tv PBS News Hour PBS October 22, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. the obama administration proposed a $2 billion military aid package for pakistan today. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, margaret warner has a newsmaker interview with u.s. special representative to the region, richard holbrooke. >> woodruff: then, we'll talk to three media analysts about the controversy surrounding national public radio's firing of analyst juan williams. >> brown: special correspondent betsy stark reports on an ohio house campaign in a district battered by job losses.
>> woodruff: the united states made a new move to ease tensions with pakistan today. it came in the form of a new five-year program of military assistance. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: secretary of state clinton announced the $2 billion in aid with pakistan's foreign minister, shah mahmoud qureshi, at her side. >> the united states has no stronger partner when it comes to counter-terrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both than pakistan. >> warner: the announcement came amid wide-ranging talks involving diplomatic, trade, development and military officials from both countries, including pakistan's powerfulba army chief of staff, general ashfaq kayani. the new five-year military aid deal complements last year's $7.5 billion civilian aid package, also over five years. foreign minister qureshi
welcomed the help, but also acknowledged tensions in the u.s./pakistani relationship. >> we knew that, as friends and allies, that we would have, at times, differences of opinion, indeed, honest disagreements. but we also knew that we have the requisite political will and robust engagement to help us resolve such momentary challenges. >> warner: tensions over how to fight terrorism flared publicly late last month, when nato helicopter gunships, flying from afghanistan, mistakenly killed three border guards inside pakistan's northwest tribal region. the pakistanis retaliated by closing a crucial border crossing for 11 days, leaving nato convoys exposed to taliban attacks. the incident underscored pakistan's key role in supporting operations in afghanistan. but washington is frustrated by islamabad's unwillingness to go after taliban havens inside its own borders. earlier this month, in a report to congress, the white house
said: "the pakistan military has continued to avoid military engagements that would put it in direct conflict with afghan taliban or al qaeda forces." retired u.s. army general jack keane reported much the same after a fact-finding trip for general david petraeus, the u.s. commander in afghanistan. keane spoke to pbs's charlie rose on tuesday. >> nothing has changed. every day, out of those sanctuaries, come forces that are killing our forces and maiming our soldiers and interfering with nato's effort at large. that is the absolute facts of it. some of them are actually receiving training from pakistan forces. >> warner: on wednesday in "the new york times," former u.s. ambassador to afghanistan zalmay khalilzad said it was time to get tougher with the pakistanis. "the united states should demand that pakistan shut down all sanctuaries and military support programs for insurgents," he wrote," or else we will carry
out operations against those insurgent havens, with or without pakistani consent." late this afternoon, secretary clinton and her counterpart downplayed reports of differences over fighting terrorism. >> yes, there were concerns on both sides. and we shared them. and why not? and why not? but our relationship is often misunderstood with what is reported in the media. ( laughter ) >> i have nothing to add to that. >> warner: despite today's good humor, it will up to congress to decide if today's aid package is funded. >> and joining me now is the administration special representative for afghanistan and pakistan, richard holbrooke, thanks for coming. >> pleased to be here. >> warner: there was warm feels on display at the state department but did the u.s. get a commitment from the pakistanis to do more on the issue that really is of such concern, namely, go after these sanctuarys in
their territory? >> pakistanis have said repeatedly and repeated again today in the strategic dialogue that they are doing everything they can. they, we urge them to do more. and they are doing gradually more, not as much, perhaps, than we would want. but i want to stress that the situation in terms of what they are doing is a lot better than it was a year and a half ago. they're engaged. they've lost 30,000 of their own people in this terrorist war. and right now 70,000 troops are diverted to flood relief. but they said they will do more. >> warner: so did general key ani, we saw quick footage, powerful man in pakistan, did he make a commitment to do more because of this meeting or did he bring anything to the meeting even if he can't send forces in there, maybe shut down supply lines? >> well, first of all, i don't want to go into the details of highly sensitive tactical issues in which he
