tv PBS News Hour PBS May 22, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the two presidential campaigns traded jabs over former governor romney's tenure at the helm of a private equity firm. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we examine dueling political strategies with former ohio governor ted strickland, a democrat, and former missouri senator jim talent, a republican. >> woodruff: then, we get an update on the blastoff of the first-ever commercial rocket to head to the international space station from science correspondent miles o'brien. >> ifill: we return to joplin, missouri, on the mend one year after a deadly tornado ripped through the city. >> woodruff: margaret warner talks with two pakistani women about their lives in the city of
karachi, constantly interrupted by sectarian violence. >> imagine you meet a american the morning and the news you get there the afternoon is that he's no more. so, of course, it's fearful. it's really uncertain situation. >> ifill: and jeffrey brown explores the merits of a liberal arts education with columbia university professor andrew delbanco, author of a new book called "college." >> the college classroom should be a place where students learn to speak with civility, to listen with respect to each other and, most of all, to realize that they might walk into the room in one point of view and they might walk out with another. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network-- a living, breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. >> look, it's so simple. >> in here, the bright minds
from inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea, adding to it from the road, improving it in the cloud, all in real time. >> good idea. >> it's the at&t network. providing new ways to work together, so business works better. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the politics of private equity have dominated
the campaign, with the president's re-election team keeping up attacks on mitt romney's role at bain capital. >> he's talking about how he's better qualified to be president because of his business experience. so, look, he raised it, so let's take a look at his business experience. >> woodruff: vice-president biden joined the fray in questioning mitt romney's private sector background today one day after president obama made it clear he believes it's fair to examine romney's tenure at the private equity firm bain capital. >> if your main argument for how to grow the economy is "i knew how to make a lot of money for investors," then you're missing what this job is about. >> woodruff: the president defended a television ad released by his campaign last week featuring interviews with former employees at a kansas city steel mill that bain capital acquired. >> they made as much money off
it as they could and they closed it down. they filed for bankruptcy without any concern for the families or the communities. >> it was like a vampire-- they came in and sucked the life out of us. >> woodruff: but the ad's focus- - portraying romney as a corporate raider-- has drawn fire even among the president's own supporters. newark mayor cory booker added to the storm on sunday's "meet the press." >> this kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. it's nauseating to the american public. enough is enough. stop attacking private equity. >> woodruff: the romney camp released it's own web video response last week, touting bain's role in bankrolling another steel company, s.d.i. >> i think there's a lot of pride in what we've built out here. >> but s.d.i. almost never got started. when others shied away, mitt romney's private sector leadership team stepped in. >> building a dream with over 6,000 employees today. >> have you had enough of president obama's attacks on free enterprise?
his own key supporters have. >> woodruff: and yesterday came another romney web ad using booker's comments, and those of former democratic congressman harold ford and former obama administration "auto czar" steven rattner, all in defense of bain. on msnbc last night, booker said that was unfair. >> here they are plucking sound bites out of that interview to manipulate them in a cynical manner, to use them for their own purposes. >> woodruff: in his remarks yesterday, president obama defended booker, and said romney's business record was fair game. >> this is not a distraction. this is what this campaign is going to be about, is what is a strategy for us to move this country forward in a way where everybody can succeed? >> woodruff: and a new "washington post"-abc news poll out today shows that voters agree.
52% of those asked cited the economy as the single most important issue this election, but 54% said romney's work with bain was "not a major factor." when asked which candidate they'd trust to do a better job handling the economy, a virtual dead heat. 46% chose president obama; 47%, governor romney. romney has not addressed the issue of his time at bain directly in recent days, but in a conference call, romney advisor former new hampshire governor john sununu said: "i think the bain record, as a whole, is fair game. i think what you have to do is an honest evaluation." this is not the first time romney's been attacked on his bain record. >> mitt romney became c.e.o. of bain capital the day the company was formed. >> they fire, they cut benefits, they sell assets. >> woodruff: romney faced similar criticism during the
republican primaries from a super-pac backing newt gingrich. so is the bain campaign push a wise political strategy for the president? and how will the romney camp respond if the attacks keep up? well, to debate all this we're joined by jim talent. he's a former senator from missouri and a top advisor to mitt romney. and ted strickland, the former governor of ohio and a fellow at harvard's institute of politics. gentlemen, we thank you both for being with us. senator talent, to you first. the romney camp is saying it's fair game to talk about his record at bain capital so what is it in these ads that is off base? >> well, they're false and misleading attacks on private equity and basically an attempt to disdistract the voters from the failed economic policies of the obama administration and the condition of the country. i mean, we've had unemployment above 8% for longer than the great depression and the president doesn't want to talk about his policies and so
they're launching these attacks on private equity and free enterprise and they're misleading and, of course, that's what a number of democrats have been saying in the last few days. >> pelley: quickly, senator talent, what is it that's false about what the ads say? >> well, first of all, one ad attacked governor romney for the closure of a steel plant that occurred two years after he left bain capital. broadly speaking, firms that invest in distressed companies can't save them all. doctors can't save all their patients, but on balance bain under governor romney created well over 100,000 jobs, which is certainly more than has been created in the obama administration because we're down over 500,000 over the last three and a half years. >> woodruff: governor strickland how do you respond to that? >> i say to my friend jim talent those are good talking points but the reality is when president obama became the president, the month he took the oath of office this country had lost almost 800,000 jobs.
