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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 03/25/15

Guests: Kitty Higgins, Greg Feith, Eugene Fidell, McKay Coppins, LevyPettit, Jelani Cobb, Gavin Palone

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- (CHANTING) The Bush brother fundraising tour kicks into high gear. GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: I still like him if Jeb -- when Jeb beats Hillary. HAYES: Tonight, why Republicans who think they can beat Jeb Bush are probably fooling themselves. Then, the lawyer for Bowe Bergdahl on desertion charges for his client. The disgraced Oklahoma frat boy is now singing a different tune. LEVI PETTIT, FORMER UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA STUDENT: Let me start by saying that I`m sorry. HAYES: And why the Internet erupted after a deadline article about ethnic casting in the wake of "Empire" success. ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. And we have some breaking news at this hour regarding the crash of a Germanwings flight yesterday that killed all 150 people onboard. "The New York Times" with a chilling report just moments ago that during the plane`s fatal eight-minute descent before crashing into the French Alps, one of the pilot was locked out of the cockpit. Quoting extensively from that "Times" piece, "an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane`s descent, and was unable to get back in. A senior military official involved in the investigation described very smooth, very cool conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight, from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. Then, the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not reenter. `The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,` the investigator said. `And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.` He said, `You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.`" The Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps about one hour after takeoff yesterday morning on a flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, carrying 144 passengers, and six crew members. Today, we learned three of those passengers were Americans. There were no survivors. Joining me now by phone, former NTSB board member Kitty Higgins. Kitty, your -- this just was published a few moments ago and we`re all just shaking our head at the horror of this. Your response? KITTY HIGGINS, FORMER NTSB BOARD MEMBER (via telephone): Yes, Chris, exactly. It compounds what is already a horrific tragedy, and makes this just that much more awful. It is reminiscent in an eerie, eerie way of the Egypt Air crash, where the pilot took the plane, flying from New York to Cairo into the ocean. And the investigation (INAUDIBLE) but that accident, the pilot was found at fault. And his colleague I think was also locked out. He had gone to the restroom. HAYES: Yes, that -- the Egypt Air flight is probably the most famous example of a crash where the conclusion of an investigation, the pilot had taken the plane down affirmatively as an act of murder or suicide. That finding I should say has been contested by the Egyptian authorities. But other investigators have found that to be the case. Of course, here, can we talk for a moment about the protocols here? Because there`s a lot to kind of unpack. I mean, first is, cockpit doors after 9/11 were reinforced, right? There was a change to policy -- HIGGINS: They`re reinforced, and they`re locked from the inside. HAYES: So, they`re looked from the inside. There is no way to get into the cockpit. HIGGINS: You can literally not get into that cockpit. The flight attendant has to knock on the door and has to be admitted. As you know, passengers can`t stand anywhere near the cockpit door in the front of the plane. Those are all the precautions and safety requirements put in place after the doors are hardened, but they were also locked from the inside. HAYES: So, they`re locked from the inside. There is no other option. I mean -- HIGGINS: No. There is no other option. And it`s just -- obviously, we have to hear more from the authorities who hear the tape, and we need to hear from Lufthansa about the pilots, their background, their training, what we know about their personal stories. That`s all part of the investigative process. Obviously, with this development, the attention will very much turn to the pilot. I don`t know, perhaps you do, I`m just trying to find the story now, was it the co-pilot in the cockpit, or was it the flying pilot? HAYES: That is unspecified. In the article, it just says one of the pilots. We do not know if it was the co-pilot or the main pilot who was piloting that plane. We also don`t know if anyone else was in there. The one question that comes to mind is, is there a protocol when one of the pilots has to get up to use the restroom, is there someone, say, a flight attendant who by protocol enters into the cockpit to then let that person back in, since presumably the other pilot is busy piloting the plane? HIGGINS: Well, again, we have to look specifically at the procedures that Lufthansa followed and whether Germanwings follows Lufthansa`s policies. (INAUDIBLE) probably are too, if one of the pilots comes out to use the restroom, which in a small plane, or right outside the cockpit door in front of the cabin. A flight attendant will stand there. They will block off the passageway with the cart, because the door is locked, so they will find a way to protect that door. And the pilot, again, post-9/11 -- now, I`ve seen that done. I honestly don`t know if there are regulations that calls for them, those are airlines procedures. I`m assuming they vary from airline to airline. Maybe there are new requirements given that this is a European airline. HAYES: Former NTSB board member Kitty Higgins, by phone, thank