tv PBS News Hour PBS January 26, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: president trump denies he tried to fire the special counsel investigating any links between his campaign and russia's government. this as the president speaks at the world economic forum, declaring "america first" does not mean "america alone." and, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks analyze another full week of news. then, how did the united states become the hip hop nation? the evolution of a musical genre, ahead of sunday's grammy awards. >> many people thought, "they don't know their grammar, they don't know their language." when in fact, they're playing a game with it, and they're playing it beautifully.
>> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online.
more information on babbel.com. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president trump responded today to word that he demanded robert mueller's ouster
last june as special counsel in the russia probe, by saying it is all "fake news." the "new york times" initially, and now other news organizations, report that the president backed off when his white house lawyer threatened to quit. we will have a full report, after the news summary. the president talked about the mueller matter in davos, switzerland, where he spoke to the world economic forum, a gathering of mainly corporate and political leaders. he used the occasion to declare, the nation is open for business. special correspondent ryan chilcote reports from davos. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: the fanfare of a swiss marching band heralded the president's address to the global leaders, and his sales pitch for america. >> there has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest, and to grow in the united states. america is open for business, and we are competitive once again. >> reporter: mr. trump touted his tax cuts and regulatory overhaul:
>> we are freeing our businesses and workers so they can thrive and flourish as never before. >> reporter: the president also sought to reassure his audience that his "america first" agenda is not bad for the rest of the world. but, he said, free trade must be fair. >> the united states will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices, including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and pervasive state- led economic planning. >> reporter: the remarks appeared to encourage many business leaders at the forum. >> he well represented the american policies that he has put into place. >> reporter: others pushed back on president trump's claims of economic achievements. >> stocks hitting records means more wealth for the few at the top, but makes no difference at all for people at the bottom. ( crowd boos ) >> reporter: there were also boos and hisses when the
president branded the news media "nasty," "mean," and "vicious." the hall was so packed, i shared my chair with a nobel-prize winning economist. a japanese politician sat beside him. both my neighbors were dumb- struck by the spectacle of it all-- even though they got little of the provocative trump. the president was restrained, on message, and stuck to the teleprompter. earlier in the day, mr. trump met with rwanda's president, the incoming head of the african union, paul kagame. that meeting followed reports that mr. trump had made vulgar remarks about african nations. kagame said he looks forward to working together, and mr. trump, in turn, called him a friend. >> as i say often, i am the least racist person anybody is going to meet. >> reporter: on another issue, the president told britain's itn that he had not known anything about the far-right group "britain first," before he retweeted an anti-muslim video from its leader last november. >> if you're telling me they're horrible people-- horrible, racist people-- i would
certainly apologize, if you'd like me to do that. >> reporter: after his address, the president departed for washington. for the pbs newshour, i'm ryan chilcote in davos. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, as president trump plugged the u.s. economy at davos, wall street turned in another record session, due mainly to strong corporate earnings and a weaker u.s. dollar. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 224 points to close above 26,616. the nasdaq rose 94 points, and the s&p 500 added 33. all three were the highest they have ever been. the president's immigration proposal drew fire today, from the left and the right. it offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants living in the u.s. illegally. some far-right groups warned of betrayal, but in an interview thursday, mr. trump said he thinks immigration foes in congress will come around. >> these are people that really
have shifted a lot. and i think they're willing to shift more, and so am i. look, we're going to try and make a deal on daca. we have a good chance of making it. >> woodruff: part of the deal would cut down on legal immigration and include $25 billion for border security. those provisions have democrats outraged. in a tweet today, senate minority leader chuck schumer called it "the wish list that anti-immigration hardliners have advocated for years." the president shot back that schumer is unable to act on immigration because he took a political beating in the government shutdown. casino mogul steve wynn denied today that he has sexually harassed or assaulted multiple women. the "wall street journal" detailed the allegations against wynn, who is finance chair for the republican national committee. meanwhile, the "new york times" reported that burns strider, a
senior adviser to hillary clinton's 2008 presidential bid, was accused of repeatedly harassing a young staffer. burns strider was kept on staff, but ordered to get counseling. there is more fallout from michigan state university's handling of sexual abuse allegations against larry nassar. the former sports doctor was sentenced this week to up to 175 years in prison for molesting scores of young women and girls. today, michigan state's athletic director mark hollis announced he is retiring. >> as a campus community, we must do everything we can to ensure that this never happens again. to make sure that any sexual assault never occurs. but to do so, we must listen and learn lessons. only then can we truly begin the process of healing. >> woodruff: michigan state's president announced her resignation earlier this week. nassar also worked for u.s.a. gymnastics, and the u.s. olympic committee demanded yesterday
