tv PBS News Hour PBS October 18, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: student loan debt keeps climbing, two-thirds of last year's college graduates owe an average of more than $26,000. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest on the college debt burden and examine what the presidential candidates plan to do about it. >> woodruff: then, we look at the stepped-up cyber attacks on u.s. banks by iranian hackers. >> warner: we have a battleground dispatch from new hampshire, where the focus is on women voters and women candidates. >> it does seem striking, having all women, potentially, be the representatives to washington, and also potentially sitting as the executive of the state. >> woodruff: on the daily download, ray suarez talks with
lauren ashburn and howard kurtz about debate watchers using twitter and other social media. >> warner: and gwen ifill sits down with author ted widmer. he's been listening to once-secret tape recordings by president john f. kennedy. >> it's really a remarkable chance for the american people to hear what it is like to be president in a very visceral way. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> computing surrounds us. sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's very surprising in where you find it. soon, computing intelligence in unexpected places will change our lives in truly profound ways. technology can provide customized experiences tailored to individual consumer preferences, igniting a world of possibilities from the inside out. sponsoring tomorrow, starts today.
and 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. >> woodruff: there was fresh evidence today of just expensive college has become and how fast student debt is piling up. it came in the latest look at the bill that comes due, once diplomas are handed out. the numbers are more daunting than ever for newly minted college graduates. data released today shows two- thirds of the class of 2011 had loan debt that averaged $26,600.
that was up 5% from the previous year. the institute for college access and success, based in california, surveyed more than 1,000 public and private non- profit, four-year colleges. it also cited studies showing that more than one-third of recent graduates have jobs that do not require a college degree at all. indeed, in tuesday's presidential debate, republican mitt romney pointed to her research that the disparity between jobs and degrees is even worse. >> we have to make sure that we make it easier for kids to afford college and also make sure that when they get out of college, there's a job. with half of college kids graduating this year without a college-- or excuse me, without a job and without a college- level job, that's just unacceptable. and likewise, you got more and more debt on your back. so more debt and less jobs. >> woodruff: in fact, student loan debt now outpaces credit card debt in the united states
and by some measures, exceeds $1 trillion. and in a new "time" magazine poll-- conducted with the carnegie corporation-- 80% of those surveyed said many colleges are simply not worth the cost. 89% said higher education is in crisis. president obama has responded by touting his expansion of the federal pell grant program, as he did again today in manchester, new hampshire. the granite state has an average of almost $35,000 in student loan debt-- highest in the country. >> today, because of the actions my administration took, millions of students all across the country are paying less for college. we took a system that was wasting tens of billions of dollars on banks and lenders. we said, let's cut out the middle man. give the money directly to the students and as a consequence, young people are getting a better deal.
>> woodruff: romney claims the additional federal aid actually prompted colleges to raise tuition. he has said that he thought the president increased pell grants too much. but in tuesday's debate, romney said he wanted to grow the program's funding. meanwhile, defaults keep climbing. the government estimates almost 10% of recent federal student loan borrowers defaulted within two years of graduating. a separate report from the college board comes out next week. its expected to show slightly better numbers than the ones reported today. for more on why student debt is growing and how the candidates are approaching this issue, we turn to terry hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the american council on education an association of some 1,800 accredited colleges and universities. and neal mccluskey, associate director of the center for educational freedom at the cato institute, a libertarian public policy research center.
