Justice Brett Kavanaugh tests positive for COVID. Supreme Court Justice Alito is on the defensive and lashes out at media critics. President Joe Biden rallies House Democrats in a Capitol Hill meeting. The internet pounced on one moment where Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut asked about policing fake Instagram accounts commonly known as finsta. Ford.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. A radical unchecked Supreme Court wants everyone to stop complaining.
SAMUEL ALITO, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: The media and political talk about the shadow docket is not serious criticism.
HAYES: Tonight, Justice Alito`s hurt feelings as an unaccountable partisan court changes the nation. Then --
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It doesn`t matter when. It doesn`t matter whether it`s in six minutes, six days, or six weeks. We`re going to get it done.
HAYES: What we know about where the Biden agenda stands after the president visits the Capitol.
Plus, the legendary Bryan Stevenson on the out-of-control culture war against education on racism.
And why Joe Biden should take a page from the Trump playbook as Ford makes a massive announcement on electric cars.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we can say this is -- we can say, the eighth wonder of the world. This is the eighth wonder of the world.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Today, we learned that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for COVID. Now, the good news is that he is fully vaccinated, thankfully. According to a statement from the court, he has no symptoms and he was tested as part of a routine screening yesterday.
I got to say, every time I hear about a breakthrough case like this on someone who`s vaccinated, of course, I feel sorry for the person who`s sick, but also relief that they`re vaccinated. Just two days ago, Kavanaugh participated in a three-mile charity road race. Here he is crossing the finish line. It`s an annual event that`s kind of full of D.C. insiders from members of the media, to members of Congress and the Supreme Court. You could see his Washington Nationals hat there. He`s a big national fan.
Of course, Brett Kavanaugh has been a D.C. insider literally his entire life. His father, Ed Kavanaugh spent more than two decades in Washington as a top lobbyist for the cosmetics industry. He was a gulf partner of Tip O`Neill, the longtime Democratic House Speaker.
The younger Kavanagh attended elite all-male Catholic schools including Georgetown prep where he was two years ahead of fellow justice Neil Gorsuch, two guys from the same all-male Catholic high school. What are the odds on the Supreme Court?
Kavanaugh is a guy who is a creature of well, the swamp, for lack of a better word, who then went on to have a career in Republican politics. You see, Brett Kavanaugh, like all members of the Supreme Court, are just human beings with personal politics and life experiences and biases and ideologies just like -- just like you and me. We all know that, obviously, but for some reason they are intent on trying to gaslight us into thinking that they are not.
Recently, members of the court have been going on the offensive trying to convince America that they are sort of these ethereal beings removed from the petty partisan politics that have come to dominate the rest of life. And not only that, they have also been claiming that it`s an egregious insult suggests that they could possibly have political commitments that affect them in any way whatsoever to suggest they`re mere mortals whose judgments are filtered through their ideology like everyone`s are.
Now, I should say this charm offensive, if you can call it that, it`s more of a whining offensive, is not working. New polling from Gallup shows approval of the Supreme Court is down to just 40 percent. That is the lowest it`s ever been in Gallup tracking. And keep in mind, they started pulling right after Bush v. Gore.
Remember, this current court, this 6-3 courts, six Republican appointees, three Democrats, is the product of the unprecedented, historically unprecedented, it never happened before, total obstruction of President Obama`s nomination of Merrick Garland, and then the election of Donald Trump despite the fact that he lost the popular vote, and then the rushing through of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before her body was even in the ground.
It is a Trump-McConnell course that is simply a historical fact about the courts makeup. On top of that, there`s also the fact that the court is very obviously hostile to the reproductive rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade, and later in Casey. This upcoming turn, they will be hearing arguments in a case from Mississippi which is basically banned abortion after 16 weeks that could overturn Roe.
And just keep in mind this is a case they had no reason to take other than the opportunity to gut or overrule Roe. So, we know what they`re doing. Of course, just last month, the court, five of the four justices, all conservatives, failed to enjoy a blatantly unconstitutional law in Texas that prohibits nearly all abortions.
For the last 30 days, it has been essentially impossible for women to secure an abortion in the second most populous state in the union. This is not a legal abstraction. This is a fact on the ground. There are women who are pregnant in Texas right now who cannot secure their constitutional rights.
So, yes, when you look at all that, I think it`s not that surprising that a lot of people aren`t super psyched about this court. But here`s the thing. People`s criticisms of the court are really landing, and so the justices are getting defensive.
