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tv   MSNBC Reports  MSNBC  December 26, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST

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first up on msnbc, thousands of americans are having major problems getting home after the holiday. more airline workers are getting sick which means hundreds more flights canceled in the last 24 hours. plus hospitals are feeling the crush of the new omicron wave. how they're trying to cope as patients send out a crucial warning. >> i can't believe that i didn't get the shot, and i will be getting one because i don't want
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to do this again. >> breaking news overnight, the world loses a hero in the fight against apartheid. a closer look at the life of nobody pell peace prize winner desmond tutu. a lie bray shuts down but it has nothing to do with the pandemic. the new way people are trying to ban books and how some librarians are reacting. after almost two years of bad news, things are finally starting to turn around for movie theaters, how they're trying to get you back in the seats in 2022 and how the comeback is being led by your friendly neighborhood spiderman. good morning. it's december 26th. i'm lindsey reiser. i hope you all had a wonderful christmas. hundreds more cancellations at airports yesterday meant people stranded trying to get to their christmas destination or back
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home. 2,800 flights canceled yesterday or alone. overall about 5,000 flights have been canceled over the holiday weekend, and it's mostly because of the omicron wave hitting airline workers. that's leading to staffing shortages. here is a state-by-state look at covid cases over the last two weeks. you can see how much the east coast and southeast has been hurt by omicron n the deep orange and red colors. nbc news correspondent liz mclaughlin is live at charlotte dublin international airport. i can't believe how many people are behind you already including a stretcher. i hope that person is okay. >> reporter: good morning, lindsey, yes, a very busy morning. the numbers just keep climbing. today already 600 u.s. flights
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canceled, more than 4,000 delays. here at charlotte douglas international airport, more than 2,000 flights canceled this morning. passengers just wanting to get home or get going on that holiday getaway. one traveler acknowledged the unique challenges happening right now. let's listen. >> for what everybody needs to know about, it's busy as you can see. it's a lot more busier and a lot more difficult just because of the fact of covid. so it does make it a little difficult. >> reporter: united, jetblue and delta are the hardest-hit airlines. united and delta both saying the omicron variant is the predominant reason for this disruption, flight crews getting sidelined either by exposure or falling in. omicron variant now accounts for the majority of new cases in the
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u.s. and the daily case count exceeded the delta wave we saw this summer. a time to pay attention to your moves, get vaccinated if you haven't already, if you're traveling in the days or weeks, experts say it's important to wear an n95 masks like the one i'm wearing. if you're wearing a cloth mask, it's important to wear a filter or surgical mask underneath. >> those people behind you trying to get home or get to their christmas destination after those cancellations. for more we'll welcome in dr. jerani. thanks for joining us. the top medical advisor to airlines told bloomberg that omicron makes it twice or three times as likely to catch covid on a flight. this seems different than what
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we've previously known, there's good circulation, everybody is wears masks. >> to me that's not really that surprising. omicron is so much more transmissible, so you expect the chances of getting infected even in a well ventilated area even higher. most flights in the united states are under four hours. so i would say have a snack or peel before your flight and don't take your mask off during the flight. you can put that soda or bag of peanuts off until later. cloth masks and surgical loose-fitting masks are not going to do the trick. so that will protect you. finally, we've been talking about this, that we need a vaccine mandate for plane travel. omicron has made that more
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evident than ever before. i hope we get that sooner rather than later so we can mitigate the spread of this virus to some extent. >> doctor, as we talk about this uptick in cases, we know an uptick in optimizations is going to follow. new projections out of the uk show at the into rate one in three health care workers could be out sick by new year's eve. you're on the front lines. are you seeing a lot of co-workers calling in sick right now? >> 100%. yesterday when we showed up the shift, we had half the nurses we needed to run an emergency department. after i got home from shift, there were messages in our physician group chat about physicians not able to cover this weekend and who could step up and cover those shifts. it's something we're seeing since the last week, and it's unfortunately going to get worse. >> what are you guys going to do? i know the federal rules for isolation and quarantining among health care workers has been
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reduced from ten days to seven days as long as they're asymptomatic, testing negative. do you think that could alleviate some of this? >> it could. i think it's a good first step to get us back in the workforce. in crisis situations, even symptomatic health care workers could come back as five days. that i disagree with. we've been asked to take on so much during this pandemic and showing up to work even mildly symptomatic means you can potentially infect your co-workers, your patients, and that would be good for no one. i hope none of the hospitals implement that part of the rule. >> a lot of people keep saying that omicron isn't that bad. some of the data shows the cases aren't maybe as severe as delta, even though it is more transmissible. at least if you're vaccinated or boosted, you might stay out of the hospital. do you agree? it seems like there's an opinion out there that, it's just
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omicron out there. >> i think that's what's leading to the hospital surges again. omicron may be less severe in terms of hospitalization, but it's still going to lead to surges. because it is so much more transmissible, even if a fraction of the percentage of the population who gets it gets admitted, hospitals will get overwhelmed. after a delta surge in the summer, our hospitals never really went back down to normal capacity. we were operating at 90% plus capacity. the reason is so many people had decompensated medical conditions from putting off medical care in 2020. now we're seeing that we're getting oechld again. yesterday for my shift i admitted a non-vaccinated covid patient, intubated him the icu doc said you just got the last icu bed.
