tv PBS News Hour PBS August 14, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the dawn of a new era. the stars and stripes returns to havana after 54 years as the u.s. re-opens its embassy in cuba. then, how the cuba debate's playing on the campaign trail and is hillary clinton still the democratic favorite? the analysis of david brooks and david corn. the pbs staple "sesame street" meets a new friend: hbo. what the move means for children's television and public media. plus, a story "straight outta compton." how one rap group spoke to a racial divide that lingers to this day. the stuff that we were going through in the late '80s, early
'90s, is still fresh in the news today. the reality of how we were living and what we were going through, nothing has changed. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
♪ >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: there's word of a new atrocity against an american hostage by the islamic state group. the parents of kayla mueller sad today that u.s. intelligence confirms she was repeatedly raped before her death in
february. another hostage held with her reported that the isis leader abu bakr baghdadi took mueller as a "wife" and assaulted her at a compound in syria. al-baghdadi died in a u.s. raid in june. kurdish officials in iraq say they are investigating chemical weapons attacks by isis forces. they say the militants fired chlorine gas mortar rounds at kurdish peshmerga fighters. just yesterday, "the wall street journal" reported that isis militants likely used mustard gas against the kurds this week. the report cited u.s. officials for the information. the death toll in china rose to 56 today in the fiery explosions that laid waste to a major port. and there was growing speculation that firefighting crews may have accidentally triggered the disaster in tianjin. tom clarke of independent television news has this report. >> reporter: two days on, what look like containers appear to
be still exploding in the blasted remains of tianjin's industrial zone. the destruction is almost absolute. four ton shipping containers lie scattered like lego bricks. thousands of cars. not just burned. their alloy wheels melted into puddles on the ground. inexplicably, those yards away are almost unscathed. the question everybody wants answered is what exactly could have caused a blast so powerful? it obliterated a two-kilometer radius. punching holes through apartment blocks, taking interior doors off their hinges. but the questions will have to wait. the danger has not yet passed. >> so many different materials there that could cause chemical reactions. during the disposal process, explosions could occur at
anytime and there have been numerous small explosions, already. >> reporter: specialist army chemical teams arrived today. the test kits, should tell them what firefighters may not have known initially. calcium carbide-- stored at the site-- makes flammable gas when mixed with water. ammonium nitrate, kept alongside it, is highly explosive. it's thought attempts to fight a smaller fire may have inadvertently caused the destruction. this mobile phone footage captured the initial blast. as this car reverses away 30 seconds later its dashboard camera catches the second far more powerful explosion, then violence of its shockwave. so intense, the network of sensors used to enforce the nuclear bomb test ban triangulated the blast. devices in russia, mongolia, kazakhstan and-- incredibly--
palau, all registered the detonations as large as a magnitude three earthquake. one firefighter was found alive in the wreckage last night, but 13 are still missing. this evening, china's state council announced a nationwide inspection of hazardous chemical storage sites. >> woodruff: local officials have said smoke from the fires is not contaminating the air, but people in tianjin could be seen today wearing breathing masks. eurozone finance ministers met in brussels today and gave final approval to a third bailout for greece. hours earlier, after an all- night debate, the greek parliament backed the draft agreement despite a rebellion by members of the ruling party. the deal requires new cuts in public spending and tax hikes in exchange for $93 billion over the next three years. greece also got relief on another front as a cruise ship arrived at the island of kos to ease the migrant crisis there.
the huge vessel will serve as a floating screening center and temporary shelter for thousands of syrian refugees. they're awaiting official documents in order to travel elsewhere in europe. in japan, the prime minister today acknowledged the pain his country inflicted during world war ii. but, he stopped short of making a fresh apology. shinzo abe's statement marked seven decades since japan surrendered to allied forces in 1945. >> on the 70th anniversary of the war, i bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished at home and abroad, i express grief and sincere condolences. over 80% of the population was born after the war. these generations and those in the future who have nothing to do with the war should not have to continue apologizing.
