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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 1/31/22

Guests: George Conway, Nse Ufot, Angelo Carusone, Sam Seder, Michelle Goldberg


At a rally in Texas this weekend, former President Trump floats pardons for January 6 rioters if re-elected, and admits he wanted Pence to overturn the election. Georgia County purges Democrats from election board and cancels Sunday voting. Fox News continues to push vaccine lies despite the network`s strict COVID rules. A month ago, former State Trooper Robert LaMay who resigns after refusing to be vaccinated was tragically hospitalized and died with COVID. Spotify and Joe Rogan respond to COVID. Podcaster Joe Rogan has apologized amid a backlash against COVID-19 misinformation in his program, while Spotify said it would add a content advisory to any episode with discussion of COVID.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And Operation Lone Star are tonight`s absolute worst. And that is tonight`s ALL IN -- and that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS. He starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Put me in jail. They want to put me in jail.

HAYES: We now live in a world where the former president has admitted he tried to stage a coup.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I think that it tells us that he clearly would do this all again if he were given the chance.

HAYES: Tonight, the fallout from the ex-President stunning admission and George Conway on what it means for the prosecutors investigating Trump. Then, the brazen takeover of an election board in Georgia where Republicans are canceling key voting days. Plus --

JOE ROGAN, PODCASTER: Absolutely I get things wrong, but I try to correct them.

HAYES: How the pressure on Spotify has finally gotten a response from their biggest star. And as they turn vaccine resistors into celebrities, the brutal tragic reality of their anti-vax advocacy that Fox News refuses to tell.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST FOX NEWS: What`s next for you other than being a celebrity now? What`s next for you?

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Donald Trump wants the world to know that he is a clear and present danger to American democracy. And after a near miss, he is mounting a second attack. And I`m not connecting the dots or reading into anything to come to this conclusion.

One of the weirdest and yet strangely inoculated thing -- inoculating things about Donald Trump is that he just comes out and says what he`s up to. That`s exactly what he did at a rally in Texas this weekend when he dangled pardons for the insurrectionists and essentially mounted a campaign to intimidate his way out of criminal liability.


TRUMP: If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.

If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington D.C., in New York, in Atlanta, and elsewhere, because our country and our elections are corrupt. They`re corrupt.


HAYES: If prosecutors try to charge him, Donald Trump wants his supporters to take to the streets. And yes, protest is a healthy part of democratic society. But it`s also worth remembering what the very last pro-Trump protest in mass looked like.

And the following day, the former president was also remarkably clear about that day about what his real intentions were on the day of the insurrection on January 6. He released his statement saying in part, "If Mike Pence had absolutely no right to change the presidential election results, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results the election?"

"Actually what they`re saying is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome. Now they want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn`t exercise that power. He could have overturned the election."

In his own words, Donald Trump said he wanted Mike Pence to overturn the election. Now, that`s a phrase we use on this program all the time and have been using for a while because it`s, I think, the most succinct articulation of what he was trying to do, foment a coup and American democracy overturn election. And now the twice impeached ex-president is using those same words himself.

As for Mike Pence, today, we learned that his former chief of staff, a guy named Marc Short, testified before the committee investigating the insurrection. He was subpoenaed back in December and reportedly appeared last week. He was the guy by Mike Pence`s side the entire time as Trump was bullying Pence to steal the election as the Capitol was being attacked, and Pence, again, was being shuffled to safety.

Of course, this doesn`t stop with Donald Trump. He`s brought the entire Republican Party under his control, involving them in his clearly, consistently, and repeatedly articulated anti-democratic aims. If Republicans gained control of the House later this year, as they very well might, Donald Trump is going to wield incredible power. He might even be speaker.

The Daily Beast reported today Trump is already making plans, urging members of his party to prepare or to investigate a conspiracy theory about his own attempted coup. "Trump has privately told Republican lawmakers, congressional candidates, and operatives in recent months that Republicans on Capitol Hill should be prepared to launch a full-blown investigation to "get to the bottom" of how FBI agents supposedly caused violence and mayhem on January 6."

That`s the insurrection was an inside job theory proposed by lots of people including hosts on Fox and a guy who got fired as a speechwriter. It`s like the 9/11 was an inside job theory. It`s an utterly groundless theory that the insurrection was actually some sort of inside job perpetrated by undercover FBI agents. It`s bunk.


It originally came from former Trump White House speechwriter who was fired for fraternizing with white supremacists, and Fox News Tucker Carlson has been promoting it for months. Now, Donald Trump`s increasingly exceedingly clear message that the last election was stolen from him, and Republicans need to be ready to do whatever it takes next time has made its way down to the rank and file.