is in very close dialogue with admiral mullen, as we speak, in fact. and with general petraeus. the situation along the border is extraordinarily difficult. that board certificate not sealable. we have trouble ceiling our own borders in a peacetime situation with mexico. but the pakistanis are doing more. say they want to do more, and we want to work closely with them. and that's about all i feel free to say on that subject. >> warner: when you first took this job, we've had interviews with myself and others here, you used to say, you weren't sure yet whether the isi, pakistani intelligence and or military, at least elements were aiding and abetting these extremists. is there any doubt in your mind now that that is going on? >> i think that's a very difficult question. because there is evidence on both sides of the issue. they, as secretary clinton said today, they are our
closest collaborator in the counterterrorism efforts. and there's an he more-- enormous amount that goes on where we work together. on the other hand, there are areas which are very disturbing. and the general with cha charles ree rose segment alluded to them. i'm to the going to get into dispute of details. the fact is that we, that i think people are so into the narrative that you are hearing that they have not k3578 in-- examined the fact that we are working together closely against the terrorists, but not in every area. and one area in particular, north waziristan where the network is poised against the eastern part of afghanistan and cuts in towards kabul is an area of enormous concern to us. >> warner: what did you make
of what the former u.s. ambassador to afghanistan and elsewhere, a job you once he would to the u.n., wrote in the times this week, that it, nothing had really changed and it was really time to get tough and give them a choice? >> i like zal and i have great respect for him and for his service to the country. the suggestion he made, however, would have an absolutely unambiguous and certain response. pakistan is a sovereign nation. and what that article advocated appeared to me to be a unilateral crossborder operation, apparently on the ground, and that would result in a collapse of the relationship. and that would put our policy in afghanistan into the most serious mortal peril. we have to work with the pakistanis. it's very difficult at times. but one has to understand that it is a sovereign country. i know because i run into this when i go out on the street, the people come up to me and say, we got to tell the pakistanis that
they got to do x or else. well, the correct answer is or else what? we are working together. and we have different situations. and we have to reconcile them. this strategic dialogue which hillary clinton has now headlined three times in seven months here and in islamabad and will continue next year with a visit here with president zadari and a vice by president obama has made a tremendous-- tremendous moves forward. we will continue to move forward. at the same time it is clear that there can be consequences if the united states is attacked from whatever country they are attacked from. >> warner: one thing tha that-- suggested is greater incentives and-- incentives they would like, a familiar one, is for the u.s. to do more to push india and pakistan into resolving their differences, particularly over kazmir. the president is going to india next month-- kashmir,
is the president going to be any greater effort on the u.s. part to get those two parties to resolve that, which, of course, then would make pakistan ostensibly feel freer to move even more forces away from the indian border and to the-- the president, the secretary of state and the rest of us have said repeatedly and i will say it again, that we would welcome any reduction in tensions or any agreements between india and pakistan. we'll be happy to be of help if both sides want us to be. but we are not going to unilaterally put ourselves in the position of intermediation on issues in which our direct involvement, if not desired by both sides, would work against that objective. so let me repeat, whatever the two countries do to reduce their own tensions would be welcomed by us. but when-- . >> warner: but you're not nudging them. >> i want to be clear on what i said. we are not going to put ourselves without invitation into a position of intermediation, in an issue of such extraordinary and
historic sensitivity. >> warner: let me get to another issue. the pakistanis came into this meeting with complaints of their own, particularly concerning the peace talks that are, at least the negotiations or talks about talks that seem to be under way between the karzai government and some high ranking taliban. nato actually facilitating the movement of these taliban figures from pakistan to afghanistan. pakistanis say they are being cut out. any change there? are they being cut out? or do they have a useful role to play. >> first of all the news stories you are referring to are way out ahead of the facts. you used two phrases, negotiations and then you amended it to talks about talks. let's stick with the second version which is quite accurate there are no negotiations. there are plenty of contacts among afghans. general petraeus in his public comments was referring to the fact that at the afghan government's request, nato is willing to support afghan-led discussions. and that's all that is happening. and the pakistanis are not being cut out.
