tv Ayman MSNBC November 27, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
very french. the larger than life personas who use division as a path to power. >> all right. so while being bigoted and using that rhetoric is surging in france thanks, it is being normalized here in the u.s. and that sometimes it goes by undetected. the root of the latest problem. republican congresswoman lauren boeber. what should be done to told her accountable for what she has said. plus, the holidays are time to be thankful and reflect on the past year. we will take a look at what democrats should and shouldn't be celebrating this holiday season. and when it comes to the economy, all the talk is about the inflation and how consumers won't stop spending. but a record number of americans say they won't be buying holiday gifts this year. so what's actually going on? we will try to explain that. we'll try to explain that. i'm ayman mohyeldin.
let's get started. so there's no doubt about it. thanksgiving a is a great time to look back and take stock of where we are and where we have been. as the "new york times's" michelle goldberg discussed with us, it's tempting to give into a feeling of despair about the headlines surrounding covid, the economy, even the future of our democracy. but if you stop and remember what things were like this time last year, you gain a different perspective of where we are today. president biden spoke about this recently. watch. >> this thanksgiving we're all in a very different circumstance. things are a hell of a lot better. as bad as things are in terms of prices hurting families now, trade this thanksgiving for last thanksgiving. >> so it is a good question, stop and think about it for a moment. would you trade this thanksgiving for last thanksgiving? ahead of thanksgiving last year, the average number of new covid cases was more than double this year's number, and deaths were 65% higher.
now death rates remain too high for anyone to accept in this country, although concentrated among the unvaccinated. and there are real concerns about the omicron variant. but remember, at this time last year, virtually no one was vaccinated. mass vaccinations didn't even really begin until mid-december. this year nearly 71% of american adults are fully vaccinated, and children over the age of 5 now qualify for vaccines as well. headlines last year were even bleaker. festivities were remote and came to be known as zooms-giving. in fact, "the new york times" declared it was a weird and terrible year. but this year the tsa is reporting that the number of passengers screened at airports nearly matched the number of holiday travelers before the pandemic. despite the current concerns over inflation, the economy is in a much better place as well today. last year job growth was slowing and economic growth wages and the stock market were all lower. as the white house pointed out in a statement this week last year, there were 21 million
unemployment insurance claims before the thanksgiving holiday. today there were 2.4 million. what's more is that biden signed two significant pieces of legislation into law this year, a second covid stimulus bill that included direct payments of up to $1,400 to most americans, and a $1 trillion bipartisan bill that is one of the largest infrastructure packages in modern u.s. history. so i ask again, would you trade this thanksgiving for last thanksgiving? people have every reason to feel anxious, but for me, the answer is simple. things are so much better now compared to last year that i wouldn't trade that for all the turkeys in the world. for more, let's bring in our saturday night panel. adam ren is a national politics feature correspondent for insider. danielle moody is the host of the pod cost "woke af," and jena friedman is the cohost of "indefensible" on amc plus. great to have you on this saturday night.
