Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 12, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

3:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. on the newshour tonight, the presidential candidates go looking for votes in battleground states. we hear from trump's campaign manager and a top clinton supporter. then, we explore how women experience sexual harassment and assault in this country, as donald trump's lewd remarks on a tape spark a national conversation. and, how ordinary moss is helping scientists detect unusually high levels of air pollution in a major city in the pacific northwest. >> moss is kind of the underdog of the plant world, in the sense that people tend to not really know what it is. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
3:01 pm
>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> ♪ love me tender ♪ love me true we can like many, but we can love only a precious few. because it is for those precious few that you have to be willing to do so very much. but you don't have to do it alone. lincoln financial helps you provide for and protect your financial future, because this is what you do for people you love. lincoln financial-- you're in charge. >> bnsf railway. >> xq institute.
3:02 pm
>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: now that there are less than four weeks left in the presidential campaign, the candidates are zeroing in on a handful of key states. donald trump kept his focus on florida today: >> i love this state.
3:03 pm
as you know, i'm here all the time. in 27 days, we're going to win florida and win back the white house. >> woodruff: he appeared in ocala, and later in lakeland, his third stop in two days in a state he badly needs in order to become president. a federal judge there this morning extended the voter registration deadline by six days, due to damage from hurricane matthew. trump's comments about women in that 2005 video have sparked the deepest divide yet in the republican party this election. a "usa today" survey found that 87 out of 331, or 26% of g.o.p.- elected governors and members of congress do not support him. his running mate, indiana governor mike pence, urged conservative christians at virginia's liberty university to stand by the ticket:
3:04 pm
>> for the sake of the sanctity of life, for the sake of second amendment to the constitution of the united states, we must decide here and now that in virginia, that next person making appointments to the supreme court will be president donald trump. >> woodruff: last night in north carolina, president obama questioned republicans and christians who accept trump despite his comments in the "access hollywood" video about groping women: >> the fact that now you've got people saying, "well, we strongly disapprove, we really disagree, we find those comments disgusting, but we're still endorsing him, we still think he should be president"-- that doesn't make sense to me. >> woodruff: hillary clinton was in pueblo, colorado, today,
3:05 pm
another battleground state, trying to build on her lead in most national polls. >> i know that if people turn out, i know if people show up, we're gonna win and we're gonna be able to do everything i've talked about. >> woodruff: as clinton attempts to maintain her lead, trump is fighting to keep republicans behind him as early voting picks up and election day draws closer. in the day's other news, the death toll from hurricane matthew climbed to 20 in north carolina. meanwhile, communities braced for another wave of damage, as floodwaters began surging downriver. governor pat mccrory said areas already hit by flooding will likely be inundated with more water, and pleaded with residents to stay clear. >> just during the past three days, we're averaging two fatalities a day, almost all of them due to drowning. stay away from the water. whether you're walking or riding in a car, do not get near the
3:06 pm
water. it will kill you. >> woodruff: hurricane matthew has now claimed the lives of at least 36 people in the u.s. meanwhile, a u.s. navy warship packed with humanitarian aid is on its way to another flood- ravaged area: haiti. nearly 500 people there died in the hurricane. another million more are in need of assistance. in afghanistan, the islamic state claimed responsibility for an attack on a shiite mosque in kabul that killed at least 18 people. officials say a gunman opened fire on worshippers tuesday night as they were observing ashoura-- one of the holiest days for shia muslims. first responders arrived on the scene, as witnesses tended to the victims. >> ( translated ): a lot of people were killed. later, around midnight, we heard another explosion, it was like a war, and people were scared. it was a horrible situation, and unbearable for us. >> woodruff: a separate bombing targeted ashoura ceremonies in
3:07 pm
northern afghanistan today. at least 14 people died, and 26 others were wounded. there was no immediate claim of responsibility. a u.s. navy destroyer was targeted today, by at least one missile launched from rebel-held territory in yemen. it is the second such incident in four days. the u.s.s. "mason" was operating just north of a strait between yemen and africa. it was not hit or damaged. houthi rebels have been suspected in both failed attacks. the pentagon said it will respond "at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner." in syria, an airstrike on the rebel-held side of aleppo, killed at least 15 people today. it came a day after russian jets resumed heavy bombing in the city. today's attack hit a busy market, leveling several shops and buildings. resolving the syrian conflict will be at the top of the agenda when u.s. secretary of state john kerry meets with his
3:08 pm
russian counterpart on saturday. >> i can't sit here and promise you that it's going to result in a new approach, a new option, a new framework, a new program. i can't tell you that it's going to-- we're going to be able to come out of this meeting, certain that a cessation of hostilities can be had. but i can promise you, and i can assure you, that the secretary is going into this meeting with that as his objective. >> woodruff: the meeting in switzerland will be the first face-to-face contact between the men since washington broke off diplomatic talks with moscow earlier this month. there is word that wells fargo c.e.o. john stumpf is retiring, effective immediately. it follows revelations that bank employees opened millions of fake accounts. on wall street, stocks were mixed after minutes from the federal reserve's september meeting supported expectations that an interest rate hike could come in december. the dow jones industrial average