In fact, it`s probably the one issue they`re most passionate and focused on. Many of them are even more honest about what that means. So, take a second, I want you to listen to what two Republican candidates in Michigan told the crowd there this weekend about what they should be preparing to do.


RYAN KELLEY (R-MI), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: If you see something you don`t like happening with the machines, if you see something going on, (INAUDIBLE). Take control of the narrative. We cannot sit on the sidelines anymore and be nice and pray for America. I think that`s not going to be good enough. Pray for America or take action to take our country back.

MIKE DETMER (R-MN) STATE SENATE CANDIDATE: The Second Amendment isn`t there for hunting rights. It`s not there for self-defense. The Second Amendment is there, the Founders put up there to protect all the others. And it says to the government, the people have the right.

And if they go back to look at our Declaration of Independence, the ideal thing is to do this peacefully. That`s ideal. But the American people at some point in time, if we can`t change the tide, which I think we can, we need to be prepared to lock and load. So, if you ask, what can we do? Show up armed.


HAYES: Let me give you a little tip as someone who`s covered people talking in politics for a long time. Whenever you get someone saying the ideal is to do this peacefully, and then the but comes, that`s the part to listen to. That`s the part when you`re urging people to engage in political violence, to show up armed.

Now, some of the strongest condemnation of Trump, we should say, is coming from within his own party. It`s a small number of people. But early this evening, Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the Vice-Chair of the January 6 Committee, denounced the former president`s threats.


CHENEY: He acknowledges that he was attempting to "overturn the election." He threatens prosecutors. He uses the same language that he knows caused the January 6 violence. And I think that it tells us that he clearly would do this all again if he were given the chance.

I think it`s very important, though, for the American people to recognize and understand what we know and what the president -- the former president himself is saying about his intentions, what his intentions clearly were a year ago on January 6, and what he would do again if he ever got anywhere close to power. And that just simply can`t be who we are as Americans. It can`t be who we are as Republicans.


HAYES: People like conservative lawyer George Conway who tore into Trump saying somebody should read the ex-President his Miranda Rights because he is admitting to his crime right there out in the open. And joining me now is the aforementioned George Conway, conserve a lawyer, Washington Post contributing columnist, and Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

George, I`ll start with you. I mean, I guess at one level, at least the honesty and clarity he tried to want to overturn the election is useful.

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVE A LAWYER: Yes. I mean, it`s -- I mean, what he did over the weekend was kind of a trifecta go into his intent that prosecutors may be able to use. I mean, the first is that by offering pardons or suggesting that he might pardon the people who commit violent acts on January 6, he`s demonstrating that again, that he approved of their acts and it`s consistent with the reports that he was watching with glee. And it`s an adds to the case that he was actually intending to foment violence that day.

His statements to the effect that he would -- that he would -- that he tried to fix the election, that he was trying to get Pence to overturn the election go to his intent there about what he was trying to do, which goes to the corrupt -- whether he was acting with a corrupt motive to try -- to try to interfere with a congressional proceeding.

And the other -- the other thing that he did was to show that this is his modus operandi. He intends to -- he`s willing to use the threat of violence or to incite violence in order to coerce government officials to either forego enforcing the law against him or to, you know, violate the law as he sought to have Pence and member -- and members of Congress to on January 6.

HAYES: Yes. There`s a kind of air of menace that hangs over all of this, and people who have been on the other side of it will tell you, you know, what happens when you were in the crosshairs rhetorically. We should note that the Fulton County District Attorney sent a letter to the FBI yesterday.


This is the district attorney looking into possible criminal prosecution or in a panel of grand jury about the President`s attempt to solicit essentially election fraud. And that called Raffensperger and says, I`m asking you immediately conduct a risk assessment of the Fulton County courthouse and government center, you provide protective resources to include intelligence and federal agents. We must work together to keep the public safe, ensure we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

And Joyce, that was striking to me right after Trump says, you know, take to the streets if I`m indicted, which again, like taking the streets is fine. That`s part of civil society. It`s part of liberal democracy. It just has a different valence when coming from him a year after the last time people took the streets and ended up with, you know, cops had been bashed in at the Capitol.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, enough of bending over backwards to give the former president the benefit of the doubt. He made, I think, a pretty direct threat and she was right. This is the District Attorney in Fulton County in Georgia. And she doesn`t have a massive amount of resources at hand to protect her people and to protect the public as they enter her building.

She was absolutely right to reach out to the FBI. And I suspect that they`ll give it very serious consideration. Because George says something that is so very true about Trump as have you, Chris. He doesn`t play games when it comes to his intent. And this is all about what his intent was.

Whether that`s the element that prosecutors have to prove to tie him up to the insurrection, or whether it`s what he intends to do going forward. He has made very clear statements. This is a man who asked people to violently eject protesters from his own rally.

