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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  May 2, 2022 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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♪ judy: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on "the newshour" tonight, the desperation of war. the global impact of fighting in ukraine worsens as russian forces resume their attack on a major steel plant in mariupol and civilians step up their frantic attempts to evacuate. >> the truth is that 130,000 citizens that are still in mariupol, all of them are hostages. judy: then -- the trump effect -- the former president pushes republican candidates in ohio's senate race further to the right. the latest example of polarized politics in the u.s. and the state of the unions -- how a labor vote at an amazon warehouse in new york city has become a catalyst for organizing
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efforts nationwide. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour.” ♪ >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- ♪ >> it is the little things. the reminders of what is important. it is why fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you create a wealth plan. a plan with tax sensitive investing strategies, planning focused on tomorrow while you focus on today. that is the effect from fidelity. >> the rules of business
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contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: the first evacuate from a steel plant in mariupol, the site of a last stand by ukrainian troops, continued today at an excruciating, slow pace. meanwhile in moscow, foreign minister sergei lavrov ignited a rhetorical firestorm, saying in an interview that adolf hitler had jewish heritage, when asked how ssia could claim to be "de-nazifying" ukraine. the remark was widely denounced, most forcefully in israel, which summoned the russian ambassador for an explanation. in washington, senate majority leader chuck schumer took to the senate floor. >> mr. lavrov's comments are just sickening and deserve to be condemned by all who oppose the dangers of antisemitism. they tap into the very old and very poisonous notion that the jewish people themselves were the architects of the worst human atrocities of modern
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history, even when they were aimed at jews themselves. mr. foreign minister, you're fooling no one. judy: president zelenskyy also denounced the remarks. he is jewish and some of his relatives were killed in the holocaust. elsewhere in ukraine, a missile strike hit the key port city of odesa, in the southwest of the country. but the focus remains on the hellscape that is mariupol, in the far southeast and the drive to get its people out. from ukraine, nickchifrin begins our coverage. nick two months of hiding. : endless negotiations. and a mile-long convoy emerges from the heart of darkness. above all, relief for families who did not know whether they would live or die, did not have accesso the outside world. they cowered in the basement of mariupol's massive azovstal steel plant, the final hideout for civilians and soldiers from russia's bombardment. those same russians released this footage today inside
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russian occupied territory of the people they'd besieged, describing horrors inflicted on lives and homes. olga savina is 65. >> there is no house anymore. of course there isn't. nick: ukrainian soldiers released their own video, helping civilians emerge from the plant, and walking through devastation. some are barely older than the war. they drive past decimated landscapes, and are handed over to the un and icrc, who walk them across no man's land. but tonight russians blocked them from entering ukrainian territory. and back in mariupol, more than 100,000 residents, still trapped. >> 130,000 citizens that are still in mariupol, all of them are hostages. nick: sergei orlov is mariupol's deputy mayor. we spoke to him by skype from the nearest ukrainian-held city, zaporizhzhia. >> they do not allow them to locate to ukrainian controlled territory. they continue deportation of our citizens.
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you know that in our estimation, about 40,000 citizenare deported to russia. and it is genocide, it's absolute genocide. russia wants to continue this deportation just to kill ukraine as a nation. nick: orlov sent us photos from mariupol from the last few days. families with no electricity, no natural gas, no heating, no water. and of the cars they used for escape, damaged by relentless russian shelling. no family, left unspared. you and i have spoken multiple times over the last few months and you've said that you haven't been able to reach your own family. have you been able to talk to them since? >> they moved all this way through temporary occupied territory, through russia. and unfortunately, my father died on this way in russia. nick: i'm so sorry to hear that. my condolences.
