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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 30, 2018 12:37am-1:07am PST

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>> announcer: this is "nightline." tonight, steel nerves. in pennsylvania long-time steelworkers losing hope that their jobs will ever come back. >> part of me's gone. >> fearing their town could be in its last gasp. disillusioned voters still waiting for their president to make good on those lofty promises. >> he's done nothing to try to save the american steel industry and nothing has come to fruition. >> with the state of the union approaching, what do they want him to hear? plus gus kenworthy. the sochi silver medal skier is a master of death-defying stunts. >> triple for kenworthy. he wants it. >> now he's being applauded for his bravery off the powder. >> they didn't want to be afraid of what people might say or anything. >> risking coveted sponsorships to come out as gay.
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the unexpected reaction and his advice for young people struggling to be themselves. and blue's the boss. ♪ did guest-starring in beyonce's "formation" video go to beyonce's head? her adorable grammy moment when she tells her superstar parents to simmer down. but first, here's the "nightline" 5. ♪ i got hot sauce in my bag, swag ♪ and number 1 is coming up in
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♪ good evening. with president trump set to deliver his first state of the union tomorrow night, we're going to take you to a steel town in western pennsylvania. a long-time democratic stronghold that voted trump in 2016. many people were moved by trump's promises to bring back the steel industry. so one year later, how do they feel about their choice? here's abc's gloria riviera. >> this was my old blast furnace burning jacket. it's worn out but i'm very proud that i managed to save it. it's all i have left. >> reporter: 30 miles south of pittsburgh, monessen, pennsylvania was a bustling steel town. once home of the wheeling pittsburgh mill. in its heyday it employed over 2,000 workers. john gullen was one of them. >> i've been a steel worker for 3 1/2 decades. it was quite dangerous. making iron is quite a process.
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>> reporter: he's here where the mill once was for the first time in years. it's now a factory called alumisource, a recycling center. >> we really had high hopes that oh, boy, this is going to be a lifelong job for us. >> reporter: of course that was not to be. in 1986 the mill shut its doors as the steel industry collapsed. thousands including john lost their jobs. >> it's overwhelming. i've got to tell you, it's overwhelming. they promised this would be the beginning. everyone had high hopes. everyone. >> steel's not just a job for you. >> no. it was my way of life. i supported my dear children. proudly. very proudly. i was very proud to be a pittsburgh steel worker. i still am. i can see my memories are never going to leave now. after 30 years it all came back to me. part of me's gone. part of me's gone. >> reporter: these are the struggles in a shuttered steel
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town, a place we've been following since 2016, ever since then candidate donald trump came to town to this very factory. >> we are going to put american steel and aluminum back into the backbone of our country. this alone will create massive numbers of jobs. >> reporter: john, a lifelong democrat, heard that speech and he felt something he hadn't in a very long time. hope. >> i voted republican because donald trump took his time to come to monessen and what he said is what i wanted to hear. >> reporter: this county is one of pennsylvania's democratic strongholds. but in november 2016 it went red. >> i believe he does care about america's middle class and the poor. >> reporter: trump's promise to monessen echoes so many others made on the campaign trail. >> american hands will rebuild this nation. >> believe me, folks. we're building the wall. believe me. >> we're going to put our miners back to work. >> reporter: but in the year
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since that hope, life would get better, at least here is fading. in 1973 the united states produced 151 million tons of raw steel. by 2015 that had fallen to 87 million. american workers replaced by automation. now the u.s. is the number one importer of steel worldwide. >> am i angry? hell yes, i'm angry. i'm pissed off. i'd like to see something happen to the community that i grew up in. >> reporter: when you drive through monessen, it's hard to imagine what it once was. that weighs heavily on mayor lou mevrakis. >> 24,000, 25,000 steel worker jobs lost, just from this valley right here. what a shame. >> reporter: lou, who as a steel worker rep before mayor, says trump's vow to bring steel back is nothing more than a politician's empty promise. >> it's impossible for him to bring back the steel industry to that degree ever again. no, it won't happen. you can produce the same amount of steel now with 400 employees.
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>> reporter: towns like monessen now left barren, blighted. >> these people live in a third world country. this used to be a bank at one time but now it's the world's largest pigeon coop. >> reporter: building after building abandoned. decrepit. >> we demoed this building. it caved in. and it was pushing against this one. it cost us $65,000 to demo this building. >> reporter: lou's helping to bring the medical company bess international to town. with it a much-needed influx of cash. today for those trying to make a life here like sheldon davis it's hard. >> what is the old monessen like of your youth? >> old monessen of my youth, it was great. it was fun times. now that i'm older and i'm still here, it's nothing like the old monessen used to be. >> reporter: his great grandfather worked in the mill. but now this married father of three is struggling to find full-time work. >> it's challenging. we have the alumisource place. it's probably hard to get in there. >> reporter: in monessen other
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than alumisource, the family dollar and subway are as close as it gets to big business. but sheldon, who voted for hillary clinton, is still hopeful that the president will be true to his word. >> you've got to give everyone a chance. all a man has is his word. so the only thing i can do is hope that his word is what he says it is. >> president trump came here and he talked about bringing back steel. do you think that can actually happen here? >> yes. because we have the land mass. i definitely think it could generate money. it's just all about the point of getting it there. >> reporter: as the president's first state of the union approaches -- >> what has changed for your family? >> nothing. that me and my family could actually benefit from. >> what do you want to hear from the president at the state of the union? >> i would love for him to elaborate if he still has plans on bringing the jobs here at the state of the union. >> reporter: like sheldon john worries about his family's future. he has three kids, including a 21-year-old daughter, jocelyn. >> we're best friends, right? >> we're best buds. >> watch, he's going to start crying. >> i get choked up, yeah.
