The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 12/30/2015
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: December 30, 2015
Guest: Scott Bolden, Jamilah Lemieux, Katon Dawson
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That they could go into court and look at that murderer
and say, “I forgive you,” was stunning.
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: My winners, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who made
“Hamilton”, and Steph Curry, every time I get bummed. Like at the very
least, the earth is going to melt, but we got Steph Curry.
Jason Bailey, Nancy Giles, Rembrandt Brown (ph), thank you all. That is
“ALL IN” for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW starts now with Melissa Harris-Perry, in for Rachel.
Good evening, Melissa.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Thanks, Chris. Have a happy New
HAYES: You too.
HARRIS-PERRY: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Rachel
has the night off.
Last year on Veterans Day, the city of Philadelphia invited one of its
native sons to give a speech. He was a former Navy man who had gone on to
make the city proud in the entertainment world. And the city asked him to
speech at Philadelphia`s All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors.
That speaker, that native son was Bill Cosby, and they saluted him. Mayor
Michael Nutter and former Governor Ed Rendell thanked him for all he had
done for the city. Congressman Chaka Fattah declared, quote, “We need to
have Bill Cosby month in Philadelphia.”
That right there is how Philadelphia felt about Bill Cosby as recently as a
year ago. It`s hard to overstate how beloved Bill Cosby has been, for
decades in his native Philly. Here he is being presented with the
distinguished Pennsylvania Artist award by Governor Dick Thornburgh in
1984. He`s featured in murals around the city, including one that puts him
up there – well, the late Nelson Mandela.
Bill Cosby regularly headlined Philadelphia civic events and youth athletic
events and benefits for education and local games. When there was a spike
in homicide in Pennsylvania in 2007, it was Bill Cosby who led the march
At his Philadelphia alma mater, Temple University, Cosby gave commencement
addresses and attended games. He served on the university`s board of
trustees for more than three decades.
And in 2004, a former Temple employee accused Bill Cosby of drugging and
sexually assaulting her at his home in Montgomery County, in the
Philadelphia suburbs. Cosby denied the indication and the Montgomery
County district attorney declined to file charges against Cosby, saying
there was not enough evidence. The woman filed a civil lawsuit against
Cosby, which got settled out of court, and Bill Cosby`s defense lawyer in
that case was the chairman of the Temple University board of trustees.
That was ten years ago. And if you want just one barometer of how much the
public attitude towards Bill Cosby has changed since then, I give you the
newly elected district attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Kevin
Now, Steele won his election this past November, an election in suburban
Philadelphia, an election in the county where Philadelphia`s favorite son,
Bill Cosby, lives, he won that election by running against Bill Cosby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: For district attorney in Montgomery County, Kevin Steele.
First assistant D.A. with a 98 percent conviction rate and tough sentences
for sexual predators.
Or Bruce Castor, a former D.A. who refused to prosecute Bill Cosby. Castor
said, we don`t charge people for making a mistake or doing something
Many more victims came forward and Castor admitted they could have used his
testimony against Cosby, but Castor didn`t even try. Bruce Castor was not
looking out for the victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Today, Kevin Steele made good on his campaign promise and
Bill Cosby appeared at Montgomery County magistrate court to face three
charges of aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony.
The statute of limitations on the alleged 2004 assault was due to expire
next month and the alleged victim in the case is Andrea Constand.
Now, she had been the director of operations for the Temple women`s
basketball team, where she had developed a friendship with Cosby. And
according to the criminal complaint filed today, Constand, quote,
“considered Cosby, 37 years her senior, to be a mentor, and described
instances in which he invited her to his home for dinner, invited her to
restaurants, invited her to events, introduced her to people, and provided
her with guidance and career advice.”
Constand says Cosby invited her to his house one night in January 2004 to
discuss her future career plans. And while she was there, he gave her
pills, he said would help her with her stress. Instead, according to
Constand, the pills nearly knocked her out. And while she was barely
conscious and unable to resist or consent, Cosby assaulted her.
When Andrea Constand first made these allegations in 2004, she was very
much on her own. But over the last year, dozens of women have made similar
allegations against Mr. Cosby, allegations that span decades, many of which
are strikingly similar to Constand`s – a mentor/mentee relationship,
unwanted advances, pills, sexual assault.
