The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 03/06/15
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: All right. Thanks to you at home for joining
us this hour.
They thought they had a plan. They thought they knew what was going
to happen. But then it all fell apart in the most public way possible.
Last week, at exactly this time, you might remember we were in a
count down to the shut down of the Department of Homeland Security, because
Republicans thought they had a plan, but their plan did not work.
Republicans in Congress thought they would get President Obama over a
barrel. They would force him to change immigration policies by threatening
to shut down the Homeland Security Department if he didn`t.
Now, President Obama has faced these kinds of threats from
congressional Republicans before. He`s basically now adopted a consistent
policy of not blinking when they do stuff like this. He just waits for
them to come to their senses and refuses to talk to them until they do.
But the Republicans, they love this stuff. They love this tactic. I
think they like how it plays with their base voters, even if voters at
large don`t like it very much. But they appear to like trying to wield
leverage against President Obama to try to use, you know, holding the
government against the way by it`s throat, as a way of trying to force the
president to do something he doesn`t want to do.
And so, the Republicans love this stuff. They have a plan. The
Republican leadership put forward their plan to keep the fight with
President Obama going for another three weeks. They were going to push it
back the homeland security shutdown for three more weeks so that they can
keep this fight with President Obama going for three more weeks. So, they
put forward their own bill, three weeks of funding, that was the Republican
They took a recess in the House, they counted their votes, they
whipped their votes on their side, to make sure they had enough votes to
pass near own plan, and when they were sure they had enough votes to pass
their own plan, they brought their own plan to the floor and their plan was
not a good plan, it turns out because even they had counted, even though
they were sure they had the votes, they didn`t have the votes.
Nancy Pelosi had to weigh in to the Republicans mess and say,
basically, you boys down here? You need them so help?
And then, it was Nancy Pelosi who gave them the votes she needed to
pass a short-term extension and then Republicans this week just gave up.
They gave up. And so, yes, Homeland Security did not shut down, and the
Republicans got nothing from President Obama in exchange for pushing it
right to the brink of shutting down. They got nothing, zero. That was
their leverage, nothing.
And so, President Obama actually held a little signing ceremony and
everything when it came time to finally sign on the dotted line for his
total victory in this fight that the Republicans had picked. This fight
that they picked and they not only lost, but they lost it on their own
terms. The terms they set when they prove that they couldn`t even count
their own votes on their own bill. Tada!
The man who was in charge of counting the votes for the Republicans
in the House, the man who they specifically picked for that job, supposedly
because he would with so great at counting even the votes of the rabid guys
who like messing with the leadership so much, the guy they picked to count
the votes and whip the votes and make sure that the votes were lined up, so
that anything they introduce, they would know whether it was going to pass
or not. So, things like what happened this past week would never happen.
The guy they picked for that job, his name is Steve Scalise, Republican
congressman from Louisiana.
Since Steve Scalise has been in charge of counting and wrangling
votes for the Republicans in the House, they have introduced and then
yanked at the last minute their own abortion bill, they have introduced and
then yanked at the last minute their own border bill, they have introduced
and then yanked at the last minute their own education bill, and then with
hours to spare before shutting down the Department of Homeland Security,
they introduce, didn`t yank, and failed to pass their own bill, much to
their own surprise, which made them have to get rescued by Nancy Pelosi.
And that`s why we have a Department of Homeland Security.
Steve Scalise has only had this new leadership job counting votes for
a couple months now. He appears to be terrible at this job. Now, Steve
Scalise was a controversial choice for that leadership anyway, not because
of his math skills, or how they might be proven or not on the floor, but
because of what he now describes as a mistake in his past, when he spoke to
a white supremacist gathering in his hometown of Louisiana.
You know, David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan leader, the white supremacist
guy, Steve Scalise spoke to David Duke`s group in Louisiana early in his
political career. Steve Scalise at the time told the local press in
Louisiana that they should see him, they should see him Steve Scalise, as
David Duke without the baggage.
“Roll Call” did an article about David Duke at the time. Again,
David Duke who was a Klan leader, they did an article in 1999 about the
prospect of David Duke making a KKK run for Congress from Louisiana. And
“Roll Call” for that article, they talked to other Republicans in the state
who might be interested in running for that same congressional seat.
This is from the article from 1999, quote, “Another potential
candidates, State Representative Steve Scalise says he embraces many of the
same conservative views as David Duke, but he is far more viable.” Scalise
told “Roll Call”, quote, the voters in this district are smart enough to
realize they need to get behind someone who only believes on the issues
they care about, but also can get elected. David Duke has proven he can`t
get elected.” That is the end of the quote.
