tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC February 10, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
anymore. it was the rock s-a-m for michael sam. we reached out to the mizzou athletic department to confirm the legitimacy of that picture. they confirm to us that that is the real deal. here's to mizzou fans and his tonight, chris christie's lawyers are now investigating don zimmer, the mayor of hoboken, whose accusations about the christie administration were first revealed by msnbc's steve kornacki on this network. steve will join me with his reaction to this new twist in the case. >> you've been served. >> a new round of subpoenas are expected today in the bridge scandal surrounding governor chris christie. >> as many as 12 subpoenas. >> somebody had asked if there are 12. i think it's more than that number. >> a lot of the people who were key aides and advisers to him are caught up in this. >> they're squeezing these people. >> how worried should the christie camp be? >> i think they're clearly worried about wildstein in
general, right? >> a tough rebuke of resigned port authority official david wildstein. remember that? >> david wildstein's fast times at livingston high. >> the one where he kind of attacks his high school career. >> struck a lot of folks as odd. >> christie aides now say it was distributed before the governor even saw it. >> never actually read by the governor himself. >> does he have any idea what's happening in his office? >> he's just digging himself a deeper hole. >> new jersey's biggest paper has a case of buyer's remorse. >> new jersey's largest paper endorsed christie in 2013. now very much questions that decision. >> makes sense about the endorsement retraction. >> "we blew this one." >> it may be a little late. >> christie heads to chicago tomorrow for a republican governor association fund-raiser. >> congressmen are running from him. >> but none of the four candidates from his party plan to attend. >> that's a serious problem. >> how well is this man running his office? >> they are doing everything they can to protect the governor. >> right now he's a distraction
to the rga. >> if he can survive being governor -- >> you've got a guy rung the rga that has republican candidates running away from him. >> chris christie's a man without an island. the day after mayor don zimmer of hoboken told steve kornacki on this network that chris christie's lieutenant governor told her she would get more disaster relief funding only if she approved a real estate development deal, federal prosecutors began an investigation of what mayor zimmer had to say. and now the christie administration is investigating mayor zimmer. chris christie's lawyers are now asking for a copy of mayor zimmer's journal, copies of documents she handed over as part of a federal subpoena, and an interview with the mayor. addition a., they have asked for correspondence between hoboken officials and the "new york times." tonight as first reported by rachel maddow we have learned that chris christie's lawyers have contacted the attorney for
mayor mark sokolich of fort lee, new jersey and have asked for an interview with the mayor. that according to his attorneys. christie's lawyers have also filed an open records request with the town of fort lee. we've also learned today that the legislative super committee investigating the george washington bridge lane closures today approved 18 new subpoenas including a subpoena to the new jersey state police for records of a helicopter flight that might show that chris christie actually flew over the george washington bridge on september 11th during that massive traffic jam that his staff created. there are several new names among those who will be receiving a new subpoena and include -- the names include the assistants to bridget kelly, david wildstein, and bill baroni, all of whom themselves have already been subpoenaed. also being subpoenaed is the port authority lawyer, who helped prepare bill baroni's
testimony to the legislature about the george washington bridge. last november when bill baroni climbed a traffic study was the reason for those lane closures. the super committee also voted today to enforce the subpoenas already injured to bridget kelly and former christie campaign manager bill stepien. they both refused to comply with the subpoena, citing the fifth amendment. >> our attorneys supplied the entire committee last week -- yeah, friday, with a complete background on those constitutional issues. we came out and passed motions to in turn let both of those folks and their attorneys know that in fact we do not believe they have constitutional grounds to stand on the fifth amendment for the production of documents before that committee.