3:09 pm
gained 15 points to close at 18,144. the nasdaq fell more than seven points, and the s&p 500 rose two. still to come on the newshour: i talk with donald trump's campaign manager, with a top clinton supporter and with the vice presidential nominee of the libertarian party; the national conversation on the sexual abuse and harassment women face; and how studying moss lead portland, oregon to discover high levels of air pollution. >> woodruff: we return now to the race for the white house, and we begin with donald trump's campaign manager, kellyanne conway. kellyanne conway, welcome back to the program. let me start with the average of all the national polls right now. you're very familiar with it. hillary clinton 5 to 7 points
3:10 pm
ahead. donald trump hasn't been leading nationally since the end of july. you have state polls showing where he's losing support even in states that are reliably republican. where do you see this race right now? >> so the race right now is one where we are going to try to start making up the gap, judy, in terms of paid advertising. we have been out-spent 7-1 and 10-1 in some places and even more. we've budgeted for a significant ad buy particularly in the ten or eleven states where we see this race headed, that would be a variety of states president obama carried twice. we're trying to pierce that democratic blue wall which is a real concern for any republican presidential candidate, and it's also a matter of capt. investment, where governor pence and mr. trump are spending their days, also focused on the ten or eleven swing states. and it's the brass tax it's
3:11 pm
always been but just at a fever pitch, working with the r.n.c. to beef up our ground game, our field staff. it's been a fairly impressive collaboration and now we're moving people around, some of our talented folks, in states where mrs. clinton might win and we're deploying people into those states. >> woodruff: the "wall street journal" reporting today in effect your campaign is giving up on getting voters beyond the base of the republican party, that you're focusing on that base, on getting them out and on depressing voters who are committed to hillary clinton. is that the strategy you've decided on? >> no, that would actually not be a winning strategy. of course, each of the candidates has to excite their base, and donald trump's done a much better job of that. he owns the enthusiasm, the momentum and big crowds you see every day at these rallies and
3:12 pm
forums. and he also is trying to get those independents. so the goal for us is to increase the number of republicans who are supporting mr. trump in the nbc news "wall street journal" poll he's up about 85%, so is mrs. clinton. get up to 90%. get the millennials, the harder to reach audiences. also we see hillary clinton's having a hard time enthusing her base. she has a very popular president and first lady out there trying to campaign for her, but so far their popularity is not transferable to her. you're reading all the articles her campaign is having infusing some of the obama coalition for her. >her. >> woodruff: don't you have a problem with your base? you have a number of prominent republicans who are saying they're not going to support donald trump both in congress and among the governors. isn't this a serious drag now on the campaign? >> we have to take the case directly to the voters,
3:13 pm
including in the states, judy. and i will take note that just today you have a number of them, senators saying, okay, i changed my mind, i actually am going to vote for him. in the case of some, joe heck in nevada, deb fisher in nevada, in north dakota, the fourth highest ranking senator for the republican party in washington, all said yes, we're going to support him, taking a step backward from what they said over the weekend. so i think what happens is they hear from some of their voters saying we want you to support the presidential nominee and we want you to run as a ticket. so but, look, donald trump just has to take his case directly to the voters, including states where the elected officials say they're not going to endorse him. >> woodruff: well, what we know has turned off not only republican elected officials but traditionally republican voters is that video-audiotape with access hollywood where we heard
3:14 pm
donald trump speaking of grabbing a woman sexually, we heard him speaking about trying to have sex with a married woman, about -- because you are a celebrity you can get away with it. you, kellyanne conway, have children yourself. were you offended by that? >> yes. it wouldn't matter if i have children or not or if i'm a woman or not. of course, i was offended. i agree with donald trump and imaginia trump and mike pence on this, the commence are offensive and reprehensible. no one was asked to defend them or should. i'm glad donald trump apologized and i was with him when it was revealed the tape existed and i saw immediately a man who you saw publicly apologizing, asking for forgive necessary and then also saying that he will resolve to go forward and continue to fight this election on the issues that he's been fighting all along. he doesn't agree with president obama and hillary clinton that
3:15 pm
i.s.i.s. is in retreat and they're the j.v. team of our enemies. he doesn't agree with the three or four supreme court justice nominations of hillary clinton or saying she promises to raise taxes. he doesn't agree with her position on obama care that has not helped the many americans it was intended to help. >> woodruff: these stories continue to come, an interview in 2005 with howard stern talking about walking in on a miss u.s.a. pageant when they weren't dressed and he said do that because i own the pageant, in the 1990s, walking in on contestants of a miss teen u.s.a. pageant. how much more do you think there is of this out there? >> i don't know. i don't see the equal coverage, respectfully. i do know what hillary clinton
