Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. speaks out. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar discusses the Biden administration agenda. New York Attorney General Letitia James investigates an undercounting of nursing home COVID-19 deaths. The threat of violent right-wing extremism is examined
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts right now.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you so much.
Welcome to THE BEAT. I am Ari Melber.
Our top story tonight is about the way we live now and the way we govern
now. Americans have lived through 20 years of a war on terrorism that often
focused with the battle on the foreign threat of al Qaeda, of ISIS and
other largely external attacks and threats on Americans.
It`s real. It still exists. Yet the violent attack on the Capitol
underscores a shift that`s actually been years in the making, the
measurably greater threat from domestic terrorism, including white
supremacist groups and extreme militias, right here in the United States.
Federal authorities are warning about new threats and dangers that could
follow the MAGA attack on the Capitol, while the news tonight is that
Capitol Police are literally stepping up security at airports for lawmakers
facing these heightened threats, again, from Americans, from people inside
The fact is that, while the election and inauguration are over, lawmakers
are still governing under an often siege-like set of conditions in D.C.
They say they`re afraid for their lives. Many suspects from that
insurrection are still at large. And authorities are learning more about
planned violence that occurred in the run-up to the insurrection on January
6, including what you see here, a suspect in the planting of two pipe bombs
at both parties` headquarters in Washington.
This is news tonight because, just today, the FBI is releasing new
information about that suspect and bumping the reward for any help to
And this footage from "The Washington Post" is actually from the night
before the Capitol attack, the suspect walking down an alley around 8:00
p.m., then seen minutes later carrying a backpack, a mask and gloves. And
new clues suggest the plan here may have been to reinforce the next day`s
conspiracy to launch an insurrection on behalf of Donald Trump and to help
that attack by trying to divert the feds.
Indeed, the Capitol Police chief who was in charge at the time now publicly
says he suspects the bombs were an intentional effort to draw officers away
from the grounds of the Capitol.
This is serious stuff. It is scary. It speaks to the level of the
conspiracy, according to that former chief of police. And the evidence
comes amidst new body cam footage providing a never-before-seen view from
inside the riot, showing the violent scene, as a protester was trampled to
We must warn you, while this is important, and the facts and the scrutiny
matter, what you are about to see in the footage is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Save her!
JUSTIN WINCHELL, PROTESTER: Rosanne! She`s dead! She`s dead!
Please! She`s dead! I need somebody!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: While some there could be heard yelling "Save her," they couldn`t.
She later died from injury -- she later died. Excuse me. She later died
from injuries sustained in that disturbing attack in that crowd full of
MAGA Trump supporters who said they were there to stop the steal, who said
they were there at Donald Trump`s request.
The video obtained there by "The New York Times" also shows footage of a
man with a hockey stick beating up officers at the scene. That`s over the
body of the woman they trampled, as people yelled that she was dead because
she was killed by these other people.
I`m joined now by the former chair of the Republican Party Michael Steele,
who went on to endorse now President Biden in the last election, and
Rutgers Professor Brittney Cooper.
Michael, your view of this ongoing information we learn amidst the ongoing
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Ari, it`s good to be with you.
Yes, look, I think we just need to buckle in a little bit on this, because
this is going to be an ongoing narrative, as more and more evidence is
compiled by federal and state and local officials that are looking very
closely at what occurred here.
And with each new level of footage, it grows much deeper, the narrative of
the intent of those who participated in this, the incitement to participate
in this, and why it`s so important that every person who touched one inch
of this account for the death of that woman.
Even though she was there to protest and to storm the Capitol, she died
because of this. And those individuals, whether they are elected, whether
they were volunteers, whether they were activists, regardless, should be
And so I think what we need to do now is to step up ramp up those efforts
to assist further law enforcement. If you even recognize the sneakers of
that individual walking through the alley, call the police and let them
know, hey, I know someone who has a pair of those, because you never know.
That`s where we are right now. And that`s why all of us as citizens have a
stake in the outcome of holding all these individuals accountable.
MELBER: Brittney, I mentioned the context of years of rising threats and
murders by white supremacist groups and other domestic terrorists, because
it is a context. It is a post-9/11 threat matrix.
The other piece of this that we want to draw people`s attention to is how
much the platform and the support for a conspiracy figures in. And longtime
viewers of the show may know, I practiced First Amendment law. I take that
seriously. There is free speech here.
