tv PBS News Hour PBS June 18, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: world leaders and international markets mixed cautious optimism with some new fears, after an election win by the pro-bailout party in greece. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the election results, europe's fiscal woes, and the continuing anxiety over greece's fate. >> brown: then we turn to egypt, where the military moved to consolidate power, even as an ismist party claimed victory in sunday's voting. >> ifill: back on the domestic campaign trail, i spent the weekend in ohio talking to voters about what worries them this election year. and grand kids with debt.
just really, really concerned about how we're going to dig ourselves out. >> i know i've been working. it's been very bad the last few years in the cleveland area. the last few years it's been very steady for me. >> ifill: paul solman profiles economist paul krugman. he has a new book out called "end this depression now." >> we're spending more time on things we're used to like educating our children and fixing the holes in our roads. when is the time? >> brown: and we close with a look at the complicated life story of rodney king, the man whose 1991 beating by police led to riots in los angeles. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> by nordic naturals. >. the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: europe cleared a major hurdle sunday, as voters in greece voted to stick with their bailout. but today, new obstacles loomed on the road to the continent's financial security. from news stands in athens to the g-20 summit at a mexican resort to financial markets, the election results from greece were felt worldwide. political parties who support staying in the european currency union and accepting the international bailout of greece,
managed to win a majority in parliament on sunday. this man and his conservative new democracy party led the field with nearly 30% of the vote. he set to work today on forming a governing coalition likely with the socialist party. >> i believe that a government should immediately be formed. it's something that is required, necessitated by the developments by the economic situation. by the reality and by the vote of the greek people. >> brown: he said he wants to renegotiate some of the austerity measures required under terms of the bailout. the german chancellor angle merckel rejectedded that idea saying athens must keep the commitments it already made. >> we signed a program for greece, and the framework for this program must be maintained. this means we must ensure that greece sticks to its obligations. >> brown: in washington, donald cone, a former vice chair of the federal reserve now at the brookings institution, said changing the bailout terms is
fraught with difficulty. >> people giving the aid will not want to let up on the very fundamental reforms that they see are necessary, both in the government affairs and in the structure of the greek market system, but at the same time the greeks will want at a minimum more time to work this through. >> brown: european markets initially surgedded as fears eased that greece would leave the euro zone touching off potential financial chaos, but then spain's cost of borrowing funds surged again reminding investors of just how far europe is from broad financial stability. those same concerns occupied world leaders meeting at the g-20 summit in mexico. european officials voiced cautious optimism about greece and the euro zone, ultimately working through their problems. >> the new government needs to get to work quickly to implement
the economic reforms which are needed to bring greece back on its feet again. >> this crisis in the eurozone will take time to solve. there are no quick fixes, nor silver bullets. but we will do all it takes to see it through. >> brown: president obama sounded a similar note as he met with mexican president called reason. >> i think the election in greece yesterday indicates a positive prospect for not them forming a government but also them working constructively with their international >> brown: but among the greek people today, expectations were muted at best. >> with regards to workers and small business owners we won't see any immediate or radical changes. there will be a long-time coming and whatever happens will happen slowly. we just got momentary relief. >> there's a small hope that
might participate in a coalition government. that they will try to renegotiate the bailout terms. this creates some hope that there will be some relief for both private sector and public sector workers in our country. >> brown: talks to form a coalition government in greece will continue tomorrow. >> ifill: after the election, powerplays in egypt. the fight to win battle ground ohio. the eye quittal of pitcher roger clemens, and an economists on the left and the troubled life and legacy of rodney king. but first with the other news of the day, here is hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wall street searched for direction today amid doubts about the way ahead in europe. the dow jones industrial average lost 25 points to close at 12,741. the nasdaq rose 22 points to close at 2895, helped by a rally in apple and other tech stocks. more than 1,700 firefighters battled heat and high winds today, trying to corral a record-breaking fire in northern colorado.
the big blaze grew to 91 square miles over the weekend, forcing new evacuations. conditions on sunday saw 50- mile-an-hour winds fanning the flames. crews had to struggle to maintain existing containment lines, and a local sheriff warned the fight is a long way from over. >> this isn't a single battle. this is a campaign. this campaign is going to go on for some time. and we're going to have some good days and we're going to have some tough days. i would say we certainly anticipate with those same conditions it will probably be a tough day today. >> sreenivasan: so far the fire has destroyed 181 homes, the most in colorado's history. as of today, it was 45% contained. president obama's choice to be ambassador to iraq has withdrawn. brett mcgurk had faced opposition from senate republicans, after disclosures that he had an extramarital affair with a journalist. she later became his wife. in a letter today to the president, mcgurk said it was in the nation's best interests-- and his own-- that he remove his name from consideration. in syria, fresh shelling ripped through the embattled city of homs.
