Right-wing militias and their leaders are the latest target of the special congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, which issued subpoenas on Tuesday to ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. Dr. Anthony Fauci shares the latest on the COVID numbers, booster shots and how the U.S. should plan for the holiday season. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri recently devoted an entire speech to an extended analysis of why so many men appear stuck in a cycle of "idleness and pornography and video games". A jury today in Charlottesville, Virginia, found a group of white supremacists liable for charges stemming from the infamous Unite the Right rally, including its lead organizer and a speaker who coined the term "alt-right."
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: Thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. We are grateful. "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you very much.
I am Ari Melber and tonight Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us live on THE BEAT with the latest on the COVID numbers, booster shots and how the U.S. should plan for the holiday season. That`s coming up.
Our top story is breaking news in the House insurrection probe.
Congress issuing new subpoenas in the January 6th investigation, hitting the Proud Boys, a right-wing group present at the rally, and as once shouted out by president Trump to stand by.
About 34 Proud Boys have been indicted charged for actions during the deadly attack, including the group`s leader, Henry Enrique Tarrio, arrested for burning a BLM flag. Investigators are eying his involvement and plotting and potential planning of the attack that would occur within days of that arrest.
Congress also subpoenaing for the first time the Oath Keepers, 18 members of that group were involved in the insurrection. Includes a subpoena for the group leader Stewart Rhodes. The goal is to get facts from those involved with planning the attack and their information about the violence itself, as well as the, quote, "preparation leading up to the violent attack."
All together there were over 50 militia members and over 700 people who have been indicted for crimes charged on January 6th. That is a serious legal process that continues in the courts.
We`re seeing why this is the top story in these latest developments. There`s something else, a turn by the government to look at the preparation and the plotting and the possible leadership of what was, we now know, this violent coup attempt to end democracy.
Now you have this investigative effort. It`s trying to go up the line to the top people who allegedly planned or plotted or funded this coordinated tactical operation. Some of them are acting guilty, like Steve Bannon`s defiance. Some have to make their next move, like Roger Stone and Alex Jones.
Some are embroiled in leading militia groups while under indictment, groups increasingly embattled for what their members did, for what they did on tape. And there`s ongoing questions about how these plans were in the works, how many people above the line of just those combatants that day were plotting for this type of coup.
I want to get right to our experts. I`m joined by Emily Bazelon of "The New York Times" magazine and NYU law professor Melissa Murray.
Professor, there`s always a distinction between people who carried something out and those who may have otherwise been involved at a higher level. There`s more than one legal track here.
What do you see Congress eyeing here, as they broaden this net?
MELISSA MURRAY, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW: I think the net broadening is really interesting here. It reminds me of what you see in some organized crime cases, where in order to get the head of the fish, you have to go through the entire organization and hoping that these people, who are more peripheral to the organization, will flip, provide information about what is going on and who is at the head of this.
I think part of what`s going on and the expansion of the probe to some of these ancillary individuals is part of trying to get a better sense of what happened and to see, who up the chain of command, is really responsible here.
MELBER: When you look at these groups, Emily, there are people who follow this for a living. There are people who hear about things and then there`s everyone going on with their lives. Some of these groups have been accused of rather serious things.
In all candor, they might not have the name resonance of a KKK or other groups. Yet they were on the president`s mind during the debate. There were other people around Trump, who were aware of the idea of this muscle or thuggery. Here was Donald Trump in the debates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I`ll tell you what -- I`ll tell you what, somebody has got to do something about Antifa and the Left.
TRUMP: Because this is not a right wing problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: They were more than standing by.
Where do you see these groups fitting into this landscape, if you will, Emily, and what do you say to folks who might think, I haven`t heard much about them for that long?
EMILY BAZELON, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" MAGAZINE: Well, I think there is a network of groups on the Right, same as there is a network on the Left and they play different roles. And these groups were known for being armed, for having members who saw themselves as part of a militia.
