Skip to main content

tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  July 8, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

10:00 pm
the age of 18. that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. george zimmerman's defense still hasn't used george zimmerman as a witness. they have the only witness who knows exactly what happened that night, and they haven't used him yet. but today they tried to use trayvon martin's father. >> we begin in the courtroom on day 10 of testimony. >> new developments at the trial of george zimmerman. now in its third week. >> any moment now george zimmerman's lawyers will start calling witnesses. >> the defense is presenting its case. >> the defense calls friends of george zimmerman to testify. >> state your name, please. >> sondra osterman. >> mark osterman. >> john donley. >> jerry brusso. >> questions about who was screaming for help. >> whose voice it was on the 911 call. >> the 911 recording from the night trayvon martin died. >> have you ever had an
10:01 pm
opportunity to listen to that phone call? >> do you hear yells for help? >> do you have an opinion as to whose voice that is? >> are they continuous yells for help? >> were you able to identify mr. zimmerman's voice? >> when is the first time you heard that tape? >> you listened to it on the radio -- >> defense attorney mark o'mara says among the witnesses he plans to call the to stand -- >> could the defense also call martin's father to the stand? >> trayvon martin's father. >> does anyone have a better argument than the other? >> only two people really know what happened on that evening. >> about whether it was george zimmerman or trayvon martin. >> this is day 20 of this trial. day 10 of testimony. >> the defense team says they plan to wrap up their presentation to the jury by mid to late week. >> court is in recess until 8:30 in the morning. the shocker in the george zimmerman trial today was that george zimmerman's defense called trayvon martin's father as a witness. it was a very risky tactic for
10:02 pm
the defense, which they apparently thought was worth it after the testimony of chris serino today, the lead investigator of the zimmerman case, who was the -- the very first person to play the audiotape of the 911 call where someone can be heard screaming before george zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin. he played that for trayvon martin's father. >> i believe my words were "is that your son's voice in the background?" or something -- i think i said it a little differently than that. but i inquired as if that was in fact his son yelling for help. >> and what was his response? >> he -- it was more of a verbal and non-verbal. he looked away and under his breath as i interpreted it said "no." >> the defense used another police officer to set up the testimony from trayvon martin's father. >> do you recall what it was that you heard officer serino ask mr. martin after playing the
10:03 pm
911 call? >> if he recognized the voice. >> okay. again, do you have the exact words or -- >> i don't know if those are exact words, but that was the question, if he had recognized the voice. >> okay. and mr. martin's response? >> was that it was not his son. >> then came the defense's dramatic tactic. calling tracy martin to the stand. >> best as i recall, after he played the tape he basically just said do you recognize the voice. >> and what was your response? >> my response was i didn't -- i didn't tell him no, that wasn't trayvon. i kind of -- i think the chairs had wheels on them and i kind of pushed away from the -- away from the table and just kind of shook my head and said i can't tell. >> so your words were "i can't tell"? >> something to that effect.
10:04 pm
but i never said no, that wasn't my son's voice. >> the next time tracy martin says he heard the 911 tape was at the mayor's office in march of 2012. >> what did you say about the tape when you listened to it that time in the mayor's office? >> what do you mean what did i say? >> did you acknowledge anything about the tape to anybody? >> after listening -- after listening to the tape for maybe 20 times, i said it was -- i knew that it was trayvon's voice. >> joining me now, msnbc legal analyst lisa bloom and faith jenkins, a former criminal prosecutor. lisa, i can't remember seeing a move like this. this was so risky for the defense to be calling trayvon martin's father. how do you think it worked in the courtroom? >> i'm sorry, was tracy martin on trial today? right?
10:05 pm
because if he was, he was guilty. he was guilty of being grief-stricken and upset and putting his head down when he heard the recording of his son's final moments before the bullet shot rang out that killed his son. i mean, what a ridiculous distraction for the defense. this to me is one of the biggest blunders they've made, right up there with putting george zimmerman on "hannity" to say that killing trayvon martin was god's plan. i mean, this was a disaster for them. >> faith, it was shocking for me to see them -- because it is so risky and the one thing you lawyers don't like to do is take risks in the courtroom where you don't know how it's going to work. his testimony, i think it made perfect sense to me that he would have the reaction he did, basically being asked, you know, do you recognize that sound? and he's never heard that sound before. >> right. the substance of his testimony was very compelling and very believable to these jurors and i think to people watching today too. but look at how the defense tried to set it up.
