tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC December 9, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
i cannot imagine continuing to cover this story and these moments without you. we will miss you, not just today, but every day, and i will see you tonight as i stay up late one last time just for you. thank you for joining us for these two hours of breaking news coverage. "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, i appreciate what you said. i bet a lot of people do. we have something about him and so much that he's contributed to journalism here at the end of our hour, but it means more coming from you because we've seen a lot of nights, late nights with the two of you just going four, six, nine hours. >> he used to call it tonnage, like the amount of live on-air coverage. the first time he said it, i was like what? it's so ineloquent. you and i did the first impeachment together and we did a tonnage of air time. i'm going to say this, but watching him cover some of the greatest tragedies that we've
all lived through and covered, things like the las vegas shooting, and hearing just the simplicity of his questions has been the most instructive. i remember him asking someone who was still afraid and still hiding how are you? i can't even tell the story without crying, but it just cracked her open and she gave all of us the benefit of knowing the horror that she and so many people were going through. it was just this simple question and then his singular ability to listen. >> yeah. i appreciate that. i do. really well put and it's what we're thinking about. as you mentioned, we'll be watching later tonight. good to see you, nicolle. welcome to "the beat." i am ari melber. we begin with break news as trump faces two legal setbacks. donald trump now facing a formal legal demand to go under oath in this big investigation that new york attorney general letitia james has been leading.
she has subpoenaed him to testify. the goal to get him to sit down for a deposition and answer for allegations of corruption and lying to authorities about his business as well as the view that fraud permeated his company, which he denies. it is a civil probe james has said state laws apply to donald trump like anyone else. >> president trump could not avoid justice in the great state of new york. my investigation is civil in nature. however, in the event that we uncover any conduct or activities which would suggest criminal activities, then that would change, obviously, our investigation. >> attorney general james has been probing some republicans like trump and some democrats like former governor cuomo. she was actually beginning a run for governor, which would be the job that he did vacate, but today announced she's dropping out of that race. that is sort of new york campaign news. in this case trump denies any wrongdoing and has yet to signal how he would face these new
calls to testify, although we have a track record of delay and dodging with these kind of situations. that's not all. trump also hit with more bad news. new york is not the only place where there is this push for accountability. late today a top federal appeals court dealt trump another loss in his attempts to hide evidence from january 6th. that leaves him with one more legal hail mary, which is his right, and that would be to make moves in court to get the supreme court to try to bail him out. i can't tell you yet whether they'll do that. it is an option his lawyers say at this hour they are still considering. let's breaking news so let's get right to it. we are joined by former sdny chief david kelly, also my former boss, and former rnc chair michael steele who did support joe biden in the race. david, what does it mean when you look at these developments, one from the new york a.g.'s office and the other about evidence?
>> well, look, i think she's put him in a really tough -- bit of a pickle. from a legal perspective the way to get out of the deposition is to invoke your fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. from a public perception from a political perception and i'm sure michael has a lot to say about this, whether or not he wants to come out and say that i'm going to incriminate myself if i testify truthfully. it's an interesting dilemma. it's not a complicated legal issue, i think it's more of a political issue than anything else. >> david, you have been in all kinds of cases on both sides. you ran the famed sdny. you've also been in clashes with the government. the news is that the scuffling is not working for trump, which is to say there's nothing wrong or prejudicial about lawyers and clients trying to say, well, you don't get this or that's out of scope. but i want to read from this new federal appeals court ruling which says january 6 exposed the
fragility of democratic institutions that some may have taken for granted. the president, the current president biden makes the judgment that access to these presidential communication records is necessary. trump has given this court, quote, no legal reason to cast aside president biden's assessment. david, what does that mean to you about the prospects of reversing that in the last shot the supreme court? >> you know, look, for many legal -- any lawyer looking at this case from the get-go, no one really expected that there's a legal basis to rule in trump's favor here. it's just -- it's pretty silly. and what this is -- >> because -- let me slow you down. because he's trying to invoke something that's the president's to invoke and he's no longer the president, regardless of what qanon or somebody else says? >> exactly. among other things, yes. and this is really -- this whole thing is trump's typical m.o. of
