The Senate releases damning findings on Trump`s attempt to overthrow the election. Mitch McConnell blinks in the debt ceiling fight. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal discusses the Democratic agenda. Video emerges of anti-vaxxers trying to intimidate parents looking after the well-being of their children.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts right now.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you very much.
Welcome to THE BEAT. I am Ari Melber.
Congress pretty busy this week. Leaders have been furiously working on at least four priorities all week, hustling to avoid a debt default that Mitch McConnell was threatening, until he blinked Wednesday. We have more on that later tonight.
There`s also all the work and hammering out possible deals for several trillion dollars in spending that Biden`s been pursuing. Congress also deciding how to handle these Republican officials who are on the way to defying subpoenas in the insurrection probe, with a deadline of midnight tonight.
So it`s a lot. And amidst all that, there`s another issue now rocking Washington tonight, a type of progress in the vow the Democrats made to pursue accountability for January 6, with the Senate releasing damning findings today on Trump`s attempt to overthrow the election, including premeditated efforts before the riot and insurrection on January 6.
These were by then President Trump demanding the DOJ take actions to overturn the election with attempted orders that top DOJ officials took so seriously, they warned they would take a measure of mass resignation, rather than comply with what they saw as clearly illegal orders to try to overthrow the election.
This is the evidence of the coup. Trump`s own lawyers also threatened to quit, rather than join what they viewed separately as a -- quote -- "murder-suicide pact." That`s also evidence from this new report out today.
As for that murder-suicide pact, it`s not just some dramatic political rhetoric. Think about who`s talking. Those are the people who agreed with Donald Trump`s agenda, who wanted him reelected, whose job and income depended on their work for him.
And yet they concluded, according to this new finding in this new report, that further actions to steal the election, as he was requesting at the time, well, one, they would fail. That`s what makes it -- quote, unquote -- "suicide." And two, it would blow up in their face. It would be career suicide, and, as the lawyers knew, it would be possible jail time if they went any further.
So it`s big news coming out of the Senate today, while other congressional hearings are tangling with Republican efforts to recount Trump`s loss and those fake audits, which led to this somewhat surreal scene, as a member of the Democratic majority here, as they do these Zoom hearings, put heat on a member of the Republican minority.
But why do I say it that way? For a simple reason. The member of the Republican minority in the exchange I`m about to show you tonight claims to not even know that Republicans lost the elections for control of the White House or Congress, which is, of course, the very thing that puts that politician, that Republican in the minority.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): That the big lie lives now in these phony audits around the country.
Mr. Biggs can correct me if I`m wrong. I hear him not even to be accepting the results of this audit, which say that Joe Biden got more votes than were lawfully reported by the states.
Mr. Biggs, I`m happy to yield to that. Who won the election in Arizona, Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): We don`t know, because the -- as the audit, it demonstrates very clearly, Mr. Raskin, there are a lot of issues with this election.
RASKIN: We have people today in this hearing trying to perpetrate the big lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s actually an important exchange. When that individual says, "We don`t know," that`s not true. We do know.
More importantly, while some things can be debated in life, we have a system of law. The law determines who won the election. And, after that, whether you claim to know or not is really your own personal problem.
It is what in Congress might be known as a you problem, because we do know. We know Republicans lost the White House. We know Republicans lost the Congress. So when they run around spending time and your taxpayer dollars saying the other things that add in their mind out or they don`t know, or, even worse, they claim that somebody else won, they`re just not an office, all of that is false.
So, the big lie pushers at the hearing, of course, are in the minority. So, in a way, it`s kind of like a cell phone. But I want to be clear with you. This is the top story now because it is about the present and the future, not just the past.
And in many parts of the country, well, the big lie people, primarily in the Republican Party, are trying to take more control for future elections. There`s these places where Republicans do run the legislatures, where they`re not in the minority, and they`re trying to pass laws, or do these fake audits, or do things for the next election.
They`re also trying to take over the state and local elections offices, so they have more power over elections. Let me tell you something tonight. Those efforts matter, because they show that while, initially, many Republican officials spent the first few days after the insurrection claiming to condemn it, now many Republicans -- listen to their words, see what I just showed you -- they say out loud and in public that they see Donald Trump`s failed coup as a kind of rehearsal.
And they are plotting openly to get more loyalists in power who would not waver, would not threaten those mass resignations shown today when asked to join a coup, but rather would join in, because they abandoned any pretense of supporting American democracy a long time ago.