>> joining me now, msnbc's steve kornacki, host of "up with steve kornacki." steve's been following this story, obviously, from before the beginning. you knew david wildstein and these players before any of us knew their names. steve, so many developments to go over. but first of all, the christie team turning their own in-house investigation toward mayor dawn zimmer. >> no, and that's -- i don't think many people saw this coming, obviously. the context you have there is important. the day after she made those allegations publicly she met with federal prosecutors. she's turned over the evidence she says she has to federal prosecutors, and federal prosecutors and the fbi has been in hoboken investigating those claims and interviewing, you know, witnesses and people she supposedly shared her story with, you know, months after it happened. one potential reading on this that i've heard from people, and sokolich with this, is that there may be a strategic thinking here by the christie people to intimidate other
would-be elected officials, mayors, public officials, others from coming forward that hey, if you have anything that you want to air about christie we're not just going to take it lying down, we're going to -- this is a little bit of what you can expect. >> there are also obviously just trying to do what lawyers call discovery, which is they desperately need to know what the other side knows. they desperately need to know in order to get their story straight, what has she told them. >> right. and the other thing that i have been looking for and i have not yet seen. i think it's been three weeks now since dawn zimmer was on our air with that allegation -- >> it seems like three months ago. >> given everything that's happened. but the one thing i've been looking for in all that time is the public statement from chris christie, the public statement from the governor of new jersey that i have full faith in -- kim guadagno did nothing wrong here, i have full faith in the statement she made publicly denying all this. i have not heard chris christie publicly vouch for his lieutenant governor in all of this. and i know he scaled back his public schedule and there's been sort of limited interactions
with the press. at least to me that's been striking that he's not -- >> yeah. he's hiding from the press. so he's not going to do that in the form of a question and answer. but you're absolutely right. to have such an explosive allegation come out against your lieutenant governor and you're silent, you the governor do not come out and say exactly what you just said? that absolutely could not have happened? that has been striking. more today on the subpoenas. it's very interesting now that they're going after the two who have taken the fifth amendment. they're saying nope, you cannot take the fifth amendment, at least on this production of documents component because they're just documents from the governor's office. let's listen to what one of the senators on the committee said to rachel tonight about this. >> i think there's legal recourse that our counsel will pursue. but clearly there's a difference. there's a difference between forcing somebody to speak words that they have not ever spoken before in front of the committee and to provide documents that they previously sent to somebody by hitting the send button.
other people have provided us documents. they have not interposed this objection. and so the committee considered those objections that they raised, but we feel very comfortable in following the advice of counsel and moving in the way we have. >> that's assemblyman wisniewski. the fact that the others did produce the documents and did not try to use the fifth amendment indicates to me that there's a pretty strong belief among the defense lawyers involved representing all of these people that the fifth amendment is not going to protect them from turning over their own especially government e-mails. >> yeah. i think this gets to a long history here within new jersey about the ability of the legislative branch to exercise oversight on the executive branch. and would you be setting a precedent here? you're not talking about getting documents, at least not yet, from the governor. where relatively low-level staffers can cite the fifth amendment and basically shut down, impede, call off any attempted oversight by the legislature. that's essentially what's at stake here.
if you can just cite the fifth amendment and not turn over any documents, then anyone can do that plausibly and there's absolutely no ability if the executive branch chooses for the legislative branch to conduct oversight. that is essentially what's at stake here. i don't know how long it's going to take for this to shake out, but i think the history of rulings and the history of sort of law in new jersey is on the side of the legislature here, but it still may take some time just to play out. >> one of the most fascinating subpoenas, and we'll know in the end of the story what the most fascinating subpoena was because the one to bridget kelly's assistant might be the gold of the whole case. but the lawyer at the port authority, a port authority lawyer who worked with bill baroni on his testimony. now, some people might think attorney-client privilege. uh-uh. not in a case like this. bill baroni is not his client. he works for the port authority. there's no attorney-client privilege protecting what they talked about in the presentation of testimony to the legislature in which baroni said, we did this for a traffic stop. and could not produce.