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so patients will probably be boarding in the emergency department back like 2020 again. >> we are back there. that is stunning. speaking of people unvaccinated. "the new york times" has a story out reporting even in the face of this surge, unvaccinated americans are staying defiant against getting the shot. one woman is quoted as saying, it's just another variant. next year we'll see another one. med kpal professionals like yourself say if unvaccinated people end up in the president hospital, they might not be so lucky. >> 100%. we've gotten to the point where public health messaging and trying to convince that certain subset of the population that's not going to get the vaccine is not going to work. i think mandates are going to be important, for things like plane travel, mandates for workplaces and really enforcing those. at this point we're going to continue to see this play over and over and over again, and
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we're tired. >> i know you are, doctor. thank you for joining us amid the circumstances. hopefully no more icu admittances to your hospital. appreciate your time. the world is saying goodbye to a hero in the fight for civil rights. archbishop desmond tutu died overnight. he was a huge figure in the fight against apartheid in south africa and tributes have been pouring in since the announcement was made a few hours ago. nbc news foreign correspondent molly hunter has a look at his life and legacy. >> black and white together! >> reporter: desmond tutu was the unmistakable voice and conscience of south africa's struggle. he played a key role in the downfall of apartheid. he was born into poverty in a small mining town in 1931. his father a teacher, his mother
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a cleaner and a cook. >> he wanted to be a doctor because when he was a teenager, he developed tuberculosis. the family didn't have the money, so he went into teaching. >> reporter: a career that ended early when he quit his job in protest at the racial segregation of schools. he was ordained a priest. in 1975 he became the first black anglican dean of johannesburg, the church giving him a high profile platform to campaign against the system. >> the system of this country is evil. >> reporter: the minority white regime enforced strict racial segregation discriminating against the majority of black population. resistance was meant with brutal killing. tutu rallied the international community to hit his country hard with tough sanctions.
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>> -- to communicate with black south africans, and also to get under the skin of white south africans. >> reporter: in 1984 tutu was awarded the nobel peace prize for his tireless campaign. he became south africa's first black archbishop two years later, in the 1990s bowing to pressure at home and abroad, the south african government released nelson mandela from prison, assuring the end of apartheid. the country held its first multiracial election the following year. south africa reborn as the rainbow delegation. nelson mandela the first black president. >> nothing will take away the glow of that first experience of walking tall. >> reporter: in an effort to heal the wounds of his divided nation, mandela appointed
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desmond tutu to head the truth and reconciliation commission and gather evidence of apartheid-era crimes. for decades afterwards he continued his unwavering crusade of human rights injustice traveling the world with his message. at 80 years old tutu withdrew from public life to spend more time with his family. >> i've had a very great privilege of being part of a liberation struggle which has succeeded. >> reporter: desmond tutu, liberator, humanist, the moral conscience of his nation. molly hunter, nbc news, london. >> thanks, molly. as we look ahead to 2022, new year's resolutions for many democrats in weren't is likely getting president biden's social spending package passed? representative jake auchincloss joins me after the break with the big priorities he's setting
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we're just days away from the one-year anniversary of the deadly insurrection at the u.s. capitol. january 6th, 2022 will likely bring reflection and for some the reliving of a traumatic experience. as we near the date, the investigating committee is ramping up its fact-finding mission. the panel asked jim jordan for a voluntary interview. it's weighing whether to refer former president trump to the justice department for a federal prosecution. president biden is expected to restart negotiations with senator joe manchin in the new year and majority leader chuck schumer says a vote on a revised version will happen. schumer is telling his colleagues that should expect voting rights legislation to
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come up in the new year. for more we turn to julie tsirkin and monica alba. good morning to both of you. julie, starting with the january 6th committee, what can we expect from the panel in the coming days and coming weeks of the new year? >> lindsey, they're working on a couple of different threats. quickly after they get back in the new year, they have a lot of scheduled depositions of witnesses they subpoenaed last week. that includes the former u.s. police commissioner. they also are waiting to hear back from jim jordan. republican lawmakers and ex-trump allies who the committee wants to hear from voluntarily. jim jordan, of course, slamming the investigation but saying they're still considering the letter. you also have a couple of lawsuits the committee is dealing with from alex jones, michael flynn, even the former president himself who, by the way, appealed to the supreme court to try to get them to stop the national archives from
