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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 11, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST

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2016. i expect this fight for 2016 is going to be rough. i can see already it's going to go the full 15 rounds. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. breaking news from new jersey tonight. >> the committee met in executive session and discussed the issuance of additional subpoenas in accordance with the process we went through last time. once the subpoenas are served, we'll let you know who the subjects were of the subpoenas. again, we don't want them to find out on the 6:00 news but when they receive the subpoenas. >> that was john wisniewski this evening acknowledging his committee investigating the bridge scandal issued new subpoenas. nbc news "the "star-ledger" confirmed 18 new subpoenas
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including two to governor chris christie's office and people in his inner circle. committee today also passed motions demanding bridget anne kelly and bill stepien, two central figures in the scandal who have refused to cooperate do in fact turn over documents and other records. >> the objections raised by bridget anne kelly are invalid. the committee compels the production of those same books, records, correspondence and other documents and materials and electronic records and data to the committee. >> if kelly and stepien do not comply, the motion authorizes special counsels to take all necessary steps to enforce earlier subpoenas and compel the pair to turn over records. meanwhile, new report today indicates the committee will be looking at helicopter records to see if christie, himself, had an aerial view of the now infamous traffic jam on september 11th when he flew back to trenton in a helicopter after a memorial event at ground zero.
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joining me now, darryl isherwood, senior political reporter for the significance today, seems to me we're entering this phase now where basically it is all-out war. right? the first phase of this was this investigation bubbled up, people didn't pay a lot of attention. you guys did. we did here on this network. we sort of started looking at it early. the big bombshell e-mails came out. and now you've got people digging into their trenches. bill stepien, bridget anne kelly and the committee saying hand it over, them saying no. that is going to be more and more the tenner of this. >> the issuance of these subpoenas says we're not playing around, we're going to get every piece of paper out there that exists on this thing and get to bottom of it. there are names on the subpoena list i didn't recognize which means they're digging deep into the strata of appointees and people like that. >> is there a way to compel people to turn over documents? seem to me if you're invoking the constitution here, it's
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going to be some authority other than the new jersey investigative committee with a final say on this. >> i think that's correct. i don't know the ins and outs of how they do compel them. it's vague and to take all necessary steps. i don't know what the necessary steps are. i assume going before a judge who would then compel the person to submit the response. >> in terms of the hardball here, the hardball is escalating on a bunch of different ways. the hoboken allegation, mayor dawn zimmer's allegations of the quid pro quo offered or ordered by the christie administration that she expedited private development exchange for sandy money. christie's lawyer has started playing hardball going after zimmer saying we wan to sit down with you, hand us over your records. zimmer rebuffing that over the weekend. you broke some news today in your paper about another step they're taking. >> yeah, i just -- just about 20 minutes ago, as a matter of fact, got ahold of an open public records request from christie's attorney to the city asking for all documents
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between, all correspondence between city officials and "the new york times" which i find a little bit strange and they're also looking for documents turned over as a result of an open public records request. >> let's be clear here about what's happening. this is the lawyer for chris christie who is defending the governor. essentially. right? he is his advocate. he has his interests in mind. putting himself in the role as investigator getting to the bottom of it, going after someone who has leveled a possibly criminal allegation against the governor to say, hey, give us what you have, i mean, that seems like, frankly, witness tampering. >> they also requested this journal that mayor zimmer has kept where she outlined, documented these allegations. and, yeah, i think, i mean, this is an open public records request. it's something you or i could walk down there and do. it's also sending a message that, hey, you know, you're going to the press, you're handing over all this stuff, we want to know what you got, who you're talking to, we want to know what you're giving them. >> what is the next shoe to drop here? sounds like wildstein is circling around. someone leaked this item to the "new york post" today basely