we've talked extensively to them about it in the last few days. i met with general qiani on it, we had some extensive discussion and they understand what is going on. >> warner: but they're not playing any role right now. >> i didn't say that. what i said is they are not being cut out. of course the-- there is no solution in afghanistan unless pakistan is part of that solution. and not simply as it had been in the past part of the problem. prime minister galani a few days ago in pakistan said exactly the same thing, we are going to be part of the solution. the general said this weak we don't want a taliban take over in afghanistan that would be bad for us. we are working to find the strategic overlap between our interests, the defense of the homeland and elimination of al qaeda, pakistani interests and afghan interests it is a
very complicated equation but the pakistanis are to the being cut out and we're paging progress. >> warner: ambassador holbrooke, thank you so much. thanks for coming. >> brown: still to come on the newshour: the firing of juan williams; a house race in an economically- battered ohio district; plus, shields and brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: the wikileaks website released the largest batch of secret u.s. documents in history today, nearly 400,000. >> they also indicate u.s. officials failed to pursue accounts of iraqi authorities brutalizing prisoners. wikileaks earlier published more than 90,000 documents on the iraq war. doctors and aid officials doctors and aid officials in haiti fought today to contain an outbreak of cholera. at least 142 people have died, mainly in the central part of the country. thousands of earthquake refugees
now live there, in squalid camps. cases of cholera have swamped hospitals in the region, with more than 1,000 people affected. the fast-moving bacterial infection causes severe diarrhea and can kill within hours. at the u.n. in new york, officials said today they do not know how far the outbreak might spread or what the mortality rate will end up being. >> we are still in early days and it is very difficult. and we certainly would not use the statistics of 10% mortality rate at this point. we're just getting the reports of both the deaths as well as the number of people affected. and those numbers can change. >> sreenivasan: haitian prime minister jean-max bellerive said he's worried the outbreak could reach all the way to the capital in port-au- prince. for more on the situation on the ground, i spoke earlier this afternoon with eric lotz of operation blessing international. he's working at the center of the cholera outbreak, in bambou laporte. >> can you describe the last 24 hours? >> yesterday morning we got the call that there was was an outbreak here that we
needed to respond to. and within just a couple of hours we were mobilized to get here. things went from not expect what to find to horror when we were at the hospital. almost every square foot of the hospital grounds inside and outside were covered with people laying on mattresses, laying on matts. laying on cardboard boxes, sometimes. not even able to get up because of the amount of pain that they are in. we left the hospital and village and started setting up our first water filtration system here. coming down the road towards the village there were just hundreds of people lined on both sides of the street with buckets hoping that we had water to give them. it wasn't water that we had, we had filtration units that allowed them to get water. we pulled water out of the same river that made them dirty, treated it, cleaned it up. put it back in their balk ets-- buckets and now they have clean water to drink. >> reporter: so what is the situation on the ground as you see it now? >> out here in the village where we are at now people
are still, many places without clean water. we are mobilizing right now, actually, to take a load out to a village, remote village at the end of a long road, alongside the river. the same river that made them sick. we should be at that village. >> i know your operation has been pretty good about trying to get filtration systems out there but is there a chance this is going to get worse? >> well, you know, we're hoping that by nipping it in the bud as quick as we are and getting the word out of the people to stop drinking the local water, we are really hoping this is going to take care of this, at least localized outbreak. >> reporter: and is there a threat here that some of these people could be coming back into city centers like port-au-prince. >> i mean that is always a possibility. as they are cured of the sickness, they can still carry it back in the form of just, you know, bacteria on their skin, on their hands, carry it back to families in
port-au-prince and just the simple act of cooking a meal can make their whole family sick. if this reached port-au-prince it could have devastating circumstances. >> reporter: eric lotz, thanks for your time. >> thank you.b >> sreenivasan: one third of all adult americans-- up to 100 million people-- may have diabetes by the year 2050. the centers for disease control and prevention issued that new projection today. it's up sharply from estimates that one in ten americans now have diabetes, or about 24 million people. the spread of the disease is closely tied to rising obesity rates. french police forced protesters to step aside today and reopened a vital oil refinery. striking workers had blockaded the site in a bid to kill pension reforms. police and the strikers jostled in front of the gates of the refinery 50 miles east of paris. it's the closest source of gasoline supplies to the french capital. in paris, the french senate today passed legislation that includes raising the partial retirement age from 60 to 62 and the full retirement age from 65 to 67. wall street turned in mixed
results for the day, but gains for the week. the dow jones industrial average lost 14 points today to close at 11,132. the nasdaq rose more than 19 points to close at 2,479. for the week, both the dow and the nasdaq gained just over half a percent. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and we turn to the ousting of npr's juan williams. we begin with some background. it all began with a discussion about terrorism on "the o'reilly factor," part of the fox network, where juan williams has been a senior news analyst. >> when i get on a plane, i got to tell you, if i see people who are dressed in muslim garb and i think they are identifying themselves first and foremost as muslims, i get worried, i get nervous. >> brown: but williams also was a news analyst for national public radio, and wednesday night, npr fired him for his remarks. npr's chief executive vivan schiller issued a written statement, saying in part: "williams' remarks on "the
o'reilly factor' this past monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with npr." elaborating in an internal memo, schiller said the firing came after a pattern of public comments by williams. then, at a pre-scheduled speech yesterday, schiller stirred some further controversy of her own. >> if you want to be a political activist, you may not also be a reporter or news analyst for npr. his feelings that he expressed on fox news are really between him and his, you know, psychiatrist or publicist. >> brown: she later apologized for making what she called a "thoughtless" remark. >> an analyst with npr has been fired. >> juan williams fired by... >> this is disgraceful. npr needs to hire juan williams back. >> brown: critics of the firing pointed out that, later in the same discussion, williams had challenged host bill o'reilly's claim that "the muslims attacked
us on 9/11." >> there are good muslims. i think that's a point, you know? we don't want, in america, people to have their rights violated, to be attacked on the street because they hear rhetoric from bill o'reilly and they act crazy. >> brown: today, williams questioned npr's motivations and politics in an interview on abc's "good morning, america". >> i've always thought the right wing was the ones that were inflexible and intolerant. and now, i'm coming to realize that the orthodoxy at npr, if it's representing the left, is just unbelievable. and especially i think for me, as a black man, to somehow say something that's out of the box, they find it very difficult. and i think that's right, george. i think they were looking for a reason to get rid of me. >> brown: indeed, the biggest blasts today came from the conservative right... from sarah palin, who tweeted, "juan williams. u got taste of left's hypocrisy. they screwed up firing you." ...to house republican whip eric cantor, who issued a statement suggesting that federal funding
to npr should be cut. meanwhile, fox news announced yesterday that it had given williams a new multiyear contract worth nearly $2 million and expanded his role. we take a look this now with: callie crossley, a former producer for abc news; now kelly mcbride, who teaches ethics at the poynter institute, a journalism training center in st. petersburg, florida. and robert zelnick, a former correspondent for abc news. he's now a professor of journalism at boston university's college of communication. and a research fellow at the hoover institution. callie crossley, start with npr's position here. do they have a case to make in separating themselves from one of their own news analysts like this? how do you weigh it out? >> well, they do have a case to make but let's be clear.
