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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  January 5, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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declare how long bob mcdonnell will have to serve and where. and then next month we'll go through it all again with the governor's wife when she gets sentenced for all her felony convictions. that hearing starts at 10:00 tomorrow in federal court in richmond virginia. watch this space. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence happy new year. >> and you know what politicians, some of them do when they go to jail they sometimes grow a beard, which is what some anchorman, men do if you give them enough holiday time off. a member of the st. louis county grand jury that heard testimony about the police killing of michael brown is taking legal action to reveal what really happened in that grand jury room. and the maneuvering has begun
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for the 2016 presidential campaign. and just like last time the first thing one candidate had to do was quit his fox news job. >> the republican field for president is starting to get a little crowded. >> former arkansas governor mike huck huckabee resigned his job. >> i think huckabee is what hillary wants. >> the democrats want to insult the women of america by making them believe that they are helpless without uncle -- >> he's very popular among social conservatives. >> a recent fox news poll showed huckabee ahead of the field. including jeb bush. >> jeb bush meanwhile, quit all
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his corporate boards. >> if in fact jeb bush is the establishment choice where does that put chris christie? >> it's chris christie's weekend that -- >> he's really a cowboys fan. >> romney's certainly on the sidelines watching all this. >> this weekend, one certain to be candidate for president took a serious step to pursuing that goal. he quit his fox news job. >> tonight, i'm going to do more than just say goodnight. i'm going to say good-bye. this is the last edition of huck huckabee on the fox news channel. god's put me on earth to try to make a good life. >> in 2008 former arkansas
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governor mike huckabee won the iowa caucus. mike huckabee told his audience that he is considering trying it again. >> there's been a great deal of speculation as to whether i would run for president. and if i were willing toance anceto absolutely rule that out i could keep doing this show. now i'm not going to make a decision until late in the spring of 2015. but the continued chatter has put fox news into a position that just isn't fair to them. nor, is it possible for me to openly determine political and financial support to justify a race. i say good-bye. but as we say in television stay tuned. there's more to come. >> here's what conservative talk show host and mike huckabee fan laura ingraham had to say. >> the idea that mike huckabee
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is going to be president of the united states, i'll predict that's not going to happen. >> the washington post reported today that if mike huckabee is going to make a serious run he will have to do something he wasn't able to do in 2008 raise millions of dollars. one of his potential competitors for donor money is chris christie who according to the wall street journal spent the holidays in the caribbean discussing whether he will run for president. mrs. christie is said to have grown more accustomed to the idea of a presidential bid since republicans first tried to get the governor to run in 2011. among new jersey voters chris christie's favorable rating is at its lowest rate ever at 42%, giving him a positive rating 45% give him an unfavorable rating. his friendship with jerry jones
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probably won't help with his new jersey numbers. he went on boomer and carlton to defend his love of the texas football team and try to explain the missed high-five and awkward hug with jerry jones after yesterday's cowboys win. >> it was pandemonium in there, craig. it's difficult to describe the level of intensity in the jones box during these games, and so no. believe me i'm sitting in jerry jones' box. >> joining me now, robert costa from the washington post and david fraum from the atlantic magazine. on the meek huckabee candidacy, here's somebody who came in a strong first in iowa in 2008. john mccain came in fourth in iowa in 2008, went on to actually get the nomination. what in huckabee's previous run
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at this would give him the idea he can actually go all the way? >> i spoke to huckabee advisers today, and they think he has a lingering goodwill in iowa. but the problem is he only raised $16 million when he ran for president in 2008. now it's estimated he needs to raise $50 million to $75 million just to make it through the early stage of the primary. can he raise the money? he hasn't shown a pen chant for it in the past. >> that was the stall, wasn't it? in 2008? >> it was. >> is there a theory there in huckabee world that if he had had the money to capitalize on how well he did in iowa thing cos have been different? >> that's why he's getting in right now. he knows he needs to start raising money. he can't count just on grassroots support. he's already courting a lot of bundlers super pacs. he's looking at his strategy saying i know i could win iowa, but i have to be able to play in
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south carolina and florida. >> let's take a look at the recent national poll that has jeb bush at the top. this is a national poll 23%. christie significantly below that the at 10. then you have a bunch of people crowded in there, 7, 6, 5, huckabee rick perry. what do you take from a lineup like that given that it's a national poll and the way this is actually going to work is state by state? >> you know there's a unique symmetry this time between the republican and democratic races. in both cases you have a field dominated by a fund-raising juggernaut. hillary clinton, jeb bush. both of them deeply connected to the wealthiest people in the country, and both of them with broadly similar views. you get them in front of a questionnaire, i don't know that the answers would look so different. and in both cases the problems are probably resigned to their