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saying take a look, we might take a look at these helicopter records to see if the governor went out of his way to fly over the traffic jam. who has the goods and where, what's going to happen next as the subpoenas start coming in? >> the helicopter piece is fascinating. are they acting on some tip or is this a hunch from somebody saying, let's check this out? i don't know how detailed helicopter flight plans are, but if they can find he was circling, you know, you get this picture of the evil laugh as he circles over ft. lee. >> exactly. >> i don't know if it's that detailed and don't know if they have a tip that says check this out. >> shooting arrows in the dark. >> check it out. they want to see if david wildstein had flown in the helicopter with christie. i think the administration came out today and said, no, he did not. i think i remember seeing that early in the day. it seems like there is some aspect of shooting in the dark and who knows what they're getting. >> we're going to see an increasingly all-out war all against all on the legal front as this escalates. general isherwood from
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every single development like the ones we saw today compounds a feeling that's increasingly evident in people and institutions that have invested in chris christie and that is regret. >> well, well, well. how about this, new jersey? >> we all know the story of chris christie's re-election. he won a second term with overwhelming bipartisan support. that was then. this is now. remember, chris christie waltzed to a blowout victory in new jersey with a wink and a nod from establishment democrats from new jersey all the way up to the white house. now some of the democrats may be wishing they put up more of a fight. christie's democratic opponent, barbara buono says she only got the support she was seeking after she lost. she got a letter from hillary clinton, a phone call from the vice president, and nothing from new jersey's junior senator. as buono described it to "the new york times," no, no, no, no, no. i didn't get help from a lot of people and he, meaning cory
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booker, was one of them. dnc chair debbie wasserman-schultz came at the very end of the campaign like you are at a funeral. now wasserman-schultz is a reliable public presence questioning governor christie's decision to leave. >> one thing is abundantly clear. chris christie created an environment of intimidation in his office that was directed at his own constituent. >> it's not just democrats. new jersey's largest newspaper "the star-ledger" walked back its endorsement of chris christie last year admitting the paper, "blew this one." and then there's the republican governors association which is likely experiencing buyers remorse. >> right now, he's a distraction to the rga. if republicans' job is electing governors, and you got a guy running the rga that has republican candidates running away from him, that's a serious problem. >> rga made chris christie their chairman and top fund-raiser in november. over the past few weeks, christie's been traveling around the country to fund raise for candidates.
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the problem, none of the problems he's working to elect want to be seen with him. first, there was florida where things didn't quite go as planned. >> governor christie, do you have a few seconds, sir? >> the normally talkative new jersey governor would not stop. in fact, if it wasn't for this brief sighting in palm beach saturday, you'd be hard pressed to find evidence chris christie was actually here. >> christie was supposed to be in the sunshine state to campaign for rick scott. instead, rick scott spent the weekend avoiding a public appearance with christie. then there was christie's trip to texas last week where both the current governor and the man who hopes to succeed him stayed away from christie. >> chris christie in town. republican governors association. rick perry, greg abbott, nowhere to be found. >> and tomorrow, christie heads to chicago, illinois, where all four republican candidates running for governor in the state are taking a pass on seeing him. after winning a second term in a blue state, chris christie was supposed to be the face of a
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resurgent gop across the country. instead, he has turned into the poster boy for buyer beware. joining me now, former governor of ohio, ted strickland. he's a democrat. governor, how important are these two bodies? the rga and the dga? the democratic counterpart. how important are they particularly in midterm years for raising money, raising visibility and getting folks elected at the state level? >> very important. i mean, both the rga and the dga put considerable money into these campaigns. and to have christie now traveling around the country in his wounded condition, trying to raise money, i think is the spectacle. republican candidates are avoiding christie like i would avoid someone who had the swine flu. he is not helping them, and here in chicago, he's going to be here tomorrow making a speech, and we've been told that none of the candidates for the republican nomination for
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governor are willing to meet with him. that says a lot about what they think about his future, doesn't it? >> can they get rid of him? this is the question we were trying to figure out today. is this essentially you've got a guy who is now unfireable from this job? >> well, one newspaper said he ought to resign before he is embarrassed by being asked to get out. i cannot imagine why the republicans running for governor in any state would want this man within 100 miles. he's an embarrassment now to his own state and has is increasingly becoming an embarrassment, i think, for the entire republican party. if i were running for governor, i tell you, i would do what all these other candidates have done in florida, texas, now here in illinois. avoid him like the plague. >> the amount of money that's being raised at the state level gets higher and higher every year, particularly for statewide races. in a post-citizens united era.
