Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 4, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the f.b.i. takes over the investigation in san bernardino, as an act of terrorism-- new details on the radicalization of the shooters. then, we sit down with the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, samantha power, to talk refugee resettlement, terror threats, and more. and it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here, to analyze the week's news. plus, director spike lee on his new film tackling urban violence, "chi-raq:" >> we as americans should not be okay with our young people being shot down in the street. >> woodruff: all that and more
6:01 pm
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
6:02 pm
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 and friends of the newshour. >> 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: evidence is mounting this evening that the killers in san bernardino, california had become home-grown islamist radicals. but it is not clear they had links to anyone else. those facts emerged as the
6:03 pm
f.b.i. launched a full-blown federal investigation. >> we are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism. >> woodruff: after days of questions, a partial answer-- but few details. the f.b.i.'s david bowdich says there's still much they don't know about the carnage at a social services center. the killers-- syed rizwan farook and his wife tashfeen malik-- tried to cover their tracks. >> they attemped to destroy their digital fingerprints. for example, we found two cell phones in a nearby trash can. those cell phones were actually crushed. we have retained those cell phones and we do continue to exploit the data from those cell phones. we do hope that the digital fingerprints that were left by these two individuals will take us towards their motivation. >> woodruff: it also turns out that malik took to facebook as
6:04 pm
the attacks began, and-- under an alias-- she pledged allegiance to abu bakr al-baghdadi, leader of the islamic state group. >> we have no way to know if they are part of a larger group or formed a cell. there is no indication they are part of a network. >> woodruff: more nskt emerged about malik's background. pakistani intelligence officials said she moved from pakistan as a child with her family to saudi arabia. she met farook there in 2014, and they were married later. today, a media frenzy engulfed their apartment, after the landlord let reporters inside.
6:05 pm
some networks aired the footage on live tv. investigators had already finished their work there. police also released the identities of all 14 people killed in the attack, overnight. they ranged in age from 26 to 60. among them, nicholas thalasinos, who passionately defended israel and reportedly argued with farook-- at work, about the nature of islam-- two weeks ago. meanwhile, memorials for the victims continued to grow in san bernardino. and last night, thousands attended a vigil at a local baseball stadium. lights were dimmed and participants held candles, as the names of the victims were read. for now, officials say it's still not clear if farook and malik planned other attacks. but there's no indication of any further threats in the u.s. in the day's other news, the
6:06 pm
government's latest jobs report shows the u.s. economy turned in another solid performance in november. according to labor department numbers, employers added a net of 211,000 jobs in november. in addition, unemployment remained steady at 5%, the lowest it's been in 7.5 years. the jobs news sent wall street roaring to its best day since september-- and made up yesterday's losses. the dow jones industrial average gained 370 points to close near 17,850. the nasdaq rose more than 100 points, and the s&p 500 added more than 40. for the week, all three indexes were up a fraction of a percent. the organization of the petroleum exporting countries-- or o.p.e.c.-- announced it will keep pumping record volumes of oil into world markets. the decision to maintain current output came despite pressure from poorer member countries to curb supplies. the price of oil has dropped by
6:07 pm
more than half in the last year and a half. on the syria conflict, secretary of state john kerry suggested today, it might be acceptable for president bashar al-assad to stay in power-- in the short term. in greece, kerry said assad still needs to go eventually, if there's to be peace and an end to the refugee crisis. >> as human catastrophe on a gigantic scale and one of the reasons why so many people feel so strongly assad couldn't find legitimacy in the future to governorern when three-quartz in his country has had to go somewhere else to avoid barrel bombing, gassing and starvation. >> woodruff: kerry suggested
6:08 pm
that the western-backed rebels might even cooperate with syria's military against islamic state militants-- provided assad's future is made clear. germany will join the international coalition fighting islamic state forces in syria. the german parliament overwhelmingly approved a plan today to provide reconnaissance planes, a naval frigate and up to 1,200 troops. they'll support air strikes, but will not take part in actual combat. and in southern afghanistan, government troops freed 60 prisoners from the taliban overnight, supported by u.s. intelligence and surveillance. the operation took place in helmand province. most of those freed were afghan police and army officers. and, back in this country, president obama is now poised to sign a five-year transportation bill worth $305 billion. it won final approval last night in the senate. the first in six years.