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handing over those 700 pages of documents, a decision the committee is asking the court to expedite also to mid january. by the way, something that emerged out of those lawsuits in the last 24 hours, you start seeing the committee zeroing in. the current trump spokesperson is suing the panel to get them to get their hands off his financial records from his bank. the committee says they're trying to establish whether those riots were funded by allies of the former president, the former administration trying to say they happened organically and keeping them at an arm's length. >> monica, do we know about president biden's attempts to win build back better and senator manchin? >> reporter: talks will continue behind the scenes, lindsey, as we enter 2022. the president continues to project optimism, saying he does
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believe something will get done. of course, the question is what will that look like and how will he get senator manchin on board with this revised version when we foe for months he's had longstanding concerns over the size and scope. it will come down to whatever the white house is comfortable losing. there isn't a lot of appetite to break this up into smaller bills because then you need more support. you need republicans to get on board. that's not looking likely at all. the question becomes what do you remove, what do you perhaps try to pursue later? we all know as you get closer to the midterm elections, now less than a year away, that becomes even more challenging. so the president had a more holiday weekend here than a business one, of course, as many americans did. yesterday he spoke to several military branches with the first lady. he will be heading to delaware in the coming days as we get closer to new year's eve, again, working the phones, still
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meeting with staff. this legislative work isn't really expected to kick off until a little closer to january 2022 as we get there. remember, there are other legislative priorities like voting rights and everything else to deal with. the president is the one who throughout this entire process has said he thinks he can get something across the finish line. we'll see if that's true in the coming weeks. >> julie, quickly, on voting rights here, what are the choices of that getting passed in the senate? we know joe biden said he supports a carveout for the filibuster but still needs manchin and sinema on board and neither want to do that. >> reporter: that was a big statement from the president perhaps appealing to senator joe manchin who he called a friend for a long time now. we know before the congress left for break, they started to focus on voting rights, shifting gears away from build back better, perhaps thinking voting rights was more attainable. we know over the holiday break, democrats were building pressure, the congressional
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black caucus as republican-led states -- even for a rules change, which majority leader schumer said he wants to take up in the new year, you need all 50 senate democrats on board. sinema and manchin still want to move in a bipartisan way. as we stand now, we don't see ten republicans joining that effort. >> julie tsirkin and monica alba, thank you. we're joined by democratica. thanks for being with us this weekend. if your colleague, jim jordan, does not voluntarily appear for questioning before the january 6th committee, should they subpoena him? how significant would it be for congress to start subpoenaing their own colleagues? >> yes, they should. a subpoena from congress isn't a request. it's an order, and it needs to be obeyed. subpoenas that have not yet been
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obeyed need to be enforced with the full force of criminal law. as we approach the one-year anniversary of the january 6th insurrection, i think we really need to focus on the fact that it's not history. it's current events. we are on going in combating a threat against the very integrity of our democracy. we need to treat this one-year anniversary on jikt as a day of action, not just a day of reflection. they need to push back on partisan subversion of state and local elections and end gerrymandering. and we need to pass the protecting our democracy act to restore the checks sand balances at the federal level. that's how we should act on the one-year anniversary to protect our democracy. >> when do you expect the committee to finish their work in investigating january 6th. do you think it will end in a
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referral for president trump? >> i'm in the going to prejudge. i'll do that due diligence and make the appropriate determinations. what's critical now is already now we have the information we need to protect our democracy. we have two bills in the senate that will go a long way to ensuring that in january 2025 we're not looking down a coup. >> i want to talk to you about the president's agenda. yesterday i asked kentucky congressman jim yarmouth. >> i suspect we'll narrow it down and i have to stress every initiative are really important things that are not only worth doing, but obviously have to be done in this country. if any one were done, it would