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republican governors association laugh year out-raising $52.5 million to $28 million. that's not governor christie raising that money. is it possible you can fly into the places, be ignored, shunned by the candidate and get the donors to come, write you checks and basically get back on the plane and do your job? >> apparently if he's having meetings, they're secretive. he's doing very little publicly. as far as we know, he's not having massive gatherings for these fund-raising events. maybe he's going to individuals and asking them for money, but the fact is that i think the rga's going to have to take a real serious look. do they want chris christie to be the face of their efforts to win these seats in these various states? i would hope -- i would think not. quite frankly, as a democrat, i hope he stays on as the leader of the rga. i think that would be the best thing that could happen to our democratic candidates. >> let me ask you this as a democrat. how do you respond to the
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article about barbara buono today in which she said we're talking about christie and the rga and infrastructure nationwide that helps candidates win or lose in a given election. she basically says the democratic party ran away from her, right now if everyone's looking at chris christie and saying how did this guy get re-elected, she's saying it because the infrastructure wasn't there at the national level for her. >> i went to new jersey and had an event for barbara buono. i think she was a great candidate. she's a terrific person. and it is true, i think, that perhaps there were some democrats that didn't get behind her as she wanted them to. but, you know, we've got to move forward, and the fact is that chris christie had a lot of people bamboozled and fooled. he has been a bully. he's called -- a man who actually served this country as a navy s.e.a.l., he called him an idiot. he pointed his finger in the face of a teacher. over the months he's acted as a
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bully, and a lot of people saw that as strength. they are now seeing chris christie for what he really is. he's a guy who blames others for his problems. he won't take responsibility. his staff, perhaps with his knowledge, we don't know for sure, actually put human life at risk by closing down those lanes on that bridge and interfering with the ability of emergency vehicles to respond as they should be able to respond in an emergency. he's got a lot to answer for, and, you know, it's been a month since he held that press conference. we know no more today than we did a month ago. >> we will be learning more i'm sure. former governor ted strickland of ohio. thank you. >> thank you, chris. coming up, a historic first in the sports world today brings us the very likely prospect we could see the first openly gay player in the national football league this year. the agent representing michael sam will join us ahead. stick around for that.
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we tried to kill it once, but there's an obamacare zombie
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lie that refuses to die, next.
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this number is about three times as big as the number that was on the table when people that voted for the president's health care bill voted for it in 2009 and 2010 when the estimate then was that it would cost about the equivalent of about 800,000 full-time jobs. now they're saying 2.3 million. >> democrats hit the sunday shows trying to spin the obamacare job kill. >> we're going to have parents being able to come home working reasonable hours. >> the fact of the matter is we need a better work/life balance. >> so is this a war on the american worker?
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>> all right. we are watching an obamacare zombie lie come back from the dead before our eyes. remember, cbo came out with a new report estimating a reduction in full-time equivalent employment. that phrase is important. of about 2.3 million full-time workers because of the affordable care act. the right wing freaked out. this was confirmation. obamacare was killing jobs. so everyone tried to take a stake and put it through the heart of that particular lie. congressman paul ryan, himself, said "just to understand this, it is not that employers are laying people off, it's that people aren't working in the workforce." the cbo's douglas elmendorf repeatedly set the record straight. the cbo, itself, answered this frequently asked question. will 2.5 million people lose their jobs in 2024 because of the aca? answer, no, we would not describe our estimates in that way. we did this ourselves, an entire segment last week. look at the segment we ran last week is being portrayed on msnbc's chris hayes acknowledges
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full-time job losses due to obamacare. "all in" anchor was joined by ben domenech to discuss recent revelations out of the cbo that obamacare and the subsidies will increase the number of full-time jobs. hayes admitted that was the case but suggested a decrease in workforce participation isn't necessarily a bad thing. of course, i said no such thing. in fact, the whole point of the segment is there's a difference between jobs and hours worked that's going to change, according to cbo, is the number of hours worked. the number of hours people want to work. a simple distinction. i had a good faith discussion with ben about how there's going to be a disincentive effect in some cases. so the "washington free beacon" does its own version. "hayes admits obamacare full-time job losses not some right wing attack." there it is promulgating out. hayes admits, hayes admits, hayes admits. that's how it works. in their world the zombie lie is converted into an attack, in ads like this against democratic