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>> thank you. nick: and so what's the future of mariupol under these conditions? is there any? >> we are absolutely sure we will return our ukrainian mariupol. of course, it's totally destroyed, but we will rebuild them. reporter: a nation of resilience, but also of refugees. the u.n. today said 5.5 million have left their homes and country. the majority fled to poland, where today speaker of the house nancy pelosi met polish president andrzej duda, one day after annannounced trip to kyiv to see ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy, and promised long-term u.s. support requests america stands with ukraine. we stand with ukraine until victory is won. >> your t-shirts were here? reporter: in the western city of lviv, the u.s. acting ambassador to ukraine kristina kvien returned to ukraine for the first time since evacuating 6 weeks ago. she went shopping and her
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press-attache dan langenkamp bought a t-shirt with ukrainian soldiers' message to the invaders early in the war: russian warship, go -- yourself. >> it represents the ukrainian spirit. saying, we are not going to back down because you are pointing guns at us. we will stand up for our country, our sovereignty and our nation. you can do something else if you don't like that. nick: afterward, we sat down in lviv's market square. you were last here in ukraine on february 22nd. why have you returned today? >> my security professionals determined it was safe to come. we hope it is signaling a return first to lviv, and then to kyiv. we hope to do that by the end of the month. nick: let's talk about arms support and weapons into ukraine. the u.s. has been sending artillery that is crucial for the fight in eastern ukraine.
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has it arrived in eastern ukraine so ukrainians can use it against russians? >> we did recently say we would provide howitzers and over half of those have already reached ukraine. i don't know where each individual one is located in the country but i know that they're , headed where they're needed and we got them here as quickly as possible so that ukraine could defend itself against russia's attacks in the east. nick: the u.s. is refusing to provide ukraine some longer range artillery that the ukrainians have requested. why is that? ask i don't think we have put a limit on the range of our systems. we have been providing what we can quickly that the ukrainians could be trained on quickly. if they can't use the equipment, it is not auseful. nick: how does the u.s. to find victory in this war? >> it is up for ukraine to define victory, but an independent ukraine with its own government, the same government that is in power now, and peace.
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we will let ukraine determine what that victory looks like because we do not want to presuppose for them any discussions they may be having. nick: the british government has been talking publicly about victory including ukraine , evicting russia from all of ukraine, that includes eastern donbas, where the russians have occupied since 2014. does the u.s. agree with that? >> crimea and donbas are ukraine and if ukraine chooses to defend its own territory, i don't think that we would have something negative to say that. >> it sounds there is no definition that the u.s. government is willing to make. >> we don't want to impose upon it ukraine what victory is. it is up to them to lay that
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out. nick: nancy pelosi and defense secretary lloyd austin said the u.s. goal is to weaken russia's ability to wage war. is that a sign the u.s. aims are expanding? >> i would say russia has clearly shown itself to be a very bad global actor. so while what they're doing in ukraine is horrible, horrific. and there are other countries they border. given the irresponsible behavior of president putin, i think it's -- let's say the idea he can't do this to other countries and his border countries are a valid one and a weakened russia would have a harder time of doing that in other border areas. nick: when you say weakened russia, is that as secretary blinken has said, strategic defeat long term, including sanctions, including export controls and-or military defeat on the battlefield that would
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actually set russia's military back multiple years? >> first of all, we want ukraine to win. to win they nd to defeat russia. yes, there is a military component. i don't see us removing sanctions or helping russia out economically if it is not behaving as a good global actor. so if they want to be another north korea, another iran, you know, another syria that is completely isolated in the world where no one will trade, then, you know, they've chosen that path. as long as they continue to act it cannot come back from that. it will not be business as usual. nick: increasingly moscow is saying that because of more heavy u.s. weapons coming to ukraine, that this is more of a proxy fight between russia and the u.s. is it? >> no, it is a fight between russia, who attacked ukraine,
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and ukraine. we are helping ukraine, but it's ukraine's fight, and ukraine's fighting it very well. nick: if russia considers this a proxy fight as 's publicly , saying, are you woied about escalation because moscow has said it would rather escalate than lose? [8.0s] -- lose? >> president putin likes to throw out a lot of bluster and a lot of threats. and we can't choose our policy or decide our policy based on his threats. we have to base it on what the situation is and our commitment to help ukraine win this fight. nick: that sounds like no matter what kind of threats come out of moscow, the u.s. will stay the course. >> yes. nick: this is your first visit to lviv in months. some of your counterparts have already returned to kyiv. why not kyiv? >> when they say it is safe, we will do it. we have made a determination we can travel here. as soon as they, we can go back to kyiv, we will, because we are
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eager to go there. judy: a note, our coverage of the war in ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. ♪ judy: in the days other news a federal jury in washington, d.c. convicted a retired new york police officer of assault and other charges in the january 6, 2021 riots at the u.s. capitol. thomas webster was found guilty of attacking a d.c. police officer with the flagpole, claiming self-defense. webster could get 20 years in prison on the assault charge alone. the january 6 congressional committee has asked three more republican members of the u.s. house to testify. congressman andy biggs of arizona, mo brooks of alabama and ronny jackson of texas are being asked to appear, voluntarily.