reductions in state aid. you look for people, that's true. but the long-term problem, the real root problem is clear and that is when the federal government will provide more and more aid if prices go up, they raise their prices. if i've been buying a h dog for a dollar and suddenly the government gives me and everybody else buying a hot dog another dollar and my vendor knows it he'll charge $2. so that's why we've seen a huge increase in the sticker price and part of that aid comes in the form of loans. >> woodruff: so you're saying it's the act of the government helping that made the cost go up. how do you see it? >> not true. this is an issue that's been studied extensively. the most comprehesive studies found no relationship between changes in college prices and federal student aid. these are studies by the u.s. department of education, by the congressional commission on the price of higher education and most recently in a book published by oxford university press called "why does college
cost so much?" some smaller studies suggested there might be a relationship but they also suggest different relationships. in one study, two year tuitions go up, four-year tuition goes down. in other cases you get different results. so what you've got are a lot of studies, most of which don't put you in a direction that allows you to say what is going on with the certainty neal wants to provide. >> woodruff: you're shaking your head the whole time he's talking. >> there are many studies that show increased aid is taken by colleges in meyer prices. the reality is most of the studies that don't show it look at pretty short time frames. i'm not arguing that every year if aid goes up a dollar they charge a dollar more. but putting all these subsidies in the system they say, look, we can raise prices and students will demand more things but they command more money to pay for it and college presidents will tell you we have these, we spend more
on fancy food because that's what students demand. >> no question that colleges, universities are trying to ensure the student have a very desirable experience. colleges are in competition with each other for students so if you go to a college or university and you see old dormitories, you don't see good recreational facilities, a library that shows a lot of wear, you're probably less likely to enroll at that institution. so colleges and universities have been improving their physical plants pretty consistently. that's part of being a competitor. >> woodruff: faculty salaries. >> faculty salaries are an issue. faculty salaries have not gone up in the last decade as they have in the previous decade. >> woodruff: let me turn to this question of what the candidates are proposing. neal mccluskey, when you look at what the president has done, you heard -- he talked about taking the middleman out, letting the government be the direct sponsor of student debt, how do you size up the president's approach? >> i don't think it does much good. i'll differ with the romney campaign and they're saying that that's a federal takeover of
student loans. that they've gotten rid of the banks that used to be part of the federal loan system but that doesn't make sense. the federal government has dominated student aid for decades and before they were just short of funneling this money through private banks. i would also say that the problem, though, cannot be narrowed down to what states are spending because for every dollar a state has reduced per pupil their aid to their colleges, their colleges raise their prices $2. that's why you've got to address student aid from the federal government. >> woodruff: so the pell grant it is president championed, you're saying they're doing -- that they should do what? that that's been the wrong approach? >> right, not just saying pell grants themselves are the only thing responsible for the increase. in fact, the subsidized federal loans go to more high-income people. it's all part of the overall student aid picture. >> woodruff: terry hartle, how do you see the president's approach? >> i think fundamentally the president is wrong on this.
you can either prove unambiguously that federal aid increases the price of higher education or you can't. if you can't, putting your emphasis as cutting student age as a way of lowering the cost of college is destined to fail. fundamentally colleges and universities want loans to be available to their students and they want them available with a good interest rate. doesn't matter that much to colleges and universities whether the money comes from the government, the banks, or dunkin' donuts. they just want the money to be there. the federal government is running a pretty smooth student loan program right now. i'm not sure why you would change it. >> woodruff: so what about governor romney's approach which is -- well, actually, we talked about what some would see as a contradiction. he was earlier saying the pell grant program, the money should be scaled back and he said in the debate the other night the pell grant program should go. how do you see? >> it's hard to nail down. so some stuff he put out at the beginning of the campaign he said basically what i've said, which is that it's very clear the aid enables colleges to raise prices. in fact, vice president joe
biden said that and not go a lot of trouble. since then candidate romney has really kind of stepped back and said, look, i'm not going to attack pell grant funding, i'm not going to attack education funding. so it's hard to know because education is an emotional issue that you don't want to be the person that says "i'm going to cut it." >> woodruff: how do you read his approach? >> it's not clear what to make of governor romney's approach. pell grant is a popular program with both republicans and democrats. 90% of the money goes to families with income below $40 and it's a voucher so the individual decides where to spend it. so it's been -- had bipartisan popularity for a decade. decades. and i suspect governor romney and his focus groups and polling is hearing from families that they're concerned about paying for college, helping their kids go to college, and he's responding to that. >> woodruff: a final word from the two of you. what do you see as the correct approach going forward? neal? >> it's got to be to reduce the aid. you start with loans that are not focusing on low-income
people, that anybody can get regardless of income. we have to start looking at some sort of evidence that a student who gets these loans or this aid can succeed in college. that's what has to happen because the evidence is really quite clear: aid enables colleges to raise prices. >> woodruff: what go do you think? >> well, i've indicated that i think neal is fundamentally wrong in his assertion. if you reduce student aid, fewer people go to college, we have fewer individuals with post-secondary education credentials and in an era in which we're increasingly concerned about our ability to compete globally we ought to be looking for ways to get more americans into and out of college not looking to cut student aid because we think it will lower college prices. >> woodruff: so keep going with pell grants but in a targeted way. terry hartle, neal mccluskey, we thank you both. >> thanks.
