Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 20, 2019 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

6:00 pm
captioning sponsorho by newsur productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, as the vatin prepares to open an historic summit on the catholic church's sexual abuse crisis, survivors of predator priests eak out. then, months after california's devastating campire, reestablishing order and finding a way forward amid the rubble. and, reexamining a pop art icon, the first andy warhol retrospective in the united states in over 30 years. >> warhol reflects the incredible contradictions of america and american culture, which is our strong desi for innovation and the equal desire to conform. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
6:01 pm
>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: or ♪ moving our economy60 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new chnguage, like spanish, fr german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online. more information on
6:02 pm
>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their msolutions to the world'st pressing problems-- >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives throug and developing countries. on the web at >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at in >> and with the onsupport of these institutions: >> this prograwas made ssible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
6:03 pm
>> woodruff: there's word thatl special counbert mueller may be ready to submit his findings in the russia investigation. various news organizations are reporting it could happen next week. newly swn-in attorney general, ublliam barr, will review mueller's work andt his own summary to congress. democrats want the findings made public, but president trump ferred today to barr. th that'll be totally up t new attorney general. he's a tremendous man, a tremendous person who really respects this country and respects the justice department, so that'll be tolly up to him. >> woodruff: mueller is investigating russian effts to influence the 2016 u.s. elections, and allegations that the ump campaign colluded with moscow. the president's ongoing confrontation with california's democratic leaders is heating up again. his administration now says
6:04 pm
it will cancel $3.5 billion for a high-speed rail project that california is scaling back. . trump tweeted today that the money has been wasted. govern gavin newsom called it "political retribution" for a lawsuit challenging the president's national emergency declaration.'s russresident vladimir putin declared today he does not want confrontation, but he warned the u.s. against deploying new missiles in europe. putin delivered his "state of the nation" address in moscow. he said russia can respond with new weapons, and he warned u.s. officials to rethink their world view. >> ( translated ): among theli class of the u.s. there are many of those who are obsessed with the idea of thei exceptionalism and superiority over the rest of the world. but can they count? i'm sure they can. let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing. >> woodruff: putin claimed again that russia is readyploy a
6:05 pm
new hypersonic missile for its navy, plus, a nuclear-powered underwater drone. his warnings follow president trump's decision to quit a "cold war" era treaty that banned medium-range cruise and ballistic missiles. microsoft reports hackers linked to russia have carried out a wave of cyber-attacks on europeanemocratic institutions. the hacks, late last year,an targeted think and non- profits, ahead of elections for the european parliament in may. microsoft says many were the work of a groutied to russia's military intelligence agency. in eastern syria, kurdish-ledat forces eva hundreds of civilians today from the islamic ste group's last enclave there. the operation followed a week-ng tand-off around baghouz, a village near the iraqi border. more than 20 trucks, loaded with people, drove past floral fields today, leaving the area. other civilians remain with the
6:06 pm
isis fighters. a woman who joined isis, hoda muthana, will not be allowed back in the united states. she left alabama for syria in 2014, and is now 24. secretary of ste mike pompeo ruled today she is not a u.s. citizen, but gave no detailsan. ile, britain stripped 19- year-old shamima begum of her citizenship. she asked to return home, after joining isis four years ago. pope francis says the roman catholic church mustwledge what he calls its "defects," but he alssays some who attack the church have evil intent. francis spoke to worshippers mmday, before a vatican su convenes tomorrow on sexual abuse by the clergy. >> ( translated hose who spend their lives accusing, accusing, accusing are not the devil's children because the devil has no children, but they are friends, cousins and
6:07 pm
relatives of the devil and this is wrong. mistakes should be reported in order to be corrected because m whtakes are reported, when flaws are denounced, the church oved >> woodruff: church officials met today with a dozen survivors of sexual abuse by catholics. the survivors called again for releasing the names of abusive priests, and the records of what was done about them. back in this country, a massive winter storm disrupted the day from t midwest to the east coast to the south. more than 5,400 commercial flights were canceled or delayed, and schools andgo rnment offices closed in a number of states. people had to dig themselves out from nebraska to new jersey. and even bds had it tough: a bald eagle in washington shielded its eggs, as snow and sleet piled up around it. a chicago poli now accusing jussie smollett of filing a
6:08 pm
