tv PBS News Hour PBS February 26, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a wild ride on the road to the white house; governor chris christie endorses donald trump, after a rough night for the republican frontrunner on the debate stage. plus, my report from south carolina, as democrats ready to vote tomorrow. then, in iran, voters turn out in droves for the first major election since the controversial nuclear deal. also ahead, it's going to be a very white oscars this weekend. what will it take to bring more diversity to the silver screen? >> i could only play so many best friends and gang leaders. i knew that i wasn't going to land a leading role. i knew there wasn't enough
imagination, not yet, for the industry to be seeing me as a lead. >> woodruff: and it's friday. mark shields and the "national review's" ramesh ponnuru are here, to analyze the week's news. 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.
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thank you. >> woodruff: the republican presidential race took another unexpected plot twist today-- with donald trump collecting a major endorsement from a former rival. it came just days before the all-important "super tuesday" contests. >> i am proud to be here to endorse donald trump for president of the united states. >> woodruff: in a single stroke, new jersey governor chris christie put donald trump back on the offensive after his rivals scored points in last night's debate. >> we don't need another washington politician in the white house, do we? do we need another first term u.s. senator in the white house? we need a first class president and we're going to have it in donald trump. >> woodruff: the republican frontrunner then took his turn, blasting both of the senators still in the race: first, marco rubio: >> let's talk about our lightweight senator from florida
who's losing big in polls. >> woodruff: and then, ted cruz of texas: >> i have had a lot of difficulties with ted, because he does lie. you know, i have dealt with much tougher. a guy like rubio is a baby, but a guy like ted, he is tougher. >> woodruff: rubio had spent much of his morning rally in dallas arguing that billionaire trump is deceiving working class voters. >> you all have friends who are thinking about voting for donald trump. friends do not let friends vote for con artists. he's going to americans that are struggling, to americans who are hurting, and he's implying, "i'm fighting for you because i'm a tough guy." a tough guy? this guy inherited $200 million. he's never faced any struggle. >> woodruff: and in nashville, tennessee, cruz questioned trump's conservative credentials. >> he's saying-- donald trump said, "i can be a totally different person after i'm elected, i can be--" this is donald speaking-- "the most politically correct person on earth." let me tell you something, sean.
the day after i'm elected president, i'm the exact same person that i am today. >> woodruff: those were extensions of the charges and counter-charges that lit up last night's houston debate, with rubio and cruz trying to slow trump's momentum. first, on immigration: >> you're the only person on this stage that has ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally. you hired some workers from poland-- >> no, no, i'm the only one on the stage that's hired people. you haven't hired anybody. >> in fact, some of the people-- >> and by the way, i've hired-- and by the way, i've hired tens of thousands of people over at my job. you've hired nobody. >> yes, you've hired a thousand from another country-- >> you've had nothing but problems with your credit cards, et cetera. so don't tell me about that. >> let me just say-- let me finish the statement. this is important. >> you haven't hired one person, you liar. >> he hired workers from poland. and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment from-- >> that's wrong. that's wrong. totally wrong. >> woodruff: cruz also jumped in, criticizing trump for donating to senators known as the "gang of eight", who led an immigration reform effort.
>> donald funded the gang of eight. if you look at the eight members of the gang of eight, donald gave over $50,000 to three democrats and two republicans. and when you're funding open border politicians, you shouldn't be surprised when they fight for open borders. >> i've had an amazing relationship with politicians -- with politicians both democrat, republican, because i was a businessman. you don't have one republican senator backing you; not one. you don't have the endorsement of one republican senator and you work with these people. you should be ashamed of yourself. >> woodruff: in the end, trump waved away both rivals, calling rubio "a choke artist" and cruz "a liar." but despite the strident words from all sides, the frontrunner insisted he can expand and unify the party. >> i will do very well with hispanics. but i'm telling you also, i'm bringing people, democrats over and i'm bringing independents over, and we're building a much bigger, much stronger republican party.