trying to put this into a four-corner press and slow it down and try to run out the clock. obviously the court of appeals today ruled that, well, that's not going to work here. the question is how much more clock does he have to run by going to the supreme court. i don't think this is -- it wouldn't surprise me if the supreme court did not assert. it's not a really controversial legal issue, i don't think. although because it turns on the executive privilege, which is pretty high up there, obviously, the supreme court may take it but i don't think they're going to let him run the clock too much longer. >> you mean the court might not look at this as worth hearing and might leave the loss in place. >> did you know that's what that meant, michael? just kidding. >> absolutely. >> no one has ever accused me of
throwing around too many legal terms. >> david knows a lot more, i can say this, than either of these about these intricacies having run the entire southern district of new york. but all jokes aside, michael, your name and judgment was invoked by the counselor, so go ahead. >> yeah, no. i think counsel has put it out there exactly as it is. and this is what a pinser move looks like to put it in political and military terms, if you will, between the state of new york and the court of appeals. you have this pressure now, this legal pressure at the state and federal level that has boxed trump into a corner. but here's the question. does that move latch onto something real and substantive that forces donald trump to not only appear but then to either invoke the fifth and go through
the process or does it latch onto jello? in which case it just slips through the legal process, it's delayed, there are all these other hurdles that are put out in front of it. i don't think that is so much this, in this case, but that's something you also have to look at and be concerned about. and that's where the supreme court is going to come in. i think at the end of the day, counsel is right, the supreme court will likely denied cert, but at the same time there is a chance, and maya wiley made this point on nicolle's show, that because the conservative wing of the court is so hell-bent around an augmented executive branch that they could see this as an opportunity to tinker and to explore, but i think at the end of the day the president and,
quite frankly, the politics would say don't touch this. the last thing the roberts court wants, particularly after the abortion fiasco that they have now found themselves in, is to further politicize the court. they have opened that now. they have taken on these cases that have high political drama to them, and this is one piece they don't want to add to that, particularly for those three new appointees of trump who, you know, could then be blamed as, oh, okay, yeah, sycophant just doing trump's bidding and that's not a stain that roberts wants on his court. >> you know, what michael says reminds me of a legal saying, bad facts make bad law. and the facts here really are not the type of thing i think the supreme court wants to start tinkering with the law with these facts. >> yeah, you put that so well. as michael always said, not bad
meaning bad but bad meaning good in which case it's not the road you want to go down. >> that's right. >> run dmc, baby. >> i was going to say, run, run, run. but to that point and i don't mean this to be overly unkind to donald trump, but what david is referring to is this is not a typical problem between presidents of different parties who disagree on many things. there isn't -- david, you can speak to this -- there's not a lot of history or case law where the supreme court has to actually deal with a former president who says i still want to hit the nuclear button. well, dude, you're not president anymore. i still wanting to declare foreign policy. well, you're not president anymore. i want executive privilege. again, you could come up with other minute examples that have more to deal with the archives that are a little more particular, presidential papers, but the idea that the active power, david, would be overruling the current
president's position for the former president, they don't get asked to do that. >> the executive privilege rests with the executive, not the former executive. that's his big challenge here. i'm not a constitutional scholar, but i don't think that's so difficult to comprehend that the supreme court will need to feel like they need to take that issue up, particularly under these facts. >> david, i'm saying this not because i learned law from you but i think viewers might agree you keep it very clear and concise. michael, we have to deal with something later in the hour and it's going to be less serious than this segment and that's all i'm going to say for now. i'll see you later. >> all right. >> thanks to both of you. >> good to see you. also a programming note. on these issues tomorrow congressman adam schiff is with us on "the beat" live tomorrow night discussing these developments and the january 6 probe. i want you to know about that, obviously relevant. coming up, joe biden overseeing a great jobs record. why aren't more people hearing about it and what does it teach us about the pottery barn rule in american politics?