We bring in our experts on this story now, Emily Bazelon from "The New York Times Magazine" and Elie Mystal from "The Nation."
Elie, your thoughts?
ELIE MYSTAL, "THE NATION": So, when you look at the DOJ report, the report of Trump`s attempted coup, what you have to understand is that that -- all that stuff he did, that`s illegal, right?
We have laws -- a great way to explain it is through like attempted murder laws, right? Like, we don`t just make you a criminal if you succeed in the murder. We also make you a criminal if you attempt murder. What Trump did was essentially -- you can imagine kind of shooting at a person nine times. He missed nine times. Then he`s charged with attempted murder.
And then Republicans come up and say, well, actually, my client followed medical advice, and didn`t shoot that man in the head, so he should get off scot-free. No, that`s not how it works. This man attempted to overthrow the government, abused his power, obstructed justice nine different times trying to get the election overturned, and he should be held accountable.
And the last thing I will say about that is that it would have been really nice, Jeffrey Rosen, if you had opened your mouth and stopped -- and not been a craven coward while Trump was being impeached for the coup to tell us what you knew then.
MELBER: Well, Elie, can I ask a follow-up?
MYSTAL: No, I don`t take questions.
No, of course.
MELBER: How do you really feel?
MYSTAL: It`s just -- it`s frustrating, because as much as this report is damning for the Trump administration, ain`t nothing`s going to happen, right? Like, nobody`s going to do anything to stop -- to hold these people accountable for what they did, nor is anybody going to do anything to stop them from doing it again, as you talked about, these subpoenas.
The deadline is today. These four Trump officials, they`re not going to play ball. Mark Meadows isn`t going to suddenly come to the rapture and do the right thing. So, what is Congress going to do? We`re going to hold them in contempt. Well, they`re not going to care about being held in contempt. Are we going to arrest them? No, we probably won`t.
And so they will continue to get away with it.
EMILY BAZELON, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Yes, I mean, I think one thing that strikes me, listening to Elie, is the way in which this news has dribbled out.
And it was actually true before the first impeachment of Trump as well, that you sort of thought, well, if I knew all of this at the get-go, if this has all been revealed at once, if you could see all of the actions and -- laid out, then it would be inexcusable and people would act.
And yet there`s something about how the story plays out over time. We think we have heard parts of it before. How much is really new? He`s not in office anymore. Can`t we all just move on? I feel that in myself.
And so I think that that is why it`s hard to feel like the proper consequences are even a possibility to be contemplated.
MELBER: Should we all just go home, then?
BAZELON: I think we can`t go home for the reason that you keep stressing, which is that we have another election coming up. We have another presidential election.
Trump may or may not be a candidate. Whatever the case, there is no question that Republicans in states like Georgia and Arizona are trying to change the rules of the game, so that we don`t necessarily know that the center will hold the next time, right?
I mean, part of the story of this letter is that Georgia did not come under all the pressure they possibly could have, because the White House counsel and the acting head of the Justice Department refused to send this letter, but also the secretary of state in Georgia held his ground, right, Brad Raffensperger.
He`s now in political crisis. And Georgia has changed the rules to try to take away the power that he had as secretary of state to make sure that the election would proceed thoroughly. And so it`s the changing of the rules that I think is super important to pay attention to, but you also need to think about what almost happened in order to keep your eye on those rules.
MELBER: Very well put.
MELBER: Go ahead, Elie.
MYSTAL: Like I said, Trump shot and missed. There`s no guarantee that the next guy who takes a shot is going to be as poor of a marksman as Trump is.
And so, as we look towards 2022 and 2024, exactly as Emily is saying, they have already changed the very rules of the game to make it easier for Trump or the next Trump-lite person to do exactly what Trump was trying to do.
MELBER: I think that`s the most important point, and you`re both overlapping on it, which is, there was a rehearsal in public by as someone who has a certain ability to do certain things, like Donald Trump does certain things, related to fraud, being a con artist, being a communicator who uses media, and has used media across the decades, from old-school tabloids to new-school Twitter.
And he uses that stuff to a certain outcome. What he`s not good at is understanding a complex, long-term constitutional dynamic, where there were guardrails, precisely because the founders were worried about people like him.
But the fact that he was bad at that, that it was a very sloppy coup, if the coup were a piece of cuisine, Elie, it would be off the plate. You think a sloppy joe is all over the plate. A Trump sloppy coup would be -- literally, it`d be on the table, it`s on the napkins, it`s everywhere. And that makes it hard to actually -- to abuse the metaphor, to get it all there back into something that you would eat.
