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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 27, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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after all, it's already radicalized enough grandmas. he is either myopically opposed to or is so singularly focused on growth and profit he decides to do nothing at all. that's tonight's absolute worst. "all in with chris hayes" starts now. tonight on "all in," the creeping embrace of violence on the right. >> think about what our declaration of independence says. it says to overthrow tyrants. >> tonight, at what point does the second amendment become a threat to the first amendment. >> at this point, we're living under corporate and medical fascism. this is tyranny. when do we get to use the guns? >> then, new undercover video of trump's coup lawyer explaining the former president's plans to
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head down to the capitol. plus the vote to charge the sitting president of brazil with crimes against humanity on the same day he gets a fresh endorsement from donald trump, and new evidence the facebook pr crisis could be turning into a legal one, when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. today the attorney general of the united states, merrick garland, appeared before the senate judiciary committee and much of his four hours at this hearing with lots of very important things happening in the justice department and everything, much of it was spent being yelled at by republicans performing righteous anger, claiming to be upset that the attorney general would send federal agents to spy on american parents. now, if you are asking yourself, wait a second, is the federal government sending federal agents to spy on american parents? no worry, they aren't. but that did not stop republican senators from running with it.
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>> you're going to create a task force that includes the national security division. what on earth does the national security division have to do with parents who are expressing disagreements at school boards? >> you don't think there are parents out there in the real world that said, oh, my god, maybe we shouldn't go to the school board meeting, there will be fbi agents there? >> would you really honestly put parents in the same category as a terry nichols or a timothy mcveigh? >> my god, a parent did a nazi salute at a school board because they thought the policies were oppressive. general garland, is doing a nazi salute, is that protected by the first amendment? >> yes, it is. >> that's an interesting way to go. now, the actual issue here is the growing number of threats against school boards across the country. we've covered this. last month the national association of school boards sent a letter to the department of justice expressing alarm about the threats of violence and intimidation and asking for help from federal law
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enforcement. we spoke with the superintendent of a california district where on the first day of classes this year, the father of a little girl got so angry because she had to wear a face mask he cussed out a principal and punched a teacher in the face. in michigan, a father was rejected from a school board meeting because he gave the nazi salute and said heil hitler after a parent spoke in favor of masks. a protester doused masks and set them on fire. this has been rampant nationwide. now, in that letter, the national association of school boards referred to the actions aimed at school boards as equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism. personally, i would have taken a red pen to that because it's pretty inflammatory language and i don't think accurate. but the justice department responded to this letter with a fairly pro forma letter themselves saying it takes these incidents seriously, is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage
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these threats, identify them when they occur and prosecute them when appropriate. that is the long and short of it. republicans are trying to turn this into a big issue. and again, to be fair, there's some real conflict or at least ambiguity here. hear me out. part of having a free country, and i've got to agree with ted cruz on this, is allowing citizens to yell at people in power. that could mean yelling at the president, yelling at your elected representative or yelling at a school board meeting. i've covered school board meetings as a reporter and, man, people yell. it can get very ugly. and that's good in a way. it's part of freedom. of course that's very close to a line you don't want to cross, which is a line into threats and menace and attempt to use either explicitly or implicitly a kind of threatening atmosphere to coerce public officials into not doing their job or do what you want them to do. and we have seen threats escalating against all sorts of
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officials. just today in michigan after we already had put together this monologue in fact, a meeting hosted by the commission in charge of redistricting was delayed for hours over a death threat. the idea of explicitly using violence against political foes is also really bubbling up among certain portions of the american right. here's one example of what that looks like. just the other day at boise state university. >> at this point, we're living under corporate and medical fascism. this is tyranny. when do we get to use the guns? no, and i'm not -- that's not a joke. i'm not saying it like that. i mean literally, where's the line? how many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people? >> when do we get to use the guns? thinking about that question, that was a question posed to right-wing activist charlie kirk on his exposing racism tour in idaho monday night. it was an open event.
