tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC October 4, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EDT
squeeze some savings back into our budget. into our attics and walls. let's locate the original energy source called you and turn that machine up full-blast. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. come get 50% more savings on insulation with the new lower price of just $9.37 per roll. next on "msnbc sunday," the deadliest battle of the year for american troops in afghanistan and attack comes as the president reconsiders the next step in the war. also ahead, a-bomb aspirations. a new report claims iran has gained the knew cleek know-how to build a bomb. on the money front, worries of holiday woe and the impact of
america's economic recovery. these fellows really let themselves go. >> and it's a zombie hit parade at the box office. we'll take a look at all of that. meantime, good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. 9:00 a.m. here on the east coast. want to get you up to speed on two big developing stories right now here on the show. first up, the developing story out of afghanistan where a taliban attack killed eight u.s. soldiers. two afghan forces were also killed. it was one of the deadliest days for u.s. troops in afghanistan. nbc's jim miklaszewski live in afghanistan today. so jim, i understand you have come back from the area where this attack happened. let's get the latest details on it. >> reporter: it was a vicious attack. military officials say that it began shortly after dawn yesterday morning. and raged on for more than six hours. the enemy firing rocket-prop rocket-propelled grenades, heavy
machine gun fire from positions well dug into the mountainside surrounding the base and firing from a mosque and police station in a nearby town. now, we did take a helicopter ride to that area this morning with the regional commander major general curtis scaparoti saying that the enemy had the advantage because they held the high ground. >> just how tough was this fight? >> well, it was in mountainous terrain. you have very sheer cliffs around you a. will the of rocky, mountainous terrain with some trees around it. hard to see people and the enemy can move about using that as protection. >> reporter: the fighting was so intense that medevac helicopters couldn't get into the area for several hours to evacuate the wounded. now, according to u.s. military officials, most of those fighters were probably local fighters but this was such a
well-organized, sophisticated attack that the taliban had to be behind it and they're still searching out those who may be responsible for that attack. the tragedy in all of this, alex, was that those soldiers manning that base were going to close down that outpost and withdraw from that valley in just two days from now. >> mik, what does this mean for the u.s. strategy in afghanistan moving forward? >> reporter: well, you know, this is clearly going to spark debate on both sides again. many who oppose increasing troops -- the troop strength there are going to claim, well, you know, see, we can't even defend against these rogue attacks in some of these remote areas while those on the other side are going to explain that this is exactly why the u.s. needs to increase the number of forces so that they can become more effective. now, one key, key point here is that the reason they were going to withdraw from this remote base is to put those forces in
amongst the population and the more heavily populated areas to gain the confidence the afghan people when ch they claim is absolutely key to any counter insurgency strategy and to ultimately defeating the enemy here. >> mik, how are things looking in the region? anymore attacks? anymore u.s. deaths? >> reporter: well, there have been some sporadic firing around that particular area. the area's considered still hot but they think that the major offensive that had been conducted is well over. that they killed probably about 50 of the enemy fighters in that mountainside region. by the way, if you take a look at that area, those mountains are so sheer and steep that once the fighters dig into that area, they're almost impossible to root out. >> absolutely. the video that you have provided gives us a very clear perspective. actually, better than most we have seen recently.
jim miklaszewski, thank you. appreciate it. >> reporter: okay, alex. now from the white house, i'm joined live from nbc's mike viqueira. mike, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, alex. >> the president met with general mcchrystal. do these events change the formula at all? >> reporter: as a candidate and as president, as a candidate, of course, he promised to take troops, transfer troops from iraq and refocus on the effort in afghanistan. he says this is where the al qaeda fighters and terrorist who is came here on 9/11 came from. he is since calling that since he's been president afghanistan a war of necessity. and now comes some rethinking apparently at the white house here and some disagreement frankly in the upper echelons at the highest levels of u.s. government. the commanding general in afghanistan with whom president obama met making that trip to copenhagen for the olympic announcement.