David Duke has proven he can`t get elected. But he, Steve Scalise,
could. And he did.
And then Republicans this year, after the reports of him addressing
the white supremacist were published, this year, the Republican Party made
him their number three leader in Congress, because he so good at counting
the votes – which actually he is terrible at.
They had never expressed any public concerns about his David Duke
stuff. During that whole controversy, Republican leadership in Congress
never said anything on the record that they ever have a problem with it.
Tomorrow, when thousands of people converge on Selma, Alabama, to
commemorate 50 years since the Bloody Sunday civil rights march across the
Edmund Pettus Bridge, President Obama will be there with his family for the
commemoration and the march across that bridge. Congressman John Lewis who
led the march back in 1965 and who was beaten to the point of a fractured
skull at that march, John Lewis will be there as well, as he has at every
commemoration year, year after year, always asking other members of
Congress to please come with him to Selma, please come with him to be there
in person to remember Selma.
John Lewis has made a particular effort for this 50th anniversary
commemoration this year, and indeed, more than 100 members of Congress are
expected to be there this weekend to commemorate Selma.
But from the House, from the Republican House-controlled out, as of
this afternoon, none of their leaders were going. This was the headline
all day at Politico.com today, “GOP leaders to skip Selma event.” None of
the leaders of the House, not Speaker John Boehner, or the majority leader,
Kevin McCarthy, or Steve Scalise, the number three leader, I suppose it
might be particularly awkward to send Steve Scalise.
This was the word all day, no top Republicans going to Selma. Thanks
And then late tonight, it`s first reported by Dana Bash, at about
7:00 p.m. Eastern tonight, late tonight, Kevin McCarthy apparently had a
change of heart. So, now, Kevin McCarthy has decided he will make the trip
to Selma after all. We reached out to his office tonight, they confirmed
the trip is now on his schedule, a bit of a late addition.
The march in Selma 50 years ago was for voting rights. The blood
spilled led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. The conservative
majority in the Supreme Court two years ago gutted that same Voting Rights
Act, saying that if the country was ever going to get those protections
back, the Congress would have to pass a new Voting Rights Act to do that.
But Republicans in Congress have refused to do that.
And so, we`re in a weird situation, where former President George W.
Bush is going to be there at the Selma march, tomorrow. And President
Obama will be there tomorrow with his family. And 100 members of Congress
will be there. Up until tonight, none of the Republican leadership was
going to be there.
Mitch McConnell will not be there either. Mitch McConnell`s
Republican-controlled Senate right now is busy slow-walking the nomination
of the first every African-American woman nominated to be attorney general.
She was nominated to be attorney general before a man named Ash Carter was
nominated for defense secretary. She was nominated before him.
No substantive objections have been raised to either of their
confirmations. She was nominated first. He now is the secretary of
defense, already serving at the Pentagon, but the Republicans in Congress
won`t even let there be a vote on her yet. She has waited longer than any
attorney general nominee in decades for a vote on her nomination.
So, Mitch McConnell has been very busy with that in the Republican
controlled Senate. He won`t with there this weekend.
The last major national civil rights commemoration we had as a
country where the president spoke and it was a true national event was
August, 2013. A massive, massive event held at the Lincoln Memorial to
honor the march on Washington from 50 years ago where Dr. Martin Luther
King brought his “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the most famous speeches
in human history.
Republican leadership in Congress in total, the Republican leadership
in Congress skipped that event as well. None of them went.
MSNBC is going to have special coverage this weekend of the Selma
march, the Selma commemoration, President Obama speech and all the rest of
it. But honestly, there will not be equal time for Republican leaders,
because apparently, they really do not care about this stuff. At least not
enough to be here, save the last minute late add from Kevin McCarthy, after
a whole day of reporting that none of them were going to be there.
It is one thing to use these historic benchmarks to think about the
progress made by our country on civil rights, right? The progress made by
our country on civil rights and racial division and racial hate. It is one
thing to use these things as a benchmark to think about our country`s
uneven ragged dissatisfying progress on race.
It is also hard to avoid this start modern fact though, that in one
of the two major political parties right now – they really don`t even care
about the basic window dressing on this stuff any more.
Steve Scalise, David Duke without the baggage? Sure, put him in the
leadership. We won`t say anything about the David Duke stuff, we`re fine
Voting Rights Act? No. Selma? Busy.
This should not be a Democratic or Republican thing. Honestly, you
would think that it would be. But it is true and it is hard and it is
gross to see that in 2015, it inarguably is.
Joining us now is Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina.
He`s chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with us tonight. It`s a
real pleasure to have you here.
REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you very much,
MADDOW: Congressman, I know that you are going to be in Alabama,
you`re going to be Selma this weekend for the 50th anniversary.
Can you talk just a little bit about what it means for you as
chairman of the CBC, as a long serving member of Congress, at this time in
our country, what it means to you to be at this commemoration?
BUTTERFIELD: Thank you, Rachel. I bring greetings to you from
Montgomery, Alabama. More than 100 members of Congress came in this
afternoon. It is a bipartisan delegation.
We are here this weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary not only
the voting rights act, but the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. This
great event this weekend is going to hopefully inspire and encourage many
of my Republican friends to understand the history of the voting rights
movement and what it meant to the African-Americans and eventually what it
meant to the country. It`s going to be a great weekend.
MADDOW: There is this troubling contemporary fact right now, which
is that there is a commemoration, what people bled to get to the Voting
Rights Act 15 years ago. And you got over 100 members of Congress there.
As you said, it is a bipartisan delegation, even one member of he
leadership joining – Mr. Kevin McCarthy saying late tonight that he will
be attending, even though he hadn`t previously planned to. There is a show
of support while the actual Voting Rights Act languishes, there really does
not seem to be any move from the Republicans to try to rescue it, try to
bring it back.
Do you think that this weekend, will be focused on that, we`ll put
specific pressure on that part of it?
BUTTERFIELD: Well, it`s good to hear that the majority leader Kevin
McCarthy is coming tomorrow to be part of this historic event. We want to
make a case to our Republican friends that the Voting Rights Act needs to
be repaired. Two years ago, the Supreme Court dealt a very severe blow.
It eliminated Section 5, which is that part of the law which protects
African-American communities all across the community from discriminatory
voting changes. That part of the law has been found to be unconstitutional
and now, we`re waiting on Congress to amend that part of the law so that we
can continue to enforce Section 5.
We have communities all across the country who would engage in
discriminatory practices if we were not to resurrect Section 5. And so,
we`ve got to have a strong voting rights act.
This weekend is to commemorate Bloody Sunday, but it`s also to make a
case that a strong Voting Rights Act is needed.
MADDOW: Are you optimistic about that, sir? I just have to ask you,
you are a man who practices real politics, you are a good vote counter and
I know you`ve been very pragmatic in the way that you`ve approached not
just civil rights issues but everything that you`ve worked on in your
career. Do you feel optimistic about the prospect that`s going to happen?
I did at one point. I don`t anymore.
BUTTERFIELD: Well, you know, Rachel, you and I talked about this
about a year ago, and let me tell you. I believe after this weekend, my
Republican colleagues are going to witness firsthand what African-Americans
and the South went through 50 years ago. And I believe that this will be
enlightening to enough of our Republican friends to begin a movement when
we return to Washington. And so, I`m going to remain hopeful and trusting
that we can get movement on the amendment of the Voting Rights Act.
And hopefully, this weekend, it would be that turning point that will
make it happen.
MADDOW: Congressman J.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, chairman of
the Congressional Black Caucus, thank you so much for your time tonight,
sir. I know it`s going to be a powerful weekend, a powerful event there.
Good luck to you this weekend. Enjoy.
BUTTERFIELD: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you, sir.
All right. We`ve got a lot to get to tonight, including yet another
oil train explosion. Some very good news that came out unexpectedly this
And we found out that somebody has been watching our show over the
FOX News Channel. We didn`t know, turns out they`re mad. We`ve got more
on that ahead.
MADDOW: So, another thing that we`re keeping an eye on tonight from
Congress is a developing story concerning Democratic Senator Bob Menendez
of New Jersey. Word leaked out today from unnamed sources that Senator
Menendez may soon be indicted by the Justice Department on federal
Now, the indictment of a serving U.S. senator is a very big deal.
The investigation reportedly focuses on whether Senator Menendez used his
office to help a donor friend of his in exchange for gifts or contributions
from that friend. Senator Menendez for his part, he defended himself
angrily at a brief conference tonight. He said that he`s done nothing
wrong and he has no plans to step down.
Justice Department officials have not commented on this story on the
record. The sources again for this again are unnamed sources, and it
should be pointed out that Senator Menendez has been the subject of rumors
of prosecution in the past, rumors that have not panned out in reality.
But, still, multiple sources tonight. It was CNN first, and then
multiple other news outlets thereafter, reporting that these charges
against the senator are pending and they could come within weeks. We still
got no word on exactly what those charges might be. And no official word
from justice. We`ll keep you posted as we learn more.
MADDOW: When an oil train with over 100 cars full of crude derailed
yesterday in Northwestern Illinois, right with the Iowa state line, some of
those tanker cars full of 70,000 gallons of North Dakota crude each, some
of those tanker cars punctured, or split open, and exploded into flames, as
you see here.