3:16 pm
was doing all those decades also. she's been lying then and is lying now. the idea that we're not going to talk about what she was doing in the 1990s, including naming and shaming these women in their husbands' eyes, the way she treated women all of them, the way she lied about whitewater and under sniper fire in bosnia and lied to the benghazi families. she has a real veracity problem, judy, and we know that voters believe honesty and trustworthiness is also a qualification for president and many voters don't think she is qualified or fit based on her record as secretary of state and based on her unremarkable record as united states senator and her casual relationship with the truth. it's important to talk about both candidates and their vulnerabiities. we don't see it from a sheer content analysis day by day. >> woodruff: a voter at a mike pence rally yesterday said, if hillary clinton wins this election, we need to have a revolution. he said, no, that's wrong, we
3:17 pm
don't. how does donald trump see that? >> well, i agree with governor pence and i'm so glad he had the presence of mind to say that, meaning sometimes you're in a rally, you don't hear what people say completely, i'm so glad governor pence immediately told her no. i will echo that. donald trump has said time and again he wants to be president of the united states to enact all this change and disrupt washington, but if he doesn't win he will support hillary clinton as president, we all will. we love this country. our love for the country and its people transcends partisan politics, that's very clear. but over the four weeks or so, less now, we will be fighting to win this election, and if hillary clinton prevails, then we will respect that and work with her as president of the united states. >> woodruff: kellyanne conway, the campaign manager for donald trump, we thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: and now we turn to a supporter of secretary clinton. guy cecil is the co-chair and chief strategist at priorities
3:18 pm
u.s.a., a democratic political action committee, or super pac. guy cecil, thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: kellyanne conway says there is a clear path for donald trump to win this election. they're going after the ten or eleven states barack obama won, states they think they can peel away from the democrats. do you see that? >> i don't. i think it's incredibly difficult for a couple of reasons. number one, when you take a look at the battleground state, they are states that are rich in diversity. high purges of african-americans, of young people, of hispanics, and it's going to be very difficult for donald trump to make a case for those voters. it's also true that in battleground states in virginia, colorado and north carolina, a higher personally than the national average are white college educated voters and for the first time in 40 years, a democrat is actually leading among those voters in the polls. so there are quite a few paths for hillary to become the nominee. she starts out with an electoral college advantage, and the reality is there is a very
3:19 pm
narrow, almost impossible path for donald trump to be successful. >> woodruff: she made the point there is a lack of enthusiasm on the democratic side for hillary clinton. you don't see voters as excited as they were for barack obama. in fact, i was in georgia two weekends ago and in north carolina this week. you don't see -- you certainly do see support for hillary clinton. some of it is not as enthusiastic. how do you deal with it. >> i do think some of that is changing. hillary was at a rally in ohio just this week where 18,000 people showed up. but more concretely, when you take a look at states where there are absentee ballots or early voting or voter registration still going on, you actually see the results of increased enthusiasm among democrats. for example, a significant increase among african-americans pulling ab an absentee ballot request in north carolina. for the first time in histories, there are more registered democrats in colorado than republicans and we're seeing in ohio lines in early vote
3:20 pm
locations that are typically in democratic areas. i know there was a hangover from both primaries, but as we get closer to the election and our voters are tuning in, you're seeing the enthusiasm gap grow between the two campaigns. >> woodruff: is there a danger of overconfidence? we're reading hillary clinton's campaign is putting resources or planning to put resources into traditionally red states like georgia, utah. is that a sign -- could that be too much confidence about how this election is going? >> no. if you look at the operations on the ground in the battleground states, the clinton campaign has it covered. doesn't mean there is not work to do. a "new york times" story this morning said republican polls actually show hillary clinton leading today in georgia. i expect we'll see polls show her leading in arizona. from my perspective, we should be expanding the map as significantly as possible, and i think that's in marked contrast to where the republicans are
3:21 pm
currently playing. they are defend ago lot of territory they absolutely must win. states like utah, for example. >> woodruff: you don't think there is a danger of overconfidence in. >> no, i think democrats operate in one condition, and that is abject panic about the election, and i suspect even if we're having a pretty good week, that will continue. >> woodruff: kellyanne conway conway brought up, when i asked her about the tape from access hollywood, she brought up what she and many describe as a lack of honest on the part of hillary clinton. she talked about naming and shaming women when it comes to bill clinton's infidelities in the 1990s. about whitewater. she brought up a number of things. how much of a liability is that for hillary clinton? i mean, the polls show trustworthiness continues to be an issue for her. >> sure. well, first of all, i think you can look at the past as pro log. many of these same attacks were tried against bill clinton.