smoke billowed from buildings as syrian forces fired on rebel- held neighborhoods. that was despite u.n. appeals to allow evacuations of families, the elderly, and the wounded. a spokeswoman for the u.n. observer mission called again today for both sides to allow humanitarian measures. >> to change their positions and release these civilians without any preconditions. they must ensure their safety. they must protect and respect their human life. if and when the decision is taken by both parties to release the civilians, we are ready and will be there and monitor their evacuation. >> sreenivasan: the surge in violence forced the 300 u.n. observers to suspend their mission on saturday. meanwhile, president obama and russian president vladimir putin discussed syria today at the g- 20 summit in mexico. but there was no sign they narrowed their differences. the u.s. has pressed russia to stop blocking stronger u.n. action against syria. three church bombings in northern nigeria triggered reprisal killings today.
the red cross reported at least 50 people had died since sunday, with roughly 100 others wounded. yesterday's blasts targeted the state of kaduna, which sits between the country's largely muslim north and predominately christian south. a radical islamist sect, boko haram, claimed responsibility for the bombings. the latest round of talks on iran's nuclear program began today in moscow, but there was little progress. six world powers, including the u.s., met with iran's chief negotiator. a spokesman for the european union reported "an intense and tough" exchange. diplomats said the iranians insisted on relief from international sanctions before it curbs any nuclear activities. a manned chinese spacecraft successfully docked with an orbiting module today. it marked a first for the country's ambitious space program. we have a report from angus walker of independent television news. >> reporter: more than 200 miles above the earth, zooming through space at 17,000 miles an hour, docking has to be millimetre
perfect. relief for mission control. a great leap forward for china's planned space station. the prototype, called heavenly palace, now a cramped home for a crew of three for almost a fortnight. a record-breaking stay in space for the chinese. is this mission... if this mission continues to go to plan, then by the end of the decade while still officially a developing nation, china will be the only country with a working space station. a status symbol in the stars for the chinese government. and leo yang, china's first female astronaut is now a star among the stars, a national heroine back on earth. ( applause ) as the rocket blasted off taking her to rendevouz with the space station, crowds gathered in her
hometown. her parents were guests of honor. >> sreenivasan: china plans to put a permanent space station in orbit around 2020. google is reporting what it calls an "alarming" increase in attempts to censor its online search efforts. the company says government agencies around the world pressed for information on more than 12,000 users in the last half of 2011. google complied 93% of the time. in addition, u.s. agencies asked for items such as blog posts and search results to be removed nearly 6,200 times. the data come from a transparency report which the company made public overnight. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: both sides claimed they won more votes in this weekend's presidential election. meanwhile egypt's ruling military leaders issued constitutional amendments to strip presidential powers and increase their own authority. we begin with a report from jonathon rugman of independent television news reports in cairo.
>> reporter: in tahrir square this morning, what crisis? the muslim brotherhood celebrating apparent victory. in the first presidential election here with more than one candidate. a moment to savor, after 60 years of autocratic military rule. >> this is the first president ever properly elected in egypt. personally i'm so happy i can't even describe it. thank god all mighty. >> reporter: the man who would be president is mohammed merthi, a 60-year-old physics professor. he pledged to represent all egyptians including the country's 10 million or so christians. but his victory speech may have been premature. because his rival shafiq, a retired air marshal from the old regime has not conceded defeat. the weekend's vote is still being counted and the result seems too close to call. as the day wore on, the traffic
returned to tahrir. egypt may be in constitutional crisis because last night the army announced it was in charge of all law making as well as the budget and the writing of a new constitution. but it's too early to say whether the revolution in this sweltering city will reignite or not. if mr. mosi has lost, his supporters may well cry foul and protest. even if he's won he may be little more than a figure head. though egypt's military rulers today insisted they didn't want power and would hand it over to the new president by the end of this month. >> the elected president will be handed all powers vested in the power of the president. the head of the executive authority. with complete authority, with all due respect. he will be the head of state. there is no doubt about that. >> reporter: in tahrir this evening, supporters of egypt's first islamist president are
celebrating. though if the army doesn't deliver on its promise of civilian rule the move could turn to revolt. >> brown: a short time ago judy woodruff talked with nancy youssef, covering events for mcclatchy newspapers, in cairo. >> woodruff: nancy, welcome. first of all, where does the vote stand at this hour? >> well, as of now, the muslim brotherhood candidate appears to be in the lead but sha fear, his rival and mubarak's last prime minister is contesting that and says that the muslim brotherhood has miscounted and miscalculated and in fact he is in the lead. we expect official results on wednesday but right now the presumption in the country is is that mosi is the next president. >> woodruff: the generals have made this announcement. you were there for their news conference. tell us exactly what they're saying >> they really made an effort today to refute claims that this is an attempt by them to launch a counterrevolution on the heels