false police report. the black, openly gay actor had claimed he was attacked by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs. his attorneys t with prosecutors today, and afterward, police announced the king a grand jury to indict smollett.n teachersst virginia stayed on strike today. they walked out tuesday, over a bill authorizing charter .chools and private tuition accounts for paren the state house killed the bill, but teacher union lders said they fear lawmakers may yet try to revive it. the family of a kentucky enager is now suing "the washington post" for defamationn asking $250 million. nicholas sandmann was involved in an incident with a native american activist, in washington last month. videos of the event sparked competing claims about who was at fault. the lawsuit alleges the "post"'s reporting "targeted and bullied" sandmann to embarrass president
6:09 pm
trump. and, on wallhe street,ow jones industrial average gained 63 points to close at 25,954. the nasdaq rose two points, d the s&p 500 added five. still to come on the newshour: previewing the vatican's landmark summit on sexual abuse. a unanimous supreme court limits the ability of states to seize property. the 2020 democratic ential candidates on expanding health care, and much more. >> woodruff: tomorrow at the vatican, a historic four-d summit begins on clerical sex abuse in the catholic church. it follows a year packed with allegations from catholic dioceses around the world. now, fingers are also pointed squarely at pope francis;en victims and igh-ranking
6:10 pm
officials accuse him of inaction. s cial correspondent christopher livesay reports from dyrome, the fallout is alr tarnishing the legacy and credibility of the man many call the "people's pope." >> reporter: these are the cries of survivors. ies of deaf men that went unheard for decades. >> ( translated ): i was six years old. the priest led me into his room with candy. then, he sodomized me. >> ( translated ): he raped me with a banana. then told me to take coca cola. ( translated ): it was in the confessional. he made me undress, then molested me. >> reporter: as children, they attended the catholic-run antonio provolo institute for the af in verona, in northern italy. they're among 67 former studente who alhat clergy physically and sexually abused minors there frothe 1950s through the 1980s.
6:11 pm
>> ( translated ): i cried for help but everyone was deaf. no one could hear my screams. >> ( translated ): nothing ever happened to them. the pope has never done anything. >> reporter: as a young boy, gianni bisoli alleges that one of his aggressor's was not just a cleric, but the late bishop verona, giuseppe carraro. this is the same path where gianni bisoli remembers walking as a young boy; the same path to the bishop's residence; the same now that same bishop is on a path to sainthood, thanks in part to pope francis. sea probe b the verona dio failed to interview any of the alleged victims but cleared theo late bisanyway. and in 2015, pope francis signed a decree of "heroic virtue" on his behalf, a step towards sainthood. pope francis has vowed repeatedly to take sex abuse seriously, as he reiterated last september. >> ( translated ):reven if it ust one priest abusing a little boy or girl, that is monstrous.
6:12 pm
>> reporter: but there are many, many more victims, and the pope has appeared off-balance in his defensof them. last yr in chile, francis publicly dismissed accusations that bishop juan barros witnessed sexual abuse of minors by a priest as calumny. following an outcry of victims, the pope apologized last may, and accepted barros' resignation in june. in one explosive case, francis was accused by an archbishop of ignoring the past sexual misconduct of the former archbishop of washington d.c., theodore mccarrick; last week, pope francis defrocked him, issuing his most severe punishment yet in the clerical sex abuse scandals. but critics say it may be too little, too late, th for the credibility of the church, and francis' pontificate. victims of sexual abuse say the vatican has hidden behind these walls while they should have been cracking down on predator no say that inaction could
6:13 pm
lead to the undoing of pope francis's legacy. and maybe, even his papacy. edward pentin is the rome correspondent for the "natiol catholic register," the oldest national catholic daily in the u.s. >> this has been rumored. it's a recent rumor that perhaps he'll resign because of this. or maybe time it with the summit to resign. >> reporter: only a rumor. but in the notoriously secretivt monarchyt is the vatican, rumors havcurrency. and the fa that a possible papal abdication is even being uttered at theoly see speaks to the pressure under which this pontiff finds himself. >> i think it will depend on how much he will listen to his critics. this hasn't been a great attribute of his in the past. he doesn't seem to like listening to his criticse he doesn't ling corrected. >> reporter: francis needs to admit wrongdoing says rort mickens, a veteran vatican watcher. >> it took him over a year and a half before he even mentiousned sex i really think the pope has to
6:14 pm
come clean on this, and say i made a mistake. i too was negligent. and i think he has the credibility to do that in a convincing way, that could help change this. >> reporter: archbishop charles scicluna is the vatican's former chief sex crimes prosecutor, and a key organizer of the conference. he says it will include some 200 church leaders from around the world, awell as abuse survivors, and the pope at all plenary sessions. >> i think we need, as the pope said, to come to awareness as church leaders that things have to change. that people have to be empowered to disclose abuse. hed we are accountable when we address misconductit happens. >> reporter: does that meangn defrocembers of the clergy? does that mean turning them over to civil authorities? >> every allegation has to be taken seriously. every allegation has to be investigated.