>> woodruff: we have much more about student debt online. you can use our student loan calculator, get information about a new repayment plan, read profiles of people coping with educational debt burden and watch past reports by "newshour" economic correspondent paul solman. all that is on our making sense page. >> warner: still to come on the "newshour": hackers disrupt bank websites; women candidates on the ballot in new hampshire; how social media saw the debates and john kennedy's secret tapes. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: decades worth of documentation became public today on sexual abuse of boy scouts by adult leaders. the so-called "perversion files" run to more than 14,000 pages of information collected between 1959 and 1991. for more i'm joined by nigel duara of the associated press. nigel, you and your fellow reporters studied these cases for months. give us an example of one that leapt out. >> you know, the case that leapt out to us is the one we ended up leading with. it was the case of three kids whose mom walked into a louisiana sheriff's office and
said "three of my kids have been abused by their scout masters." so the sheriff's office deputies interviewed the scout master, brought him into the police station and said "can you tell us what happened?" and, according to police files that are in these scout files, he admitted to it. he said it happened, happened the way they said it happened, i don't know why i did it, then the case was buried and as far as we can tell from these files they said it was buried to preserve the interest of scouting. >> sreenivasan: so how widespread was this type of bearing or collusion with local leaders? >> the maddening thing about these files is that we don't know ultimately. there are ott a lot of them that were destroyed by the scouts in 1975. more of them would go away when scouts turned 75 or died. so for us, the issue is we found individual cases where it happened and we probably found 15 or 20 different cases. then we also take into account that local scout masters are also local officials. so by that measure it's
countless. >> sreenivasan: let's talk about that. how do we calculate the number of people affected? you have a finite number of individuals, allegedly perpetrators of this. but what about the victims? >> the tabulation of the victims hasn't been done and part of the issue now is their names have been redactd from the files. so anyone looking to go back and tabulate that is going to have the problem that they won't have different names of victims so you don't know exsfrept the context if it's one person or five people or ten people. so it's impossible to tell at this point how many victims we have. >> sreenivasan: so you've had several decades of historical data but the boy scouts have been keeping these files up to the current date, right? what's their reaction to all this? >> so what they've done and what they did, frankly, before these files came out, certainly they put different prevention measures in place to stop this from happening. they have a too-deep rule, which is that two scouters have to be with the kids at any one time. but in addition, they've said they're going to go back and they're going to report all the incidents that they can find of scouts where it may not have
been brought to police. so if they go back and see that perhaps police weren't alerted but the scouts were of possible abuse they will take that to a police office or sheriff's office. >> sreenivasan: nigel duara, thanks so much for your time. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: wall street got a shock today, when a disappointing earnings report by google was published prematurely. it showed an ongoing decline in ad revenue, and stock in the search engine giant plunged. trading in google was halted for two and a half hours, but shares still fell 8% on the day. overall, the dow jones industrial average lost eight points to close below 13,549. the nasdaq fell 31 points to finish under 3,073. hundreds of youthful protesters fought with police in athens, greece today. the violence was aimed at austerity measures imposed under a european bailout of greece. fire bombs burned in the streets, as approximately 70,000 demonstrators surged through the capital. riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds, just outside parliament. today marked the second general
strike in greece in the last month, as workers demanded that lawmakers reject new taxes and spending cuts. >> ( translated ): we can't take it anymore. people are suffering. there are households where everyone is unemployed. the prices are constantly increasing in contrast with life. we are fighting to prevent the passage of these measures which would bring us to our knees. >> sreenivasan: the strike was timed to coincide with a european union summit in brussels, where greece's economic plight will top the agenda. in afghanistan, president hamid karzai insisted today his country's military and police can take over full responsibility for security sooner than scheduled, if the coalition leaves early. karzai spoke in kabul, after meeting with nato secretary- general anders fogh rasmussen. >> afghans are ready to expedite the process of transition if necessary and are willing as well, so this is in all aspects good news for us and good news for nato.
>> sreenivasan: 104,000 nato troops are currently stationed in afghanistan, including 68,000 americans. the current plan calls for foreign combat troops to leave by the end of 2014. rasmussen said the alliance remains committed to that timetable. some 14 million americans practiced today for what to do when an earthquake hits. they took part in an annual drill dubbed the "great shakeout." students like these in charlotte, north carolina got under their desks, covered their heads and held onto something sturdy to help minimize injuries during shaking. most of the participants were in california, but maryland, virginia and the district of columbia also joined in for the first time. a 5.8 magnitude quake hit the mid-atlantic region last year. "nsweek" is undergoing a shake-up in its latest effort to survive. the magazine announced today it will end its print edition as of december 31, and shift entirely to an all-digital format. the 80-year-old weekly has been
losing money for years as readers and advertisers moved to the web. several other major magazines have already gone digital-only. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to margaret. >> warner: we turn to a new cyber-campaign against american banking giants and growing worries about what they might foreshadow. it began late last month and continue to this day. two more u.s. banks are the latest targets in the spate of cyber hits on american financial institutions. this week, capital one and b.b.& t. suffered disruptions on their websites-- leaving customers without access to their accounts. a group calling itself the qassam cyber fighters claimed responsibility and said the attacks are retaliation for an anti-muslim video. but some u.s. officials, like connecticut senator joe lieberman, blame the recent uptick of attacks on iran and its elite security force. he spoke last month on c-span.