he's not responsible for that. and he's not attacking private equity and he's not attacking free enterprise. he's simply attacking what rick perry called vulture capitalism where investors get really, really rich by buying companies, loading them up with debt, driving them into bankruptcy, taking away jobs and pensions and health care from workers but mitt romney and his associates at bain capital walked away with multiple millions of dollars. that's what the president is talking about and this is not a distraction. this is going to be the central part of the campaign-- as it ought to be. which of these two candidates has demonstrated a concern for working people? and my con tension is that mitt romney has looked out for his investors but he hasn't really cared for the workers. >> woodruff: senator talent, there are workers who are quoted
in these ads, senator talent, who are saying some of the same things governor strickland just said. >> judy, first of all, the investors in bain capital were largely pension funds so the people who benefited from it were teachers and policemen and firefighters and retirees. but, look, the white house knows the way private equity works. there's a reason ted's argument is with people like mark warner and steve rattner who was the white house's auto czar. at the time g.m. was closing dealerships in order to fix the company. it's with corey booker and our old company harold ford, jr., and many defended bain capital's record as very strong, successful and ethical because it had a strong record of creating jobs, that's why the firm is successful. for startup companys alone: steel dynamic, bright horizon, staples and sports authority created over 100,000 jobs and, ted, we have lost a net of at least 500,000 jobs on president
obama's watch. >> woodruff: governor strickland what about that and these other democrats he mentioned who have said that the line of attack in these ads is not fair? >> well, quite frankly, the president came to power with horrendous economic set of circumstances. he has s rebuilding this economy. he's doing it the right way by focusing on the middle-class. he's investing in education and our infrastructure and he's trying to put forth programs that will benefit small business. the fact is that this president has been stopped by the congress every time he's tried to take positive action. but in spite of that, the economy's getting better. the economy in ohio today is much healthier because the president saved the auto industry. because manufacturing is coming back. living wage jobs are being created. and so the president is the one who has a program to move the
country forward, judy. mitt romney is trying to use his experience as a venture capitalist as the justification for being president. he doesn't talk a lot about his experience and his record as governor. he was not a successful governor. michigan ended up, i think, being 37th in the nation in terms of job creation. >> woodruff: let me stop you there... >> judy. >> woodruff: i want to come back to senator talent. go ahead. >> judy, look, the problem isn't that congress didn't give the president what he wanted the. the problem is that they did he got the stimulus plan wh which he won't even talk about now, got obamacare. and to say this economy is being rebuilt, i have to tell you, median income in the united states down $4,300. people are working harder and harder than ever before and barely staying in place. the unemployment rate has effectively not gone down from where it was at the peak of the recession. the only reason it's gone technically from 10% to 8% is so
many people are discouraged and have quit work. this economy is not getting better and the president's policies are the reason. >> woodruff: senator talent, i looked at what the president said yesterday. he said "yes, private equity has a healthy role to play in the free market." he said "that's part of a what a lot of business people do. he talked about the role of private equity and the capacity to create new jobs but he said the role of a president is to look after the economic health of the whole community, the whole country and not just of a company which is what a... would take place in a venture capital deal. >> well, judy, let's tell the people at solyndra that. tell people at ever green solar. the department of energy's inspector general-- a non-political appointee-- found that billions of dollars were channeled to companies started by politicians who were friend of the president. so the president has looked after those companies pretty well. these are attacks, misleading
attacks on basical private equity. that's how harold ford saw it, our old colleague, steve rattner now mark warner and i think there's going to be more democrats coming forward because these attacks are so unfair and misleading. >> woodruff: governor strickland, the president's focus here on economic fairness, is that a wide thing for the president to be doing in this campaign? >> absolutely! who doesn't believe in fairness? the fact is that the president has not attacked free enterprise. he's not attacked venture capitalism. he's attacked mitt romney's assertion that he should be president because he made a lot of money for himself and his investors. and the president was absolutely correct. the president's job is to look out for all americans, not just the investor class and the fact is that this president took a horrendous situation. mitt romney wants to take us back to the bush policies that led to this recession and as bill clinton said he wants to do it on steroids.