of them naming themselves in charge of the drafting of laws and issuing a temporary amendment to the constitution that really consolidated the power over the executive branch. they announced that they would be consulted before the new president launched war, that the new president would have no say over who his generals were and that the new president would have really no say over any major military matters so they really put on the charm offensive today and tried to reassure a rather dubious public that they're looking out for egypt's interests, not just their own. >> woodruff: but it does sound like the powers that they say they will have, it's pretty sweeping, isn't it? >> it absolutely is. their argument is that in the absence of a parliament which was dissolved by a constitutional court ruling this week, that in an effort to balance the power of government that they were sort of stepping in and being the parliament and that they would sort of serve as a check to the president. the problem is that in the
checks and balances it sort of goes one way. they put in all these checks and balances on the president's job and specifically how he conducts military security matters but it didn't go the other way. there were no checks and balances on the military and its powers. so they now can draft laws. they can declare war. they're far more powerful than they were a week ago >> woodruff: what are independent observers saying? are they taking the generals at their word that they're not trying to completely take over? how do they read it? >> the independents, the liberals here, someone called them secularists, they're frankly quite despondent and not just about what the generals are doing but that their revolution appears to have been lost at this point, at least in the short term. and they didn't have a revolutionary candidate on the ballot. they weren't enthusiastic supporters of the muslim brotherhood. there are some who fear what a muslim brotherhood presidenty
would look like. there's a feeling that in an effort to bring more power to the people here they've ended up with less and with only quasially in the brotherhood in the presidency. they supported him but quite grudgingly. and their reaction to his win is just as luke warm, if you will. >> woodruff: but there's no one in a position to challenge the military. that right? >> that's right. because what happens is every time there is a challenge, it generally goes to a court system made up of mubarak appointees. while they might not be aligned with the military they're far more supportive of them than the brotherhood. there's nobody to challenge them. you can go through the legal checks and balances established in this constitution but you always end up in the same place which is mubarak appointees, regime holdovers, those who benefited from and had a invested interest in the status
co. so the real criticism of the revolutionaries has been that they went into this period without really making a dent in the state itself so they challenged it. they forced mubarak to resign but they didn't change the regime that he himself created. so when they went through the process to try to bring about change they in a sense legitimized the ongoing existence of a mubarak-created regime >> woodruff: nancy, what do people say are the odds of another popular revolt? >> well, so far tahrir square is a bit quiet. right now it's dominated by people celebrating a mosi win. i think one of the challenges in measuring that or assessing that is there's a real feeling among the revolutionaries that maybe tahrir square is not enough anymore, that going to the square is not an efficient or a viable means to challenge the legal process. so what we're hearing from the revolutionaries is a rl effort to recalibrate and come up with
a way to come to contest and challenge what's happening here in a more productive way. it certainly is possible, and i guess what i'm really saying is that the next revolt, if there is one, may look a little bit different than the one americans are used to seeing a year ago here in tahrir square. it may be more nuanced, more multipronged and a little bit more sophisticated >> woodruff: even after the election things certainly do sound still unsettled. nancy youssef in cairo, thanks so much. >> ifill: and we turn to the political campaign here at home. ohio is up for grabs, as polls show republican mitt romney in a tight race to win the prize president obama scored four years ago. 18 electoral votes are at stake, and both candidates are ramping up their ground game. but are voters listening?
saturday afternoons in brunswick, ohio, are all about team sports. the boys play baseball; the girls, softball. on the side lines, parents like asphalt worker darren clinko worry >> me and my wife are talking. our oldest daughter brook will be going to college. how are we going to afford that? it will be hard for us to help hoar out and pay for it. she's probably going to have to take on some debt. i hate for my child to graduate from college and be $80-$100,000 in debt. that's not the way it's supposed to be >> ifill: jennifer and michael say that the nation is simply spending itself into a hole >> i don't want to strap my kids and my grand kids with debt. just really really concerned about how we're going to dig ourselves out. >> ifill: these fretful parents say they will probably vote for mitt romney this fall. because he shares their conservative values.
