tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC May 12, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
welcome to "world news." tonight, the battle lines drawn. mitt romney delivers his own version of marriage. the same-sex couples. the american giant counting on ellen, 15 years after fleeing her. risky business, american taxpayers who bail out the banks outraged tonight. how did the bank lose $2 billion. and man that argues the 1% getting richer is not a bad thing. catch me if you can. the airline offer too good to be true. it was. for the airlines. free first class forever. the flyer who has racked up 40 million air miles. >> i'm trying to get as many miles as i can. and the royals on a roll. why are they suddenly letting their heir down. >> who the hell wrote this
script? >> it's charles on the weather. and tonight, will on sports. good evening. great to have you here. we begin this saturday night with the battle lines now drawn on marriage in the country. today, mitt romney driving into the gay marriage debate. drawing a dividing line that could not be clearer. just this week with robin roberts, president obama revealing his support now for same-sex marriage. today, it was mitt romney arding the class of 2012 at liberty university. we begin here tonight with abc's david kerley. ♪ >> reporter: it was the headline of the week that gave romney the chance to embrace evangelicals. he told the graduates their
shared values are subjects of debate. >> so, it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. [ applause ] >> reporter: that was the loudest, longest applause for the presumptive nominee, whose invitation months ago was protested by some of those graduating. these students of the university fun toed by jerry falwell have been taught mormonism was a cult. rather than challenge that, romney looked for common ground. >> people of different faiths try to find common purpose. >> i was holding my breath. hoping there were no boos. >> i felt that the things he had to say, you know, mered that of the kris than faith. >> he talked mostly of faith and family. >> there is no greater force for good in the nation than christian conscience in action.
>> reporter: he avoided hot button issues, homosexuality, abortion, that are important to the e vn jell calls. instead, he went as far as to say etch those without faith can lead a purpose-driven life. >> he clearly tipped his hand. the evangelicals base will come to him based on their hatred of obama. he will nod the hat but move on and this central issue will be the economy. >> reporter: of course, the vice president forced this issue. he apologized to the president. the relationship still in tact. they played golf together today. >> david kerley, thank you. the latest polls show a slight majority, 52%, believe gay marriage should be legal the. that support is not lost when it comes to marketing to the modern american family. one american giant turning to a familiar face. the same person they fled 15 years ago. here's ron claiborne.
>> reporter: it was 15 years ago that ellen degeneres's character was about to share a secret. >> susan, i'm gay. >> reporter: when size advertis heard that, they fled. one of them was j.c. penney. flash forward to this clothing ad featuring two women, wendi and maggie, a real-life same-sex couple. now out in an ad in j.c. penney's may catalog. quietly, largely and without pro test advertising is starting to reflect new attitudes. >> our cultures change and i think the broader consumer and the spending power in the country has become more progressive. >> reporter: there are gay couples on prime time television shows. >> it might be a little awkward at first. but i think after some time -- >> reporter: and now gay couples are coming out of madison avenue's closet.
and more interracial couples, reflecting the rising number of mixed race marchriages in the u. and in this commercial, a grandmother is the caregiver for a young child. what message are they sending subliminally or overtly? >> we are you. we know your struggle. we understand what you are going through. we understand what it's like to raise a family with one person. same-sex families, interracial families, we understand the challenges of 2012. >> reporter: the j.c. penney ad has stirred some controversy. it was attacked by a conservative group "one million moms" for what it called "taking sides" in the culture war. but there's little else in the way of backlash. the ad campaign may have been motivated by j.c. penney's difficult financial straits. >> j.c. penney's customer was an endangered species. >> reporter: to help the appeal of those new demographics,
j.c. penney has a new celebrity face they once turned away from. >> this is not about them making up with ellen. >> this is a 100-plus-year-old company viewed as stodgy. they've been losing a lot of money. they need to expand their appeal in the marketplace. recognizing that the modern american family is different than it used to be and targeting that audience. >> ron claiborne, thank you. we'll watch you on tomorrow's "good morning america." now to the anger growing by taxpayers about the loss for j.p. morgan chase. they lost $2 billion in six weeks. adding insult to injuries. a possible loophole they fought for that may have allowed this to happen. here's t.j. winick.