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be a major victory for the people of this country and the future. i'm hopeful we will identify those initiatives and move forward. then we'll live to work enough to fight another day for some of the other initiatives that we have to put aside for the time being. >> congressman, do you agree with your colleague that it likely will be passed in a more piecemeal fashion? >> i don't think it's going to be passed piecemeal. i think it's going to be passed in one bill and it's to be more tightly scoped. this is par for the course with congress, volleying back and forth between the white house, the senate, the house. this is how we passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill. it took a different form in the senate, came back to the house. this is congress. we are going to pass the president's agenda. it's going to focus on social security for kids, guarantying pre kindergarten for 3 and 4-year-olds, lowering taxes for their moms and dads. we should pay for that with a
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repeal of the trump-era tax cuts that benefited the ultra wealthy and with a tax on carbon which would be a big bold step towards carbon neutrality in this country. that by itself is a seismic agenda. i'm confident we can pass something along those lines. >> congressman, you spoke about the importance of robust covid testing. we know president biden announced the federal government will be mailing out rapid tests and giving them out for free, half a billion of them. the uk, germany, singapore have already been doing this. in france and belgium, defendants are a few bucks. won't this take a few weeks when we need them now? >> rapid, ubiquitous, free testing has always been a key component of fighting this pandemic. i agree this country should have mobilized and acted sooner on
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testing. we're dealing with a variant that will spread extremely quickly. here is the good news, if you're vaccinated, it's going to be a cold. if you're unvaccinated, it could mean severe illness or death. the choice is clear. the president communicated that choice. now is the time for individual responsibility. we will get to the other side of this, and i'm confident that we can cut the link between infections and hospitalizations to prevent overly taxing our health care system. >> congressman, real quick. you say we should have been ahead on testing. who dropped the ball? >> well, it starts with the beginning of the pandemic when trump was in office and i remember back in march of 2020 talking to dr. jha who said we should be rushing oust tests to
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americans. it just never moved. >> congressman, we've had a new administration for a year. >> this president has taken big action on the pandemic in a number of fronts. i've been pushing the administration to do more on vaccine diplomacy overseas, to do more on testing. we're going to put covid behind us in 2022 and this president has had science-based public health guidance from the very beginning. >> we do want it all behind us. congressman, thanks for your time. good to see you. >> you as well. coming up, nasa launched a $10 billion telescope into space yesterday that will hopefully answer some of the universe's hardest questions. the project's senior scientists joins us next to talk about this major accomplishment and what they're trying to uncover. you'll be a gainiac too!
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right now about 150,000 miles from earth out there in space is nasa's james webb telescope that launch yesterday beginning a dazzling journey to the earliest moments of the universe. it's the hard work of a generous amount of astronomers. here is guad vin nag gas. >> liftoff from a tropical rain forest to the edge of time itself, james webb begins a voyage back to the birth of the universe. >> reporter: a christmas launch from south america, the new $10 billion james webb space telescope, the ultimate holiday light display. >> go west! >> moments later, realtime images of the telescope making its way into deep space. >> taking its first steps in pursuit of cos logical discovery. >> it begins a two-week process
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to deploy antennas, mirrors and sun shield. it is 100 times more powerful than the hubble teescope before it. scientists will get a deeper look into the universe capturing light so far that the lens will show images of what happened 13 billion years into the past, maybe even from the beginning of the universe. >> we are going to discover incredible things that we never imagined. >> reporter: the new seven-ton telescope will also expand the search for earth-like planets with elements that make life possible. thousands of people from 14 countries worked on the project for more than two decades, and it will be another six months before it is fully operational. celebrations after a successful launch. >> we have delivered a christmas gift today to humanity. >> reporter: a gift of knowledge, perhaps unwrapping