And in a deposition unsealed this past summer, a deposition Cosby gave in
that civil suit Constand filed in 2005, the one where Cosby was represented
by the chair of the Temple Board of Trustees, in this newly unsealed
deposition, Bill Cosby admitted that he developed relationships with women
in order to pursue sex. He admitted that he gave Quaaludes to women. But
he insisted it was always consensual. And the pills were kind of a party
drug, not the malicious tool of a sexual predator.
Bill Cosby and his representatives have always denied all of these
allegations. He has sued some of his accusers for defamation. This is the
first time he`s ever been charged with anything related to these
His lawyer released a statement today, reading, quote, “The charge by the
Montgomery County District Attorney`s Office came as no surprise, filed 12
years after the alleged incident can coming on the heels of a hotly
contested election for this county`s D.A., during which the case was made
the focal point. Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense
against this unjustified charge, and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be
exonerated by a court of law.”
By a court of law.
Twelve years after Andrea Constand stood up and accused Bill Cosby,
America`s dad, public moralist, Philadelphia`s favorite son, of sexual
assault, 12 years later, Bill Cosby is going to be tried in a court of law.
He`s no longer on Temple University`s board. His name has been removed
from various college scholarships and buildings. Two dozen colleges and
universities have rescinded honorary degrees they gave him.
Cosby show reruns have been yanked from TV and a new Cosby sitcom canceled.
His statue has been taken down at Disneyworld. The Navy had even rebuked
his honorary chief petty officer status. And that mural of him in
Philadelphia, it`s been painted over.
The removal of Bill Cosby from his cultural pedestal seems pretty complete,
but the legal saga, and what it means for Ms. Constand and potentially for
all of Bill Cosby`s other accusers – well, that story is just beginning.
So, joining us now is Scott Bolden, criminal defense attorney and former
New York City sex crimes prosecutor.
Mr. Bolden, thank you for your time tonight.
SCOTT BOLDEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me.
HARRIS-PERRY: Talk to me first about whether or not you think there will
be a trial, or whether or not this is likely to be settled out of court in
the way that the civil suit was?
BOLDEN: Well, I doubt it will be settled out of court like the civil suit,
because it`s either a plea bargain or it`s not. And I got to tell you –
Mr. Cosby and his team don`t seem to be in a settling mood or a plea
bargaining mood. They`re countersuing the other women and they`ve said and
indicated in their public statement that they`re going to mount a vigorous
And so, there will be a trial. There`ll probably be a preliminary hearing
on January 14th. The victim will probably have to appear, even though
hearsay is admissible to prove a prima facie case before the judge, at
least, for the case to go forward. So, a lot to watch between now and
HARRIS-PERRY: So you did a little legal narrative there that if you hadn`t
gone to law school, you might have missed. Talk to me what you mean when
you talk about hearsay and about this case. What does that mean we might
actually be seeing in this case?
BOLDEN: Well, hearsay is not allowed in the court of law. I mean, in the
court of public opinion, you can make all kinds of accusations and believe
what you want, but it gets real tough in criminal law, because the
government has the burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt.
And hearsay, that is, if you heard a second or third person say something,
that`s usually not reliable. But there are exceptions to that, to prove
modus operandi., to prove mistake or to disprove that this was a mistake or
some misunderstanding between Cosby and the victim here. And so – or if
it`s a prior inconsistent statement, or prior statement that`s sworn in
another court, like you have here with the deposition, there are ways
through witnesses to get those statements in.
Then, secondly, you have the other victims, who will want to testify. The
prosecutor will want them to testify, because that will buttress their
claim. Without them, and without the deposition testimony, it`s her word
against his word. And the government has a lot of challenges.
This was reported about a year ago. They were friends. She went to the
house after she had spurned his advances on several occasions. She
actually took the wine, took the drugs, and so forth and so on.
Now, that doesn`t mean she wasn`t raped or violated. I`m not suggesting
that at all. But these are challenges, because the facts – because the
government has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and the Cosby
defense team is investigating her right now and will put her under
withering cross-examination to attack her credibility.