Yesterday, it was the right-wing Justice Samuel Alito, a man who is very clearly suffering from an acute case of Fox News brain speaking of the University of Notre Dame law school. Justice Alito lashed out at the critics of the court, particularly critics of the so called shadow docket. Now, that`s the process by which the Supreme Court decides emergency cases without revealing the reasoning. They don`t issue, you know, big decisions, right?
Now, the shadow docket has always existed. The thing is that this court has massively expanded it, and also used it in obviously ideological ways, because they use it so inconsistently for cases with huge stakes like last month when access to abortion in Texas was cut off and five justices shrug and said, nothing we can do. But we can all see what they`re doing. Justice Alito, however, says it`s not happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALITO: The catchy and sinister term shadow docket has been used to portray the court as having been captured by a dangerous cabal that resorts to sneaky and improper methods to get its ways. And this portrayal feeds unprecedented efforts to intimidate the court or damage it as an independent institution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, to me, this is actually an encouraging development. First of all fun trivia fact, shadow docket coined by a law professor who`s a former clerk of John Roberts, not some crazy liberal. And intimidate the court is an interesting choice of words because it`s really just criticism. The level of defensiveness here shows the criticisms of the court are really getting to them. They hear it. They know that the public perception of them is bad.
And that`s a good thing because guess what, Justice Alito, we live in a liberal democracy. And the court is part of the institutions of liberal democracy. Apparently, people like Sam Alito want lifetime tenure on the court with zero democratic accountability short of impeachment, which hasn`t happened in more than 200 years.
And along with all that the power and the prestige and the lifetime tenure, they also don`t want anyone to criticize them. Well, tough buddy. That`s not the way it works in this country, in a liberal democracy in a free society. I`m sorry, but you`re going to get criticized and you deserve it.
Justice Alito is not the only one with very, very thin skin. Just a few weeks ago, Justice Amy Coney Barrett gave a speech that was in some ways worse than Alito`s. Alito at least had the guts to let his talk be promoted and recorded so people could see it.
Cony Barrett did not inform the press ahead of her appearance, did not allow any audio or video recording. There are a couple of reporters present so we do know some of what she said, like, "My goal today is to convince you the court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks. Judicial philosophy is not the same as political parties. And the media, along with hot takes on Twitter report the results of decisions. It leaves the reader to judge whether the court was right or wrong based on whether she liked the results the decision."
So, there she is, Amy Coney Barrett having walls herself off from criticism, complaining about misinterpretation and attacking the press while not allowing them to record the speech from behind this little fortress she`s built. And here`s the best part. Amy Coney Barrett stood there claiming the justices are not partisan hacks when she herself is on the court because Mitch McConnell shoved through her confirmation in near- record speed and last weeks before an election, having blocked a nomination election year when a Democrat was around.
Now, that`s after he claimed you know, you couldn`t confirm a new Supreme Court Justice in election year when Merrick Garland was nominated. And you could say in defense of Amy Coney Barrett, she can`t control who nominates and confirms her. That`s true. She can control where she appears and with whom she does.
Take a close look at the photo here. There -- who is that guy in the glasses? Oh my word. That is Mitch McConnell himself sitting on the stage approvingly looking on at Amy Coney Barrett, his crown jewel, the woman that he got confirmed next to her on stage as she says she is not a partisan hack at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Mitch McConnell Center at the University of Louisville.
This isn`t even gaslighting. It is either genuine delusion or a taunt. And it`s not just the right-wing members of the court. I got to say justice, Stephen Breyer on a very strange book tour slash maybe farewell tour has also been on the defensive about accusations of partisanship.
In an interview with The Washington Post the day after Amy Coney Barrett`s speech in Louisville, Breyer agreed with his colleague.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN BREYER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do agree with what I think your approach is that she`s taking there. You know, as I`ve said, it takes some years and you then gradually pick up the mores of the institution. And the mores of the institution, you`re judge. You better be there for everybody. Not just the Democrats, not just the Republicans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, as an ideal, sure. As a description, the Supreme Court has long been hostile to public scrutiny. They think they`re above it. They think all this stuff that happens on the chambers of ogre. They didn`t let cameras in the courtroom, for instance, for that reason.
You may have noticed, we don`t have much to show you when we talk about the quarter. It actually, to be honest, I`m breaking the fourth wall here. It makes it hard to do cable news segments about the court. And that`s on purpose, to insulate themselves from the normal parry and thrust of criticism that comes in the context of liberal democracy, what Amy Coney Barrett calls hot takes. But if there`s one thing I take away from this new chorus of whining, it`s that the criticism is working, so please keep it up.