6:15 pm
mandatory reporting laws, according to domestic laws, have to be followed. >> reporter: so cooperate with local authorities? >> absutely. >> reporter: scicluna says the church in the u.s. has come a long way since abuse and cover- up scandals erupted within the boston archdiocese, prompting the resignation of then chbishop cardinal bernard law in 2002. but globally, he says, church leaders need to do more. here in italy, the vatican's own backyard, clergy have been slow to evecognize abuse. are there really still church leaders who don't recognize thas sex abus problem in the church? >> this is not about the united states of america, this is about the catholic church. but we understand that the u.s. is a leader in child protection, and there are things that i think the catholic church around the world looks to learn from the united states bishops. pope francis is on the record on
6:16 pm
a number of occasions expressing determination su address the >> reporter: is pope francis going to resign? o >> i think ty person who knows that is pope francis. you'd better ask him. >> reporter: just this month, pope francis acknowledged more instances of abuse in the church. this time, against >> ( slated ): there are some priests and also bishops who have done it. and i ink that it's continuing because it's not like once you realize it that it stops. itontinues. and for some time we've been working on it. >> reporter: one more crisis before a conference that sets big expectations. survivors like pier paolo zanatta hope the cference will spark meaningful change, and consequences. >> ( translated ): francis must use the event kick out every last predator priest. defrock them and kick them out; cainals, bishops, priests, everyone. >> reporter: and if he doesn't?
6:17 pm
>> ( translated ): then people won't believe in the church pymore. >> reporter: for t newshour, i'm christopher livesay, in rome. >> woodruff: a unanimous decision from the u.s. supreme court today limits the ability of stes to seize private property and impose excessive fines. the decision came from justice ruth bader ginsburg, who was back on the court for the second time since undergoing cancer surgery in amna nas more. >> nawaz: the case began when an rodiana man pleaded guilty to selling $225 of . the police later claimed hisla rover had been used to transport drugs and seized the 2,000 car, something the
6:18 pm
court said today was "disproptionate to the avity" of his offense. to help explain the case, i'm joined as always by marcia coyle of the national law journal. we've talked about a number of cases before. every time the supreme court considers one of these cases, there isa central question and issue. what was it here? >> right. the justices were asked whether the ban against excessive fines in the eighth amendmentpplies to the states, does it protect us from stateat action is excessive in fines or forfeiture? and the court said today in aun imous opinion, amna, by justice ginsburgrt, and a s one as well, nine pages, that that excessive finesoe bans protect us against state >> nawaz: so what do we know about the impact of a decision like this? there's obviously a lot of background that feeds into this. justcie thomas d reporting around the issue in his decision. what is the impact of a decision like this?
6:19 pm
>> wel number of complaints or allegations by citizens and also news reports that some police departments have used forfeiture and fin s abusive way or in a way that sometimes funds certain activities that ty wanto do without any real connecon to a crime. and, so, what the court did today is going to do two things, bacally. it's going to make police departments probably more cautious in how they use fines and forfeitures, and it also gives all of us aasis to challenge those forfeitures or fines if they are excessive. justice ginsburg pointed out excessive forfeitures and fines can undermine our rights. she pointed out, if they are aned in a wrong way they can chill speech be used as
6:20 pm
retaliation, and there have been allegations that they have been used in that way. >> nawaz: marcia, we should note this isn't the first time they have taken articulationsin mentionehe bill of right in federal action and extend them to state and local governments. can we see that kind of thing happening again? >> probably. believit or not, there are still two amendments that have not been applied to the states. the fifth amendment's right to an indictment by a grand jury, and the seventh amendment jur trial right in civil lawsuits haven't been applied. besides today's action, the most recent time the court applied an amendment of the bill of rights to the stas was in 2010, when it applied the second amendment, the right of indivauals to have gun in the home for self-defense, to the stas. so you're absolutely right, amna. remember that when the bill of rights was ratified, it was to protect us against action, and the court, over a
6:21 pm
period of years through what it calls incorporation, has applied the bill of rights to the states through our 14thmendmentue process clause. so wait and see, as the issue comes before the court, we'll see what the court does with what's still remaining in the bill of rights. >> nawaz: marcia coyle, good to talk to you asay a >> always a pleasure. thank you. >> woodruff: next, we return to our occasional series on the policy positio of the 2020 democratic presidential candidates. tonight lisa dejardins explores are various approaches to reforming healthcoverage that some prominent contenders are promoting. first, some background. >> desjardins: in the big-name, rg-field democratic race president, health care is the biggest issue. >> they want health care as a right, not a privilege! >> desjardins: ...much of it echoing one candidate.