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biggs said today he would not participate. the focus is on white house meetings and talks with then-president trump and rallies leading up to the u.s. capitol assault. the biggest wildfire in the u.s. kept getting bigger today, after destroying or damaging more than 170 homes in recent days. the fire is burning in northeastern new mexico, near the small community of las vegas. it has scorched about 190 square miles so far. fast-moving flames forced more people to lead today, following those who got out sunday. >> i got up in the morning at 6:00. at that time the smoke was still miles away. by 9:00, the smoke in the valley was so thick, you needed a butter knife to cut through it. judy: the evacuation order included some 200 patients at a small psychiatric hospital. in philadelphia, a former police
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officer charged with murdering a 12-year-old boy in march. investigators say the boy, thomas "t.j." siderio, had fired a shot at an unmarked car and woded a plainclothes officer. but, they say video shows he threw the gun away and was on the ground when officer edsel mendoza shot and killed him. mendoza has since been fired. tennessee's governor bill lee declared a moratorium on executions today, to allow an independent review of lethal injections. he said the state has not properly tested the drugs used for executions or the moratorium applies for the rest of the year. on the pandemic, the covid-19 outbreak in china that has led to a lockdown of millions of people in shanghai may be slowing. over the weekend daily cases fell to 7000 a day, down from a peak of authorities today sealed 27,000. off new areas that had not been
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locked down after cases appeared there. restrictions have fueled rare displays of public anger. wall street managed to get may off to a winning start after the heavy selloffs of april. the dow jones gained 84 points to close at 33,061. the nasdaq rose 201 points, more than 1.5 percent. the s&p 500 judy: still to come added judy: still to come on the 23. "newshour"-- we examined the influence and increasingly extreme views of fox news host tucker carlson. our politics monday team weighs in on the start of the primary election season. i museum exhibit chronicles the career of a south african activist fighting for trans visibility, plus much more. ♪ >> this is "the pbs newshour," from weta studios in washington and from the west from the
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walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: former president trump's influence inhis year's midterm elections gets its first big test in tomorrow's republican primary for ohio's u.s. senate seat. as john yang reports, trump's surprise endorsement of a one-time self-proclaimed “never-trumper” has shaken up the race. john: friday morning at nana and papa's diner in thornville, ohio, about 40 miles east of columbus. time for this group's weekly brecht is -- breakft. on the menu, eggs, french toast, biscuits and gravy and, on this last friday before the primary election, large side of politics. i want to talk to you about the senate primary tuesday. the name that comes up again and again isn't even on the ballot donald trump, who is backing , senate candidate j.d. vance. >> trump stepped up and, you know, backed jd vance. john: and that's what made the difference for you? >> absolutely.
