tv NBC Nightly News NBC September 15, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
to think about while we are watching this dude. all he's trying to do is get over on his paws so he can stand up. >> i hope somebody helped h eventually. >> it's been watched 1.5 million times. he never did make it. on the broadcast tonight, good to go. the new swine flu vaccine has been approved. tonight, the early word on when the first doses may arrive. firing line in washington and around the country. how much of the current political fireworks show is about race? tonight, a former president weighs in. is it over? there's evidence of good news on the economy. gm workers show their support, but what's the truth about jobs? >> remembering patrick swayze after his battle with cancer. why washington may never be the same after the new dan brown novel. a huge response to our
report about debit cards and what you can do about the fees. "nightly news" begins now. good evening, the message from the u.s. government and the news media has been that it's going to take at least two flu shots this season, one for the regular or seasonal flu and another for the swine flu, which continues to spread. the question is, when will the swine flu shots be ready. today, the government gave us an answer. the vaccine is red we have details from our chief di-. correspondent, robert bazell. >> reporter: the fda approved the swine flu vaccine. the first set should start to arrive within four weeks or sooner. >> i appreciate the opportunity to give you an update -- >> reporter: kathleen sebelius
mentioned the approval casually during a house hearing. >> just so i understand, this drug has not yet been fda approved? >> it was today. >> that's good news. >> reporter: they are buying it and distributing it to states. the cdc recommends certain groups get it first, including pregnant women, health care workers and people 6 months to 24 years old. >> ready? >> ready. >> reporter: each state will decide how to allocate the vaccine. members of the target group may have trouble getting it. >> we have to keep working at making sure those who want the vaccine can get it. they will have to stay alert. they may have to make two or three phone calls to get it. not every provider will have it the first day it's available. >> reporter: because of a problem in a 1976 vaccination
campaign against a different swine flu threat that resulted in paralysis for some patients, sebeli heardbout the safety of the vaccine. >> we are assured by the scientist that lots of steps have been taken along the way to make sure it will be a safe procedure. >> reporter: the swine flu vaccine can be a shot or inhaled nasal spray. the federal government emphasizes people will be encouraged to get bot the swine flu ak seen and the one against seasonal flu. it's totally voluntary. experts are not sure how many will want the swine flu shot. the demand will depend on the risk. >> robert bazell in our new york studios, thanks. now to politics in washington. a formal rebuke for congressman joe wilson white house outburst during president obama's health
care address to a joint session of congress is still reverberating. kelly o'donnell is with us from capitol hill with more. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. disciplining a member of congress in the public way we saw today is unusual. these circumstances are reprimand for conduct directed at the president has never happened before in our country's history. >> the house of representatives disapproves of the behavior of the representative. >> reporter: claim the house is on the line. >> a simple apology to the house would have solved it. this house ought not stand silent. >> reporter: they introduced a resolution of disapproval against joe wilson for two words he yelled at the president last week -- >> you lie. >> reporter: and for the words he refused to say on the house floor, i'm sorry. >> we all make mistakes and fall short of expectations.
when we do, proper behavior is expected. >> reporter: nancy pelosi wanted to drop it. members including the powerful black caucus urged them to act. democrats did not raise the issue of race publicly. wilson's disrespect. thomas man says race is a factor. >> i think there was strong sentiment among some african-american members that this was a conservative white southerner going after the first african-american president in a highly public and disrespectful fashion. >> reporter: today, republican congrewoman brought up the fact it's not an issue here. i think we have a teachable moment. it has nothing to do with race.
>> wilson called it a waste of taxpayers time. >> when we are done here today, we will not have taken any steps closer to helping more american families afford health insurance. >> reporter: some republicans urged wilson to apologize to the house last week. today, the gop framed it as a partisan political act. the resolution passed overwhelmingly. it wasn't a straight party vote. seven republicans voted in the disapproval of wilson. a dozen democrats voted against. >> kelly o'donnell, thanks. this morning in atlanta, former president carter spoke up and out about what he's seen emerging in the public protests against president obama. we were in atlanta to interview president carter for air at a later date in connection with his upcoming 85th birthday.
