Reader questions were edited for typos and remain in their original format.
iCriticalTheory: Chris Hayes, your book Twilight of the Elites has impacted me greatly & Up w/ Chris literally influenced me to switch majors: I am now a Political Science major and active with Young Activists United - St. Louis.
What are you currently reading? Also, Dead Prez, Let’s Get Free!, one of the best hip hop albums of all time. Agree or disagree? Fav. song from album? #inners
Chris Hayes: Let’s Get Free is, indeed, great, though I don’t think all time Top Ten. That’s awesome about TOTE’s influence on your educational trajectory. Right now I just started Greg Grandin’s amazing new book Empire of Necessity about Melville and slavery in the New World.
@chembaron: I’m an American living in the UK enjoying the benefits of social healthcare. Are you jelly? #inners
Chris Hayes: Ha! Well, I’m a great admirer of the NHS, but not jealous of having David Cameron as my country’s elected leader. (Though I will admit it would make me tremendously happy to see the U.S. GOP adopt the Tories position on climate change)
@jarrodmyrick: Do you agree w/ me that #UBI should be power-pumped thru budget reconciliation? #inners
Chris Hayes: Your indefatigable advocacy for a UBI is one of my favorite parts of twitter. If we could ever get a UBI proposal with a shot at passing the Senate, it would have to be through reconciliation, so: yes!
Chris Hayes: I’m glad you asked. The series premiere’s on April 13th on Showtime. I *just* tracked the vocals for my first episode, which I’m really proud of, and it will air on April 27th. As for coverage on All In we’ve always got more climate coverage planned!
inners4life: I’ve long believed that the GOP was missing a huge political opportunity by seizing the issue of criminal justice – mainly sentencing and drug policy. It’s a totally up-for-grabs issue in that neither party has been particularly “good” on it (though, by “good” I come from a bias against current policy and in favor of a more liberal/libertarian policy). With Rand Paul’s ascendancy, it seems like the GOP can distinguish itself from the Democrats on this (as the Dems are moving very incrementally of late). What are your thoughts, and could this be the way the Republicans broaden appeal to those communities most victimized by racist and ineffective criminal justice policies?
Chris Hayes: Lefties like myself who are opposed to our current criminal justice policies have long hoped for a powerful political coalition with conservatives skeptical of state power to change a system that puts more people in prison, per capita, than any other democracy in the world. I think we’re seeing lots of encouraging movement toward such a coalition, lots of grassroots interest among certain portions of the right, but we’re still a ways a way.
billyban: When both houses of Congress are a majority of Republicans this fall what do you think will happen to Obamacare?
Chris Hayes: Short answer: if R’s control the Senate, I don’t think you’ll see much that successfully dismantles the core of the law. I imagine some implementation funding will be cut, but barring some historically unprecedented wave, there won’t be a veto-proof majority in either house, and there’s just no way that in his final two years in office the president will do anything that will endanger the long-term viability of his most significant domestic legislative accomplishment.
Cagan: My question concerns Senator Ted Cruz. I have suspected and suggested for some time that his actual target is Senate majority leader. I believe his latest action toward Senator McConnell support my concerns. Do you agree?
Chris Hayes: I don’t think Senate majority leader is what he has his eyes on: if he did, he wouldn’t be going out of his way to infuriate his fellow GOP senators who will, of course, be the ones voting for Senate majority leader. Given that a former staffer of his just left to join a Draft Ted Cruz for President SuperPAC, I think he’s got his eyes on another job…
Jessica Ballard-Monroe: I completely understand the need to cover more pressing news each evening, but might there be any interest at All In for a segment on the newest budget proposal released by the Congressional Progressive Caucus? In general, how do you feel about the television news media’s role in using airtime to examine these types of policy proposals – especially given the state of our federal politics and the strong unlikelihood that most proposals will ever come to fruition?
Chris Hayes: It’s a really good question. We’ve batted around doing a segment on the CPC’s budget, which really is substantively great but tbh, hard to make great TV out of: no sound, tape, nothing really much visual. It’s a real challenge to turn that material into compelling, dynamic, visual TV and that’s the mundane reason we haven’t covered it yet.
@WalkerBristol: Any advice for recent graduates or young folks trying to break into the field of progressive journalism? What was most helpful to you when you were getting started?
Chris Hayes: Write a lot! For any outlet you can. No better training than doing.
Billybam: I note that in virtually all media accounts on Ukraine that there is a universal “Putin evil” tone. Not that I think he is a great man, but as your guest Stephen Cohen put it, we also need to look at events from the other’s point of view. There has been literally zero coverage of what is going on with the “legitimate” Ukrainian government. For example a party called Svoboda controls roughly a third of the legislature and cabinet. Svoboda is an extreme right wing nationalist party which has all the trappings of a neo-Nazi group. And has been the group supplying the more violent elements of the protests. Sen McCain has been photographed with him on stage. Former ambassador McFaul even mentioned “Nazis” but then immediately walked that back. Then there is the possible involvement of the US mission there, particularly Victoria Nuland that have done everything they can to foment this revolution. I believe that our media, including MSNBC has not been giving us the whole story. Will we see reporting on this and perhaps another appearance of Stephen Cohen?
Chris Hayes: We’ve covered Svoboda and Right Sector quite a bit on the show (in fact last night we played some very disturbing footage of Svoboda thugs berating the head of state TV on camera and forcing his resignation) I think the resurgence of far-right parties in this interim coalition is worrying. Many Ukrainians insist that there is no real popular support for the parties, but that is going to be tested on the new elections in May 26. My fear is that the increasing aggression of the Russians will help bolster their position.
@Charvettebey: Greetings, I love your show, however, you and I disagree about Edward Snowden, I think he’s a traitor. Are you wondering how he feels about being stuck in Russia and if he has had any influence on previous events due to the information he has shared? Thanks!
Chris Hayes: As of now I haven’t seen any credible or confirmed reporting indicating he’s “shared” information w/ anyone other than the journalists he gave it to. He says he didn’t, and it’s possible he’s lying, but I’d have to see some actual evidence of that (as opposed to anonymous speculation) to be convinced that’s the case.
@JennMJack: Chris, I am moving to Chicago in a few months and I keep hearing about how the increased levels of segregation there contribute to the way violence is articulated in the media. With gentrification making headlines recently (see: Spike Lee), how do we intellectually approach racialized neighborhoods?
Chris Hayes: This is a great question. When I lived in Chicago from 2001 to 2007, I was always struck by how the narratives of violence and crime were different from NYC in the high-crime years of the 1990s. The big difference being the racial and economic segregation of Chicago was so intense that lots of the city’s more affluent residents felt like the city was incredibly safe and clean and everything was great. Meanwhile the city had a stupendously high murder rate, but those murderers were happening in neighborhoods that were almost 100% black and brown. This meant that the city’s establishment tolerated a much higher crime level than they would have if that violence was perceived as threatening more politically powerful constituencies.
I don’t have a broader thesis about “approaching racialized neighborhoods” except to say that building racially and economically integrated neighborhoods that are thriving and at a kind of durable equilibrium remains a massive policy challenge.