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>> i am 100% behind donald trump. so and that's who he recommended. john: for most of the five major candidates, and polls show no clear front runner, it has in a contest to see who could be the most like trump. >> president trump fought for you, i will do the same. >> who was the candidate that's the true america first candidate? >> it is not enough to elect republicans. we have to elect the right kind of republicans. john: they tout trump's issues: trade, immigration and the 2020 election. >> there is no doubt in my mind there was fraud. john: first some voters like , finance analyst bob beisel - who was at a vance event near columbus, that's a litmus test. >> you're not a true i would say put america first, maga candidate if you feel that the 2020 election was fair. john: the crowded republican contest is getting far more
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attentn than the democratic primary, where representative tim ryan is the heavy favorite. mr. trump: this man is going to win. come up, jd. john: last month, in delaware, ohio, trump personally blessed vance's candidacy in the republican primary. >> ohio, do we love this guy? mr. trump: if you want to deliver a historic victory for america here in ohio and also a first, historic defeat for the -- historic defeat jd vance is , your guy. john: in an interview that year with the best-selling -- about the best-selling memoir "hillbilly elegy," judy woodruff asked vance about hillary clinton's description of trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables.” judy: is there something to what she said, or is she completely
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off-base? >> i think it is probably both. there is an element of donald trump's support that has its basis in racism or xenophobia. >> i get -- i can't get past how much i hated trump. >> i was saying i could see the whole spectrum of how i felt about it. john: how ccerned are you about the skepticism we heard today? >> at the end of the day, we are going to win the race. >> you can only sell yourself to a certain degree and then for me, i'm going to go with my gut. john: but for joab scott, an autoworker from southern ohio, vance's change of heart mirrors his own. >> i think there were 15 people on the stage at one time and he was my 15th choice. i am just as guilty as j.d. vance of not, you know, trump or not supporting trump in the very beginning. >> ohio has always been typically a battleground state. john: scott and his brother-in-law, kevin black, who
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works in finance, are both backing vance. >> i like that he came from poverty, a lot of adversity in his life. i already made the decision. the trump endorsement was just kind of an added bonus. john: for black it helps seal the deal. >> if he puts his faith and some other big name players are putting their reputation behind jd then, i have to trust what they're saying. >> i'm going to washington to be reinforcement for fighters. john: many observers expected former state treasurer josh mandel to get the trump endorsement. in his third run for the u.s. senate mandel has been a , steadfast crusader for trump's agenda. though in nebraska yesterday trump seemed confusedbout just who he endorsed. mr. trump: we have endorsed jp, right? jd mandel, and he is doing great. [applause] john: he has been endorsed by senator cruz.
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mandel, who often campaigns in evangelical churches, met reporters with cruz before an appearance near dayton. what did you see in josh mandel that president trump did not see? >> it is easy for a candidate to say the right things, but what i look for is their record when , have they stood and fought and bled. john: other candidates claim a link with the former president. attorney jane timken was handpicked by trump to lead the ohio republican party. >> a lot of the candidates in the race all of a sudden have seen the light and are fighting for those america first policies, but i am the true fighter. john: mike gibbons a millionaire , investment banker, touts a trump-like personal history. >> when i get to washington, i will not owe anybody anything. i cannot be bought, i have already achieved to american dream. john: of the leading candidates, only state senator matt dolan did not seek trump's support. >> i am the only one talking
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about executing, everyone else is making noise. i know who i am fighting for. these guys just want to create fights. john: this cantankerous contest is a sharp contrast to ohio's recent tradition of mainstream statewide republican officeholders. that includethe man whose senate seat is at stake rob , portman, free-trade, free-market champion who is retiring. last year, he helped negotiate the bipartisan 1 trillion-dollar infrastructure deal signed by president joe biden. pres. biden: senator rob portman is really a helluva good guy. i am not hurting you because i know you are not running again. [laughter] john: what has changed? vance voters joab ott and kevin black have differing theories. >> the ronald reagan republican wasn't so divisive. he didn't do anything to make anyone divisive. a trump republican has to be divisive. >> i will say the opposite. the voters have not changed, i
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have not changed. we are the same hard-working christian constitution, american patriotic, that is the base of the republican party. >> you don't think there is a difference between the ronald reagan republican and the donald trump republican? john: much of ohio, especially rural areas, seems to be trump country. at places like nana and papa's there's no doubt about trump's influence on this primary election. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang in thornville, ohio. ♪ judy: every night more than 3 million people tune in to tucker carlson's show on the fox news channel, the most-watched cable news show last year. a new analysis from the new york times explores how carlson is using his platform. amnaawaz has more. amna: as the new york times
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describes it, for the past five years and more than 1100 hours of tv carlson's ratings success , has been built by weaponizing "fears and grievances" of his audience to create --quote-- "what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news.” to help explain carlson's influence, nick confessore, a political and investigative reporter at the new york times, and the author of that assessment. welcome back, thank you for making the time. it is fair to say part of his ratings success is an us versus them narrative he seems to relish the fight and criticism and attention so much so, when your articles came out he tweeted a photo of himself briefly holding up the front page of the new york times. my first question is, why devote so much time and energy to him? are you worried about feeding that narrative? nick: it is a great question. he is a singularly important person of the right right now,
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the inheritor of the maga tradition donald trump seized and rode to the white house. he is the highest rated cable show host in history and it is also the most racist show in history. he has done something no other host has done. i do not say that lightly, it is a big claim. every night that show teaches fear and loathing. he may claim to oppose racism and prejudice, but what the show tells you every night is to be afraid. to be afraid of people in the street asking police officers not shoot black people, to be afraid of afghan refugees who helped us in the war who are coming here now, to be afraid of dr. fauci, and to be afraid of immigration in natural -- in general, which he says is part of a kabal or plot to destroy western civilization. amna: these have not always been his views.