The brave firefighters of the Galena, Illinois, fire department, they
were there on site within half an hour, but those firefighters fairly
quickly determine that their capabilities as a fire department were no
match for the huge inferno of these burning exploding train cars.
So, the fire department retreated. They left thousands of dollars of
equipment behind. But they retreated yesterday. They left the oil train
fire to basically burn itself out.
It has not burn itself out. That oil train is still burning right
now. The derailment was yesterday afternoon. It is still on fire.
You can also see from these photos that the rail company`s initial
report yesterday that just of the trains 105 cars have gone off the tracks,
that estimate was way off. Today, we learned it was not six cars, it was
21 cars that went off of the tracks. As of this afternoon, the railway
says that of those 21 cars that went off of the tracks, 14 of them were
basically in a pig pile, all piled on top of each other. And of those 14
oil tanker cars, all piled on top of each other, they said they knew that 7
of the 14 were punctured already, and, of course, some of them have already
been on fire.
Firefighters now believe that two cars initially exploded, a fire
then spread to five cars. But the fire department said that the burning
oil was pooling under the cars, making it hard to confirm exactly how many
cars were on fire. And, of course, they`re all risk.
Right now, the cars are still burning well over 24 hours later.
Nobody knows how long it`s going to take to get this fire put out. But
here is the part where they start talking about a controlled burn, and it
starts to all seem kind of nuts.
Listen to this – we got this from the local sheriff`s department
today. OK. Apparently, one of the oil tanker cars that is obviously
ripped opened and has been burning, it`s a car that they have been spraying
down with water all day today, to try to keep it from not just burning, but
blowing up like a giant bomb. That`s been their strategy for dealing with
one of the burning cars. The problem is, that the runoff from the water
they were spraying on the ripped open tanker car, the runoff that is water
and oil from the breached burning car, that runoff is running off into a
little makeshift pond along side the wreck on the train tracks.
And that pond is getting full. And so, they don`t want to keep
spraying more water under that burning car to keep that burning car from
exploding if that means the pond of oil runoff water is going to breach its
banks and go flooding into the Galena River, and then presumably into the
Mississippi River, and the big wildlife refuge that they`re near.
They can`t just keep dumping water on this burning car without
polluting the river with all that oil. And so, they made the decision this
afternoon to stop spraying water – stop spraying the water keeping that is
keeping that burning car from blowing up. They`re stopping doing that so
that car is going to blow up. They`re making a deliberate decision about
Look at this from the local sheriff today, about the plan. Fire
responders will retreat to a safe distance after water is no longer sprayed
on the burning tank car. The cessation of the water being sprayed on the
tank will lead to a heat-induced tear of the already breached tank car,
thereby protecting the waterway, thereby protecting the waterway, but also
setting the thing off like a bomb, that car full of 70,000 gallons of crude
oil that they have no way to safely put out.
This is how we deal with bomb strains, with oil trains, when they
blow up in our towns and our communities. We let them burn because we have
no choice. We let them blow up and just hope they don`t take too much with
them when they go. That`s the strategy.
Remember, the last oil train explosion in West Virginia less than a
month ago, they have to let that one just burned, too. That one burned for
We also now know that just like that train that burned for four days
in West Virginia, this new train, this one that`s just derailed in Galena,
Illinois, this one that`s still on fire now tonight, this train, too, was
one of the ones with the new and improved rail cars that are supposed to
keep this sort of thing from happening, this new safer cars supposedly
designed not to just split open when they derail, those were the cars
involved in yesterday`s crash, they were also the cars involved in last
month`s crash, in West Virginia, they were also the cars used in the crash
a few days before that one in Ontario, Canada. They were also the cars
used in the oil train crash in Lynchburg, Virginia, last May.
All of these giant conflagrations involved the new safer rail cars
the industry volunteered to start using, to try to stop so many oil train
explosions from happening. This is all the new and improved stuff. And
right now, as the Obama administration works on new regulations for oil
trains, these cars are the standard that the rail car industry wants to be
used for those rules.
If our big national plan for fixing this problem is to put more of
these new and improved rail cars on the rails for these oil trains.
Honestly, as we watch them blow up all across the country week after week
after week, if our new plan is to make sure that everybody uses these kinds
of cars – that`s not much of a plan.
MADDOW: That rarest of all things. Here is some good news. I know.
Economists thought that in February this year, the economy would get
clobbered, for a variety of reasons, including terrible weather.
Economists thought that the job creation numbers in February would – to
use a technical term – stink.
