tv PBS News Hour PBS October 9, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: after months of speculation, president obama announced janet yellen today as his pick to succeed ben bernanke as chairman of the federal reserve bank. >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is off. also ahead this wednesday, the government shutdown ripples across the country and hits a housing program for the homeless in san francisco. >> i saw that the government shut down, but i didn't know that it affected me personally. >> woodruff: meanwhile, the mall in washington is still open for protests and ray suarez reports on efforts to push immigration reform to a front burner.
>> woodruff: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> my customers can shop around; see who does good work and compare costs. it can also work that way with healthcare. with united healthcare, i get information on quality ratings of doctors, treatment options and estimates for how much i'll pay. that helps me and my guys make informed decisions. i don't like guesses with my business and definitely not with our health. that's health in numbers. united healthcare. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: our lead story tonight: a new head for the federal reserve, and for the first time, it's a woman. the president nominated the vice-chair of the fed janet yellen to take over the top job. mr. obama called her a proven leader, and yellen promised to do her utmost to bolster the economy. >> janet is renowned for her good judgment. she sounded the alarm early about the housing bubble, about excesses in the financial sector and about the risks of a major recession. >> if confirmed by the senate pledge to do my utmost to keep that trust and meet the great
responsibilities that congress has entrusted to the federal reserve. to promote maximum employment, stable prices, and a strong and stable financial system. >> woodruff: we'll have more on the yellen selection right after the news summary. in other news, much of the federal government stayed shut down for another day, and the national debt ceiling and a potential default moved another day closer. "newshour" congressional correspondent kwame holman has our report. >> reporter: in public, at least, no one at the white house or the capitol changed position on the shutdown or the ceiling. but there was agreement on one point. the house voted, unanimously, to guarantee funding for death benefits of $100,000 for the military. new jersey republican rodney frelinghuysen: >> our men and women serving in uniform deserve the peace of mind that in the worst of times they will receive their benefits
immediately. >> reporter: white house spokesman jay carney said president obama also wants the benefits restored. >> the president was very disturbed to learn of this problem and he directed the department of defense to work with the office of management and budget and his lawyers to develop a possible solution. >> reporter: later, the pentagon announced the non-profit fisher house foundation will underwrite the death benefits for now. there were other small signs of growing movement toward ending the standoff. the president met with all house democrats this afternoon, and planned to meet with a small group of house republicans tomorrow. and in the "wall street journal", republican congressman paul ryan of wisconsin appeared to drop demands for changes in the health care law. instead, he wrote: meanwhile, fallout from the shutdown continued to spread.
>> all the effects i've described and i'm going to describe of the shutdown are negative. >> reporter: at a house hearing, the secretary of veterans affairs eric shinseki said the veteran benefits administration can't keep up with claims. >> since the shutdown began on 1 employees, half of whom are veterans. the shutdown directly threatens the v.a.'s ability to eliminate the backlog. we've lost ground we fought hard to take. >> reporter: one the economic at the same time, the centers for disease control recalled some workers to deal with a salmonella outbreak that's sickened more than 270 people across 18 states. and, the federal aviation administration called back hundreds of safety inspectors and others, allowing a boeing plant in south carolina to resume delivering its 787 dreamliner planes. >> woodruff: there was word later that the labor department will not issue its september inflation report next week, due
to the shutdown. that, in turn, will delay the calculation of next year's cost-of-living adjustment for social security recipients. on wall street, blue-chip stocks eked out small gains, despite ongoing jitters over the impasse in washington. the dow jones industrial average added 26 points to close at nearly 14,803. the nasdaq fell 17 points to close at 3,677. the united states is cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to egypt over the ouster of president mohammed morsi, and the military's violent crackdown. the state department announced the move late today. it gave no dollar figure, but said the u.s. is halting shipments of major weapons and some cash assistance. earlier, a spokeswoman said the cut-off won't be total, but it won't be business as usual. >> we will continue to support a democratic transition and oppose violence as a means of resolving differences in egypt, and our relationship with the egyptian
government, including u.s. assistance to egypt, will continue. >> woodruff: also today, egyptian authorities announced the trial of ousted president mohammed morsi will begin november 4. he's accused of inciting supporters to kill protesters while he was in power. a published report says the libyan government tacitly approved a u.s. commando raid that netted a top al-qaeda militant. "the new york times" account today said the libyans consented ahead of time, although they sharply criticized the raid after it took place on saturday. according to the report, libya also approved plans to capture a key suspect in the benghazi attack last year that killed the u.s. ambassador. that raid did not take place. an investigation has begun in bangladesh in the latest disaster in a garment factory. a fire yesterday killed at least ten people, six months after another factory collapsed and killed 1,100.