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leadership, but there is an opportunity, there's dissatisfaction and an opportunity. and in both parties you have people looking around to take advantage of that opportunity, rather more aggressively so inside the republican party, at least so far. but republicans don't feel about jeb about the way democrats feel about hillary. which is, you know, we'll take it if we must but is there anything more? >> we'll take a look at this poll about how democrats feel about hillary which is pretty positive. we have hillary clinton at 66%. the next name down elizabeth warren at 9% joe biden, 8% bernie sanders, 3%. and you know what? guys having looked at that poll hillary clinton at 66%, i'm going to take the suspense out of this episode of the last word, i am not going to announce at the last part of this program that i am resigning this anchor desk to get in there to
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challenge hillary's 66%. >> there's certainly an opening, wouldn't you agree? >> i don't see it when i look at that poll. but when republicans look at that poll with hillary clinton up there at 66%, what does it tell them in terms of where they should be going with their nominee? >> first of all when i was in iowa, i sat down with some democratic advocates, they want to see a race. they like bernie sanders. they like his progression. they like senator warren. they don't think she's going to run. they think jim webb has an interesting message as an anti-war democrat. they want to see a competition for the nomination. >> and that's part of the wall street journal report today indicating that iowans don't want to see hillary clinton come in effect as an incumbent democratic president with no challenge there. >> and i don't think it's the sheer love of the sport. i think it's something deeper going on. we in a recovery, and yet, it's
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a recovery that has not touched very many people. and both democrats and republicans have that same feeling of somehow this is passing us by. both have that sickening feeling when they read mike huckabee whether you like him or not, the idea three can't be a candidate unless he can find $70 million before the 4th of july there's something very odd about that. and the democratic race of course hillary is raising tens of millions of dollars and jeb of course is going to catch up. elizabeth warren gave very eloquent voice to this in her attempted filibuster of the krom any bus when she talked about how close democrats have been to big financial institutions and how much of the deregulation of wall street happened underneath the watch of president clinton. there is i think there is more rest underneath the complacency that shows these vastly well-funded candidates ahead, there is restlessness. it is not a happy time in
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america. it's not an easy time to be a presumed incumbent. >> robert costa, when you have to go on a sports radio show to do political damage control, maybe you shouldn't have gone to that game in the first place. this chris christie situation where here he is going to a football game, and that's you know i'm sure he has a real interest in football games. i'm sure he's a fan and all that, but that kind of thing, publicly is always about see what a regular guy i am? i enjoy a game just like anyone else, but what you have is this image of a man literally, physically desperately clinging to rich guys in another state, when his approval rating is at its lowest point in new jersey. and there he is on the sports radio show trying to straighten all that out. it's, it seems like a not-quite-ready-for presidential prime time moment. >> and if you're thinking about
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running for president, it's not the first thing, jones is tight with a lot of republicans in dlachlts he's watching what's happening. he sees jeb bush is going to be in greenwich raising money. christie's sitting there watching a football game and the whole field unfold. he's trying to keep the relationship strong with jerry jones and with a lot of his donors. >> jeb bush seems to be close to an announcement. he's done everything you would do. doesn't that just close out the christie possibility? >> it certainly squeezes it. and they will be competing for the same sources of money. they are looking at the same kinds of donors. one of the ways to look at the republican race, it's a series of leagues. there's the league in which jeb bush and chris christie are playing, the league rand paul and ted cruz and benicar carson and
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the others who are becoming more famous. ben carson is clearly the winner in league three. i would bet on ted cruz to emerge in league two. >> but i want to write off christie. a lot of people are watching to see how christie how jeb bush campaigns. >> i'm backing up to league one. league one is the league that romney dominated last time. this time that league is competitive. last time it wasn't. last time all the action was in league two. this time the action's going to be in league one. >> david fraum and robert costa, thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. coming up one of the jurors in the michael brown case wants to reveal what really happened in that grand jury room. and new york mayor bill de blasio spoke for the first time about the officers who turned their backs on him during the funerals of two new york city police officers. and the first black man elected to the united states
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a washington post abc news poll finds that the majority of americans now say the afghanistan war was not worth fighting. 56% say the afghanistan war was, has not been worth fighting. 38% say the war was worth fighting. the poll also found over half of americans, 54%, favor keeping u.s. troops in afghanistan now to help train afghan forces and perform counterinsurgency roles. up next one of the grand jurors in the ferguson case wants to talk.