So when president Trump referred to the Proud Boys, it seemed like a callout to people who are ethnonationalists, who are not necessarily in favor of diversifying of America or even equal rights for all Americans in the eyes of how a lot of people would interpret that phrase.
I think these groups have that role to play. We saw that on January 6th. What will be interesting is what records come out of these subpoenas.
Will we be able to see the people who were doing the planning?
We don`t know how much planning there was.
Assuming there was some planning going on, will we be able to tell from communications going back and forth who played what role?
What Melissa referred to, do you have people who are implicated in that evidence then flip on the people who were the leaders, if those leaders are preserved from being in the communications themselves?
MELBER: As you mention, it`s the tactical aspect and then it`s whether the rest of America -- we have a legal process but we also have a public accountability of what citizens want to do to understand this.
I think if somebody walks around fresh from an ISIS training camp, with an ISIS flag and they say, I`m here to overthrow the U.S. government, I think people take that literally. If they`re armed, they`re edging toward a crime.
I just want to be clear with viewers, these people were doing that. It didn`t happen to be a foreign flag; they were talking that way as domestic terrorists, domestic would-be killers. But this is how they talk. This is Mr. Tarrio, who was subpoenaed today, talking about his goal to overthrow the government. This was in February.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You have access to (INAUDIBLE) phone?
HENRY ENRIQUE TARRIO, EX-LEADER, PROUD BOYS: There`s were a couple times when I went to go see him, I`d help him with like his social media posts and things like that. I think right now is the time go ahead and overthrow the government by becoming the new government and running for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: So how do you draw the line there, Emily, between what everyone has the right to do, which is talk or run for office, and these very direct invocations of overthrowing the government, in concert with what DOJ says were plots and what happened January 6th?
Where do we draw this line?
BAZELON: Everyone has a free speech right to talk in general terms about overthrowing the government. That`s important. But usually when you`re talking about running for office and staying within the guardrails of democracy, that`s not the rhetoric you use.
You want to separate yourself from people who aren`t abiding by all the rules of running for election. So I think what you see there from Tarrio is a flirting with that very line.
MURRAY: Again, I think it`s really important to emphasize that this is domestic terrorism. It`s not domestic revolutionaryism. Being a revolutionary is an entirely different matter, one perhaps where there is some sense of righteousness on our side.
I think the line here is not running for office for the purpose of taking over the government through lawful means but rather what we saw on January 6th, obstructing the peaceful transition of power and overthrowing the government to install what`s essentially a dictator, a head of it, instead of a duly elected head of state.
MELBER: Again, that goes to context.
Is it some fiery rally speech or is it a rally that turned into an insurrection?
As for the widening net, I want to play some of the other perspective, the Republican pushback from Mark Meadows, who was the number one Trump official, his chief of staff. He`s saying the way it`s going, it looks more like a fishing expedition. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MARK MEADOWS, FORMER TRUMP CHIEF OF STAFF: I read about them subpoenaing Roger Stone and Alex Jones and, you know, I can tell you that I`m not aware of anybody in the White House that had conversations with either one of those individuals.
MEADOWS: But it just seems like they`re just determined to pull out the phone book and subpoena as many people as they possibly can in hopes that they find a narrative that will stick politically.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MELBER: Emily, give us your view of that point. On the one hand, we reported the problems Roger Stone has, including being convicted of these crimes of lying. That`s one thing.
In fairness to Mr. Meadows` point, Roger Stone is someone who spent years lying to make his role seem bigger. When you get to the end of these stories, he wasn`t the guy in every meeting. He was much more of the guy pretending all the way. I`m curious what you think.
BAZELON: I mean, sure, it`s possible. The government is supposed to have good reasons to subpoena these people. We hope there`s more to it than Meadows is saying. This is also what you say when you`re trying to discredit an investigation and there`s not going to be a political price to pay if you`re wrong.