>> woodruff: resentment toward japan's war-time actions still runs high in south korea and china. the chinese state news agency dismissed abe's statement today as a "tuned-down apology". reports out of israel say police have stepped up security at the u.s. embassy and the home of u.s. ambassador dan shapiro. according to the accounts, he's received death threats over the iran nuclear deal. a u.s. state department official would not confirm the reports today. but he praised the israeli police, and said: "we take any threat seriously and take appropriate steps." and back in this country, wall street finished this friday with modest gains. the dow jones industrial average added nearly 70 points to close just short of 17,480. the nasdaq rose 14 points and the s&p 500 was up eight. for the week, the dow and the s&p gained more than half a percent. the nasdaq rose a tenth of a percent. still to come on the newshour: the u.s. embassy in cuba reopens after 54 chilly years, a wrap of
the week's political news, with david brooks and david corn and much more. now to an historic moment in cuba this morning, old glory being hoisted up for the first time in more than 50 years. hari sreenivasan has the story. it was something not seen in havana since 1961: u.s. marines raising the stars and stripes as the national anthem played and a crowd cheered. the audience included the three former marines who'd lowered the flag, 54 years ago. also looking on: john kerry, the first secretary of state to visit cuba since 1945. he used the occasion to call for change in a country where the communist party rules unchallenged.
>> we remain convinced the people of cuba would be best served by genuine democracy, where people are free to choose leaders, express their ideas, practice faith with a commitment to economic and social justice. >> sreenivasan: later, kerry met with his cuban counterpart, bruno rodriguez, who defended the castro government's human rights record. >> ( translated ): cuba feels very proud of its performance when guaranteeing the full exercise of indivisible, interdependent, universal human rights, civil rights, civil liberties on equal footing for each cuban citizen. >> sreenivasan: cuban dissidents were allowed to attend a flag raising at the home of the u.s. chief of mission. they weren't invited to the earlier embassy event. u.s. senator marco rubio-- a cuban-american and republican presidential candidate-- blasted that decision, in a speech in new york. >> cuban dissidents have fought for decades for the very democratic principles president obama claims to be advancing through these concessions their exclusion from this event has insured it will be little more
than a propaganda rally for the castro regime. >> sreenivasan: in a statement, fellow republican hopeful jeb bush, the former governor of florida, said kerry's visit was: "a symbol of the obama administration's acquiescence to castro's ruthless legacy." kerry said today that talks on "full normalization" will start next month and president obama plans to visit cuba next year. >> woodruff: we hoped to have bloomberg's news indira lakshmanan joining us to speak with hari. we're having technical difficulties and hope to get to her in a moment. that brings us to the analysis of brooks and corn. that's "new york times" columnist david brooks and david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones and contributor to msnbc. mark shields is away. you already have republican candidates like marco rubio, we
just heard from him, jeb bush, saying this is a big mistake by the obama straismghts is this going to be an issue in the 2016 presidentsle race? >> not in the general. if you want in the republican primary, you have to be pro embarring o that's where the electorate is, but unlike all past elections, a, the cuban-american population is not as big, they're not the majority of hispanics, not even in florida. second, this is where generational change matters a lot, older cuban-americans are pro embargo and the younger ones not much. it's evenly divided. i have trouble believing it will be a big general election video. >> marco rubio puts himself as a face for the future, fresh leadership, and tied to the position of the past. 54 years hasn't worked. david's right. there is a tremendous shift. if you look at the polling coming out of florida
international university, right now a majority of all cuban-americans support obama's policy and if you break it down by age, it's close to 60% for people who are the younger half to have the population, or, interestingly enough, if you came here after 1980. so it's really just the people who came here early and who are owed, who may be republican primary voters, same place, holding onto the vestiges of this policy. otherwise, it's going to the why said. >> woodruff: even in the margins, you don't see it making a difference? >> if there is a competitive florida primary at some point for the reps, yes, but in the general election, this is a looking backward position, it's a minority position. it won't help any republican in the general contest. >> and in the primary, maybe rubio has more credibility because he's cuban-american but they're all in the same position. it's an interesting race. we could get down to the florida primary between bush and rubio and they're polling even. in the general election, neither
are guaranteed to deliver florida pho the reps. in all their races, the bush has not run in presidential year. >> woodruff: something else jeb bush brought up this week as an issue in the race was going after hillary clinton, blaming her and the obama administration for, essentially, helping create i.s.i.s. i mean, he said that with the obama administration did under her leadership as secretary of state was to leave an opening, pulling the troops out, he said, too early, in 2007. is this something, david corn, that he can get smiling. >> i think he was setting a record for chutzpah. it wasn't till after his invasion in iraq that you had something called al quaida in iraq and that's the group that morphed into i.s.i.s. so i.s.i.s. is a direct result of the war in iraq. so he's wrong on the history.
