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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  January 17, 2013 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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. let me finish tonight with this. i never stop wondering why people think drinking is too much -- is actually a joke. drinking too much. how can something that runs -- that ruins lives be the subject of such rich humor? i say this as someone who believes alcohol is a disease. i'm not saying people aren't responsible for drinking too much, just that as at a certain point which can come early a person is no longer in control. it's then that either the person stops drinking or the drinking stops the person and for good. i'm glad we had christopher lawford on tonight. he shows that the problem of addiction is not limited to the down and out. the richest and most glamorous of people are subject to it, sometimes more often because people born to privilege can get the idea they're immune to the dangers others face. alcohol and drugs can destroy not just ambition but lives and families.
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telling jokes about it may have given us some laughs over the decades but for every comedy there's been more than one tragedy. getting this into our heads is a worthy go and i give christopher lawford and patrick kennedy a lot of credit for devoting themselves now to getting it in our heads. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. a dangerous side to the gun debate rears its ugly head. and the hoax at notre dame that has america talking. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> do you think the president just doesn't have the guts to admit it, is not a believer in the second amendment. >> fdr had a bit of this king kong complex also. >> the republican resistance to the president is exploding. tyranny. hitler. stalin. and this. >> i consider it a form of child abuse. >> the righties are off the rails. i'll break down the rabid reaction to the president with eugene robinson and caryn finney. >> too many in this country have been silent too long.
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those 20 beautiful children who lost their lives in newtown are no longer able to speak for themselves. >> plus, the vice president kicks off the gun safety campaign. but will the senate democrats have the guts to take the votes? tonight, i'll remind congress what courage looks like. and there is either a major hoax, major lies, or both going on at notre dame. >> i cry. i yell. i never felt that way before. last thing she said to me was "i love you." >> tonight, the latest on the manti te'o story with the people who broke the story at deadspin. and howard fineman on how the rest of the sports world blew the story. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. we knew it was coming. the conservative reaction to president obama's common sense gun measures was far too predictable. >> today marked one of the most brazen attempts ever by an american president to unilaterally implement new laws without the consent of the
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legislative branch. >> i actually think the president, he just doesn't have the guts to admit it, is not a believer in the second amendment. >> there are certain things in his executive orders that are un-american. in some ways they're even fascistic. >> he's a tyrant. he hates the second amendment. and he's un-american. righties are up in arms over the executive action signed by the president of the united states. the president's biggest orders include the nomination of an alcohol, tobacco, and firearms director. he asks for a study on gun violence prevention as well as reports on safety technologies on stolen firearms. apparently, conservatives believe this is tyranny. today vice president joe biden detailed one of the major initiatives of the president's gun proposals. >> how do we make our streets and schools safer? with regard to our streets i believe and the president believes that cops make a difference. we're going to push again for another $4 billion in grants for the cops program. >> $4 billion for more cops on the streets and around schools
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in america? this is what the gun lobby was demanding. but the gun nuts, well, they're not so happy. texas governor rick perry is trying to push himself into relevance again. he said in a statement the second amendment of the constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president. kind of threatening, is it? the national -- the republican national committee wrote, "president obama's series of gun control measures amount to an executive power grab." really? these statements did not mention a single action or proposal by the president. they call these measures inconstitutional. but none of them point to anything of any detail whatsoever. without the ability to attack specific proposals, conservatives attacked the president personally instead. four children attended the president's announcement yesterday. these concerned young people
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wrote direct appeals to the president asking for changes to gun laws. >> dear president obama, i think there should be some changes in the law with guns. >> i am very sad about the children who lost their lives in connecticut. >> i may not be that into politics, but my opinion is it should be very hard for people to buy guns. >> i love my country, and i want everyone to be happy and safe. no guns, no guns, no guns, no guns. >> p.s., i know you're doing your best. >> now, remember, michele malkin, she thinks that's child abuse. some might call it education. some might call it america. here's how the drudge report rewarded the president of the united states for allowing children to share their voices and opinions. a picture of stalin with a small child. and if you had the bad sense to click onto the next page, oh, you were treated to this charming picture of adolf hitler with a little girl. on fox news the far right was just as unhinged.