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senator kay hagan of north carolina. congressional budget office estimates 2 million lost jobs due to obamacare. and alaska senate candidate dan sullivan says in a press release "new report, begichcare" that's funny, "is a job killer" referring to mark begich. should it be a society in which everyone is working as much as humanly possible? i say no. so, actually, does my next guest, a conservative. tim carney, senior columnist at the "washington examiner." if there's some part of the population that's going to work less because of obamacare, you say more or less it depends. >> to be clear, i don't like obamacare. i'd repeal obamacare if i could. >> 41 times to repeal it if you
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had your druthers. >> yes, exactly. what should we think about this effect of obamacare? obamacare, the subsidies there make it more likely that people will leave the workforce or work less. now, there are some bad things about this and there are good things about it. i do emphasize the good things is that i know lots of people who are in a situation where the man has a job that pays him decently. the woman has a job that barely pays her. she's a front desk secretary at a big corporation, but she gets the health care so she keeps working even though she would rather stay home. they're paying through the nose for childcare, but the real benefit is the health insurance. so getting people out of job lock is a good thing. on the other hand, one of the real downsides of the safety net is that it creates a disincentive for work. >> yeah. >> so the people who are staying home aren't people who can't find a job or are disabled but some of these are people who
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say, i could work, but the gains to working are so little because of the expanded safety net and that can really have a negative effect on the economy and on individuals. >> we should say, let's take that example and turn it around. right? in terms of the kind of gender roles you're talking about in the family you're talking about. there are maybe women who are home and want to work, right? but because of the way the subsidies are structured, it doesn't quite cash out to make sense because they're going to give out the subsidies. that is precisely the thing at the margins i said wasn't some right wing attack job so everyone's clear. i agree, that's a real question. one thing that's gotten a little lost in this, we're talking about an economy that has about 135 million full-time jobs. so the employment effects here, we're talking about 2 million jobs, they're real. but this isn't some wholesale change in the way people are going to make labor decisions. i mean, we should just be clear about the overall scope of how big this economy is and the decisions people are making about whether to work or not
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which check through about ten more things before i think they even get to obamacare in these limited cases. >> yes, but i also think one of the ways you have to understand this is that we've got this federal government that creates a distortion that drives health insurance into the place where we work. the employer-based health care system, you know, is due to price controls in the past and tax favoritism -- >> the tax favoritism is a big -- the tax favoritism is the reason we have it, right? >> so but this is such a washington way, and frankly, a democrat way to handle this that we've got subsidies for employer-based health care so we answer that with new subsidies for individual-based health care instead of just getting rid of the subsidies for the employer-based health care. i think that would get us out of the question that you and i think are very interesting. we could move it out of the policy question. well, should we have more people working? do we need more leisure? if you weren't subsidizing job lock, we could leave that up to individual choice and not play chess masters with that. >> this is the issue we have.
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we have health care tied to employment. one of the things that's fascinating about watching the affordable care act debate play out, i've seen a lot of conservatives and single payer lefties like myself arrive at the same point which is less disentangle the two. the entire reason we kept them entangled is because it was politically untenable to wrench people away from it. we saw exactly how resistant people are to change in their health insurance. tim carney with the "washington examiner." we'll continue this another time. it's always great to have you on. thanks for coming. >> thanks, chris. coming up, a groundbreaking story in the world of football. star football player who's an nfl prospect comes out. his agent tells us what it could mean for his career and the sport, i head. need a spoon, dear? not anymore.
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to be up to something not quite kosher from the english crown perspective. for months the president and allies argued again and again that metadata, the word we use to describe this kind of data, that metadata collection isn't much of a privacy threat because the nsa isn't listening in on your calls. they're just looking into who you talk to and how long your calls are and what's the harm in that, anyway? >> when it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls. they are not looking at people's names and they're not looking at on tent but by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism.