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he has had a long history, long career in television, through multiple networks. he had a show on msnbc, on pbs a short-lived show. he had a conservative, libertarian point of view. you said he never has written extensively about when and why his viewshanged, but clues are sprinkled throughout his career. how do you understand the evolution of what brought him to his views today? nick: if you watch his stated views over time, what surprised me, is how far back it goes. in his 20's when he was a rising magazine writer, he was not much of an ideologue, he was more of a humorist. soon after 9/11 he was taking stern views on immigration. at the time, more conventional views against immigration, saying we need better border security after 9/11, a view shared widely at the time. a few years after that on his
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msnbc show, he said, of course immigration at the southern border is an invasion, how can you deny that? then he bonds out of cable, starts the daily caller, within that magazine, there is debate about traditional reagan-era conservativism and the new populism even before donald trump runs for president, is bubbling up on the right, becoming the dominant force. he sees that, he is early to see that donald trump has what it takes to win the nomination and the presidency and he more or less embraces the core idea of trumpism, which is that these people are coming and taking your country away from you and you should be afraid. amna: that messaging featured prominently on his show, phrases core to the white nationalist movement, the idea that people who believe there should be a homeland just for white people.
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you featured a montagef those moments in your reporting. take a listen to this clip -- >> antiwhite racism is exploding across the country. white men are the problem. th hate white men more than they hate global warming. those white men, raytheon said, must, quote, step aside for minorities. as soon as we get rid of all these white men everything will be great. white backlash, white resistance, white, white, white, white, white meaning evil, cruel and bigoted. so shut up, white man. amna: why is this something foxwood one on the air? nick: because it is great for their ratings. they are only -- the audience is only 8% nonwhite and most is 55 and older. predominantly an old, white audience when they grew up in a country much less diverse. white people were 80% of the country. i think there is fear, anxiety, about losing preeminence in
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american public life and politics. it is not just that antiwhite racism rhetoric on the show. he is taking ideas that began on the far right, the arcane corners of the internet, nazi sites, replacement theory. that there is a kabal among business leaders and politicians not just in favor of immigration, they are trying to populate the country with obedient voters from the third world so they can have control of the country. that is not having an argument about borders and racial policy. that is taking a white nationalist conspiracy theory and putting it on the air, on a top-rated cable show. judy: -- amna: he has also been a champion of the capitol riot. what did your reporting find about that relationship between
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the gop and tucker carlsen? nick: i would say he is the high priest of trumpism. president trump has been out of office since january 2021. he has been banned from facebook and twitter for a while. i think tucker carlson has filled the media vacuum in trump's absence, and one way is to re-spin january 6 as a new lost cause. he did it on almost half of the episodes he did in 2021. he recaptured and restated what had happened. he said they were victims, lured in in a honey pot scheme by the fbi, that the election was stolen and nothing really bad happened that day. he has told that story again and again. he tries to make the aggressors into the victims. amna: what about a response from tucker carlson himself or fox? nick: he declined an interview.