this latest incident was really not the reason for the firing. i mean i think they expressed it by saying there was a pattern. he had gotten in trouble about a year ago and there was a great public hue and cry then about language used and opinion expressed. and so i think this was just a last straw for npr. and this was their response. and of course they have the right to fire him for that they have a set of standards and rules. i have to say that, you know, he's been himself for quite some time so he has been pressing up against those rules and standards for some time as well. i think it just got to the point of being unbearable and particularly in a situation where we're talking about muslims. and this has been something that bill o'reilly had kicked off on the view, if you will, this latest expression. and it seemed to be a continuation of this. i should point out that brian killmeade who is not a journalist recently had to apologise for saying that all muslims were terrorists as well.
so this is out here in the public. and that's where npr was trying to protect itself by saying hey, okay, no more. here is what i think is the issue. juan williams was described as an analyst on npr where the expectation was at the core of his comments would be analysis. whereas on fox, he's a commentator and the core of his comments is pointed opinion. and that's two different cultures. >> brown: let me bring robert zelnick first into this. what strikes you here? what do you think? >> a couple of things. first of all, i watched hundreds of juan williams pieces and most of them are analytical. i think the analysis doesn't always cut in the direction i would like to see it. and i think the offering to o riel-- o'reilly was also more analyst-- analyst cast-- analyst cast will he used unfortunate wording in druing on his own experience as an air traveler. but i don't think there was
anything remotely approaching cause for firing in this particular instance. nor over a period of listening to williams in my view. >> brown: because, i mean, and why do you think they did fire him? >> i think they fired him because of a hypersensitiveity to offending one racial group or another. and sometimes the news is difficult to take and it has to be administered in an unvarnished fashion. and people object to it. i think the situation with muslims is probably darker and more bleak than npr allows. although again, i think as williams did in his conversation with o'reilly, he pointed out that the majority of islamic people are perfectly law-abiding,
peace loving just like the rest of us. but after you have an incident like 9/11 or embassies getting blown up or terror being planed in afghanistan and elsewhere, with the quran used to justify this sort of thing this is exactly what causes problems in advance-- even in advanced democracies. this country is not unique. britain has its problems. france has its problems. germany, denmark, holland. so i don't see how noting this very salient fact should be grounds for dismissal for anybody. >> brown: let me bring kelly mcbride in here. you look at a lot of different news organizations. so as a question of sort of media policy, are the rules clear here about where the report, you know, the line of what reporters can talk about or journalists can talk about with opinion, are the rules clear for most organizations? >> well, for most organizations the guidelines
are pretty clear. but they vary from organization to organization. and i think what you see in this particular case is that npr has a completely different set of standards about what type of opinion it will tolerate from its employees than fox news has. and you know, as kelley pointed out there have been prior incidents where these two different news organizations and their different set its of values have clashed. and so this was perhaps inevitable that this was going to happen. but for the most part when you become a journalist in a newsroom in most organizations across the country, it is clear that you have to be circumspect about your own opinion approximates about divisive issues. >> but it is, call-year just to stay with you, it is not that uncommon that there could be someone who appears in one, writes for a paper, appears on television, has relationships with different
organizations, right? >> oh, yeah. in fact, the industry is trending that way for certain individuals. i think the trick is to make sure that those different organizations have similar values. when you get into a situation where, like juan williams did where you have two organizations with completely different journalistic values, i think it's only a matter of time before the whole thing blows up on you. >> so callie crossley, help the viewer here. the blurring of the lines, we've talked about this on this program on a number of instances. the blurring of the lines. what should-- what should viewers or readers take from this? >> well, first i want to say that there is one person who is operating in both the cultures that we are talking about, fox and npr. and i think the difference there is that she's consistent in her tone, temperment and opinion wherever she is. juan t seemed to me, was different on npr than he was on fox. and that's where perhaps the