6:22 pm
>> is health care a human right or is it not? >> desjardins: vermont senator bernie sanders "medicare for all bill" has the support of no less than five other senators and one congresswoman running for president. the sanders bill would create-r one governme health care system, ending private health insurance. medicare and medicaid enrollees would transition into the new system. it would not impact the veteran's affairs or indian healthervices coverage. but even as the mosntt democratc ders so far seem to agree, goking carefully, there is divide over how fao and how fast. the day announced his presidential run, new jersey senator cory booker, when asked, said he would not end private health insurance. >> en countries that have va access to publicly offered health care still ha private health care, so no. >> desjardins: also in favor of keeping private heal insurance are senators kirsten gillibrand of new york and elizabeth warren of massachusetts.
6:23 pm
that versus california senator kamala harris, who told a cnn town hall in january she does want to end private insurance. >> i believe the solution, and i actually feel very strongly about this, is that we need to have medicare for all. that's just the bottom line >> desjardins: later her communications team walked that ck, saying she is open t other plans as well. fully government-run health care is the broadest idea but many democratic candidates also support smaller takes on that, like expanding medicare to start ten years earlier, at ag55, or offering a so-called "public option," which would ba government-run health insurance plan, possibly like medicare. south bend mayor pete buttigieg told newshour's judy woodruff he likes a government option now, as a first step. >> take a versioof medicare or something like it, make it available as a public option on the exchange. and then if people like me are preferred means, then this will
6:24 pm
be a very natural glide path to a single-payer e>>ironment. esjardins: meanwhile, polling shows this is good political territory for democrats. a january 2019 kaiser family foundation survey shows a majority, 56% of americans favor a medicare-for-all style national health plane 42% oppose. and a whopping 77% support lowering the medicarin age to 50. put minnesota senator amy klobachar in the camp of "too soon" for full-blown government run health ce. >> i think it's something we cao to for the future, but i want to get action now and i think the best way ito do th actually something we wanted to do back when we were doing the affordable care act and we were stopped, and that's putting aic puption in there. >> desjardins: of course all of this is a shift left from two years ago, when the affordable care act passed, after dropped the idea of a public option from it. for much of the country, it's also a change from last year when most democrats running for congress focused on saving t a.c.a. and it's protections for sick people.he now,onversation, on the
6:25 pm
democratic presidential trail is about expanding past, metimes far past, the affordable care act. the candidates have many different proposals and what are there prospects with voters in 2020? dylan scott covers health care and domestic policy for vox. let's jump right into the terminology, which i think could become an issue for the next year. h r medicare for all, we hear universals healthcare. is it clearhe terms mean the same things to all candidates? >> i think it is to be clear that there is a bill in the united states senate that's called medicare for all act that beie sandes put forward that's a single pair national insurance progr every american would be covered under. that's what bernie sanders means by medicare for all. but medicare has become a slowing that i think signifies that we wat to expand healthcare access, we want more people to be able to join
6:26 pm
medicare if they want to, but, for some people, maybe the people who aren't true believers in single pair healthcare, it'so more of an effective branding to talk about universals healthcare as opposed to a specifi policy proposal that's been written into legislative text. >> we have almost every candidate from congreie backing beanders plan, technically. do wew kno president if these people would actually enact htat? seems like it mot be their first choice. >> i think of the democratnd ates in a couple of buckets. you have the true believers, the bernie sanderses who sayll medicare for single payer is where we need to go and that's the bill we should be putting up in congress in 2021e if get control of the white house and the senate and the house, b there is another bucket of democrats who are a little more flexible, let's say. they've endorsed the bernie sanders bill. they say their goal is to get tr a medicare all system, but in the near term they will talk
6:27 pm
about shori up the affordable care act, tackling prescription drug prices, and they're willing to take incremental steps to get to a medicare for all s then you have a third bucket of democrats who don't want anything to dohi with. they're aware of attacks made against the medicare for all program, leading to all taxes, less access, a socialist takeover of the medical system. for the democratic voters, the interestingestion is it important to have an absolutist approach where they must have single payer do they like hearing your goal is to expand access but are not caught up in the details. >> reporter: there's also political calculation, if somee goes too far in t primary, can they win in the general. what do we know about the overall population and what americans want eral in healthcare. >> voters arble comforin a pretty robust role in government priding healthcare to our