that the group's entire board resign. today, u.s.a. gymnastics said it will comply. in south korea, at least 37 people died today when a fire tore through a small hospital that had no sprinkler system. more than 140 people were injured. firefighters rushed in as smoke billowed out of the six-story building, southeast of seoul. officials said the fire started in the emergency room, but the cause was not clear. thousands celebrated-- and protested-- in australia today. they marked the day that the first british ship carrying convict colonists landed in 1788. in sydney, boats bustled in the harbor as thousands lined the boardwalk to celebrate. but in melbourne, more than 25,000 people rallied against white colonization and what it did to aboriginal people. in economic news, boeing lost a big trade case against canadian
rival, bombardier. the u.s. international trade commission rejected claims that bombardier sold passenger jets to delta air lines at artificially low prices. that blocks the trump administration from imposing nearly 300% tariffs. and in france, they are fighting to get their hands on nutella spread-- literally. frenzied buyers pushed and shoved to grab the chocolate hazelnut paste, on thursday. a grocery chain had slashed the price 75% for a promotion. guess they really like it. still to come on the newshour: the investigation-- president trump tried to fire the special counsel. mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. history of violence-- a new book details israel's secret assassination program. and, much more.
>> woodruff: now, the reports that president trump moved to fire special counsel robert mueller last summer, but ultimately decided against it. john yang fills us in. >> yang: in davos this morning, president trump dismissed the report with a favorite phrase. >> fake news, folks, fake news. typical "new york times" fake stories. >> yang: the "times" was the first to report that mr. trump ordered mueller's dismissal in june, but backed down after white house counsel don mcghan said he would quit rather than carry out the order. at the time, there were reports that mueller had begun looking into a possible obstruction of justice case over the firing of f.b.i. director james comey. on june 12, trump confidante christopher ruddy gave judy woodruff one of the first public indications of the president's intentions. >> woodruff: is president trump prepared to let the special counsel pursue his investigation?
>> well, i think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. i think he's weighing that option. >> yang: three days later, mr. trump said, "they made up a phony collusion with the russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. you are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt in american political history, led by some very bad and conflicted people!" the "times" reports mr. trump argued that mueller had conflicts of interest. among them: what the president said was a dispute over membership fees at the trump national golf course in northern virginia, where mueller had been a member. a mueller spokesman denies there was a dispute. soon afterward, the president changed both his legal team and his attitude toward mueller, denying ever considering firing him. >> i haven't given it any thought. i mean, i've been reading about it from you people. you say, "oh, i'm going to dismiss him." no, i'm not dismissing anybody.
i mean, i want them to get on with the task. >> yang: today, democratic senator cory booker of new jersey told pbs member network njtv that he fears trump could still try to fire mueller. >> i have a lot of concerns but for the constraint of the law, this is a man that would be doing much more to suppress this democracy and assert authoritarian rule. and so we need to have checks and balances. >> yang: last summer, booker introduced a bill to protect mueller. his co-author is south carolina republican lindsay graham. >> any effort to go after mueller could be the beginning of the end of the trump presidency, unless mueller did something wrong. >> yang: the measure has been stalled in the senate, but could get a boost from this latest disclosure. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: jack goldsmith is a professor at harvard law school, and co-founder of lawfareblog.com. he served as assistant attorney general for the justice
department's office of legal counsel during the george w. bush administration. jack goldsmith, welcome back to the "newshour". first of all, your reaction to the news reports that the president did try to fire, at least wanted to fire mr. mueller. >> that part of the story is not surprising, as you were the one that solicited from mr. ruddy that mr. trump was thinking about that last summer, so that part is not that surprising. the piece of news was that don mcghan, the white house counsel, refused to carry out the order of mr. trump to tell the justice to fire mueller and threatened to resign as a result. >> woodruff: you're saying the fact that mcghan stepped in and the president thought better of it changed his mind matters more. why is that significant? >> it's significant for a couple of reasons. first, it shows people in the white house, including those closest to the president,
thought it would be a disaster for the president -- that's the way the "new york times" reported it -- if he fired mueller. second and i think most importantly, it shows how very difficult it would be, in fact, for the president to fire mueller. if senior aides close to him like don mcghan are willing to resign to prevent that from happening and we don't quite know what his motivations are, that suggests that the president is not going to be able to find somebody to carry out or it's going to be very difficult to carry out any attempt to fire mueller. that happened several months ago. the president has calmed down about mueller. one way of looking at it, there was resistants in the white house of this happening and it's going to be harder for trump to do this than we might have thought. >> woodruff: would it have been obstruction of justice if the president asked others to fire mueller? >> there's been talk of that but i try to resist that conclusion
because you have to determine whether the president acted with corrupt intent to impede the investigation, and there are some suggestions, a lot of suggestions that he did but he's also basically said that he thinks the investigation is a witch hunt and baseless and conceivable that he didn't form the requisite intent. i think that, also, the focus on obstruction of justice, on the criminal standard i just articulated is a little misleading because i don't think mr. mueller -- i think it's very unlikely he's actually going to indict the president under that criminal standard. so i think we have been unduly focused on that criminal standard, and i think it's too hard to tell if he actually violated the statute in any event. >> woodruff: why do you think it's unlikely he would try to indict the president under obstruction of justice? >> loot of reasons. there is a justice department legal opinion saying a sitle president can't be indicted. probably the case although arguments against it that mueller is bound by that.