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>> i consider it a form of child abuse and political malpractice. >> so conservatives say the president is an un-american tyrannical child abuser. is he really this bad? they must have a plan to stop him. >> after listening to the 23 executive actions the president announced today my next guest has decided to stand up to king obama and in a hannity exclusive senator rand paul is unveiling new legislation to stop obama's assault on your second amendment rights. >> in this bill we will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation. and there are several of the executive orders that appear as if he's writing new law. that cannot happen. >> no, it's rand paul to the rescue. he has a bill to reverse all of president obama's executive actions. talking points memo obtained senator paul's proposal. there is no mention of a single order in violation of the
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constitution. not one. maybe these righties just don't know enough about the constitution. perhaps there is someone who could help them out. let's try former bush attorney general michael mukasey. >> it seems to be by definition an abuse of power, a power grab, if you will. no? >> it is -- politically it is a power grab, yes. >> politically is it then unconstitutional in some instances? >> i don't think it's unconstitutional in the sense that i don't think it's something you that could get a court to find unconstitutional. >> uh-oh. it's not the answer hannity was looking for. maybe he should try asking it in a different way. >> so did you think that obama care was unconstitutional? >> did i? >> did you agree with the majority opinion? >> the supreme court said it was unconstitutional. >> you did? >> so you agree with john roberts?
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>> yes. >> you did. i'm surprised. because in that case -- so through the use of the commerce clause we can now mandate that people buy things? >> no, he didn't say you could use the commerce clause. he said you could not use the commerce clause. >> right. >> what he said was it was a tax. >> must have been a mix-up in the prenotes of the preinterview. but let's see a shot in freeze frame. this is the face of a truly confused man. the elevator doesn't go all the way to the top here, folks. if only sean hannity would listen to his boss, he might not be so confused. "the constitutional right about guns is for self-defense and hunting. founders did not mean modern weapons of war." lining up the crazy is not a difficult task for the right wing these days. but this rhetoric and hysteria i think is very dangerous. there is no basis to call the president of the united states a tyrant or a dictator, and no president ever deserves to be compared to stalin or hitler. but of course it continues.
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it happened earlier this week. someone needs to be an adult in the room to tell them to cool it. you know? this is america. but abusing the first amendment really is not good. there is a responsibility when you're in front of a camera and you have a microphone. and if this is the way they want to use it, what do you think is going to happen? get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, will republican leadership denounce this type of rhetoric? text a for yes. text b for no to 622639. you can go to our blog at we'll bring you the results later on in the show. i'm joined tonight by caryn finney, msnbc political analyst and former communications director for the dnc. and eugene robinson, msnbc political analyst and pulitzer prize-winning columnist and associate editor for the "washington post." great to have both of you with us tonight. eugene, first with you. do these people even understand what they mean when they call the president a tyrant and a dictator? >> well, obviously, they don't,
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ed. this is an incredible freakout. let's have a little perspective here. first of all, there's nothing in the executive orders that they can name that smacks of legislation. in fact, the executive orders are fairly mild. and second, president obama's view of the second amendment is precise precisely antonin scalia's view of the second amendment. the president has long believed it protects an individual right to keep and bear arms but he agrees with scalia that you can restrict the ownership of "dangerous and unusual weapons." like assault weapons. so when they're arguing with the president and calling him stalin and calling him hitler, they are arguing with the most conservative justice on the most conservative court we've had in 100 years. >> caryn, where is the responsibility of republicans? do they have an obligation to push back on this extreme rhetoric? >> absolutely, they do. think about the cowardice. here they are accusing the
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president of using children as human shields. and yet i don't -- i think maybe chris christie is the only republican we've heard actually come out and say how disgusting it is that the nra is using the president's children in a web ad that does two things -- list building and fund-raising. if we're going to talk about the use of children, i have not heard a single one take responsibility for that. i think overall the tone and the tenor of this conversation is going to be a big problem for the republicans because remember, we've got a number of battles coming up where the republicans are already on defense. when it comes to immigration reform, we know the opportunity for their rhetoric to get out of control is quite big. on this they're not talking about gun safety, reducing, you know, gun violence, and this kind of extreme rhetoric pulls them farther to the right. so if the leadership of this party doesn't get control, they're going to have to answer for the likes of rush limbaugh and some of those other whack jobs. >> you know, eugene, you have a united states senator from kentucky who is making comments
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about the president. you wonder how schooled he is on the constitution. and you wonder why republicans don't pull him off to lunch and say you know, what you've got to kind of correct this a little bit. i mean, their silence is deafening on this. >> he talks about it a lot. rand paul, senator paul, has always talked about the constitution a lot. but clearly here he's not on thin ice. there's no ice there at all. there's simply nothing there. and he doesn't mention one specific item in the president's list of executive actions, they weren't all executive orders as he claims, one single action that supposedly violates the constitution. what is he talking about? >> you know, ed, on the politics of this let's be really -- let's call this for what it is. both marco rubio and rand paul are looking at 2016. so they are speaking about the president with the same kind of disrespectful receiptrhetoric t