>> reporter: ever since americans bailed out the banks -- world news has heard from so many of you who've said," we've bailed out the banks. now where are they to help us out?" >> i haven't been able to recover. >> reporter: unable to get any help from those same banks as homeowners looked to reduce the rates on their mortgage. >> we're raised to do the right thing and, you know, we're treated like a number. >> reporter: tonight comes word of a giant loophole that might have allowed at least one of those big banks to get in trouble again. just this week, jp morgan chase reported a staggering $2 billion loss in the -- from the same type of risky, complicated bet made before the crash. now we're learning they might have also fought for the loophole that allowed it to happen again. >> this is a motorcycle accident where nobody got hurt. you're seeing guys without helmets ought to be concerning for the folks running the life insurance company on them. >> reporter: ironically, j.p. morgan ceo jamie dimon --
who earned $23 million last year -- remains one of the most outspoken critics of new washington regulation designed to curb risky trading. >> it puts egg on our face and we deserve any criticism we get. so feel free to give it to us. we probably will agree with you. >> reporter: the securities and exchange commission is investigating the loss. the $2 billion might be bank money. the fear is -- if this type of big risky bet is still being made -- then it could soon be your tax dollars to the rescue. yet again. >> not much has really changed in the big banks, has it? >> they have fought all the regulations. they have tried to cut them, weaken then, so the culture really hasn't changed. >> reporter: j.p. morgan stock fell over 9% on friday. >> bringing down american 401(k)s, too. there could be more losses? >> they could still lose another $1 billion. this renewed anger comes with the protests. the recent numbers show many in
the 1% growing richer. tonight, a new book out by a man once hired by mitt romney at bain capital. he has many americans on his side. this income inequality is proof, you say, that the system is working. sit working? >> the argument i make in the book is that innovation and the risk taking required to achieve it is valuable to the middle class. >> reporter: in fact ed conard says the giant paydays for the people that took a chance are not only needed but after incentive for others to take chances too. those in the 1% are often the job creators and create products. >> we create one more steve jobs. we need a million more. we have to ask ourselves is one more good for the middle class
or in the good. >> reporter: a lot of people want to know what happened to the middle class in this country. how can we argue that the 1% should get richer when we have a middle class that is so hurting? >> i don't think we should -- i don't think it's the right characterization to say that the 1% should get richer. we ought the be careful about reducing the incentives for successful risk taking. >> reporter: a new poll number out on his side. americans were asked if they think we benefit in the country from having a rich class. 63% said they do think america benefits. the poll numbers are unchanged from 30 years ago. even with all of the outrage today over the 99% of the country and the 1%. are americans okay with the ultra rich? we asked conard if he was. when you see the 1% getting wealthier, does it bother you? >> i would like to see a lot more steve jobs without
increasing income eni quality. we don't find many examples where that is possible. >> and when asked about the new book, mitt romney said his former colleague is a bright guy with a distinct point of view. not all my partners and i saw things the same way. you can weigh in at abc.com/worldnews. and a reminder, the political round table weighing in tomorrow on "this week" right here with george. there is late word, meantime, confirmed by a u.s. official after two drone strikes in yemen. they've reportedly killed 11 al qaeda militants today, the latest in an uptick in air strikes there. that is where the most recent plots against the u.s. have been hachd, including the one revealed this week, involving new underwear bomb ps. in other news tonight in this season of graduations and celebration, sorrow on one
campus after a deadly accident involves a group of students overseas. it happened earlier today along one of the most beautiful highways in new zealand. it took a terrible toll. here's abc's akiko fujita. >> reporter: the crash was so violent it threw passengers from their minivan. the impact killed three boston university students instantly, injuring five others. >> the driver appears to have overcorrected, the vehicle went into a roll and cartwheeled down the road. >> reporter: killed in the accident, 20-year-old daniela leho from new jersey, french national roch jauberty. austin brashears was a mechanical engineering major, who had just turned 21. they were finishing up a semester abroad. they set out to explore a crater where the movie, "the lord of the rings," was filmed.
they were near the rural town of talpo, on their way to hike back home, on the boston university campus, an outpouring of support for the family. this was the last thing of brasheer's checklist. now we turn to an american idol who showed exextraordinary strength long after he left the stage. as we reported last night, a jury convicted her former brother-in-law in the murs of three family members. including hudson's mother. here's alex perez from chicago. >> reporter: it was the guilty verdict jennifer hudson had hoped for. justice for the murders of her mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew. hudson silently cried as the verdict was read. jurors say her daily presence in the courtroom played no role in their decision.