6:09 pm
the bulk of the money-- more than $200 million-- goes toward maintaining aging roads and building new ones, especially in major freight corridors. the bill also funds mass transit systems, plus amtrak and other rail programs. lawmakers opted not to raise the federal gas tax. still to come on the newshour: my conversation with the u.s. ambassador to the united nations; the conclusion of our special series, nigeria's "pain and promise;" mark shields and david brooks on this week's news; and spike lee on his new film, "chi-raq." >> woodruff: the civil war in syria entered a new phase in recent months. millions of refugees have been displaced, as more countries-- like russia, france and the united kingdom-- enter the fight. as we saw this week, the threat of radicalization became real here at home.
6:10 pm
so how does all this look to america's top diplomat to the united nations? i spoke with samantha power a short time ago. ambassador power, welcome. i want to ask you, first, in the wake of this confirmation by the f.b.i. today that it's looking into the san bernardino shootings as an act of terrorism. in their concern on the part of the administration that it was late to recognize the threat here on u.s. soil? >> well, look, d.h.s., f.b.i., department of justice professionals have been working 24-7. there have been a huge number of plots around the world and a number here that have been disrupted. these are the most professional people around in terms of looking out for american security. i think the investigation is still progressing, so it's a little premature to go beyond what has been said, and once we have come to some conclusions, i
6:11 pm
know people will be looking back and people will insist we make sure everything we can do is being done. >> woodruff: i'm sure you know observers, critics, including even democrats is saying that the administration needs to have a more defeat i.s.i.s. strategy rather than a contain i.s.i.s. strategy which is the language the president was using until just a few days ago. >> well, from the beginning of the campaign, our slogan, as it were, has been degrade and destroy, degrade and defeat. the challenge, of course, internationally, is that i.s.i.l has rooted itself in populations that need to be contested on the ground. their financing has to be cut off, which i think we've made significant progress on even in recent days and hope to make more progress on later in the month at the security council when jack lou chairs the security council and tightens
6:12 pm
the screws on i.s.i.l financing. we have to deal with the messaging. and in communities where people are alienated, it's got to be a whole of nation effort where citizens and families are much more attuned to what might be going on in their own howlsholds, never mind their own communities and cities. >> woodruff: from a diplomatic point of view, can an anti-i.s.i.s. coalition succeed if the countries in the region around syria, around iraq are themselves not committed? i'm speaking about russia and turkey. >> well, certainly we need everybody committed, and i think in turkey you see more of a stepped-up effort, an accelerated effort in recent weeks as the i.s.i.l threat has come home with the killing of hundreds of turkish citizens, tragically, you've seen a stepped-up effort in terms of closing off the last stretch of the turkish border. that's a really important operation and needs to be
6:13 pm
completed. you've seen more arrests. in russia, of course, you have the fact i.s.i.l claimed responsibility for plant ago bomb that killed so many russian innocent civilians that you still have russian air power being deployed mainly against moderate opposition groups and mainly it seems with intention of propping up the assad regime. so a lot more progress needs to be made there. the vienna progress suggests that russia is beginning to realize it's bitten off more than it can chew on the ground and that defect of hitting -- not really hitting i.s.i.l and hitting these other groups isn't really working. they have taken very little territory even though they're bombing like crazy. so we're hopeful their engagement in the vienna process around a political transition and constant dialogue about who is i.s.i.l, who is the real threat to russian citizens, american citizens and to citizens around the world, that
6:14 pm
we'll be able to narrow the gaps that have not been helpful, as you say. >> woodruff: in connection with that, we noted secretary kerry said about syria and with respect to the russians, with respect to president assad and the timing, they s.a.t. it is not clear he would have to go if there is clarity as to what his future may or may not be. can you expand on that? >> i think all the secretary was saying was just repeating our position which is, fundamentally, the political transition needs to come about by mutual consent. we need russia and iran to help bring consent on one side and need the moderate opposition to engage and believe in a political transition. it has always been incumbent, ult ri, on the parties with us prodding them and nudging them, you know, to come to an agreement about the precise timeline. i think all secretary kerry was saying is we need to know that time line. there is no scenario where we can really durably end the flow
6:15 pm