david plouffe is here. and fact checking a bizarre republican claim about mouthwash and then before we're done tonight, we have something very special. an interview with the iconic jerry from hbo's "succession" ahead of one of the most eagerly anticipated season finales of the year. >> we are in a proxy war. the plane has just been hijacked. all the engines have fallen into the sea and the pilot's hair is on fire. >> j. smith-cameron, her "beat" debut tonight. " de but tonigh t. feel stuck with credit card debt? move to sofi and feel what it's like to get your money right. ♪ move your high-interest debt to a sofi personal loan. you could save with low rates and no fees. earn $10 just for viewing your rate and get your money right. ♪
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before barack obama became president, there was a big moment for him. long-time republican colin powell threw his credibility behind obama, endorsing him in 2008, and specifically citing what it would mean to have obama on the world stage. which is where powell built his own standing as a top general and diplomat. he's been credited with a simple principle for policy. the pottery barn rule. you break it, you own it. it was a warning about starting wars and other policies. >> what i did say to him, once you break it, you're going to own it and we're going to be responsible for 26 million people standing there looking at us. >> what the u.s. government does, it owns. true in war, or the obligation continues even as presidents change. so the u.s. owned iraq and
afghanistan, which started under bush, but also fell to later presidents to handle what the u.s. owned. later democratic presidents withdrew in iraq and afghanistan. it was obama and biden that had to ending what the u.s. owned which bush began. but the policy pattern actually goes beyond war. there's something of a recurring theme here where some republican presidents preside over the beginning of crises, which voters for a range of reasons might then reject that republican leadership. the democratic presidents come in and inherit the leftover of the crises, like how bush and trump were president during huge financial catastrophes that would saddle future administrations. >> it was a manic monday in the financial markets. the dow tumbled more than 500 points. >> the signs were everywhere, but now it's official, we are in a recession. >> the stock market in freefall. the dow plunging over 2,000
points. the worst day since the 1987 crash. >> yeah. covid in march was even worse than that '09 crisis. later presidents would have to deal with that, whether they were gop or democratic. i want to be clear, those crashes had all kinds of causes, but the fact was for obama, he had to begin his entire presidency with that reactive focus, addressing the crash, spending his political capital on getting the stimulus spending passed, while also trying to develop a broader agenda. >> while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, we will rebuild. we will recover, and the united states of america will emerge stronger than before. >> we will rebuild. you saw then vice president biden clapping. that goal was clear. it was about the re, not build,
but rebuild because things had come crashing down because of the predecessors. years later tons of things have changed but obama's number two from then has the same challenge. biden aides view 2021 as a rebuilding year to rebuild the damage from trump. biden must rebuild an economy that took hits under trump. democrats insist had donald trump just followed more science, that rebound would have started earlier and biden has to push domestic spending for the problems in this country's markets and jobs and everything over republican obstruction. but he has gotten some spending done. he is pushing out a covid plan and it's driving new numbers like this today. job gains that break a 52-year record for unemployment. the washington monthly reports this is a biden boom and no one has noticed yet. real problems like inflation and the supply chain still impact people. by the way, if the government is supposed to help people, it has a role in trying to address
those problems, which includes pressure on the biden administration, but that same report i just showed you notes that in realtime, those issues can obscure how democrats are overseeing the, quote, strongest two-year performance on growth, jobs and income in decades. now, you can call it a boom or you can call it a biden boom, you can even call it a not trump boom. some people might say, well, anyone would have inherited this, it's nothing special about the current president. but whatever you call it, it's a measurable boom that isn't really being counted as a boom yet. why is that? does it matter? obama advisor david plouffe on it all when we're back in just 60 seconds. ck in just 60 seconds when they can enjoy the best? eggland's best. the only eggs with more fresh and delicious taste. plus, superior nutrition. which is now more important than ever. ♪♪ which is now more important than ever.
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flashbacks? >> a little bit. it got better, though, ari, but definitely had a trough there that was painful. most importantly for the american people and our businesses, but also politically. >> yeah. and you look at those two cycles. it is complicated, but do you see a point that some democrats are raising, that there has become over these four presidencies a boom/bust cycle where they argue the democratic presidents are saddled with cleaning up a mess and they preside over job growth and they say biden not getting enough credit? >> oh, there's no question. i mean, you know, how many times have we been lectured on deficits and debt by republicans who simply show that all they basically do is blow it up. they starve social spending, give tax cuts to the wealthy, the economy underperforms. we get in there and have to do hard things. even though people might say in a poll they appreciate the hard thing, when you actually do it, sometimes that's politically tough. so, yeah. but i think for the most part over the last couple
generations, democrats have believed in responsible government, being truthful and not treating politics as simply performance art and trying to deliver for the american people and do it in a responsible way. it's deeply frustrating. >> and reading again from that monthly piece they mentioned, given this year's remarkable gains in growth and employment, why is biden's approval on the economy under water? it's not mysterious. americans' perceptions of the economy lag economic conditions when those conditions have recently changed. add to that that if what you're buying costs more and makes you feel like you can't afford as much, that's how people process a tough economy, feeling poorer than last year. that's a real world situation, is it not? >> oh, absolutely, ari. listen, the vast majority of american citizen voters, they don't pay any attention or view the economy through the lens of statistics. it's all my paycheck, what's coming in, what's going out, the cost of goods, do i know people who have lost their jobs, do i
know people who have gotten raises, it's all very, very personal. so i do think at the end of the day i expect that over the next nine or ten months not just will the statistics continue to grow but people will feel better. now, we have economic inequality. almost half the country lives paycheck to paycheck. can't afford a $400 unanticipated bill. so for a lot of those people, it's going to be a long time before they feel better. but i think the personal situation will catch up. but what's overhanging biden's poll numbers is the pandemic. once people feel that we finally escaped the clutches of this and with this new variant maybe it's longer than any of us hoped, then i think you'll see those numbers recover and that will happen at a time that the economy is really, really continuing to pick up steam. >> what is your view of the challenge inside the biden white house? as you mentioned the politics and the communication. on the one hand biden ran on being a much more honest, you know, welcoming leader than donald trump's endless feuds and lies.