>> right. and also the david wildstein letter seeking the port authority to pay his legal bills. he was apparently in on those with philip kwon. so david wildstein was apparently there for that as well. and this is a name that a week ago nobody thought was a part of this mix at all. and you're not just talking about bill baroni checking in with him for five or ten minutes before heading down to trenton. you're talking about hours of preparation for this. and i mean theoretically i suppose bill baroni could have come to him and said hey, honest to god, this is the story, this is what happened, and philip kwon helped him put together his best case interpretation of it. but wow, when you look at the basic disingenuousness of what bill baroni presented to that committee that day, that takes -- that took a lot of effort to be that disingenuous. >> first question to the lawyer who helped baroni with that testimony. how many times have you helped baroni with testimony to the legislature before? for how many minutes? you know, because at most at the port authority they had to give
him one little legal memo about some little paragraph. but the idea that you needed hours of a lawyer's time on preparing that testimony that has no factual basis for it that we know of, the traffic stops. >> i mean, it's the traffic study. and the other thing baroni continually harped on in that that to me was the giveaway is the idea that these are fort lee-only lanes. if you know anything about the george washington bridge, you know it's all the towns around fort lee. so he's clearly making a very disingenuous political argument at these hearings. and when you're making a disingenuous political argument you're obfuscating, you're trying to hide something. so when i saw that, when i heard that, i said clearly something is not right with this. >> the weekend media was interesting. politico had a story apparently dictated from team christie saying oh, the governor knew nothing about that absolutely crazy statement that we put out attacking david wildstein. this of course is not -- it
cannot possibly be true, no matter how emphatically politico tried to print it as a fact. the idea that there would be operatives in team christie now who would do anything on this without the boss okaying it is absolutely inconceivable. >> the one catch i'd add is this. anybody in the christie world says no low-level staffer, no mid-level staffer, nobody in the press shop would have come up with this, snuck it in, and gotten it out to the press without christie's consent. if it wasn't christie himself, it had to be someone, and i'm talking about a universe of like two or three people, someone extremely close to him personally who'd have that kind of authority to go to the press office and put something like that out. but i think realistically speaking people who know christie world say christie knew about it or maybe two or three people who have that kind of authority. but the idea it would be some mid-level staffer or low-level staffer isn't -- >> the official ruling is in at "the last word." christie knew about it. that's all done. and steve, unprecedented.
a retraction of an editorial endorsing christie in his re-election campaign. biggest newspaper in new jersey retracted it. >> and it wasn't much of an endorsement to begin with. there was all sorts of qualifications in that. but you know, that was the story of the 2013 election. you could say the "star-ledger," that they screwed up or something. but the democratic party decided in 2013 in new jersey to take the election off. they decided they were not going to fight chris christie. aw lot of them had deals with chris christie. a lot of them thought he was inevitable. and they basically said at the start of that year, barbara bono, state senator barbara bono, you want the nomination, you want to go out there, fine. she's even saying now, we're not going to help you, you can have the nomination week, not going to k there for you. that was the story in 2013. everybody who needed to roll over for chris christie did roll over for him. >> my next guest, the poor guy who had to write the retraction of the editorial. steve kornacki, your show is off for the olympics? because i looked for it this weekend. i was going to learn all the latest. what's going on?
>> we were off last saturday and sunday for women's hockey. we're off this coming saturday for women's hockey, but we're on sunday. sunday morning 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. we'll be on sunday 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. >> 8:00 a.m. sunday. i will be there. steve kornacki, thank you very much for joining us. coming up, a republican tells chris christie he should consider resigning his post at the republican governors association. it wasn't just any republican. it's the republican i listen to most, especially when i'm on his show on msnbc in the morning. and the biggest newspaper in new jersey, as we just told you, retracts its endorsement of chris christie's re-election. and i will be joined by the poor guy who had to write the newspaper's retraction. they were for christie before they were against christie. and later, a man says he's gay and the world goes crazy. well, not really the world. just the backward, behind the times world of the national football league. and in the rewrite, the nfl defends the name of the washington football team, but they dare not actually speak
that name when talking about that name. the nfl and your tweets about the nfl are in tonight's "rewrite." when does your work end? does it end after you've expanded your business? after your company's gone public? and the capital's been invested? or when your company's bought another? is it over after you've given back? you never stop achieving. that's why, at barclays, our ambition is to always realize yours. you want everything.orks an expert ford technician knows your car's health depends on a full, complete checkup. the works. because when it comes to feeling safe behind the wheel, going the distance and saving at the pump