But what there isn`t is obviously an allowed platform if you are literally
plotting direct crime or violence. And it`s interesting to see some of that
shift in tech. We talked to Bill Gates this week, of course, a leader
there, Apple and others speaking out.
I want to play a little bit of that for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL GATES, CO-CHAIR, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: There`s clearly
trade-offs involved where false information that causes riots.
There has been a lot of bad stuff on social media, and I`m glad at least
some of that is being held back.
TIM COOK, CEO, APPLE: In a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy
theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a
theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: These are corporations, Brittney, and they seem to be changing
gears right now.
BRITTNEY COOPER, PROFESSOR, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Look, I think that we have
got to think about the way in which media narratives and social media
narratives led to this massive disinformation and, quite frankly,
brainwashing of those on the right.
And I do think that our government has a role to play in regulating media
orbs, not to curtail free speech, but rather to say, you have to be
accountable for the outcomes of the facts that you share.
So, if you share information that incites people, that leads to violence,
that leads to death, that endangers sitting lawmakers, that endangers the
police, then, legally, we have to have some remedy for that. That`s not
what free speech ought to mean.
Free speech should mean that you are allowed to express your views without
being thrown in jail because you dissent from things that are happening in
the government. That was the intention behind it.
That`s really different than saying, we`re going to hatch a massive
conspiracy. And, frankly, this speech is designed to undermine the
operations of other people`s exercise of their right to vote, of their
right to free speech, of their right to have a government that works for
And one of the challenges we have in this country is that, unfortunately,
our default is that we often put -- we often side with the white
supremacists. We give them the benefit of the doubt. We give them the
leeway in terms of assuming that they`re acting in good faith and goodwill.
And we don`t give that benefit of the doubt to black protesters, to
protesters who were members of Islam or who are Muslim, right, to people of
They are always held to a higher standard of scrutiny, presumed to be
violent on its face. And here`s the last point. Many people who saw what we
saw initially on January 6 really just think of this as rioters that got
out of control. They don`t see this as an organized, concerted attack on
the forces of government.
MELBER: No. Yes.
COOPER: And that`s part of the problem.
MELBER: Yes, and I want to reinforce what you`re saying for viewers, again,
as we learn, because it is a possibility that sometimes you see lower-level
offenses because people committed crime, but it was, as you say, in the
When you have someone planting pipe bombs at both parties` headquarters the
night before, as I`m reporting tonight, to divert law enforcement, you`re
talking about an insurrection conspiracy. And that`s a different level.
Now, I got one other piece I want to make sure we get to. Both our guests
stay with us.
Turning to the scrutiny on lawmakers inside Congress who may support some
of these extremist groups, new reports on potentially deeper ties among at
least a handful of Republican congresspersons.
Now, there are tangible examples here, like politicians who`ve used fringe
groups for security or have joined publicly voicing a call for a violent
civil war. There are also examples online that, if you`re going to be
precise, may look more tenuous, like a politician simply speaking to
constituents or ending up in a picture with someone.
Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is using that kind of example and
arguably trying to minimize it here in a new article that he responded to a
"New York Times" reporter and said, look, "Just because take a picture with
someone, it doesn`t mean you`re tied to every viewpoint they have ever
Now, this is potentially a fair point. Take the young Italian American
artists Russ, who famously said: "I`m not your brother because we took a
pic. You must be higher than when Snoop handed me kush to hit," making the
logical argument that just because you see him in a picture with someone,
it doesn`t mean they`re brothers or have a common cause.
But the question facing these politicians is whether these are just
isolated pictures, or is there more to it than that?
I want to bring our panel back in, and, Michael, put the question to you,
because I don`t know how much you listen to Russ. He`s an up-and-coming
artists, Michael. But you and him have something in common. You could be at
an event. Someone could say: I want a picture with you.
You probably don`t vet them or card them. They get the picture.
STEELE: Not true.
MELBER: And yet, if it`s much more than that, then the Russ -- you take a
picture with everyone -- with no one?
STEELE: No, no, no. No, you don`t.
MELBER: OK. Well, let me you -- let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish
STEELE: And that`s why Matt...
STEELE: Go ahead. I`m sorry.
MELBER: In fairness to any member of Congress -- I will take you out of it,
Michael. I made a classic lawyer`s mistake. I will leave you out of it.