Because in the end, it will be up to the jury. Do they believe Bill Cosby
or do they believe the victim? And those are the challenges for both
HARRIS-PERRY: So, what you`ve just said there, I think, is probably one of
the reasons that a majority of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported
altogether, much less ever finding their way into a courtroom. When you
talk about the withering kind of discourse that is likely to occur relative
to this young woman, now 12 years older than she was at that time.
But the very idea that it is so difficult to make a case here, given your
work as a prosecutor, what is the key for when a jury believes the accuser
versus the person who is accused?
BOLDEN: Well, her statements have to be consistent, over a 12-year period
of time. Secondly, she`s got to have a lot of support around her. It`s
one thing to say, I`m going to testify on behalf of the prosecution, it`s a
completely another thing to stay on the team, to stay in the game.
So many victims, even if they testify before a grand jury, walk away.
Whether it`s because of their family situation or the stress or what
they`re facing. And here, I don`t think there`s going to be a bigger case
since O.J. Simpson, and she`s going to be under a lot of stress and a lot
of media spotlight.
And so, the government has to support her in the sense of keeping in touch
with her, doing their own investigation, in regard to corroborating her
statements, when she told her family members, follow-up conversations with
Cosby, because her mom is going to be a key witness. Her mom had followed
conversations with Cosby, and if you believe what`s in the allegation or in
the charge, he made certain ambitions to her.
And so, you`ve got to stay close to her, even though she`s in Canada,
you`ve got to support her and empower her and make sure she gets on the
stand, tells the truth, and prepare her for cross-examination. She does
well in that regard, the jury is going to have a hard time not believing
HARRIS-PERRY: A. Scott Bolden, criminal defense attorney and former New
York City sex crimes prosecutor – thank you for your time tonight.
BOLDEN: Thank you for having me.
HARRIS-PERRY: Bill Cosby`s arrest today is complicated. And there is more
on that ahead.
Plus, the growing fight among the Republicans who want to be president that
really just doesn`t have anything to do with Donald Trump.
We`ll be right back.
HARRIS-PERRY: Today, we watched as Bill Cosby was charged with sexual
assault. Arraigned in a Pennsylvania courthouse and released on a $1
Now, he`s denied this charge in the past as he has denied all the
accusations from other women. But no matter the outcome of this case in
Pennsylvania, this moment is an important public acknowledgement that even
though many years have passed, there`s still the responsibility to take
charges of sexual assault seriously.
For those interested in justice, maybe this moment seems like a victor.
But the images today were also of a black man and one who`s been an icon of
American culture for more than four decades, taking a perp walk. And that
is uncomfortable, even if you believe it is right for him to be charged, it
is particularly jarring when just two days ago, yet another grand jury
decided not to indict officers involved in the fatal shooting death of an
African-American child in Cleveland, 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Even if you think it is right for Bill Cosby to face charges, it`s
impossible to ignore that the system which just charged him is a system
that has been indicted by a national social movement, as being unable or
unwilling to deliver meaningful and just outcomes.
Bill Cosby will stand trial for sexual assault. The officer in Cleveland
who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy will not.
Data from the Department of Justice show that for every 100 rapes, only two
assailants will spend anytime in jail. The other 98 will not. As shocking
as those numbers are, it`s even more unlikely that a police officer who
shoots and kills a civilian will spend anytime in jail. New data compiled
by “The Washington Post” show that although thousands of American civilians
have been killed by police officers in the past decade, only 11 officers
have been convicted – 11, out of thousands, in an entire decade.
The reaction so far should be sober and complicated. Perhaps what we saw
today was the first step towards justice for dozens of alleged victims, or
maybe it was just another black man walking into a system that so rarely
seems to offer justice.
Joining me now is Jamilah Lemieux, who is the senior editor at “Ebony
Jamilah, thanks for being here.
JAMILAH LEMIEUX, EBONY MAGAZINE SENIOR EDITOR: Thank you for having me.
HARRIS-PERRY: So, this one`s hard for me. I`m a sexual assault survivor.
I have long felt like Mr. Cosby needed to be held accountable. But I keep
wondering if this is a system that can bring that accountability.