hope you had a great holiday. adam, i know it's been a tough day since ohio state lost to michigan, so i'm going to pose this to you right off the gate. is this thanksgiving better than last year for you? i know the short answer to that, but tell me more. >> well, any thanksgiving that ends with a buckeyes loss is a tough one for me. but being i've got an almost 3-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son, so being with family this thanksgiving has been really encouraging. and i'm very grateful for it. >> danielle, your take, this thanksgiving, better than last? >> yeah. i mean, for me it was a ton better. last thanksgiving it was me and just my parents. and this thanksgiving we were able to bring our family back together, at least part of it. so that was really exciting, you know. mask free and we didn't have to have the windows open and
everyone was vaccinated and boosted. >> jenna, last but not least, your thanksgiving, better than last year's or is there something we're not seeing here? >> this year is definitely better. if you can hear in the background, my mom's cell phone is going off, so she's here with me. it's nice to not have a president who thinks the cure for covid is drinking bleach, so definitely this year. >> yeah, we're making progress incrementally if we're going to use benchmarks like that. danielle, let's talk a little bit about just the overall state of the politics here. should democrats be thankful for what the party has accomplished this year? or have they fallen short on some of the promises made before taking power back in january of last year? >> i mean, i don't want to be the bearer of bad news, so i want to give a mixed bag and say
we have part of the infrastructure bill and we got, you know, a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. that's fantastic. but, on the other hand, i'd love for our democracy not to be going up in smoke. it would be great to have a voting rights bill and police reform, the other things the biden administration ran on that we have yet to get because they won't figure out a way to get manchin and sinema to end the filibuster. so it's a mixed bag right now. i'm not wholly encouraged, but i don't feel like i'm in the depths of hell either. >> adam, where do you come down on this? obviously as danielle was saying, there's some things to be excited about in terms of where we've come and there's some things that are still falling extremely short. but either way, for the things that have been achieved, the president does not seem to be regretting credit for them because the polls don't suggest the american public feels that we're moving in the right direction. how do you reconcile all those moving pieces? >> the biden administration, i think they find themselves really pinyoned between a liberal base and a more moderate
part of the party. action on voting rights, you know, is slow and doesn't seem to be in the immediate offing. but they are embarking and close to passing here the biggest and investment in america since the new deal. yet the messaging on that seems to be lacking at the moment when you talk to voters, they can't really ascribe some of these policies to the biden administration, whether it's the child tax credit, whether it's the infrastructure bill, the infrastructure deal that's winding its way sort of -- the money right now is entering state department of transportations and bridges are going to be better, potholes are going to be better. but when you talk to voters, they don't notice that immediately. so i don't think they are judging this thanksgiving against last thanksgiving. but they're judging between the promises made to them during the campaign to the actuality of what they're seeing right now. >> jenna, i'm going to ask you about president trump, because you name checked him a bit earlier.
we're going to go back to where we were one year ago. then-president trump did the opposite. he used a thanksgiving address to the troops to take credit for things he did not accomplish. you may remember -- we have the picture there on the screen. his speech was widely ridiculed for the tiny desk he sat behind. but more troubling were the big lies he told and the fake accomplishments he tried to take credit for. take a listen to some of these. >> now we have all new ships coming for the coast guard. the old ships -- they were as good as they could be, but they were very old. and now you have brand-new coast guard ships. it's my honor to have gotten them for you. we went from old planes to brand-new planes, from planes that were very visible to stealth. >> so as "newsweek" made clear, there were no ships or tanks or airplanes that were being produced at a rate any greater than during the previous three administrations. trump was not responsible in any
way for stealth planes and america's troops were pretty much in the same state as they had been for a decade. so what do you make of trump just taking credit for things that he did not not accomplish? is there a reason or a lesson in that for democrats? should they be boasting a little bit more about what they are actually doing? >> i think the lesson is for all of us on the power of lies and how we all need to do a better job at squelching them. your last segment about facebook, i think, is a perfect example. it's a bipartisan issue of how can we have a democracy when one side particularly is being fed lies on social media and on fox news? and i think when you look at biden's approval rating, it doesn't matter if there's a steady stream of lies that they're being bombarded with. there's some reason to be optimistic. i am a little less optimistic than danielle, but i think that if we can bring back things like
the fairness doctrine or just have a better way of tackling lies, not airing them, maybe we'll be better off for it. i think we're in a really challenging moment with how we've sift misinformation and educate people. democrat and republican and anything else. >> yeah, i actually couldn't agree with you more on that, jena. we have a disinformation, misinformation pandemic that is costing people their lives when you see how far it has gotten. danielle, let's talk about infrastructure because it was one of the things that obviously trump boasted about getting done, a running joke throughout his presidency that, you know, he always talked about infrastructure week and yet he never got it done.