of foreign fighters to syria, stabilize the country, really get the international community united around the anti-i.s.i.l fight for as long as there is am by duty about what assad's time horizon is. so he has to go, people have to know when he goes, and we have to work the specifics on the timeline. >> woodruff: let me ask you about the refugees. we know their plight is as dire as it ever has been, fleeing syria, afghanistan, iraq, and other countries, but since the paris attacks, how worried are youhat the willingness of european countries to take them in is now seriously diminished? >> well, i think it's not just the paris attacks. it's, of course, absorbing nearly 100 million refugees, i think 865,000 re 865,000 refugee in the last calendar year. it's a lot for any social services, any politics, it's a lot of people to absorb. you're still seeing, you know,
6:16 pm
people like chancellor merkel and president hollande even in the wake of paris sticking to their commitments, recognizing we have a responsibility to people, to these families who are just desperate, parents who are looking at their kids not having access to school and food and feeling they have no choice but to get on these boats and trust the smugglers and leave their fate to the stars and to god to try to put them in a better place. so we have to be part of sharing that burden here in the united states. we are in a different position than the european countries are in the sense that we have ample time to screen refugee files, to interview refugees. the burden of proof is on refugees to show they're not the threat. we have the f.b.i., everyone having to vouch on the files of the families as they come forward, and the vast majority of those who come from the united states, a few from syria,
6:17 pm
have been families, single, unattached men, unattached to families and so forth. so we're looking at the most vulnerable but definitely looking at trying to do our share and to remind people how central refugees and immigrants of all kinds have been to the building of this great country. >> woodruff: but i know you know on the campaign trail many of the candidates for president are saying there must be tighter limits, restrictions on the refugees to get into the u.s. what are the consequences? meantime, separate action in congress bipartisan to tighten temporary visa waiver language. >> let me stress, president obama's chief priority is keeping the american people safe, and we would not be coming forward with the proposal to increase the number of slots for refugees to come to this country if we didn't think we could do
6:18 pm
so in a manner to keep the american people safe and where the security vetting, where we had confidence the security vetting is sufficient. the refugee population is screened more carefully than any other population that comes into this country. so it's incumbent on us to describe that vetting, to give them confidence, but it's also, i think, incumbent on folks in all political corridors to reflect, again, on how we feel as a country about the times where we have shut our doors and where we've let the specter of a threat that was not moored in fact deter us. we need to step up and make sure we do it compat wbl the safety of the american people. i think we can get there. >> woodruff: ambassador samantha power, ambassador to the united nations. we thank you. >> thank you, judy.
6:19 pm
>> woodruff: all this week, newshour special correspondent nick schifrin brought us stories from nigeria, a series we've called "pain and promise." he reported on the country's fight against boko haram; tracked its economic boom; detailed the depths of nigeria's corruption, and the abuse of gays. we end the series with a conversation. and to william brangham. i'm joined by nick schifrin and nie general novelist chimamanda ngozi adichie, whose book, "americanah," tells the story of a young nigerian woman who comes to the u.s. for education. you've seen this week we have been reporting on your home nation of nigeria and trying to get an understanding of the country, you obviously know much more about the country than we
6:20 pm
could. what is it you think americans need to learn about nigeria? >> i think nigeria is a place that is very complex. it's africa's most populous nation and it really is incredibly diverse. the north and the south can feel like two different countries. the story about nigeria that's told in the news is boko haram. there is a lot people like me don't necessarily understand and they have the idea every nigerian is something that i think needs to be -- >> brangham: corrected? yes. i hate to sound like a head mistress. must be corrected. >> brangham: this has been a problem for the united states
6:21 pm
and many midwestern countries in that we only pay attention when a bomb goes off or there is a conflict. you've spent time in the u.s. and a good deal in nigeria, do you think we're coming to an understanding and looking at nations now not just through this lens of crisis? >> i think some progress has been made but i think more could be done. so an example i was just thinking about, women and gender, nigeria is in the news recently because of the girls -- > >> brangham: the girls abducted last year by boko haram. >> yes. and many more girls, not just them, and boys were abducted. there is a narrow story about a few girls being abducted, but more interesting it became a nigeria-wide girls. people asked me about those girls and the education of girls. it's actually boys not being educated where i come from.