6:28 pm
population. whether they're interested in single payer is if the great sestion. pollsters i don't think americans know what they think of single payer. we like the idea of everyone having access to healthcare and government having a big role in providing it, but people get antsy when hearingy everybod will be forced into the government program. they like the idea of choiet. r the choice is can i shoes the carrier or whether tmo important choice is about what doctor i can see and whata hospital will my insurance, i think that's one to have the thing we're still figuring out. americans like the idea of universal healthcare but higher prices makes americanservou and loss of choice makes americans nervous. what remains to be seen is whether they are as committed as the bernie sanderses of the world to a natiol health insurance program comparable to something like canada or whether they would beor okay with incrementsle steps, but disrupting a system that's
6:29 pm
working for them makes them for nervous than anything else. >> and we're waiting to see how candidates would pay for their plans. >> that's the issue nobody wts to touch. >> reporter: dylan scott, we'll ask you about it in the thanu for joining us. future. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the camp wildfire roared through paradise, califoia last november, leaving 85 known dead and the town a as demolitios continue to clear tons of toxic ash and debris, there are concer about the environment, public health and the safety of the water. special correspondent cat wise reports on how survivors are trying to bring some sense of order back to their lives. 's part of our weekly seies "leading edge" on science and technology. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. >>leporter: the morning rit
6:30 pm
is the same, but life has changed dramatically for these paradise students sivember 8th: many left for school on that sunny morning nev to see their home again. a former hardware store in chico, 15 miles away, is where asses are now being held. their middle school was only partially damaged bulike many in the area, it remains closed. at the new location, every attempt has been made to keep things as normal as possible. >> okay, a chance to show off your spirit next week.r: >> reporreakfast is served on checkout counters. classes are held in coerted aisles where shelving, that once held tools, now supports there's a li a gym, of sorts, rows of donated shoes and supplies and many messages of suppt from around the countr >> if you can just raise your hand how many of you lost your home? so all of you but two. >> reporter: on the day we
6:31 pm
visited, a group of 6th graders were meeting with elaine collins. she's one 20 counselorhave been brought in by butte county to suppo students and staff as they cope with the trauma of the wildfire. if you had to pick one character trait, one thing within y you through this.tten >> courage. y> i think you are all amazingl courageous and brave. >> strong. >> so your strength has gotten you out. and what's been the hardest ating since november 8? >> new living situn. >> losing my home and what i treasured for 11 years. >> reporter: like many of the new counselors, collins came out of retirement to help. she's been working with students of all ages. >> you and i can talk about feeling stressed, we canla arti our loss. for let's say, an eight or ninet year-old boy, f them don't have the schema to even begin to 'vthink about the loss the experienced.
6:32 pm
so, particularly with elementary school kids, it's really commonh to see stohes, headaches, acting out behavior. reporter: she says the larger community is going through a tough period. >> in a major incident like this at first, at first there's, you knowsort of a stunned, numb thing that happens. and then you kind of go intoon thismoon phase, there's just a high level of gratefulness for all of the help that's coming. and then you get to the phase that we're kind of beginning to dip in now, which is life sucks right now, and i don't know how long it's going to suck. >> reporter: while signs of progress are visible, much of the town remains in ashy piles, which were blanked in white recently after a snow storm. about 14,000 homes and businesses were destroyed in the camp fire. this will be the largest debris clean up in modern cala history. it's estimated morthan five
6:33 pm
million tons of concrete, metal and ash will need to bved before the rebuilding can begin. crews of government contractors are just beginning to hauaway all remnants of former structures. but before they can ep on a property, homeowners must give approval. that paperwork-intensive process has beenlaying out here in the butte county "right of entry" center. >>very one of those files represents somebody who lost their home, a family who no longer has a place to live. reporter: casey hatcher is a public information officer for the county.>> e're going to have to have a variety of options in order to meet the need for so many people to rebuild, and be housed. there's the temporary housing opportunities that will be brought in by fema. the local communities have passed ordinances to help relax provisions for people live in temporary housing, like r.v.s, or trailers.