you very much for joining us. Joining me now from the near crash site in the French Alps is NBC News reporter Claudio Lavanga. Claudio, what is the latest from the site? CLAUDIO LAVANGA, NBC NEWS: Well, it is 1:00 in the morning here, so we don`t have any way to corroborate and confirm those reports. Those just came out in "The New York Times." we have not seen that before. All we heard of this afternoon, about a few hours ago, which was official, which is the aviation authority saying they were hearing the voices of those pilots, but it would have taken some days or weeks to figure out what they were exactly saying and how it will have helped them to resolve this puzzle. Now, this is the first time we do hear it. It is not confirmed yet. But if it is confirmed tomorrow -- well, that will explain a lot about this strange turn of events, because obviously we -- one of the theories flying around that seems to be more credible was the fact that the pilots weren`t responding because they were incapacitated in some way. But if one of the pilots really got stuck out of the door, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the other pilot was not opening the door on purpose, well, that we don`t know yet. But certainly that explains, that will explain a lot over why, or how this plane lost so much altitude, and why the pilot in the cabin would not respond to the control tower`s call to get an answer on what was happening on that flight. HAYES: Claudio, they have recovered obviously the voice recorder. That`s from where we are, according to "The New York Times" report from the military investigators, that`s where we`re getting this very haunting audio apparently of one of the pilots frantically knocking on the cockpit door as the plane calmly descended. The data recorder boxes recovered, my understanding is the chip that actually has the data inside has not been located yet. Is that correct? LAVANGA: That is correct. What was located -- there was some confusion about the two black boxes. The black box with the voice recording was definitely found. That is where this information is coming from, according to "The New York Times". We do know that from today, from official sources, that the -- they did get out that audio from the voice recording, from the conversations between the pilots from there today. The other black box hasn`t really been found officially. What was found was the framing of the second black box. But let me just remind you what the second black box is, is the flight data recorder. It`s very important. It`s got all the statistics about the whole flight from takeoff to, of course, when -- up to the point where it crashed, about altitude, speed, and everything else, that will help investigators find out what really happened during that flight. Hopefully, that will be recovered tomorrow. But in this case, if this is really what happened, and this is not confirmed yet, if this is really what happened, then that voice recording black box will be more important than the flight data recording. That will mean this is not a technical issue, but something that is more human. HAYES: Claudio Lavanga at the crash site, thank you, sir. Resetting the breaking news being reported by "The New York Times" just a few moments ago tonight, that one of the pilots was locked out of the cockpit on that fateful Airbus 320 flight from Barcelona, to Dusseldorf. Quoting extensively from "The Times" piece, "an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane`s descent and was unable to get back in. A senior military official involved in the investigation described `very smooth, very cool` conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. And the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not reenter. `The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, there is no answer,` the investigator said. `And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.` He said, `You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.`" The Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps about one hour after takeoff yesterday morning on a flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, carrying 144 passengers and six crew members. It is being described as being pulverized by the mountains and there are no survivors. Joining me by the phone is former NTSB investigator and aviation expert Greg Feith. And, Greg, can we talk a little bit about what the protocol is for pilots in cockpits? Obviously, pilots have to get out of a cockpit at certain points. They have to use the rest room, particularly on long flights. We know that this reached cruising altitude and it looks like the descent began shortly thereafter. You can imagine the scenario in which one pilot apparently, after reaching cruising altitude, leaves to go to the restroom and cannot get back in. What is the protocol that guides how that is done in a cockpit? GREG FEITH, FORMER NTSB INVESTIGATOR (via telephone): Well, let me just clarify that there is alternative methods of getting into the cockpit. After the 9/11, the doors were fortified, and they were fortified for a reason. But there were alternate methods of getting in and out of the cockpit without the other pilot opening it from the inside. I mean, I don`t want to get into a lot of specifics, because some of this is still, you know, based on security. But the pilots have the ability to get in under normal conditions. There is a lockout feature that can be employed which would prevent all access into the cockpit. Typically, if a pilot leaves under the protocols, after 9/11, that pilot would be replaced by a flight attendant occupying the cockpit, so that there`s always two people in the cockpit at all times while the other pilot is out, either using the facilities or restroom or doing something else in the back of the aircraft. That`s the way it