So the proof will be in what the evidence shows. I think the whole point of issuing a subpoena to Roger Stone is to find out what is on paper, in terms of his involvement. And the government should have some more information about that. So I would say we`ll have to see.
MELBER: That would be, of course, the valid process. If some of this goes his way, from the evidence or whatever, then maybe it clears some of these individuals by cooperating with, again, a bipartisan probe.
I want to thank Emily Bazelon and Melissa Murray for kicking this off.
We have a lot coming up. There`s a new guilty verdict for the white nationalists in the Charlottesville neo Nazi rally. I`ll explain.
And the jury deliberating in the Ahmaud Arbery case.
But first, as you see on your screen, Dr. Anthony Fauci live with me right after this.
MELBER: We are back with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a veteran of seven presidential administrations.
Thanks for being here.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF COVID-19 MEDICAL ADVISER: Thank you for having me, Ari. Good to be with you.
MELBER: Absolutely. So Dr. Fauci, let`s start where everyone is right now, Americans preparing for Thanksgiving. Here`s where we were about a year ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As the Thanksgiving rush is underway, coronavirus infections are unfortunately skyrocketing across the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re experiencing an incredible surge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re more than double where we were back in May.
FAUCI: We`re going to have a very tough winter in the next few months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their last dying words are, "This can`t be happening. It`s not real."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our patients are sicker. This unit is now fully ICU.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: How does that compare to now?
And what are you advising people do or don`t do in the holiday season?
FAUCI: Well, Ari, the big difference between what you just showed and where we are right now is the whole issue of vaccinations. We didn`t have vaccines then. Right now we`re in the middle of an upsurge in cases. We were down to 40,000 50,000 after the summer surge.
Now if you look at the last few weeks, it`s gone to 60,000, 70,000, 80,000 and now it`s up to 100,000 a day. A lot of that, not all, is driven by people who are not vaccinated, who are very vulnerable to infection.
What we have now are vaccinations of a substantial proportion, good news particularly among the elderly; 80 plus percent of the elderly are fully vaccinated. So that`s good in the sense of being able to protect them.
The issue is we now have a couple of moving targets. The one that`s really problematic is we have about 60 million people in this country, who are adults, who are eligible to be vaccinated, who have not yet gotten vaccinated.
Now that we know that after a period of several months, even when you`re vaccinated, the immunity wanes somewhat, more significantly among the elderly and those who may not have a very good immune system, but it wanes, which means we have the opportunity now to get boostered.
So there`s a lot of things different. We have vaccinations. We have people who don`t want to get vaccinated, which is unfortunate. And we now have boosters. So we`ve got to get people boosted. If we can do that, we can be more safe than last time.
When you look at kids under 11, about 10 percent vaccination rate.
Where do you want that to be?
FAUCI: I want to get the overwhelming population of children in that age group to be vaccinated. We know it`s safe and highly effective. There was a feeling they don`t get infected as much as adults.
They do. It is true that, in general, statistically, they do not get as severely ill for the most part as adults do. But we have plenty of children in that age group who do get seriously ill. There are about 2 million of them have been infected. About 8,300 required hospitalization and over 100 of them have died. So it is not a trivial issue with children.
And they do spread it. Most of them -- not most -- about half are without symptoms. But they can spread infection and add to the dynamics of the outbreak. That`s why it`s important to get those children vaccinated.
MELBER: You`re talking about the payoffs here and it`s complicated. I wanted to run by you -- we did this when you weren`t here. You might as well have the benefit to respond.
You, other medical experts and the current president have given outcomes that have not come to fruition, where we thought we would be farther along. We have some video. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think he now is destructive. I think he`s dishonest.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: He decided to unilaterally end Christmas.
PETER NAVARRO, TRUMP TRADE ADVISER: We want to take Fauci down and put him in an orange jumpsuit.
GINGRICH: In any reasonable society, Fauci would be gone.