we have a report from laura kuenssberg from "independent television news." >> reporter: a 21st century factory, where one overheating machine, we're told, sparked flames that tore through the building and took lives. dousing the embers from a fire this man's friend could not escape. his singed i.d. card a record that he was here. so which brands were linked to this factory? the assistant manager made a list showing some powerful firms he claims used it. accidents that kill aren't uncommon here. so many western brands, have just signed a new safety deal, but this unit was not part of the new legally binding pact.
as it claims more lives, this young woman's husband died in the factory. a widow for a day. many believe you can make clothes cheaply and safely in bangladesh. but in this factory, workers weren't safe enough. >> woodruff: bangladesh earns $20 billion a year in garment exports, mostly to the u.s. and europe. the former president of pakistan pervez musharraf was granted bail today, in a case involving the death of a separatist leader. musharraf had been under house arrest since he returned to pakistan from exile in march. he faces charges in a series of cases from his time in power -- from 1999 to 2008. his lawyers said today that he's now free to travel internationally if he wants. millions of people in india
faced power outages for a sixth day as electrical workers remained on strike. it's part of a backlash against a plan to take the under- developed northern part of andhra pradesh state, and create a new state, telangana. utility workers have shut down power plants to protest the decision. they, and others, say it will lead to damaging budget cuts and dilute andhra pradesh's influence. three scientists based in the u.s. have won the 2013 nobel prize for chemistry for developing computer models that explain chemical processes. the winners were: martin karplus of strasbourg and harvard universities, michael levitt of stanford university and arieh warshel from the university of southern california in los angeles. their work-- dating back to the
1970s -- proved essential to developing new drugs and solar energy. still ahead on the newshour... the president's pick to head the federal reserve bank... how the shutdown is affecting the homeless in san francisco..... and workers and programs across the country... plus, the push to re-energize immigration reform.. our continuing series on the future of t.v... and alice mcdermott on her new novel... now, more on president obama's nomination of janet yellen to be chair of the federal reserve bank. the formal announcement came this afternoon. the white house event capped a prolonged, politically charged search for a successor to ben bernanke, whose second term ends in january. yellen emerged as front-runner after former treasury secretary lawrence summers withdrew from consideration. the president predicted today she will prove an exceptional choice. >> she doesn't have a crystal
ball, but what she does have is a keen understanding about how markets and the economy work, not just in theory but also in the real world. and she calls it like she sees it. not surprisingly, she is held in high esteem by colleagues across the country and around the world who look to the united states, as i said, and the fed for leadership. >> woodruff: yellen is 67, and has been the fed's vice-chair since 2010. now, she stands to become one of the first women to lead any country's central bank and by far, the most prominent woman to do so. she spoke today of the job that lies ahead. >> the mandate of the federal reserve is to serve all the american people. and too many americans still can't find job and worry how they'll pay their bills and provide for their families. the federal reserve can help if it does it's job effectively. we can help ensure that everyone has opportunity to work hard and
build better life. >> woodruff: the new nominee is a longtime professor at the university of california at berkeley's haas school of business. she ran the president's council of economic advisors during the clinton administration and later served as president of the federal reserve bank of san francisco. she's been a strong bernanke ally backing near-zero short- term interest rates and the fed's bond-buying program to stimulate economic growth. for that reason, some republican senators say they will likely oppose her. but she is widely expected to be confirmed. some insight and information now about yellen, her views and her leadership style it comes from christina romer, the former head of president obama's council of economic advisers and a friend of yellen's who advocated for her nomination. she's an economics professor at the university of california, berkeley.