some republicans want to give trump credit for the infrastructure bill that was actually even signed by president biden saying that he laid the groundwork for it. is this simply an attempt to soothe his fragile ego that we see the republican party held hostage by? or is there any fact to president trump laying a little bit of the infrastructure groundwork? >> i mean, i don't know what kind of groundwork trump had laid at any point in his administration other than laying a bunch of lies down. and i don't want to keep saying that the republican party is being held hostage by him because, frankly, like, they're free people and they have decided that this is who they are. and so they'll continue to spread lies, they'll continue to carry his water, and all the water of everyone that lies in that party because that's what they're accustomed to. they don't need the truth. they can get away with not
creating policy, not offering the american people anything but obstruction. the possibility that they can get the gavel back in 2022 is what scares me the most because they have offered nothing. >> adam, i got to ask you quickly about rural democrats. you wrote that rural democrats are raising the alarm about the party's, if you will, avoidance of flyover states, something to the agree-degree that if you put a "d" by your name, it can cost a candidate somewhere in the ballpark of 35 points in battleground states. is the national democratic party opening their eyes to this problem or are they giving up on rural communities and not fighting for them and focusing on the urban centers of these states? >> i think that's an open question. you see jimmy harrison investing a significant amount of money, more money than ever before into red states. he has a seven-figure red state fund that he's investing in. but you see democrats like in nebraska, iowa raise is question, are we communicating these wins to people who don't have access, don't read "the new york times," don't read politico or "the washington post" or "business insider."
they're really talking about things like rural radio. should the administration be up on rural radio in ohio where disinformation is large and, you know, voluminous and should they be taking a victory lap in places like iowa and ohio. i think that's something they're talking about right now and and this path forward for them. >> stick around. we're just getting started. got a lot more to discuss with all of you, including congresswoman lauren boebert's sort of apologizing after suggesting that fellow representative ilhan omar was mistaken for a terrorist on capitol hill. yes, she really did say that. my saturday night panel will be back to discuss that and more. plus, is it really thanksgiving if you don't fight with your relatives over politics? we're going to take a look at how each of us made it out alive this week. richard lui is here with the headlines.
>> stories we're watching for you this hour, the biden administration has issued a long awaited report reforming the issues around the country's oil and gas leasing program. it calls for companies to pay more to drill on public lands, but stops short of recommending a ban. drilling on public lands contributes to roughly a quarter of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. police say three men were gunned down and four others were injured in nashville saturday night inside an apartment. officers say there was no sign of forced entry. just as we get into the holidays, hundreds of lost fedex packages were recovered in alabama. a man found 300 to 400 packages in a ravine near the small town of hayden. the local sheriff's office says they're still tracking down how the packages ended up there. more with ayman mohyeldin right after this short break. alice ln so much,
colorado congresswoman lauren boebert faced criticism this week after a video was released of her making islamphobic comments. she says anyone i offended with my comment, i asked to speak with her in her office directly. saying i'm sorry you were offended, nowhere in this so-called doling remember in the video where boebert appears to be addressing a group of supporters, she tells a story in which she insinuates that congresswoman ilhan omar is a terrorist.
boebert refers to congresswoman omar as part of the, quote, jihad squad. after video of the comments went viral, congresswoman omar, quote, fact this woman looks down when she sees me at the capitol. bigot gets her clout. anti-islam andrew bogut shouldn't be normalized. tropes get no condemnation. let's be clear for a moment. congresswoman omar is right. boebert's comments do deserve to be condemned. house speaker nancy pelosi condemned them on friday. minority leader kevin mccarthy finally responded a few hours ago, but he issued a statement saying that he had spoken to boebert about her comments and noting that she had, quote, apologized for what she said. again, let's be clear here, she apologized to those who were offended. there's a difference between that and actually apologizing for what she said. and nowhere in this statement can mccarthy be bothered to condemn what boebert said. mccarthy's weak response is,
sadly, not surprising. you may remember he gave a floor speech over eight hours in length just last week. and during those eight hours he found no time, no time at all to condemn paul gosar. is what boebert said any more acceptable than what the arizona congressman paul gosar tweeted out, which included an animated clip in which he kills congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez? of course not. the problem is we come to accept incredibly offensive comments like this as the norm from certain republican members of congress like boebert, perhaps like gosar. i want to go back to a line from
congresswoman omar's response. she wrote that it's sad that she, boebert, thinks bigotry gets her clout. i want you to take a look at one short clip of congresswoman boebert's comments, but i want you to listen closely to the reaction she gets. >> i look to my left and there she is. ilhan omar. i said, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine. [ laughter ] >> did you hear that? yeah, there were a couple groans, but there were a lot of laughs. boebert doesn't think she gets clout for comments like these among some voters, she clearly does get it.