we've got to move forward not backward. the president is leading. he is laying out a solid foundation and all we need now is for this congress to get behind him. to cut taxes for small business-- as he's trying to do-- to invest or n our infrastructure, to expand health care to our people. the president has a plan, mitt romney wants to go back to the bush era strategies and that's a disaster for this country. >> woodruff: former senator jim talent, former governor ted strickland, thank you both. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: a picture-perfect space launch; joplin, missouri, rebuilds; life amid violence in pakistan; and is a liberal arts education worth it? but first, with the other news of the day, here's kwame holman. >> holman: the u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, ryan crocker, is stepping down from his post a year early for health reasons. the announcement today said crocker will leave in mid-summer. he came out of retirement in july to take the job in kabul after having served as
ambassador to iraq. in washington, the state department spokeswoman underscored crocker's decision was not about policy differences. >> he wanted to make it clear that this should not any way be seen as a lessening of his personal commitment and our national commitment, obviously, to afghanistan if you've got a chance to see the fuller statement that he put out to his embassy and the larger community. i think his heart will always be a little bit in afghanistan. >> holman: the president now will have to nominate a replacement for crocker. in the interim, james cunningham, currently serving under crocker in kabul, will become acting ambassador. iran and the u.n. nuclear agency were said to be close to agreement today to allow inspections of key iranian sites. the head of the u.n. agency, yukiya amano, spoke after meeting with iran's chief negotiator, saeed jalili. he said he expects to sign a deal soon, once some remaining issues are worked out.
>> the decision was made by me to reach agreement on the approach. it was elaborated as an existing difference will not be the obstacle for agreement. >> holman: amano said the agreement would give inspectors access to the top-secret parchin military complex. tomorrow, iran resumes nuclear talks with representatives of the u.s. and five other nations. they'll meet in iraq. in egypt, five police officers were sentenced today to ten years in prison for killing protesters during last year's political uprising. they'd been convicted in absentia, and could yet qualify for new trials. but the convictions themselves were a rarity. more than 800 protesters were killed in the demonstrations that ousted president hosni mubarak. their families say authorities have made only token attempts to bring the killers to justice.
greece may be considering dropping out of the euro currency. that word came late today from a former prime minister, and it quickly erased wall street's gains for the day. the dow jones industrial average ended with a loss of a point to close above 12,502. the nasdaq fell eight points to close at 2,839. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: an historic moment for the american space program today as the first u.s. commercial space flight successfully took off. jeffrey brown has our story. >> and launch of the space-x falcon 9 rocket, as nasa turns to the private sector to re-supply the international space station. >> brown: with that, the rocket fired into the pre-dawn sky over cape canaveral, florida, opening a new era. space-x, or space exploration technologies, became the first private company to send a vessel to the international space station.
billionaire founder elon musk exulted as he watched from the company's mission control in southern california. >> every bit of adrenaline in my body released at that point. it's obviously an extremely intense moment. >> brown: he'd faced several delays, including a last-second abort on saturday when computers spotted a bad engine valve. >> some questions generated by the prior launch board. but actually it worked perfectly, so i was really glad to see that. and then, the second stage worked really well. and anything could have gone wrong, and everything went right, fortunately, so i feel very lucky. >> brown: the rocket lifted its cargo, the dragon capsule loaded with supplies, into orbit. on friday, it will attempt rendezvous with the space station as depicted in this nasa
animation, and if all goes well, the station robot arm will grab dragon and reel it in. until now, all such u.s. missions were the purview of nasa's space shuttles. they've now been retired to museums, and nasa administrator charles bolden says the new goal is to let private firms manage missions in low-earth orbit. >> we're handing off to the private sector transportation to the international space station so that nasa can focus on what we do best, exploring even deeper into our solar system, with missions to an asteroid and mars on the horizon. >> brown: to that end, nasa invested millions of dollars of seed money in space-x. the company now has a $1.6 billion contract for 12 cargo flights to the space station. and joining me now is newshour science correspondent miles o'brien. miles, welcome. you've looked deeply into this. an important moment?