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anyone could get up and ask any question. i've been to events where people say nutty stuff. but the logic of what the question is, is not crazy. if you look at it as being in line with a lot of the messaging that has been proposed to people on the right. they have been told from donald trump on down the election was stolen. they are living under an illegitimate tyranny. they have also been told that the core purpose of the second amendment, the reason for what that question refers to as the guns, definite recall, is to resist tyranny. so to his mind, one plus one equals two. this is precisely the message the right is putting out. >> the purpose of the second amendment was and is to hold back a tie rankal government. >> if you think about what our declaration of independence says, it says to overthrow tyrants. >> we have a second amendment in this country, and i think we have an obligation to use it. it's not about hunting, it's not about recreation, it's not about
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sports. the second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary. i hope it never does. >> so clever there, i hope it never does. i'm not calling for it. so that questioner who referred to, again, the guns, the guns that we all know exist, the guns we all know we have. he apparently believes that the guns are the last bastion to overthrow tyranny and because the election was stolen from donald trump, we have tyrants. charlie kirk is not the most, how can i say this, most sparkling intellect on the american political scene but he's smart enough to know that he has to denounce that question. >> at this point, we're living under corporate and medical fascism. this is tyranny. when do we get to use the guns? no, and i'm not -- that's not a joke. i'm not saying it like that. i mean literally, where's the
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line? how many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people? >> so, no, hold on. no, stop, hold on. now i'm going to denounce that and i'll tell you why. because you're playing into all their plans and they're trying to make you do this. they are trying to provoke you and everyone here. they are trying to make you do something that will be violent, that will justify a takeover of your freedoms and liberties the likes of which we have never seen. we are close to have -- hold on. we are close to have momentum to be able to get this country back on a trajectory using the peaceful means that we have at us. so to answer your question, and i just think it's overly blunt, we have to be the ones that do not play into the violent aims and ambitions of the other side. >> credit where due. that's a decent answer. he's arguing violence will discredit the cause. kind of an instrumental answer,
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not an absolute one, but again i'm glad he said that. but that is not what some of the loudest voices on the right, including elected members of congress are saying. the core problems millions of people are being told that they're living under a illegitimate government or being threatened by antifa or medical fascism and the gun is the tool to resist that. at some point some people will listen. like, for instance, kyle written -- kyle rittenhouse. this week the judge in rittenhouse's case has ruled that prosecutors will not refer to the people that he shot as victims, while defense attorneys may be able to call them arsonists or looters. kyle rittenhouse was steeped in right-wing culture. he was a trump supporter, he frequently posted on his facebook page about blue lives matter, a pro-police countermovement in response to black lives matter.
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rittenhouse did what he was told by the right-wing media. he used his second amendment rights. he showed up at a protest against police brutality that had spiraled into chaos. it's a place where he was told antifa riots were happening and he showed up with an air 15 and he shot three people and killed two. two lives gone. two people who would probably still be here on earth if kyle rittenhouse had just stayed home. and after this, he became a hero on the right. there's an entire world built up around him that believes he is a martyr. they think what he did was the right thing to do. a model for what others should do. that is the specter of the kyle rittenhouses, the specter of the guy getting up to the microphone saying when do we use the guns? that specter is what now hangs over every school board meeting and every public health meeting and every public interaction officials have with people who are angry, because we are the most armed country on earth with more guns than citizens.
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four in ten american adults say they live in a household with a gun and those guns are primarily in one portion of the electorate. 44% of republicans say they personally own a gun compared with 20% of democrats and those who lean democratic. that's why right-wing people say that's why we'll win the civil war when it happens. so that's how you ending up that the second amendment has become a threat to the first because as they say, quote, people cannot freely exercise their speech rights when they fear for that i lives. charles homans is a story editor and his latest piece is titled "kyle rittenhouse and the new era of political violence" and he joins me here. >> thanks for having me. >> it's precisely about this milieu. how would you describe the milieu that rittenhouse was in that propelled him to leave his house and show up in kenosha armed in a long gun?