10:06 pm
they put these police officers first who didn't equivocate about what he said in terms of him saying no, it wasn't my son's voice. but i think the prosecutor did such an effective job of wringing out from mr. martin what an emotional moment this was for him. he just heard his son being shot and killed in that moment on that tape. and so his testimony, the substance of his testimony i think was really compelling today. >> lisa, the point faith makes, the defense called back chris serino, called back these two police officers. they gave this testimony, that basically said when we played the tape for him, he said the way they put it is he said it wasn't his son's voice. why wouldn't the defense lawyers have left it at that? when you bring in tracy martin, it actually made much more sense the way he responded. >> that would have been enough. there may have been a discussion at sidebar. we don't know this. but my hunch as a trial lawyer
10:07 pm
is that those two got to testify about what would be hearsay, what tracy martin said, subject to tying it all up with tracy martin himself testifying. >> so you think both sides knew that this was going to be the sequence today? >> yes, i do. that's -- again, that's my educated guess as a trial lawyer. >> so faith, that would suggest that tracy martin would have been given a heads-up that you're going to be called today. >> i think he expected to be called today. after i saw the cross-examination of sabrina fulton by mark o'mara, i expected them to call tracy as a witness today after the state didn't because they are being now very aggressive. you usually don't see an attorney cross-examining a grieving mother in the way sabrina was cross-examined. so i knew after i saw that cross-examination, i'm sure they prepared him you could be called as a cross witness. >> as the defense's own witness because they can't really do --
10:08 pm
they can't use the same techniques of cross-examination when you call him as a witness. >> right. and think about what mark o'mara said on cross-examination of trayvon's mother. you hope that's your son, don't you? because the alternative is too painful. well, isn't that equally true for all of his seven witnesses who said that's george zimmerman's voice on the 911 call? they were family and friends of george zimmerman. >> i want to play a sample of the witnesses that preceded all of this who were saying i know george zimmerman and that's his voice on the 911. let's listen to this. >> do you know whose voice that is? in the background screaming. >> yes. definitely it's georgie. >> he's screaming or the noise in the background. do you have an opinion whose voice that is? >> i thought it was george. >> can you identify whose voice that was yelling in the background? >> george's. >> do you have an opinion as to whose voice that is in the background? >> yes, i do. >> and whose voice is it? >> george zimmerman's voice. >> whose voice do you believe that to be screaming for help?
10:09 pm
>> there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that is george zimmerman. and i wish to god i did not have that ability to understand that. >> lisa bloom, i've got to say, i don't know how a jury can accept that there's absolutely no doubt in your mind. we've all listened to that tape. none of us can sit here and say oh, that's, you know, george or that's trayvon. you can't do it. you can make your best approximation. and that's why it seemed to me that the kind of humility in trayvon's brother, for example, when he talks about what he thinks he heard sounds more real to me than there's no doubt in my mind. >> or tracy martin who says initially he hung his head down, kind of an oh, my god reaction and then he had to hear it ten times. none of the witnesses has said for sure it's either trayvon martin or george zimmerman said they heard any of them screaming hysterically in any kind of similar circumstances which is obviously different than normal
10:10 pm
conversation. and of course none of them knew both men's voices so they could compare. frankly first, were on the jury i don't think any of this testimony would be all that significant to me. >> and remember george zimmerman said when he first listened to this call "that doesn't even sound like me." he said that about hearing his own voice. so how can these witnesses then come in and say oh, yes, i recognize his voice, that sounds just like him, when he, the person who's screaming said that didn't even sound -- >> and even if that is george zimmerman's voice, his reaction, "that doesn't sound like me," is a perfectly understandable reaction under these circumstances. lisa, you've been making a point that i think has been present throughout a trial but has not really been isolated in the testimony, that george zimmerman says the gun was here, was right on the hip, kind of in the back on the right. he also says i'm down on the ground, he's got me pinned down. you're asking the question how does that gun ever get out of that spot? >> right.