6:34 pm
>> reporter: scenes of lives ended are everywhere. trailers parked next to burned lots, cars packed with possessions, and nearby hotels crowded with long-term guests. paradise resident michael baca is one of those trying to make-o n uncertain times. >> it's not what it used to be, but we're alright. >> reporter: he's mod back on his uncleared lot, an arrangement local officials initially approved bn banned when fema announced late last month that federal funding could be jeopardized if residents were allowed to live in potentially toxic ays he wants to stay put. >> until they come and clean it don't believe there's any reason why we should leave. >> reporter: he's wondering now about job prospects in his community, something on the minds of my here. about 50 mostly small busisses have reopened, a small
6:35 pm
percentage of the roughly 1200 in the community before the fire. new businesses have emerged to serve thenshrongs of cotruction workers. but manytore owners are facing an uphill battle. oh wow. >> water came in everywhere. came in up here. of course my equipment was in here and all covered in mold. >> reporter: this now soggy,il repace was once a lively curves gym owned by jeni harris. hot embers created holes in the roof of building she rented which allowed rain in, for weeks, before she and other residents were alled to return. harris, who lost her home in nearby magalia and is now living in an r.v., says the process to collect homeowner's insurances relatively straight forward. it's been harder to geings dinged out with the bu that didn't burn. >> i haven't gotten any insurance payments yet, but we're working on it. i do expect i will. it's a little bit scary, i have a lot of members who are
6:36 pm
rebuilding but they are living in cco, they're living in durham living in surrounding areas. so, it's going to be a much smaller group. i want to be part of the building of the community, that's really important to me. >> reporter: another big concern for businesses and residents: a toxic chemical called benzene detected in the town's water. the local water district is investigating and has residents to use only bottled water for the time being.up cars now line t a distribution center for weekly rations. back at paradise intermediate school, elaine collins ended her counseling session by giving each student a piece of dy onatd jewelrth an inspirational inscription. >> it says, "yours is a story so brave and true, and life is seeinghe hero in you. i don't know if you realize how many people around the country and the world e thinking about how brave you are. >> reporter: teachers and staff hope to be back in paradise nexl fabut it could be months
6:37 pm
before a plan is finalized for next school year. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in chico, california. >> woodruff: now we look back at the legal battle that became a flashpoint of the gay rights movement 25 years ago. sharon bottoms mats was at th center of a much-publicized child custody case in virginia in the 1990s. t unlike other custody disputes, her mother sued for stody, arguing her daughter was unfit to parent because she mad moved in with another bottoms mattes died of cancer orst month at her home in carolina. she was 48 years old. we start tonight with a conversatied i reco yesterday with donald butler, the attorney who represented sharon bottoms in her unsuccessful fight to maintain
6:38 pm
custody of her son. donald butler, thank you very much for joining . first of all, how did you meet sharon bottoms? >> i was contacted by the aclu to see if i would take up her case after sheyent to court b herself at the first level, and the daughte was awarded to her own mother. they will contacted me. i was a divor attorney, family law attorney at the time and they were looking for rsomebody resent her pro-bono. >> woodruff: and she had not had any legal represeation earlier. why was her mothero determined to deny her custody of her own son? >> homophobia is the only way i could explain it. it's a very deep emotion, homophobia, and i cany o surmise that that's what drove her to take such drastic action. >> woodruff: so there were no
6:39 pm
othencr circums or factors of sharon bottoms' life that would have made her fl that way? >> no, there was a litany of things she testified about, trying to paint as dirty a picture ofon as she could. but these are not things that mother would use to deprive her own child of custo of her child. >> woodruff: sharon bottoms, i was reading abhet her in last couple of days, she had dropped out of high schoolsh had, according to "the washington post," a series of part-time jobs, including i guess mostly as a store cle, they said. how did she deal with her own o motherosition to what she wanted? where did the strength come from? >> well, she did gain a lot of support in the community, and there werepl pthat were interested in her case and, of course, she wa having her own son and having her own way of life.
6:40 pm
>> reporter: how did she lk on this legal fight? >> there was a lot of suppo in other parts of the stat and other parts of the country. where the support failed her was in the judicial system, the attitudes prevailing attihe were such that she didn't have much of a chance to start out with. as i counted back from the levet got involved in, at the end, we had six justices in favor of her side of the case, six judges, and five against her, but, unfortunately, four of those against her were on the supreme court and constituted a majority of the seven, and it was their attitude that prevailed to cause her to ultimately lose ctody. >> woodruff: but she had to be determined enough to go through several levels of the court systo. there had be real determination on her part to get through this. >> there really did. she went through every level. the first level she went through without representation, then we went through the next triall
6:41 pm
leich was the circuit court, where there were witnesses testifying, where she had to listen to some of the descriptions of her conduct or had to defend herself. >> woodruff: i was reang om some of the ruling conduct that's illegal andmmoral and, quote, the child would be living daily under conditions stemming friv a lesbianism practiced in the home, may impose a burden child by reason of the social condemnation attach to an arrangement. it was a condemnation of itsow >> yes. i never did figure out what "act of lesbianism" was, but they seemed to like that language, and the term-practice "practices though it were some sort of a religion, i suppose. but it was harsh language and that's the root of the wsule is society sits in judgment on this and they pre-suppose that the cld is going to suffer because of the
6:42 pm