So, in a way, we didn`t have to eat it, because it didn`t work, because it was everywhere. It was messy. But if other people who actually went to law school or surround themselves with lawyers or have the discipline to do 12- and 18-month planning meetings over pulling off a coup, whoever that might be -- you can come up with examples who seem to be interested in running for the Republican nomination, especially if Trump doesn`t -- then it looks different.
And so I think both of you make that point very well.
I want to play a little bit of Senator Durbin in the Democratic leadership, what he said on MSNBC today, for your reaction. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL): The president was relentless. As soon as William Barr announced that he found no wholesale fraud in the election results and announced he was leaving, that was when the president of the United States decided to put full-court pressure on the new acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen.
He was really pushing the Department of Justice to bend to his political will. And I will tell you, I just -- I don`t think I`m overstating the case. We were a half-step away from a full-blown constitutional crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Elie, I don`t want to do literary criticism, but we did write down what he said. And you talked about trying to shake the tree so people understand what we`re up against, what happened last time, violence at the Capitol, the military worried about the abuses of nuclear power, the levels at the DOJ.
When one of the top Democrats says -- quote -- "I will tell you I don`t think I`m overstating the case, we were a half-step away from a full blown constitutional crisis" -- end quote -- does that go far enough? Is that clear enough?
MYSTAL: No, right?
Like, we weren`t a half-step away. We were in a full-blown constitutional crisis. I know because I watched it happen on television. I watched the full-blown constitutional crisis happen on television. People died. I saw that, right?
So we weren`t half-a-step away. It was actually happening. It didn`t work. It failed. It was a failed coup. But it was an attempt at overthrowing the government.
What do you call this? This was an attempt by a person who lost an election to declare himself the winner of the election. That is teapot despot stuff. That is a coup. It didn`t work. That`s the only thing that we could -- that`s the only positive spin that we can put on it. He actually failed this time.
What about next time? Because we have done nothing. And Emily laid this out very well. We have not done anything to strengthen the guardrails against the coup. We have only weakened those guardrails since the attempt, since the failed attempt.
Emily, I go to you with the final word, as someone who is skilled in both law and communication, which is where this issue lives for the public, because the words get negotiated. And it`s not unlike the trillion-dollar negotiations, except with, I believe, even higher stakes if we remain or not a democracy, if one line is almost, half, full-blown, nearby crisis, and then Tucker Carlson is over here saying they were peaceful, nothing happened, right, that`s the zone of the Overton window.
Far be it from someone who works on television to talk about the Overton window. Maybe I`m part of the problem, Emily. But, all that said, most people are going to meet it in between here. They`re not going to go past Durbin towards what is colloquially known as Elie Mystal land, where real stuff is just said, because that would seem to be important for people to remember, particularly as time goes on, that we covered it.
And it was worse the days after as we got more footage than day of, because, the days after, we saw the vice president, who happens to be a Republican -- I don`t care what party he`s in. We saw the Democratic leader who happens to be a Democrat. I don`t care. Both of them, we saw them ushered out with guns drawn and armed guards as people were literally down the hall overwhelming the police and the security and chanting that they were there to assassinate and murder public officials to keep someone in power.
So, if that`s -- if you got to go past Durbin to Mystal, I think it`s probably accurate. But you get the last word tonight on this topic, Emily.
BAZELON: I mean, look, we were way too close. Elie is right about the guardrails. They`re weaker, and Congress still has the power to strengthen them, right? The Constitution says states can make rules about elections and Congress can also make rules about elections.
And there are a lot of rules that need to be stronger and shored up. And that is in the hands of Congress.
MELBER: Fair enough.
Emily and Elie kicking us off, thank you both.
A lot more in the program. With McConnell blinking, there`s now going to be a key vote tonight, Democrats eying, what are the lessons here?
We have a powerful lawmaker who`s in the middle of all of this. It`s a progressive leader you have probably heard. Congresswoman Jayapal is here tonight.
Also, we have a special guest digging into a 25 year anniversary, of what? Of FOX News itself.
And there`s some video on how anti-vaxxers are trying to intimidate parents looking after the well-being of their children. It`s an important accountability spotlight. That`s later in the program.
You`re watching THE BEAT.
MELBER: Turning to some other stories that could really affect everyone`s well-being.