and douglas holtz-eakin, a well- known conservative economist and former director of the congressional budget office. he's now president of the american action forum, a policy think tank. welcome you boat to the program. christina romer, you first, you know janet yellen well. what qualifications does she bring to this job? >> she brings so many. ubl she's as smart as they come, so that's incredibly valuable. she's a good economist. she also has incredibly good judgment. i think that's one of the things that i admire most, that she looks at the data, she looks at where we are and she makes her decisions on the facts had front of her. and then i think the final one i'd mention is collegiality. the federal reserve policy making committee is not one the fed chair just dictates to. you have to bring along reach a consensus and she will be very
good at that. she listens to people. she is a very persuasive arguer. she will help them to get to some very good decisions. >>woodruff: christina romer, we heard she was tough. we heard that brooklyn accent. how tough is she? >> the word people will say to describe janet is nice. she is truly a nice person. people tell stories of when she was president of the federal reserve bank of san francisco she would eat lunch in the caf near ya not the -- cafeteria not the executive lunch room. she is a down to earth nice person but boy when there is a tough call to make i have seen her absolutely make those calls. i think that will serve her very well. you can't be all sweetness and light, you're going to have to be tough but you can be tough in a way that people feel okay i've beened to -- been listened to,
i'll get in line. she argued me down. she has a tough streak. >>woodruff: i would like to have heard that discussion. douglas, you said it's not a question of her qualifications. it is her view of the role of the federal reserve. how do you see that view? >> i think that when she gets to the senate for confirmation, people are not going to be concerned about their professional qualifications. they're superb. they're going to ask her about her policies, how about inflation? she's not caring much about inflation. many conservatives are deeply concerned about inflation, there is none now. tell us ms. yellen about this. that leads to deeper concern that the federal reserve is doing the wrong thing now. it's not concerned about future inflation, it's worried about
growth. >> you mean stimulating the economy? she did mention inflation today but she also made a point as we layered of saying too many americans still don't have a job. what does that say to you about what she cares about? >> i don't think it's a question of aspirations, conservatives have who have a very different view will agree on the goalment t goal is to get full employment and low stable inflation. the question is the route to that and many conservatives would like a single mandate for the fed. over the long term that gives you better control over inflation and better overall growth. there is a question about tactics and there's a concern about the fact that the federal reserve has done some unprecedented things an in winding all this bond buying and selling off those bonds and raising the streets, it will get inflation to boot. >>woodruff: how do you see janet
yellen's views as far as stimulating the economy and job growth and inflation? >> i couldn't disagree more with doug. she bleeives in the dual mandate that you're supposed to care both about inflation and real growth. and i can tell you from both what i know of her and from her policy record that she cares deeply about inflation. and if inflation were a problem she would absolutely fight it and when it and if it becomes a problem she will be first in line to fight it. but this goes to what i was saying before about judgment. where we are today is we know unemployment is much higher than anyone thinks is normal or healthy for the economy and inflation is nct employee the fed's target and have been falling. all those folks worried about inflation have been worried about the fed's unusual monetary actions since 2010 and this inflation hasn't resulted. i think janet has made the right
call there. she said in this situation the right thing is expansion. but i have no -- no doubt that if the tables were turned or if inflation becomes a problem she will absolutely use that toughness we talked about to fight it. >>woodruff: if that's her record then why the concern? >> i think the concern is the ability to execute the policy she clearly believes in successfully. the fed's in unprecedented waters. it had promised it would use forward guidance telling people what they're up to to make this a nice smooth transition. in september they surprised everybody, people worried about growth, that wasn't a really good dry run. what about when they do start selling these bonds can they do a smooth exit from this policy, not imrupt the growth, no one argues that's what they want to do. >>woodruff: christine romer i want you to comment on that but how the fed communicates what
it's doing how do you see her views on that regard? >> on the berkeley campus she has the reputation for being an extraordinary teacher. and i think that's going to be a feature that serves her very well going forward. because absolutely, the federal reserve's job is communicating, part of that is when you use your main tool the interest rate and pushed that all the way as low as you can go, a big part of how you can still have an effect on the economy is to communicatefully and effectively and i think she'll do a good job on that. on this issue of unwinding nobody wanted to take all these extraordinary actions. the reason the fed is in the position it has been in is that we had a terrible financial crisis. the economy went into a terrible recession. we've had a slow recovery and they have been on the front line of trying to fight that. and you know that was nobody's -- you know nobody
would have chosen that job but they stepped up and have been i think valiant in trying to think about things that they can do to strengthen the recovery. i agree dialing it back will be hard when the time is right. i think janet has the right judgment for knowing when the time is right. but i also think she will be perfectly tough and she will communicate clearly to markets and say all right now is when we're unwinding and here is how we're going to do and then she will do that effectively. >>woodruff: quick comment on that. >> the last steps the fed took were really worth it? my judgment was, not to do that. i think they've pushed investors into other markets, stock markets but they haven't proven that gave real growth. you did this thing that is now hard to get out of and we didn't get anything out of it. why.