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he said on his show last week that i was trying to shut him up, like a bad dinner party guest. that is unfair because i am a really fun dinner party guest. he says now he has not read the story. he seems really well-informed about the story since it came out. fox defends him, but of course, he is the money guy. he has brought in more advertising revenue every year since 2018 than any other show on fox. amna: that is an investigative reporter from the new york times. nick, always great to see you. nick: thank you. ♪ judy: republicans will be closely watching ohio's primary election tomorrow and there are reports that democrats are
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considering revamping their midterm strategy to draw a stronger contrast between themselves and the trump-wing of the gop. to discuss that and more it's a good time to check in with our politics monday team. that is amy walter of the cook political report with amy walter and annie linskey of the washington post, who is sitting in tonight for tamara keith. hello to both of you. good to see you this monday. time to talk about politics. amy, let's start with what we just heard, this three-part mega report on tucker carlson. clarify for us, what is tucker carlson's role in the republican party, american politics? amy: nick put it well when he said he is filling the void left by donald trump's voice being off social media. he is not in the white house, so
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he is not there every minute in the way he used to be. he is also being talked about as a potential 2024 candidate for president and that is not idle discussion. i think his name will be seriously floated and we may see more to calm on a tucker carlson balloon. judy: i wonder if president trump is aware of that. we suspected that he is. how do you see this tucker carlson phenomenon? annie: one of the parts of nick's reporting that resonated for me, is this idea carlson is at the nexus of media influence, but also a quieter influence with candidates in particular. he has been a promoter of jd vance in ohio, which i will talk about later. i find that to be a role of using his voice, his platform to
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put out new ideas, but also to bolster candidates. you don't want to say he could make a role, but his influence is up there. judy: it is significant. amy, is it a matter of saying, if you don't get tucker carlson's blessing, it is a problem for you as a republican? amy: we will see. he has gone after, much like trump has, people he sees as out of step or out of line with his overall philosophy, or have done things that have gone against whatever tucker does not like. many of them were still successful. one person he has been consistently against, at least recently, has been kevin mccarthy. i don't think anyone expects to see if republicans take the house that he is not going to be the speaker, but his influence,
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the conversation about it, is important. judy: and the darker side of this about race and the role, the threat that many white americans feel. what does that say about our politics right now? annie: that was one of the most stunning takeaways from that reporting, which is so incredible. the extent to which they really documented in which carlson is normalizing discussions of race that are not considered appropriate in many parts of the country, but carlson's show is moving the window before -- where they are becoming more appropriate. that is what many groups on the left worry about. the times reporting is showing the danger tucker carlson and his show presents, making it
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more ok to have those kinds of grievances voiced out loud. that to me is what the worry is. judy: that brings us to ohio. we had john yang's report. there you have donald trump's enormous influence with a candidate he has blessed who seems to be doing well. annie: i was watching all the ads candidates were putting on air. it was basically a noun, a verb, and donald trump. everything had to involve donald trump. what is more remarkable tha john alluded to, the diminished role of the senator who is leaving, rob portman, a senator who has been there since 2010. he also endorsed a candidate, but his candidate has gotten no
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traction. it is also remarkable to think it was not long ago in 2016 that john kasich easily won the primary in ohio over donald trump. that somebody like a rob portman could win. he ran seven points ahead of donald trump in 2016 in the general election. those folks no longer exist in ohio. judy: we will see what happens in ohio. people are saying, will this happen in every republican primary? no way to know that right now, but donald trump is still a factor. annie: jd vance was lagging behind in this campaign until donald trumpent in and endorsed him. you saw a fox news pollhat came out shortly after the endorsement. it was practically doubled, and incredible jump. none of us have a crystal ball,
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we don't know what will happen. the polling has been difficult to follo but you saw that trump had an impact and really pushed jd vance, at least into a poll position where he could win. judy: we are also watching pennsylvania and others, georgia. i want to quickly turn both of you to a story in politico today, inside reporting that the ite house is looking at structuring their midterm strategy around going against, who else, donald trump, and his wing of the republican party what does that say to you? amy: they do not want this to be what midterms traditionally are, a referendum on the party in charge. not when the president is under water in terms of his rating, people worried about the state of the economy. they want to turn it to a choice. this is not new. republicans tried the same thing in 2018.