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for a healthier smile. trust the brand more dentists and hygienists use. oral-b. it is important to note here and say again that they are the only people the only people who have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence. they discussed and debated the evidence among themself the before arriving at their collective decision. after their exhaustive review of the evidence the grand jury deliberated over two days making their final decision. they determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer wilson and returned a no-true bill on each of the five indictments. >> one grand juror in the darin wilson case is now suing st.
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louis county prosecutor. the juror referred to as grand juror dough -- doe wants to speak out. and what the juror says are mischaracteristicizations. it itis in it does not comport with plaintiff's own opinions. they want to express opinions about whether the records have truly provided transparency plaintiff's impression that it was presented differently than in other cases, with the insinuation that brown, not wilson, was the wrongdoer and questions about whether the
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grand jury was counseled on the law. a grand juror could be imprisoned for a year for talking about a grand jury. joining me is the director for the missouri aclu and liz brown for the st. louis american and a criminal defense attorney. tony rawfort, do we know whether the grand jury finding in that case was unanimous? >> we don't know. what the prosecuting attorney told us is that a collective decision was reached, and that is something that this grand juror would like to be able to talk about. you know one more nuance than what the prosecuting attorney has given as the official line. >> you only needed nine of the 12 grand jurors to agree on a course of action and so to get
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the no-true bill that means there could have been possibly as many as three grand jurors who did want to indict on something, isn't that correct? >> well no actually you needed nine to get an indictment. so if there were eight for an indictment, there would still be no-true bill if it was 8-4 or 7-5. so we don't know what the vote is. the impression that's been given by the prosecuting attorney is that it was a collective decision by the grand jury and this grand juror would like to talk about that amongst other things. >> liz brown, it seems that in many ways this grand jury did not follow form allowing this grand juror to speak would be one additional, unusual component. >> that's correct. but you also have to look at what has driven presumably driven this grand juror to want to speak out on it. the things that the aclu
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presented in their lawsuit were extraordinary. when a grand juror is basically saying that the prosecutor is mischaracterizing what happened he's being dishonest about what happened that's huge. when a grand juror says that the victim in the case mike brown was the defendant and the defendant was the victim and the way that it was presented, it's remarkable. when a grand juror says i have seen this grand jury go prosecute hundreds of cases, and this case the darin wilson case was different than any other case that i've experienced, that's huge. that's different. and if it's different now, it's borne out of what bob mccullough has done to drive this different result and these different actions on the part of his office. >> tony rothert, the judge will be interested in what precedent you would be able to cite that
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would allow a grand juror to speak in a situation like this. what might you offer the judge by way of precedent? >> well this is really an unprecedented case. there are cases, there's a u.s. supreme court case about witnesses in a grand jury being able to talk. but there aren't cases where a grand juror has asked to speak. and usually there are very good reasons for grand jury secrecy. this is an unusual case in that the prosecutor has says he as released all the evidence has said what the grand jurors thought about the evidence and has purported to release everything. so the usual reasons for grand jury secrecy just aren't there, in fact the only people who can comment on what the prosecutor has said what the government has said happened, would be criminals, if they talked about it. >> and liz brown, one of the points that tony rothert's
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lawsuit as they've written it brings up is that the incorrect legal instructions to the grand jury in this proceeding which were then sort of corrected toward the end of the process, something that i covered in depth on this program, and that is, again, one of the unprecedented aspects of this case. >> and one of the things that the grand juror will be able to add to that are things that don't make it to the transcript things like tone things like timing. things like aggressiveness whether cathy alezadeh questioned darin wilson in a way that was kind and gentle and patient and loving even whereas, the way that she questioned another juror was completely different. that's what this grand juror will be able to say. and the remarkable part about this, the optics of this can lead to a, lead to an
