> guys are like, i'm the first person they come to for fashion advice. i'm like, come on, are you serious? >> at some point in time, not a big deal. today, a very big deal. >> reporter: he'll be playing not just for his team -- what
advice for michael sams? >> bring it. play football. yeah, play football, be yourself. >> reporter: a lot of people will be rooting for him. for this week, david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> thanks to david for that. >> pete thamel, cyd zeigler, and nfl punter, chris kluwe. welcome to you all. let's begin with you. you wrote a story in "sports illustrated." it stirred up controversy. even though nfl officials like roger goodell have been supportive, you quoted several off the record that he has a daunting path. the nfl's not ready for him. one said it's a man's-man game. do you stand by the reporting? do you think the private comments are more reflective or the public support? >> acceptable this is a seminal moment in culture and sports. but michael sam has a barrier to break.
and the nfl looks at him skeptively. and there's the dreaded word, distraction, that keeps coming up. that's the next step. a strong owner, general manager, a strong coach to draft michael sam. he's not a slam dunk prospect. >> his prospects to get in. but on this other question of how welcoming the league is going to be if he gets in. but this richie incognito report out of miami does reinforce the views of those who say this is going to be a hard fight. >> jim and i on outsports, we have written about 200 athletes who came out publicly in every sport, including football, at every level in every state of the country. every one says the same thing, before they came out, they heard a lot of homophobia on the team. when they came out, they were embraced by the team. this includes a football player at middle tennessee state, he was out the entire four years. after they are coming out, and
they are embraced by their teammates, and the people who are the most homophobic are the first guys to come up and shake their hand and apologize. all the stuff about the horrors of the nfl locker room is overblown. >> you spent eight years in nfl locker rooms. >> i agree with cyd. it's very much if you haven't been inside an nfl locker room, you don't understand the camaraderie, the teamwork that goes on in there. when you're in the locker room, you spend more time with your teammates than your family. you're there for 10, 11, 12 hours a day. you get to know them well. i've always said i think the main problems is going to come from the executives and front office. they are stuck in the older mind set and mentality. they need to figure out, do they want to be ricky or chaplain. >> you believe you were cut because you were outspoken on gay rights. you spent time with michael sam last saturday before the announce. is he ready for all this? >> he is as much as he can be. i don't know that anyone's ever ready for a moment like that.
but he's well-prepared. he's an intelligent, articulate young man. and has the tools to deal with those isolated incidents where people are going to have issues with him because of his sexuality. i think he'll be okay. >> those are the psychological issues. you were pointing out the physical barriers ahead facing michael sam. some people say he's not fast or big enough. do you think, bottom line, that the act of coming out increases or decreases his chances? >> i think, george, on the bottom line, it would decrease it. i had a former general manager tell me, in an nfl draft room, when you are sitting there, okay, we pick in five spots. pick between these three players, the general manager said that could break a tie. if wear in the sixth round, do we want to bring in the dreaded d-word, the distraction? the general manager said wouldn't be good for a first-year head coach. there are a lot of sort of built-in excuses. nfl people are risk averse at the end of the day.
i'm optimistic for michael sam. it's a wonderful story. i hope he gets a true chance and show what he can do on the field. >> could be different than jason collins who was at the end of his career in the nba. but this could be a struggle. >> why is it that we in the media brought the struggle to the story? there's no evidence that this is going to be a struggle -- >> getting into the league? >> why a struggle? why anymore so than for anybody else? the nfl teams, their whole goal is to get to the biggest media circus and the most distracting game of the entire season, the super bowl. and we are putting out there that some general manager's going worry about a couple cameras showing up at practice and asking a few questions? if a general manager and a coach cannot handle a gay player in the locker room, they should resign. not because of social justice issues, but if that can torpedo your season, you're not doing your job. >> do you think it will make a difference?
>> image it will. and i think it's unfortunate. there are general managers who believe this way. and we need to hold them accountable. not let them get away with excuses of he's not the right fit or maybe he doesn't quite work well with the locker room chemistry. it's our job to say that michael sam deserves a fair chance, not because he's gay, but because he's a football player and he wants to go out and play football. >> we hope he gets a fair chance. you can read an excerpt of chris kluwe's book, "beautifully unique sparkle ponies" on "this week." and when we come back, kevin spacey from "house of cards" is here live. there he is. ck, kevin spacey from "house of cards" is here. there he is.