>> woodruff: he gets another chance to prove that, super tuesday night, with more than 600 delegates up for grabs. but first, democrats in south carolina will have their say-- in a primary tomorrow. we'll take a close look at a vital voting bloc there, after the news summary. the small town of hesston, kansas is now the latest left to cope with a shooting rampage. authorities today identified cedric ford as the gunman who yesterday shot three people to death and wounded 15. they said he'd just been ordered to stay away from someone who sought legal protection against him. within 90 minutes of that order, ford opened fire on random vehicles, stormed into a lawnmower parts factory where he was employed, and gunned down co-workers. it ended when he was killed by police. >> that particular officer is a hero out of all this. understand, there is probably
200 or 300 more people in that building, while this is going on. this man was not going to stop shooting. the only reason he stopped shooting was because that officer stopped that shooter. >> woodruff: the kansas incident came less than a week after an uber driver killed six people in a mass shooting in kalamazoo, michigan. heavy new air strikes blasted rebel targets in syria today-- in the run-up to a scheduled cease-fire. activists said russian planes carried out the attacks. a barrage of explosions cracked the skies over suburbs of damascus. monitoring groups said the area was hit 40 times-- and dozens more struck north of aleppo. despite the onslaught, russian president vladimir putin said in moscow that his government is committed to enforcing the truce deal. >> ( translated ): from midnight damascus time on february 27, syrian forces, russian forces and the american-led coalition
will halt all military actions against the groups that have declared their readiness to cease fire. military actions against them will not be conducted. the islamic state group and the nusra front, linked to al-qaeda, are not parties to the cease- fire. but a special u.n. envoy said today that if the truce "largely holds", peace talks will resume on march 7th. this was election day in ireland, and anti-austerity parties hoped to gain ground. prime minister enda kenny and his center-right party are seeking a second five-year term. but, there are signs that his coalition may lose its majority, leaving a hung parliament. ballot-counting will begin saturday. dow chemical will pay $835 million to settle a long-running lawsuit, now that the supreme court has lost its conservative majority. the company said today the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia makes it less certain of winning class-action cases. a lower court convicted dow of
"fixing" prices for poly-urethane, a widely used industrial chemical. world soccer's governing body, fifa, has elected a new leader to lead it out of scandal. a swiss candidate, gianni infantino, was tapped by a majority today in a vote in zurich. the delegates also adopted reforms to make fifa more accountable. infantino said he wants to start anew. >> we will restore the image of fifa, and the respect of fifa, and everyone in the world will applaud us and will applaud all of you, for what we will do in fifa in the future. we have to be proud of fifa, and everyone has to be proud of fifa and what we will do together. >> woodruff: the new president replaces sepp blatter, also swiss, who resigned amid charges of massive corruption. dozens of soccer officials around the world have been indicted-- and fifa is reviewing how russia and qatar won the right to host the next two world
cups. the united nations is out with a warning that 2/5 of bees, butterflies, and related pollinating species are heading toward extinction. the warning follows more than two years of research around the globe. it cites a range of factors, ranging from pesticide use to climate change to habitat loss. wall street finished this friday without much momentum. the dow jones industrial average lost 57 points to close at 16,640. the nasdaq rose eight points, and the s&p 500 slipped three. but for the week, all three indexes were about 1.5% higher. and, a 23-year-old hawaiian man is $75,000 richer after winning a rare, giant-wave surfing contest in hawaii. john john florence was one of 29 brave souls tackling the massive waves thursday, off oahu. the contest is held only rarely,
when waves reach 40 feet in height. yesterday, some of them topped 60 feet. still to come on the newshour: the crucial african american vote in the democratic election; mark shields and ramesh ponnuru give their take on today's surprise endorsement of donald trump; iran's elections, a key test for the moderates in the wake of the nuclear deal; solutions for the oscars' diversity problem; plus, a presidential serenade. >> woodruff: now to south carolina: donald trump scored a commanding win there last weekend on the republican side; tomorrow, democrats head to the polls. i just got back from the palmetto state, where victory hinges on a key group of voters. for hillary clinton and bernie sanders, south carolina
represents not only the largest electorate they've faced so far, but the first big test of popularity among a crucial democratic voting block: african americans. in the last election, they accounted for 55% of the primary vote here. it's no coincidence both candidates have been targeting their messages almost exclusively at that audience. >> something's wrong, when african americans are three times more likely to be denied a mortgage than white people are. >> when african american youth unemployment is 51%, you know what? we're going to create jobs and educational opportunities for our kids. not more jails. >> woodruff: clinton has a long connection with this state, dating back when she was a young law student, working on juvenile justice issues, and continuing through her husband's presidency. the mayor of the capital city,
columbia, stephen benjamin says many african americans think of the clintons as champions of the disenfranchised: >> fighting for criminal justice reform. fighting for education. fighting for healthcare. >> woodruff: that affection has given clinton a solid base in this state, particularly among older, african american women-- the voting bloc that turned out at the highest rate of any group in 2012, and which is expected to do so again this year. it's one of the reasons why women were prominently featured at nearly every clinton event in south carolina this week. state representative chandra dillard was in the audience when clinton spoke to her black sorority group. >> i see her as someone who can bring people together, which will enhance policy making-- hopefully-- with our congress.