back with me now, adam ren, danielle moody, and jena friedman. this was one of those troubling moments this week. as i said, i think the republican party not even coming out and condemning this speaks for itself. danielle, i'll start with you. you know, i don't think this was an apology. she doesn't apologize for what she said or to the congresswoman. but interestingly, what i noticed as well is that she sent this non-apology from her official twitter account, not from her personal account. her personal account has almost four times as many followers as her government account. as far as apologies go here, was hers as bad as it possibly gets? tell me if i'm wrong. >> i mean, one, ayman, i'm so thankful that you brought up the fact that her apology came from the account she has the least amount of followers on. what we need to understand about this republican party is that they are not going to come out against their racist base
because this is who they are. they are a party of white nationalists. you have marjorie taylor greene trying to get a congressional medal of freedom for a murderer, kyle rittenhouse. you have paul gosar threatening to literally murder one of his colleagues, which wouldn't be able to happen in a department store if you were a worker there and tried to do that with one of your colleagues, let alone doing it as a member of congress. but this is who these people are. and this is -- the bar is so low, we're in the gutter right now with this congress. and i'm really worried. i have to say this -- very worried for the people who continue to be singled out by this republican party. do they have security? does ilhan omar -- does representative alexandria ocasio-cortez -- or are we going
to be wait for there to be an actual attempt on their life in order to recognize just how vile and violent the republican party has become? >> adam, what was your read on this statement? was she trying to avoid getting stripped of committee assignments and duties the way that paul gosar has for his misogynistic attacks or the way marjorie taylor greene has for her anti-semitic comments? has she avoided that by using that half-hearted apology, i don't want to use that word, but it is what it is. what do you think? >> i think you're right, ayman. this is an incredibly new dynamic we're seeing where freshmen members of the house, whether it's marjorie taylor greene or lauren boebert, sort of have the minority leader, kevin mccarthy, for lack of a better term, they have him by
the base. they have him sort of over a barrel where they can sort of abstract policy wins because he wants to be speaker if republicans win back the house next year after 2022. i think sort of lost in all of this is that representative boebert also made homophobic comments about pete buttigieg. certainly this seems like kind of a brokered apology between her and leadership in the house to just sort of move past this controversy. >> thank you for mentioning that as well about the homophobic comments. that has been far too normalized in the republican party. jena, when you look at how far the republican party and other conservatives -- their whole persona has been based on trolling will i say, even at the expense of anti-semitism or islamophobia. look at marjorie taylor greene, paul gosar, matt gaetz, the list goes on and on. are we witnessing the fringe of maga elements taking over the gop entirely because of the way they now command such a large space in the narrative that comes out of the republican
party? >> i think in any other context, lauren boebert would just be a bad open mic comedian. but in this current political climate where you have an unregulated internet and lies that are able to proliferate, the trolls are who the base of that party are voting for. she's a really good troll, and that was not a genuine apology. she did exactly what she intended to do, which was make a clip that was easy to put on facebook for people to watch. she was appealing to the base, which has been -- i mean, we could talk about what draws people into republicanism, but right now they are people who are voting for people who don't have their best interests in mind. and whatever she's doing is working, and it's a bummer to see it. it is homophobia and islamophobia and all those
things. it's lauren boebert who's carrying a gun like around the capitol. so it's just sad that it's working, and i don't mean to be a broken record but i do think it comes back to censuring lies when they come out of people's emouths who are in power and regulating big tech so that lives like boebert's -- bigotry like hers can't echo as easily as it does and influence so many people. >> i was going to say, i mean, at the end of the day she doesn't even apology for the lie she perpetuated to those folks. but danielle, i was keen on playing the reaction that she got in that room because it made me think -- to jena's point, a, do you think boebert will face consequences from republican leadership or her colorado colleagues, i should say, in the same way republicans went after liz cheney.
