PBS News Weekend full episode, March 12, 2023
♪♪ John: Tonight on "Pbs news weekend," with battles in congress looming, we talk with senator John tester on the debt, immigration, and America's political divisions. Sen. Tester: We have an incredible system of free speech and free religion and second amendment rights. And we've got folks out there that want to destroy that.
And I don't think they really think they're destroying it, but in fact, they are. John: Then, as Russia's crackdown on independent media within its borders continues, our conversation with a journalist living and reporting in exile. And a look back at the life of Hollywood screenwriter Frances Marion, who helped pave the way for women in the industry. ♪♪ >> Major funding for "Pbs news weekend" has been provided by -- >> Consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people connect.
Our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. Visit consumercellular.tv. >> With the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪♪ and friends of the newshour.
♪♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. Thank you. John: Good evening.
I'm John yang. Former vice president Mike pence has delivered his sharpest criticism yet of Donald Trump for his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. At an annual white-tie dinner thrown by Washington journalists last night, pence said, "President trump was wrong.
I had no right to overturn the election. His reckless words endangered my family, and everyone at the capitol that day. I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable." The comments at the event, where cameras were barred, widen the rift between the former running mates, as pence considers his own run for the presidency. Tomorrow, former president trump campaigns in Iowa.
Treasury secretary Janet Yellen says there will be no federal bailout of California's failed silicon valley bank, the second biggest bank failure in U.S. History, and the largest since the 2008 financial crisis. Yellen said banking regulators are trying to "Meet the needs" of depositors whose accounts exceeded the $250,000 limit on federal deposit insurance. Most of the accounts were larger than the limit. Two migrant smuggling boats carrying nearly two dozen people capsized in the surf late last night off the San Diego coast, killing eight people.
Seven more are missing. Officials said it's one of the deadliest migrant smuggling incidents ever for that area. Illegal border crossings have reached record highs under the Biden administration. Crossing the border by sea has long been a risky alternative.
And in the occupied west bank, Israeli forces shot and killed three armed Palestinians this morning. Israel claims the militants opened fire first. Already this year, Israeli forces have killed 80 Palestinians, as Israel has stepped up its raids in the west bank. Meanwhile, in tel aviv last night, for the 10th consecutive week, massive protests over prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to allow lawmakers to be able to overturn supreme court decisions.
Opponents of that measure say it would eliminate the checks and balances in the Israeli government. Still to come on "Pbs news weekend," how one journalist left Russia so he could freely report on his own country. And looking back at the life of screenwriter Frances Marion, a trailblazer for women in Hollywood.
♪♪ >> This is "Pbs news weekend" from weta studios in Washington. John: The battle lines are being drawn for the 2024 presidential campaign, with Republicans leaning in on education and social issues, and Democrats focusing on abortion rights and medicare. Lisa Desjardins spoke with Montana's democratic senator Jon tester about some of the looming fights ahead.
Lisa: Critical junctures are fast approaching on spending, the national debt, the military and the next national election. And playing a role in all of them is the senior senator from Montana, Democrat Jon tester. Senator tester, thanks for joining us. Let's start with the nation's money problem.
Just this week, a key Republican on budget matters said that the market should be ready for a possible plunge this summer because of a potential standoff over the national debt. You're an appropriator. What's your level of concern about this? Sen. Tester: Well, look, when
you start talking about the debt limit, I'm very concerned because that's really playing with fire and could drive our economy into a depression really, really quickly if we don't pay our debts. Look, the debt is very serious business and we should shut down and have a bipartisan group with government and non-government folks get together and put forth some recommendations after they study the topic about how we can get our debt under control using common sense rather than political talking points. And I think if we're able to do that, we can set the country on a very secure path for economic growth and get our debt under control. But if we're going to continue to use the debt as a political football, depending on who's in power and when they're in power, I don't think we'll ever come to a solution on the issue. I think it can be done, but we have to remove politics from this equation.
Lisa: As for specific ideas, Republicans want spending cuts. And you are one of the people who controls the purse strings. Do you think congress should cut the federal budget this year, and in particular on defense, which is the subcommittee you oversee? Sen. Tester: Well, look, I think everybody should be open to take a look at their own shop and make a determination whether there are things we can cut. But the fact of the matter is this, what are you going to cut and how are you going to cut it? We know that China is a piercing threat. We've seen what militarily and economically, we've seen what Russia has done with Ukraine.
We know that Iran and north Korea are bad actors out there that want to do us harm. And so from military standpoint, what do you want to cut? Because the truth is, is that I think make sure we have a strong military is really important. Lisa: Another long term problem is the border. And you put out this tweet saying that you are sick and tired of lip service and president Biden must do more. What do you want to happen? Sen. Tester: So I think
president Biden must do more. I think congress must do more to I don't think is at all on the administration or the administration plays a big role. From my perspective, it's more technology.
It's more manpower. Guess what? Those both cost money. And if we're going to do it, that's what it takes. If we're going to secure our border, that is what it's going to take.
We've got some great technology companies out there that can determine what's happening on on our on our borders. They can determine what's coming across in our ports. But those technologies cost money and it costs money to to share and distribute the information that comes off of those technologies. And everybody knows we need more manpower on the southern border.