because secretary clinton has been in that position to bring parties together-- she's done it-- that she can do it again. >> woodruff: dillard's colleague, state representative justin bamberg, acknowledges clinton has a built-in advantage, but he hopes that when people listen to sanders' message, they will do as he did and switch their support. >> younger folks aren't thinking about history as much. they're looking forward. they're thinking "i'm in my early 20s and i'm going to have more student loan debt than if i had not gone to college and i had just bought a house. >> woodruff: sanders' promise of free college tuition and a plan that he says will narrow the income inequality gap, has helped him gain some traction in the state, bamberg says.
as has his tough stance on wall street donors. >> i don't think he'll waiver to special interest, with the large groups with a lot of money who can cause decisions to be made that aren't in the people's best interest. >> woodruff: sanders supporter gloria bromell tinubu is even more pointed in her criticism of the clintons' relationship with big money. >> it's clear that they are the leaders of what is called the new democrats, which is pro-big business, pro-big money, pro- war, right? anti-welfare, anti-government that will support poor people, but always for a government that will support the rich. >> woodruff: university of south carolina political scientist todd shaw says while sanders still lags in the polls in this state-- most show him more than 20 points behind clinton -- his
predominently young followers seem to be more enthusiastic. >> sanders supporters say he has the vision thing going on. he's visionary. these are bold and idealistic questions but they should be questions we're raising. he's appealing to the frustration of what hasn't occurred. >> woodruff: shaw says clinton has been wise to tie herself closely to president obama, who's enormously popular among black democrats here. >> it's a pretty smart move. of course, she can make the claim having been the secretary of state, she can say it was hillary-care before it was obamacare. and here's where i'm going to carry the football forward. >> woodruff: 20-year-old jada williams says that's why she's volunteering for clinton, and not sanders: >> i don't think we need a big revolution.
i don't think we need to make america great again. i feel like we're doing well. and i think hillary is the person who will make us continue to do well and put us towards the american dream. >> woodruff: the other factor at play here-- and in next week's "super tuesday" contests-- is a focus on racial injustice. it's an issue keenly felt in a state where a white gunman killed nine black people worshiping in church, as well as several highly publicized cases of alleged police misconduct. this past week, clinton campaigned alongside the mothers of victims of violence, including sybrina fulton, the mother of trayvon martin. >> we have the opportunity to have someone that's going to stand up for us as african americans, for us as women. i say my vote goes to hillary clinton. >> woodruff: and in a prominent tv ad, narrated by actor morgan freeman, clinton tackles the
issue head on: >> she says their names: trayvon martin, sandra bland; and makes their mothers' fight for justice their own. >> she's saying she wants to help african american in this community. i want everyone to come together because we do have a problem here and it needs to be addressed. >> woodruff: sanders tackles racial injustice in part by linking it to his central rallying cry of economic inequality. vouching for him, movie director spike lee: >> 99% of americans were hurt by the great recession in 2008 and are still recovering, and that's why i am officially endorsing my brother bernie sanders. >> woodruff: but he also stresses his lifelong activism for civil rights, going back to the 1960s. >> he was there when dr. king marched on washington. unafraid to challenge the status quo to end racial profiling, take on police misconduct, and
take down a system that profits from mass imprisonment. "there is no president who will fight harder to end institutional racism." >> he's consistently fought for rights for all people: equality and justice. and it's not just a passing thing with him. it's something he's done for close to 50 years. >> woodruff: sanders' camp
acknowledges she's ahead-- their goal is to hold down the size of her margin here-- as they to try to pick off some of the delegate-rich super tuesday states. but with african americans making up a significant portion of the states coming up, clinton's advantage with blacks here in south carolina amounts to a serious-- and enduring-- challenge for him. and that brings us to shields and pannuru: that's syndicated columnist mark shields, and
ramesh ponnuru of "national review." david brooks is away. welcome, gentlemen. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: so hold that thought about the democrats and south carolina. i want to ask you about that, but, mark, i have to start with the donald trump endorsement by chris christie today. what did you make of this, the timing of it, the fact of it? >> judy, the old line of speaker tip o'neal said all politics is local, all politics is personal. chris christie, who was going to be the tell it like it is candidate in 2016, was eclipsed totally by donald trump and blames his defeat where he concentrated all his effort, energy, attention and resources in new hampshire, where he finished sixth, he blames it on marco rubio's super pac which ran a negative ad on christie as christie was just starting to get some traction in that state which highlighted chris christie's physical embrace of the president of the united states, barack obama, who was