then he said what happened was obama and hillary clinton orchestrated a quick withdrawal after everything was secure. nothinknot was secure in 2009 ad 2010. george bush in 2008 created an agreement with maliki that said the troops had to be out by 2011. obama didn't renegotiate that and there is a question as to whether he could have given the political situation in baghdad. so jeb bush is totally rewriting this and why is he even talking about iraq? >> he wants to have an anti-terror foreign policy. i give him a little credit. both parties have something to answer for. ultimately, i.s.i.s. created i.s.i.s., it wasn't us. around the environment, so the bush administration, the failed war, that had some contributory factor. i do think that we abandoned iraq too quickly, left too quickly and left a void in sunni
areas which i.s.i.s. was happy more important, and a bigger indictment of the obama administration, we did nothing about the syrian civil war and that created the biggest void. that's not necessarily hillary clinton's fault because she was arguing for more aggressive policy. nonetheless, we did nothing. today our attacks on i.s.i.s. are paltry and we've continue to do nothing. there are moral issues. my institute had a study on institutionalized rape. we sit by and do nothing. >> woodruff: it is such a disturbing story. does he have a point there, david? >> i think you can have a policy dispute or a debate, a discussion about what should be done and has been done in the last three or four years regarding i.s.i.s. and iraq. you can't blame hillary clinton and barack obama for giving us i.s.i.s., which is what jeb bush did, and if he wants to get to brass tax and talk about what he's willing to do in terms of
putting in troops and taking on targeting that hasn't been done, already, i mean, barack obama has mounted thousands of air strikes, and the real question is, at the end of the day, can the u.s. go in and make a difference? military might doesn't always give us what we want in this region, we learned from the military invasion of iraq. >> woodruff: his criticism is raised at hillary clinton which raises another question. she's not only dealing with that but in larger sense, the e-mails, her server turned over to the f.b.i., questions about whether a couple were marked top secret. she's facing bernie sanders being ahead of her in the polls in new hampshire, david. there is serious talk about joe biden, vice president biden looking at running as a democrat, and even a rumor today about al gore. what's going on in the democratic party? is hillary clinton more vulnerable than anybody thought? >> obviously.
people thought, a, she's a good candidate, not fantastic, she's not creative and imagination is really important when you're running for office, but, to me, the biggest problem and the joke is she carries more baggage than united air lines. over the years, she's accumulated all this stuff and the e-mails are a reminder of that. the biggest problem is she's running in the wrong year. she, i think, will get the nomination because she's the only alternative but she clearly is the establishment. only three in ten americans think their view is represented in washington, only 29% of americans think the country is headed in the right place. the people want a structural change and that's especially true on the progressive side. so she's running against the prevailing winds of the moment. she can run but she's in the fight in the wrong year. >> woodruff: do you think she's vulnerable. >> not in the sense that other
democratic nominees can take her out. i think bernie sanders can win new hampshire, but often nominees lose some primaries going on. i find it hard to see how even if he does have the long return, i don't know. joe biden could be a bit of the problem. people closely to him have been talking about. the consideration is really happening. but there were two established front-running candidates in this presidential race, one is hillary clinton, and she is pretty high h in the polls, most standards for democrats in most place, and jeb bush is 5% in iowa. so he said i'd rather be her than him at this point in time if you have to be an establishment front-running candidate. but email and stuff, maybe it's good they're litigating this early but maybe it brings back what people in the political
media world complain about the clintons about. i don't know if that will be a pressing issue a year from now. for her, i think it's good there is a lot of story going on about other races. it's hard to be the center of attention for a year and a half and give speeches and not do much else and people still good for you at the end of the race. >> woodruff: there is an argument to have all this talk and the race roiling around a little bit and if she emerges victorious, she accomplishes more than if she's just been the assumed person all along. what do you think? (laughter) >> listen, she just hasn't, as i said, her party is roiled up. they think there are big structural problems in the economy. bernie sanders speaks to that. she doesn't yet. she's trying, she's catching up, but it doesn't seem authentic to her.