on sunday the newark, new jersey "star-ledger" published a profile of chris christie spokesman michael torn yak. shortly after it was published the star-ledger added a postscript with a little correction. an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated he referred to the port authority's deputy director as a piece of crap. while drewniak did call him a piece of excrement it was david wildstein who referred to the executive director as a "piece of crap." classy guy, drewniak. excrement, not crap. up next, an even bigger correction and the poor guy who had to write it. the correction of an endorsement
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you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life. personalized home security and automation. get professionally monitored security for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets. ♪ he woke up to this. >> i like chris. i trust chris. i still take him at his word. but i'm always blind. and the fact is right now he's a distraction to the rga. if republicans' job is electing governors, you've got a guy running the rga that has
republican candidates running away from him, that's a serious problem and he needs to sit down and do some soul searching and see whether he wants to defend charges against him or continue this. i don't think he can do both. >> that is of course former republican congressman and msnbc morning joe host joe scarborough telling chris christie that he cannot run the republican governors association and defend himself before a new jersey legislative investigative committee and an investigation by federal prosecutors. and yesterday the largest newspaper in new jersey rewrote its editorial endorsing chris christie in his re-election campaign. yesterday's editorial in the "-star-ledger," written by tom moran is entitled "chris christie endorsement is regrettable." yes. we knew christie was a bully, writes tom moran, "but we didn't know his crew was crazy enough to put people's lives at risk in fort lee as a means to pressure the mayor. we didn't know he would use
hurricane sandy aid as a political slush fund. and we certainly didn't know that hoboken mayor dawn zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by lieutenant governor kim guadagno." joining me now is the author of the retraction of the christie endorsement in the "star-ledger." also joining me, ari melber, co-host of msnbc's "the cycle." tom, thank you very much on this big night, this big turnaround of the ship over there. i want to read another line from your retraction of the editorial -- of the endorsement. it says, "an endorsement is not a love embrace. it is a choice between two flawed human beings. and the winner is often the less bad option." so -- >> sad truth to american politics. >> i've got to say, having read your editorial endorsement of that candidacy, that was not a love embrace. >> no. you know, i wouldn't say it's a correction or a retraction. it's a regret. the election's over.
there's no way for us to take it back. but looking at information that has come out since then, it tipped the balance. which was already a tough call because we didn't think highly of either candidate. i thought the democratic candidate was very weak, and we think that christie's very overrated. but on balance we chose christie, and on balance now it's tipped. >> ari, i'd like -- i'm going to read from you -- i have both things here, the editorial. i'm not going to tell you which is which. i have the editorial endorsing the candidacy. i also have tom's article saying geez, wish we had that to do over again -- >> lawrence, is it last word chris christie trivia night? >> yes. >> i'm ready. >> tell me which -- does this come from the endorsement or, you know, the wish we didn't do it? "the property tax burden has grown sharply on his watch. he is hostile to low-income families, raising their tax burden and sabotaging efforts to build affordable housing. he's been a catastrophe on the environment." is that from the endorsement or is that from the i wish we didn't endorse him? >> as a matter of facts, it is from the endorsement. >> because you've memorized the
endorsement. >> because i recently reread it and enjoyed it. >> this is another. here is another line from the endorsement. "the governor's claim to have fixed the state's budget is fraudulent." it kind of goes on and on. it's really -- it is in its way, you had to reread it recently, it's just filled with reasons not to vote for chris christie. >> yeah. but it's also filled with a couple of big ones to vote for him at the time, including that he is the first governor who put some of the public costs that were spiraling out of control in new jersey under control with the pension health reform. the property tax gap. he's done some great work on education, especially in urban areas. so as i say, when you do an editorial you can't really just pick three or four things you hate about one person and disqualify him. you have to do all ten for both people. so it's a balancing act. >> right. and i think actually the way you talked about it this weekend is -- it is the difficulty of that difficult decision, of having to pick one or the other, which i didn't find difficult.
i thought the democratic candidate, bono, was a perfectly reasonable candidate. and i've got to say, half of your editorial endorsing christie thought she was a good candidate too. >> not half. again, it's a balancing act. and i could go through that, but i thought she was a very weak candidate. >> but inside the editorial when you first made the endorsement how many of you were in favor -- how did that vote go? >> it was 3-1. >> okay. >> of four people. one wanted to endorse bono. >> there's one big gloater over there. >> i would say she's gloating, yes. >> did she get a pay raise? >> it's julie o'connor, god bless her. but no, i don't think -- look, we -- the key thing here is that democrats as steve had just said sort of gave up on this race earlier and barbara bono got the nomination by default. in my view, and i've following her for a long time, she was too week. but this new information tipped it. >> joe scarborough said something diplomatically i've been saying for quite a while. i'd just say he can't continue with the republican governors association.