bringing aid to the devastated state of new jersey after hurricane sandy just prior to the election of 2012 and mentioned the nine credit lower rating, the times the state's credit rating has been lowered in chris christie's administration. it was really quite personal why he endorsed donald trump. he said he's known him and all the rest of it. i think that's essentially the reason. >> woodruff: you're saying payback? >> and christie spoke negligent tifl about rubio almost as much as positively about drunk. i think the endorsement helps trump in two ways, also helps chris t -- christie, but one it signals it's okay for reps officials tone doris him. the second thing, it takes the coverage away from questions about his university defrauding people, away from his hiring illegal immigrants and puts it on to his momentum which is
where he needs it to be. >> woodruff: which is about last night's debate which was a remarkable spectacle, mark shields. i don't know that we've seen anything -- i guess we haven't seen anything like it in this cycle. how do you account for rubio and cruz finally coming out and going after donald trump? >> desperation. donald trump now stands on the cusp of super tuesday, just a little check of history, the s.e.c. primaries, these states that include alabama, arkansas, georgia, oklahoma -- >> woodruff: texas. -- and tennessee, these were all won by the previous winners of the iowa caucus, states where large evangelical populations, they're cultural and religious candidates are expected to do well. this was going to be where ted cruz of texas ran up the score
and what do we find out is going on prior to the debate last night? in all these states, donald trump, the most aggressively secular candidate running either party is, in fact, leading. so there had to be a sense of stopping him. the biggest winner of the night, in my judgment, was former president george h.w. bush and first lady barbara bush who honored their obligation to show up in their hometown in a time when they accepted, expecting their son jeb would be one of the main competitors and they still graciously showed up. >> woodruff: we saw them seated in the back of the room. >> they certainly deserve our admiration and respect. but i just thought it was remarkable. i close by quickly saying marco rubio showed something that had been missing this entire campaign, humor. there had been no humor -- it had been a humorless campaign in both sides and i thought he really did it very well and if a natural way, comfortable in his own skin, and really put donald
trump right back on his heels. >> woodruff: but it certainly was at the expense of donald trump. did rubio damage donald trump last night? some of these very, very tough comments, ramesh, about the fact that he inherited his money, what he did with trump university and on and on. >> maybe even more surprising than how well donald trump has been doing in the republican primaries has been that he has faced almost no real resistance in the debate or ad war so far, and that ended last night, and i thought senator rubio did do a good job and senator cruz did well to a lesser extent in pointing out all the many vulnerabilities that trump has on the questions. does he really tell it like it is? is he really on your side? the question is, of course, is it too late. >> reporter:. >> woodruff: and is it? what do you think? >> well, by drowning it out with the christie endorsement, that, i think, shows you that the
trump people thought that it was a potential problem, because it's not as though christie makes sense in terms of swaying voters in alabama, tennessee and texas -- >> no. -- that is because he is at risk of suffering in the polls everywhere because of this onslaught of attacks. >> woodruff: you're saying they did this to move the bad performance or -- >> yeah, i think the timing of it makes the most sense. >> i think it was trying to change the story, no question. but what was interesting, judy, is marco rubio, who had been terminally nervous the last time we had seen him in new hampshire, not south carolina but new hampshire and suffering from chronic thirstiness and all the rest of it in that debate there, came on last night, and what he did was he outtrumped trump. he bullied the bully. he used trump's tactics, got right up in his face, used mocking humor, wouldn't let him finish the sentence and really took trump's game away from trump. i mean, changed himself in the
process, but it does show you trump's game plan as seen by even his adversaries as the winning game plan, that is the new york values, in your face, same to you. >> woodruff: so does it help, mark -- does it help marco rubio, does it hurt donald trump? is it too late? >> we'll find out, certainly, the early indication on that on tuesday, judy. but i just think you had your perception of marco rubio had to change. i think your perception of donald trump had to change last night. i mean, this was donald trump on the defensive saying, when asked about the trump university, i've won most of those lawsuits. that highly sound like somebody who's founding am hurst or wesley or notre dame, sounding with pride. i thought he was very much on the defensive. >> woodruff: when was the last time you heard a presidential candidate boast about being