FAUCI: Getting back to normality, gradually getting people back to work, I believe that`s likely going to start in a few months, as we get into March and April.
BIDEN: By July 4th there`s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your back yard to mark our independence from this virus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Our tape played some of the Republicans. That`s a whole other topic, sir.
What do you say to people -- I think you can understand this -- people who say, I heard President Biden and Dr. Fauci say we would be done by now and we`re not?
What do you say to that?
FAUCI: Well, Ari, there was never any guarantee of that. People ask you, what can you anticipate or project?
No one ever -- I never said we would definitely be. There`s a lot of moving targets. Along came the Delta variant and that threw everyone for a loop.
The thing we`ve got to understand is that, when you`re dealing with a moving target and people ask you for your best projection, as long as that target is moving, you`re never going to be able to give a definitive answer.
Would you have liked to have said, I don`t have any idea what`s going to happen?
Then people would have minds about that, too. So when you`re dealing with a situation where you do not know but you can make a best estimate -- the one thing I can say for sure is, if we don`t get the majority of the people who are not vaccinated right now, if we don`t get them vaccinated, things are going to be much worse.
So right now we have got to do the best that we can. The facts evolve. Science evolves. When that evolves, you`ve got to keep your recommendations associated with the facts as you know it at the time.
So it`s nothing but a gotcha when you say, what did you say a few months ago, when you didn`t know what was going on?
We didn`t anticipate the Delta variant would be as devastating as it is. That`s when we said the things you showed that I and President Biden said.
MELBER: Yes. As for you saying the facts evolve, people do want to know where this thing came from.
President Biden also talked about an intelligence process for that. There`s been some information. Intelligence agencies disagree, which sometimes happens. The FBI believes in the theory this came from a lab in China.
Is the FBI right or wrong in your view?
And will we ever get to the bottom of this?
FAUCI: Ari, if you look at the virologists, not the people who want to politicize this, look at the virologists who know about viruses, they tell you it`s much more likely that this was a natural evolution from an animal reservoir, likely a bat to another intermediate host to a human.
But until you know for sure you have to leave open all possibilities. That`s where something like the lab leak type of a hypothesis comes about. You can`t rule it out. but if you look at the evidence, namely the historical and other evidence, it`s more likely one than the other.
And it`s more likely that it`s a natural outbreak from an animal reservoir, although we must keep all possibilities open.
MELBER: Right. There`s a lot of evidence that the mandates are working. In Florida, under governor DeSantis` policies, some types of mandates are prevented or are off the table, which has this headline about Disney World having to halt the vaccine requirement entirely.
Is your view that is acceptable policy?
Or does that raise the risk of illness and deaths in Florida?
FAUCI: Well, we do know that mandates -- let`s call them requirements, mandate has a special tinge to it -- that requirements work. If you look at United Airlines, about 99 percent of their employees are vaccinated. Tyson Food, Houston Methodist Medical System, they do work.
We also know from good studies that masks work. They`re not 100 percent but they do work in preventing infection. So we`re in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic that has taken the lives of over 770,000 Americans.
Anything that gets in the way of containing that, I think we`d better think twice before we start pushing it. We would love to have a situation where you don`t have requirements.
FAUCI: Where people would see why it`s so important, not only to protect themselves and their families but to fulfill their societal responsibility to get us out of this historic outbreak. That`s the reason why you have vaccine requirements.
MELBER: Yes. Dr. Anthony Fauci, I want do a round of questions with you about safety protocols. We have our shortest break, 60 seconds. We`ll be back in one minute.
MELBER: We`re back with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Sir, I would like to do a lightning round. I`ll ask easy questions and you give us your stab at a fast answer.
Does that sound all right?
FAUCI: I`ll give you a question later, too.
MELBER: That`s only fair.
MELBER: I`m going to now. You`ll go at the end.
If you`re vaccinated, do you need a mask outside?