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>> chris, i think what's really interesting about his case, there was this real push early on to define him as an extremist in the context of what he believed in what he did. and i don't think there's really a lot of evidence that he, from the scanned evidence available from his social media accounts and so forth that he really held views that were at all outside of the main syndrome on the american right today. that he was in many respects seemed to have been a fairly conventional conservative-leaning suburban teenager and i think that everything that was on his various accounts was blue line, he had gone to a trump rally, things like that, and he was interested in guns. this all i think would describe a very large portion of this country right now. you saw sort of the kind of extreme place that could go, but i don't think the politics driving it was extreme. >> yeah, i think they were quite
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mainstream among the american right. and you note in the piece that there were a lot of people who had come to kenosha in a similar way and set up shop. to be clear, there had been violence, there had been sort of exchanges with people protecting a store and someone trying to break into it and getting hit with a break so it wasn't this completely peaceful scene and these folks showed up. there had been chaos, there had been violence. and then you relay this conversation that's happened. there's a streaming host there who's -- you call him a junior cousin to alex jones. and he's walking around this thing. he says i've got friends on the other side too, streaming show host chris tan harris told one paramilitary he met on the street. we tried to have conscious conversations. you can't have that anymore, man. that stuck with me. >> it's a striking moment among many. one interesting thing
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kenosha, you can see what people were thinking and how they were articulating what they were doing in the moment. there was this real sense that something different had happened, and kristan spoke about this when we spoke. it's been pretty normal to see people with ar-15 style rifles demonstrating as part of the political theater of these protests. but it really felt like some line had been crossed there, that we had crossed over from the sort of theatrical display of weapons to a kind of almost operational display of them in some cases in the sense that people were done talking. >> yeah. you call it a new era of political violence. that's what political violence looks like. it's not uncommon in the world. it happens in lots of different societies under lots of different conditions that people stop talking. we should note again, one of the things about kenosha and what i think connects to my fear here is i think it's very hard to make the argument -- some people
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try to make the argument that the presence of guns helps for civil peace. there are people on the right that make that argument and people make that argument of gun ownership. in kenosha we saw lots of guns. and in the case of kyle rittenhouse, people who saw a guy with a gun and thought that was the reason to chase him and he falls down and he has one person above him who appears to be armed, another, he shoots two of them. all of those guns around led to those guns being discharged. >> right. i think that's a really important aspect of this. there were so many guns, and guns on all sides of this. you saw what i call the paramilitaries in the story but other people have described them as militia. but you basically had a very large kind of ad hoc group of armed people on the side of, quote unquote, defending businesses in town. you also had a lot of demonstrators carrying concealed weapons. that was a big part of what happened and two of those played into the very specific circumstances, the moment we'll see litigated at great length in the next couple of weeks in the rittenhouse trial.
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i do think if you go back and look, there are a couple of really striking moments that night when you see the two sides kind of encounter each other on the street where it's really just very frightening. the level of chaos, the number of guns, and the degree to which nobody is in control of what's happening. a lot of people have told themselves they're there to defend the city or they're there to defend property. but a lot of them clearly don't know what they're doing or haven't really prepared for the situation they placed themselves in. and i think that includes rittenhouse. i don't think that any of these people certainly had fully thought through what would happen if there was a genuine altercation, which there ended up being. >> charles homans, this piece is very good reading. thank you very much. >> thank you. i want to turn to shannon watts, author of "fight like a mother, how a grassroots movement took on the gun lobby" and timothy zick.
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professor, let me start there laying out your argument because it captures something that i've spent a lot of time thinking about because it is the case that we want people to peaceably assemble and be loud or unruly or say insults or bad stuff. it's the first amendment, that's protected speech. there's something that happens with the threat of a gun that changes the complexion of that. how do you explain it? >> yeah. first of all, thanks for having me. it's a pleasure to be here. there is a intuition or common sense that taking a gun to a protest is going to deter people from participating, speaking, carrying signs or even bringing children to a protest, to a peaceable assembly. what we have now thanks to my co-author, diana palmer, is some data to attach to that intuition. and her study in particular demonstrates that there's this fundamental tension between public carry on the one hand and