This is not a call from the former president for peaceful protests. This is a call from the former president for more of the same because there have been no consequences, at least for him personally, for January 6. As long as there are no consequences, he will feel free to continue on that same trajectory.

HAYES: Yes, particularly when you`re saying the same speech in which you`re floating pardons for people that did engage in violence on his behalf and in His name the last time around. And I was also thinking about -- I was thinking about that, George, in relation to that drafted speech that we saw that was handed over the committee that was this speech that someone wrote for him the day after January 6, that was like, basically, normal politician speak about January 6. It says this is terrible. We`ve reject it utterly. To the people who did this, you`re not part of our movement. They must be tried to the full extent of the law. Like, all the things that you would expect, and just the complete 180.

I mean, this was what the Republican establishment that people around Trump wanted him to have -- take up as his line in the aftermath and the day after. A year later, he`s saying like, we`re probably going to let them all out of jail. Maybe we`ll get the gang back together and come for you a second time.

CONWAY: Yes, absolutely that`s what he`s doing. And he`s saying now that November 3 was the real insurrection. He`s praising the people as he initially wanted to do. He`s praising the people that -- who did what they did on January 6. He`s back to the mode that he expressed that day when he said, This is what happens when a free fair election is stolen.

He wanted these people to do what they did, and they did what they thought he wanted to do -- them to do. And that`s -- and that`s what they`re telling courts when they`re getting sentenced.

HAYES: And there`s also this trickle-down effect. We saw it in those two individuals who are running for office in Michigan, one running for State Senate, one running for governor, saying you know, unplug the machines. The other saying show up armed.

And this, Joyce, this is -- this is what he said to -- in a local -- in an endorsement of a local election official race in Pennsylvania where he sort of quotes I think it`s an apocryphal Stalin quote, but it`s as sort of frankly, authoritarian as you can get about controlling essentially the means of electoral counting. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Western Pennsylvania, as you know, we did very well there. We did very well in the state. We won the state. It`s something that I contest and I`ll continue to contest it. We were up by a massive amount at 10:00 in the evening, and then all of a sudden, things closed and reopened and look what happens. So, we have to be a lot sharper than next time when it comes to counting the vote.

There`s a famous statement, sometimes the vote counter is more important than the candidate.


HAYES: And that`s really been the message. I mean, that is the message that we need to seize the control of elections as opposed to win more votes. We need to control them and then -- and "overturn elections" in his wording this weekend.

CONWAY: It`s absolutely right --

VANCE: It`s very clear that the former President doesn`t believe in -- doesn`t believe in winning elections by convincing the American people to vote for them -- for him. He believes in winning elections by taking control of the machinery of elections. It`s an incredibly dangerous trend. We see legislative action. We see these pro-Trump candidates running. And it is what the American people will most need to be on guard against in the upcoming midterm elections.


HAYES: Yes. And George, I mean, there`s legislative fixes. There`s discussions about how to -- you know, there`s legislation proposed that`s more sweeping in terms of -- by Democrats to kind of guarantee a kind of baseline level of electoral access. There`s other stuff about reforming the Electoral Count Act.

But I keep coming back to this idea that there`s something -- you almost can`t legislate your way out of one of two parties in a liberal democracy essentially withdrawing from the basic legitimacy of liberal democracy as a collective undertaking, which is what we`re watching happening in real- time.

CONWAY: Yes, that`s absolutely right. I mean, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, the 12th Amendment, they all assume good faith. They all assume various actors up and down the line,are going to follow the law, follow the rule of law.

And, you know, that`s exactly why Donald Trump was unsuccessful in 2020 in fixing the election results, in overturning the election results. People like Raffensperger, the governor of Arizona, the governor of Georgia, the various federal judges, many of whom Republican. And they all did their jobs and did their duties, the Maricopa County electoral board. They all did the right thing.

And the question is, will the same people or people of the same quality and caliber and honesty and integrity be there in 2024 in the states that matter? And that`s the scary question. And I don`t think any, you know, amendment or clarification to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 can guarantee that.

HAYES: George Conway and Joyce Vance, thank you both.

As Trump tees up his plans for the next election, how Democrats are already getting purged in Georgia. Plus, the absolute tragedy of a veteran state trooper who quit over a vaccine requirement, became a Fox News celebrity, championed by vaccinated Fox host sitting safely in their studios, and has now died from COVID. That`s ahead.


ROBERT LAMAY, FORMER WASHINGTON STATE TROOPER: It is insane. It`s going across the state and across the world. It`s been unlimited talk shows. I`ve been on talk shows pretty much solid since 2:00 yesterday. And I could do a ton more if they -- if I had the time of day.