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>> she thinks that hillary would have been the right candidate. but she's very young and she doesn't understand how hard i worked. my daughter's still in a learning stage. >> anyone that knows my dad knows he is a democrat and he loves democrats. >> the reason why i voted for him is because he came to monessen. and anybody who says they want to bring steel back to life gets my vote. >> anybody who says they're going to bring steel back is full of it. >> i hope. what have i got to lose? everything's gone. maybe keep a little glimmer of hope. >> reporter: with trump in the white house his monessen supporters took heart when he announced an investigation into steel imports costing american jobs. >> from now on we're going to stand up for american jobs, workers, their security, and for american steel companies. >> reporter: but nothing has changed here. no new steel jobs. eight months later we find john's had a change of heart. john and jocelyn, last time you guys spoke to us was april i
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guess. >> yes, it was. >> a long time ago. in that time how's president trump been doing? >> worse. >> worse. >> i'm disappointed. he's done nothing to try to save the american steel industry and nothing, nothing has come to fruition. nothing. i don't have any optimism. not now. >> have there been any positives in his first year? >> there was a coal mine that he helped to get reopened in pennsylvania. and i thought that was a little glimmer of a possible rebound. but i've not heard anything since. >> now is the time a year in have the words i told you so been uttered -- >> i say it all the time i told you so. he'll start complaining. i'll say you voted for him. you realize your mistake but it's too late to realize your mistake. you should have listened to me. >> what really hurts me is when he comes up on the podium and he'll make a statement, i'm the president and they're not. as if it was nothing but a game to him. i'm just disgusted with his
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demeanor. >> communities like monessen they built their country. you won your election because of the rust belt. now show these people that you mean what you said. >> reporter: in the time that's passed lou is no longer mayor but he's still fighting for monessen. from the president lou wants federal funding to rebuild. >> make me a poster child. give somebody in ohio, indiana, michigan, take the picture before, take the after. make me a poster child. then see what we can do with this community that built this country. >> reporter: because here the steel may be disappearing. >> how are you doing? >> reporter: but that all-american dream to work hard, earning a good life, endures. for "nightline" i'm gloria riviera in monessen, pennsylvania. next, he's representing two flags at the olympics this year. meet gus kenworthy, about to become the second openly gay athlete in history to compete for team usa at the winter games.
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[thinking] mexican spices? ♪ [thinking] nacho cheese sauce? they don't want these coming out. who's they? the burger people. they! they! nacho fries, now serving at a taco bell near you. [bong!] olympic champion gus kenworthy performs tricks on skis that most of us would be scared to try in sneakers. but even as he was wing a silver medal in the sochi winter games he says he was afraid to be himself. now he has made a big personal change, coming out and becoming the second openly gay athlete to compete for team usa in the winter games. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: that is olympian gus kenworthy shredding the slopes. and that, that's me. >> that was so lame. i'm just happy not to get hurt.