But I used to work for a member of Congress. When they were at public
events, they would shake hands with and take pictures with many people,
without doing a background check. And so, in fairness, I want to ask you
the difference between the Russ defense of, hey, there are pictures, and
when is it more, if it`s common cause?
STEELE: OK, so -- and I apologize for cutting you off, because I wanted to
champ at the bit on this one, because the fact of the matter is,
politicians are -- you work for one.
Yes, you do take a picture with a lot of people. You do not necessarily
take a picture with everyone, because there is a certain level of scrutiny
when you`re in a room.
First off, if you`re doing a closed-door event, everyone`s coming into that
room, you pretty much know who`s there. When you`re doing an outdoor event,
your staff, if you have security, whoever is with you on your team, they
scout who comes up to you. They do pay attention to those pics.
And when someone gets a little too friendly in the picture, whether it`s a
male or female, guess what? That picture doesn`t necessarily see the light
of day. Why? Because they know what that -- that message that would be sent
to the public.
So, there is a level of scrutiny that politicians in particular pay
attention to. So don`t buy this crap line like, oh, I take a picture with a
lot of people, right?
No, no, if your staff is doing their job, trust me, not everyone gets to
walk up to you and take a picture. And when you go to an event, and you
have got someone walking around with a Proud Boy shirt on, guess what?
You`re not in that pic.
The fact that he was there is because he wanted to be there. And the fact
that the pic was taken is because either bad staff work, or guess what,
that`s just what we do. And so let`s be honest about this. Let`s not try to
push it off like, oh, there are just a lot of people and I just have to
take a picture because everybody likes me. That`s not how it works.
MELBER: Well, I want to dig into -- Brittney, I`m running over on time.
But with just a minute we have left, you could come up with counterexamples
throughout American history where one thing is taken out of context. What
do you advise we do, given you are a professor as well, about having the
right standard here?
COOPER: Look, they have a T.I. defense problem. T.I. said, if you see me in
the street, you don`t know me.
But we do know them, right? We`re very clear about what they`re doing. And
part of the problem is, they`re trying to obfuscate this, so that we are
not in a position to hold people accountable. And our job, to work this
metaphor more, is to do what OutKast said, shake it like a Polaroid
picture, let it come fully into view, and then proceed based on what the
evidence very clearly tells us.
We can have fairness standards in the media. We do not have to live in
terrorist conditions on our own soil. We have that responsibility to our
citizens to do it. And we have really got to think in this country about
how to regulate.
And I know I`m talking on a media outlet, but that doesn`t mean that we`re
not responsible for -- to people for the messages that we put out.
COOPER: And folks have died here.
COOPER: These people said -- these are the same set of people who said blue
lives matter and beat us into the ground. And then they participated in the
killing and assaulting and maiming of police officers.
COOPER: There`s something nefarious going on, and it`s our job to do
something about it as country.
COOPER: They need to be held accountable.
MELBER: I`m only -- I`m only keeping it moving because of our next special
guests, but Brittney Cooper coming through every which way, from the
insights, to the bars. Thank you tonight.
Michael stays with us.
And here`s the next piece. We`re obviously tracking a lot of news.
Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona is also one of the Republicans under
scrutiny for these extremist ties, including links to violence. At a rally
in December, he called on protesters to -- quote -- "conquer the Hill."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): Imagine in this, that you get to go back home once
you conquer the Hill, Donald Trump is returned to being the president.
P. GOSAR: And amazing things will happen with four more years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: A militia leader also name-checking him in a video for talking
about a civil war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of years ago, where our elected representative
from Washington, Paul Gosar, came out. And we asked him flat out at that
time, do you think we`re heading into a civil war? And his response to the
group was just flat out: We`re in it. We just haven`t started shooting at
each other yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now, that`s an allegation.
Gosar`s siblings have spoken out publicly against him. They ran TV ads
denouncing their brother as an extremist. They`re calling on Congress to
Dave Gosar, the brother of Congressman Paul Gosar, joins me live next.
MELBER: We`re back with Dave Gosar.
As I mentioned here in our program tonight, he`s the brother of Congressman
Paul Gosar, who has come under fire for some of these alleged ties to
extremist groups, the issue we have been covering.
Michael Steele is back with us.
Dave, good evening. Tell us what you think people need to know here about
your brother and why you have spoken out.
DAVE GOSAR, BROTHER OF CONGRESSMAN PAUL GOSAR: Well, thanks, Ari, for
having me on tonight.