rosenstein would probably insist on that, the person who supervises him. moreover, it's hard to see why it's in mueller's interest to proceed that way as opposed to collecting evidence and letting congress and the american people decide for themselves. i think there are a lot of legal hurdles to him indicting and it muddies is focus on what actually happened. >> woodruff: is there anything else the president could do to stop this investigation at this point? >> it's conceivable that he could find someone in the justice department, it would have to be rosenstein at first who is the deputy attorney general and therefore the act attorney general for these purposes because the attorney general recused himself, it's still conceivable trump could order that happen. less likely now that mcghan stood up to him. i think rosenstein and a lot of
people would resign. it's conceivable trump could find someone to fire mueller if he insisted on it, but the investigation doesn't end and there would be enormous pressure to fire someone else. just as the trump firing let to mueller and the mueller firing would lead to somebody else. it's a practical matter for him to shut down the investigation. >> woodruff: the white house counsel saying i'm going to quit if you do this, other threats to resign from other up in justice as we know, there's a lot of clear disagreement, turmoil. what does all that say to you? >> it suggests it's very hard to work for president trump. chris ray, the f.b.i. director, this week threat topped resign. stories in the past about the attorney general and the deputy attorney general. the president is mercurial and
engages in self-destructive actions and actions that violate norms that make it extremely difficult for people to work with him and the only leaf rang they have is to resign or threaten to resign. every instance so far the president's backed down and there's actually a somewhat happy story here in that despite the extraordinary attacks by the president, despite his attempts to impede the independence of the justice department and the f.b.i., they seem to have resisted so far. the story today and yesterday is don mcghan insisted by drawing the line inside the white house. >> woodruff: but meantime, the president, some of the people around the president, his allies, certainly the republicans on capitol hill are trying in a number of different ways to undermine, call into question the credibility of the justice department, the f.b.i. what do you make of those efforts? do you think they could seriously end up weakening the
f.b.i.? >> so the main thing that's going on that's causing this is the house intelligence committee and, in particular, the head of the house intelligence committee on the republican side mr. nuúñz who has an alleged memo that supposedly has evidence that the initiation of the investigation into mr. trump last summer was illegitimate for a variety of reasons, and there have been relentless attacks on the f.b.i. for that, for illegality in investigating the president. the text messages which supposedly showed they're political, the charge that the f.b.i. has been politicized and is out to get the president, these are extraordinary charges coming from the president and the house, some republican members of the house, and they definitely have a demoralizing impact on the f.b.i. and i think they're definitely designed to delegit mate the investigation, and i think they've gained more traction especially in the house
among republicans and especially in conservative media circles in the last few months. so how successful they will be, we don't know yet. push will come to shove if and when mueller is either fired or he issues a report to congress that requires congress to do something, and then we'll see how much support the president will have and how much republicans will insist on doing the right thing in the sense of -- in the sense of making sure that the investigation is carried through to the end. >> woodruff: the story goes on, jack goldsmith, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> woodruff: the reports that president trump considered firing special counsel robert mueller last summer was just one of the top stories in this whirlwind week. that brings us to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york times" columnist david brooks. you heard what jack goldsmith had to say, and i know you have been following this story all week. mark, what do we make of it? >> i'd like to associate myself with the remarks of the previous
speaker. i thought he spoke very informed and persuasively on the subject, judy, from a straight political perspective, you wonder why it took seven months. >> woodruff: for this to come out? >> to come out. it's rather remarkable in washington. so the first question we ask is why now? and is it because there was a concern that the president was going to try and do something like this again to head him off at the pass, to plant a vertebrae transplant for those on the hill who have not stood up for the president or robert mueller as the special counsel. it's all jack goldsmith described it. >> the white house staff repeatedly said there's no effort to fire mueller when they have been lying for months about