on the other hand, they have to find ways to emphasize the positive, not just be a precise fact check on all of this but really tell their story. james carville and others tell us they should tell it with villains and go after some of the super duper 1% because that's how you get there. or to quote someone that i know someone you admire, jared kushner, conflict elevates message. >> well, there's no doubt that this first year of the biden presidency, which is generally what happens, the president comes in and is trying to get stuff down. it's all about you, it's all referendum. you have to swing the republican party at large and some of those villains. a lot of that 1% is going to be spend ing hundreds of millions of dollars to try and give republicans back control of congress. and so i think you can get to motive. it's always important to have motive when you're talking about villains, i think. so yeah, there's no question. i think what biden will hopefully be able to do by the
spring if not sooner, we've gotten on the other side of the pandemic, the economy is recovering, we're rebuilding bridges, we're for democracy. i think that's a heavy hand. they want to turn democracy to autocracy. if they get power, they'll wanting to give tax cuts to the wealthy. they'll stop building bridges. they'll stop giving you child care. the most important thing for democrats next year and biden is not the message or tactics, it's reality. and if the reality gets better for people, even though i think people may say, yeah, the economy is better than i hoped it might be, but we're still stuck in this pandemic. that is the big thing overhanging everything politically. and you know biden has a great story to tell about what he's done with the pandemic. that will be easier to tell when people finally think they can breathe a size of relief. >> david, i've got to tell you, pandemic soup sounds terrible. >> yeah, it does, doesn't it? >> maybe that's why we change the menu eventually if we work together. that's the best i can do.
david, good to see you, sir. >> good to see you. we're tracking another breaking news story. a jury has delivered a guilty verdict in the trial of actor jussie smollett. the star charged with staging and fraudulently creating what was deemed as an anti-gay racist hate crime against him allegedly, and he was charged with lying to the police about it. nbc's meagan fitzgerald has been covering this, is live in chicago outside the courthouse. meagan. >> reporter: yeah, just within the last couple of minutes here, the jury foreman reading off those six counts that jussie smollett has been facing. this jury found that he was guilty on five counts. not guilty on six counts. so i want to break this down for you. the first five counts are connected to that incident in january of 2019. a statement that jussie smollett made to police officers. so jurors found that he lied to police officers on those five
counts. but on another day, a separate day weeks later is when he was charged with that six count and found not guilty. jurors have been deliberating the last two days, more than six hours deliberating. we know from covering trials throughout the years, jurors will usually go to the judge and ask questions, but this jury has been very quiet, only asking one question. this was the prosecution's case to prove. they showed evidence trying to make the point that in january of 2019, jussie smollett staged this entire attack where he says that he was attacked by two people and they hurled racist and homophobic terms towards him, put a noose around his neck, telling police that he was a victim here. but this trial, lasting seven days, prosecutors really went in, going after his credibility and just moments ago jurors reading off their verdict finding jussie smollett guilty of five counts of lying to police. we know he's going to be sentenced coming up here.