We`re looking at live pictures here of the Senate floor, where they will vote in just over an hour to avoid this default that Republicans have been threatening. Economists warned it would trigger potentially a recession. And, yesterday, McConnell blinked, offering a short-term deal.
This will be the vote that comes because Republicans backed down. Here was the president earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Mr. President, Mr. President, do you support the short-term debt ceiling deal? Do you support it? Will you sign a short-term deal into law?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have got to see if the deal is done. I`m not sure of that yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Not ideal conditions for an interview, but that`s what journalists do. You get the president wherever you can.
Now, the other news is on the safety net spending, Biden meeting with a Democratic holdout, Senator Manchin, behind closed doors. The meeting comes a day after Sanders was lighting into him and Sinema, accusing them of sabotaging Biden`s agenda because they won`t really spell out their demands specifically.
So, why are progressives turning on the heat? And are they getting anywhere?
Well, we have the powerful head of the Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Jayapal, when we`re back in just 60 seconds.
MELBER: I`m joined now by Congresswoman Jayapal from Washington state, a Democrat and chair of the House Progressive Caucus.
If you follow the news, you have probably seen her speaking out a lot during these tense negotiations over the future of the spending, and thus the Biden agenda.
Thanks for being here.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Thank you, Ari. It`s great to see you.
MELBER: Great to see you.
I`m curious, starting with just the mechanisms. You did something that liberals don`t always do in government here, which is actually hold the line, which delayed that earlier vote. And I`m just curious, as we kind of learn about all this process, what specifically did that achieve? And what are you and the caucus pressing for now?
Well, I`m really proud of the Progressive Caucus, because, by holding the line and saying that we were going to stick to what we said three-and-a- half months ago, which was we`re not voting for the infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill being agreed to and voted upon, and moving forward, we were able to get the reconciliation bill -- that`s the Build Back Better Act -- back on the table and moving forward.
Had we not done that, Ari, I am afraid that everything in the Build Back Better Act, which is 85 percent of President Biden`s agenda is in that bill, that that would have led to delay and ultimately to death.
So now we`re back on track. Both bills will move forward. We are in the negotiation process of the Build Back Better Act to make sure that we provide child care, pre-K, home care, home and community-based care, take on the climate crisis, address housing, make sure that we are addressing health care in the midst of still a health care crisis, and, of course, immigration.
These are all priorities of the Progressive Caucus that we are working now to get into the bill.
And walk us through it. I mean, how does that impact your working relationship with Speaker Pelosi? Because her public position was that you should have folded or cooperated or whatever term of art we want to use. And you didn`t. And she says, OK, now she`s going to work with everyone and still get it done.
Where are you at with the speaker?
JAYAPAL: Well, I have tremendous respect for the speaker. She has actually been a great champion of the Build Back Better Act.
She was very much talking about how this is leverage for our children and for our future. That is something that she wants to get done. And, really, she was with us on the two bills moving forward together, until some tiny percentage of people, just a handful of people in the House, pushed her to get an arbitrary deadline on the book.
So I understand she`s got a tough -- she had a tough hand to play there. But, Ari, let`s be clear. This is the president`s agenda. I know the speaker wants to deliver on that. And I know that all of us, 96 percent of Democrats in the House and the Senate agree that we want to get this done, and we were ready to get it done at the original $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act that we have.
MELBER: Yes, you...
JAYAPAL: Unfortunately, your senators won`t agree with us. So we got to negotiate with them and get everyone on board.
MELBER: Yes, those two senators, pretty known by now, Manchin and Sinema, the reports came out that Manchin had a private earlier number that he was pushing Schumer on. Sinema has been really quite reclusive.
And Bernie Sanders has had it. I mean, he`s totally had it. And he`s sort of publicly urging and pleading with them to least say what they want. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): But the time is long overdue for him to tell us, with specificity, not generalities -- we`re beyond generalities -- with specificity, what he wants and what he does not want, and to explain that to the people of West Virginia and America.
Senator Sinema`s position has been that she doesn`t -- quote, unquote -- "negotiate publicly." I don`t know what that means. We don`t know where she`s coming from. Tell us what you want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Your reaction?
JAYAPAL: Well, look, Senator Sanders is a great friend.
And as Budget Committee chair in the Senate, he crafted the budget resolution, came down from $6 trillion to $3.5 trillion, thought he had a deal. So I understand the frustration.
We have to -- unfortunately, we have a very, very slim margin in the Senate and in the House. And if we are going to get this done, we have got to get everybody on board. We all play on the Democratic team.