Melissa Murray is a professor at New York University Law School, co-host of the podcast Strict Scrutiny. Elie Mystal is the Justice Correspondent at The Nation where today he wrote that Conservatives on the Supreme Court have one aim this term, to stop progress. And they both join me now.
I`m not even quite sure where to start on this. But I think I want to start on the -- on the it`s working part of this, Melissa, because it is striking to me the defensiveness. I mean, Samuel Alito, to get up at Notre Dame Law School and go after an Adam Serwer piece in The Atlantic about the court`s failure to enjoin the -- you know, Texas is really striking.
I want to -- I want to play for you what he said and get your response to it. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALITO: Here is a line from a recent piece talking about our refusal to grant an injunction in the Texas abortion case. "The Conservative majority on the Supreme Court was so eager to nullify Roe v Wade that it didn`t even wait for oral argument."
Now, put aside the false and inflammatory claim that we nullified Roe vs. Wade, we did no such thing. And we said that expressly in that order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you say to that?
MELISSA MURRAY, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Well, I just first want to say that the fact that a sitting Supreme Court Justice would call out a journalist by name is absolutely reprehensible, which is not to say that journalists are above the fray or above reproach.
But, Justice Alito, when he makes statements on behalf of the court, has the installation of the protection of the court, the marshal service. Adam Serwer is a private citizen who is doing his job and will likely be the target of those who follow Justice Alito, who believe he`s been wronged, and will in turn take up his cause against Adam Serwer.
So, this was literally a Justice of the Supreme Court punching down, naming names. Adam Serwer`s name was not the only name he recalled here. He also specifically named a law professor at the University of Texas who has done empirical research about the expansion of the shadow docket, something that academics actually do.
These are people doing their jobs in the same way that Justice Alito is defending himself and his colleagues doing their job. This is not the normal course of exchange in a liberal democracy. This is someone using the power of his pulpit to intimidate and to incite others to go forward and take up his charge against this individual. It is naming enemies.
HAYES: But it`s also -- I mean, it`s also -- I mean, I agree with that although I also -- I guess I have a -- I think that like Adam Serwer and Steve Vladeck, the law professor I think that you`re referring to who`s done really great empirical work on this. You know, they`re in the -- their news to the parry and thrust of this stuff. It`s like, you know, they -- we can all criticize each other.
To me, the preciousness here, Elie, the defensiveness, the thin skin this on display is so striking. Like, hey, grow up dude. This is what it`s like.
ELIE MYSTAL, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: Well, but Chris, it`s also -- it`s thin skin this for purpose, right? There`s a reason they don`t want journalists to be talking about them. If you were about to make a set of decisions that were massively unpopular, that might actually wake the opposition party up from its 40 years stupor and try to do something to take away your power, would you A, want people to know about it or B, want people to not know about it so you can employ the shaggy defense and say, oh, it wasn`t me. I don`t know who took away women`s rights. It must have been some -- like, they want -- what the Supreme Court is right now, and I`m not being hyperbolic about this, what they are right now are thieves.
They are thieves who have set out in the night that can take away rights from women, take away rights from minorities, take away rights from vulnerable communities. And what all -- this charm offensive, that`s the thieves shooting out the security cameras before they pull off their heist which is coming this term.
HAYES: That`s the thing. They know. That`s the thing, Melissa. Like, this specter of like that what they did in Texas, which by the way they didn`t nullify Roe. Like, you did nullify Roe. Like, nullify has many different meanings. In a strict legal sense, you could say the order didn`t nullify role because they didn`t overrule it. But Roe is nullified on the ground in Texas. Like, you know, again, things have planned meaning.
But second of all, it`s like, to Elie`s point, like they know what they`re about to do. That`s the other thing that feels this way. Like we -- they`re going to go into this term and they can feel everyone waking up to what the court is.
MURRAY: Well, I think that`s obvious, though. I mean, we`ve had the B team out here talking about they`re not partisan hacks while Mitch McConnell sits flanking them on the podium. We`ve had Justice Thomas talk about deference to tradition, even as he writes opinions in which he talks about dismantling stare decisis if you don`t agree with a particular decision or thinks it`s demonstrably erroneous.
So, we`ve known this for a long time. But what really alarmed me today is this idea that this is a court that not only has to be a part of a democracy in which freedom of the press is an actual thing, is part of making democracy work, and it is punching down against these journals, not only just withholding information from them, but actually punching down.