FAUCI: No, if you`re outside and vaccinated and you`re not in a grossly congregated session, you don`t need a mask outside.
MELBER: And a small group of vaccinated people inside, do you need a mask?
MELBER: If you`re unvaccinated inside?
FAUCI: Wear a mask. If you`re with people.
If you`re alone inside, you don`t need to wear a mask.
MELBER: If you finished your vaccination, you should get a booster when?
FAUCI: Within six months or more from the time you got your original vaccination regimen if it is an mRNA. And two months or longer if it`s a J&J.
MELBER: If you`re not vaccinated and you get a negative COVID test, are you good for indoor gatherings?
FAUCI: You know, it depends. If you have a PCR test and you`re talking about worrying about infecting others, if you`re negative and you go indoors, you have a risk of getting infected if there are people there infected and not wearing masks.
That`s the reason why, whatever your situation is, you should be wearing a mask with indoor congregate settings, when you don`t know the vaccination status of the people that you`re congregating with indoors.
MELBER: If you want to see people who are in a higher COVID or hot spot area and you`re vaccinated, are you good to go travel there?
FAUCI: You know, nothing is 100 percent risk free, Ari. Sure, travel increases the risk of getting infected. But if you`re careful at the airport, you wear a mask in the congregate setting of the airport.
On an airplane, it`s almost certain you have to wear a mask. We recommend you get vaccinated. If you don`t know the status of the people that you`re dealing with in an indoor setting, wear a mask.
MELBER: Finally, and then I`ll take your question if you had it, we always track what`s going on out there in the culture. Online, people have so many reactions to you. I`m not going to play the misinformation. But here`s a mix on TikTok, people who think you`re great, think something`s wrong with COVID-19 and people who are mad at Democrats for all the Thanksgiving restrictions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This man, this legend right here, Dr. Anthony Fauci, you may know him as just the guy who testifies in front of Congress. But for us doctors, he`s the greatest of all time. He is Beyonce, he is Michael Jordan, he is Oprah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When your family say we should video chat this year for Thanksgiving because COVID, I am so done with Democrats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time I think this thing is over, Dr. Fauci shows up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We`ll give you the last word of any thoughts on how you`re playing across the internet and, then if you had a question, go ahead.
FAUCI: Well, Ari, I`m not in it for a popularity contest. I have devoted my entire professional career of 50 years to try and safeguard and preserve the health and the lives of the American people.
As an infectious disease doctor who deals with outbreak, that gets extended to the rest of the world. That`s what I do. The praise or the arrows and slings are really irrelevant. I do what science drives you to do. That`s what I do.
I`m not in it for a popularity contest. I`m trying to save lives. The people who weaponize lies are killing people. The only question I have is that when you show Tucker Carlson and Peter Navarro criticizing me, I consider that a badge of honor.
MELBER: I hear that.
Then did you have a question or are we good?
FAUCI: No. I just wanted to make that statement. People -- they throw up those people that make ridiculous statements. They`re telling people to do things that they`re going to die from and telling me I should go to jail. As they say in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, give me a break, will you?
MELBER: From Brooklyn to Washington and around the world, always great to have you. Thank you, Dr. Fauci.
FAUCI: Thanks, Ari. Have a good Thanksgiving.
MELBER: Coming up, the RNC is picking up Donald Trump`s legal bills.
And white supremacy groups having to pay for it.
Plus, why are so many Republicans talking about pornography?
Manhood, Chai Day, that`s next.
MELBER: Why do people play video games?
Why are people idle?
Why do people use pornography?
Well, there are many answers but right-wing Republican senator Josh Hawley, known for that fist salute at the protesters at the Capitol on that ominous day of January 6th, has his own answer. He says all of these activities can be explained by politics and what he views as a leftist strand of feminism that is driving men to each of those activities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): The Left`s attack on America leads directly to an attack on men.
