tv News Nation MSNBC March 28, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
right now on "news nation" -- rebel forces put new pressure on moammar gadhafi and libya, as president obama prepares to lay out his case over what the u.s.' role should be in the conflict. last words, lawrence o'donnell, will join me. horrifying scandal. the military in damage control mode as more photos released showing u.s. soldiers gloating over bodies in afghanistan. a u.s. billionaire, heir to one of the largest fortunes, fighting accusation his abused his own stepdaughter. from the white house to
facebook? what does it mean to team obama if robert gibbs goes to work for the social networking site? i'm contessa brewer, in for tamron hall today. "news nation" floeollowing a dramatic advance in libya as president obama prepares to address the nation tonight. expected to explain the purpose of the mission and the exit strategy. the president 'dress is set for 7:30 p.m. eastern time. meantime in libya, rebels are advancing towards gadhafi's hometown of sirte, just 225 miles from the capital of trop tripoli. air strikes happelps rebels cape key cities and advance several hundred miles virtually unchecked in a couple of days. nbc's chief foreign correspondent rich around engel is in libya. give me a sense of what's ahead for the rebels as they keep trying to push their position forward.
>> reporter: they are trying to push through sirte, but they are meeting resistance. for the first time, really, in the desert on the outskirts of sirte. we saw rebels today in footage taken from the area retreating from the gadhafi's forces that were firing artilleries and what appears to be tank shells on the rebels. they advanced from ajdabiya, from here in benghazi, and were able to go about 350 miles completely unchecked. they were able to make this rapid advance because of the western air strikes that have destroyed so much of gadhafi's heavy armor, heavy artillery, but gadhafi remains dug in in sirte, it is his hometown, and he has a tribal base there, and it's very important that gadhafi hold sirte because if he were to lose it, and the rebels were able to take sirte, they would quickly move on from sirte, go to misrata, about 130 miles away, and be right on the doorstep of tripoli. >> richard, i have to ask you about some disturbing reports that have come out that some of
these rebels are actually either insurgents that have fought against the u.s. in afghanistan or iraq, or maybe al qaeda terrorists who have been in this part of libya all along and have joined the opposition to moammar gadhafi. do you know anything about either one of those? >> reporter: yes. we have heard these accusations come from the libyan government. we have also heard from u.s. intelligence officials who worry about the al qaeda presence here in libya. there are different militant groups operating here, one called the libyan fighting group. early on in this conflict, gadhafi released 110 members of the libyan fighting group and since that happened -- >> unfortunately, we have a frozen satellite signal there, so we can't get the end of what richard's talking. one of the many tough questions obama and his administration may have to face in the coming days,
president obama's getting ready to explain his decision to take military action at all in libya. he's addressing the nation 7:30 p.m. eastern time tonight. the president took part in a town hall meeting today at a high school in washington. hosted by the spanish language tv network univision. he only briefly referred to his address tonight. >> with respect to libya, i am going to be addressing this issue tonight and i have already discussed it on several occasions. our involvement there is going to be limited, both in time and in scope. >> joining me live now, nbc news white house correspondent savannah guthrie, co-host of nbc's "daily rundown". why are we there in the first place, who goals are we hoping to accomplish? when do we get out? how do we get out? who are allied forces helping? >> reporter: all good questions, some of which will be annersed
and some will not be answers. the president, first of all, is going to frame this as a success story so far, the u.s. leading the military charge has got gadhafi on his heels. i expect he will say because of u.s. action and allied action, civilian lives, perhaps in the tens of thousands, have been saved. some of those thornier questions, like the one you raised, whether or not if gadhafi stays in power, the u.s. will continue to be part of this coalition, that's something we're not sure how the president will address. we know how he's addressed in the last nine days or so and that is to suggest there's a different track here, there's the military action in libya, which the u.s. is a part of, which is to protect civilians. and then there's a separate policy goal of the u.s. government to get gadhafi out of power by other means, kind of a pressure track in the sense of isolating them, threatening him with prosecution and international criminal court, freezing assets, trying to squeeze the people around gadhafi so they start to peel
