tv NBC Nightly News NBC September 22, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
i don't know how we would manage it really. don't like that idea. we can't afford andy harris' idea. i'm frank kratovil and i approve this message. on the broadcast tonight, the egg problem. after this country's biggest outbreak of salmonella, we'll show you what the iowa egg farmers in question said today about conditions there. the west wing. what a new become says about the deep divisions in the obama white house during the war baseba debate. what if there was a drug that could save your life but you couldn't afford it? and education nation. controversial new film that american also be talking about. what does it say about charter schools, teachers union, our kids and superman? "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. for years a lot of us bought them without thinking much about them. then you tend to think about them when cases of salmonella start galloping across the country. so today in washington, they heard testimony from two of the largest egg producers in this country. millions of people have purchased their brands without knowing it and still will. the problem is, 1,600 people got sick recently and 22 out of 50 states. there could be many more who passed it off as a passing bug. 500 million eggs were recalled. today, we got a glimpse, for better or worse, into these two big producers. our own tom costello starts us off from washington. tom, good evening. >> reporter: good evening. in fact, most grocery stores nationwide, all stores should be free of those bad eggs. today, the iowa farm at the
center oh of this mess suggested that a third provider, a feed supplier, may be responsible for the salmonella that has led to the recall of 500 million eggs. on capitol hill today, the man at the center of the biggest salmonella egg recall ever said he's personally responsible for the outbreak. >> we've apologized to everyone who may have been sickened by eating our eggs. >> reporter: paying millions of dollars in fines. today, congress released photos taken by fda inspectors inside decoster's egg farm in iowa. the photos showed dead hens, dead mice, and barns bursting with chicken manure piled eight feet high. even as the company insisted it takes health and sanitation seriously. >> it sounds like to me both of you are refusing to take
responsibility for a very poor facility. >> this is a very big operation. we have a certain way we go about running it. >> reporter: the man who runs hillendale farms also involved in the recall invoked his constitutional right to remain silent. >> i respectfully decline to answer the question. >> reporter: investigators estimate 1,600 people and perhaps thousands more, have been sickened nationwide. >> i was so dehydrated they could not find a vein to insert an iv in. >> my doctors told me i would have most certainly died without aggressive intervention. >> reporter: carol got sick after eating at a restaurant in colorado. >> i'm angry they've gotten by with it and haven't cleaned up their act. >> reporter: the fda also came under fire for failing to ever inspect a farm before the outbreak. >> fda had jurisdiction over egg production farms but we didn't
have the standards to -- against which we could inspect. >> reporter: those new egg standards didn't take effect until july, after the salmonella outbreak was well under way. this was not a good day for wright county egg. the hearing did not go well. today it released a statement saying clearly it has to do more. >> from northwest washington across town we go to the west wing of the white house. specifically the president who works there. he was elected on a slogan of "yes, we can." and he came into office on a wave of change sentiment. barack obama has said many times, we are the ones we've been waiting for. we are the change that we seek. but a new book by veteran journalist bob woodward is painting a picture of a white house full of egos and political calculations and arch enemies, just like the kind we've seen in years past. and it all surrounds the debate over the war in afghanistan. our own andrea mitchell is here with us tonight with more on this. good evening. >> reporter: good evening.
if the quote in the book are accurate, the obama white house pits political advisers against the generals. and caught in the middle, the commander in chief, making life and death decisions on war and peace. there is more back stabbing in bob woodward's new book than a shakespeare play. the vice president says of richard holbrooke, he's the boast egotist call bastard i've ever met. general david petraeus tells aides david axelrod is a complete spin doctor. most of this infighting over the war plan for afghanistan. timely, the president blows up. november 25th, 2009, only days before announcing his decision, the military asks for 4,500 more troops. woodward writes the president erupts saying, i'm done doing this, we've all agreed to a plan
and we're going to stick to that plan. i haven't agreed to anything beyond that. six days later, his big speech at west point. >> the review has allowed me to ask the hard questions and to explore all the different options. >> reporter: the next day, the president explains why he added a timetable to begin withdrawing, telling republican senator lindsey graham, i can't let this be a war without end, and i can't lose the whole democratic party. >> you really want to see this kind of conflict and disagreement. through history that usually makes the best strategy, especially in a war. >> reporter: but the book reveals the success of the war strategy rests on afghanistan's hamid karzai, who increasingly delusional and paranoid, manic depressive. the u.s. ambassador to afghanistan reports to the vice president, karzai is off his meds, he's off his meds. largely absent from the blood letting, hillary clinton. woodward says axelrod argued, how can you trust hillary for the cabinet?