6:22 pm
in southeastern nigeriaia, the rate of education is higher among girls than boys. that's not the case in the north. this texture and complexity in the country is not so much misunderstood as not even known about in the u.s. >> brangham: nick, you helped drive the reporting in a big way. why did you choose to go to nigeria in the first place? >> i think it's important americans understand how important nigeria is. not only is it africa's most populous nation. it's a fast-growing nation and a fast-growing economy and the u.s.'s number one trading partner. there will be more nigerians by 2050 than americans, and the u.s. has a huge stage in nigeria and vice versa. there is a lot of cooperation now happening between the u.s. and nigerian government that's new, and there is a real need, i think, for certainly west africa
6:23 pm
and nigeria for americans to have a little more understanding and empathy with a country often depicted in a singular lens. >> brangham: you're reporting touches on the issue of corruption and present harrowing stories from cops shaking down citizens on the street to the top to high-level government corruption. did you really find it that pervasive? and what does that do to a society? >> it helps create boko haram. that's really what happens. the answer to your first question is yes. now, you know, i'm not nigerian. i don't experience this on a daily basis. many do. i think it's important to point out it's different in different areas. there is places where cops are worse and place where the cops are better. there has been an improvement in the last few months with a real almost single focus by the president -- >> brangham: his campaign to
6:24 pm
rid corruption. >> very high-profile, singular focus on corruption. >> brangham: chimamanda ngozi adichie, i know you've spoken how deeply religious your country is, fundamentalist islam in the north and equally fundamentallest christian in the south. how is that felt in the daily lives of nigerians? >> first of all, i think there are different kinds that starred in nigeria in the early 1980s and i think a lot of it started when the economy went down. so life got more difficult, people got more religious. for the christians -- and i can talk about christianity more because that's what i know -- people started going to pentecostal churches. the more orthodox christianity were abandoned, catholicism, and
6:25 pm
people went to more prosperity preaching. it closes our minds. there is fundamentalism on both sides. islamic fundamental i'm which is horror, and boko haram. and christian fundamentalism which is also such things as what we call the anti-gay law in nigeria. >> brangham: there is a unification between christian and muslim leaders, which is generally in the south and north, against homosexuality, and combined, those powers really push the politicians, who already believe that but perhaps definitely push them to pass this bill last january, same-sex marriage prohibition act. nobody's been sentenced under the bill. not only can you be 14 years for being gay, you have 10 years as a parent if you don't knowingly turn in your gay son or daughter if he or she is out, and they
6:26 pm
came together and pushed that. one quick point, though, fundamentalism is separate. i mean, northern nigeria is islamic, but there is a lot of people who aren't fundamentalists. i think that's just important to say that boko haram's victims, only three-quarters of them are muslim. i think mos -- i think it's important to say most of the people who are victimized by boko haram and have to fight boko haram are muslim and are fighting that fundamentalism. >> brangham: chimamanda ngozi adichie and nick schifrin, thank you very much for being here. >> woodruff: back in the u.s., it has been a full week of news. the san bernardino shooting once
6:27 pm
again sparked a political debate on guns and terror, while paul ryan ended his first month as speaker of the house with a major policy speech. that brings us to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen. another week, another shooting. now we are learning from the f.b.i. that they are considering this a terrorist incident. they're going to focus on it that way. we're already hearing, mark and david, comments, different kinds of solutions from different sides of the political aisle. republicans are saying too much focus on guns, the administration isn't doing enough to fight terrorism. do you see any kind of consensus? >> i don't see why it's an either-or thing. it's additive, not alternative. the guns, as you know, i don't see why people need to be carrying these kinds of guns that were used in this kind of
6:28 pm
attack. some legislation, i don't know if it will prevent this. there are 250 million guns in this country, it's hard to control gun usage. nonetheless, i couldn't hurt. but what's unique about this iss it is sort of i.s.i.s.-inspired. that leads to two conclusions. first, i.s.i.s. has charisma. if you are a certain person with a certain mentality, suddenly you want to latch on and swear allegiance to i.s.i.s. and you want to go out and kill people. taking away some of i.s.i.s.'s cacharisma by handing them defet on the battlefield seems a path. we'll have more religious attacks than in the past because there are more religious people who are motivated by a politicized form of religion. it's not a real faith, it's politicized. you have my group and there is
6:29 pm
the other group and i'm going to shoot up evil people in the other group. to me, when you have that type of religious, political fanaticism, it's going to take religious voices to combat it and say we love people in our group and we have to treat people outside our group with the theology of justice. so we have to win the bat of ideas. that has been true since 9/11 and still today. >> woodruff: do you see a consensus coming around either one of these ideas? >> i don't. i endorse david's assessment, i special in the religion. judy, after newtown, the last deadliest mass killing in this country of the dimensions we had in san bernardino this week, there was a sense of personal tragedy in the united states, a loss of the indense, the murder -- a loss of innocence and the murder of children and educators, but there wasn't a sense of wide-spread fear.