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extraordinary circumstance. consider this. if this grand juror is not allowed to come forward and the grand juror decides to come forward anyway then bob mccullough would be in the position of having to bring charges against this grand juror. and if this grand juror is african-american, he would be in a position of bringing charges against an african-american charging them with a crime, whereas witness number 40 a white witness, he has declined. bob mccullough has declined to charge that witness with perjury. a witness that was known to law enforcement as a perjurer a witness who came in and testified twice, bringing documents with her, fabricated documents to almost double down on her dishonesty but bob mccullough says i'm not going to pursue perjure charges against her. so that would be the position he would be in if the court does not allow this grand juror to come in and tell their tale. >> is the grand juror you're
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representing in this case african-american? >> you know we shouldn't make any assumptions about race or gender. and we're not revealing who the grand juror is for that person's own prex legal prex at this point. >> just to get it technically correct, tony at this point, is there any legal restriction on you or on your client on revealing just the name and identification and identifying characteristics about the grand juror? >> well this grand juror is concerned, and is afraid of coming forward without the ability to speak. >> i understand that. but i'm asking about actual legal process in missouri. is there anything that makes it impossible for a grand juror to reveal the simple declarative sentence, i was a grand juror on that case? >> we think that if you read the law strictly that that would be illegal, just revealing that you were a member of the grand jury.
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>> thank you very much for joining us and liz brown, thank you for joining us tonight, too. >> thank you. coming up how one judge in detroit is sentencing young men and women in a new and different way. and later, remembering espn's stuart scott. you're clean. bam! charmin ultra strong cleans so much better it meets even the highest standards of clean. with a soft duraclean texture, charmin ultra strong is 4 times stronger. and you can use up to 4x less. charmin ultra strong.
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in the spotlight tonight, crime and the correct punishment. for over a decade the united
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states has maintained the highest incarceration rate in the world, 41% of american prisoners have not completed high school or its equivalent compared to 18% of the general population. prisoners who do not have a high school dip loma or ged are more likely to be repeat offenders. in michigan one judge is trying to change that. wayne county circuit judge deborah thomas sentences offenders who have not completed high school to get their diploma. presiding over her courtroom in detroit, judge thomas sits in front of the dip lomas and ged certificates of the young men and women she has helped to achieve a better education. joining me now from detroit is judge deborah thomas judge, thank you very much for doing this tonight. i was fascinated to read about how you're handling this in your courtroom. and in what i've read about you
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today, i guess this is came to you partially because you had worked as a teacher before becoming a judge. >> that's true. i used to teach with the detroit public school system. and education is the key to success. >> and when you were when you were working in the school sis tell sis -- system did you see this as a problem then with juveniles getting in trouble that if the judges could just realize that what they needed more than anything else was that high school dip loma? >> motivation for the young people would be the larger problem, getting them to understand the importance of getting an education, of finishing high school of getting job training beyond high school motivating the individuals was the bigger issue oftentimes. >> one thing i was struck by in reading about your method in how you do this is that you seem to in the courtroom motivate some
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of these defendants who come in front of you, and they make declarations to you about promising that they'll be back and that they will be up on your wall with their ged or their da blow dip loma. >> many are looking behind me at the wall and seeing high school dip lomas, geds from other individuals, and they're going to say, i'm going to get mine up there, judge, i promise. i'm going have mine up there. they come back. i make them bring the original and i make a copy and we stop what we're doing. and when i take the certificate and take it to the wall everyone in the courtroom gives them a round of applause. and then i have them and some will promise me that they're going to come back when they get junior college. i have a couple working on their bachelor's degree. i have one young person who was certified as a mechanic to
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repair airplanes. so it gives them a measure of success. and they get rewarded recognized for that success. >> and you mentioned in one article that a lot of these are kids who never had their homework assignment or their test paper with the star on it taped to the refrigerator at home, and this is kind of that refrigerator moment for them. >> it really is. there are a lot of young people who are not encouraged. they may come from a family where for generations, no one graduated from high school. there were employment opportunities, 20 30 40 years ago where the high school dip loma wasn't as critical. no one patted them on the back. i have one young man. he brought me his grades to show he had completed the program. i says where's the ged?