inevitability that kelly speaks of pite come into play that he would get into trouble. but i think if the person is consistent, they can work across multiple platforms. so let me put that out there. i think people have to become media literate and understand where there is analysis and where people have beginning with facts as a foundational part of the foundation. in this case, what makes this tough is because part of his comments were very personal, just you know, how i feel when i get on the plane. and the other part spoke to, i think it's a fact that, you know, terrorists are muslims. and that's where i think the problem came in. i think there would be less response to his saying, even though i find it distasteful, okay, i'm uncomfortable when i get on the plane, that's a very personal emotional thing. the other part of it, i'm back to the point of bob mentioned language and we have to be careful about what language do we use. and i like to point out that his comment saying about
good muslims got lost in this. i didn't hear it. it was way down in the conversation after much, much discussion about muslims being terrorists. >> brown: mr. zelnick, come back. one thing i want to ask you, do you worry about the blurring of lines here? for the viewer, i mean. >> i worrisome what about the blurring of lines. i don't think there was that kind of blurring in this situation. reporters very often refer to personal experiences, even when they are delivering objective reports. so i may be in mild disagreement with my esteemed colleague callie crossley, it's great to be with you again. and i do think that if you take npr as an example and you say their standards are so strict, they were stricter than anything else around-- people listen npr and they walk away saying god, it's just absolutely liberal in its orientation and its outlook and its reporting. and i don't think that is an
excuse for what happened. i think they cut out somebody that they didn't like because he was not quite espousing the blooinz kelly mcbride, a final wore from you. what do you take from all this. and what should viewers watching take? >> well, i think people are going to learn eventually to get smarter about what the different standards are from different newsrooms. i think it's absolutely expected that at that point in time where i think we will see more of these incidents we see more and more media voices rise to influential positions. you know, there used to be a handful of networks and a couple of national newspapers. and now we have start ups, we have the huffington post, we have talking points memo, we have little green
footballs, we have cable television there are so many more voices out there. and they're such a greater variety in terms of journalism and the standards of journalism that are delivered to the audience. i think as citizens we're going have to learn to diagnose the standards and to ask questions of those providers in a way that we maybe didn't have to ten years ago. >> brown: all right, kelly mcbride, callie crossley, robert zelnick, thank you all three. >> thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and to campaign politics and the second of several stories from our "patchwork nation" project. on air and online, we've been reporting on how the bad economy is affecting communities across the country. tonight, special correspondent betsy stark reports on a contest for a house seat from a hard hit district in northeastern ohio.
>> reporter: it's two hours before show time at the factory of terror in canton, ohio-- according to "the guinness book of records, the longest haunted house in the world. >> what are you in the process of becoming? >> a creature.q >> reporter: the night we were there, there was a two-hour wait to get inside; 1,500 people paying $23 apiece to be shocked, disoriented, and horrified. >> we got company, boys! >> reporter: before this abandoned property was turned into a spook house... it was a real factory, a working foundry that made aluminum parts used by auto makers from g.m. to jaguar to build cars. >> to me, it was completely awesome. there was heavy manufacturing here. they actually took aluminum, raw aluminum.
they melted it in furnaces, they machined it-- the whole nine yards. we're like, "you know what? this building is going to survive." it's living, it's... something's going to happen here. we're not going to let this building die. >> reporter: by day, the owners of the factory of terror run a demolition company, a family business that's been a fixture in northeastern ohio for more than 50 years. when john eslich's grandfather started in the 1950s, canton was a manufacturing powerhouse, offering good lives with secure retirements. today, this former aluminum factory, which once employed workers year-round, is now open for business just 20 days a year. and many of the 85 people who work here as goblins and ghouls are grateful for even temporary work. nick katusin is a full-time student and father of two. does the money that you make here help out at home? >> oh, yeah, definitely. >> reporter: what does it help with? >> any extra bills that we have.