how important? how do you define it? >> it's big deal. it's quite tectonic, actually. what's interesting about it is we keep talking about the private sector launching a rocket into space. nasa has never built a rocket on its own. it's always had the private sector involved, whether it's lockheed martin or boeing or whatever the case may be. this is all about how you cut the deal. this is the contract that we're talking about. for years and years it was run like the pentagon: cost plus. there's no incentive for efficiencies when you do those kinds of contracts. this is a fixed-price deal. send it off to the private sector. maybe they can do it cheaper. >> now.... >> brown: it's still interesting to see the close coordination with nasa, right? and there's these two cultures at work. are they working together or is it... have they gone off in separate directions? >> they better because dragon is getting closer and closer to the international spas station. as it's getting closer it's going through a series of milestone tests to see if its abort system works, make sure it can go into free drift so it can
be grabed by the space station robot arm. make sure its laser system, its range finder, is working well. this is what this mission is about, kind of wringing out that technology. if all goes well, it will get grasped and be attached to the space station and some stuff will come on board. >> brown: this happens in the next few days? >> friday morning is the big morning to pay attention to. at this point falcon is... each step of the way it's demonstrating aspects of the dragon capsule it hasn't done before. the falcon rocket has already been proven on a couple over launchs so this is all uncharted territory now. >> brown: the go back to the business model-- which is the new thing here. the idea is the private company can do it cheaper but keep up the same safety? the hope? >> thts the hope. this is where you get the critics of this space-x endeavor and others in this entity, in this enterprise, they'll tell you it can't be done. you can't do short circuit or take short cuts on safety.
by low-earth orbit is understood at this point and now is the time to see if it can be done. how do you define what is the right level of safety is the tricky part, especially when you start putting u.s. astronauts in these capsules. >> brown: that's the hope, right? i went back to look at the piece you did for us a few weeks ago and you had elan musk gushing. i'm talking about sending ultimately tens of thousands, eventually millions of people to mars and help the going out there and exploring the stars. >> thinking big. (laughs) >> brown: he's not a small-minded fellow. >> there might be a bit of hyperbole but he does envision a world in which space travel is more routine. there's a lot of people who care a lot about space who say this is the first step right now it costs $10,000 a pound, if you were still flying the shuttle, to put anything in space. $10,000 a pound.
supposedly it can happen below $1,000 a pound. if that happens it can open up new ideas for what you can do in space. >> brown: what is the timing for something like that? at least to start down that road? >> well, he's doing this for pennies on the dollar already compared to a typical shuttle mission. the shuttle was a very complicated, expensive craft. it did a lot of things, it had tremendous capability, it was like the concord in the end it wasn't that pact school he's building a simple earliner design and cheaper. >> brown: for getting people up there snz >> safety decisions have to be made but what he has on paper is safety in the shuttle. the shuttle... the return vehicle was downstream of all kinds of debris. we saw what happened in the case of "columbia." this is ultimate lay fundamentally safer design. now part of it is in the execution of the design. you have to watch that. >> brown: we should say he's not alone, right? this is the beginning of other companies already involved in
this >> there's a half dozen other players. some small like space-x but what's interesting to watch is you have the likes of boeing-- big name-- a.t.k., built the solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle program. they are trying to play in this environment. they are used to working under the old-fashioned cost plus contracts. can these elephants dance in the fixed price world is the big question. they want to play, though. so it will be interesting to see if they can do it that much cheaper. >> brown: and nasa in the meantime watches, right? they work with these guys and try to figure out their own future. >> and we hope they get enough funding to fund this heavy lift rocket they would like to build and go to mars or an asteroid. that's the key right now. will they get the funding to make that happen? charlie goesen said it's over the horizonen. i'm afraid it might be way over the horizon if nasa doesn't get the funding for it. >> brown: miles o'brien, thanks as always.