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unimaginable secrets from across time and space. guad vinegas, nbc news, planet earth. we're joined by senior scientist and nobel prize recipient john mather. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. good to be here with you. >> so was that the best christmas present? what does it mean to see 25 years of your work successfully launch? >> i am thrilled to see it, and it's not my work, it's our work. it's a huge crowd that took to do this. we've been dreaming of it from even before i started working on this project. it is beautiful. >> tell me about the emotion you felt when you realized it was a success. we have the incredible video from inside mission control. we know the rocket launched from french guiana. i believe you were watching
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virtually. take me back to the emotion that you felt. >> i was just thrilled that it was like that and not surprised a bit. of course, we planned and we reversed and we did everything necessary to make it work. so i wasn't surprised, but i was certainly thrilled. it's wonderful. >> we want to show video now of the telescope detaching from the orion 5 rocket. the telescope has done so many things successfully already, talking about the incredible detachment, the mid course correction. it's going to deploy antennas, mirrors and that huge sun shield over the next two weeks. talk about the accomplishments, but also, hate to be debbie downer, how critical are the next few days? >> everything can go wrong. we've rehearsed and practiced and argued and fautd. this is a thing that's befr been
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done before. we cannot simulate a launch really, suddenly being in the dark and cold of outer space with the sunshine on one side of the spacecraft and dark everywhere else. it's all new for this spacecraft. it's our little child out there. we have to learn how it talks. >> i love that. i'm sure you're protective, also, like a proud papa. the telescope is going to study things like super massive black holes, the dark matter of space. age-old questions like are we alone? what are you most eager to learn? >> i'm looking for something that's a surprise. we don't know muchd about what we're looking for. we have a big gap from the moments of the expanded universe to the first objects that grew. we have ideas, we have stories. but we've never had pictures, never been able to see that far back in time. we look at things far back in time by looking at things far away.
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we depend on the light taking a long time to travel. we can't see. we never had the tool before to see this far, so this is special. that's where i think we'll get big surprises. i think we could also get big surprises about planets. we'll be looking at planets around other stars. we know many of them are there but they're still hard to study. we're looking to see do they have things that make them a little bit like home. are they the right size, the right temperature. do they maybe have an atmosphere with water? all of those could be interesting surprises. we could turn out to be special and alone or one of many places where life might be. >> when do you hope to get some of those answers? when do you think we'll start cleaning data from webb? >> we take six months after launch before we're really ready to take scientific pictures. we have to adjust the telescope, focus it, verify all the commands work on the instruments, make sure everything is working properly and we know how to operate it.
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we know how we're supposed to be able to operate it, but is it really like that when we're out there in the new environment. that's the wig question for us. so six months. >> hopefully we'll see you soon. june 26, 2022, mark it on your calendar, we'd love to talk to you. john mather thank you so much. >> thank you, good morning. thanks for asking me. coming up next, fighting book bans. what librarians on the front lines of this fight are doing to stop republican lawmaker want to block books that cover race, sexuality, equality. you can always spot a first time gain flings user. ♪
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i think she's trying to kill me. now to some of the other top stories we're following this morning. thousands of russian troops are heading back to their bases. they've been near the ukraine border for weeks because of drills. that massive russian troop presence near the border increased the possibility of war between the two countries. just this week, russian president vladimir putin denied that was his goal. tense moments in the uk on christmas. a 19-year-old man was able to get onto the grounds of windsor castle with some sort of weapon. police were able to arrest the man quickly and he wasn't able to get into any buildings. three members of k-pop super group bts tested positive for covid.
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they just got back to south korea after concerts here in the u.s. the management country says they were vaccinated, their cases are mild are asymptomatic. they've been on official break to rest and spend time with family. after the break ends, they'll start work on a new album and a tour starting in march. it is a long road to recovery for movies on the big screen. the theater industry took a major hit due to the pandemic but now hopes to bounce back. this holiday season may just be the ticket. nbc news correspondent steve patterson explains. >> reporter: just like how it happens on screen, the movie theatre biz needed a hero to swoop in when all seemed lost. theatre operators hope spiter-man might save the day. >> this could be the savior of the industry and mark an important turning point in this road to recovery for that big screen experience around the world. it's a big deal.