it's just money in the bank, that little extra buffer zone that people like to have. >> reporter: economists say the recession that has battered the nation for the last two years has plagued this part of ohio for a decade. >> stark county's been pretty much continuously losing jobs for the whole of the last decade. two out of every five manufacturing jobs that stark county had ten years ago are no longer here. now, losing two-fifths of the main sector of your economy is a disaster. >> reporter: by almost any measure, the citizens of stark county face some of the harshest economic conditions in the country. the unemployment rate here is well above the national average. according to the latest census, a quarter of the children in this county now live in poverty. and in what was once a manufacturing hub, more people now collect unemployment checks than work in manufacturing jobs. so it's not surprising that this election season, it's all about
the economy and jobs in the ohio 16th, a rustbelt battleground that pits john boccieri, a freshman democrat who's warning voters not to "hand the keys back to the folks who drove us into the ditch" against jim renacci, a wealthy businessman who says the incumbent campaigned as a conservative, but has voted "the liberal obama/pelosi agenda that has hurt ohioans". neither message seems to have caught fire in a district dante chinni of the "patchwork nation" project describes as much more than a manufacturing community, a district that voted for john mccain even as the state went for barack obama. republicans had a virtual lock- hold on this district until 2008. is that surprising for a district with manufacturing at its heart? >> well, i think it might be surprising to some, just because we think of manufacturing centers as being democratic. but the fact of the matter is,
these places in particular, the type of district this is, this is small-town america. canton is the biggest city here, but really, when you stretch out the district, its a bunch of small towns along u.s. 30. >> reporter: as we traveled around stark county, the largest county in the 16th, we found a kind of weary resignation to the joblessness here. at st. john's catholic church in canton, where the local community center serves a free hot meal every thursday to anyone who needs it, virtually everyone we met is struggling. >> i was laid off about a month ago. it's getting kind of tough. it wasn't like i was making a great deal of money, but i had enough money to live. and right now? that's why i'm here. >> you cant go to a fast food restaurant, ask to fill out an application, and expect to get a job. that's how bad it is. >> reporter: in the 29 years she's worked at the community center, director debbie horn says she's never seen it this bad.
>> some of the people who were our donors in the past are now at the front door asking for assistance. >> reporter: people who used to give you money are now asking for help? >> yes, its sad. >> reporter: and we found many people asking: in the face of all this, does my vote really matter? are you going to vote in this election? >> probably not. seems useless. no matter who you put in, it's the same thing. >> reporter: who are you going to vote for in this race? >> what difference does it really make? all of them make promises. >> part of it is that simply there's a sense that the change that people voted for in 2008 hasn't happened, that things haven't improved the way they were supposed to. and even some of the legislation that has been passed has not yet changed peoples ordinary lives. >> reporter: on a perfect fall day in north lawrence, ohio, on the stark county line, we learned that even voters who have jobs see jobs as the number one issue in this race.
>> i have a job, but a lot of people i know don't have a job, so that's the main thing, getting the jobs back here where we need them. >> i'm concerned about what's best for my family and how we're going to keep jobs in our community and keep our community strong. >> reporter: throughout the district, many we spoke to are still undecided about which candidate will do the best job of creating jobs. >> by the time i go in there, i'll know. >> reporter: are you going to vote in this election? >> i'm not sure. >> i have to do some more research. >> i'm not decided on anyone particular yet. >> reporter: these days, real life in stark county is harrowing enough. and there seems to be little conviction that a congressional election can change that, which is why many voters seem to be waiting until after halloween to make up their minds. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark
shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. say taste of halloween there and a tough congressional district in northeastern ohio. david a what dow take away from that. and what does that say about the rest of the state of ohio and the rest of the midwest? >> my first impression is all the people at the end who said they were not sure who they would vote for, they are probably not going to vote. the people are energized decided who they are going to vote. ohio has been in this situation a couple decades. industrial midwest is loss these jobs and what is interesting politically is it shifted dramatically, ohio has, from brown, one of the more liberal members of the senate. now on the senate side they will probably vote for rob portman and portman is a pet project of mine because people focus on christine o'donnell so much and some of the backier republican nominees, port nunn is a very responsible, very serious person who is running for the senate. doesn't say any stupid things about witchcraft. and ease's got a huge lead, like a 15, 20 point lead. and what's particularly
interesting about that especially concerning the joblessness there is portman is an ardent free trader. and the senator from oy is not. and portman seems to be cruising to victory even though he is for free trade and globalization. >> woodruff: that means more job kos leave. >> what all this means is people want jobs but nobody has a recipe for how to get them. so they are trying different things. >> woodruff: how do you see it? >> yeah, i would say a couple of things. first of all historically when times are bad, voters especially in the industrial midwest have turned to the democrats. and this areas that's not the case. democrats hold the state houses in pennsylvania, ohio, illinois, wisconsin, iowa, michigan. and the-- minnesota is held by a republican. the only state where the democratic candidate for governor has consistently lead in the polling has been minnesota where there is a republican. it is a changed election. this is a groundhog day election. i mean bill-- the same day,