>> ifill: now, the city of joplin, missouri, rebuilds and remembers one year after it was leveled by a deadly twister. this was joplin one year ago, after a tornado packing 200- mile-per-hour winds tore through town. it killed 161 people, injured hundreds more, and destroyed 8,000 buildings, many of them homes. this is how the city of 50,000 looks today. three million cubic yards of debris have been hauled away. damaged homes have been torn down, leaving empty foundations. others have been rebuilt. but at a cost. the storm caused $2.8 billion in damage, the costliest tornado since 1950. and emotional, physical and psychological scars remain. >> normal is not normal for joplin, missouri, but one day, it will be. >> ifill: joplin high school was severely damaged in the storm,
as were ten other public schools in the area. classes moved to a nearby mall. with donations from the united arab emirates, students received new laptops and state of the art equipment. but life after the storm continues to be an adjustment. >> we don't have books anymore-- laptops now. everything's been different. nothing's been the same, except that it's been school, you know. we call it "school." ( laughs ) >> ifill: last night, president obama told graduating seniors they would always carry the experience of the past year with them. >> some of life's strongest bonds are the ones we forge when everything around us seems broken. and even though i expect that some of you will ultimately end up leaving joplin, i'm pretty confident that joplin will never leave you. >> ifill: today, city leaders broke ground on joplin high's new building, as well as for two other new schools. joplin high principal kerry sachetta spoke recently of the
importance of providing students with some sense of normalcy. he was interviewed by ozarks public broadcasting as part of a documentary about life in joplin now. >> we wanted them to be able to say, "you know what? i was in this club, this organization. i was on this team or in this concert or whatever activity," and not to have... not to be able to look back and say, "this tornado not only destroyed our town, but it also wiped out everything i can remember about what was important to me growing up." >> ifill: the city has had to make other big adjustments, too. the tornado reduced saint john's regional medical center to a shell. since then, a smaller interim facility, mercy hospital, has been built down the road while work on a permanent replacement continues. but demand often outpaces resources. >> the availability of beds is just difficult, so if somebody needs to be hospitalized... so say that an elderly patient comes in and has pneumonia. we always keep these for a couple of days to make sure we can get them well.
many times, we have to go to as far as kansas city to find a bed to put them in. >> ifill: aaron brown is lead pastor of st. paul's united church, which lost its sanctuary in the storm. he says, for many, the trials brought on by the storm made them stronger. >> being a person of faith doesn't ever insulate you from tragedy. what god's promise is in scripture and what jesus conveys is that "i will be with you through the storm, when the tragedy hits. i will be with you as you pick through rubble, stand at gravesite of the person you love. i will be with you." >> ifill: commemorations continued this afternoon with a walk of unity including governor jay nixon and many residents. now we get a firsthand account about life in joplin today from jane kay, she's a long-time businesswoman and she needs citizens advisory recovery team.
welcome. >> thank you, thanks for being interested in joplin today. >> ifill: i see you wearing that t-shirt with a "1" on it. explain where you've been and what that t-shirt mean. >> this t-shirt means one year, one community, one direction and today is the one-year anniversary of the tornado and i've just come from the walk of unity where there are literally thousands of people walking across joplin. the parade must have stretched half a mile or more. incredible. >> ifill: in the year of joplin's recovery, what has been the most difficult part? >> i think the immensity of it. when you look at how long the destruction was and how wide it was there's just so much to do. there's so many houses to rebuild. there's so much to think our way through. the there's a lot going on but i think we're making great progress. >> ifill: as you look past over the last 12 months, what would you say is the greatest accomplishment so far?
>> i think the greatest accomplishment so far is number one the number of people we've been able to bring back home and probably number two the fact that we opened school on time and have had great attendance all year long even in big trying circumstances. >> ifill: i should tell our viewers that the chamber of commerce named you citizen of the year in 2012. >> yes, ma'am. >> ifill: as citizens have been involved in this recovery, how... there comes a point where people get a little tired of always helping with recovery. has that happened in joplin as well? >> >> i think everybody's been tired at one point or another along the way but everybody's pushing through it because if you were here everyday and could see what we see on the ground, the amount of progress we make, it's very encouraging. >> ifill: but you didn't lose your home and you didn't lose your business. so why bother? >> oh, my gosh. i said i live at the corner of fortunate and guilty. i'm fortunate that i can go home at night and when i think of all
the people that i know that lost someone they loved or lost their house or lost their business or lost all three i have the time to do this kind of work compared to people who will trying to put their lives back together. i don't have to decide where to buy a house about furniture. i don't have to replace a car. i don't have to deal with insurance people. i have time. >> ifill: what have you been doing in a hands-on way. >> i go to a lot of meetings and i facilitate a lot of groups. that's probably the number one answer but our job has been to listen to the public so we've done that through a number of public input meetings. we had one less than two months after the tornado and we had 350 people come and tell us what they believe the future should be like and that's pretty amazing considering people are city trying to get their life back together. now i see our job is to be an advocate for what we heard people wanted joplin to be like. >> ifill: no community can