but they are not fans of the political wars they see underway in washington. >> you have one far one way and one far the other way. nobody will come to the middle. i don't know if it's because we only have two parties and either you are with that party or you're not. i just hope that somebody finally comes... becomes courageous and finds that middle ground. if the answer is not way over here and it's not way over -- and i don't think most americans are way over here and way over here >> ifill: campaigns target ohio for good reasons. in two of the counties mitt romney visited this weekend john mccain won four years ago although barack obama won the entire state. although the jobless rate here has dropped for 10 straight months voters we talked to are still skeptical. these voters see an economy that is still struggling to recover. a view mitt romney reinforced as his six-state bus tour cut
through the heart of ohio this weekend. thousands came to see him with his family at this apple farm in brunswick. >> it looks like the sun is coming out. i think that's a metaphor for the country. the sun is coming out, guys. three-and-a-half years of dark clouds are about to part and it's about to get a little warmer around this country >> ifill: at his rallies romney certainly has his fans >> i like his character. i like what he stands for. we've been republicans all of our life. i just have always liked what he stood for. my husband knew his father. and i just like the man. >> ifill: but some of the wounds caused by a competitive republican primary season are only now beginning to heal. former pennsylvania senator rick santorum won 40% of the primary vote in this county earlier this year. a local tea party activist was one of the reasons why
>> the things i like about santorum that i'm not 100% sure about romney is the issue of life. >> ifill: but he spent yesterday afternoon at a romney rally >> i am working for a... to end abortion. i don't know if i 100% feel supportive with romney on that issue. i am big on the obama care which i know romney says he'll repeal. but there's still a little bit of me saying what if he doesn't. >> ifill: the reluctance to fully embrace the republican nominee was striking. debbie did her saturday morning shopping at the local farmers market. >> i am going with romney because i think obama has had a chance. he's made things way, way worse. but i'm not really excited about romney either >> the traditional small business i think is very hard to run >> reporter: even greg, who owns the farm where romney appeared... >> pledge of allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. >> ifill: ... and led the pledge
of allegiance at the campaign's father's day rally and pancake breakfast hesitated. do you consider yourself a romney supporter? >> actually, i'm not sure yet to be brutally honest. i think this country needs some leadership that changes things up a bit. people in america don't care if a republican is president or a democrat, independent. there's small groups of people that consider themselves staunch republicans, staunch democrats, but i think most people just want a better america. >> ifill: president obama made his own ohio swing last week targeting his message to the same types of alienatedded voters >> what's holding us back is a stalemate in washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction america should take. this election is your chance to break that stalemate
>> ifill: construction worker brian serves on the brunswick city council and remains a staunch obama backer. >> things are getting better. as we speak right now. i know that i've been working. it's been very bad the last few years in the cleveland area. but the last two years it's been very steady for me. it's about time because of the eight years before that there was no work. i was struggling to make $20,000 a year. >> ifill: mother of four robin cooker said she will have no problem voting for the president again >> i think he's done a very good job with what he had. i know a lot of people's expectations were that it should be more than what it is. i'm amazed that he's worked with what he had and things are the way they are. we've not gone backwards. we have held steady and moved forward slowly. that was the best i think that any of us four years ago could have asked for. >> ifill: but don't tell that to
kevin noon. to him, every politician shares the blame >> i'm not very optimistic about the direction of the country because we keep getting politicians in that don't change anything. they stay the course. they've been in it forever. that's not the way the founding fathers intended it. they should come in, stay there one term, maybe two terms and then go home. let somebody else have a shot at it. >> ifill: back at the ball field it's all about the kids. bonnie clark has two. do you think your kids are going to do better than you are? >> i don't know. it's scary. >> ifill: why? hope they do better. but the way things are going, i'm not real sure. >> ifill: in a nutshell, that's the question at the heart of this and every election. >> let's go! ifill: you can find more on ohio >> ifill: you can find more on ohio, and on the political fallout from the president's decision to freeze deportations
for some young immigrants, on our online politics page. an acquittal for roger clemens. >> suarez: the former baseball pitching great had been accused of lying to congress about using steroids. but this afternoon, federal jury in washington d.c. found him not guilty of all charges. it followed a ten-week trial and a five-year investigation. later outside the courthouse clemons thanked his family and supporters for sticking with him. >> i just want to say thanks to these guys behind me who, from day one, listened to what i had to say. obviously for the last four-and-a-half, five years i was not able to say anything. so it was great to see some old friends and teammates and just some neat people. i want to thank those people who took time out of their schedules to come in on my behalf >> suarez: the charges stemmed from clemons' testimony at a
nationally televised hearing in february 2008. his first trial ended in a mistrial last year. for more we go to michael o'keefe. he's been covering the trial for the new york daily news. he's coauthor of the book, american icon, the fall of roger clemons and the rise of steroids in america's pastime. michael, roger clemons faced six counts of perjury. he wasn't charged with using drugs or cheating at baseball. wasn't this a trial all about drug use all the same? >> it was in that the government had to prove that clemons lied when he told congress in 2008 that he had never usedded human growth hormone or never had used steroids. the government had to prove that he had used those drugs in order to get a guilty verdict >> suarez: wapped in the last trial? remind us >> last year in july, the trial basically just got it started for a couple of days when the government introduced evidence that judge reggie walton had
previously barred. so walton declared a mistrial pretty quickly. things got pushed back until this year, until april when this started again >> suarez: this is the first time both sides put on their entire case. was there a turning point, a witness that ended up really making a big impression on the jury? >> i think there were a couple of turning points. i think the defense did a good job of casting a lot of doubt about the trainer who was the source in the mitchell report who said that he had injected clemons and gotten steroids for clemons and human growth hormone for clemons. andy pettitte's testimony. under cross-examination by the defense he was very wishy washy. he said it was you know 50-50 that he may have misunderstood clemons when he testified about 1999 or 2000 conversation with clemons about human growth hormone. the trainer's wife was also a good witness for the defense.