LEMIEUX: Yes, I think your framing is so important, sober and complicated
is this moment. This isn`t a victory lap. No one`s excited, for those of
us who have been covering this story for quite some time. We`re not
whooping and saying, yes, got him.
There`s no joy to be had seeing any black man, any black man taking a perp
walk, let alone some of whom meant so much to us for so long. And yet,
this is an important moment and I can`t say I`m not glad it`s happening,
because accountability is important. And that`s for us as close to justice
as we`re going to get.
HARRIS-PERRY: One of the most extraordinary moments over the course of
this year as we`ve seen the change in American public opinion towards Mr.
Cosby was the “Ebony” cover of the shattered Cosby show. And I don`t think
of us who were kids in the `80s can feel anything other than that. And
although it`s Mr. Cosby who`s shattered in the middle, it`s all of those
young actors who were part of that ensemble past.
How much of us is broken at this moment?
LEMIEUX: I think there`s so much of us broken for Americans and
particularly African-Americans, right? And so just as those cracks went
across Felicia Rashad and those child actors, I think they were felt all
across Black America, right?
So, we looked up to this man. We wanted to believe the things he said to
us, prior to his respectability politics, big reveal, you know, the things
that he wanted to teach us about being a black family and having class
aspirations and supporting HBCUs and those in many ways were valuable,
But this legacy is one that is incredibly complicated. And frankly, I
think it`s impossible to separate fully some 50-plus allegations of sexual
misconduct or sexual assault from who he is as a philanthropist or an
HARRIS-PERRY: And we don`t want to separate them, right? It`s important
to me that it`s Hannibal Buress making a joke about the respectability
politics thing that ultimately undoes this. And I keep thinking to myself,
we were ultimately more interested as a people, not just black folks, as
Americans, in preserving this image, this imagined notion of Bill Cosby,
than in understanding actual women`s experiences and allegations.
And I don`t mean that one is true or not. We don`t know, but that we were
simply more – we didn`t even engage. We didn`t even go into and figure
out if it might be true.
LEMIEUX: And I can`t help but to wonder, say if Mr. Cosby didn`t have that
sort of respectability politics, you know, heavy-handed against single
mothers and complicated-sounding names and wearing your pants low and
listening to hip hop, say that wasn`t who he was.
Say that he was a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, right? Say
that he was elected. Say that he was really on our side, quote/unquote,
“politically. Would we be having this conversation? How willing would
people be to turn their backs on him? Or to say, you know what, I may love
what you stand for here, but I cannot stand in solidarity against you when
you have these allegations against you? It`s not about me not liking your
personality, it`s about me not being OK with sexual assault.
HARRIS-PERRY: And not being OK with respectability politics either. And
there`s that fissure, I would – I don`t mind if it breaks open and makes
us feel as if someone can earn equality as a citizen. You don`t earn it.
It`s the gift of citizen.
LEMIEUX: Or so it should be.
HARRIS-PERRY: Or so it should be.
Jamilah Lemieux, who is the senior at “Ebony Magazine” – thank you for
your time tonight.
We have much more ahead. Stay with us.
HARRIS-PERRY: A lot can happen in a year, and here`s what we`ve reported
on this show, exactly one year ago today. Check it out, it`s kind of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush surging to the top
of the field in a new poll of likely Republican presidential contenders.
Bush winning 23 percent of the vote. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
trailing him by ten points.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the Republican side, former Governor Jeb Bush now
breaking away a bit from the field, ahead of Governor Chris Christie by
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could we be looking now as we turn to politics at
another Bush versus Clinton showdown? We have a new poll that shows Jeb
with a commanding lead as the GOP front-runner for president.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: The bush surge. The Jeb Bush surge. That was
the other big story, maybe you heard this week. There was a new poll that
came out from our friends at CNN.
And a lot of people interpreted it not just at CNN, but everywhere,
interpreted it as Jeb Bush. He announces a few weeks ago he`s really
interested in running for president. Now we have a new poll. Now he`s
I don`t think we`re in interpreting this thing the right way. I think
there`s a lot more to this Jeb Bush story. Take a look at this. These are
all the polls in national polls that have been taken in the last few
months, that match up, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, sort of the
three big hitters on the Republican side.