this is about the policy, not the intent. why. >>woodruff: doug eakin and christina romer, thank you both. >> thank >> woodruff: we turn now to the government shutdown or partial shutdown, as the case may be. the defense department and other agencies have begun recalling some workers, for essential tasks. but in communities across the country many federal programs, considered non-essential, are now on hold. mina kim of kqed radio reports on one example, a housing program in san francisco. >> reporter: workers are putting the finishing touches on a brand new, green certified affordable housing building that opened this week in san francisco's bayview-hunters point neighborhood, one of the city's poorest communities. the $35 million bayview hill gardens property will provide
more than 70 permanent housing units, and supportive services, for homeless families and individuals. >> okay, so welcome to your new home! >> reporter: some residents started moving in yesterday and were excited to see their new homes. but 17 out of the 73 new apartments here will remain empty indefinitely until the federal government shutdown is resolved. that's because the rents for those apartments, unlike the other units which are funded by the city of san francisco, non profit groups, and private investors, are subsidized by the federal government. they are part of a u.s. department of housing and urban development, or hud, program called shelter plus care. it provides rental assistance for long-term homeless adults with certain disabilities, including h.i.v. aids, mental health issues, and drug and alcohol abuse. and one of those federally subsidized units, number 221, is all set for its new resident
who can't move in, dior hall. >> there's no words to describe how it feels to have to get up every day and not have anywhere to go. >> reporter: hall, who is 36 and a part-time cashier at walgreens, has been sleeping at san francisco's providence foundation homeless shelter for 17 months. every morning she and the other shelter guests pack up their sleeping mats and personal belongings and leave by 7:00 a.m. hall was supposed to move into her new studio apartment yesterday. but now she doesn't know when she'll be in her new home. >> i found out recently, i saw that the government shutdown, but i didn't know that it affected me personally. was really disappointed because i was so ready to get out of here. you have no idea how it feels to have the rug pulled up from under you like that so quickly. and be so you know happy at one point and all of a sudden you just-- it's a down. >> reporter: hall hasn't seen
her new digs yet, but she's heard good things. >> i hear you get a bed, you get sheets and covers and food and you know supplies for cleaning your clothes, and i heard it's really big and really nice. this will be my first apartment, ever. so, yes, it is a really big deal for me and i can't wait. >> reporter: the fact that hall and other homeless residents have to wait bothers one of the men in charge of the new housing project-- trent rhorer, executive director of san francisco's human services agency. >> we have vacant units, furnished, ready to go, and because we don't have a signed contract with hud under the program they will not let us move families in. and so what we have are 17 people who are going to be sleeping on church floors, in a homeless shelter system taking up a spot of someone else who's
probably on the street, while we have these beautiful vacant units that are unavailable to them. >> reporter: rhorer says he is concerned that if the government shutdown continues into november, social services like meals on wheels, food stamps, and section 8 housing benefits could be impacted. >> the concern is that money is going to dry up and that the, we don't have, the city and county of san francisco, does not have the resources to, to back fill loss of this amount of money. and my colleagues in the state of california are indicating that they don't have the money either. so it's just absolutely critical for our poorest residents of san francisco, all of whom are trying to do their best to make it every day and try to improve their lives with, with the help of our dollars, but significantly with the help of federal dollars. >> good morning, everybody. i want to welcome you to bayview hills gardens. >> reporter: meanwhile, a group of new residents went through their orientation yesterday. the still homeless dior hall hopes congressional leaders will end the shutdown soon. >> i'm frustrated at the people
who don't understand how its impacting other people. i think whatever the issue, talk about it, like adults, no screaming and back-biting and stuff like that. that's what you're supposed to do. you're setting an example for our country, and this example that you're setting is not a good one. especially when you see how bad of an impact it is having on everybody. >> reporter: hall's new apartment and a welcome basket complete with new pots and pans and cooking utensils await her arrival, whenever that may be. >> woodruff: jeffrey brown looks at the bigger shutdown picture. >> brown: and it's a fluid picture with, as we heard earlier, some workers coming back, others soon to begin their furloughs if the shutdown continues. to help us understand both the nuances and specifics, we're joined by reid wilson, who runs the washington post blog, "gov beat." and gregory korte, a reporter for "usa today."