10:11 pm
it's time to start putting all this evidence together, right? so we know first of all the holster is an inside the waistband holster, which means it's almost completely covered by the pants. add to that george zimmerman is wearing a shirt that goes out over the gun and a jacket that was open. it was very dark. it was raining. and when i looked at his re-enactment video, which has been admitted into evidence, he demonstrates by touching his hand to the back of his right side, although he moves his arms around a lot, that's where he says the gun was holstered. all right? so when you put, as you say, trayvon martin on top of him, as he says, knees to armpits, he's really pinned. it's very hard to understand how trayvon martin would have seen the gun. and of course that's the essence of his self-defense story. trayvon martin saw the gun, he reached for the gun. if the jury doesn't believe that, he's got real trouble. >> faith, this goes to something that was testified to today. they actually brought on his trainer in what i thought was one of the more irrelevant moments. but what they were bringing up was george was a really terrible fighter. it was this guy's job to train
10:12 pm
him as a fighter and he kept saying how bad a student george was, which is to say how bad a fighter he was, which is to say he's the guy who absolutely can't pull off this move of getting the gun out of there. he's the guy who will never pull off that move. >> right. and in addition to that, this testimony really, what you're talking about goes to george zimmerman's knowledge of self-defense and stand your ground because when you think about shooting someone in a justifiable homicide, one of the best defenses you can possibly put on is that person went for my gun and then told me you're going to die tonight. so there's no question if someone tells me that in my mind that they are going to kill me. it's almost too perfect. so having that combination there, i think the prosecutor's going to tie that into the fact he has all this knowledge about self-defense law and how to come up with a good defense and this scenario, which is improbable, is just too perfect. >> lisa bloom and faith jenkins, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you.
10:13 pm
coming up, we have breaking news in wisconsin, where a federal judge has stopped the implementation of a new anti-abortion law signed by governor scott walker this weekend. and we have new video of edward snowden tonight talking about how he turned against his employer. and in "the rewrite" tonight, the washington media criticizes the washington media and in the process of course makes a classic washington media mistake. [ karen ] did you lock the front door? [ john ] nope. [ tires squeal ] twelve bucks a night! no. they have waterbeds. ew. no! are we near a gas station? [ phone beeps] [ phone ] no. is that from the mini bar? [ both ] no. is that a cop? no. [ cop ] do you know how fast you were going? no. eighty-seven [ groans ] he's right. is that oscar mayer? [ karen] yes! [ male announcer ] in a world filled with "no", it's nice to finally say "yes".
10:14 pm
oscar mayer selects deli meat, no artificial preservatives and gluten free. it's yes food. it's oscar mayer. the house caught fire and we were out on the streets. [ whispering ] shhh. it's only a dream. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard... [ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in.
10:15 pm
time for another episode of "what was pat robertson doing today?" >> i was reading today, just happened to be reading in leviticus. and there's a list of sexual sins. and it has to do with sex with an animal.
10:16 pm
it has to do with adultery. it has to do with other types of sexual misconduct, incest, et cetera. >> yep. that's what pat robertson was doing today. and later, the surprising new moves in the careers of a couple politicians who were not quite as horrified as pat robertson by their readings of leviticus. asional have constipation,
10:17 pm
diarrhea, gas, bloating? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
10:18 pm
on friday of the holiday weekend when he tweeted "spent the morning signing 18 bills into law at the capitol," those bills included such bipartisan and non-controversial legislation as a bill to increase public appreciation of the scenic nature and historical significance of the rock river and a bill regarding special license plates designed for the lions club of wisconsin, and that included senate bill 206, relates to requirements to perform abortions requiring an ultrasound before informed consent for an abortion, and providing a penalty. this bill improved a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will make her physical and mental health now and in the future. women have a choice as to the ultrasound they receive. pregnancies that are the result of a sexual assault or incest are excluded from this legislation." planned parenthood and the aclu have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the bill is unconstitutional. they won a victory tonight with
10:19 pm
the temporary restraining order. joining me now is nicole safar, the public policy director for planned parenthood advocates of wisconsin. nicole, where does the case go from here? the one in which you've gotten this injunction. >> so the next step is hearing that the judge scheduled for a week from wednesday to discuss whether or not we are able to get a preliminary injunction and further enjoin the law. >> and what are the -- when you read this law, what is this law really trying to do? is it trying to shut down abortion in effect completely? is it trying to shut down abortion clinics, providers? >> well, this law is just one step to put restrictions targeted specifically at physicians who provide abortion services and ultimately to shut down facilities that provide abortion services. in wisconsin abortion is already
10:20 pm