And I would say the northern border, too, as far as that goes. And so those those are the solutions, I do think is is a serious problem. And the administration needs to do more.
Lisa: An idea Republicans are still pushing is that of some kind of border barrier. Sometimes they call it a wall. Do you think that congress should fund more border barriers? Sen. Tester: I think there are points on the southern border where a physical barrier makes perfect sense. I think a wall from sea to shining sea is not a very smart idea. I think it's a gross waste of money, and I don't think it'll last the test of time.
But there are some points in our border where a physical barrier absolutely can provide some protection, and those are the areas we should look at. Lisa: You're saying you want more than we have now? Sen. Tester: Yeah, I mean, look, I would say that, but I would I would leave that to the professionals who are on the border to make that determination where it's most effective. Lisa: But they know that you are in charge of the funding. Sen. Tester: Yeah, that's right.
But they have to make the presentation and saying, this is what we need. This is why we need it. And then that I can make the decision whether we need to fund it or not.
Lisa: You are also pushing hard to correct what you see as a major problem for some veterans. A group of combat veterans who were retired because of their injuries in the military now cannot receive both disability and their retirement pay. You want to change that? Why? Sen. Tester: So this is called the major Richard star act, and this is a situation where a person who serves in our military, gets injured while they're on the job in the military, and it forces them to retire because of their disability.
I think it's only fair that those folks get retirement and disability pay. Their ability to earn income has been severely altered and they've been forced out of the military because of their injury. I just think it's the right thing to do. We have an all volunteer military. We want folks to sign up. We have to live up to our end of the agreement.
And I think passing the measure, Richard star would live up to our end of the agreement where when people get hurt in their service to this country and are forced to retire out of the military, that they get concurrent receipts for both disability and retirement. Lisa: This country is still so divided. And this week, of course, we saw a lot of news and discussion about January 6.
I want to ask you, where do you think we are in terms of the tension around falsehoods? And just as a country in this divided time? Sen. Tester: I think the country is incredibly divided right now. I think that that division puts our democracy at risk like we've never seen it before in my lifetime at least.
I was here on January 6. I saw what happened. I didn't even fully understand what was happening while I was watching people storm the capitol. But in the end, it was about our elections, which are fundamental to our democracy. And if we've got folks out there that can overthrow our elections based on false information, we've got big problems. We have an incredible system of free speech and free religion and second amendment rights.
And we've got folks out there that want to destroy that. And I don't think they really think they're destroying it, but in fact, they are. Because when you undermine our elections, you're undermining our democracy and you're putting it at risk. Lisa: During this exact time is when you have decided to run for reelection, even though you have a huge political target on your back.
Republicans want your seat. There will be a lot of attack ads against you. And I know you probably rather be on your farm than with those ads. Why are you running again? And did other senators like, say, senator Schumer, ask you to do it? Sen. Tester: Look, Lisa, I'm a farmer.
You're exactly right. And I bring that dirt under your fingernails perspective to Washington, D.C. And Montana. Common sense.
And I just think we need that in Washington, D.C. We need somebody who's going to fight for rural America. We need somebody who's going to fight for our veterans, for a strong defense for main street businesses. And I think I bring that that that that skill set to the table. I had a number of my colleagues that I like and they like me, asked me to come back.
But the truth is, the decision was really made by my family, by my wife, my kids, my grandkids, and and for the good of the country, quite frankly. I think that the division also had an impact on my decision. I think it's important we try to bring this country together and it's important that we move on to our kids and our grandkids can have a great quality of life and the same kind of opportunities that my parents and grandparents gave me.
Lisa: Senator Jon tester in Montana, thank you. Sen. Tester: Appreciate the visit with you, Lisa. Thank you. ♪♪ John: Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Moscow has continued its clampdown on independent media within its borders.
Many Russian journalists fled rather than risk imprisonment for not toeing the government's line. One of them is journalist Mikhail Zeiger, whose book "War and punishment: Putin, zelensky, and the path to Russia's invasion of Ukraine" is coming out in July. Thanks so much for joining us. Mikhail: Thank you for having me.
John: You left Moscow for Berlin on February 27, 2022. That was three days after the invasion. You said it was clear you had to leave.
Why? Mikhail: Yeah, I felt like it was my moral obligation. I knew that you cannot live in a fascist country. And if your country invades another independent country, you have to fight against it. I was like the first hours after the invasion. I've written an open letter that was cosigned by Russia's prominent writers, filmmakers. And afterwards, it was reposted and signed by millions of Russians.
But that was obvious that we, I could not stay inside the country because I might have been imprisoned immediately for spreading fakes about Russian army. John: Has anyone in your circle of journalistic friends or colleagues remained in Russia, and what are you hearing from them? Mikhail: Some of my friends are so bold and brave and crazy, I would say. So they deliberately stayed. They know how much risk is that.
But still, but they chose that super risky way to stay in Moscow. They live expecting that the police or someone, some security forces to to come to interrogate or to search in the apartments every single day, every single morning. But they are still working. They are blogging, they are having their YouTube channels.