should be working. But again, what Lufthansa does, versus United, versus anybody else, again, it`s all based on their internal protocols. But the doors were fortified. There were means to be able to get in and out of the cockpit through normal means. But there`s also a security feature on that door as well. HAYES: Just to sort of make clear here what the stakes are in terms of how people think about the awfulness of what happened here, and the culpability -- if there were in fact, if there were a protocol that required a flight attendant to get into that cockpit when one of the pilots left to use the restroom, presumably, if that were followed -- again, we don`t know -- but if that were followed, as you have two people in the cockpit, neither of whom are responding, that would lead you to believe there was some kind of catastrophic loss of pressure or something that rendered those folks unconscious, as opposed to some sinister intentional descent being engineered by the remaining pilot. FEITH: Well, we have to be careful, Chris, only because whatever would have happened to those two folks in the cockpit, would also happen to the people behind the door. Remember, the environment of the airplane isn`t just in the cockpit. HAYES: Right. FEITH: So if there was some sort of pressurization problem that would have caused hypoxia to the crew, it would have caused hypoxia to the folks in the passenger cabin as well. So, you know, we have to look at this -- the fact that one of the crew members left, everything appeared normal, if he in fact did knock on the door with no response, either you have a medical condition with the remaining pilot, or you can`t rule out at this point, based on what scant evidence or information we have, that there wasn`t some other intent. And that`s always, in this post-9/11 age, you always have to leave that on the table until you have sufficient facts, and circumstances to rule it out. HAYES: Greg Feith, thank you very much. OK. There`s also news today regarding former prisoner of war, U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is now being charged with desertion. His lawyer will join me live, next. Then, one of the two fraternity brothers caught on tape singing a racist chant in the University of Oklahoma breaks his silence. (BGIN VIDEO CLIP) PETTIT: I knew they were wrong. I never knew how or why they were wrong. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: His apology and what he didn`t say, perhaps as important. That`s still ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Last night, I had the great pleasure of appearing as a guest on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" and perhaps even greater pleasure of being able to drop the F-bomb in a television appearance. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: You cannot under-account the possibility of the first woman president of the United States. That`s in the words of Joe Biden, a BFD. SETH MEYERS, HOST: Yes. By the way, tonight, both you and Ben Stiller, you guys are talking like we can`t beat things on this television show. HAYES: I do live television. (CROSSTALK) MEYERS: Say it again. HAYES: A big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal. (CHEERS) MEYERS: I just heard our beep guys out. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: You can watch more of my appearance on "Late Night With Seth Meyers", if you head over to our Facebook page, And, hey, while you`re there, why don`t you go ahead and like our page. Seth Meyers did. No, not really. Well, maybe he did. Who knows? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: U.S. Army announced today that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was accused of abandoning his post in Afghanistan, June 2009, is being charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The announcement was made out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Bergdahl was taken captive by the Taliban and held for five years by the insurgent group with -- by an insurgent with ties to the Taliban until a controversial deal was struck for his release in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay. Bergdahl will now face an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grabbed jury proceeding in civilian court. They`ll decide whether there`s probable cause for Bergdahl to be court-martialed. That will take place next month at Fort Sam Houston where Bergdahl has been assigned to administrative duties. Bergdahl now faces up to five years in prison for the desertion charge and a potential life sentence from misbehavior before the enemy charge. Joining me now is Sergeant Bergdahl`s attorney, Eugene Fidell. Mr. Fidell, is your client a deserter? EUGENE FIDELL, SGT. BERGDAHL`S ATTORNEY: I`m not going to get into that kind of thing, Chris. You know, I`m here to represent a client. I don`t want to try the case on television. So, if you`ll forgive me, there`s a time for me to go into that. This is not the time. HAYES: What then can you say about how this process will play out for your client? FIDELL: That I can help you with. Basically, what has happened is a general officer has decided to send some charges, two charges that you mentioned, to a -- basically a probable cause hearing. It`s in some ways like a grand jury, but actually in more ways it`s not like a grand jury, since unlike grand juries, that hearing will be open to the public, and the media will have ample opportunity, except perhaps if there`s classified information involved, to cover the matter and help inform the American people. I think at that hearing, people will learn many things that they have not yet been privy to about Sergeant Bergdahl`s conduct, his motivation, his intentions, as well as the details of his captivity at the hands of the Taliban for nearly five years. At the end of that process, there