They did not stink. In fact, much to the contrary, look at this –
look. There was, in fact, terrible weather all through February and that
usually means jobs are going to kick in the teeth. But not this time, jobs
are up way more than they were expected to be, and that is great news. It
is continued great news.
This is the 12th straight month of the economy creating more than
200,000 jobs a month. We have not had a stretch this good since 1995,
since the Clinton boom years.
And with the news today that the unemployment has dropped to 5.5
percent that means big picture, this is what has happened to the
unemployment over the course of the Obama presidency. Clip and save,
And with the most recent data coming in the middle of a terrible
winter, which would usually have a depressive economic effect. This really
is great news. We`re doing great. Yay!
But don`t worry – we can still screw it up. Today, just as the
excellent jobs numbers were coming in, excellent economic numbers, Treasury
Secretary Jack Lew sent House Speaker John Boehner this letter, letting him
know formally that the debt ceiling is upon us again. Oh, God! The debt
ceiling is upon us as of March 16th, which is a week from Monday. As of
that date, if Congress does not vote to raise the debt ceiling, the
government will have to start taking extraordinary measures, again, to keep
the country from defaulting on the debt and ruining our credit and crashing
So, treasury secretary in this letter today pleading with John
Boehner for the Congress to not let the government go into default, to not
deliberately crash the economy, and to take care of this most basic
business without, quote, “controversy or brinksmanship.” So, everything is
going great right now. Unless we deliberately screw it up in Congress
starting in a week.
What could possibly go wrong?
MADDOW: Here`s a thing that I learned today. There is a whole TV
show dedicated to people who pan for gold. Not like historically, but
today. It`s called “Gold Rush.” It airs on the Discovery Channel. It has
been for five seasons now while I apparently have been under a rock.
But the whole thing is literally about people who pan for gold in
Alaska, which is apparently big business there. It is also apparently
captivating to watch it done – get done. Millions of people watch the
show “Gold Rush” every week, seriously millions of people.
The same goes for something called “Talking Dead.” You heard about
the TV show about the zombies called “Walking Dead.” This is not that. I
mean, there is “Walking Dead”, but then there`s also an after show called
“Talking Dead”, that millions and millions of people watch every week after
they watch “The Walking Dead.”
Millions of people, even more millions that watch the “Gold Rush”
thing all on cable TV. The whole new world out there.
This show you`re watching right now is also on cable TV, but you know
what? Nobody in cable news has anything that can compete with like the
gold mining show, or the show that is a talk show about the episode that
just aired of the zombie show. In cable news, we just don`t operate in
We all get swamped by things like the zombie after show. And a
concern in the world of cable news right now is that the closest anybody in
cable news gets to good ratings, the closest anybody in cable news gets to
the ratings of like “Gold Rush” or the recap show for “The Walking Dead” is
the guy who`s the main anchor at the FOX News Channel, his name is Bill
The FOX News Channel is all conservative all the time. They`re the
Big Kahuna of cable news. And their big Kahuna, their flagship anchor,
their biggest star, the face of their network is Mr. O`Reilly, and there is
a problem now with Mr. O`Reilly that FOX apparently has not figured out
what to do with. FOX News so far has issued two corrections/clarifications
in cases where Mr. O`Reilly has said that he was an eyewitness to nuns
being shot in the head in El Salvador, and that he saw Irish terrorists
killing people in Belfast.
FOX News corrected/clarified both of those remarks to say that Mr.
O`Reilly hadn`t actually seen either of those things, he had only seen
pictures of them. But they have not so far corrected. They have not
touched at all.
What appears to be Mr. O`Reilly`s repeated false claim to have been
present at the suicide of a figure relative to the JFK assassination. They
have not touched that at all, despite the fact that his repeated claims
about that story really do appear to be just false. And he has made those
apparently false claims on the FOX News Channel as recently as this past
Instead of correcting or apologizing for it or even just publicly
addressing the substantive issues that have been raised about whether their
star anchor has repeatedly, insistently misrepresented his own role in news
stories, the initial instinct there when faced with this real problem they
have with their star anchor`s credibility, their initial instinct has been
to stand by him while he attacked reporters who are covering the story. He
has literally threatened reporters who have covered the story, even though
FOX employs lots of reporters themselves.
And presumably does not take kindly to their reporters being
threatened just for doing their job. So, that was sort of strategy round
one for how FOX News was handling this crisis surrounding their star
Now, they have moved on to strategy round two. Their new strategy
for trying to paper over this big problem that`s happening with their
biggest personality, with the most valuable person in cable news, with the
highest profile guy in this whole part of our national media, their
strategy is essentially to say who cares? He has great ratings.