go ahead, ari. >> people heard about the outlines but you've been covering it. what do you think was the most compelling evidence that led to this guilty verdict? >> reporter: so, you know, for the prosecution they were calling these two brothers. they called them to the stand. the brothers admitted that they were paid $3,500 from smollett to orchestrate this attack. there was surveillance video that showed the moment that they were doing this dry run, according to the prosecutor, in smollett's car, riding around the area where this attack happened. so they were given a lot of evidence for the prosecution. the defense, all they had to try to do is sow doubt and obviously they weren't successful today. >> really, really interesting to get your perspective, particularly on what moved we believe based on the case of these jurors. meagan fitzgerald, thank you for your reporting. >> reporter: absolutely. >> appreciate it. coming up, we have a very special guest as we look at the 1% and the enduring power of
rupert murdoch and why he keeps getting tucker carlson's back. and tucker carlson for his part, well, he's been pushing the kind of covid misinformation you may hear about from other people. we have a fact check and a very special look at mouthwash. you heard me, mouthwash with michael steele in a special edition of "early late night." that's next. early late night." that's next. oh wow. ♪ i want my daughter riley to know about her ancestors and how important it is to know who you are and to know where you came from. doesn't that look like your papa? that's your great grandfather. it's like opening a whole 'nother world that we did not know existed. ♪ you finally have a face to a name. when you give the gift of ancestry®, you give the gift of family. ♪ (kate) this holiday, verizon has the deal that gets better and better and better. get iphone 13 pro, on us, when you trade in your old or damaged phone. here, the phone everyone wants, on america's most reliable network. better? (guy) better.
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>> live via satellite please welcome michael steele. >> how are we doing on the street, lunch meat? >> that's my boy. he's that one at the desk over there. >> there's no steele like late night steele and that brings us to our beat segment, "early late night with michael steele." the steele you know with the steele you want to get to know. >> there it is. hi, michael. i can't hear him. >> you got me? >> now i can hear you. whatever you did was so dope it melted down our tech here. >> there you go. >> you took the tie off. amazing. let's get right to it because some things are too stupid to be taken too seriously and that's why we have a segment where we can just let loose. behold, republican senator ron johnson.
>> by the way, standard gargle. mouthwash has been proven to kill the coronavirus, even if you get it. you may reduce viral replication. why not try all these things? >> fact check, false. this is real news. i now will read to you the statement from the listerine company which says listerine antiseptic is not intended to prevent or treat covid and should be used only as directed. michael? >> yeah. i mean this is a whole new bucket of stupid here. look, we've gone through hydroxychloroquine, clorox. look, at this point none of this is serious. none of it can be taken serious, it's still, though, very dangerous. it just boggles the mind that these so-called leaders, senators, get up and say stuff like this when they know it's
not factually correct. here's the thing, ari, everybody knows that if you're going to try to deal with relinquishing some viral outbreak, you just suck on a lemon. i don't understand why he's gone to a bottle of listerine when you can just stick a lemon in your mouth, and, baby, you're good. >> can i ask you something? >> what? >> why do you think some of these republicans, some you know and used to work with, are so obsessed to finding some other miracle cure. it's not like it's christian science or some belief that i don't want any treatment. it's like the vaccine works, but you want to find something else. why? >> well, because it's easier narrative. it's easier narrative to just go out and put something out there to create confusion, to create doubt. and again, it's what i've been saying since march, april of last -- of 2020. leadership matters when you're in a crisis.
and what you're seeing right now are not leaders. they're grifters, they're punks, they're, you know, people who throw out a lot of noise. they're not about anything. so that's why you need to fact check, you need to inform people. you know, we get the good doctors on programs like yours to come on and explain to people what's going on. you don't have to deal with all the hibbity-bibbity, baby, you can just deal with the real. >> i've got one more question for you. tucker, hit it. >> the virus itself, this is true, does tend to take away the life force in some people i notice. it does feminize that, but it's true. >> no one ever says that, michael. go ahead. >> dude, i don't know what's up with poor little tuckems. i have no idea why he has this
fixation on the feminization of men. is this a form of projection that we don't seem to know about? what's going on? again, another bucket of just absolute crazy. covid is feminizing men? tell that to donald trump, okay? just so you're telling me that donald trump is now more feminine because he got covid? this is how -- this is how crazy it is out here. and look, tucker is going to do what tucker is going to do because his advertisers and sponsors continue to pay for it. >> yep. >> fox continues to pay for it. the audience continues to tune in. but the reality of it is both of these topics point out how dangerous these narratives are. and america, it's not going to get any better. you know it, ari, we're going
into next year and it's just going to be some hot pickles, baby. >> well, what's a pickle if not just an old cucumber. that's not a saying yet but might become one. >> i'm really concerned about the feminization of cucumbers and pickles. >> michael, good to see you, sir. >> all right, bro, take care. >> absolutely. so why does tucker carlson get to be on tv? because of rupert murdoch who backs this stuff to the end. we have a special guest on that and the backlash, next. hat and the backlash, xtne as a dj, w all about customization. that's why i love liberty mutual. they customize my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ bye mom. my helpers abound, i'll need you today. our sleigh is now ready, let's get on our way. a mountain of toys to fulfill many wishes. must be carried across all roads and all bridges.