we think about what republicans did in wyoming, they wanted to get her out of the republican party. they kicked her out of the republican party in wyoming basically because she stood up to donald trump and stopped perpetuating the big lie. we're not going to see that from republicans in colorado. when you hear the reaction she got at the event after making those comments, clearly some of the people there had no problem with the fact that she said what she said. >> these are the same people -- >> i'm sorry, jena. one second. danielle, go ahead. >> i was going to say -- yeah, i was going to say that these are the same people that you remember at trump rallies who were cheering for him when he said to get these people out of here and do it by force, that he would pay for their legal fees. i mean, this is a party that is
violent. and i want people to understand that. these are not jokes. this is not -- gosar wasn't just doing anime. these are people that believe in violence, they want violence, they see the violence with the insurrection. they have faced no consequences for them. we know that boebert and marjorie taylor greene and others that are currently sitting in congress helped the insurrectionists, gave them maps, gave them intel, and still they sit there doing their jobs as if they were not participating in trying to overthrow our government. so no, they're not going to receive consequences, surely not from mccarthy who has the backbone of a jellyfish. he's just trying to keep power and get a gavel. that's all he wants. and boebert and marjorie taylor greene are his ticket to doing so because trump loves them and that's all he cares about. >> jena, you were going to say something before i cut you off. >> just from a comedienne perspective, it's not that hard to get a laugh when people are dumb and the air is thin. >> good to know. i'm going to apply that next time i'm doing a stand-up routine somewhere. >> yeah, it's fine. what she did wasn't, like --
she's like a shop jock. it's a common thing in comedy but it's filtered into politics and they're getting attention because what they're doing is easy and it's working. >> to danielle's point what scares me the most is the safety of these members of congress because someone in that audience may be listening and thinking, oh, she is a terrorist and i'm going to be the one who's going to stop her if no one else will, and that's just a scary, scary thought. please stick around. we have a lot more to talk about. still ahead, by every forecast and measure possible, this holiday shopping season is slated to be a record-breaker. why are so many families choosing to sit this one out? ebenezer. ebenezer.
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so it's officially less than a month until christmas. man, this year is flying by. but whether it is going to be a huge gift-buying season or not depends on who you ask. it's a tale of two holidays. according to a survey out this week by deloitte, high-income households are spending almost double what they used to spend two years ago. but a record 11.5% of americans aren't buying any gifts this holiday season. this is just another way disparities are continuing to define the pandemic. some are well past the economic fallout of covid, even doing better than before the pandemic, believe it or not. but many others continue to struggle. joining me now is lauren thomas, cnbc retail and real estate reporter. great to have you with us. thank you so much. appreciate you joining us this holiday week.
let's talk about this tale of two holidays. what do these spending expectations tell us about where we are as a country when you see the disparities? >> absolutely. thank you for having me. happy holidays to you as well. so i think it's first really important to set the stage for expectations this holiday season at large. so the national retail federation is calling for sales to be up anywhere between 8.5% to 10.5%. now, that would represent record year over year growth. so pretty substantial expectations there, and i think by and large many retailers are very optimistic about their sales come end fortunate year and as we head into 2022. now, within that, however, like you said, there is an economic disparity that i think has accelerated in many ways during the pandemic. and there is a growing divide between what those higher-income households are able to shell out, especially during the
holiday season, and just how much the lower income households are holding back. 11.5% of americans said they are expecting they will sit out the holidays and not be spending a penny on gifts, food to celebrate with loved ones over the holiday season. what's behind those numbers? i wanted to dig into that with you as well. you see this inflationary environment we're operating in. consumers are starting to see higher prices at the grocery store, at the gas pump. i think that's spurring a lot of anxiety for folks during the holidays, maybe they're reconsidering their budgets and just how much they will spend this year. consumer confidence is actually at a ten-year low according to the university of michigan sentiment we track each month. that is one factor that i think is very large and at play here. on top of that you have a number of americans that have yet to return to the job market, right? many folks have relied on stimulus assistance or unemployment benefits through much of the pandemic, and that's starting to dry up, right?