survive without a functioning working hospital, especially in times of disaster. the comeback of the hospital alone was quite something. >> it is, isn't it? i used to be a chairman of the board here at st. johns and you can see what's left of it behind me but less than two weeks ago we had a field mash hospital up and running then we moved to modular units then about a month ago we moved into a kind of prebuilt unit with two floors that has about 120 beds and we've broken ground out... a little further south on $500 million worth of hospitals so their commitment to the community has just been beyond belief. >> ifill: one of the iconic images we remember was the flattened home depot. how has the business community recovered in this past year? >> you know, the big box stores, academy is back, home depot is back. walgreens was back in a matter
of maybe three months. chick-fil-a is back. academy sports is back. those big box stores are doing really well. it's taken longer for mom-and-pop shops to come but we're seeing those come back as well. >> ifill: we've been looking back but let's look forward. what is it you would like to see happen in the next 12 monthstor next 12 years in your city? >> it's interesting. i filled out about how i wanted to see joplin in 50 years and i said? 50 years i hope nobody can tell we ever had a tornado. in the next 12 months i'm hoping we'll see more forward progress. the high school being built, the hospital being built. we'll be able to make decisions about making the city greener and more attractive and in the next 12 years i hope we'll see that happen. it's a long process. >> pelley: what does it take for that to happen? do you still need help from outside? do you still need help from the federal government? in your case you got help from
foreign governments as well. what has to happen for all of your dreams to come true as it were? >>ly tell you-- and i've said this many times-- we're working as hard as we can work and we're doing our very best. we're not waiting on help to arrive but it's obvious because of the large nature of this we need help still. we've gotten wonderful gifts, the united arab emirates gave $5 million to the hospital just this week for a new neonatal intensive care unit and we've gotten money from all around. i would say we're probably the number one destination for mission trip who are helping us rebuild low to moderate income housing for habitat for humanity and other organizations. but we have a lot to do and we're going to need people for a while and we'll continue to need resources for a while. >> ifill: jane cage, the 2012 joplin citizen of the year. thank you so much for all the work you've done. >> oh, yes, ma'am, everybody's working hard, not just me.
>> woodruff: next to pakistan, where an upsurge in violence may have roots in schools and the media. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: across pakistan, life is often interrupted by terrorist attacks and sectarian violence. last year alone, there were more than 600 bomb blasts. the pakistani government says it's trying to fight extremism through military means and economic development. the united states is assisting with military aid and drone strikes to kill militant leaders, and by funding projects to boost the economy, civil society, and education. recently, 12 pakistani civic leaders, all women, came to washington to meet with u.s. officials. among them, bushra hyder is the founder and director of two schools in northwestern pakistan that seek to promote non-
violence and tolerance. and naziha ali is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker in karachi who's written widely on militant organizations. i spoke to them at the institute for inclusive security, a nonprofit group that promotes the role of women in conflict zones. they began by describing what it's like to live in the midst of so much violence. >> the violence there is of all kinds-- ethnic violence, sectarian violence, political violence. and i know there are... there are many people who will not step out of their homes every day before checking the news because they don't know where, what is happening where. so it impacts our lives in a very, very profound way on a daily level. >> imagine you meet a person in the morning, and the news you get in the afternoon is that he's no more. so, of course, it's fearful, it's a really uncertain situation. >> warner: i want to ask you both from... you both are doing very interesting, different things. from where you sit and from what
you do, what do you think is fueling this? >> there are many, but we can say that it has been... it's the way the curriculum is designed. it's the way the students are taught, and it's the wrong picture of our misinterpretation of the islamic concepts. >> warner: can you give me some examples about the curriculum? you mean the textbooks? >> yes, the textbooks. they are, like, biased, biased towards other religions, and they have content which is derogatory towards other religions and... >> warner: so it's derogatory of non-islam. >> yes, and other religions are not even talked about in a positive way. so, it's kind of giving intolerant or conveying intolerant teachings to the students. >> warner: but how does that lead actually to violence? >> because children are becoming, like, at a young age
when they start thinking or they start reading about only wars that have been fought in islam, and they are not talking about the peace, the love, the tolerance that the holy prophet- - peace be upon him-- showed in his own life. so naturally, when they're only hearing about people from other religions in a negative way, they are becoming more intolerant, they're becoming more aggressive towards the other groups and other religions. >> warner: so who's providing these textbooks? where do they come from? >> they're provided by the government to the government schools, but they are written according to certain common policies. and the private schools have to use the same books, also. >> warner: and naziha ali, what about in the world you live, media? >> i think media does play a role in fueling an atmosphere