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>> today's news brings us a blockbuster story from the newly launched website, the intercept, that shows how powerful metadata really is. the nsa is using metadata as, quote, as primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes. as in don't worry, they're not listening to your phone calls, they're running an algorithm to determine whether they're going to blow someone up. "in one tactic the nsa geolocates the sim card or hand set of the suspected terrorist's mobile phone enabling the cia and u.s. military to conduct night raids." we are targeting and killing individuals without knowing for sure who the person we are killing is. because we are literally targeting sim cards and blowing up whoever's attached to hem. joining me now, jeremy scahill, just started up a new digital
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magazine called "the intercept" and also writer and producer of the film "dirty wars." nominated for an academy award based on his book by the same name. i think i understand basically what you're saying, we're actually targeting sim cards. the thing we're targeting, going after and sending a drone strike at is a cell phone, essentially, a chip inside a cell phone, opposed to this individual is 27 and know trained here and there. >> we have a new source who worked with the nsa and was a drone operator of the u.s. military. he said people get hung up on that we have a kill list, but it's a list of sim cards or numbers associated with handsets. when the u.s. military or cia are targeting individuals, they don't necessarily know the identity. they just know they're targeting that phone or that sim card and it's a system rife with errors. just to emphasize the point you're making which is a good
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one about metadata, you can have a scenario where there's these so-called signature strikes where the u.s. doesn't actually know the identity of a person they're intending to kill. they just know that their phone has been in a certain location, has called other phones on the watch list or in a mosque or particular restaurant. it's rife with errors and opens the door for a lot of civilian deaths we've seen. >> there's a whole variety of issues whenever we talk about the targeted killing program in terms of moral ones and constitutional ones and legal ones and efficacy. let's narrow in on this narrow question which i think everyone, there's a consensus no one wants to see a completely random waiter at a restaurant blown up by a warhead that we sent because he happened to end up with a sim card that was calling the wrong people and that is the question here, right? if we don't know who the actual person is, it does seem like there's quite a lot of open space for error there. >> exactly. i mean, we're sort of in this era already of pre-crime where you have president obama in office, his advisers know if
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there's another major attack on the u.s. homeland that he's political toast. what they've sort of done is go way overboard in trying to preempt any potential attack against the united states. what they've done is instead of sending actual u.s. operatives on the ground which would constitute human intelligence, they're relying 90% or more on what's called sigmant or imant. with we have are strikes, we believe this phone or sim card is associated to someone who's up to no good. think about it in the context, this could come back at home very, very quickly, not in a militarized drone strike. the president said he's against that. but using it to target individuals in the united states based on our cell phone. what if you lend your cell phone to someone else and you happen to be in yemen? you send your kid to the grocery store to pick up something and that's the moment the cia decides to strike. i mean, this is a system, and we've heard from insiders, chris, who have been a part of this and defend the program to the extent that it has taken out
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people, but they say, look, the potential for errors means we should put a pause button on it, step back and look at how this is essentially death by metadata. >> there is another report in the "ap" today, four anonymous officials basically saying the u.s. is currently contemplating a targeted killing action against an american citizen. this story was strange to me for a number of reasons. one, why are they talking now? two, what is the purpose? three, it seemed to kind of bury the lead which is we've already done this. i'm not quite clear what would be new here. how do you react to that story? >> right. i mean, as you know, because you've talked about this probably more than anyone on corporate television, president obama admitted the u.s. has killed four u.s. citizens in a drone strike. the most prominent anwar awlaki, this american citizen. to me, chris, politically this indicates the white house has already made a decision that they're going to kill another american citizen and they're sort of floating a balloon out to the american public. this raises very, very serious issues about the constitutionality of the drone strike program, whether or not the u.s. believes it can kill its own citizens without
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charging them with a crime, where the president has sort of emperor-like powers should be something our court should take up very, very quickly and should be the subject of much debate in congress and not just from the rand pauls and the justin amashes of the world. it should be something the democrats should pay attention to. >> jeremy scahill from "the intercept." his new film "the intercept." good luck. >> thanks, chris. coming up, the player who could be the first openly gay man in the nfl. his agent will be here, ahead. [ female announcer ] what's a powerful way to cut through everyday greasy messes? [ male announcer ] sponges, take your mark! ♪ [ female announcer ] one drop of ultra dawn has twice the everyday grease-cleaning ingredients of one drop of the leading non-concentrated brand... ♪
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all right. this weekend saw the biggest civil rights march in the south since the civil rights movement. organizers estimate as many as 100,000 people converged on the state capitol in raleigh, north carolina, to kick off this year's moral monday movement. which we've covered closely here at "all in." it's a movement of protest and civil disobedience held at the north carolina capitol on mondays when the legislature is in session aimed at combatting the right-wing overreach of the state's republican government that has slashed the early
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voting period, enacted a suppressive voter i.d. law, blocked medicaid expansion for hundreds of thousands of north carolinians who need it, approved extreme abortion restrictions, cut jobless benefits, and, this is my personal favorite, raised taxes on the state's poorest families. moral monday has taken a huge toll on republican governor pat mccrory. approval ratings dropped from 49% to just 37% since the first march. as the governor right now scrambles to respond to the state's largest coal ash spill and moral mondays spread to georgia, where they're going to take on republican control of the state government there, this weekend's protest reminds us just how high the stakes are for what we sometimes call off-year elections. she loves a lot of the same things you do.