that. >> and the president. it's always kind of shocking when they straight-up lie. it happens in our profession all the time but shocking. i was in dayton, ohio, this morning and a friend said in this presidency, i'm stunned every day, every hour, and at some point there's no more stun. i found this when i saw our story. if i had seen that story seven or eight months ago, i wouldn't believe it's happening. now i'm used to it. i have been numbed. i came to think, you know, even if he fired mueller, maybe we're, like, we have been numbed to the things that happen and nobody gets upset anymore. i think people would get upset the if he actually did try to fire mueller, but we've gotten to a set of behavior that would have been shocking to us a year ago. >> woodruff: well, there is a lot of it. >> just to david's point, i deserved to be underlined, imagine any president, imagine george w. bush, george h.w. bush
or barack obama that the "wall street journal" reported his lawyer paid $130,000 to a porn star not to reveal that they'd had an illicit, adull trouse, sexual encounter. you know, that's the "wall street journal." i mean, that's not some left wing public case. that would have kept fox going 24-7 if it was barack obama. it's somewhere on page 3. >> passed without a ripple, yeah. >> woodruff: but what we have here, though, david, and in addition to that is an extraordinary situation where there is just a lot of guessing going on about whether the president has given up on trying to fire bob mueller, is he going to talk to him or not, are we hanging in suspension while we
wait for the mueller investigation. >> with trump it's hard to distinguish sound from signal because he's so impulsive, things are floating in all directions. are things a passing mood or is it a design intent to achieve some goal? what struck me about the story is that he didn't just say fire that guy mural. somebody had done homework and he had three legal arguments about why it's the right thing to do. that suggests it's more than a guy waking up in a bad mood and tweeting out something, it was an actual effort. as jack goldsmith said, it is striking how the white house staff seems to be getting better at sort of managing around him and is devising strategies to keep him from self-destructing. >> woodruff: it is speculation, mark, but if the president were to fire or ask others in his administration to fire robert mueller, what would the reaction be, you think? >> i think there would be a fire storm, at this point. how long and how intense, i
don't know, because i remain just perplexed at the limit of the finite limits of our outrage our our sense of outrage, judy, and -- i mean, the three reasons david mentioned, one was that bob mueller had had a quarrel at a donald trump country club over the fees charged. second was that bob mueller's law term had represented jared kushner, totally disassociated items. the third was donald trump, the president had invited bob mueller in to be interviewed, the f.b.i. director. therefore, there is somebody serving him up stuff, but it's this kind of stuff. eng it really comes -- i think it really comes down to who's going to stand with him? and i look at the republicans on the hill and, you know, the
lack, the tower of jell-o that is the speaker of the house. as jack goldsmith pointed out, devin nuúñez is out of control. >> woodruff: that's what i wanted to ask you both about. i asked jack goldsmith could this campaign, this effort by some republicans in the house and with support from the white house to undermine the f.b.i., could that have a long-lasting effect on the justice department, in the end? >> so one of the things people should know is there are honest brokers in washington. there are career people who really do their job and they try to be good umpires. and some of those people, by the way, have private political opinions but they leave that at the door when they go to work. and the f.b.i. is filled with honest brokers and the congressional budget office. a lot of agencies are filled with honest brokers, and the idea everybody in the city is a politician is not true. it's amazing to me a lot of people in government are not political. they believe in public service
and try to do their jobs, but they're not super political people, they just believe in public service. but there's been a campaign to say, no, it doesn't exist. it's all politics and partisan. the people who are partisan have have trouble understanding people who are not. sean hannity, when the story came out, denied it ever happen. then fox journalists confirmed that it did happen. so then he turned around, well, it did happen, but trump was absolutely right to do it. so then there was one 180. then trump turned and, said it was fake news, and hannity did another 180, like figure skating, and said it never happened. so fox can do a line switch and republicans are willing to stand up to it, that's our question. >> woodruff: what's the question. >> and it's corrosive. how long has it been since the president has said public service is a noble calling, that