audit. >> and why he's not putting his taxes out. >> exavment it's important for rubio not to just land a punch of trump, it was to address a lingering concern republicans have that maybe he's not tough enough. i think it doesn't just hurt trump but also helps rubio. >> woodruff: let me ask you about trrkz. this is one other republican besides donald trump that's won a contest, he won the iowa caucuses. marco rubio hasn't won anything yet. mark, everybody's saying cruz has to win his home state of texas. do you agree with that? >> yes. >> woodruff: what else does he need to do? >> well, i think he has to win another state. you're right about marco rubio. marco rubio has yet to win anywhere and, according to polls, trailing in his home state where there have been already been 200,000 early ballots cast. >> woodruff: in texas. in florida, which is not until the 15th. and the speculation is a pretty
sizable proportion of those are trump votes at this point. so, donald trump has changed the republican electorate. he's increased it dramatically. he's brought people in. so marco rubio has to win somewhere. he certainly has to win florida, his home state. i just think the same thing is true for john kasich in his home state. if he's not going to win his home state, i think he'll get out before losing his home state, which rick santorum did in 2012 before the pennsylvania primary. it's just an embarrassment to lose your home state. >> woodruff: where do you see the path for cruz and what about john kasich, ramesh? >> because of the calendar, senator cruz faces this home state test before kasich and rubio do. so if he loses texas on tuesday, then i think it becomes very hard for him to stay in the raissments he was supposed to do well in a lot of states on tuesday, but especially texas would be a problem. the states aren't quite as high
for rubio, but let's not forget, we're not just talking about momentum at this point, we're talking about actual delegates and people need to start winning some of these delegates. >> if he wins massachusetts and alabama, trump, that is quite an achievement and he's running ahead in both those states k. you imagine two states more demographically and ideologically different? they're republicans, even. but he's showing strength the others have to disprove at this point. >> woodruff: the democrats, you heard the report from south carolina last night, thank you. but, mark, my question is where does the democratic race stand? hillary clinton way ahead in the polls in south carolina. bernie sanders' people themselves don't expect him to win. they're focusing on super tuesday. who needs to do what at this point? >> well, she needs a convincing victory but she also more than anything else has to demonstrate enthusiasm, some passion on the
part of voters. democratic turnout has been down in spite of the excitement generated by bernie sanders among younger voters especially in new hampshire and iowa, but it's been down compared to 2008 and the republicans is up. that is an early indicator of where both parties are in any given presidential year, when there is that kind of intensity and passion on one side and the absence of it. so i think secretary clinton has to demonstrate she is able to generate enthusiasm, intensity, passion. i think she has to win decisively there. no more 4-point or 5-point victories in nevada. >> woodruff: and cutting right into super tuesday which is a few days away. >> yes. >> woodruff: ramesh, how do you see the challenge secretary clinton and senator sanders face? >> the problem with sanders is he is not so far behind in south carolina, it's he is behind because he's not doing
well with african-americans, and that is a sign of his great weakness in these primary contests. you can't win the democratic nomination if you can't get a lot of african-american votes. the problem for hillary clinton is there's no putting senator sanders away. that is, i think he got into the race as a cause candidate, as somebody who wante wanted to maa point, then it became possible maybe for him to win. if it stops being possible for him to win, his original rationale doesn't disappear and there is no reason for him to drop out of the race. he just stays in and makes his point. >> woodruff: you're not saying we're at that point now. >> i'm not but even if he does well in south carolina, it just causes him to go back to protest mode. i think there is no reason for him to drop out because he's angling for a cabinet appointment in the clinton administration the way a normal candidate would be. >> two points. first, democrats have proportional representation, so
bernie sanders, with 40% of the delegates at the democratic convention, and if that's the case in philadelphia, what does he want? a platform? >> woodruff: because you expect him to win some contests. >> even if it goes the best way for clinton this point forward, i think he will win states and surprise us. i say that because this gives him enormous leverage, and he does -- and the second thing is you already see senate candidates, democratic senate candidates echoing and mimicking his wordsenne words -- words an, talking about the economy being rigged in the very language of bernie sanders. so he's already having an impact and influence far beyond what anybody expected perhaps even himself. >> woodruff: coming out of her nevada win last weekend, bernie sanders says words to defect hillary clinton is already adopting some of what we believe, so that's already taking place. >> that's right.