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kevin spacey, this guy's getting a lot of stuff done. >> president obama likely to catch a few "house of cards" episodes on his weekend off in california. all of you who have been through season, don't spoil it for us. kevin spacey here to talk about it. after we look at why so many americans are entertained by a city they appear to hate. >> reporter: washington is hollywood for ugly people? seems to be over. with netflix's "house of cards." the emmy-winning parody called veep, and scandal, homeland, with a possible double agent on the loose in washington. >> we have to go in. he's on to me. >> come back, kari. >> reporter: if somebody landed
from mars and turned on television, what kind of washington, d.c.? >> it's a friendly place? no a den of inequity and corruption. even heros are not heroic. >> reporter: it's true. the washington seen on tv these days, it's not mr. smith goes to washington, where there was one good man fighting the forces of good and evil. >> i'd like to get them set there time, sir. i'm not going to leave this body until they are set. >> reporter: and not the west wing with the whole team of good people fighting the forces of dark and evil. >> never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. >> reporter: no, frank underwood, played by kevin spacey and embodied the force of good and evil. scheming his way to the top as majority whip. >> you did that? >> no, i revised the parameters of my stance. >> it's lying. >> which is politics. >> reporter: he's a puppet master, pulling the strings and killing to get what he wants. >> there is but one rule, hunt or be hunted. >> reporter: capturing perhaps a certain mood on the loose in the culture at large. >> we have a political movement
based on the suspicion of government. the tea party congress is constantly setting new records for unpopularity. it's a moment people are thinking about washington in negative terms. >> reporter: so vice president on "veep," which is a walking character flaw of constant and constantly frustrated ambition. >> why didn't i know about this? i'm going. they can't keep me out of there. hi, guys. >> reporter: so where did all the real heros go? pierre bagley who took over the washington, d.c. office of motion picture and television development, thinks they're still out there waiting to the found by the script writers. >> all the intrigue on capitol hill, the white house, it's fodder for great drama. and they're catching up to it now. >> reporter: the other thing he says about washington as storyline -- >> this is the most exciting city in the world. there's no other city like washington, d.c. >> reporter: you think washington is more exciting than hollywood? >> absolutely. >> reporter: why? >> it's real. >> reporter: you think
washington is real? >> oh, it's real. let me say this, it's as real as it gets. >> reporter: and as if on cue, we are interrupted by a presidential helicopter, breaking in on the conversation. it would have ruined shot in the tv show, but not in frank underwood's world, where nothing happens unless the puppet master politician wants it to. for this week, jon donovan, abc news, washington. >> and here he is live, kevin spacey. playing frank underwood. thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> washington more exciting than hollywood? >> for me, it's like performance art. you know, i sometimes watch it, what we can get done shooting on a day. i'll come home and turn on the news and think our storylines are not that crazy. they're not. >> i'm not going to give away the second season. president obama has a little bit of frank underwood envy. the ruthlessless efficient frank underwood. >> i can imagine why he would.
i thought it must be really interesting for not just an american public, but people around the world to view a very effective congress that gets things done. so i can imagine he must feel, gosh, i wish we could move that quickly. >> how do you put the two together? clearly the show is striking a chord in the country at the time when the country hates washington more than ever. >> well, i've heard from lots of people, you know, that some people feel that 99% of the show is accurate. and that the 1% that isn't is that you could never get an education bill passed like that. >> forget about every other crime you see over the course of the show. and, you know, you've got all these members of congress, i want to show a group of them from nowthisnews.com who have frank underwood envy as well. >> the bill is going to come up this wednesday. i never make such big decisions so long after sunset and so far from dawn. it's still going to come up.
>> i have no patience for useless things. >> he was about to tell me. >> mccarthy -- >> he's the house republican whip. >> he's the house republican whip. he was very generous to me. i sort of shadowed him in the capital a little bit to understand and learn what it's actually like to be the majority whip. but he said recently, if i could kill one member of congress, i would never have to worry about another vote. >> i think that's pretty true. the example that would set. what did you pick up from following him around? >> look, it's particularly interesting for him, because there are so many new members of congress who were brought in the tea party, fight against washington and not do it the usual way. it's difficult to harangue 218 congressmen to vote a particular way you want them to vote. i don't envy the position. it's not easy. it was fascinating to go to a couple of whip meetings and see what the agenda is, what they're going to put out there, how they do it. for me, it was very helpful to
feel what it was like to actually whip. >> and the show gets the details of the setting and the conversation right. but i wonder what you make of, you know, some critics of the show look at it and say, as you point out, a lot of people think this is the way it must be. but one doctor says blanket cynicism, talking about the show, gives the illusion of understanding, not really understanding what's going on. >> well, i think that, you know, we've also heard a lot of comparisons to we're the antithesis of "west wing." travis -- it was a very, you know, -- >> a different kind of fantasy. >> a different kind of fantasy. even if you look now at the way some real politicians are re-examined. lyndon johnson is a character that my character in "house of cards" admires during his lifetime and presidency, he took an nourpgs enormous amount of
criticism, personal for the policies in vietnam war. but he passed three civil rights bills and he was ruthless and an s.o.b. and many things during his life, but people are re-examining people who are willing to do what they have to do. >> and if he had the coverage going through the ruthless tactics today, he might not be able to get what we got done. >> or everyone abraham lincoln, you look rat -- at the film lincoln. it was an effective position, giving positions to get votes for something he thought was more important. and today that would be a scandal. >> kevin spacey, thank you very much. "house of cards" is terrific. you can see every episode on netflix right now. we'll be right back.
and n and now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. this week the pentagon released the names of four soldiers killed in afghanistan. and that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."