extremely restricted and limited. there are only four health centers in the entire state where a woman can get an abortion. and this law would have had the immediate impact of shutting down two of those facilities, one of which is a planned parenthood clinic. >> i want to read from federal judge william connelly's opinion and what he said tonight in his restraining order. he said "there's a troubling act for justification for the hospital admitting privileges requirement. moreover this court's review of the limited legislative history of the act does not reveal any medical expert speaking in favor of the act or otherwise articulating a legitimate medical reason for the admitting privileges requirement." the bill seems to be filled with that sort of stuff, that the judge himself couldn't justify on any medical policy ground. >> that's correct. i was really heartened to read that in the judge's opinion. it is -- the evidence is overwhelmingly of medical experts, is overwhelmingly on
10:21 pm
the side of opposing laws like this. the wisconsin medical society, the american congress of obstetricians and gynecologists. every major medical organization that supports physicians who provide services for women opposes policies like this. and the judge, you know, found it very clear that the other side could offer no evidence that there was a medical necessity for this kind of regulation. >> and the law itself includes a civil component for enforcement of it that is beyond strange. it says, "if anyone violates this section, the mother, the father of the aborted unborn child or the grandparent of the aborted unborn child can sue for civil remedies under any abortion that violates the terms of this law." so that would mean that if two people involved, a male and a female involved in a pregnancy
10:22 pm
decided that they wanted to end it that their parents, no matter what their ages are, their parents could sue and interfere with that. >> right. i mean, that's a huge problem in these abortion restrictions that are being passed in wisconsin. they almost all contain this open-ended civil liability aimed at physicians. and it's another way to intimidate physicians into not providing a service that is safe and legal in wisconsin right now. >> nicole safar, thanks for joining us on this breaking news night from wisconsin. >> thanks so much. coming up, if you liked dick cheney, you will love senator liz cheney. and in a new, never-before-seen video, ed snowden explains why he leaked u.s. secrets. that's next. [ male announcer ] frequent heartburn? the choice is yours.
10:23 pm
chalky... not chalky. temporary... 24 hour. lots of tablets... one pill. you decide. prevent acid with prevacid 24hr. thto fight chronic. osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain.
10:24 pm
tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. anti-depressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not for children under 18. people taking maois, linezolid or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. the ones getting involved and staying engaged.
10:25 pm
they're not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they never want to ask is "how did i end up here?" i started schwab for those people. people who want to take ownership of their investments, like they do in every other aspect of their lives.
10:26 pm
in the spotlight tonight, edward snowden. he now has competing offers of asylum from three countries, and we have new video from his interview with "the guardian" last month in hong kong. >> i enlisted in the army shortly after the invasion of iraq, and i believed in the goodness of what we were doing. i believed in the nobility of our intentions, to free oppressed people overseas. but over time, over the length of my career, as i watched the
10:27 pm
news and i increasingly was exposed to true information that had not been propagandized in the media, that we were actually involved in misleading the public and misleading all publics, not just the american public, in order to create a certain mindset in the global consciousness. and i was actually a victim of that. >> edward snowden describes what inspired him to release classified documents. >> i grew up with the understanding that the world i lived in was one where people enjoyed a sort of freedom to communicate with each other in privacy, without it being monitored, without it being measured or analyzed or sort of judged by these shadowy figures or systems anytime they mention anything that travels across public lines. i think a lot of people of my generation, anybody who grew up with the internet, that was their understanding. as we've seen the internet and government's relation to the
10:28 pm
internet evolve over time, we've seen that sort of open debate, that sort of free market of ideas sort of lose its domain and be shrunk. >> today venezuela and bolivia confirmed receipt of edward snowden's official asylum requests. on saturday the bolivian president offered asylum to snowden. on friday the venezuelan president did the same. that same day the nicaraguan president said he would grant snowden asylum if circumstances allow it, whatever that means. and today white house press secretary jay carney said this. >> the united states has been in touch via diplomatic and law enforcement channels with countries through which mr. snowden might transit or which might serve as final destinations for mr. snowden, and we've made very clear that he has been charged with a felony, or with felonies, and as such he should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel other than travel that would result in him
10:29 pm
returning to the united states. >> in an op-ed in the "washington post" stayed, daniel ellsberg, who leaked the pentagon papers 40 years ago wrote this -- "many people compare edward snowed-tone me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum rather than facing trial as i did. i don't agree. the country i stayed in was a different america, a long time ago. for the whole two years i was under indictment, i was free to speak to the media and at rallies and public lectures. i was, after all, part of a movement against an ongoing war, helping to end that war was my preeminent concern. i couldn't have done that abroad. and leaving the country never entered my mind. there is no chance that experience could be reproduced today. joining me now, msnbc's richard wolffe. so many things to cover. let's get to the asylum situation and the difficulty for edward snowden seems to be how would you get from moscow to any one of these places without crossing airspace that --