he has this proposal well-known by now said to include a request for more -- for 30,000 to 40,000 more troops in afghanistan but vice president biden and others in the administration say, no, we have to start rethinking this. is this a counter insurgency operation that we are undergoing here or a counter terrorism operation here? are we fighting al qaeda or nation building in afghanistan? the afghan government under very intense criticism here in the united states' government here on the capital and the white house as being corrupt, standing accused of rigging the most recent election. is this the government to cast our lot? if not, what are theal tentatives? there are very few good choices here and this the coming weeks the president is going to have to make one. alex? >> okay. mike, all right. mike, i'll have you more questions in a little bit. >> reporter: okay. >> thanks so much. meantime, the search continues for a 16-year-old who disappeared while riding a roik
in steed, nevada. family members say karamjt kaur went out and did not return from a bike ride and called police. officers found the bike the next afternoon a quarter mile away from the teen's home. police say they're following hundreds of other leads for that case. men time, the baby you are looking at, the baby that was safely found, baby yair found safely in alabama after being kidnapped from his mother's home just this week. police have arrested tammy silas after finding the baby at her home in alabama. she is charged with federal kidnapping. the baby's mother says the woman showed up at the nashville home tuesday claiming to be an immigration agent before stabbing her eight times and then taking that newborn. but the brief reunion with the mom, police placed the baby in state custody for safety reasons with the three older siblings. new detail this is morning in the case of a man accused of secretly videotaping a sports reporter.
the videos were taken through a peephole of erin andrews in tennessee and wisconsin. rehema ellis joins us with the latest developments. what is the latest? >> reporter: the suspect behind bars this morning after the first court appearance this weekend. in a chicago courtroom, 48-year-old michael barrett an insurance executive dressed in an orange jump suit. the court ordered the illinois residents to be returned to california to face federal interstate stalking charges. outside the courthouse, barrett's lawyer and long-time friend called his client a good man. >> i've gotten calls from 30 or of his friends in the last 10 hours all willing to give their support to him if anything's needed. >> reporter: barrett accused of secretly taking nude videos of espn reporter erin andrews while she was alone in at least two hotel rooms. >> 55-1, home record here.
>> reporter: according to the criminal complaint, barrett traveled to cities where andrews was working, called hotels to find out where she was staying and when he made his reservations, barrett asked specifically for a room next to andrews, identified in the complaint as individual a. authorities allege barrett then rigged the door's peephole to take videos of her. officials say he posted the videos on did internet after trying to sell them to california-based celebrity website tmz. tmz declined and instead handed the information to andrews' attorney who contacted authorities. in a community where he lives outside of chicago, neighbors are shocked. >> i couldn't belief it because this -- how nice he had always been and very gentle. >> reporter: barrett's due back in court monday for a hearing to determine whether he'll be released on bond. and meantime, erin andrews thanked fbi agents as well as
prosecutors and says she will work to strengthen laws to help protect victims of criminal stalking. alex? >> okay. trying to make good of the situation. rehema, thank you. more than 500 firefighters battling a blaze in southern california stretching to 1,500 acres. that fire broke out on saturday in little creek. people in the community have been asked to evacuate and local roads have been shut down. so far, three homes have been destroyed. no injuries have been reported. it's not clear what caused that blaze. another raging wildfire in arizona's grown to at least a thousand acres. it started as a controlled burn near williams and strong winds whipped it out of control. over 100 firefighters are battling flames on the ground. dozens of homes in the area have been evacuated. heading overseas now, the search for survivors intensified in indonesia. authorities say the latest earth quaic to hit the region triggered mud slides, trapped thousands under mounds of mud.
it is the latest disaster to hit the area in a week. joining me right now is nbc's ian williams, he is calling in live from indonesia. ian, let's get an update on all the problems there. what's the latest? >> reporter: >> unfortunately we lost that connection. we'll bring him back live with us as soon as we can. still ahead for all of you, president obama's potential olympic hangover. did he get bum advice about going to copenhagen? also ahead, the potato chip factor. what does the junk food staple have to do with america's economic vitality?