it's how cozy and rich she's been and her lifestyle. it's more of a challenge for her to decide where the energy of the party is. >> that happens in democratic primaries. bill clinton, 1988 vs. jerry brown, john kerry beat howard hd dean. but barack obama was in the sweet spot where the energy and the passion of quarter was. that's not always the person who gets the nomination and goes on to win and gets a good shot at it. >> bernie sanders is a progressive. the party is much more multiracial. he has to limit o'malley. he avoided the problem of peaking too early. she's still an alternative. jeb bush has at least five real alternatives. >> woodruff: speaking of a roiled-up party, donald rump has been dismiss bid everybody from one end of the spectrum to another but he seems to be just getting stronger.
he's going to in a helicopter to the iowa state fair tomorrow. he's in the cat bird seat this weekend. >> and i think will be for months to come. he comes across as a reality tv tycoon buffoon, but the people who are, you know, attracted to him are real important part of the republican primary base. you know, a lot of republicans still believe that barack obama was not born in the united states, that he's some sort of secret socialist and secret muslim who has a secret plan to destroy the united states and they just really don't like him. so they want somebody who's going to vent their fears and frustrations, somebody who's for good government policies, and that block is between 10% and 25%, and a divided field, that gives donald trump, if he speaks to these people, what he said, this outsized influence. i don't think that block is going away asd trump isn't going
away. >> i agree trump isn't going away, but he's not going to get votes. >> woodruff: you think he's not going to get votes? >> i think much less than the polls. i think in the poll he'll hang around 20 forever. but his vote is low information voters, people who don't pay attention to politics, and this is a conservative party and he is not a conservative. he's against entitlement reform, for a single healthcare system, he's for winners and losers. it's not a classic ideology. i think he'll get it for the reason i said earlier for the same reason jeb bush and hillary clinton are struggling, he's rising. he's at the moment where the country wants a weird insurgency with a lot of ego and that's him. and, so, he's at the moment of the times, but i don't think those people will show up and he'll hang around the 20% forever and somebody will eventually beat him. >> woodruff: we keep talking about him every friday. we'll see how long it lasts.
>> he continues to be an incredibly gross human being. that may get some comments. >> woodruff: david brooks, david corn, good to have you with us. >> thank you, judy. . >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: the national flute association descends on washington and what "sesame street's" former c.e.o. has to say about its leaving pbs. but first, a new movie opening today revisits a key period in the evolution of hip hop music, as well as present-day issues of race and justice. jeffrey brown previews "straight outta compton." >> you are now about to witness the strength of street violence. >> brown: it was music with
attitude: aggressive, angry, sometimes funny, always profane. "straight outta compton" burst on the hip hop scene in 1988 from the rap group n.w.a. it described a place reeling from gang violence, crack cocaine and poverty. men and women and the los a war zone between young black men and women and the los angeles police. the new movie, which borrows the album's name, details the rise of n.w.a. no whites allowed? >> what's n.w.a stand for? >> no, niggaz wit attitudes. >> brown: the group included d.j. yella, mc-ren and eazy-e, a drug dealer turned producer and rapper who would die from aids in 1995. as well as dr. dre and ice cube, who've gone on to enormous fame and who served as producers for the film. >> it's been a long, long road but now is the time and i think,
you know, america really wants this story because it's really a slice of american history. >> brown: the movie, spanning a decade, was directed by compton native f. gary gray. >> it shows how n.w.a established itself at a time when new york rap was dominant. and how the group responded to its environment. as when its members are detained by police outside a music studio as they're recording their first album. >> we're trying to check these bangers make sure they're clean. i'm a manager. mr. manager. >> you have to be kidding me. these rappers look like gang members.