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we've been hearing from the tea party darlings for quite some time. so clearly part of their motivation is looking ahead for their own political interest because there's not a lot of substance here to back up what they're saying. >> why would a united states senator from florida, rubio, question whether the president has guts? after what this president has done and the tough calls that he has had to make. i can't think of another word. is it childish? >> it is childish. particularly -- i mean, what gutsy thing has marco rubio done? let's see. he proposed some immigration reform ideas that are pretty much like the president's. so i don't think we've got an original idea out of him. i don't think we've gotten a bold idea out of him. it doesn't take a lot to go on fox news and say that the president doesn't -- i mean, come on, right? >> okay. the question to you, eugene robinson. is this all dangerous? >> well, it is dangerous. it is dangerous when rhetoric heats up to this level. it's dangerous especially when you're talking about guns. and look, there's an attempt to
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create the impression that obama and the mean democrats want to take away your guns. very specifically, no one is talking about that. no one wants to do that. and in fact, as i mentioned, the president's view of the second amendment is really quite conservative. he doesn't want to take your guns. he just wants to make this place safe so we don't have newtown massacres every year. >> well, i don't hear democrats talking like this. there's no comparative vernacular we can use that come from the democrats on this. it will be interesting to see if there are any republicans that might step forward and say you know, let's tone it down a little bit. we all know what we want, we don't have to say what has been said so far. karen finney and eugene robinson, great to have you on "the ed show" tonight. thank you so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts with us on twitter @edshow and on facebook. we always want to know what you think. coming up, a moment of truth for democrats who were afraid to lose their nra class a rating. a former congresswoman will join
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me. and she made a tough vote that ended her congressional career, but it was the right thing to do. stay with us. we'll have that story next.
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a college football star's emotional story turns out to be a hoax? we'll have the latest on notre dame linebacker manti te'o and the mystery surrounding his online girlfriend. with deadspin's managing editor tom skoka. and howard fineman of the huffington post will weigh in on it tonight. and another business owner comes out against obama care. find out what ceo of whole foods has to say about the affordable care act later. you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio channel 127 monday through friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using the #edshow. we're coming right back. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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welcome back to "the ed show." gun control debate that is going on in this country is a leadership moment for the president of the united states and for every single lawmaker who has a vote. here is what senate majority leader harry reid recently told a local pbs station in nevada. "let's be realistic," he said. "in the senate we're going to do what we think can get through the house, and i'm not going to go through a bunch of gyrations just to say that we've done something. if we're really legislators, the purpose of it is to pass legislation." senator reid did not show the same kind of hesitation with another moral issue, relief for superstorm sandy. the relief package was passed by the senate even though house
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speaker john boehner hadn't brought it up for a vote. in fact, the senate passage helped to put pressure on the house. sandy relief passed in the house with a minority of republican votes and almost every democrat. speaker boehner would not have brought the bill to the floor if it hadn't already been passed in the senate. there was similar pressure with the fiscal cliff deal. it passed in the senate first. then boehner was forced to bring it to the floor for a vote and the house, even though only a minority of republicans supported it. today senator majority leader harry reid seemed to clarify his position somewhat. in a statement he said, "i am committed to ensuring the senate will consider legislation that addresses gun violence and other aspects of violence in our society early this year. all options should be on the table." well, that sounds a little bit better. but there should be no hedging on this issue whatsoever. especially from democrats. because if they side with the president of the united states think about what president obama has done for the progressive
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movement in this country in the democratic party. how can you not stand with him on this? how much more information do these lawmakers need? have we not covered it enough? other democratic senators with high ratings from the national rifle association have also refused to say if they support the president's package. max baucus of montana, senator heidi heitkamp of north dakota, senator johnson of south dakota. senator donnelley of i7d ind. senator begich of alaska, senator manchin of west virginia, senator tester of montana. however, senator mark warner spoke out in favor of the president's plan and said he believes it has bipartisan support. those senators all have a or a-plus ratings from the national rifle association. reid has a b rating. these senators know they will lose their high rating and maybe become a target with the nra if they vote for a sensible assault weapons ban. you see, we had the assault weapons ban back in 1994, but we're so screwed up in washington right now they're even afraid to go back to that.