Most of what I know is in the public realm, his close affiliation with
these extremist groups, his involvement in organizing the rally at the
Capitol, that ridiculous tweet he had where, "Biden, put your resignation
my desk," his attempts to overthrow the Arizona election results, which
resulted in the secretary of state there being threatened and people
showing up at her house and all this other nonsense, spreading these lies,
clear lies, which he clearly knows her lies about this election.
He incited the riot up there, Ari. It`s plain and simple. There`s no black
and white here -- or gray here. It`s black and white. This is a simple
matter of right and wrong.
D. GOSAR: Go ahead. Go ahead.
MELBER: Let me jump in, though.
How would you describe your relationship with him? When you say what about
him is what the public knows about him -- and the public evidence, people
can make up their own mind -- what`s your relationship? Is there something
you bring to bear about him from being family?
D. GOSAR: Well, Ari, to be honest with you, ever since he came out as a
birther 10 years ago, just a blatant racist, I have had very little to do
D. GOSAR: And I won`t tolerate that at all.
And I`m wearing a shirt today, Ari. And that shirt, I just got in. And it
says, "There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal," Martin Luther
King. And that`s so appropriate right now.
And it ties into what Mike Steele said about, everybody, come forward and
identify this -- these people that had stormed the Capitol. That needs to
It ties in with you too with Leslie Odom Jr.`s new song, "Speak Out," right
on point. People like to cite Martin Luther King. Oh, it sounds good. But
when the time comes to do that, we don`t want to do it.
D. GOSAR: And I`m calling on everybody else who has...
MELBER: Let me -- Dave, let me ask you, and then I`m going to bring Michael
But I am curious. Historically, though, when you did try to talk to your
brother about any of this, how did that go? And do you believe that he just
genuinely holds these beliefs you disagree with? Do you believe it`s more
malicious than that or more contrived than that?
What`s your sense of that?
D. GOSAR: Well, to be honest with you, Ari, I think he`s not a very strong
person, not a very -- to be honest, I will just lay it out. He`s not a very
And I think he`s very susceptible to influence from others. And he`s the
sort of person who likes to tell himself lies about, oh, this is the truth,
I`m on the right side, this is this is all good, because it gets him ahead.
And it`s sort of a loop that just keeps looping in on itself, where,
eventually, he`s convinced himself that this is the truth. And so there he
is out there...
D. GOSAR: ... spouting all this ridiculous nonsense that any person could
tell (AUDIO GAP)
D. GOSAR: And he just goes with it. And it helps him keep him in office in
his very red district.
Let me bring Michael in, because the reason why I asked what the family
side of this is, everyone`s got their views, Michael Steele, but this is --
and I imagine it`s difficult for the Gosar family, even with the rightful
criticism of some of the brother`s actions.
We got families all over the country, Michael, that are being ripped apart.
MELBER: And one of the questions is, how do you try to bring it back
together with the factual and moral baseline that people care about?
STEELE: Well, I think the way they have talked about this kind of shows you
both the frustration and the separation.
There comes a point in that very familiar and impersonal family
relationship where you go, dude, I can`t go there with you. And I`m trying
to pull you back, but you keep resisting that effort.
And then the family just lets go. We have heard the stories and talked
about the Thanksgiving dinners since this Trumpian era began that have gone
off the rails, the holidays and spending time with family members, the
stress of just this constant drumbeat of Trumpism by those who support
Trump and those, quite frankly, who don`t.
And so it really does beg the question, as a family member, when you see
that trajectory start, how do you interrupt it? How do you get in front of
And then, once you get to the point where clearly the Gosar family is and
where I know a number of other families are, how do you now turn that
around and correct the course? And that`s going to be the hard part here,
because, as we know from the congressman, he`s still out here spewing this
stuff and perpetuating these lies.
And that`s what makes it hard.
MELBER: Yes, look, it`s a tough topic. But I appreciate both of you
weighing in on it.
Dave Gosar, Michael Steele, thanks to both of you.
Coming up: Elections have consequences. Democrats moving forward, saying
they don`t need Republicans. A special guest.
And we have a very important story, the rising role of New York Attorney
General Letitia James. We will get into that.
And by the end of the hour, you know we like to lift up. Run-D.M.C.`s
Darryl McDaniels with John Flannery for a very special "Fallback" tonight.
MELBER: Turning to a very important story and a push for facts and
government accountability by one of the rising figures in the Democratic
Party, New York Attorney General Letitia James.