a night on the town for president and michelle obama as they mark their 17th wedding anniversary with a low-key night out in washington. the pair went to the blue duck tavern, an elegant restaurant near georgetown. this week, the senate finance committee's expected to vote on the health reform measure which means the full senate will soon be debating a single health care bill for the very first time. i'm joined live from washington from white house correspondent from mcclachey newspapers. >> alex. >> how big a hurdle this health reform faces going to the full senate. >> definitely a hurdle. it has to get out of the finance commit thee this week and then goes to the majority leader's office, harry reed. he'll sit around the table. people from the health committee and the finance committee, got to put them into one bill, send it to the senate. still a debate. if it doesn't have a public option, will liberals vote for it? if it has the alternative, will
republicans try to filibuster it? it's stale hurdle to get through the senate and then if it does, i think we all think it will get through the senate in some form, the big challenge is, after next week, getting the house and the senate bills together. they could take more than a month. >> let's talk about "the chicago tribune" reporting the president is working very hard behind the scenes to include a public option in the health reform bill. if the president feels this measure's so important, why not lobby for it in a more public way? >> you know, alex, that's a very interesting report because just a few days ago there were reports of he hadn't made a single call for the public option when it was being voted down in the senate finance committee. now we hear -- no, he's working hard behind the scenes. they seem to have kind of a split message coming out of the white house. he's come forward publicly several times now and said, it's not that big of a deal. i would like it. i'm not going to be a deal killer. >> steve -- >> now maybe it is. >> what would be the politics
behind putting that out there? would bit to let -- would it be so maybe the president comes in later, let people get the beginning negotiations out of the way and then comes in? maybe it was too disparate prior to now? >> it could be a strong message from the house of representatives again, nancy pelosi, saying you are saying it's not that important. it is that important in the house. you have to fight for it. i think there's a push me, pull you. he's pulled in both directions on the politics and reflected in this kind of switching and changing approach to this. >> what about unemployment, steve? we note it's hit a 26-year high. would it benefit the administration to think about changing their game plan? >> well, no doubt they're under a lot of pressure. certainly pressure from republicans to concede that his stimulus plan didn't work. and from the other side, under
some pressure to do a second stimulus. the thing i hear most about it is baby some tax rebates early next year to -- as kind of a jump zs start, kick start the economy yet again. a mini stimulus. that's the thing i'm hearing as a possibility. i don't think you'll see another big stimulus. you won't see the white house saying the first stimulus didn't work and they'll continue to say it needs more time and may throw more into the kitty. >> okay. steve thomma, good to see you. >> my there shall. the attack of the zombies at the box office. can human kind stand the mindless assault? pd, but i try not to let it hold me back... whether i'm at the batting cages... down by the lake or... fishing at the shore. i'm breathing better... with spiriva. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment for both forms of copd, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
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animates meatballs from the top spot. so let's take a look at "zombieland." here it is. >> oh, these fellows really let themselves go. ♪ >> according to a box office mojo.com, here are the new top movies. "zombieland," "cloudy with a chance of meatballs." thank you for joining me. >> why do you think "zombieland" is knock off meatballs. not going to go see it. >> absolutely. kind of a shock. i mean, this movie kind of came out of the gate and crushed all of these movies that -- all the kids and parents want the see but i think it is an escapism. people are down about the economy. there's just been such bad news lately and want to escape. what better than to go hang out with zombies far few hours? >> grocery store for something. it is absolutely crazy.