It is hard. The country is really depressed and that depression is spread all over. Those journalists who continue working as independent journalists inside the country, they are very depressed with that illusionary atmosphere that nothing has changed.
John: And are they able to post their work on YouTube, on the internet? Mikhail: You know, YouTube is still not blocked in Russia. And you might know that YouTube has a very, really important role in Russia because all the traditional TV channels are propaganda. So YouTube is being watched as per television by those Russians who oppose these war.
And YouTube is still working and 'still very important. Mikhail: -- John: Are you able to continue your work in exile? Mikhail: Absolutely. All Russian journalists who have fled continue working.
And I would say that we didn't have any political process for many years. There are no opposition politicians in Russia. So news media, independent journalists are probably the most important political figures, political activists in today's Russian society, because Russian society is everywhere now. Berlin, Riga, tel aviv, dubai, New York City. Many, many cities of America. There is the new, huge wave of Russian immigration, up to 1 million people who oppose Putin's war and not there is nothing that unifies them except for independent media.
John: Can you foresee any circumstances under which you would want to return to Russia? Mikhail: I know that it's impossible until Vladimir Putin is still is still president of this country. I hope that when he's not alive, the situation can get better. I'm sure that the war against Ukraine will be stopped. The moment when he's dead.
And that's that's absolutely 100% the the condition of any possible future for Russia. First, Ukraine should win this war and then we will start to deal with our problems. That's I worked for for many Russians, that number one, priority number one is the victory for Ukraine. John: But you seem to be saying nothing's really going to change. Nothing's going to get better until Vladimir Putin is out of the way. Mikhail: I'm afraid so, yeah.
And, you know, I'm not -- I'm not optimistic about his departure as well, because I'm not sure that when he's gone, the system would collapse. As we know, after Stalin's death, soviet union existed for almost 40 years. John: Michael Zeiger, thank you very much. Mikhail: Thank you.
♪♪ John: Emi kiyotah is an internationally recognized leader on healthy aging. Inspired by her grandmother's experience, kiyotah helps create elder communities with spaces that accommodate everyone. Tonight, kiyota shares her brief but spectacular take on designing better lives for all. Emi: I was born and raised in a small farm in the countryside of Japan. My mother's side of grandmother who really looked after me for a long time, decided that she had to go to a nursing home because her memory was slipping. Six months later, I visited her and I asked at the nursing home with her name and no one knew.
I just have to do something about this situation. ♪♪ what the environmental gerontologists do is to study about how environment impact on people's behaviors. Being around older person was really part of my life growing up. I think it's a different phase of life that they're going through.
But when I see them, what I see is their strength and what I see is their spirit. Aging is very different because you're gonna grow into it. So when we have ageism issues to others, we are actually discriminating against ourself. My interest of the design for nursing home was coming from my grandmother's experience. You know, she was not able to go out from the room, everything was locked from outside. And I felt like the design was not based on the trust of what older person can do.
My approach of designing spaces is really try to see the point of view of the users. How can we create the space that accommodate everybody's needs? To create socially integrated and sustainable community that value older person rather than looking after older person. What we try to do is to change the narrative. Too often, you know, our elders are cut off from daily life of our society. We want to change that by really working with older persons from the beginning.
We construct with elders to find the space where they can find contributions to the community rather than they go in and being looked after. We have to ask older people how they want to live because older people are the experts actually of their own life. And why not ask them? One thing I cannot reconcile is that if I were to be able to do this for my grandmother who already passed, she could have had a better life. That is something that I cannot really let go. I'm sure my grandmother will be happy if I help others, but I just wish I could help her, too.
My name is emi kiyota. This is my brief but spectacular take on designing better life for us. ♪♪ John: On this oscars Sunday during women's history month, we're higlighting another story of achievement that has faded over time. Tonight, a pioneer in the film industry whose storied career made her one of the most prolific and respected writers of her time. Frances Marion may not have been a household name, but the actors who starred in the movies she wrote were. Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler, Greta garbo, Marion Davies, Wallace beery, Lionel barrymore.
Marion wrote the scenes that helped define their careers. She worked in every facet of film production. Training under director and producer Lois weber, another early Hollywood female pioneer.
As a screenwriter, Marion built a reputation for highlighting actors' strengths and creating original characters. From 1915 to 1946, spanning the silent and sound eras, Marion wrote more than 300 screenplays. She was among the highest paid screenwriters in the world, male or female, and directed two films. For "The big house" in 1930, Marion became the first woman to win an academy award for writing. She won another in 1932 for "The champ."
During World War I, Marion took a hiatus from Hollywood and was a war correspondent. After her Hollywood career ended, she taught scriptwriting at the university of southern California and wrote a number of books, including a memoir, "Off with their heads!," which was published in 1972. And that is "Pbs news weekend" for this Sunday. I'm John yang.
For all of my colleagues, thanks for joining us. Have a good week. ♪♪ >> Major funding for pbs news weekend has been provided by -- >> For 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no contract, wireless plans designed to help people do more what they like. Our team come help find a plan that fits you.
To learn more, visit consumercel lular.tv. ♪♪ >> And with the ongoing support of these individuals and 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.