gregory i want to start with you. is there any way to draw a broad picture yet of the impact or is it all agency by agency? >> it is very agency by agency. we know ai0úñ couple of things. one is that any political appointee is exempt from a furlough. we know that those who are essential for health or safety or protection of property they're exempt. there are federal employees who are funded by another source other than a annual appropriation from congress, the post office, the patent and trademark office. but what programs remain that is an agency by agency -- >>woodruff: that is still not clear after a week or more in? >> it changes with 870,000 furloughed workers, maybe. that number changed just today the foa brought back about 600 inspectors but the veterans administration says it's going
ohave to furlough about thousands of people who process claims. you had the nuclear regulatory commission said that all about 300 of its employees are going to have to be furloughed starting tomorrow because they had carryover funds from last fiscal year that those run out tomorrow. >>brown: we heard about the salmonella outbreak. >> that's right. and those were brought back. if hurricane disaster comes up. as emergencies come up, it will go back on furlough. >>brown: how this trickles down into states, explain how federal spending affects state programs? >> many of the jobs in the state government are actually funded by federal dollars. whether that's you know a small fraction of somebody's salary or the entire salary, whether it's a public safety job or a national park job or something like that. a lot of the federal workers
don't just live here in washington, d.c. they live all around the country. california alone has 150,000 federal workers. so what we're starting to see at the time states picking up on the impacts of the shutdown. so many people being furloughed in the states. i give you another example. just after the terrible floods in colorado, national guard from colorado and utah went into the affected communities to rebuild the roads. >>brown: we looked at that last night in the program. >> and those engineers had been furloughed. there's one example of a small program being delayed. >>brown: well so what kind of response is coming from states? governors then have to make decisions about whether they're going to use their funds, right, for these kinds of programs? >> and in a lot of cases governors are able to use some of their funds. governor tom corbett in
pennsylvania, has kept open a program for women infants and children. in nevada on the other hand, 264,000 people who are on snap programs or that women and infant and children programs are going to lose their assistance because governor brian sand virginia says he doesn't have the $50 million per month that is it is going to take to keep those funds going. >>brown: some workers being brought back right from furlough, others are now looking, facing it in the coming days. >> yes, absolutely. as i said it changes from day to day. some agencies had some money left over and were allowed by congress to carry that over into the new year. as those funds run out the agencies are going to have to make tough decisions. yeah it really does change. it's a fluid furlough. >>brown: at the same time i want to ask both of you. it's possible for many people not to feel this at all, correct? >> it is if you are wealthy, if
you are not under any government assistance programs and by the way, if the furlough, if the shutdown is averted in the next few weeks there may be no interruption at all for some people who receive government assistance. on the other hand, there are so many small areas in which the government has a hand. that still, people will feel an impact. because if you're trying to buy a private jet right now the foa -- >> the few people -- one or two who are. if you run a craft brewery and getting a recipe to the public. the treasury garment won't be able to approve that recipe. >>brown: in government and business, now that we're into this, they're more aware than they were a week or so ago? >> my sense the first week of the shutdown was what wasn't going on in washington and the side show of harry reid and john
boehner talking to each other in front of the media more than anything else. this week people are starting to feel the impact and state governments realize what kind of a hole they're going to be in if the government is out for another week or so. >>brown: what's your feeling? a government holiday, sometimes governments close for a day or two at a time, depending. but the second week it goes beyond the national parks, it is the small business administration loans, the fha, a lot of things that you might be able to do without with a one, two day delay. as we get into the second week and heaven foashe forbid the thd week, this will have a drag on the economy, economists predict half a percentage point for a two week shutdown.