i spoke to a homeless shelter, actually, in san francisco to work on this story for cnbc, and they told me they're seeing record demand just as those stimulus dollars dry up and as rent moratoriums along the west coast expire. so i think that is another important factor at play here. the expectation from the national retail federation very optimistic, but again, it's the wealthy consumers driving much of those gains. >> i wanted to ask you about black friday here for a moment. i know you touched upon it. spending yesterday dropped 28% from pre-pandemic levels. i'm surprised. my in-laws were in town and with all the shopping they did yesterday, they boosted the american economy by a few percentage points. but put that aside for a moment because it's not a hard economic number. but how much of that do you think comes down to a change in shopping habits during the pandemic? are we expecting shoppers to stay online, and, as a result,
you're not seeing the big numbers on black friday that we've seen pre-pandemic? >> definitely. no, sensor mattic tracked visits were down this year compared to pre-pandemic levels. compared with last year, the figures are up 48%. last year many consumers were staying put at home and doing their shopping online. a lot of stores were just flat-out closed, you know, because of covid and at that point vaccines were not being widely distributed. so yeah, you look at this season, it has changed in so many ways that the holiday shopping season, we're seeing it elongated. companies were encouraging consumers to start their shopping back in october. deals were being rolled out, you know, months in advance, weeks in advance, really, of black friday, cyber monday, these days known for deals in the past. so i think that spending, again, is being spread out much longer
than it has in the past, and black friday is maybe losing a bit of his luster. we saw a number of companies close their doors on thanksgiving this year, kind of ending a tradition that had been started a few years back. >> yeah, that was surprising. cnbc's lauren thomas, thank you for giving us that whole picture. greatly appreciate it, lauren. coming up, did politics dominate your thanksgiving dinner? i'll speak to my panel to see how they made it out.
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the key word there, "hoping." let's check in with our panel to see how they successfully managed to, if they were at all, able to avoid hot-button issues around the dinner table. danielle, i'll start with you. political polarization a huge issue, but we can agree on no politics on the dinner table. virtually equal across party lines. that is reaction to the super charged political climate we find ourselves at the moment. >> yeah. i think that people are exhausted, right? they don't want to have these conversations. they kind of want to forget for a little bit, have turkey and wine and keep things moving. but i think personally that we need to have more conversations about our politics and our views so that we don't fall into fascism. we need to have these conversations. it's not impolite to know where your family falls politically.
>> what's your go-to move to deflect when you have someone that presses you on a question or tries to invoke a conversation? >> if you just make sure everyone at your thanksgiving table is vaccinated, there probably won't be any political discussions. >> i got to be honest with you, i'm not sure a lot of people probably had that uniformity across their families given how some people have so far remained unvaccinated. adam, what's your go-to? did you experience -- not to put you on the spot, but did you experience any political turmoil in your family there? >> well, the greatest political turmoil that i experienced was whether my daughter wanted me to be a sven or christophe from disney's "frozen" as we were hanging around the house. but we didn't travel because we do have some extended members of our family who are not vaccinated.
and so for us sitting at the kitchen table with them, it would have been impossible not to allow politics to interject in that moment because the kafty of our kids is very much at stake. >> you know i love food here. always a lot to talk about. >> what's the strategy when it comes to leftovers? do you get creative and repurpose the food? or do you reheat it and just eat it as it was? what do you guys do? >> i mean, today i did -- you know, i had eggs and sliced turkey that was left over, and a little bit of stuffing and a bagel. that was my breakfast this morning. >> nice. well played. >> a hodgepodge. >> jena, do you repurpose or reheat? >> i guess both, i don't know. i mean, we have extra pumpkin pie because i have a little neighbor who loves pumpkin pie, so i wanted to make sure i had it for her, but i have a whole
other pie now. i'll be eating that for a couple days. >> adam, how soon is it to put up a christmas tree? where do you come down on this? i've seen a lot of pictures on instagram where some are spending the latter part of thanksgiving putting up their christmas tree. is it too soon? >> people talk about the war on christmas but it's going to be there's a war on thanksgiving. i think people need to slow their roll with the christmas trees and give it at least until the monday after thanksgiving weekend to put up a christmas tree. >> i'm way too much in a food coma to do anything after thanksgiving. i can barely get out of my pajamas friday morning. jena, have you already played mariah carey's "all i want for christmas is you"? >> no. i'm jewish. i'm not a christmas person. >> danielle, what about you?