this is 2006, 2008, 2010. this a change election. they're throwing people out so the democrats it was the republicans who were in office in 2006-2008. unfortunately for them they are in office and feeling the wrath of the voters. i would say in that particular district, the 16th district of ohio the stark county mess along can done-- . >> woodruff: you know that state well. >> the freshman democrat f he does survive and he is a superb candidate and democrats hope, it will be david rogers of "politico" made this point t will be in large part because the democratic leadership in the house made the decision to let the house members out 30 days earlier. he's a brilliant one-on-one campaigner. and if he does survive t will be because of his effective retail campaigning. >> broadening it out a little bit, early voting has begun. i guess there are 32 states where people are already voting. david, are we seeing any patterns here? >> we're seeing some
patterns of. we're seeing in general republicans are voting early, in greater proportion than their registration numbers. but i'm struck by it's not a huge effect so there are more republicans voting than you would expect district by district but it's not like it's 2- -- it's slightly above. so i'm not sure what we can tell any tea leaves. if you look at the polls what is striking to me is consistent building of momentum at least on a national level for republicans. so on the generic, do you want a republican or democrat, republicans continue to gain and especially among independents, in the pew poll, republicans have an advantage 49-30 among independents and gallop poll, it's 59-31. so even though people have continued to be angry and the democrats are getting more active, among independents republicans are still continuing to gain nationally. i'm not sure we see too much from the early voting though. >> woodruff: you see a change if the dynamic with this early voting. >> well, i don't. i mean basically the sale people who voted early vote late. i mean there really isn't. in 2008 the democrats made a
great effort among african-american voters and they did increase their turnout considerably among latino voters. i personally have grave reservations about early voting. i mean-- . >> woodruff: really? >> i think that election day is the closest thing we have to a civic sack riment. when people meet their neighbors at the fire house and school and vote at the same time, i think it's important that campaigns be aired all the way through, that people aren't voting three weeks before, before debates are held. i just think there's a lot. i mean we've gone now from one out of 20 voting early, and there is a reason that people vote absentee, obviously people in the military, people who are bed riden, people who have to travel. but now it's become sort of a, you know, just sort of a casual thing. and vote any time at all. if doesn't increase turnout it hasn't increased continueout, really. and i don't think it's a healthy development. i sound like an old foggy. >> woodruff: curmudgeon. >> i completely agree with that. a campaign is an argument.
it's a drama it has different stages. and you should see the wol drama before you make your decision. >> election day now has become the last day to vote. >> right. >> woodruff: but making exceptions for those people that can't get to the polls. >> absolutely. >> woodruff: we are getting close, we are now what, 11 days away. what kind of predictions are you feeling about the house and the senate? >> if i had to put it over-- over under i'm fearless about this. no one will remember. i would have to say the republicans will pick up 512 seats in the house which easily give them control. and that is about where -- >> they need 39. >> right, they need 39 and if you just extrapolate from where the polls are you could easily get up to 65. i think that is unrealistic but i would say 52 is the over under, it could be 39, it could be 69 but i would put it there at 52 which will be a big win, about 94. on the senate i'm completely befuddled because what you are seeing on the senate side is races tightening in both directions. so in pennsylvania where republicans had advantages the democrats are catching up. in california, where the
democrats had advantages, the republicans are catching up. so you are seeing this tightening against either party in the senate and now you have eight seats which are really razor thin and it is hard to tell how those are going to shake out. but i guess i would get like 7, 8 republican pickups. >> woodruff: but not a majority. i'm going to put you on the spot, the house. >> well, if you talk to democrats in public they maintain the upbeat manner and brave face but in private they're quite pessimistic. and i'm reluctant to put a number on it until next week, i will be honest with you. because i think campaigns do matter. and i think what happens in the last week can affect a whole dozens of races. but i will say that about the senate races. senate races are different from house races in the sense that they are more candidate driven. the higher the office, that is, i mean governor center, president, the more important the candidate. and you know, so those races, david's absolutely right. they are, i mean, joe sustak
closed the gap with pat tumey the republican in pennsylvania, and barbara boxer who had an early and stronger lead over carly fiorino in that race is tightening. that doesn't have a political partisan, i think is candidate driven. >> but candidate driven, i agree with that but why should candidate driven tighten, people are sick of both candidates is my theory and it shakes out evenry. >> woodruff: speaking much being sick there are a lot of ads being run, in some-of-these state, and the more stories today, "the wall street journal" had one that said of the, the money being spent by outside groups it is the union. the government employees union asked me-- asme, is spending more by millions and you can look at the numbers here. over the course of two years. but just look at that again and how much does all that money, how much difference does it make in the final analysis. >> david and i have a serious disagreement here. if makes a serious