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i'm not afraid to tell the world of who i am. i am michael sam. i'm a college graduate. i'm african-american. and i'm gay. >> michael sam who will likely become the first openly gay player in the nfl, just as soon as he's drafted in may, came out this weekend. sam publicly spoke about his sexual orientation for the first time in interviews last night with espn and "the new york times." and as sam acknowledged in thor be interviews, this is a pretty freaking big deal because it stands to change the face of the nfl and possibly professional sports as we know it. "out sports" points out his
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movement, will be simply playing the sport as an out gay man, a role many have waited years for someone to step into. for his college teammates, it's a role he stepped into. >> i told my teammates this past august. i came out to my teammates. they took it great. they rallied around me, supported me. i couldn't have asked for better teammates. >> sam played the entire 2013 season leading the s.e.c. in sacks and leading his team to a win in the cotton bowl as a gay man out to his team and coaching staff. southeastern conference is widely considered the best in college football. missou was one of the top teams last year. michael sam was one of missou's most valuable players. >> we're talking about s.e.c. defensive player of the year, michael sam. you know, as long as he's making plays, who cares if he likes boys or girls, you know? >> public response has also for the most part been overwhelmingly positive, president obama tweeting out "congratulations on leading the way. that's real sportsmanship."
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first lady "we couldn't be prouder of your courage on and off the field." tampa bay bucs tight end michael crabtree, "good for michael sam. takes courage for where he is in his career and where we are as a league. i applaud him." super bowl mvp malcolm smith, "there is no room for bigotry in american sports. it takes courage to change the culture." the scout, assistant coaches, folks in charge of player personnel, executives is not so positive. "sports illustrated" granted anonymity in return for honesty. one of them, nfl player personnel assistant told "si," "in the coming decades or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's man game. to call somebody a gay slur is still so common place." cameron, first question is, i
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want to get your response to the anonymous quotes in the "si" article making the rounds today. what do you feel when you hear that? >> i feel sad for the person who said that, actually. you know, i think we have a problem here in that there's a really vocal minority and they get so much play in the media. i've had just an outpouring of texts, calls and e-mails from friends of mine, colleagues of mine that work on the team side, whether it be scouts, front office guys, guys on coaching staffs. thanking us, congratulating us. and just overall a lot of good will here. i don't think it's reflective of all front offices at all. >> that's really interesting because everyone's been waiting in some ways for who will be the first, you know, out gay athlete in one of the four major sports here in north america. and it's a pretty courageous thing to do it before draft day. did you know that michael sam was gay and out? and did you guys have a plan for doing this now? >> absolutely.
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we knew michael, gay before we signed him. long enough to put this plan into place. as far as the exact timing, no, that changed. being in mobile for the senior bowl adjusted our perspective where mike was out, how ready he was. who knew this story. and how many reporters were on the cusp of breaking it. we really wanted to do this proactively, let mike deliver the story and message the way he should. >> it's been reported in the past that recruits, prospects for the nfl combine have had questions like do you have a girlfriend, are you married, do you like girls? this is from oakland raiders tight end, nick kasa. being asked these questions. it was kind of weird. they'd ask you with a straight face, it's a pretty weird experience altogether." do you feel like michael is essentially going be outed by the process of the draft if he didn't come forward, himself? >> that was definitely a concern.