First elected in 2018, she pledged to uphold truth in law, from talk of
investigating Donald Trump, if warranted, who has, of course, plenty of
business in her jurisdiction, to going after anyone, no matter their
position or popularity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: In this state, we have a set of
laws that every individual and entity must be held accountable to,
regardless of who you are, regardless of your power, size, influence,
wealth, station in life, one set of laws.
And, today, we send a strong and loud message that no one is above the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: No one.
And James making waves now with a new probe of a very big challenge, how
New York`s been handling and accounting for the COVID crisis in nursing
homes. And that has her confronting Governor Cuomo, who`s been in the
epicenter of the COVID battle, especially considering how the virus hit New
York so hard so early, which put Cuomo out front in that COVID battle,
basically as much as anyone in the country, working, briefing the public,
and making plenty of rounds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Today is day 286. We`re doing three COVID
operations at the same time. Wear a mask.
Today is day 100. And it is the day that New York City begins to reopen.
New York state will mobilize an army. No state will do it better.
You don`t defeat a virus with politics. You use science and technology.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Some say that going on shows like "Ellen," where she`s
pumping your head up with helium about how great you are, the cover of
"Rolling Stone," that you now, as we used to say in the neighborhood, think
who you are.
A. CUOMO: To do Ellen`s show was a pleasure for me. I`m a big fan of Ellen.
Yes, she said nice things about me...
C. CUOMO: Yes, she did.
A. CUOMO: ... which he didn`t say about you.
C. CUOMO: No.
A. CUOMO: But she was just telling the truth.
C. CUOMO: You`re feeling pretty good about yourself these days, aren`t you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: There`s nothing easy about governing New York during this pandemic.
Attorney General James, though, is investigating one of the toughest
problems in nursing homes, releasing a new and important report that states
New York under the Cuomo administration severely undercounted people who
died of COVID in nursing homes.
Now, this matters for the same reason that people have been so focused on
science and facts over this past year. You need accurate facts to confront
any danger accurately.
The report stating that New York was undercounting the number of elderly
people in nursing homes. Here`s how "The New York Times" reports it. James
was proved correct, as New York Health Department Officials made public new
data that added more than 3,800 deaths to their tally representing nursing
home residents, increasing fatalities by 40 percent in that category.
Now, here are the actual numbers. The death toll from nursing homes in New
York had been put at around 1,229. With this new report that I`m telling
you about, it jumped up to 1,914.
Another specific example, a nursing home had one confirmed and six presumed
COVID deaths. The report found they were actually quadruple that, with 31
dead in that early stage by mid-April.
A different nursing home told the Health Department it had 11 confirmed and
presumed deaths through August. This new report found 40 deaths.
"The Times"` report continues discussing this new work by James` office,
saying it illustrates how unprepared the nursing home industry was. Cuomo
had long dismissed the critiques of his policies governing those facilities
as partisan attacks from the Trump administration.
Now, there`s nothing partisan about telling the truth about COVID`s impact
to inform the work ahead. Indeed, a Democrat in New York who runs the
state`s Health Committee says, this administration`s approach, at least on
the nursing home issue, is -- quote -- "shocking and unconscionable."
The wider context is that nursing homes were hit hard early, and it was a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the flags at half-staff indicate, COVID-19 has proven
devastating to the Long Island State Veterans Home; 46 residents in this
facility have already died.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This didn`t have to spread to so many residents there.
It`s touch and go. And all I have is prayers, hope and prayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The James probe is ongoing. The report states her office is
investigating circumstances where discrepancies cannot be accounted for.
The Cuomo administration says that change that I`m telling you about in
this accounting is about where these deaths occurred, but not the total.
And they note -- quote -- "There was no undercount of the total death
toll," objecting to the idea that any death was not counted.
They say desperate counted, and this is a matter of categorization.
The issue in New York is partly about where people contracted the COVID
that killed them. That`s why it matters so much to policy that the truth be
accounted for in public, that the number who died in nursing homes, it
turns out, was 40 percent higher than the government was saying just a few
And at a time when science and facts are under attack from all sides, it`s
worth noting that it took us a subpoena-powered investigator to get more
facts about these deaths and that getting all the facts, of course, is more
important than whether it puts heat on any particular arm of government, be
it controlled by a Democrat or Republican.