stigma of living with his own parent who isiving in same-sex relationship. >> woodruff: how do you think sharon bottoms was abyffecte the ultimate ruling and losing custy of her son? >> i think it affected her greatly. i mean, you know, she was being judged andeemade to that she was not worthy but those people in power. she wanted to bewith her child, atand she wanted a rnship with her mother. as she was doubly impacted. thisnot the state taking her child, although the state was complicit in b it, this was her own mother. so one can only imagine what it feels like to have your moth door this to you with thet resul being that you don't have a normal relationship with your own child, and you have ry limited, structured visitation as if you were some stranger. >> woodruff: donald butler, an
6:43 pm
attorney representing sharon ttoms in the early 1990s, thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. sharon mcgowan is the chief strategy officer and legal director of lamda legal. sharon, welcome back to the "newshour". could what happened to sharon bottoms happen today? >> for the most part, it's to say never, but most likely not. the conditions that we live in in this country have changed in such significant ways that the idea that somindividual could come in and take a parent's child away from tm because of their sexual orientation is really very, very unlikely at this point. we have not only sortof moved to a time where we have marriage equality, but it's also important to remember tt when sharon bottoms was going through deis, her own relationships were deemed criminal the law, and, so, for the ability for the state and her own mher to deem her immoral and criminal is based on a set of laws that have
6:44 pm
since been ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court. >> woodruff: how is her case, what happened to her viewed in recent history, when you look at e gay rights movement? >> you know, sharon's figor her child, in many ways, is one of the many essential enings, ou think about defending yourself and your family and, fortunately, there are still many lgbt parents who need to continue to ght to preserve their relationships with their children. we have more protections now, the ability to protect ourps relationshrough adoption, marriage. but there are more ways in which appearing before a hosti family court judge somewhere in e country could put your relationship with your child in jeopardy. r woodruff: the supreme c ruling made a difference but hasn't changed everything. you still have stateaws and other laws that stand in the way that allow others to interfere with these rationships. >> well, there is a significant
6:45 pm
amount of protection for same-sex marriages and outsiders coming in to disrupt the relationship. what we've seen, in the context of the relationships that have d brokenown, disputes between parents and the biological parent trying to dispute the right of the nonbiological parent to maintain the parenting relationship with their child. so we will see from state to state a very different approach and in some cases you will see e gnition that either because the family was built in a very intentional w, that nonbiological parent will have ve secure legal protections, and in other places they are still treated as a total stranger to their own child. >> woodruff: these have been hard-won protections, right? >> that's right, state by state ct've gone in to fight for maximum pron for lgbt families. >> woodruff: i read the obituary of sharon bottoms mattes in "the washington post" sunday a reminded it was just as we said, 25 years ago, that
6:46 pm
this happened, that she had to go through this, a woman who had had to drop out of high school and worked and was not allowed to keep her own son. 's hard to believe it was in such a recent part of american history. >> no, i think that's right, and it's a testament to sort of how avch has changed and how much progress that we made and the courage of same-sex families and individuals lik sharon who, at a time when the law really was not on their sidre willing to do whatever it took to try and defend their relationships with their own children. so the world is a bettela, a safer place for lgbt families, in many, many partsf the country, but still there are lots of places where you cross state line and your rights become much more tenuous. >> woodruff: in many she's owed a debt of gratitude. >> absolutely, in many ways her willingness to fightor their
6:47 pm
son is a picture of love for their familie ws andhy we have been able to make the progress that we've made. >> woodruff: shan gowan of lambda legal, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: finally tonight, the first major andy warhol retrospective organized by an american museum in 30 years has brought record-breaking attendance to the whitney museum in new york. as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, "canvas," jeffrey brown examines warhol'sn particular rel to our social media times. >> brown: campbell soup cans: so ,amiliar as consumer products and, after andy warhol, as art objects. we can almost overlookarhol's achievement: re-making how we tsee the world, in wat continue to this day. >> he still feels like an artist for the 2 and i think in part it's because of this understanding of the
6:48 pm
world of images that we live in. >> brown: donna de salvo has put together the exhibition thewa "andol: from a to b and back again," more than 350 works in a variety of media, now athi new york'sey museum, where de salvo is senior curator. it's a chance to get beyond warhol's own "15 minutes of fame" and see him whole. h what often gets lost ise understanding of him as anma artist, as r of things, and as someone who really haddi this ince understanding of visual culture, but also the history of art itself. and so there's a seriousness to warhol's pject, which i think is often overlooked. in part because we know this man, this sort of persona.>> rown: and the celebrity. >> and the celebrity, and all those things seem incredibly superficial. w >> brown: hesee a warhol most don't know: o1948 watercolthe living room in
6:49 pm
the pittsburgh house he grew up in. child of working class catholic immigrants from slovakia. later, warhol would appropriate the religious imagery. >> just think about his understanding of the icon, and the choice of, of course the first is really marilyn, and he does marilyn on a gold background. >> brown: there's a wall of golden shoes, from the period when warhol was a successful graphic designer and illustrator in new rcial culture and fine art came together in the early '60s. coke bottles, cel iebrins, reproduced, over and over, with variations of color and form. >> warhol reflects the incredib contradiction of america and american culture, which is our song desire for innovation and the equal desire to conform. >> brown: but did he expose it or celebrate it?n that the warhol question of whether he's critiquing capitalism or celebrating it?
