THE CHAIRMAN – Scott Pelley speaks with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about the economy and interest rates in a rare sit-down television interview. Henry Schuster is the producer.
ACLU – Lesley Stahl reports on the increased power of the ACLU, flush with donations and new memberships since Donald Trump was elected. Shari Finkelstein is the producer.
GENETIC REVOLUTION – A successful clinical trial for a gene therapy for sickle cell anemia may be a cure for the painful, chronic and often deadly disease. Dr. Jon LaPook reports. Denise Schrier-Cetta and Megan Kelty are the producers.
MEDIA ALERT: FED CHAIR JEROME POWELL APPEARS ON “60 MINUTES” IN A RARE TV INTERVIEW, SUNDAY ON CBS
Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, gives a rare sit-down television interview to Scott Pelley to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, March 10 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Powell sat with Pelley this week in Washington, D.C., for a wide-ranging discussion that includes the Fed Chairman’s remarks on interest rates, the outlook for America’s economy and whether the U.S. financial system is vulnerable to cyberattacks.
The interview comes almost 10 years to the day since Pelley’s ground-breaking interview with then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke during the Great Recession. Bernanke and his successor, Janet Yellen, appear alongside Powell in one of the interviews for this report to discuss how they advised him to handle the job and the criticism that comes with it.
Could the ACLU be modeling itself after, of all groups, the NRA? The almost century-old champion of individuals’ rights and liberties, flush with unprecedented increases in members and donations since Donald Trump became president, has been active like never before. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed 113 lawsuits against the Trump administration so far. And they have set out to turn all those new enthusiastic members into a grassroots civil liberties army they’re calling “People Power.” It’s a tactic taken from the playbook of the National Rifle Association. Lesley Stahl reports on the new, more powerful ACLU on the next edition of 60 MINUTES Sunday, March 10 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Faiz Shakir, who until last week was ACLU political director, told Lesley Stahl the ACLU can learn from the NRA. “They’re building civic society around their issue. You go to gun clubs and gun shows even PTA meetings and church meetings with your fellow activists. And I think that is inspirational in some regards for us, to think about mobilizing your issues as a life style.”
Just as the NRA built a bloc of gun rights voters using slogans like “Stand and Fight,” the ACLU wants a powerful bloc of civil rights and civil liberties voters. Their slogan is “Vote like Your Rights Depend on It.”
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says that unlike the NRA though, his organization will not tell people who to vote for; that would violate the group’s longstanding policy of non-partisanship. “What is different is that we don’t pick a candidate. We don’t give money to a candidate. We don’t have a PAC,” says Romero.
The ACLU has a strict policy against partisanship – this is part of its commitment to defend anyone whose rights are being violated by the government, regardless of political party or even hateful beliefs. It has represented everyone from communists to neo-Nazis and their right to march in Skokie, Ill. But some believe that in the organization’s recent attempt to beef up its political arm, it has crossed the line into partisanship, pointing to ads the ACLU ran in two governor’s races last fall – one praising a candidate’s record, the other criticizing a candidate’s record. Although both ads ended with the tagline “The ACLU does not endorse or oppose candidates,” critics say the ads were in effect doing just that.
Ira Glasser, formerly the group’s longtime executive director, is publicly voicing his concern. “I think it’s strategically weakening its mission. The best strategy of protecting civil liberties is not to be partisan,” he tells Stahl. “Nobody could look at that ad and not think it was a campaign ad…the fact that they deny it is just dissembling…dishonest.”
Says Romero, “It would be almost malpractice if in this moment we said, ‘Oh, we’re not going to engage the political process because we’re afraid of being called partisan.’ When our issues are at play, like immigrants’ rights, and voting rights, and reproductive rights, and LGBT rights, we have an affirmative obligation to step up.”