James clearly has no problems clashing with the most powerful Democrat in
her party, in her state. Her office says it is still working forward on
investigations of 20 other nursing homes. She also noted that her approach
right now is different than normal because of the emergency, stating, they
would normally issue a report with findings and recommendations after
investigations and enforcement activities are completed. However, these
circumstances are far from normal.
I think that`s one thing we can all agree on.
We should also note that, today, the White House indicated that the Justice
Department would look at this issue in New York. And the updated numbers
are one more reminder that, yes, it often takes a lot of pressure to get to
the full truth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. CUOMO: They have been denying the reality of the situation from the
You want to start over, you want to hit the reset button, I will tell you
how we hit the reset button in this country. We start this time with the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Democrats going big. They have control of both political branches
and new signs on a story we have been covering that many are not going to
wait for Republicans.
They are moving ahead on COVID relief with or without the GOP. And here`s
exactly how. It`s a process that does allow them to go on a majority vote,
bypassing the obstruction Mitch McConnell has been using through the
COVID relief is Biden`s number one legislative priority. And he`s trying to
spend on it, a $2 trillion package with $1,400 checks for Americans, new
funding for this vital vaccine rollout, as well as aid to these states and
cities that have been struggling and weren`t getting that kind of support
in the previous administration.
This begins one of the big answers to a question in the new era. How big
and bold will Democrats go when they have been handed the keys to
government? And how much will they work with Republicans or wait on them?
Our colleague Rachel Maddow points out, much of that would look unlikely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Under their leader, Senator
Mitch McConnell, you could not get 10 Republican senators to vote for a
resolution that said moms are good and ice cream is cold and tasty.
And 10 Republican senators likely would not cross over to vote with the
Democrats to proclaim kittens to be soft, right, let alone to vote with
Democrats on something like immigration reform or COVID relief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And she`s right.
Fact-check, kittens are soft, ice cream is cold, and you won`t find
McConnell allowing that kind of support. And that`s not a criticism. It`s
just reporting. Indeed, Mitch McConnell just filibustered the most boring
pro forma thing in the history of the Senate. I used to work there. I know
how much there can be boring.
He initially filibustered the organizing resolution.
Republicans now say, though, it`s time to give them a chance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Unity and healing that Joe Biden and the Democrats
say we need, that`s not what they`re giving us. They are attempting to have
total control. They`re trying to silence opposition.
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): They are talking about doing it under a process
where it would be done with Democrat votes only. I think that`s a mistake,
too, because I think it puts us on the wrong foot going forward for this
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Joe Biden, after preaching unity last week,
immediately empowering Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to go it alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We`re joined by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from
Thanks for joining me tonight.
REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): Thank you for having me.
MELBER: Walk us through the substance. We have been covering a lot of
But, in your view, why is it so important to pass this full COVID package
as soon as possible? And your view on the political strategy referenced
OMAR: So, I mean, millions of Americans across the country are suffering.
People went out on November 3 and voted for change. They wanted us to be
bold and deliver transformative change. Now we have that opportunity to do
And for Mitch McConnell, who said that he was the Grim Reaper, that he took
pride in the fact that the Senate was where good ideas went to die, and for
so many years under the Obama administration talked about how he was -- it
was his sole job to make sure that he was a one-term president, who didn`t
care a single American in trying to get them the support and good policies
that they needed, to now talk about how he wants us to wait for him and to
work with him is laughable.
What the Democrats in the Senate, in the House, and in the White House need
to do is to say, we have a mandate from the American people to work on
their behalf. And we`re going to do that, whether you are with us or not.
MELBER: Yes, I understand that.
Let me play a little bit of the new president and vice president on the
same issue you`re working on. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have learned from past crises
the risk is not doing too much. The risk is not doing enough.
And this is a time to act now.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When we are facing a
crisis of unbelievable proportion, the American people deserve their
leaders to step up and stand up for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I just want to ask it in plain English, which I think people just
want to know.
If this thing passes soon -- let`s say it passes by the end of February --
how soon will they see relief? And what will they see? So, we understand
what you`re trying to do in Congress.
OMAR: So, what we are trying to do, obviously, is to deliver the most bold
package we can.
I know that the president has proposed about almost a $2 trillion package.
And some of us are asking him to go bolder, because we think a one-time
$2,000 check isn`t enough.
Actually, interestingly, the vice president herself proposed this bill that
would give Americans $2,000 every single month until the pandemic is over.