off. but that's the challenge before the president, to explain those two goals, but also explain why it is that the u.s. military is not involved in trying to go after gadhafi or trying to take him down militarily. so the speech tonight, from the national defense university, which is near washington. >> thank you. let's bring in "the washington post" editorial writer jonathan capehart, also an msnbc contributor. do you think the question of, why aren't we going after gadhafi, why aren't we taking him down, do you think that's something the american people are demanding to know? >> i think the american people might want to know that, especially since the president said last week or so, that moammar gadhafi must go. but, you know, as the president has been saying since then, especially in his weekly radio address or weekly address to the nation on saturday, you know, he's -- he doesn't mention it at all in those remarks. he talks about how the libyan people should be able to determine their own destiny, how the mission that the united
states got into with allies, with the u.n. declarations, the no-fly zone, and all of those things that happened last week, that this was a humanitarian mission. i think the president will focus on that, the humanitarian aspect of u.s. involvement, and the limited nature of u.s. involvement, both in time and personnel and equipment. >> given the war fatigue that american feel, given the criticism some members of congress had for the president because he didn't get their permission before he took this military action, i mean, the president's been kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. >> right. the president was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. before the no-fly zone was agreed to and took effect, people yelling at the president, why aren't you doing something? why isn't the united states leading? then the united states is instrumental in getting the u.n. resolution, helping the no-fly
zone, providing the missiles and catching flak from not just republicans and conservatives on capitol hill, but from democrats and folks on the left like dennis kusinich yelling at him for taking this kind of action. they say it's going to war, the president says it's humanitarian mission. but still, the president took action without consulting with, though he sort of did, and without getting the permission of congress. >> and as i pointed out, there's a long line of presidents who have taken similar action without consulting their peers and congress, but in this case, it has ruffled some feathers, at the very least. thank you. stay with msnbc for complete coverage of the president's address. live 7:30 p.m. eastern time. we have more throughout the hour. i'll talk with "the last word's" lawrence o'donnell 2:30. >> gruesome photos showing soldiered posing alongside murdered afghan civilians. the photos are so graphic.
"rolling stone" published photos more than a dozen, taken by members of a tank unit who call themselves the kill team. the rogue band of soldiers accused of slaughtering innocence, defenseless afghans. with me now, nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. what's the biggest consequence of these photos being public? >> reporter: well, at this point the biggest consequence is for many of those soldiers who have already been charged, some of them convicted. one sentenced to 24 years in prison for the alleged murder of at least three afghan civilians, that resulted -- those investigations actually resulted in army investigator uncovering many photos -- all of the photos, actually -- that we see in "rolling stone" now. investigators found as many 4,000 photos in the process of their investigation into allegations that a rogue unit inside the 5th stryker brigade
in afghanistan had gone out, targeted and killed, innocence civilians. so it was actually the u.s. army that came upon, number one, the charges, the accusations to begin with, and then these photos. as horrific and indefensible as they are, we're hearing, though, from u.s. military officials, and even some afghan government officials, that so far there's been no negative effect, no backlash against american troops in afghanistan because of the fact that the u.s. army is so aggressively pursuing this case and trying and convicting some of those believed to be responsible. there could still be one issue or element to this entire investigation. as the army continues to look into this, apparently there are new questions raised about those higher up the chain of command, when did they know? why didn't they stop this? >> jim miklaszewski at the
pentagon. thank you. s.e. johnson calls itself a family company. one of the family members accused of sexually assaulting the teenage stepdaughter. robert gibbs once the face of the white house as press secretary. and now he could be the newest messenger for facebook. but, wasn't he supposed to help run president obama's re-election campaign. radiation levels soaring in japan. workers find plutonium leaking into the soil around the fukushima plant. is there is plant in the middle of a meltdown? we'll have an update. make a wish!