difference and let me tell you why. i mean asme stands for the american federation of state county municipal employees. the reason they can spend this money is because of the court decision they can spend treasury money. they used to have spend voluntary contributions of members, that is all they can spend. now corporations can reach into their treasury-- treasuries which are deeper than labor unions but the point is that you know what the american federation of state county municipal employees want. they want better benefits, better pay, better job security for their workers who are publishing-- public employees. if they bake candidate you know why they are backing a candidate because that candidate is probably sympathetic to their cause. the real explosion is in these groups that we don't know that have liberty and freedom and prosper knit their name that have formed just for this election that have six and seven figures from anonymous givers that go in and attack8< candidates and hit candidates. and that's the lack of accountability, that's the lack of transparency. we don't know what their
agenda is. we don't know who is giving. and that really does change the dynamic of a race. >> we don't disagree about that. what we disagree about is how much it affects the election. and so you have all these outside givers. the first thing to remember is that outside giving is only one tent of the total giving. most came taken-- campaign spending is still given to candidates and parties. all these outside groups are a 10, that is the fail, not the dog. the secretary thing to be said is that the democrats, they are significantly outspending the republicans. and the tightest races the democrats are spending 66% more. >> woodruff: candidate money. >> candidate and party money. but since that's 90% of it, that is the big share, and then among tv ads the democrats are spending $1.50 for every dollar the republicans are spending. how much good is that doing them. i think very little. i think if you've got a state like colorado where the senate candidates are each throwing 5,000 ads at each other, if one candidate throws 7,000 as opposed to 5,000, i don't think it
makes a darn's worth of difference. so i think we've reached such saturation levels, the money at this point doesn't swing election it has effects in washington in other ways but doesn't swing elections. >> it changes the dynamic of the race, judy. one of the great reforms very simple reform was the candidates requirement to appear on his or her own ad. i'm judy woodruff and a prove of this message. what these people do is hit and run people, they can change the whole dynamic of a race and the debate of a race by attacking you on grounds that a are totally baseless and force you to address that. i mean in other words, they have taken the campaign out from the candidates. david and i both believe the candidates should be accountable for the campaigns. they change the campaigns by changing the dynamic by attack one candidate. and i will just point out that the spending of these independent groups is by 8 and 9 to 1 in favor of republicans. and it's not in favor of -- >> not if you throw in afscme. >> i'm talking about the
anonymous one. >> woodruff: are you saying it is not smaller. >> it is attacking democrats that where they are spending their money attack democrat. >> a lot of that is attack republicans. what you get when you are in these districts is constant attack ads. i think most people tune it out. >> woodruff: 30 seconds left. the firing of juan williams, the analyst by national public radio. the meaning of it and what is the fallout going to be. >> williams is a former colleague of mean mine at the "washington post" and a friend for 30 years. and i think npr made a serious mistake. he is an analyst. and he isn't a correspondent. i think they did it in a terrible way, by telephone call without a personal chance to explain himself. and you know, i think he has given the right wing a tremendous opening to a tack npr which i hate to see happen because i think it is a valuable public constitution. >> i work at np, r.
i'm friended with them i think they did in a bad way. i think what he said was perfectly within the bounds of debate and the damaging thing to me is npr really worked hard over the past 10, 20 years to become straight down the middle network. i'm not sure they always were decades ago and now they really are. because of this unfortunate episode they begin to get ideaological baggage again and that is damaging. >> woodruff: we are going to leave it there. david brooks, mark shields. >> not damaging. >> woodruff: you are not damaging. neither one of you. thank you. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: the obama administration proposed a $2 billion military aid package for pakistan; and doctors and aid officials in haiti fought to contain an outbreak of ol and now, back to hari sreenivasan in our newsroom for what's on the newshour online. hari. >> sreenivasan: there's more from shields and brooks on the rundown" tonight in a special feature we call "the doubleheader." ray suarez checks in from mozambique with a new post about the country's health system. on "art beat," jeff talks to novelist nicole krauss. she wrote "the history of love"
and "great house," a finalist for the national book award. and check out our new student reporting lab site. we've developed a journalism curriculum and mentoring network to train young journalists. view their videos by following a link from newshour extra, our teacher resources site. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll look at why some homeowners facing foreclosure are struggling to get loan modifications. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: before we go, a correction: apologies to all who spotted a biology error in paul solman's story last night. we identified the building blocks of dna as amino acids; they are, in fact, nucleotides. and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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