And then they`re still in a position to actually make jurisprudence about what freedom of the press actually means. We know what they think it means because he`s out here naming names. It`s absolutely reprehensible.
HAYES: I didn`t think that -- I thought the line about intimidationality was a reference to the specter of court expansion that I do think was introduced to the discourse in the campaign and does hang over them a little bit and have them -- and is in their heads a touch. What do you think?
MYSTAL: Oh, absolutely it`s in their heads. That`s also how you explained Stephen Breyer. I mean, I think he did a good job by pointing out it`s not just the conservatives, it`s also a liberal justice like Steven Breyer who is carrying the water and running this gaslighting game trying to tell us that -- not to believe our own eyes.
Steven Pryor right now is -- he likes the spotlight so much that he`s about to interrupt Taylor Swift from getting an award, all right. Like, he is so beyond -- he`s doing Stephen Colbert. He`s selling his book. He has completely lost the plot of what his job is supposed to be. Why? Well, he loves the power. And I think that this is what you look at when you look across all nine justices. What you have right now are people who are so used from being untethered to any accountability, any reproach.
Brett Kavanaugh has 83 ethics complaints against them that were never investigated, right? Like they do not think they can be touched. And until somebody touches them by expanding the courts, you know, they`re going to act like this.
HAYES: Melissa Murray and Elie Mystal, thank you both for joining me. I appreciate it.
MYSTAL: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: For members of the House, today is September 30 part two, as Speaker Pelosi worked to ensure support for an infrastructure vote. So, what did the 24 hour extension get them? Where things stand tonight? And what the President had to say inside that room speaking to the caucus about this defining vote? Right after this.
HAYES: In the House of Representatives, today was still September 30th legislatively because the house never actually adorned last night. Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi worked late trying to show up -- shore up support for the bipartisan infrastructure bill before putting the House in recess and resuming negotiations today.
Now, you may recall where last we left this drama, Progressive House Democrats, Congressional Progressive Caucus won`t vote yes on that bipartisan infrastructure bill until and unless the big $3.5 billion -- trillion dollar bill back better package is hammered out and agreed to, and two Democratic senators still won`t agree to that. One of them is Senator Kyrsten Sinema. She has actually left -- or she actually left D.C. earlier today while negate negotiations are ongoing. Her office says she flew back to Phoenix for a medical appointment. The New York Times points out she also has a fundraising event there tomorrow. So, two birds with one stone I guess.
Sinema did reportedly get on the phone with the White House this afternoon before President Biden headed himself to Capitol Hill to meet with House Democrats. An attendee at the gathering told The Washington Post Biden`s message to moderates was that the infrastructure package where they`ve been pushing to just get it up or down vote on isn`t going to happen until there`s an agreement over the Build Back Better Act.
NBC News reports that Biden said negotiation on that act are now in the $1.9 trillion to $2.3 trillion range instead of 3.5. And as he left the Hill, he sounded optimistic that a deal will be made at some point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m telling you, we`re going to get this done. It doesn`t matter when. It doesn`t matter whether it`s in six minutes, six days, or six weeks. We`re going to get it done.
GARRETT HAAKE, NBC NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Why has it been so challenging to unite the, Mr. President? Why has it been so challenging to unite the party? Why isn`t the party united?
BIDEN: Are you serious?
HAAKE: Why isn`t the party united?
BIDEN: 50-50? Come on, man. Unite the party, 50-50. I got it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just moments ago, the House voted on a bill that keeps highway funds flowing, and then they left town. So, where are we at? Congressman Ro Khanna of California, one of the progressives who was at today`s meeting with President Biden. And he joins me now.
Congressman, what would --take me through the meeting.
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Well, Chris, the president came in and I actually vindicated what progressives have been saying. We`ve been saying we actually are doing what the President wants. The president said we`re not going to pass infrastructure until we get an agreement on reconciliation. He was very candid. He said he spent hours and hours and hours with two senators.
He`s been trying to convince them. He hasn`t succeeded yet but he`s making progress. And he said he`s told the senators don`t give me a number. Tell me what you`re for, and then let`s figure it out. And the range, you report it, obviously, is one possibility. But the main thing he emphasized is, let`s come to a consensus of what we`re for.
HAYES: So, yes. Two things here. One is him saying, I like that approach, frankly, because I think the numbers -- you know, we`ve done this poll stick about the price is right. Like, the number doesn`t tell you anything. The number of a thing doesn`t tell you the value of the thing, the price of a thing. Like, it could be overpriced, it could be under the price. There`s ways to spend money that are bad, there`s ways to spend money that are good.