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they ran more ads about nancy pelosi than democrats ran about donaldrump. judy: we remember that. amy: she was the centerpiece. we lost 40 seats in the house that year. it is change -- tough to change the trajectory away from the referendum. democrats are hoping in individual races, whether it is pennsylvania, arizona, those candidates who have the trump support have embraced trump, many of his policies, that will be a bigger liability than the big picture conversation. judy: we don't know they are going to do this, but it would be shocking. annie: absolutely. democrats just tried to do this in virginia and make glenn youngkin into donald trump. that was not a winning strategy. joe biden had gone away from
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that strategy and presented himself as a unifier in the state of the union, but now we are talking again to be more democrats versus republicans. the white house is scrambling for a message that will work area -- work. judy: thank you bot politics monday, thank you. ♪ judy: workers at an amazon site today in staten island, new york appeared to reject a union by a margin of nearly 2:1. william brangham gets the latest on this and larger efforts. william: that is right, judy. what is known as the amazon labor union lost its unionizing vote today. that loss comes weeks after they
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scored a historic win at a much larger, neighboring amazon warehouse, which created the first ever union at the massive online company. amazon has battled hard with unions, includina recent contested fight in alabama. but there are new union drives springing up at other major major employers as well. including at a numbeof starbucks, apple, and rei stores around the country. for some perspective on this i'm joined by maximillian alvarez, editor in chief at the real news network and host of the working people podcast. great to have you on the newshour. help us understand what went down today. several weeks ago this tiny union wins a historic victory against amazon, but today loses at a smaller facility. how do you explain that or see that? maximillian: thank you for having me on the show and for taking an interest in this vital topic. i am glad it is getting the attention it deserves.
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it is important t remember why it was such a historic victory when the independent amazon labor union successfully voted to unionize at the jfk a fulfillment center on staten island, and 8000 plus person facility. it is traditionally hard to organize your workplace in this country, after decades of labor law stacked in favor of the bosses, workers are up for an uphill battle. they were going up against the second largest private employer in the u.s., one of e most powerful companies in the world. amazon is an international behemoth we have no say over whatsoever. they were building a union, they did not have institutional union infrastructure. it was a rank and file effort. it was that worker to worker organizing that allowed them to convince on of people to achieve that historic victory last month. in the month since that
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happened, amazon has a chance to regroup. amazon is trying to challenge the national labor relations board and throughout the election results at the same time they are paying union busting workers making $400 an hour telling people they don't deserve $25. the other thing is that workers at this second facility are largely part-time. their main concern is to get more hours so they can make ends meet. when you are living that close to the edge the thought of losing this election, facing retaliation, may scare you more than it did the workers at the first facility. william: the other argument amazon mes to the workers is, we pay you well, we offer benefits, there is no need for a union, just talk to us directly. i have interviewed people who have gone to amazon and found good jobs and benefits there,
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but this movement continues and amazon has pushed hard against the union. they had a big fight in alabama. can you remind us of what that fight was and the status of that? maximillian: absolutely. i was down in bessemer, alabama, talking to workers and organizers. it was a different situation where workers at another massive fulfillmententer, over 5000, and ed d industrialized mostly black town with a high poverty rate. amazon workers were making more than the average bessemer citizen, but many people's bodies have been broken working for amazon. that is part of their business model. they have a turnover rate of 150 percent. many who started the campaign won't be there by the time it ends. that is part of what bessemer workers were fighting against.
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they held the union election, they failed the first, but the national labor relations board ruled amazon had illegally tempered with that election, so they got another shot at its. they voted and the results are in limbo because there are challenged that -- challenged ballots. that is where things currently stand in bessemer. william: put these amazon fights into context with the national labor movement. we are seeing other sprouts of organizing at starbucks, apple stores, rei, places that have not had much union penetration. is this an actual sea change or something else? maximillian: what i am hearing from workers is there is a rising labor consciousness. people know they have been getting screwed over for a long time. people over the last 40 years
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have been more productive than ever, but wages have stagnated while the 1% is pocketing all the extra generated revenue. the cost of living keeps going up, we are in an inflation squeeze and we hit a pandemic where it was made clear workers would be prorated as essential, but they got no say over safety conditions and people are rebelling against that. whether that is quitting their jobs in record numbers, what was called the great resignation. whether that is massive historic unionization efforts at places like starbucks and amazon, whether that is unions that already exist getting more militant and hitting the picket line like kellogg's, and in academia. there are reasons why people are standing up, but i think they are looking at each other and building on the successes of each other and learning from failures and that is what i think makes this more of a movement than random pockets of activity. william: the podcast is the