let's get to the double feature, "toy story" from disney and "toy story 2." gets better. there's an intermission? >> yeah. this is really interesting. it is an experiment that the studios did to reintroduce "toy story" to a new generation. "toy story" came out in '95 and "toy story 2" in '99. that is creative way to introduce kids to "toy story 3" coming out in a few months. marketing. >> good. what do you think with regard to "zombieland" getting number one? escapism, certainly, but what about the buzz about it? harrelson, what's the buzz on him? >> listen. he hasn't been seen in a movie in a few years and people love him. you kind of know what you're getting with woody. >> true. >> i think the fans are excited to see him and this is a really
kind of a new genre. comedy and horror. appealing to audiences. >> must be. what about the rest of the season? that movie that's twilight new moon i've heard about. >> i haven't heard a thing about that. that's going to sweep everything. >> yeah. >> what a phenomenon. >> right. >> vampire trend is not going away any time soon and george clooney's movie. >> cloudy with a chance of meatballs going any time soon? although in second place this week, it's dominated the past few. >> this is a word of mouth. parents and kids are going to see this two, three times together and it's really set to become a classic. it is a beautiful movie. visually, it's stunning. it is about food falling from the sky and what could be more fun than that? >> i don't know. pep rowny pizza slice on your head. thank you. >> thank you. confession of a late-night talk show host. will the public admission come
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eight u.s. troops are dead after a militant attack in afghanistan. two afghan forces were also killed in yesterday's siege. it took place in the eastern part of the country near the pakistan border. the taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. yesterday was one of the deadliest days for u.s. troops in afghanistan. and this attack comes as the white house is feeling the pull from different sides on the afghanistan issue, most notably vice president biden who wants something of a draw down and general mcchrystal who wants more troops. i'm joined by scott wilson, good morning, of "the washington post." >> good morning. >> give me the perspective of the two sides. >> essentially, two important meetings at the white house of president obama's top national security team. vice president biden was
described by one white house official as the skeptic in chief of general mcchrystal's plan to great ri expand the war. president biden favors the same amount of combat troops, more aggressive predator drone and anti-terror campaign focused on al qaeda along the border which is so volatile and then the military uniform that support the call for a full counter insurgency campaign to require a lot more resources. and for president obama to take on his own paerpt to some degree if he wants to pursue that course. >> so which side would you say has greater pull right now? >> it is hard to say. i was doing a lot of reporting on this this week, and one person described it sort of as like listening to a supreme court argument right now. you can tell how people are leaning a little bit by how aggressive their questioning of
general mcchrystal in the meetings but hard to say that anyone formed an opinion yet. it does seem like the white house is at odds to some degree with the uniformed military, at least challenging them much more aggressively this time around than in march when president obama completed his first assessment of the war effort. >> how about congress overall? how does congress feel about this? as a whole, are democrats against the expansion and the president would have to turn to republicans for support? >> it is a good point. it is something interesting on congress and that is roughly what it looks like. if president obama seeks more combat troops in particular, the democratic leadership there is very skeptical of that. they're beginning to argue that more troops is actually counter productive. that what you get is a -- you help the taliban make the case that the foreign occupation is expanding. they'd like to see something more along the lines of what vice president biden is suggesting and increased
training of afghan troops so they can take over the war effort. the predator drone anti-terror-type of campaign but that's going to be an interesting debate to watch over the couple of next few weeks and months. >> scott, given what we saw yesterday, time is of the essence. how long be the white house debate and deliberate over the strategy? >> there is a lot of stress over timing right now. general mcchrystal believes the next 12 months are key saying if the u.s. and nato forces don't regain the initiative in the next 12 months, the insurgency that shall may not be able to defeat the insurgeon aat you will t. white house seems to be resisting that kind of pressure to some degree and wants to take at least several weeks to make a decision on a strategy and then to weigh what we're still waiting for, a specific request for additional come bas forces. >> is the tide turning in any way to get an indication which
direction obama's going to ultimately take? >> he appears to be -- i think it is safe to say he appears to be skeptical and approaching this not as an automatic rubber stamp for what general mcchrystal wants. i think that is taking the military aback a little bit. general petraeus who is a big advocate of general mcchrystal's plan, when he took over the command in iraq, wanted every one of the troop requests made public so there's a debate over it made public. and what we're seeing now is general mcchrystal's assessment made its way to the public domain. a very public debate about this putting pressure on president obama and but -- and also, making the white house push back to some degree on what do you need and how does it fit with what our objectives really are in afghanistan and pakistan? >> do you get a sense there's friction between the president and general mcchrystal?