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he says my mother lost it. >> the honorable deborah thomas, thank you very much for your service as a teacher and as a judge now on the bench. >> thank you for having me. coming up in the rewrite, the man who integrated the barbershop in the u.s. senate it was one of the most segregated rooms in america until 1967. ♪ with the incredible fuel efficiency of 38 miles-per-gallon highway you can feel like royalty in the nissan altima. now, get great offers on the 38 mpg highway nissan altima. nissan
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start investing with as little as fifty dollars. . new york city mayor de blasio spoke for the first time today about some officers turning their backs to him during the funerals for two fallen officers who were killed in an ambush in brooklyn. at yesterday's funeral for wenjin liu, most officers did not turn their backs, but a few did, very few. today the commissioner and mayor made these comments. >> they were disrespectful to families who had lost their loved one. and i can't understand why
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anyone would do such a thing in a context like that. i think it just defies a lot of what we all feel is the right and decent thing to do when you're dealing with a family in pain. i also think they were disrespectful to the people of this city who in fact honor the work of the nypd. >> the selfishness of that action. the selfishness of it. a funeral is not a place for thaflt come demonstrate outside city hall. come demonstrate outside police headquarters. but don't put on your uniform and go to a funeral and engage in a political action. i feel very strongly about this. i do. coming up in the rewrite, the very special man who made people in my neighborhood when i was a kid want to be their better selves. that's next. r broker. he helps looks after all our money. kid: do you pay him? dad: of course.
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in 1962 when president kennedy's little brother teddy won his first campaign at age 30 and was elected to the united states senate, president kennedy said that night, my god, that's the biggest news in the country. but the president wasn't talking about his little brother's first successful senate campaign. he was talking about another winner that night in massachusetts who was also elected statewide. ed wood brook the third who won the race for attorney general. he became the first black attorney general anywhere in the united states. he did it in a state where only 2% of registered voters were african-americans. after four years, he ran for united states senate and won
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again, again making history at first black person elected to the united states senate. there's always a footnote that accompanies that fact about ed brooke. and that is during the time during reconstruction the legislature voted twice to send black senators to washington. ed brooke was the first elected by voters. he had a solid resume world war ii combat veteran. law school graduate. here's ed brooke making history on election night in 1966. >> and i say to you that i go to washington to do all that i can to bring peace on earth, to stop the war in vietnam. [cheers and applause] i go to washington to do all that i can to stabilize this
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economy and bring about a responsible society [cheers and applause] i go to washington to do all that i can to give equal opportunity to all americans for decent housing, quality education and equal justice under law. >> oh, did i mention he was a republican? yes. that's what some republicans sounded like in 1966. on the first day of the next senate session, when senior senator edward kennedy escorted edward brooke down the center aisle to take the oath of office the new senator received a standing ovation. ed brooke made history with things as simple as a haircut. he personally integrated the senate barbershop simply by setting foot in the place and getting a haircut there. the first black man in history
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to be served in the senate barbershop. as a senate staffer, you never forget your first moment with the great ones the senators who make you proud to work there. even if you're just seeing them from a distance across the senate floor here's how one staff member remembers ed brooke. i first observed senator brooke during his first term of office while serving as a senate staffer even from across the senate chamber. you could sense that this was a senator of historic importance. that was former senate staffer, that former senate staffer is now the majority leader mitch mcconnell. massachusetts had two of the biggest stars in the senate. when massachusetts congressman tip o'neill became speaker of the house, he was far more powerful than his big star senators and far more important in the actual governing of the
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united states of america. but the crowds back home didn't really see it that way. in those days i heard tip o'neill tell the story of what it was like for him, at big massachusetts political events. he said at the end of every big event he went to in massachusetts with his two world famous senators there would be a long line of people waiting to get ed brooke's autograph, and then a little longer line of people waiting to get teddy kennedy's autograph. and then another line waiting to ask tip o'neill for a favor. the senate is often a stress test for marriages, and it was for ted kennedy, and it was for ed brooke. as ed brooke's first marriage was unraveling we now know thanks to barbara walters' memoir that he had an affair with barbara, who said she found him fascinating. senator brooke had two daughters with his first wife, who he met in italy during his service in
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world war ii and a son with his second wife. president obama commented on ed brooke's bipartisan friendships during the ceremony in 2009 when senator brooke received the congressional gold medal. >> i don't know anyone else whose fan base includes gloria steinem steinem, barney frank and ted kennedy as well as mitch mcconnell, mitt romney and george w. bush. that's a coalition builder. [ applause ] >> edward brooke died on saturday morning at his home in coral gables florida. he was 95. when i was a kid growing up in an all-white neighborhood in boston, i often heard adults say, i'm not a racist i voted for brooke. you wouldn't have to wait long after that to hear that same
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person say something kind of racist. this was a puzzle i figured out in my teenage years. racist for brooke. how could that be? here's one explanation. >> ed always got to see the best in people because that was the effect he had. maybe it was his old-fashioned manners, his unfailing courtesy and warmth. maybe it was his charm and charisma, known to melt even the staunchest add ver sarai, or maybe it was general interest in people's stories, the way he listened to their kearns and worked to ease their struggles. whatever it was, even if people didn't fully agree with them they saw how much he fought for them and how much he respected them and respected him back. they rose to meet their esteem for him. around id people wanted to be their better selves. >> people wanted to be their better selves. that's exactly what i saw id brooke do.