10:30 pm
european airspace you won't be allowed to cross? >> right. especially when they're so far away. here's someone who went to hong kong for safekeeping and then on to russia, where he thought he would have some measure of protection as well, and none of that came to pass. so he's now in a very distant place away from where he thinks he might end up. but you know, there's also a statement of intent in these countries that he's going to. in the interview he talks about government's relationship to freedom of the individual. what government is he talking about or thinking about when he goes to china or russia or if he ends up where i expect him to end up, which is venezuela? >> well, in his defense on that point, i would simply go to the point of he will be more effective not in prison anywhere in the world than he would be able to be effective in any way in prison in the united states. >> i think we have to understand, he's already peaked in terms of his maximum effectiveness. what we're seeing now is the more of his interviews that come
10:31 pm
out the more questions are raised about his conduct, the more he interferes with the debate that he has successfully triggered. there is a real debate to be had about the fisa courts, about supervision, checks and balances, about the limits of what surveillance should be. but all the while he's engaged in this cat and mouse game and his intent and his credibility is thrown into question he is hindering the very debate he seeks to trigger. >> i think i see it more as he takes up some of the space, a lot of the space in that debate, but that debate is still floating out there because of what he's done and because he's still at large. i think if he was just in custody it would be much harder to get the debate going. i was struck by the first thing he said in this new video. "i enlisted in the army shortly after the invasion of iraq." >> right. >> he enlisted in the army more than a year, not just a year after the invasion. it was a year after bush did the "mission accomplished" thing. it was so -- the iraq war was so
10:32 pm
already a failure on its own terms. there were no weapons of mass destruction. and we knew that. >> exactly. >> when edward snowden oddly, very oddly claims this idealistic notion about joining the army because of the invasion of iraq. >> right. and this also throws -- this gets to the question of his intent. it throws into question when did he sign up to the job he currently did. was he somehow outraged by what he found at the time working for booz hamilton or was it actually prior to that, was he outraged because he was such an idealistic young man who signed up after 9/11? well, it turns out it wasn't after 9/11 because of what happened in new york and pennsylvania and elsewhere, it wasn't because of the invasion of iraq itself. so what's the truth here? and this is what i mean by him getting in the way of a very, very important debate. his credibility is coming into questions with these kinds of interviews. frankly, "the guardian's" credibility. this interview isn't in response, as they had pretended
10:33 pm
it, to questions. this was an interview that was done many, many weeks ago before there were any questions, before anyone actually knew who snowden was. there's too much hype going on here about a very important thing. >> i guess there are two different stories. one is the nsa story based on the revelations of edward snowden, which was a big and important story that should have its own life. and then there's this other story, which is the plight of edward snowden. and that's where it becomes interesting who he is because what you're seeing here is an expression of stunning naivete, which by the way isn't even true. when he says i enlisted in the army shortly after the invasion of iraq and in the same sentence goes on to say "i believed in the goodness of what we were doing." in iraq? a year after mission accomplished? how impressionable can you be? and how subject to very quick opinion change can you be? >> right. well, if you're a libertarian, ron paul supporter, maybe that's a mindset that would have tracked for him, someone who was very trusting of conservatives
10:34 pm
who found that according to the web chats that we've seen he thought that the "new york times" leaks in the bush years were awful and leakers should be shot in parts of their body that would be very painful. so you know, he has undergone some kind of conversion. that doesn't mean the debate is illegitimate. it just does raise questions about his character and judgment. >> richard wolffe, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. coming up in the "rewrite," the lazy washington media's take on the lazy washington media and how they handled the irs non-scandal. uh-oh! guess what day it is?? guess what day it is! huh...anybody? julie! hey...guess what day it is?? ah come on, i know you can hear me.
10:35 pm
mike mike mike mike mike... what day is it mike? ha ha ha ha ha ha! leslie, guess what today is? it's hump day. whoot whoot! ronny, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? i'd say happier than a camel on wednesday. hump day!!! yay!! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. bob will retire when he's 153, which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not.
10:36 pm
♪ he's an architect with two kids and a mortgage. luckily, he found someone who gave him a fresh perspective on his portfolio. and with some planning and effort, hopefully bob can retire at a more appropriate age. it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. out for drinks, eats. i have very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free keeps the seeds from getting up underneath. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. a lot of things going on in my life and the last thing i want to be thinking about is my dentures. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. and then another. and another. and if you do it. and your friends do it.