that leads to extremism. the industry, the media industry is a very youthful industry. you have a lot of very, very young journalists. the average age of the journalist today is 23. ten years ago, it was 40-plus. so i think that is a... has a major role to play in how news is disseminated. but channels... if there's... if there's a bomb blast with a terrorist incident, channels don't do a sort of getting their own facts and verifying them. they look at what other channels are saying, and if another channel has got casualty figures that are way higher, they'll go with that, simply because it's... you know, it's more dramatic. >> warner: do the editors provide any kind of professional or moderating influence? >> in some cases, editors do excercise a moderating influence, but the de facto editor is really the owner. so there's a lot of interference in editorial policy, and they're driven by their own biases. and it's... that's why it's a very profit-driven industry. there's a mad scramble for ratings and a journalist's ethics be damned, most of the time. >> warner: what are you doing specifically to try to combat
radicalization, say in the school that you run? >> we started having these bomb blasts on a daily basis, so naturally, my children were affected. the children were becoming really aggressive and they were really angry and, in their art classes, they started drawing bombs and victims and dead bodies and ambulances. so for us, of course, it was very depressing. and i did not want to... my children or my students to be robbed of their childhood, so we started the peace education program and... >> warner: now, naziha, what about for you and your work? are there ways in which you're trying to counteract what you see as this sort of
sensationalized media coverage? >> media because the media is >> media because the media is very incident driven. they'll cover, you know, incidents of terrorism, but they won't look at what is actually fueling that, what is causing it. so there's no discourse on the causes of extremism. and we've already started working on that. we had a program discussing the impact of extremism on women and children, tv program, and now we are working on another tv program to discuss the changes, the reforms that are needed in the education curricula. >> warner: what you all are describing sounds like a very pakistan-rooted problem-- in the culture and cultural influences. you're here in washington meeting with all these people. what can the u.s. do to help change those cultural influences? >> actually, the u.s. government is sending a lot of money to pakistan. but unfortunately, it's not reaching the right people and it's not going in the right direction.
>> i think one thing the u.s. can do is to make sure it talks to the people who are actually being affected, rather than just talking to policymakers in pakistan, so that you have a more nuanced understanding of what's actually happening on the ground. and please, talk to women in pakistan. treat women as a very critical resource, because they have a kind of influence that men probably don't. >> warner: the u.s. is trying to address terrorism by using drones and military means to take out top terrorist leaders. what effect, do you think? >> well, i'll ask you. do you perceive the radicalism in pakistan is increasing or decreasing? i think the answer is that it's increased. so i would say that the strategy isn't working >> there's a hospital in front of my school, and i usually take my students there to visit the wounded, and these are the wounded men and children who have been victims of drone attacks and extremist activities. >> warner: so both... both victims of terrorist attacks and of u.s. drone strikes.
>> yes, so the idea is not to tell them that this is something good, or just to make them feel sick or ill, but i want them to understand how can hatred affect people. and when they come back to the school, they discuss what they saw. they want to be peaceful. and they will look at the schools. we want to discuss the effects
but we are not addressing that and how we will tackle this extremist activities. >> warner: that's a very tall order to change these cultural influences, isn't it? >> it may be a tall order, i agree. but the underlying fact is that people in pakistan want to live in peace >> warner: well, bushra hyder and naziha ali, thank you both for your very important work and the best of luck with it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: finally tonight, as students line up to receive diplomas and head out in search of work in a tough economy, we turn to one author's assessment of the value of a college education. jeffrey brown recorded this book conversation earlier this month. >> on the one hand, an article of faith, the college education, is a goal to be sought for all americans. on the other: a growing question, is college still worth it? a new book looks at this great
and troubled institution. it's titled "college: what it was, is and should be." author andrew delbanco has a biography of her minute vessel milliand he was awarded a national humanities medal by president obama. welcome to you. >> thank you. >> brown: you make a case that something has been lost, at least in danger of being lost. even a kind of moral center for our colleges. how do you define the problem? >> i think we want to remember that through much of our history a very small percentage of the college-age population went to college and for those people is the they are they didn't need a job or they had a job waiting for them college was not so much an institution for preparing people for the market case but it was an institution for helping them diskov who they were. in fact i'd say that the american college which we take for granted, it's actually a unique institution in the world of higher education. in most countries, the
relatively small number of people who go on to university are expected to know what they're after, what they're good at, what their competence is. in our country we have always wanted to believe that there might be a chance for young people between adolescence and adulthood to take some time to reflect, to discover who they are. >> brown: so your sense is that we've lost this place of exploration or we're losing that sense, in terms of of a kind of credentialing utilitarian? >> it's not lost but i think it's under threat and much of that is understandable. the anxiety parents feel about the cost of college. >> brown: i'll say, you could hear somebody saying right away "but it costs so much." >> it's a well-placed anxiety and the anxiety that young people-- especially those trying to get into selective colleges-- all of that is understandable but i don't think it should be either or.