you're doing the public's business, that we're grateful to you, that you're a patriot for your public service and the contribution you're making. the idea, judy, that the f.b.i. made ate professional law enforcement people is a hornet's nest, bleeding heart, knee-jerk, liberal lefties. what trey gowdy and these people are selling is somehow there is a great kabal left wing. they're not political, first off, and the ones that have run for office are sort of conservative republicans law and order candidates. so it's not only harmful. donald trump can use the fake news -- he is the boy who called wolf on this. he's calling fake news the charge today. i think he's overusing that term. >> woodruff: so, meantime, the president -- in fact, he's reacting to all this when he was in davos switzerland for the
world economic forum. his speech seemed to be well received. america first country men america alone, america is open for business. do we understand better why he went and the point of this? >> if he wanted to show the global elites would suck up to him, mission accomplished, because they certainly did. people love power, it's an aphrodisiac, i guess. i have to say, it wasn't bad. we've come to understand trump's speeches that they're not about a foreign policy vision, they're not about a vision of the world order, they're very much business. we do business our way. we'd like you to do business with us. we would like to get richer. we would like you to get richer. so it's a commercial almost mercantilist vision of the world, but as a view of the world, it's fine. i have to say, as someone not wild about the tax bill, it has accumulated benefits at least in the short term. you have repatriation, a lot of
bonuses, some growth. i wasn't a fan of it but i hope it will surprise us and have a better effect on growth and jobs and wages than we expected. >> woodruff: the president was touting the plan, saying some wages are going up, bonuses and jobs being created. >> yes, he was. and that's obviously -- they've got a hard sell to make because overwhelmingly the perception is it tilts in favors and written for the rich by the rich. but the overall economic picture is good, judy. i mean, americans feel good about the economy, and it's rather remarkable that feeling as good as they do about the economy, they don't feel good about their own leadership. but the president does not set speeches well. he did today better than he usually does. i don't think there's any question. then he middle east falls into the fake news charge. >> woodruff: but when he says he deserves credit for this, is he right?
>> well, you know, david's theory is that no president deserves credit during his or her term for the economy. i thought, you know, i look for presidents that make courageous state moves and i thought barack obama did to turn around the economy to bring it back from the precipice and ask for some tough action. so i'm willing to give him a little credit. but, you know, the economy is donald trump's now, going into 2018. the president sits in the white house, owns it politically, whether in fact it's good or bad. >> woodruff: quickly, immigration, the white house rolled out its immigration plan. got some praise but some heat from the far left and far right. prospects? >> slim. you know, that we tried to have comprehensive immigration, the two parties are much farther apart than seven or eight years ago or 12 years ago when george w. bush tried to do it, so very unlikely. >> marco rubio, personal watch
person from florida is terrified. he hasn't entered into deliberations. if the republican president was serious about immigration reform, he would not have the spokesman be stephen miller who has been a scorched earth on this policy and have the first person endorse it be senator tom cotton of arkansas who is for the elimination, basically the shrinking of legal immigration in this country. that's not addition. that's not reaching across the aisle. the senators themselves, judy, work out a bill, come out with something they have 65 votes on then the house will have to deal with but it will not be the white house bill. >> woodruff: a few more days to figure it out. mark shields, david brooks, thank you both. and just a reminder: mark and david, along with our entire political team, will be back tuesday night for president trump's first state of the union address. >> i'm going to bring back millions of jobs reforming our
system. our allies will find that america is, once again, ready to lead. we will provide massive tax relief for the. the middle class. democrats and republicans should get together and unit. and unite. >> woodruff: that's tuesday night right here on pbs. stay with us. coming up on the newshour: how the united states became the hip hop nation. and, an "humble opinion" on planning for life's end. but first, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of israel. bound up in its tumultuous existence, even before its founding, is a history of great violence visited on israel by its enemies, and in return, by israel's own intelligence services and military. now, nick schifrin speaks with the author of a new book that charts israel's campaign of assassination through the decades.