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public protest on the other. and when people talk about gun safety, they're usually talking about physical safety and that's a big part of this context as well. but we should also consider the threat to constitutional democracy, the threat to peaceable assembly and speech. and the threat comes -- whatever the intention of people bringing arms to public protests might be, the threat comes from the social perception, the idea that they're going to fear violence is going to beset them for what they say or what they do to protest. so that's the concept of chilling public protest is what the piece is all about. >> shannon, i feel like folks, yourself included and folks in your organization have experienced this firsthand. in fact we've had you on the show and reported on it, we've talked to people that are engaged in first amendment protected speech, a rally or some kind of event, and someone else is engaged in their first
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amendment protected speech in texas where they're holding a gun. the question is does everyone's first amendment being protected if you're standing protesting and someone stands across you with a gun? >> i think that's what was so shocking when we started doing this work nine years ago. we would show up with our kids and these extremists would show up with ar-15s. we were just trying to ask for background checks and they were trying to threaten and intimidate and silence us. that's why our organization just came out with this report in august that showed after looking at thousands of protests, armed demonstrators are nearly six times as likely to turn destructive compared to unarmed demonstrators. and that's -- that's not shocking, that's sort of intuitive. but who makes up the majority of these armed protesters? 84% of them are right-wing extremists like the 3%ers and the oath keepers and the proud
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boys and boogaloo boys. at recent demonstrations, the presence of an armed person actually correlates to more, not less violence and destruction. >> and i think so there's one level past this, professor, which i think is the civic culture that we have, okay? so i think it's clear, i think people have the intuition, someone shows up open carrying at a protest that's going to have a chilling effect. when you look at these very heated school board meetings, public health officials, someone yelling into the car i know where you live, i know where you live like they did down in tennessee, again, you don't have to have the presence of the gun. the specter of the guns in the words of the questioner essentially looms over all of americans at all times whether displayed or not. >> yeah. i mean the research i'm talking about and we write about in the piece focuses on open carry and open display, which would seem to have the greatest effect in terms of chilling people's protests of rights. but it's true that concealed carry, you know, whether you
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know the gun is there or not, whether it's visible to you or not may not make much of a difference if you think the threat is still present. in other words, if you think that what you say may result in someone pulling a firearm that's concealed and harming you because of what you say. so i think there is something to that. there's an interesting -- part of the study that may go against sort of common intuition, and that is that with respect to public protests, if you ask people who own guns and didn't own guns and you ask people who were identifying as democrat or republican, they all seemed to agree that this is a bad idea. they all seemed to fear the specter of violence. they just disagree about what the threat is. >> yeah. and i think taking guns out of the equation in all of these cases is better than adding them. shannon watts and timothy zick thank you both. i really appreciate it. the guy who told trump just how he could steal the election from biden and then tried to
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walk it back just got caught on camera defending his plan. no wonder there's reportedly a subpoena in the works from the january 6 committee. one of the members of the committee joins me next. he memb committee joins me next. (man 1) oh, this looks like we're in a screen saver. (man 2) yeah, but we need to go higher. (man 1) higher. (man 2) definitely higher. (man 1) we're like yodeling high. [yodeling] yo-de-le-he... (man 2) hey, no. uh-uh, don't do that. (man 1) we should go even higher! (man 2) yeah, let's do it. (both) woah! (man 2) i'm good. (man 1) me, too. (man 2) mm-hm.
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all we are demanding of vice president pence is this afternoon at 1:00 he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it and the american people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not.
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>> that man, john eastman, pretty worked up there, is the lawyer who wrote the now infamous memo detailing step by step how to overturn the democratic election the country had just undergone and install the loser over the winner. well, he is now facing a subpoena from the house committee investigating january 6th. the chairman of that committee, congressman bennie thompson of mississippi, has told "the washington post" a subpoena of john eastman will happen. meanwhile, eastman has been attempting to distance himself from any potential culpability. he did these long telephone interviews saying the memo did not reflect his own views or legal advice. but he was recently caught on camera defending his memo. he was approached by a progressive activist named lauren windsor. she pretended to be an enthusiastic trump supporter who was there on january 6th and surreptitiously recorded this conversation. >> i just -- i was floored that