>> i think this was done by iran and the quds force which has its own developed cyber attack capacity and i believe it was a response to the increasingly strong economic sanctions that the united states and our european allies have put on iranian financial institutions. >> warner: also blamed on iran-- recent hits on saudi arabia's state oil company aramco and qatar's natural gas producer rasgas that disabled 30,000 computers entirely. and defense secretary leon panetta warned last week that the threat to america's vital infrastructure throughout is rising. >> the collective result of these kinds of attacks could be a cyber pearl harbor; an attack that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life. >> warner: iran denied any role. but panetta said the u.s. military stands ready to respond or even pre-empt destructive attacks.
in fact, it's been widely reported that e u.s. and israel disrupted iran's nuclear program with a computer virus called stuxnet in 2010. meanwhile, big banks who've been hit are anxious about what may lie ahead. this was j.p. morgan chase's c.e.o. jamie dimon, last week, at the council on foreign relations, in washington. >> it's a big deal. it's going to get worse. computers in ten years are going to be a 100,000 times faster. and so they'll be able to do calculations quicker and get through quicker. and we're going to have to meet that in every way, shape or form. >> warner: for now, though, a cyber-security bill sits stalled in the senate, with little prospect of action this year. for more, i'm joined by michael leiter, director of the national counter terrorism center from 2008 to 2011. and rodney joffe, senior vice president at neustar, a cyber security provider for private and government clients. in 2009, he designed a scenario for a government exercise in how
to defend against cyber-attacks. welcome to you both to this important topic. michael leiter, begin by describing what these hackers did that could temporarily disrupt these web sites. >> in this case, what they did was a disrupted denial of service attack and in layman's terms all that means is taking computers away from those banks and then flooding effectively the web sites of those banks so normal customers in the bank can't actually communicate, transfer funds and the like. the. >> warner: is there something that makes banks particularly vulnerable to cyber hacking? >> banks tend to be one of those industries that is prepared better than any other industry in the united states but we see here that they are still susceptible. and i think it's two things. one, they represent american power in the same way that the terrorist attack, the world trade center on 9/11 they
represent american economic power. the second is they are so relying, increasingly so everyday, on their web sites for core aspects of the business. you and i both check our accounts, transfer funds and cyber activists or cyber hackers know this is the case. >> warner: so what is the danger? well, first of all, mr. joffe, the banks have tried to defend themselves yet they were really outguned in this case. what does that tell you about the growing level of sophistications of these hackers? >> as michael said, the banks really are the best prepared. that's where the money is so they've been working for many years as a sector and they're very well prepared. what is different about is is that the people behind the attack-- whoever that may be-- were very, very knowledgeable about how the internetwork sod what they've been doing on an almost day by day basis overcome their defenses and taken a extra step forward. so even though there was warning in fact, almost all of the banks had days or weeks of warning -- >> warner: they announced, it,
right? >> in a public post. even though that was in place it was very difficult for the banks to defend themselves. >> woodruff: what do you think is the danger of a more sophisticated, more broadly based attack on the financial system that really could disrupt or disable significant portions of our financial network. >> so there is a significant threat not just against the financial sector, but one of the problems is that there's a great teaching moment going on so that not only people who are trying to attack the financial infrastructure but trying to attack other parts of u.s. and, in fact, global critical infrastructure are now learning about a mechanism that actually overcomes some of the barriers that have been in place from the beginning. there's a fundamental issue with the protocols that actually makes this happen. >> warner: is that the case that you see it? that with every attack they get better at it? whoever is doing this? >> they do get better.
we get better at defending but they're moving faster than we are in most cases. we see three types of threats: we see the disruption threat, and that's what we saw with these banks. we see all the time the theft threat, organizations and companies that have been penetrate and their proprietary information is stolen and finally the most dangerous, the destructive threat. that's what we saw in the case of aramco, the saudi oil company >> warner: meaning they were able to permanently destroy data. >> that's exactly right. going in, penetrating networks and erasing files, in this case ending up with a burning u.s. flag in the place of the file that made the computers function >> warner: isn't there also a danger here, a threat, of having the american public lose confidence in the security of their money in a bank, let's say? and in doing business with banks online? they could be in and of itself destructive. >> in reality that's probably the biggest challenge.