i don't think colleges should be expected to provide job training services though they should graduate students with competence and the ability to read and write clearly and think and work hard. the it's to try to reserve this space of self-reflection. >> part of this is that the most elite schools-- which where you're coming from-- but you're making a case for a much broader sector. the entire educational sector? >> i think so much of the conversation is about a small handful of institutions and that's understandable on a number of scores and we want to remember that motion college teachers are trained in research universities so that small group of highlys skyped research universities is important. but of course the glory of the american education is is breadth and diversity. and we have the enormous number of different institutions. the community colleges are every bit as important for the future
of our country as the harvards and the yales. >> one of the pieces of the economic puzzle you point so as a problem today is access. -to-schools that the better off you are the far greater chance you have of top schools. is there less upward mobility now? you're making a case... this this problem is it exacerbating economic and social divisions in the country? >> i think that's right. i mean, it's one of the glorious stories of american civilizationization that we opened up the opportunity for college to an unprecedented number of young people. much more widely than any society had ever done before. that story, i think, is slowing, it's stalled, it may even have gone into reverse and we don't acknowledge this as frankly as we should, how steep the barriers are for kids who come from families that are struggling economically. >> brown: so what's happening? what do you see happening?
a division? >> i see a stratification of the higher education system i see in the elite selective college much too high percentages of students from affluent families and i see too many resources going in that direction and too few resources going to institutions that serve low income students and children of immigrants, first generation college go go goers. >> pelley: how much do you blame th top-echelon colleges themselves? i note... i went back during the campaign, rick santorum made a statement about calling colleges indoctrination mills. you wrote an op-ed piece and you didn't agree with him on that but you pointed out there a... i think you used smugness, a certain smugness on the part of elite... >> i didn't agree and i thought he misrepresented president obama to some degree. but i don't like the rhetoric that greets the incoming class at the most selective institutions which is almost invariably you are the best
ever. and it encourages young people. a lot resist it, there are a lot of wonderful students at these institution bus it encourages them to think i must be better than all those thousands who didn't get in. i think that's a bad message. and i think there are reasons for the winners to doubt that they won all together because of their own virtue and merit. >> brown: what would you do? what would you... even a single thing to improve college. we've only touched on some of the problems you raise here. >> i don't have a sweeping took place that. that's going to disappoint some readers of my book. but every institution has to tackle this on its own terms. one of the glor reis as i said of our system is that it's not really a system. every institution has a different constituency, different alumni, different cultural values. but i think we want to keep in mind as firmly as we can and we want to defend this historical function of the american college which is to help students discover themselves and to
become citizens, not just competent employees but thoughtful citizens and that includes self-criticism. there are ways to do that by, i think notably having students participate in classes which are in my mind, the best rehearsal spaces we have for democracy. the college classrooms should be a place where students learned to speak with civility, to listen with respect to each other, to know the difference between an argument based on evidence and an opinion and most of all to realize that they might into the room with one point of view and walk out with another. that adds up to a certain kind of humility. and i think our colleges have the responsibility to inculcate that as much as possible. >> brown: most of the rhetoric up there, the president included as well as parents trying to sit around their tables now trying to figure out how they're going to pay for this is that it's got
to lead to something that benefits my daughter or son and most of all it's put in economic job terms. >> and the economic argument is indisputable. we need a competitive population in the global knowledge economy, the evidence is clear that young people who go to college even for a year or two tend to do better than people who don't. but the argument for democracy is at... at least as important. >> brown: we are going to continue this conversation online and we're going to invite our viewers to join us later on. andrew delbanco's book "college: what it was,, is and should be." thanks so much. thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the two presidential campaigns traded jabs over mitt romney's tenure at the helm of a private equity firm. space-x became the first private u.s. firm to launch a mission to the space station. the unmanned capsule carries
cargo for the station crew. and joplin, missouri, spent a somber day one year after a tornado wiped out much of the town and killed 161 people. online, we have more on the presidential race. kwame holman has the details. kwame. >> holman: judy, gwen and political editor christina bellantoni talk about how mitt romney is using his business background on the campaign trail. find this week's installment of the political checklist on our politics page. a new quiz on our health page helps women facing menopause and their doctors explore treatment options. and for those in need of emergency money, should they pull it from a 401(k) or charge it to a credit card? paul solman answers that question on his "making sense" page. and tonight's edition of "frontline" investigates a hidden cost of the smart phone revolution, the hazardous work of building and servicing the cell phone infrastructure. "cell tower deaths" airs tonight on most pbs stations. find a link to "frontline" and
much more on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at the six-power talks over iran's nuclear capability. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.