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mike pence didn't do anything. i mean why didn't he act on it? because you gave him the legal reasoning to do so. >> i know, i know. and now in a piece in "the atlantic" two days ago, they're already anticipating trump winning in 2024 and they're using my arguments from that memo that they all said had no credibility that kamala harris can block electoral votes. >> basically everyone is going to say you're being proven right. >> exactly, exactly. except they're not saying that. >> but that's what they mean. >> exactly, exactly. >> like all of your legal reasoning is totally solid. >> yeah, yeah, there's no question. >> it really seems like john eastman very much believes in his memo, which is that is the ackum's razor. today windsor posted more of the video in which he discusses trump's plans to walk down to the capitol after his speech on january 6th. >> yeah, i don't know because
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the breaking of the windows stuff had already started before his speech was over. if he got -- if he got down there, then all of that would have been blamed on him. i mean they're still blaming him but they would have had more basis for it. so i -- >> but he was planning on coming down, though. >> yeah, i know. i know. >> congressman jamie raskin is a democrat from maryland who serves on the select committee investigating january 6th. he's also a member of the judiciary committee and he joins me now. well, congressman raskin, that memo has attracted a lot of attention. it's incredibly controversial. it's been disowned by its author seemingly. what is your understanding of its status and eastman's relationship to it? >> i think it was the driving political and legislative and constitutional strategy of the political coup on january the 6th. and if you look at eastman's interview with steve bannon on
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the 6th, clearly steve bannon had bought into it and it was the organizing principle of what they were doing. the whole point was to inflate the vice president's role to the side of the goodyear blimp and say for the first time in american history the vice president could himself repudiate and reject electoral college votes from arizona, georgia and p.a. denying biden a majority in the electoral college and kicking the whole thing into the house for a contingent election where we know the state-by-state voting would have favored trump. and so politically it was a great strategy for them. constitutionally it was utterly fraudulent, as eastman himself seemed to recognize a couple of days ago when he said it was crazy, facing disbarment charges, he decided to say it was crazy. but then in that interview, i suppose he thought it was confidential, he expressed great pride in what he had done. >> well, so there's one theme
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here that i think has emerged from at least the public reporting, partly from the senate judiciary report and i imagine the fact gathering is the president is looking for anyone that will help him overturn the election, it's very clear. the vast majority of the lawyers he encounters say no, or don't help him. the white house council's office doesn't really, the top part of the doj. there's two lawyers that stand out. one is eastman, a random law professor, and there's jeffrey clark, who's number three at the department of justice, and they're key figures because they give some kind of plausible claim that this is more than essentially a coup to donald trump. >> well, it had been rejected by the legal advisers around trump and pence. richard cullen, who is pence's lawyer, said that it was ridiculous. judge ludig told him it was
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ridiculous. all of them were trying to explain and get it into trump's skull that it was ludicrous. but he was looking for someone to say what he wanted so he kept reaching for more and more extreme views and that's how he ended up with eastman. you know, eastman, he performed, he delivered by saying this is something we can do. of course it was eaten up by everyone. and they coordinated that political coup with the violent insurrection. and so a lot of what i'm looking for in the january 6th committee is what were the nexus points between the quasi-parliamentary coup side and the proud boys and oath keepers and so on. >> are you interviewing clark this week, is that correct? >> clark, i think the committee has acknowledged, was scheduled this friday for an interview. so i believe that that is still on. i saw some reporting today that
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his current lawyer had quit. i don't know whether or not that's affected the timing of it. if it did, obviously the committee is trying to accommodate people for their various issues, but, you know, we're not going to play cat and mouse and hide and go seek with these people. but i would expect that he's still coming friday. if not, the committee will be reasonable in accommodating whatever schedule change he needs. >> all right. congressman jamie raskin sitting on the select committee, thank you very much. >> thank you very much, chris. next, brazilian lawmakers voted in favor today of recommending criminal charges for the sitting president of brazil, bolsonaro, for his mishandling of the pandemic. will he be charged with crimes against humanity? that's next. ty that's next. ♪♪ this flag isn't backwards. it's facing this way because it's moving forward. ♪♪ just like the men and women who wear it on their uniforms and the country it represents. they're all only meant to move one direction
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the president of brazil is a man named jair bolsonaro and he is often called his country's version of donald trump and it is easy to see why.