I think the thing that is remarkable about this situation is, this is not some crazy progressive, left-wing wish list. I have got that, Ari, but that`s not what this is. This is the president`s agenda. This is what we all ran on.
And so that`s some of the frustration you see spilling out. I am trying to make sure that we just keep everyone on board, that we push for the priorities that the Progressive Caucus laid out that are in the president`s agenda, because, at the end of the day, I want to -- I want people across this country to know that government is fighting for them, that we`re not going to leave people behind, that we`re not going to pit child care against climate change, we`re not going to pit housing against immigration.
These are priorities that we promised to voters when they gave us the House, the Senate and the White House. And we are going to deliver. I feel very confident of that. It`s just a little bit messy in the process, but we`re going to get it done.
MELBER: Understood, and it`s been a busy season, as we have mentioned, so I appreciate you making some time, Congresswoman Jayapal.
Up ahead on THE BEAT, we have these videos of these anti-vaxxers going after families and even kids. We`re going to show you that for accountability.
But, first, FOX News hitting this anniversary. We have a very special guest on reckoning with polarization in America.
MELBER: Happy anniversary.
Did you know today was the 25th anniversary of FOX News, a network that once called itself fair and balanced or conservative, and continues to evolve into something very influential in our politics, and it has many critics.
Take nonpartisan Brian Stelter, who wrote the book "The Dangerous Distortion of Truth," all about just how far FOX has come, noting it`s shaped the nation`s narrative by emboldening rewrites of history, reinterpreting facts, and encouraging the disbelief of one`s own eyes.
That`s a critique in "Salon."
This is not a media story, although it relates to the media. This is a story about power and politics. FOX News has viewers. It has conservative conspiracies that have become a lifeblood of the modern Republican Party. And it has, of course, a president who not only fed on that kind of content, but ultimately found ways to outmaneuver FOX at its own game.
This is also bigger than media for what you see on your screen here, which is not normal and undercuts one of the lies that FOX News has told about itself, that it is just reporting and lets you decide.
But when Sean Hannity campaigns for the reelection of the president, well, that`s not just letting you decide. It`s telling you his decision. And it`s him endorsing someone, effectively, and encouraging people to vote for him, which, again, you could be transparent about it, but they`re not. They claim they`re something else, which also speaks to the revolving door that`s been documented between the Trump White House and FOX News.
The network has spent a lot of time recently endangering its own viewers. Again, this may sound like criticism, but if people flip around -- and I`m told some people do -- this is also a public service announcement. If you`re getting vaccine information from FOX, if you`re an aging American, which is an at-risk group, FOX is not giving you the right information to take care of yourself, which is why we have seen it fuel vaccine hesitancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: They shouldn`t get the shot. It`s not good for them. There`s a risk involved, much higher than of COVID.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS: The experts still think that parents should trust them and inject their kids with an experimental drug.
CARLSON: If the vaccine is so great, wouldn`t it sell itself? There`d be no reason to force people to take it. But people are being forced to take it.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: And the Cleveland Clinic said that, if you had COVID-19, you don`t need any vaccine.
CARLSON: Since COVID, Bill Gates has gained extraordinary powers over what you can and cannot do to your own body. Bill Gates would like you to take the coronavirus vaccine.
INGRAHAM: Why should I get -- I`m not even going to get my freedom back.
HANNITY: I have been tell my friends I`m going to get the vaccine. Half think I`m absolutely nuts. They wouldn`t take it in a million years. I don`t know who to listen to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We know who to listen to.
We`re going to reflect on this anniversary with a former communications director for a longstanding Republican official, Jeb Bush. He`s also the writer at large for The Bulwark, Tim Miller. And Jen Senko, who is the director of an award-winning documentary, "The Brainwashing of My Dad," and the author of a new book with the same title that focuses on how FOX News, she believes, turned her once open-minded father and so many others into something of a raging fanatic.
Welcome to both you.
Jen, happy anniversary.
JEN SENKO, AUTHOR, "THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD": Yes, happy anniversary. Not.
FOX achieved what they wanted. So they can celebrate. They managed to divide the country, turn people, turn families against each other and create a huge extreme Republican base.
MELBER: You use the personal family dynamic, which I think a lot of people can relate to. Of course, everyone`s free to watch and learn things and change their mind.
Your issue with your father was not that he became, I guess, more conservative, a Republican. It was something more than that. Explain.