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ken griffey junior waiting, waiting, waiting, boo-yah. >> espn anchor stuart scott died yesterday at the age of 49. he was first diagnosed with cancer in 2007. he introduced president clinton and president obama. president obama released a statement saying i will miss stuart scott. he ushered in a way to talk about our favorite teams and the day's best plays. for much of those years, service and campaigns have kept me from my family but wherever i went i could flip on the tv and stu and his colleagues were there. he entertained us and in the
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end he inspired us with courage and love. in july he received the perseverance award for his fight against cancer. >> when you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. you beat cancer by how you live while you live and the manner in which you live. [ applause ] so live. live. fight like hell. and when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. >> join me now is sage steele. she's a colleague and close friend of stuart scott. watching him there in july looking so healthy and so strong it's just stunning how quickly this can happen. >> yes. but the thing is that night he
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was anything but healthy. he had spent the last ten days leading up to that day in the hospital. and up to three days before he didn't even know if he'd be able to make it. but this that espy award, was like a lifetime achievement award for stuart. and those who knew him knew there was no way unless the doctors shut hill down, that he would miss it. he knew what this diagnosis meant. i flew out that morning and got there, thank god, just in time. and what he said there was just so. poignant. i knew he turned a corner. and when you die, you've not lost. but now he's resting. he's at peace. he's not in pain. and now it's our job, our job as friends and fans out there, viewers, to keep this fight going for people like stuart and the millions like him. and he knew he was just a public
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figure fighting this but there are so many others out there. >> let's listen to a caller to one of the espn radio shows talking about what you were talking about, which is the effect on other people out there with this struggle. let's listen to this. >> caller: in his own battle you know, took the time to write me a letter. and just said stay strong. this one man i never met, grew up watching him on sports center. always loved him. didn't know the guy from adam, and took time out of his own battle and family time and wrote me this letter. and to this day i cherish it. it's the craziest thing. it changed my entire outlook on the whole thing. i wanted to meet him. >> sage i'm sure it didn't surprise you that he wrote that letter to someone he didn't know. >> doesn't surprise me. i, i said i'd be tough, lawrence, but to hear that just gets me choked up because that's a total stranger.
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he took the time and look at the effect it had on this man. one of my many personal stories was that on june 26 this year when we moved from connecticut to arizona he came and he came for three hours. and when my little boy, who's 10 years old, had to say bye to his best friend he came home balling. i had movers sage yelling at me, and i was busy and stuart saw it took my little boy, put his arm around him and sat there on the front step with a crying 10 year old and comforted him. and my point is that the entire time stuart was in pain. he was hurting. but he came to say bye to his friends, our family. and took time for my little boy that he'll never forget. so that story doesn't surprise me, but it's so awesome. he knew me. he knew us. but i didn't know that man and he wrote that letter. that's stu art scott.
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that's the man that the world fell in love with. and i'm proud to call him a friend, and i'm speaking on behalf of all myis opinion friends and family who love him. but we are thankful that we had him in our lives. >> sage steele thank you very much for helping us honor them tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> chris hayes is up next.