When the media watchdog Web site, iMediaEthics.org, asked FOX News
this week about the growing list of allegations being made against Mr.
O`Reilly`s reporting, this is what they got back, quote, “When asked for
comment on the latest series of questions about O`Reilly, a FOX News
spokesperson told iMediaEthics by email that O`Reilly`s ratings have gone
FOX News also provided a statement to the Web site that did not
address the substance of the allegations against Mr. O`Reilly.
So, nothing to say about the substance, but his ratings are awesome.
When we reported on this story earlier this week, that`s what they told us,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We contacted the FOX News channel again to ask if they would
give us any comment on the substance of these allegations. In what was a
very unexpected and sort of amusing development, they didn`t – we asked
them for comment on the substance of the allegations. What they sent us
was a lot of information about how great Bill O`Reilly`s ratings are.
And yes, your ratings are great. I have seen your ratings shoot my
ratings right in the head – well, I`ve seen pictures of that, I should
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Since I said on Wednesday night, FOX has gotten very, very
mad at me, and mad at MSNBC apparently.
The conservative Web site Mediaite asked FOX for comment. FOX told
them that I, quote, “completely misrepresented their communication with
For the record, what I said on Wednesday night is quite literally
true. We asked for a comment from FOX on the substance of these new
allegations about Mr. O`Reilly, to which they have not yet issued any
substantive response, in response to that request from us.
They sent us a previous statement defending Bill O`Reilly that they
had previously sent us already and that we had previously read in full on
the air. They sent us contact information for Mr. O`Reilly`s book
publishers which is nice, but we were asking for a FOX News comment. They
also sent us links to other people`s articles about Bill O`Reilly, which is
also news but does not constitute from FOX News, which is what we asked
What we asked for was new comment about the substance of these new
allegations that they have never address. They gave us no new comment.
What they did give us unsolicited was all of that junk and a cash of data
on how great Bill O`Reilly`s ratings are. And, yes, your ratings are
Out of all of us in cable news, you get the closest to the zombie
after show and the gold rush guys. Mazel tov! Excellent for you, truly.
But seriously, that cannot be the response of a news network to
substantive allegations that your talent is lying repeatedly on the air
about news stories, repeatedly, and recently, and did I mention repeatedly?
Their response so far is essentially, ah, well, it turns out lying is
good business for us. It is untenable for a news organization to let one
of its employees other news reporters for doing their jobs. It is also
untenable for a news organization to say that the facts of what gets said
on their air, as news, do not matter. Not if the ratings are good.
Honestly, that cannot be your position. People treat FOX News like
it is sort of a news organization, right? The FOX News Channel and its
anchors are about to host a bunch of major party presidential debates
coming up as if they`re a news organizations. There are real news people
who work at the FOX News Channel, and the FOX News Channel wants to be seen
as a real news organization. In fact, they demand to be seen as a real
But if they`re defense is that it`s OK if they lie on the air as long
as it rates – this cannot hold. And maybe it is getting to them. Last
night, Mr. O`Reilly spent a good portion of his show, a very good portion
of his show attacking MSNBC on the basis of his superior ratings.
Yes, what you are selling your audience is working quantitatively.
But the substance of the allegations is still unanswered. And
honestly, the FOX News Channel really cannot be seen as a news channel, as
long as that continues to be true. And ultimately, maybe that`s what it
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRICIA MCKINNEY, TRMS SENIOR PLANNING PRODUCER: News dump day.
MCKINNEY: Here is some swag that we found to give away. This,
Sanita Shanani (ph), one of our producers, gave this to me, she said give
this away. I think it`s cluttering her desk. It`s like one of those view
masters, but it doesn`t have a –
MADDOW: It`s a view master without anything to view.
MCKINNEY: It has a view.
MADDOW: This is the saddest view master in the world. We don`t have
any view master.
It says it is 3D.
MCKINNEY: Yes, I know.
MADDOW: OK. Do you want a broken toy –
MCKINNEY: I think that fits with the mission of getting crap out of
I found this, seems vintage MSNBC clipboard.
MADDOW: This is not a press pass.
MCKINNEY: I can`t locate that logo in time, but it doesn`t look
fresh and new.
MADDOW: This is like a `90s, look at it, it says on the little fake
ticker, broadcasting around the globe on the worldwide Internet machine
MCKINNEY: This could be worth something.
MCKINNEY: And this actually was from the show, remember John
MADDOW: Oh, yes.
MCKINNEY: The 1995 John Boehner giving out checks from tobacco
companies on the floor on the House.
MADDOW: He apologized for that, didn`t he?
MCKINNEY: With the (INAUDIBLE) players. He apologized for it.