And look at this, every single one of these polls in the last few months,
reputable polls, shows Mitt Romney beating Jeb Bush by 11, by 9, by 5, by
8. So this idea that Jeb Bush has suddenly surged to the front of the
Republican pack and is this commanding front-runner right now, I`m not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: A year ago today, everyone was talking about how Jeb Bush
was surging in the polls with a commanding lead.
But our own Steve Kornacki, the prescient young mind that he is, was
skeptical of just how commanding that lead was. And he made sure that we
knew not to believe the hype.
Turns out Steve was right. Jeb`s front-runner status was short lived, to
say the least. But who could have predicted that the Republican front-
runner today would be someone that we were not even thinking about a year
Donald Trump was not even on anyone`s radar back then and Mike Pence was
getting more attention than he was. In so many ways, the Republican
presidential field, even the whole Republican Party today looks nothing
like it did a year ago.
In other ways, it looks just the same. And there`s more on that coming up,
so stay with us.
HARRIS-PERRY: Take a look at this. This is the preliminary round at the
World Darts Championship this month. Yes, many people consider darts a
sport, with a live audience and very excited fans and competitors who
aren`t hitting the bull`s-eye.
Remind you of something?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He said, a week or so
ago, that he was completely opposed to the new spending bill in Congress,
absolutely opposed. It`s awful, it`s terrible.
So I`m like, this is great, OK, Marco`s opposed to this. That`s good. I
can`t wait to turn on C-Span 2, but he gives a good speech, Marco. And I
want to hear his stirring speech that`s going to try to persuade people on
the floor of the Senate not to vote for this awful spending bill. Except
he never showed up.
Dude, show up to work and vote no, right? Show up to work and vote no.
And if you don`t want to, then quit.
REPORTER: Senator, this morning, Chris Christie said to you, “Dude, show
up to work, show up to work and vote no, and if you don`t like it, quit.”
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, look, I`m
running for president because I want to change the direction of this
country, and it will require me for the time being to miss some votes in
You know, Chris has been missing in New Jersey for half the time.
AD NARRATOR: Which governor laid out a tough plan to destroy ISIS months
before the Paris attacks? Jeb Bush.
AD NARRATOR: Over the last three years, Rubio has missed important
national security hearings and missed more total votes than any other
senator. Politics first, that`s the Rubio way.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HARRIS-PERRY: OK, so do you get it? A big part of the Republican 2016
race is now basically a bunch of establishment Republicans going after each
other. Jeb Bush going after Marco Rubio, and the governors, Chris Christie
going after Marco Rubio. Rubio firing back, John Kasich going after Jeb
And if all of that is not enough, today, Rand Paul jumped into the mix,
calling on Marco Rubio and Chris Christie to show up or resign.
And while the establishment Republican candidates are busy doing this,
attacking each other, and doing everything they can to bring each other
down, they seem to be missing the bull`s-eye. They`re missing the targets.
The leading non-establishment Republican candidate for president, Donald
Trump, is just sailing past them in the polls. He is still surging. He is
basically killing them all.
And as we watch Republican candidates like Scott Walker and Rick Perry and
Bobby Jindal and George Pataki, and even Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, guys
who are either out or who are really struggling to stay in, it might seem
like the Republican Party is no longer a very strong party. There may be
people who use the Republican label, but the party itself might feel like
it`s in a bit of disarray.
And that might be true, if the single measure that you use for
understanding the health of a party is its ability to choose its
presidential nominee. Listen, that`s one good measure, but that is clearly
an insufficient measure of health.
So, let`s take another temperature reading of the Republican Party. The
Republican Party currently controls 32 governorships across the country.
And then they control 30 state houses. And between those two numbers, they
have a total control of 23 states. That means statehouses and
Democrats by comparison, have seven. It`s a whole part of the country that
is entirely red. And if you don`t know how important that is, ask yourself
So, maybe this Democratic president did and can get comprehensive health
care reform passed, but notice, Medicaid is not expanded in any of these
dark red states. The Republican Party may not be able to repeal Obamacare,
but it certainly, through its state legislatures and governorships, has
managed to halt Obamacare`s full impact. Its ability, if it had been
completely implemented and understood, as the Democratic president imagined
it would be.