>> i don't know there f there's friction. president obama asked the general to come over from london while the president was in copenhagen for the olympic's bid. a day before the general given a speech in london essentially said anything less than what he's asking for is not going to be successful. i wouldn't be surprised if there were a little bit of that conversation where about let's try to keep it more internal. let's not make this debate public. let's not give our nato allies the sense that we are divided over afghanistan, that may affect whether they commit more troops to this war effort. so i wouldn't be surprised if they were a little bit -- i don't know if i would call it tension but at least some disagreement over how to approach this in terms of coming to an agreement on a strategy. >> okay. thank you very much for your time, scott wilson, do appreciate that. good interview. >> thank you. >> the war in afghanistan is among the topics on "meet the press" when david gregory speaks to the u.s. ambassador to the
united states susan rice. nun ral services held on saturday for the 16-year-old teenager beaten bay group of other teens in chicago. the attack on derrien albert was caught on cell phone video. mourners and city leaders packed the church for the teen's funeral service. >> the brutality that this young man suffered in broad daylight has caused all of us to take a step back and ask ourselves, what can all of us do? >> well, police say the 16-year-old victim walked into the path of a brawl between rival groups. the videotape of the beating helped police identify the four suspects all of whom are charged as adults. here's a sign of still many people having trouble holding on to their jobs. hundreds signing up in phoenix for free counseling how to stay out of bankruptcy. they camped out overnight for the opportunity. and looking ahead to wall
street this week, while stocks are trending higher since march, we are going to see more key economic readings this week. on tuesday, we are going do see how the services sector is doing from banking to airlines to restaurants. that sector accounts for about 80% of all businesses in the u.s. wednesday a report on consumer credit is expected to show americans are spending less than charging less. and a new report suggests consumers spend and charge less through the holiday shopping season. joining me live to talk about this carmen wong uhlrich. nice to see you. >> nice to see you it's a sales push for flat or lower sales. little change from this last year. do you think that's the case? >> absolutely. you will see a study this week, 84% of americans say they'll spend the same or less this holiday season so retailers are really expecting this year, opposed to last year not expecting such a huge, huge drop so this year they have adjusted
the expectations and inventory in response. we are seeing huge bargain deals like walmart, toys r us. 100 toys under $10. people spending less and in smaller amounts. >> what about discussions overall about the recovery here in the united states? they say it's a lagging indicator and don't know until we're out of it saying that's the point or are we still recovering? >> here's what's important. the american consumer doesn't feel it and won't until the unemployment numbers are bet tore have a job to spend some money and consumer spending is just not where it was for a very long time. so a lot of economic indicators may say that the recession is on the way over but really as a whole, americans don't feel it for quite sometime. 9.8 unemployment. we haven't seen that since '82, '83. >> the concept of a recovery, should that help spur spending?
>> no. really. we are feeling it. cob assu consumers. they're saving more. spending less. using their credit cards less. this is such a long recession and such a jolt to a reality check for the american consumer that i don't think we'll see a big increase in consumer spending because they say the recession is over. >> of course, putting in your savings, that's always fine and well but the problem is that the key to a recovery is consumer spending. >> right. >> where's the irony there? >> a huge component of the whole economic picture as a country but here's the thing. if american consumers build themselves on a solid financial foundation and take care of themselves and their money, that helps the economy down the road. and means a solid recovery and what we need. >> what is the expectation for those things i mentioned we'll be hearing the results of this week? >> here's the thing. technology may see a bump but really talking about retail and restaurants, restaurant that is have real deals like the
mcdonald's and applebee's may see little bit of a bump but discounters, getting a bump, restaurants in general not. seeing spending lower or at the same level it was as last month. >> how confident are you by the beginning of january, next year, to start seeing an uptick? >> here's the thing. i'm until we see unemployment get better. 5.4 million people have been looking for a job for more than six months. that is really a bleak statistic. so what we need to see is not just the unemployment numbers stop but jobs created. one job per six americans looking far job, it has to get better. when what starts getting better, i'll be more confident. >> okay. come on back and let us know when we have something to smile about. >> i will. the president and the public option for health care reform, coming up, what is the white house doing to win support for public health care plan? we'll talk about it.