>> to the average law-abiding citizen, a war on gangs seemed pretty good. but if every cop thinks every kid he sees is a gang member or a gangbanger, then that's where all the problems of abuse, excessive force, harassment, all these things start coming into play. >> brown: many of the songs in that album dealt directly with racial profiling and police brutality. >> f--- the police coming straight from the underground. a young nigga got it bad cause i'm brown and not the other color so police think. they have the authority to kill a minority. >> brown: that particular song provoked great anger and caught the attention of the f.b.i. todd boyd is a professor of race and popular culture at the university of southern california. >> they rapped in a way that was very confrontational. i think it had been common for african americans, for instance, over a period of time to sort of resist the stereotypes that mainstream society may have hoisted upon them.
what n.w.a did was they said, you know what? if you think we're thugs, if you think we're outlaws, you're right. you should be afraid of us. we're going to embrace the stereotype, we're not going to run from it. we're your worst nightmare. >> brown: the group called it reality rap. but it became known as gangsta rap. the response-- captured in a 1993 newshour report-- was sharply divided. some loved the raw energy and message. >> we know what's right and we know what's wrong and music is not the killer. music is not the ill! the ill is the street were are forced to live like rats on! >> brown: others heard a glorification of guns, drugs, and extreme sexism. >> this is not a place, as one young woman stood up and said, where i hear women called bitches and whores around every corner. it's not. it's not like that in oakland, it's not like that in l.a. there is some of it.
but their world must not understand that that is who we are. >> brown: in this scene from the film, the group responds to some of that criticism. >> we gave the people a voice. we gave the people truth. >> brown: yesterday, ice cube told me this: >> nah, i don't have any regrets. you know, that was a time capsule. music is a time capsule so you know, that's what was happening back then. that's what we was talking about. so making music about it to us was a positive thing. it was more positive than going out there and doing some of these things literally. so making a record was extremely fun, positive, creative, something to get us off the streets and we made history with it. >> brown: the arrival of the film offers a chance to take stock of that history. to consider how n.w.a.-- and rap -- evolved from an underground movement to today's popular culture.
>> think about the prominence of "the godfather," vitto corleone, michael corleone. well, by 2000 we have tony soprano and the sopranos. we had moved to the suburbs. we have a long tradition of embracing and celebrating gangsters in popular culture. hip hop is another version of that, so what was once threatening to many people by now is very mainstream. >> brown: the film also comes with powerful new resonance. it's set amid the beating of rodney king by four police officers in 1991. and the riots that followed not guilty verdicts for all but one officer, who was convicted on a lesser charge. the film arrives a year after the shooting death of michael brown in ferguson, missouri, spawned the black lives matter movement. further stoked by more recent videos showing blacks being killed at the hands of police.
>> that's actually sad-- to be honest-- the fact that the stuff that we were going through in the late '80s, the early 90s, you know its still fresh in the news today. so what we were speaking on was the reality of how we were living and what we were going through. and it's just a shame that people are still going through the same things. nothing has changed. >> brown: now, though, ice cube himself is a veteran acting star. even in family-oriented films. the music long ago became mainstream. and the story of n.w.a. is being told in theaters across the country. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown.
>> sreenivasan: bloomberg's indira lakshmanan is covering secretary kerry's visit and joins me now. indira, you were, there what's the mood like on the street behind you? >> well, this morning, i have to say it was really electric. there were people who were crowded, hundreds of cubans crowded up against police areas by the u.s. embassy. this is a hugely symbolic historical day because this is the building the cuban government and all its propaganda have referred to for decades as the nest of spice. today, we see senior cuban government officials coming together with john kerry and his delegation. we saw the three marines who were the same americans who took down the flag in 1961 helping to put it back up again and they
were cheering from the apartment buildings that overlook the american embassy. so very hard to find anyone in the city who was not in favor of the normalization. so there was a very happy spirit and definitely john kerry was trying to stress the positive. forget the cold war history, we have to move past the problems we've had in the past. >> i know you have technical difficulties. that's why you're holding the phone up. juxtapose that event with what happened right afterwards. tough words coming out of the foreign minister for cuba with a different conference where the cameras weren't focused on the handshakes. >> you're right. when john kerry was trying to accentuate the positive -- the fall of the berlin wall, collapse of soviet union, normal advertise with vietnam with whom we fought a war -- let's forget it and put it behind us.