6:30 pm
since paris, i think it's fair to say, politically, the democrats have been tone-deaf. they have not responded, in a sense. it's interesting because hillary clinton, perhaps the most credentialed of the national candidates in this whole area, she did respond by calling this an act of terrorism even before the f.b.i. did. but the response -- and i agree totally on guns. it's an outrage indefensible for those in the senate yesterday saying how far we've gom com from newtown, not a siege vote changed. democrats voted for it in 2013 exactly the same. >> woodruff: for gun control. for background checks for people buying guns. favored by nine out of ten americans and by joe manhcin, a democrat from west virginia, got
6:31 pm
a grand total of four republicans to vote for it. john mccain, pat toomey, susan collins and the fourth one is mark kirk. other than that, every republican voted against it. democrats voted for it. you basically are further away. the senate is farther apart this time than two years ago. but i think what the democrats are missing, and it's not either or, but this is a sense of fear in the country not present after newtown. after newtown is a sense of widespread sympathy and national tragedy but there wasn't that sense of fear. there is a sense of fear. you have great britain and germany going in against i.s.i.s. this was really a seminal event,
6:32 pm
paris was, and i think san bernardino is just another chapter in that. >> woodruff: but i guess my question is, david, does that mean nothing changes, that we just continue with the status quo? >> well, we learn and then we adapt. what's unusual about this is all our stereo types were smashed. if you have the stereotype of the attacker, it's a lone guy, engineering degree. here's a couple, drop their kid off with grandma, the guy has a successful job as an inspector, how do you profile that. >> in the community. and in the community. it feels like it's what's going on internally with people, not some demographic factor. so that's what makes it scary and that's why it's a battle of ideas, and the only thing we can do is look at who's swearing allegiance to i.s.i.s. over facebook. but that takes massive data sweeps. >> woodruff: is anybody finding his voice on this?
6:33 pm
>> the candidate donald trump, obviously has. donald trump, whatever everyone says about him, and little good has been said on this broadcast about him beginning with me, but he is not hesitant about describing what is happening politically. he tweeted which donald trump does on a regular basis, every time there's a tragedy, his numbers go up. it's true. since paris, he's risen. >> woodruff: and up today. and he's up further. in the last 72 hours since san bernardino, more guns have been sold in this country than the two weeks of prior. that's what i'm talking about, that sense of fear. trump, who conventional wisdom beginning here as the mid atlantic distributor of conventional wisdom, said after
6:34 pm
paris people would get serious. they want national security credentials, foreign policy, none of which he has but he seems to be stronger and more popular. >> woodruff: do we have a sharper picture of this republican race as a result of these terrorists? >> well, as a northeast distributor of the region, i double down it won't be done on trump. he's up, up, up, but, as i said, when you look at when people make up their mind -- not people like us, but normal americans, when they pay attention, it's the last three weeks, and that's in iowa, the last two weeks in new hampshire, and then just later and later, they're just not paying attention. there is two different decision-making processes that goes on. you're looking for a car. well, what car makes me feel good? well, maybe it's the hot red ferrari. what car am i actually going to buy? i have six kids, probably can't
6:35 pm
all fit in a ferrari. so for a couple of month, yeah, i want the ferrari. but when i actually make the purchase, i'm getting the damn minivan. so i think we're in the ferrari stage and will get in the minivan stage when people pay attention. i think it's true in most of middle america people are not paying attention, just wants something to make them feel good and trump does that, but when it comes to the guy with his finger on the nuclear trigger, i'm doubling down on this, there will be a big shift in the mentality about three weeks out. >> i think donald trump is not presidentially -- headnot have the temperament to be president. i'm amazed nobody else has taken him on, on that issue. just his own video clips of his outbursts, intell me prance and remarks and abusive talks, one doesn't expect in a president. the fact that they haven't says
6:36 pm
something. many people have criticized him. he admittedly called them out in public. they don't want to be in the papers or on the receiving end of donald trump's punches. i think about this and about 1976 when george wallace was dominant. he was feared by the democrats. the democrats were terrified of george wallace, especially in the south. and one candidate had the nerve and guts to take him on. jimmy carter went into florida. nobody else wanted to go near george wallace in florida. jimmy carter went in and beat him and saved the democratic party from george wallace from his nomination or at least serious candidacy and emerged himself. i don't know who the jimmy carter is in this republican field. kasich tried to do it but doesn't seem to be getting traction, that says i'm coming in to take on donald trump.