He`s sorry he did it on the House floor.
MADDOW: How many of these we have? How many checks, like a dozen?
MCKINNEY: Yes, so ten.
MADDOW: Yes. I think, clearly.
And this is a – we have to fix this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: More legal chaos in Alabama this week. Last month, the
federal judge ordered the state to start letting same sex couples marry.
And then the Alabama chief justice told the counties to not to do that.
And then the federal judge weighed back in and said, he really, I meant it.
And little by little, most of the counties in the Alabama, did start
granting gay couples marriage licenses. But then this week, they have
stopped it again. The full Alabama Supreme Court told the Alabama counties
again to stop letting people get married.
And so, now, it is not clear in Alabama who will be able to get
married, where, or when. In some cases, it is not even clear who in
Alabama is married right at this moment.
When that new decision came out this week from the Alabama Supreme
Court, the great and good George Takei decided that there ought to be a
public response. The idea was to raise, not your middle finger, but your
ring finger, your wedding ring finger to Alabama. Sort of the vision fun,
right. At first glance, it looks like one thing, then you realize it`s
The hashtag is also kind of a fun. The hashtag is #LuvUAlabama. You
can here that as sarcastic, right? LuvUAlabama, flip off. Or you can hear
that as love you Alabama, you`re going to get this, you know? Sending love
to you Alabama from Pennsylvania, or Ohio or Utah or wherever. Love you,
Alabama. We`re gong to love you through this.
On this show, we have made a real effort to do stories from states
where sometimes it can be difficult to just leave the basics of your life
if your politics res not well to the right. So, we`ve talked about like
the crazy interruptor lady in Texas who hassles the Muslim school kids, or
the Idaho legislator who thinks a woman`s mouth is connected to her uterus.
And honestly, we do these stories, not a lot of news shows do. But
we do these stories, and then often, we hear back from the world, some
version of, you know, go ahead and let Texas secede from the Union. Or, do
the rest of us really need Idaho anymore? We hear that a lot.
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma,
Alabama, where those marchers set off into the teeth of the segregationist
state government there, demanding the right to vote. They`re going to be
marching across the bridge again in Selma again this weekend. It will be a
When we see those historical pictures this weekend, when we see the
reply this weekend of those images from Alabama, from what those heroes
went up against on that march, it`s a good reminder that a lot of the
people who first walked into those police lines and into those police dogs,
a lot of those people were not just marching on Alabama, they were from
Alabama, marching in their own segregationist state to change their own
terrible, violent segregationist government.
And maybe it was the worst place in the country, but people from
there fought to change it. And we celebrate it as a national turning
point, a national victory that they did.
When you look at where things are terrible, it is probably natural to
say forget them, right? Say, never mind, Alabama, you`re a waste of space.
But back in the day, the people on the receiving end of those blows and
those cloud of tear gas, they were also Alabama, every bit as much.
And when you see all of that memorialized this weekend in Selma, you
might think to yourself, you know, instead of who needs Alabama, right?
You might instead think, love you, Alabama. Love you, Alabama. You are
going to get this. We`re going to love you through this.
MADDOW: Happy Friday. Happy Friday.
Splat. I`m going to need the help of my producer, Julia Nutter.
JULIA NUTTER, PRODUCER: Hello.
MADDOW: This is a first for the Friday night news dump game. We
have a repeat player basically. We were supposed to have him on last week,
but we had to bump him for breaking news. You might remember that Congress
waited until late Friday night last week to not shut down the Homeland
Security Department at the last second.
We had to cover that live until wicked late, so we ended up taping
the game last week. We posted it online, but we had so much fun with our
contestant, we wanted to give him another shot at glory on basic cable.
So, Julia, tell everybody who is our first ever repeat Friday night
news dump guest?
NUTTER: That would be Eddie Gutierrez of Los Banos, California.
He`s a graphic designer, a movie buff, he loves to cook but says he`s not
good at it.
Great to meet Eddie again.
MADDOW: Eddie, my old friend, welcome back. It`s nice to see you
EDDIE GUTIERREZ, CONTESTANT: Hi, Rachel.
MADDOW: I`m also terrible at cooking. The difference between you
and I is I don`t like it.
All right. You know how this works, Eddie. I`m going to ask you
three questions, you get two or more, right, and, Julia will show you the
not very amazing prize that you could win. No, not that one. There you,
that`s what you win.
And if you get all three right, or if you – I`m docking your pay –
if you get all three right, or if you do very poorly and we feel sorry for
you, we will send you something random that we found squirreled away in our
Julia, this is tonight`s –
NUTTER: This is the random thing. These are the big checks from big
tobacco to a member of Congress for many, many dollars.