the foreign minister says we have issues with the way you deal with human rights. they brought up ferguson, police brutality, unequal pay between men and women, race relations. a lot of these are common talking points the cuban government uses against the american government and, later, when we asked secretary deery about it he said we're pressing them on human rights, personal freedom and they're on the defensive and this is what we will work on as part of the dialogue. kerry made it clear that these talks will be restarting september 10 and 11 here in havana. then there will be a delegation coming back to the united states and if they don't make progress on a number of issues -- some are easier like cooperation on environmental issues, and some are harder, the issues for paying for claims for seized property and the issue of human rights. so he made it clear some of these are tough issues and he thinks it will take time, but if they don't make some progress, i think, you know, i think they
don't want to see backsliding. they will continue to press the cubans on all the issues which kerry referred to as issues of conscience. >> sreenivasan: reheard criticism from marco rubio saying the dissidents not being at the first event was pretty important, that secretary kerry met with them afterwards. what was the meeting lik like? >> yeah, that was an emotional meeting. john kerry said from the start that he wanted to meet with all of the members of cuban civil society, not just human rights activists, also members of the independent media, private entrepreneurs, but all of them marginalized by the cuban state. he made it clear he was going to meet with them but what we were told by state department officials, is just like in china, burma, vietnam or other countries who have repressive governments, it would be impossible to have governing officials and dissidents in the same room and that's whyhey had hofftwo events.
that won't make marco rubio or senator bob menendez happy and the critics of the administration saying why did you have this meeting with the government and pay homage to the castro government and see the dissidents separately burks the explanation they gave is, in any country like this, in order to improve relations, we have to have communication and we still there to meet with the dissidents in a separate venue. >> sreenivasan: indira lakshmanan, "bloomberg news," joining us from have navment thanks so much. >> woodruff: we'll be back with "sesame street"'s recent move. we'll be back with a conversation about "sesame street's" recent move. but first, take a moment to hear from your local p.b.s. station. it's a chance to offer your support, which helps keep programs like ours on the air.
for those stations still with us, we take a second look at the new poet laureate of the united states. a man with a distinct style of writing, who is the first latino to hold the position and who served as california's poet laureate. now he's stepping onto a larger stage. jeffrey brown is back with our profile. >> let us gather in a flourishing way. (reading in spanish) pearls of great flowing vines. (reading in spanish) let us gather in a flourishing way. >> brown: a blend of languages as the car drives through the dry duty 90-degree heat in sunday afternoon in california's san joaquin valley. behind the wheel, 66-year-old juan felipe herrera.
were you surprised when you got the call you were poet laureate? (laughter) >> i was surprised. it was a super surprise. i'm thinking yes and also thinking this was very big. >> brown: herrera was born here but didn't stay long. a child of itinerant farm workers from mexico, his first years were spent on the road. >> we went from crop to crop, field to field and my father had a 1940s army truck from fort bliss, el paso. >> brown: that's how you traveled? >> that's how we traveled. >> brown: all around california? >> all around california. >> brown: it was during those long travels his mother first entertained young juan with a tattered family photo album, and told him story after story to accompany the pictures. when they settled near
san diego and juan went to school, he wanted to tell stories. it was forbidden. >> the first day i wanted to talk and i was not allowed to talk because i spoke spanish. perhaps because of that, i really wanted to talk. (laughter) >> brown: it was words and poetry that illuminated his path into a larger world. when you come to a place like this now, do you see a line from here to your poetry? >> it's an interesting line. it's a very interesting line. perhaps the roads are spread out and how they curl in many directions and have many features, that's how my road has been. it has reached out in different directions to mexico, to the pueblos, to families, students, teaching in workshops, experiment, and, of course, my father and mother's hands on these leaves.