HAYES: The quiet, constant, consistent Republican-led effort to take control of elections is happening right now in a small county in Georgia just south of Atlanta. It`s called Spalding County. It`s home to just over 67,000 people centered around the city of Griffin.

Now, in the 2020 election, the county went for Donald Trump by nearly 60 percent, though its demographics are undergoing a slow and steady change according to local political organizers. After the election, in May of 2021, Republicans effectively dismantled the county`s majority democratic election board, purging the three Black women on the board, and making it majority Republican.

The way the Georgia legislature enable that purge was through legislation specifically for Spalding County to restructure its Board of Elections. Last month, they showed what this move was all about when the new Republican board voted to cancel Sunday voting, which is typically a day where polling places see a heavy turnout from Black, largely Democratic voters.

But Spalding County, Georgia is not alone. It is one of at least five other counties in Georgia seeing these types of grassroots purges of Democrats from election boards to put Republicans in positions of power.

Nse Ufot is the CEO of the new Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter registration and engagement organization. And she joins me now.

Nse, this is such a strange story because of the language in that build text in H.B.769. They specifically say, the fifth member of the board shall be selected and appointed by a vote of a majority of the judges, the Superior Court of Spalding County. What`s the backstory here about the national party of -- the statewide Republican Party targeting this election board in this county in their legislation?

NSE UFOT, CEO, NEW GEORGIA PROJECT: Well, so the way that it works in Georgia and the way it`s worked in several counties, so a couple of concepts. One, Georgia has 159 counties. Georgia has the second-highest number of counties in any state in our country, second only to Texas, right?

So, what that means is that there are 159 boards of elections, there are 159 election supervisors, etcetera. And so, in Spalding County, like the majority of Georgia counties, there would be two --the Democrat Party -- the county party would appoint two people on the BOE. The Republican Party would appoint two people on the BOE. And then they would vote on the fifth person or the county executive would appoint a fifth person, right?

And so, they had a system, the county executive -- the two Dems, the two Republicans would vote, and they chose the fifth person. Well, they now have given themselves the power through a little known legislative tool that they have called local control.

And now, they`ve used that to find -- to unceremoniously remove the Black Democrats from the board and replace them with people who have no government experience, no election administration experience, who believe that the 2020 election results are illegitimate, and literally are going to be there to be partisan hacks to make it more difficult for people to vote in their counties. And --

HAYES: Yes, just to -- be clear, I just want to reiterate so people understand this because I think it`s important, that these kinds of structures are very common in election boards around the country where you have like two and two, and then a fifth person like is reached by consensus or the fourth, because the idea is that like you want these boards to generally be not super political, not really hacky, to be generally bipartisan. Like that`s the whole idea behind them to have this kind of structure set up that`s now been replaced with just this like straight-up Republican majority power graph.

UFOT: 100 percent. And here`s the insults that`s added to the injury is that these county boards of elections are already grossly underfunded and constantly under attack. And these little African American Democratic women who`ve been doing this work for 10, 15, 20 years managed to execute elections flawlessly with not nearly the resources that they need.

And as a thank you for doing their jobs and going above and beyond, they are being unceremoniously and unilaterally dismissed and replaced by partisan actors. So, they`re letting 10, 20, 30 years of election administration go out the door for people who don`t believe that Joe Biden is our legitimate president.


That is the state of affairs in Georgia right now. We talk about Senate Bill 202, but there are also -- if we think about county governments and municipal governments as sort of labs, innovation labs for democracy, they are places where -- that`s for good and for ill. And the Republicans absolutely see it that way, that these are proving grounds, testing grounds for how they can be disruptive, how we can get to the November `22 Midterms, and they can cause enough chaos so that we don`t have a Congress that is seated.

Like, this is what is happening in real-time right now in places like Georgia, and the 18 other states that have passed these anti-voting bills.

HAYES: It`s such a great point just to reiterate what you said. Like, being on these election boards is almost a definition of thankless work. People are not making a lot of money doing it, they un-resource it. No one is like, oh, I love you stopping on the street being like, thank you for your service on the election board.

Like -- so, these are people that were just doing completely purely out of essentially civic dedication, this kind of work, who have now been, you know, turfed out for no reason. And we should also note that my understanding is that that SB 202 GA voting law, it basically gives local administrators discretion about that last Sunday whether voting is open before election day. That`s the kind of traditional soul to polls day. They -- if the register or absentee ballot clerk so chooses, so every county can choose, and this county now has a new regime that says nope, we`re closing that down. We`re not going to have that on that Sunday.