will be a recommendation to the general, who then will have to decide based on all the facts and circumstances, including the mitigating evidence, which as you can imagine is very substantial, given the experience that Sergeant Bergdahl has had, what should be done with the charges. And that could range from, you know, a general court-martial, that`s always, you know, that`s an option, to a special court-martial, summary court martial, non-judicial punishment or some kind of administrative outcome. HAYES: OK. So, let me ask you this, can you explain the two different charges and why desertion carries a five-year sentence and misbehavior before the enemy carries a possibility of a life sentence? FIDELL: Well, misbehavior is kind of a -- it`s a very rare charge, unlike desertion. There are a lot of people who have been charged with desertion. And typically, they don`t -- depending, it varies from branch to branch, but typically people don`t get hammered too awfully hard for desertion. The other charge, misbehavior before the enemy, is so rare, that in the time I`ve been involved with military justice, since 1969, I actually can`t think of a case in which that was a charge. The other thing you should know, Chris -- HAYES: Let me stop you for a second. FIDELL: Sure. HAYES: What does that mean? What is misbehavior before the enemy? FIDELL: Well, I can be precise. Because I`ve got the charge sheet -- or do I? I do. And I can tell you what the charge sheet says. It says that at a particular place in Afghanistan, Sergeant Bergdahl on or about June 30th, 2009, before the enemy, endangered the safety of an observation post and task force which it was his duty to defend by intentional misconduct, and that he left the observation post alone, and left without authority and wrongfully caused search and rescue operations. HAYES: So, this is the charge that has been the most, sort of -- that has caused the most controversy. And that the allegations that surfaced when Sergeant Bergdahl was released from some members who had served with him, that he had essentially endangered their lives through his actions. FIDELL: Well, that`s -- there are people who have said that. In point of fact, Major General Dahl, who conducted an extensive investigation, never mentioned this as a charge. I don`t think he had it in mind, and I don`t, frankly, know how it got on the charge sheet. This is a matter that I anticipate we`ll contest. But I want you to know, Chris, that these two charges are simply two ways of describing the same conduct. And I think it`s unfortunate that someone got creative in drafting the charge sheet and figured out two ways to charge the same thing. HAYES: Eugene Fidell, thank you for joining us. Really appreciate it. FIDELL: My pleasure. HAYES: Today, the Bush brothers are back together again, Jeb and W., at a private fund-raiser in Dallas. Up next, is a Jeb Bush ticket in 2016 inevitable? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Tonight at a private event in Dallas we can`t show you because cameras are not allowed, Jeb Bush, the man who many already consider to be the front-runner in the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, is relying on both his greatest asset and his biggest liability, to raise some money. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) G.W. BUSH: Last night, Jeb and I had some crabs, with late members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Dan Marino and his really dynamic wife, TV stars, Andy Garcia, movie stars, we had a fantastic experience. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Jeb Bush on leg number one of a two-day family fund-raising swing appearing with his brother, 43rd president, and tomorrow his father, the 41st president of the United States. Tonight marks the first time Jeb has appeared with George W. to raise money so far. According to "The Dallas Morning News", the invitation asked for donations or for attendees to raise up to $100,000 per couple. The fundraiser comes just two days after Ted Cruz officially entered the race, explicitly positioning himself as the anti-establishment, grassroots candidate, the man who can stop the party bigwigs from once again fleecing (ph) another, quote, "moderate candidate" on a skeptical GOP base. But even as Ted Cruz enters the race and Scott Walker and Rand Paul`s names get tossed around, some pretty remarkable to watch how Jeb Bush has emerged as a front-runner, particularly among the political media elite, the consultant class and Beltway observers. It almost seems like we`re watching the beginning of exactly what we watched play out in the Republican primary during the last two cycles. The Republican donor class congregates, anoints a nominee, say a Mitt Romney, while the base watches their candidates of choice ultimately drop out one by one. The big question, is whether Jeb Bush will go the way of Mitt Romney in 2012, the donor choice, by the base, or Hillary Clinton in 2008, the presumptive nominee defeated by an insurgent candidate who is loved by the base. Joining me now, McKay Coppins, senior political writer for "BuzzFeed". I -- so here`s my feeling and tell me if you feel this way, too, from your reporting. I`ve been talking to people -- people at news networks, people who are consultants, people who are inside politicos, people in the Hillary world, it is amazing to me how robust the Jeb Bush consensus is, that it`s Jeb. MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: No, I mean -- HAYES: Right? Am I right? COPPINS: No, absolutely. It`s actually amazing how fast it happened. HAYES: Yes, six months ago, it was, I don`t know, he probably won`t run. COPPINS: But even within -- in December 16th is when he announced, he posted it on Facebook, "I`m actively exploring". Within 12 days, he was at the top of two different 2016 polls. You know, establishment