Like -- so what he`s saying is, we want to negotiate on programmatically what are we trying to do, and then that -- and then reach an agreement across the entire caucus, all 50 senators are in. And at that point, you in the Progressive Caucus feel like you can go ahead and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Is that right?
KHANNA: Exactly. That`s what the progressives have been saying. The president basically came in and said, that`s what we need to do, because there were several, you know, about a handful of House members that were insisting on a vote so much of the epic of this creative fiction that today was still the September 30. Only in the House of Representatives, they dream up that stuff. The President basically came and said, look, we have to get a reconciliation agreement.
And what it emphasizes, let`s just not talk about the number. Let`s talk about what`s in this bill. We`re going to give people childcare, we`re going to give people paid family leave, we`re going to make sure that seniors get dental benefits, vision benefits. We want to have Community College for everyone. We`re trying to tackle the environment and climate crisis in the first way massive investments in renewable energy. He was reminding people that let`s talk about the things that we`re for not to get caught up in in the number.
HAYES: So, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin appear to be the holdouts. It seems to me that Joe Manchin is engaged in negotiations, whatever you think. I mean, I think he`s been pretty clear. He said, look, I`m not a liberal, you know, which fair enough. He`s definitely not. Sinema has been a little cage here, though she did finally come up with a statement yesterday.
What do you think about her going back to Arizona for a fundraiser or at least in part? The hotel confirmed the event which kicks off the cocktail reception 5:30 Saturday, followed by dinner. What do you think about that move?
KHANNA: It`s obvious she doesn`t care at all about the optics. I don`t understand why with all the scrutiny, she`s engaged in raising money from interests that are affected by the legislation. But look, I mean, my understanding is she sat down with Speaker Pelosi or they had a long conversation. She`s at least engaging. I do believe that`s because of the pressure that he`s finally engaging. And I believe that progressives are going to come to a consensus.
So, I hope -- I`ve heard he`s put on climate, I hope she`ll be strong on those provisions. And let us know what she`s for and what she`s against. But maybe she`ll say, I`m not for paid family leave or I don`t want seniors to get dental and vision or I don`t want people to get free community college. Just tell us what parts are you against.
HAYES: So -- wait a second. I just want to make sure. Is that -- so she sat down with Pelosi?
KHANNA: She had. She had a conversation whether it was sitting down or over the phone. I`ve been told that she did have a conversation. And you know, that`s productive. I mean, she`s -- at least she`s engaging.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Ro Khanna, thanks so much for your time tonight.
KHANNA: Thank you.
HAYES: Don`t go anywhere. Senator Richard Blumenthal is here to explain that viral moment from a social media hearing this week. Well, he`s still looking for an answer. After this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Will you commit to ending Finsta?
ANTIGONE DAVIS, HEAD OF GLOBAL SAFETY, FACEBOOK: Senator again, let me explain. We don`t actually -- we don`t actually do Finsta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: The Senate held a hearing yesterday with the Facebook executive about protecting kids online on the company`s platforms which include Instagram, and this happens a lot.
The internet pounced on one moment where Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut asked about policing fake Instagram accounts commonly known as finstas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Will you commit to ending finsta?
ANTIGONE DAVIS, GLOBAL HEAD OF SAFETY, FACEBOOK: Senator, again, let me explain. We don`t actually -- we don`t actually do finsta. What finsta refers to is young people setting up accounts where they want -- may want to have more privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The media and the internet went wild with that. Everyone loves the old senator out of touch with the youngsters moment.
Here`s the thing, Senator Blumenthal is the chair of the subcommittee that held this hearing with Facebook, he arranged the testimony after internal company documents revealed the social network is fully aware of the negative effects of its platforms on teens.
The Wall Street Journal reported "We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls, said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experienced the issues.
Teens blame Instagram for increasing the rate of anxiety and depression, said another slide. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.
That`s from Facebook`s own research. In fact, earlier in the hearing, Blumenthal himself gave a very clear explanation of finstas when he explained why Facebook is targeting teens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLUMENTHAL: I want to talk about one major source of concern for parents, they are finstas. Finstas are fake Instagram accounts. Finstas are kids` secret second accounts. Finstas often are intended to avoid parents` oversight.
Facebook depends on teens for growth. Facebook knows that teens often are the most tech savvy in the household.