6:37 pm
the democrats want to run against him and maybe everybody again is wrong and they could be -- >> a couple of scary scenarios from my point of view, first, it's worth pointing out, gingrich were up in one year, giuliani was up in one year. so it's still early. the thing that could happen is ted cruz takes him on. cruz is rising. >> woodruff: but he hasn't taken trump on. >> he hasn't taken trump on. but if trump begins to falter maybe ted cruz will take him on. the other thing that happens the you will get a war between the non-trumps, and jeb bush has a ton of money, he goes after kasich and rubio and the non-trumps all destroy each other and cruz and trump are sitting out there looking less bad than the others. i'm saying jeb takes out rubio, you know, he has all this money,
6:38 pm
runs against kasich, whatever he needs to to become the mainstream candidate. they sort of built rubble on that side of the party. then cruz and trump are sitting there. >> because he has the money and resources to stay. >> he doesn't have his pac. we know that's separate from his campaign. >> of course. that's the law. but chris christie apparently has benefited, judy, in new hampshire by personal campaigning. >> woodruff: entorseed by the union leader. >> president dupont, in the newt gingrich, president forbes (laughter) but they endorsed pat buchanan and he won it. they endorsed mccain in 2008 and he won it, too. but it's not necessarily guaranteed a victory, but i think the reason of his rise is not only his personal campaigning in new hampshire
6:39 pm
where he's essentially living but is, again, the national security. he's the former u.s. attorney, has a prosecutor disguise -- >> when you talk to the candidates, they say there is been a sharp uptick in the questions and concerns it's turning into a national security election. >> woodruff: we heard it from both of you tonight. i was taking notes. david brooks, mark shields, thank you both. >> woodruff: we'll be back, with a look at spike lee's newest film on gun violence in chicago. but first, take this moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a chance to offer your
6:40 pm
6:41 pm
6:42 pm
6:43 pm
6:44 pm
6:45 pm
6:46 pm
>> woodruff: finally tonight, a new film opening today uses satire to explore the problem of gun violence in urban america. it is set in chicago, which has not only seen tensions with police, but is struggling to deal with a high number of murders.