figures lining up to get behind him. He obviously kneecapped Mitt Romney, kept him out of the race, and now, he`s the consensus front runner. HAYES: Yeah, when people talk about -- when the people in those circles talk about the possible future Republican administration, they say, like, a Jeb administration. COPPINS: Yeah, of course. Well, here`s the problem. So, for people like Ted Cruz, right? Cruz, the argument Team Ted makes right now is that he`s the Barack Obama of the Republican side -- HAYES: Right. COPPINS: In 2016, right? The problem with that is that, while the Democrats often have situations like that, where you have kind of an insurgent movement candidate who serves to the front, and overtakes an establishment favorite, that doesn`t happen on the right, hardly ever actually. It`s not just the last two cycles. You have to basically go back to 1964, with Barry Goldwater, where he beat Nelson Rockefeller. You haven`t seen, since then, a movement candidate beat the establishment favorite. HAYES: And, so, the question then becomes, like, it`s almost like there`s these two things happening. There`s the 100,000 dollar fund-raiser, or the million dollar, Jeb Bush had his (inaudible). This huge donor network of the Republican establishment which is, inextricably, linked to the Bushes, right? The last two Republican presidents, right? COPPINS: right. HAYES: They`re all actually like, deciding who`s going to be the nominee. And then there`s this breaded circuses, for you rubes on the base, who are going to like, you know, be excited about Ted Cruz. I`m like, yeah, yeah, whatever. Like, that`s what it feels like. COPPINS: And, us in the news media who cover all those people because of fun -- HAYES: I`m not saying you rubes in the base, meaning myself. Like, I respect the Grassroots people. I`m saying, the people behind the closed doors were talking about Jeb Bush, (inaudible), they`re looking out at the Iowa caucus goer, and they are like, you think you had some control about this process? Well, you have no control of this process. COPPINS: Well, I will say, though, I mean, look, we`ve been talking - - there have been predictions for years and years and decades even, about the moment the movement will take over the Republican party again. 2010 certainly after the Tea Party insurge, that everyone thought it was going to happen, right? But then, if you fast forward to 2014, the Republicans made big gains again in the midterms with mostly establishment candidates. They had adopted some Tea Party platforms, but, it was mostly the establishment. It is possible -- I think the things to watch for with Jeb Bush are, if he screws up in a debate, really, really shows his dislike or distaste or disdain for certain elements of the base, which is not outside the realm of possibility, he could show that. If that comes through, I think if he really loses in Iowa and somebody serious comes out of Iowa, then you could see trouble for Jeb Bush. But, it seems unlikely at this stage. HAYES: McKay Coppins, thanks for being here. COPPINS: Thank you. HAYES: What happens when the brother of a right wing pundit accidentally hits reply all on a forwarded email from New York Mayor Bill De Blasio`s office? One of the greatest and most despicable email chains ever, stick around for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: For the first time since a racist chant by SAE fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma went viral, garnered widespread outrage, one of the fraternity members was videotaped singing that chant, addressed the ugly incident publicly before cameras. And, so now, in an almost classically staged act of redemption, we have moved from this (VIDEO OF CHANT) to this. Today`s public appearance by Levy Pettit, the now former University of Oklahoma student, who was one of the students seen chanting in that video. LEVY PETTIT, FORMER UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA STUDENT: Let me start by saying that I`m sorry. Deeply sorry. I`m so sorry for all the pain that I`ve caused, and I want you all to know that directly from me. Although I don`t deserve it, I want to ask for your forgiveness. There are no excuses for my behavior. I never thought of myself as a racist, I never considered it a possibility. But the bottom line is that the words that were said in that chant were mean, hateful, and racist. I knew they were wrong, but I never knew how, or why they were wrong. And, the people that I`ve met with, like Senator Pittman and all these leaders behind me, have opened my eyes to really put me behind those words, and the impact that people have when those words are said. HAYES: Oklahoma state Senator Anastasia Pittman, the leader of Oklahoma legislative black caucus, as well as a religious leaders and a representative of the local chapter of the NAACP, who said they accepted Mr. Pettit`s apology. Both Pettit and one of the other students in the video, Parker Rice, have left the University of Oklahoma, saying they withdrew. The national headquarters of SAE disbanded its University of Oklahoma`s chapter, but the disbanded chapter has hired legal counsel in assist them in evaluating legal matters. Today`s press conference comes against the backdrop of a rash of news reports alleging troubling behavior in the fraternity system nationwide. Today the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at North Carolina State University was disbanded, about a week after a pledge book was discovered with highly offensive comments about women and people of color. School chancellor, Randy Woodson, said, quote, "I hope today`s action makes it clear that there is no place for intolerance, sexism, and racism at N.C. State. While Penn State University, police are investigating allegations that members of Kappa Delta Rho posted nude and partially nude photos of