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radioactive waist cripples the air around the fukushima plant. pools of water are registering radioactive contamination at 100,000 times the normal level. extent of the contamination is such that japan's power authority has admitted there was a partial meltdown of the core in reactor two. also reports that investigators with radiation detecter tos found plutonium in the soil. today's staggering news follows 6.5 magnitude earthquake that shook the region and triggered another tsunami alert. it's not known what effect the quake had on the already-damaged plant. crews continue to work there in staggered shifts to contain the radiation. joining me to talk now about the claims is nuclear expert jeff merifeel, former cior e s. nle r cois cawealfit, out utiu a w tyay individuals are
aren't where breathing that in or inguesting as they would eat a food, it is possible to protect the body from that. it is not surprising. there is a creation of plutonium when the uranium is burned for the purposes of providing power. so it's not entirely surprising that they have identified some there at the site. it's going to be very localized, should not be a problem outside of that plant location. >> plutonium, what i read about it, has a long half life, accumulates in bones, fatal to humans in tiny doses. if it's in the soil, if there's a drought, the wind kicks up a dust, is there a problem? if there's food grown in the soil, is that a problem? >> first off, the plutonium does not -- because it's a heavy metal, it does not travel to the
extent that some of the likes like radioactive iodine has a possibility of traveling off-site. certainly no one's going to grow anything in the area very close to the plant for a very long time. really the issue is keeping it away from individuals getting exposed from it. again, keeping it from them as far as dust with appropriate covering or keeping them from ingesting it by eating it, those are the primary efforts you want to have to make sure the workers and individuals around there are safe. >> jeff, we know there's been a breach, that some of the seawater used to cool these rods gets recycled back into the ocean, and now they're finding that there is contaminated seawater further north than they originally thought. are you concerned that this is not a stable situation, that we could actually see it get worse before it gets better? >> well, obviously, at site, they're continuing to pump seawater or in some cases fresh
water into the reactors and the spent fuel pools. that is, right now, a once through activity. normally when the power plants operating, that water continues to get recycled. it's not right now. either fresh water or seawater's being pumped in, and it's only going through once. what they need to do is create a system where they can pump the water back into the area around the reactor or into the reactor itself. they're not there. they're a long way from that happening. right now what we're seeing is water that has been on top of the spent fuel pools, some may have washed off the site, into the seawater, and so in a localized area closer to the plant you'll have some fairly high levels. when you go further from the site, they are seeing levels that are within safety limits but it is a matter of concern, no two ways about it. >> thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us. appreciate that. >> thank you. still ahead -- bikini backlash. >> i would never purchase this despicable garbage for my child, nor should any other parent.
>> you know, it's a bathing suit, come on, how bad could it be but it is causing outrage. should it? it's our "news nation" gut check. one of the most poisonous snakes in the world on the loose at the bronx zoo. we'll tell you why zoo officials say, they're not worried. to save me a boatload of money on my mortgage, that would be awesome! sure. like that will happen. don't just think about it. spend 10 minutes at lending tree and save up to $272 a month.
a court appearance for a college student involved in a bomb plot. accused of buying chemicals and equipment to bill a weapon of mass destruction. accused of planning to attack several targets including new york city and former president george w. bush's dallas home. if convicted, he faces as much as life in prison. barry bonds' former mistress
scheduled to testify against him. bell plans to testify the slugger told her he used steroids. she's expected to explain the physical and mental changes she witnessed prosecutors say due to steroids. the bronx zoo's reptile house closed after a poisonous cobra escaped from the enclosure friday. workers say the 20-inch long egyptian cobra's probably hiding somewhere warm and when it gets hungry or thirsty it will come out on its own. until then they'll keep the reptile house closed. that seems ambivalent, doesn't it? facebook could be adding a high-powered friend. the site's eyeing former press secretary gibbs to manage communications before an initial public offering planned for next year. accepting such an offer would rule out any plan is by gibbs to help launch obama's 2012 re-election campaign.