6:50 pm
>> i think he did both, but i think he leaves that up to the viewer, and a lot of critics were, you know, felt that his work was purela celebration of capitalism. i don't think so, because i think again he, it's ambiguous, there's an ambiguity within in. >> brown: he broug life disaster scenes and race riots. put lipstick and rouge on a giant chairman mao. and warhol also worked hard to construct his ow sn image. rounded himself with celebrities of the day in the so-called factory where he and a team made the work, and by night at the flashy stud 54 nightclu. said to be shy iperson, he played at being naive and shallow, though his friends knew better. he was a gay man, growing up in a more conservative era. is it fair to say that this exhibition brings that out more than we've seen, more than he showed? >> oh, absolutely, because the work of the 1950s, which is where you see the more overt homoerotic imagery, first o sall
6:51 pm
was nevewn in warhol's lifetime. >> brown: de salvo points towo codeks such as the "13 most wanted men" series, and the famous "silver marlon" portrait from 1963. >> so there's all issues of desire that are evident in the work. he's the anti-hero on some level, but he's also this beautiful man. >> brown: warhol loved the camera, still and moving, as an image-making tool, and here, too, played with conventions: making experimental films andvi os, and subverting the hollywood "screen test" by asking subjects, including edie sedgwick, his most famous muse, to do absuty nothing, creating a new kind of visual portrait. and he pioneered an idea that would become very familiar today: documenting life moment by moment. claire henry cu the assistant tor of the andy warhol film fioject also at the whitney. >> he started t people
6:52 pm
that we would film with our iphones. , his friends, people he worked with, his colleagues, his paramours, all of these people in hislei >> brown: you're seeing his early films as our version of social mea? >> absolutely, yeah, and they function in that way, the very earliest ones. he did document everything, and film, but also on polaroids, on still photography, audio tapes. he was a mass collector and an amasser of information and stf. >> brown: in 1968, valerie solanas, a writer and radical feminist activist, sh and nearly klled warhol. many critics saw warhol's artistic influence wane in the '70s and '80s work that followed: the portraits, often commissioned, of friends, stars and political figures, the celebrity focus of "interview"ag mine h wh co-founded, even an mtv series, "andy warhol's 15 minutes." but the exhibition makes a case for his continuing artistic
6:53 pm
vitality and experimentation: includina rn to abstraction, as in these large rorschach and yful fascination with art history. george condo, a leadiy contemporartist who studied and later got to know warhol, showed us two large canvases in whicwarhol used the imagery of leonardo da vinci: one with 63 barely visible mona lisas, the other, a camouflaged "last supper." >> what he loved is the way the randomness, and the chance aspect of where the camouflage will fall, and how it will shade the different things, and how it just turns out that christ is shere, and judas is in tht of purple tone, and then all this other work that'g on. he somehow claims ownership of the last supper in his work, by using it as the subs.nce of his pa >> brown: why is he still so important? i mean, even for a contemporary artist today?
6:54 pm
>> it's the way the image burns a memory into your brain, that he's found a way to get it so you could walk out of there, and remember what you saw. and it's not going anywhere, it's never going to go anywhere. it>> just there. rown: andy warhol died in 1987, at age 58, after complications from gallbladder surgery. as the exhibition makes clear, in our own age of instagram, a reality tv star turned president, the blending of high and low, the ideas and imagery represented in his work are still very much with us. "andy warhol: from a to b and back ain" is on through the end of march. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown at the whitney museum in new york. >ma> woodruff: starting i you can see the warhol exhibit at the san francisco museum of modern art.
6:55 pm
a lieutenant in the u.s. coast guard has been arrested in an alleged domestic teor appall. christopher paul hasson had a hit list that included top democrats and members of the news medi hasson was taken into custody last week oggun and d charges. he'll appear in a federal court in maryland torrow. on thursday, former acting director of the f.b.i. andrew f mccabe joins an interview. i'm judy woodruff. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see y soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> text night and day. >> catch it on replay. >> burning some fat. >> sharing the latest viral cat! >> you can do the things you like to do wi a wireless plan signed for you. with talk, text and data. consumer cellular. learn more at >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language.
6:56 pm
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contribuons to your pbs ation from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productionsllc captioned by oumedia access at wgbh on
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
>> buiorno. i'm lidia bastianich, and teaching you about italian food has always been my passion. the kitchen is a beautiful place to be creative, so it'endless. you should give it all the love you've got. so join me and learn how to celebrate italian style. it's gonna get better and better. tutti a tavola a mangiare! venite! ♪ venite! ♪ >> funding provided by... >> calabria. rocky coasts and sandyes. national parks. ancient ruins and historical traditions still surn calabria. >> at cento fine foods, we're dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of authentic italian foods by offering over uc100 specialty italian pr for the american kitchen. cento. trust your family with our family.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on