>> gregory korte and reid wilson, thank you very >> woodruff: now we turn to an issue that had been expected to move through congress this year, immigration reform, but which has instead become stalled. ray suarez has our report. >> reporter: thousands of fans cheered on los tigres del norte -- in english, "tigers of the north"-- as the mexican immigrant superstars sang about the plight of undocumented workers on the national mall tuesday. the group's free performance was part of a day-long rally. a rally that was allowed to go forward in the face of the government shutdown because public areas like the national mall are open for first amendment-related activities, whether the government's up and running or not. the gathering was sponsored by labor groups and immigrant rights organizations.
it was meant to bring attention to the drive for immigration reform. >> despite my black hair and brown skin, i am american. american doesn't mean to be american really means that you're an immigrant and that you left where you were at bc it was a struggle and you came to america for a better future. >> reporter: these thousands arrived on the national mall on the heels of more than 100 weekend demonstrations around the country chants of "si, si puede"-- "yes we can"-- were heard from phoenix, arizona to a march toward the rhode island state capitol. the crowd was not large by the standards of demonstrations that have used the national mall over the years. supporters said the coordinated nationwide effort was meant to send a message to congress. >> my message is let's just make sure that we create a bill that moves people to a path to citizenship, stops deportations and helps to reunite families. >> reporter: house democrats have introduced new comprehensive immigration reform legislation. it basically mirrors the bipartisan senate bill passed last june, calling for a pathway
to citizenship, along with heightened border security. the one hiccup-- republicans say the bill is dead on arrival. >> we really do need to get fiscal issues behind us, because for whatever reason, we just don't seem to be able to multi- task very well in this town. >> reporter: despite a major push by advocates after the senate bill passed, the government shutdown-- and before that, events in syria-- have taken center stage since congress returned from its summer recess. and republican trey gowdy acknowledges that even before the current partisan battles, passing comprehensive reform was a long shot. >> there is a joke in the house that comprehensive is latin for too big to read. i think the word comprehensive has a pejorative connotation in today's political world and folks would rather, at least from my vantage point, rather us take it issue by issue. >> reporter: gowdy, like most of his republican counterparts, favors peeling off issues, like border security and work visas, one at a time, although he did
leave the door open to the idea of a larger compromise bill down the road. >> the fact that we debate them and vote on them separately doesn't mean they will not be cobbled together at some point for one vote. >> will you march with us? >> reporter: in the meantime, democrats are getting creative in their fight to keep up the pressure. after marching from the mall to the u.s. capitol tuesday, luis gutierrez was one of eight members of congress to be arrested for civil disobedience, along with more than 150 others. >> the intensity and the hunger and the passion for comprehensive immigration reform is not waning in the immigrant community. >> reporter: and while gutierrez admits immigration reform is unlikely to pass anytime soon, he insists that behind the scenes, both parties are trading ideas. >> every day, every day conversations, negotiations, trading of ideas between republicans and democrats, maybe
it is that quiet diplomacy, without headlines, and without gang of eight where are you at, that kind of quiet, without the kind of pressure that the 5th estate sometimes places on us for momentum and energy, that we find our own momentum and our own energy, and in the end surprise you all and say wow, this is the one you didn't expect. >> reporter: for now, lawmakers are still in a fiscal deadlock. one of the few things republicans and democrats agree on in washington is that an immigration debate won't begin, until the shutdown and debt ceiling battles end. >> woodruff: the major broadcast television networks have something to celebrate. each has at least one new primetime entertainment series that's drawn at least ten million viewers. this comes as cable networks like amc are drawing comparable or better ratings with series
like "breaking bad" and "the walking dead". but there's another important trend: the latest data show growing numbers of viewers watching shows on a delayed timeline through their video recorder or computer. tonight, we look at the role of viewers, as seen by a pair of writers who have long chronicled the media business. hari sreenivasan has the latest conversation in our series on "the future of tv." >>sreenavasan: so far in this series we've heard from a disrupt unamed arial and one of the established comcast, from a 10,000, 20,000 foot view, ken auletta and david carr. is this period a transformative time for the viewer? >> i think television is now going through what newspapers, magazines and book publishing print world has gone through the