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it wasn't the major overriding factor. a lot of it had to do with mike wanting to be honest and who he is. the timing couldn't have been better with all that happening last year. the nfl being able to set strong precedent, put their foot down. they've really been an amazing ally in the whole process and their policy is very accepting and welcome mike with open arms last night and we were very excited about it. >> it's a pretty big deal. i mean, this is historic. if he's drafting, if he signs, he'll be the first out player doing this. and there's going to be a lot of pressure on him. there shouldn't be. it shouldn't be a story. we shouldn't be covering it. that's not the world we live in. do you think he's ready to labor with that? hard enough to be a rookie in the nfl. >> i think he is. you know, mike's a very unique guy and you heard him last night talking about his family story and the way he grew up. it's truly remarkable he's a productive member of society let alone the sexuality stuff. he lives in the moment. if there's anyone who's been
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ready for this, it's mike. >> i want to play this clip of him talking about his upbringing. take a listen. >> i endure so much in my past. so much tragedy. and growing up, seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound. seeing my -- not knowing that my older sister died when she was a baby and i never got the chance to meet her. my older -- my second oldest brother went missing in 1998 and me and my little sister were the last to see him and pronounced him dead two years later. my other two brothers being in and out of jail since eighth grade, currently both in jail. telling the world i'm gay is nothing compared to that. >> the nfl draft has become a big television event. i feel this year there's going to be more people tuning in cheering for your client. >> i certainly hope so. i want to say that there was definitely a time in this country when sports were ahead
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of the curve. you know, jackie robinson broke the color barrier, we were far ahead of the civil rights changes that happened yet. you know, if people pass over mike because of his sexuality, i think it's a sad moment for us all because it will truly signify the fact that sports have fallen just very, very far behind the rest of society in terms of where we're at and our acceptance and tolerance. >> i'd be willing to take the bet that's not going to happen. michael sam's agent, cameron weiss. thanks so much. >> thank you. more on this story with mike peska from npr and a former nfl player who came out after he left the league. stick around for that. my mother and my grandmother are very old fashioned.
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i think we both are clean freaks.
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i used to scrub the floor on my knees. [ daughter ] i've mastered the art of foot cleaning. oh, boy. oh, boy. oh, boy. [ carmel ] that drives me nuts. it gives me anxiety just thinking about how crazy they get. [ doorbell rings ] [ daughter ] oh, wow. [ carmel ] swiffer wetjet. you guys should try this. it's so easy. oh, my. [ gasps ] i just washed this floor. if i didn't see it i wouldn't believe it. [ carmel ] it did my heart good to see you cleaning. [ regina ] yeah, your generation has all the good stuff. [ daughter ] oh, yeah.
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which will cause me to miss the end of the game. the x1 entertainment operating system lets your watch live tv anywhere. can i watch it in butterfly valley? sure. can i watch it in glimmering lake? yep. here, too. what about the dark castle? you call that defense?! come on! [ female announcer ] watch live tv anywhere. the x1 entertainment operating system, only from xfinity. how accepting would a gay teammate be? >> i think that he would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted. i don't want people to naturally
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assume, oh, we're all homophobic. that's not the case. i imagine if he's the guy next to me and i get dressed naked, taking a shower, the whole nine and it just so happens he looks at me, how am i supposed to respond? >> that was jonathan vilma, new orleans saints, talking to espn about the acceptance or lack thereof of athletes. joining me, mr. paska of npr. and author of "alone in the trenches: my life as a gay man." my first question goes to you. how common are those we heard from jonathan vilma we heard tonight? what environment do you think michael sam is going to be walking into? >> we're definitely living in different times. you know, back when i came out, back in, you know, 1991, it was definitely a digit story. in the last decade we've come a long way. we still have baby steps to go
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forward. i really do believe that michael will be accepted and will be welcomed into the nfl. all because of -- let's face it here. i mean, this is what we've been waiting for, right? this is what -- we wanted a superstar collegiate athlete or nfl star to come out. we got the superstar collegiate athlete coming out. let me tell you, i'm very excited and the way he did it and i'm very excited to see what the future has in store for him. >> yeah, i mean, mike, it strikes me as pretty amazing thing to do this on the eve of the draft. i mean, to basically be like, hey, guys, this is what it is. and, like, it's on you if you want to be a bunch of bigoted jerks and, like, drop me down in the draft because he just put his cards on the table. >> yeah, and felt like his hand was forced a little bit. that's why they explained he had to do it. you know, he is the s.e.c. defensive player of the year. the last seven of those guys were drafted in the first round. >> right. >> so he really should be drafted. they don't say he's going to be