they're in a very bitter divorce right now. she contradicted a lot of her husband's testimony. >> suarez: but the former trainer was said to have roger clemons' d.n.a. on his materials. needles, syringes, cotton balls, all kinds of paraphernalia that showed he used it. was this not a very convincing case put on by the prosecution? >> to tell you the truth i thought it was. but obviously the jury disagreed. i guess the defense brought in witnesses who raisedded questions about the chain of custody, about the quality of testing. i guess obviously they were... those witnesses were very persuasive. >> suarez: what was the source of the stories that have swirled around roger clemons for years? wasn't he implicated early on when major league baseball first tried to deal with what was clearly run-away steroid use?
>> yeah, there have been rumors about this... about clemons for many years. and some false accusations. he was named in an l.a. times story about steroid use several years ago. in 2005, if you remember the hearing with mark maguire. after that hearing, congress told major league baseball you need to look into this problem and get your house in order. so major league baseball commissioned a study by former senate majority leader george mitchell to basically look at drugs in baseball, banned drugs in baseball. the trainer was one of the witnesses that they found, the federal government had been prosecuting another man who was a steroid supplier. they learned of the trainer's role and his connection with clemons and andy pettitte. that's how clemons wound up in the mitchell report which was released in 2007 >> suarez: in the testimony before congress, a lot of doubt was cast on the stories of
several players. you mentioned mark maguire but also sammy sosa, rafael palmeiro. how come roger clemons was charged with lying to congress? >> well, you know, to use maguire as an example. maguire, he just basically took the fifth amendment. he didn't say anything to congress. after the mitchell report was released, clemons went on a very aggressive, you know, he took a very aggressive offense against the trainer and against the mitchell report. he sort of forced congress' hand. the lawmakers said, you know, this is our report. we ordered them to do this report. so we want to find out who is telling the truth here. that's why that hearing was held in february 2008. it was because clemons really made it his life's work, so to speak, at that point to fight back on this thing. >> suarez: as far as major league baseball is concerned, the united states congress, the department of justice, does this verdict clear the legal cloud over roger clemons' head? does he face any further
jeopardy? >> well, there's a couple of things there. number one is the trainer has sued him in new york federal court in a brooklyn federal court. he's filed a defamation suit. this legal battle for clemons is not over. that case will continue to proceed. you know, the other thing he's got hanging over him is that he may have been found not guilty but i don't know that a whole lot of people find him innocent. i think his chances for the hall of fame, he's eligible to be on the ballot in december, were severely damaged by this. this is a cloud that will hang over him for a long time. this is really going to define his legacy, even long after he's dead. this is going to be an after risk on his legacy. >> suarez: thanks for joining us, michael owe eve >> thank you for having me.