And, yes, there are some overwhelmingly conservative states that have
managed to take the expansion, and no, where has that been a bigger story
than in the great state of Kentucky, where the state became a national
model, taking the Medicaid expansion and then a Republican one, the
governorship of Kentucky, and said that he would roll that expansion back,
which is currently in the works.
And so while that is in motion, the most recent news out of Kentucky is
that a Democrat in the Kentucky legislature, who just switched parties.
He`s a Republican now. He`s the second Democrat since November, when the
Republican Party made gains in the state, to switch over to the other side.
So, elections, state and local elections, man, do they have consequences,
partly for people who are governed, because when a certain party wins,
everybody wants to play on your team. And even when you`re not winning,
even if you have a strong chance of holding on to the very top post for
Democrats, the question starts to become, what is happening further down
there, where the Republicans seem to be winning.
Joining us now is the former chairman of the South Carolina Republican
Party, Katon Dawson.
Mr. Dawson, nice to have you with us tonight.
KATON DAWSON, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN: Good
evening, Melissa. Thank you for having me.
HARRIS-PERRY: All right. So talk to me a little bit about this. Because
I do feel like there`s this Republican Party establishment is in disarray.
That`s the story that the Donald Trump surge seems to tell. But, man,
y`all are kind of running the board in the rest of the country.
DAWSON: You know, I would say, nationally, we`re a little dysfunctional.
And that is not unusual. This has been a cycle, Melissa, that you and I
talked about before on your other show, that Donald Trump has changed the
rule and so have the stations and the media coverage.
The folks like myself that do this for a living, we were expecting a
regular campaign had built the databases, done all the new social media,
learned our lessons from Obama whipping us twice on how to do voter
contact, and then Donald Trump gets in it and turns it into a national
So, we were looking for the Rick Perries, the Scott Walkers, the Bobby
Jindals, all to probably still be on the stage now. They`re all gone and
Trump has sucked the oxygen out of this race right now and made it a
national race courtesy a little bit of NBC making him a celebrity, second
of all, just his personality.
And he`s got really good numbers now, but just like you said earlier, when
Steve came on and started handicapping the race a year ago, there`s a lot
of time left in this race. I would agree if the race were today, most
likely, our nominee would be Donald Trump, but it isn`t today.
So, there`s a lot of life left in it. To transform over to what we`re
doing locally and in the states where Republicans are dominating public
policy, Republicans are winning the governors` mansions.
That`s because your Republican parties there, these aren`t national races.
Their state races, they`re controllable, they`re understandable. You`re
not dealing with the national press. You`re not dealing with big personas
So, there is a dysfunction and a disconnect between the national party and
your local parties and your local operations.
HARRIS-PERRY: So, Katon, I appreciate that you blamed my parent company
for Donald Trump. That`s – I`m down for that.
But, listen, part of what is interesting to me is that you`re saying, look,
we learned from these earlier races. We learned from `08. We learned from
2012. We watched how President Obama won.
So, let me ask this, are you watching fast enough with what is now
happening with Donald Trump, are these other more establishment candidates
going to be capable of shifting? Because what I see in them attacking one
another is what looks like what they had expected to do at this moment,
rather than being responsive to what`s actually happening in this campaign.
DAWSON: You know, and I wasn`t just NBC. I`m going to give out all on FOX
for the first debate, Melissa. Because when I did a debate in 2008, you
had to have a state number, and you could run state campaigns. That`s what
caught everybody by surprise, by the way.
What caught them by surprise was last night Donald Trump got an hour on
MSNBC, an hour on CNN, and an hour on FOX. That – you just can`t compete
And so, at the end of the day, the race has changed, the rules have
changed, the Democrat Party just doesn`t have a race. Bernie Sanders has
got the angry liberal side locked down and done, Hillary`s the nominee.
You know, soon to be 30-something primaries by the end of April and these
races are going to start gelling and be over.