>> brown: you being born in a place like this. >> and being born right here. so it's all my story. >> brown: on the campus of fresno state university where he would later teach, herrera told me of his time as a college student at u.c.l.a. in the fervor of the 1960s and '70s, part of a movement of chicano civil rights and culture. >> we were working on becoming visible. >> brown: becoming visible. ecoming visible. and also making our communities visible. and our histories visible. you know, words and the way of seeing what was going on visible. let us gather in a flourishing way. >> brown: after teaching at >> brown: after teaching at the university of california
riverside for many years, herrera retired to fresno where he lives with his wife margarita, children and grandchildren nearby, author of more than 20 books of verse and prose, including a number written for children. his poetry is a mix of styles, some feel like an incantation. he cites alan ginsburg -- he as an influence. your work is very ex personalitile, different styles you're trying, yet, at the same time, you are clearly trying to reach people, right? >> yes. >> brown: you want to be understood. >> yes. yeah, we can understand poetry in a billion styles. experiment, tradition, combination, spice, image, it's all there for the poet, the listener and all of us. that's what it's about, you know. >> brown: as california's poet
laureate, herrera wrote and engaged others on the issues of the day, including bullying among young people, and he's long within concerned with the human and policy drama of migration. >> i have a piece called mortar bus and it's about two women on a border bus on a bus that had been detained and they had been arrested and hauled in and put in a bus, and one says, where are we going? the other says nowhere. they other one says, i come from nowhere. >> brown: herrera told me as we walked through fresno's mall on monday morning, he now feels a great responsibility. >> i know i'm representing the library of congress, all to have the united states and, of course, the latinos and latinas as well. >> brown: that particular community. >> as well, yes. it's very important because i want to promote the writers in those communities, promote writing, promote reading, books, and promote the people and who we are.
(reading poetry in english and spanish) >> brown: in california's san joaquin valley, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs "newshour". >> woodruff: for more arts coverage-- including jeff's conversations with many previous poet laureates-- visit our website: pbs.org/newshour. finally, big changes at sesame street. yesterday, the long-running pbs children's television series announced a new five-year
partnership with hbo. hbo will air new fall episodes starting this fall. new episodes of the show-- a pbs staple since it premiered in 1969--- will appear first on the premium pay cable channel then air for free on their traditional public television home, nine months later. to help us explore what led to this change, and what it means, we turn to gary knell. he was c.e.o of sesame workshop, the non-profit group behind the show, from 2000 to 2011, then head of n.p.r., before moving to his current job as president of the national geographic society. gary knell, great to have you with us. >> thanks for having me back. >> woodruff: so, tell us, what was behind this. now that we have a day to digest the news, what were the forces at work? >> you have to look at this three ways. for hbo this is about streaming. they're competing with netflix, and, for them, and amazon prime,
and this is a way of getting a number-one, quality brand on to their streaming platforms. for "sesame street," this fills an economic gap and their economic model for many years has been filled by home video and toys and books and other things that they were able to monetize off the brand to pay for the production in a lot of ways for pbs, and this is a way of plugging that gap and giving them running room. i think for pbs, it's a little bit of an admission that maybe they're a little bigger than "sesame street." they have 19 pre-school and kids' shows on pbs, and pbs kids has become a robust network has bigger than "sesame street" now. it includes "sesame street," that's an important component burks it's bigger than -- but it's bigger than that. >> woodruff: why hbo? we think of this as a channel that appeals to adults, it's a premium pay cable thing, something people will have to
pay for. couldn't it work at pbs in. >> well, it could, but for hbo this is a brilliant move to go after the millennial audiences and young parents who grew up with "sesame street." again, they're in a fight to the death now, not so much about their cable channel, so to speak, but it's much more about streaming. it's this a la carte world where we're now competing against every piece of content i've ever invented from a cat video to gone with the wind every night, and unless you have great a la carte programs, you're going to be in a competitive disadvantage to the netflixs and amazon primes of the world. >> woodruff: what about implications for children's programming? the premise of "sesame street" workshop was to bring quality, educational programming to all kids, kids who were underserved, whose parents might not have been able to expose them to other things. what about that original mission?