And we`re urging them to do that as well again.
We want that relief to happen immediately. We want to make sure that there
is enough resources for the vaccine to reach every corner of America, for
there to be support for hazard pay, for child care, for our states and
municipalities to get the resources that they need.
There is just so much for us to be able to do in order to deliver on behalf
of the American people. There`s so much hurt around this country
economically. And this is our opportunity to do right by the people who
And there`s so much going on and so many issues I know that you`re working
on, but we did want to give time to the relief that I think a lot of folks
are interested in, especially given the last election.
Congresswoman Omar, always good to see you. I hope you will come back.
OMAR: Thank you for having me.
MELBER: Thank you.
Let me tell everyone why I hope you come back after the break, because we
are excited to end the week right.
The legend from Run-D.M.C., Darryl McDaniels, with our friend John
Flannery. We have got a lot to talk about.
That`s coming up.
MELBER: Welcome back to THE BEAT.
As promised, we have a lot coming up in this segment, including our friend
John Flannery with a very special guest.
We also want to update you on a big story this week. A lot of small
investors have been buying up stock in the video game retail company
GameStop, which has surged the stock price.
And there`s more to it than that. It`s made a lot of big cushy bankers and
investors on Wall Street lose money. They`re now furious, a billionaire
hedge fund even saying, this has become -- mind you, just trading in the
marketplace -- an attack on wealthy people.
There`s a lot of hypocrisy here. We could get into it in any number of
But, on this story, we`re going to let the late-night comics explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Oh, that`s
terrible, those poor hedge fund managers. Now might be a good time to
invest in whoever manufactures the world`s tiniest violins.
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": The same guys who are
always like, the markets must never be regulated, they must always remain
free, those same guys are now like, oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the poor people
got ahold of the freedom. Turn it off. Turn off the freedom.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": They`re like we can`t have a bunch
of randos from Reddit manipulating the market. That`s what we do.
KIMMEL: They`re stealing our thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s what we do.
And remember Jon Stewart? He just joined Twitter. And this is his first
ever tweet, as best we can tell, a little bit of swearing.
And then he makes the point that small traders "are not cheating. They`re
joining a party Wall Street insiders have been enjoying for years."
Going to sue them for something, he continues -- quote -- "Maybe sue them
for copyright infringement instead. We learned nothing" from the 2008
It`s story with many dimensions. Hypocrisy is obviously a big one.
I wanted to update you on that.
And now, because it has been a long week and because it is Friday on THE
BEAT, you know it`s time to fall back.
Tonight, we have a very special edition, with hip-hop royalty, Darryl
McDaniels, who literally puts the D.M.C. in Run-D.M.C., founding member of
the iconic, pioneering rap group, the first hip-hop act to hit number one
on the charts. They went on to Grammys, and shaped a rap culture that
literally echoes around the world.
Shout-out to Run-D.M.C.
D.M.C. is now partnering with the WhyHunger Foundation, which was
originally founded by folk singer Harry Chapin. He`s also in a new
documentary. We`re going to get into all of it.
We`re also joined by friend of THE BEAT John Flannery, who worked as a
federal prosecutor in New York in the `70s, also working alongside the man
you see there, Rudy Giuliani -- shout-out to the SDNY -- and worked as a
special counsel for the minority defending president Clinton`s impeachment.
Another old picture there.
Welcome to both of you. How are you guys doing tonight?
JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Good to be here.
DARRYL MCDANIELS, RUN-D.M.C.: What`s up, Ari? What`s up? How you doing?
Glad to be in the place to be, is with our Ari and D.M.C. and Flannery.
FLANNERY: Hey, and D is it.
MELBER: I love it.
MCDANIELS: Yes, sir.
How you doing, Mr. Flannery?
MELBER: D.M.C. and Flannery, man.
FLANNERY: I got -- I have a new nickname.
MELBER: We have got plenty to go to.
Go ahead, John.
FLANNERY: Well, you know, ever since they knew I was going to be on with
the grade D, now they`re calling me, Johnny P.
MELBER: You know what?
FLANNERY: I have to...
MCDANIELS: Been around since the `70s.
MELBER: Now, D.M.C., we learn as we go.
What I`m learning tonight about John Flannery is, like a lot of us, you put
him near one wonderful musician, and he gets pumped, he gets excited. I
have never seen him smile this big.
FLANNERY: Well, this is the happiest discussion we have had in a long time,
I think, yes.