But with Donald Trump, you know, what I would tell you is that he`s got
shelf life like I never would have guessed. And the establishment
Republicans so-call it, or everybody but sort of Donald, I hadn`t heard Ben
Carson`s name in two weeks. So that`s how quick this can fade.
I think the interesting part is, all the news this week has been Donald
Trump`s getting all the air, and the Republicans below him are all sniping
and griping. That`s not going to last long.
So maybe endorsements, I think, Melissa, will really start mattering. I
know they will in South Carolina. If Donald Trump wins South Carolina, I
predict he`s well on his way to winning the nomination. And these
endorsements of – Trey Gowdy endorsement today, yesterday, of Rubio, what
Nikki Haley is going to do, Tim Scott is going to do, go on down the line
to the other states in Texas.
But this – one thing that you and I have talked about before is this is
going to be a very fast cycle.
DAWSON: Thirty-one primaries will be under the belt or caucuses, 24 of
them are primaries. Seven are caucuses by April Fools Day.
HARRIS-PERRY: Look, I`m going to tell you this, Katon Dawson, you can
blame the media for his rise, I`ll give you that, but if he wins South
Carolina, I`m blaming you.
Katon Dawson –
DAWSON: I know you will.
HARRIS-PERRY: Katon Dawson, former chairman of the South Carolina
Republican Party, thank you for your time tonight.
And there`s more ahead, so stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can`t use hair spray,
because hair spray is going to affect the ozone. I`m trying to figure out
– okay, I`m in my room in New York City and I want to put a little spray,
so that I can – all right? Right?
But I hear they don`t want me to use hair spray, they want me to use the
pump, because the other one – which I really like better than going, bing,
bing, bing. And then it comes out in big globs and it`s stuck in your
hair, and you`re like, oh, my God, I got to take a shower again, my hair`s
all screwed up, right? I want to use hair spray.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: We have an update tonight on a story that Rachel`s team has
been following out of southern California. By now, you`ve probably seen
these infrared time lapse images of that massive natural gas leak in Porter
Ranch. Methane has been seeping from this underground gas well since
And not only is it making residents sick, but it has also become a
significant environmental disaster, because it`s leaking tons of carbon
dioxide, and it`s releasing about 1,200 tons of methane into the atmosphere
every day. Thousands of residents have been relocated, nearby schools have
been forced to shut down, and the FAA has banned planes from flying near
For weeks now, the gas company, which maintains the well, has been doing
everything they can to try to stop the leak. But the well is buried more
than 8,000 feet underground, and they have not been able to pinpoint
exactly where the problem is. Until now.
Crews have been drilling a relief well and when they reach a depth of about
3,800 feet, they discovered the target. Officials from Southern California
Gas Company say they used a special technology that helped them find the
leak. It`s the same technology that was used in the BP oil disaster in the
Gulf of Mexico.
The technique is known as active magnetic ranging and it creates a magnetic
field underground that allows workers to find their targets. The gas
company says they are now closer to plugging the leak. But they still
don`t expect to finish the job until possibly the end of March.
We`ll keep you posted, so stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTERVIEWER: What about the idea that the Olympics are to be free of
TOMMIE SMITH, U.S. TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE: Right. That`s impossible. As
you know, politics are a part of athletics now. And I don`t think the next
10 or 12 months will change this at all. Politics is a part of everything.
And athletics is no exception.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Politics is a part of everything and athletics is no
That was Olympic runner Tommie Smith in September of 1967.
Later that year, Smith would join other black athletes in voting to
completely boycott the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. They vowed to
do so in protest of racial inequality here in America. At the time, smith
told reporters why, saying, quote, “On the track, you`re Tommie Smith, the
fastest man in the world, but once you`re in the dressing rooms, you are
nothing more than a dirty Negro.”
Ultimately, the entire American delegation did compete at the 1968
Olympics, but it was not without protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TV ANCHOR: John Carlos and Tommie Smith, Negro runners, who won medals in
the 200-meter race today were ordered by the United States Olympic
Committee to leave Mexico. Earlier, they were suspended for raising black-
gloved fists while “The Star Spangled Banner” was being played at an awards
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: That picture, that picture of Tommie Smith and John Carlos,
heads bowed, with their hands raised in protest, black-gloved fists. That
became one of the most enduring images in sports history.