in the current attack there is some financial impact to the banks but we don't have any evidence of money being stolen and what will happen over time is that the public will begin to lose confidence. if you think about it as an individual you have banking to do towards the end of the month. if you're unable to get into your bank account in the period of a day or two you start to worry about the stability of the entire banking infrastructure which is obviously a trust issue globally. >> warner: your mortgage payment is due and you won't be able to have it paid. >> that's all you care about. >> warner: so which of america's adversaries, michael leiter, have the know how to mount a systemic attack. is it countries like russia, china, iran? is it criminal elements? is it jihadis? who? >> start with ones who are not that great and that's terrorist groups. although they have some capability they're not the strongest in this regard. the next is organized crime. and organized crime largely out of russia has really incredible
sophistication. and that then links to the state threats and by far the most nabel that regard are china, which has been identified. they have a serious national security policy of using cyber terrorism and theft, and russia. the other issue we face is those hackers are being rented out by states and by others so we have an alignment of interests here among some states and some organized criminal which is makes this threat that much more difficult to defeat. >> warner: you didn't mention iran. >> i didn't mention iran and i should have. so thank you. the c.e.o. of p.n.c. bank, one of the banks that was attacked over the past couple weeks, blamed hamers in iran for the most recent attacks and it's been widely reported that the attacks emanated from iran. whether the government was involved, it's hard to know. >> warner: before we go, what more should be being done either by companies or the government that isn't being done to guard against this? >> so i think that one of the
biggest problems is attribution, the struggle we're having in terms of who's behind it. it's important to know where it's coming from because when you either provide diplomatic pressure to alleviate the attacks, what michael said about the most dangerous groups, which is criminals and their nation state, the line is very blurred. one of the biggest problems is we can't tell whether we're dealing with a nation state issue or criminal issue and most times they work together. >> none of this is going to be stopped by building firewalls. we have to produce a system that works between the government and private sector which is agile so people can identify threats very very rapidly, respond operationally and reduce the threat and we actually -- absolutely are going to have to protect proprietary information which is being stolen in massive and historic amounts. >> warner: so that means companies have to be willing to share the information? >> really important. sharing information between companies and the private sector and public sector critical.
the. >> warner: and that's one of the big contentious issues on the hill. well, rodney joffe and michael leiter, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: next, two more political stories. first, how democrats are trying to convert women's issues into votes in the battleground state of new hampshire. special correspondent anna sale of wnyc radio traveled to the granite state recently. her story is part of our new collaboration with public media partners across the country. we're bringing you reports from areas that will likely dictate the outcome of the election in a series we call battleground dispatches. >> reporter: in this election, women are a key voting bloc for both white house candidates. but in the battleground state of new hampshire, closely-contested races down the ballot are about much more than the female vote. they're also about the candidates-- both democrats running for congress here are women. so is the democratic gubernatorial candidate, maggie
hassan-- the only woman running for governor in the country. if all three win their races, new hampshire will make history. elizabeth ossoff studies political psychology at saint anselm college. >> it does seem striking having all women potentially be the representatives to washington and also potentially sitting as the executive of the state. but it's not that surprising in new hampshire. new hampshire has this sort of, this track record, this history of being very comfortable with women in these positions. >> reporter: currently, new hampshire's two senators are both women, but from different parties. victories for these other female candidates are anything but certain. so is the question of how women's issues will impact these tight races. maggie hassan is endorsed by planned parenthood and is running on her pledge to support the organization, which conservative lawmakers in the state have been pushing to defund. >> women's health has become and is a part of this campaign because all across the state of new hampshire there are women who need to know whether they're
suddenly going to have to pay more for their health care. if you defund planned parenthood, which my opponent supports, that means its going to be more expensive for cancer screenings, fertility treatments, birth control. >> reporter: hassan's challenger is republican ovide lamontagne. he says democratic candidates are overstating the importance of women's issues to distract voters from the economy. >> in the course of over a year of campaigning across the state, attending house parties and um, and across the spectrum, i can't tell you that more than half a dozen times i've been asked questions about social issues. that is not a front burner issue at all. it's really not on the radar screen of any voter. the issues have only come up now in the general election. >> reporter: both president obama and former governor mitt romney-- a part-time resident of new hampshire-- have made the granite state a frequent stop on the campaign trail.