during the interview, we talked about what some see as racial and hate speech since the election of president obama, a certain number of signs and images at last weekends tea party march and other recent events that featured racial and violent themes. president carter says he's extremely worried by it. >> i think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward president barack obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. that he's african-american. i lived in the south. i have seen the south come a long way and i have seen the rest of the country that shared the south's attitude toward minority groups, at that time particularly african-americans. racism, still exists. i think it's bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people, not just in
the south, but around the country that african-americans are not qualified to lead this great country. it's an abominable circumstance and concerned me very deeply. >> president carter in atlanta toda he went on to say because of president obama's personal qualities, he will be able to triumph over the racist attitude that's the basis for the negative argument we see in public affairs in recent days. president obama was on the road today. his message on the economy and health care reform took on a different tone than what we were hearing over the summer. the same time, the chairman of the fed was making an announcement about the economy. white house correspondent savannah guthrie joins us on the road from pittsburgh. good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, the president was here in pennsylvania for arlin specter. earlier today, campaigning for himself saying his economic policies helped to stave off disaster. >> next year, this plant will begin production of the chevy cruise. >> reporter: in ohio's manufacturing country, for a moment, the president sounded like a salesman. >> it was nice sitting in there, it's a roomy car, 40 miles per gallon. >> reporter: he visited a gm plant. he says they are rehiring about 1,000 workers because of programs like cash for clunkers. >> i will not rest until anybody looking for a job can find one. i'm not talking just any job, but good jobs that give every american decent jobs and wages and a fair shot at the american dream. >> reporter: nationwide, the job picture is expected to be bleak for years. blunting the impact of fed
chairman ben bernanke said the recession had ended. >> it's one reason why from a technical perspective, the recession is very likely over at this point. it's still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time. >> reporter: today, an encouraging sign of life. retail sales jumped by the largest amount in three and a half years. >> what we don't know, if it's one good month, but it takes more than a month to say the consumer a back. >> i have a ton of fight left in me. i've said it before, i'm skinny, but i'm tough. >> reporter: later, the president took the fighting spirit to pittsburgh, addressing a friendly environment with health care reform. >> when are we going to stop it and say enough is enough? how many more workers have to lose their coverage? how many more families have to go in the red for a sick, loved one. >> reporter: continuing the
health care reform, he's doing a media blitz this weekend. he's doing five sunday shows and monday, "the late show" with david letterman. >> thanks. here in washington, the chairman of the joint chief of staffs told congress turning the current tide in afghanistan will take time and certainly more american boots on the ground. there will be about 68,000 americans in uniform in afghanistan by the end of this year, with american casualties at record highs and the taliban gaining ground, u.s. commanders are expected to request another 25,000 to 40,000 forces. not far from here at arlington national cemetery, a recipient of the medal of honor was laid to rest. he died on his 90th birthday. he grew up in maine, graduated from college in 1941, joined the marine corps and fought throughout the pacific. for his actions in combat, he
was awarded the medal by president truman. his death leaves just 95 living recipients of the nation's highest military honor. when we continue on this tuesday evening, overdraft fees. an enormous response from the subject last night. we'll have some of your stories and answers. later, what's got people in washington buzzing this week. it's no mystery. buzzing thi week. it's no mystery. gives you 100% of the daily value of 12 essential vitamins and minerals. plus the bold new taste of blueberries and pomegranate with crispy whole grain flakes and crunchy oat clusters. total, a truly delicious way to get vitamins and minerals. how are you getting 100%? visit totalcereal.com and get a free sample.
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overdrafted his account. often by small amounts of pizza or a sandwich. each transaction triggered a $35 overdraft fee and the fees quickly multiplied. over five months, he was charged $1785 in overdraft fees. >> he's not spending more than what he earns. he's always in the negative because of the overdraft fees and he can never get out of that situation. >> reporter: bank of america told us this was an extreme circumstance and refunded all the fees he was charged. since then, we have received numerous e-mails from viewers saying they, too, were charged large fees. one woman complained of $350 in overdraft fees for transactions creating a $40 overdraft. another $700 in overdraft fees in two days.