>> reporter: the sacred jewish text, the talmud, includes the verse, "if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first." that is also the opening quotation in ronen bergman's new book, "rise and kill first," a detailed history of israel's campaign of targeted killing. ronen is the national security correspondent for israel's leading newspaper, "yedioth ahronoth," and a contributing writer to the "new york times." thank you very much for being here. >> thank you for inviting me. >> schifrin: you write what is effectively about a centuri' long campaign by people before the state of israel, the israeli intelligence and the israeli military about assassination. to be frank, i read there and i'm a little uncomfortable with some of the details reading it and i imagine some others are. you point out in israel for many people what might be a source of shame elsewhere is a source of pride in israel. why sit a source of pride? >> not because people are
murderers or encourage murder. in other countries worldwide, murder is the most serious offense in the criminal code. because these are considered people who initiated, the people who took extreme measures. part of the intelligence community are also considered people who defended israel. when the mindset is every generation your prime ad adversy is hitler, saddam hussein or arafat or ma din jihad, then you do whatever you need to to stop him without attributing too much to international law or norms or whatever. >> schifrin: has there been a sense from the people you've spoken to that israel has assassinated so much that it might lose sight of the values opevalues -- on which it was ba? >> the last chairman chief of sd
we had that dilemma every day. what sort of means does democracy allow itself to take while defending itself while knowing these means violate other values like human lives, human privacy, right of privacy and others. i think that, in certain times, the leaders of israel got themselves a little bit confused between tactics and strategy. kill someone or bomb something, and they thought it would help them change history. so the story is of a great or many, many, many great tactical successes of the intelligence community but, yet, a strategic failure from its leaders thinking that they can use violence or use intelligence to stop history rather to turn to compromised political discourse and statements.
>> let's talk about the examples. the '72 munich olympics, israel watched its athletes get keeled and felt germany wasn't willing to even at least try and save the israeli soldiers. how did that moment convince some people who were actually quite skeptical of assassination actually that knows that's what israel needed to do? >> until munich, until the attacked on the athletes. the israeli prime minister did not allow musad to kill operatives in europe. when musad came and said we know who's doing it and the european intelligence is doing nothing, he said, that's right but these are friendly countries, not our country, they're a sovereign government and they will not allow us to kill people on the ground there because they want to be mutual. after munich they dolled musad go get them, kill them all in
europe. that had an effect. musad were killing people, not the people in munich. these people remained alive. the musad were killing all p.l.o. officials and operatives wherever they could and that had an effect. after a year or so, the chief of the p.l.o. and his deputy decided it wasn't worth et, and they stopped working in europe and reconcentrate on the middle east, trying to strike targets inside israel. >> schifrin: and perhaps the most recent example iran, how many do your scientist say were killed and did it work? >> they have killed few scientists in iran and that had three different effects. first, it took out people from inside the project that were experienced. second, it will interfere with the others. third it made the iranians go to such an extent to prevent the
next assassination or implementation of virus that it delayed the project for years without musad doing anything. to quote general hayden, when i asked what was the one thing that delayed the iranian nuclear project more than any of the other tools we used, the thing he said is the one thing that caused them the most significant damage is someone, i don't know who it was, it was not us, it's illegal according to american law, but it was that someone was starting to kill their scientists because what they were building in the nuclear site was not an atomic bond, they were building knowledge. knowledge, only one thing you can do to destroy it. >> kill the scientists. at the end of the book you write israeli and military intelligence believes force could solve everything but that was a delusion. why was that a delusion?
>> it doesn't matter how successful these measures were, the successful gathering of intelligence, targeted killing, the ability to understand who is recruiting the suicide bomber and killing him and stopped the next day suicide bomber, but yet it will get to a point and it cannot replace statements, political discourse and at the end of the day reconciliation with the palestinians. >> ronen bergman, thank you so much for coming here. >> thank you so much. >> woodruff: the grammy awards for music will be given out sunday night in new york, and this year's nominees are the most diverse ever. many hip hop artists have been nominated in several categories, including song of the year and album of the year. some believe the recording academy is finally catching up to public opinion.
tonight, special correspondent charlayne hunter gault explores the history and evolution of the hip hop nation, as part of our ongoing series, "race matters: solutions." >> reporter: here on the hallowed grounds of harvard university, hip hop is alive and loud at the hip hop archive and research institute. but music like this is being used in a unique way, and that's to encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture and responsible leadership, as professor marcyliena morgan, head of the 16-year-old hip hop archive, told her overflowing class. >> what gives people pause about hip hop is, it's at the core of american culture. how do we really represent ideas? and to have a soundtrack for that is very important. >> reporter: to that end, the institute has archived hundreds
of the most influential hip hop albums, and features examples of the kind of hip hop now being recognized at the grammys. ( ♪ jay-z ) the archive also includes long overlooked female hip hop artists. ( ♪ rapsody ) and, the highly popular eminem. ( ♪ eminem ) to get more insight into the role hip hop is playing in society, i met up with marcliena morgan at the institute. i want to get to why hip hop at harvard in a minute, but first, i want to take a few steps back and, to use a hip hop phrase, if i can: when you first got woke to hip hop, and how a professor of anthropology went there? >> i was assistant professor, just starting my career at u.c.l.a., and i'm a linguistic anthropologist, so i look at language and culture in particular.