they're both courting female voters-- here and across the country. >> dear daughter your share of debt is $50,000 >> reporter: but how women's issues will play out in this largely independent, libertarian-leaning state is anyone's guess. the same is true for economic issues; new hampshire's unemployment rate is just 5.7%, far lower than the national average. >> new hampshire's independent streak has led to some unpredictable voting patterns. mr. obama won here four years ago, but two years later, the tea party wave gave republicans big gains. they won back the two congressional seats they lost in 2006, and took over the state legislature.
even the voters here have a hard time pinning down the political mood. >> there's a lot of independence in new hampshire. people tend to make up their minds you know, at the last, not necessarily the last minute, the couple days. they expect to see their candidates and get to know them. >> there's a lot of things that both parties have that i like, you know. i think democrats have something on a social end, but i think there are some republican ideals i can definitely identify with, too. so it's hard, every year, i sit there and say which candidate is speaking to me more? >> reporter: dante scala is a professor of political science at the university of new hampshire. he says republicans do best in new hampshire when they sidestep social issues. >> fiscal issues tend to rally the republican base but social issues, abortion, gay marriage, when they're on the front burner, that tends to fracture the republican base because the republicans in new hampshire are at best ambivalent about issues like abortion, and gay marriage. unlike republicans elsewhere.
>> reporter: republican congressman charlie bass is running against democrat anne mclane kuster. the race is a rematch; in 2010 bass narrowly beat kuster to reclaim the second district seat he'd lost in 2006. like romney, bass is running mainly on his prescription for the economy. but he's also stressing his bipartisan credentials on social issues. >> the fact is... is that i... i clear my own path in the political world. i've supported a strong reauthorization of the violence against women's act, the senate version as it's known. i supported funding for title-x for women's health. i've supported a woman's right to choose, i... i support roe v. wade. these are all issues that the democrats have tried to tie on the republicans but they just don't work with me. >> reporter: kuster is banking on what she calls a backlash from voters against the tea party wave that swept new hampshire in 2010. >> the democrats have been very swell up and down the ticket. i think what happened was that
there was some frustration, people thought the tea party was going to make promises they could fulfil and they absolutely have not. congressman bass embraced the tea party, went to washington and spent two years voting with them and now voters realize it's a nightmare. >> reporter: in the state's first congressional district, the race is another rematch-- this one between democrat carol shea-porter and republican frank guinta, who unseated her in 2010. now, she's running on opposition to the tea party's record in new hampshire. >> they forgot they were there to create jobs and they didn't pass a comprehensive jobs bill and they turned towards social engineering with trying to block contraception and all those other issues that, that really shocked new hampshire. >> reporter: but congressman guinta is betting on frustration with wasteful spending-- the same issue he rode to victory in 2010, and one that often excites voters in new hampshire, which
boasts no sales tax. >> they did have the stimulus, $800 billion and then it turns out that it wasn't nearly as effective as they hoped it was going to be. we continue to see the borrowing, those things really frustrated america and as a result you saw this 87 freshman class get elected. so i think that the other side feels they have no alternative but to try to ram the entire republican party as tea party and that just doesn't hold water. >> reporter: a new suffolk university poll out this week shows the presidential contest here is too close to call, but mr. obama does hold a slight edge over romneamong female voters. >> in a presidential year there's always some spillover into the down ballot races. now, it really depends on what's going on politically in the political environment. this cycle you are definitely seeing i think more energy as of late and that will affect turnout to a certain extent.
but the reality is, this is new hampshire. it's a battleground. >> reporter: in a close election this state's four electoral votes could determine who wins the white house, but it remains unclear if an obama victory here would translate to a historic sweep for the democratic women sharing the ballot. >> warner: we have more on these tight contests in new hampshire, and the ads in those house races, on our politics page. >> woodruff: and a second take on politics, part of our regular look at the campaign as it plays out in social media and on the web. ray suarez has that. >> suarez: for that we're joined by two journalists from the web site daily download. lauren ashburn is the site's editor-in-chief, howard kurtz is
the host of cnn's reliable sources. we're starting with twitter, a service with 500 million users, 340 million tweets a day but moving the boundaries when it comes to its use in political campaigns. what's a promoted tweet? >> the obama campaign is using what they are calling promoted tweets. which means in your queue of all the people you follow -- say if i follow a congressman, twiter will know that, they will know that i would more lakely be interested in and add -- an ad, promoted tweet, which would rise to the top of my queue that would be about politics. it's one tway campaign is getting its message out. another way on twitter is through promoted trends. that's the hashtag debates or hashtag romney/ryan 2012. and you can buy that term and the campaign is doing this. and that means that then you can promote who you want to promote. >> this week what the obama campaign is heavily promoting
with that phrase "binders full of women" this was mitt romney making a comment about having binders full of women. some people have done this on their own but the president has personally tweeted or somebody on his behalf, mitt romney won't say whether he'll stand up for equal pay but he likes binders full of women. >> the world is shifting under our feet here so i'm wondering if we know whether any of this works. >> yes, now that we know that we can do this, someone can pay because of what i'm interested in to have something move to the top of my queue so it's more likely to catch my eye. do we know whether these things, people starting their own web pages, circulating these fun photos and collages that people put together, whether it changes anybody's mind, whether it gets them thinking about the issues? a different way. whether it gets them to engage in a different way. >> i think they are engaging in a different way.