3:22 pm
and 1998 was the only year that a second-term president did not actually lose seats in congress. why? because these attacks don't work, and the idea that you would attack a woman for the mistakes of her husband and the messenger of that attack would be donald trump, who has spent the last year and a half lying to the american people, i think it's just not a realistic argument, and trump is certainly not the right messenger to carry that argument to the american people. >> woodruff: well, meantime we have what appears to be a daily or every other day leaking from a publication of e-mails from wikileaks from the clinton campaign, from the most recent ones john podesta, the campaign chairman. we saw some of the language today had to do with a clinton campaign staffer communicating with people, the department of justice, about the email -- hillary clinton's email problem when she was secretary of state, language about catholics,
3:23 pm
evangelical christians, isn't this a constant drag on the campaign's ability to get its story out? >> it's important to take a step back on this point in that you have a foreign government trying to interfere in our elections number one. number two the campaign nor the press have validated these e-mails are entirely true. so it's important to look at this with some degree of caution. however, even if you were to say they were all true, conversations over email between campaign staffers pales in comparison to what we've seen revealed about donald trump in the last two weeks. hillary clinton rolled out a plan to increase credits for childcare, to allow poor people to access childcare so they can get out of their condition and find jobs. at the same time, donald trump is talking about bill clinton, taking about paul ryan, talk about things that the american people don't care about. ultimately, i believe donald trump will never allow this election to be anything other than a referendum on donald
3:24 pm
trump. >> woodruff: guy cecil, chief strategist at priorities u.s.a., thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: appreciate it. >> woodruff: and now, two former governors make up the libertarian ticket in this year's election, gary johnson of new mexico and william weld of massachusetts. i spoke with governor weld a short time ago, and began by asking if he sees a realistic path to the presidency for his ticket. ell, the only way we could run the table is if we somehow become cat nip for the national news immediatey in the everyday saga of reporting on the presidential election. we're doing everything we can to get our name recognition up from 35% to 60%. we think if that happens, our ballot position might go up to 20, 25%, and at that point, we would be very dangerous because we would be the ticket with the momentum. that's a long putt, but we are honor-bound to undertake that.
3:25 pm
it's a fascinating election all around. >> woodruff: that it is. but you're acknowledging it's a long shot. >> sure, sure. >> woodruff: you said, governor weld, last week, to the "boston globe," that you are going to be focusing exclusively for the rest of this campaign on criticizing donald trump, making sure that voters know what donald trump stands for. that sounds like you're campaigning to make sure he doesn't get elected more than you are to get elected. >> i'm not sure i used the word "exclusively" but i said he would have my full attention and he does. after the events of the last few days with the tape involving women coming out, that kind of focuses a lot of people's attention on that aspect of mr. trump's character, if you will, and it suggests to us that if we want to hunt where the ducks are, the softer votes may be the republican votes that, to this point, had been add hearing to mr. trump. but the fact of the matter is mr. trump has set his sights
3:26 pm
absolutely against everything the republican party historically has stood for. >> woodruff: but sounds like, in'ding what you have been saying last week and before that, that when push comes to shove, hillary clinton is much more acceptable to you if there can't be a libertarian in the white house than donald trump. >> yeah. i have been trying not to answer that question because you don't want to -- you don't want to be seem to be folding your tent. gary and i are in it to win if fortune should favor us. but i made no bones about it from the get-go that i think there is a big difference between donald trump and hillary clinton. never said otherwise. >> woodruff: you said she's the most experienced person -- >> i said i'm not sure anybody is more qualified on pape than mrs. clinton and i went on to say i would still vote for gary gibbogary -- gary johnson becauf the decisions he would make in
3:27 pm
fiscal and military policy, but she's certainly qualified as eight years of senate and four years of secretary of state. to suggest she's not well qualified by position and background to be president of the united states is to misstate. >> woodruff: speaking of qualification, your running mate has got an lot of attention over the last few weeks over misstatements about foreign policy, leading the experts to observe that either he was not prepared or just not knowledgeable about foreign policy. did you talk to him after these incidents? >> sure. i mean, gary feels terrible about making the fluffs because he feels he's let people down, but i know for a fact when he didn't copy on the word "aleppo" it's because he wasn't aware it was a place name. he thought mike was asking him about some anachronism. at the end of the day, prior to that incident, he had been knowledgeably conversing about syrian policy and i thought nailed it.