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for trump outing himself as an operative, not an independent member of the press. or fox's most watched figure today, tucker carlson, who pushes racial conspiracy theories that are more extreme than what was even on fox five years ago. they all have one thing in common, the backing of the powerful right-wing billionaire, rupert murdoch, who oversees a business empire with his own children jockeying to take over, which is part of the inspiration for the hit hbo show "succession" depicting an aging billionaire who owns a powerful right-wing cable channel and whose children jockey to take over. it's a story line about and against the 1%. their habits amidst rising u.s. inequality and it's a hit, a smash hit according to the critics. the best show you'll ever experience say some, and americans agree, powering it to huge viewership on hbo as people may root for and against the aging mogul who's often in battle and surrounded.
>> i am surrounded by snakes and [ bleep ] morons. >> he did not fire me. he said it was just going to take a little longer. >> what i think he meant to say was he wish mom gave birth to a can opener because at least then it would be useful. >> i'm not saying i would make a better ceo, that's unsaid. >> it's not unsaid when you said it. >> you're the number one trending topic ahead of tater tots and the pope followed you. >> the government does have a huge amount of leverage at its disposal, dad. the law. >> yeah, the law. the law is people. and people is politics. and i can handle a people. >> like murdoch, this character is hypervigilant about wielding his power. it shows him rebuffing the advice about yielding to a legal boundary. he thinks he has now power and people at his disposal to move
the boundary. it seems to work until he doesn't as the feds crack down on his company for corrupt practices and grave misconduct against women, an ethical business and legal crisis that brings the long-time lawyer and protector, one of the highest ranking women in the company who becomes acting ceo during the crisis, navigating misogyny and politics. she often seems like one of the most cogent level-headed characters, even likeable, until you remember that she too is deploying all her skill to protect and to perpetuate business as usual. >> we are in a proxy war. the plane has just been hijacked, all the engines have fallen into the sea and the pilot's hair is on fire. i can't actually in this nation yet, sadly, halt the publication of a book. i'm not kidding myself about anything. i need family support, so i'm very hope to cooperation and input. and you have good instincts.
>> thank you. >> you also have horrible instincts. >> jerry is fascinating, she channels a tech kratically craven relentlessly effective figure in the peculiar and legal business climate of multi-national late stage capitalism, where nothing is sacred, everything has a price, and surviving the rat race is deemed better than getting eaten by the rats. we are joined now, making her "beat" debut, the actor who plays jerry, j. cameron joins us now. welcome to "the beat." >> thank you. it's nice to be here. >> what do you see in your character, how do you relate to her? >> how do i relate to jerry? >> mm-hmm. >> well, i mean i guess that show business also is a place where there's ruthless misogyny and a lot of struggling to keep your toehold. but i think women in all
businesses relate to that. so yeah. i mean then beyond that i think there's a lot of things about jerry are satisfying to play. i don't know that i relate to it as much. but awful as all these characters are, it's wonderful to play a woman who is so canny and is such an expert at dodging -- staying out of the line of fire and is so clever at her craftiness. that's sort of satisfying. >> she's surrounded by voluable people. how is she so effective without using that same approach all the time, and how do you get into that as a character in imagining someone maneuvering that way? >> well, i mean i guess i would have to say that she's someone who very carefully is studying the score at every second and knows exactly how she fits in
and what is needed of her and she's very -- she's very clever about managing logan, who is the sort of loosely based on rupert murdoch, although they say not really, but it's pretty clear comparisons. so i think that she's -- she makes up in craftiness what she does in volume or in power. she's kind of, you know, clever at getting her way. >> you reminded me of the beasty boys. she's crafty, she's always down. she's a very crafty character. i want to play a little bit more because in journalism and any responsible field that's factual, there are sometimes things that seem to be true but until you prove them you can't just go out saying them. this show is not burdened with that and it depicts government law politics on the take in a way that i think is largely a concern of people in the real world. let's look at a scene where we