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both men are right-wing populists with authoritarian tendencies. much of their appeal is based on their willingness to say outrageous, controversial things, to make the right people angry. perhaps most damningly, both failed to protect their citizens from the coronavirus. the united states and brazil are first and second for covid deaths. that is due in large part to the way trump and bolsonaro refused to take it seriously. both discouraged mask wearing and mocked those who wear them.. given the scope of the catastrophe of covid, we need a truth and reconciliation
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commission to get to the bottom of how trump and everyone, all of the public health people allowed a pandemic to spiral so far out of control. now it looks like brazil might actually be approaching something like that. a brazilian senate panel has now recommended to -- has voted to recommend charging the sitting president of brazil, who's up for re-election, with crimes against humanity over his handling of the virus. they also recommended charges of inciting an epidemic as well as charlatanism for promoting hydroxychloroquine. shortly after they recommended those charges, he was endorsed for re-election by none other than donald trump. quote, brazil is lucky to have a man such as jair bolsonaro working for them. he is a great president and will never let the people of his great country down. jack covers brazil for "the new york times" where he's reported on the recommended charges
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against bolsonaro and joins me tonight from rio. jack, can you just give us a little context, it's a striking thing to hear, crimes against humanity recommended. who wrote the report? how did it come about? and who's voting on it? what happens now? >> sure. it absolutely is extraordinary. i mean this is a pretty unprecedented time we're living in and this is one example of it. so this is a report that comes out of a six-month investigation that was leading the nightly news throughout much of the summer here in brazil. there were a lot of eyes on this investigation and it was a special senate panel convened specifically to investigate the handling of the pandemic. and so there were 11 voting members on this panel. from the beginning there were seven of them who opposed the president and they really controlled things. the vote last night came down along those political lines, where seven of the senators who essentially opposed the president voted for this nearly 1300-page report and four
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senators who opposed -- who support the president, rather, actually voted against it. >> could he face actual criminal charges? what becomes of this recommendation now? >> so this morning the report was delivered to brazil's effective attorney general. he now has 30 days to review the report and decide whether or not to press criminal charges against the president here in brazil. it is expected that he will not. he is generally a supporter of the president. he was nominated and appear -- appointed by the president. those charges would also have to be approved by the lower house of congress. that is also unexpected because of their support for the president. so it looks like at this point there won't be criminal charges against president bolsonaro in the short term. however, if he leaves office or when he leaves office, of course, he could be facing more legal exposure. >> the context here, of course,
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is that the pandemic has been brutal on brazil and at a per capita basis even worse than the u.s. bolsonaro has taken a position very similar to trump. he's kind of been flouting the kind of nambie-pambie public health experts and road around on his jet ski and said everybody is going to get it. he got it and was feeding his pet birds and came back. what has that done to the country's politics and culture as this death toll has soared as high as it has? >> well, it hasn't been good for president bolsonaro politically. his poll numbers of course have spiraled here as the death toll has risen. and you're right, the president really took a similar approach to president trump in many ways and even more striking approach to covid in that he downplayed it and has continued to downplay
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it. he actually -- remember, at the u.n. meeting just last month, he was essentially the only world leader that hadn't been vaccinated. there were photos of him having to eat pizza on the sidewalk because he couldn't get into new york city restaurants. but there were many things in this report that we should note. they talked about the fact that president bolsonaro essentially sought to reach herd immunity so he wanted the virus to spread unchecked. he ignored vaccines, ignored more than 100 emails from pfizer offering the vaccine. he sought a vaccine from india that had not been approved and there were allegations of fraud in that deal. he continued to promote unproven drugs like hydroxychloroquine and discouraged the use of masks and encouraged gatherings. all of this amounting to as the senate panel voted last night crimes against humanity. they laid the blame for at least 100,000 if not more deaths at the feet of this government.
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>> we should note that "the daily beast" reported there was some talk of a rally with trump and bolsonaro who had been very close. the kids had been close. bolsonaro's son has been up in the states and don trump jr. "the daily beast" reported this summer trump told confidants he was open to publicly endorsing bolsonaro's re-election to appear together side by side. when is the election, jack? >> the election is just about a year away here. >> all right. jack nicas, a reporter for "the new york times" reporting live from one of the greatest cities in the entire world, rio de janeiro. amidst the fallout of thousands of documents from a facebook whistleblower, there are signs the tech giant is prepared to face investigations. that story just ahead. prepared . that story just ahead. st p ct ye. worth is giving the people who build it a solid foundation.