>> ifill: now, in a world where news of financial crises and recessions have dominated headlines for years on end, one economist seems to have captured more attention, time and even notoriety than others. newshour economics correspondent paul solman spent some time catching up with krugman recently. it's part of his ongoing reporting, making sense of financial news. reporter: in harvard square, a home coming of sorts for economist paul krugman. partly because he went to grad school and taught for a while at nearby m.i.t., but mainly because in the academic left-leaning town, sometimes teasingly titled the people's republic of cambridge, these are his people. >> my lodestar. i definitely subscribe to him. >> i'm a strong keynes keynesian reporter: krugman was here to promote his new book, end this depression now. wait a minute asked tom
ashbrook. depression? >> is paul krugman saying we're in a depression like that depression? are we? >> yes, we are. this is not something you can describe with the ordinary language of recession and recovery. this is really terrible. the damage is accumulating as we speak >> reporter: and krugman, nobel laureate, princeton professor, "new york times" columnist, is determined to do his bit to turn things around. >> the economics is actually quite easy. it's only politics that's standing in the way >> reporter: the easy economics krugman told us at his home in princeton is that government should spend to boost the economy because the private sector, for various reasons, simply won't. >> markets are great things. most of the time you want to let markets rip. but there are certain times and certain conditions under which you don't. when you're in a prolonged slump, a depression, that's when you need government intervention. >> reporter: no wonder krugman's home office sports a photo of an economic activist: president
franklin delano roosevelt. but it was science fiction master isaac as move back in the 1950s and his vision of a manageable world -- manageable through the analysis of data -- that inspired the teenage krugman to study economics. and maybe it also inspired him to fantasy, as he did last year, about an other worldly stimulus strategy >> there was a twilight zone episode in which scientists take a threat in order to achieve world peace. this time we don't need it to get fiscal stimulus >> after we're fully recovered we can say not actually coming >> reporter: a joke. but with a parallel to the economics of world war ii >> the great military build-up that began in 1940 as the united states scrambled to get ready for the possibility of getting involved in this war was what brought us to full employment. then in two years, the nonfarm employment rose 20%. that would be 26 million jobs
right there >> reporter: but we're not likely to have a credible alien threat any time soon. >> i probably shouldn't have said anything about this because i gave the game away. i should probably have... >> reporter: are you suggesting then that there needs to be some collective fiction? >> no. you can get a lot of what we need tot by doing anything exotic but just by restoring services that the state... at the state and local levels >> reporter: but spending means more borrowing driving up the interest rate on u.s. government bonds, we're told. krugman counters that the interest rate is now at an all-time low >> if this isn't the time to be spending a lot more on things that are useful like educating our children and fixing the holes in our roads, when is is the time? if you are a businessman and somebody said, okay, you have a bunch of investment opportunities and right now we'll let you borrow money for nothing, you would be derelict in your duty if you didn't do
it. >> reporter: but isn't too much debt a bad thing? >> yes, of course it is. but by allowing this extremely high unemployment to persist, we are damaging the future. not just current gain versus future pain. we have almost four million people who have been out of work for more than a year. those people are... many of them will never reenter the work force. those are the future tax payers of america which means we're cutting into our future budget position. amazing amounts of stuff we're talking about is actually in adam smith >> reporter: as a columnist, author and teacher krugman has been become known as a voice of the left. but back in the '80s he was a critic of union-backed anti-free trade economics. >> did you have a conversion experience? what happened? >> no. in the current contest because i'm defending an active government role, it's interpreted as some kind of a
marxist or a stalinist. this is just economics >> reporter: are you surprised? no. i'm well accustomed now to the notion that anyone who challenges wisdom and anyone who calls out people on the right side of the political spectrum for what they actually do and say is going to be demonized. is going to be made out to be in kind of an extreme leftist >> reporter: krugman's targets have their own complaints. krugman writes with more witt reoal than i find attractive says the harvard economist. from a trio of george mason university economists: krugman regularly demonizes his opponents. he treats anyone who disagrees with him as a mendacious idiot. he is an ideologue rather than a truth seeker. even center left columnist michael kinsley says krugman should stop bullying people.