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every senator should explain to their constituency why they would not cast a vote for the assault weapons ban. what's the holdup? what are you afraid of? certainly it's not the nra. these senators should not fear the national rifle association. the nra didn't affect any races in the last election cycle and it probably won't do it the next time around. now, if senate democrats cannot get over the hump of losing their a rating from the national rifle association, folks, this gun legislation, it isn't going to go anywhere. senator al flank efranken of mi is another democratic lawmaker who was somewhat puzzling in the last 24 hours who decided to clarify his position. he says, "i co-sponsored legislation to ban large clips like those used in so many mass shootings," he said in a statement. "i also support the principle that we should reinstate a ban on assault weapons. and i will carefully review any proposal to do that." in principle.
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can we get some straight talk? because that in principle kind of thing leaves a little wiggle room that maybe you might not do it, al. there are other senate democrats ready to vote right now. there are multiple democrats sponsoring their own legislation. a background check bill from senator chuck schumer. an assault weapons ban from senator dianne feinstein. a magazine limit from senator frank lautenberg. and an anti-trafficking bill from senator kirsten gillibrand out of new york. here's vice president joe biden today reminding the conference of mayors what this legislation is really about. >> that tragedy in all my years of public life i think has affected the public psyche in a way that i've never seen before. parents in the streets, panicking. trying to find out if the child they put on the bus in the morning had any prospect of getting back on the bus and going home that afternoon. >> is that worth a vote? i'm joined tonight by former
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congresswoman marjorie margolis mizvinski, now an adjunct faculty member at the university of pennsylvania. she was a one-term congresswoman who -- i wish that wasn't the case, but that's what happened. and you can't -- >> i did a drive-by. >> you cast the deciding vote for clinton's tax increase for two decades, which took this country to surpluses. and you were targeted because you voted for a tax increase. but at the time you said, "there are times in all our careers when we must ask ourselves why we're here." marjorie, great to have you with us tonight on "the ed show." >> nice to be here. >> you are an example of courage, and the president has said this is going to take courage. can you apply what you went through to today's gun debate? what do you think? >> oh, well, i was also targeted. i mean, they just loaded both of the barrels and came after me also. i was just talking tonight with
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somebody who worked for me in my congressional office, arlene hal pernin. she said the phones never stopped ringing. and that's one of the problems. but as a member of congress you have to understand that people do not call in when they're satisfied. so nine out of ten calls said vote against this. and at that time it was in '93 and we were talking about an omnibus spending bill. it was a deficit reduction bill but of course it was called the tax increase. and there were things in the bill that i liked and there were things in the bill i didn't like. i didn't think it went far enough with regard to deficit reduction. i didn't think it went far enough with regard to entitlements. so i was a no vote, and i walked into the house that night and the republicans were high-fiving saying they don't have the votes and the democrats were figuring out how they could switch their votes and i said wait a minute, we came in with this president in '92, it was the largest class of women, there were 21 new women, 24 democrats. and the president was on the
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phone, and he said what would it take? and i said a serious discussion about entitlements, further cuts, and i'll only be your last vote because there had only been two -- in the house as you know, a tie vote goes down. >> sure. >> so i said i'd only be your 218th vote and there had been two votes i knew like this in history. one for the impeachment of andrew johnson and the other one for the draft. >> so -- >> and i said -- and they needed me. but i represented the most -- >> the president needed you, correct? >> correct. >> and the president right now needs democrats to stand up the way you did no matter what the ramifications are going to be in the next election. do you think senate democrats need to be willing to say good-bye to their national rifle association rating? >> but they also have to be willing to vote and be and stand up for what they believe in, and that's the reason the public is so darn angry with all of these
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representatives. it is a good job, but are you there to make sure you deep it or are you there to be a leader? and there is a difference between representing and leadership. and that's what you have to understand. coming from me, i was such a lousy politician, and i represented the most republican district represented by a democrat in the country, and they came to me. i mean, it just -- i had to roll my eyes. i was very surprised. but it was really interesting the following day when there was all this hubbub, i talked to one of my kids who was at camp. and he said-y did you do that? you know, you're going to lose everybody -- he said you're going to lose. and i said because it was the right thing to do. and it's so rare in life when you can say that to anybody. especially one of your kids. >> and 92% of americans right now favor background checks, including republicans and gun owners. >> and a majority of the nra. people who belong to the nra. >> what would you tell a wavering lawmaker right now in the wake of what we have seen in
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this country, the carnage, the constant shootings, the death on american streets? what would you say to a lawmaker? would you point to your experience? >> i don't know if i'm a great example. i just think that we have a window here. the people feel so strongly about this. the stories and the -- you can't -- i used to be a reporter. i know that i watched people cover this. you can't do it without weeping. it's so -- >> yeah. >> there is a window here. wk make change. step up to the plate. have the cojones to do it. you need a spine. get it done. >> that's very good advice. marjorie margulies-mezvinsky. i think you speak for a lot of americans who would say just that to congressional members. coming up, we have the latest developments on the manti te'o hoax. and it is unbelievable. there is actually proof he lied more than once.