part of the nbc news political unit, joining me from washington, d.c. look, he's kind of an integral part of obama's campaign team, isn't he? >> well, you're right. you flow, there's no one that you'll find that's closer to president obama as an adviser than robert gibbs. this is somebody who worked in his senate office, worked on the campaign, in the white house, and remains a close friend. so he was one of those rare exceptions of a press secretary who was in on the meetings, which was key for those covering the white house that they fell like they were getting information straight from the president. you know, even if gibbs, you know, winds up signing on with facebook for however big that salary might be, as "the new york times" reported, he's still a friend of the president, might have some informal role, but you're right, he wouldn't be able to then be part of an actual re-elect lawnch. we were showing all of this video of facebook's founder, mark zuckerberg.
is there a formal offer from facebook? is there any confirmation that this is actually maybe something that gibbs would like to pursue? >> well, as the times reports, there were some informal discussions, is what it seemed. it said there was no formal offer. the white house has -- had no comment on this, obviously, as would be to be expected. but you know, i think for a lot of us that might be a tough salary, at least, to turn down, you never know. >> you could do a lot of things if you earned multiple millions of dollars if, as -- i might give that a shot. thank you. live look at the senate floor right now. senate majority leader harry reid is lashing out at the tea party today. you're seeing mitch mcconnell, leader of the republicans. harry reid claims the tea party would rather shut down the government than work with democrats or republicans to find
if about five hours president obama addresses the nation on libya. rebel have advanced to 60 miles of gadhafi's hometown sirte. they have now met with stiff resistance from moammar gadhafi's forces. coalition air strikes on gadhafi's forces reversed the tide in libya and allowed rebels to advance hundreds of miles in the past several days. president obama prepares for his address on libya, joined by lawrence o'donnell host of msnbc's "the last word." a lot of criticism of the way president obama handled this. we were watching mitch mcconnell on the floor of the senate, bashing the president saying, looking the president should have come to congress and here's the live picture of him on the senate floor -- he says that the
president should have come and gotten authorization for this military action. >> it couldn't be more ironic to see mitch mcconnell on the senate floor talking about this because it was on the senate floor march 1st in the single, most ignored moment of the story the united states senate and mcconnell voted unanimously, unanimously, for a resolution calling for a no-fly zone from the united nations. and so the united states senate is unanimous on the record in favor of this, before the president took any action whatsoever. but the media has missed it. it's one of the most ignored items that's happened here. if this was a house member, where they didn't cast the vote, they can play around and spin it any way they want. but mcconnell actually voted for this. >> talk about the house members. do they have a case? i was looking back at the history of presidents taking the
executive authority and ordering military action and it goes way back. >> what's happened is politically, the congress surrenders war powers. it became -- it became a congressional power that they didn't want. the responsibility became so heavy they said, you know what? we're going to look the other way, let you presidents do whatever you want, basically from vietnam forward. and so they then tried to cod did fi it through the war act saying the president can do these things and he can do them quickly if he has to, he has to report to us in 48 hours. all the require finances of the war powers act has been observed here. the congress wrote the war powers act, not the president. i don't like it. i wish they did have congressional war declarations it' noio a wa cl mein ele, a thugheonesfirst. but congress very deliberately surrendered this power. they want to be able to sit back and criticize it, if it goes badly and in favor of it if it
goes war. >> it's called a military intervention, a military strike, it's called united nations security council enforcement. but they're not calling it a war. are there other cases in history where you've had congress throwing such a fit over the u.n. security council making a resolution, the united states supporting that resolution, and our lawmakers going, now, wait a minute, you have to ask us about this? >> not at this stage. we haven't really seen this kind of objection at this stage. this is purely political objection at this stage. >> does the president need to get up there tonight and truly lay out, here's the goal, if we achieve this goal, we've accomplished and we're out of there, and here's how we get out of there? >> heegs not going to be able to give a so-called exit strategy, especially because he has cast this as a humanitarian mission. that's the way he's described it from the start. he's saying it's to avoid a bloodbath. they have done that. they have avoided the bloodbath. how long they to stay there to
continue to avoid a bloodbath is unclear because as soon as they leave, as soon as they stop doing this, there's no reason why gadhafi wouldn't go and do what he was planning to do any ware. >> what about robert gates saying on "meet the press," no, libya's not in our vital interests it's. >> a semantic trick, this national interest thing. this has become the media's obsession and politicians' obsession because what they're looking for is a doctrine. the world is not beyond a doctrinal organization. we have a chaotic world in which there are moments where the united states can help and moments when it can't. you know, what's the doctrine that says, when there's a nuclear power plant disaster in japan the united states navy will go and help? there is no doctrine that says that. that is a voluntary humanitarian act on the part of the united states because it can. so this is a situation where the truth of it is, the president is doing this because we can.