digital disruption. that has a profound effect on the viewer. baw the viewer can watch what they want when they want to watch, and on what device they want to watch it on. will you have enough tiferg or other revenue sustain quality production. >> i think it's important to understand how the changes made through media by look at it from all sides. so print file is very small, right? so print got disrupted for some music files. little harder to move around. television has been protected to some degree. by the fact that they have big files. but as broadband's come along, as stuff comes not just from the cable but over the top, over the web, we've gone from five channels to 50 to 500 to an infinite number. the sky is falling, the sky is falling, over and over, this
thing is going to happen. big chunks of the sky are falling. >>sreenavasan: so is this for example on the content side a change in what we call episodic television? these events like "breaking bad" et cetera, et cetera, five or ten years ago, if i didn't know about that or i came in late to it i probably wouldn't go back and try to buy the dvd set. now it seems like there are folks enabled by netflix and other services to okay fine let me go ahead and watch the entire five as soo seasons. >> if you are cbs or other network you have lots of platform if you think cable is a platform or satellite tv is a platform, you have apple and netflix and itunes, and many platforms. "breaking bad" is very expensive to produce or the good wife on
tv. as audiences spread and platforms spread where you have a mass of money to pay for let's say three or four million dollars an episode of quality drama. >> a couple of things about that, kenny is right in that new markets are opening up all the time, they represent content still remains the raining monarch, the king, right? each platform represents a window. the danger is that you're going to end up spread across so many platforms, opening up so many windows that you fall out of one of them. you can still create mass. keep in mind, the last episode of "breaking bad" well-known people watched. i mean that's still -- they built a camp fire, everybody came and were able to show up, get there very quickly by binging on program. everything we're looking at is what happens when you put not
just the remotel but the programming ability in the hands of the consumer. they are able to create an universe, but staying ahead of them. >> the take a look at what dish tv, satellite tv is doing with the hopper. there is $60 billion worth of advertising dollars today. hopper allows you to skip all the ads in the programs you're watching. what happens to the revenue model then? free television is based on advertisers, paying for them. >> television has two pedals, one is advertising and the other is retransmission. i do think ad revenue is interesting, when i sat down to watch nfl, i thought wow, there
are a lot of ads. i think they switched the ad loats on nfl games. >> i think so too. realize i haven't seen an ad since last season because everything i watch is on dvr, everything is on pay purview. these days if you end up watching a commercial you're a loser, right? you failed as a consumer. >> right. sreenavasan: so how do we change the distribution model? if we don't have money to create content because the ad revenue is diminishing where do the comcasts and the cbss of the world get the money? >> i think what we need to think about is when we pay comcast we might be nuts about amc and we want to see "breaking bad" and we want to see "walking dead" and we have to be here for all this stuff. i'm not a person that watches espn, but i pay money for it
every month because i buy a bundle. we're to pull apart the bundle that ken and others have talked about. that takes a lot of the inefficiency out. think about music, i want the one song not the other 11 crappy song. i want the one. so it pulls all the inefficiency out of the system. but media where people have a word for that, it's called profits. >> if you are savvy enough you can pick a couple of songs but the bulk of american consuming audiences are, are we going osee a state where the bundle that time-warner osh comcast one of these intermediaries decides to provide for us, that could be our limited choice? >> the cable carriers you have to distinguish them from the channels. it's interesting to watch, i know you had chet
premerficationo on here. they kind of like the idea, they are held hostage, nfl live still has big events and that gives them leverage in the negotiations. if the consumers had other options right, they would be able to begin to unbundle. it doesn't really matter what congress decides, what the cable company decides. if we agree on anything i think we could agree on this in the last 20 years of covering media, once the consumer decides, it's only a matter of time. once they have the ability, it's industry remove, government remove and we will put the hands, the control in the hands of consumers. >> if you pick up on what david is saying and i do, if you climbed inside the head of brian roberts, the head of comcast, or the head of les moonves, the head of cbs, the head of satellite people they're scared.