women, some of whom were incapacitated, on an invitation only Facebook page. Joining me now, Jelani Cobb, contributor to the New Yorker. Jelani, I said on Twitter today, that that apology was just a notch away from a Dave Chappelle skit. There was something deeply strange and surreal about it. What did you make of it? JELANI COBB, NEW YORKER: Well, it was very unusual to see. You know, I kind of sarcastically said that I was waiting for the gospel choir to come out and for them to break into a hymn at any moment. But more seriously, though, I think that -- I`m an educator, so I have to believe that it`s possible that, you know, that this young man has learned something from the experience. Or, hopefully that he has. If in fact he was being sincere in saying he didn`t really understand the depth of the wrongness, you know, of that chant, and, you know, what its implications were, I think that really goes to the point of why we shouldn`t think of, you know, African American history classes, black studies classes, as simply the classes that black students take. This is part of American history. And it is really kind of exemplary of how, you know, when we neglect this kind of information, the kind of places that ignorance can fester. HAYES: Yeah, and I think it`s important, to your point about a 19- year-old, I mean, I think, you know, it seems to me no one is -- no one, at any age, is just the worst thing they`ve ever done. And, particularly as a 19-year-old, who has a huge opportunity to change and learn, and do all sorts of great stuff with his life. But, to me, the deeper question really isn`t about these kids, it`s about where that chant came from, and what this institution condones. And, this to me was the most interesting or illuminating moment of the press conference. He was asked where he learned the chant. This was his response. PETTIT: I`m not here today to talk about where I learned the chant, or how I was taught. I`m here to apologize for what I did. Because the truth is, what was said in that chant is disgusting. HAYES: That was -- I understand the stop stitching impulse there, but also, if you recognize what`s bad about what happened, you want to pull it out by the root and branch, then you`ve got to come clean about where that comes from. COBB: Yeah, but the root and branch is America. So, I think it`s like this specific song, or this specific chant may have captured our attention, but there are lots of other things that he could have said in lots of other places where he could have picked up that kind of information and it would have just been as provocative, and just as ill informed. HAYES: So then, what do you think ends up being the takeaway from this incident? Is this one of these, we have these occasional kind of rituals in American public life of kind of, you know, incidents of racial controversy, racism, and then the kind of healing and the kind of therapeutic sense and then we move on to the next one? COBBS: Well, I think, you know, I think the thing that we`ve done, is that we`ve stigmatized certain speech, for good reason, and certain behavior for good reason. But I don`t know if we`ve done as good a job of actually engaging people around these issues. And so, my idea would not simply be to cast someone out, or say that you can`t say these things in public, or you`ll be castigated if you do, without having a conversation about where this comes from. And, you know, I`m someone who errs on the side of kind of, of broad latitude around freedom of speech and saying you have the freedom to say something, but we have to do a better job of saying, but why would you want to say that in particular. HAYES: Why were a bunch of people on a bus enthusiastically yelling that? Jelani Cobb, thank you. Diversity is on the rise in television, but one Hollywood publication says that kind of, quote, ethnic casting may be, quote, too much of a good thing. That story still ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Crazy video out of Brazil this week where heavy rainfall caused a sinkhole so big, it literally swallowed an entire bus, and dropped it into the raging floodwaters below. Fortunately, all the tourists who were traveling in the bus got out safely before hand, in plenty of time to shoot this amazing footage. And, speaking of things getting flushed away, do we have a story for you. Like that transition? Ever seen the flushable wipes next to the toilet paper in the grocery store? They may be flushable in the strictest technical sense of the word, but they don`t actually break down in the sewer. And that causes major problems in, say, a city like New York, where 8 million people use the bathroom. Wipes, which are increasingly popular, are piling up in treatment plants, gumming up the machinery and causing a seriously disgusting situation. I know this, because I went to the biggest waste treatment facility in New York City to check out the problem firsthand. VINCENT SAPIENZA: We have a digestion system that breaks down organics. These wet wipes are synthetic, they`re plastic based. And so, they don`t break down in the treatment process. We have to physically remove them, and that`s an extra cost that we didn`t anticipate years ago. HAYES: It`s an incredible and incredibly gross story. And, we`ll bring you all the vie details right here, tomorrow night. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Here`s something you didn`t ask for. A view into the world of Tucker Carlson. Carlson, formerly of MSNBC, formerly of CNN Crossfire, and currently serving as Steve`s Doocy`s understudy at Fox News, at first glance comes across as sharp, well educated, and more civilized type of conservative pundit. But he runs a really sort of, bottom of the barrel right wing website, by the name of The Daily Caller site, that`s chock-full of factual errors and conspiracy theories. And today, it is one of those factual errors that provided a glimpse into Tucker`s world, in the form of an e-mail chain obtained by Buzzfeed. The e-mails are between a writer for The Daily Caller and Amy Spitalnick, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio. Now, Spitalnick is surprised, asking for a correction of an erroneous story The Caller had posted about the mayor. After some back-and-forth, The Daily Caller senior editor, Chris Bedford responds, "We`re reviewing the video now, Amy. If you annoy me with another whiny e-mail before then, I`m muting this thread. Thanks." Well, that was rude. So, Spitalnick forwards that e-mail to Bedford`s boss, Tucker Carlson. "Tucker, it`s pretty appalling this is how your staff choice to respond to us requesting a basic correction and providing a transcript that directly contradicts the original story." And, Tucker Carlson, bless his heart, responds thusly, "Dear Amy, thanks for your e-mail. You believe our story was inaccurate and demanded a correction. Totally fair, we are going over the transcript now. What Bedford complained about was your tone, which I have to agree was whiny and annoying, and I say that in the spirit of helpful correction rather than as criticism. Outside of New York City, adults generally write polite, cheerful emails to one another, even when asking for corrections. Something to keep in mind the next time you communicate with people who don`t live on your island. Best, Tucker Carlson." And, that there is the exactly the type of response you would expect to get from a guy like Tucker Carlson. But, as odious as that was, it was not the last e-mail Spitalnick received. Because somehow, Buckley Carlson, I`m not making up the name, he`s actually called Buckley. Buckley Carlson, the brother of Tucker, Tucker and Buckley, now weighs in. Now, I don`t know how he weighs in. He must have been blind CC or something. Which, makes you think that Tucker Carlson was so awesomely proud of his put down, that he BCC`d his brother, but whatever. He mistakenly replies to the chain and this polite, cheerful email is apparently how Tucker and Buckley communicate on their island. "Great response. Whiny little self-righteous expletive. "Appalling?" And with such an ironic name, too... Spitalnick. Ironic because you just know she has extreme expletive fright; no chance has this girl ever had a expletive necklace. Expletive neck? I don`t think so. More like expletive face." You can see the uncensored version of that online if you want. But really, why would you? Buzzfeed asked Tucker Carlson for a comment and he responded, "I just talked to my brother about his response, and he assures me he meant it in the nicest possible way." Aren`t these guys just adorable? The Daily Caller article, which was the subject to all this, was eventually corrected. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Entertainment Industry blog, Deadline Hollywood posted an article last night that immediately provoked a massive amount of backlash. It`s a, let`s say unusual take on what many people see as a positive and long overdue trend. The current success of TV shows by and about people of color, from ABC`s Fresh Off the Boat, to CW`s Jane, the Virgin, to Fox`s empire, now the biggest phenomenon on T.V. All of those shows and a whole lot of others, including, of course, Scandal, have created an appetite among Hollywood gatekeepers to cast more nonwhite actors in this year`s pilot season. According to Deadline, however, the new approach comes with pitfalls. The article`s headline pretty much says it all, "Pilot 2015: The Year of Ethnic Casting -- About Time, Or Too Much Of A Good Thing?" It describes the plight of all the poor, under worked white folks in Hollywood, who trudge from audition to audition, just to be told that only so called ethnic actors need apply. I`m only slightly exaggerating. This from the article, quote, "As is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in the color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off limits for Caucasian actors..." Here`s the thing, I`m very, very happy this article was written because it reveals the awful truth about many of the institutions and the people deciding what you see. Joining me now is film and TV producer, Gavin Polone, who often writes for The Hollywood Reporter, and Ty Jones, an actor on stage and screen, also the artistic director of the classical theater of Harlem. It`s great to have you both. Gavin, let me start with you. You wrote a great piece back in 2012 that was called, The False Circular Logic Behind Hollywood`s Resistance to Black Entertainment. Which was a sort of, I think a different cultural moment then. But, why has it been difficult, at other periods, for films that are about folks that aren`t white to get made or TV shows? GAVINE POLONE, FILM AND TV PRODUCER: That`s really simple. People have a tendency to want to make film product about things that they really understand, and that they connect to. And, unfortunately, and wrongly, the people who run major entertainment companies, in the big media conglomerates, are generally a very homogeneous group of white people who come from upper middle class backgrounds and have similar points of view. And, therefore, their world view is very different from that of the market. And I think it not only is bad because it doesn`t represent America properly on screen, but it`s also bad economically, because 30% of the audience is not white, or more. And they actually go and buy more tickets in movie theaters, and they watch more television than the white folks do. So it`s a bad thing. And it continues on and needs to change. HAYES: What`s interesting, Ty, is we were talking about this earlier, and in some ways it seems like there`s sort of waves, right? There`s a period in the 1970s, when there`s a tremendous amount