it's totally destructive to the organization. they can't even be seen in public. >> that's a political job where you are supposed to be the surrogate in chief. you are supposed to be the draw as you go around the country. not only is he not a draw, he's increasingly a risk and the only reason that it will be hard to get him away from the rga is if you're too toxic for the rga you're probably too toxic for the white house and he's worried about that sort of transference. to go back to the editorial and the retraction, on the one hand i think it's great when the media rethinks and isn't afraid to say because we said something before we have to stick to it. so i kind of -- reading the newer version i liked it. it was sort of a big like my bad, now here's what we know. i've got to agree with lawrence a little bit in that while word countwise there was a lot of criticism of the democratic alternative in that original which i reread, it did have some of its most strident language about chris christie, saying that he was overrated, saying he was better at politics than at governing, saying as lawrence mentioned, he was hostile to low-income families. accusing him, as we mentioned,
of fraudulent behavior in his budget keeping. all of those being your paper's words. which you could say was a measured endorsement because it gave some jersey voters a little more background information about why this was a qualified endorsement. i think the big question, i'd be curious your thoughts on, this is it seems to me now like everything we knew that gave pause about chris christie's administration is now more than pause, it's the breaks. do you see a linkage here between the factual problems in the way he presented the budget and the factual problems that's been reported about the way he's dealing with this crisis? >> no. i think on policy this is a whole different level. this is crazy stuff. i haven't seen anything until now -- >> no, because it's worse, you're saying. >> yeah, what has happened since the election -- >> what you've seen prior to this is kind of a business as usual version of governance. >> it's within the normal range of political b.s. >> and this is utterly insane. >> exactly. it's not just the bridge thing. it's the sandy money that is disturbing to me. you have $7 million given to bellville for a senior housing
project that was two years in the planning. and bellville wasn't hit by sandy. meanwhile, hoboken was 80% underneath water and they couldn't get the aid they needed? >> and it was the kind of thing that some of the opponents of that aid in washington said was going to happen. tom moran, thank you very much for coming in tonight. thank you for writing this. i understand both of them. i don't agree with the first one but i understand how you arrived at it. ari melber, thanks for joining us. coming up, a college football player says he's gay and the football world goes absolutely crazy because the football world is crazy. and backward. and decades behind the times. in "the rewrite," the crazy nfl's name for its washington team. and why the commissioner of the nfl is afraid to say that word. when he's talking about that name of that team. in golden breadcrumbs. with whipped mashed potatoes, topped with a thick homemade gravy. so she makes her country fried chicken to be eaten together. so they savor every last bite. marie callender's.
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i came to tell the world that i'm an openly proud gay man. >> that was university of missouri defensive end michael sam yesterday on espn. michael sam came out on national television after being named the associated press defensive player of the year in the southeastern conference. his missouri teammates voted him defensive player of the year because of plays like this one. michael sam told espn it wasn't a surprise to his teammates. >> it's a load off my chest. i told my teammates this past august that -- i came out to my teammates and they took it great. they rallied around me, they supported me, and i couldn't ask
for better teammates. >> michael sam says he intentionally made his announcement ahead of next month's nfl draft where he was expected to be a top pick. >> yesterday michael sam was projected as a third or fourth-round pick but definitely on the board and today executives will say anonymously that his stock has dropped, he may not even be drafted. >> sam did get support from the white house today. president obama tweeted, "congratulations on leading the way. that's real sportsmanship." first lady michelle obama tweeted, "you're an inspiration to all of us. we couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field." joining me now is dave zirin, sports editor for "the nation" magazine and wade davis, former nfl player who came out in 2012 and has met with michael sam. wade, tell us the import of this announcement and also get into the issue of doing this before
the nfl draft and why did he do it before the draft. >> i think the importance of this, it just increases the visibility of gay players. right? so now you can have kids, adults who can turn on a tv and say wow, i'm watching a gay man play the game of football. there's a couple different reasons why it's important for him to do it now. he gives teams time to really kind of talk to the players, talk to gms and say hey, you know what? this really isn't that big of a deal. we've had players from different races, different classes, different religions on our team and our players are smart enough, they're evolved enough to handle this. it's definitely not going to be cotton candy and lollipops, right? but michael sam, he did this in the s.e.c., and probably the minor leagues of the nfl. he did it flawlessly. his team was 12-2. there were no incidents. so i think once we get down to it this will be no different. >> dave, we have some nfl
people, executives, some of them involved in the hiring process, some of them involved in the drafting process, giving statements to the press, some with their names on them, some not. saying this will hurt him, this is absolutely a bad thing for him to have done, and there will be adverse effects in his workplace as a result of making this announcement. >> look, first of all, all credit to wade davis, who is not just a former nfl player who came out of the closet but a political activist and organizer who helped bring this day to pass. second of all, the contrast is so sharp. i mean, you have a profile in courage in michael sam and then you have profiles in cowardice who are these nfl general managers who like to affect this attitude of being like these tough guys who are militaristic and they are leaders of men and they sound like scared children when they talk about the prospect of drafting a player of the character of michael sam. i mean, you've got to read the quotes. it's like outtakes from "anchorman," they sound so antediluvian.