>> economic analysis says what policy makers are doing is completely stupid. the normal tendency is to shade it and say, well, they have a case for what they're doing. i've been willing to say what they're doing is completely stupid >> reporter: but it helps to have moral support. krugman gets plenty from his wife robin weld, also an economist >> budget cuts hurt washington state's response to whooping cough out break >> reporter: their cats are albert einstein and doris lessing, still purring after 19 years. krugman and wells have coauthored several textbooks together. she's also his sounding board and editor. >> i remember saying to him back during the bush era, i said you're up against bullies. with bullies you can't back down because if you back down it's only going to get worse. they will not stop until they shut you up. you have to give back as good as you get. >> reporter: so krugman has. i guess i don't know how you
can be honest about what is actually going on in this country without sounding partisan. the fact of the well known liberal bias. we're in a world where deficits are a good thing. >> reporter: a proposal that's put him at odds with the man who hired him at princeton, fed chairman ben ber nanny. >> bernanke calls your proposal very reckless >> odd because he made the same proposal himself 12 years ago for japan. >> those of us who have been calling for a bit more inflation are calling for 4% inflation which is what we had back during the reign of ronald reagan in his second term. didn't seem that terrible to me at the time >> reporter: we could be taking a big risk, rye? you have no know way of knowing whether or not the interest rate we're going to have to offer to borrowers might change overnight as it often recently >> well, i am reasonably sure that isn't going to happen until or unless the u.s. economy is
really on the path to recovery. that's the point also by the way when i will support the austerity. once we no longer need that support to keep the economy afloat that's when you do want to start raising taxes and cutting spending but not now >> reporter: that seems to be completely obvious to you >> yes. total obvious to me. it's not to other people >> reporter: how come? you can't get too cynical. by and large the people who are ranting about debt and deficits are same people who thought it was perfectly fine for george w. bush to cut taxes without any offsetting spending cuts. they thought it was perfectly okay to have two unfunded wars. deficits didn't matter when their guy was in the white house. now it matters because somebody else is in the white house and rest assured if mitt romney is elected they'll suddenly find reasons why cutting taxes, even if it increases the deficit, is no problem. >> reporter: but that is a highly partisan remark and exactly the kind of thing that even people on your side of the spectrum say you're too strident
by constantly, constantly... >> except it's true, right? and people like me have been right so far. that doesn't mean we'll always be right. but if you've got to choose who you're going to believe you might want to seriously consider the people who called it right on how the economy was going to evolve these past three years or so. >> reporter: paul krugman thank you very much >> thank you for giving me all this time. >> ifill: online we get much more paul krugman throughout the week. in today's edition, the liberal economist takes on european austerity, and scholar jacob kirkegaard of the peterson institute offers a rebuttal. >> brown: finally tonight, remembering rodney king. this grainy video catapulted 25-year-old rodney king to national spotlight in 1991. by-stander taped los angeles police beating king who had led
them on a high-speed chase after a night of heavy drinking. he was kicked, struck with batons more than 50 times, and shot with stun guns. in an interview this past spring, king remembered. >> when i saw the tape, it was... i was so happy to that it was on tape. i was looking at it, it was like me being innate another body. i felt like i was died in that one and was just watching it. >> brown: king had 11 skull fractures, a broken eye socket and nerve damage. four white officers were charged with felony assault but their trial was moved to a predominantly white suburb. on april 29, 1992, a jury with no black members acquitted three of the officers. the case against the fourth ended in a mistrial. los angeles erupted into three days of rioting that killed 55 people and injured more than 2,000. large swaths of the city burned. it led a still recovering king to utter this now famous plea
>> can we all get along? can we get along? >> brown: later king sued the city of los angeles and won a judgment of nearly $4 million. but his life continued to be marked by alcohol and drug abuse as well as multiple arrests for driving under the influence. as recently as last year. in 2008 he appeared on a reality tv show about celebrities seeking addiction treatment. in a memoir "the riot within" released in april, king wrote he felt burdened by his notoriety. i wanted no part of it. i just wanted to stay home, drink and watch tv. the fact that this footage was viewed by the entire world certainly didn't help my recovery. early yesterday his financee found him at the bottom of a swimming pool at his home in california. police said it appeared to be an accidental drowning but an autopsy was scheduled for today. rodney king was 47 years old.
for more on rodney king and his legacy to los angeles and the american culture, we turn to pat morrison, long-time reporter and columnist for the "los angeles times." she met with and profiled rodney king a number of times. and darnell hunt, director of the ralph j. bunche center for african american studies at ucla, who has written on race relations in los angeles. pat, starting with you. you wrote a piece today titled the burden of being rodney king. explain that. how did he see that burden? >> the burden that he did not seek. people wanted in him a martin luther king in a sweater. but here's a flawed man. if he hadn't been flawed he wouldn't have been stopped on that freeway. we wouldn't have seen those 81 seconds of videotape that changed los angeles, that changed the los angeles police department. it was a big burden for him that he carried so many expectations with him. for example, his family only called him glenn king. that's the name they knew him by. rodney king was a different personage for him altogether
>> brown: you're saying he was aware of the flaws? he knew that he had been put in history in a strange and unexpected way? >> oh, he said over and over again, he said i'm only human. i'm not a perfect man. but he kept trying. i think that's the move telling thing about him. he kept trying to come back. this book was one of his efforts to come back. he was so proud of it. there was a coauthor. rodney king had a hard time writing his name but he was very proud that his story got to be told. >> brown: darnell hunt, a symbol of what? when you look back now what was the role of the man rodney king set within this much larger scope of history of what happened? >> well i think within the african-american community, he's the symbol of the stories that people have been telling for generations about police brutality that no one really believed, no one could really prove. then of course there was that fateful evening in george holiday happened to catch it all on video.