of television and movies being made centering on African Americans, nonwhite folks. There`s this period in the 90`s, this explosion that happens, the WB comes on, and then the long, sort of thallow (ph) period. And now, it seems we`re in another uptick. Over the course of your career, have you seen that happen? TY JONES, ACTOR: Without question. You know, I wanted to start off by saying, you know, we got to make sure we`re not getting bamboozled here a bit, okay? Because, you know, Deadspin wants to get traffic to their site. HAYES: Deadline, yeah. JONES: Deadline. Thank you. And when they do that, when you talk about race, inclusion, and diversity, those topics are about as hot as a summer sidewalk, okay? And then you`ve got to look at the writer herself. My 4, 6 and 8 year old can write something more sustainable on the wall in my apartment, okay? And, we have to be able to kind of look at this in a distinct way. So, let`s take -- let`s turn the temperature down a little bit and let`s look at another industry like advertising, okay? So, they have what`s called the general market. And then they have, over here, the multiculturals, gays, black, lesbians and Asians. And, what`s happening now is this new general market. And, that new general market is made up of the gays, blacks, Latinos and Asians, and then a chunk of whites. So, this new general market is the new consumer. HAYES: You`re actually saying that structurally the way that advertising thinks about this? JONES: Oh, I 100% believe it. But, you know, axiomatic and manifest to that is, it happens in TV, film and theaters as well, too. We see that this general market, the old general market is what`s being catered to. But, there is a new general market that`s coming out. And, that is -- those are the -- that`s the group of people that we need to be paying attention to. HAYES: Part of what`s driving part of this is the tremendous success, I think, first of Scandal and then of Empire. Gavin, I mean, what always strikes me about people that are in the position of being executives in television, or movies, or anything, is that they have this sense, they`ve gotten there because they`ve figured out what the audience wants, but, no one actually knows what the audience wants. People just throw a lot of stuff on the air, some of it works, and some of it doesn`t. And then something like Empire comes along, and everyone`s like, holy smokes, right? POLONE: Yeah, and, unfortunately that happens not because there`s not been that much forethought, it just, sort of, is an anomaly. And, as it comes through, people say, oh, wait a second, black people watch television? But I do think like, I think that you have to look at this period right now, where there seems to be more progress. A lot of it is really due to one woman, which is Shonda Rhimes, who`s just a good writer, and she created a show which became a huge hit, which is Grey`s Anatomy, which was not particularly, not necessarily a black show or anything like that, and then she`s been able to, as she has gained more power in the business, enforce her will. And I saw that because I produced a couple of different television shows for ABC Family in the past couple of years. And, I felt the strong mandate to get more diversity in their shows, largely because Shonda Rhimes started talking about it in public, saying she didn`t want her children to watch shows where there weren`t a more diverse cast. And, I think it really benefited ABC and will continue to benefit it going forward because it changed their thinking a little bit. But still, I have to get back to the idea of like, all the people who are making those decisions are the same people, they`re all white. HAYES: Ty? JONES: So yeah, that is this new general market, right? But the thing that hasn`t changed is this. We`ve seen this, you know, rise and growth in this new general market, but yet, what we haven`t seen is the leadership, and the people who make those decisions. That hasn`t changed. HAYES: And, you saw that on the hacked Sony emails, you saw that on Chris Rock was doing all those interviews around his movie, he was just saying, look, I stick out. Like, I walk in to these rooms -- JONES: So, we should be careful about this. I mean, I am happy to see a lot of my friends getting on TV, and making names for themselves. But we should be very cognizant this could be one of those ups. Until the leadership changes, that`s where substantive change will happen in terms of seeing real diversity stay. HAYES: So, how does that change, Gavin? How do you get the situation where essentially the gatekeepers themselves come to reflect the way the country looks? POLONE: Well, you know, it happens in other industries. I mean, the CEO of Merck, which is arguably the most pharmaceutical company is a black man, the CEO of American Express, one of those prestigious companies in America, is a black man. There have been many others in other industries. I think that collectively, people in the entertainment industry have to start saying, hey, we have to change this. We have to promote people in part because they come from different backgrounds, because we need to reflect the audience better. And that`s going to make economic sense for us. HAYES: Yeah, I think the other thing you`re going to see is that that whole -- the kind of cartel of cultural gatekeepers is coming apart anyway, right? JONES: And then, I think there`s going to be a little bit of a shakeup, because, you`re asking folks to essentially have jobs for folks in senior positions, and decision making positions, that don`t look like them anymore. And, that`s going to be a tough thing for some people to take. HAYES: Gavin Polone and Ty Jones, thank you both for your (inaudible). I really appreciate it. That is All In for this evening, The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END