they say things like his presence will alter the chemical balance of the locker room. or what if the media will be knocking down our doors like the "today" show and good housekeeping. that's a quote, lawrence. they're scared of the "today" show and "good housekeeping." that's a real quote. i think the problem here is there's a great quote from michael sam where he said i want to own my own truth. and nfl executives haven't owned their own truth, which is that there is a lot of homophobia and a lot of bigotry in the front offices of the nfl. >> wade, talk about what difference it doesn't make in the sense that pretty much every nfl team at some point in time has had one or more gay men on that team whether they knew it or not. and then talk about how much difference it does make now that they would officially know ahead of time, you know, walking in about him. >> i think the real fear there is that, you know, guys don't think about the idea that there's a gay guy in the locker room that's going to look at
them in the wrong way. but i think that they forget that the nfl's a brotherhood. you know, that you're on a team with 40 or 50 other guys that are your actual brothers who would never do anything to take advantage of that. and michael sam is no different. i think they also have to understand that michael sam's going to protect them. he understands that a player or two is going to say something that's inappropriate. he's not looking to run up to the principal's office and go hey, this player said this, this player said, that because he's experienced that already. you know, and i think that also, that what sams did, he showed the type of courage and leadership that nfl execs should actually want. who doesn't want a guy who owns his own truth, who says hey, this is who i am, love me or hate me, but i'm the type of guy who you want because i exhibit courage in every aspect of my life? >> dave, how far behind the fan base is the management of the nfl on this? >> well, we can speak about this not with conjecture but with
actual numbers. there was a poll taken that said -- this was a couple of years ago, and of course there's been a world of change in the last couple of years. that 86% of fans would have no problem whatsoever rooting for a member of the lgbt community if they were on the field of their favorite team. you've also heard from a lot of owners today, thank goodness, after the anonymous general managers who said they would welcome the opportunity to assess michael sam's potential as an nfl player. also terrific supporting words from the nfl players association. but the fans are there. i think a lot of the players are there too. one of the most discouraging things about this panoply of anonymous gms is the fact they all off-loaded their bigotry onto the players. they all said variances of, well, i wouldn't have a problem with it, but the locker room, the chemical imbalance would just go completely out of whack, you should see those locker rooms. it's just not true. >> wade davis and dave zirin, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. wade, thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> for leading the way on this. really appreciate it. thank you.
coming up in "the rewrite," more on the nfl. the name of the nfl football team in washington, d.c. and why the commissioner of the nfl defends the name but is actually afraid to use that word in a sentence himself. and later, a huge political demonstration this weekend that most of the media didn't notice. [ female announcer ] you get sick, you can't breathe through your nose... suddenly you're a mouthbreather. well, put on a breathe right strip and instantly open your nose up to 38% more than cold medicines alone. so you can breathe and sleep. shut your mouth and sleep right. breathe right. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love,
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for driving safely. only from allstate. call an allstate agent and get a quote now. just another way allstate is changing car insurance for good. 50 years ago last night that the beatles first appeared on national television in this country on "the ed sullivan show" on a stage just a few blocks from where i'm sitting like right over that way. the critics of course got it very wrong. this weekend the "l.a. times" published a roundup of the reaction to the beatles on "the ed sullivan show." the "los angeles times" itself 50 years ago said, "not even their mothers would claim that they sing well." i don't think they checked with their mothers. "the new york times" said, "the beatles' vocal quality can be described as hoarsely incoherent, with the minimal enunciation necessary to communicate the schematic texts."