BLUMENTHAL: But Facebook also knows that nearly every teen in the United States has an Instagram account. It can only add more users as fast as there are new 13-year-old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, so exactly. The point is that the existence of finstas, the ability to create different accounts for 13-year-olds is actually a point of important regulatory emphasis, one the senator very clearly understands.
And Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut joins me now. Senator, explained to me the regulatory concern here, you`ve got, you know, 13-year- olds, 14-year-olds, who can get an Instagram, and can also create accounts that, understandably, because they`re 14, they don`t want their parents to watch through -- you know, they could have one user with a whole bunch of accounts. Why is that a concern to U.S. senator, why do you ask that question and go down that line of inquiry?
BLUMENTHAL: Chris, you know, I took a little bit of ribbing online, the internet had a laugh, my kids had a laugh, I have a laugh. But there`s really something deadly serious here as you have just stated.
Facebook did studies, they did the research, they had findings and recommendations that showed how deeply destructive Instagram can be in eating disorders, online bullying, self-injury, even suicide.
And Instagram provides a means for those children 13 and 14-year-olds to completely avoid any parental oversight or help.
And so, the thrust of my questions was that essentially, Facebook ought to be helping parents to protect their children.
But second, there`s another serious point here, which is that Facebook`s growth, its metrics consist of numbers of users, that`s the way it raises its stock level, the way it sells to advertisers.
And so, Facebook essentially is making money by exploiting kids` vulnerabilities. And we know as parents, anybody who`s had teenage children and mine are four, beyond the teenage years. Now, these years are the most vulnerable in terms of self-image and susceptibility to doubt, and negative images of oneself.
So, I think that what we need here is stronger intervention to protect those kids and help their parents.
HAYES: Yes, the point here, I just want to -- in case (INAUDIBLE) the point you`re making, which is really interesting and important one is that the amount of accounts, the amount of Instagram handles is the growth metric. And so, a single teenager with four or five accounts is good for Instagram, they are incentivizing the ability to do that, because that is part of their growth, like they want those numbers to go up as high as possible even if parents are saying no, we should be able to have is like one actual identified account for our actual kid and not have them anonymously swimming through the world of Instagram.
BLUMENTHAL: Exactly right, Chris. And not only were they profiting from the destruction of kids` self-image and creating these vulnerabilities or exacerbating them. And the perfect storm, as one of their studies calls it, but they also concealed it. And there is a striking parallel here to big tobacco, I sued big tobacco, I`ve led the litigation among states against big tobacco.
And I remember well, that moment when we learned that big tobacco had done the research, showing that its products were toxic, and addictive, despite its denials. And I felt the same sensation here when I learned of these documents brought to us by the Wall Street Journal, but to us my office by a whistleblower, and that whistleblower will be testifying on Tuesday.
HAYES: Oh, wow. So, you have another hearing on Tuesday?
BLUMENTHAL: There`s another hearing on Tuesday, and we`re going to have more tech platforms come to talk to us in formal hearings because these phenomena is not limited to Facebook. The profiting from harm to children is more prevalent than a lot of parents and many others realize.
HAYES: Senator Richard Blumenthal, we`ll have you back to talk about your new legislative proposal to ban thirst traps next time you`re on, OK?
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
HAYES: OK. Ahead, the panic over critical race theory reaches new heights. I`ll talk to civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson about the push to ban words like equity and social justice from classrooms.
Plus, a major win this week for job creation and a greener future, why Democrats should be taking a victory lap? You earned it. After this.
HAYES: Just about every politician campaigns on jobs, specifically on stopping jobs from moving overseas. Key populist campaign promise, especially from Donald Trump and Trump really sold the sizzle of the jobs and manufacturing stuff no matter how many times he under delivered on the stake. It started before Trump was even sworn in as president. You remember this one, Carrier reverse plans to close an air conditioning plant in Indiana and move jobs to Mexico. That gesture ended up being way less than was promised, the plant was saved but Carrier ultimately eliminated more than a thousand jobs in Indiana.
Then, there was a much hype Foxconn plant in Wisconsin. This is an incredible story, it was going to make LCD screens, employ 13,000 people. Here`s Trump during the groundbreaking ceremony back in 2018.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congratulations on truly one of the eighth wonder. I think we can say this is -- we can say the eighth wonder of the world. This is the eighth wonder of the world. But this is something so special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump says it`s the eighth wonder of the world. Now, where have I heard that before?
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The world`s eight wonder: Trump Taj Mahal! A shining treasure - it`s Donald Trump`s astounding Taj Mahal!