SENKO: Well, my father was a really open-minded, loving person before. He loved to talk to people on the street in different languages.
And when he semi-retired, they moved to New Jersey, and he got a long commute to work. And it was a part-time job, but it was a long commute. And to entertain himself, he listened to Bob Grant. They call Bob Grant the father of conservative media.
And, very gradually, he started to change. He started getting crankier. And then, a year later, he fully retired and dove headfirst into Rush Limbaugh. And then we saw marked changes in his personality, where -- that were very distressing. He was angry, always angry, like always in a rage.
But it was like an obsession and almost like a religion. You couldn`t have any conversation without politics creeping in. And then, when e-mails started, he would send the whole family these conspiratorial e-mails that, under the umbrella, they were always bashing Democrats.
And so he would send it to us. And we`re Democrats, whatever, moderate Democrats. And we`d all beg him, dad, please don`t send us these e-mails. And then my mother started researching. And she started finally sending him, saying, this isn`t true. Here`s the proof. What`s your source?
But it got really bad in the family. And, eventually, we had to block him and not accept his e-mails. And it was really hard trying to avoid arguments. And he would pick me up at the Tom Steyer bus station in New Jersey, and he`d have Rush Limbaugh blasting, as if, like, you got to hear him.
He just was always trying to convert us. Like, it was like a religious fanatic.
MELBER: He was bumping Rush like it was Taylor Swift, like really cranking it.
MELBER: I want to bring Tim in because -- I want to bring Tim in because he`s worked at the inside of the party and does his own media.
And the core question, Tim, and the reason why I mentioned, I don`t look at this as just a media segment, and we don`t do a ton of anniversary segments about, I don`t know, CBS` news division or whatever. The question to you is, is today`s Republican Party different because of the existence of the company FOX News?
TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I think that there`s no doubt that`s the case, Ari.
And in some ways, they -- FOX is a reflection of the audience, and in addition to FOX being a driver of the audience. I think that both of those things can be happening at the same time.
I think, if you look at the evolution of FOX over the last quarter-century, I think, after 9/11 -- there were plenty of deleterious results of this, but I think they had an enemy, right, which was Islamic terrorism, foreign terrorism. And I think that, over time, over the decade, that enemy turned domestic.
And the enemy was Democrats and the left and the elite media, if you will. And I think that that really did have an impact on their audience that primed them for Donald Trump, right? Like, they did not anymore see the Democrats as their fellow Americans that they disagreed with on issues. They began to see their fellow Americans as the enemy.
So when Donald Trump starts using this dehumanizing language, I think that that resonated in a way that it might not have in a decade or two prior, if much of the audience hadn`t been listening to FOX. And I think that is really the change that we have seen over the last quarter-century and the evolution of both FOX and the party.
MELBER: And, Tim, when you look at all that, how much of the packaging matters? Because we see this in the vaccine side, where, of course you can gather information from multiple sources. That`s kind of how the scientific method works.
But gathering information from a random Facebook post and a politically partisan program as if it`s true, right, will really set you back. And it seems that, even though very practiced consumers might have a good sense of the difference, the act of getting people in suits in what looks like a newsroom or what looks like a news division continues to give some of what is on FOX a level of deference that they`re not entitled to, if they`re putting out just false information.
Again, I mentioned that. It`s not criticism. It`s for the well-being of at- risk people who might be getting their COVID information from FOX, Tim.
MILLER: Yes, look, I think the packaging matters a great deal.
And they always had this kind of imaginary internal divide between the opinion hosts and the news division, which is at the day and at the night, and they have even internally had different staffs for them. And back when I was a Republican in good standing, which feels like forever ago now, I remember going and meeting with the heads of the news division side and talking to them about what kind of research information we might be able to provide on issues.
And what I got back from them was a lot of the same desire for the conspiracy-mongering that you were hearing on the prime-time shows, right? And so I think that what you have seen over time from FOX is this kind of blurring of that, where people are getting conspiratorial information in a very, if you will, straight news-type package.
And I do think that has an impact on people. And I think that it makes people feel more comfortable about believing these types of conspiracies.
Tim and Jen, thank you both so much for joining us, digging into these thoughts.
I want to share the video we promised is coming up. This is anti-vaxxers. And they`re going at families and even kids. We will show that to you.
And, later, it`s a very special guest. As Joe Biden is pushing to really jump-start the American economy, for the first time ever on THE BEAT, a really famous entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk. We`re going to get into all of it tonight, including things that he says could make you money if you hustle right. We will also talk about his critics.