MADDOW: That were handed out by –
NUTTER: They were handed out by John Boehner on the floor of the
MADDOW: This is our prop version.
NUTTER: Yes. So, this is our prop version use by the TRMS player.
MADDOW: So, there you have it. You get a worthless prop. Ta-dah.
OK, Eddie, are you ready?
MADDOW: We also need to bring in the disembodied voice of Steve
Benen, lord of Maddow Blog. He will determine whether or not you got the
Steve, Eddie, Eddie, Steve.
STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Welcome back, Eddie.
GUTIERREZ: Hi, Steve.
MADDOW: OK. We`re going to get right to it.
Question one. Monday`s show, on Monday`s show, we reported that
Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland will not run for re-election next
Which of the following is not true about Senator Barbara Mikulski?
A, she is the longest serving woman in Congress. B, she refuses to wear
pantsuits. C, she has a super nova named after her. Or D, her
receptionist is Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley`s mother.
GUTIERREZ: Which is not true?
MADDOW: Which of those items is not true about Barbara Mikulski?
GUTIERREZ: Umm, B.
MADDOW: B as in boy?
GUTIERREZ: Yes, B as in boy – refuses to wear pantsuits.
MADDOW: All right. Steve, did Eddie get that one right?
BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Monday`s show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: In 1993, she and Senator Carol Moseley Braun broke the dress
code in the Senate by refusing to wear a skirt or a dress. It was the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yes, the rebellion, and the answer is B.
MADDOW: She loves pant suits too much. Yes, you got that one
correct. Well done.
You got to get two right to win the prize, Eddie. We`re going to go
to question two.
This is from Wednesday`s show. Wednesday, we reported on the oral
arguments at the Supreme Court in that pending case that basically could
scrap Obamacare all together and dump millions of Americans off their
During the oral arguments, Justice Kennedy made a comment that seemed
to indicate that he had some constitutional concerns about what would
happen if Obamacare got dumped. Here`s the question, what happened in the
world after Justice Kennedy made that comment in court? Was it, A, Justice
Antonin Scalia got up and walked out? B, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
popped him one in the kisser? C, news organizations mistakenly reported
that Justice Kennedy had actually issued a ruling in the case? Or D,
hospital stocks spiked? They shot way up.
Which of those things happened after Justice Kennedy`s remarks during
GUTIERREZ: D, hospital stocks shot up.
MADDOW: Steve, what`s the right answer?
BENEN: Let`s check Wednesday`s segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: After he said that today in the oral arguments on this case,
look what happened in the outside world. Hospital stocks surge after
Justice Kennedy criticizes Obamacare challenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENEN: Yes, health care stocks shot up way up on Wednesday. The
answer is D, and Eddie is correct.
MADDOW: Eddie, you`re a ringer.
Your last question, I have to warn you, I think this is sort of a
difficult question, but I also have great faith in you now that we`re old
It is from Tuesday`s show. Are you ready?
MADDOW: OK. Tuesday`s show, we talked about retired four-star
general former CIA Director David Petraeus pleading guilty to mishandling
classified information. General Petraeus apparently gave that information
to a woman he was shtupping who was also writing a biography of him.
What is the awkwardly MSNBC-like name of that biography she was
writing about him? Was it A, All In: The Education of David Petraeus? B,
Hardball: The Wars of David Petraeus? C, The Last Word: The Triumph of
David Petraeus. Or D, The Ed Show with David Petraeus?
GUTIERREZ: Oh, boy. I`ll say – yes, it is a hard one. OK. Any
MADDOW: It`s not D. It`s not the Ed Show. So, it`s either All In,
Hardball or The Last Word.
MADDOW: Steve, do you have the answer for us?
BENEN: You know, I would really like read a book called the Ed Show
of David Petraeus.
BENEN: But nevertheless, that is not the correct answer. I`m afraid
Hardball is also the incorrect answer. The correct answer is A, “All In
with the Education of David Petraeus”. I`m afraid, Eddie, it`s incorrect.
MADDOW: Eddie, you made a seriously – you made a yeomen`s effort to
Julia, we know that Eddie won the cocktail shaker. I hereby make an
executive decision that you also get the worth also prop.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you. Love you.
MADDOW: Eddie, you`re the best. Say hi to everybody in Los Banos.
Nice to see you.
GUTIERREZ: Bye-bye. I love you.
MADDOW: I love you.
If you want to play the most awesome game in basic cable news, send
us an e-mail Rachel@msnbc.com. Just tell us who you are, where you`re
from, why you want to play. We have so much garbage in our offices that we
need to get rid of. Please help us.
But now, go to prison.
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