she's talked about having a public option in healthcare again and that is, i think, the sanders' influence. >> woodruff: ramesh ponnuru, mark shields, couldn't get more exciting than now. thank you both. >> thank you, judy. . >> woodruff: an election was also center stage in iran today. voters streamed to the polls in a high-stakes contest with far- reaching consequences. turnout was so heavy that voting was extended more than five hours past the original closing time. hari sreenivasan has the story. >> sreenivasan: it's an election that could shape iran for years to come. millions of people crowded into some 53,000 polling stations. >> ( translated ): one should not be indifferent. i vote for the future of our country and for a higher level of our welfare. >> sreenivasan: they're deciding who wins the 290 seats in
parliament, plus the 88 positions in the "assembly of experts"-- a group of clerics that chooses the country's "supreme leader." there were multiple appeals today to get out the vote. the current supreme leader-- 76-year-old ayatollah ali khamenei-- has been in power since 1989, and represents conservative hard-liners. >> ( translated ): we have enemies who are eyeing us greedily. turnout in the elections should be as such that our enemy will be disappointed and will lose hope. people should be observant and vote with open eyes. >> sreenivasan: a vetting panel, appointed partly by khamenei, had blocked thousands of reformist candidates from running for parliament, and about 80% of those running for the "assembly of experts." but the more-moderate forces, led by president hassan rouhani, hoped to chip away at hard-line dominance. >> ( translated ): today, our friends and enemies from around the world are gazing at islamic iran. i have no doubt that the iranian nation, like always, will create another epic turnout at this very sensitive juncture in time.
>> sreenivasan: the vote is, to some degree, a referendum on rouhani's promises of greater freedoms and economic reform. it's also the first election since the nuclear deal with the u.s. and other world powers, signed last summer. under the agreement, iran is curbing its nuclear program, in exchange for international sanctions relief. just today, the u.n.'s nuclear watchdog found tehran is mostly complying with the deal-- so far. the election outcome is also being closely watched in washington. full election returns are not expected until early next week. joining me now for more on the iranian elections and what may come next, is thomas erdbrink. he's the tehran bureau chief for the "new york times." thomas, we've heard several headlines today that the polls have been full of people, the lines have been long and they're extending voting. what have you seen on the ground? >> that's definitely what i've seen as well, especially in the
more middle class areas of tehran. you should know tehran is a city of 12 million people, has a lot of different areas, but up in the north and the west of the city, you can see long lines at each polling station, almost throughout the day from the morning all the way up to the evening. there are four extensions in some areas, so people over there really wanted to go out and vote. but when you would go down to the south of tehran where more poorer people live, you would see a different picture, half-empty polling stations, maybe half a dozen people around casting their ballots. so there was a big divide in tehran and, of course, i have no idea what it, nationwide, looks like, but for sure a high turnout among tehran's middle classes, the same people that supported president rouhani in the past and voting in the
parliamentary elections also trying to support him now. >> sreenivasan: we heard this is not like an american election and there has already been a pre-selection of who is allowed to run for many of the open seats. >> well, of course, it's always hard to compare elections worldwide, but, yes, it is definitely true there is clerical council here half elect bid people indirectly and half appointed by supreme leader. they have disqualified some candidates voted for on friday. these people are the gatekeepers of iran's electoral process. they look at if someone is loyal to the principals of the ideology of the islamic republic and -- iranian republic and if he or she is a good muslim, this gives space for certain
political groups to have presence they would like to have in the process and this happens to the country's reformists who saw thousands of their candidates being disqualified but, at the same time, their candidates that were allowed to run today called upon people to massively go out and vote, which their supporters actually did. >> sreenivasan: even with these constraints that the clerical council puts on this process, what are the moderates or reformists hoping to accomplish? >> this election is just a stop in the long road of fighting, if you will, political fighting between people we could refer to as froarmists versus, let's say, hard liners. now, this fight has been going on for decades, and the reformers in the last ten years in all honesty have almost lost every time. what they have been trying to achieve is to make sure that as many of their supporters, of the reformer supporters came out and
voted today in order to prevent these hardliners from keeping their grip on the parliament. so what reformers' leaders have been telling me is any seats we can win from the hardliners is a victory for us. >> sreenivasan: thomas erdbrink, tehran bureau chief for the "new york times." thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: the academy awards will be given out this sunday. but instead of the nominees, much of the focus this year is on, as the hashtag on twitter has it: "oscars so white," and hollywood's lack of diversity. jeffrey brown has more. >> brown: richard pryor at the
academy awards in 1977: >> i'm here to explain why no black people will ever be nominated for anything. >> brown: chris rock, 28 years later. >> we have four black nominees tonight. it's kind of like the "def oscar jam" tonight. >> brown: in some ways, hollywood's lack of diversity is an old story, but as rock prepares to host his second oscar ceremony... and for a second straight year, no actors of color were nominated, the stakes and anger have risen, including calls for a boycott of the ceremony. >> i will not be at the awards and i will not be watching. >> brown: the academy of motion pictures, the group that oversees and votes on nominations, announced new rules to develop a younger, more diverse oscar voting pool. the aim: double the number of female and minority members by 2020. but many see the problem as much deeper.