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>> i'm proud of you. >> thank you. >> reporter: admittedly i've been off skis for nearly as long as he's been alive. >> yeah! >> reporter: whoo. but he coached me through a couple of tricks that the aerial virtuoso was probably doing before he could walk. do you ever feel fear? you're doing stuff that could easily kill you. >> yeah, for sure. i think like anyone that does this sport, like any action sport really, that says they have no fear is either lying or they're like insane. >> reporter: gus's jumps typically catapult him 70 feet into the air, upside down, backwards. >> 1440. gus kenworthy's back. >> what! >> reporter: but gus's most courageous move arguably came off the slopes. you see, next month gus kenworthy will make history,
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becoming one of the first openly gay u.s. male athletes to compete at the winter games. >> i feel like i'm representing the lgbt community and i want to do well for them. >> will we see the triple for kenworthy? he wants it! >> reporter: we first met gus as the babyfaced heartthrob who burst into our lives at the sochi winter games in 2014 and that silver medal in slopestyle skiing. >> a score of 93.60 for gus kenworthy. >> take me back to sochi in 2014. what was that like for you? >> like nothing i'd ever experienced before. i didn't really know what i was getting myself into. >> reporter: and viral fame soon followed when he came back to the u.s. with more than just his silver medal. he helped rescue five furry friends. some of the hundreds of stray dogs swarming sochi. tweeting "puppy love is real to puppies." and with that the olympian seemed to steal the hearts of america. things seemingly couldn't get
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better. but away from the bright lights, gus says he was actively concealing his real life from the world. >> i was definitely forced to kind of compartmentalize all these different aspects of my life because i was considering coming out. ultimately i don't think it would have been the right decision. >> reporter: just after the 2014 games he revealed his celebrity crush was miley cyrus. the olympics even tweeted to her, "will you be my valentine?" cyrus tweeting back, "hearts melt into 1,001 pieces." >> i was like i need to figure out what's going on in my life because i don't want to be lying in interviews anymore. >> i've known i was gay since i was 5 years old. >> reporter: much like his big airs gus came out to the world in a big way. in this espn feature proclaiming it his next big move. >> gus kenworthy putting down the switch triple rodeo. >> for the longest time i thought i wasn't going to tell anybody. i was so scared of what people would think. >> i pictured myself like having my life skiing and then finishing my career, finishing skiing and being able to like
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move somewhere else and have my relationship openly and tell my family and everything. and i knew that that day would come. >> reporter: but he also felt responsibility. >> i wanted to kind of come out and hopefully be a beacon of light for any kids who were the same as me when i was a kid because i didn't feel like i had anybody to look up to. >> reporter: in an extreme sport fueled by testosterone and energy drinks it seemed a risk. did you get any pushback? >> yeah. anything that wasn't good, the judging was bad, if something went wrong, it was gay. fag would get thrown around. if anybody said anything like positive to me they'd have to be no homo after it. it was this homophobic atmosphere i sensed and thought i was going to be coming out into. and there was people who said nasty things for sure but overwhelmingly the majority was positive and supportive. >> reporter: now he's gracing magazine covers but coming out posed clear risks in his world of extreme sport. >> i was fearful i was going to lose sponsors, make myself less marketable for future sponsors, and it's been the complete opposite effect. >> reporter: he won even more
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fame and fans and became even more attractive to sponsors. like head & shoulders. >> my shoulders carry more than my country's pride. they carry my community's pride. >> reporter: gus took me to the place he felt most comfortable. on skis on the snow. a place i hadn't been to, again, since he was a toddler. >> this is a dream. not everybody gets to ride on a lift with the greatest slopestyle skier in the world. >> wow. that's a title i don't know if i'd give to myself but i appreciate it. >> reporter: on the slopes he's a savant. doing backwards what many of us can't do forwards. all of which make his accomplishments here on the slippery white stuff even more impressive. >> you've got a silver medal in sochi, which is pretty darn good. but you were thinking about coming out like during the runs and during that whole period, this was sort of living in the back of your head? >> kind of. i mean, ultimately, yeah. ultimately it wasn't the time.
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i hadn't even told my mom i was gay. i hadn't told my dad, my brothers. it would have been like a shock to the world but it also would have just been a shock to my family and i think it would have then completely overshown my medal and my skiing success. >> reporter: gus will be only the second openly gay u.s. athlete in the upcoming winter games. a first ever for team usa. but if he wins this year, there will be no hiding his emotions this time. >> you said earlier that having a secret is one of the things that drove you. now that you've unburdened yourself with it, do you still have the fire in the belly? >> i'm pushing myself to continue to prove myself, but i also am no longer ashamed of part of myself. >> reporter: back on the slopes he tries again to teach me the ropes. >> a little bit against the front of your boot. give yourself a little jump. fall behind me. >> terrifying. >> reporter: mostly, though, i'm
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just trying not to get myself killed. for "nightline" i'm matt gutman in nederland, colorado. next here, the formation of blue ivy from starring in her mom's videos to her precocious grammy moment. the life and times of jay-z and beyonce's 6-year-old daughter. ♪ i got hot sauce in my bag, swag ♪ bibs on people! lobsterfest is back at red lobster... with the most lobster dishes of the year. new dueling lobster tails has two tails that'll fight to be your favorite. one topped with creamy shrimp and scallops, the other... steamed with lemon and herbs. and no, you're not dreaming, classics like lobster lover's dream are back too, along with decadent new lobster truffle mac & cheese. but enough talking about lobster- let's get to eating! - because lobsterfest won't last.
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are you wearing a... duvet cover? why yes. yes i am. where's mom? we finally redid our bedroom and she's prettttttttttty into it. what's your dream? at ikea, we help you live it. make the dream yours. finally tonight, move over queen bey. it's queen blue's time to shine. blue ivy carter sending twitter into a tizzy when she appeared to tell jay-z and beyonce to curb their enthusiasm at the grammys. so how did this sassy 6-year-old seize control of the carter clan? maybe it started with her cameo in beyonce's "formation" video. ♪ or maybe it was her solo success with blue's freestyle that made her head of the household.
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whatever it was, last night she made it clear to her parents and to the world that in this family blue's the boss. ♪ and it looks like she is. thank you for watching "nightline" tonight. as always, we're online 24/7 as our "nightline" facebook page. thank you again for watching. and good night.
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