That`s coming up on THE BEAT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Today, we released a new report outlining effective vaccination requirements that are already proving their worth.
More people are getting vaccinated. More lives are being saved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The president discussing new data that shows the vaccine mandates are working.
Now, most U.S. workers faced this requirement about a month ago. We have been reporting on various measures of it. And, today, the White House put out its own information, saying they have cut the rate of unvaccinated by a third, pointing to how mandates help.
Meanwhile, the partisanship and the politics around people who oppose vaccines is getting more disruptive and, in some places, illegal. You can pick what you want. You can say almost anything. But you can`t menace people and you certainly can`t foment violence.
We have had screaming and officials at the school board meetings. And if that wasn`t bad enough, the DOJ is looking at those kind of menacing efforts, of whether they`re intimidating. Now you have video of people who are anti-vaccine and anti-vax harassing and intimidating parents who are simply walking their kids home from school.
This is from a video outside a school in California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROTESTER: This is rape. They`re trying to rape our children with this poison.
PROTESTER: He`s going to be traumatized because you put that mask on him and you don`t let him breathe freely. You`re traumatizing him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s my choice.
PROTESTER: Yes. Well...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s my choice.
You better respect my choice.
PROTESTER: No, no. You are propagandized. You are not being told the truth.
PROTESTER: Masking children is child abuse!
PROTESTER: It is.
PROTESTER: You mask your child, you`re a child abuser!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: This is just an area where there happened to be video. There are also reports coming into the newsroom of other situations in other parts of the country, with the heckling of parents as their kids are nearby for doing what is not only CDC-approved, but also, if you`re into liberty, is what that family decided to do for itself.
So we did want to shine a light on that and remind everyone you have the freedom to speak. You don`t necessary have the freedom to menace people, especially minors.
But, that said, there is a another note of good news. Pfizer has formerly applied for authorization of the vaccine for minors, for children aged 5 to 11. That is a sign of progress medically that could lead to much wider vaccination rates of all ages in the near term.
Now, that`s the update there.
Up ahead, this special conversation I promised you, looking at the cultural and economic shifts in the pandemic and other good signs over the horizon on the economy, as Biden urges more spending -- when we return.
MELBER: Turning to some of the economic and cultural shifts throughout this pandemic period, we see more people working from home. We also see people who are still trying to launch businesses.
Did you know that Americans started over four million new small businesses just last year? Biden pushing new spending to support families and juice the economy. But another part of the equation is how many people can step up, even with everything we have been going through, to start their own companies.
That brings us to Gary Vaynerchuk, or GaryVee, an entrepreneur who`s built a following by giving his advice out free online, and really pushing people to rethink their own financial futures. Some call it a hustle culture, which has proved a little controversial.
"The New York Times" says myths about overwork persist because they justify extreme wealth created for a small group of elite techies. And they say the patron saint of hustling is our guest, GaryVee.
Now, in this interview, which is airing for the first time right now, we began by discussing how he does motivational talk and how he tangles with his critics.
GARY VAYNERCHUK, ENTREPRENEUR: There`s so many people that are talking (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about how big of an entrepreneur they`re going to be and how much they`re going to achieve. And they don`t work on weekends.
I feel like things come to me. I think one could argue that I`m doing the behavior that allows that to happen.
The opportunities are endless. You`re not willing to make yourself dramatically happier to move out of your home and downsize and go into a different neighborhood.
Cash is oxygen. I`m blown away by all these people that are starting businesses that don`t realize that money is important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I want to give you a chance here in this journalistic environment to respond to some of that critique or draw the distinctions.
There was one tech innovator at Reddit who said some of what you`re pitching is not true and it`s unhealthy. Now, because you`re GaryVee, you talk so much that we found in our research you also addressed that head on online. And with a rather undefensive stance, you sort of addressed some of what you`re hearing, which is interesting, because that`s different than some elites.
MELBER: But tell me in a nutshell. This is the question.
MELBER: How do you distinguish between motivating people to work hard and advocate themselves and not being hoodwinked online or by their employer to do more for less?
VAYNERCHUK: First of all, with all due respect -- and I don`t feel any anxiety towards it -- if anybody takes a picture of this program, runs it back on their DVR, and lets me finish the statements that I made in that edit, those clips are fully out of context, right?