the president replid, i think i know her pretty well. if he's going to be on the team, she's going to be loyal. woodward interviewed all of the key players for the book. he quotes the president as telling him he continues to believe that he can absorb a terrorist attack, even while doing everything we can. that has angered conservatives, including liz cheney. >> hold that thought, because we wanted to double team this. savannah guthrie is here with us in new york. because the president is at the u.n. in new york, what's going on at the gathering? >> this is his second meeting at the u.n. general assembly and he'll give a status report on u.s. foreign policy tomorrow with a real emphasis on what the u.s. is trying to do with these direct talks in the middle east. >> and about this book that came out, what's been the reaction considering they invited this journalist in, cooperated from the traveling white house? >> it's fascinating.
on the one hand, it's probably bad or at least awkward for some individuals inside the white house because of the infighting that andrea describes. as far as the larger narrative, frankly the white house is embracing it and shows a president who is in command, somebody who went through a deliberate process, leaned hard on the military and they make no apologies for considering the politics, all of it recognizing in their view you have to have america behind the war if you want congress to fund the war. >> which leads us to a final question. this does conveniently lay out all the moving parts and their argument for history. but i heard dave gergen make the point today, what happened to keeping national security deliberations private instead of inviting in a leading investigative journalist? >> we've seen this before in other white houses. mostly focused on economic policies but some national security issues. this does raise the stakes, because the major players who are negotiating with other
countries now have really the scabs pull off of all of these wounds and that's damaging and there's going to be some bleeding. >> thanks to you both for joining us here in new york tonight. now we turn to the upcoming election. alaska senator lisa murkowski was on her way to the same fate, she lost the gop primary to tea party candidate joe miller. but now she's decided to run as a wright-in candidate. something her own party does not seem too happy about. our own lee cowan has our report. >> reporter: the last frontier is perhaps the last place you'd think republicans would still be midterm squabbling. but senator lisa murkowski is getting boos for relaunching her senate bid after she already lost. >> i'm going to leave the ticket. i believe as so many alaskans believe, that i will win this race.
>> reporter: her opponent is joe miller. a fairbanks lawyer who came out of nowhere last month to beat the freshman senator. >> he painted her as a liberal, too liberal for alaska and scored some points and her response was pretty weak to inept. >> reporter: miller got a lot of money from the tea party express and the endorsement of sarah palin, who told voters in a new national ad this week, races like his are sweeping the nation. >> both parties to change the way they're doing business. >> reporter: miller's message is ultraconservative, campaigning to end what he called the welfare state by phasing out social security and medicare. views murkowski calls extreme. >> describing me and our voters as extreme, and there's been worse words used to describe us, she's paymenting a broad brush over alaskans as a whole. >> reporter: murkowski says a
wave of last minute support forced her back in. >> it's hard to say i'm listening to my constituents to run again. wait a minute, didn't they just speak? yeah, but i didn't like what they said. >> reporter: she admits it's a long shot. no one has successfully mounted a write-in campaign since strom thurmo thurmond. but she has a lot of money and name recognition. lee cowan, nbc news, anchorage, alaska. >> nbc news learned that republican leaders in the house of representatives will unveil a pledge to america tomorrow morning. 21-page document that outlines what they will do if they regain control of congress. they are promising to cut taxes, cut federal spending back to '08 levels, repeal president obama's health care reform law, and end government control of the mortgage giants fanly may and freddie mac. democrats immediately blasted
mostly the tax portion of the pledge, saying it will increase the deficit by giving tax cuts to millionaires. one more note on health care reform. it's been six months now since congress passed the obama plan. and so major provisions of it go into effect tomorrow among them, dependents will now be covered under their insurance plans up to age 26. children under age 19 can no longer be denied coverage because of preexisting medical conditions. and insurers will no longer be allowed to put lifetime limits on coverage. when other broadcast continues on a wednesday snigtd, life saving cancer drugs that cost a fortune. whether you pay can become a matter of life and death. a new documentary about fixing public schools that's making waves tonight. we're part of nature, and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves. it's a selfish thing to want to protect nature.
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fannie think about this, you have a potentially terminal disease and there's a drug and you can't afford it. the choices are awful, forcing a lot of people into some new bad choices in what is still a difficult health care system to understand. our report tonight from our chief science correspondent robert bazell. >> reporter: glevac has been hailed as a cancer fighting miracle. it cures a form of leukemia called cml, and an intestinal tumor. >> five or ten years ago there were no therapies and people died within one to two years. now people are living 10, 15, perhaps 20 years. we don't know how long. >> so the tumors are gone?