see how a big company has direct access to the president and his advisers, which changes the game. here we go. >> so off the record, what's the temperature at main justice? any danger of them or southern district going batman on going? >> the attorney general is very smart. it's just the deputy a.g. likes to think she is something of a straight shooter. marilyn is prickly. so that's your only issue, marilyn. >> well, maybe you should just fire her. >> ha ha ha. >> ha ha ha. how did you study or learn about giving that some reality, some vigor in an environment where we're told -- both administrations by the way, both parties would deny this kind of stuff goes on. yet every so often we get the kind of clues that it does. >> well, i mean, i don't -- i don't know that i can prove that that happens, but the writing is
so clever, and it's just what you imagine if you the -- if you follow politics, you follow the news. you kind of imagine the deals that are being made and the friendships that are being courted and how things happen. i've been reading robert caro's "master of the senate" which is all about lbj's incredible, incredible politicking that he did to pass the civil rights act. and it's just amazing, and it's very much like our show. like the incredible behind-the-scenes, you know -- he was one person to some people and a completely different figure to other people. never not a man for all seasons at all. >> not all seasons. certainly not. and robert caro is brilliant. you talk about the type of writing that brings you into a room you otherwise wouldn't be in. we also saw that this character you play was originally written in a casting decision where they imagined or planned it to be a male character.
tell us about that, and how if at all that affects the way you play it. >> well, yes, they'd written it originally i think as a man, and it was spelled j-e-r-r-y, not g-e-r-r-i. and then they saw some women for the role, and i one was of those. i think what happened is i didn't have time to rewrite the audition script with a woman in mind. the scene had all this vulgar stuff that kendell and roman was saying to the gerri character that was just locker room talk, that was just glancing off the gerri character with no trouble. and for me being a woman, i had to figure out how to play that. so i tried to be unflappable, but also i was just wincing and rolling my eyes and, you know, disgusted too. and i think that became a fun characteristic that got revisited and revisited and is
now a permanent part of the character of us being able to take it but just disgusted all the time. >> right, which the boys. >> yeah. i'd love to do a lightning round with you. this is in a word or a sentence answers. your favorite character actor to play off of. >> roman. >> which character would you have the hardest time dealing with in real life? >> kendall. >> the succession fan or viewer that you met that struck you most, because they love the show, they're famous, or whatever reason? >> steven spielberg. >> final two questions. one, was that logan calling, in which case we understand you need to take it? >> you know who it probably was. >> and two, final question, who will take over the company? >> well, we know who should take over the company, but i don't
know. and if i did know, i couldn't say. so i don't know. i think that i have a feeling it's something we haven't thought of yet, but i don't know why i say that. >> okay. >> i think because the play is considered -- i mean the show is often spoken about like a shakespearean and often big shakespeare dramas end with someone coming in out of left field and taking the crown at the end. so that's all i based it on, which is nothing. >> or my kingdom for a horse, you know. >> yeah. >> j cameron smith, thank you so much. >> my pleasure.
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>> we have received word from the nbc television station in new york that a 747 aircraft has exploded. the florida secretary of state says 300 votes separate bush and gore. >> terrorists today crashed two hijacked jetliners into the world trade center. >> it was a catastrophic breakup in midair. on board, seven shuttle astronauts, some of the best and brightest this country has to offer. >> barack obama did it. it looks like with 284. >> over and out. the war in iraq officially over. >> donald john trump has been elected 45th president of the united states. >> we now have a special counsel to head the russia investigation. he is robert mueller. >> on behalf of all our colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. >> the news first and foremost
is always about what's happening out there, not in here. which is how brian approaches reporting and anchoring. tonight we salute him for his extraordinary contributions to nbc and msnbc. so many of us have spent so many years getting the news from him. he's paved the way in more avenues and aspects than i can certainly capture with words right now. so i will just say at the end of our broadcast, thank you, brian, and we will be watching tonight. that does it for "the beat." "the reidout" with joy reid starts right now. hi, joy. >> how are you doing? >> i have to say my favorite brian williams story is when i was working at a news editor at wtvj. he came in. and i remember oh my god, that's brian williams. he set up shop next to us. he took the time to ask each of us our names, chatted. i was like this is the nicest man i've ever met. he was so cool and so open and so personable. we love him. we love
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