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drafted in the first three rounds, but he really should make a team. unlike the other prominent gay athletes like jason collins and other ones who we said, maybe there's a reason they're not on a team, there's no reason -- >> that's exactly right. that's right. this is one of the things where everyone is going to watch draft day and kind of a red light/green light kind of thing. you know what has happened, if in terms of where he goes in that draft. >> right. the thing the unnamed nfl execs are saying, the word you use is a distraction, right? we don't want to draft him, he might have to do other interviews, he'd be a distraction. people don't want to think of themselves as bigoted or prejudice. saying this guy is a distraction, own it, you're saying i get to discriminate against him. >> that's right. >> own it. >> i'd like to think of a reason to discriminate against him, that's my reason. >> esera, you're in the locker room, there's nothing but distractions. for the love of god, you have ben roethlisberger accused of sexual assault. you have, i mean, player after player involved in very serious,
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sometimes quite heinous legal situations. that just doesn't stand with any. >> that's why it's so surprising that, you know, to start a rumor about someone that he's gay or to call somebody a fag or queer is worse than any of that. like i said, we're living in different times. the great thing about what michael is doing is that he's doing something i never had. and the biggest fear for me was somebody finding out that i was gay. he's doing this the opposite way where he's going in there without that crippling secret. >> yeah. >> he's going to go there and play to the best of his potential because he doesn't have to deal with any of that stress or any of the pain or any of the crap, that, you know, we have to face as closeted athletes. >> did anyone ever find out your secret when you were in the closet in the nfl? >> oh, absolutely not. you know, absolutely not. we, you know, during the times
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when i played, it was very difficult meeting, you know, any time someone would lash out, call somebody a fag, you know, things like that, people would laugh, it would be pushed under the rug. now which is very encouraging, is that when somebody lashes out, a coach or player, they're held accountable for their actions. >> yeah. >> you know, the great thing that he will have -- he will have support, but also he'll have those haters along with that. the great thing, he'll have some support. >> i thought it was really interesting, mike, that one of the things they were saying in talking about him is here's a guy who's out, okay? he's out to his teammates. he didn't want to go back in the closet. like, what is he going to do? show up in the nfl and pretend to date women and go from an out person who's a full human being to being a closeted person? >> right. the whole argument that maybe an nfl team can't take it, missouri went 12-2. they were the fifth-ranked team in the country. >> exactly.
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>> a bunch of quote/unquote amateur athletes who are able to hold a -- >> the mechanisms without the message management. an nfl team can do it. you have to do a few extra interviews. is that going to dismantle a team? >> esera, do you expect a floodgate effect here? we've seen this in the struggle for lgbt equality. do you think we'll see this as a matter of course or routine? >> we figured that would have happened when jason collins came out. i'm not sure. it definitely opens up the door for the possibility of another athlete coming out. only because of the support that he's, michael's getting from the country. from everyone. the president of the united states, i mean, you know, so that's -- i'm hoping that the players that i know that are in the league that are closeted and the players that i don't know that are in the league that are closeted this will give them some kind of strength to step out into their truth. >> i love the fact from the sheer perspective of stereotype destroying this is this jacked 6'3" beast who's an incredible player and the first gay athlete.
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it's remarkable. i'm incredibly impressed by this man. mike paska from the npr and daily pod cast on "slate" covering the olympics and former nfl player esera tuaolo. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. thank you at home for joining us this hour. when you take amtrak on the northeast corridor, heading north, the way you know you have reached new jersey is when you see this sign. trenton makes, the world takes. it used to say the world takes, trenton makes. this version is fairly better. it's an old chamber of commerce slogan designed to market trenton, new jersey, as a manufacturing hub with international aspirations. but now when you see that sign, it mostly just means that you have successfully crossed the delaware river from pennsylvania, to trenton, new jersey's state capital. the historic state capitol