MELBER: I hear that.
This is how -- this is how I`m proposing to do it. I`m going to start with
John, who`s a longtime BEAT guest, for his "Fallback."
And then, D.M.C., I`m going to go to you, because I got questions for you.
And I know you`re doing some important work these days.
But, John, what needs to fall back?
FLANNERY: Well, the "Fallback" is a social justice issue.
And I know D has talked about this. And he`s been fighting drugs and
fighting guns, and the image of what we should be doing and saying that
hip-hop gets us there. And that`s very exciting.
But the thing that I fall back on is, there are all these people committing
crimes, and nothing happens to them. And I go into court with a black
teenager who has possession of a small amount of pot, and they will throw
the book at him and compromise the rest of his civil life.
And then we have the social justice issue that`s front and center that, in
this country, a man can be arrested for a counterfeit $20 bill that hasn`t
been proved to be counterfeit, hasn`t been prosecuted, and he literally can
be choked to death. And that`s why there`s a bill on the Hill to do
something about it.
And that`s what -- I know D and I agree on this, although I`m going to take
his master class on how to be hip-hopping.
But, while that`s waiting, I`m all for us doing something about this. This
is equal justice before the law.
FLANNERY: So, I`m very excited that we`re -- I`m excited we are going to
move forward on this. But we haven`t. That`s my "Fallback."
MELBER: There`s a lot on there. We have talked about it before, John. We
have been covering it this week on a number of angles.
MELBER: And amidst COVID and the other stories, it`s a big one that the
Congress can act on.
As far as I`m concerned, I learn from both of you. You both have master
class ability in your dimensions.
Darryl, what needs to fall back and what`s on your mind in the work you`re
doing these days?
MCDANIELS: Well, let`s fall back on hunger and poverty.
Hunger and poverty is an ever-present issue throughout generations. Because
of this pandemic, it shot up over 50, 60, 75 percent. In 1975, when Harry
Chapin founded WhyHunger and Long Island Cares, he was battling it on the
front line. He was providing a need. And I`m thankful for what Harry so
many years ago, because we didn`t know the pandemic was coming.
But now at least we were ready. So, what we also need to do is make it a
national issue. In `78, Harry got President Carter to form a presidential
commission on hunger and poverty. And it was during -- great Harry never
missed a meeting. The world was changing. The issue was getting better.
Then Reagan got rid of it. So now, because of this pandemic, because hunger
is an ever-present issue, something Harry Chapin knows we can beat and
defeat and eradicate, we`re asking the new president, President Biden, to
bring back the commission on hunger and poverty, so we can fulfill Harry`s
People say, Harry passed away. No, he`s with us now because what he thought
about. When in doubt, do something.
MCDANIELS: So, this is one problem, Ari, that we can battle and put that on
the back burner, so we can attack these other issues we`re dealing with.
Hunger and poverty has to be fought in battle.
MELBER: Amen to that. And I love the link here from social justice, to
folk, to hip-hop, where they`re -- done right, all of them care about that.
I got about 45 seconds left, Darryl.
What did you learn going around the world as one of these hip-hop pioneers?
I mentioned global. We talk about America sometimes. You go to Asia. You go
MELBER: They`re trying to dress like you were back in the day.
Your reflections, sir.
MCDANIELS: Well, I know this.
Music succeeds where politics and religion fails. If the politicians and
our religious folk and the clergy and the bishops and the pastors want to
know how to create a perfect world, they need to look at the creative,
You go to a concert, you look at that audience, it`s diverse. You go to a
museum, you look at the people that`s coming in the museum, it`s diverse.
If we use the arts and music, we can beat and defeat and get rid of all of
the fighting and the arguing, because when Steven Tyler took that mic stand
in "Walk This Way," and knocked down that wall, Ari, people globally -- I`m
talking about Russia, Japan -- they say, that didn`t happen just in a
video. It happened in the world.
So, let`s get some creative people up in those places.
MELBER: I love it. I love it, knocking down...
MCDANIELS: And knock down the walls.
MELBER: That`s one of the best music videos of all time. People should find
it on YouTube, knocking down the walls of culture, the walls of politics,
the walls between countries.
What a fitting thought for us at the end of the week.
Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, John Flannery, thank you.
FLANNERY: Thank you.
MELBER: Thanks for watching THE BEAT.
The Reid report -- "THE REIDOUT" is up next.
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