msnbc is the place for politics. we usher in a new chapter in the health care debate. the full senate is expected to argue the merits of after single bill, one that could determine what you pay for your health care. who cares about health care? a new article says liberals aren't that excited by the prospects of health reform. i'm joined live by the author of that article and also by erin billings for "roll call." good morning to you. >> good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> okay. eleanor, you have some explaining to do. why do you say liberals don't care about health care reform? >> that's a very truncated version of what i wrote. i basically wrote an article saying with the afghanistan decision coming up right now that it's in the dna of liberals to not want to see more troops going into afghanistan and they're much more worked up over
that and putting more pressure on the white house and congress on that issue than they are on messy health care, sausage-making compromise still working its way through the congress. >> i think they want to see health care reform but i think the number one issue for most americans and for liberals are jobs. and i think the president's beginning in his radio address yesterday, he did tie health care reform to the creation of more jobs. and i think, you know, people are watching this health care debate and liberals in particular aren't quite sure where to weigh in. the public option is teetering in the senate. the president seems to regard it as a kind of a detail of reform that may not be essential. it's not a clear-cut fight. >> i was going to say, eleanor, real quick, before erin, tying health care reform to jobs, seems like it's a real reach late in the game. >> i don't think it's a reach. i think because the fact that
employers don't want to hire people paying health care costs. people can't move from jobs, locked in because the fear of losing health care. it's a depressant on the job market but i think the white house has been slow to making that case and when the country cares most about jobs or the lack thereof, health care almost seems like a side issue. >> okay. >> to people. they care more about jobs than about health care right now. >> let's get to the public option, erin. "the chicago tribune" says the obama administration is working behind the scenes to get a public option in the bill going up for debate in the senate. it is perceived as being unpopular. so what can the president say and do in private to get lawmakers on his side? >> well, i think what we're going to see, as you know, the finance committee will vote out their bill on tuesday and then the real work begins in the senate and harry reed and the white house will sit down and figure out what to bring to the
senate floor. i think most people believe there will be a form of a public option out of the congress. you know, whether that's call add trigger, whether that's called a public insurance option, we don't know yet. but i think the white house is going to be instrumental and has to be instrumental if they want the public option to survive. >> eleanor, here's part of "the chicago tribune's" article on the issue here. quote -- what do you think, eleanor? does the white house have a good handle on the inside game? the behind the doors game in washington? i think months ago i said on this show that the president has to begin to channel his inner lbj. he really does have to get there. >> i'll have to remember that. >> with individual lawmakers.
and basically, find out what they need in order to get their vote. and then begin to cut the deal. and i think if you look historically, the fact that he's gotten with the strategy that he's had, he's gotten to the point where he's almost to the point of having a floor debate on health care. this will be historic. so it's hard to criticize what he's done since he's gotten this far but there's a lot left to be done, and he -- obama likes to be above the battle and doesn't like to draw lines in the sand and now he's got really get to the point where he's got to back people up against the wall and find out what it will take and see if he can cut those deals and it is not going to be pre y pretty. >> no. erin, if democrats control everything, what is the hold-up? why can't they push through the plan that they want? >> oh, alex, the u.s. senate. well, of course, you know, in the senate, we need 60 votes
and, you know, for a filibuster and republicans still have, you know, they have -- they do have some power. and there are a lot of moderate democrats who are in play here. and as you know, the democrats don't want to have to go to reconciliation route to allow them to pass with a simple majority. that would be politically very dangerous for them. the, you know, next year's a midterm election. there is high stakes all around and they really don't want to go to that route and it is not that easy. if it's just the house of representatives, democrats could get through a public option, and the health care plan largely they want but the u.s. senate is also tricky and it is an institution of compromise. it continues to be. and, you know, a lot of people believe that what the u.s. senate decides in the next week or two or three will be largely reflective of what this congress does. >> okay. ladies, you know what? eleanor, love to give you more. i have to wrap. >> i just want to say the house is tricky, too.