and that doesn't fit a doctrine, so it's an uncomfortable thing for him to say. >> thank you for joining us. appreciate that. of course, msnbc has complete coverage of the president's address. see that speech live at 7:30 p.m. eastern time and then of course you'll want to see "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow on nbc "nightly news," brian williams interviews president obama on the military action in libya. the budget battles coming down to the wire on capitol hill again. the senate reconvened today. the house returns tomorrow. both have less than two weeks to hammer out a federal budget agreement. as of now, the government is only funded for another 11 days, until april 8th. joining me nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. we saw mitch mcconnell talking about libya, not the budget. what's going on on the budget? >> reporter: he followed majority leader harry reid who did talk about the budget and came out swinging today, saying that republicans have deep differences within their own party. claiming that so-called establishment republicans,
office holders who veee reor a wlendeaarty inflnc a fhtg eh otr d that tt i hgi some of the negotiations. now, republicans see it differently. but reid said they are willing, the democrats, to negotiate but not with themselves and not through the media. reid is certainly putting a lot of emphasis on this, trying to focus on the deadline, saying time is running short and ramping up the stakes for a possible government shutdown. now, on the republican side, what they're saying is that democrats have not been willing to look at cuts that are deep enough or to explain what sorts of tax increases might need to occur in order to save programmings that democrats care deeply. so we've got two very different pictures about the same sort of situation and we learned that there were staff level negotiations and reid and others working on this during the recess that we just wrapped up, and it really kind of exposed how far apart they are. and while the world is
concentrating on libya and other things, this budget battle's certainly heating up here. >> kelly, thanks. a billionaire heir to the s.e. johnson fortune charged with sexually abusing a teenage stepdaughter for years. john yang is in wisconsin with more. give me the back story here. >> reporter: well, it's a disturbing back tory. s.c. johnson iii the great grandson of the company and heir to the fortune built on brand names as johnson wax, windex, zip lock, draino, accused of abusing his stepdaughter over more than three years beginning when she was just 12 years old. colat,heou glamiry th tetw15and 20 incidents before she finally decided to tell her mother, as she says, to protect her younger sisters. johnson has yet to enter a plea
in this case. both his attorney and johnson have yet to make any statements about this. and they -- he is now free on a half million dollars cash bond. if convicted the maximum penalty is 40 years in prison. john yang in racine, thanks for keeping tabs on it. still ahead, check this out, nbc has a free new app that has all things royal. everything really here that you'd want to know about, will and kate. there's a look here, i was loving this earlier, at the fabulous jewels. i'm going to show you the great interactive features when we come right back. also a lot going on today. some things we thought you should know. a wake will be held tomorrow and wednesday for former vice presidential candidate ferraro. the first woman to run for u.s. vice president on a major party ticket.
she died saturday at 75 of a form of blood cancer. former president jimmy carter's in cuba at this hour. arrived in havana today for a three-day trip to try to help heal relations between the u.s. and the communist nation and help a u.s. contractor who is in jail there. venezuela's president chavez is urging his people to cut their calories to avoid obesity. recently, he's been on a tirade with lifestyle recommendations. he's warned against capitalism, alcoholism, even breast implants. i'm sure there's an ism there. i'm a random windstorm. shaky! shaky! shaky! shaky! [ laughs ] shaky! shaky!