But it is far from the only example of racial politics in sports. Three
decades earlier, in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, there was Jessie Owens.
Adolf Hitler had planned to use those games as proof of Aryan dominance,
but instead he was forced to watch as Owens took the stand four times.
In the 1960s, it was Mohammad Ali who refused to be drafted into the U.S.
Army on the grounds of being a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD ALI: They say actually every time I enter the ring, in a way, I`m
going to the war. They say to me daily, you are a prized fighter, what`s
the difference? And I like to say to those critics of the press and the
others that there is one hell of a lot of difference in fighting in a ring
and going to war in Vietnam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Ali was later tried and convicted of draft dodging, stripped
of his title.
But we had these moments where sports and social protests have intertwined.
In the 1990s, Michael Jordan was the preeminent athlete in the country.
And when the product with his name on it seemed to be linked to crime and
violence in poor communities, many called on him to address it. They asked
him to weigh in on robberies, on kids robbed for their high-priced Air
Jordan sneakers. But he wouldn`t.
And that is where race and politics and sports has kind of stayed for a
long time. Quiet.
Until recently, when we`ve seen a version of athlete activism that`s
reminiscent of that earlier era. In the wake of George Zimmerman`s
acquittal and the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, players from the Miami
Heat took a photo wearing hoodies, their heads bowed in mourning for the
After audio tape surfaced of NBA clippers owner Donald Sterling making
racist remarks, his team staged visible protests, wearing their gear inside
out, so as not to display the team name or logo. Sterling was later banned
for life from the league.
In the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri,
players from the St. Louis Rams took to the field with their hands raised,
as if in surrender. A nod to the hands-up, don`t-shoot protests.
Chicago Bulls player Derrick Rose was the first to wear an “I can`t
breathe” t-shirt in reference to the death of Eric Garner, the man who died
after being placed in a chokehold by a New York City police officer.
And this fall, dozens of football players at Mizzou refused to play until
the school`s president stepped down. He shortly, thereafter, resigned.
Now, in Ohio, activists are calling on LeBron James, one of the NBA`s
biggest stars to put his season on hold, to sit out until the Justice
Department, quote, “imprisons the police officers involved in the Tamir
Now, whether or not LeBron should sit out is not the question I want to
ask, because, when you look at the history, you get why these young
activists want LeBron James on their side. You can understand how they can
see the power of the cameras and the profits and the position of the black
athlete. Here`s the question I want us to ask. Not should LeBron sit out,
but what does it tell us when the athlete is still considered the best ally
of a movement a movement of racial justice?
In a moment when young black voters were key to the election and the
reelection of a black president, when the Department of Justice has been
led these years by the first two African-American attorneys general, when
many big cities boast African-American league prosecutors and police chiefs
and mayors, even in this moment, why is it that it still feels to so many
young people that there is more power for change on the court than in the
HARRIS-PERRY: 2015 is drawing to a close. We`re here not far from Times
Square in New York. It`s already starting to get to be festive out there.
But it` important as we start the festivities right here at THE RACHEL
MADDOW SHOW and as we want to wish you a happy New Year and thank you for
tuning in tonight and all year, I want to remind you there is a live “LAST
WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”, it`s coming up in a moment. And that is a
good thing, because although we`re at the end of the year, there was a lot
of news today.
But I also want to point out that what you guys see at home, usually the
one host, maybe sop guests at the table, that might be what you think the
to have show is, but, man, a TV show requires a lot of people. Few people
have better teams than Rachel.
And there are amazing folks that help to get this show on air every night.
And so we take one moment in the year to tell you guys a bit what`s
happening back here.
HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to all the incredible folks who helped to put this
show on an thanks to all of you at home who joined us tonight, including my
daughter who we like to call Baby Nerd. Happy New Year.
Right now, it is time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”. Hey,
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, “THE LAST WORD” HOST: Hey, Melissa, I just tweeted a
picture of you and Anna during the commercial break. So she made her debut
on Twitter like a second before her TV debut.
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s good. I`m for it.
O`DONNELL: Happy New Year, Melissa.
HARRIS-PERRY: Happy New Year, Lawrence.
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