10:37 pm
and their friends do it... soon we'll be walking our way to awareness, support and an end to alzheimer's disease. and that? that would be big. grab your friends and family and start a team today. register at i'm running for mayor because i've been fighting for the middle class -- >> maybe with the public's permission i could come back. >> really? really, guys? you two couldn't find any other thing to do in the world, any other way to maybe help people? nothing other than running for office? this is how president george w. bush spent his last week, working to rehabilitate a clinic in africa that screens women for cervical cancer. the clinic was opened with help from bush's pink ribbon red
10:38 pm
ribbon cancer project. he knows what to do when he can't run for office anymore. viewers of this program have donated more than $5 million and have helped thousands of children in malawi through the kind fund, kids in need of desks. the partnership that it program has with unicef that helps put desks in schools in africa where kids would otherwise never, ever see desks and sit on the floor and go through rough days in school. in fact, if you could like to help lift more kids off the floor, get them desks into their schools, you can go to our website, that means you, eliot spitzer. you can go. you're rich enough to donate $5 million to anything anywhere in the world tonight. and anthony weiner, you did okay in the private sector after being a congressman. you've got a few bucks. there's nothing -- there's nothing you can think of doing, neither one of you guys, other than running for office? that's it?
10:39 pm
nothing else comes to mind? all right. the "rewrite" is next, by the way. and it's a kind of personal "rewrite." i'm in it, and it's about salon and an article they did today. salon says i'm distressed about their article, but i'm not. i'm actually really delighted by it. and i'm not going to attack the author of it personally. i won't even mention his name because he's kind of young and starting up and he'll do better work than this in the future. i am not distressed about it in the least. i am truly delighted because it proves one of my favorite things about the washington media, and that is next in the "rewrite." loses his computer, exposing thousands of patient records to identity theft. data breaches can happen that easily. we don't believe you should be a victim of someone else's mistake. we're lifelock. we constantly monitor the web so if any of your personal information is misused, we're on it. ♪ ow. [ male announcer ] call 1-800-lifelock
10:40 pm
or go to today. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. ♪ so wof the house?hink it's got a great kitchen, but did you see the school rating? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! ...but what about when my parents visit? ok. i just love this one... and it's next to a park i love it i love it too. here's our new house... daddy! you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen.
10:41 pm
zillow vietnam in 1972. [ all ] fort benning, georgia in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve military members, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. faithful viewers of this program can just imagine my joy when i saw this tweet this morning from salon. a blow by blow account of how the media completely humiliated themselves on the irs scandal. i clicked on the link immediately and was thrilled to read the headline, "how the media outrageously blew the irs scandal: a full accounting."
10:42 pm
and then the subheadline -- "almost everything report bd the big obama scandal was wrong, and no one has been held to account." that's the kind of thing i've been saying for months. i was thrilled. i thought wow, i can't wait to read this because i've said that right here on this program from the start, the washington media has done a terrible job covering the scandal that never was a scandal. in fact, here are my very first words, the first words i said about the irs non-scandal. >> if you've been anywhere near a news source today, you know that tonight the internal revenue service is officially out of control and that all of washington is scandalized by the out-of-control irs. but no one in washington seems to understand that the irs has been out of control on the matter in question since 1959, when republican dwight eisenhower was president. it was in 1959 that the irs
10:43 pm
decided to change the meaning of the english language in a very important way, and that change was created -- created what was being called a scandal in washington today but is really just the irs doing its job. >> i said repeatedly that the fake irs scandal was fueled by a compliant and lazy political media. >> when one of these things comes up, the very first thing you do is say let me see the law, let me see the statute. you go and read the statute. which apparently is against the rules for the political media. >> salon's blow-by-blow account of how the media fell for the fake irs scandal did not include the following blow against the media. >> the washington press corps could ask darrell issa about that, but that would mean they'd actually have to read the law, which so far apparently none of them have done except for ezra klein and a few others who've
10:44 pm
talked about it on this program with me. for weeks now the washington political media have been writing about and talking on tv about 501c-4s, and every one of them who has not quoted the very simple law on 501c-4s literally does not have the vaguest idea what he or she is actually talking about. you should mark this moment in political punditry. the press corps has been given an intelligence test, and it is failing it miserably. >> the washington press corps's ignorance of 501c-4 law is breathtakingly relentless. the washington press corps's ignorance is a brick wall that shows absolutely no sign of cracking. >> and then comes salon today pretending that it is taking a brave and lonely stance against the washington media's brief
10:45 pm