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early voting is already under way in the virginia gubernatorial race with the latest polling showing terry mcauliffe effectively in a dead heat with ceo republican challenger glenn youngkin. if there was ever a test of the politics of the post-trump period it's this election. we'll cover it tuesday with the help of steve kornacki at the big board. there's also a fascinating mayoral race happening up in buffalo, new york, with a 39-year-old socialist and former nurse who last june just came out of nowhere and defeated the four-term incumbent in the democratic primary. on tuesday she'll be up against the vanquished incumbent mayor who is mounting a furious comeback as a write-in candidate. a fascinating race to watch. luckily i got a chance to sit down with india walton to talk all about the election as well as her own story. how she went from giving birth to her first child at 14 years
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each day the thousands of internal facebook documents leaked by a whistleblower provide light into the company's priorities and shortcomings. now it appears facebook is preparing for an investigation. facebook has told employees to preserve internal documents and communications since 2016 that pertain to its businesses because governments and legislative bodies have started inquiries into its operations according to a company email sent out tuesday night. the whistleblower's documents revealed the company's quite aware of the dangers of its platform and downplayed the problems in the pursuit of,
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well, making more money. co-founder of president of the center for humane technology which is pushing for technology that supports our well being, he appeared in "the social dilemma" to discover the dangers social media. you worked at google, you worked on the sort of inside of this. and i am curious what has jumped out about the revelations from this tranche of documents that have been leaked that all these different organizations have been working on. >> well, chris, good to see you again. we have been talking about this topic for a long time. i mean, really to people who have been studying this, there is nothing new here. what we have been saying the last eight years, people like jarin lamire, renee, so long as the business model is sorting by what engages people's attention and then putting amplifiers on that, you are basically selecting for the seven deadly
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sins. the most successful social networks tap into that. and everything that the facebook files is showing is just another predictable consequence. it's like climate change, another hurricane, another wildfire and we are reporting as individual events as opposed to the system that we are trapped within. this is global climate change a culture caused by the outragefication, the spearfication of our politics and culture. >> this is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. when they are personalizing what engages people, you are personalizing a more extreme position, to give you a more extreme confirmation of your existing views that outrages you. that selects for a more polarized representative class who cannot agree on anything and
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the democracy grinds to a halt in a world where we have increases crises. we don't have a function democratic governance to actually help us respond to that. so that leads to a drive towards authoritarianism around the world. people should zoom out from the facebook files to what does this mean as a society. can we work as is a democracy with this running in our information system. >> there are a bunch of things you said there i want to zoom in on. i have been writing and working on this topic myself recently. one is the nature -- you know, we are focused on facebook. you're saying this is endemic to the market for attention, which is to say ruthlessly efficient markets for attention on social media which can be better at getting attention than anything else bauf a.i.-powered algorithms that are testing what gets attention, are sort of
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necessarily perverse, that they will necessarily go to the place that we're seeing all these revelations about, like outrage and conspiracy theory and qanon and all that stuff because that is -- there is something deep in us that is what grabs our attention. >> exactly right. that's why we shouldn't be surprised by any of this. the real question is what is survivable for our society. i think we said this two weeks ago when we spoke. so long as the business model is we are the product and not the customer and whatever hijacks my limbic system, emotional system, lizard brain, creates success for the company, that's going to select out of me my worst vices, a more addicted misinformed society because each of those words represents a success case of an a.i. pointed at your brain trying to suck out that next attention. just like we are hitting plantory boundaries on the extract i have economies that's
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running our oil economy and we are hitting the plantory boundaries of the caring capacity of emissions we can take, we are hitting boundaries on the culture of sucking out so much attention, personalizing information so much that it breaks democracy. let alone the fact that the founding fathers said we need a functional fourth estate and in addition to polarizing the political base and a representative class it bankrupts the news. the news has to become an increasingly clickbait thing where you have to appeal to the algorithm, small, medium-size businesses have to appeal to the algorithm, politicians have to ateal to the algorithm and newspapers have to appeal to the algorithm. we have the single hand of zuckerberg that everyone has to appeal to. that is a new species of power when you are talking about 3 billion people plugged into that system. >> right, all they but -- but -- i mean, the key point is the algorithm is just a very efficient means of aggregating
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preconscious attentional desires. which is to say all the algorithm does is surface the stuff that grabs our limbic system. the brainstem, the core parts of us, the parts that are sort of the most ancient, right, and least associated with, like, contempttive consciousness, threat, fear, lust, all that stuff that the seven deadly sins. i don't want to say, like, the problem is us. but the reason it's dangerous is because of its efficiency of grabbing something in it as opposed to foisting something onto us. >> was there a question there? >> that it's not foisting something onto us. it is grabbing something within us, which gives it power? >> correct. it's like a harmonic frequency. you are throwing up a tuner and resonating but you are resonating for the parts of us that are the seven deadly sins. it's against all wisdom
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practices, the opposite of what you want the brain implant of your society. >> that's right. >> it does it to all sides of us. you can't see our fellow countrymen and women. >> that's right. the facebook news feed is the opposite of you a prayer or buddhist meditation, literally. thank you very much. i appreciate it. that is "all in" on this wednesday night. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> thank you, my friend. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. used to be called the g 8. it was us, canada, france, the u.k., italy, germany, japan and russia. that's eight. it was the g8 from the late '90s on. and the g 8 had drama. there were often big