so when hip hop starts, it's absolutely something i notice, because people are rhyming, and instead of rhymes on the street that you heard in the african american community, the last poets, or some group like that, you began to hear a different form of rhyme with young men, and women, and it seemed as though something was going on. >> reporter: about what year was that? >> that was in the late '80s. >> reporter: so how then, do you define hip hop? >> well, at that particular time, hip hop was clearly about representing who you are, in a context where people seem to be trying to bury you, trying to destroy you. because remember, this is the time when you're removing all arts programs from public schools. it's back to basics. >> reporter: you define hip hop sort of in the same way that you define the kung fu movies,
right? tell me about that. >> it's a battle, and the battle is really important in hip hop. but so is the critic, and the critic is the one who is constantly talking about what is going on in society. >> reporter: i remember the early days of rap. there were the b boys; pop, locking, and rocking; and break- dancing on cardboard palettes, using some of the same words. take us briefly from there, to where you have seen hip hop evolve. there was gangsta rap, and some critics saw some of the words they were using to define women, or, you know, prolific use of the n-word. >> that happens really at a point of evolution when hip hop takes over the entire country. one of the things that i immediately noticed in hip hop was how people rhymed, how they articulated, what kinds of words and expressions they created, or used.
things like the word "woke," the use of irregular verbs, and then trying to make them regular verbs in some ways, because if you think about when someone says woke, you know, it's not wake, it's "woke." >> reporter: it means, you're open, hip, cool, enlightened. >> exactly. and how that works, and the sort of linguistic creativity that occurs, that at the time was, many people thought, "they don't know their grammar, they don't know their language," when in fact, they're playing a game with it, and they're playing it beautifully. >> reporter: yeah, but beautiful, as i said, some of the critics didn't like the way women were referred to. >> throughout all musical genres, i didn't like the way women were referred to. i didn't even like the way women were referred to in opera, in terms of the woman who is sought after is the one who is supposed to die in the end. you look at m.c. lyte, you look at salt-n-pepa. women really lead that move to talk about taking care of yourself, protecting yourself, from the spread of h.i.v. ♪ ♪ the hip hop community has always been very interested in health.
so, using condoms actually becomes a big topic within all that. if you remember t.l.c., and left eye, and the condoms she used to wear, and things like that, on her face. and all of that is happening with a generation who is listening, and learning. >> reporter: using words that their generation deals with. like the n-word. >> right. >> reporter: i know there continues to be a debate about it, but you're saying there's a different way to look at it. >> well, when you think about it, when black people use the term, there's a range of what it means, and it is possible that it is not a bad thing to say. maybe it's raunchy, or whatever. and so, it's like the good way doesn't exist with the racists. if all you have is that one note, that's just racist. >> reporter: i hear you. okay, i said we're going to get back to harvard in a minute, so let's go to harvard, where you
established the hip hop archives and research center here at the hutchin's institute. for those who might find this an odd fit for harvard, tell us why not? >> oh, yeah, if you think of a place like harvard, harvard really understands itself as highest level. when you think about hip hop, we're talking about kids who nobody, for the most part, said to them, you are brilliant, you are magnificent, you are going to be the most amazing artist, or physician, or, in the world, who are coming from these communities, they aren't hearing that, but they say it to each other. >> reporter: the grammys this year are clearly acknowledging diversity for the first time. what are your thoughts? >> i think it's really exciting, you've got someone like jay-z, who not only has incredible skills, and background, and longevity, and you have kendrick lamar, who, so we can go on and on and on, all these artists.
>> reporter: are there lessons within the hip hop world that help the larger society here in america, that's so racially divided, and in the rest of the world. but you say hip hop sends out a different message. >> well, hip hop's message is to build. it comes from not being prejudiced, not seeing race, but seeing the content of the character, that is what, really, hip hop is focused on. >> reporter: so, professor marcyliena morgan, i've learned so much from you. thank you for joining us. >> it's been a pleasure. >> reporter: you think i'm woke? >> i think you definitely are woke. ( laughter ) >> woodruff: you can find the full list of grammy nominations on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. and on monday, join us for a twitter chat on the hip hop nation, and a review of sunday's grammy awards.