Can we be surprised that, after years of being told that they`re the problem, that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games.
We have got to call men back to responsibility. Spending your time on video games, spending your time watching porn online while doing nothing...
The Left`s saying that America is a systemically oppressive place and that men are to blame and that masculinity is to blame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Some of this is provably and piravly (ph) false. Pornographic material literally predates the contemporary feminism that Hawley is citing or caricaturing. And he didn`t offer any studies supporting a thesis that exposure to certain political critiques would shape one`s use of pornography or video games.
OK. As for the broader argument that shifting gender norms does impact people`s lives, well, there are debates about how to adjust to any shift in social or political culture and these power dynamics.
Obama campaign strategist and friend of THE BEAT, Chai Komanduri says it`s all about power. The Republican strategy to win back men, a demographic that Biden made serious gains among.
In fact, of the many places where Biden improved over the Democratic electorate haul in the previous election against Trump in 2020, Biden actually upped the Democrats` standing among male voters by 9 points and did so even as Donald Trump recycled tired, proto-masculine stereotypes and appeals, like his own personal fan fiction, where he imagined his own body, his own, I should say, his own head -- obviously that`s his cartoon head there on someone else`s body, Rocky, something only photoshop could achieve. Trump posted that online to his tens of millions of followers, sparking a kind of a cottage industry of other supporters imagining a more fit, muscular Trump, a theme echoed on FOX and then remixed with an ominous take on feminism and its critiques of aggressive masculinity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The era of the pajama boy is over January 20th and the alpha males are back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the phrase you hear these days from dopes pretending to be smart, toxic masculinity. The gist: masculinity is poison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Men who are heterosexual, strong, aggressive competitors are no longer an acceptable part of society, not really.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: I`m joined now by strategist I mentioned, Chai Komanduri, the veteran of three presidential campaigns, and MSNBC columnist and friend of THE BEAT, Liz Plank, she wrote the book, "For the Love of Men: A Vision for Mindful Masculinity."
Welcome to you both.
LIZ PLANK, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Ari.
CHAI KOMANDURI, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Good to be here.
MELBER: I`m going to start with Chai on the politics. I quoted you.
What do you think senator Hawley is up to, notwithstanding some of his fact-free claims about the political link he sees between leftism and porn?
KOMANDURI: Yes, there`s clearly a political calculation. If you talked to senator Hawley`s political strategist, they will say he needs to win back men, that Donald Trump underperformed with men by quite a lot. According to Pew Research, Joe Biden gained 9 points among men.
I mean, that`s an incredible significant number. If you think about how close that election is, it probably really swung the election toward Joe Biden. So there`s no question there`s a political calculation. It`s a very flawed political strategy.
KOMANDURI: Because what Hawley is doing is doubling down on the Trump strategy that created the mess in the first place.
The second thing I would say is rhetorically this sort of thing is very historically important to the GOP. The GOP rhetorically is always claiming the past is better. They`ve been doing it throughout the history of the Republican Party.
And one of the things they used to do was talk about the religious Right. They would talk about the religious past of America was better. Now, as (INAUDIBLE) decline and nobody really would take them seriously, considering Trump is their leader, they`re now reaching toward a patriarchal past, specifically rebranding cruelty as masculinity and locker room talk.
MELBER: And at the level of simple trolling, Liz, trying to blame pornography or violent video games on new feminism or contemporary feminism is a troll, it`s a reach. But there does seem to be something deeper going on, which is the idea that ascendant feminism, along with the most gender diverse Congress in history and a woman here in the White House as V.P., is also threatening to some people.
PLANK: Yes. If you want to find a group of people who have been researching the effects of pornography on men and on people of all genders, look to feminists, woman who have been at the forefront of this research.
Josh Hawley is welcome to talk to us about it. But my favorite part about this is that it seems like Josh Hawley is very OK -- is not OK at all with men watching porn stars but he`s OK with the ones who bribe them.