wedding but plenty of time to get clued in on all of the details. nbc news released a free application to keep you in the know and this is incredible because it has all kinds of information that you can control. for instance, let me go into katharine and william, okay, and if i go into kate's section here, i can actually look at her style. and there's an incredible collection of shots where she's compared to other princesses, for instance, princess diana, and some of these images are unbelievable when you see how much she really resembles, in terms of style, william's mother. let's go back to the home page again. and i wanted to show you the jewels. this is the part that i'm fascinated with. when looking at jewels, it turns out that the queen has actually offered to give -- she does this with all of the family members -- the -- not give but rather lend a tiara for the
wedding. so there's been a lot of speculation about which tiara catherine might choose. for instance, here's princess ann's tiara. also one where you can see the queen's wearing this -- here's the turquoise, the brazilian aquamarine tiara, it's called. if you go back, here's the queen with it on. i need to practice more with this. there you go. there's the queen's tiara. you have to wonder whether that catherine might choose something that is old fashioned like the queen wears or maybe something that one of the younger generation would wear. and now the dress, which is of course what everyone's talking about. and so far, no one has a great idea who's been chosen to design the dress, and those kind of things. of those, here's the four that we're looking at. and i'm thinking that one of these two sleeker styles look more like catherine's style here
than some of the others. so you can pull these up and get a closer look. this is pamela rolen, for inan. just tnk tt lksik sothing cathineou wr. t me bring in the royal editor of the london news of the world, he created one of these elements here, the family tree. when talking about this family tree, robert, it's incredible because this is something that you can use while you're watching the procession the day of the wedding. i'm trying to pull it up here so i can show folks. you watch this the day of the wedding and you can click on faces and figure out who's who. >> that's right, contessa. little biographies of all of the main characters that will be at the wedding. i've done a little take on all of these people from the queen also to the bridesmaids to the various princesses. some of them who won't be as recognizable. it's a fantastic tool for the day of the royal wedding and the
day before for those who want to be clued up on the day of the kate and william's wedding on the 9 29th. >> i have the app part of the family tree pulled up. so you could go and click on -- we know who the brother is, harry. but how about zara, a cousin to prince william and pulls up a little biographical information about it. it's really cool. tell me about prince william's bachelor party. >> they did pretty well, actually, contessa. he went out with a group of his friends in the east of england where they tried to keep it private, low key, not spend too much money. i think the key at the moment with the royal family and this wedding is there is a lot of cuts here, as you can imagine. demonstrations on the streets this weekend. very conscious not to be seen to be too always sten taye shus. a low-key affair. also, prince harry had to go off to norwayhe hs a exdionwircen
is monefocharity. even harry couldn't get too drunk. >> they're trying not to be to ostentatious. a multiteared traditional fruitcake. i understand the cake designer is causing controversy because some people think it's not upscale enough. >> well, i think this is -- i mean, she cooks -- prepares cakes for sir paul mccartney, the ex-beatle, and she's got a great celebrity clientele. i think william and kate wanted to give this to a village cake designer, somebody that's had good experience but has good credibility, too. they wanted a promoter. i think it's a good decision. the other thing he's got, a cake made by one who made cakes for the royals going back to the 1890s and that's a chocolate biscuit cake for the sweet tooths only. >> a controversy over cake it seems ridiculous. thank you so much for joining us. want to point out, again, this is a very fun app to play with,
and it is free, if you want to find it for your own device. big trouble for one of the teens on mtv's teen mom ii. superman has a new lois lane. the countdown clock running up to oprah's final day on the air. the scoop from pop culture columnist courtney hazlett. >> contessa. let's tastart out with teen mom ii. one of the show's four main characters janelle evans, arrested on sunday after a video leaked on the internet showing her violently punching, hitting, and screaming at another girl in her native oak island north carolina. a lot of traev about this because, let's boil it down, he's a mother. though she does not have custody of her 19-month-old son, her mom got custody last spring, this is a mother, and a lot of people criticize teen mom ii for glorifying young motherhood or that sort of thing.