infatuation with the so-called irs scandal without mentioning that the idea for the piece is unoriginal, that the basic idea that the piece advances has already been pushed relentlessly on this program for two months. but originality is not the washington media's strong point, and the author of this piece and salon itself are indeed washington media players with washington media weaknesses. in the piece msnbc is thrown in with everyone else who got the story wrong. in order to do that, salon had to ignore all three of msnbc's primetime shows, the shows which happen to have the biggest audiences on msnbc, with rachel of course having the largest audience of all. to accuse msnbc of getting it wrong, salon had to ignore the very existence of this program, which has the second largest msnbc audience. in fact, more people heard this program, getting the irs fake scandal right, every night than heard anyone else on the network
10:46 pm
getting it not so right. but salon, just like the rest of the washington media, didn't hear a word of what was said on this program. absolutely no one in washington took their guidance. no one in the washington media anyway took their guidance on the irs story from this program. and i never, ever expected them to. >> once the political media has latched on to the paradigm of a scandal, once they've collectively fixed its frame around what they think are the relevant elements of that scandal, it is inescapable. from that point forward, that frame. and the media is incapable of processing any new information that can show the political media just how wrong they have been. >> and so the 24 segments we did on there not being an irs scandal had no impact on scandal fever in the washington media,
10:47 pm
but they did affect members of congress who were investigating the irs story. >> as mr. lawrence o'donnell, as the crew group, the citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington has pointed out in a petition, you are to be denied this status if you are not exclusively engaged in social welfare according to the statute. >> each of our 24 segments managed to escape the attention of salon today when they decided to bravely give you "a blow-by-blow account of how the media completely humiliated themselves on the irs scandal." that was a damn good tweet, the blow-by-blow account thing. it's the kind of thing that gets people like me to read the piece. but it wasn't true. and the headline of the piece that said it was "a full accounting," that's not true either. and so you've learned something about salon today, that salon
10:48 pm
like the rest of the washington media, blow by blow doesn't actually mean every blow and a full accounting doesn't mean a full accounting. viewers of this program can learn absolutely nothing about the fake irs scandal by reading the salon fake full accounting because every fact in the piece used to describe why the scandal was fake has already been reported here and elsewhere. including salon. salon should have of course just taken down the piece and rewritten it or at least, at least just gotten rid of the full accounting bit in the headline, a little modesty would have been in order, after i alerted them via twitter that there were, you know, some problems with the piece. but the washington media doesn't operate that way. instead, what salon did was simply post a little update line at the end of the piece saying "msnbc host lawrence o'donnell is distressed that we did not name him as an exception to the
10:49 pm
media's poor coverage of this story. here, then, is an example of where he did get it right." come on, salon. you could have said here is one example out of 24 where he got it right. but of course i wasn't actually distressed at all to find the weaknesses in salon's reporting. i was actually kind of delighted by it for two reasons -- number one, it gave me something to talk about in this space tonight, which is always a chore to fill. and number two, it is an exquisite proof, exquisite proof of the weakness of the washington media. here is salon, accusing the washington media of being lazy and getting the story wrong, and salon is deeply distressed that the people who got the story wrong haven't come out and apologized for that. and salon's story is itself lazy
10:50 pm
and wrong, and its blow-by-blow thing is not a blow by blow, and its full accounting is not a full accounting, and salon just like the rest of the washington media just can't admit when it's lazy and wrong. that. that is perfection. salon has delivered us yet another flawless example of how the washington media does its thing. weekdays are for rising to the challenge. they're the days to take care of business. when possibilities become reality. with centurylink as your trusted partner, our visionary cloud infrastructure and global broadband network free you to focus on what matters. with custom communications solutions and responsive, dedicated support, we constantly evolve to meet your needs. every day of the week. centurylink® your link to what's next.
10:51 pm
[ herbie ] eh, hold on brent, what's this? mmmm, nice car. there's no doubt, that's definitely gonna throw him off. she's seen it too. oh this could be trouble. [ sentra lock noise ] oh man. gotta think fast, herbie. back pedal, back pedal. [ crowd cheering ] oh, he's down in flames and now the ice-cold shoulder. one last play... no, game over! gps take him to the dog house. [ male announcer ] make a powerful first impression. the all-new nissan sentra. ♪
10:52 pm
it's an offense. it's an abomination for a man to lie with a man as with a woman. that's what it says. and those who do that in the old testament were stoned to death. >> the old testament wouldn't like anthony weiner's tweets one bit. and he's not the only guy running for office in new york who's got some issues. that's next. yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business?
10:53 pm
i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there. call us. we can show you how at&t solutions can help you do what you do... even better. ♪ the ones getting involved and staying engaged.