>> not yet. why are we rushing? we have 25 days, right, or more to get to christmas. mariah is on the back burner. >> absolutely. adam, have you started the holiday discography? >> i have not but that's toward the end of next year. there's got to be a buffer between holidays. >> jena, it is hanukkah, so happy hanukkah to you and to all of our jewish friends out there. but this year it's coming really on the heels of thanksgiving, so were you able to get in the hanukkah gift-shopping done in time or no? >> we don't buy each other gifts. >> man -- >> we don't. >> lovely. we're going to have to leave it at that. i don't want to get myself into any more trouble with you, jena. >> i'm the worst holiday interviewee. >> not at all. we are lucky to have you with
us. jena friedman, adam, and danielle, happy holidays to all of you. take care. before we go, we're going to pay tribute to a broadway titan whose music and lyrics shaped the modern-day musical. don't go anywhere. (man) still asleep. (woman vo) so, where to next? (vo) reflect on the past, celebrate the future. season's greetings from audi. [ sneeze ] are you ok? oh, it's just a cold. if you have high blood pressure, a cold is not just a cold. unlike other cold medicines, coricidin provides powerful cold relief
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giant. the world is mourning the loss of legendary musical theater composer and lyricist stephen sondheim. the man behind "into the woods," "a little night music" and so many more. he died yesterday at the age of 91. the tributes, as you can imagine, continue to pour in. from hillary clinton who tweeted out, he changed the theater and our culture with his craft, his humor and heart. and sondheim's fellow composer andrew lloyd webber who called him, quote, the musical theater giant of our times, an inspiration not just to two but to three generations. here is nbc's anne thompson . ♪♪ >> reporter: stephen sondheim's most famous song was an unexpected hit. ♪ isn't it rich ♪ >> reporter: judy collins, then frank sinatra. ♪ send in the clowns ♪ >> reporter: putting the words
and music of broadway's master into the pop firmament. >> it is the right singer at the right time with the right material. >> reporter: it was sondheim who was right for his time. ♪ someone to make you come through ♪ ♪ who always will be there as frightened as you ♪ ♪ of being alive ♪ >> reporter: filling theaters with songs about the complex relationships between people. ♪ i want you so ♪ ♪ it is like i'm losing my mind ♪ >> reporter: and unusual subjects, a murderous barber. ♪ a barber of fleet street ♪ >> reporter: presidential assassins, a 19th century french painter. >> stephen reinvented the american musical. >> reporter: presidential honors, eight tonys, pulitzer prize, an oscar, his name permanently in lights on broadway. ♪ something for everyone ♪
♪ a comedy tonight ♪ >> reporter: his work celebrated on stage and film and revered by broadway's best. ♪ i'm a broadway baby ♪ ♪ broadway baby slaving at a five and ten ♪ >> reporter: talented first nurtured by oscar hammerstein ii. mentor, surrogate father and lyricist of "oklahoma" and "south pacific." he urged a reluctant sondheim to write the music for "west side story." >> he was the one who said stop fetching, take the job. you write music later. >> reporter: he didn't love his lyrics, with the least important words on the most important notes. ♪ there's a place for us ♪ ♪ there's a place for us ♪ >> every time i hear that i think, oh, god. ♪ i like to be in america ♪ >> reporter: but they would be his launching pad, doing the lyrics for "gypsy". >> reporter: then his words for companies, follies and a little
night music, compositions some complained you couldn't sing as he acknowledged. ♪ there's not a tune you can hum ♪ ♪ not a tune you can go ♪ >> i wanted to tell stories, write songs, make people laugh, cry and have a good time and buy pieces. >> reporter: piece by piece, he put it together and left us a lifetime of art. ♪ i'm still here ♪ >> reporter: anne thompson , nbc news, new york. >> he will be missed. thank you for making time for us. come back tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc for a special edition of "ayman." we have a star-studded sunday night panel featuring comedian judy gold. until we meet again, i'm ayman mohyeldin. good night. ♪♪ ♪ we are not getting you a helicopter. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales, and this is "dateline." >> the neighborhood had everything a burglar wanted to find. private yards, wealthy homes. >> and she had the worst of possible luck in that he picked her. >> yes. >> i'd like to report an attempted break-in. >> a mother, home alone, cops raced to her front door as she walks into an ambush in her backyard. >> how does somebody die within a matter of seconds with officers all around her home. >> it was surreal. it wasul