>> the tumor went away. >> reporter: for this pharmaceutical marvel, it has a drawback. this is glevak. it costs $4,500 a month. the patient must take it for life. if the patient stops, the cancer returns. >> i just wanted to be well. >> reporter: that's what happened to holly reid. she stopped taking the drug after her health insurance changed. >> i have to budget to pay out $5,000 for hi first month's supply. >> reporter: but they say some of their patients have been forced to stop taking the drug for financial reasons. >> patients are embarrassed to tell you that they didn't pay -- they can't pay for their medication. they're embarrassed to tell their spouse that they made that decision. >> reporter: novartis has a program to help people pay. a single person who has no
insurance and makes less than $55,000 a year can get the drug free. doctors say they can usually help people find some assistance. holly reid is back on her drug and doing fine. but others who stop will die and the patients need to be aware of the risks. robert bazell, nbc news, san francisco. when we come back, a rare event in the skies tonight, and on this year's list of the richest americans, a very young guy who had a very good year. my nasal allergies are ruining our camping trip. i know who works differently than many other allergy medications. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike.
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"forbes" magazine is out tonight with its new list of the 400 richest americans. and the top three are the same three as last year. bill gates retains the number one rating with a net worth of $54 billion. warren buffett second with $45 billion. larry ellison just getting by as ceo of oracle, third with $27 billion. the person who gained the most over the past year, facebook founder mark zuckerberg whose wealth grew 245% to a reported $6.9 billion. we love the heavens around here, and so fans ofhe night sky know that and they write us all the time. and a viewer in colorado named jack cheznut wants everybody to
remind everyone about the harvest moon. looks as big as a dinner plate in the night sky these days. that's early evening tonight in philadelphia. this moon apparently is a special one, because it happens on the same day as the autumn eqinox. and both jupiter and uranus will be visible tonight. so get out there and look up and hope it's not cloudy as it looks like it's going to be. scientists at the university of utah announced today they discovered a new dinosaur and they're calling it cosmo seratops. it's a relative of the strvegs ricetops. 15 horns arrayed on a huge head. researchers say the horns probably weren't useful for defense, instead probably all about attracting a mate. always works. when we come back, a new
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they are kids and teachers and parenting and union leaders and they have one thing in common -- education. this documentary could be the talk of this big summit we're hosting here next week called education nation. it's controversial. it's powerful. and it arrives just as the debate over education turns red hod. our education correspondent rehema ellis has our report. >> i don't care what i have to do, i don't care how many jobs i have to attain, but she will go to college. >> reporter: it's a film about the dreams of millions of families told through the eyes of a few. >> i want to be a nurse, i want to be a doctor. >> reporter: "waiting for superman" shows how five kids and their parents, from harlem to silicon valley, struggle to get out of failing neighborhood schools and into public charter schools. daisy, a fifth grader, whose parents dropped out of high school, is desperate to avoid her district middle school in l.a. >> by the time she leaves stephenson, only 13% of her
classmate also be proficient in math. >> reporter: the cruel reality is, the children's dreams are tied to the luck of the lottery. the director also directed the oscar winning documentary about global winning "an inconvenient truth." the truth about his latest film is the topic scared him. >> i felt like a lot of parents. you read the paper and there's a lot of noise. it's complex. >> reporter: he had a change of heart while driving his kids past three public schools to drop them off at a private school. >> an idea that my kids were having a great education but the kids in my neighborhood were not, that idea haunted me. >> reporter: but the president of the american federation of teachers portrayed in the film as a staunch defender of the failed status quo, says the movie is unbalanced. >> not one public school was pictured in this film.
>> let's get started. >> reporter: other educators say the film could be a wakeup call. the 2010 version of the civil rights movement. >> people didn't want to make change until they saw black people having dogs and walter gets hosed on them in the street. >> reporter: if people don't have any children, let alone in public or private school, why should they care about the issues you're discussing in the movie? >> some of these kids are more likely to go to prison than they are to college. and we're going to pay for them one way or the other. >> reporter: anthony knows why education matters to him. >> i want my kid to have better than what i had. >> reporter: and "waiting for superman" makes a compelling case. >> and the last number? >> reporter: that america's children shouldn't have to wait for better schools. >> and a reminder, next week we'll talk all about this.
nbc news will host education nation, a nationally broadcast indepth conversation about improving education in this country, starting sunday, september 26th on the networks of nbc. for now, for us, that's our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. as always, hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. good night.