>> it goes further than the academy awards; it goes back to the gatekeepers, people who have the greenlight vote. >> talent is everywhere but opportunity isn't. talent can't reach opportunity unaided. >> brown: idris elba, whose performance in "beasts of no nation" was widely-praised, recently spoke of roadblocks he faced early in his career. >> i could only play so many best friends and gang leaders. i knew that i wasn't going to land a leading role. i knew there wasn't enough imagination to be seeing me as a lead. >> brown: in recent years, tv has presented more diverse programming. hit shows like "orange is the new black" and "jane the virgin," and just last week, abc made channing dungey-- who helped develop shows like "black-ish--" the first african-
american to head a network. but, it was only last year that viola davis became the first black woman to win an emmy for best actress in a drama series. she spoke of the obstacles. >> you cannot win an emmy for roles that are simply not there. >> brown: how host chris rock will address all of this is now part of the fun-- and seriousness-- of sunday night's ceremony. >> let's do this. >> alex nogales, president of the hispanic coalition which advocates for representation of latinos in film and tv around sharon waxman founder of the wrap covering media and entertainment industries. darnell hunt, help us first briefly define the problem and
what do you see as its source? >> well, what we're dealing with is a disconnect between, on the one hand, the increasing diversity of american society. we're almost 40% minority. on the other hand, the fact that, stubbornly, the industry just can't seem to make diverse projects. in our study, we find on every front, people of color and women are underrepresented behind the camera, in front of the camera and we see from audience consumption patterns that people of color audiences crave diverse content. so we have a situation where the people running the industry, largely white males, aren't in a position to make the types of projects people want and that's the fundamental issue. it's trying to figure out how to bring more people in the room and get more voices and perspective into the process. >> brown: alice, tell us how it plays out. you work sometimes with the experiences of latinos and others, what kind of roles they get or not, what they run up against as writers and directors.
>> well, they can't even get in. the opportunities are not there. as darnell just said, the problem is you have 95% whites in leadership positions in all the studios, the six studios here in town, and you have a majority of them being males. so they rose up in the ranks of this whole thing called film, and they've made their alliances, they've made their friendships, they've made their relationships, and so when it's time to call for a new product, that's who they call in. other people that are like them, that are white, male, and so forthers and the reflection, then, doesn't include us. the jobs are not there because the people at the very top are not making the decisions that are ones of inclusion. >> brown: sharon waxman, is that the industry you see that you cover every day? is it about who you know? is it about overt racism or sexism? is it all about money?