10:54 pm
they're not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they never want to ask is "how did i end up here?" i started schwab for those people. people who want to take ownership of their investments, like they do in every other aspect of their lives. if you have high cholesterol, here's some information that may be worth looking into. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. getting to goal is important, especially if you have high cholesterol plus any of these risk factors because you could be at increased risk for plaque buildup in your arteries over time. and that's why when diet and exercise alone aren't enough to lower cholesterol i prescribe crestor. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. call your doctor right away
10:55 pm
if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. is your cholesterol at goal? ask your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership. today i am announcing i will not seek re-election as governor of texas. >> the man who would be president, were it not for debates and elections. that was one-time republican
10:56 pm
presidential front-runner and the longest-serving texas governor in history, rick perry, telling texas and the world that he finally does know how to quit texas politics. but new york politics remains irresistible for two of its most scandal-plagued practitioners, who have trouble resisting things they should resist. anthony weiner and eliot spitzer. anthony weiner is of course running for mayor after resigning his seat in the house of representatives for tweeting -- a tweeting sex scandal in which apparently no human contact whatsoever was involved. and eliot spitzer is now running for controller after resigning the governorship as a result of being caught up in a prostitution investigation. and liz cheney is contemplating a run for the united states senate in wyoming, where her father, dick cheney, was elected to congress. the only problem being that wyoming of course already has two republican senators, but liz cheney is reportedly considering a challenge to one of them, mike enzi. former republican senator from
10:57 pm
wyoming alan simpson is not looking forward to the cheney campaign calling it "the destruction of the republican party in wyoming if she decides to run and he runs too. it's a disaster, a divisive, ugly situation, and all it does is open the door for the democrats for 20 years." ari melber, 20 years the democrats get a wyoming senate seat. i don't know, alan. we'd love to believe that. >> yeah, i mean, the first takeaway there is does he think wyoming is that blue for that long? it tells you more that he's with the old guard in wyoming. >> so listen. these guys, eliot spitzer, really, like he can't think of anything else in life to do except run for -- he craves the sound of election night applause that badly? that he wants to run for comptroller of the city of new york? >> well, i think he definitely wants to get back in the game. maybe he shouldn't have resigned so quickly. the big difference between i think spitzer and weiner that
10:58 pm
one new york politico blake zefit pointed out when the news broke was weiner's trying to get a huge promotion and he lost the last time he ran for mayor without a scandal. spitzer's basically in a redemptive mode and he's saying, hey, i will take this lower job. as you point out it's not the governorship, although it's a lot of money. >> they are both addicts. they are both addicted to running for office, getting the applause, the glad-handing and all of that for what they're doing. neither one of them took any time for any kind of interesting contemplative change in their lives once they were relieved of office, relieved of the duties of that. >> well, let's be fair to eliot. he spent some time in cable tv. and you know how contemplative this is. you know what we do here. >> right. >> you've got to rethink your role in the world. >> right. >> i think what you point out is they both have been running the whole time. right? it's almost as if as they were both resigning they were both building back up and figuring out how to do that. and for weiner it was a lot of
10:59 pm
sort of open kimono in the "new york times" and telling everybody here's everything. >> here's one of the things i care about in politicians. if you lose this election, do you know how to go about your life tomorrow? and most of them don't. >> no. >> and it's the thing i dislike about them the most-s that they aren't actual real human beings who know how to live in the world. >> this is what i'll say about eliot. i do think he has -- >> eliot. it's a first -- >> well, that could hurt me. when we run. the thing about eliot is -- >> eliot. >> do you want me to -- i'm not going to be pressured out of it. >> say my buddy eliot. >> the thing about it is he has definitely taken on as his mantle from attorney general to governor and in some ways the comptroller position, wall street and you have a client relationship where he would have a lot of sway as a shareholder activist. so i do think reforming wall street is a big passion of his. to your point, it's not a big a passion as political redemption. >> he is the most qualified person to run for that job in the history of that job.
11:00 pm
i just wonder who the human being is there. bury that's for another show. >> another show. and cable news. >> it will be handled by someone else. ari melber, buddy of eliot spitzer gets tonight's last word. thank you. >> thank you. >> up next, "hardball" with chris matthews. who was trying for help? trayvon martin or george zimmerman? let's play some "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, day 20 of the trayvon martin murder trial. it's the first full day for george zimmerman's defense team, which say they could rest their case as early as wednesday. zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder charges, citing self-defense. well, today the defense team called witness after witness, inclg