>> her celebrity had nothing to do with it. >> reporter: her story has captivated millions. from one of chicago's worst neighborhoods. ♪ you have to act like a woman >> reporter: -- to the glitz and glamour of hollywood. catapulted to fame with "american idol" and an oscar-winning performance in "dream girls." these days, she's the voice of weight watchers after a stunning weight loss here's. ♪ freedom is mine and i know how i feel ♪ >> reporter: her family was gunned down in 2008. she was the first person called to the stand. the actress and singer, now a mother herself, rarely speaks about losing her loved ones. she sat down with robin roberts last year and shared the lessons he learned from her mother. >> i make sure everything is, you know, surrounded around family. that's what she taught us. if you don't have family, you
don't have anything. >> reporter: the loss of her loved ones, hudson has said, is what now keeps her going. alex perez, abc news, chicago. still ahead, the airline offer too good to be true for the airline. first class forever? tonight, the flyer racking up 40 million miles. the airline outraged. who is right here? weigh in when we come back. did you know when heartburn, it's too late to take prilosec because... but it's but zantac® works differently. it relieves heartburn in as little as 30 minutes. in fact, so, when heartburn strikes, try zantac® this has been medifacts for zantac®
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well this is something. tonight, an airline offer that seemed too good to be true. tonight, 40 million miles later, the flyer sitting in first class and the airline angry. here's john berman. >> this is australia. >> reporter: steve rothstien is a frequent flier. actually, frequent doesn't begin to describe it. >> here's zurich. frankfurt. munich. france. all places that i went to dozens and dozens of times. london, probably 500 or 600 trips in my lifetime. >> reporter: hundred? >> hundreds! >> reporter: in 1987, steve bought an unlimited ticket on america airlines -- yes, there is such a thing -- ♪ that's gold in the air >> reporter: and he used it. >> you really want to know? >> reporter: george clooney's 10 million miles seemed like a lot.
>> i'd be the seventh person to do it. more people have walked on the moon. >> reporter: how many miles have you racked up in your life? >> including all airlines, probably around 40 million miles. >> reporter: american started selling the ticket -- called an unlimited airpass -- back in the '80s when the airline desperately needed cash. just 66 people got onboard before they stopped selling them. the pass guaranteed a holder and a guest for unlimited travel for life. mark cuban bought one when he hit it big. >> if there weren't any seats in first class, they had to kick somebody off. one time, i remember being there, and they kicked off majic johnson. >> reporter: steve flew around the world for work as an investment banker and he flew for fun with his family. from his chicago homebase, he flew to new york a thousand times. 500 trips to los angeles, san francisco, and london. 80 trips to paris. 80 flights to sydney. at least 50 to hong kong. but three years ago, american cracked down, canceling his airpass, claiming he abused the system by booking flights he never planned to use. in a statement to abc, american said fraud cases are "an extremely small percentage of our overall airpass accounts but fraudulent activity costs all of
our customers money. steve says he did nothing wrong. he's now suing the airline and hopes to get his pass back. american must have been spending a lot of money on you. toward the end. >> a deal's a deal. >> reporter: because even for this most frequent of fliers -- there are still places to go. john berman, abc news, new york. >> our thanks to john tonight. when we come back, betty white weighing in on something she's never talk eed about befo. i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better, and that means... game on! symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems.
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now to the newest prom picture making headlines tonight. look at this. a froup of students in indiana posing on a deck when the floorboards give way. there were screams. frightening moments. just minor scratches. they did make it to the prom. these students in milwaukee on a pier. the pier collapses. they used so many hair dryers they blew a circuit. betty white talking about something she's never talked about before. politics. another recent first, her stint at "saturday night live." she now says she favors president obama because she
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charles with the forecast. prince william was in the about to give him the last laugh. here's nick schifrin. ♪ >> reporter: the royal family, all 40 generations, are not known for their sense of humor. this week, the future kings of england have let their royal their down, so to speak. prince william used an olympic gala to make funf. >> if you see me in a pair of speedos at the olympicolympics, me. >> reporter: his father, the prince of wales, played weatherman. the tabloids dubbed him the prince the. >> who the hell wrote this script? >> reporter: can comedy spruce up a stuffy status? they've tried it before. charles tried to break-dance. the youngest royals are trying to loosen up. the brothers play pranks on each
other. with an unwanted marathon challenge -- >> my brother and his wife will be trying it next year i think. >> reporter: and at the expense of an olympic sprinter. >> for all of us mere mortals, and i include my brother, who still drones on about beating usain bolt. which never counted because it was a false start. this is a lifetime opportunity. >> reporter: an opportunity the prove that despite the stiff upper lips, there's a little "ham" in buckingham palace. nick schifrin, abc news, london. >> that is the broadcast. i hope to see you back here tomorrow. good night.