UFOT: Right. I mean, then you`re looking at some of these counties where, you know, there`s 100,000 voters, 200,000 voters, which may not seem like a lot, but when you look at the margins in the 2020, elections where seven million Georgia voters voted in 2020, and the margin of error -- or the margin of victory between President Biden and former President Trump was 11,000 votes. That`s 0.0015 percentage points, right?

So, like that is the slimmest and thinnest of margins. And so, the Republicans have given themselves all of these tools that are -- that are - - they can use to overturn the results of elections that they do not like. And Souls to the Polls, attacking Sunday voting is a direct attack on religious voters, on cultural side, on Black voters.

HAYES: All right, Nse Ufot, thank you very much for that illuminating dispatch. I appreciate it.

Up next --


IFS Robert LaMay, thank you so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate it and best of luck.

LAMAY: Thank you so much, guys. And you keep doing your work. You guys are doing phenomenal work. And God bless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.


HAYES: The former police officer celebrated on Fox News for quitting his job rather than getting a vaccine has now died from COVID. The needless tragedy compounded every day on Fox News next.



HAYES: Robert LaMay was a Washington State Police Officer who became something of a hero on the anti-vax right after he was fired from his job last October for refusing to get vaccinated. LaMay gained particularly notoriety for his rather crude send-off to Washington`s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.


LAMAY: This is my final sign-off. After 22 years of serving the citizens of the state of Washington, I`m being asked to leave because I am dirty. This is the last time you`ll hear me in a state patrol car. And Jay Inslee can kiss my ass.


HAYES: In addition to a number of glowing segments, that video earned LaMay two interviews on Fox News, including one with the network`s primetime star Laura Ingraham who said the officer had become a celebrity for his refusal to get vaccinated.


INGRAHAM: What`s next for you other than being a celebrity now? What`s next for you?

LAMAY: I`m the spokesperson for thousands and thousands -- I even say millions of people. I think there`s two million people that have actually viewed it. It`s been 99 percent positive from everybody. I think this is my path right now. There`s a lot of job offers that I`m getting, phenomenal job offers. I`m just trying --

INGRAHAM: All right, well, a sleeping giant. Yes, we may be -- a sleeping giant. So, we hope that that`s what`s happened here.


HAYES: A month ago, LaMay was tragically hospitalized with COVID. And after spending some time on a ventilator, he succumbed to the virus last Friday. He leaves behind a wife and four children. It`s an unbelievably sad story.

LaMay was a true believer who really did not trust the vaccine and he lived his values and principles. LaMay is also not alone. I mean, a staggering number of law enforcement officers have died from COVID. In fact, it has been their leading cause of all cops in the country, the leading cause of death for two years now.

It`s also a microcosm of a larger daily tragedy in America that`s almost unfathomable. We`re still losing a shocking number of people every day now, roughly a year after vaccines became widely available, an average of around 2500 Americans are dying day after day after day after day after day.

2022 will be another year in which COVID is one of the leading causes of death in America. In fact, more people died from COVID in one 11-day period this month than have ever died from homicide in an entire year in this country`s history. The vast majority of those deaths are entirely preventable.

That`s what`s so maddening and so upsetting, because all it takes is a few shots to confer hugely beneficial reduction in risk. The horrifying tragedy of America right now is embodied in this story of this individual who lived his values, who was not pretending, who really did what he believed in.

Those values, no doubt informed by right-wing media, including Fox News. Robert LaMay did that interview with Laura Ingraham from this squad car. She appeared to be safely ensconced in some remote studio. Ingraham is almost certainly vaccinated, probably boosted, because she worked for Fox News, a company that takes this virus very, very seriously, at least behind the scenes.

They`ve got all sorts of regulations. They mandate -- they had vaccine or constant testing for their employees. But of course, that message does not make it to the committed viewers of the network. No, no, no. They only hear the anti-vax talking points that made Robert LaMay a celebrity for their own ratings, for fame, for cynical monetary purposes. I think they did -- I don`t know, they don`t have enough money.


That network which is overseen by CEO Suzanne Scott -- she`s the woman who calls the shots over there, and you should know her name, has decided to fan the flames of vaccine resistance. And those flames are getting thousands of people killed, thousands and thousands and thousands. And when those people die, they are of course forgotten by Fox News.

LeMay passed away on Friday. And as of this afternoon, the network has not mentioned his death once. This is just one sad chapter in a broader story of preventable tragedy that continues to grind down in America driven largely by the enterprise that Rupert Murdoch and Suzanne Scott oversee.

Angelo Carusone is the president and CEO of Media Matters for America, which has reported on the story of Robert LaMay. And he joins me now.

Angelo, I just want to be clear and respectful here. First of all, there are people who die of COVID who are vaccinated. It is not -- it doesn`t stop you from succumbing to the disease. It`s also no one`s fault if they get an infectious disease. You know, it doesn`t adhere to someone ethically if you catch COVID or you get very sick with COVID.