3:28 pm
too many rebel groups, watch out or you will have unintended consequences, we have to do a cease fire with the russians, and it blew up because to have the bombings. >> woodruff: "boston globe" reported last week that you want to be in a position to rebuild your former home the republican party after this election. >> i think it would be very interesting to be a part of the dialogue, with my libertarian hat on, as to what's going to happen after the republican party splits in two. i think there will be a schism in this cycle or before the next just as what happened to the wig party in the 19th century. >> woodruff: what do you make of what's going on? right now the speaker of the hof representatives paul ryan says he won't campaign for donald trump. >> that shouldn't be a surprise. after the last election in 2012, all the party elders got together and said next time we have to focus on free trade, outreach to the hispanic community, much more inclusion of women, much more attention to
3:29 pm
communities of color and every other ethnicity. how much of that has donald trump done? nothing. he's done 180 degrees the opposite. >> woodruff: what do you think happens to the republican party if donald trump -- >> i think the trump wing goes the way of the know nothing party to have the 1850s which was founded on anti-immigrant prejudice and conspiracy theories and violent rallies. looks like a carbon copy of the old know nothing party, and what -- the interesting question is what happens to the rest of the party, can i kind of come to its senses and rally and elect abraham lincoln three years later which is what happened when the wigs split up. >> woodruff: whatever happens on election day, do you see this country coming together after this election? >> it will be tough, particularly with mr. trump threatening mrs. clinton with jail. i mean, i think she's enough of a big person so that she certainly would make an effort to have the country come together, i have no doubt of
3:30 pm
that. it might be a little bit hard tore say you should go on bended knee to the donald. i don't see that happening. >> woodruff: just last question, you're all out for the libertarian ticket until election day? >> yes, aim. i mean, i will have comments on this and that. we may even rent a hall, but it's going to be a very interesting four weeks, and i think we will will have an impact, and my hope is we'll have an impact on those republican voters and be able to peel them away from mr. trump. >> woodruff: former governor bill weld of massachusetts, vice presidential nominee of the libertarian party, we thank you. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: online, take a detailed look at the trendlines shaping up in the swing states. that's at >> woodruff: it has been more >> woodruff: nearly a week after its release, the leaked
3:31 pm
tape of donald trump boasting of sexually harassing and assaulting women continues to raise issues that go well beyond presidential politics. john yang has that story. >> yes! the donald has scored. >> whoa, my man! >> yang: the impact of this 2005 tape of donald trump and an nbc host, billy bush, has gone far beyond politics, sparking a national discussion over misogyny, and sexual assault. >> i better use some tic tacs just in case i start kissing her. you know, i'm automatically attracted to beautiful-- i just start kissing them. it's like a magnet. just kiss, i don't even wait. and when you're a star, they let you do it. you can do anything. >> whatever you want. >> grab 'em by the ( bleep ). you can do anything. >> yang: while trump apologized for those remarks during sunday night's debate, at the same time, he tried to dismiss it. >> certainly, i'm not proud of it. but this is locker room talk. >> yang: he also raised decades- old accusations against his opponent's husband, former president clinton: >> mine are words, and his was action. his was what he's done to women.