He was OK with Donald Trump, who really silenced a porn star and made that -- that was, for a while, and implicated a lot of legal attention. So I agree the biggest erosion really that we saw in 2020 was men. And it was particularly white men.
I actually wrote a piece before the 2020 election, talking to Republican men about this. I was hearing from a lot of men, who were switching parties, saying this definition of masculinity, particularly under COVID, the fact that he wouldn`t even wear a mask and he got really sick, all of that was seen by a lot of men as like, wait a minute.
We`re not OK with the treatment of women but we`re not OK with the way you`re representing masculinity. There`s something going on in this thirst trap that the Republican Party is laying for male voters, is an attempt to have the upper hand on the conversation.
MELBER: Yes, I think all that is really important and so much of this can be reduced or caricatured -- both of you are referring to this fact that there is a shift. It`s not just one factor. It`s also with age. There may be younger, independent or conservative-minded men on certain categories, who also are rejecting what we just saw, from what Trump was offering or what Sebastian Gorka was offering.
The equation of masculinity with violent political crime on January 6th, I think, is a reach. I think there are plenty of people who might have what you call -- they might favor conservative tax policy and not want to sign onto that.
As for senator Hawley, here`s more of his exchange on Axios.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really, what the liberals are doing is going to push me to watch Pornhub more or play Donkey Kong?
Do you mean that literally (ph)?
HAWLEY: I think the liberal attack, the left wing attack on manhood says to men, you`re part of the problem. It says that your masculinity is inherently problematic. It`s inherently oppressive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOMANDURI: Yes, the sheer hypocrisy of Josh Hawley is really breathtaking. The person who really did all of the things that Josh Hawley is now decrying is Donald Trump. And Josh Hawley, a couple of months ago, wanted Donald Trump to be dictator of America.
I don`t think that`s an exaggeration. That`s exactly what he was trying to do on January 6.
And if you think about positive male figures, you know, I think Barack Obama is a great male role model. He`s a responsible husband, a responsible father. He studied hard. He works hard. He plays sports. He`s athletic. He does all those things.
They would never bring him up. There are other great examples in our popular culture of positive, nontoxic males. I`m thinking of the late Chadwick Boseman`s Black Panther character, Chris Evans as Captain America character.
KOMANDURI: Those are movies that made over billions of dollars over the course of years. Our society is not in shortage of good, nontoxic male figures. But that`s not what the GOP and Josh Hawley is putting forward. They`re putting forward Donald Trump, who literally stands for everything they claim they don`t stand for.
MELBER: Right. I`m running out of time.
But, Liz, the idea that masculinity, not unlike the best version of Americanism, if you will, is something that would be forged together, is something that you explore in your book.
What do you mean by mindful masculinity?
PLANK: I think it`s important to have compassion in this conversation. There are a lot of men who are suffering in this country. But our inability to see men as vulnerable actually clouds us from our ability to see the way that that vulnerability can be exploited.
And I`ll just leave you with one data point on COVID-19 and conspiracy theories. We`re seeing now the recent data, people who are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories regarding COVID, it`s not based on political ideology; it`s based on gender.
Men are more likely to believe in these theories. And it puts their health at risk and their communities at risk. There`s a lot of pain out there. Men have needs, too, and we need to address them or else they can be exploited by bad actors.
MELBER: Yes, and an almost ideological or clinical inability to process vulnerability leads to resorting or overusing other emotions like anger. Chai, I know it`s just a TV news segment. But I think it just got deep.
KOMANDURI: It very much did. I think Liz definitely brought some very deep philosophical research to the conversation.
PLANK: I love the mindful masculinity in this segment. I`m a fan.
MELBER: We`ll keep at it. Two friends of THE BEAT.
And I want to thank Josh Hawley for making this conversation possible.
Chai and Liz. And the book is "For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity."