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>> reporter: the industry needed this. 88% of theaters are open and operating compared to prepandemic levels. in an era of covid fears and widespread lockdowns, audiences traded crowded theaters for the couch. back in 2020 covid plummeted the u.s. box office to about $2 billion. the year before it was $11 billion. this year it shot back up to $4 billion. the pandemic also pushed a new foe to the forefront, streaming. facing incredible losses, studios made block busters like the matrix able to watch at home alongside the theater. ceo of the u.s.'s second largest theater chain. the release movie before a movie hits digital is now even shorter.
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>> this can work out. the releases are not good for the industry. >> reporter: theater operators are doing everything they can to get moviegoers back to the cinema. this day and age, they have to do a lot more than just the standard bag of popcorn. >> playback. >> reporter: big chains say the cinema is beyond just catching a flick with many offering gourmet meals, alcohol and 4d experiences. >> we compete with restaurants, with sport events. we compete with everything happening out of the house. visiting the cinemas is still the most affordable entertainment you can get. >> reporter: for now the holidays may have been the hero the big screen needed. but in the long run theaters will have to save themselves. >> sorry, kid. >> reporter: steve patterson, nbc news. >> all right. our thanks to steve for that report. still to come, in texas a public library forced to shut down. we'll go deep into this and how librarians are fighting back.
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as we've covered on this show, the u.s. saw a spike in book banning this year. most of the stories usually involved banning certain books, many that center on black or lgbtq stories from school and school libraries. now they're taking it to local public libraries. the texas tribune says a library system shut down for three days so six librarians could conduct a, quote, thorough review of every children's book in their collection. the directive from the county coming after a number of texan republican lawmakers targeted hundreds of books for review this year. many parents, librarians and authors are against it calling it censorship and some are fighting back. to talk about all of this are we're proud to welcome deborah caldwell stone.
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thank you for being on the program. and when we talk about, for example, this local library shutting its doors for a review, what went through your mind? >> i was just horrified. i couldn't understand why a public library dedicated to sharing information with the community would shut down at the dictate of elected officials who chose a number of books, mostly based on their lgbtq themes or their association with racism, anti-racism, black american history to seemingly sanitize the collection for the benefit of a few who object to those books. you know, by the very nature public libraries are community institutions that are supposed to serve everybody and everybody's interests and to cleanse the collection or to censor books based on somebody's preferences is justantithetical to the whole mission of
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libraries. >> what trends are happening and why is it such a hot topic now? >> well, what we're seeing in the way of trends is primarily books for young people dealing with lgbtq themes, whether it's a picture book about growing up with two moms, two books meant for adolescents who are exploring or interested in learning about gender identity or sexual identity. and because of this brouhaha over what's called critical race theory, although we know that's not what they're talking about, we're seeing a good number of challenges to books dealing with racism, anti-racism and the lived experiences of black persons, particularly books dealing with police violence against black persons. but it really is troubling to us that this trend -- that the -- that these are -- that what's being targeted right now are books dealing with the
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marginalized persons who are finally finding a voice and place in society. and it really is a really troubling trend for us, especially the spike in volume of challenges we're seeing. it feels like an organized campaign we're seeing to erase these voices from our public libraries, from our school libraries. >> we're not even talking about required reading, we're talking about books sitting on shelves that people have the option to check out or not. is that not one of the most infuriating parts of this? >> absolutely. reading in public libraries is all about choice. no one is required to read these. there are so many young people and persons in the community who want and need these books. they should be reflected in the collections of their own community libraries, whether it's the school community or the public community. and what's equally infuriating to me is these are public institutions that are governed by the constitution, the bill of
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rights, the first amendment. they should not be censoring or dictating what can be read or should be read. when people ask somebody to censor a book, what they're saying is we want to tell you what you can read and think about and that's -- that violates the first amendment in an enormous way. they do have obligations under the first amendment. they have elected officials who have sworn an oath to uphold our constitution telling us what to read and whatnot to read really is an enormous problem for me, enormously troubling. >> people can certainly look up your organization, the american library association to try and get involved. deborah caldwell stone, thank you so much for your time and your frankness. we appreciate it. >> thank you so much for having me on. i appreciate it. thank you for watching msnbc reports. i'll be back tomorrow at 2 p.m. eastern. "velshi" is next.
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good morning, it is sunday, december 26th. while we all witnessed the day of the events unfolding on national television, we're still learning more when the days leading up to it. the committee members have spoken to a lot of people since they began their

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