3:32 pm
>> yang: hours before the debate, the republican nominee appeared with three women who have accused bill clinton of sexual misconduct. none of those accusations, it should be said, has ever resulted in any criminal charges. this all comes amid a heightened sensitivity about sexual assault and violence. there's the pending trial of comedian bill cosby on sexual assault charges in pennsylvania, and other, similar allegations against him. and there was the furor over the six-month jail sentence handed earlier this year to brock turner, a stanford university swimmer who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. some trump supporters have suggested that reaction to the trump tape is overblown. >> and, ladies out there, this is what guys talk about when you're not around. so if you're offended by it, grow up, okay? >> yang: but the tape prompted an avalanche of reaction on social media, after author kelly oxford shared her own sexual assault experience, and encouraged others to do the
3:33 pm
same. her callout swiftly went viral. more than 30 million people have either left a response or visited her twitter page since friday night-- a nationwide catharsis of painful experiences. and kelly oxford joins us now from burbank, california, along with anita hill, who accused supreme court justice clarence thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings. hill is now a law professor at brandeis university. and mike wise, a senior writer for espn's "the undefeated." kelly, let me start with you. as i look through your twitter feed, you've now uh got the hashtag -- you've got the hashtag "not okay" for people telling their stories. it's quite amazing to see the volume and kinds of experiences people are talking about. what has struck you about this response? >> you know, people have
3:34 pm
desperate need to discuss this topic, and i created the hashtag "not okay" because i knew the volume of people coming in would be extremely large, so i'm not shocked by how many people are coming forward. i think a lot of women discuss this with each other, a lot of women have sexual assault and rape in their families, their grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and the internet is a place where everybody has a voice and can contribute, and it's happening and it's happening right now. it's been five days and women are continuing to send me stories. >> yang: what do you think this says about our culture, that there is so much response to this? >> it says women are being abused. it's such an overwhelmingly huge problem that ignore it, as we often do, when things are this
3:35 pm
large. >> yang: professor hill, it's been 25 years since you gave your testimony on the hill in the senate. when you listen to kelly talk about the response she's gotten, what strikes you? what's your response? what are you thinking? >> the first thing i thought is 25 years ago people said they had no idea that sexual harassment was a problem. i'm struck that ms. oxford says that she understands and knows about this problem, you know, of sexual assault because, when the wave of students started protesting the problem on college campuses, people, detractors accuse them of inflating the numbers of assaults that women experience. and i think great service of
3:36 pm
this hashtag is to get these stories out so that we can debunk this idea that this is an infrequent problem and that it's not, in fact, quite severe and quite pervasive. >> yang: you say 25 years ago people sparked first discussions about sexual harassment in the workplace and other places. the kind of response that ms. ms. oxford is getting, how does that compare to the kind of response you were getting? >> well, we didn't have social media 25 years ago and, so, most of what i got were letters. i got a lot of letters, and i still get them. and the problems and behaviors range from verbal sexual harassment to physical assaults, whether in the workplace or on the streets or if schools -- or in schools. so this is really a social
3:37 pm
problem. it can appear in any arena. i think the response also is different in terms of people saying be much more skeptical. i think people may not know the extent of sexual assault, but i think, after this discussion is over, i hope that at least people will not deny that it happens at all. and i also hope that, when we start talking about these issues, that we can start from a premise that women are valued as much as the men who accost and assault them, and that has not always been the premise. >> yang: mike, it's being dismissed or donald trump and his supporters is saying this is locker room talk. you have been in a lot of locker rooms over the years, is this just locker room talk?
3:38 pm
>> i think we might expect more of our leaders, but i think locker room talk is an awful excuse. saying it's just locker room talk are like people who commit crimes say he's only human. that means you have a larger neural cortex than most animals who operate on instinct. i think we need to get out of the locker room talk culture. i don't think it's as pervasive as it used to be but i've heard some of the filth, misogyny, racism, crude jokes that went beyond dirty. so until we address that problem that it's just locker room talk, well, no, it's arrested development, you're still a boy. let's all get into the 21s 21st century and become men. >> yang: kelly oxford, is there a danger in dismissing it as locker room talk saying there are place where is this is acceptable? >> it's not acceptable anywhere.
3:39 pm
women have only had the vote for less than 100 years. before that, we were wives and essentially kind of property. we grew up and our parents wanted us to get married so somebody else could look after us. in the last few decades, it's changed. we can now have families without men, but unfortunately the dialogue, the old boys club, the locker room talk, has mysteriously not changed at all. >> yang: professor hill, what's your take on that? >> i would say to this idea it's just locker room talk, i think that's just another one of those lame excuses that are given. in other words, you could say, oh, it was just a joke, or, you know, can't you take a joke, or, really -- really, it wasn't all that bad. it's a way to have diminishing the value of women and excusing
3:40 pm
illegal behavior, and, so, i don't know anyone actually takes that seriously, but i do hear over and over people saying, well, it was just this or it's just that, as though it's the woman's fault for complaining about being sexually assaulted. so i think, again, what we have to go back and think about is from whose perspective are we going to move forward on this? are we going to continue to use language like this to protect abusers? are regoing to continue -- are we going to continue to give them slaps on the wrist when we know that they have committed these acts? or are we actually going to value women in the way we say we do and punish people when they participate in what is severe and pervasive and extensive problem. >> yang: professor hill hits it on the head, john.