studies have shown that people whose friends share things politically based with them are more likely to engage in politics because their friend is also interested in that. although there are some people who you want to not follow during the political season if you don't agree them. >> this has caught fire, at least for this week on the web. a facebook page about binders full of women, 34 1,000 likes. there's a twitter handle romney binder, 3,000 followers. and the romney campaign taking it seriously enough that it's trying to push its own glow lowe is gahn or people that it's called online and that's empty binder. and it shows a president obama saying president obama's second term agenda. mooepl. >> suarez: part of this is that if these places are arrived at through search engines, t search engines also push them up to the top so that if you do a
search with the term "binder" you're more likely to find these sites. >> and find an ad bought by the campaign. >> or go on google and buy search terms so you're putting your thumb on the scale to make that more frequent. and now there are these sites popping up-- and not necessarily directly connected to the campaigns-- with certain, for example, pro-democratic parties. sites likes www.mitts bindersfullofwomen.com. >> and there's a tupl bler side that has 11,000 followers and that was just a very light hearted look, never intended to be as popular as it is. well other web sites like the ones howie reverends do have political messages, anti-romney messages. >> and they want to elevate women's issues and that's who the president is trying to appeal to because there was a question in the debate about pay
equity. >> suarez: speaking of binders and such, that, of course, came from the debate that was seen by tens of millions of people this week on long island and once again we saw interesting trends in the way people consume the debates themselves. tell us about it. >> many people don't just sit in front of their television set while they're watching t.v. what the studies are finding now is that they're following the debate online first of all but they're also following it online following it on their computer and maybe watching it on t.v. so what we have here is the pew research center did a study that found that all of the people -- >> in the first debate -- >> -- 14% of them watched online dual screening. >> either online exclusively or being on twitter and facebook or watching the tube at the same time. >> but in under 40, look at the
under 40s. 32% of people under 40 did that. so it does show you a third of people under 40 who were watching these debates are dual screened. >> and the reason that's an earthquake in my view is that people who are on facebook and twitter the same time they are watching something, they're engaged, talking to their friends, commenting, reading about big bird or binders full of women or whatever is the catch phrase or medicare and so with a different way of consuming political information than passively sitting on your couch a clickner your hand. >> and that's very much this younger generation. when you're designing a web site as we did, it has to be interactive. it can't just be static information anymore that is given to you. people want the ability to click here and click there and feel like they're a part of it. the same thing now is true in politics. >> and that describes lauren who is always on twitter. >> suarez: howard kurtz, lauren
ashburn, good to talk to you both. >> warner: finally tonight, a treasure trove of presidential recordings. richard nixon may have had the most famous secret taping system in the white house, but his was not the first. in 1962, john f. kennedy installed his own-- capturing conversations with his advisers, world leaders, former presidents, and even with his family. he began taping just before the cuban missile crisis, when the u.s. and the soviet union went up to the brink of nuclear war. this week marks the fiftieth anniversary of that standoff. tense conversations from those 13 days are among the transcripts and c.d.s in the new book "listening in-- the secret white house recordings of john f. kennedy." ted widmer, director and the librarian of brown university sorted through the material and annotated it. gwen ifill recently sat down with him.