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the managing editor of and nbc news political analyst howard fineman are here with all the details. stay tuned. what's next?
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. well, it turns out the inspirational story of notre dame linebacker manti te'o's struggles this football season was a total hoax. on september 12th it was reported te'o lost his grandmother to cancer and his girlfriend to leukemia.
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all within the span of six hours. the next day te'o led notre dame to a big win over michigan state, racking up 12 tackles in the process. his play on the field and his heartfelt story went on to be the focal point of notre dame's near-perfect season. unfortunately, te'o really did lose his grandmother to cancer in september on that day, but as reports, his girlfriend, lennay kekua, never existed. there is no record of her death, no obituaries, and no funeral announcements. in fact, aside from a fake twitter account, there is no record of her at all. te'o says he was involved with a woman he met online whom he never met. he claims they communicated through the internet and over the phone. in a statement te'o said, "to realize that i was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was and is painful and humiliating."
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however, on september 23rd "sports illustrated" asked the linebacker from notre dame how he met his girlfriend, and he responded with this answer -- "we met just, um, just she knew my cousin and kind of saw me there so, just kind of regular." his stories simply don't add up. te'o also gave a number of interviews about his so-called girlfriend during the football season. >> emotional week, losing your grandmother and your girlfriend on tuesday. how would you describe your emotions on the field tonight? >> i mean, they're with me. you know, so i couldn't do it without them. i couldn't do it without the support of my family and my girlfriend's family. >> i never felt that way before. this is six hours ago i just found out my grandma passed away. and you take, you know, the love of my life. the last thing she said to me was "i love you." and that was it. >> as you see, the national sports media jumped all over
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this story. they failed to verify the facts and played a major role in promoting this false narrative. and this guy was up for the heisman trophy. a few simple google searches could have avoided this entire mess. meanwhile, notre dame is sticking by their star linebacker. but it could just be an attempt to save face. >> every single thing about this until that day in the first week of december was real to manti. there was no suspicion that it wasn't, no belief that it might not be. and so the pain was real. the grief was real. the affection was real. the single most trusting human being i've ever met will never be able to trust in the same way again in his life. that's an incredible tragedy. >> as notre dame's athletic director pointed out, te'o learned it was all a hoax on december 6th. but the associated press is reporting that he gave two more interviews pushing the lie. >> i don't like cancer at all.