they see the world changing before them, they say oh my god i got lots of choices and i don't know what the correct choice is. it is a classic dilemma they should be worried. >> david carr, ken auletta. thanks for joining us. >> woodruff: national book award winner alice mcdermott has written her first new novel in seven years. titled "someone", it's a finely drawn account of one ordinary woman's seemingly unremarkable life. jeffrey brown talked with mcdermott recently. here's an excerpt of their conversation. >> understood that this was a character who in her own life her voice hadn't much been heard and in literature her life isn't much heard so -- >>brown: you were conscious of that? >> yes. yes. for me it was resisting all the
more appealing characters. and listening to the voice that hadn't been much heard from. >>brown: i've read that this story began as something bigger, that i think you referred to another interview as a teeming noafl you were working on and somehow it was this one remarkable woman. >> yes. brown: that's true? the sense of her voice alone, to give the entire novel to her voice, to her character, to the way she sees things and doesn't see things. to hear her voice the way she uses language. she's a shy child. she's a plain woman. yes, an unremarkable, on the surface, character but with a very active internal life. and i wanted to capture that. >>brown: and where does she come from? there are some connections, family connections, to her own life in -- at least your
parents' life in brooklyn right? >> sure. brown: irish catholics? sure. my parents were irish catholics first generation raised in brooklyn. but they were even less likely to express themselves. more likely to have that active interior life that they didn't dare speak out. so i was interesting in women of that era, i was interested in the language of that era. there's so much and certainly this is cultural. there was so much there wasn't spoken about. just in that time? >> just in that time, yeah. and it's not just the irish but the irish do have a propensity for saying less than they mean. so to capture what's going on inside her life but also, what the world around her is keeping her from seeing, and saying. >>brown: and did she unfold for you as you wrote? or did you know going in that there was -- where this was
going to end, her story? >> she very much unfolded for me. and this is the first time in my writing career that i wrote a novel mostly in third person. and then, very, very close to finishing the novel, i thought, no one's listening to her and neither is her author. >>brown: really? i need to give her the first person. i need her to tell her story that directly. >>brown: you rewrote the story in -- >> i told my students don't worry that much the first person, third person doesn't make that much difference. >>brown: it doesn't grab the reared by the throat because we -- reader by the throat because we're waiting for breathless how did she get -- you have to do it through beautiful writing, you have to do it through beautiful sentences which is what you do. >> that's what one hopes. we are surrounded by story. story is very accessible to us
more than ever but i think what literature fiction is blaze the level of the sentence as important as the sentence the story tells, the beauty the rhythm, as important as character and plot. >> you can watch >> woodruff: you can watch jeff's full conversation with alice mcdermott on the art beat page on our website. >> woodruff: finally tonight, preparing for the next huge storm and rising sea levels. that's the subject of tonight's "nova" on pbs. it's called "megastorm aftermath." it comes nearly a year after superstorm sandy struck the east coast. the "newshour's" miles o'brien produced this documentary and he took the "nova" team to the netherlands, which is often praised for its extensive measures to protect against flooding. here's an excerpt about how the city of rotterdam is making further adjustments. it's narrarated by craig sechler.
♪ ♪ in rotterdam where parts of the city lie 22 feet below sea level the dutch are going even further. coming up with innovative places to put floodwaters. >> we don't have room in the city of rotterdam to just add more canals so we have to think of other things and that's what we're doing here is storing actually underground. >> when a museum built this underground parking garage the city added on a 2.5 million gallon holding tank. about ten times a year, heavy rains prompt them to open the valves and fill the tank. it prevents flooding and stops untreated sewage from flowing into the harbor. the city is also creating public plazas that are walled and tiered so they can double as retention ponds.
>> when it starts to rain i mean this fills up and all these terraces fill up and kids just love it. they put on their boots and they just run through it. >> another more elaborate one is under construction near a high school. when it rains here, the playing field will fill up, and hold water, until the pumps and sewers can handle it. keeping their feet dry has always been a dutch priority. but the key lesson they've learned over the years: simply fending off the water as if it were a mortal enemy is like tilting at windmills. >> woodruff: "megastorm aftermath" airs on "nova" tonight on most pbs stations. again, the major developments of the day: president obama nominated janet yellen to be chair of the federal reserve. she'd be the first one to hold that position.
and much of the federal government remained shuttered for a ninth day. there was still no immediate prospect of a resolution. online, we kick off a series of interviews on the rise of bitcoin. today, a mathematician comes to the defense of the digital currency. find that on making sense. and a new study puts dates to when worldwide temperatures are predicted to shift past the boundaries of weather as we know it today. that's on our science page. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, this year's nobel prize for literature. plus, the controversy and heartache surrounding the census in bosnia. i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the "pbs newshour," thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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