the "chicago tribune" wrote, "the beatles must be a huge joke, a wacky gag, a gigantic put-on." and william f. buckley jr. wrote in "the boston globe" that same year, "the beatles are not merely awful. i would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than they are god awful. they are so unbelievably horribly so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music." bill buckley. wrong as usual. the national football league is next in "the rewrite." now trublend has the perfect blend for each of us. [ female announcer ] covergirl janelle monae. blend of punk and funk. her trublend? deep 6. it blends seamlessly for a flawless nude look. even up close. [ female announcer ] find your trublend. covergirl makes it easy, breezy, beautiful.
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obama tweeted her support for michael sam it was retweeted thousands of times, including by many celebrities who wanted to echo its sentiment. and when president obama tweeted essentially the same thing, he was retweeted by even more people than retweeted the first lady. and then i tweeted, "will everyone tweeting support for michael sam now please tweet opposition to name of d.c.'s nfl team? can someone in white house start this?" well, no one in the white house took up that offer, but the discussion of the name of the washington team continued on twitter. i invited defenders of the name to join the discussion. i asked, "what do defenders of d.c.'s nfl team name tell their kids when their kids ask what the team name means?" imagine a 3 or 4-year-old watching football and asking mommy or daddy what does patriots mean? there's a nice little story to
tell there. as short or as long as you want. you can include the midnight ride of paul revere if you want to mention one of the individuals who's being implicitly invoked and honored with that theme. and there are wonderful kids' books about paul revere showing the horse and all that stuff. it could turn into something really nice. and then, when the kid asks what does redskins mean, what do you say? i patiently waited for hours for someone on twitter to explain to me how they would explain the name in a way that would make a child or any of us think that the name is a good idea, and no one could do it. no one. there were a lot of jokes about people who defend the name saying that the first thing that they would do is tell their kid to shut up. the only real attempt to explain that name to a kid came from
jjj666, who said, "it means indians. why name a team after indians? because indians are courageous warriors. oh, okay." but daddy, they're not named the indians. why did they name them the redskins? there is a difference between the kansas city chiefs and the washington redskins. it is the difference between the boston celtics and the boston micks. when the nba named their team in boston, they chose to honor a local culture in the heavily irish-american town. now, they could have chosen micks, the most common term for the irish in boston back then, instead of the slang term for the irish the nba chose the most exalted term. they just americanized the pronunciation from celtic to celtic. how do you know how bad the name of the washington football team is?
because no one dares to use the word in any context other than the name of that team. if it is a word that can only be used when referencing the team and is offensive even to football people when not referencing the team, that proves how bad the word is. and football people themselves, they prove it all the time. just like the nfl commissioner in the run-up to the super bowl. >> the controversy over the redskins' name has ramped up over this past year. we know your stance and the team's stance. and what we don't know at this point is would you feel comfortable calling an american indian a redskin to his or her face? >> great question. great question, jim corbett. and of course roger goodell refused to answer it.
but as you listen to what he said in response to that great question, imagine roger goodell using the word "redskins" where he uses the words "native americans." >> jim, i've been spending the last year talking to many of the leaders in the native american communities. we are listening. we are trying to make sure we understand the issues. let me remind you, this is the name of a football team. a football team that's had that name for 80 years and has presented the name in a way that has honored native americans. >> and so there is the nfl defender in chief, afraid to use the name of his team when talking about the people the name refers to. the best thing i read about this on twitter today was something i hadn't actually thought of myself but is a brilliant last word on this subject for tonight.