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HAYES: I like the way they rhymed (PH) Taj Mahal with Taj Mahal on that jingle. Much like Trump`s Taj Mahal casino, which was an infamous disaster, leaving behind broken promises and devastating community.
The Foxconn project was also not the eighth wonder of the world, I guess unless you know, wonder whatever happened to it.
Foxconn massively cut its initially promised $10 billion investment, grossly undelivered on new jobs. The Verge reporting that many of these so- called jobs that did materialize are not exactly marking the great return of American manufacturing. "Even the handful of jobs the company claims to have created are less than real: many of them held by people with nothing to do, hired so the company could reach the number required for it to get tax subsidy payments from Wisconsin."
Those subsidies were either denied or dramatically reduced, by the way because the whole thing was a bust.
Then, there`s the pledge that Trump made to workers in Ohio, implying he would stop General Motors from downsizing it`s very, very big Lordstown factory and promising to save manufacturing jobs in the area.
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TRUMP: Those jobs have left Ohio. They`re all coming back. They`re all coming back. Coming back.
Don`t move. Don`t sell your house.
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HAYES: Don`t sell your house. General Motors closed up shop in Lordstown anyway, another company bought the plant only for its founder (PH) as well. We just learned get this that Foxconn fresh off their failure on the eighth wonder of the world in Wisconsin will now be taking over the Lordstown location.
Donald Trump promised manufacturing jobs in Indiana, in Wisconsin, Ohio that failed to materialize. But here`s the thing, there really is a path towards renewing American manufacturing and it`s through the green economy. We`ve got a lot of stuff to build in this country for the clean energy transition. Democrats have been making this promise for years and it is actually coming true.
Ford, perhaps I think spurred by the Biden climate agenda, the understanding that the government is getting serious about cutting emissions, recently announced four new plants and factories in Kentucky and Tennessee, which are projected to create 11,000 new jobs actually doing something, making electric cars and batteries. It is the company`s biggest one-time manufacturing investment ever.
I`ll say it again, the biggest one-time manufacturing investment ever in the company`s history.
To his credit, Biden has been doing his part to promote electric vehicle manufacturing. In fact, he visited the Ford factory in Dearborn, Michigan earlier this year to test drive Ford`s electric F-150 truck.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President.
BIDEN: This sucker`s quick!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how fast were you going?
BIDEN: OK, I`m just going to step on it. And I`ll come off at 80 miles an hour. OK, here we go. Ready?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s see it, Sir.
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HAYES: He`s right by the way, electric vehicles have much much better pickup than standard combustion engines, it`s an amazing thing about that.
Just think if Donald Trump had overseen plans for Ford again to make its largest investment in U.S. manufacturing in history of the company, it`s all he would be talking about everywhere. For a month at least, it`s all everyone would be talking about on Fox News and Republicans. It is a really big deal.
So, Democrats, take a victory lap. Brag about your accomplishments. Sell the sizzle a little here.
HAYES: In Wisconsin, the Republican controlled State Assembly has just passed a law prohibiting teachers from telling students the truth about our country`s often violent racist history under the guise of fighting the boogeyman of critical race theory.
The bill would create a statewide curriculum that would ban teaching students or training school staff about concepts like systemic racism and implicit bias.
The bill also includes a huge list of actual banned words and phrases including equity, multiculturalism, and intersection, also, hegemony is in there on my word, the Senate has yet to take up the bill. If it were passed, it would almost certainly be vetoed by the state`s Democratic Governor Tony Evers. But it`s yet another example of where the whole critical race theory moral panic was always going to end up, which is literally banning the teaching of uncomfortable truths about America`s history.
I`m joined now by someone who`s actually trying to teach the full scope of America`s history. Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which just opened its new Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, providing a quote, comprehensive history of the United States with a focus on the legacy of slavery.
It sits near the site of that incredible National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which the Initiative opened in 2018 to commemorate the victims of lynching in the U.S.
And Bryan, it`s great to have you. Congratulations on the opening.
I guess I first want your reaction as someone who is so invested in connecting the past to the present and the practice that you have in terms of defending folks who are on death row and in the incarceration system, to watching these school boards and legislators literally banning phrases, concepts, as a -- as a tool for stopping people from learning that history.
BRYAN STEVENSON, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE: Well, I mean, these are the symptoms of a weak and fragile society, I can`t think of anything more un-American than the banning of ideas. I`m not a communist, but I want to understand what communism is about. I`m not an atheist, but I want to understand what that worldview is about.