>> ifill: ted widmer, thank you so much for joining us. tell us about these tapes. what's the professor innocence? where did they come from? >> well, he started to start taping in 1962 about halfway through his presidency and we don't know why exactly. our main source of information is an oral history left by a man named robert bauk, a secret service agent who installed the tapes. and from that we know where he placed the mics around the oval office and the cabinet room and we know that his secretary ef ling-ling con was in the know and stored the tapes but almost no one else knew at the time and in fact, it wasn't until 1973 that the world learned they existed. the day after alexander butterfield famously revealed the nixon tape it is head of the kennedy library which is not yet even a building revealed that there were kennedy tapes also.
but it's taken a long time for them to become clear and available. >> nobody else knew about -- they were being taped that they were being reported. the president was aware he was unt one pushing the button. >> top advisors like ted sorensen claimed to be dumbfounded when he learned the tapes existed. >> ifill: let's walk through the key moments in john f. kennedy's presidency that these tapes capture. one of them was the cuban missile crisis,6t4x! dt6
the very complicated world picture is upset at that moment. >> ifill: another important part is the civil rights moment. civil rights crisis. civil rights leaders same to his office and talked to him about what they expected of the kennedy presidency but also he found himself in a difficult position in trying to manage what was unfolding in mississippi with the integration of the university of mississippi with james meredith. in this piece of tape we hear him talking to the then governor of mississippi ross barnett.
>> ifill: governor barnett had an different idea about how to handle this crisis. >> that's a key moment. sometimes you can tell more from the intonations than the words themselves and president kennedy is raising his voice a little and saying i'm in charge here and you're not and the governor backs down. they're teach each trying to work with the other. they're trying to save face a little bit and not let this thing get out of hand but j.f.k. takes control of the situation. >> ifill: governor barnett wanted james meredith removed because he thought they was source of the problem? >> yes and president kennedy thought if he were removed he might be vulnerable to the mobs around the jail and he didn't trust governor barnett to maintain order. there's a lot of talk of keeping order inhat call. that is the moment where the --
sometimes the sluggish kennedy administration decides that civil rights is a major priority and it never looked back at that. >> there's a lot not on the audiotapes that come with it but another interesting part that i found curious was when he talk it is toward the end -- he reflects on his presidency and it turns out to be ten days before he's assassinated. let's listen to his thoughts.
>> they had come a very long way, they put civil rights at the top of the agenda. in a moral crisis he called on all americans to move past the divisions of the past but as a result he was in danger of losing states in the south and he'd won by so narrow a margin in 1960 that reelection was not a fore ordained conclusion so he's a little bit worried looking ahead and he's got foreign policy problems and a difficult congress that -- including democrats that didn't always want to work with him. so he had his work cut out for him and that's an interesting moment because his voice is a little more fragile than it other -- throughout these meetings it's very decisive and commanding in times of great difficulty and at this moment near the end there's a fragile human quality. >> ifill: why did it take ten years of us to learn of the tapes and then 50 years for us
to see them in this forum? >> well, the library has been releasing them to scholars since 1983 in targeted batched by thepls so cuban missile crisis tapes were released certain civil rights tapes were released but it takes time to go through the extent of these tapes and they need to be cleared by representatives of the federal government to make sure that there are no national security secrets being released. >> ifill: and also by the family. >> and by the family and it takes time to do it right. but in the last couple years the library has done an extraordinary thing by making the last batch available by finishing the process. but by putting a huge amot of it online for americans to hear, it's a remarkable chance for the american people to hear what it's like to be president in a visceral way. >> ifill: fascinating to listen to. the name of the book is "listening in, the secret white
house recordings of john f. kennedy. ted widmer, thanks to listening to them for us. >> thank you, gwen. >> warner: and online you can listen to more of the kennedy recordings from the j.f.k. library website. find a link on our homepage. plus a program note. on october 23, you can watch the documentary "cuban missile crisis-- three men go to war" on most pbs stations. >> woodruff: again the major developments of the day: the burden of student loan get got even heavier in the last year. a new report showed two-thirds of college graduates in 2011 owed more than $26,000 on average. and the boy scouts released decades worth of documentation on sexual abuse of boys by adult leaders. the release came under aourt order. a long-term weather forecast online for a warmer, drier winter this year. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: after nine months of record-breaking high temperatures, scientists at the national oceanic and atmospheric administration announced today the trend is likely to continue into the winter months.
and on science thursday, get a glimpse of the earth some 250 million years ago. researchers have new data on a mass extinction from that period and the earth's slow recovery. and how trustworthy are polls? paul solman spent a day with a pollster to learn his methods. you can find his "q" and "a" on the business page. all that and more is on our website: newshour.pbs.org. margaret? >> warner: and this's the newshour for tonight. i'm susan wornick susan wornick. >> woodruff: and i'm judy wood rough. we'll see you online with mark shields and david brooks among others. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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