i think if anything it puts a spotlight on how difficult your life can be if you make certain decisions, whether having a baby, whether beating somebody up and someone with a cell phone thinking they're being cute and catching it and leaking it to tmz. there are real consequences. she was arrested sunday and released on bond. >> incredible, shocking, anyone over the age of 5 is throwing punches. >> ridiculous. i don't understand how, in this day and age, people don't realize this is going to get leaked. this isn't something kept private between you and your friends. bad things will happen. looking around, what's hot on the web soetoday, amy adams topg google trends. >> the new lois lane in superman. a long awaited casting decision. zack snider's version of superman that will be shot this summer. and it's going to come out in december to 2012. we heard henry kavil will be
playing the lead role. >> snarky people saying she should be playing superman's mom not love interest. >> she's 36. though he's in his 20s. i think it's ridiculous. a fantastic actor. nominated three times for an osc oscar. >> with his sister. oprah's final date? >> so if you've been watching this final season of oprah and wondering when you should reserve that time on your couch to have a good cry and write your dream journal after your final show, may 25th. oprah announced it the last day of the show. she haven't announced who will be the final guest. i'm sure as the days click off, after we're done talking about the royal wedding count down. >> i'm sure it's not a teen mom. >> sure it's not a teen mom. >> thank you. for the latest on entertainment news, logon to scoop.todayshow.com or be a fan of the scoop on facebook. today's gut check, did do
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time for the "news nation" gut check. how young is too young for a girl to wear a push-up bikini top? abercrombie & fitch designed a padded top for girls as young as 7 years old. yeah that will spark some outrage. tamron hall has the story. >> reporter: skin sells. and thanks to racy marking abercrombie & fitch has bill a retailing empire on it. >> i don't think it's appropriate. >> reporter: was but the retailer's new bikini top is a push-up inciting a lot of push back. >> i think a push-up pik for a child is ridiculous. >> reporter: it's called the ashley, part of the abercrombie kids spring line. bikini with breast padding made for girls as young as 7. >> i have two little girls and i
would never purchase this despicable garbage for my child, nor should any other parent. it is completely sending the wrong message to your daughter. a second grader does not need a padded bikini top. >> reporter: some expert as degree and warn it's too sexy, too soon. >> it gets young girls to think about themselves in sexual ways before they're developmentally appropriate. tiberoie & fch hav been takeno task s showore flesh than fabricer and a company's got a history of young models in r-rated poses. their provocative quarterly was compared to soft porn pulled from stores in 2003. a 2002 thong line for girls ages 7 to 14 caused an outcry and was removed. 2005 a boycott called a girlcott
staged for a line called anatomy tutor. >> reporter: the company tooks the tees off of shelves. not every parent we talked to is concerned. >> if we don't make such a big deal about it first of all, these girls won't know what they are. they won't know. we're making such a big deal about it. parents make a big deal about it. if you don't like it, don't buy it. >> reporter: since the controversy erupted, abercrombie has changed the swim up name from the push-up try angle to the striped triangle. they dropped the price and the word padded from the description the parents buying these items are the ones to blame here, not abercrombie & fitch. >> what does your gut tell you here? honestly, should stores sell padded bikini tops for kids? a 10-year-old? 12-year-olds? come on! go to newsnation.msnbc.com. cast your vote. that wraps up this edition of "news nation."
i'm contessa brewer. tamron hall is in tomorrow. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] with amazing innovation, driven by relentless competition, wireless puts the world at your command. ♪ aren't getting enough whole grain. but actually, it's never been easier to get the whole grain you want from your favorite big g cereals. from cheerios to lucky charms, there's whole grain in every box. make sure to look for the white check.
here's what's happening. on the move. rebels in libya push gadhafi into full scale retreat while president obama prepares to give america his mission statement. how long will the war in libya involve u.s. forces? kill team. shock and horror as the new details and images surface of american soldiers carrying out unspeakable acts in afghanistan. and no end in sight. radiation levels in japan reach new highs. can anything stop its spread into the world's food supply? he's been asked again and again to define the u.s. mission in libya, and tonight he will. we are just hours from president obama's 7:30 p.m. eastern time address to the nation.