What we do know is that vaccination and particularly boosted on top of vaccination reduces by 15, 16 times people`s risk of death. And what is the message been from Fox about vaccination in the main?

ANGELO CARUSONE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: The bottom line here -- and people don`t remember the individual claims, right? They remember the narrative, the takeaway. And the takeaway from Fox News is not only that the vaccine is not effective, but Fox`s current coverage is that the vaccine will kill you. That is the bottom line takeaway, that it is either going to hurt you more than COVID would, or alternatively, that it`s some kind of an effort to take away your freedom.

And if you get vaccinated, you`re actually giving in to liberal totalitarians and a whole bunch of other negative things will come from it. So, they sort of give you an either worse takeaway, but that`s the -- that is the summation of Fox News` coverage.

HAYES: How much do you think that`s -- how much is that supply and how much is it demand? Meaning, how much are they catering to the views of their audience already and just chasing them with no concern for whatever that might do ethically? And how much of this is, you know, their sort of agenda?

CARUSONE: So, I think that`s a very good question because it actually gets the thing that adds another layer of disappointment and tragedy to these already tragic deaths. It didn`t have to be this way. You can go all the way back to April of 2020 when Fox News in just a span of a week devoted 91 segments to getting people to go out to the reopen events, to actually flout in all the public health measures.

And you can actually measurably track the change in vaccine skepticism, but not just vaccine skepticism, their anti-vax coverage is part of anti-public health measure coverage as well. You -- they track very closely together.

So, there was a moment when their audience, you know, obviously a core part of them would have some hesitancy or some anxieties, but the real fuel here and that big shift that you`re referring to, it didn`t have to be that way. It really was a consequence of supply.

Fox News didn`t just flood the market with the vaccine, sort of an anti- public health measures, they cornered it. And I think that`s why it`s had such lethal effects.

HAYES: Rupert Murdoch, of course, who`s the owner of Fox News and has properties across the world, Australia and the U.K. and across the English- speaking world, particularly. My understanding is that his properties in the U.K. do not take this line, that this is -- this is a Fox choice.

And in fact, Murdoch, you know, put out a statement when he very early in line to go get the vaccine and, you know, praise the National Health Service and has his vaccine. But you know, it`s -- this is his network, and they`re choosing to do it.

CARUSONE: That`s right. And you know -- and I think part of that is cultural, right? That the other countries are taking a little more seriously, although they`re starting to be kernels of pushback that`s beginning to metastasize in a similar way. But it`s not as acceptable. It`s like getting in an elevator and start behaving badly, right?

There`s a norm. People will enforce that. Say, calm down. It`s the same thing. The outside societies won`t tolerate that,. not just from a public pressure perspective, the marketplace won`t tolerate it. And that -- and you know, on Australia, their channels there were sanctioned on YouTube in a very meaningful way. They lost their distribution rights for some COVID misinformation.

So, the penalties were harsh enough to actually make them engage in a normative and acceptable way. That just hasn`t been the case here. It`s been sort of perverse. They`ve actually been rewarded for this. And I think that`s the real -- the real challenge here is that while we, you know, focus online for some of these little pockets of misinformation and their takedowns, Fox News, for some reason has been grandfathered in. And they`ve been able to avoid any of the accountability that much smaller actors have had to endure.


HAYES: That`s a good point. It`s the most horrifyingly breathtakingly cynical and inhumane thing that I`ve seen in my time in public life in the media. There`s just nothing that compares to it, astounding too. Angelo Carusone, thank you.

CARUSONE: Thank you.

HAYES: Fox might be weathering the backlash against vaccine misinformation. What about Spotify and their star podcaster Joe Rogan? That`s next.


ROGAN: I`m not trying to promote misinformation. I`m not trying to be controversial. I`ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people.



HAYES: You may have heard of Joe Rogan. He`s a stand-up comic and Ultimate Fighting Commentator. He`s the former host of a show on NBC where contestants ate bugs and did all kinds of crazy things. He`s now almost known for a popular podcast he holds.


What started as casual conversation with his friends back in 2009 has become a real hit by any metric. And in fact, in 2020, Rogan signed a $100 million deal that gave the streaming service Spotify exclusive rights to his show. The show now reaches an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.

I got to say, I`ve listened to Rogan. I personally found episodes of the show fascinating and interesting. He`s a strange but good interviewer and covers all sorts of stuff. But Rogan has repeatedly made racist, sexist, anti trans comments on his show.

He`s increasingly embraced the right-wing anti-vax COVID skeptic platform, including suggesting President Biden did not actually get a booster shot on live TV because he could have died or blacked out. He`s giving friendly interviews to people spreading just wildly wrong and dangerous misinformation about COVID.