>> woodruff: a change of tune now. for 38 years, sheila nevins served as president of hbo documentary films. she resigned from that role last year. nevins will continue to produce documentaries for hbo and for others. nevins is also an author, having written a book of essays, "you don't look your age... and other fairy tales." and tonight, she offers her "humble opinion" on preparing for the end. >> i had to write a will today. mine. or at least, revise an old boilerplate version i'd written years ago, when dying was for other people. it was different now. my lawyer was kind and gentle, no kid either. he helped me navigate the eventual disposal of my very self and all that i had acquired through years of toil and laborious sacrifice. it was odd, selecting various
body parts for possible organ donations. now, i am a very giving person when the hat is passed, but disposing of my corneas, my kidneys, and heart, etcetera, all seemed exceedingly generous, even for me. i simply checked "yes" next to the give box. "yes, indeed," i said, and quickly turned the page. i was then to divide my small holdings, giving everything upon my death or incapacitation to my son, a son who never returns my calls. he'll return this one when it happens-- at least he'll know it's not me. some of my more psychically- inclined friends think we'll always be in touch. i think i won't tell my boy that there's even a doubter's chance that such communication might occur. then came the question of my remains. my ashes, to be exact. i requested cremation. i don't cook and never have, but fortunately there are other people who do. was i to be sprinkled, boxed, buried, or dusted off? i decided to leave this decision
to my heirs. i simply couldn't make this judgment call, and was somewhat relieved that i would never have to witness this familial event. most decisions "en famille" have historically broken down into serious squabbles. i won't be there. i smiled. there are certainly some advantages to my non-beingness. it then came time to sign and have witnessed this game plan for my exit. two seemingly-teenage legal assistants bolted into the office and witnessed, without any evidence of pity, my farewell manifesto. they were young and hopefully foolish, and signed as witnesses on the line with unwrinkled, unfreckled hands. they seemed anxious to get on with it, to get me over, so that they could go to lunch and continue with their lives. i thanked them, without meaning it at all. how dare they be so cavalier about observing my termination? time would pay them back, of this i was sure. i then bid adieu to my empathetic lawyer.
as he walked me out, he asked me if i found it a relief to get my lands in order. feeling medieval, i agreed it was a great relief, responding by rote. frankly, it was hideous. across the street from the scene of my imminent demise was an ice cream creamery called cold stone. truth. i entered full of joie de vivre and ordered with abandon. possibly my last supper, an m&m sundae with hot fudge on peanut butter ice cream topped with a mountain of whipped cream. i didn't need to fit into anything now, really, ashes or body; the coffins i know are one size fits all. however dark the day had been, it lit up with this ice cream fiesta. nothing could match this pleasure. no one was going to take this taste away from me. i was not giving away a morsel of my morsel. it was mine. and then, as i left, i noticed they offered packed ice cream to go. and i thought of my little 35-year-old baby boy. and so, i took some for him.
the same combo. i'd just drop it off, secretly place it in his freezer. i'm pretty sure no one will do something like this for him once i'm gone. and maybe it won't matter. even if he never calls to thank me this time, i will always love him more than life itself. >> woodruff: a lot to think about. meantime, robert costa is preparing for "washington week," which airs later tonight. so, robert, what's on tap? >> on "washington week," we will discuss what's next, legally and politically, following up on those reports that president trump tried to fire special counsel robert mueller. we'll also discuss whether the president will testify under oath. and, we'll look at how the president tweaked his "america first" message to global political and business leaders at the annual meeting of the world economic forum in davos. that's later tonight on
"washington week," judy. >> woodruff: thank you and we'll be watching. and tomorrow, on pbs newshour weekend, asylum seekers fleeing the united states in search of a better life. and we'll be back, right here, on monday, with our series, "after the storms." that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online. more information on babbel.com. >> bnsf railway. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org.
>> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at www.hewlett.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by captioned by media aeduardo:oup at wgbh this week on history detectives:
what can these letters reveal about a racially charged massacre on a civil war battlefield? we are standing on hallowed ground. tukufu: how do the signatures on this patch of fabric connect charles lindbergh to another first in flight? gwendolyn: and did the makers of this 1950s comic book have more than romance on their minds? that is really something. elvis costello: ♪ watchin' the detectives ♪ i get so angry when the teardrops start ♪ ♪ but he can't be wounded 'cause he's got no heart ♪ ♪ watchin' the detectives ♪ it's just like watchin' the detectives ♪
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