Like, the cash is king speaks to how you pay your bills, instead of fund- raising, right? I think, if you look carefully there, people say that they`re going to be billionaires and don`t work on weekends more speaks to people fronting on social media and creating unhealthy relationships, more so than others.
I speak so much more about entrepreneurship. The thought -- if you and your editors decided to clip the thousands of times I have said nobody in my company should work the same way I should because it`s not their company, the thought of hustle culture for employees of companies is something I have never referenced in my career, nor have even been pointed to.
The thought of hustle culture for entrepreneurship....
MELBER: I`m going to let you...
MELBER: I will let you finish, as Kanye says, but just getting down to brass tacks.
So would you agree or do you share that view that basically when people try to use that to work for just a giant company that, man, that`s a misapplication, because you`re talking about working that hard when you can be the equity?
VAYNERCHUK: I will actually -- no, no, I will actually take it in a completely different place.
My point of view on this has been pretty consistent. I just think that people should have their actions map their words. From "Crushing It!," the book I wrote in 2009, to unlimited things that you could edit here, I talk about happiness at $67,000 a year, job or business, is a hell of a lot more interesting than $4 million a year unhappiness.
My point of view is not about work -- do I believe work ethic matters? Yes, I think it is one of the variables of success. I also think that people get to define their success. And I think working 9:00 to 5:00 40 hours a week, but also success, seeing your kids a lot, being on the softball team, paying for your lifestyle is a remarkable feat in our society.
And we should stop demonizing that.
MELBER: Now, Gary doesn`t just give speeches. He launched his own career by taking an old bricks-and-mortar business wine, and trying to democratize it and make it less intimidating online.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAYNERCHUK: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the first episode of "Wine Library TV."
You`re definitely tasting leather really back here. I feel like I have eaten a shoe.
Ratings are ratings. And they are only one person`s opinion. So you`re trying to make one person`s opinion fact.
I`m not going to let four guys in a suit that are 63 years old tell me where the world`s going, because I know a hell of a lot better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Were you nervous at the time that this was the wrong way into wine, or you were 100 percent confident this was going to work?
VAYNERCHUK: You know, that`s 32-year-old me. I`d been in the game since I was 14, Ari.
To your point, I`m a great student of the things I`m passionate about. At that point, I had 18 years of incredibly focused why knowledge. I had been on the retail floor of a very prominent wine shop for 15 years. I knew what the consumers were looking for.
And, to your point, one of the great advantages of being a poor student is, you become cynical of the system. And so the establishment of the wine world was pretentious, was uninviting was not nice. And it kept a lot of people out of being curious and enjoying wine.
What they didn`t know was that the Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator and the five-star restaurant sommelier were going to lose their power because of the Internet, because of social media.
And we needed fresh voices in the wine space.
When you innovate, when you disrupt the establishment, the old guard is never going to love you.
MELBER: For other highlights, well, we hit NFTs and some of the keys to success. Take a look.
VAYNERCHUK: Lack of curiosity is the single reason people have so much upside left on the table.
VAYNERCHUK: Curiosity needs to be put on a pedestal.
Unfortunately, people hear what they want to hear. Everybody told me that they weren`t going to be on the Internet. They are. Everyone told me they weren`t going to have a Facebook and Twitter account. They do.
MELBER: How do you apply that lesson now to thrive in this environment?
VAYNERCHUK: Empathy and patience are the words I say the most, according to my team`s word cloud of my data.
MELBER: My word cloud, the biggest-performing words are discount, sale and hip-hop.
VAYNERCHUK: I`m like, but you`re going to live for another 20 years. This is going to eat up the world.
MELBER: Advice you received and you`re glad you rejected?
VAYNERCHUK: Almost all of it.
MELBER: Almost all of it. Be careful with the advice you hear.
But check it out. This is our new interview dropping right now with Gary Vaynerchuk. You can watch the whole conversation. Those are just highlights. Go to our @THEBEATWITHARI Twitter page, where it`s the very top link, if you use Twitter, or you can go right to YouTube. Search Melber and Gary, and you will get the whole interview.
He makes a lot of interesting points, which is why we were happy to have him as part of our in-depth series.
And to find me online, well, I don`t have any wine tips, but you can always connect with me @AriMelber or AriMelber.com.
"THE REIDOUT WITH JOY REID" is up next.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How you doing, Ari?
No wine tips? What?
MELBER: None. Zero.
REID: Fix that, man. Get some wine tips going. Get them going.
REID: All right, thank you very much. Have a good evening.