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you know, cancer -- i lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer. >> coaches at notre dame found out about the hoax on december 26th. and of course they kept quiet because their national championship game was on january 7th. we know for a fact that te'o lied twice and notre dame swept this under the rug to save face. but something tells me there's a whole lot more to this story. and we've got a lot of questions coming up next about this hoax. we'll get to some of those answers next. stay with us. >> six hours ago i just found out my grandma passed away. you take, you know, the love of my life. >> coming up, the editor of the website that dropped the manti te'o bombshell. tom skoka on how got the sports scoop of the year. and howard fineman of the huffington post on how every other journalist dropped the ball. and another big-time ceo picks another fight over obama
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you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for staying with us tonight. and this bizarre story. all-american linebacker manti te'o claims that he is a victim of a heartbreaking hoax. but he's going to have to answer some tough questions in the future if he wants to convince some of the sports fans he's coming clean. the associated press reports that te'o kept the scam going. te'o says he's found out he'd been scammed on december 6th. he talked about the fake girlfriend in two interviews two days later. te'o also gives conflicting dates about the car accident and the time of her death. tonight it's unclear who really got scammed and what this is all
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about, how it started, who knew about it, and is he a victim or is he a perpetrator. let's bring in tom scocca, who is the managing editor of, and howard fineman, also with us tonight, nbc news political analyst and editorial director of the huffington post media group. gentlemen, good to have you with us. tom, you first. rather bizarre story. how long did it take your staff to unearth this? >> it took about five days from when we got the first tip to being ready to publish it. because we got this tip, and it seemed like it had to be crazy, that this widely covered person didn't exist. so we put jack dickey, one of our reporters, on the records and tim burke went after the online side of it to try to find any evidence that she existed. and it was -- it was sort of a scary or confusing thing to do because what kept happening is we just kept not finding her.
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and then the question was at what point as you're not finding this person, you know, as you can't find her obituary, you can't find her death in the social security administration records, you can't find that she attended stanford because she didn't, at what point do all these negatives add up to a positive? >> so who started all this? what did your reporting find? >> we're still trying to figure out exactly what happened, but we found a woman whose picture had been used to represent this fictitious girlfriend. and she had no idea. she had given the picture to a high school classmate of hers, who's either a friend or a distant relative of te'o's. and so the question is whether it was a friend pulling a prank on another friend or whether they knew from the start what they were both doing with this fake person. >> did you have a chance, did your staff have a chance to interview the linebacker, te'o? >> we didn't. we tried calling him when we were getting ready to publish,
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but we sort of -- it was a situation where we figured this was -- it was the kind of story, you know, that you can give to a friendly reporter and try to spin out of at the last minute and -- >> so we really don't know if he is a victim or a perpetrator. >> right. >> he could have been, speculating, part of some scam to put him on the national scene to get him plenty of visibility, a heartfelt story because he was up for the heisman. i mean, i'm speculating big-time here. there's a lot of crazy theories out there. but we really don't know, do we? >> no. one thing that we -- there are a couple of things that we do know. one is just that if he and notre dame were victims they're victims who really did quite well by being victimized. which doesn't mean that they weren't. but this was a story that got tremendous benefits for him and notre dame in the course of the season in terms of publicity and goodwill. the other thing we know is as some of these other things you've been flagging tonight in the timeline show us, he was --
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>> he lied. >> by the end he was lying and along the way he was certainly telling this very embellished story where whether he knew he was being scammed or not he certainly was talking about this love of his life as if it were someone he had actually ever been in a room with. >> we really don't know if he ever met her. i mean, there's some conflicting comments in interviews about whether he actually met this woman or not who obviously does not exist. >> right. we know he didn't meet her. >> that's right. howard fineman, all i can say is bizarre. should notre dame have reported the hoax when they found out two weeks before the championship game? >> sure. i think they should have. and i think once again you have a situation of a much-beloved, much-beloved sports institution, a football institution in this case enveloped in myth and surrounded by friendly people telling them how great they are thinking that it was the right
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thing to do not to tell the truth because it might get in the way of a football game. but what i would like to focus on is the journalism here because i know a lot more about that than i know about the notre dame -- >> how could an athlete get away with a story like this? >> well, i think it's a good question. first i want to congratulate deadspin on some terrific classic shoe leather reporting. shoe leather's online now, and it's in the records. and they did it. and they should be congratulated for it. the mystery is how this gigantic empire of lies could have been constructed without anybody noticing it before deadspin did. some very major journalistic institutions fell for this hook, line, and chinstrap. and it's disturbing. and it happens all too frequently all across journalism. none of us is immune to it. you know, in the old days, ed, you had the old game of telephone effect where somebody would tell somebody else and somebody else and the story would get distorted over time.