It got to a point where rock icon Neil Young said, I don`t want to be part of this anymore and wrote a letter to Spotify saying the company had to choose between him and Rogan before removing music from the streaming service. So, Spotify chose Rogan. They took his songs down.

Then, legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell followed suit. She said, "Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. And so, after weeks of sustained pressure, and a rapidly falling stock price, Spotify has now announced they`re going to put a content warning on Joe Rogan`s podcast.

And Rogan who is clearly spooked posted this nearly 10-minute video on Instagram that basically says, sure, we get lots of stuff wrong, but we`re just talking here.


ROGAN: I`m not a doctor, I`m not a scientist. I`m just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely, I get things wrong, but I try to correct them. Whenever I get something wrong, I try to correct it because I`m interested in telling the truth. I`m interested in finding out what the truth is.

My point of doing this is always just to create interesting conversations, and ones that I hope people enjoy. So, if I pissed you off, I`m sorry. And if you enjoy the podcast, thank you.


HAYES: Rogan promises you better, mostly failed to address his own comments that have undermine confidence in vaccines and spread outside like wild conspiracy theories.

ROGAN: If you`re like 21 years old and you say to me, shall I get vaccinated? I go, no. If you`re a healthy person, and you`re exercising all the time, and you`re young, and you`re eating well, and like, I don`t think you need to worry about this. And they`re trying to say that children need it when they don`t. They don`t need it.

I have no conversations with suits. Spotify has never said a God damn thing to me. They`re amazing. I tested it too, like when I brought Alex Jones on.


ROGAN: That`s (BLEEP) guy is right way more than he`s wrong.


ROGAN: Way more, especially now. When people are talking about actual microchips being injected into your arm to see if you have COVID-19.


HAYES: You heard that part right, where Rogan says Spotify has never said a thing to him which, listen, bro to bro here, you know, that sounds great. Your boss has never checked in on what you`re saying. They just write you the check, the company paying you $100 million to air your show.

But there`s a lot that comes with that, right? I mean, if a host uses a platform to spread things that aren`t true that end up hurting people, then you know, they`re all kind of responsible, including the platform.

I don`t think is the end of the story. Because right now this story, which is an interesting one is right at the intersection of these enormous trends that are growing between COVID disinformation and big tech and speech. And we`re going to talk about all that right after this.




ROGAN: I want to make this video first of all, because I think there`s a lot of people that have a distorted perception of what I do maybe based on sound bites or based on headlines, of articles that are disparaging. The podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation. I`m not trying to promote misinformation. I`m not trying to be controversial.


HAYES: Podcast host Joe Rogan pushback today against accusations. He`s continually spread misinformation about COVID. Even though he`s promising to do better, Spotify is going to put a warning on his podcast. He`s not been sanctioned or censored in any way. So, what do you do with a host who tells tens of millions of viewers every week that they don`t need to be vaccinated during a pandemic.

Michelle Goldberg is an op-ed columnist of the New York Times, Sam Seder is the host of the podcast Majority Report with Sam Seder, and they both join me now.

And Sam, as a -- as a plucky, independent man I come to for entertaining conversation but can`t trust a word you say, what do you -- what do you -- what do you think about this situation?

SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT PODCAST: Well, I should say, you know, full disclosure, I tried to get on Rogan show years and years ago because A, to go on his show was to really help out your own show. At the time too, I felt like he had had a lot of right-wingers, a lot of libertarians on.

And to that, he sort of announced on his show that he felt that was too harsh with right-wingers, so it didn`t happen. But that was all well and good. But the point is, he`s got a very, very important show. He`s got a huge audience. And I think the thing that he doesn`t fundamentally understand is that his intent is irrelevant.


SEDER: It really is. And I actually think that, you know, his intent isn`t as bad as a lot of other players out there, but his intent is irrelevant. He is spreading misinformation. Even in that Instagram video he did, the first three minutes are him trying to prove that misinformation doesn`t even exist, because there has been a changing dynamic with vaccinations and COVID over the course of eight months, which of course, you know, eight months ago, vaccines did a different thing because COVID was a different thing.

But he doesn`t quite get what he`s doing I think in many ways. I mean, he thinks he knows what he`s doing. But he doesn`t understand it from the perspective of the way that it impacts society.

HAYES: Yes. There`s a kind of fascinating dynamic here. I mean, I -- first of all, I should say that I sort of bristle a little bit at this kind of like, call the manager liberalism, you see sometimes. Like, oh, that`s misinformation, you need to like cut that person off.