6:47 pm
the movie is the latest from director spike lee, who is not known to shy away from charged subjects and the controversy that sometimes comes with them. jeffrey brown has our story. >> brown: the urgency behindspis announced right at the top. >> homicides in chicago, illinois, surpassed the death toll of american special forces in iraq. >> brown: it's called "chi-raq." >> welcome to "chi-raq." >> brown: the forum is his affordable satire. and deadly serious issues of gang violence. in a washington, d.c. movie theater recently, lee told me why he felt compelled to make the film. >> we as americans should not be okay with our young people being shot down in the street. >> the south side of chicago is
6:48 pm
a mass murder capital of the united states of america. chicago is the canary in the coal mine. >> brown: the emergency, he sees, guns in america used by black men to kill other black men, in the same city. you're telling a tale of two cities. >> charles dickens. >> brown: looking at chicago. i have been making movies since 1986. nothing i do is by happenstance. i'm very in command of my craft. i know what i want to do. i know how to do it. >> brown: if lee had charles dickens in mind, he looked most directly to an ancient greek play, aristopenes astrada, in which women banned together to abstain from sex to get their
6:49 pm
men to make peace. the main female role decides the only way rival gangs will lay down arms is if women take a stand. >> you know the power we have withholding just a day. imagine a month. a year! oh, they're gonna bring the peace! >> satire is a great way to deal with serious subject matter, with aristophanes, ancient greece, i worked with stan mccube rick with dr. strange love. it's about the nuclear destruction, nuclear holocaust. what could be more serious than that, but that's a very, very funny film. >> brown: blend seringous matters with touche touches of r and saturday is hallmark of
6:50 pm
spikspike lee's films. she's gotta have it is about alyoung woman balancing three suitors one played by lee himself. >> you can do what you want to do. >> brown: the examined complexities of racial tension in this 1989 breakout film do the right thing. and the life and struggle of malcolm x in 1992. he's continued to turn out films yearly though most recent films have struggled to find commercial success. >> everybody stay calm. don't i seem calm to you? yes, you do. >> brown: last box office hit was in 2006 with "inside man," a more traditional hollywood crime thriller. often enough these films have brought controversy. >> i was clear i was not happy about the title. >> brown: with "chi-raq." the criticism from local chicagoans most notably rahm
6:51 pm
immanuel who chafed to having his city compared to iraq. >> i was not going to change the title of the film. the the mayor never said, spike, don't make this film, that needs to be stated. he did say he did not like the title and the title he felt would harm tourism and economic development, which is not true. >> brown: it won't? it hasn't. so, again, we go to charles dickens. the tale of two cities. there is two chicagos. and tourism, there are no tour buses going through the south side of chicago. >> brown: people go to the movies and think of them as entertainment, escape, but is this art a call to action as a kind of witness?
6:52 pm
>> there may be different audiences. you can have an entertaining film that makes you think, too. it doesn't have to be one or the other. i think in that same vein, "chi-raq" has humor but it's very serious subject matter. not everyone will want to see "star wars" this christmas. i want to see it, but there are many different audiences. >> brown: lee has also been critical of his own industry for lack of diversity including a recent rebuke when he was awarded an honorary oscar. >> this industry is so behind sports it's ridiculous. it's easy to be the president of the united states as a black person than be the head of studio. honest. >> we never liked diversity. the people we like directly affects what we see because these are people who are say
6:53 pm
we're making this, we're not making this. so i had an opportunity to speak directly to the heads of studios, and i chose to take that opportunity. >> brown: at 58, spike lee shows no signs of slowing down and when asked where that drive comes from, he has a simple answer. >> from brooklyn, new york, sir. i mean, if you take the time and look at everybody who came out of brooklyn, something's there. >> brown: it drives people forward to a larger stage. >> the republic of brooklyn, new york. >> brown: spike lee, thanks so much. >> my man. >> woodruff: on the newshour online: french graffiti artists have a long history of combining politics and public art. weeks after the paris attacks, their mission has become even more clear, with messages of
6:54 pm
love and survival. you can see a photo gallery of some of their street art, on our home page. and don't forget to sign up for the newshour politics email. this is how you can get our discussions with mark shields and david brooks delivered straight to your inbox every friday. sign up on our home page, www.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: at the end of a long week, we have so many questions. what is the face of terrorism? how are our leaders responding? and what do the people who aspire to lead, plan to do? we'll update you on the latest, and provide analysis too-- tonight on "washington week." >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend saturday, our coverage of the san bernardino shooting continues, with the latest from the investigation into homegrown
6:55 pm
terrorism. and we'll be back, right here, on monday, with a look at the science of political polls, and what they might get wrong. 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: >> and by bnsf railway. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> 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.
6:56 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
>> announcer: this is "nightly business report," with tyler mathisen and sue herera. stocks surge. a solid jobs report and the potential for further stimulus from the european central bank sent the major indices up more than 2%. speedy delivery. amazon buying thousands of trucks, taking on some of the biggest names in transportation, to get packages to your doorstep fast. puppy love. meet the entrepreneur who left wall street, had a bright idea, and created a successful business pampering pets. all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for friday, december 4th. good evening, everyone, and welcome. i'm sue herera. tyler mathisen is off tonight. american businesses are hiring.

136 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on