When we come back, we have a report on something that I`ve been telling you about. There is accountability. Sometimes it`s slow-going. but neo Nazis losing big, based on their conduct in the Charlottesville rally.
Then later, the heat on Trump as prosecutors follow the money. An update out of New York.
MELBER: Major accountability news: a jury today in Charlottesville, Virginia, found a group of white supremacists liable for civil conspiracy charges stemming back from the infamous Unite the Right rally in 2017.
That includes the lead organizer of the rally and a speaker, who was one of the people who coined the now well-known term "alt-right." The jury deadlocked on two federal conspiracy charges.
Now these were the people chanting, quote, "You will not replace us," as a neo Nazi rammed a car into protesters, killing one. A counsel for the plaintiffs, the people suing today, said they were very, very satisfied to have this accountability and this verdict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This jury did find a conspiracy to commit violence and racially motivated violence as to each and every defendant. So we think that is a resounding verdict today and, frankly, a good sign for the future on the remaining counts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Completely good.
QUESTION: Is there a level of disappointment there, though, that you couldn`t, after four weeks, get those two counts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we`re absolutely thrilled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: "Absolutely thrilled" These white supremacists were found liable and this is a big deal that affects them. There is many different ways to mete out justice in the courts but they are now ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to those people hurt, according to the court, by the rally, the violence, all of it.
The lawyers say they will plan to try these defendants again on those remaining federal charges, which were asked about there in that press availability.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, another jury is wrapping up the first day of deliberations in a different type of justice. This is the criminal trial for three white men who tracked down and killed the unarmed 25-year-old jogger, Ahmaud Arbery. The prosecutor delivered a powerful rebuttal before the jury went to deliberate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA DUNIKOSKI, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: I don`t know, are any of you runners?
You ever had a strange truck pull up and have some people start yelling at you?
Would that startle you?
I don`t know. We don`t know what was in the mind of Ahmaud Arbery.
But I mean, what do you think?
Did it cause some fear for him, these strange men, pulling up in this truck and then not relenting and not backing off?
This is three on one.
How about some empathy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: A call by the attorney there for empathy, explaining why Arbery was running and then running for his life in fear. And then, according to prosecutors, was, in that so-called three on one, murdered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNIKOSKI: He finally tried to run around their truck after running from them for five minutes. He was trying to get away from these strangers, who were yelling at him, yelling at him, threatening to kill him. And then they killed him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: "And then they killed him." And that is a fact of the case because it`s on tape and not in dispute. The jury is asked to decide something else as it deliberates.
Was this a murder?
The defense has been leaning on something we`ve been reporting for you, this argument that it could be kind of a citizen`s arrest in the mind of the killers, even if they didn`t say it out loud.
And that of course echoes something that was a theme in the 17-year-old Rittenhouse`s trial. He was acquitted of murdering two BLM protesters. He claimed self-defense and is now speaking out, including in a FOX interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYLE RITTENHOUSE, KENOSHA SHOOTER: It`s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of somebody like, if they did this to me, imagine what they could have done to a person of color who doesn`t maybe have the resources I do or is not widely publicized like my case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Yes, imagine what the justice system does to people of color, Mr. Rittenhouse says. Of course, he killed two people at a Black Lives Matter protest, which was, in essence, a non-violent movement to try to get people to imagine what the justice system does to people of color.
Now when we come back, we pose a question and answer.
Why is the Republican National Committee using money that could go toward electing people to pay the legal bills of a former president?
MELBER: Donald Trump faces open criminal probes and now a curious fact about his ongoing legal bills has come to light. "The Washington Post" reports the RNC is covering his legal fees for criminal probes in New York. These are personal legal fees. Trump`s political operation, though, has raised over $100 million. He would seem to have the money but just doesn`t want to spend it. And now, he`s asking the party faithful to put aside money that would go towards electing Republicans and just keep him and his team out of jail in New York. An update on that, as promised.
That does it for us. "THE REIDOUT" states now.