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we are natives and immigrants. where business leaders and workers and unemployed. we are doctors and the uninsured. we are gay. we are straight. we are north carolina! we are america! and we're here and we're going nowhere! >> that was reverend dr. william barber, president of the north carolina chapter of the naacp, encouraging the crowd of 80,000 to 100,000 protesters in raleigh, north carolina on saturday in what was the largest civil rights rally in the south since the march from selma to montgomery in 1965. this weekend's rally marked the 2014 launch of moral mondays, the weekly demonstrations started by a coalition of progressive groups last april, fighting against the policies set by the state's republican-controlled legislature and its republican governor. since republicans took control,
500,000 north carolinians lost medicaid coverage and another 900,000 low-wage families lost the earned income tax credit. after the state legislature eliminated it. and the legislature passed new laws further limiting women's access to abortion and restricting voters' rights. joining me now, the nation's ari berman, who attended this saturday's march. so moral mondays merged into this giant event on saturday. >> yeah. so for the last eight years they've been holding this annual rally called the hk on j rally but this was the first time they did it with the moral monday coalition present. so you had all this energy in 2013, all these protests done at the state legislature. they traveled all around the state opposing the legislature's policies. and now 2014's the kickoff for a new year of moral monday. and this was the first real event. and they encouraged people to come not only just to north carolina but really all around the country to make a statement of how big this movement really is now. >> i want to look at the poll down there indicating that the
republicans in north carolina should be worried about their political future. the governor, pat mccrory's approval rating, 37%. approval rating. this guy's got to run for re-election. he's got a 40% disapproval. the republican -- the state legislature there, a 32% approval rating in that state legislature that these people are protesting against. 51% disapproval. how long can this kind of politics go on where the people in power are in complete disapproval by the people who elected them? >> well, the first thing the legislature did when they took power in 2010 was draw the seats in such a way to try to protect themselves from redistricting -- they're so vulnerable but pat mccrory's going to be incredibly vulnerable in 2016. there's a strong democratic candidate most likely the attorney general roy cooper's going to run. so there is a lot of hot water for north carolina republicans right now. one thing that moral monday -- >> and north carolina knows how to elect a democratic governor. >> they've had legendary
democratic governors like jim hunt for many, many years. >> yeah. >> but the moral monday coalition has made the republicans' policies so unpopular. they've shined a light on what's happening in the state by having these rallies at the legislature, by going all across the state, and that's why the approval numbers for the legislature are in the toilet, because people are aware of what's happening. >> and you can't get these disapproval numbers with just liberals saying oh, i don't like those policies. these are the people who voted for these guys saying this is not what i voted for. >> well, when these moral monday protests started republicans in the legislature just tried to paint them as a fringe and they said this is just going to be a fad. but what we're seeing is broad-based resentment to these policies. people don't like kicking 170,000 people off unemployment benefits, denying medicaid to 500,000, ending the earned income tax credit for 900,000 people. that's a lot of people who's affected by these policies. and so it's hitting every segment of north carolina society. >> tell me what it felt like this weekend to be there in the biggest demonstration of that kind in the south since the civil rights movement, since before you were born.
>> it was really exciting. i mean, for people like me who didn't experience the civil rights movement, this is like a new civil rights movement for us. to get to cover it, to see the people that are involved with it. reverend barber of the north carolina naacp has often been referred to as martin luther king. now, obviously that's a huge comparison. but there's a similar energy around north carolina now that what's happening in north carolina is the kind of thing that's not just about the state. it's a state bat well national implications but it's also an evolution of the civil rights movement, a new phase, a new fight in different times. >> it has that same refusal to accept what is happening to them. >> and to really get on the streets. >> yeah. >> and to march with your feet. and also in the same way it's very, very diverse coalition. it's very inclusive. it's very multicultural, multiracial, young, and also there's space for everyone at the table here. that's why so many people showed up, because everyone's embracing everyone else's issue. and that's how you get 80,000 people turning up. it's not just one issue.
it's not just about voting rights or abortion or whatever. it's about all these things happening in the state right now. >> ari berman, glad you were there and very thankful you could come here and tell us about it. >> thanks for having me, lawrence. >> chris hayes is up next. bridget kelly threatened with contempt. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. this weekend i came across a scene of outright chris christie bullying. his victim? 2012 presidential candidate mitt romney. we catch the new jersey governor threatening romney that if he tried raising campaign cash in jersey, he could kiss his, chris christie's support goodbye. he was not to collect a nick federal the garden state fat cats until christie himself gave the okay.