3:41 pm
if we don't get into a culture of examining how this is i don', when you go to a debate a few days late around you show up on the stage and your first response is it's just words, i think that's very dangerous and i think, while there are a lot of people -- i would never mitigate anybody who commits sexual assault, but i would say those people will be found out eventually. in some ways i'm more worried about the enabling culture we have that it's so permissive to say these things and to say, oh, we're too politically correct today, but until we get into a mindset of that's wrong and the friends around you are supposed to tell you what you need to hear than what you want to hear tell you it's wrong, we're going to have this culture. >> this is a pivotal moment. how much farther are we going to
3:42 pm
move. many women are harassed, 18-34, by one poll, and we need to figure out if we are going to enable them to come forward with their complaints as opposed to enabling harassers and abusers to continue their behavior. >> yang: where do you want to see this discussion go, professor hill? you say it's a pivotal point. it started a discussion. where should it go from here? >> well, it should go really in a spelling out of what is it like to experience these problems, and that's why ms. o ms. oxford's twitter feed is so important because it's getting the stories out. that was really important 25 years ago. but it has to also, then, become embedded in our policies and procedures and workplaces. most women who are harassed don't come forward or complain because they're skeptical of the
3:43 pm
process, or they don't think anything is going to come of it if they are found to have been harassed. so we know from some very public cases that sexual assault isn't always punished even by the courts in the way that they should be. so we have got to figure out how are we going to embed women's experiences in the processes so that they trust the processes that there are fair investigations that get to the truth, and then there is appropriate punishment when abuse occurs. >> one of the things, i want to show gratitude to both women professor hill and kelly, that 25 years ago professor hill didn't have the same support system that we do through social media and whatnot. it almost became like a pick a side, you're either or a prospective justice side or ms. hill's side, and it was
3:44 pm
ridiculous in some ways. one of the disturbing things about today is people like kelly, they put themselves out there and a lot of times they will get revictimmized through some nasty tweets, somebody being snarky or somebody just being vial and foul. i think it takes a tremendous amount of courage today, even though their support system is bigger. >> i actually think, you know, if social media and the internet had been around when miss hill went through what she went through, i think she would have had a lot of support. i think the fact that she even got handwritten letters and still gets letters today is proof of that. it would have been so easy for her to get a message from a woman, it takes two second online to show your support and, honestly, the amount of backlash i have received from this has been minimal. it has been almost all support, almost all women and some men
3:45 pm
telling their stories of how rampant this abuse is in our society. >> i will also say i did get lots of support. i did hear from women almost immediately, and it was hard to get in touch with me. i still have letters from western union which i don't even know if western union is in the business of sending messages anymore, but i have faxes. people made an effort, but i still know that it takes a lot of courage to come forward and tell your story because you really don't know what the response is going to be. >> yang: anita hill, kelly oxford, mike wise, we could talk about this much longer but thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: on our website, columnist wendy thomas russell tries to answer what many parents have been thinking: how do i explain this embattled and
3:46 pm
sometimes r-rated election to children? go to to find her advice. >> woodruff: finally tonight, special correspondent cat wise looks at how an insignificant- seeming bit of vegetation helped scientists in portland, oregon discover air quality problems in certain areas of that city earlier this year. it is part of our weekly series covering the "leading edge" of science and technology. >> reporter: portland, oregon is a city that prides itself on its food trucks, bike friendly streets, and being very focused on the environment. so, many people here were shocked when it was discovered earlier this year that certain neighborhoods had high levels of heavy, toxic metals. that discovery was largely due to this woman, and her love of moss. >> moss is kind of the underdog of the plant world, in the sense
3:47 pm
that people tend to not really know what it is. >> reporter: sarah jovan is a research ecologist with the u.s. forest service. she, and a small number of other scientists, have been studying moss and lichens in forests for years to learn more about air quality. that's because moss and lichens are essentially little sponges that absorb everything in the air around them, including pollutants. but moss had never been studied extensively in an urban environment. so, several years ago, jovan and a colleague decided they'd do just that, in portland. and they chose a type of moss that can be found nearly everywhere in the city. it's called orthotrichum. >> what's interesting is it doesn't seem to mind pollution at all. it's like the twinkie of the moss world, because it seems really indestructible. >> reporter: jovan's team took samples from 346 sites around all around town. they even climbed some trees. the samples were brought back to a portland state university lab where they were processed and cleaned of debris, and then sent off for a detailed chemical analysis.
3:48 pm
the results were startling. moss from two neighborhoods contained high levels of cadmium, which can cause a host of health problems, including kidney damage, and lung cancer, if inhaled over a long time. the cadmium "hot-spots," seen in dark orange on this forest service map, were right around two artisan glass manufacturing companies. and one location also had high levels of arsenic. cadmium, arsenic, and other metals are commonly used in glassmaking. >> we knew we'd find some hotspots of pollution, but we were actually shocked. we found that the largest hotspot was associated with an industry that actually isn't regulated for arsenic and cadmium. we thought, "oh, my gosh," you know, that's an area where there are schools, there's a daycare, there's neighborhoods. >> reporter: but she still had some big unanswered questions: did the air in those neighborhoods also contain high levels of metals? was the moss acting like an early warning system?