what? >> well, i think it's worse than that because you have a culturally very liberal entertainment industry famously so in which people are politically very much to the left. you see that in some of the programming choices and the messages, whether norman lear for so many years and the television he wrote heavily influenced american society in the '70s, or whether you see that with "will and grace" or shows like that that push the needle forward on social issues all the time. but it is true that the issue of decision-makers being primarily white and male, with some notable exceptions, has been the case. i do think this is essentially a small community of people who come up together, who call on their friends, if you are in a studio job and you leave the studio job, you become a producer and your buddy then calls you and asks you for your latest pitches. so this has to be more
thoughtful, significant and proactive effort to change that. >> brown: so darnell hurnt, as a sociologist you are studying individuals within institutions. this is a prime example. do you see successes and places where there has been progress made, potential models? >> yeah, i think there are lots of models. the successes, unfortunately, are the exceptions to the rule. business as usual in the industry as our 2016 report shows is more of the same. it's underrepresentation for people of color and women. abc's move, i think, was a very bold , vebut it made business sense. this woman had been the executive vice president for drama developmentics and she was the person responsible for a lot of those shonda rimes shows doing well on abc as well as other prime time dramas. so it made sense for her to become head of the network because to have the connection
she has with the creative community and it's forward thinking, where america is going and i think a lot of abc's programming gestures toward the present and the future and i think other networks and studios need to get into the game as well. >> brown: continue the forward thinking. when you go to a studio, what are you asking for and what's the pitch? >> in the year 2000 and 2001 the multi-ethnic media coalition signed memos of understanding with abc, nbc, cbs and fox and that's a model we'll utilize with the six studios and the reason is it's working. it is working slowly but working. >> brown: what does it say? tell us specifically what does that mean? >> that they're going to diversify the workforce both in front and back of camera. they're going to give us the actual numbers of who is working in front and in back of camera, and that we are going to be partners in this enterprise of
diversifying the workforce. it's working on television slowly but it's working. now we have to make it work as well in film. >> brown: sharon wax been, to the extent this is an old issue, is it possible to tell how much of an impact the most recent kind of anger and uproar has had or might have? >> right. so the academy of motion picture arts and sciences which governs the oscars has adopted very significant changes in the wake of this latest protest. they are going to try to double the number of minorities and women in the academy voting membership by the year 2020, and they're phasing out people who haven't been active in the academy or in the industry for the past ten years. i don't know if that's going to really make the change that they need. this really means they need to admit a lot of people of color and a lot of women over the next five years. you need to find those qualified
people. people do want to see change, but there is no stakeholder with power within the industry that has the wherewithal to drive that change, so they always end up being kind of window dressing. i would hope for alex nogales' sake and all our sakes, that the agreements he signed do lead to substantive change. i do think public shaming is not a bad way to do that which is what has happened this year, but ultimately these are media companies that answer to their shareholders, so we have to make an economic argument for that, and i think there is a strong economic argument for that. >> brown: darnell hunt, just a brief last word. are you hopeful as this point as we prepare to watch the oscars? >> i'm a cautious optimist. we have to keep applying the pressure. there is no magic bullet. the economic argument is strong. our study shows conclusively that, you know, diversity sells,
you know, audiences of color are craving that co content and shos that are diverse do better on ratings and movies do better at the box office. so we have to keep amassing the data. it's there, and it's only more profound as time goes on as the population becomes more deverse. >> brown: duh all three very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: you can find more of our coverage of this year's films on our art beat page at www.pbs.org/newshour. the white house was rocking last night, with a tribute to the music of ray charles. president obama even took to the mic. here's a listen. ♪ hey ♪ hey ♪ ho. ♪ ho. ♪ hey, hey ♪ ho, ho ♪ it's all right, now ♪ feels so good.
♪ ho ♪ hey ♪ ho ♪ hey ♪ it's all good ♪ it feels all right ♪ it's all right ♪ it's all right ♪ it's all right ♪ . ♪ hope you had a great time! thank you! >> woodruff: tune in tonight for the entire show. >> woodruff: tune in tonight for "in performance at the white house" on most pbs stations. >> woodruff: tijuana mexico's police chief resigned today after being asked to leave by city officials, one day after an investigation aired on the "newshour" by public tvtation kpbs looking at the city's strategy, arrests and police raids of homeless migrants. on the "newshour" online
on the newshour online: for food and travel lovers, the ultimate experience is being able to eat like a local. now, thanks to the sharing economy, you can. much like airbnb, the site "traveling spoon" connects travelers with hosts, but instead of a bed, you get a home-cooked meal. we visited a home chef in mexico recently to try it out. read about that, and find a recipe for his famous stuffed peppers, on our website. and, see how the presidential candidates stack up when it comes to the fastest growing expense in the nation's health care budget: that's prescription drug costs. we have a report from kaiser health news on our homepage. all that and more is on our web site, 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: it's fair to say nobody saw this week coming. the republican senate threw down the gauntlet at the democratic white house, on guantanamo and the supreme court. and the gloves came off,
dramatically and noisily, in the republican race for the presidential nomination. who will blink? not sure i have an answer, but we'll try to explain how it's come to this... tonight on washington week. judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend saturday: why some iranian-americans fear they could be in violation of u.s. sanctions against iran. >> an average iranian-american who has family in iran, unless they're willing to spend all the time to do due diligence, there's nothing they can do that doesn't potentially violate the sanctions. >> sanctions are only as good as the psychological fear they create in people engaged in illicit conduct. you want them to be afraid of breaking the rules. >> woodruff: that's tomorrow night on pbs newshour weekend. 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:
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