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in this culture, in this instantaneous culture it's kind of the exact problem. digital copies are perfect copies. so once a story gets set in motion in a perfect mythic way, it gets repeated verbatim. and it's not that the story changes. it's that the story doesn't change. from the beginning, when the south bend newspaper started printing these stories about this heartbreaking story of this mythical girl -- what turns out to be the mythical girlfriend, those stories in the south bend paper, the sort of smalltown, hometown paper get replicated all over the country unquestioned by major institutions, by "sports illustrated," by the "new york times" -- >> he's up for the heisman trophy. yeah. he's up for the heisman trophy. >> and people -- i will say this in defense of notre dame. and i don't know if they deserve to be defended here, and i think deadspin and others will continue to ask the right questions. but notre dame doesn't need this
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kind of story to embellish its legend in football or in sports. they don't need it. the last thing they need is a guy like this. but yet they got caught up in not telling the truth. he told them about it. he realized the story on the 6th, if you believe his version. he tells the coaches right away. it turns out the players on the team, tell me if this is correct, several players on the team and maybe many players on the team knew this was a bunch of baloney and didn't tell and neither did the athletic director. >> needless to say they did not play well against alabama and te'o did not have a very good game. i think there's still a lot more reporting to be done on this. and i think there is big-time major college athletics that has huge, huge ramifications when it comes to dollars and bowl games and who knows. it is -- >> yeah, the journalism story is a big one here, ed.
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the journalism story is a big one and we shouldn't forget it. >> that's the -- >> no question. tom scocca and howard fineman, great to have both of you with us tonight. thank you so much. a health food store with a ceo against health care reform. i'll tell you who called obama care fascist. jonathan alter joins me. stay with us. [ male announcer ] house rule number 46. what's good for the pot... is even better for the cup. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house. now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. get coricidin hbp. the number one pharmacist recommended cold brand designed for people with high blood pressure. and the only one i use to relieve my cold symptoms without raising my blood pressure. coricidin hbp. looks like you're in a pickle. yeah. can you get me out of it ? just so happens i know a chap... book any flight and hotel together and get access to our free personal concierge service. any need, any question, we're on call 24/7.
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find thousands of big deals now... at officemax. and on the big finish tonight, back in 2009 whole foods founder ceo john mackey wrote an op-ed in the "wall street journal" labeling president obama's affordable health care act a form of socialism. as a result the health food retailer's left-leaning customer base staged nationwide protests and boycotts. three years later mackey is back. he's changed his mind a little bit. >> technically speaking, it's more like fascism. socialism is where that government owns the means of production. in fascism the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it. and that's what's happening with the health care program and with these reforms. >> well, as you can imagine, whole foods' left-leaning customer base didn't take too kindly to that label either. mackey is already walking it
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back. >> i regret using that word now because it's got so much baggage attached to it from the middle of the 21st -- 20th century when you had germany and italy and spain that were fascist and people still associate that with it. of course i was just using the standard dictionary definition. >> merriam webster dictionary defines fascism as "a regime headed by a dictatorial leader that forcibly suppresses opposition." mackey, a self-professed libertarian, gets his definition from the ayn rand school of thought. listen, i believe mackey regrets using the word. but the most insulting thing about mackey's continued assault against obama care isn't the language. mackey isn't biting the hand that feeds him. despite this country being run by a socialist or fascist or whatever word he'll come up with next, whole foods is doing pretty doggone good. under president obama whole foods' profits have risen 306%.
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profits he seems unwilling to invest in the health of the employees that are with him making all that money. let's turn to jonathan alter, msnbc political analyst and columnist for bloomberg view. why do these ceos do this? why would he do this again and go down this road? >> well, they can't help themselves. he has a political philosophy as indicated, of libertarianism, where they think it's just because of their genius and their hard work and their talent and that they don't get any help from anybody else. the rugged individual making it alone in american life. you know, as warren buffett or some of his fellow ceos who are a little more enlightened might tell him, the only reason that whole food or -- whole foods or whole paycheck, as it's sometimes called by those who are a little -- >> here in new york that's what they call it. >> the only reason that they have been able to be so successful is because they're operating in a country, this country, where they get all
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kinds of public services, whether it's the good roads that lead to the whole foods near where i live or all of the other things that make a society work. and these guys just are oblivious to that. and they don't get it and they don't get that they do have certain social responsibilities. so they have kind of a we're all in it for ourselves ethic, which is totally contrary to the ethic that he's using to make millions of dollars at whole foods. it's a crunchy, you know, earth tone ethic that they have in those stores. >> why wouldn't he want his employees to have the best health care? according to, the average whole foods cashier makes an average of $10.31 an hour. without obama care what hope do these folks have? >> well, yeah. he's kind of throwing them to the wolves. and the sad thing, ed, is there's another way to do it. look at costco. excellent company. ov