And so, you know, I generally still have a kind of sort of old school speech, more speeches is better view. But one of the things is a little weird here about this conversation, Michelle, is that it -- and someone made this point on Twitter today and I forgot who. You know, it`s being talked about, like, content moderation or something. It`s like, Spotify is just producing this show. They pay him $100 million. That`s a Spotify show.

If I see things on this network that are wrong or that are, you know, legally problematic or slander, like, yes, they come after my network and my boss is like, that`s how it goes, dude. Like, I don`t know what to tell you, but people think they`re in some world that they are not in.


MICHELLE GOLDBERG, OP-ED COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it`s in the same way that you would go after Fox. I mean, the right -- the right analogy is not YouTube, which just happens to have all this content on it, or Facebook and Twitter, and we could talk about their content moderation policies.

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: But you`re right. Spotify is essentially his publisher. You know, so this is, as you said, it`s a Spotify show. And I understand people feeling, you know, sort of uncomfortable. In some ways, there`s no good way to deal with this because once people see -- you know, Joe Rogan`s whole shtick is I`m going to give you these voices that other -- that big media wants silence.

So, once people are out there saying, you know, that this is dangerous and you have to shut it down, obviously, that just proves this point to a big part of his audience. It just proves that he`s the, you know, the sayer of unsayable things. At the same time, this is -- you know, his audience is massive. I don`t know that all of them are sort of realize as he said in that Instagram -- you know, he sort of said, oh, I`m going to start doing more research before my shows. I don`t know of all of them realize that he hadn`t been doing research before his shows.

And so people take that stuff seriously. And there`s a huge amount of distrust out there, a huge market for people to -- you know, a huge market of people who have sort of anti-authoritarian leanings and really bristle at two years of being troll -- of being told to trust authority and circumscribe their lives in really painful ways.

HAYES: Yes. And I get that too. Like -- and that`s not -- It`s not like that some, you know -- you know, ethically compromised disposition for people in public. People have that --

GOLDBERG: Right. I mean, I should say, you know -- and in some ways, this pandemic has really left people to figure it out on their own, you know. I got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because I was in the clinical trial. I figured out before the expert guidance that I should get the booster shot. So, at the time, I was sort of going against public health guidance, even though later the guidance changed, right?

Things do shift. Some because the virus changes, our understanding of the virus changes, and some because the public health bureaucracy can be sort of lumbering and slow. And I think that they take advantage of the uncertainty that creates and act like there`s some kind of -- there`s something malevolent there when it`s really just how it works.

HAYES: And there`s also this responsibility thing too. Like, just to pull the curtain back here, Sam. Like, we do a podcast called Why is Happening? It comes out every Tuesday. And it gets like, fact-checked and it goes through standards. And you know, when we first started, I was like, oh, my God, we`re fact-checking a podcast.

It`s like, well, yes, we`re fact-checking a podcast, because the podcast is the product that we put out in the world, and the things we say in it should be true. And to some level, like, we want to believe that we`re just having a conversation, but it`s like, when you say things that aren`t true, like, you put that out into the world. That`s the way this works.

SEDER: Yes. And I say this as, you know, someone who most of my best friends are comedians. And so, there is this sense that because I`m not a journalist --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: That I don`t have the same responsibility. And you know, this can be deployed in more or less malevolent ways. You know, this is what Limbaugh used to say. I`m just an entertainer. You can`t take me seriously.

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: And the bottom line is, if you`re talking to 11 million people every -- you know, every time you do a podcast, you have a responsibility. And if you`re the company that`s paying for it, it`s on you. And he gets a Spotify paycheck. And so it`s on them. It`s part of their brand now that they are the ones who are publishing this stuff. They are profiting off it. It is hurting people, and it`s their responsibility, and it`s their brand.

HAYES: And the only thing about it too is like you can just talk about stuff that doesn`t matter that much. I mean, like, that`s the other thing. You could just choose to like talk about comedy or talk about, like --

SEDER: He`s in over his head, right?

HAYES: Right, that`s the thing.

SEDER: And that`s the bottom line. He`s in over his head. He doesn`t realize it. He`s making too much money for them, for them to tell him. And that`s the bottom line. I mean, today he tweeted out, you know, sort of gloriously this AP story about Ivermectin in a study from Japan.

Well, 20 minutes later, the AP corrected its headline, and you`ve never heard from him again about it. And so, you know, this is a problem. And he doesn`t want to take responsibility for it and Spotify doesn`t want to take responsibility for it. But someone`s to blame.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, it wouldn`t be nice I think just to live in a world where like, you don`t have to worry if everything you said is true. Like, it would be -- that would be like less onerous. But that`s bad. This is the -- you know, we`re all grown-ups here and we all have responsibility, including these two people.

Michelle Goldberg and Sam Seder, thank you both.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.