another $2,000 in fees. it's not just bank of america. we also received complaints about other big banks that charge overdraft fees. analysts estimate they generate $27 billion a year. today, a spokesman said the bank wants to help. >> tell us what your problems are, what your situation is and every case we can, we're trying to help the customer through the tough times. >> reporter: consumer groups suggest you monitor your account balance and ask if you can opt out of overdraft protection. if not, stop using your debit card all together. lisa myers, nbc news, washington. on wall street today, stocks continued their march higher. the dow was up more than 56 points, getting close to the 9700 level now. a mystery of the night sky has been solved. it happened last wednesday night when astronomers noticed a rare event, a bright sparkling
glow in the sky leaving a trail. it turned out to be a large waste water deposit in space. 150 pounds of it dumped by crew members on board space shuttle "discovery." it was on its way back to earth. what kind of water? this being what we call the dinner hour, we are urging folks to use your imagination. liquid in space makes quite a show when it turns to ice and catches it sunlight. when we come back, remembering a big screen star who waged a big fight. tar who waged a big fight. uh, what? sir, it's a simple question. do you want heartburn pain, now or later? these heartburn medicines make you choose... between hurting now or later. pepcid complete doesn't. it starts to neutralize acid in seconds... and keeps it under control all day or all night. sometimes you gotta make compromises, man. no, you don't... man. pepcid complete, works now and works later.
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as you might imagine, the tributes are pouring in for the actor, patrick swayze, a classically trained dancer. he died after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. from los angeles, correspondent george lewis has a look back. >> reporter: it was his role in "dirty dancing" in '87 that made patrick swayze a movie star. he was well prepared for it. his mother is a famous dance choreographer and told him to deck anybody who called him a sis si. it led to broadway and tv and movie rolls. "dirty dancing" put him on hollywood's a list.
on the cover of "people" magazine, he was the sexiest man alive in 1991. >> it's flattering to me. makes me feel great and makes people keep coming to my movies. >> reporter: one was "ghost." swayze, demi moore and whoopi goldberg. today, on "the view" goldberg shared her memories of working with swayze. >> because of patrick swayze, i have an oscar. and -- >> yeah. yeah. >> reporter: in private life, he struggled with bouts of binge drinking and heavy smoking. he credits his wife, lisa niemi for helping him turn things around. they appeared together in "steel dawn." >> i'm offering food and shelter. >> reporter: married 33 years, they were together when he died with pancreatic cancer. he insted on working up to the end, filming scenes for "the
beast" betwe bouts of chemotherapy. a line he delivered on m.a.s.h. still applies to patrick swayze. >> it seems to me, i have a right to do what i want with the time i have left. >> reporter: today, there are flowers on his star in hollywood's walk of fame. george lewis, nbc news, los angeles. >> we also learned today, the women who inspired the 1979 film, "norma ray" died. sally field starred in it. it was about a woman who led the fight in the textile plant in the south. her name was crystal lee sutton. she died over the weekend of cancer. she was 68 years old. when we come back here tonight, why we might never look at the washington monument the same way ever again. fortunately, there's enbrel.
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going to increase because the man who gave us the divinci code dan brown, has turned his attention to washington. the story from pete williams. >> reporter: step aside lincoln memorial, make way washington monument. the city's tourism expects new waves of visitors will soon follow in the footsteps of robert langdon. early action unfolds in the u.s. capital rotunda. under a painting of george washington as god-like. the father of our country was also a mason and the rituals of free masonry is the driving theme. at the gorge washington memorial, they are considering special tours. >> we take it in stride and we accept maybe our 15 minutes or 15 months of fame. >> reporter: the house of the temple of the scottish right, a
dozen blocks from the capital, burrsing with symbols from the ground up. three, five, seven and nine, an important series in the free masonry to the entrance guarded by sphinxes. the building is decorated with signs of masonry ritual to tempt any hunter. temple archivist says there are secret passages. >> it's a hidden door. it leads to the organ loft. it's a roof access. >> you can't tell me there aren't people buried there. >> i can tell you that. >> reporter: he and other free masons welcome the attention. >> it gives us an opportune toy to tell people who we are and what we believe in. >> reporter: any doubters about the power of dan brown's books to draw a crowd can ask the master of london's temple church. >> they ask, have you read the book? they are still determined to believe they are asking about the bible. >>reporter: no such confusion expected here.
hopes are high the lost symbol will help this city find new treasure. pete williams, nbc washington. that's our broadcast this tuesday night. thank you for being with us. i'm brian williams reporting from the washington bureau. we hope to see you back in new york tomorrow night. good night. us. i'm brian williams reporting from the washington bureau. we hope to see you back in new york tomorrow night. good night.