everyone felt that what they had been saying for years would finally come to light. he symbolizes that. in that sense his name is truly iconic. >> brown: the investigation into his death is still going on. but you mentioned he had written this memoir recently. he was newly engaged. to a woman, in fact, who had been a juror in the civil suit, i gather, against the city. you talked to him fairly recently when the memoir came out. what was he like at that point? >> he was very upbeat. he was very hopeful. he believed in god. he believed that god could help him through a lot of these problems. he was happy with his story was out there and he was able to tell it after 20 years' reflection. he was also a very good swimmer because he loved to swim. that's why he had a house with a pool. it was therapeutic for him to do so. he was an avid fisherman and liked nothing better than sitting out there with a fishing pole even if he didn't catch anything. i think he thought things were on the upswing which is why it
was puzzling this should happen when it did >> brown: was it your sense, when you were talking about the flaws and the burden. was it also your sense that he was aware that some important things had changed precisely because of him, because of what he went through? >> absolutely. that 81 seconds of videotape did more than panels and conferences could ever have done. the l.a.p.d. is different. the city is different. i asked him if he would rather not have been that man? he said, no, because of what happened to him big things happened, important things happened. that people would come up to him and say i got a job because of you. i got justice because of you. that really meant a lot to him. i was at a lunchon with him not long ago where sugar ray leonard walked by and rodney ran over to him to get his picture taken and came back shaking his head saying sugar ray leonard wanted his picture taken with me. he could never get over that
sense of awe that people respected him as a figure, a flawed figure even as the police chief of los angeles today but a seminal figure in the history of l.a. >> brown: darnell hunt, you chronicled some of that history. what did change because of what happened to rodney king? >> i think pat hit the nail on the head. clearly the l.a.p.d. is not your l.a.p.d. from 1992. i think there was a real effort to move toward community policing. we're not all the way there obviously. but the statements that police chiefs like darrell gates could make about african-americans not being normal people because they were dying of choke holds. that's not the l.a.p.d. of today. the police commission has been a lot more active in making sure that the l.a.p.d. of old is not the l.a.p.d. today. i think people take the allegations of police brutality a lot more seriously now. certainly that particular incident gained worldwide notoriety >> brown: and race relations
generally? it's a big subject, of course. but when you look then to today? >> clearly rodney king spoke the immortal words can we all just get along? he's a symbol of reconciliation. many groups in l.a. learned a lot from what happened in 1992 and the real efforts for dialogue across racial lines. but there are lots of problems yet to be solved. there's quite a bit of inequality in l.a there's still concerns that different communities have with access to jobs and to a decent standard of living. certainly those pressures all contributed to people participating in 1992. i think we have a long way to go to solve those problems. but certainly the dialogue that began in 1992 largely because rodney king happened to be in the wrong place at the right time is something we've all benefited from >> brown: pat, just briefly. that famous line "can we all get along?" what did that mean to him later on in life? >> it was a very artless thing
to say. his lawyers had given him a script. he didn't even pay attention to that. that was the way he felt. he had gone to jehovah's witness kingdom hall with his mother when he was a boy, worshipped with latinos and asians. it seemed fine there. he was really puzzled in los angeles we could not all get along. he was picked up so often by the cops. they would take him back to the police station. one of them said to him because of those words, because of "can we all get along" he said you're going to be remembered 100 years after the rest of us are dead and gone. that's a pretty big burden. >> brown: thank you both so much. >> a pleasure thank you. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. world leaders and international markets mixed cautious optimism with some new fears after an election win by the pro-bailout party in greece. there were competing claims of victory in egypt's presidential
runoff, as the ruling military increased its own powers. and former baseball pitching great roger clemens was acquitted of lying to congress about using performance- enhancing drugs. in mexico, the presidential candidates are running full- tilt, and our reporting is already beginning online. hari sreenivasan explains. >> suarez: on the rundown, margaret warner visits a campaign rally in the hometown of the front-runner. it's the first of a series of online and on-air reports examining mexico's political scene and bloody drug war. and on our world page, special correspondent fred de sam lazaro gives an account of the rio+20 development conference in brazil. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. jeff? >> brown: and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the afghanistan conflict. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are nine more.
>> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll look at the launch of a two-week bus tour by catholic nuns protesting budget cuts they say will hurt the poor and vulnerable. i'm jeffrey brown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: at&t. by nordic naturals. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for
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