STEVENSON: In the 1930s, the Nazis banned reading books by Albert Einstein or Helen Keller, they banned reading books in French or English. And that`s why we need to recognize that this isn`t a threat, not just to the conversation about race in history, but to a functioning democracy.
Nobody who goes to the doctor wants to be told that they have high blood pressure, or diabetes, or lung cancer or breast cancer. But the doctor needs to tell you the truth, because that diagnosis is the only way you`re going to get to treatment.
And the truth is, we have a history of racial injustice in this country, and we can`t hide from it, we can`t run from it, we can`t ban it, we`re going to have to confront it.
And I think one of the distractions created by this misguided debate on critical race theory is that, you know, people are exploiting gang rights (PH).
Most people watching this show don`t know what Algebraic K-theory is. So, somebody comes along and says, we`re going to ban applications of Algebraic K-theory and topology, they`re not going to have an informed view of that.
But if you say Algebraic K-theory is means that white people are bad and good -- and other people are good, so we ban that. And that`s sort of the way this debate has been playing out. It`s all rooted in ignorance.
And I think Americans need to say, you know, this banning of ideas doesn`t seem healthy to me. If we ban the teaching of climate science, the planet will be destroyed. If we ban the teaching of things, we need to know how to survive, we will not be healthy.
And so, I really do hope that people will turn in the other direction. Let`s confront our history. Let`s confront our past and what we`re trying to do with our space is to encourage people to know that if you confront the truth of our past, you`re not going to be destroyed. We`re not interested in punishment, we`re actually interested in creating a better future.
I believe there`s something better waiting for us in this country, something that feels more like freedom and equality and justice. But we can`t get there if we`re unwilling to acknowledge the problems that we have to overcome.
HAYES: Let me turn that around. Because it`s really interesting point that I think there`s an incredible irony here which is the initial murmurings about critical race theory were actually that it was censorious, that it was cutting off viewpoints, that it wasn`t allowing -- you know, that this sort of campus culture had run amok, and people weren`t allowed to discuss things.
And I wonder what you think of that critique, right, that people have gotten too sensitive, or they won`t -- they don`t -- you know, they won`t talk about certain difficult items across a sort of wide variety of ideological venues?
STEVENSON: Well, talking about difficult things is always hard. There`s always going to be challenges. We didn`t talk about gender equality for a long time in this country. There was a narrative that women shouldn`t vote, shouldn`t be in position to responsibility, shouldn`t be professionals.
And when women started saying that`s problematic, that`s wrong, that`s bigoted, that sexist, it made people uncomfortable. But through that conversation, we actually opened up our professions, and we became a healthier, stronger society as a result of it.
Look, big tobacco didn`t want people talking about the toxins and the death and the disease created by nicotine and these other things. But through that conversation, we learned something about how we stay healthy.
You know, first of all, if we were talking about what`s happening at elite colleges and universities, if we`re talking about higher institutions, it`s a different conversation. But that`s not what school boards are dealing with. That`s not what states are dealing with. And that`s why it is so misguided.
But I think the harder problem, Chris, is that we haven`t talked very honestly. Most people in this country have no idea how many indigenous people died when Europeans came to this continent.
People don`t know that the transatlantic slave trade affected the north in New England that Massachusetts was the first state to bet to legalize slavery, that the Boston Harbor wasn`t just the site of the tea party that gave rise to the American Revolution. It`s also a space where thousands of enslaved people were traffic, that the coast of New Jersey was a place of trafficking enslaved people.
And I think once you know that, you begin to talk and think differently about this history. I admire what`s happened in Germany because that`s a country that has reckoned with a history of the Holocaust.
And if they never talked about the Holocaust, if they had iconography celebrating the Third Reich, I wouldn`t go there. But because there`s been this reckoning, there`s a Holocaust memorial in the city of Berlin, people are required to learn that history. There are no Adolf Hitler statues in Germany. There are no -- there are no memorials to the architects of the Third Reich.
I live in a region where the landscape is littered with iconography dedicated to the proponents of slavery and white supremacy and that difference between these societies is what is keeping us constrained. We`re not free and to do that, to get there, we`re going to have to be honest and deal with this history.
And I -- you know, I`m from a faith tradition, you can`t come into my church and say, I want redemption and salvation and all that good stuff. But I`m not going to admit and confess anything, this process of learning and repentance, that`s what opens the door to redemption and restoration and reconciliation.
HAYES: Bryan Stevenson, thank you so much. it`s always a pleasure to have you and I cannot wait to visit the new museum. Have a great weekend. Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali. I`m sorry I`m late.