3:49 pm
so jovan and her forest service colleagues shared their results with the state agency actually responsible for monitoring oregon's air: the department of environmental quality. >> to know what people are breathing, we need to take these pieces of equipment out and run air through the filter, and bring it back and analyze it. >> reporter: sarah armitage is a senior air quality planner for the state. she showed us some of the sophisticated air monitors that the agency deployed around the glass companies, after they were given the moss study results. samples taken from those monitors, which were processed in this state lab, eventually confirmed that the air was indeed tainted. in some areas, cadmium was nearly 50 times above state health benchmarks, and arsenic was more than 150 times over. the state had known for a number of years that there were elevated levels of certain metals in portland's air, but they were never able to pinpoint the sources. prior to the moss study, there was just one permanent air monitor in portland, and air
3:50 pm
pollution was tracked on a regional scale-- not neighborhood by neighborhood. why? >> cost. that's really the reason. they are expensive to operate, purchase, and do the analysis. an average site is about $150,000 per year. but when we have the moss data, at least for metals, it screens a broad area, and we can zero in on a location where we know if we put a monitor, we're going to find some nettles. >> reporter: but costs aside, more air monitors simply weren't required. under the federal clean air act, six common pollutants that cause smog and health problems have strict, enforceable emissions standards. 187 other pollutants, called "air toxics," are also regulated, but they aren't monitored to the same degree. and oregon, like many states, hasn't been closely tracking industrial sources of cadmium and other air toxics, or the health impacts. when the story broke, there was a big public outcry.
3:51 pm
government officials held meetings with concerned residents. and the head of the state environmental agency resigned in march, soon after the moss results were made public. though, he cited health concerns as the reason. but the glass companies, which voluntarily suspended the use of the metals after the results came out, and have been working with the state since to comply with temporary rules, were not breaking the law, says air quality official armitage: >> as far as d.e.q. was concerned, and also the facility was concerned, they were in compliance. we take responsibility for the federal standards. we put them in facilities permits. what was not regulated was the furnaces that melted the glass. that's where the emissions were coming from. >> this idea that there's this whole classification of air pollution that has not been well addressed by the federal government has been a really hidden secret across this country. >> reporter: mary peveto is the co-founder of a local advocacy group which has been fighting for cleaner air more than a
3:52 pm
decade. she gathered with a group of concerned residents who live near a metal manufacturing facility where moss samples picked up elevated levels of nickel. the state now has air monitors deployed around that company too. and peveto says, it's about time. >> all of us have been really traumatized by knowing that our state wold knowingly allow these toxics to continue to be in our environments, when we know that actions could have been taken to reduce them. these are the kinds of things that contribute to our health and disease in ways that you often don't recognize. >> reporter: in fact, public health concerns have led to some significant changes. when an air monitor, outside a daycare near one of the glass companies, detected a lead spike in may, oregon's governor issued an unprecedented temporary "cease and desist" order. so far, state health officials say, voluntary lead and cadmium testing in the community has not
3:53 pm
revealed an immediate, widespread public health threat. but the long-term impacts are still being studied. >> it's always extremely difficult to associate one long- term health outcome like cancer with a very specific exposure. >> reporter: dr. katrina hedberg is oregon's state health officer. i met up with her near the daycare where the elevated lead levels were caught. she says one of the big lessons from the moss study is that better monitoring is needed so that the public health community can gauge the actual risks from air pollution. >> i would say that when there are more data, understanding what people are exposed to in various areas is useful, because that then helps us to determine what the level of risk is. we need data in the environment, otherwise it's only theoretical. >> reporter: oregon is currently revising regulations for glass manufacturers, and a major overhaul of permitting regulations for all companies which emit air toxics is also underway, with more input from health officials and the public. for her part, scientist sarah
3:54 pm
jovan is continuing to monitor moss samples in the impacted neighborhoods, and she says she's happy that moss is finally getting a little more respect these days. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in portland, oregon. >> woodruff: current testing by the state of oregon finds levels of air-borne heavy metals detected by the moss have dropped substantially over the past year, since measures were taken to reduce their emission. >> woodruff: a news update. late today the "new york times" reported on two women who allege donald trump touched them inappropriately in a manner similar to what he described in the 2005 access hollywood video. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs
3:55 pm
newshour, thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> xq institute. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the wellbeing of humanity around the world, by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at
3:56 pm
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on