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working people podcast. thank you for being here. maximillian: thank you. judy: one more note, amazon turned down our request for an interview on the elections and the criticism, but a spokeswoman said, we are glad our team at ldj5, the staten island warehouse, were able to have their voices heard. we look forward to working together as we strive to make every day better for our employees. ♪ judy: sir zanele muholi. rather -- describing themselves as an activist, they celebrate the
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community. their work is being shown around the world and country this spring. we have a report on one exhibit in boston for our arts and culture series, canvas. reporter: this is sir zanele muholi at work, intent people be seen and acknowledged. in picture after picture, muholi wants us to take in their pride, their togetherness, their very being. >> all i ever wanted to do was to make sure that i become the voice for change in south afri in which every single being who is black, who is queer, who is trans, is documented in south africa. reporter: for nearly 20 years, muholi has been photographing lgbtqia+ people in south africa. in the aftermath of apartheid, it was the first nation in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. but that community remains subject to high rates of
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violence and murder -- especially among young and black people. muholi has used photography to change the culture. >> you cannot ignore it. it is black, it is beautiful. it is in your walls. it forces you to wonder how you as a white person can deal with a black image, deal with black people in your spaces, deal with black colleagues in your workplace. reporter: their work, stemming from their role as a self-described visual activist, is on view at boston's isabella stewart gardner museum. >> you see a sense of undeniable pride that comes from a confidence in being. reporter: theo tyson ishe show's co-curor, and the work became even more layered, tyson says, when muholi began creating stylized self-portraits in 2012, part of a series shot all over the world called somnyama
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ngonyama, translated from zulu as "hail the dark lioness." >> they're not playing dress-up. the costumery, if you will, is part of the storytelling. there are clothespins used to talk about domestic labor and share stories of their mother. luggage wrap that's used to talk about issues with travel, racism, colorism. there are the plastic gloves that we see in sort of this signs of the times and what that represents, from sexual violence to access to healthcare to now covid, and what we need to do to protect ourselves. reporter: originally, you didn't necessarily turn the camera on yourself genesis of that? >> i guess that after many years of documenting other people, or photographing other people, i needed to remember me. i wanted to pay homage to my mom, whose spirit forever lives with me. if she didn't suffer from labor
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pains for me to be born, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. reporter: in these images, muli also increases the contrast of their skin tone in postproduction. it's yet another conversation with the viewer, muholi says. >> this is just engagement. how far can we go with our bodies? how far can we go with our voices? how fearful are we to say what makes us feel uncomfortable? are we brave enough to face the world out there that doesn't allow us to be, either as black, either as queer folks, either as anything? reporter: the exhibition also features muholi's latest work-- their first sculpture and paintings never before seen in a museum. pieranna cavalchini is the show's co-curator. >> it's so exciting, you know, this idea of still, you know, dealing with different characters and archetypes, and also connecting the painting to the photography in very interesting ways. reporter: cavalchini came to know muholi during their time as
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one of the museum's artists-in-residence in 2019 and during a trip with tyson to cape town the show, she says, paints the duality of muholi. >> being muholi: portraits as resistance is the idea of letting muholi be. so it's muholi as an artist-activist very powerfully , so. but at the same time, there is a humanity, a sense of vulnerability. reporter: which muholi readily talks about. the paintings were mostly made last year, during a period of pain, so these works were a way of healing, even if they're sold at the end of the day. >> what's different is the color. for once, i was, like, trying to dive out of the, you know, the drowning. reporter: what did you see when you stepped back after you had completed these paintings and saw the color? >> it's very interesting. you, you fall in love knowing that you might lose that lever, you
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know? once it's out of your sight, and it belongs to the other, so it's like losing love and that love belongs to someone. you wonder if you'll ever, like, touch it again. reporter: but being muholi means that love was fully realized. for the pbs newshour, i'm jared bowen in boston. judy: some remarkable work. that is "the newshour" for tonight. i am judy woodruff. join us online and here tomorrow evening. from all of us at "the pbs newshour," stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for "the pbs newshour" provided by -- >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal is to provide wireless service to help people connect and communicate. our service team can find a plan that fits you. for more visit ♪ >> the kendeda fund, committed
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to expanding restorative justice and meaningful work through meaningful work in transformative leaders and ideas. more at supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at . and with the ongoing support of these institutions. ♪ >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ >>
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hello. welcome to "amanpour & co." here is what's coming up. >> ukrainians are fighting back hard and making it hard to make progress. >> as vladimir putin tries to choke off ukraine's southeast, we find out about the blame game. from china to brazil, how governments used covid as a pretense to expand oppression. it's a birth right. >> are babies key to closing the racial wealth gap? how the idea is gaining traction across america.