>> the mission doesn't change for "sesame street." this is a way for them to continue to do great work. they take child development very seriously. when i was there, we did programs with military families. they're doing things around the world a lot of people don't do to promote education, hbo gave them resources to do that and stay with a nonprofit mission. it's just they will be on other networks. they have been on other networks for a long time, cable channels with noggin and sprout. specials with nbc and abc. it's not necessarily a new thing. today, judy, i think it's really important that these educational organizations are on as many platforms as they can, including pbs which has its own streaming and own deals with over the top platforms which they have to be in. they've got to reach audiences where they are, where they're not going to meet their nonprofit mission. >> but what about the kids who may not have access to pay -- who don't have access to pay cable? yes, they will be able to see it
nine months later. it's almost as if are you creating two different classes of programming for children? >> you could look at it that way. i don't. kids, i don't think, could tell the difference whether something is in march or december. it's still fresh and new to them and will be made available free of charge. that's why public television is important is it creates equity and access. also the localism, whether oklahoma, oakland or omaha, you know, they're able to build outreach programs for kids teaching literacy and numericy and science. that doesn't change. this is added to the process rather than subtract it. >> woodruff: i know you're not at the workshop anymore, you left in 2011. do you think we'll see more changes like this in children's programming? >> yeah, i think it's a different world now and parents are not plopping their kids down
in front of nickelodeon as they were ten years ago or mtv for teenagers. this is world is much more a la carte, and i think it's important we recognize that in short-form videos, long-form videos, text. it's changing education, it's changing tell vies, it's changing how we all receive and process content. that is not going to slow down. >> woodruff: finally, for public broadcasting, for our home, pbs, how big a loss is this? what are the consequences? >> well, you know, i think it's something they should be proud that "sesame street" has had a 45-year run and will continue for a very long time. it will always be part of pbs, and it will continue that long-standing relationship. and pbs, as i said, has grown beyond "sesame street" and they have a lot to be proud of, judy. they have 19 other shows and a lot more producers who want to do great educational programs
for them and more power to them. i think this is a great dayfor children's programming. >> woodruff: good to remind everybody who were lamenting the coming loss of "sesame street." gary knell, great to see you again. thank you for being here. >> thanks so much. >> woodruff: on the newshour it's a very different celebration of music from our last story. over 3,000 amateur and professional flutists have descended on washington, d.c.. for the 43rd annual national flute association conference, setting off a symphony of sound. >> i'm steve kujala. i play the flute, piccolo, and all the ethnic flutes on movies and television soundtracks in
los angeles. i'm here for the same reason everyone else is here is just to down here in the exhibit hall, there are people "trying on" flutes. they are looking to improve on the instrument they already have or maybe something that's more brilliant, or has a different tone quality, or has better head joint or different apparatus. the flute is now officially the oldest instrument known to mankind. every culture has their its own flute. ♪ >> my name is patti adams and i'm a classical flutist. i play with the louisiana philharmonic in new orleans, louisiana. i think a pop up city is a perfect description for our national convention. all of these people have different interests coming together for a four-day flute blow-out. so there is something about floating up there on the very
top that color that makes the flute for me so powerful. >> i'm elizabeth shuhan and i'm from ithaca new york. the flute can produce a variety of colors. we are well known in nature as the bird so we can imitate birds quite easily but we can also play water. we can be the air. this instrument and the player can produce all of that absolutely and you are inspired to do that when you're performing. ♪ >> woodruff: at the closing ceremony sunday, all 3,000 flutists are invited to play together. now that's some band!
>> woodruff: on the newshour online: we explore the cultural and religious motivations of wearing a niqab, the full face veil with a narrow slit at the eyes, especially among western muslim women. that's on our podcast "shortwave." find out how to listen, on our home page. that's pbs.org/newshour. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week," which airs later this evening. here's a preview: >> ifill: candidates launch themselves into iowa this weekend, searching for voters and a corn dog or two as election 2016 gets real. plus, foreign policy victories turn into challenges in iran, and cuba. tonight on "washington week." judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend saturday and sunday, two
reports from hawaii, where residents are spending money to go solar. but how prepared is the local power company? on monday we kick off a weeklong series on innovative ideas to improve higher education. hari sreenivasan gives us an early look. (singing) >> sreenivasan: coming to the pbs "newshour", economists say two-thirds of the country's workforce will soon need a college degree or professional certificate. are colleges doing enough to prepare the next generation of graduates? >> public research universities have become increasingly exclusive. >> college also are exitive gain to get high-paying students. >> sreenivasan: are some families left behind? >> college is really expensive. i want to make sure i get a degree to support myself. >> sreenivasan: how are colleges making a difference? >> talent is a function of your ability and drive as an individual, not income.
>> sreenivasan: all that and more on our series on closing the graduation gap. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for
>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and mufg. >> they say the oldest trees bear the sweetest fruit. at mufg, we've believed in nurturing banking relationships for centuries, because strong