>> it is true. we have the senate and the house. that's right. eleanor clifft, erin billings, thank you. news to spice up the conversation with family friends and even perfect strangers. it is, yes, it is true. first, what's become the comfort food of the times? potato chips. since the economy has gone south, sales of potato chips up 22% and ablists see a 3% annual drop over 5 years if the economy improves. living to 100 years of age was going to be soon no big deal apparently. researchers say half of all the babies born in healthy countries expect to see the century mark. of course, if they eat too many potatoes chip that could be a problem. an aging gorilla at the miami zoo, the 42-year-old ape underwent surgery for cataracts. it is a first for the surgeon saying he doesn't have patients that smell as bad as josephine. and in green bay, wisconsin, rats running amuck. so bad that a woman kept a
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and deep in debt. he's currently out on bond after pleading not guilt to one count of attempted first degree land lars thi. the alleged plot revealed to david letterman revealing he had sexual relations with some women he working with. we'll xoe lady's first. we're hearing possible harassment claims. there's no la squit maes to those things out there now, but we're just talking about the possibility. what are the lawsuits really all about if they come to fruition some had. >> that's been a lot of talk about sex harassment cases and the interesting thing is you don't have to be someone who's been propositioned at the workplace to be able to sue in a sex harassment claim. for example, if you're working in a work environment where the boss is having relationships with other women and you feel that those relationships put you in what's called legal term a
hostile work environment, you can't get promotion, you can't get raises, and you think and the courts would say and apobjective reasonable person would agree this is unfair because of sex, you have the grounds to file for sex harassment case and there are state and federal laws that bar that behavior. >> so workplace romance. it happens all the time. >> sure. >> does it lack hike these women went too far here just because ofis position being the boss? let's be clear again, nobody under age, always consensual by most accounts. >> yes. well, certainly we know that workplace romances do happen all the time. this is where we are most of the day. this is where we meet very interesting people. so it does happen. i think you have to be careful when you're the boss there could be some whole issue of even consciously or unconsciousrily a quid pro quo going on and that's always a slippery slope. >> so what about the people not involved in the office romance?
do you agree that they have positions -- lisa will address the legal aspects about. from your aspect, you see this going on, the boss friendly with somebody else in general. what does that do to your workplace environment? >> i think psychologically and occupationally you feel that there is a disadvantage. you feel that that other person, pun intended, may have a leg up on the competition. but it does perhaps make that a hostile work environment because then you feel that do i have to sleep with the boss in order to be on an equal footing with that other person. >> lisa, what about cbs's perspective here? are they going to have to investigate litter mann ete etl letterman's behavior? because there is a difference 37 there's cbs and then there's worldwide pants. >> did you say worldwide pants?
>> yes. >> yeah, it's complicated with cbs an worldwide pants. worldwide pants has issued a statement saying letterman did not violate their policy. of course it's his company so there might be lawyers who say that's not good enough. cbs, the argument could you made that there a relationship between letterman an krbts thd t would have required cbs to pay more careful attention to his dealings. >> can these relationships between a boss and someone who works for the boss ever be truly consensual? >> i think the lines can become very blurred here because the boss is imbued with more power, has status. so even it if you do think it's consensual, perhaps it may not truly be because it that person has advantage and power and can manipulate you even if ear's not trying to. >> legally, these claims are really thoord prove all the way
and there's a lot of chatter about letterman's liability, but when you look down and get granular, it's very thoord prove a sex harassment claim even when the employer admits he's had sexual relationships. they're tough caseses to bring. >> great discussion. thank you. there is hope that the economy is still on the rebound, but there are potential warning signs. coming up, i'll look at five myths about an economic recovery. what will happen if we fall for any of them sf you're watching msnbc sunday. respect if
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